Sad that UGA’s Gurley got 4 games? Don’t be

Todd Gurley will miss Kentucky, which won’t be offended. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

Todd Gurley will miss Kentucky, which won't be offended. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

Todd Gurley will miss Kentucky, which won’t be offended. (Jason Getz/AJC photo)

I know Georgia fans are upset that Todd Gurley won’t be allowed back until the Auburn game on Nov. 15, but let’s be realistic: Until Wednesday, there was no guarantee he’d be back at all. Owing to the level of the impermissible benefits ($3,000, or three times the $1,000 A.J. Green got for his Independence Bowl jersey) and the number of times Gurley took money for signing (apparently many, meaning this couldn’t be written off as a single lapse in judgment), he’s actually a lucky ‘Dog, as it were.

At least now Georgia knows when Gurley can play again, which will be nice after 20 days of uncertainty, and that he’ll be able to partake of the biggest remaining game of the regular season. (Imagine if the NCAA, which thought hard about toughening the four-game suspension, had bumped it to five. Whoa, Nellie.) Provided the Bulldogs can negotiate the next two weeks — Florida in Jacksonville, Kentucky in Lexington — they’ll be in Position A to win a lot more than the SEC East.

The first College Football Playoff rankings, unveiled Tuesday, showed Georgia at No. 11. I know many of you Bulldog backers feel that’s too low, but here’s a word of advice: Keep calm and let the season run. Georgia has fewer chances to lose over the next month than does any team in the SEC West. If it can make it to the Georgia Dome on Dec. 6 without another loss and win there, it will be in the four-team playoff. You can take that to Gurley’s bank.

On Oct. 9, the day of Gurley’s suspension, many among you wondered if the Bulldogs could still finish above .500. There’s a real chance they could enter 2015 at 12-1. They’ve spent the past few weeks proving themselves as a team, and they’ve somehow looked more impressive without Gurley than with him. (Maybe Missouri and Arkansas weren’t very good, but neither, as it happens, were South Carolina and Tennessee, and Georgia came close to losing both games.)

In sum, the UGA glass is way more than half-full. Gurley will return. The team has grown up in his absence. The schedule is most enticing. This still could work out quite nicely.

Reader Comments 0

180 comments
ElemennoP
ElemennoP

And this, my good friends, is what happens when you entrust your fortunes to a "game manager".


Long Memories
Long Memories

Florida put in their best quarterback. Georgia refuses to put theirs in.

Red-Dog
Red-Dog

What I'm ashamed about is all of the UGA situation  apologist blathering on & on.... Gurley created this problem himself by making poor choices.

The NCAA is just enforcing the rules on the books.

End of story.

FLGators
FLGators

What none of the AJC writers are covering is the fact that even if Georgia wins out and wins the SEC championship, they still may not make the playoff, in fact they most likely will not. This is not meant as trolling, I do not think it would be right and I expect Ga to win today but if either Alabama or Mississippi finish 11-1 but do not make the SEC title game, they will get selected above Ga even if Ga is the SEC champs. It ain't right at all, but the NCAA is corrupted beyond belief.

NDTaylor77
NDTaylor77

Two teams from the SEC may go, but if UGA wins out and wins the SEC, they will definitely be in the playoff.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@NDTaylor77

Correct--and if UGA wins the rest of its games this season, the Dawgs will be national champs. Same applies to several teams. That's called control of your own destiny--and everybody wants it.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FLGators

I don't see 11-1 Bama or Ole Miss teams finishing ahead of a 12-1 SEC champ. 

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

All the Girly players of the future should be playing for teams like the Chattanooga Choo Choos or the Macon Rough-riders, the minor league affiliates of the Tennessee Titans and the Atlanta Falcons.  There will cease to be taxi or practice squads.  If the Falcons lose a lineman, then they call up or purchase the contract of a player they pay in the minor leagues.  They could trade minor leaguers for some other teams minor leaguers who have less chance of moving up.  People like Girly can make a whole $3,000 - $6,000 a year playing minor league football, just like minor league baseball players get.  He can sign all the posters, jerseys and posters he wants, for whatever people will pay.  AND he won't have to open more than one book to study - a playbook.  Universities like UGA and GATech can go back to recruiting students in the 120-165 lb range and if they want to suit them up for sports games, then it would probably be best they put on belts with flags.  They can go back to having a Thanksgiving Day game with Baby Jackets and Bull pups.  They can even lower tuition so a degree does not mean poverty until the loan is paid ... if you actually go to school for a future job that is more than a dream of "playing pro ball."

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

Old Poster DAWG48 just had a 2nd daughter. He doesn't post much now but he, his wife & new daughter are doing well. God Bless Dawg48 your wife and your new baby girl. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@22Shamburger

Doesn't happen often, but it's always nice to see posters take a momentary break from blog BS to send best wishes to friends.

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

Just to make one thing perfectly clear: Girly did not make a mistake. Adding 1 + 1 and getting 3, that's a mistake. Girly knowingly broke the rules and didn't care if he let his team down. The guy is juat a coddled jerk who should have been sent home long ago.

