Kipp Branch

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By: Kipp Branch news services

After a couple of weeks into the 2023 season. There are signs that the SEC may be down in football in 2023. There will be plenty of time to reverse that perception, but as of today here are my SEC Tier rankings so far for 2023.


1 – Georgia: Georgia is the gold standard in the SEC currently. Two cupcakes disposed of so far with SEC opener this week against South Carolina. If UGA drops a couple of games will the SEC even be represented in the College Football Playoff this season?

2 – LSU: The loss to FSU was awful, but who else goes into this spot right now? LSU is talented and should regroup in time for the Alabama game to be for the SEC West title.

Can Brian Kelly get it done in Baton Rouge? LSU’s history says yes, but Brian Kelly’s history says no. We’ll see soon.

3 – Alabama: Physically whipped on the fronts by Texas who may end up being great, but warning signs are there if you are an Alabama fan.

Don’t close the door on Nick Saban. This is still a very talented and proud football program which makes them dangerous for the rest of this season.


4 — Texas A&M: The loss to Miami puts Jimbo on the hot seat. No reason this talented roster should stink the way they do.

A&M has a $77 million dollar quandary on their hands. If Jimbo is fired, they must pay that huge buy-out. Alabama comes to College Station this fall.

5 – Tennessee: Is Joe Milton really that guy? A struggle with Austin Peay raised questions about the Vols as they head to Gainesville, which has been a house of horrors for Tennessee for a long time. Vols have lost 9 straight there and have not won there since 2003.

6- Ole Miss: Big Road win at Tulane, and Alabama coming up soon will tell us all we need to know about Ole Miss.

Ole Miss has an experienced OL and a solid run game with Lane calling the plays. Division play is ending after 2023 in the SEC. Ole Miss has never represented the West in Atlanta for the SEC title game. Now or never Rebs.


7 – Missouri: I like this defense. A team you don’t want to sleep on.

8 – Arkansas: Are you buying the Razorback hype? I’m not this team is about to get exposed in SEC play.

9 – Auburn: This is the lowest you’ll see this team in the power rankings right now. Moving forward Hugh Freeze will have Auburn in the elite status in 2024 and beyond.

10 – Kentucky:  N.C. State transfer Devin Leary is all the hype at quarterback. They are effective at what they do, which is to bore the hell out of you.


11 – South Carolina: Expectations exceed talent and depth. 9 sacks surrendered against UNC is a huge warning sign going into SEC play.

12 – Mississippi State: This team has a lot of unknowns, which is why they land here in their traditional spot in rankings like these. Historic bottom feeder.

13 – Florida: Gators have a schedule that can get a coach fired. Florida has fired a lot of coaches lately.

Billy Napier can recruit Florida out of this, but he needs time.

Statement game against Tennessee this weekend. The Utah game was bad. This team looks talented on defense.

14 – Vanderbilt: Vandy’s destiny is here. It is their birthright. Hopefully one day they can climb out of here.

Bobo Not A Clown

By: Kipp Branch news services

Listed below is the best definition I could find of what a fair-weather fan is.

Fair Weather Fan: A fan of a sports team who only shows support when the team is doing well. Right now, the University of Georgia football program has more than its share of those who qualify for that title.

If you read anything UGA related on social media during the UGA/UT Martin game last weekend you would have thought UGA was getting blown out.

The main target was UGA offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. Apparently, the unemployed offensive coordinators on Facebook took out their frustrations on Bobo when UGA got off to a slow start last Saturday.

Once UGA picked up the offensive pace with 559 yards of total offense for the day, which included 400 yards through the air that did not seem to slow down the social media experts.

It didn’t matter that the UGA offense put up 41 points with Carson Beck starting his first game at QB or the fact that UGA’s top two running backs Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton were limited due to injury.

Milton had limited carries and Edwards did not play. UT Martin stacked the box to take away the run, which resulted in UGA throwing the ball more.

Despite UT Martin loading up to stop the run UGA still managed 159 rushing yards. The UGA offense ended the day with 9 chunk plays with over 20 yards. By the way experts that is a fantastic stat.

