President Linda Martin opened the September 10, 2018 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club. She welcomed all attendees, especially the new members. She also complimented Craft Farms and the staff for their food and cooperation in staging our meetings.
Membership Chairman Andrew Hart announced that we now have 97 members, up from 72 just two weeks ago!! Great!! Guests were introduced as well as new members.
David Lee said the Office Football Pool has started off the way he planned, since, after two weeks of picking, he is on top. Yes, that’s very suspicious, but there are several shooting for first place, so hang on there, David! This year, the top three pickers at the end of the year will receive a payout with the top being named Prognosticator of the Year. Yours truly won the first year and Fearless Fred Dickinson currently holds the POTY Cup. 21 club members are competing this year. President Martin noted she had picked Kentucky to beat the Florida Gators, which they did!
Coach Owen Corcoran from Gulf Shores High School gave a rundown on school athletics. Cross Country Boys and Girls are already winners. He noted that GCAC donated the money to buy the camera that will be used to stream Basketball and Wrestling around the world. Football is not proceeding as well, but the season is still young. Homecoming is this week and our opponent is Satellite Beach, FL.
Dec McClelland took over the podium for Team Reports, telling our Guest Speaker that this wasn’t LA as we all know it, but UCLA – Upper Class Lower Alabama! He also noted that Geritol was detected in the random Club Drug Test. The first Crying Towel of the year was awarded to Michigan State for their terrible loss to Arizona State 45-13. No one could be found who said they actually were a Michigan State fan to accept the Crying Towel.
On to introduction of our great Guest Speaker by Miss SaltyAirDawg herself, Cheryl Cochrell, one of the best UGA supporters ever! Cheryl did a marvelous job introducing fellow Georgia Alum Tony Barnhart, Mr. College Football himself! Barnhart’s career stretches from early days at the Atlanta Journal Constitution to his present position at ESPN. He is a Past President of the American Football Writers Association, has written several books, and won many awards.
Tony said we all love college football, but those of us in the SEC and the South love it more than anywhere else. Going through the East and West Divisions of the SEC, we sees the following: East – 1) Georgia; 2) Kentucky; 3) Florida; 4) South Carolina; 5) Tennessee; 6) Missouri; and 7) Vanderbilt (currently undefeated). The West rankings are: 1) Alabama; 2) Auburn; 3) Mississippi State; 4) Texas A&M; 5) LSU; 6) Ole Miss; and 7) Arkansas. It’s Georgia vs. Alabama in the SEC Championship.
He noted Alabama is as good as he’s ever seen and this is the best offense Coach Saban has ever had. He also noted the highly touted Big 10 East Division is nowhere as good as the SEC West.
Looking at the Power 5 Conferences, Alabama wins the SEC, Clemson, also loaded, wins the ACC, Ohio State and Wisconsin are the class of the Big 10, but O State wins, the Big 12 sees Oklahoma vs. TCU with OU winning both games they will play against each other in successive weeks, and the PAC 12 sees Washington vs. Stanford, Washington coming out on top.
As far as the Playoffs are concerned, and he said he doesn’t see them expanding, due to the high expense involved by teams and supporters. Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State are in, and in a surprise choice that will again be highly debated, a one loss Georgia team, beaten only by the Crimson Tide, might possibly be selected as the fourth team over Oklahoma and Washington or Washington might prevail.
Semi-final games will pit Alabama, playing in the closest bowl site to their home in Tuscaloosa, against Washington or Georgia in the Cotton Bowl on December 29th, and Clemson and Ohio State tangling in the Orange Bowl the same day. The Finals sees another rematch of Bama against Clemson with Dabo taking another loss on the chin. Tony noted, until two weeks ago, his #1 choice was Clemson, but that has now changed.
Taking Q&A, he said Dabo is the logical choice to succeed Nick Saban, a job that no one should want to follow Saban. Texas and Oklahoma are the only two teams that would benefit the SEC if they chose to expand, and Auburn shouldn’t be moved to the SEC East to maintain competitive balance in the league. FSU had been previously been offered to come into the SEC, but Coach Bowden turned it down.
The 50/50 drawing was held with a pot of $120. Adjournment was at 8:29pm.