If you frequent SB Nation websites, you doubtless are aware of the conference re-draft project, wherein several network blogs will be serving as conference commissioners and taking part in a mock draft of entire athletics programs for the purpose of building leagues the way NFL general managers build teams; namely, by using a myriad of factors to assess the "value" of a given program.
Though I am sure the originators of this fine idea had only noble motives in mind, the doomsaying conspiracy theorist in me thinks it’s all a convoluted ruse for use in demeaning the Georgia Bulldogs. Accordingly, I am taking this opportunity to launch a pre-emptive strike showing that the Red and Black are, in fact, deserving of being among the first teams taken in the draft. Consider:
- Georgia boasts the second-best athletics program in the nation’s strongest conference.
- According to The Official CRFF Conference Re-Draft Project Draft Kit/Resource List, Georgia ranks twelfth nationally in athletic program revenue, and, really, the Bulldogs should be considered a top ten program, since three of the athletics departments ahead of Georgia’s are those of the No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes, No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide, and No. 9 Auburn Tigers, whose chief revenue sources consist of "test-driven" loaner vehicles from car dealers and tattoos exchanged for autographed memorabilia, cash received for the sale of the internal organs of "medical hardship" recruits on the black market, and booster payments to players, respectively.
- Georgia played in the fourth most-watched regular-season game during the 2010 football season, and the Bulldogs can deliver the country’s eighth-largest media market. Take a look at the college sports programs indigenous to the seven larger media markets: New York City (Rutgers Scarlet Knights), Los Angeles (UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans), Chicago (Northwestern Wildcats), Philadelphia (Temple Owls), Dallas/Fort Worth (North Texas Mean Green, SMU Mustangs, and TCU Horned Frogs), San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (California Golden Bears, San Jose St. Spartans, and Stanford Cardinal), and Boston (Boston College Eagles). It is embarrassingly apparent that no program has a comparable market penetration in a comparably large media market the way Georgia does in Atlanta; the closest analogous command would be the Michigan Wolverines in the No. 11 Detroit market, and even that is a stretch. No college sports team is as big in as big a pond as the ‘Dawgs in their local market.
- The University of Georgia has seen its academic reputation rise steadily over the course of the last quarter-century, currently claiming a spot as the No. 56 national university in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, tied with the Ohio State University and comparable to the No. 53 University of Florida.
- The University of Georgia boasts the country’s ninth best-looking co-eds, and the Red and Black are ranked that low only because some brainless moron ranked Auburn University, the University of Florida, and the University of South Carolina ahead of us. Seriously, there’s no way even to argue any of those with a straight face. The University of Mississippi, I’ll give you.
- Georgia ranks twelfth in Division I-A in all-time football winning percentage, which everyone except Stewart Mandel acknowledges puts the Bulldogs among the historic elite.
- Despite the disappointments of the last 21 years, the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party remains one of the top college football rivalries.
- Despite being the defending Fulmer Cup champions, our football team hasn’t had a player arrested since October 11.
- During the 2010-’11 academic year, Georgia sent its football team to a bowl game, its men’s and women’s basketball teams to their respective NCAA Tournaments, its baseball and softball teams to their respective NCAA Tournaments, its women’s gymnastics team to the NCAA Championships, its women’s tennis team to the NCAA quarterfinals, its men’s tennis team to the NCAA semifinals, its equestrian team to the national championship finals, and its men’s golf team to the NCAA finals.
- Despite the foregoing achievements, 2010-’11 was a down year by Georgia standards---through 203 votes in a recent poll, fans who thought the Bulldogs sucked outnumbered fans who thought the Bulldogs rocked by a five-to-one margin---yet the Red and Black still rank 22nd in the Directors’ Cup standings, which are weighted heavily toward schools that field more sports than Georgia does.
- Other fan bases are passionate about their teams. Ours engages in goat sacrifices . . . repeatedly.
In short, Georgia figures prominently in every category that reasonably might be used to assess value. The only area in which the Red and Black are lacking is in their paucity of men’s basketball tradition, but this is an area into which resources and interest are being concentrated. I therefore close essentially with the same plea with which I greeted the advent of the Hot Blogger Bracket; viz.: "Pick us! Pick us!"
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