Brant Sanderlin/AJC
Kirby Smart and Nick Chubb

How would Georgia do in a 64-team college football bracket?

Cy Brown

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Don’t believe the florist.

Let’s do football brackets!

March Madness officially begins Thursday, along with a deluge of arbitrary brackets that have nothing to do with basketball. But these thought experiments can be a pleasant distraction for those of us with a team that missed the tourney (and subsequently fall flat in the first round of the NIT).

A lot of outlets are drawing up 64-team college football brackets. And while the Dawgs were way off from the four-team College Football Playoff, there’s no doubt they’d make a field of 64. The questions are what seed they would get and how far would they go?

At SB Nation, it went off results from last season and tabbed Georgia as 12 seed in the West Region, facing off against Pitt. The Panthers would have been interesting opponents. They beat Clemson and Penn State and stayed close in all of their games but one. I think Georgia could have kept it close, but I’d give the edge to Pitt. But this is 12-5 matchup, so there’s no way you can count out the upset.

CBS also based its bracket from results a year ago and slotted Georgia as a No. 13 seed. More interesting, CBS put Florida as a 4 seed to set up a WLOCP rematch. Florida proved to be the better team last season, so the Gators would have to get the edge. But in a rivalry rematch, anything can happen. Throw out the records and all that. A win would’ve sent Georgia to the second round for either a rematch with UNC or a reunion with old friend Mark Richt and his Miami Hurricanes.

The ESPN bracket is the one you’ll be most interested in, though. ESPN based seeding off its preseason 2017 Football Power Index rating, giving Georgia a much better seed. The Dawgs are 13th in the preseason rankings, giving them a No. 4 seed and putting them against 13th-seeded Oregon State. Here’s what ESPN’s Chris Low had to say about that potential showdown:

(4) Georgia 28, (13) Oregon State 23: Nick Chubb and Sony Michel take turns punching holes in Oregon State’s run defense, each on his way to a 100-yard rushing day, and the Bulldogs play keep-away from the Beavers in a first-round win.

Next up would be a game against 12th-seeded Texas Tech, which ESPN pegged to upset No. 5 seed Notre Dame. This is how Low predicted that one to turn out:

(4) Georgia 42, (12) Texas Tech 31: The Bulldogs brought Kirby Smart back to his alma mater to win championships, and he moves another stop closer to that goal when Georgia jumps out to a four-touchdown lead and then seals the game with its punishing running game.

So, that’s the Sweet 16 for the Dawgs, where they would take on No. 1 seed FSU. The Noles would definitely hold the edge, but I think that’s a game every college football fan in America would love to see. You know what, they should just expand the CFP to 64 teams and make these matchups a reality. Make it happen, college football.

So long, J.J. Frazier

Georgia fell to Belmont in the first round of the NIT. Not a surprising result by any stretch, considering both Yante Maten and Juwan Parker sat. But it did provide an opportunity for Georgia fans to watch J.J. Frazier play for a final time in Athens, and he didn’t disappoint, putting up 29 points in the loss.

We’ll write more about the future of Georgia basketball and Mark Fox in the coming days and weeks. (Preview: If they were this bad with players as good as Frazier and Maten, what will it look like with one — or both — gone.) Today, I wanna focus on Frazier. He had an outstanding four-year career in the red and black, and I hate to see him leave the scene in as inconspicuous a way as an NIT loss to Belmont. Those are the breaks, though. But, to remember the good times, here are some highlights from his best moments as a Dawg.

Like the time he scored 35 points to beat Georgia Tech and his teammates carried him off the court:

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier is carried off the court. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

And the time he hung 36 on Kentucky:

And the time he jumped over the bench for a loose ball, ran around it and back down the court to get on offense and nail a three:

J.J Frazier is a baller and he’ll be missed in Athens.

A quick Trent Thompson update

Seth Emerson of DawgNation provided this update on Thompson from Kirby Smart and Thompson himself, and it sounds promising:

“He’s doing really well,” Smart said Wednesday. “Very pleased with his progress. He continues to get better, and that’s the biggest thing for us right now, is a day-by-day process of rehabbing his shoulder and making sure he’s well. He’s done a very good job of that. He’s increased his weight, too.”

Asked if he was hopeful about Thompson returning to the team this summer, Smart answered: “Hopefully. Yeah, hopefully.”

UGA holds pro day

Georgia held its pro day on Wednesday, but there’s no way to tell how any of the players actually did until the NFL draft and free agent frenzy afterward. So, here’s a video of the former Dawgs working out and scouts looking studious and whatnot in lieu of analysis:

And another:

ICYMI

Good dog

Don’t take on more than you can handle.

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