Fan talk: Did Georgia get shafted by the BCS?

Even Nick Saban thought Georgia should have gotten a BCS bowl. (Associated Press)

Even Nick Saban thought Georgia should have gotten a BCS bowl. (Associated Press)

I want to take a moment to say thanks for all the positive feedback about the two Blawgs I wrote last weekend after the loss to Alabama.

I thought it was interesting that what seemed to resonate the most with many readers was my comment in the Sunday follow-up that I had trouble sleeping Saturday night after the game. It turns out quite a few of you also found yourselves lying awake replaying the game in your minds!

Speaking of which, I think the to-spike-or-not-to-spike debate has pretty well played out, so I’m not going to devote any more space to that particular issue. But there are other things on your mind, as is reflected in this week’s Junkyard Mail.

(By the way, I should note that some of the comments below are excerpted from much lengthier letters. Keep it concise, folks!)

Now, let’s answer some mail. …

Samantha Ducote writes: The BCS is a joke. So should Georgia have lost against (much hated) Florida to get a BCS game? Everyone is hating on NIU, because they are 15th, but they did win their conference and are 12-1, just like Bama. Yes, easier schedule and all, but they still won their conference. Conference winners should be ranked highest in the BCS, and then the runners-up in conference games [should] come next to determine bowl games. Then everyone else who qualifies gets the rest. If Notre Dame had lost, Florida would be going to Miami against Alabama. Just like Alabama went last year and they didn’t win the SEC. Putting someone in a better bowl game who wasn’t in the conference championship is like a smack in the face to the teams who are.

I’ll admit I think Georgia deserves the Sugar Bowl more than Florida does. Even Nick Saban thought it was a “crying shame” Georgia wasn’t going to get a BCS berth and believes the SEC Championship runner-up should fare better, but that’s the crazy system we have. As for conference champions, as I noted recently, some conferences play a championship game and some don’t. And this season, of course, Notre Dame didn’t have to play for a conference title in order to make it to the BCS. Still, I don’t think I can agree with you that just winning a conference should get you into the BCS. Not all conference championships are on an equal footing, and I’m not just talking about Northern Illinois. This year, for example, no one can make a sound argument that winning the ACC championship is anywhere close to being comparable to winning the SEC title … or even the Big 10 or PAC 12 championships. The upcoming playoff certainly won’t solve all the problems, but the system it’s replacing is extremely flawed.

Jim P. writes: Bill, I am as disappointed and sad as anyone in the Bulldog Nation. This is one of those losses that will hurt forever. Oh, what could have been. I’m so proud of our team for never giving up, even when they were obviously physically drained on defense. And that same defense held Bama after our last punt, to give our offense the last shot they needed to win the game. Aaron [Murray] looked like he and our offense were destined to give our team a championship. But fate had a different ending this year. I will question the what if’s the rest of my life (that is the fortune of all sports fans), but will not be angry or put blame on the players or coaches. Our players and coaches fought their hearts out till the end and did their best to get a win and certainly wanted it just as much as the biggest fan. I have to rank this as a top 5 heartbreaker along with Pittsburgh Panther Dan Marino’s 4th down bomb to beat us in the ‘82 Sugar Bowl (’81 season) while future Falcon Bill Fralic was holding on the play; our ‘83 Sugar Bowl loss to Penn State (’82 season), which cost us another national championship; the devastating Atlanta Falcons loss to Dallas in the 1980 playoffs (when victory was in hand); and the Atlanta Braves’ extra inning Game 7 loss to Minnesota in the ‘91 World Series.

That’s a passel of heartbreak there, Jim. I think what’s so hard for Georgia fans to take about this defeat is how the stars seemed perfectly aligned this season for the Bulldogs to go all the way. Those opportunities don’t come along all that often (OK, unless you’re Alabama). To fall just short under those circumstances is like absorbing a cheap shot you didn’t see coming from Quinton Dial.