Mike Bobo at UGA:

2001–2006: Georgia (QB)

2007–2014: Georgia (OC/QB)

2022:  Georgia Analyst Offense

2023: Georgia OC

Bobo developed successful quarterbacks like Matthew Stafford, DJ Shockley, Aaron Murray, and David Greene at UGA.

Aaron Murray still holds SEC passing records in for career yards and TD’s. In 2012, Bobo was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top college football assistant coach.

Misconception #1: Mike Bobo was fired as offensive coordinator from the University of Georgia. That is a false statement. Mike Bobo was hired as Head Football coach for Colorado State University after the 2014 football season.

Mark Richt was fired by UGA after the 2015 football season. During the 2015 football season Brian Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator for UGA. During Bobo’s last year as OC UGA averaged 41.3 points per game. During Schottenheimer’s only year as OC in 2015 UGA averaged 26.3 points per game.

Misconception #2: The notion that Mike Bobo’s offense caused UGA to lose games during the Richt years. Look at 2014 when UGA lost to a bad 7-5 Florida team in Jacksonville.

UGA gave up 418 yards rushing to Florida. UGA lost 38-35 to South Carolina in 2014 and did not turn the ball over a single time that day. Prior to Kirby arriving the defense let UGA down countless times in big games.

It all boils down to this the ‘fair weathered bunch’ associate Mike Bobo with the failure to consistently win big games during the Mark Richt era at UGA.

What they need to understand is that Kirby Smart is running things now and they need to trust in Kirby and realize that offense was never a problem during the Richt years with Mike Bobo as OC.

I leave you with this question: Could the social media Offensive Coordinators name 5 starters for the 2023 Georgia Bulldogs?

If things are rolling, you’ll see the fair weathered bunch in Jacksonville, Atlanta (SEC Championship), and college football playoff sites if UGA is winning big.

Let the Dawgs slip to 8-4 and you’ll only see the die-hard Dawg fans in Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville for a Bowl game with no luster.

All programs have a fair weathered wine and cheese variety of fans that roll with you when things are good.

However, there is plenty of room on the red and black train. Everyone is welcome with one disclaimer. Please know what the hell you are talking about when you critique a proven offensive coordinator that can sneeze out more football knowledge than you the fair-weather fan can fathom.

In Kirby We Trust!


By: Kipp Branch news services

How many Georgia fans remember the 1980 jokes?

Kirby Smart is entering his 8th season as the king of the bulldog nation. With an 81-15 overall record that includes 2-SEC Titles and 2- back-to-back National Titles.

Georgia currently is the premier football program in the country and the consensus preseason number one team in the country.

Years of consistent top 3 recruiting classes are paying off now for the program as UGA has become a major pipeline for the NFL.

Carson Beck has won the starting QB job and looks to have a breakout season. Beck has patiently waited his turn in the transfer portal era, and it should pay off for him.

The offensive line is the best in the country. The WR room is the best the program has ever seen, and then you have TE Brock Bowers who just may be the best player in the country.

The RB room is banged up and must get healthy by the South Carolina game on 9/16.

On defense, two words Kirby Smart. As long as Kirby is running things in Athens then UGA will be elite on defense.

Let’s look at the schedule with my predictions:

Sat, Sep 2        vs UT Martin: UGA a lot and UT Martin a little. 1-0

Sat, Sep 9        vs Ball State: Thanks SEC for canceling the Oklahoma game and making UGA scramble for a replacement. UGA 49-10. 2-0

Sat, Sep 16      vs South Carolina: UGA is the last team to beat UGA in Athens back in 2019. The country will be hyping Carolina in this one, but UGA will look like a national champion contender in this contest and win 35-17 to go to 3-0.

Sat, Sep 23      vs UAB: UGA tunes up for Auburn 42-17 to go to 4-0 on the season.

Sat, Sep 30      @ Auburn: Auburn has rebuilt their roster in 2023 through the transfer portal. I have already seen the pundits attempting to call for an upset here. Hugh Freeze will be a problem for UGA while he is at Auburn. He is already turning Auburn around on the recruiting trail. UGA’s next trip to Auburn in 2025 will be a monster game, but Auburn is not there yet in 2023. UGA wins 31-17 to go to 5-0.

