Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Twas The Night Before College Football Season

If you're anything like me, a year only has two seasons..........there's college football season, and there's the offseason, that's it.  And as I'm typing this, we are only 24 hours away from the most wonderful 4 months of the year.  UNLV vs Wisconsin (ESPN) and Miss St. vs Memphis (Sports South, at least here in South Carolina) will tee it up at 8pm EST Thursday night, bringing joy to college football fans around the globe.  TCU vs Baylor  (ESPN) and Mich St vs Youngstown St (Big Ten Network) continue the festivities on Friday.  Then, on Saturday, the game we've all been waiting for.................LSU vs Oregon at 8pm on ABC.  Wait, what's that you say?  OHHHHHH that's right, UGA has a game then too.  Suffice it to say that I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl.

Obviously I'm on record as predicting a UGA loss on Saturday night.  But man, I'm still wrestling with how I really feel about this game.  It is essentially a battle between heart and mind.  My heart says that this is the dawning of a new era for Coach Richt, and we're going to come out and play some lights out innovations on offense, a nasty attitude on defense, and young talent stepping to the plate and knocking it out of the park.

Then my mind says............"Seriously?"  I remember the fact that once Richt abandoned the no-huddle offense, the words "UGA's offense" and "innovative" have never belonged in the same sentence.......unless, of course, that sentence was "UGA's offense is not innovative".  I remember how many times I've sat there dumbfounded the past few years watching our defense play like they never watched any game film of the opponent leading up to that game.  I remember wondering why I had gone to all the effort to show up for the game, when the team clearly did not.  In short, I just remember that sick feeling of utter disappointment in my gut too many times recently.  I don't know if it's a defensive mechanism that I just don't want to let my hopes get up too high for this game or what, but I just can't escape the feeling that we're not going to win on Saturday.  Though I do agree to an extent with LC and SimpleMan that maybe how we play is more important than whether we win or lose as far as boosting confidence for the following week against the 'Cocks.

Of course, once I get a couple of drinks in me at an as-yet-to-be-established location in Downtown Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, all of my analysis will go out the window and I will be 100% certain that we are not only going to win, we are going to destroy BSU so badly that they're going to just give up on D-1 football and go back to being a JUCO.  I hope LC, SimpleMan, and Reeder 3:16 have updated their texting plans, because I will likely be blowing up their phones with proclamations of grandeur - for both the Dawgs and myself.  I can be quite entertaining.

On a different note, I'm fascinated by the Bacarri Rambo saga.  I get what Tyler Dawgden is saying, but I can't help but spend hours the past couple of days obsessing over what is going on.  Up until yesterday, I was certain that he had been suspended for the first game, and Richt just hadn't announced it yet.  But the longer this drags on, I just don't know anymore.  It's not Richt's style to play coy like this, and it's not like Rambo is a superstar player that teams have to scheme around to make it worth keeping the other team guessing.  I just don't get it.  Maybe Grantham has some things up his sleeves --- I can see how running some sets with 3 safeties on the field, moving Rambo closer to the line of scrimmage where he can make plays without having his pass coverage skills in the deep secondary exposed, would be good against a team like BSU who likes to attack you all over the field.  It would get more speed up front, and you could use Rambo to spy on the TE's or the RB's on the underneath routes.  But then again, maybe he really is suspended and we won't see him at all.  It's just odd either way........I'm not sure what there is to gain by playing so coy with the media.  Again, it's not like his presence - or lack thereof - is going to change Boise's game plan.

Anyway, it's football season, baby.  Let the good times roll.


CMR game preview

Coach's press conference from yesterday.

It's the usual stuff from CMR, just an overview of Boise St and the game overall. Just under 30 minutes if you want to watch the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Simple Predictions

I guess it's my turn to give my "expert" predictions. And by expert, I mean just another Schmo that loves college football.

Here's more than LC and less than the Rev (actually give a prediction and seriously Rev, the Sun Belt and the MAC?)

ACC - FSU finally gets it done and finishes the season with 2 losses.

Big East - I agree with Rev, Da Bulls. I just moved from Tampa and am a big Holtz fan.

Big 10ish - Wisconsin beats Nebraska at home during the regular season but Nebraska wins the rematch in the first ever Big 10 title game. BTW, those are the worst conference divisional names ever.

Big 12ish - Can't see anyone other than OU winning this one. The Big 12 has been the most top heavy league in the past 10 years of any BCS conference. You can argue for the Pac 10 and USC or Big 10 and OSU but I still think the Big 12 takes it.

12 Pac (sounds better)- All the off field distractions finally get to Oregon (Tiger has weakened the Nike brand and Oregon will pay.....yes I know we are also Nike but more like Anthony Kim). Stanford beats Oregon (another shot from Tiger) at home and goes on to win the title.

SEC - With everything else going on at the other schools, it's hard not to put Bama and SC in this game. Have to agree with Rev again, Bama wins their 1,000th SEC title.

Can't even think about the National Title game right now, I think this is going to be one of those seasons where we have a large group of 1 loss teams.

Now for the Boise game. I posted my keys to the game last week and really hope I'm wrong, but IF I had to put money on the game, it would be against us. This game comes down to experience, when they came into our house years ago, they hadn't played in many big time games and it showed. The highlight of the entire game to me was Hawkins halftime interview. "Did you watch the first half"

This Boise team HAS played in big games though and proven they won't be overwhelmed. I don't think we can score with them and I don't know if we can win a close game yet. We are relying on a lot of young players and are very thin on the O-line.

Please note that every game there's always a large part of me that thinks we'll have one of those games when we go crazy (LSU, UT, Tech, Hawaii, Arkansas) and just blow doors but I can't put us down for 41-7 wins every week.

Boise 21-13

Like LC, I will be "okay" with a loss if we at least look like things are heading in the right direction. A loss used to make me angry from Saturday night until the next game but we get older and our perspective changes.....right?

As for the season, I put us at 8-4. We can win every single game we play but we can lose almost every one as well. The differences between us, Boise, SC, UF, Miss St, Tech, and Auburn is a coin-flip as of today. Add in UK, Vandy, UT, and Ole Miss and you really have a lot of games that can go either way. We are no longer in a position to just throw 11 guys out there and win because our talent is better.

I have a long storied history of being wrong, so let's all toast to that trend continuing.

Side Note: Denver now has a Mellow Mushroom and the local bulldawg club meets there for games. Since this blog is worldwide, I wanted to put that out there in case any of our faithful readers are in the area.

Thursday's Game Poker Chip: Miss St doesn't cover the 27.5 at Memphis


Monday, August 29, 2011

Pulpwood on Boise State

For those of you not familiar with Pulpwood Smith, he gives weekly commentary on the Dawgs' opponents with very salty language. For those of you that are familiar, he never disappoints.

You have been warned, so enjoy the eloquent rant from the legendary Pulpwood.

Boise State Game Prediction

Um, I have no idea.

I really don't, but I'm going to lay out how I'm more concerned with how we look and how a loss might not be the worst thing in the world. Just bear with me:

To me, the program started it's gradual fall off the cliff after 2005. If not for that magical run in 2007 (which was actually the 2nd half of the season; does everyone remember the gloom & doom after that Vandy game and entering the bye week before UF? We actually stomped on the Vandy star and saw the first official glimpse of Evil Richt as he admonished the players for doing so. Moreno had his coming out party vs. the Gators and we couldn't be beat the rest of the way, finishing #2 in the nation), we would officially be entering year 6 of the downward slope. The Blackout game vs. Bama showed we weren't ready to play with the big boys (that's when the concerns about the S&C program first started to be loudly brought up) as we were dominated physically from the start and probably mentally after the end of the 1st quarter.