Mike Moss writes: Really enjoyed your article, “Bulldog Nation feels a profound sadness mixed with immense pride.” My thoughts on the game: I’m hurting and gutted like everyone else. I was proud of the amazing effort that the Bulldogs gave. I’m also proud of the response of Dawg Nation and how there is an outpouring of support for our team. I’ve had enough of hearing from that minority of so-called fans who are bashing the Dawgs and their leadership after that game! Sure, we can debate some of the finer points of the game forever. But in my opinion the Dawgs gave it all they had! [Alec] Ogletree’s run back. Murray getting back up after one of the most brutal blindsided hits we’ve ever seen in football. This team fought all the way to the end against one of the best teams of the decade. I think voicing some frustration is part of it. But if you can’t truly appreciate what a great effort that was, then I don’t think Dawg Nation needs you. I want to win big so badly, but all I can really ask is that the team I support gives it their all. These Dawgs gave their all!

The way the lead kept switching back and forth over the course of the game was testimony to both teams giving it their all. While UGA fans might be heartbroken by the outcome, it was an absolutely spectacular football game, as was noted by my friend Al, who lives in New Jersey and generally doesn’t follow college ball. “You folks can absolutely hold your head high,” he said after viewing Georgia-Alabama, which he said was the game of the season.

Aaron Murray stepped up on the big stage against Alabama. (Associated Press)

Aaron Murray stepped up on the big stage against Alabama. (Associated Press)

Jackie Leonard writes: Let’s put to rest all this bull about Aaron Murray not being able to get it done on the big stage, as that talk radio jerk Chuck Oliver implied at [Mark] Richt’s press conference. If anyone let us down in the SEC Championship game, it was Todd Grantham and his inability to scheme against Alabama’s power running game. Certainly, Murray did his part. Time and again he brought the Dawgs back, and that tipped pass on the final play was due to a poor block, not to any mistake on our quarterback’s part. Without Murray, Georgia wouldn’t have been in that game after halftime! I sure hope he comes back for his senior season at UGA. Do you think he will?

I think all things being equal, Murray probably would come back. Back at midseason I was pretty sure he would. But NFL draft analysts have noted that this year sees a relatively unimpressive class of quarterbacks coming out, and Murray might benefit from leaving a year earlier. His career numbers are already pretty gaudy, he’s in graduate school and, let’s face it, he’s not going to grow two or three inches in the next year, which is the major knock on him by NFL types. So there might not be that much for him to gain, in terms of a pro career, by sticking around for his senior season at Georgia. If he leaves, Hutson Mason has a lot of potential and, at worst, will likely be a decent game manager. But even before his redshirt season Mason’s playing time was severely limited, so he’d definitely benefit from being Murray’s backup next year before becoming the starter as a senior. I hope that’s how it works out. However, the next letter is from a reader who doesn’t agree.

Zackariah Craig writes: I keep hearing that fans should be proud of the effort of the team [against Alabama] and that is crazy to me. Am I a fan of the University of Georgia or Georgia State? I hear how great Aaron Murray is yet he always has a turnover when he plays against a quality defense. A freshman QB at Texas A&M went to Bama and did not have any turnovers. A defense full of NFL talent, or that’s what I hear, gave up 500 yards. UGA got physically whipped. So, the best we can do with this team is 11-2 and maybe a top 5 finish. Not even a BCS bowl. Grantham and [Mike] Bobo should be fired. I assure you that other coaches could do the same or more with this talent. 350 yards rushing allowed and mishandling the two minute offense is grounds to fire the DC and OC. As for Murray, please go to the NFL because you are an anchor holding UGA back from greatness. Let Mason start next year because no way we win the SEC with an almost brand new defense.

A team comes within 5 seconds of playing for the national championship and you want to replace the quarterback and fire the offensive and defensive coordinators? Wow. I guess by your exacting standards, every team that didn’t even make it to the SEC Championship game should be cleaning house, too. I mean, you do recall that Texas A&M and its freshman wunderkind, Johnny Manziel, lost to two of the three good SEC teams they played this season, right?

