ATHENS — It’s at this point we need to remind everyone, including ourselves, that it’s not all about recruiting and that Georgia still has one actual football game to play this year.
After a whirlwind two weeks on the recruiting trail, and with the stunner to Georgia Tech seeming longer ago than it was, Georgia begins its on-field preparation for the Liberty Bowl on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs will begin the first of what are supposed to be eight straight practices in Athens, before breaking for the holidays. Then the team reports to Memphis for what’s tentatively set for five practice days in the lead-up to the game against TCU, on Dec. 30 at noon.
(There is no actual limit on the number of practices a team can have in bowl preparation. It’s not 15 days, as many think. But because of the academic calendar and the holidays it’s rare that a team practices 15 times or more, and Georgia is no different.)
Normally, teams also use the first week of bowl preparation to get a longer look at younger and inexperienced players. A sort of mini-spring practice. Here’s a look at some of the players that could get a longer look.
Alas, the first day of practice will be a secret: There is no scheduled media availability on Wednesday, nor is the media being given a viewing period. Head coach Kirby Smart and several players will be available after Thursday’s practice, according to a team spokesman.
Each bowl practice in Athens is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon, with most set for 2 or 3 p.m.
There’s an outside chance that the team could make use of the new indoor facility, where the turf went down two weeks ago. But bad weather over the past two weeks may have hindered efforts to get it to a point of being used. As of the last official update, it was still ready to be open at the start of the calendar year.