The cries for Willie Martinez's head became louder and louder and Richt finally started making moves, the latest being the long-overdue revamping of the aforementioned S&C program. The locker room cancers we suspected last year have been brought to light by carefully-worded phrases from the head coach and other players.

Where are we now? Well, there's a lot of positive talk about how we look in practice, in the weight room, on the field, etc. That's all fine well and dandy, but if we come out looking unprepared, get beat on big plays and get outworked by a less talented team, the bitching is going to be at a record level, the wardrobe jokes are going to be unbearable, Rev will cancel this blog and the whole talk is cheap crap will be splattered all over the wall after it gets done hitting the fan.

Now, let's say we come out looking strong on both sides of the ball, showing some fiestiness, yet still lose. That, I can live with. Entering the pivotal week 2 showdown w/ SC, we need to be in a positive frame of mind because that game is infinitely more important and is going to be a lot tougher, IMHO. Coming in off a hard-fought loss will likely have us pissed off. Coming in after getting embarrassed will likely have our psyche more fragile than that of an overweight supermodel.

This is the biggest issue I have with opening w/ Boise State: after the craptacular way we finished last year, opening with the #5 team in the country is really ballsy and potentially galactically stupid. If we play well and beat them, the demons are exorcised and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. If we get our asses whipped (which I honest to God don't think will happen), dust off your torches and pitchforks.

Now, here's my game prediction: if our front 7 performs as expected and the secondary doesn't give up big plays, we'll be in this game. We do not in any way shape, form or fashion want to get into a shootout with these ponies. Along with the strong D, if our TBs and receivers perform well, we'll win. If their D line shuts down our running game and we sputter moving the ball downfield, we'll lose.

Sports is about momentum & motivation. You can have all the talent and all the plays, but unless you really come to play and do what you're supposed to do, it's a crapshoot. Richt can only motivate and game plan so much. I really think the key for us is going to be how we start. If it's on O, breaking off a big play (deep ball or a big run by Crowell) or if it's on D, knocking Moore around like he's Colt Brennan and/or snuffing their first series will get the crowd into it and we should be off and running. It's going to be a big challenge for us and we're all about to find out if we're back on track or still have a ways to go.

I'm nervous and excited as hell.

Prediction: If we play well & control the line of scrimmage, UGA 31, BSU 17

If we don't, BSU 35, UGA 21

Saturday can't get here soon enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Predictions from the Rev

“Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge.”
          -Lao Tzu, circa 550 B.C.

"Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window."
          - Peter F Drucker, 1987

Here we go, time to dazzle and amaze you guys with my predictions for the upcoming season.  I'm going to do this in 4 sections:
  1. Conference Winners, minus the SEC
  2. SEC-Specific
  3. National Title Winner
  4. UGA-Boise State
Some of the following prognostications are well researched and thought out.  Others, not so much.  So with the two quotes above serving as my inspiration, here goes nothing.........

Conference Winners
* WAC- The WAC has had some defections the past couple of years, leaving only 8 teams in the conference for 2011.  Of those 8, this is seen as a dead heat between Nevada, Fresno State, and Hawaii.  However, Nevada gets both of the other two at home, and since I know nothing further about any of them, that's the difference in my mind.
Rev's Pick - Nevada

* Sun Belt - Troy has won or shared 5 straight titles.  Who am I to argue with success?
Rev's Pick - Troy

* Mountain West - I read somewhere last week that Boise State and TCU have combined for only 5 total losses the past 3 years, and 2 of those were to each other.  I don't care what conference you play in, that is ridiculously impressive.  However, this will be the first and only year that they compete in the same conference (Boise just arrived from the WAC, and TCU heads to the Big East next year).  They say defense wins championships, and Gary Patterson is a defensive genius, so despite having to travel to Boise, he gets my vote.
Rev's Pick - TCU

* MAC - Even in trying to research this one, nobody seems to have a clue who the most likely teams are to win the conference.  So I'll give you a quick anecdote instead.  You may have seen a commenter on here by the name of "haffy7281".  He and I used to work together, and the guy who sat between us was a Central Michigan grad.  We used to give that guy all sorts of grief about not having a decent team to cheer for (to his credit, he was always a good sport about it).  One day though, we decided that all of the maladies UGA has experienced the last 3 years can be traced to what we termed "The Curse of the Chippewas".  If you'll recall, we played Central Michigan the 2nd game of 2008, and waxed them 41-7.  Pretty much everything since has been downhill, so it seemed like a pretty good cause/effect relationship to us.  Therefore, in hopes of somehow appeasing the college football gods and trying to break the curse, I'll go with the the mighty men of maroon and gold.
Rev's Pick - Central Michigan

* Conference USA - Houston is excited that Case Keenum was granted a 6th year of eligibility due to missing most of last year with a torn ACL.  However, their defense stinks.  Actually, a lot of the defenses in this league are pretty weak, as Conference USA has become what the WAC used to be....all offense, all the time.  UCF impressed me as a solid, all around ballclub in the bowl game though.
Rev's Pick - Central Florida

* Big East - Every expert out there is predicting West Virginia to not only win, but pretty much dominate the conference this year.  I'm telling you though, Dana Holgorsen is a loose cannon.  It's been confirmed that he had to be escorted out of a casino for getting too rowdy, and there are other rumored similar incidents out there, not to mention the fiasco that led to him becoming head coach to start with (that wasn't his fault, but craziness seems to find him)......this all before he's coached a single game.  He may be a genius, but who knows if he's going to keep himself out of trouble from one day to the next.  So just to be a contrarian.....
Rev's Pick - USF

* Pac 12 - Unless the NCAA drops the hammer and makes them ineligible, it's pretty hard to pick against the Ducks.  Chip Kelly's got some issues on his hands, but the dude can coach.
Rev's Pick - Oregon

* Big 10 - I'll refrain from any comments about the division names or the number-defying conference name.  Even with all it has been through, Ohio State is still loaded with talent this year, and I think they will have a better year than most people expect.  However, there's only one program that looks solid from top to bottom right now.
Rev's Pick - Wisconsin

* Big 12 - Again, no comments about mathematically challenged conference names.  It's become the en vogue thing the past couple of weeks to say that Oklahoma is overrated.  Consider me non vogue.
Rev's Pick - Oklahoma

* ACC - Florida State sure is getting a lot of love for a program that hasn't had less than 4 losses in the past 6 years, and hasn't seen less than 3 losses in the past 10 years.   Until I see it on the field, I'm not ready to buy it yet.
Rev's Pick - Va Tech

SEC Predictions

* The SEC's Streak of BCS Championships Comes To An End - It can't go on forever, it just can't.  And of course, if it does happen where no SEC team wins it all, and especially if no SEC team makes the title game, we'll be subjected to article after article about how the pendulum is now swinging back, and parity will be the new norm.  Then the SEC will go on to win something like 3 of the next 5 National Titles.

* The BCS Title Game Will Not Have An SEC School - Again, it can't go on forever.  And the reason the SEC will not make the title game this year is because....

* The SEC Champion Will Have 2 Losses - I expand on this below

* UGA Will Beat the Gamecocks and the Gators - But Won't Win the East - I consider this the boldest of my predictions.  I do think we win both of these games, but I think we will find a way to lose 2 of our other conference games.