Sat, Oct 7        vs Kentucky: UK has won once in Athens in 45 years, and they play annually. Not happening. UGA 27-14 to go to 6-0.

Sat, Oct 14      @ Vanderbilt: Last two years combined score is UGA 117-0. 7-0 going into the bye week.

Sat, Oct 28*    @ Florida: Florida is another school that is in rebuild mode. Billy Napier has a top five recruiting class in the works for 2024. Florida will be a lot better on defense, but offensively the Gators aren’t there yet. UGA goes to 8-0 with a 35-21 win over Florida. I’ll be in Jacksonville for the festivities.

Sat, Nov 4       vs Missouri: I’m putting UGA on upset alert here. Mizzou is sandwiched in a tough back end of the schedule for UGA. I’m worried about this one as Missouri could be a top 3 team in the SEC East. UGA wis 24-20 to go to 9-0.

Sat, Nov 11     vs (22) Ole Miss: Lane coming to Athens will have Kirby’s full attention. UGA wins 42-24 to go to 10-0 on the season.

Sat, Nov 18     @ (12) Tennessee: Ok Tennessee you have been beating your gums all off season about this contest. Joe Milton is the most hyped QB in the country. Vol fans conveniently forget that Milton was the starter two years ago and lost his job to Hendon Hooker. I’m not buying the hype and Tennessee is not better than UGA on both lines of scrimmage. UT has been horrible in the secondary as well.  Statement game for UGA as they beat Tennessee 34-20 to go to 11-0.

Sat, Nov 25     @ Georgia Tech: UGA has not lost in Atlanta since 1999 and will not in 2023. UGA wins 45-24. 12-0.

Regular season 12-0 and favored to win SEC and National title for the 3rd consecutive year in the playoff era. Enjoy the mountain top UGA fans.

Trail Blazing

By: Kipp Branch news services

In 2022 the Valdosta State Blazers finished the football season with a 5-6 record.

It was their first losing season since 1999.

VSU played for the Division II National Title in 2021, losing to Ferris State.

Tremaine Jackson begins his second year at VSU and hopes to turn things around in 2023. VSU was picked 5th in the Gulf South Conference preseason poll.


2023 GSC Football Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Delta State – 61 pts (6)
2. West Florida – 56 pts (2)
3. West Georgia – 52 pts (1)
4. West Alabama – 44 pts
5. Valdosta State – 33 pts
6. Mississippi College – 32 pts
7. North Greenville – 24 pts
8. Shorter – 13 pts
9. Chowan – 10 pts
*First-place votes in parenthesis ( )


To turn things quickly VSU must improve on the defensive side of the ball. The Blazers gave up 37 points per game in 2022. The stat line must improve drastically if the Blazers want to return to the Division II playoffs.

The road schedule is tough with back-to-back trips to West Florida and West Alabama late in the season. Home schedule has Delta State coming to Bazemore-Hyder in early October.


2023 Schedule/My predictions:

Sat, Sep 2 vs Point University: The Blazers should take care of Point University in the season opener to go 1-0 on the season.

Sat, Sep 9 @ Albany State: If the Blazers struggle in Albany that that could be a sign of trouble ahead. VSU wins this in in a 28-7 type game to go to 2-0 on the season.

Sat, Sep 16 vs Keiser University: Keiser will have athletes, but make the trip to Bazemore-Hyder and come up short 35-24. VSU goes to 3-0 on the season.

Sat, Sep 23 vs North Greenville: The Blazers have had their way with North Greenville and should take this at home. VSU goes to 4-0 on the season with a 38-28 win. Gulf South Conference opener.

Sat, Sep 30 @ Chowan: Chowan is picked last in the preseason poll. Blazers go to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in the GSC.

Sat, Oct 7 vs Delta State: Things get a little tough on the back end of this schedule. VSU gave up 70 points in a 70-31 loss in 2022. DSU is the favorite to win the GSC and come to Valdosta and beat the Blazers 42-31. Blazers drop to 5-1 and 2-1.

