2013 – 2014 Bowl Game Thoughts

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Photo is from 2013.  Result resembles 2014.

24-19: The Dawgs Choke on an ear of Corn
Since the heart of this blog is Georgia football, I feel obligated to discuss the 2014 Gator Bowl. The Bulldogs turned in a slippery and sloppy performance, losing 24-19 in their season finale.  The Nebraska Cornhuskers deserved to win.  For Bulldog Nation, the Gator Bowl left one more stain on a season which started with so much promise.

Excuses and injuries notwithstanding, the Georgia Bulldogs have a long offseason ahead.  Mark Richt and company must work towards getting better on the field without getting in trouble off of it. On a positive note, The University of Georgia won eight games this season.

The Dawgs remained competitive despite an overwhelming number of injuries and bad breaks.  History may not smile on this particular team the way they had hoped, but the 2013 Bulldogs continued the winning tradition associated with Georgia football.

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Too Many Mediocre Bowls

There are too many bowl games.  The 2013 bowl slate featured 35 bowl games.   Despite ESPN’s promotional insistence, Capital One Bowl Week is far from the most wonderful week of the year.  Even die-hard college football fans must have trouble getting excited for the mediocrity that ensues early in bowl season.

Johnny Football is Money
The debate about Johnny Manziel’s off the field conduct may never end.  Still, there is no questioning his will to win. Manziel’s highlight reel performance against Duke resulted in a 52-48 win for Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  By erasing a 38-17 deficit,  the Aggie comeback capped off an unforgettable two year run for “Johnny Football” at A&M.

The former Heisman Trophy winner will be a top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.  No matter which team selects him, Manziel is expected to be a franchise quarterback.  Love him or hate him, the legend of Johnny Football continues to grow.

The Bowl Championship Series Goes out With a Bang
With the 2014 BCS National Championship Game in the books, the Bowl Championship Series is no more.  Thanks in part to intriguing match-ups, the BCS went out in style. BCS festivities began with the 100th playing of the Rose Bowl game, which gave college football fans a 28-24 slug fest between Michigan State and Stanford on New Year’s Day.  That same night, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl culminated in a 52-42 shootout between UCF and Baylor.

The Orange Bowl produced another high scoring battle between Ohio State and Clemson.  Clemson picked up the victory while Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes finished the year with back-to-back losses.

Major college football has needed a playoff for some time.  With that said, certain aspects of the Bowl Championship Series will be missed.  The Rose Bowl will maintain some of its luster as a marquee athletic event, but I hate to think the Tournament of Roses will not be quite the spectacle when it is part of the playoff puzzle.

The Streak Ends
Congratulations to the Florida State Seminoles for winning the 2014 National Championship Game.  My disdain for the Auburn Tigers would not allow me to pull for the SEC’s streak of championships to continue.  As a college football fan, I am pleased the better team won. Luck finally ran out in War Eagle country.

Aaron Murray Should Stay at UGA for his Senior Season

Aaron Murray Played One Hell of a Capital One Bowl
Following a record-setting five touchdown passes and 427 passing yards in the 2013 Capital One Bowl during Georgia’s 41-28 victory over Nebraska, only one question remains on the mind of Bulldog Nation. Should Aaron Murray stay in Athens for his senior season, or should he leave UGA for the National Football League in the wake of his suddenly rising draft stock?

Aaron Murray Has Unfinished Business at the University of Georgia
There is no doubt that Aaron Murray possesses all the tools necessary to be a star in the NFL. Regardless of where and when Aaron Murray decides to play professional football he will have every opportunity to succeed. With that said, Aaron Murray should return to the University of Georgia for his senior season to try to lead the Bulldogs to a championship.

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Aaron Murray has more barking to do in Athens.

ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. feels that Aaron Murray should come back to Georgia for his final season because he is not assured of being a first round pick. SB Nation Atlanta reported that Kiper observed, “I think unless you’re a guaranteed first round pick it’s wise to go back. Especially when you play at Georgia with all the talent around the quarterback there.” Kiper went on to compliment the receivers and running backs that Murray has at his disposal in Athens.