Mike Darnell writes: Enjoy the Blawg. I couldn’t help but think that the majority of players, if given a vote, would prefer not to have to play in a bowl game. Maybe one day, if a true playoff system evolves, the minor bowls will be eliminated. Many teams have nothing to play for. I think that any UGA player who is a senior or is an underclassman who is considering entering the NFL draft should be allowed to forego the game. What do you think?

Glad you enjoy the Blawg. I think a vote of college players would be very likely to prove you wrong, though. Bowl games, whether BCS or not, are seen as a reward to the players for a good season (even if the definition of good gets a bit elastic when it comes to filling the slots in some of those lower-level bowls). The players get a trip to someplace new where they are feted at dinners and parties and given nice gifts. (At the Capital One Bowl, Georgia players each will get a $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy and a Fossil watch.) Plus they get to play another game of football, which believe it or not, is why the vast majority of them (who will never play on Sundays) are there to begin with. A lot of seniors would fight you over trying to take their last game away from them. They love playing football! Lastly, the extra practices that bowl teams get are a big plus for programs and allow teams to start planning for the next season and evaluating talent. All in all, a bowl game, even a minor one, is a win-win situation for both players and schools.

The Georgia Bulldogs should remain just that. (University of Georgia)

The Georgia Bulldogs should remain just that. (University of Georgia)

Big Enos Burdette writes: Why won’t UGA go ahead and rename the mascot “Bulldawgs”? There are plenty of “Bulldogs” in the world. It would set the UGA brand apart and it has a distinctly Southern flair. All the talking heads on ESPN already say “Dawgs” with the drawl when speaking of UGA. Trademark it so no one else could use it on their merchandise. Have always admired the unique mascots like Vols, Gators, Tide, Seminoles, Gamecocks, Tar Heels, etc. The university will wish they had done so when one of the other “bulldog” schools does it first and locks UGA out of using it.

OK, that last bit isn’t going to happen. You can trademark “Georgia Bulldogs” but not “Bulldogs,” so no one’s going to take exclusive control of that mascot name. UGA may not be the only Bulldogs around, but I think there’s a certain cachet in being the best-known. It’s not the Fresno State or even Mississippi State mascot who’s adorned the cover of Sports Illustrated as college football’s best mascot, after all! As for going with the “distinctly Southern” Bulldawg spelling: No offense intended, but I absolutely hate the idea. It’s one thing for fans, or even sportscasters, to affectionately call them the Dawgs. But to enshrine such a corny spelling as the official name of the team would be just plain tacky.

That’s it for now. I’m taking a few days of vacation, so join me back here the week after next. Go Dogs!

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

CATCH UP ON THE JUNKYARD BLAWG …

Dawgs have nothing to be ashamed of after epic battle with Bama

Bulldog Nation feels a profound sadness mixed with immense pride

SEC pride: Should Georgia fans pull for Alabama in the BCS?

361 comments Add your comment

Leroy

December 6th, 2012
10:30 am

No!!! They got what they earned.

Leroy

December 6th, 2012
10:31 am

And First. Rolllllll Tidddddeee!!!!!

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

December 6th, 2012
10:32 am

Georgia lost.

Get over it.

Sports Fan

December 6th, 2012
10:32 am

Could I be first? I enjoyed the article.

Really

December 6th, 2012
10:34 am

I’ve never seen this much discussion about a loss. Time to move on.

Get some new material.

Dawg_Mike

December 6th, 2012
10:36 am

At the end of the day, Bama won and deserves to play in the NC game. I do think that the loser of the SECCG always pays a steep price when it gets slotted for a Bowl game, but I would still rather be in the SECCG than not.

Beach Dawg

December 6th, 2012
10:37 am

Bill, as always a great column. Enjoy the vacation.

GTDog

December 6th, 2012
10:38 am

A great game, no doubt. Best of luck to Bama in Miami…

Frontman

December 6th, 2012
10:39 am

Really…
This is the UGA “blawg”. Get used to it.
Also, get used to ignorant hicks who seem forced to have a handle that ends in “Dawg”.

RGB

December 6th, 2012
10:40 am

I agree with Really. How long will this continue. If the dawgs lose to Nebraska, will that set off another round of this type of discussion? Winning teams focus on their next opponent.

