Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wishing And Hoping And Thinking And Praying

Holy cow, it didn't fully hit me until reading LC's post yesterday, but FOOTBALL IS HERE, BABY!  I mean, I knew that the players reported on August 2nd with practice starting on the 3rd, but I somehow hadn't fully grasped that that is like 3 days away.  Now comes the part of the year that I love and dread.  I love it because we (the fans) finally start having some substance to talk about, instead of just speculation.  I dread it because each day when I go to check the practice notes, here is what I look like as the page loads:


As the title says, wishing & hoping & thinking & praying........for no major injuries.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I really look nothing like that guy.  He's far better looking and more stylish than me).  And never will that be more true than this year.  The kid has never even seen the field and we have no idea if he can play or not, but the announced shoulder surgery for Brandon Burrows was just one more hit in an already depleted area.    One or two key injuries in any of the OL, ILB, or TB positions and we will be staging our own version of the Vanderbilt student body tryouts that got so much press early this year.

Richt has a fine line to walk........last year it seemed like we didn't go hard enough in the preseason, and we came out very soft.  You love hearing about guys bringing the wood in practice, but then this spring, the number of concussions that were reported had me thinking that maybe the guys were hitting a little too hard.  When you have a limited amount of practice time, every rep is valuable (especially for the young guys), so you gotta figure out how to let the guys go full speed - without killing each other.  It's an unenviable task, but Richt has to figure it out.  In meantime, let's hope that good ol' Lady Luck smiles on us a little extra this year.

-Rev.



Friday, July 29, 2011

Finally Friday






Word. This time next week, I will be able to put something delightful in regards to the start of practice or be in full-on panic mode because a starting OL got his leg destroyed or Nick Fairley got off the short bus and drilled Murray from behind in full stride as Trooper Taylor did the Dougie from the sidelines, putting him out until mid-October.


Either way, we'll finally be able to talk some Bulldawg feetball in the context as to what's going on because the start to the season will be just one month away.



In the meantime, I recently saw the best movie of the summer (and the best I've seen in a while) in Captain America: The First Avenger. Really good stuff. I took my kids and they absolutely ate it up. We were all riveted and thoroughly enjoyed it.


I have Cowboys & Aliens on my radar for this weekend, time permitting.


On the music front, I strongly suggest you check out Eric Church's new release, Chief. (No, I'm not calling you chief; that's the name of the CD/album/download/etc.)


My favorite track on there is "Jack Daniel's (Kicked My Ass Again Last Night)"...which is in no way related to last weekend's lake trip, but is fitting.


On the food front, I survived the Hardee's taco salad for lunch. I'm having Cajun for dinner, so I might be flying thru the clouds over the southeast tomorrow frantically putting away some Zantac.


Anyhoo, enjoy your weekend no matter what you do. I plan on kicking some more tires and getting my ego stroked by worn down men in cheap ties.


Onward & upward.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jarvis Jones Status

Good write-up by T. Kyle King on the Jarvis Jones situation, which is largely building off of the latest info put out there by Seth Emerson.  However, while I have absolutely no inside info whatever, and am purely speculating, I disagree with his comment that the NCAA will not use the pre-existing relationship as a mitigating factor:
"I really can’t see the Adams-Jones relationship being a mitigating factor; either the relationship was such that the benefits were not improper, and Jones is eligible, or the relationship did not prevent the benefits from being deemed improper, and that relationship has no impact on the length of the suspension. "
Given the recent actions by the NCAA, I see them using it as a cop-out.........ruling him ineligible for 4 games, but due to mitigating circumstances, reducing it to 2 games.  That decision would allow them to appease the critics who say the NCAA isn't enforcing the rules, but also appease the affected school's fan base by showing some level of mercy.  Again, I emphasize that this is purely my opinion, but I do agree with Mr. King that we likely will not see Jarvis on the field at the Dome on September 3rd.

-Rev.

Honestly, How Did It Take This Long?



