Fan talk: Georgia-FSU, Muschamp’s sniveling over Gator turnovers, SEC on TV and more!

fsu helmetLet’s get straight to some Junkyard Mail. …

Buddy Johnson writes: Bill, I was happy to hear this week that Georgia and Florida State are in talks to play a neutral site game in 2016, probably the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome. I’d love to see the Dogs and Noles play again somewhere other than in a bowl game, and I’m sure Coach Mark Richt would be excited by the prospect. Do you think this might get derailed by all the talk about the SEC going to a nine-game conference schedule? I know UGA leaders have said that would mean the end of big-name nonconference opponents like Clemson.

Even if the conference decides to make the nine-game scheduling move, which is far from a fait accompli, SEC observers doubt the conference would be able to institute the change before 2017. But even if it did happen a year earlier, UGA probably still would be willing to sacrifice a cupcake win and a home game for the obvious benefits that come from a high-profile neutral site game like the Chick-fil-A. In addition to a nice paycheck, those games bring lots of national exposure, which helps with recruiting. I don’t know how excited Richt would be, however, as most coaches don’t want to face two BCS-level nonconference opponents in the same season, and Georgia already has Georgia Tech. I think fans would really get into it, though, probably much more so than they did with Boise State.

Dawgmaniac writes: Bill, I’m glad Todd Grantham didn’t let the traitor Will Muschamp get away with that crap about Florida’s six turnovers in last year’s game against the Dawgs all being self-inflicted. As Grantham pointed out, Georgia actually created six turnovers in that game. The Gators didn’t give the game away, the Dawgs took it!

Jarvis Jones strips the ball from Florida tight end Jordan Reed in last season's game against Florida. (Associated Press)

Jarvis Jones strips the ball from Florida tight end Jordan Reed in last season's game against Florida. (Associated Press)

I have two words for Coach Boom: Jarvis Jones. No. 29 racked up 13 tackles (five for loss), three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries against the Gators. Jordan Reed didn’t just happen to drop the ball on his way to the end zone; Jones stripped it. Muschamp can try to spin it any way he wants, but the video doesn’t lie.

Jim P. writes: Bill, Got a question you can throw out for your readers. With the new SEC Network looking to fill up TV time 24/7/365, it will be looking for original programming. What kind of content might they like? I’m sure you’ll get everything from funny to very serious responses. Maybe they can have a reality show called “Girlfriends of Quarterbacks of the SEC” or “Cooking with Coaches Wives of the SEC” (to get that female demographic!) or “Girlfriends of Coaches of the SEC” (Oh, I forgot, Bobby Petrino is gone) or “Missionaries With Mark Richt,” “Oversigning Day With Saban,” “Whine and Cheese With Spurrier,” etc. I’m kidding, of course, with all of these. It’s fun to think of the possibilities, though. Do you believe some locally produced and syndicated shows (from all members schools) will be added to SEC Network, such as the “Dawg Report” on CSS? Or “SEC Tonight”? Any thoughts?

Some sort “SEC Tonight” is almost a certainty, and I’m sure the SEC Network probably will have school-specific shows like “Dawg Report,” too. What else would I like to see? Condensed repeats of the previous week’s games, like CSS does with Georgia’s games, for one thing. And the coaches’ shows, too. And, of course, more documentaries about the conference’s past along the lines of ESPN’s “SEC Storied” series. As for “reality” shows, the ones you jokingly suggest sound like fun, but I imagine what they’ll come up with will be more like the sort of up-close programs about individual teams, coaches and players that ESPN already does. Fans, what would you like to see on the network?

Brother Bruce aka Rugbydawg79 writes to ask if I’d help promote UGA’s rugby club team, adding: Appreciate what you do for our school! UGA rugby club is oldest club sport team at UGA —1967. Also, high school rugby is really taking off in the state of Georgia. With rugby in the Olympics in 2016, this will only grow.

