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Tuesday, May 27, 2014
3-point stance: UGA training program

By Ivan Maisel

1. Gentry Estes of Dawgs 24/7 explained the changes Georgia has made in its training program after five players went down with knee injuries last season, turning a top-10 team into an 8-5 team. What’s amazing is that coach Mark Richt continues to say, as he did throughout last season, that he believes the injuries had more to do with coincidence than anything else. Whatever -- the Bulldogs had to try something different.

2. I am annoyed that Brett McMurphy took the top 15 teams from the 2013 regular season and laid out how the new postseason would have made the matchups in the top six bowls -- annoyed because I didn’t think to do it first. I found it reassuring that there are still regional idiosyncrasies in the matchups. Depending on which bowls were in use as College Football Playoff semifinal games, one year Oklahoma would have been left out; another year, Clemson. Why is that reassuring? Conference affiliation with the bowls is a tie to tradition and a reminder that bowls remain, at some level, a reward.

3. The push for autonomy by the five power conferences is a concession to reality and long overdue. The schools didn’t form the political will to make it happen until faced with a rash of lawsuits and other governmental action to get student-athletes more benefits. Big picture, however, the autonomy is a concession to the fact that football, not basketball, makes the decisions. Football generates more money. And now that the rules governing Division I schools are so different, how big an impact will it have on other sports? It can’t be good for March Madness.