You don't want this, Clemson. You really don't.
Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins doesn't think highly of Georgia, and he is making it known to the rest of the college football world.
According to TigersNow.com, Watkins is already looking at the Bulldogs as the team that's going to allow the Tigers' momentum to head in the right direction, rather than a potential top-10 matchup against a national power.
If we come out and beat Georgia, not just beat ‘em but beat the mess out of ‘em like we should, I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction. I don’t have disrespect for them or for nobody else, I just believe we can be just the kind of team we want to be, the talent is here, we know how to win.
The confidence is admirable...but "beat the mess out of 'em like we should?"
After all, this is the two-time SEC East champion, a team that came within five yards of playing for the BCS National Championship and is returning virtually the entire cast from an offense that finished third in the SEC in total offense last season (467.6 YPG).
Just how good was that offense? It led the nation in yards per play last season with 7.09, narrowly squeaking past Texas A&M for the top mark in the country (7.08).
With essentially a whole new starting 11, the effectiveness of Georgia's defense will be up for debate. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins, safety Tray Matthews, cornerback Damian Swann and defensive end Ray Drew represent a fresh start for a Georgia defense that struggled against the run last year.
Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera—one of the primary pieces of that rebuilt defense—brushed off the remark.
Why do ppl keep tweeting me and telling me what @SammyWatkins7 said?? We play in August not this week— Amarlo Herrera (@5DeuceHerrera) July 1, 2013
Whether you think Georgia's defense is in for a rough ride, that these players are better-suited to run the 3-4 or fall somewhere in between, it won't matter. Georgia's fully capable of getting into and winning shootouts.
That's what makes Watkins' comment so interesting.
Purely thinking something is considered confidence, but saying it is considered arrogance. Not a good look for a wide receiver who is admittedly looking to rebound from a disappointing 2012 campaign that saw him miss two games with a suspension, catch 57 passes for 708 yards and only three touchdowns.
“Last year is in the past,” Watkins said. “I’m not worried about last year, I’m more grown up now, I’m past all that stuff."
Besides, when did Clemson develop championship swagger? Was it the 25-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU? That was a nice way to close out last season, but what's done is done. If last year is in the past, that should work both ways.
Confidence is admirable, but if Watkins thinks Georgia is going to be a pushover, he's going to be disappointed. The Bulldogs are very much in the title hunt, even if their perceived shortcomings come to fruition.
The importance and relevance of bulletin board material is up for debate, but there's only one sure way to make sure that it's a non-factor—don't provide any. In this particular case, Georgia's coaches will make sure that Watkins' perception of the program is discussed prior to toe meeting leather on Aug. 31.