* South Carolina Will Win The East With an 11-1 Record - The 'Cocks strike me as a team that is badly in need of a wakeup call.  Their players were all over the police blotters the past few months, and their offseason has reminded me of UGA's 2008 preseason where the players seemed to start believing all the hype a little too much and lost focus.  If you've seen the pictures of Alshon Jeffery, he seemed more focused on eating this summer than anything, though his more recent pics look better.  Garcia's antics are well chronicled.  But when they are all healthy and focused, there's no team in the conference that has a trifecta on offense like Garcia, Jeffery, and Lattimore.  And their defense is always solid.  Like I said though, I think they're going to need a wakeup call to regain that focus, and I think that wakeup call will come with a loss to us.  From there though, I see them regrouping and running the table.  Like UGA, they dodge both LSU and 'Bama this year, so their schedule sets up well.

* 'Bama Will Win The West With A 10-2 Record - I could even see this coming down to a tiebreaker scenario with either Arkansas or LSU.  But with Knile Davis being out for the year for Arkansas, and the recent developments with LSU, it's hard to pick either of those two to win the West.  I have nothing but respect (ok, and a little hate) for Nick Saban, but don't see a national title run in the cards for them this year.

* 'Bama Will Beat South Carolina For the SEC Title - this is gonna be a heartbreaker for the 'Cocks.  At 11-1, they will be poised to have a shot at getting into the BCS Title Game if they win the SECCG, and their fans are going to be clucking like they've never clucked before (and that's saying something).  But Saban will have his troops focused and ready for victory.

BCS Championship

* Oklahoma Defeats Wisconsin - Like I said above, I think Oklahoma is legit, and their schedule shapes up decent for a title run.  What will probably be their 2 most difficult games will both be on the road - FSU on Sept 17th, and Oklahoma State to close the season - but both of those are winnable.  Texas is in the middle of a pretty major transition, Texas A&M has to come to Norman, and the rest of the conference is not very impressive. Even if they end up with 1 loss, I think the Sooners have a great shot at getting into the title game.  Wisconsin has to go to Penn State and Nebraska, but gets Ohio State and Michigan State at home, and nobody else looks good enough to beat them.  I can see them winning 3 of those 4 games, then winning the inaugural Big 10 Championship Game to propel themselves into the BCS Title Game as a one loss team.  In the end though, Oklahoma will be too much for them to handle.

UGA vs Boise State
Now the moment we've all been waiting for.  I've thought and thought about this.  It's one thing to make predictions about your favorite team when you're just emailing back and forth with your buddies, but it's a little different when you are putting it out there for literally thousands tens of people to read (hey, we're growing, at least we have "tens" of people coming to the blog now!).  There's so much optimism that has been flowing around the program this year.  Of course, one might actually label that as Preseason Homerism (h/t Blutarsky).  But the attitude and focus do, at least on the surface, seem to be better.

Here's my deal though.......yes, I think a lot of good changes have been made, and yes, I think the changes will bear fruit (see my prediction of beating SC and FL above).  But fruit doesn't grow immediately, and the team is going to have to overcome a mindset of not showing up for big games that has been ingrained for 3 years now.  How many times have we seen the guys come out and look like they're just going through the motions in the early part of a game?  We have occasionally fought back admirably, but had just dug ourselves too deep of a hole, and couldn't close the game at the end.  The one big game I do think the guys showed up for from the beginning of the game was last year's Florida game, but the guys were SO amped that they played out of control, and still ended up in a hole.

To win this game, we have to come out with our foot fully on the gas pedal, but with firm control of the wheel.  That comes with confidence, and fully believing that you are going to win.  Not in a cocky way, but in a totally self assured, I-know-I'm-better-than-you-and-I'm-going-to-prove-it way.  If we do come out and hit Boise State in the mouth from the beginning, and don't let up throughout the game, I have no doubt that we can not only win, but win convincingly.  But I ask you this....when is the last time you can remember us coming out and playing like that?  I'll answer for you.  It was Jan 1st, 2008, the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii.  That was a LONG time ago.  Since then, it's been a consistent pattern of playing tentatively, cautiously, disinterested, or some combination of the three like we saw in the bowl game against UCF.  It's a huge jump to go from where we were mentally at the end of last year to where we need to be to win this game.

I see this game playing out like Boise State's victory over Va Tech last year.  I can see our guys being a little too amped up for the game, making some early mistakes that allow BSU to jump out to a pretty big early lead, then BSU being able to withstand a furious rally from us at the end.  On the plus side, I would rather see us fall behind because the guys are too amped than because they just decided to not show up at the beginning of the game.  But we are going to have to learn to control that energy, and I think this game will go a long way toward teaching that to the players, and they will be able to apply those lessons against SC the following week.  We're still a very young team, so to be able to handle that energy in Week 1 is going to be a tall order.  In the end, I'm calling it Boise State 27, UGA 23.

Incidentally, combined with the 2 losses I predicted for us in the SEC Predictions section of this post, I'm picking us to go 9-3 this year, with a shot at double digit victories in the bowl game.  And if that happens, I would be happy with that, and I think it would be a solid step in the right direction for Richt.  Even though we pick up Alabama in 2012, if we can make some positive strides this year, I think we will be in for a special year in 2012.

Well folks, that's it.  LC and SimpleMan will be forthcoming with their predictions in the next couple of days.  I plan on keeping the posting to a minimum the next few days so that our predictions don't get pushed too far down, and people can give their input.  We've started seeing a bit more commenting activity, but would love to see more.  Please chime in with your thoughts, let me know how terrible my picks are, and offer some of yours.  I look forward to the responses!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Hoping It's Just A Precaution.......

Just saw this tweet from Radi over at

#UGA CB Branden Smith was stepped on returning a kick yesterday and was later seen on crutches. Word is today he is wearing a boot. #DawgsFri Aug 26 16:03:49 via web

I'm not freaking out yet, I know it's not uncommon for this to be done as a precaution, to assist in the healing process even though a boot isn't "necessary".  But if it really is a bad injury, this is an injury that impacts all three areas - defense, special teams, and offense - and it's rare for one injury to cause that much impact. We'll keep our fingers crossed until official news is released.


**Update - I went to Branden's Twitter feed, and saw this from this morning, before any news had broken:

I'm trying a new feature that allows embedded tweets, but the timestamps are coming through a little screwy.  Branden's tweet was from about 7:30 this morning, Radi's was from a couple of hours ago.  Anyway, if he was just waking up from having had a serious injury the day before, gotta think his tweet would be less on the sunny side.  So I'm going to take that as evidence that this is not a major injury, but we shall see.

Follow Us on Twitter

Just as we are still new to the world of being a blogger, we're also all three somewhat new to the Twitter scene.  However, we plan on using Twitter more heavily in the future to promote the blog, as well as share any other 140-character-or-less tidbits that our minds conjure up.  You can get to our feeds by clicking on our names in the "Be A Follower" section on the right hand side of this page.


Friday Frivolities

1 more week. Good God Almighty, it's almost here!

Remember to wear your red & black next Friday for College Colors Day.

How in the name of Zeus' butthole is Jordan Jefferson not suspended yet? Richt would have booted this kid to a Division II school in Delaware by now.

We're still relatively healthy heading into the opener and the good vibes are still flowing out of camp and onto our screens.