Members of some of UGA's club sports teams. (University of Georgia)

Members of some of UGA's club sports teams. (University of Georgia)

Bruce, I’m not sure rugby is really the oldest club sport at UGA — I saw the first men’s soccer game between Georgia and Georgia Tech on Myers Quadrangle in November 1966 — but I’m always happy to give a nod to the national game of my mother’s homeland of Wales! (The Welsh feel about rugby the way Southerners do about college football. One of my Welsh uncles told me he was extremely proud of one of my female cousins for scheduling her wedding so it didn’t conflict with the national rugby team playing in a tournament! “Good religious girl,” he said. Sound familiar?) Anyway, all of the club teams at UGA deserve more recognition, whether it’s rugby, men’s soccer, lacrosse, competitive dance, powerlifting, wrestling, triathlon, cycling, wakeboarding or my own son and daughter’s choice: Ultimate Frisbee. Club sports are student-initiated, student-led organizations officially registered with the University, and the 1,600 or so students on 45 club teams who represent UGA mostly pay their own way in terms of uniforms, transportation, etc. I know this firsthand. We just paid for my daughter Olivia to travel with the women’s ultimate team to Nationals in Madison, Wis. next week. By the way, the team, known as Dawgma, is ranked No. 11 nationally. The men’s ultimate team also is going to Nationals, and among quite a few other UGA club teams excelling this year was the club-level tennis team, which won the national title over Florida! They may not be playing at the varsity level, but they’re all UGA athletes and deserve our support. Go Dogs! And, especially, go Dawgma!

Jax Dawg and Will in Newnan both wrote in to ask what I thought about the Matthew Thomas situation. He’s the highly ranked FSU linebacker signee who wants to be released from his letter of intent because he says he was pressured by his mother into signing with the school, and he’s decided he’d really rather go to UGA or Southern Cal. FSU has declined to release him without a more “compelling” reason, which means he either has to go through an NCAA appeals process or he can transfer, but he’ll have to sit out a season. Jax Daw asks: Bill, do you agree with FSU’s decision? Personally, I think it’s the right one, because the kid signed a letter of intent and he needs to learn that you’re bound by the legal documents that you sign your name to. Your thoughts?

It’s a tough situation for both the kid and Florida State. On the one hand, I see your point about players needing to live up to their obligations. And it’s true that FSU tearing up his letter of intent and letting him sign elsewhere might set a bad precedent. It’s one thing when a player makes such a request because of a family problem or some other hardship. But buyer’s remorse doesn’t really qualify there. His mother may have pressured him, but we’ve had a couple of high-profile cases in recent years where players ignored mama’s wishes and signed with the school they really wanted. No one forced Thomas to sign with FSU. And while a verbal commitment has become pretty much meaningless in college recruiting in recent years, signing on the dotted line still means something. On the other hand, a player might sign with a school because he wants to play for a particular coach, only to see that coach up and go elsewhere with no limitations. So to hold players to their letter of intent while coaches can come and go as they please is a bit unfair. I think the bottom line is this: Does FSU really want to force someone to play for them who has publicly stated he’d rather be elsewhere? While it might be a no-win situation, it seems like letting him go would be the lesser of two unattractive choices for the school.

Ted Pennel writes: Hey Bill, I know televised games will be with us always, but I get really bummed out when CBS televises the Dawgs. The games seem to be much more interrupted by TV commercials than ESPN. Too bad the SEC couldn’t push their weight a little (like the Masters) and put some reasonable restriction on commercials. It seems to really interrupt the flow of the game more than it should. I would appreciate your input.

I haven’t noticed CBS being any more obnoxious with its commercial breaks than ESPN, but I agree with you that the frequent TV timeouts interrupt the flow of the game. They’re particularly aggravating for those fans in attendance. I’ve spent many a TV timeout in Sanford Stadium fuming and waiting for the TV official to finally give the signal that the players can resume. But the conference isn’t likely to ever throw its weight around on this issue because they’ve accepted millions of dollars from the network in exchange for letting them carry the games, and the TV folks wouldn’t be willing to pay those hefty sums if they couldn’t turn a profit with all those ads.