Not that I spend a lot of time dwelling on issues in the SEC-lite conference (aka the ACC), but for a school that values its pristine image as much as UNC does, I can't believe it took until now for them to fire Butch Davis.  His whole angle throughout the investigations has been that he had no idea that his assistant coaches were up to such crazy antics, and he had nothing to do with the violations.  But when you're being paid $2.25 million annually, part of that compensation comes with somewhat of a responsibility to have a clue as to the actions of your staff.......especially considering YOU are the one that hired them.  So he was either complicit, or he was wildly incompetent in managing his staff......and neither are acceptable for continued employment.  It's about time the UNC administration came to the same conclusion.

-Rev.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rambo Looks To Be Suspended

I wanted each of our predictions to have at least a full day to be at the top of the list for blog posts, so I'm actually typing this Monday night, with a scheduled posting time of Tuesday night, so forgive me if some of the info is outdated by the time this posts.  As I speculated last week, it appears that Rambo has been suspended.  Richt is still playing coy, but it's clearly obvious:

  1. Rambo is the only major player who has not been available to the media
  2. He has yet to be seen practicing with the #1 unit.  Even if he had been passed on the depth chart, he'd still be getting some reps there.
  3. When asked last week who would be the next corner in if Branden Smith couldn't go, Richt's answer was Damian Swann........if Rambo was available, then Rambo would slide into a safety spot, and Sanders Commings would be the next CB on the field.  But if Rambo is not available, that keeps Commings at safety, which makes sense as to why Swann would be the next CB on the field.
  4. When Carlton Thomas' suspension was announced, Richt was asked straight up if there were any other suspensions, and his answer was something along the lines "We don't have anything to announce - right now" instead of "No, there is currently nobody else suspended".
  5. If Rambo wasn't suspended, then Richt would say he's not suspended, instead of "No, I'm not gonna address that. At the appropriate time if anybody has anything like that I'll let you know, though."
What's most impressive is that they've kept it under wraps for this long.  I'm not sure what the logic is behind keeping it a secret, but they've done a good job of it.  I have a lot of confidence in the remaining starters at safety, but I sure hope they're fit enough to play an entire game.  Marc Deas has gotten absolutely no hype this preseason, so I can't see him helping a lot.  And the rest of the guys are true freshmen.  Against a QB like Kellen Moore, we're not in the ideal situation.  

-Rev.

When The Master Becomes The Student



I typically reserve my most enthusiastic moments of Schadenfreude for Georgia Tech related miseries, but living in South Carolina and being surrounded by 'Cock fans, I can indulge some in their miseries as well:
University of South Carolina Quarterbacks Coach G.A. Mangus was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with nuisance conduct.
According to police, Mangus, 42, was arrested after he was found urinating on the street near Carolina Ale House on Main Street in Greenville at about 1:30 a.m.
Two officers stopped Mangus when one of them noticed a wet spot near where he was standing, according to an incident report from the City of Greenville Police Department. Police said Mangus was leaning on a railing next to the street curb, facing the street, while urinating on the curb and roadway.
That's right, this is the guy who has been responsible for mentoring Stephen Garcia the past 3 years.......hard to find any more irony than that.

I love the "noticed a wet spot" phrase......perhaps Mangus could have told them he was just really excited to be in Greenville?

Now we've had our day in the sun as well, even with coaches (Neil Callaway) and Athletic Directors.  But their offseason has reminded me so much of our offseason in 2008, their guys have been in the news almost nonstop this year.  We had such high expectations in 2008, the team was getting love from everybody, and they started to believe in their own hype........and ultimately became a fixture on the local police blotters.  Two blowouts and a loss to the nerds later, we were all finally accepting how undisciplined the team had become.  I hope the USC fans are beginning to accept a similar feeling after September 10th.

-Rev.

