1. Arthur Lynch, GeorgiaThe 6-foot-5, 254-pound senior was Georgia’s fourth-leading receiver last year with 24 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns and also provided strong blocking on the edge. With two of Aaron Murray’s top three targets from 2012 gone, he’ll get even more looks this season.
The Red and Black also bring in 3 true freshmen: Buford guard Josh Cardiello, Valwood (Valdosta) tackle Aulden Bynum, and Walton (Marietta) center Brandon Kublanow. Of the 3 Kublanow is the only one I’d expect to play in 2013, as he’ll begin being groomed to fill Andrews’ shoes in 2015 as a junior. I’ve seen a lot of high school offensive linemen over the years, but I can count on one hand the number who I thought were a safe bet to play on Sundays. Kublanow may be one of them. He’s already strong enough to play in the SEC, has the aggression you want in an interior lineman, and possesses the quick feet and center of gravity to block anyone. Once he knows what he’s doing, the sky is the limit.Cardiello could probably play if he needed to, and may be a star down the road. But this season he should have a chance to redshirt, which is great news for the future. The 260 pound Bynum however needs to fill out before he’s ready for action on Saturdays. Again, we’re lucky to have the luxury of giving him time.
Dunn and Locus Named Recipients of Joel Eaves Scholar-Athlete Award:
University of Georgia track & field athlete Jared Dunn and swimmer Maddie Locus have been named winners of the 2013-14 Joel Eaves Scholar-Athlete Award.The award is presented to the male and female student-athletes with the highest grade point average upon entering the fall semester of his or her senior year, based upon academic hours rather than eligibility.
Dunn and Locus will be recognized at the football game against South Carolina on Sept. 7.
Eaves was Director of Athletics at UGA from 1963 to 1979, and the award was established with the aim of acknowledging his contributions during his tenure while also highlighting the academic achievements of current student-athletes.
Dunn, a native of Johns Creek, Ga., is majoring in Public Relations and boasts a 3.93 GPA. As a junior last season, Dunn clocked a season-best time of 8.45 in the 60-meter hurdles at the Auburn Invite. During the outdoor campaign, Dunn finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.88 at the Spec Towns Invite.
Locus, a native of Sugarland, Texas, and a junior based upon eligibility, currently owns a 3.95 GPA while majoring in mathematics. During the 2012-13 season, she was named to both the UGA Athletic Association’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Locus currently owns the sixth-fastest time in school history in the 50 freestyle and the eighth-fastest time in the 100 freestyle. She was a member of the 200 freestyle relay that came in second at the NCAA Championship as the Lady Bulldogs won the program’s fifth national title. She was also named a first-team All-SEC selection and chosen to the SEC Community Service Team. During the summer of 2012, Locus qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle.
[Georgia Sports Communications]
Best cornerbacks in BCS era:
2. Champ Bailey, CB, Georgia (1996-98)
Skinny: Since Champ Bailey played in the SEC, there’s never been another Champ Bailey. He was a triple threat – defense, offense and special teams – in all three seasons for the Bulldogs. In just his final year, he made 52 tackles, three INTs and seven passes defended, while making 47 catches for 744 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 84 rushing yards and 12 kickoff returns for 261 yards. Bailey won the Nagurski as a junior and was a consensus All-American in ‘98.
The first two games of the schedule — at Clemson and at home to South Carolina are the toughest in the country. Please…name us a team who has a harder first games. The Dawgs could well go 0-2 to start the year. After, they’ll whoop North Texas before they play LSU in one of the country’s more unpredictable features. The Dawgs should then beat Tennessee on the road, Missouri at home, and Vandy on the road (although this fixture’s gonna be close!), and the Cocktail Party’s going to be a toss-up. The Dawgs will then beat Appy State, win on the road at Auburn, hammer Kentucky and win on the road at Georgia Tech.BOTTOM LINE: The optimist Bulldogs fan will tell you that Georgia’s offense is so great that they’ll run over Clemson, stop Clowney, and break Gators fans’ jaws en route to a SEC Championship Game and a 12-0 record, where they’ll then enact revenge (and a half!) on Alabama before going off to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl for all the winnings. HOWEVER, the pessimist will tell you that the Bulldogs’ secondary won’t be able to stop Boyd, Watkins and Clemson, and no-one on God’s green earth can stop Clowney. Plus they’re playing Spurrier…and the Dawgs never seem to beat Steve Spurrier. And by the way, have you SEEN Florida’s defense lately? The pessimist will tell you about a 9-3 record, and a third-placed finish in the SEC East, and gives you more reasons to fire Mark Richt (as if he needed any). For us? We just don’t know. We’ll go with 11-1, with the loss coming – you’ve guessed it – on the first game of the season (And yes, they go to the SEC Championship Game). God help us if Murray or ‘Gurshall’ get injured.
Aaron Murray was 6th among quarterbacks by EPA+/pass. Gurley was 13th among running backs in EPA+/rush and 5th in EPA+ rushing. Marshall finished 30th in EPA+/rush. Only Texas A&M, Texas, and Baylor also have two returning running backs in the top 30.Given this individual efficiency on offense, Georgia’s 2.78 points/possession (20th best) seems disappointing. Texas A&M was a full half point/possession better. In addition to raw efficiency, Georgia had the nation’s most explosive pass offense and was 15th in explosive plays/rush (opponent adjusted). And the Bulldogs were dynamite on third downs and in the red zone – touchdowns on 76% of red zone possessions. But Georgia ran a play in the red zone on only 27% of possessions, rarely attempted field goals, and didn’t have a great success rate when they did. The implication is that Georgia really struggled between the 20 and 40, but I couldn’t say why.