Sat, Oct 14 @ Mississippi College: This will be a tough road game for the Blazers, but in the end, they figure out a way to win a close one 34-31. 6-1 and 3-1 on the season.

Sat, Oct 21 vs Shorter: The Gulf South Conference is a tough conference. Shorter will put up a tough fight and come up short 35-21. Blazers go to 7-1 and 4-1 in the GSC.

Sat, Oct 28 @ West Florida: The is a brutal stretch to end the regular season for VSU. Going to West Florida is never a picnic and it will not end well for the Blazers this time around. West Florida wins 38-31. VSU’s conference and playoff hopes get dashed in Pensacola. Blazers drop to 7-2 and 4-2.

Sat, Nov 4 @ West Alabama: Another tough road trip that won’t end well for VSU. Blazers fall to West Alabama 45-35 and drop to 7-3 and 4-3 in the Gulf South Conference.

Sat, Nov 11 vs West Georgia: The football portion of the Red Clay Rivalry has the Blazers hosting the Wolves on Senior Night. West Georgia won big in 2022 and in a hotly contested game West Georgia gets it done against VSU 35-27. Valdosta State finishes the 2023 season with a 7-4 record and 4-4 conference mark.

7-4 and 4-4 just won’t cut it at Valdosta State University. I hope my predictions are way off base. The season rides on the outcomes against the West directional schools in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.



Kings Of The ACC?

By: Kipp Branch news services

2022 Record: 11-3 overall, 9-0 in ACC

Head Coach: Dabo Swinney, 16th year: 161-39

How far Clemson goes in 2023 will depend on the QB position.

Cade Klubnik is now the man. A former 5-star recruit is in the spotlight now. Klubnik does not have to be a superstar he just needs to be productive.

Let us be honest Clemson fans you have become spoiled with the QB position. Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence will not suit up for the Tigers ever again.

Klubnik cannot fold under the pressure of trying to live up to standards in the position that may never be met again at Clemson. He played well in the ACC Championship game last season with 280 yards passing and passed for over three hundred yards in an Orange Bowl loss to Tennessee but had some growing pains in that contest.

Can he lead Clemson back to the College Football playoffs? Clemson has missed the playoffs for the last two seasons. The expectations now at Clemson are playoffs of bust.

Will Shipley is a great all-purpose running back with 1,182 yards and 15 TDs in 2022. He also caught thirty-eight passes.

Clemson always has good WR talent and a solid physical offensive line. Swinney has recruited great over the years.

On defense the secondary must improve. What separates Clemson from the rest of the ACC is what they produce along the defensive line. The combination of Ruke Orhorhoro and Tyler Davis might be the best in the country at defensive tackle.

I am hearing a lot of talk about how FSU has surpassed Clemson in the ACC. Well talent-wise that is not the case. Clemson has talent all over this roster and are the kings of the ACC until someone knocks them off the mountain top.

Schedule and my predictions:

9-4 * at Duke: Conference game opener for the Tigers on the road at Duke. Not important because Clemson will handle Duke 38-13 to go 1-0 on the season.

9-9 Charleston Southern: Home opener and CSU will be nothing more than a sacrificial lamb here. Clemson 49-7. 2-0

9-16 Florida Atlantic: Another beatdown at home for the Tigers. 55-10 and 3-0 on the season.

9-23 * Florida State: Ok FSU here is your chance to be the new kings of the ACC. There will be mega hype surrounding this one.

FSU will claim that they are a 1990’s version of the Seminoles, but at the end of the day you will be standing there watching Clemson touch that rock and run down that hill and the realization will set in that you are not there yet. Clemson wins 24-17. 4-0 on the season. Memorial Stadium will be rocking.

9-30 * at Syracuse: Upset alert for the Tigers. Be careful here. Clemson 24-21. 5-0.

10-7 * Wake Forest: Wake should be a bowl team but that will not matter. Clemson 34-20. 6-0.

10-21 * at Miami (Fla.): Tigers enter the teeth of their schedule. Could they fall here?

The pundits will try to create a narrative by predicting it, but it will not happen. 27-17. 7-0.

10-28 * at NC State: This one has me worried if I am a Clemson fan. 17-14 win. 8-0.