***Update - Mangus has been suspended from all coaching duties "until this matter is resolved".  How much you wanna bet things get "resolved" in plenty of time for him to help prepare the QB's for their game against us?***

Purging



“I’ve probably had a little less patience than I’ve had in the past,” Richt said, drawing applause. “If they’re not going to be a positive force, they need to go.”


Our head coach said this last night at another speaking engagement in Atlanta.


I FULLY support that statement. Would I had rather had Ealey & King and their knuckleheaded (about as family-friendly as I can get given my short leash by the Rev) selves as insurance/luxury as Crowell gets his feet wet? Well, only if they were producing on the field and weren't distractions off of it...which obviously wasn't the case. So, now we have the part-time LB, part-time RB, full-time fumbler Samuel as our "proven" back headed into the opener vs. Boise State. Yikes.


However, I'm actually more comfortable cheering for (or yelling at) guys that want to do it the right way, the Bulldog way. Hunker down, boys. Bulldog Nation is pulling for you. Hard.

Monday, July 25, 2011

So Can We Beat Boise State?

I'm not quite ready to start doing any official previews/prognostications, but LC got me really thinking about the Boise State game this weekend.  We ended up with a pretty big crew on Saturday, so at one point Reeder 3:16 dumped his wife, me, and LC off at an island in the middle of Lake Oconee while he, Simple Man, and the rest of the crew went out to play on the boat..............  Yeah, we were discarded like a worn out pair of sneakers.  We kept the cooler though, and I was coming off of a massively failed attempt at kneeboarding, so just floating in the water with a beer in my hand worked out for the best anyway.

While the three of us are floating there, reminiscing about old times one minute and solving all the world's problems the next, LC turns to me and says "Ok, really, do you think we can beat Boise State?"  I didn't have an answer, and still don't.  I mean yes, in theory, you always "can" beat anybody, and can be beaten by anybody.  But I knew what LC was getting at.........looking at the recent body of works from the 2 programs (conference strengths aside), how confident can you be that we are going to be celebrating at the end of that game?

We know that Petersen and the Boise State coaching staff are very clever and creative, especially on the offensive side of the ball.  And while I'm excited about the talent we'll have on defense this year, it's a lot of VERY young talent that is going to be seeing their first real significant amount of time in a big game.  The guys everyone is most excited about in our front 7..........Ogletree (played safety last year), Jones (did not play last year, was a reserve as a true frosh at USC and may be suspended anyway), Geathers (played sparingly last year), Jenkins (JUCO ball last year) and Drew (high school ball last year) have little or no experience playing their current position against top-level competition.  Even as athletic as they are, they're going to make mistakes, and a team like Boise State will make you pay dearly for those mistakes.  When I look at their talent, I get excited and see the potential for them to be dominant.  But when I look at their experience, all I can see is their potential to give up big plays.

Not that this is any big revelation, but we are going to have to be able to control the line of scrimmage on defense for us to have a chance this game.  I had never paid much attention to Boise State's offensive line, so I did a bit of research and here's the breakdown of their projected starters (Height & Weight stats from BSU's athletics page):
  • LT - Nate Potter (SR) - 6'6", 300 lbs - Named first-team preseason All-America by both Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.  By all accounts, he's the real deal.
  • LG - Joe Kellogg (JR) - 6'2", 299 lbs - Started 10 games last year, only missed starts due to injury
  • C - Thomas Byrd (SR) - 5'11", 288 lbs - Named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy Watch List, an award given annually to the nation’s top center
  • RG - Jake Broyles (SO) - 6'4", 278 lbs - Had a strong spring, but is light on experience, has only played in 5 games as a backup.
  • RT - Charles Leno (SO) - 6'3", 278 lbs - Only 2 appearances as a backup as a freshman, and had to spend some time at tight end due to injuries
Now I'm far from an expert in the ways of Offensive and Defensive Line technique, but I do know that if one man is at least 20-30 pounds heavier and more athletic than the guy across from him, he ought to win more battles than he loses.  The left side of BSU's line looks pretty stout, but the right side looks like it could be vulnerable.  And I don't care how experienced and talented that center is, if he is able to effectively handle Big John, who outweighs him by 50 lbs and is supposedly freakishly athletic, then I'll be impressed (and disappointed).  I gotta hope that Jenkins and Geathers will be able to draw a lot of double and even triple teams, opening things up for the linebackers.  Just for size comparison, here's the top guys we will be rotating in and out on our DL:
  • Abry Jones - DE - 6'3", 309 lbs
  • DeAngelo Tyson - DE - 6'3", 309 lbs
  • Garrison Smith - DE - 6'3", 294 lbs
  • Derrick Lott - DE - 6'4", 304 lbs
  • Kwame Geathers - NG - 6'6", 350 lbs
  • John Jenkins - NG - 6'4", 340 lbs
In other words, our smallest guys are as big as their biggest guys, and our biggest guys are A LOT bigger than their guys, especially on the interior of the line.  A good coach can scheme around a lot of things using misdirection, decoys, etc, but it's hard to scheme around your offensive line getting whipped (see the 2009 LSU pounding of Ga Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, despite the sheer genius of the immortal Paul Johnson).


