Welcome to Tuesday, SEC Champion and Defending National Champion Bulldog fans! We’re glad you’re here, to endure the wait with us. Whether that is waiting on bowl season to start (this weekend!), waiting on a specific Brock Huard broadcast, waiting on a certain holiday special to air (Mickey Rooney claymation time!), or maybe waiting on your Georgia Bulldogs to play in the College Football Playoffs. Just like last year. Like waiting for an old friend.
For one of the last times, instead of ‘80’s cheese pop, we turn to the Billboard charts of fall 1981 to see if anything can capture this particular circumstance. After all, the fall of 1981 was the season following a Georgia national championship in football - just like this fall. And other than an early loss to eventual champion Clemson, the 1981 season was a pretty good one; one in which the Bulldogs won the SEC and played in the post-season with a shot at a repeat. Wouldn’t you know it, this season has turned out okay as well. And we still have a shot at another trophy. We just have to wait on that friend.
Those look like Glimmer Twins to me.
All kidding aside, we’d like to acknowledge the serious health issues that Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach is undergoing. I don’t know him personally, but I know he has a great football mind, seems like a decent fellow, and has been entertaining the college football world for years. So let’s hope this is just a setback for The Pirate.
Now onto news and notes of the Georgia Bulldog variety:
Award season is actually winding down, with all of the major awards having named their finalist/winner. As you probably know, Georgia QB Stetson Bennett IV won the Burlsworth Trophy for best college player who began their college career as a walk-on. And then late last week, Bennett’s favorite target Brock Bowers won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end.
Now is the downtime of your discontent. You can argue the individual winners of each award and can likely have a logical argument for such. What is fun is the disparity between top awards and the various All-American teams that are coming out of the sportswriter woodwork. For example, the same Brock Bowers named by an organization whose sole purpose is to identify the best tight end in the nation, is relegated to 2nd team AP All-American. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, who did not finish the season due to injury, was named 3rd team over an university from the state of Ohio QB CJ Stroud and Stetson Bennett - both of whom were Heisman finalists over Hooker.
At least a little love came to Athens from this list - Georgia was one of 3 schools to have more than one 1st Team AP All-American, and the only school with 2 named to the 1st team defense. You guessed it, DT Jalen Carter and DB Christopher Smith received the honor Monday as first-teamers. Jamon Dumas-Johnson joined Bowers on the 2nd team.
The AP All-SEC team had a little more representation. In total, 9 Bulldogs were awarded, with Smith and Carter again achieving 1st team along with Broderick Jones, Brock Bowers, and Jack Podlesny.
I’m not sure if this counts as opening presents before Christmas, but....
My understanding is that these guys can participate in bowl preparations now that the UGA fall semester is complete, and if their high school documents they are finished with their high school work. At a minimum, having some more warm bodies can surely pay dividends as the team prepares for New Years Eve. Kirby Smart has had many past early enrollees and I’m sure has a plan for all of them who move into the dorms.
I saw that ESPN’s Bill Connelly put out a ranking of all 36 CFP teams. Since only 14 different schools have made the CFP, you’d have to assume Alabama teams would be ranked against themselves as well as others. I’m not an insider and don’t have access behind this paywall thus I didn’t link it. Feel free to spoil the results in the comments if you can. I’d love to know where the Georgia teams landed, if 2019 LSU was indeed the #1 squad, and if current 2022 Tennessee was #2 like Vol Twitter told me it was.
There is still just a single UGA player to declare for the most recent transfer portal window, yet Athens is still losing a contributor. It appears official that Georgia offensive analyst Buster Faulkner has left to become the Offensive Coordinator on North Avenue. The fans are... not exactly thrilled with the hire. But Faulkner was credited by Stetson Bennett at the Heisman ceremony Saturday night, and on the heels of UGA OC Todd Monken emphasizing how important the entire offensive staff was, not just the coaches. Let’s not read anything into this as a harbinger of more key staff departures, but... calling Jere Morehead and Josh Brooks! Get your checkbook out!
In a little winter sports news, the Gym Dawgs held their annual “First Look” at Stegeman last weekend. The only competition was other Gym Dogs, but the ladies get a full dress rehearsal with uniforms, crowds, judges, the whole bit. And they will need it as they start the season ranked #20 in the 2023 Preseason Coaches Poll.
If you see anything newsworthy, feel free to drop it in the comments below. And as always...