11-4 Notre Dame: After what happened last year in South Bend this one is circled on the Clemson schedule. Clemson wins big 34-17. 9-0

11-11 * Georgia Tech: Jackets are still rebuilding. Clemson 35-13. 10-0.

11-18 * North Carolina: Carolina is horrible on defense. Clemson wins 48-35. 11-0.

11-25 at South Carolina: The Gamecocks now have confidence in this series. I am calling for the upset. South Carolina wins 21-17. Clemson finishes the regular season at 11-1. The loss will not affect Clemson’s playoff chances, as the Tigers win another ACC title the following week.


* – ACC regular-season game.


A 12-1 Clemson gets in the College Football Playoff as the ACC champion along with Georgia, Michigan, and Texas or USC.


By: Kipp Branch news services

Coach Bradley Warren has done a fantastic job at McIntosh County Academy.

He begins his fifth season with the Buccaneers this fall. MCA finished 10-2 last fall winning the region championship.

Coach Warren said this about his football team: “We currently have 50-55 players on the roster. I feel like we have a solid core of young men to work with. They work hard and respond well to what we ask them to do. I have a great staff that devotes time to these young men and these kids respond to that. We have six starters returning on defense and four starters on offense coming back this fall. When you look at our region Jenkins County and ECI will be very good. We travel to both this fall. Portal is improving every year and Montgomery County was a playoff team last fall. I feel good about our football team and overall program. We have good younger talent coming through our program as well. Also, we have a great support system at MCA. Our fans are great, and we get great community support for all aspects of our football program.”

2023 Schedule/My Predictions:

8/18    At Johnson, Savannah: MCA opens the season in Savannah against Johnson. This game should not be much of a problem. Look for MCA to start the season 1-0.

8/25    Glynn Academy: The Terrors travel up Highway 17 to Darien to play MCA. 1A MCA always gives 6A Glynn Academy fits. Could the Bucs pull the huge upset? It is possible but not likely. MCA drops a close one to GA to go 1-1 on the season.

9/09    At West Nassau Florida (Brunswick, GA -Glynn County Stadium): MCA drilled West Nassau 42-8 in 2022 and will do the same in 2023. 2-1.

9/15    At Lanier County: Lanier County made the playoffs in 2022 and the bus must travel to Lakeland for this one. MCA finds a way to win. 3-1.

9/22    At Bradwell Institute: Another big jump in classification as MCA travels to Hinesville to play the Tigers. Bradwell is an enigma to me. Hinesville has historically been a tough place to play at. Bradwell has been down for years, but they have athletes. Based on how both programs have trended lately give me MCA in his contest. MCA beat Bradwell 40-13 at home in 2022. MCA goes to 4-1 on the season.

9/29    Atkinson County: ATCO will get drilled in Darien. MCA goes to 5-1 on the season and gets ready for the region schedule.

10/06  At Jenkins County: Coach Warren tells me that Jenkins County returns their entire offense from a 7-4 playoff team in 2022. A region opener on the road against a team that will contend for a region championship will be tough. Last season was a classic 4-OT thriller that MCA won 27-21 in Darien. MCA finds a way to win these types of games under Coach Warren. Give me MCA in another war. MCA is 6-1 on the season.

10/13  Montgomery County: The Bucs shut out the Eagles last season in Mt. Vernon and will win this one to go 7-1.

10/20  At Emanuel County Institute: ECI has been a good football program for a long time. Coach Warren corrected me when I said they were down in 2022. I glanced at their 2022 schedule, and they played Metter, Swainsboro, Lincoln County, Dublin, and Johnson County in non-region games. That is a brutal non-region schedule in single A football. This one will be tough for MCA. Going to be hard to beat both Jenkins and ECI on the road so I think ECI pulls this one out. The Bucs fall to 7-2 on the season.

10/27  Portal: MCA is not losing to Portal at home on Senior Night in Darien. MCA finishes the season at 8-2.

I have MCA, ECI, and Jenkins County all beating each other to finish 3-1 in the region standings. Region tie breaker scenarios will determine the playoff seeds 1-3 with Montgomery County being the four seed.


