Han Vance in ATL

Dawgs Season

Han Vance on Georgia football: Hit Athens, Ga., yesterday for a look see at the old town. Couple beers outside street patio in Normaltown, digging that Prince Avenue vibe again, first neighborhood I lived in in Athens. Then the three of us sat in my friend’s yard down on the other side of the river in the Chicopee-Dudley neighborhood and listened to opening day Atlanta Braves baseball on the radio, sharing a sliced red apple and some BBQ chips. Few Coors Light.

Still feels to me like there will be an American college football season of some iteration. My guess is it could look similar to Major League Baseball, where the teams travel to away games and host games, but stadiums are empty. I could also see stadiums with masks enforced; many of us have seen the popular Ga Tech photo of a Spanish Flu era Jackets game on the flats where the crowd was all “masked up” and in what looked-to-be full attendance. Or there could be games with some folks there, but a small spatially-distanced spread of individuals or groups of groups. This would unduly favor the rich and connected and therefore really stink, for the real fans missing who wouldn’t be in the stands.

Georgia has lost all of one game at Sanford Stadium in the last three regular seasons (going 11-1 in each), with limited postseason success. I see the home field advantage practically nullified under above uncertainties, it could be quiet across the bridge from the Tate Student Center. Imagine that hallowed drained creek bed there without barks.

Shall there be a season is literally a question in the minds of many, at this stage of a global pandemic and health crisis with so much cancelled, so much postponed. The national and local economies seeming a house of cards, surely lots of uncertainty. My hometown of Atlanta (proper), host of the economically-huge SEC championship games and still slated to be the site of the Georgia opener currently, already lost an NCAA Final Four (est. $400 million economic impact) and could lose an estimated $100 million more if the annual (three this year) Kickoff Games involving Southern schools aren’t played.

Southern culture is so deeply enmeshed in college football in the Deep South, that we won’t know how to act if we don’t get it. We demand football is another way of saying it. Heck, in the Deep South, basketball school is an insult. This is football country!

In the Power 5 conferences world, the Pac-12 and Big 10 declared they would be conference only, and I saw leanings toward doing the same in the language of the ACC and Big 12 conferences. But, the current favored model of league brass has become the plus-one, where each team plays a slate of conference games, then gets one out-of-conference game. Then there’d be a playoff, hopefully an (permanently?) expanded one which includes each Power 5 conference champion at a bare minimum. C’mon!

So for UGA, the UVA (U. of Va.) game in ATL would be off and no cupcakes – which’d be refreshing to not have to sit through – but we’d still get to beat Georgia Tech for the Peach Cup. There could be more conference games to infill gaps in the schedule, or not. The schedule could be just 8-10 games, quite feasibly. That’s probably the easiest solution, and tick-tock the season is about to be starting, folks.

Nothing has been announced. Nothing has been decided, is what I believe. A real question exists about how late the NCAA is in making any definite move, and at least some time that could have been constructively spent planning for an nearly-immediate future was clearly wasted by the notoriously unlimber org. Can the NCAA preserve the season?

The unique singular round of the College Football Playoff (#CFP), instead of a legit multi-round playoffs and how long it took just to get that in the ancient US sport, shows the slow-moving at best to behind-the-times at probably, of the NCAA in their governing of college football. Irony, NCAA men’s basketball has the best and most exciting crowning system in all of major sports, professional or college.

Ah, college football. Last season seems so long ago…

Our fate as fans is in the hands of a few old men, really, who run this high dollar show. It could be – the precious college football season – postponed until spring. If they do that and it really is played I’d be okay with it, because a spring of football short hot summer then fall of football sounds amazing to me. Sure, I want fall ball. At this stage, I’m not actually envisioning myself even tailgating so much as just at least being able to watch at home on TV.

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