Do you people have anything to be thankful for?

FallDawg

December 6th, 2012
10:40 am

Should have shown up at South Carolina. That’s my take on the season. If we would have done that UGA would have been undefeated and @ #1 or #2 assuring us the Sugar Bowl bid with 12-1 record with the SECCG loss. So don’t blame the BCS. Blame that 1 game that we have been no shows for during the regular season the past few years.

AUDAWG

December 6th, 2012
10:40 am

Bill -

Yes, this loss is going to hurt for a very long time. While on one hand I admire the job that the coaching staff did this year, and in the SECC game particular, in my view, there is no way of denying that the final drive was an absolute train wreck in time management (after the INT ruling on the field was overturned).

Yes, we should have spiked the ball, but after the completion to TK down the middle, we let tons of time expire while at the line of scrimmage, even though we were essentially given a free time out (due to TK being shaken up on the play).

The clock mismanagement reminded me a lot of the end of the first half against Ole Miss, where we bungled the clock and got bailed out on with a lucky TD. I told my buddy then that poor clock management under Richt was going to cost us NC one year……….

gator32301

December 6th, 2012
10:40 am

odd, UGA and their fans didn’t seem to mind going to the Sugar Bowl over Tennessee, the 2007 Eastern Division Champions.

FallDawg

December 6th, 2012
10:41 am

Oh and we better win the bowl game. I hope the players take pride in beating Nebraska. Playing the full 60 minutes 110% like they did in the SECCG game. Can’t let this one slip by like last year.

jackie

December 6th, 2012
10:42 am

Who cares about any of the bowl games other than the Championship game. Really, football season ended for all the teams except for Bama and ND when the SEC championship game ended. The other bowls are meaningless and I won’t waste a minute watching any of them. UGA vs Nebraska! Totally boring and meaningless.

FallDawg

December 6th, 2012
10:43 am

gator32301, no that didn’t bother me at the time and it doesn’t bother me that you guys get Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, good luck.

aaron ashmore

December 6th, 2012
10:45 am

No, They should not have been as high as they were. Please stop rewriting the same article with a reworded topic

Buckeye

December 6th, 2012
10:46 am

the dogs are what their record says they are.

ideasbm

December 6th, 2012
10:47 am

You know if we did not have an SEC Championship Game, Georgia would have been in the Sugar while Alabama played Notre Dame in Miami. So actually having an SEC Championship Game hurt the SEC. Then the argument would have been who should be National Champs, Alabama or Georgia as both would have one loss.

Buckeye

December 6th, 2012
10:48 am

dogs,

It’s been over two weeks now.

Quit your boo hooin’.

It’s not attractive.

TiredofMEDIOCRITY

December 6th, 2012
10:48 am

Mark Richt is 3-16 against ranked teams, since 2009! He and Bobo and the Dawgs just can’t beat quality, ranked teams! And until they do…it’ll be the Capital One, or Outback, or Liberty Bowls every year!

Buckeye

December 6th, 2012
10:49 am

Ohio State is ranked higher than the dogs now

Ohio State will be ranked higher than the dogs in Pre-Season ( but not Feb-June when dogs are NC’s)

Ohio State will be ranked higher then dogs a year from now.

Dogs just ain’t that good

BigGTMike

December 6th, 2012
10:50 am

It’s what happens when the bottom of your conference and division are so awful that the top have inflated records. If TN, KY, Vandy, ARK, AUB were competitive this year maybe FL gets another loss and its a Big 12 team sitting there at 4 and UGA gets the BCS nod instead of being blocked by the two team rule. Same thing applies to Big 10 teams over the years when it was OSU, Wisc, maybe Michigan then a whole bunch of crap.