X Marks The Spot

By: Kipp Branch news services

Garrett Grady begins year two as the captain of the Brunswick High Pirate football program. Year one was a solid success with a 10-1 record with a heartbreaking 29-28 loss to Houston County in the playoffs.

I sat down with Coach Grady to discuss this upcoming season. “I am excited for this fall. I like the fight in this football team. We have some talented players returning on both sides of the ball. I thought we had a great spring practice, and we have picked up on that this summer. We had a tough contact camp with Thomas County Central, Ware County, and Cedartown recently and our kids competed hard. The programs we competed against are elite and we found out plenty about our guys. We know they want to compete, and the effort was outstanding. Effort is something we can control. If we bring max effort, then we can overcome some inexperience we have in a couple of position groups.”

“Our program had a tragedy this summer where we lost a super young man and great human being MyKal Ellis. We are going to dedicate our 2023 season to the memory of this young man. He was such a pleasure to coach and be around. This adversity has brought our kids and all the Pirate nation closer together.”

Let us look at the position groups:

RB: Jamarious Towns and William Heck return for their junior seasons. They combined for right at 1,300 yards rushing and 11 TD’s last fall.

Grady added “We have two solid running backs in those two, and we expect and demand great things from them. The remarkable thing about them is they come to work daily and want to be great.”

QB: Jarrod Elkins returns for his senior season after passing for 1,500 yards and 19 TDs in 2022.

“JR has a cannon for an arm, and he can make any kind of throw we need him to make. He is more experienced this fall, and we feel he can get us where we need to go as a football team.”

WR: TJ Mitchell known in the Golden Isles as “Touchdown Terry” is a game changer.

“There is nothing he cannot do with the football in his hands” added his head coach.

“He can make people miss him in a phone booth. We have some talent in this group.”

OL: Jack Hunt will lead a talented but young inexperienced group. “We must grow up fast this fall in the OL.”

DL: “Donyea Broughton and River Creel have played a lot of football for us over the past three years, and they will lead solid group I feel very good about.”

LB: Devin Smith, the returning region defensive player of the year will anchor a solid Pirate defense.

Grady says “If you produced an all-time Brunswick High football team, he would be on it. He is our team leader on defense and in the locker room. He is a dude and QB’s do not pat the ball when he is coming off the edge.”

J’shawn Towns led the Pirates in tackles with 88 last fall, returns for his junior season.

“He is a thumper. When he hits folks, they go down in a hurry” added Grady.

DB: “Tavion Gadson and Tyler Sams give us a solid core in the secondary.”

Special Teams: “Nobody works harder at their craft than Mcclain Fineran and he has developed into a solid kicker for us.”

Grady added that “Our schedule is tough. We open at Camden and that will tell us all we need to know about our football team right out of the gate. We travel to Effingham to close the regular season and the last two years that game has been for the region championship. These seniors have a chance to go out as 4-time region champions. We shared the title when they were ninth graders and have won it outright the past two seasons. There is a lot to play for. And of course, nobody around here is happy with our playoff results lately. That has really eaten at us this offseason.”

It’s The Whole Team

By: Kipp Branch news services

MLB named starters for the All-Star Game yesterday based on the results of fan voting. The National League starters are:

Position Name Team
Catcher Sean Murphy Atlanta Braves
First base Freddie Freeman Los Angeles Dodgers
Second base Luis Arraez Miami Marlins
Third base Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals
Shortstop Orlando Arcia Atlanta Braves
Outfield Ronald Acuña Jr. Atlanta Braves
Outfield Corbin Carroll Arizona Diamondbacks
Outfield Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers
Designated hitter J.D. Martinez Los Angeles Dodgers


Let us look at the Atlanta Braves in the starting line-up.

Ronald Acuna Jr.: Acuna is having a monster year. An MVP type season. He is hitting .331 BA, 19 HR, 51 RBI, and 36 stolen bases as of this article.

Acuna is on pace for a 40/60 home run, stolen base season. That has never been done in baseball history.

Acuna is the best player in the game currently. The Braves will have to break the bank and restructure his current contract soon and make him the highest paid player in the game.