Much hate has been spewed at Nike over the unis, but it's just for one game. I can handle it for one game. While I was in Hibbett's last week perusing the lovely UGA attire, the referee-looking cashier (I thought only Foot Locker employees wore those?) asked me what I thought about them. I said, "They're OK for one game. It'll look good in HD." He said, "One game? I thought it was permanent!" Egads. Go work at the library, nerd.

Echoing what Rev put up earlier in the week, I have no idea whatsoever to expect from us, but I do know that starting 0-2 will be a full-blown disaster given how last season went and what we expect this season. I assume we could certainly rally back after an 0-2 start, but the team's psyche is what worries me.

Enough of the Debbie Downer portion of this post. We're going to start 2-0 and you haters are going to like it.

I have zero entertainment news to report other than to say I finished up what I hadn't seen of Swamp People and watched a couple of episodes of Billy the Exterminator on Netflix this week. Ballsy little goth-dressing fella, I must say. However, his aversion to killing poisonous snakes gives me pause. Those bastards need to die and die right damn now. He caught 2 water moccasins while removing a beaver from a culvert and put them in Target bags, only to release them in another lake 20 miles away. SMH.

I destroyed a baby snake in my back yard with a shovel 2 weeks ago like I caught him robbing my house.

I'll have my prediction for the game up next week that's going to entail why we need to win, but how a loss certainly won't kill us in the grand scheme of things.

Onward & upward.


Looks like I got things rolling in cajun country as Jordan Jefferson has been arrested & suspended (sadly, in that order).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Playoffs? We're talking about Playoffs....

Rev let me take this one since I have a true hatred for any argument against a playoff. I'm a very level headed guy and usually have no problems keeping my emotions in check (even during political debates). But I WILL NOT ever be persuaded that our current system "works" or even a plus one would solve all our problems.

I'm sure some of you have heard about Mark Cuban being the wealthiest person to push an enhancement to the BCS. This is a very interesting idea but it doesn't change the BCS.
Proposal 2011-87 suggests that the NCAA should allow four teams from leagues that don't play conference championship games to play a pair of invitational games. It's not a playoff. It's not an alternative to the BCS. It's only a chance for teams to play a 13th regular-season game that could make for excellent December viewing.
The rub is that if a small school beats a big school in one of these games, it might actually move that school into the BCS title game, hence the ultimate goal of giving the little guy a chance. It could create a few more potentially great games at the end of the season and give David some more airtime, but unless the money is just off the charts, I don't see big boy schools going for it. I think a coach like Harbaugh would love it but doubt Tressel would have gone for it last year (in the Jim Bowl), not that the coaches will have the final say anyway.

Not sure this is the best time to jump on my Stone Mountain sized soapbox, but I'll through out a few Simple thoughts. [Side note: I have been to a few bowls (at least 5 different ones) and they are fun. Also, I'll throw out a very quick rough draft solution at the bottom]

* Bowl greatness - It's a nice vacation/reward for the athletes and some staff members. Half the schools get to head into the off-season with a "W".
Very true but since when are we in the business of handing out participation awards. So the baseball team, tennis teams, soccer team, etc doesn't deserve a reward for all the hard work they put in. All the other sports (in the world) work through tournament style formats which produce only one winner. Pretty sure some of these players ended their high school careers with a playoff loss and they somehow moved on from that.

* Too many games - Football is a rough sport and there is no reason to subject the players to potentially more injuries.
Seriously, other divisions of football have playoffs and NFL plays way more games with a much smaller roster. Yes football is a violent sport but if they are worried about too many games, cut the regular season back to 11 games and kill the conference championship games.....oh wait, can't cut money.

* Travel - Hard to plan travel on short notice, fans won't go.
No one is saying lets play 8 playoff games and go all over the country. If you use home field for better seed, I promise you that the stadiums will be full for a couple games. Are NFL fans wealthier than college fans.

* School - Can't have players missing class or the holidays and this would overlap with finals.
So now it's about school, not money. Again the other sports miss more school because they play during the week and have more games. Think of NCAA basketball and March madness. Those players are travelling to different cities for 3 straight weekends after some of them just traveled most of the week before for a conference tournament.

* Diminishes the regular season - If there's a playoff, the regular season won't mean as much.
For teams like Boise, Hawaii, Utah, how much does the regular season mean now. It kinda sucks knowing that no matter what you do, you will probably never get a chance to play for a title. Also, how much does the rest of the season mean once you lose that first game, then the second. I can come up with plenty of scenarios where playoffs would give regular season games meaning that otherwise would have none. Yes, Michigan-OSU a few years ago and UF-Bama in the SEC title games might not be have been as big knowing that you'll probably both make the playoffs. But if you don't think getting a bye, playing a home playoff game, or just beating a rival means anything, then you don't watch a lot of football. I sure as hell cared about beating Tech last year even though I knew we had nothing big on the line.

I don't have all the answers but please don't give me the normal crap as to why it won't work. I'm not that smart and I can shoot down almost any argument. A small playoff with like 6-16 teams would be fairly easy to work out. We can keep half the bowls and teams not in the playoffs can go to them. We all know there's too many bowls now anyway, 6-6 teams should not be "rewarded" and some of these bowls aren't even half full. The semi's and the finals could still rotate between the bigger 3-4 bowls, all other games played at home stadiums. Depending on number of teams, better seeds are rewarded with bye's. Play on Saturday's during Dec with championship on 1st or 2nd Sat in Jan depending on schedules.

My 2 biggest issues with the bowls/BCS will always be:
1) It is SOOOOOO stupid to have a championship game 4-6 weeks after your last game. The teams aren't the same ones that finished the season and that's just a ridiculous amount of time to have off. I'm okay with 1 or 2 weeks, but that's it. Let's see the same team that just went 13-0. People complain about the Super Bowl having the extra week in between.

2) A team can go undefeated (even in a big conference) and have no shot to prove they're the best team in the country that season. As much as I dislike Auburn, I call this the Auburn rule. If we go undefeated and watch Texas and Florida State play for a national title, how red in the face would you be arguing for UGA. I know I'd lose my mind.


Downward Spiral

When Rev started this blog and introduced his contributors, he let it be known that I was a pro wrestling, a.k.a rasslin', fan. Well, that's partly true. I used to be one. A HUGE one.

A little background: Around the age of 10-11, my parents took me to my great aunt's house one Saturday night so they could go to dinner and a movie. Well, this was around 1985-86 and Saturday nights were rasslin' nights on TV. It started around 7 p.m. and went well past midnight. To say she was into it was like saying Charlie Sheen was into hookers.

My parents told me she was and I was mildly interested. I had caught some of the NWA broadcasts on TBS, etc. and was intrigued by the combat and the personalities (one in particular, but we'll get to him later) and looked forward to catching it and having her explain who everyone was to me. Well, I remember it like it was yesterday: they picked us up some burgers, fries and shakes from the Dairy Queen, dropped me off and let my lesson begin.

My dad has always hated the "sport", but I was just 10-11 years old and he felt it was harmless and it was good company for the lady. He let me know it was fake and just for entertainment. He failed, however, to properly prepare me for just how serious my great aunt took it. Good God, I've never seen someone get so wrapped up in something. She would hollar, curse (no F bombs, but plenty of S ones) and condemn the heels (the bad guys) to the feiry pits of hell for what they did to the faces (the good guys). I was as entertained by the 70+ year old woman hurling her cane at the TV as I was by what was happening on the TV itself.