MrNemo
MrNemo

My apologies if this has already been hit upon on here.  Let me start by saying I am NOT a conspiracy nut. I  believe a terrorist organization called AL-QUAIDA was responsible for 9/11. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald was a sociopath enraged that others didn't recognize his brilliance and took a once in a lifetime opportunity to become the epicenter of the political and revolutionary world. I believe there are international bankers with a lot of power, but I tend to not believe there is a global conspiracy to enslave all mankind intentionally for purposes of whatever you choose to insert here.


This thing with Gurley was contrived ya'll. We are in a new day in college football. The money that is offered in the NFL for that kind of talent is the kind of money that can end generational poverty if you're wise with it. Not just Todd, but his children and his children's children and their children. A NC or a HT or being one of the greatest DAWGS ever just can't compete with that kind of money. Not to mention a 4 year university degree isn't the automatic ticket to the upper middle class that it use to be.  Right around the corner players of this caliber will start doing what was bantered about last year with Clowney. They'll play 2 years at most and take that third year removed from high school off and go to some kind of NFL prep thing down in FL or wherever. 


Why haven't more people realized this yet? Am I just a paranoid? Maybe so, but I'll believe he plays for the Dawgs again when I see it. Don't be surprised if you see another story pop up in the next couple weeks: "NCAA says Gurley has been consulting with and agent, he's disqualified". "NCAA says they found Gurley took even more money. More suspensions pending". "Richt says Gurley tweeked his ankle in practice"; Whatever. They may be able to convince him in some sort of a backroom deal where he only gets 5 or maybe 10 carries and is used as a decoy a lot. Some limited capacity use might happen.  


Lastly, my tirade is not against Gurley. I WOULD DO THE SAME D**N THING! It's just a lover of college football expressing a little frustration of changing times. Don't know if there is an answer other than starting to try and compete with the money the NFL is giving. Something that would have to pay the players on some par with the amount of money they and their sport were generating.  

Grant1296
Grant1296

@MrNemo  


He has an insurance policy paid for by UGA...If he wanted to quit he would. Gurly will play vs the barn...

MrNemo
MrNemo

@Grant1296 @MrNemo

I heard about the insurance policy and the figures I was told were something in the neighborhood of about a mil or so if he has a career ending injury and something like 75k/yr. That was here-say as well so I'm ignorant, but if the figures are in the neighborhood of what I was told then that doesn't compete with what he is risking by playing. We're talking about a job that pays about 2 or 3 mil/yr with a 5 or 10 mil signing bonus 

Grant1296
Grant1296

@MrNemo I get your point Nemo....I think if he wanted to quit, He'd just quit, and hire an agent...Not say he's gonna play, and then get suspended again on purpose...

MrNemo
MrNemo

@Grant1296 @MrNemo

I get your point as well and we are certainly talking about an issue that we can't gauge or evaluate with much firsthand knowledge, so there's plenty of room for err here. 


I think there are probably lawyers and other advisors of one kind or another who would not suggest that a player just up and say "I'm good now. Gone to the NFL. See ya later sucka's" to a university for PR purposes or various other reasons. There's probably some feeling of loyalty and appreciation to the coaches and UGA felt by Gurley as well. Again, just not enough to compete with that kind of money. 


Again, I'm not dogging Gurley. Don't know him so I wouldn't do that. If what I'm suggesting is the case I would do the same thing. 

BabsTolstoy
BabsTolstoy

That sounds really good men but you're leaving out Gurley's heartbreaking injury. Doesn't he have one of those every year and then bravely try to play though the pain only to come up just devastatingly short. Tisk. Tisk. Like you leg humpers under Richt, always the bridesmaid. Bradley makes a living blowing up your skirt and it works everytime. It's called job security.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

BabsTolStoy. Wish we could watch you try to tackle him you gutless wonder! Takes a real piece to post something like that. Next time you have a thought .....try russian roulette with a full chamber to alleviate it.

Buttsmehre
Buttsmehre

But I'm not just sad about Gurley, Mark. I'm sad that these rules apply only to Georgia. They changed a rule for Cam Newton ($180,000), and reinstated him within 24 hours- to play Georgia.  Manziel, Winston, and other current signers just got a free pass- let Georgia pay the bill for everybody. The system is broken- let's punish Georgia for cooperating and then talk about reform.

The message is clear: lie and you will be rewarded, cooperate and we will come down on you hard and fast.  That's the story you should be writing, but no one in the media seems to have the stones or the attention span.


Never, ever cooperate again, Georgia. Quit going up on that cross for everyone's sins. Lawyer up and lie like a snake.  You got that, kids?

CedricM
CedricM

johnny football got half a game for taking a lot more money and gurley gets 4 games?  todd need to sue the ncaa for big damages!

PigIron
PigIron

@WhereDaMoney

Really? How much money did Johnny Football get?

As I recall, the only evidence presented against JF was pictures of him signing autographs. He never denied signing autographs -- only being paid for signing.

