It was a busy Labor Day weekend during which the Georgia Bulldogs appeared nearer to being in midseason form than anticipated, and I am trying to follow suit. Toward that end, here are a few points to ponder as we head into the week of the first real test of the young season:
- First things first: A.J. Green reportedly will be cleared to play this week after selling a jersey. (The horror!) While this report has not yet been confirmed, I take the view that, until I am given a concrete reason for believing otherwise, I will not attribute to bad intentions that which may be explained adequately by incompetence. We are, after all, talking about the NCAA here. The moral of the story is that, when an unrepentant pessimist like me tells you not to worry, don’t worry.
- Because the draft of my BlogPoll ballot has drawn some criticisms regarding the placement of the Boise St. Broncos, I feel inclined to cite the following passage from Dr. Saturday:
There will also be a not-so-sudden abundance of haters spinning Monday night's win as a fluke, or questioning the value of beating the dominant program in the ACC over the last six years in its own backyard, or belittling Boise's hypothetical prospects against a schedule full of Pac-10 or SEC heavies in some nonexistent fantasy world where that might be possible. This is small and petty. The Broncos came into Monday night 4-1 since 2006 against teams that finished the season ranked in the top 10, with the only loss coming by one point. If Virginia Tech rebounds to finish the season where it started, that mark will be 5-1. Again Monday night, presented with a high-end test, they passed, under probably the most adverse conditions anyone in the current lineup has faced in his career. Handed a golden opportunity to "prove it" on a national stage, they've proven it again and again. On the field, there's nothing left to prove: This is an extraordinarily well-coached team with a chance to beat anyone it encounters at any point.
That doesn't mean they have some kind of golden ticket to 12-0 (they still have to play the games, some of them – Oregon State, Fresno State, at Nevada – more than a little prickly), much less the culminating game in a system that only allows two teams inside the gates of its self-appointed championship game. If Boise State doesn't deserve to be one of those two, that's first and foremost an indictment of a system that can't handle every worthy contender. Whether the Broncos ever get or deserve a shot under the current, two-team championship structure, they've proven worthy (again) of the discussion between the lines. Hate their schedule, hate their nouveau riche hype. But don't hate their game.
I know I’m in the minority, but I agree with the Doc.
- I will give Vince Dooley credit; he is doing an admirable job of splitting hairs regarding his loyalties. Like George Costanza, I am very impressed by some of these rules.
- Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from Orson Swindle, who provided a definitive ruling on the Fulmer Cup question:
The points will be added in to this total since they came during the eligible period. As much as I would like to start UGA in the hole for 2011, they don't need the help.
Well, there you go.
- In addition to tonight’s ESPN Radio appearance with John Frary, I will be following up last week’s appearance on Kit Kitchens’s podcast with another call in to Kit’s show this week. Keep an eye on Kit’s weblog for the latest podcast.
- Doug Gillett sums up the sentiments of a lot of us in Bulldog Nation regarding Todd Grantham. Also, apparently, Doug looks like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" after Saturday.
- Finally, it appears that the movement to make Russ the permanent Uga is gathering steam. A loyal fan has designed a T-shirt, and several points have been raised in Russ’s favor.
Take that for what it’s worth, and consider yourself ready to dive into your Wednesday fully briefed and adequately prepared for the announcement of my predictions in the national games of interest.