Buckeye

December 6th, 2012
10:50 am

I think Junkyard is just not ready for the Gym dog beat

Flat Tire On Hwy 441 in Athens

December 6th, 2012
10:51 am

TiredofMEDIOCRITY

beware DawginLex will be on here shortly to tell you how great Bobo is and is finally one of the 9 candidates for the Southern Miss job

Chris

December 6th, 2012
10:52 am

You have 2 losses- you are what your record says that is why you aren’t in the BCS. The loser of the SEC title game has always ended up in second tier bowls. Remember Tenn was looking to play for a Natl Title and lost to LSU and ended up in Citrus bowl or whatever it was called then and LSU ended up in the Sugar Bowl even though they were not that good that season until Rohan Davey got injured in Atlanta

Jared

December 6th, 2012
10:53 am

AUDAWG,

I don’t know the rules perfectly, but I’m pretty sure that TK being shaken up with no time outs and under 2 minutes constitutes as a 10 sec runoff or something? i dont understand how we would have had a free time out?

Kim

December 6th, 2012
10:54 am

Damn, the same thing happens w the SEC almost every year, but you GA fans think you are such special snowflakes that GA *should* get to go to the Sugar Bowl. Move on.
Also, if you aren’t playing for the NCG, it really doesn’t matter what bowl you are in.

TiredofMEDIOCRITY

December 6th, 2012
10:59 am

Until the big donors get tired of heading down to Orlando every single year for a second tier bowl….the Dawgs will continue to beat the weak oppoents and lose to the ranked ones! Those are just facts: Dawgs have serious problems beating ranked teams. You can’t beat ranked teams…you won’t be going to the BCS!

just sayin'

December 6th, 2012
10:59 am

Bama was/is the better team. UGA fans can make a lot of arguments, but so could Bama fans. If this, if not that, etc. Yes, UGA could have won, but Bama also could have won by a larger margin if not for interception in end zone, blocked kick returned for TD, and so on.

I agree with Really….move on. Now if I could get back the last two minutes I took to type this………

Skokie Dog

December 6th, 2012
11:05 am

Since the SEC championship game, like those in other conferences, is primarily about the extra money, fans should not complain about being relegated to a lower status bowl. After all, SEC teams share the revenue from the championship game and the bowl games that their teams play in, so all of the athletic departments in the conference win. And after all, isn’t that what’s important here?

ReaderRick

December 6th, 2012
11:07 am

Stop whinning. UGA could have won, they did not. Should Tech go to the 2nd rank bowl for the ACC, No. UGA has lost twice, UF once.

Well, yeah, but...

December 6th, 2012
11:09 am

…that is how the system works – it let a team that did not even win its division last year play for the MNC, so letting UF jump UGA just because they did not have to play the 13th game is how the system works –

Life is a beotch, and then you die…

ReaderRick

December 6th, 2012
11:09 am

UGA played 3 big opponents and lost 2. Bama, UF and South Carolina. Do they deserve a BCS bid? No

Dawg Fud

December 6th, 2012
11:10 am

The BCS shafted a lot of teams, not just UGA. Oklahoma, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Stanford, Clemson…..

I don’t take much offense to UGA not getting in. The SECCG is like a blackjack hand. You go all in for something big (the BCS title game) but if you lose, you don’t get your money back.

GA400

December 6th, 2012
11:11 am

Get a grip and move on.

Dawg Fud

December 6th, 2012
11:11 am

To UF’s defense….they did beat 4 top 10 teams. That is quite a resume.

I am just calling it like I see it.

sogadog

December 6th, 2012
11:12 am

We did not win our division in 2007 and Tennessee beat us and played in the championship game, yet we got the BCS bid and played in the Sugar Bowl. I disagree with the rule but none of us were complaining in 2007 and we did not turn down the Sugar Bowl bid. So what goes around comes around.

I do think the SEC runner up should automatically go to a BCS bowl instead of the higher ranked SEC teams.

Ball Coach

December 6th, 2012
11:14 am

The only thing I have a problem with is that not everyone plays a conference championship.(Notre Dame) Georgia had the opportunity to play for the National Championship, they didn’t make it there. So who cares about the rest of the bowls. They are just football games for the holidays.

Tatman

December 6th, 2012
11:15 am

This loss sucked, but let us not forget the 6-7/3-5 2010 season and then the start of the 2011 season with the first games as losses…now that was a heart breaker!

