The varsity football team holds its second scrimmage Saturday, but that won’t be the only gridiron action for UGA, as Tony Floyd, captain of the Redcoat Band’s team, tells me they’ll take on the Georgia Tech band again in Band Bowl IV, this time in Atlanta.
The game will be held at 3 p.m. at Central Park, 400 Merritts Ave. N.E.
I wrote last year about these full-contact tackle games played by the two musical organizations, and UGA took the 2012 game in Athens by a score of 21-6. If you’re in the area Saturday, check it out.
And go Redcoats!
Now, on to some Junkyard Mail …
HamDawg writes: Bill, we all know about Aaron Murray spending spring break in Oklahoma honing his game, and how Hutson Mason is the solid No. 2 behind him and the likely starter next year. But what about that No. 3 spot? Are we likely to see the “quarterback of the future,” Brice Ramsey, get into any games in mop-up duty this season or is he most likely to redshirt?
Barring any injuries to the top two QBs, I’d say a redshirt year is pretty likely for Ramsey, a 6-foot-3, 196-pound true freshman out of Camden County High school. Still, Ramsey is in there trying. He completed six of 10 passes in the Dogs’ windy first scrimmage, with three interceptions. But Mark Richt was encouraged. “When you’re a rookie, you drop back and you sling it,” the head coach said. “He made some nice throws. I think every ball he threw hit somebody’s hands. Three were the defense, but the rest hit the offense, so that was good.” And veterans Artie Lynch and Murray like Ramsey’s attitude. “He’s very cool, calm, collected,” Lynch told The Red & Black. “He’s very nonchalant about how he goes about his business. A quiet kid, but he’s very talented. I think for what he knows in the offense right now, he’s got a pretty good grasp of it. Obviously he has a long way to go, but I think the talent’s there.” Murray agreed Ramsey has shown a lot of confidence and poise in practice thus far. “We talk about Brice a lot. [Lynch] loves Brice. He thinks Brice has the most swag ever,” Murray said. “Brice does have some swag, I’m not going to lie. He just walks around like ‘hey, I’m the man.’ He’s very cool, calm, collected. He’s very chill. He’s Joe Cool out there. Artie and I just sit back and watch him and laugh. This kid just doesn’t get fazed by anything. He’s just out there playing ball, looks good.”
Speaking of Murray, he’s on the mind of Terry Stone, who writes: Bill, I saw Athlon Sports’ ranking of the top 50 quarterbacks of the BCS era and was surprised by two things: One was that Murray finished one spot ahead of David Greene. The other was that both weren’t ranked higher. Murray was #30 and Greene was at 31. Now, I recognize that winning championships, particularly national championships, obviously figured into it. Texas’ Vince Young beat out Florida’s Tim Tebow for the top spot and Bama’s A.J. McCarron was #7 while Auburn’s rent-a-QB, Cam Newton, was #16 based on his lone season. But don’t you think Georgia’s two quarterbacks on the list are a bit undervalued there? And do you agree with ranking Murray, who’s still playing, ahead of Greene, who won an SEC championship and left college as the NCAA’s winningest quarterback at the time?
Athlon itself admitted that you could debate the placing of Murray ahead of Greene, but they’re looking ahead a bit there, noting that Murray “has already blown past [Greene's] touchdown totals and will easily pass his win total and passing yards. He could easily rewrite the SEC passing record books and simply needs to finish a season in Atlanta with a win to entrench his legacy in Dawgs lore.”
My own view is that until Murray does that, Greenie deserves the higher ranking. As for where the two Dogs placed (Matthew Stafford was in the “next 25″), yes, I’d say both belong ahead of the likes of Pat White of West Virginia (ranked No. 13), Colin Kaepernick of Nevada (No 14), Andy Dalton of TCU (No. 21) and even Ben Roethlisberger of Miami of Ohio (No. 25). I think Athlon was looking ahead to the latter’s NFL success rather than looking at his college playing days in the MAC in ranking him that high.
John Vaughn writes: What’s the deal with lack of handicap parking at Sanford Stadium? I was so disheartened and stressed when I tried to take my ailing father for one last game Between the Hedges and was stunned at the lack of access for nondonor parking and assistance. As a matter of fact, haven’t been back since. I’m so disgraced and insulted.
I’m wondering whether you called ahead to check on handicapped parking, John. UGA does supply handicapped parking in both its lots reserved for Bulldog Club members and elsewhere, as Senior Associate Athletic Director Claude Felton explains: “We follow the handicapped parking numbers that the University has in each of their parking lots. And we provide a handicapped accessible shuttle from the East Campus Parking Deck for spectators that have not qualified for parking in a controlled lot.” If you want to give it another shot, I’m sure they’ll work with you.
