What a start to new year

mlough@macon.comJanuary 12, 2012 

So we’re less than two weeks into 2012, and it has not been boring.

This is looking like the Year for Upgrading Prescriptions. Speaking of which, we’ll get into National Signing Day another time.

Georgia got things off to a lumpy start, a sourpuss start, with a stumble against Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.

It ended up a blooming mess.

Just when Mark Richt got some folks off his back, the Richt who got people on his back returned.

Yes, the decision in overtime to go for the field goal so quickly with an iffy place-kicker was brutal, absolutely brutal. That will be a head-shaker until Georgia does something to stop that head-shaking.

The Atlanta Falcons gave us plenty to talk about, and grumble about, with a wretched 24-2 loss to the New York Giants.

Two points. Wow. That’s certainly a conversation starter. You take a 2-0 lead, and that’s about it.

As bad as that news was for Atlanta fans, many of whom are pulling hamstrings while jumping ship, it was followed by some good news. Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder are gone.

Nobody I can think of has seen Mularkey and Richt at a stadium at the same time.

And man, the color scheme at the Georgia Dome isn’t the only thing the Falcons have in common with their brethren in Athens.

Mularkey will take the second-most predictable offense in the state with him to Jacksonville, and here’s hoping head coach Mike Smith disallows some pages in the new playbook to be repeated. Atlanta hit a ceiling with this offensive plan.

This move allows Tony Gonzalez to put off retiring, because I’m pretty sure he was done if Atlanta stuck with the status quo.

He still may, but there’s more to think about, including how that game against the Giants can’t be his final game.

VanGorder is the Liz Taylor of coaching. He changes gigs like she changed husbands. His latest fascinating move comes after tying his at-one-job longevity record: four years.

And this is his ninth different employer.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family at this point in my career, both professionally and personally, to become the defensive coordinator at Auburn,” VanGorder said, apparently with a straight face, a straighter face than anybody who read/heard that.

Of course, when VanGorder started his half-month stint at South Carolina (which we’re not counting in that job list), he said, “I’m a college guy. I’ve declared. I’m committed. ... I’ll enjoy all the things about college football that I always have, and I won’t look back at the NFL.”

VanGorder lasted 17 official days with the Gamecocks.

In unrelated news, Waffle House officials denied rumors of a name change in the Atlanta and Auburn areas.

On Monday night, we had the BCS championship game between Alabama and the team formerly known as really good LSU.

The New Orleans Saints are on the road this week, so Superdome workers can take their time cleaning up the Lake Pontchartrain-size egg left on the turf by the Tigers.

I picked LSU by about a touchdown, thought both teams would open it up in the second half, and we’d have a wild game.

Instead, quarterback George Jefferson was, oops, Jordan Jefferson was as effective as, well, let’s just stick with “oops.”

And Jarrett Lee was the most sought-after postgame interview subject who hadn’t played a meaningful snap in more than two months in history. And Jarrett, you’re right.

The good news was that the game was followed up by a meeting Tuesday in New Orleans to discuss changes to the FBS postseason system.

“They have a lot of cans to kick down the road,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. “This will not play well on Twitter.”

Start putting Twitter into the conversation, and we’re in trouble.

Some of us have favored the plus-one -- semifinals on Dec. 27 of 28, final a week later, no games this blasted late -- for a while. SEC boss Mike Slive and ACC honcho John Swofford pushed it back in 2008 and got stuffed like, well, Jordan Jefferson.

A day after the BCS game, the pleasant and agreeable folks at the GHSA shocked us by splitting up the Class A playoffs after a group formed to look at seceding.

The GHSA being open-minded and listening? Goodness.

Oh my goodness, we’re in for one rollicking year.

Contact Michael A. Lough at 744-4626 or mlough@macon.com

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