Am I predicting that our DL will control the line of scrimmage?  No, I'm not.  But I am saying that's what NEEDS to happen.  Otherwise, we lose.  If their OL manages even to just battle our DL to a draw, that will be enough for them to run their offense as they see fit.  And if it becomes a shootout, I have no confidence whatsoever that we can outscore them over the course of 4 quarters.  

So to answer your question, LC.........I have no idea. I honestly have no gut feeling at this point. Give me about 3 more weeks to digest what the team looks like, and I'll have an answer for you.

-Rev

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hold On, Don't Throw Out The Kool Aid Just Yet



Just when I had officially put my Preseason UGA Hype Kool Aid away, and had it sitting out by the side of the road ready for the trash pickup, Aaron Murray and Brandon Boykin bust through my brick wall of defense mechanisms:

On Malcolm Mitchell:

"He's just really versatile, fast, long and smooth," Boykin said. "He has long arms. I remember one day when Aaron threw a post across the middle and he kind of snagged it, kind of like A.J. (Green) in the (2009) South Carolina game. Well, not like A.J., but it was kind of similar."
Said Murray: "He ran a post pattern and split our starting safety and one of our starting corners. (Safety) Shawn Williams came up to me afterwards and said, 'I've never seen someone with that kind of speed before.' "
Both Boykin and Murray used the word "special" to describe Mitchell in separate interviews.
Murray said that Mitchell "could start for anyone in the country right now."

On the Dream Team recruits:
Murray said the "Dream Team" recruiting class is living up to the hype. "There's a good seven or eight of them that can start right now, that are ready to play right now, that are definitely going to contribute and help this team win," Murray said. 

Must......resist......optimism...........Been.........burned........too.......many......times............ah, what the hell, I plan on drinking a lot of other liquids this weekend anyway, might as well pass the Kool Aid back over this way too.  Only a small glass though, I have to drive later, and that Hype Kool Aid can be lethal.

-Rev.



On & Poppin'



I don't have much in the way of entertainment news to pass along other than the fact I finally caught Transformers: Dark of the Moon this week (good stuff; more than made up for the turd they tried to pass off as #2...well, I now see the resemblance).


My entertainment will be this weekend when I join the Reverend, Simple Man and our faithful reader & part-time commenter and bicycling enthusiast, Reeder 3:16, on Lake Oconee tomorrow. Just like the Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole & Arn Anderson) used to do back in their heyday, the same shenanigans just might take place: rampant WOOHing, shuffling, elbow drops galore, and who knows, we might even see a figure four leglock or 2.


Enjoy your weekend, kids. It's gonna be on & poppin' for this guy.


Onward & upward (and a little bit sideways tomorrow).