Warren writes: Bill, Vince Dooley had a standard that the UGA teams must be competitive. That was not always reality but that is what he wanted. Baseball and basketball are not only not competitive but are an embarrassment. Will anything change as to improvement in the two sports if the coaches stay on? I think not. The basketball coach lacks the talent to play competitive basketball in the SEC and should have not been hired. He was hired by the former athletic director who was a football player. [David Perno] is burned out and has evolved into being a part of the good old boy system at UGA. What’s needed is a dose of poverty for UGA sports and then those in charge will wake up to the fact to prosper in fundraising you must have quality in all sports. When the president retires watch the fundraising department go south for he is the reason UGA has had such prosperity in fundraising. The athletic department does not have a clue and when they wake up it will be to late to recover before investing years to correct the error.

I disagree about one thing you said. Georgia’s Mark Fox knows how to coach basketball. He’s a good game coach, he develops his players and he takes care of them. His one glaring deficiency is in recruiting, and that might well prove his undoing ultimately. As for baseball coach Perno, I know a lot of folks think Georgia’s season finale Saturday will mark the end of his time at UGA, but I’m not convinced that’s the case. We don’t know yet what athletic director Greg McGarity will do. In the past, he’s said Bulldog coaches are judged on the basis of how they do in the conference and in the postseason. By those criteria, Perno might look like a goner. That’s what did in former Gym Dogs coach Jay Clark. But McGarity also has said he doesn’t judge coaches in a vacuum and that he takes injuries, personal hardships, etc. into account. The Diamond Dogs lost two players to devastating injuries in back-to-back seasons and that seemed to hit Perno particularly hard. I think that may weigh heavily in McGarity’s decision. And it doesn’t hurt Perno that, like McGarity, he’s an Athens native with a lot of community support. We should know soon whether that will be enough to win him a contract renewal.

Fans can sign a petition asking for the NCAA to reinstate Kolton Houston. (University of Georgia)

Fans can sign a petition asking for the NCAA to reinstate Kolton Houston. (University of Georgia)

Brady Johnson writes: Bill, I watched the ESPN report on Kolton Houston’s battle to rid a banned substance from his body and the NCAA’s highhanded refusal to reinstate him and I was outraged. I particularly found NCAA Mark Emmert’s arrogant attitude insufferable. What can fans do to help? Should we contact the NCAA on Houston’s behalf?

You’re right about Emmert, who coldly rebuffed UGA’s efforts to get Houston reinstated and said he was “surprised” the institution was making such a request. I don’t know whether members of the public contacting the NCAA directly will make any difference, but it couldn’t hurt. The contact information:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association
, P.O. Box 6222, 
Indianapolis, IN 46206-6222
. Phone: 317-917-6222. 
Fax: 317-917-6888.

Meanwhile, a more immediate action fans can take is participating in an online petition on Houston’s behalf that a fan organized and which so far is approaching 3,500 signatures and attracting some media attention (which might well be the biggest factor in getting the NCAA to change its stance). You can sign the petition here.

Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or UGA athletics? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

35 comments Add your comment

old dog

May 18th, 2013
9:35 am

Lots could be said here…but quickly on the round-ball: I do feel as though Fox is a good x’s and o’s coach. Nowdays, the college b-ball scene has shifted, though. Kids want to serve their one-year sentence at as high a profile place as possible and go ballin’ in the NBA. That is tough to recruit against. However, I still think he could get a little closer to some summer-league coaches, etc. and shop what talent is available a little harder. Even a great coach, one who can coach them up has to have SOME talent to begin with.

Marvin

May 18th, 2013
9:56 am

Watched the video – again. I know it’s irrelevant to coaching ability, but is there any coach of any sport anywhere who looks worse on the sideline than Mushcamp? If I were a UF fan, I would cringe at every sideline shot.

Phantom

May 18th, 2013
11:45 am

Micah is the Chief!!

