Kipp Branch

On The Clock

By: Kipp Branch news services

Everyone these days produces their own version of an NFL Mock draft.

You do not have to be correct because most of these so-called experts are not. It is something fun to project. Keep that in mind. Here is my 2023 mock draft for the top ten picks with trades factored in.

Carolina Panthers: With the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the Panthers select Bryce Young QB from Alabama.

I do not care how tall he is or what he weighs. The guy checks every box as a QB. He is accurate with a strong arm. He is mobile and played at a high level in the NFL equivalent of AAA Baseball the Southeastern Conference. Young steps in and has Carolina in contention in the weak NFC South.

Houston Texans: C. J. Stroud QB/Ohio State: Stroud showed me something in the Peach Bowl. Great pocket presence and show us some wheels when the pocket broke down.

Houston has twelve picks in this draft and can get respectable quickly in the weak AFC South.

Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson DE/Alabama: Anderson fills a need for Arizona.

Alabama has two of the top three picks in my mock draft and they did not make the college football playoffs in 2022. Head scratcher.

Baltimore Ravens: Anthony Richardson QB/Florida: The Ravens trade Lamar Jackson to the Colts and get Richardson who wowed at the combine and who is bigger, stronger, and faster than Jackson.

Seattle Seahawks: Jalen Carter DL/Georgia: Carter is the best prospect in this draft who Seattle loves.

I do not believe the smokescreen of Carter falling out of the top ten. This kid is too good to drop that far. Yes, he needs to make better decisions.

Pete Carroll will develop Carter into the best DL in the league before his rookie contract expires.

Tennessee: Will Levis QB/Kentucky: With Carter gone off the board the Lions trade out this spot with Tennessee and the Titans draft Levis.

Levis has the potential to end up being the best QB in the draft in 4-5 years. Tennessee is in desperate need of a QB.

Los Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez CB/Oregon: Las Vegas needs help in the secondary.

Gonzalez is the highest rated corner on my board. In a division with great QB’s the Raiders must improve on the backend of their defense.

Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson Edge/Texas Tech: With the QB’s gone the Falcons address a huge need, which is pass rush. Wilson can get to the QB. The Falcons need a lot of help on defense.

Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski OT/Northwestern: The Bears after trading the number one pick to Carolina get must needed help along the line of scrimmage.

Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith Edge/Georgia: The Eagles take Smith here to bring heat off the edge.

Philly is already strong on defense, so the rich get richer by taking Smith who stole the show at the NFL Combine by running a 4.38 forty. Insane speed off the edge.

Local Picks in the NFL Draft:

Round 4 Pick 125: The Los Angeles Chargers select Warren McClendon OL/Georgia: The former BHS Pirate McClendon is selected by the Chargers who need help protecting Justin Herbert in LA. McClendon will be versatile in the NFL and will be able to play both the guard and tackle positions.

Round 6 Pick 180: The Arizona Cardinals select Stetson Bennett QB/Georgia: This could be the perfect opportunity for Stet to come in and compete right away for a back-up job.

Kyler Murray is rehabbing a knee injury. Colt McCoy is an aging 36-year-old career back-up.

Bennett has all the intangibles you want in a QB. The biggest one is that he is a winner and has the physical tools to go with it now with his showings at the combine and Georgia’s pro day.

Arizona is a spot where Bennett could eventually be an NFL starter. The jury is still out on Kyler Murray in Arizona.



By: Kipp Branch news services

Spring is in the air as the best in the world head to the Augusta National Golf Club for the 87th playing of the Masters Tournament.

Blooming dogwoods, azaleas, and the beautiful golf sanctuary of Augusta National tell you that Spring has officially arrived on the calendar.

Patrons will choose between two Masters favorites on the low priced food menu, the Pimento Cheese or Egg Salad Sandwich. No cell phones are allowed, limited commercials if you happen to watch on TV, and finally my favorite, tradition, the rough is referred to as the “second cut.”

Up until 1983 players had to use local caddies provided by Augusta National. Players are allowed to use their own caddies now, but they have to wear the Augusta uniform, which is a green hat and white jumpsuit.

The Masters has always been the crown jewel of Georgia based sporting events, and in 2023 the event will be completed on Easter Sunday.

2023 Masters odds:

Jon Rahm 15-2: Rahm is the betting favorite coming into the 2023. Rahm has never won the Masters but always seems to be near the top of leaderboards during the big events.

