Monday, August 15, 2011

A Few Thoughts........

Just had a few random things rolling around in my head over the weekend that I hadn't had a chance to sit down and write:

- The more I think about it, the more I don't want SEC expansion to happen.  It almost seems to me like if you go to 14 teams, you have to go 16 teams from a competitive balance standpoint.  Assuming they want to keep an 8 game SEC schedule for teams (I hope they wouldn't go to a 9 game schedule, the SEC gauntlet is already hard enough), with one being a yearly cross division rival, a 14 team setup becomes odd.  Instead of playing your yearly rival plus two other teams from the other division, you would only play your yearly rival and then one other team from the other division.  And assuming you do a home & home with that other team, you would go 10 years between playing any one specific team from the other division (outside of your yearly rival).  So it would make more sense to go to 16 teams.  With that, you would play the other 7 teams in your division, then your annual cross-division rivalry, so your SEC schedule would be the same every year.  This actually would work well in that you wouldn't have the wide variation in schedule strength that you see now between teams in the same division (for example, neither UGA or SC play 'Bama or LSU this year, whereas UF gets them both).  The only variation in schedule strength would depend on how good your yearly rival is that year compared to everyone else's......but it would be less of a variation than we have now.  However, I just don't want a 16 team SEC.  I don't have a concrete, logical reason as to why I don't..............I just don't.

- Some of you know I live in the Greenville, SC area, which is of course near Clemson.  The Clemson fans are all thinking if the big expansion does happen, then they will get an invite along with FSU.  However, I don't see any chance at all that both of those schools get an invitation to the SEC.  The purpose of expansion would be to bring in new markets, so that ESPN will pay more money.  Teams like Missouri (St Louis & Kansas City markets), Texas A&M (Dallas &Houston), Va Tech (D.C.), and even UNC or NC State (Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, etc) all bring new markets to the table.  Clemson and FSU do not.  I agree that culturally, both would be a great fit in the SEC...........but if expansion happens, it will be only for money........tradition, competition, etc will not be a consideration.  If the SEC is for some reason only able to land 3 out of the list above, then I could seem them taking Clemson or FSU just for balance, but I see no way that both get in.

- I was watching the 2009 UGA-Auburn game on CSS last week, and noticed a couple of things.  The first was that Ealey sure did look a lot quicker as a freshman than he did as a sophomore.  Not sure what to read into that, just an observation.  The second was that I was surprised at how small of a role Fairley played in their defense in 2009.  I looked it up, and for the entire year, he only had 28 tackles and 1 sack (of course, that sack came against us at about our own 2 yard line).  Just like John Jenkins, Fairley came in as a JUCO transfer - though he had only played one year of JUCO ball, he redshirted his first year.  But it took him a year of playing at the D-1 level to blossom.  Obviously we saw what type of dominating player he developed into, though.  I'm saying all that just to say this:  if Jenkins doesn't come out and dominate right away, cut him some slack, it doesn't mean he won't become dominant.  Obviously I'd love to have him come in and have an immediate impact like Cody did, but I think the more realistic expectation is for him to be a solid contributor early on, and hopefully develop into the beast we all want down the road.

The team got a much needed day of rest yesterday, hopefully we have some good practices this week.


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