AceDawg
AceDawg

This DOES feel like a possibly special UGA season, but the Dawgs have enough flaws that Gurley's return is paramount for purposes of RB depth, team attitude, and championship style unscripted greatness.  


I'm optimistic about tomorrow, but until at least Michel or Marshall (a confident Marshall) come back, I fear the UGA offense will find running Chubb into the ground a risky proposition. I think Chubb and Douglas can rise to the occasion against the Gators, but the offense needs a fresh pair of legs by the Kentucky game to ensure we don't hit a dangerous rut. 

Floppy
Floppy

UGA aint goin no further than SEC East champ at best and everybody reading this article knows it!



AceDawg
AceDawg

@Floppy , I don't think any team in the SEC West would look forward to UGA's pass rush, special teams (did I just type that?), or rushing attack. All three can be effective against everyone. Of course, any SEC West powerhouse could be effective passing against UGA and shutting down Mason as well...

HowlinDawg
HowlinDawg

Just win the rest of the games and the play-offs will be the reward! 


Kentucky and Auburn are real tests, but with the UGA D anything is possible. 


Just win, baby. Win!

CedricM
CedricM

@HowlinDawg kentucky?  not a test.  Ga will blow them out.  Auburn is the only game left to worry about.  The dogs blowout fla, uk and ga tech.  Upset auburn and miss state---into the final 4!!

dmill44444
dmill44444

 I'd go easy on overlooking that Kentucky game.  They had a chance to beat Mississippi State at home on Saturday and they are getting better every week.


They have maybe the best QB in the SEC and are as well-coached as any team in the SEC.  They have only lost one game at home and that was to the #1 team in the nation where they had a chance to win at the very end.  They are TOUGH to beat at home.  Stoops is one of the best defensive minds in the nation.


Everyone talking about "how easy the road is" for Georgia might be in for a little reality check soon.  The road is NEVER easy in the SEC (especially on the road--unless you're playing Vandy, which the last time I checked, Georgia isn't).

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

The defense won the Arkansas game? I was pretty happy we had all those points!

1234567891011
1234567891011

The bottom line: the reason UGA is playing better is because the defense has been far and away better.  Todd Gurley does not play defense, so the same team that we saw against Mizzou and Ark will be on the field Sat.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

And Arkansas and Mizzou don't hate uga like Florida. Nor did they have a desperate coach who's only chance to save his job may be to beat the Dawgs. This game will feel totally different from those as always.

Eric_C
Eric_C

And UGA doesnt hate Arkansas and Missouri like UF. Having said that, UF is tough on defense and should keep it close

MarktheShark
MarktheShark

It is always incredulous that a potential Heisman Trophy winner would sell some signed items to gain a pittance of money now INSTEAD of the multi-million payday that he will receive in the very near future - upon entering the NFL.  Why are so many such talented athletes so lacking in common sense? 

misterwax
misterwax

@MarktheShark  genetics, maybe....low cognitive skills combined with superior physical skills? hmmmm?

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

@MarktheShark Actually, that would be "incredible." And who said that Gurley won't receive a multi-million dollar payday? It's likely that he gained a pittance AND will get a large salary as a professional player. It's not as if the NFL won't have anything to do with him now.

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

@SkokieDog The HeISMAN will make him money for his entire life and long after his days of playing in the NFL are over.

CedricM
CedricM

@MarktheShark he will still get the millions in a few months from the nfl and will not have to play as many games---the pros will like that better

ThulsaDoom
ThulsaDoom

Georgia has the easiest route of anybody but its hard to imagine them running the table and winning out. If Georgia were to lose to AU, still get into the seccg, and pull an upset over the west champion its still hard to imagine a 2 loss team going to the final four playoff, especially given Georgia's horribly weak schedule. I could possibly see a west division team with 2 losses getting into the final 4 but I just can't see it with a 2 loss Georgia team. And it would be hard to imagine them beating 2 sec west foes in a row. 

SkokieDog
SkokieDog

@ThulsaDoom I agree that it's difficult for me to imagine U.Ga. running the table, but I'm guessing that you and I are in a distinct minority here.

Eric_C
Eric_C

What if UGA loses tomorrow, then runs table and wins SECCG? (Assumes Mizzou loses another SEC game)

DrPhill
DrPhill

Even when Gurley is in "shape" he is good for only three consecutive plays, but Chubb can carry 40 times a game. I'd go with Chubb and bring Gurley in as a backup. Gurley sold out the team and should be treated as such.

AceDawg
AceDawg

@DrPhill Agreed, but I think while other players are more confident now following playing in Gurley's absence, they will now be comfortable competing with Gurley rather than feeling like role players. Gurley is truly AWESOME as a runner, blocker, receiver, return man, and motivator. Regardless of his mistakes, he's going to be embraced by teammates and fans in the Auburn game with enormous arms and add an element that will remind you how Chubb may be excellent but Gurley is supreme. 

mdet
mdet

Last night was the 1st time I've seen Louisville play this season and Todd Grantham's defense looked just as crappy as it did w/UGA.