Playoff Talk, Atlanta Sports and Mailbag: Georgia Kickers

4 May

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!  Pretty slow news for college football since the announcement of a four-team playoff last week.  In local sports, the week has had its ups and downs.  Unfortunately, the NFL has had a week of mostly downs.

College football is indeed moving to a four-team playoff after the 2013 season.  Other than that, not much new to report.  Hopefully they’ll have most of the details hammered out by the end of June.  BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock on the Dan Patrick Show today, said they were seriously debating on whether the semi-finals/first round would be played on campus or at neutral sites.  I understand home games for the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds would be a way to reward them for regular season success, but I hope to see neutral site games rotating at the sites of current BCS bowl games (and still think they should replace the Fiesta with the Cotton).

Of other note in college football:

The NFL has had a rough week:

In local sports, the Atlanta Braves pulled out a win in a wild one Wednesday night over the Philadelphia Phillies.  The game saw a Brian McCann grand slam and a Chipper Jones 2-run walk-off home run.  Unfortunately, they lost the series, getting shut out by Joe Blanton yesterday afternoon.  And of course, the Atlanta Hawks with a chance to go up 2-0 in the series with the Boston Celtics, lost Tuesday night.  The Hawks play at Boston tonight with the series tied 1-1, with Josh Smith a game-time decision.  There’s Atlanta sports for you.

Let’s get to some mail…

Brandon writes: In your opinion, who is the best kicker UGA has had since Kevin Butler?

Georgia has had a number of great kickers over the years, and it’s safe to say Kevin Butler is at the top of that list.  John Kasay no doubt has had the best pro career since Butler, but never played on a great team at Georgia, so he tends to get overlooked in these discussions.

I think the debate comes down to two guys: Billy Bennett and Brandon Coutu.  Bennett was the kicker for the first SEC Championship team in 2002 (Georgia’s first since Butler’s playing days) is holds the UGA record for “most points scored.”  Bennett’s game winning kick at Alabama in 2002, when Georgia wasn’t “man enough” to win in Tuscaloosa tops of his highlights.

Coutu was also the kicker for an SEC Championship team in 2005, and had the stronger leg of the two.  He hit a big game-winner at Vanderbilt in 2007 that catapulted the 07′ team into winning the remainder of their games en route to throttling Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.  Coutu also missed the majority of the 2006 season with an injury, a season that saw Georgia lose a number of close games.  His career statistics would have been even more impressive if he had played the full season, and his injury showed how important Coutu was to the team (Georgia lost four games, three by 7 points or less).

So while statistics may favor Billy Bennett, I personally think Coutu is the best kicker Georgia’s had since Kevin Butler.

Still, Kevin Butler is no doubt, the greatest kicker in Georgia history (no disrespect to Rex Robinson).  Here’s a video of Butler narrowly missing a 71-yard field goal attempt against Florida State in the 1984 Citrus Bowl.  The game ended in a 17-17 tie, but the fact that Georgia even attempted this (and the narrow miss) speaks volumes of how great a kicker Butler was.

Have a question, comment or topic idea? Email me at!


3 Responses to “Playoff Talk, Atlanta Sports and Mailbag: Georgia Kickers”

  1. Terd Ferguson May 5, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    I once saw John Pickworth kick a 71 yard filed goal in the college station parking lot. Colossal waste of talent….always thought he was pro-material, primed to make the big bucks.

  2. Specialist U May 7, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Great stuff! Good insight on the kickers and I really enjoyed the stroll down memory lane, reliving some of Georgia kicker’s best moments. John Pickworth, more raw talent than I have ever seen in my 15+ years of scouting kickers. It’s a real shame he couldn’t break his cheese and slim Jim addiction to focus on his kicking game. The best that never was.

  3. Martin Gramatica May 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    John Pickworth was my inspiration. I watched him kick field goals in the College Station parking lot, and I knew from that day on, I would kick field goals for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Then I watched him run an obstacle course after drinking some sort of orange poison. I tried this in a game, and tore my ACL. The rest is history.

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