7576DAWG

May 18th, 2013
12:52 pm

Emmert will never change his mind unless pressured to do so. Houston’s parents should have filed a law suit the day after they got the last results. Recording a 4 means Houston get’s no benefit from steroid use and it can be proven that Houston has not reused since his Senior year of high school. In court all these questions could get expert answers . All the rule was set up for was to make sure that a student athlete doesn’t get any advantage from using drug’s.
Emmert is punishing Houston for take the drug in the first place and doesn’t care if his system is getting any benefit 3 or 4 years later. If Houston’s parents would take it to court they could put the entire issue back on the NCAA by asking them to find just 1 doctor who thinks Houston is getting any strength benefit 3 or 4 years after taking the shots.
Also I haven’t seen very much support from the SEC on the issue and for me that speaks volumes as to whether there is still a question as to the details of Houston’s use. Truthfully, if I was Georgia I would expect the SEC to be raising Hell about this issue. Them not doing this tells me “something just ain’t right”.

AltamahaDawg

May 18th, 2013
1:09 pm

It’s encouraging to see the comments from Mcgarity. We are only getting limited exposure to this story. As he states, it’s not as if the NCAA has been refusing to help, and all of their medical staff (with full respect for Ron C.) have been working with us to find a solution.

PED are no small matter. exceptions are tough lines to draw.

It seems as if the rules need to re-written with certain level acceptable under specific situations.

AltamahaDawg

May 18th, 2013
1:23 pm

That might have been the objective, but The rule was not stated as; can’t have PED…… IF….. it gives a player an advantage. The rule was that this DOES give them an advantage. Then a measurement was set up. Clearly that does not fit the reality in this case, but it is the rule.

Its a tough argument to get “exceptions” to a rule, while agreeing that the rule is a good one. That’s probably why the SEC is not getting publically involved. I’d have to think they are privately, though.

AltamahaDawg

May 18th, 2013
1:35 pm

Can you really remember the SEC being publically verbal about any ongoing situation between the NCAA and one of its members?

7576DAWG

May 18th, 2013
1:49 pm

Why wouldn’t Houston’s parent sue the Doctor that supposedly gave him steroid’s without his knowledge? The Doctor knew that steroid’s was a band substance and over the years when one of my kids needed this , the Doctor made it an issue that we knew it was a steroid he was prescribing. What this sounds like is Houston didn’t know what he was taking but his parent’s did and was told that it would have plenty of time to get out of Kolton’s system before he reported to Georgia and the drug settled in the fatty tissue instead of the muscle. If Kolton’s parent’s took it to court their prior knowledge would come out. This is the only explanation that makes any sense.
I agree that the NCAA should take each case separately and take into consideration the effort the player has gone to to rid his body of the substance, Kolton has been test 75 times and he has had surgery to remove the fatty tissue at the injection cites and with any reuse the levels would be going up not down. The rule need’s to be modified to admit there are exceptions to the rule depending on the details.

7576DAWG

May 18th, 2013
1:51 pm

injection sites not cites.

7576DAWG

May 18th, 2013
2:49 pm

If we have all the detail’s the exact message the NCAA is wanting to convey , which is to preserve it’s integrity , is doing the opposite. Not coming up with an acceptable solution when one is justified, show’s continued failure on the NCAA’s part to resolve issues they were set up to oversee Their closed minded attitude with this issue is hypocritical of letting a lot of Schools get away with twisting the rules to benefit their school and justify very questionable activities.

Buzz-off

May 18th, 2013
3:19 pm

Wrestling was a varsity sport at UGa in the 50s and 60s. Disbanded for womens sports in the 70s.

Granthams The Man!

May 18th, 2013
3:47 pm

Attention Bull Dog fans! We all need to sign the Kolton Houston petition.

Time to support a Damn Good Dog!

http://www.change.org/petitions/mark-emmert-and-the-ncaa-allow-kolton-houston-to-pursue-his-collegiate-dream-to-compete-athletically

Bulldawg35

May 18th, 2013
4:57 pm

We will be loaded at WR…..this will be the most depth at WR in school history!! We will score a bunch of points this year….I just hope the defense can force close to the amount of turnovers that we did last year. We haven’t been that great against the run in ctg era….as matter of fact pretty darn average! This season depends on Murray cutting down on his turnovers and the defense playing above their heads….without this we could end up with 4 to five losses

Bulldawg35

May 18th, 2013
5:01 pm

Free kolton houston…..free Mathew Thomas!!! And for an extra A+ ban the buckeye!!! Hip hip hip

My-Guy

May 18th, 2013
5:42 pm

@Grantham’s The Man! I’ve seen several of you’re posts on bleacher report, you should make an account on these AJC blogs and comment daily too.