One wrestler in particular captured my attention and her ire: Ric Flair. Even if you've never seen a second of wrestling in your life, you've heard of Ric Flair. He's been in the business since the 70's and is the ultimate heel. He came on the screen for an interview in a suit and sunglasses and began yelling and WOOHing about what he did and what he was gonna do. I was riveted.

This became a Saturday night ritual for several more weekends: pick up some DQ and head to my great aunt's for some rasslin'. We even took her to her first live event at the old Omni. The cane once again came into play as she blasted this enormous fella across the back with it because he wouldn't sit down and it obstructed her view, much to my dad's chagrin. Thank God he found it funny and didn't get out of his seat again until it was over.

When I got into high school, I stopped watching, but still kept up with Flair's antics on TV.

When I got into college, I abandoned it completely until my senior year @ UGA when the WWF Attitude Era began (Stone Cold Steve Austin in an endless battle w/ his "boss", Vince McMahon). I was in one of my business classes and this guy in front of me was telling the person sitting beside him how great it was. It happened to be a Monday, so I tuned into Monday Night Raw that night and was sucked in all over again.

(Full disclosure: when Simple & Rev were renting an apartment in the ATL, they even bought a PPV for us to watch and Rev even did the entire K-Dogg bit, complete w/ the flip across the room.)

It was always mindless fun, but as we get older, we need to abandon it to be taken seriously in society. I still, however, kept up w/ Flair only by taping the Monday night shows and fast forwarding thru all of it until his segment, then moving on. I even renacted an elbow drop at a tailgate, thus falling down the hill and breaking my toe in the process. Another incident involving me dropping an elbow on a scarecrow in my yard around Halloween and woohing and shuffling all around his broken carcass was captured on camera by a friend, but was confiscated by the FBI.

I just wanted to give a little (it turned out to be a lot) of background before I put the link to the excellent, yet sad, article written on the Grantland site about the long, steady decline of Ric Flair due to his real life excesses. It's an all too familiar tale of a celebrity living for today and not planning for tomorrow.

Give it a read when you have time.

I Never, EVER Thought I'd Use This Phrase, But...........

I think I like Boise State's uniforms more than ours.

I do still like our helmets more, but think they got us beat on the rest.


GA Theatre 2.0

Here is a good article on the rebuilding of the GA Theatre and how the finished product looks (damn good, especially w/ that new rooftop bar). Be sure and scroll thru the pics.

For those of us that attended UGA, the Theatre was part of our lives for 4 (in my case, 5) years.

Having said that, it wasn't the worst thing in the world for that place to receive a makeover, although the means might not have been the safest route.

I remember reading an article in the Red & Black covering the fire where a student said, "With that much alcohol and urine soaked into the floor, it's going to burn for days."

Um, yeah. It needed an upgrade.

Focus on Boise

Like the Rev said Wed, most of us are in the "no idea" camp when trying to figure out what we'll be this year. I've been reading some articles coming out of Boise and they appear very confident going into our game and probably with good reason. They proved in last year's game against Virginia Tech that they can travel across the country and play in this big national game. We of course didn’t prove much last year. I was surprised how we fought back to .500 to make a bowl game. I really thought after the Colorado loss, the team was done and the season was going to be epicly bad. I wonder how much that awful bowl game factors into fans psyche this year. If we blow out UCF, does everyone feel just a little better about this season, who knows.

I always like to look at betting sites for previews about games. They might not be right but they are in the business of making money, so they don’t have the usual regional, conference associated bias that a lot of other media may have. Boise by 3 in our backyard.

This obviously makes sense based on everything we know. The problem is that we have so many unknowns. Here’s my list of 5 keys to the game for a dawg win (in order of most important):

1) Defense – stop the run and pressure the QB. Moore is too good to give him time. We’ve never been a team that can put up huge numbers when we get behind. Sometimes we’ve proven we can score with teams but that does not include making huge comebacks. More times than not, we tend to make big deficits, huge deficits. *Please do not mention the great comeback against West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl, I was there and at the end of the day, we still lost. It’s only a comeback to me, if you end up winning* I really think we’re in trouble if this game gets in the high 20’s, low 30’s. Not saying we can’t win a shootout but our odds are better keeping it low scoring.

2) Defense – see #1. Discipline, everyone knows how they like to use a lot of misdirection, so stay on assignments and don’t get caught looking in the back field and let your guy run right past you. This has been a huge issue the last 2 plus seasons. Blown assignments have led to big plays, we were always a bend not break D under BVG. I think that will serve us well against Boise. Even though it’s the first game, we can’t give away first downs on penalties, make them earn every yard.

3) Don’t get too cute on offense – Boise’s defense is very good but at the end of the day, we are deeper, bigger, and faster. I’ve never understood why a team that’s so much bigger than another (not that we are that much) doesn’t just power over them. I know a defense can scheme and put a few more in the box, but Wisconsin tells you at the coin flip that they’re going to run it down your throat and they usually do. This is the way I think, so I’m always blown away when a App State beats a Michigan.

4) Special teams – take advantage of our stronger special teams. Convincingly win the field position battle and I like our chances.

5) Coaching – this is obviously more import but I’m specifically talking about mid game adjustments. I think coaches that can quickly process information and adjust make a huge difference in the first few games of the year (against good opponents). Since we aren’t 100% sure what our strengths/weaknesses are, we need the coaches to be able to pick them out quickly and adjust to them. Everyone has tape to watch later in the season but these first few games need more adjustment ability than normal. I’m reminded of a GA/FL game Rev and I went to back in the day when they threw 30 plus screen plays and we never adjusted to them. It was one of the most frustrating things to watch.

I haven't told the other, more frequent, posters about the proposal of game predictions. We usually do this through email randomly throughout the season. I think it's time to make it public and take all the criticism that comes with it. So keep checking next week for us to put it out there on the line......from outside the arena. We'll just take it one game at a time.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pat Summitt

Just wanted to send our thoughts and prayers to Pat Summitt. She's been diagnosed with early onset dementia, story here. Sports often makes us "enemies" of schools and people associated with those schools, but hopefully, readers of this blog will always keep things in perspective. Pat, I wish you the best and good luck in fighting for another, much more important victory.



The guys over at Crystal Ball Run interviewed one of LSU's main bloggers, Kris Brauner, and proposed five questions about the upcoming season.  As part of his response to the question about whether Miles wins more games for you or loses more games, Braun says the following about Miles:
His decision making is often unconventional and sometimes borders on reckless. But it's rooted in a belief in his players and a belief that they are prepared to execute something a little different. The players take note. And as a result, they love playing for Miles. He's fun. He likes to go for it. He believes in them. And the game is never over when Miles is your coach. It makes for a healthy player/coach relationship that has benefitted LSU over the last six years.
And that right there absolutely nails my biggest criticism of Richt and his staff the past few years.  There has been no belief in the players whatsoever (Blutarsky and PWD were addressing these issues as far back as 2 years ago, and to this point we have not seen it change on the field).  That was evidenced when we kicked the field goal against UCF.  It was evidenced every time we sent Logan Gray out to fair catch the ball, instead of putting somebody on the field who could make something happen.  It is evidenced when you have a QB slinging the ball well all over the field, yet you choose to run Carlton Thomas up the middle on 3rd and 12 because you're too scared that you might throw an interception.  The list goes on and on.

