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Wednesday Morning Dawg Bites: Rivalries, Realignment, Statistics, Shatner, and a Country Singer Caught Drinking in a Church Parking Lot on Sunday Night

Wednesday is upon us once more, and, this time, it’s an ordinary workday rather than a de facto college football holiday. Even though National Signing Day is in our rear view mirror, though, there’s still plenty to discuss and much to consider. After the jump, I’ll offer you a taste of the noteworthy news for your perusal as you quaff that initial cup of coffee and prepare to dive into your day, but, first, in honor of hailtogeorgia’s shocking revelation that Lawrence Welk publicly advocated marijuana use and vineyarddawg’s futile attempt to impugn the unassailable awesomeness of James T. Kirk, I give you William Shatner’s interpretation of "Rocket Man":

William Shatner "Rocket Man" (via MobileEsther)

As noted by Senator Blutarsky, there recently has been some back-and-forth between Patrick Garbin and Michael Elkon regarding Mike Bobo. To some extent, this is simply a rehash of conversations previously had here at Dawg Sports, but, at the end of the day, the takeaway seems to be the point made on the most recent podcast: Coach Bobo’s offenses produce decent stat lines, but those pretty numbers aren’t translating into victories. This, it seems to me, is in marked contrast to the impact Todd Grantham and his defensive assistants have had, which appears very clearly to have translated into wins. The lesson, ladies and gentlemen, is what it always has been: Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.

Several Georgia athletes earned honors this week, with Chris Foster and Morgann Leleux being recognized as the SEC men’s and women’s freshmen of the week in track and field and Krista Donald receiving conference freshman of the week distinction in women’s basketball.

Without really meaning to do so, Andy Staples has crystallized the quintessence of the Bulldogs’ recent gridiron struggles: Georgia’s 2009 recruiting class was rated sixth by Rivals on National Signing Day and slightly exceeded expectations by producing the country’s fifth-best on-field results, but No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU lived up to the hype, while twelfth-ranked South Carolina shot all the way up to seventh when the games began. The problem isn’t so much that the ‘Dawgs have gotten worse, it’s that the rest of the league has gotten better.

While we’re on the subject of our SEC East rivals from Columbia---no, not the new SEC East rivals from the other Columbia; the old SEC East rivals from the familiar Columbia---it was reported at Team Speed Kills that a South Carolina legislator is backing a state law which would require the Gamecocks and the Tigers to continue their annual gridiron showdown for Palmetto State bragging rights in spite of the scheduling challenges posed by conference expansion. Gosh, if only there were some way conference expansion could work to preserve the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry. . . .

On the conference expansion front, Memphis reportedly will announce its move to the Big East later today. Given the Tigers’ basketball tradition and FedEx money, the move actually makes a fair amount of sense, and it represents the latest domino to fall in a process that likely will end in 16-team superconferences, the further subdivision of Division I programs, and . . . the "P"-word.

The Gym Dogs are No. 6 in this week’s national women’s gymnastics rankings, with dates upcoming against No. 3 Arkansas on February 10 and at No. 4 Florida on February 24. Speaking of sporting events taking place in Athens this Friday, the February 10 men’s tennis match against William & Mary has been moved from 4:00 p.m. Eastern to 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

Finally, though this bears no relationship whatsoever to University of Georgia athletics, I thought it worth noting that, about an hour after midnight this past Sunday night, Randy Travis was arrested on public intoxication charges when he was found with a wine bottle in a car parked in front of a Baptist church. Really, once you’ve stated the facts accurately, there’s not a lot left to say, is there?

That should get you up to speed this Wednesday morning. If there’s anything I missed, feel free to share it in the comments below. Don’t forget that I’ll be on ESPN Radio out of Fayetteville, Ark., at 2:30 p.m. Eastern today to discuss tonight’s men’s basketball game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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