This guy is mentally tough and has every shot in his arsenal to win multiple Masters over his career.

He is the 21 US Open winner, and has top 5 finishes in the other 3 majors.

Scottie Scheffler 8-1: The defending champion is the best player in the world currently.

Scheffler is coming off a win at the Players Championship, and he has won a lot of golf tournaments (6) since the start of 2022. A win in 2023 puts him in the club of repeat winners that includes Nicklaus, Woods, and Faldo.

Rory McIlroy 17-2: Rory shot a final round 64 in 2022 to finish second three shots behind Scheffler.

He is only 32 years old so there is still plenty of time. He has six top-10 finishes to his name at The Masters and has only missed the cut twice. From 2014 to 2020 he finished outside the top-10 only once. Rory plays well at Augusta. The career Grand Slam is in his sights.

Cameron Smith 12-1: Smith can putt. He is the current holder of the Open Championship. He currently plays on the LIV Golf League. With all the drama going on between LIV and the PGA tour will this be a distraction for Smith?

Jordan Spieth 15-1: Can Spieth get back to the status of a few years ago? I think he is close to another breakthrough win.

Justin Thomas 16-1: Thomas has that ‘it’ factor now. Multiple major winner that can compete at every major moving forward.

Xander Schauffele 18-1: Talent is there. Zander just needs a break to go his way at Augusta.

Tony Finau 20-1: Tony has it all. Some tag him as the best player to never win a major. I dislike that tag. Finau’s time will come.

Will Zalatoris 20-1: Will has been very close at majors. Lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas at Southern Hills for the 2022 PGA Championship. Another player who seems to play his best in the majors.

Collin Morikawa 22-1: Two time major winner has the game to win at Augusta. Can win on any type of golf course. Solid all around player.

Will Tiger be in the field? If he is then I will watch every shot from Thursday to Sunday and make the wife upset.

Hopefully she understands by now that if Tiger is on the tube then count Kipp Branch out of everything. Tiger brings massive TV ratings.

Winner Prediction: Rory gets it done and completes the career grand slam and cements his place as one of the all-time greats.

Winner Score: 276 (-12)



You’re Fired

By: Kipp Branch news services

The Florida Gators football team began their second spring practice under head coach Billy Napier last week.

With new players and coaching staff, there are many storylines and position battles to watch this spring.

The Gators have big questions in a lot of position groups entering spring practice. Who will replace Anthony Richardson at QB is a huge question mark.

Florida lost all three starters from 2022 at linebacker, who steps up there? Questions abound across the board with this program.

Here is the main question in my mind and it is one that Florida does not have a great track record in regards to. Will Florida be patient and allow Billy Napier to build this program the right way?

Florida was one of the founding members of the SEC in 1933. It took Florida 58 years for them to win their first SEC Football Championship in 1991. Florida has won 8 SEC Football Championships overall and none since 2008.

It has been 15 years since Florida has won anything of significance in football. In the same time frame Florida has had 5 head football coaches. Doing the math Florida hires and fires head football coaches every three years.

Florida is never going to be successful again until they give a coach a chance to build a program.

Napier went 40-12 at Louisiana in four years prior to taking the Florida job, which included a 7-7 season in year one.

Florida is a huge step up from the Sun Belt Conference, and in many ways Florida was in much worse shape than Louisiana was when Napier took over.

Napier had to improve his overall talent at UL which he did, but that isn’t the case at Florida.

Florida always has elite talent in football. Did you watch Anthony Richardson at the NFL Combine put up the best performance for a QB ever?

Talent is not and never has been an issue at The University of Florida. Vince Dooley used to say that Florida was the most talented team in the SEC annually when he coached at UGA from 1964-1988. Dooley’s teams went 17-7-1 against more talented UF football teams during his tenure.

Steve Spurrier was hired in 1990 and he came in with his innovative offensive mind and made Florida the best football program in the SEC while going 122-27-1 in a 12-year run that is the best in school history.

During that window Florida won 6 SEC Championships and a national title in 1996.

Urban Meyer came in and recruited Tim Tebow and won national titles in 2006 and 2008.

My point is that Florida’s entire football history is compressed into a 19-year window from 1990-2008. Other than that Florida football has been nothing special.

Billy Napier inherited a culture problem at UF that he has been working to improve since he walked on campus.