Likewise, the defense was a respectable 15th in points/possession and EP3+, but from the outside, the talent was there for a top 10 defense. On the other hand, on a per play basis Georgia was outside the top 20, but they didn’t have any major weaknesses offenses could exploit, so the whole was better than the sum of the parts.
Don’t ask me why the SEC released its 2014 schedule just days before the 2013 season, but that’s exactly what happened Wednesday. And here’s all you need to know: Florida plays bothAlabama and LSU in 2014 and Georgia and South Carolina play neither.As one Gator fan emailed me Wednesday: “How is this even remotely fair?”Answer: It’s not. In fact, it’s a travesty and makes you realize that Steve Spurrier was right last year when he proposed a new way for the SEC to choose division champs. Spurrier said back in the spring of 2012 that the SEC should pick its division champions based on division record instead of overall conference record.
There is an interesting feud going on in West Virginia. The squabble is over third tier media rights and has already resulted in one lawsuit:
WVRC seeks an injunction delaying WVU from awarding its third-tier rights, the rebidding of which faced a Wednesday deadline for new proposals. The lawsuit restates WVRC’s request for the exclusion of IMG College and WV Media, which partnered on the original winning bid.That bid was thrown out at the request of state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey after Luck was discovered to have shared confidential information with Payne, a stakeholder in WV Media. Morrisey’s report also questioned Luck’s autonomous decision last October to add three members to the evaluation team when the other original panelists — deputy athletics director Mike Parsons and associate AD for business operations Mike Szul — didn’t give immediate approval to the IMG College/West Virginia Media bid.“I concur with the Attorney General’s findings that these communications were improper but agree they did not impact the evaluation or selection process,” Luck said in an April 17 statement. “The department looks forward to the rebid.”
The suit charges Luck with “improperly, incompetently, and unlawfully managing the media rights RFP process.” WVRC claims the university subsequently tailored the second media rights RFP “to render WV Media’s partner, IMG College, the only qualified bidder, thereby transforming the RFP process into a sham.”
Though Luck was barred from overseeing the second round of rights bidding, the suit cites Clements for failing to exercise reasonable control over Luck and other defendants, “exposing WVU and its Foundation to unnecessary expense, management and ridicule.”
SEC Announces Coaches Preseason All SEC Football Team:
The defending national and Southeastern Conference Champions Alabama Crimson Tide led the league with 16 student-athletes named to the Coaches’ 2013 Preseason All-SEC squad, the SEC announced Thursday.
Alabama placed a league-high five on the first team, while earning seven on the second team, and four on the third team. LSU and Georgia both had eight receive recognition, while Florida and Tennessee had seven each.
This marks the 11th straight year of the SEC Coaches Pre-Season All-SEC Team.
Eleven of the 14 SEC schools had a representative on the first-team, while every institution had at least two players named to one of the three units.
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.
LSU junior Odell Beckham Jr. was named to all three teams at three different positions, while Florida junior Ronald Powell was elected to the third team at both linebacker and defensive lineman by the SEC head coaches.
[Georgia Sports Communications]
Cable industry restructuring has begun:
Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN sports network has held preliminary talks to offer programming on a Web-based TV service like those proposed by Google Inc. (GOOG), Sony Corp. and Intel Corp. (INTC)An Internet TV provider would have to pay as much or more than cable and satellite services, President John Skipper said today at ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Connecticut. He declined to specify the companies ESPN has spoken with.
A Web-based service would have to buy “the whole suite of products,” Skipper said. “We’re not going to offer one-offs.” The network includes the flagship channel, plus others such as ESPN2, ESPN News and mobile applications offered to existing pay-TV subscribers.
Access to ESPN would give new online TV providers instant credibility and a foothold to compete with established players like Comcast Corp. and DirecTV. The network is the most valuable channel on pay TV, garnering the highest subscriber fees on basic cable, according to researcher SNL Kagan.
Talks with alternative TV providers are exploratory and any new platform would have to offer a package of channels comparable to what other operators provide, according to Chris LaPlaca, a spokesman for ESPN.
To get deals done with ESPN and other networks, the new providers will have to guarantee minimum subscriber numbers and pay the associated fees even if fewer viewers sign up, David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital in New York, wrote in an e-mail.
Did anyone recognize that of the top 8 schools in the chart that we were the only one that had years of 6 home games? UGA, Vandy & Mizzou were the only teams in the chart that had three years of only 6 home games.
I understand the buzz Lynch is getting and rightfully so. He's a very good blocker and is a throwback TE. I just hope he has gotten better with his concentration. There was too many times Lynch dropped an easy catch and hopefully he has corrected that.
Also, don't sleep on Jay Rome. Rome is vastly under rated and watching him last year you can tell why he was so highly thought of coming out of HS. Rome has great size and athletic ability. Like most great TE's in recent memory Rome also has a background in basketball and it's easy too see on the field. The guy goes for the ball like it's a rebound and has great hands. I look for Rome to be more involved this year as he is a mismatch for any team.
I agree with you about Rome, but I think your underestimating lynch. He's a football player in every way. But I am surprised at all the first team accolades he's getting. Not because I didn't think he deserves it, but because I didn't realize everyone else was aware of how good he is too.