Thursday, July 21, 2011

SEC Media Days Tidbits






Yikes.  The above pic is the rumored design of the uniforms UGA will be wearing from The Dark Overlords of the Pacific Northwest our wonderful sponsor, Nike, for the season opener.  For the love of Phil Knight though, please don't include a strip on the facemask..........I understand that we receive a lot of money from Nike, so I get why we're willing to play dress-up for one game, but I hope that part isn't accurate.  Though I understand why we're doing this, it's being met by a loud chorus of disapproval throughout Bulldawg nation..........this morning I thought friend-of-the-blog Reeder 3:16 was about ready to finally sign on as an author and permanently turn this site into a non-family friendly environment.  Hopefully the final design is better than the pic above though.

According to several tweets I've seen today, and confirmed here, Richard Samuel is (at least for now) the #1 tailback.  I think Richt is doing that out of a 2-fold purpose..........one is to try to boost Samuel's confidence, which has to be pretty low right now after being bounced around.  Two, I think we've all seen the rumors that Crowell has shown some tendencies of being a bit of a prima donna already.  So this may be Richt's subtle way of letting Crowell know that he hasn't arrived just yet.  However, as I texted my dad the other day, if Samuel really is our best hope at tailback, then we are in trouble.  Make no mistake about it, it's Crowell or bust at this point.   Hopefully Crowell gets his head on straight.........remember, he's a kid, and kids do stupid things and sometimes start out with less than desirable attitudes.  But that doesn't mean he won't turn that around.

I've also seen multiple comments from reporters on Twitter that Richt seems especially calm and confident, despite all the recent turmoil.  Well, at least that makes one of us.

-Rev.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blame Game

Once again we’re sitting here waiting on the season to start, crossing our fingers that the kids stay out of trouble. Wouldn’t it be nice to get through one offseason without having players suspended or dismissed. I have and will always be a huge believer in personal responsibility, meaning that I solely put the blame square on the young men. We were all that age once and made bad decisions (I still make plenty as an adult) but I can’t excuse what some of these guys are doing.

Having said all that, why don’t we seriously hire more freaking people to watch them. I mean, it’s not like we don’t have the money. Let’s admit that as long as we have the same number of people trying to keep up with these guys, this problem isn’t going away. Educating them on the consequences doesn’t seem to work and I don’t see that getting better.

My proposal is to start a new department between Compliance and the Coaches (wherever it needs to be to fit on the books between NCAA guidelines and school administration) called Player Management. Hire a Director making $100K and a team of 10-15 staff. Schools already have a Compliance staff of a handful of people (depending on school size) that help the athletes with setting up class schedules, staying on the graduation track, study hall, and other academic responsibilities. They need more.

These are the people that help in all sports, including tennis and swimming teams, not just football. They get very little credit for helping the kids stay on track (if a team does well academically, the coach may get a big bonus for that, even though they have very little to do with it) but get most of the blame when a guy becomes academically ineligible. It doesn’t matter that the player probably lies about school work or that the coaches were warned that said player was missing class or falling behind. I’ll leave the rest of my rant in regards to this area for another day.

So if schools are serious about addressing these increasing off-field issues, then I suggest investing $500K into staff to keep track of these guys. Maybe it’s time to stop being reactive and start being proactive. The staff can help in a lot of other areas too but focus on keeping the players in line. They may act just a little different if they know another set of eyes is on them.

SimpleMan

All's Calm on the East Side



As of this posting, no other RBs/TBs have done anything worthy of suspension or having a boot put to their asses...but there's still time.


Back to you in the studio, Rev.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Great To Be A Georgia Bulldog................

...........Except when it's not.  Carlton Thomas is suspended for at least the Boise State game.

I'm getting really sick of this shiznit.

I guess I understand moving Samuel now.

-Rev.

*It should be noted that at the time I post this, the team has not confirmed the suspension.  However, if you follow Seth Emerson regularly, you know that he doesn't post something unless he's pretty dang sure that it's true*



Thursday, July 14, 2011

If You Ain't Cheatin', You Ain't Competin'...





