Thursday, June 27, 2013

Don't sleep on Georgia too hard y'all

We talked some last week about Heisman candidates. Yesterday ESPN's Travis Haney went through the SEC with a fine toothed comb to find who might be the SEC's best in terms of the trophy as well as title contenders. You know, outside of Alabama.
Ken Ward

In terms of the Heisman (the trophy an SEC player has won three of the last four years, and four of the last six), I have to agree with Haney on Jadeveon Clowney's chances. He'd have to destroy a Michigan player each and every Saturday to have a real chance. As a big fan of the defensive side of the ball, I don't think that's fair. But that's the way it is. Spurrier's not going to have Clowney return kicks is he?

But when it comes to Aaron Murray, Haney points something out that I neglected to catch last week when I was baiting y'all for other Georgia contenders. The effectiveness of Gurley and Georgia's running game altogether could dampen the Georgia signal caller's chances altogether.
How about McCarron's rival in terms of QB efficiency, Aaron Murray? The Georgia signal-caller completed 65 percent of his 386 passes last season, averaging 10.1 yards per attempt, tops in the country. However, two things that hurt Murray last season could again hamper his chances this campaign: If teammates Todd Gurley or Keith Marshall have big years, it could take away from the attention Murray receives.
"He's a very, very, very good player, but he doesn't have many big wins, does he?" said an SEC defensive coordinator. "I'm not saying that's his fault, because he's a player we'd 100 percent have to prepare for, but that's a big part of how quarterbacks are judged."
Big wins are like crack to the Heisman voters. And those wins for Murray could come this season. But will they come just as much because of the rushing attack? Food for thought. I still like Murray's chances to earn a spot in New York come December.

Next Haney looks at teams that could challenge Bama for the SEC, and consequently the final BCS title. He settles on a team from the East, but has Georgia, South Carolina and Florida neck and neck. Really giving a slight edge to USCe due to their schedule.
But who's coming out of the East? Let's follow the same theme for the past two seasons. The best team hasn't necessarily won the division. Rather, it's been the team with the clearest path that has come out on top. This season, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina all have relatively equal talent. But if you're a Gamecocks fan, your team has the most favorable schedule.
 I don't think the Dawgs had the "clearest path" last season. Maybe from the start, but it became pretty muddled by the time we were licking our wounds in Columbia. Still, it certainly amplifies the games between those three teams. And whoever gets the date with Bama in December (or whoever manages to trip the Tide up from the West), will have earned the opportunity.

Go Dawgs!