To paraphrase the rock and roll philosophers from Smashmouth, the weeks start coming and they don’t stop coming. We’re officially in week six, the midpoint of college football’s regular season. And your Georgia Bulldogs remain undefeated, which means a few trifling concerns aside we still have it better than 90% of other college football teams.
But one of the few teams with more to crow about than the ‘Dawgs is the team coming to town this Saturday, the 5-0 Kentucky Wildcats. The Bluegrass State Fightin’ Mike Stoopses check in at #20 in the latest AP poll after their 33-14 defenestration of the hapless Florida Gators.
Georgia remains #1, but by a significantly smaller margin over #2 Michigan, which picked up 12 first place votes versus only 1 last week. Honestly I don’t think I could rank the Red and Black at the top if I had a vote. Obviously the polls matter not one wait until December, but Kirby Smart’s team simply hasn’t looked dominant this season, not like Jim Harbaugh’s squad. But that’s all subject to change this weekend.
Despite a lackluster performance against Auburn DraftKings still installed the Athenians as a 15 point favorite. This implies to me that the Vegas crowd thinks Kentucky is pretty good, Georgia is better at home than on the road, and Florida is truly godawful.
In the high school ranks, but nevertheless germane to the interests of Bulldog fans, the GHSA is expected today to amend its bylaws to allow high school athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. Georgia’s not a trendsetter on this issue. In fact the Peach State is the 32nd state to approve high school NIL.
But the Empire State of the South is home to more blue chip football recruits than any state other than Texas and Florida. It also produces a ton of elite basketball and baseball players. Allowing those players to profit from their talents would t therefore affect a significant number of athletes. But it could also have a spillover effect to other southern states. Tennessee in fact is the only state bordering Georgia that has already approved high school NIL.
Objectively, I’m in favor of high schoolers being able to profit from their talents. I don’t see a difference between a 16 year old who profits from posting makeup tutorials or cover songs on YouTube versus playing football.
But at the same time this creates some serious practical problems. Recruiting of players has been a problem in Georgia high school football for decades. It feels like this may supercharge it. There are high school programs with significant booster networks, and they may be about to get the green light to flex that muscle to gather in talent. Then again, maybe I’m just old?
Everybody have a fantastic Monday and…