...unless you're Georgia Tech. If I were the investigation committee, I would have let them keep that worthless ACC Championship *cough*uglypromdate*cough* trophy.

All the sordid details are here.

It's stuff like this that makes it even greater to be a Georgia Bulldog.


p.s. They still lost the Orange Bowl.

From the "Worst Ideas Ever" file.........

No.

For the love of all that's holy, no no no.  Somebody kill that idea before it ever sees the light of day.  I'd rather have Carlton Thomas carrying it 30 times a game (Seriously).  It's not what's best for the team, and it definitely is not what's best for the player.  That this is even being considered, if the report is true, blows my mind.  Our defense is what's going to win games for us this year, and he is a potential playmaker on defense..........Don't put him back in a position where he has already proven that he is NOT a playmaker.

If I were Samuel's parent or former high school coach (with whom Samuel has maintained a close relationship), I'd be all in Richt's ear this morning.

-Rev.

(h/t Blutarsky)

**Update - It's official, and supposedly his family is on board too.  I just don't understand this.  I'd love him to prove me wrong, but nothing he showed during his 2 years at tailback demonstrated an ability to be an effective tailback.  As big and strong as he was, all a defender had to do was get one hand on him, and he would go down.  We are in the running for some big name tailback recruits, and if we land 1 or 2 of those guys, Samuel is just going to be buried on the depth chart again in 2012.  I genuinely hope this works out, but don't see how it will**

**Update 2 - Samuel speaks.**

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Who's #1?



This post by PWD over at the GA Sports Blog (followed up by the Senator today; read the comments on both. It's an absurd issue.) had me shaking my head like I do at my kids when they go postal on each other over a toy that neither of them had paid any attention to in months, yet wanted it only when the other had it in their grasp.


The issue is over both Branden Smith and Isaiah Crowell both wearing jersey #1 (Smith, unless I'm mistaken, has worn it his entire tenure here and Crowell was promised the jersey number by Richt during his recruitment) and the fact that, according to the rules, they both can't be on the field at the same time.


Look, fellas, I understand that jersey numbers mean a lot to some people, but this is crazy. What's even crazier is that it's an issue at all! One of you jokers need to take the available #3 or #4, wear it with pride, and GATA.


The fact that we're dropping like flies due to an OLiner not being able to hack it under JT2's guidance, people not being able to properly park a damn scooter (see Rev's previous post), people being general numbnuts (this applies to both Ealey & King), and the attrition that will take place during fall practice and/or the season makes this all the more ludicrous.


Coach Richt, I beg of you, inform one of these fashionistas that it doesn't matter what jersey number they wear. Hell, TELL them that one of them is going to have to make a jersey number switch. There's work to be done and I'm going to lose A LOT of respect for you if both of them are wearing #1 by 8:00 on September 3rd.

Just In Case You Haven't Had Enough Bad News Lately......

Derrick Lott apparently has trouble seeing buildings on campus:
“The driver was parking his scooter and he scrapped the side of the building and his leg. Not a real dramatic incident,” said Lt. Eric Dellinger of the UGA police department.
Such a quiet summer up until the Jarvis Jones news broke, and it's been crazy ever since.  The linked article was not updated at the time I posted this, but Seth just tweeted that Lott will be out 4-6 weeks (he'll probably have that updated soon on the article).  Practice begins in 3 weeks, so you can do the math........Lott is going to miss the last 3 weeks of offseason conditioning, and at least 1-2 weeks of practices.  He had received a lot of  praise in the practices leading up to the bowl game and during the spring.  He's a young guy, but is going to be counted on heavily for depth, so he needs all the practice time and reps he can get.  Apparently our DL was feeling neglected in the "lack of depth" discussion.

On a related note, scooters are about to take over for bicycles as the form of transportation I hate the most.

-Rev.

Monday, July 11, 2011

DRAGONHEART!