Steve Yearta writes: We’ve just completed a mostly disappointing basketball season, and I expect KCP will be in the NBA sooner rather than later. So scratch high hopes for improvement there. March Madness isn’t so entertaining when one’s team can’t even make the tournament. The best endorsement of Coach Fox I’ve seen recently is “Well, if we fire him we will just have to start over once again.”
And along the same lines, Don Joel writes: Another lackluster season is over. You alluded to the fact that Coach Fox as a recruiter doesn’t cut the mustard. That’s what I keep hearing as I do not live in Georgia. And if a coach can’t recruit, how in the world will he ever have the DAWGS in contention? And with a better year in the SEC likely for the 2013-14 season, it would be a pretty good bet that our record will be worse next year adding still another dismal year to Georgia’s basketball records. We have very little to be proud of with our men’s basketball teams. I have nothing against Coach Fox. But it looks to me that he is not a fit for the job in front of him. If he came back, he would be in his fifth year. He has not had a winning record in each of the prior four. Georgia basketball, with few exceptions, is the bastard child of the Athletic Department. I have no idea why that is the case but it is. I see nothing in a Coach Fox regime that augurs well for the future. And, at best, KCP will be turning pro year after next if not this one. I don’t know the answer, but neither does Coach Fox. Coach Fox is like having a QB who can’t throw the ball. Where are we going with that? Let’s start over … again. If Florida can win championships in football and basketball in or about the same seasons, why can’t we? Coaching is one reason and I suspect if we had truly competitive teams, Stegeman would be full on each appearance of the basketball DAWGS.
Steve is right that most of the arguments about giving Mark Fox more time seem to revolve around how the frequent coaching changes at UGA in recent years have kept the program in a constant state of starting over and rebuilding. But if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope does decide to play another season in Athens, Georgia should be able to improve somewhat on its midlevel conference showing this past season. And if they could somehow get more of a presence under the basket with a big man, the Bulldogs might actually have a shot at being an NCAA tournament team. If KCP does opt out, however, we’re probably looking at another so-so season. Is that reason enough to start over with another coach? That’s the tough call athletic director Greg McGarity and incoming UGA President Jere Morehead will have to make. I’m betting the decision will rest mostly on how Fox does with next year’s recruiting class.
Sravanthi Meka writes: I read your column and loved the part about Kenan Stadium. I’ve been to many football stadiums, basketball arenas and baseball fields following the Dawgs, and I’ve noticed what a great job our opponents do of promoting their alumni that went on to become professional athletes. At South Carolina, there are banners for each of the NFL players that have played at South Carolina hanging off the ramps in the corners. Auburn recognizes Bo Jackson, Tim Hudson and Frank Thomas on the outfield wall, and they have flags flying outside with their numbers and names. Clemson has a similar homage to Khalil Greene and Kris Benson. We have our homages in the Butts-Mehre building, which is just great that the Athletic Department recognizes those who have gone on to succeed in the pros, but it does very little to publicize that to the general public. I would venture a guess that only 10% of fans that attend games ever step foot inside Butts-Mehre (many times because it is closed when fans are actually coming to attend games). The best place to recognize the accolades of our pros would be IN the place that they played — at Sanford Stadium and Foley Field. The renovations of Stegeman have allowed for some room to recognize the accomplishments of our basketball players and gymnasts, but there are few that know who WNBA stars are, we don’t produce that many NBA stars, and gymnasts do not typically become professional athletes. If they are in the places that the sport is actually played, 100% of the fans that attend the event will see it, AND everyone that is watching the game on TV if you put them in a prominent enough spot. … I believe that UGA lacks foresight in seeing the potential in going above and beyond what is expected of them, and they leave a lot on the table in reaching out to expand their brand and winning over their fans.
You make a good point. I noticed in my recent visit to UNC’s stadium in Chapel Hill that they make a much bigger deal about their past stars than UGA does at Sanford. And, as I noted in my blog, UNC even has a statue of Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice while none of UGA’s football greats get such an honor (with the exception of Coach Vince Dooley). I think Reed Plaza inside Sanford Stadium would be a great site for some sort of walk of fame recognizing former Bulldog greats like Herschel Walker, Frankie Sinkwich and Charley Trippi with banners and perhaps even a bust or statue or two. What do you think?
I’ll answer more Junkyard Mail next week. Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? If so, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg