Joined The Augusta Chronicle as a sports columnist in February 2001. Previously covered a myriad of sports including golf, NFL, NHL and college basketball in five years for the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. Served as a sports designer and editor at the Winston-Salem Journal, Newport News Daily Press and Charlottesville Daily Progress. Started professional career as a small college and minor-league baseball writer for the News & Daily Advance in Lynchburg, Va., in 1989.
Posted August 29, 2006 07:54 pm - Updated September 4, 2006 08:43 pm

Everybody goes 8-4

Let's begin with the facts from 2005. I thought Georgia would lose to Boise State, go 8-3 and head to the Outback Bowl. I didn't think Steve Spurrier could turn the Gamecocks into chicken salad immediately and would need a year of seasoning to reach a bowl game. I believed Clemson and Georgia Tech would win games you didn't think they would and lose games they shouldn't have to reach their standard regular season marks of eight and seven wins respectively. Hey, nailed those last two. Predicting how collegiate teenagers and 20-somethings will fare on a football field is true folly, but it's part of the charm every fall. So is getting unreasonably mad at someone who doesn't think your favorite team will do as well as you think (or hope) they will. So I expect Bulldogs and Tigers in particular will bristle at the suggestion that their teams will finish the regular season with the exact same 8-4 records as their hated rivals -the Yellow Jackets and Gamecocks. But I think Georgia will take a few lumps in the SEC without the same caliber of quarterback they've enjoyed the last five seasons under coach Mark Richt. You can't win 10 games every year. Just look at the media guide. And I think Clemson has so much talent that it will renew the cries for Tommy Bowden to get out of town when it comes up short of heightened expectations. On a positive note, I think that Richt could take the 2006 Tigers to a national title in the 25th anniversary season of their last one. I just don't think Bowden can. GT and SC both have too many opponents of high caliber to expect anything more than eight wins out of them. But it sure would be fun if they did better and challenged the status quo in their conferences. If these opinions infuriate you, let me remind you how much you paid to read them. And remember what I said about Boise State.