I always start my day with viewing The Senator's site for my Dawg bits. Although we've never met, we are kindred spirits (hell, all of Bulldog Nation is) in our detest of all things Nerds.

His post today further fueled my angst for them and appreciation for him.

The article basically says Richt will be hanged in the courthouse square before game 7 and we are going to lose every SEC game.
First of all, IT guy, I'm as eager to see the level of suckitude your boys are going to defecate all over the flats this season as much as I am to see if we're going to be able to navigate the minefield of the OL issues, backfield issues, etc.

And, like good ol' Blutarsky said, the writer never even bothered to put how bad we're going to beat that ass.



I need a Zima...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Guess Who Just Became More Valuable?

In the wake of the news about Caleb King's eligibility (or lack thereof), the first reaction is to think that Isaiah Crowell has now become the most important member of the RB rotation.  And there is no denying how much of the burden he and Malcome will have to carry now if we're going to have any success.  However, the more I thought about it, the most important guy may slightly resemble this:


That's right, I'm referring to Carlton Thomas, who PWD over at Georgia Sports Blog dubbed a Keebler Elf after the SC game last year.  Speaking of PWD, he was quite clairvoyant regarding Caleb King 2 months ago when Ealey departed:

"Where to now?  Mark Richt is all in with Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome because there's no guarantee that Caleb King won't do something galactically stupid before Game 13."
Well played, PWD.  That's why you are the Godfather of UGA bloggers.

Anyway, back to my original point, which was the importance of Carlton Thomas now that King is gone.  CT's lack of size and ability are well chronicled, but so too are his work ethic and understanding of the offense.  You ever hear the expression "Those who can't do, teach"?  The biggest complaint I've heard about losing King is how everyone was hoping that King could take Crowell under his wing and teach him the blocking, schemes, etc to speed up IC's learning curve.  If that was going to be King's biggest contribution this year, there is no reason that Thomas should not be able to step into that role.  This is CT's 4th year in the program, and he works as hard as anyone, so I have a hard time believing that he doesn't know everything as well or better than King did.   He has also seemed to always have a team-first mentality, so he should be eager to impart that knowledge to the young guys.

Granted, if injuries become an issue, the loss of King is a huge hit from a depth standpoint.  I'm not trying to say that losing King is a non-issue, just that hopefully it won't be as big of an issue as it first seems.  While CT is not a guy who will help the team by carrying the ball 25 times a game, he can sure help the team by assisting in developing the guys who can.  And that would be just as important.

-Rev.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Paging Mr. Crowell

We better hope Isaiah Crowell is ready this year. Where we first had the steady, but unspectacular, duo of Washaun Ealey & Caleb King in front of him, we now have neither as the scholarly King has been ruled academically ineligible for the season.
That leaves us with Crowell, the Keebler Elf (h/t PWD) Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome as our ball carriers.
If that doesn't elicit an OMG or other profane verbage from you right about now, I don't know what will.
The paper-thin margin for error this season began with the OL, but now the situation just behind it is becoming more shaky.
If we ever needed lady luck & a blast of good health, it's this year.

Jeez.

Friday Frivolities





I don't know how many of you watch Comedy Central's stellar roasts, but the newest victim will be none other than Charlie Sheen on September 19th...the same night as the season premiere of Two and a Half Men...where they kill off Sheen's character and replace him w/ Ashton Kutcher (whom I loathe for some reason).

I'm not a regular viewer of the show, but I do enjoy catching the syndicated re-runs.

As for the roast, I will be glued to my set that night. The last few victims (Donald Trump, Flavor Flav, The Hoff, etc.) got absolutely shredded. Greg Giraldo would light the place on fire if he were around for this one. R.I.P., you legend.

Sheen better be ready. I hope they give him an extra dose of hell not because he's a train wreck, but he visited the North Avenue Trade School for batting practice. Loser.



For those of you that give a damn, South Carolina is still expected to win both the SEC & BCS titles...by their fan base.