Now certainly there is a bit of a chicken/egg scenario in that do the players have to earn the faith of the coaches first, or do the coaches have to show faith in the players first?  I would argue that the coaches have to show the faith first.  If you call plays and believe in the players to step up and make those plays, then more often than not they will.  And even if they fail, you have to continue believing in them, and if you do that, then they are more likely to succeed the next time around.  But if you constantly make decisions showing that you don't trust the players to make big plays, then even when you do finally make a gutsy call, the players have been conditioned to not be confident in those situations.  Early in Richt's career at UGA, he became known for being gutsy, there were numerous gutsy 4th down calls that he made or special teams strategies that put the players in position to make plays, and it nearly always worked.  It became a positive feedback cycle..........the more times Richt made gutsy calls, the more times the players believed in him and came through, which gave Richt more confidence to make future gutsy calls, which made the players believe in themselves and the coaches even more, and so on and so forth.  But the past few years have been just the opposite.  In order for us to turn things back around, Richt has to find a way to reinstill that belief in himself and in the players, and make decisions accordingly.  Richt has made a lot of changes recently, but if this mentality does not change, I'm afraid the rest of the changes won't matter.  If it DOES change, however, watch out........we could be in for a fun year.


New Rating System For QB's

Some of the talking heads over at ESPN have put their talkative heads together and come up with a new way to judge QB performance, known as the Total Quarterback Rating.  (h/t to blog reader Andy Bulluck, thanks for the link).  I'll be the first to admit that I am far from a stats geek, I typically find these sorts of things mind-numbingly dull, but this one is actually a pretty good read.

The article is written in terms of evaluating NFL QB's, but would apply at any level.  Here is the basic premise:
QBR starts with this insight: Any possession in a football game has an expected value -- the average number of points the team with possession can expect to score, based on all the historical outcomes for teams facing the same down, distance, field position and time remaining. And that means we can evaluate any play by how much it increases or decreases a team's expected point total.
It goes on to explain how it accounts for factors such as that a QB should get more credit for a 5 yard pass on 3rd and 3 (which increases the chance of scoring on that drive) than completing a 5 yard pass on 3rd and 15 (which does not).  It also rewards things like "clutch" plays and penalizes things not currently taken into account for QB ratings, like QB's who are bad about taking sacks.

There have already been some criticisms (as there always are) of this proposed method, including this piece from Yahoo Sports. While the lack of a strength of opponent factor is a valid criticism, it's still far better than what is out there now.  It will be an interesting metric to watch this year, and if it catches on at the NFL level, I hope it eventually catches on at the NCAA level as well.  It would give a more interesting perspective on QB ratings.


**If you ever see a link that you think would make a good blog post, please don't be shy about sending it in, like Andy did.  I never realized how hard it is to come up with ideas for blog posts - until I started blogging.  You think you've got all these great ideas, then after you've written about 10 posts, you realize "Ummmm.......errrrrr......well, that's about all I had to say".  So any help is appreciated!  You can send me an email by clicking on my name on the right hand side of the blog here, then click on "Email" on my profile page.  I'm also on Twitter, @Rev_Whitewall**

And Speaking Of Vanishing Safeties.....

What is the deal with Baccari Rambo?

Richt on Monday reeled off several players’ names that he said followed strong springs with a continued high level of play this preseason.
The list included safety Shawn Williams, safety/ cornerback Sanders Commings and cornerbacks Branden Smith and Brandon Boykin.
Notably absent was senior safety Bacarri Rambo, who started every game last season when he was second on the team with 82 tackles and tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
Rambo did not get first-team work in the 10-minute portion of practice open to the media on Tuesday.
Richt said secondary coach Scott Lakatos would have to answer the question of which players are the starters at safety now.
"I wouldn’t know how to answer that," Richt said. "I know there are at least three that are ready to play, if not four."
Williams and Commings were the first-team safeties in practice.
Rambo has not been available for interviews this preseason after practice. A Georgia spokesman said Rambo did not want to do interviews on Monday.

There's something more to the story here.  Either some in-house discipline, or a not-yet-announced suspension for the opener, and I'm beginning to suspect the latter.  I have no inside info, just giving my artful interpretation of the tea leaves.


Janzen Jackson Gone From UT

Well, I guess Derek Dooley does have a limit.

Vols safety Janzen Jackson, who was probably UT's biggest playmaker on defense (and another of Lane Kiffin's gem recruits), has apparently been dismissed according to this tweet:

If you'll remember, Jackson has had quite the checkered experienced during his time with the Vols.  But despite having been part of an attempted armed robbery, another suspension due to violating team rules, then withdrawing from school and leaving for five months, Dooley had welcomed him back this summer.  No word yet on what the straw was that broke the camel's back, but this is a huge loss for a very young Tennessee defense.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Returning From Sabbatical......

My apologies for the light amount of posting last week.  My work was crazy, then to top it off, the stomach bug decided to take up residence at my house so I was either taking care of someone sick or being sick from Thursday through yesterday.  That was awesome.*

I don't really have anything I want to link to today, just have a few thoughts to throw out there.

I don't know about you guys, but this preseason has just been weird for me.  I feel like I should be getting so excited about the season, but I'm just not getting there.  Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, but I guess I'm looking forward to it more with curiosity than with excitement.  I concur with what a lot of other bloggers have written, that we could win 5 games this year or 11 games this year, and neither would shock me.  On the one hand, looking at our perceived talent level and the schedule we play, it's not hard to see how we should win a minimum of 9 games.  But on the other hand, you wonder how fragile the psyche of this team is, and if we lose those first two games, it's not hard to see how the whole season could collapse shortly thereafter.  With all the changes that were made with Strength & Conditioning, nutrition, removing the "cancers" on the team, getting everyone "on the bus", energy vampires, etc........losing those first two games despite all those changes could be pretty demoralizing from a player's point of view.  

More and more, I'm beginning to feel like this will not be a "mediocre" year.  And I guess my definition of "mediocre" is 7 or 8 regular season wins.  I think we're either going to get some early season momentum and ride that to 9+ wins, or the wheels are going to completely come off at some point, and it's going to be U-G-L-Y.  Of course the homer in me says that the former is more likely than the latter.  But I can't help but notice some of the similarities of where we stand now, and where Tubberville (Auburn tenure), Fulmer, and Tommy Bowden were going into their make-or-break years.  With those three, they had made culture changes, personnel changes, and/or had what was perceived to be excellent returning talent, yet all 3 flamed out.  But then again, I feel like we've seen Richt's zeal return in a way that I never saw from those other 3 in their last year.

There are so many point/counter-points with this team.  The one overriding factor for me though has been Richt's willingness to change over the past 2 years.  He's gone from dismissing critics as having "never been in the arena" to making changes that addressed the majority of the very criticisms that he had dismissed (Martinez and his failures as a D-coordinator, directional kicking, strength & conditioning, more intense practices, playing true freshmen if they're able to contribute, etc).  Tubberville brought in a new offensive coordinator, but didn't allow him to bring in his own position coaches, which created all kinds of staff chemistry issues.  Bowden had the most returning talent in the ACC, but refused to part with Rob Spence, who was the Willie Martinez of offensive coordinators (it only took Syracuse 1 season to figure out how awful he was, but Bowden had kept him for 4 years).  And Fulmer had pretty much given up on recruiting, the cupboard was pretty empty when he was forced out.  Richt has made the wholesale staff changes that were needed though (I still believe in Bobo, for now), has seemingly improved chemistry throughout the program, and just brought in one heck of a recruiting class.  So my comparison of our current situation to the situation of those 3 above going into their make or break years is not apples-to-apples by any means.