Jeffro Bodeen

December 6th, 2012
11:16 am

I hate to sound like a hater…but how many teams needing a coach..O.C. or head coach..how many have been heard throwing in Mike Bobo’s name as a possibility?…..I think the opinion I have of him is shared by the people who are supposedly in the know!! Nuff Said!!

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

December 6th, 2012
11:20 am

jackie; Guess you’ve never been to a bowl game? They’re great and fun for the teams/staff/bands/fans/alumni and….they help the local economy. Bowls are good for everybody.
buckeye; Most people agree the ohio band is one of the best in their division.

Time For Change

December 6th, 2012
11:21 am

I think it worked out fine. UGA layed a big fat goose egg against SC. Yes, you beat FLA and layed another big goose egg against BAMA. UGA had a shot at the “BIGGEST TITLE IN COLLEGE SPORTS” and blew baby!! And I’m willing to bet that the majority of DAWG fans will cheer BAMA on to victory! LAMES!!! I will never cheer for a rival! especially one who keeps whipping my ass. Sometimes you have to look at the system instead of the players. TG should have known that Swann was overmatched when he failed to tackle BAMA’s #9WR numerous times before he was bombed for the winning TD. UGA was out muscled and way out coached in the second half. MR didnt want to spike the ball because he knew that it would have fallen on him and only him. As for Murray… he should have instinctively spiked the ball as any good QB would. But hey… if UGA likes it we love it !!!

Desert Fox

December 6th, 2012
11:22 am

“Fan talk: Did Georgia get shafted by the the BCS?” No. This is the hand they were dealt and now they have to make the best of it. Nebraska will run them ragged. Just have to hope the D is not spent by the 2d qtr like they were in the dome. The dawgs have issues that seemingly no matter the lip service they never go away. They have good players but they’re just not in shape to play with teams that test their durability. When a team runs with the apparent ease that AL did on GA something is wrong and the big question begs to be asked when is it going to be fixed, once and for all.

Georgia Mom for CapOne Fun

December 6th, 2012
11:27 am

I agree that the players would not want to give up a bowl game. It is a big reward for the team and the supporting groups that make a football game great entertainment. The players, the band, and others are going to Orlando for one last hurrah and they will have a blast. The 400+ member Redcoat Band will be treated well while providing services at several events prior to the game. The football team will attend community events and have lots of fun, too. Further, UGA gets $4.5 million for attendance. Makes for a pretty nice winter break!

red5.ws

December 6th, 2012
11:27 am

I am a UGA fan and would like to point out that Florida beat: Texas A&M on the road, South Carolina by 33, LSU, and FSU in Tallahassee. UF’s only loss was to UGA by 8 points. While UGA did win the eastern division, it also lost 35-7 to South Carolina. I think UF deserves the Sugar Bowl, and quite frankly I would rather play Nebraska in Orlando than Louisville in New Orleans anyway. Most of the BCS money is divided up amongst the conference members anyway.

Proof In Da Pudd'n

December 6th, 2012
11:31 am

There have been many coaches fired and hired. With schools like UAB, FIU, S.MISS, N.C ST and many others needing coaches. Has any school ever sought permission to even soeak with Bobo? Not!! I don’t even think Clarke Central High would hire Bobo. MR needs to revamp his staff imediately! As for Grantham he got taught a lesson or two but he will be ok.

pb

December 6th, 2012
11:32 am

Quit crying about the situation. UGA got what the system determined. The system that has worked well for them over the years. May not be the best bowl for a team with their record, but if they had won the Alabama game, none of this would matter. So don’t know why Bill King and others keep stirring up a dead issue. Time to move on.

Flat Tire On Hwy 441 in Athens

December 6th, 2012
11:34 am

Proof In Da Pudd’n

Watch out for Dawgin Lex when talking about Bobo

he will be on here shortly to defend his hero with threats not facts as usual

Joey

December 6th, 2012
11:36 am

We don’t deserve a BCS game because of the debacle in South Carolina.