SEC coaches privately tell reporters that Florida has consistently been one of the most undisciplined teams in the conference over the past 5 seasons.

I believe Napier is the right man for the job in Gainesville. He just had a top 15 recruiting class and hit the transfer portal hard to address position groups like LB and QB.

Florida just opened an $85 million dollar football facility last summer that is state of the art.

The money, talent, and facilities are in place for Billy Napier to get UF back among the elite programs in the country.

Napier needs time to fix the culture and build the type of program that all associated with the University of Florida will be proud of. Billy Napier is the right man for the job at UF.

Will Florida give him the time needed to accomplish? Back-to-back 6-7 seasons while UGA is winning back-to-back National Championships makes the Gator nation impatient.

They must realize that it took Kirby 6 years to build Georgia into that status. Florida will not be elite anytime soon unless they stop firing head football coaches every 3 years.

Feather Change

By: Kipp Branch news services

In professional sports, a salary cap is an agreement or rule that places a limit on the amount of money that a team can spend on players’ salaries. It exists as a per-player limit or a total limit for the team’s roster, or both.

Several sports leagues have implemented salary caps, using them to keep overall costs down, and to maintain a competitive balance by restricting richer clubs from entrenching dominance by signing many more top players than their rivals.

That could also explain why the Dallas Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Bill Clinton was President.

The NFL has set its salary cap for the upcoming season. Teams are expected to have $224.8 million in cap space, which puts the Falcons’ 2023 cap space at more than $56 million.

So, in other words the Falcons have money to spend in Free Agency. Gone are the big cap hits for Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and a couple of others.

NFL teams have until 4PM on March 15th to get under the Cap. The NFL Free Agency period begins on the same date.

The Falcons could free up additional cap space by restructuring some current contracts and after the release of Marcus Mariota that could put the Falcons near the $70M mark in cap space. Only Chicago has more cap room than Atlanta.

By releasing Marcus Mariota, the Atlanta Falcons have freed up an additional $12 million, giving them the second-most available cap space to pursue someone like Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens.

The NFL is a QB driven league and the Falcons have not been very good at the position for a couple of seasons now since the departure of Ryan.

Lamar Jackson wants a deal like what Deshaun Watson got in Cleveland. Rumors out of Baltimore suggest the Ravens do not want to fully guarantee a long term deal with Jackson.

The Ravens could place the franchise tag on Jackson and force him to play at a designated salary, but that hurts the possibly of Jackson agreeing to a long term deal in Baltimore moving forward.

If Jackson is franchised and eventually leaves when he is an unrestricted free agent, then the Ravens are left with nothing.

For 2023, the Ravens can place the exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, worth $45 million, which is essentially a one-year deal.

Jackson can either accept it or stage a holdout to force a trade or extension. Baltimore can also use the non-exclusive franchise tag, worth $32.4 million, which allows Jackson to hit the market but gives the Ravens the right of first refusal.

If another team offers and Jackson signs the contract offer, Baltimore gets to match that deal or let Jackson go.

In return for Jackson’s hypothetical departure, the Ravens would receive two first-round draft choices. The Ravens must apply that tag to Jackson by March 7th. Expect them to do so to buy time to work out a long-term extension or a trade before the NFL draft or possibly sooner.

Atlanta has long been rumored to be a landing sport for Jackson in a potential trade.

The offensive scheme in Atlanta is a great fit for Lamar. The city would be energized with Jackson leading the Falcons. The Falcons have the cap space to sign Jackson to a long term deal, and with the releasing of Mariota it appears the Falcons are in the market for a QB.

If the Falcons can’t pull off the blockbuster deal for Jackson then they must address the position in the April draft.

Will Levis from Kentucky could be a target. The Falcons have needs at OL, WR, and CB that could also be addressed during free agency and the draft.

Lamar Jackson in Atlanta would be Christmas come early for Falcons fans. The last time Atlanta had an MVP QB they were in the Super Bowl and he is only 26 years old.






The Dirty Dozen

By: Kipp Branch news services

In 2024 College football expands to a 12-team playoff. Here are my top 12 teams going into the Spring practice for 2023.

Georgia: Back to national champions, and 29-1 in last 30 games. Where else do you expect the champs to be ranked?

No matter who wins the starting quarterback job Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff or Gunner Stockton, the Bulldogs will be strong on offense and have TE Brock Bowers. Defense will be nasty as always under Kirby.