So what to make of all this?  You got me.  I keep trying to sit down and start making my predictions for the year, and get pulled in too many directions with my thoughts.  I aim to have my predictions ready by this weekend though, so stay tuned!


*It really wasn't.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Flauntin' Tha G

Tell me you won't be barking up a storm at home if Crowell finds the camera & displays the above after scooting to the end zone for his first rushing TD as a Dawg.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nike Pro Combat Unis Revealed

Well, they're here!

At first glance, I thought, "These are pretty sharp!"

At second glance, I thought, "Wait, where are the silver britches? Is that a silver helmet?"

The next logical statement would be, "Get off my lawn!" given my gripes about the break from traditional garb, but it's just for one game.

Like someone just said to me, "I don't care if we wear pink & high heels as long as we bring it this year." How 'bout we bring it in some red & black?

Two more weeks and I can't wait.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Frivolities

Yo. The biggest news coming out of camp this week involves the loss of Jakar Hamilton to a season-ending ankle injury (I wouldn't label this as devastating because, let's face it, he hasn't done much and we're pretty deep at that spot).

However, the biggest news to me involves Bacarri Rambo working on the 2nd string at safety. Hmm...was his freshman year a tease or were we watching another Greg Blue (blows coverage quite often, yet we forget about it when he de-cleats someone on a monster hit)? Want to know my theory? Of course you do. Good because here it is: after this epic ass chewing by Grantham during the first game of last year's thrashing of Louisiana-Lafayette, he hasn't been the same.

Remember the SC game that followed the opener? Yeah, he looked like he was in a fog and was a step slow on everything.

Methinks Rambo is more like Tropic Thunder.

On the TV front, I've finally discovered Swamp People on the History Channel. Good God, that's good stuff. I love Troy's near-indecipherable Cajun accent.

That's about the only thing I'm watching as the Fall TV season slowly approaches.

On a personal note, I finally purchased a truck. After a month of hair-pulling, frustration, head banging against the wall, etc., I finally found a great deal on a beaut: 2011 GMC Sierra 1500, black 4-door badassery. Simple Man is so proud.

That's it for today, kids. Let's hope the good vibes continue to come out of camp and we continue the relatively good run of health.

Onward & upward...and Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Orson's in the Clear

Is this our year to dodge NCAA poo bombs or what?
#7 is in the clear from the Miami fiasco (h/t the Senator @ GTP).

NCAA like bad parents

We've discussed the NCAA and violations a few times on the blog before, which begs the question, will this ever get better?

IMO, the punishments are not fitting the crimes. The NCAA is a complete joke in most fans' eyes and they are not helping themselves with very inconsistent rulings. They take way too long to investigate and usually the wrong people have to face the punishment.

By now, everyone has seen Yahoo's report on The U..gly and more information may be coming out about our friends on the plains regarding a "Bagman".

Until college football becomes like the NFL and institutes a salary cap or starts really punishing schools, boosters won't stop and schools will continue to look the other way. Remember when the USC sanctions came down, everyone was shocked at how bad they were. Are you kidding me, a few scholarships and no post season for a few years doesn't seem like the true spanking they needed. OSU should get way more and still waiting to see what the final decisions will be, but not impressed so far. And if half of the Miami stuff out there is true, it should be a graded 10 year penalty with immediate severity. These penalties should turn these schools into historically bad teams like periods Duke, Northwestern, Kansas State, New Mexico State have gone through.

I have no bias towards USC, OSU, UNC, or Miami (leaving out Auburn, because I do toward them) but they are not getting what they "deserve". The NCAA is like the UN giving sanctions and sanctions and a stern warning to countries committing terrible human rights violations, sometimes you need to drop the hammer on a big boy to send a real message. I'm not talking death penalty, but cut scholarships to 50, cut money, no TV, no postseason for 5 years. Conferences should start cutting them out of shared revenue if you are found guilty. Hit them in the pocket so hard that schools have no choice but to start taking this seriously. I wish we could be talking about actual football games 3 weeks before the season instead of this.

-simple thoughts from a SimpleMan

Fallout From Miami Hits Athens

Orson Charles may be part of the collateral damage (h/t Tyler Dawgden) from the bombshell dropped in Miami yesterday.  On the surface, it doesn't appear that he did anything blatantly wrong, but anybody being associated with this investigation isn't a good thing.  With only 3 weeks between now and the season opener, it may be difficult to get an answer from the NCAA in time regarding eligibility issues, which could result in us having to sit him as a precaution.  Fortunately, tight end is where we have the greatest depth, but that doesn't mean you want to lose the best guy at that spot.  Here's hoping for a speedy resolution.


*Update* - the consensus seems to be that unless there is more to the story than has been reported, it's hard to see how Charles did anything that would jeopardize his eligibility.  I don't see why he would get into trouble for going to a guy's house and looking at long he didn't take one of those jerseys (or any other items) home with him.  But as long as there's nothing else to it, we should be good to go.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dougie Time

Ok, so this is totally non-UGA related, but it made me laugh.  I had not seen this clip from the NFL last year.

You know how you get onto YouTube sometimes, then start clicking on the suggested videos that pop up on the right hand side, and continue doing that until you end up watching things that have absolutely nothing to do with what you started out looking for?  I had one of those episodes the other night.  I pulled up and started watching some music videos from back in the 90's, then I followed some threads that lead me to sports-related music, then to people doing crazy dances like you see on the jumbotron at sporting events........then the next thing I knew, I was watching Braylon Edwards doing the Dougie:

I don't know what I find funnier....#65 demonstrating the Dougie as he's pleading his case to the officials, or the guys making comments in the background.  All I know is I laughed a lot when I watched this.  The only thing that would have made this better is if Ed Hochuli (he of the mighty bulging biceps) had actually said "Dead ball foul..............Unsportsmanlike conduct.......Illegal use of the Dougie."  I think that would have even topped Ron Cherry's iconic use of "Giving him the business".


Monday, August 15, 2011

Time For a Scooter Ban

Ray Drew suffered a sprained shoulder (the article didn't say which one, but it was either the right or the left) in a scooter accident on his way home from church (!) yesterday (h/t Seth from Bulldogs Blog).

This is the 2nd scooter-related mishap to a player we are counting on (DE Derrick Lott being the first) in the past few weeks.

I'm in favor of having some freshmen rushees drive our guys around wherever they want to go, whenever they want to go. It'll be a good way to give back, kids.

A Few Thoughts........

Just had a few random things rolling around in my head over the weekend that I hadn't had a chance to sit down and write:

- The more I think about it, the more I don't want SEC expansion to happen.  It almost seems to me like if you go to 14 teams, you have to go 16 teams from a competitive balance standpoint.  Assuming they want to keep an 8 game SEC schedule for teams (I hope they wouldn't go to a 9 game schedule, the SEC gauntlet is already hard enough), with one being a yearly cross division rival, a 14 team setup becomes odd.  Instead of playing your yearly rival plus two other teams from the other division, you would only play your yearly rival and then one other team from the other division.  And assuming you do a home & home with that other team, you would go 10 years between playing any one specific team from the other division (outside of your yearly rival).  So it would make more sense to go to 16 teams.  With that, you would play the other 7 teams in your division, then your annual cross-division rivalry, so your SEC schedule would be the same every year.  This actually would work well in that you wouldn't have the wide variation in schedule strength that you see now between teams in the same division (for example, neither UGA or SC play 'Bama or LSU this year, whereas UF gets them both).  The only variation in schedule strength would depend on how good your yearly rival is that year compared to everyone else's......but it would be less of a variation than we have now.  However, I just don't want a 16 team SEC.  I don't have a concrete, logical reason as to why I don't..............I just don't.

