Being George Pickens

Being George Pickens

HAN VANCE on Georgia football: Being George Pickens: IT’S GO TIME, he may have thought off the Flats of Tech. The blows rang out almost like shots in Atlanta as an ejection or short term suspension was clearly coming down. Then the SEC spoke.

So in the biggest game of the year, back in The ATL he sat, on the sideline, waiting for halftime, knowing and hoping he could still make a difference. The game got away from the Bulldogs, they were ultimately routed, after a no-name defense for the ages at the old school, kept them in it for over half the game.

The levee broke. LSU past Georgia.

Then, NOLA was epic!

You’re the best established offensive weapon on the whole UGA roster, suddenly, as a true sophomore WR, coming off an MVP explosion in the Sugar Bowl, when by halftime you had a seat at any NFL team’s table.

Cruising through college…Coronavirus happens, the pandemic, spring is cancelled. You know no future, you just don’t know because nobody does.

Me just saying: what an ineffable surreal ending to a campaign for the kid. And non-start to another. How singularly unusual the times.

Still me, noting sadly, Georgia was honestly further from winning the SEC championship in the 2019 season, getting blown out in the aforementioned game and barely edged in the 2018 SECCG by Bama.

Furthermore, two programs are clearly ahead of Georgia in the league for the first time in a while, with what Bama and LSU have both recently done. We haven’t done crap big national picture since Fromm’s freshman year, and he leaves with classmate Swift, a legit member of the RBU Club, of Super Backs that includes: Herschel, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Todd Gurley, Garrison Hearst, Rodney Hampton, Tim Worley, Knowshon Moreno, Lars Tate, Musa Smith and our first Heisman, Frank Sinkwich. (Charley Trippi was usually a QB, by the way).

Patriot Isaiah Wynn had been the first Georgia offensive lineman to go as high as he did, in the first round with teammate Sony Michel, in 15 full years at UGA. Chubb was top of the second that year, similar to Swift this draft. Where the Dawgs saw two tackles go in the first of the same draft. The 2020 NFL draft was impressive as swan song of the golden Sam Pittman era, of the so-called Great Wall of Georgia, another biggie starter also getting picked high enough to prove his coached-up value and a fourth starter up front returned to the hills of Tennessee. Pittman back at Arkansas, this time head hog.

But look at how the two schools atop our league lately outperformed UGA in terms of fully-finished talent taken into the NFL. Across the Deep South, LSU/Bama had total talent overturns too, putting hitherto unfathomable records of players in the first round, and the first two days of the draft, which encompasses rounds one-three. As Georgia had a solid seven lads drafted overall, including the NFL’s Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the 7th round. Tae got paid.

Fromm was exported to the coldest of benches at Buffalo.

{Han Vance, back of nonfiction novel Golden State Misadventures}

Were there to be a season, Florida has a real shot to unseat the defense-first Dawgs in the SEC East, with UF coming off back-to-back Top 10 finishes and New Year’s 6 bowl wins. Simply put for Pollyanna rubes who like to personalize possible picks – there is really nothing to pick currently – the Gators have many less questions than Georgia this snapshot and more proven established parts, although they couldn’t really run the ball last season, which will doom you in the SEC if it doesn’t improve.

Last year our Cocktail Party rivals had, likewise, lost 4-of-5 off their o-line, and for that reason I knew Georgia would be able to hold them off in the East. We had a maturity edge in the trenches and would keep their score so low. The division also features an upstart Tennessee who hasn’t proven themselves on the football field, therefore way less of a threat. Georgia has the better overall program than either now. Obviously, we’ve won the East three straight tries.

But with a new offensive line and line coach, with an unproven running game when it’s been your staple for the whole short era; the primary returnee has yet to break a long run or reach 100 yards in a game, the general consensus valuation of any true RB success. And a new quarterback who chucked 11 picks last season at Wake, in a new offensive system for all the guys to have to learn…someday, new quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, play caller. All new.

So much change and there being no practices ongoing. The teams with the most returning established, in terms of both system and proven talent, have a more distinct advantage than ever in the long history of the sport. You are less likely to forget something you know how to do, than to be able to learn something new in a short period of time, with limited practice and do it well. While that factor doesn’t bode well for Georgia offensively, at all, the defense will handily be the top in the division, dare I say the SEC, dare the nation. Expect more of those low-scoring games, realistically.

…I’d love to be at a low-scoring college football game right now, another Georgia win. Wouldn’t you. Hearing they may play the games with no live spectators, which at this point, I’ll take it. That sounds good right now, when considering the very real alternative of: NO COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Stay safe and as always…


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