Sean Murphy: Another impressive signing by the Braves for 2023.

Murphy is hot currently hitting .375 over the past week. He has 13 homers and is batting .289 for the season currently. Murphy has earned the start in the mid-season classic.

Orlando Arcia: Dansby who? Arcia is batting .303 currently with 6 HR’s. Many thought Arcia would be an offensive liability for the Braves in 2023, but how wrong were we?

Arcia missed games with an injured wrist. How smart was Braves management in signing Arcia to a contract extension before the season began?

Potential Braves All-Stars: (NL Reserves will be named on July 2nd)

Ozzie Albies: Certainly, Albies will be named to the team. 18 HR’s makes him one of the best power hitting second basemen in MLB. He is charismatic and loved by the fans.

Albies should be an absolute selection. Ozzie has played eighty games so far this season and has remained healthy.

Matt Olson: Olson has 26 HR and 62 RBI’s. That ranks him 2nd and 3rd in the National League in those categories.

Yes, he has struck out 102 times so far this season, but he is a very productive hitter. Olson will be named an All-Star.

Austin Riley: Austin is a marquee player but could be on the outside looking in this year. He has a .265 batting average and only 14 home runs so far in 2023.

I look for him to get hot down the stretch, but name recognition alone should get him selected.

Bryce Elder: 6-1 with 2.44 ERA should get Elder selected.

Elder was not being counted on to contribute to the rotation going into 2023, but with injuries to Max Fried and Kyle Wright he had to step into the rotation and should be rewarded with an All-Star selection because he has earned it.

Spencer Strider: 9-2 with a 3.73 ERA with 162 strikeouts after the halfway point. Those are All-Star caliber numbers. Strider will be on the National League squad.

At 53-27 currently, the Braves have the second-best record in baseball and have the best record in the National League.

I do not know if the Braves will have eight players named to the NL All-Star roster, but they absolutely deserve it.

No Longer Pretending

By: Kipp Branch news services

The Jacksonville Jaguars in a relatively short period of time have become an AFC Title contender.

In 2022 the Jags won a playoff game over the Chargers and lost a close divisional playoff to Kansas City on the road. KC went on to win the Super Bowl. The Jaguars won the AFC South in 2022.

Looking ahead to the upcoming 2023 season outside of Jacksonville it looks like a total rebuild for the AFC South.

Tennessee looks to be at a crossroads with age creeping in on a roster that folded down the stretch in 2022. QB is an issue for the Titans so they went out and drafted Will Levis from Kentucky. Well, Levis is no Trevor Lawrence and all Jaguar fans saw the struggle in Lawrence’s rookie season.

Houston has hired a new head coach and drafted C.J. Stroud at QB from Ohio State with the second overall pick.

They addressed the pass rush in trading back up into the top five and taking Will Anderson from Alabama.

This roster still needs a lot of work. Houston is still a couple of years away from competing for an AFC South Championship.

Indianapolis drafted the athletic ability of Anthony Richardson out of Florida as their future QB with the fourth overall selection in the first round.

Can Richardson’s gifted skill set be more effective in the NFL? He could wow you with great plays at Florida but that did not translate into winning big games or games in general.

With all three teams in your division drafting quarterbacks for the future then Jacksonville should be a heavy favorite in the AFC South, correct?

In the April draft Jacksonville was very active in the draft in trading down for additional picks. Most NFL draft experts graded Jacksonville in the B range overall, so the roster has improved. Look at the first four picks Jacksonville made all at position of need on their roster:


Round 1, Pick 27 (From BUF)

Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma: The Jaguars went into protect the franchise mode and drafted Harrison. Offensive line is a position of need for the team, and it got addressed in the first round.


Round 2, Pick 61 (From CHI via SF via CAR)

Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State: TE is also a position of need for the team that got addressed in the early rounds.


Round 3, Pick 88

Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn: I think Bigsby is one of the steals of this draft. Tank played on some bad Auburn teams in his three years on The Plains but was the SEC Freshman of the year in 2020. Now paired with Travis Etienne in the Jaguars backfield gives the offense another weapon.