- Some of you know I live in the Greenville, SC area, which is of course near Clemson.  The Clemson fans are all thinking if the big expansion does happen, then they will get an invite along with FSU.  However, I don't see any chance at all that both of those schools get an invitation to the SEC.  The purpose of expansion would be to bring in new markets, so that ESPN will pay more money.  Teams like Missouri (St Louis & Kansas City markets), Texas A&M (Dallas &Houston), Va Tech (D.C.), and even UNC or NC State (Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, etc) all bring new markets to the table.  Clemson and FSU do not.  I agree that culturally, both would be a great fit in the SEC...........but if expansion happens, it will be only for money........tradition, competition, etc will not be a consideration.  If the SEC is for some reason only able to land 3 out of the list above, then I could seem them taking Clemson or FSU just for balance, but I see no way that both get in.

- I was watching the 2009 UGA-Auburn game on CSS last week, and noticed a couple of things.  The first was that Ealey sure did look a lot quicker as a freshman than he did as a sophomore.  Not sure what to read into that, just an observation.  The second was that I was surprised at how small of a role Fairley played in their defense in 2009.  I looked it up, and for the entire year, he only had 28 tackles and 1 sack (of course, that sack came against us at about our own 2 yard line).  Just like John Jenkins, Fairley came in as a JUCO transfer - though he had only played one year of JUCO ball, he redshirted his first year.  But it took him a year of playing at the D-1 level to blossom.  Obviously we saw what type of dominating player he developed into, though.  I'm saying all that just to say this:  if Jenkins doesn't come out and dominate right away, cut him some slack, it doesn't mean he won't become dominant.  Obviously I'd love to have him come in and have an immediate impact like Cody did, but I think the more realistic expectation is for him to be a solid contributor early on, and hopefully develop into the beast we all want down the road.

The team got a much needed day of rest yesterday, hopefully we have some good practices this week.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Texas A&M's Impact On The Dawgs

The Senator poses the question this morning:
If Texas A&M does jump conferences, how much do you care about that move opening up the Texas recruiting market to Mark Richt and Georgia?
Much has been made about the fact that by adding Texas A&M, it would open up the Texas market to recruiting by the SEC schools.  However, I think it will only help the recruiting of a few SEC schools..........namely LSU, Arkansas, the Mississippi duo, and MAYBE the Alabama schools.

High School basketball players routinely commit to top schools that are long distances from where they live....but while that does happen some with HS football players, the more common occurrence is that they stay relatively close to home.  For example, while not all the top talent in Georgia stays in-state, they're usually at least going to one of the bordering states (SC, AL, TN, FL).  It's a relatively small percentage of big name players coming out of Georgia that do not end up either staying in state, or playing at one of the schools in these states.  For exactly that reason, I don't see UGA now being able to go out and grab a bunch of TX talent.  You'd have to figure if we're going all the way to Texas for a guy, he's a stud recruit, so everybody is going to want him.  So to get him to come, he'd have to choose us over top notch programs like the Texas schools, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, LSU, both the Alabama schools, Florida, and Tennessee.....all of whom are as close or closer to home than we would be.  Yes, Stafford came from TX, but that was a unique case due to his father's UGA connection.  But for the most part, top players in Texas aren't going to start coming to UGA just because the SEC now has a presence in the state.

The other point I've seen is that UGA could receive an indirect benefit by other schools turning more of their focus on recruiting the state of Texas and less emphasis on Georgia.  Again, for all the reasons stated above, I just don't see that happening.  The schools in our border states aren't going to all of a sudden put less emphasis on Georgia talent, because again speaking geographically, it's going to be much harder to pull talent out of Texas than it is to pull out of Georgia for those schools, too.  Arkansas and LSU will definitely turn up their recruiting efforts in Texas, but it's not like we lose a lot of top in-state talent to either of those schools (yes, there are exceptions, but neither of them has a strong recruiting foothold in GA).  If I were a fan of Arkansas or LSU, I'd be pretty excited about this potential development....but as a UGA fan, I'm pretty ambivalent.  If it happens, great, but if it doesn't, that's fine too.  I would be more interested in who is brought in along with A&M to balance the divisions, but that will be a post for another day.

Hope everyone has a dandy weekend.


Groin G-G-Groin Injury

Looks like Crowell is day-to-day (aren't we all?) with a groin injury, or as Sam Malone once rapped, "a groin g-g-groin injury".
He and the staff said it's not serious and he should be ready to run all over the Broncos as promised.

On a somewhat related note, I just read somewhere else that we didn't lose our top 2 rushers. We were relieved of them.
Damn skippy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Frivolities

As Kim Jong-il would say, "It's finarry Fliday!" Ain't that the truth.

On the Dawg front, nothing but good news coming out of camp. There have been no arrests, exploded ligaments, etc. Richard Samuel is fumbling, so I guess everything is as it should be.

On the entertainment front, man, I am ready for Fall TV to get here. I've emptied my DVR in my Man Cave and need some more mindless entertainment to take me away like Calgon never could.

I rented (well, I had an expiring Redbox coupon) a steaming turd called Drive Angry (from Nicolas Cage; more on him later) simply because The Sports Guy had the always hilarious Adam Carolla on one of his podcasts and they couldn't discuss it without laughing because of how mind -numbingly bad it was and how far Cage's star has fallen. You know what? They were right.

I read something the other day about a father trying to answer his son's question about what's wrong with Tiger Woods: "Son, just like Nicolas Cage, I swear Tiger was great at one time."

Cage used to be the man just 10 or so years ago. He was cranking out commercial hits like The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, Gone in Sixty Seconds, etc. and Oscar-worthy performances & pictures like Leaving Las Vegas (he won Best Actor), Adaptation & Matchstick Men. After that, yikes. Every movie became weirder than the previous one. Then again, when you're being offered $20 million a movie, who's going to be picky? I guess I just answered my own question.

On a personal note, I am at my wit's end (it was a short trip, too) in looking for a truck. Pushy salesmen, ridiculous markups, etc. I'm still trudging along, but I'm trying to remind myself that foot-stomping fits are not recommended for men in their mid-30's. I am dangerously close, however, to lying on my back and kicking my legs in a full-blown Walmart fit.

Enjoy your weekend, peeps.

Onward & upward.

Nuggets from Dan Patrick

I listen to Dan Patrick as part of my sports talk/news talk work day background noise. I just had to share the following treats from the show:

I know this is also from Tosh, but wanted all our readers to understand LC's passion for the acting sport of rasslin

highlighted by:
"Also an apparent golfer, North Korean state media reports that Kim routinely shoots three or four holes-in-one per round."

I've played a lot of golf and still looking for my first ace, dang those Koreans are born to play golf.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ode to Verne

I don't know if any of you guys are reading The Crystal Ball Run yet or not, but it's a great blog if you're looking for a more national view of college football.  It's a new blog, but all the contributors are veteran bloggers.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this post about good ol' Uncle Verne, and though it was worth sharing.