Losing to Clemson... in May

ATHENS – Clemson had a good week – a very good week – and Georgia had a bad one.

If this were late August Georgia would have a problem, and probably a loss on its hands.

You see Georgia had three things go the wrong way this week. Josh Harvey-Clemons, in what has become a predictable summer actively in Athens, managed to get himself suspended for the first game of the season – against Clemson.

Then Buford linebacker Korie Rogers picked the Tigers in a surprise over Georgia and a few other schools. Rogers was allegedly a Bulldog lean… so much so that he tipped over and picked Clemson.

Then the Tigers got a commitment from former Georgia commit Demarre Kitt, who picked the Tigers over Ohio State. That Kitt has committed the second time to someone other than Georgia is not surprising.

But it was rather noticeable for the third time in a week that Clemson benefitted from something that was negative for Georgia. Everyone knows that recruiting is a zero-sum game (+1 for the winner; -1 for the loser = zero-sum game), so this does happen at times, but it was amazing what fortune Clemson had this week at the expense of the Bulldogs.

What I'm trying to say is that if you took the off-the-field events of this week and played them out as if they were a football game Clemson would have won – going away – something like 28-10.

But everyone not on a message board ledge, and there a few of us still remaining, knows its silly to take what happens now and use it as some sort of barometer of what the outcome of the first game will be. Let me point out that just because its silly doesn't mean we don't do that, and haven't become very good at doing so over time.

Having looked at the calendar I notice it's May. You don't win football games in May with off the field commitments, but you can lose them if your players are in violation of team rules. For the most part you just try to get through May without anything dumb happening.

Minus one for the Bulldogs on that front.

Clemson's great week in recruiting, and it should be noted that the Tigers have doubled their commitment list in the last ten days, has nothing to do with the two teams that will fight it out on August 31st. After all those rosters are all but set, and the most important commitments on the field that decided between Clemson and Georgia that night will have Silver Britches on – hello Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

The team that plays better that night will win – not the team that had the better week in late May. The other thing both Clemson and Georgia fan bases should more than realize this time of year is how drastically things can change in recruiting between the heat of spring and summer and the cold reality of Signing Day in February.

May's joyful gains can be painful and magnified January losses.

I notice where Derrick Henry is playing for Alabama now, and how Ryan Carter and Wayne Gallman are playing for the Tigers, but that Robert Nkemdiche is not.

Funny the way recruiting works.

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