Second and 26? Don’t even ask Georgia
“I don’t care for it,” said Georgia’s J.R. Reed, a starting cornerback in last year’s national championship game. “It is what it is. You know, it happened. There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Turning the page to a new year meant fielding questions about the final moment of the previous season. Tua Tagovailoa’s 41-yard heave to DeVonta Smith that beat the Bulldogs a few Atlanta blocks away from the SEC Media Days site still looms.
”Obviously I see it on replays and different ESPN highlights,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday morning conference media event in Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame. “I got to watch it early with the “Get Up!” With Mike Greenberg. I thought they might open with the SEC Championship, but of course not. That’s part of it. I think we embrace that as coaches. I think that’s something that you guys think about a lot, but not really us.”
Sure Kirby, sure.
Seriously though, the more we can get into the heads of their team over that play, the better. When Seattle lost on the 1-yard line to New England a few Super Bowls ago, the resulting attempts at trying to move past that one play have slowly ravaged the psyche of the entire Seattle team ever since.
This is what I want to happen to Georgia. I don’t like them even being considered a potential equal to Alabama.
Who knows if Tennessee fans have the patience (probably not), but this rebuild under Jeremy Pruitt is going to take time. The addition of grad transfers Keller Chryst, Mark London and Brandon Kennedy are helpful, but they’re Band-Aids on a larger wound as both sides of the ball need to be upgraded significantly in terms of talent. Simply reaching a bowl game would be a win for Pruitt and his staff in Year 1.
ESPN has some preseason power rankings, if you’re interested. Spoiler: Alabama is #1 and Georgia is #2.
In any case, I just really enjoy some dissing on Tennessee. ESPN has them ranked 12th here, ahead of only Vanderbilt and Arkansas. Things could only be better if the Volunteers dropped one more spot, with Auburn taking 14th.
The friendship between Tua Tagovailoa and another SEC QB from Hawaii
More than 4,300 miles from the heart of SEC country, and a world away from Southern fried football and the fanaticism attached to it, two of the league’s budding quarterbacks plotted their futures smack dab in the Pacific.
At a park in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Ole Miss’ Jordan Ta’amu threw passes and dreamed of taking center stage in the Pac-12, wearing Oregon’s garish uniforms and playing for the Ducks -- the program where their role model, Marcus Mariota, rose to stardom.
”SEC was never the talk,” Ta’amu said.
It’s the offseason. But it is funny to think of two young, prominent SEC QB’s both dreaming of playing for Oregon when they made it to college.
It really goes to show how Alabama (and the SEC) have broken the West Coast stranglehold on all recruits from Hawaii.
Minkah Fitzpatrick thinking about Sept. 9 ‘every day’
“I don’t know,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’ve been practicing in the nickel spot. I haven’t really practiced too much at outside corner. We’ve got a lot of guys out there that are doing a great job. I’ve been practicing in the nickel spot, both safety spots -- free safety, strong safety -- and the down spot. I’ve been practicing those four positions, just doing what I do, covering people, making calls and that’s it.”
Minkah is one of those guys that I have absolutely no doubt is going to wind up becoming an exceptional pro. Between him and Kenyan Drake, the Dolphins are looking like one of those teams I have to start keeping better track of and cheering for when the chance arises.
That’s it for today. I’m avoiding stuff around SEC Media Days, since Josh will have more dedicated articles on that later.