Maestro cue the theme music. This train is headed toward college football season and picking up speed:
It's Friday. That's not a bad thing at all. It is, however, a Friday which is not followed by a football Saturday. That is a bad thing. And when bad things happen to good football fans our preferred response is Free Form Friday, the Costco champagne of weekend open comment threads.
Free Form Friday is not approved for the treatment of mild or moderate psoriasis, gout, psychosis, hangnails or pulled hamstrings suffered while K'ingTMFD. In studies it has been proven less safe and less effective than a placebo, though you can take Free Form Friday with alcohol, so that's kind of a plus. Free Form Friday may cause palpitations, gyrations, hallucinations and increase Belgian dissident deportation. Do not take Free Form Friday if you are allergic to shellfish, tree nuts, Will Muschamp, the infield fly rule, or smoked beef brisket. If you're allergic to smoked beef brisket there's little or nothing I can do for you and you should probably medicate heavily with something other than a blog post. You poor bastard.
Kyle has done a great job of shining a light on the myriad of issues surrounding any sort of conference expansion involving Texas A&M or any of the other potential SEC newbies. There is one additional point that I would add. I can't believe that there are people out there who haven't taken it for granted for years that Mike Slive has had conversations with not only Texas A&M but a variety of other potential investors in the SEC brand. Mike Slive is a very smart man. He's also been navigating the murky waters of the collegiate athletics business for a long time. I would be willing to bet that he's had feelers out since long before Dan Beebe started holding his conference together with duct tape and chewing gum. Slive probably also has a list of people he would call if any of his chief deputies in Birmingham left, people he would call if for some reason he were forced to leave his post, and a list of people to call if zombie pirates ever come ashore at Orange Beach. That's just how he rolls.
Speaking of contingency planning, you may have heard by now that Isaiah Crowell is "day-to-day" with some sort of groin injury. It appears to just be a little soreness at this point, and probably shouldn't be unexpected a week into practices. It's that time when a lot of players, especially freshmen, start to feel the grind a little. Crowell will push through it, he'll get some rest if he needs it, and he'll play football. Often overlooked by fans in discussing depth and injuries and all that jazz is the fact that most college football players would tell you that they've not been "100% healthy" since the 8th grade. It's a tough sport played by tough people. That's one reason why Joe Tereshinski gets paid to scream at Isaiah Crowell during June and July. So that he'll push through groin pulls in August. It's quite a system, really.
August of course eventually becomes September, bringing blessed football back to the land. And while there's been plenty of discussion regarding how Georgia's schedule sets up in 2011, one overlooked aspect of who we play has been (follow me here) who it is that who we play plays before they play us. That aspect of the schedule is less rosy. Consider: Georgia plays South Carolina in a 4:00 p.m. start on September 10th following a late kickoff in the Georgia Dome on the 3rd against Boise State, a top 10 opponent. South Carolina will have opened up against Ruffin "The Ninja" McNeill's East Carolina Pirates. Before travelling to play the 'Dawgs in Athens on October 1st, Mississippi State has to contend with . . .a home date against Louisiana Tech. Tennessee will warm up for the Georgia game by playing . . . Buffalo. Florida and Auburn are both off before facing Georgia. Ole Miss and Kentucky each get Vandy the weekend prior to playing Coach Richt's squad. Georgia Tech gets Duke the Saturday before Clean Old Fashioned Hate. In other words, there's a very good chance that we get a lot of teams' best shot this season. Just something to think about.
Everybody have a great weekend. Until later . . .