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From Mark Bradley

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The smart money is on Smart and UGA

8:03 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

“You think 10 wins is too high?” (Rob Saye/Special to the AJC) As noted not long ago, the sharp-eyed folks in Vegas set the over/under on wins for Georgia at 9 1/2. For a team playing under a new coach that went 9-3 in its regular season last season, that might ...

Colin Kaepernick got us talking, which was surely the idea
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick answers questions at a news conference after an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won the game 21-10. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

9:52 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Colin Kaepernick, center of a storm. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Whatever else he might be, Colin Kaepernick is not un-American. His refusal to stand for the National Anthem was a classic expression of Americanism. Had we colonials never protested, we’d still be singing “God Save The Queen.” Some folks believe that Kaepernick dishonored ...

UGA’s Kirby Smart says little, reveals less
Kirby Smart, right, with Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity before Smart was was introduced as the Bulldogs’ coach on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

2:01 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Here’s what we learned from Kirby Smart’s first game week briefing as head coach: That Kirby Smart won’t be as nervous going into Saturday’s date with North Carolina as in any game as Nick Saban’s No. 2. “The pressure I put on myself as (Alabama’s) defensive coordinator – if they ...
In college football, pickin’ season is over. It’s time to play
FILE- In this April 16, 2016, file photo, Georgia coach Kirby Smart talks to players during the first half of a spring intrasquad NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga. Sixteen assistant coaches in 2015 will be starting their first full seasons as FBS head coaches in 2016, with seven of them landing jobs in Power Five conferences. The highest-profile moves had former Alabama defensive coordinator Smart going to Georgia, former Michigan DC D.J. Durkin going to Maryland and former Ohio State DC Chris Ash going to Rutgers. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

8:46 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

“Who do you like in LSU-Wisconsin?” (Brant Sanderlin/AJC) Officially, the Cal-Hawaii game played last week in Sydney, Australia, marked the opening of the college football season. (Cal won.) To me, and I suspect to you, this holiday week is the one that counts. Many key tilts in exotic places! Green Bay! ...

Predicting Georgia’s season, game by game
Coach Kirby Smart views a Georgia scrimmage. (Photo by Randy Schaefer)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Sept. 3, North Carolina (Georgia Dome), 5:30 p.m.: If I’m Kirby Smart, I love this as an opener — playing a ranked opponent that has lost its starting quarterback and yielded 645 yards in a bowl loss, and you’re doing it on a neutral-in-name-only field. We recall Georgia laying an ...
Top 25: Clemson at the top, UGA at No. 13
Miami coach Mark Richt, at right, keeps a watchful eye as quarterback Vincent Testaverde throws during football practice in Coral Gables on Friday, August 5, 2016. (AJC file photo)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

1. CLEMSON Why so high: The nation’s best quarterback — let’s start there. Superb running back in Wayne Gallman — that’s No. 2. Upgraded receiving corps — there’s No. 3. Also tremendous talent across the board and the confidence that comes from breaking through after years of just falling short. ...
The demotion seems to have worked: Wisler’s a whiz in his return
Atlanta Braves' Matt Wisler throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

9:22 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Wisler at work in the desert. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) If that’s what the Atlanta Braves can expect from every demoted/promoted pitcher, this rebuild will be just fine. If we go by Game Score (a Bill James creation that attempts to quantify how a starting pitcher pitches), Matt Wisler’s first ...

Give Francoeur credit: He did OK in his second Braves stint
Atlanta Braves players including Jeff Francoeur, center, watch the final moments of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Atlanta. Washington won 11-9. (AP Photo/John Amis)

10:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

He’s gone again, but he might be back again. (AP Photo/John Amis) Back in February, I wasn’t sure Jeff Francoeur would make the Atlanta Braves’ 25-man roster. Full credit to him: He made it, and he wasn’t nearly the worst of the 25. He did what the Braves, this time around, ...

Why Smart’s Year 1 has breakthrough potential
Georgia coach Kirby Smart directs recruits during the Next Level Elite Football Camp in Atlanta on Thursday, June 2, 2016. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

12:32 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

When you fire a coach, your next season is invariably seen as a rebuilding one. Georgia has a new coach. Ergo, this is a rebuilding year. Ergo, we shouldn’t expect too much.But here’s where I say: Check the schedule.Of Georgia’s 12 games, it could be favored in 11. It’s favored ...
The D-backs’ discontent has much to do with the Braves
After walking in a run during the fourth inning, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller is pulled from a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

11:53 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Sign of the times: A forlorn Shelby Miller. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) It was inevitable that the Atlanta Braves’ one Phoenix stop of the 2016 season would spark discussion of the transaction that has been more criticized than any since … oh, the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees ...