Michigan: Yes, they have folded like a cheap tent in the last two college football playoffs, but this team is the established king of the Big 10, and owns Ohio State currently. The Wolverines land here.

Ohio State: Ryan Day is 45-6 but it feels like this team does not live up to its potential.

Michigan has the upper hand over Ohio State currently. Marvin Harrison Jr. is back, and he is the best WR in college football.

Alabama: Alabama is still Alabama. People need to remember this fact. Nick Saban must be stewing inside about how 2022 played out. Who will be the QB? Once that is settled then look out for this team.

LSU: The Tigers land here. Brian Kelly is an elite coach, and this team has elite talent. Alabama vs. LSU will be for the SEC West Championship.

Penn State: Drew Allar is the QB now. Nick and Kaytron Allen return at RB. Is this team ready to compete with Michigan and Ohio State for the Big 10 Championship?

Florida State: Jordan Travis is back with weapons all around him to use. Mike Norvell seems to have turned the corner in Tallahassee.

Can FSU handle the mantle of being the favorite in the ACC? We shall see.

USC: The Trojans were one win away from the CFP in 2022.

Can USC win a Pac-12 title in 2023 with Washington and Utah breathing down their necks? Team defense will provide that answer.

Washington: Michael Penix Jr. makes this team a contender and he will be a Heisman candidate.

The Pac-12 needs a team to make the CFP desperately. It has been a long drought.

Utah: The Utes are the two-time defending Pac-12 champions. This team does not get the respect it deserves. Great head coach and talented players define this program. The Utes play a physical brand of football.

Tennessee: Hendon Hooker is gone. Joe Milton is the man now in Knoxville.

Josh Heupel has done a fantastic job in a short period of time.

This time the Vols must improve on defense.

Road games at Alabama and Florida will be tough. They get UGA at home in November, which is good, but UGA has won their last three visits to Rocky Top.

Defense is going to be the key in 2023.

Oregon: Dan Lanning won ten games in year one.

Bo Nix is back.

The Pac-12 could be an extremely competitive conference this fall.

This is a dangerous football team. As with most teams out west can they play defense at a level that allows them to compete with the big boys from the SEC or Big 10?

Just on the outside looking in: Clemson, Notre Dame, TCU, Texas, Tulane, and Kansas State. Can you imagine these debates when the CFP expands to 12?


Conference Breakdown:
SEC: 4

Pac-12: 4

Big Ten: 3

ACC: 1

Spring football is just a couple of weeks away. Let the debates begin.

Checking All The Boxes

By: Kipp Branch news services

Kirby Smart, arguably, is the most popular man in the state of Georgia currently.

The Georgia Bulldogs just won the 2022 National Championship to back up the one they won in 2021.

In seven full seasons in Athens, Smart has led his Dawgs to an 81-15 overall record with two SEC titles to go along with the national titles.

Many UGA fans are saying the 2023 team could be better than the current National Champions. I’m thinking how do you get better than 15-0 and a 65-7 rout in the title game?

It is called recruiting. Kirby Smart and Nick Saban are the best recruiters in college football. Year after year of top three recruiting classes allows a program to stockpile talent.

To Smart’s credit he recruits athletes that respond to hard coaching. Players get coached up hard at UGA. The results are stockpiling also.

Fifteen players were drafted by the NFL in 2022, which included 5 first rounders on the defensive side of the ball. Early projections for 2023 predict that UGA could have as many as 10 players drafted.

If Jalen Carter is the first player selected by the Chicago Bears, then UGA could have players in back-to-back drafts selected as the number one overall pick. Travon Walker was first overall by Jacksonville in 2022.

Kirby Smart develops his football players and gets them ready for the next level or ready for life.

It starts with practice. Nobody works harder than the Georgia Bulldogs under Kirby Smart. His teams are prepared physically and mentally for any opponent they face. The foundation of that is demanding work.

When you have four- and five-star talent that is willing to work and be pushed constantly you see the results start mounting. Look at the practice leading up to the TCU game.

Gunner Stockton took off the non-contact jersey at QB and replicated Max Duggan for TCU and took live hits from the best defense in the country to get them ready for TCU.

