It feels a little odd to have practice to attend on a Saturday, but I suppose I had to get used to weekend work again eventually. Before we get to the links, I had a few odds and ends to share, too...
-- Georgia hits the practice field in shells today -- well, Mark Richt expects shells, but reserved the right to put on full pads -- in the team's final preparation for Monday's first contact drills and two-a-days.
NCAA rules limit teams to three session of two-a-days with at least one day of single practices between each. Georgia knocks out all three this week -- Monday, Wednesday and Friday -- and it's a schedule Richt is in favor of.
"I like it the way it is," Richt said. "I like how we're able to install the way we do. We used to install six practices in a three-day period, and really not have much meeting time in between. It was really almost nuts. Now you can meet, walk through what you're going to do in the afternoon, do it, then meet again and watch what happened, then still have time the next morning to install a second thing."
-- I posted last night -- and it certainly has gained traction in a lot of other places, too -- about the SEC's new rule banning video. A few of you have asked what you can do to help -- and I definitely appreciate your commitment to maintaining the type of news coverage you have come to expect. Honestly, I'm not sure what can be done, and as Senator Blutarsky points out, it all seems somewhat inevitable. But if you do want to voice your opinion, contact information for SEC officials can be found HERE.
-- Richt was kind enough to spend about five minutes with the media earlier this week talking about the changes in store for the Butts-Mehre facility. Contruction is already under way, with one of Georgia's practice fields closed down completely (a thorn in the side of Blair Walsh and the other specialists) and dry wall blocking off a portion of the weight room. Construction is expected to continue through next fall, but the longterm benefits will be huge. While the locker room is staying the same, the weight room will be dramatically bigger (about one-and-a-half times the size it is now) and the players' lounge will grow to about four times the size it is currently. The coaches will all be getting new offices, with each increasing in size by about 50 percent -- and a number of smaller touches will be added to benefit the support staff around the building as well. The team meeting rooms will be much bigger, too -- including two 70-seat meeting rooms for offense and defense -- and all new meeting rooms for each position group.
-- Georgia doesn't practice on Sundays and, given our current economic climate, I need to try to cut back on hours a bit, so as a word of warning to all of you who need a football fix tomorrow, there's a good chance posting will be minimal. That will probably continue throughout the preseason. Sorry.
OK, now a few links...
-- I have a story in today's Telegraph looking at the healthy competition driving the practices for Georgia's tailbacks this fall.
-- Our Auburn beat writer, Andy Bitter, has put together an opponent preview this fall similar to what I did for Georgia after the spring, wrapping up some essentials and talking to a beat writer from each team. (Kudos to Andy for tracking down Furman, Ball State and Louisiana Tech beat writers!) Anyway, his post previewing Georgia is now up on his War Eagle blog, and you may recognize the guy he interviewed.
-- ESPN's Chris Low has the updating recruiting rankings by school, and Georgia occupies the No. 3 spot. That might be more encouraging if it weren't for the team at No. 1.
-- The Red & Black has a synopsis of yesterdays' practice, including some positive reviews of Drew Butler.
-- Aaron Murray sounds pretty confident in this interview with the AJC.
-- T Kyle King has some thoughts on the USA Today's preseason top 25.
-- And Dawg Stephen checks in with his own top 10. He better hope no one finds out he's the one who doesn't have Florida No. 1.
-- Knowshon Moreno finally has a done deal with the Broncos and arrives at camp.
-- Just in case you skipped the Max Jean-Gilles interview I linked to yesterday, I figured I'd point out that Max-Jean has his own blog going now, too.
-- Some Diamond Dogs are looking good in the Cape Cod league.
-- The thing about spite is, if you want to spite someone, it has to actually hurt them. Banning NCAA championship events from the state of Delaware is sort of like banning Keanu Reeves from winning the Oscar for Best Actor. Also, it reminds me of a great Seinfeld exchange:
Manager: "What seems to be the problem?"
Jerry: "Well, I want to return this jacket and she asked me why and I said for spite and now she won't take it back."
Manager: "That's true. You can't return an item based purely on spite."
Jerry: "So fine then... I don't want it, and then that's why I'm returning it."
Manager: "Well... you already said spite."
-- Seth MacFarlane says he doesn't expect "Family Guy" to do more than another couple of seasons. I'll agree that it's best to avoid what has happened to "The Simpsons" -- a show which had seven or eight GREAT years but hasn't been really funny since 1998 -- but let's face it, Family Guy has never been too concerned with having a plot that makes sense or jokes that required context.
-- If you don't have DirecTV, you'll be waiting another full year before you can see new episodes of "Friday Night Lights."
-- This dampens my excitement for the show's eventual return: Tyra won't be back at all in Season 4.
-- And finally, I'll leave you with this post from Rex Robinson. With all the money and coverage and fervor that surrounds college football, it's easy to forget that the players on the field are real 19-, 20-, and 21-year-old kids, and they usually have moms and dads in the stands who live and die with every play. Rex does a good job of reminding us.