Fan talk: Spring football concerns, new sack rule, SEC Network and more!

georgia floridaIt’s going to be the red vs. the blue from now on in Jacksonville, as University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley revealed this week that the two schools have agreed to both wear their home football jerseys in their annual game.

“It’s just something a little different,” Foley said. “To be honest, a fan suggested it. He sent me a picture of what they used to do when Coach Spurrier was playing. He had a blue jersey on and whoever was tackling him had a red jersey on.

“It’s a unique rivalry and just a little different something to do. There is no particular reason. Georgia agreed and we agreed. At the end of the day, you’ve still got to win the ballgame no matter what color jersey you have on. I think it’s just a little something that makes the game even more unique.”

I like it!

Now, let’s get to some Junkyard Mail. …

Phil Daly writes: Bill, I know everyone’s going to be watching the defense at G-Day, but I think I’m almost as concerned with having to …

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Bulldog Bites: Appreciating Mike Bobo, rewarding Mark Fox, anticipating Hutson Mason

Mike Bobo's offense has carried the Georgia team of late. (University of Georgia)

Mike Bobo's offense has carried the Georgia team of late. (University of Georgia)

Remember when Mike Bobo used to be Bulldog Nation’s favorite whipping boy? Then the Georgia offense went stratospheric under the former-quarterback-turned-offensive-coordinator (with a hand from Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley) … and Todd Grantham came along.

More and more Bobo’s contribution to Mark Richt’s program is being appreciated. Last year, Bobo signed a new three-year deal that gave him a decent raise to a salary of $575,000 after years of lagging on the list of SEC coordinators’ pay. And now, after managing to overcome a catastrophic run of injuries last season to still have one of the nation’s best offenses, Bobo has been rewarded by having another year tacked on to that contract, which now runs through the 2016 football season and its bowl games.

Athletic director Greg McGarity said Richt wanted Bobo and new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to be “on the same page as far as the …

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Where should Aaron Murray rank among UGA’s all-time greatest quarterbacks?

Aaron Murray rewrote the record books during his four years at Georgia. (University of Georgia)

Aaron Murray rewrote the record books during his four years at Georgia. (University of Georgia)

A couple of media mentions of Aaron Murray this week show the widespread respect the former Georgia quarterback earned despite falling a few yards and seconds short of his quest to bring a championship to Athens.

Ranking the best SEC quarterbacks of the 16-year BCS era, Athlon Sports put Murray at No. 5, behind Florida’s Tim Tebow, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and Auburn drive-by star Cam Newton.

Said Athlon: “When it comes to statistics, no SEC player in history was more productive than Murray. He owns the SEC record for passing yards and touchdown passes. His 137 total touchdowns trail only Tebow and his 13,562 yards of total offense bested Tebow’s record by a large margin (12,232). He is one of only three Georgia quarterbacks to beat Florida in three straight seasons and he posted at least 3,000 yards passing in four consecutive seasons. He is No. 1 …

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UGA’s McGarity answers fans on football scheduling, canned stadium music, improved silver britches and more!

Greg McGarity touched on a wide range of subjects in his latest online chat. (University of Georgia)

Greg McGarity touched on a wide range of subjects in his latest online chat. (University of Georgia)

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity held another one of his periodic live chats Wednesday afternoon at Georgiadogs.com, and while much of it was your usual generic administrator-talk, there were some interesting tidbits scattered throughout the half-hour session.

On the subject of scheduling, McGarity said UGA is “anxiously awaiting” the release of the 2015 conference schedule, which “should be announced before the May spring meetings in Destin.”

Asked if he thought the new four-team College Football Playoff would mean an even bigger push for a nine-game conference schedule in the SEC, and whether this would help the SEC get more teams in the playoff, McGarity said, “Not in my opinion, because eight SEC games allows each school to determine their own strength of schedule. One size doesn’t fit all.”

A fan noted that “this year’s [Georgia home] schedule has the right mix” but …

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Fan talk: Offensive line disappointments, game day rap music, Richt in Texas and more!

David Andrews is one of the offensive linemen returning. (University of Georgia)

David Andrews is one of the offensive linemen returning. (University of Georgia)

Let’s get straight to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail

Albert Brown writes: It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day” with UGA offensive line recruiting. Been that way since Jim Donnan. Bill, no one seems to care. Why does UGA struggle so badly every year? Frustrating. Everyone gets our linemen but UGA. To date we have no one committed and no one calling UGA their leader. Something is very wrong and has been wrong for a long time. When might things change? Problem needs to be addressed or even acknowledged.