Kirby said this about his QB room after the title game:

“We got one that took a black (non-contact) jersey off and took hits all week so he could be Max (Duggan). “Gunner Stockton said, ‘Coach, take my shirt off. I’ll take the hits.’ ”

That is called total 100% buy-in folks. The is what Kirby demands and his roster year in and year old responds to it.

Kirby is already creating a narrative for the 2023 season: “The disease that creeps into your program is called entitlement. I’ve seen it firsthand,” Smart said. “If you can stomp it out with leadership, then you can stay hungry. And we have a saying around our place: We eat off the floor. And if you’re willing to eat off the floor, you can be special.”

Talking about leading by example just 48 hours after returning from the west coast title Kirby and staff were dropping in via helicopter on high schools all over the state of Georgia, and then heading out all over the country recruiting national recruits.

Kirby has turned UGA into a national brand now, and UGA has become a pipeline to the NFL. These are glorious times UGA fans. Enjoy this run while it lasts.

UGA has 13-14 starters returning for the 2023 season with a recruiting class that was ranked #2 nationally coming in.

Georgia signed seven of the top 20 recruits in the state of Florida. Florida signed none.

Kirby Smart is checking all the boxes in Athens, Georgia.

SEC Stocks

Kipp Branch news services

The 2022 College Football season is in the books. Kirby Smart and UGA have won back-to-back National Titles. My annual SEC Football stock report is upon us again.

Stock Keys:




Georgia: The best college football stock on the planet. CEO Kirby Smart has developed a winning organizational culture.

401K plan is the best in the business, and the best employees are recruited year in and year out.

The executive management team is the best in the business and well compensated.

This organization is built for any market and will flourish even during down economic times. Blue blood stock that will make you tons of money. The long-term future of this stock is through the roof. Advice: Buy it all.

Alabama: Over a 10-year period this stock has been the most consistent producer of wealth.

CEO Nick Saban is still the king of CEO’s.

Maybe the stock dipped slightly in 2022, but the long-term future is bright.

Top rated employer with the most talented work force make this stock very attractive.

The CEO training program is the best I the country. The executive management team has become a little complacent over the past 12 months and that has been addressed by the CEO.

This stock will always make you a ton of money. Advice: Buy as much as you can.

Tennessee: This historically producing stock crashed over the past 15 years.

However, in 2022 this stock hit a 20-year high. CEO Josh Huepel has been a breath of fresh air after a string of poor CEO’s dating back to 2008.

If you held on to this stock during the bleak years, then you are a wise investor. This stock will continue to rise to get back to the glory years of the Clinton Presidency.

When the Big Orange stock is producing the SEC portfolio is second to none. Advice: Buy

LSU: After reaching an all-time high in 2019 this blue blood stock crashed over the past two years prompting the board of directors to hire a new CEO in Brian Kelly for 2022.

The early returns have been great. Stock has performed much better than expected.

Changes were made in the human resources department resulting in an influx of topflight employees for 2023 and beyond.

This corporation has invested properly for long-term growth once again. Advice: Buy

Mississippi State: This stock made a huge turnaround over the past 24 months. The tragic loss of beloved CEO Mike Leach has made things difficult over the past month.

Leach leaves behind a great foundation that is positioned for continued growth, and his legacy will live on. Rest easy Pirate. Advice: Buy

South Carolina: This stock made a remarkable turnaround late in calendar year 2022 and recovered from some tough early losses by performing well against superior brands Tennessee and Clemson.

Energetic CEO in Shane Beamer has the stockholders optimistic but not totally convinced to invest great sums of money.

This corporation has excited its stockholders before, and returns have not matched investment. Watch this stock closely in 2023. Advice: Hold for now.

Ole Miss: Aggressive CEO Kiffin takes too many chances and this has become a roller-coaster stock. Exciting to watch but for investors nerve-wracking. This is a high anxiety stock. Advice: Hold and never become emotionally invested in stock.

Florida: This stock should be a solid producer. New CEO Billy Napier inherited a horrible organizational culture.

Mass firings have taken place. Lazy employees have bailed for the transfer portal employment agency.

It will take some time to fix this mess. 401K plan is depleted and new hires are backing out causing this once proud organization to take massive public relations hits.

Advice: Sell it all until the board of directors allows CEO Napier to completely blow up this rotten culture.

Auburn, Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Vanderbilt: These poorly run or non-productive organizations are not worth the ink to write about.