Advice for the Braves: Stay strong, keep going
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore with the 2015 World Series trophy. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

3:01 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

Such a season would try the faith of a saint. Perhaps coincidentally, John Coppolella and John Hart, architects of the Braves’ massive rebuild, are named after one. They absolutely believe their way, baseball-wise, is the only way. But that doesn’t help much in a week like last, which saw the ...
Time to fret? Jenkins is third Braves’ starter demoted in two months
Atlanta Braves interim manager Brian Snitker (43) holds the ball after Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tyrell Jenkins, right, was pulled from the game during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, in Washington. Also seen is Atlanta Braves catcher Anthony Recker at center. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

11:50 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

Tyrell Jenkins gets the hook. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) Tyrell Jenkins just became the third of the Atlanta Braves’ lovingly assembled young pitchers — the third in two months — to be demoted to Class AAA after being installed in the major-league rotation. As we know, the path of a young ...

Andruw Jones belongs in a bigger Hall of Fame
Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones reacts speaks during the team’s Hall of Fame luncheon at the Hyatt Regency on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016

Andruw Jones was inducted into the Braves’ Hall of Fame at a luncheon on Friday. He and another famous Jones will be eligible for a bigger Hall of Fame — the one in Cooperstown — on the ballot distributed in December 2017. Chipper Jones will be enshrined on his first ...
Dansby’s debut – two hits on four hours’ sleep
Atlanta Braves rookie Dansby Swanson connects  for his first Major League hit with a single in the fourth inning of a baseball game  against the Minnesota Twins in Atlanta, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Swanson was making his Major League debut. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

9:12 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016

His first big-league hit was a flared single to right. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) Afterward, Dansby Swanson said he hadn’t been nervous — emotional, yes, but not in a jittery way — and he hadn’t looked it. He hit the ball hard his first and last time up. (The first at-bat ...

Tears in his eyes, Dansby Swanson brings hope
Dansby Swanson (left) shares a laugh with Jeff Francoeur and other Atlanta Braves teammates as he takes the field for batting practice at Turner Field on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

5:56 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016

The call came at 5:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday. It was from Luis Salazar, the Mississippi Braves’ manager, though Dansby Swanson didn’t know that until he answered, which he almost didn’t because he didn’t recognize the number. Swanson and teammate Jake Schrader were spending an off-day in their room at ...
Here’s what Braves fans can expect from Dansby Swanson

11:21 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016

Swanson was once a Snake, you know. (Norm Hall/Getty Images) Dansby Swanson is scheduled to make his Atlanta Braves debut tonight. He was the first player picked in the MLB draft in June 2015 — by the Diamondbacks, who kept him barely five months — and he has been fast-tracked ...

Braves trade Aybar, promote Swanson: Yeah, I can live with that

9:40 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016

The formerly bearded Dansby Swanson. (Hyosub Shin/AJC) Andrelton Simmons’ OPS (on-base percentange plus slugging) for the 2014 season was .617, sixth-worst among qualifying big-league hitters. Last season it was .660, or 13th-worst. When the Atlanta Braves traded him to the Angels for Sean Newcomb, Chris Ellis and Erick Aybar, they ...

Football Outsiders Almanac: Georgia Tech to go 6-6, UGA 10-2

9:55 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016

If you scroll deep enough into the Football Outsiders’ Almanac 2016 — it’s available for $15 as a download, and I recommend it without reservation — you’ll find a college preview, which is the work of Brian Fremeau. As is the case with everything FO produces and Mr. Fremeau writes, ...

Matt Ryan: Overrated? Underrated? Both?
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws an incomplete pass under pressure from Redskins linebacker Preston Smith in an NFL preseason game on Aug. 11, 2016. 

Updated: 3:07 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, 2016

Having observed him on a regular basis since 2008, my feeling about Matt Ryan has been that he’s good enough to win a Super Bowl. That has wobbled a time or two without changing. As we know, a team can win a Super Bowl without a great quarterback. Everyone cites ...
The Braves: Still the worst, but that could be subject to change

9:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15, 2016

A highlight from the first Braves-Twins meeting. Note loose ball. (Jim Mone/AP) When last we checked on the race — not sure that’s the proper word; can’t think of a better one — for the 2017 MLB No. 1 draft pick, the Atlanta Braves held the pole. Which was a kind way ...

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