Albert, you’re right that the offensive line has been a trouble spot for Richt teams ever since Donnan’s players graduated. Whether it’s a recruiting problem or a development problem is tough to say — probably a bit of both — but the Dogs never seem to have a dominating OL, even when it’s full of veterans. Looking ahead to next season, OL coach Will Friend has several players …

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UGA, SEC making some noise as they struggle with the game day experience

Nobody needed to prompt the crowd to get excited when LSU visited Athens. (AJC file)

Nobody needed to prompt the crowd to get excited when LSU visited Athens. (AJC file)

OK, they’ve already loosened up on the replays and cut-ins from other games on the big video boards and are allowing the home school’s band to be amplified so they can be heard better throughout the stadium.

Now, the latest step in the SEC strategy to keep college football fans coming to the games instead of sitting back in the recliner with a beer and snacks and watching the game on a hi-def big-screen TV is to take a page from the ACC playbook. They want to try to get fans pumped up between plays by playing more recorded music over the stadium p.a. between plays and letting it run longer.

“They were able to do things in the ACC that we were not in the SEC,” UGA athletic director Greg McGarity told the Athens Banner-Herald. “The rules have changed now for 2014 where we’re able to utilize songs and music up until the point when the quarterback gets over the ball. That’s a big …

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Fan talk: What are your top sports moments you’ve seen in person?

Most unforgettable sports moment from 1965. (University of Georgia)

Most unforgettable sports moment from 1965. (University of Georgia)

With the Winter Olympics back, we’ve been treated to repeat viewings lately of one of the most celebrated moments in modern sports history, the spine-tingling ending to the Miracle on Ice. Watching the ending of that game produces a smiliar feeling to what Georgia Bulldog fans get rewatching Run-Lindsay or Hobnail Boot.

Every sports fan has those unforgettable top moments, but the best ones are where you were actually there to witness the miracle finish, championship celebration, or whatever it was. My son Bill, a UGA alum now in grad school at UNC, had one of those unforgettable sports experiences in Chapel Hill this week when he was among the howling crowd inside the Dean Dome as the Tar Heels upset their arch rival, No. 5 Duke. After the final buzzer, the fans stormed the court and then thousands mobbed Franklin Street, traditional site of such celebrations in the land of Carolina Blue.

My son called me a …

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Bulldog Nation’s verdict on Harvey-Clemons: Better now than later

One of the high points of Josh Harvey-Clemons' career at UGA: An interception against Tech. (AJC file)

One of the high points of Josh Harvey-Clemons' career at UGA: An interception against Tech. (AJC file)

It was pretty much inevitable, and better now than later.

That sums up many fans’ reaction Tuesday when UGA’s athletic department issued a terse announcement that junior defensive back Josh Harvey-Clemons had been dismissed from the team for yet another violation of team rules.

It’s safe to say almost no one was shocked by this turn of events. Disappointed, yes. But considering Harvey-Clemons opened and closed last season missing games due to two separate suspensions involving marijuana and was due to miss the first three games of 2014 in a continuation of that second suspension, this was no surprise.

The offseason consensus seemed to be it was only a matter of time until the talented player from Valdosta was gone from the UGA program.

What with UGA having the toughest disciplinary policies in the conference and several big-name players having been shown the door in recent …

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Fan talk: Is Mark Richt too loyal, plus special teams, stadium expansion, slowing down the hurry-up and basketball!

Should Mark Richt be quicker to get rid of assistant coaches? (Associated Press)

Should Mark Richt be quicker to get rid of assistant coaches? (Associated Press)

It was kind of a crazy week, what with an ice storm and an earth quake, but that hasn’t managed to stop the flow of Junkyard Mail. Let’s dip into some of it. …

Geoff from Marietta writes: Hi Bill, With the recent promotion of [Bryan] McClendon to the position of recruiting coordinator after spending a year without officially awarding the title to anyone, it has me contemplating the departure and phoenix-like re-emergence of our last one, Mr. Rodney Garner. Obviously, no one involved with Georgia football would go on record with their true thoughts about Mr. Garner but I was just wondering if you’ve been able to take the temperature of the program, so to speak. Over the past few years, we’d read story after story of recruits stating that they didn’t have much interest in Georgia because they hadn’t been contacted. At the time, it was portrayed as Georgia just being more selective and …

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How ’bout them special teams coordinators?

John Lilly will be the offensive special teams coordinator. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

John Lilly will be the offensive special teams coordinator. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Greetings from iced-in Decatur! Hope you’re staying safe and warm during this winter storm, and along those lines I thought a topic that tends to get a lot of UGA fans “hot” might be a good one for today: special teams.

There were no classes in Athens yesterday, but the folks at Butts-Mehre stayed busy announcing a slight restructuring of the football coaching staff. The headline item was Mark Richt making Bryan McClendon the official “recruiting coordinator,” a post that had been vacant since Rodney Garner decamped to Auburn. But since McClendon was named national recruiter of the year by 247sports and Scout.com, had a hand in landing Georgia’s biggest signing day names, and is likely due for a hefty raise, that was one a lot of folks probably saw coming.

Besides, it likely won’t change much in the way UGA recruits, with Daryl Jones continuing in his current role as director of on-campus …

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