Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. In today’s edition, we look into the possibility of an uber-awkward Georgia-Miami Richt Bowl and the potential effects of that on Kirby Smart.
Return of Richt?
The regular season was only in the books for hours when people started speculating about a possible bowl matchup between Georgia and Miami. The bowl-season talk was inevitable the moment Miami announced Mark Richt as head coach following his axing by Georgia last year. The ACC and SEC can play in as many as three non-playoff bowl games every year, and Georgia and Miami were both likely to be in the mix for non-playoff bowl berths. From a TV standpoint — which is really all bowls are for these days — reuniting Richt with his former team makes some sense. Neither Miami nor Georgia are a big draw this season, but the spectacle of Richt facing off against the Bulldogs could draw some neutral eyes.
Unfortunately, for those who want the awkwardness that would be a UGA vs. Richt game a year after his awkward departure, it doesn’t seem likely. Seth Emerson on Dawg Nation went into why that is in-depth on Monday. But, regardless of how unlikely it is, as a Georgia fan, you shouldn’t want this reunion.
One of Kirby Smart’s biggest struggles this season, by no fault of his own, was trying to emerge from Richt’s shadow. Richt was the program for more than a decade, and there were plenty of people who hated to see him go. The inevitable comparisons between the two were rampant this season. A game between the two would only further that comparison to a harmful degree for Smart.
I would be gung ho for this game if I thought Georgia would definitely win. And I’m not saying I think UGA would lose, because I think it would actually have a pretty good chance. It’s just not worth the risk, though. If Georgia lost to Miami in a bowl this season, I’m convinced it would be an early death knell for Smart at Georgia. There are already large factions of the fan base that have soured on him, and many of those fans were the ones who never wanted Richt to leave. A loss by Smart at the hands of Richt would be a direct affirmation in the minds of many that Richt is the superior coach and it was a mistake to let him go in the first place. Then the bitterness toward Smart grows and his leash gets a little shorter. Then the countdown begins to him catching a train out of Athens.
If Smart is going to have any chance to succeed at Georgia — and I think even the most adamant Smart detractors would love to see him live up to his potential and have a long, fruitful career as a Bulldog — he needs to avoid Richt like the plague until he’s established himself as somewhat of a winner. I’ll take some random Big Ten school, thank you very much.
For those who really want to see the Richt Bowl, don’t let this get you down. As I mentioned before, Georgia and Miami are in prime spots to end up head to head in a bowl. And there will always be a TV market for a reunion match between Richt and the Dawgs. This game is gonna happen sometime. Just hopefully not this year.
Ranking possible bowl opponents
Now that we know Georgia probably won’t play Miami, let’s take a look at some of the teams Georgia does have a chance to play. So, I figured I would rank the teams projected to play against Georgia in my bowl projection roundup on Monday and rank them based on who I’d like to see Georgia play the most. (Note: These rankings are almost completely arbitrary and ranked according to ‘CAUSE I SAY SO!)
5. South Florida — South Florida is the “Create-a-Team” of college football. It just seems made up. Wait a second, wasn’t South Florida ranked No. 2 in the nation a few years ago? No, no, that was Central Florida. Yeah, South Florida is definitely a made-up school.
4. TCU — TCU is 6-5 and still has to play Kansas State next week in its final game of the regular season. I can’t respect a team playing in Week 14 that isn’t a service academy or playing in a championship game. Hard pass.
3. Indiana — Indiana has the world’s only smart football player on its team. Backup QB Zander Diamont is retiring after this season. “I need my brain,” he said.
2. Minnesota — There is one reason and one reason alone I want to play Minnesota: Dilly Bar Dan.
It will probably be in the low 30s in Nashville in late December. If Georgia was to play Minnesota in the Music City Bowl, this dude will probably break out a pair of shorts and a milkshake. Cold weather people blow my mind.
1. Iowa — Who the hell doesn’t want to play Iowa? Remember Vodka Samm? Remember the woman who was arrested for public intoxication after the Hawkeyes upset Michigan and she thought she was in Ames, Iowa … for an Iowa State vs. Arizona game … a game that hasn’t been played since 1968. Iowa fans rage.
Here’s a handy chart to help you try and figure out where Georgia will be bowling.
— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) November 28, 2016
- At Second Glance: Why Georgia couldn’t finish, and what it says about the program and its future (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Towers’ Take: Not a good first season for UGA’s Kirby Smart (Chip Towers, Dawg Nation)
- Where does Nick Chubb rank among SEC running backs? (Christopher Wuensch, Dawg Nation)
- Georgia shelling out record amount for nonconference game (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Sentell’s Intel: The latest class projections on offense for 2017 at UGA (Jeff Sentell, Dawg Nation)
- Former UGA LB Tim Kimbrough blasts DC Mel Tucker on Twitter (Nick Cole, Dawg Nation)
- Kirby Smart’s Year 1 was a dud. Does that make him a dud? (Mark Bradley, AJC)
- What kind of team will Georgia football have next season? (Kyle Funderburk, Fansided)
- The Anti-Rant: Year 1 in review (pending extra credit for bowl game) (haagen dawgs, Dawg Sports)
Pulaski Heights BBQ fire
There was a pretty big fire at Pulaski Heights BBQ, one of the best barbecue spots in Athens, over Thanksgiving weekend. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and it was only the smoker that went up in flames and not the building itself.
Even though the restaurant went meatless on Monday, PHBBQ has a temporary, mobile smoker now and looks like it will be working like normal again on Tuesday.
If you’ve never been to PHBBQ, now is the time to go. Paying staff is more difficult when the thing that makes your money goes up in a flash, so it would be mighty kind of any Athenians to stop by this week and grab a plate. Help out an Athens business in its time of need and dine on some excellent barbecue? Sounds like a win-win to me.
Is dog chauffeuring a thing now, and, if so, where can I get one?
when u get your license suspended but u got a dog so its ok pic.twitter.com/FJLgVhAOuj
— Cutest Animals Ever (@CUTEST_ANlMALS) November 29, 2016