AltamahaDawg

May 18th, 2013
8:54 pm

Well, IF I were his parents I would be pretty PO’d at the doctor for giving him an NCAA substance, BUT I don’t think we have any idea what sort of legal action they could take. It wasn’t an illegal injection. For you and I , it wouldn’t have been an issue. They probably gave the doctor permission to treat it as he saw fit. They would need to prove that he knowingly sabotaged the kids college career, and from what I can tell, its defying medical norms that its stayed in his system.

If they had a case, it would be that he injected the fat, and not the muscle.

What I do not get is that you are saying that the NCAA is at fault for being too rigid, but doubting the “story” that makes it seems as if they are.

DonDog

May 18th, 2013
9:55 pm

heeeheheheheheeee! BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Buzz-off

May 18th, 2013
10:10 pm

I hope everyone will sign the petition for Kolton. He is a good kid and I would sign it if he was a GT, Bama or even a Gator. This just isn’t fair and his entire career is getting screwed-up.

My-Guy

May 19th, 2013
12:58 am

“I’m sure you’ll get everything from funny to very serious responses. Maybe they can have a reality show called “Girlfriends of Quarterbacks of the SEC” or “Cooking with Coaches Wives of the SEC” (to get that female demographic!) or “Girlfriends of Coaches of the SEC” (Oh, I forgot, Bobby Petrino is gone) or “Missionaries With Mark Richt,” “Oversigning Day With Saban,” “Whine and Cheese With Spurrier,” etc. I’m kidding, of course, with all of these.”

It would be really hilarious if they really came up with those shows on SEC Network. I’d be LMAO all day long. I’m tired of the Little Ten network on my cable showing repeats of Little Ten football games every day. I would finally love to see repeats of SEC games through out the off season by the time this network launches.

DAWGMAN

May 19th, 2013
4:12 am

I think that if playing FSU at the start of the season would be exciting for CMR, then Georgia should play them first every season. CMR needs to get himself and his players fired up for the season opener each season. Unfortunately this will not be possible for the upcoming season. I’d like to believe that our guys will be in great condition, with great stamina, but recent experience clearly does not support this desire of mine. I’d like to think that our defense will be more able and willing to stop the run early and late in the Clemson game. Experience indicates this will not happen. I’d like to see the DabberMan and his Tigers and their fans start the season with an L in Death Valley, but it looks like it’s going to be the other way around.
Perhaps Georgia could petition the NCAA to allow the kids to play our first game after October 1. Yeah, that’s the ticket… Maybe not.
How about we hold our $3,000,000.00+ coach and his Fat DC accountable for not preparing the kids to play some September SEC football. My goodness gracious me, probably not. Gonna have to listen to them Tigers derisively yell, ‘ SEC-SEC-SEC’.

Spike

May 19th, 2013
6:40 am

Bill, I doubt that Richt worries that much about another “BCS” school being on the schedule, i.e. Tech.

Bill Dillard

May 20th, 2013
8:35 am

Bill – Delighted to hear of your Welsh heritage and your awareness of the importance of rugby to the nation.Perhaps the greatest rugby day of my life was when the London Welsh Occasionals took a friend and me under their wings and allowed us generous minutes in a match against an English team, the Crickets. We were in London for the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup. We played the match in Richmond that morning, and that afternoon went down the road to Twickenham for one of the semi-finals.

We won that morning,18-15, and after the match we sang them off the pitch to Bread of Heaven (Cym Rhonnda). To hear a Welsh rugby crowd sing this en masse is spine tingling, as here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwDXINO7jhE

Among the most memorable characters we met that morning was the team manager, a Welshman Em Williams. He had to be 80 at the time.I recently went by the Occasionals website recently for old times sake and was delighted to see his picture, looking robust as ever, still on board with the cause.