Advice: Sell them off quickly. Watch Auburn and Texas A&M for future reinvestment.







Bowl Grades

By: Kipp Branch news services

This has been an interesting college football season to say the least in the SEC.

Below are my bowl grades for each team. Auburn, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt did not qualify for a bowl game in 2022. Auburn fired their head coach, and A&M is the biggest disappointment in college football currently.


Current Record: 6-5 (East: 2-4, West: 4-1)


Las Vegas Bowl: Florida got blown out by Oregon State 30-3. Florida holds the longest streak in college football of consecutive games of not being shut out that dates back to 1988.

When it mattered the most the Gators drove the field with little time remaining and kicked a 40+ yard field goal to keep that streak intact.

Florida was a pathetic team in 2022, finishing the season with a 6-7 record for the second consecutive year. Bowl Grade: F-

Gasparilla Bowl: Missouri went to Tampa and got beat 27-17 by Wake Forest. Did anyone watch? Not many did.

A bowl loss to the ACC gives the Tigers a low grade. Bowl Grade: D

Liberty Bowl: One of the most exciting games of the bowl season.

Arkansas with their horrendous defense, blew a huge second half lead against Kansas and then pulled it out 55-53 in triple OT.

This game film will not be shown at coaching clinics that focus on defense. Arkansas finishes 7-6 on the season. Exciting finish. Bowl Grade: B

Texas Bowl: Ole Miss lost to Texas Tech 42-25 in this contest.

Lane Kiffin and his ‘going for it on 4th down’ antics from anywhere on the field perhaps cost Ole Miss this football game.

The Rebels should have beaten Texas Tech but, instead, continued the late season nose dive for Ole Miss. Ole Miss sat at 7-1 on the season going into the Alabama game on November 12th. Ole Miss finished the season at 8-5. Bowl Grade: D

Gator Bowl: South Carolina lost to Notre Dame in an exciting game 45-38.

Both teams acted like they wanted to be there. Carolina finished at 8-5

Bowl Grade: B+.

Orange Bowl: Tennessee finished the season with 11 wins for the first time since 2001 by beating an overrated Clemson team 31-14.

Clemson, under Dabo Swinney, is starting the decline from elite status to coming back to the pack. Tennessee dominated the ACC champs. Bowl grade: B

Sugar Bowl: Alabama missed the college football playoffs, landed in New Orleans, and beat Kansas State 45-20.

Bryce Young did not win a Natty at Alabama is the huge story here. Bowl grade: C

Music City Bowl: Kentucky got shut out in Nashville 21-0 by Iowa and for their crappy showing the Wildcats receive an F as a Bowl grade.

Reliaquest Bowl: The Mississippi State Bulldogs, in memory of Mike Leach receive an A+ from this writer for beating Illinois 19-10. Rest easy Pirate.

Citrus Bowl: LSU curb stomped Purdue 63-7. For doing their job LSU receives an A for their bowl game grade. Florida, Ole Miss, and Missouri take notes on how to take care of business.

Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal):

Georgia took down Ohio State 42-41 in an instant classic.

Dawgs trailed 38-24 in the 4th quarter and Stetson Bennett led UGA on the largest comeback in CFP history.

OSU hooked a 50-yard game winner and 2023 rang in. 1000 yards of total offense. Jacked up crowd and the finish you want in a playoff game makes this one a classic.

Bowl grade: A+++

College Football Playoff Predictions

By: Kipp Branch news services

It is playoff time once again! The College Football Playoff begins on New Year’s Eve.

Here are my previews and predictions.

The first semifinal on New Year’s Eve has No. 2 Michigan facing off with No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Wolverines are making their second consecutive appearance after having an unbeaten regular season that included a 45-23 drubbing of rival Ohio State.

The Horned Frogs are making their first trip, despite losing to Kansas State in overtime of the Big 12 title game.

TCU is the only team in the history of the CFP to lose a game and not drop in the rankings.

Michigan will look to physically dominate the line of scrimmage, and TCU will try to throw the football led by Heisman runner-up Max Duggan to put up points.

Michigan will have the more talented roster. TCU comes into the contest more battle tested with a series of come from behind wins during the regular season.

Most of the experts believe that Michigan should beat TCU rather easily. Could Michigan be looking past TCU to a UGA or OSU rematch? Time will tell.

