DavetheDawg had 15 thoughts on Sunday afternoon. I have seven thoughts on this busy Tuesday afternoon. These are they:
1. The first three weeks’ worth of the football television schedule has been released, and Georgia will be playing Buffalo at 12:21, Missouri at 7:45, and Florida Atlantic at 7:30 (all times Eastern). That the cupcake opener would be a noon kickoff between the hedges was to be expected; that the Mizzou game is a night affair on ESPN2 is no surprise, though it is worrisome; that the Bulldogs will be scuffling with FAU at twilight is a bit of a shocker, and I don’t quite know how I feel about a September night game against a patsy opponent, which we have not seen in Sanford Stadium since the 2000 season opener against Georgia Southern. What do you think about tussling with the Owls after dark?
2. Speaking of Buffalo, the Bulls are expecting their trip to Athens to end like “The Shining.” I have to say, life in Bulldog Nation has felt more than a little like being in a Stanley Kubrick film based on a Stephen King novel lately. Redrum? Red and Black? Coincidence? I think not!
3. Some folks think the NCAA should give the Penn State football program the death penalty. Some other folks disagree. I’m with the second set of folks, for two reasons. First of all, the death penalty applies only to repeat offenders, and the Nittany Lions didn’t commit a major violation while on probation. Secondly, like Josh Lyman in “The West Wing” when refusing to sue the white supremacist organization whose members shot him, NCAA sanctions seem too small for a situation such as this. Criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits are the appropriate avenues for addressing these wrongs; the notion that the infractions committee should swoop in and assess penalties as though sheltering a child molester somehow could be analogized to committing recruiting violations strikes me as macabre and absurd. This is a matter for the courts, not the NCAA.
4. As noted at And the Valley Shook, SEC expansion is causing serious scheduling issues for non-revenue sports like women’s soccer. Georgia’s soccer slate previously paired opponents for weekend road trips (last year, the Lady Bulldogs faced LSU in Baton Rouge two days after playing Arkansas in Fayetteville, then Kentucky at Lexington two days after meeting Vanderbilt at Nashville), but the Red and Black’s 2012 schedule includes dates with Florida in Gainesville two days after a matchup with Alabama in Tuscaloosa, with South Carolina in Columbia two days after a clash with Ole Miss in Oxford, and with Tennessee in Knoxville four days following an encounter with Texas A&M in College Station. Other sports are going to suffer for football’s excesses.
5. Also as noted at And the Valley Shook, there are some rules changes in store for us for the 2012 college football season. We’ll likely be discussing this in greater detail as the autumn draws nearer, but, for now, you should know that the Bulldogs’ special teams woes may be ameliorated by the new guidelines, which are likely to discourage returns.
6. Dave and I aren’t the only guys setting forth our thoughts in numerical order; Mike Rutherford has 99 thoughts about the 2012-’13 college basketball season, and not one of them concerns Mark Fox’s Hoop Hounds. Your acerbic Jay-Z allusion goes here.
7. The countdown to college football season is underway, and, if you’re like me, the impending arrival of the fall causes you to recall the opening lines of Frank Herbert’s Dune. (Don’t worry; I’m not about to repeat last year’s mistake, particularly when others already are overhyping the ‘Dawgs for me!) At the opening of the novel, the Princess Irulan warns the reader to “take the most special care that you locate Muad’Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.” The approach of football season invariably reminds me of those words, and of the fact that, wherever I may have been born, and wherever life may have carried me, Athens, the city known as Classic, is forever my place. Hang in there, people; we’re almost there. . . .