Aaron Murray Can Set the Georgia Record for Passing Yards Next Year
Aaron Murray currently has 10,091 yards passing in his career at UGA. If he never throws another pass in Athens, that number leaves him at third all-time behind Eric Zeier (11,153) and David Greene. (11,528) If  Murray plays for the entirety of his senior season, he will certainly leave Georgia as the all-time leader in passing yards. Nobody remembers third place. Aaron Murray already owns the all-time record of touchdown passes in his career at Georgia with 95. If Aaron Murray comes back to Georgia and caps off his career with a championship, he will have his own wing in the Georgia football hall of fame. Along with Herschel, of course.



Aaron Murray: Leaving the Legacy of an Undisputed Champion
It is Aaron Murray himself that provided the most important reason the quarterback should wait for the NFL when he admitted that he had been unable to sleep following the Alabama game. Aaron Murray must come back to Georgia for a shot at redemption. Winning the national championship in his senior season would be a storybook ending to a fantastic career.

Aaron Murray majored in psychology at the University of Georgia, so it is safe to assume that he knows how valuable his presence is as the quarterback at UGA. Regardless of who declares for the 2013 NFL Draft, Aaron Murray is the most valuable piece of Georgia’s championship puzzle. Losing his experience and leadership would make the puzzle very difficult to compete in 2013.

The National Football League Can Wait for Aaron Murray
The NFL Draft happens every year. Aaron Murray should not be too hasty to jump on the National Football League train this year because he will have the opportunity to turn pro for the rest of his adult life. If he should choose to forgo his senior season at Georgia, he will never have another chance to put on the silver britches as a player.

With all of the accolades Murray has earned in his three years at Georgia, he has the opportunity to return to the hedges as a Heisman Trophy front runner fully capable of leading his Dawgs to glory. On the other hand, if he goes to the NFL he will simply be one teams’ answer among a questionable crop of quarterbacks.

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Coach Richt knows Aaron Murray’s best is yet to come.

The 2011 College Football BCS Controversey – Much Ado About Nothing

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The BCS debate rages on

This season’s conference championship week is causing experts and fans alike to speculate about how this weekend’s games could change the face of college football. With the exception of the LSU fan base, college football fans everywhere are pulling for the Georgia Bulldogs to be giant killers when they face the mighty LSU Tigers Saturday afternoon.

The Bowl Championship Series is facing another round of what-if scenarios, and many college football followers are hoping that this is the year that the BCS wall begins to come tumbling down. While theoretical situations often make for a fun debate history has shown that very little is going to change in the whacky world of the BCS, regardless of who wins and loses on Saturday.

Big Red Goes Down

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Nebraska still played for the national title

2011 marks the ten year anniversary of former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch winning the Heisman trophy. In 2001, Crouch led the undefeated and #1 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers into the Big 12 Championship Game to face off with the #14 Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado had two loses coming into the match-up, the first coming in week one against a non conference opponent. The Buffaloes were led by their star tailback Chris Brown, and they were determined to take down unbeaten Nebraska. Brown ran for six touchdowns in the game as Colorado stunned the Cornhuskers in a 62-36 upset. The Buffaloes were the Big 12 Champions in 2001.

As for Nebraska, they were left to wonder what hit them as their undefeated dream season was seemingly turned into a nightmare after the Blackshirts gave up 62 points in the conference championship. However, Big 12 runner-up Nebraska still played for the national championship because they only had one loss, and the BCS considered them to be the second best team in the country. The Cornhuskers would go on to lose in the national championship game to the Miami Hurricanes by a final score of 37-14.

History Repeats
The exact same scenario happened to another Big 12 team in 2003. The Oklahoma Sooners were ranked #1 and undefeated going into the Big 12 Title Game. The Sooners were being hailed as one of the best teams ever in college football history. (Sound familiar?)

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That's why they play the game.

Oklahoma got a reality check from the number 13 Kansas State Wildcats who came into the contest as a huge underdog. Darren Sproles and K-State lowered the boom on the Sooners in a 35-7 win. Oklahoma was still considered to be the second best team in the country, and they went on to get decimated by the USC Trojans 55-19 in the most lopsided title game in BCS history.

In a perfect world, a playoff system would be the satisfying conclusion that college football fanatcs have been asking for. However, since 1998, the Bowl Championship Series debate has become the centerpiece of big time college football. That fact will not change until at least 2013, when the television rights to the BCS National Championship game are up for grabs again. Rumors of the demise of the BCS have been greatly exaggerated. If the Tigers go undefeated and cap off their season with a national championship the argument for the Bowl Championship Series will be stronger than ever.