Round 4, Pick 121 (From TB)

Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida: Miller was a bright spot on a bad defense at UF. This kid is productive and fills a need at the position.


If you look at the Jaguars offense you see:

QB: Trevor Lawrence: Lawrence is a top ten QB in the NFL and will continue to rise in those rankings.

WR: Calvin Ridley joins a dynamic group of WR’s.

RB: Etienne and Bigsby. This will be a dynamic pair of backs.

OL: Addressed in 2023 draft.

On defense the team has built this unit through the draft, and it can be a championship caliber unit.

Doug Pederson is an elite head coach roaming the sidelines in Jacksonville. He has this team in position to compete for a championship.

The schedule is tough. Two back-to-back games in London with the Falcons and Bills.

The home schedule is the best in years with Kansas City, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Baltimore all coming to the River City.

I see this team winning 12-13 games in 2023. Get your season tickets Jaguar fans this will be a fun season. The Jacksonville Jaguars are AFC title contenders in 2023.

Put it On The Calendar

By: Kipp Branch news services

One of the most anticipated days in recent memory in SEC football history happened this month with the 2024 SEC football schedule release.

Oklahoma and Texas officially join the SEC on July 1, 2024. Now we know who everyone will play in the 2024 campaign. The 8-game conference slate has some great matchups for 2024. Let us look at the UGA 2024 football schedule:

Non-Conference Matchups:

Clemson: Georgia will open the 2024 season with Clemson in Atlanta for a neutral site game. These two schools are about ninety miles apart and Clemson recruits the state of Georgia hard. This will be a great contest with two elite programs meeting in Atlanta. It is quite possible that UGA will come into this contest with a new QB making his first collegiate start.

Georgia Tech: Clean Old-Fashioned Hate. I do not need to say anything else about this rivalry.

2- Cupcakes whose names are not important. They will receive their check and move on.


SEC Road Games:

Texas: Welcome to the SEC Texas. You get rewarded by playing the Georgia Bulldogs.

This will be a highly anticipated match-up. We do not know where this one will fall on the schedule, but I think it will be an early season game in mid-September.

Arch Manning, who chose Texas over UGA in the recruiting process could be the starter for Texas in 2024.

For UGA fans, a road trip to Austin, Texas is a bucket list trip. This writer really wants to make that road trip.

The 2024 UGA team could be rolling into Austin with a new QB and 3-4 new OL making a road start at DKR. Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. I am looking forward to this contest.

Alabama: The Dawgs travel to Tuscaloosa for a national spotlight game. A regular season contest of the elite programs in the conference currently and a contest that has been the National title game twice in the past five years. Must watch TV.

Kentucky: Kentucky has not beaten UGA since 2009. Winning in Lexington has never been an issue for the Georgia Bulldogs. I will give Kentucky this, they play a physical brand of football. This could end up being a 23-14 type of game.

Ole Miss: Georgia’s last trip to Oxford was in 2016 where they were hammered by the Rebels 45-14. UGA and Ole Miss were annual opponents until SEC changed its scheduling model back after the 2002 season.

From 1966 through 2002 UGA and Ole Miss played every season. UGA leads the series 32-12-1. A trip to The Grove is a must in the SEC. Good to see Ole Miss back on the schedule.


Neutral Site:

Florida in Jacksonville: Under contract in Jacksonville through 2025 this is Georgia’s biggest SEC rival. I would pull for Iran over Florida in a sporting event.

SEC Home Games:

Auburn: I thought this rivalry would be a casualty of the 8-game SEC slate. Thank you, SEC, for keeping the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry intact.

Tennessee: Thank you SEC for keeping the Vols on the schedule. This has become a nasty rivalry since 1992 when the SEC was split into divisions.

Mississippi State: UGA drilled State in Starkville last fall and will drill State in Athens in 2024. Some things never change in the SEC.



This is one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2024. I do not like losing the South Carolina game. Georgia is Carolina’s biggest SEC rival. I guess with expansion you knew some of these types of games were in jeopardy.

Georgia picks up Alabama, Ole Miss, and Texas and loses South Carolina, Missouri, and Vanderbilt in 2024. Seems about right does it not UGA fans?


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