Daily Dawg Thread – July 26, 2021

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Daily Dawg Thread – July 26, 2021

Everyone Hates SEC Expansion

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Has anyone seen a pro-expansion SEC fan? I sure haven’t. One of the most frequently mentioned reasons for opposition to the expansion is the perception that a stronger SEC means a more difficult road to the playoff. For me, the loss of regional identity is more of an issue, but that is just my personal prejudice.

The idea that conference affiliation will hinder playoff inclusion may not be as big of a negative as many think. First, these realignments (plural because there will be a complete reorganization of college football) are not developing in isolation. The NCAA just committed ritual suicide, leaving the game in the hands of the conferences. The individual leagues are going to consolidate into a new structure. No one knows what that is going to look like – the four 16-team conferences idea gets lots of attention, but there are other options. No matter how the framework looks after the reorganization, the SuperConferences will rules themselves. The logical extension is that items like scholarship limits and other areas that had been regulated by NCAA will shift to conference oversight – but that is a topic for another time..

Below you’ll see the current mandate for the College Football P{layoff committee.:





  • Rank the top 25 teams and assign the top four to semifinal sites.
  • Assign teams to New Year’s Six bowls.
    • Create competitive matchups.
    • Attempt to avoid rematches of regular-season games and repeat appearances in specific bowls.
    • Consider geography.

This document can remain intact except for the number of semifinal teams (4 to 12).

So, what about making it harder to get to the 12-team playoff? That is a legit and often mentioned concern for this reorganization, but I’m not sure that it changes the odds of playoff inclusion by much if any. There isn’t even a conference champion inclusion rule. This iteration of college football is going to be a straight-up entertainment venture, with everyone having a stake in the business, even the players. Entertaining the country means having the best teams playing for the national championship. There will always be disagreements among fans, but those disagreements will likely be focused on the last few picks.

The audience will want the biggest stars and a solid supporting cast – SEC will be well represented.





Here are the projected payouts for the expanded playoff from the publication Athletic Director U. Note the estimated average teams per year per conference.

Player Pics – Jake Camarda

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Career Highs
* Long punt of 67 yards vs. Auburn, 2019
* 11 punts vs. Auburn, 2019
* Single-game average of 57.7 yards vs. South Carolina, 2019

2021:  Pre-season All-America first-team pick by Phil Steele, second-team pick by Pro Football Focus and Walter Camp.

2020:  First-team All-America by Pro Football Focus (PFF); second-team pick by Walter Camp, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and Football Writers Association of America, and a third-team selection by Associated Press…SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, as voted by the league’s 14 head coaches…first-team All-SEC punter by coaches’ vote and by the Associated Press…one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top collegiate punter…fourth nationally in punting average at 46.6 yards per punt…a key reason behind Georgia’s Top 20 national ranking in net punting (41.30 avg.)…named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after season-opening performance in win at Arkansas…punted seven times for an average of 49.9 yards, with a long of 63 yards…dropped five of his punts at the 11-yard line or better…for the Arkansas and Alabama games, he was named to the “Ray’s 4” list of top punters by the Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter), which also named Camarda to its pre-season watch list…his two punts vs. Tennessee were a 49-yarder (downed at the UT 8) and a season-long 64-yarder, booted from his own goal line…punted four times vs. Alabama for a 49.0 average, including three downed inside the 20-yard line…punted just twice in win at Kentucky, but both were downed inside the 10-yard line…earned his 2nd SEC Special Teams Player of the Week award after the game…served two additional valuable roles: holder on placement kicks, and he took over kickoff duties in the last seven games…just three of his 41 kickoffs were returned, with 36 touchbacks, and two of the three returned kickoffs were not advanced past the 3-yard line.

2019:  Punted 61 times for a 46.84 average…ranked 6th nationally (4th in the SEC) in punting average…a major factor in Georgia’s improvement in net punting from 70th nationally in 2018 to 8th in 2019…SEC Special Teams Player of the Week after he punted 11 times (tied for third most in UGA history) for a 50.7 average in win at Auburn…twenty-five of his punts were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line…three of his four punts vs. Georgia Tech were downed inside the 20, one of which was fumbled and resulted in a Georgia TD…two longest punts of his career were both downed inside the 10-yard line (67 yards, downed at the Auburn 2; 66 yards, downed at the South Carolina 7 in 2018)…also had a 65-yarder in season opener at Vanderbilt…had punts of 64, 63 and 54 yards in the rain vs. Kentucky…had a 61-yard boot vs. Arkansas State…as Georgia’s holder on placement kicks, he had a key 6-yard rush on a successful fake field goal in third quarter of Sugar Bowl win over Baylor…the Bulldogs scored their third TD of the game on the next play…has 30 career punts over 50 yards, nine of which covered 60 or more yards…co-winner of Special Teams Most Improved Player, awarded at team’s post-season awards gala.

2018:  Won the starting punter’s job in preseason camp…finished season with a 42.6-yard average on 43 punts …punted three times for a 55.0 average in opener vs. Austin Peay…had three punts over 60 yards (63, 60, 62)…also has 10 punts downed or fair caught inside the 20-yard line…four of those were downed inside the 10, including two at the 1-yard line (vs. Fla., Auburn)…punted once at Kentucky for 55 yards, and once vs. Ga. Tech for 45 yards…went eight quarters without punting, a stretch that covered three games (Aub., UMass, Ga. Tech)…also served as the Bulldogs’ holder on placement kicks.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.