I hope before I die to take in a match in Cardiff. No one, and I mean no one, celebrates their rugby like the Welsh.

I’ll be pulling for Dawgma next week. Please let us know how they do.

NCDawg

May 20th, 2013
9:44 am

Dawgman … you may be a Mississippi State Bulldog or a Fresno State Bulldog and think it’s ok to CALL yourself a Dawg but you aren’t. No real Bulldog is going to type out some crap like that.
You can not predict future results based upon past results unless ALL factors are the same.
Sure, there are other people who share your opinion and may even call themselves Dawg fans… but they aren’t either.

old dog

May 20th, 2013
12:33 pm

Turned on the computer and the first thing I saw was a picture of Wynona Judd on dancing with the stars…………..so ugly I forgot the topics…oh yeah, my Dawgs!
I think our D will step it up this year….I just hope that we can take care of South Carolina.
I agree the commercials are too long and many; its like “We interrupt these commercials for a brief shot of the game in progress!”

NCDawg

May 20th, 2013
12:47 pm

Ok, lets be honest. The Dawgs want to keep Tech on the schedule for a couple of reasons.
1) Tradition… Clean old fashioned hate.
2) It’s somewhat of a freebie for a win against a BCS level school.

McDawg

May 20th, 2013
1:08 pm

speaking of Rugby-Johnny Football reminds me of a rugby player

NCDawg

May 20th, 2013
1:22 pm

I will puke if they put reality shows on the SEC network. I do not care what happens in coach’s personal life beyond what he wishes to share with the media and university press releases. I am not especially fond of the human interest stories either. Why can’t we just stick to sports? I wouldn’t mind a replay of every game in a condensed format… maybe even a couple of times a week. But I will boycott the channel if they start anything remotely like reality series crap.

Bulldawg35

May 20th, 2013
2:53 pm

The chickens are being boasted by CFN. They are saying they could finish 11-1 or 12-0….saying they have the talent to do so!!! I agree unfortunately….of course their fans are saying 14-0… I think they will beat us again….so sad that the chickens have passed us by….they have the best coach in the nation

NapaDawg

May 20th, 2013
8:01 pm

Hey Bill, quick update to the paragraph on Kolton Houston. The petition is up to almost 4400 signatures now. Keep on signing Dawg Nation!

NCDawg

May 21st, 2013
9:26 am

SC lost some heavy duty integral parts too. Devin Taylor was a big reason why teams couldn’t gang up on Clowney. The Game Hens will miss Ace Sanders badly as well. Don’t fall for the hype. The game is in Athens. I’d be worried if it were in Columbia but it isn’t. The Chickens benefited from a perfect storm in that game. Do not forget: The almost exact same Perfect Storm fell on them against UF. Don’t let Spurrier in your heads people. They’ll struggle to replace those parts.

DawgNation

May 21st, 2013
4:45 pm

Aaaaah! There’s the Bulldog35 we have all come to expect. Who gives a crap what other sports agencies think of the chickens or their self-righteous fans? They still have to play every game and past history, with every coach they have had, has proven they collapse sometime during their season. Put on your big boy pants and turn in your Bulldog card. You are excommunicated.

Bulldawg35

May 21st, 2013
8:41 pm

Dawgnation…..you are absolutely wrong my friend…..I’m going on losing to them 3 years in a row!! It’s not fictional that I’ve made these predictions….they have had a better defense than we have had the last three years….in 2011 even though we scored 42 points against them it should’ve been more they held us to 2 fgs to start the game….the truth be told we should of been up 21-0….I’m sick of their fans and their pathetic mouths….you are in denial of the hold spurrier has over us

Bulldawg35

May 21st, 2013
8:47 pm

Ncdawg

I hope you are right….I can’t take another year of losing to spurrier

Bulldawg35

May 21st, 2013
8:48 pm

Columbia is a cesspool

Robert carroll

May 22nd, 2013
7:07 am

Beginning in 2014 when the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl will host a play-off game once every three years, what will be the conference match-ups in the other two years that they do not host a play-off game?