TCU must stop Donovan Edwards. Michigan’s sophomore running back had to step in due to the injured Blake Corum. He has totaled more than 400 yards rushing in the past two games, and he has become the Wolverines biggest offensive threat.

If the game is close, TCU could pull the upset. Illinois provided the blueprint that teams must follow to beat Michigan. Michigan struggled in the 19-17 win other them. Match the physicality and force FGs in the redzone.

Prediction: Michigan 28-17.

The second showdown has No. 1 Georgia facing No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. The defending champion Bulldogs will have the advantage of playing in the friendly confines of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

UGA is already 2-0 this season in the Benz with blowouts over Oregon and LSU in the SEC title game.

The UGA defense will have to contend with Buckeye’s quarterback C.J. Stroud and some talented wide receivers.

Ohio State was a dominant team all season and have been defined going into this playoff game by one bad second half of football against Michigan.

On the negative side for the Buckeyes, they are banged up. WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba will not play, and RB TreVeyon Henderson is having foot surgery and will miss the game. RB Miyan Williams has been banged up as well.

Offensively, C.J. Stroud should still be a threat against a Georgia defense that allowed more than 500 yards passing against LSU. That had to drive Kirby Smart insane.

OSU’s skill people are on par with the offensive skill players that Tennessee had in 2022.

Defensively, OSU got bullied against Michigan and if that repeats in the Peach Bowl then they will not win the contest.

On the Georgia side, the defense must put together a Tennessee like performance in this contest.

Jalen Carter will be the best player on the field for UGA, and he must wreak havoc on the OSU offensive line. Kelee Ringo must play well against Marvin Harrison Jr. Finally, the UGA defense must tackle well.

Offensively, UGA must be balanced and not be stubborn and just run the ball. Stetson Bennett should have a fantastic game.

The UGA OL is better than the OSU DL and that must play out in this contest. Brock Bowers is a match-up nightmare for Ohio State, and the WR group will be as healthy as they have been since the season opener.

This is the best semi-final match-up to date in the College Football Playoff. This should be a fantastic football game.

Prediction: UGA 38-35.

Coach Of The Year

By: Kipp Branch news services

Brunswick High Pirates Head Coach Garrett Grady was named Region 2-AAAAAA Coach of the Year.

Grady guided the Pirates to a 10-1 record in his first year as a head coach.

Since Grady was named the Head Coach back in February, he has had the Midas touch on everything concerning Brunswick High football.

Grady came to BHS in 2017 as part of Sean Pender’s staff, serving as Offensive Coordinator.

The Superintendent of the Glynn County School System Dr. Scott Spence had this to say about Coach Grady:

“It is rare for a large high school to hire a head coach that is already on staff. The hiring of Coach Grady at BHS was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made, and it seems to be turning out just fine. With Coach Grady it is more about developing the whole student athlete rather than just winning football games. Coach Grady cares about the ‘now’ with his kids and will most definitely be there for them in the future. On behalf of the entire school system, I congratulate Coach Grady on this well-deserved honor”

Garrett Grady graduated in 2006 from Pierce County High School in Blackshear, GA.

Once he graduated, he attended Valdosta State University, where he continued his football career.

At VSU he earned his Master’s in Public Administration and his Bachelor’s in Arts (History).

Grady began coaching in 2010 as a student assistant with Valdosta State’s Offensive Line and moved into the Offensive Line Graduate Assistant position the following year.

He was promoted to Running Back’s Coach in 2012 and successfully coached the group of running backs during Valdosta State’s 2012 National Championship season.

He spent three years on the VSU coaching staff before he returned to Pierce County High in 2013.

Grady spent four years at PCHS where he was the Running Backs Coach (2013, 2014) & Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach (2015, 2016).

Coach Grady is entering his 6th year at Brunswick High and his 1st year as the Head Football Coach. He has served as the Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach since 2017.

Grady commented on being named the Region COY:

“I am honored to be named Region 2-AAAAAA Coach of the Year. This is a great testament of what our program is all about-All About the Family. I would like to say thank you to the administration, coaching staff & coaches’ families, players, & community, because without each one of you our success is not possible. I would like to say a special Thank You to my wife, Erica Grady, for supporting me throughout my career and the sacrifices you make, I know it is not easy being a coach’s wife. I look forward to building upon our positive culture and family atmosphere here at Brunswick High School.”

The Pirate Ship is in good hands for the foreseeable future.