Beer sales are going to be allowed for the first half of the opener vs. the Raging Potatoes of Boise State. Michael Adams needs to be shown on the big screen in the Dome as the PA system blares at halftime "NO MORE ALCOHOL WILL BE SOLD; ENJOY THE 2nd HALF" and follow it up with Cee Lo Green's "F You". That would be funny.
I remember when Simple Man attended the 2006 Sugar Bowl vs. West Virginia, he texted me the following just before halftime: At least they're selling beer.
I hope I'm not texting him that in just a few weeks.


Damon Evans has been hired as a consultant for Victoria's Secret, I mean, Savannah State's athletic department. Talk about going from the penthouse to the outhouse. Dammit, boy.



Very little to report on the movie front. I heard Transformers: Dark of the Moon was really good and made up for the steaming pile of poo that was part 2, but at a running time of 2:30, I have been advised to not drink anything 30 minutes prior to viewing...or take anyone with a short attention span. In other words, I'll be viewing this one alone.



I recently ventured to Taco Bell to try out their new grilled stuffed mega burrito (if you haven't already figured it out, you will, but I am usually the first one in line for fast food gimmicks) and was not disappointed in the taste nor the sloppiness of the presentation. For those of you that enjoy the delicacy that is Taco Bell, the food items never look like what's on the pictures accompanying the menu. The future criminal that prepared my burrito took the time to toss in the random insertions in order and not spread them throughout the flour wrap of goodness. It looked like a Starburst package. I didn't complain, only laughed about a friend of mine recounting a visit to a local Taco Bell where he was not pleased with the presentation of his food. After his wife brought the tray to the table, he looked at his Nachos Bell Grande, looked up at the picture on the menu, and saw a great disparity. He took it back up to the counter and told the scowling cashier, "I want this to look like that." She smacked her gum, slowly glanced up at the picture, back down at his plate and said, "It do." He said, "It do not." She yelled, "Yeah it do!" and the preparer yelled something at him. He then picked up the plate and smashed it against the wall and said, "I'll take my money back, then." Now, the adult in me says that's not the thing to do. Yet, the consumer in me wants to do that every so often due to jackass cashiers, waiters/waitresses, etc. I'm laughing right now just picturing that.



On that note, enjoy your Friday and your Nachos Bell Grande should you choose to have that as your dinner this evening.



Onward & upward.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Magical Moments



Read DavetheDawg's comment on this article over at Dawg Sports, it's the first comment. It'll give you chills.

I have yet to experience a truly magical moment like that in person with the Dawgs (and I was 3 years old when "Run Lindsay, Run" happened, so I definitely wasn't there for that one). Granted I've seen big plays and big victories, but I can't say I've had one of those moments where I can brag forever and ever about having been there to see it live. Simple Man was there at Auburn for the Greene to Johnson miracle in 2002, and was also in Tennessee for the Hobnail Boot play in 2001. I think both of those plays qualify as magical moments for what they meant to the program.........that final drive that culminated with P44 Haynes is what got our players to believe in Richt and his "Finish the Drill" mentality, and the Auburn victory propelled us into our first SEC Championship Game (mind you, all of our previous SEC titles were won before the advent of the SECCG). I wish I'd been there to see them in person.

What magical moment have you been a witness to in person? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

-Rev.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Offensive Line Kool-Aid

Socrates has posted a rosier-than-most view of the offensive line over at Leather Helmet Blog, it's a good read. I don't know much about the philosophies of the various OL coaches, so I found this interesting:

We also have a major philosophical change from former Coach Searles. Coach Searles believed in zone blocking and lateral movement with his lineman. Coach Friend is a believer in the vertical offensive line, designed for holding blocks, creating leverage for advantage, and of course push. All the offensive lineman were recruited by Searles and must learn to fit the philosophical and technical changes with Friend.

He goes on to give a few points in our favor, such as simplified blocking schemes, experienced starters, a favorable schedule, and the fact that no matter what happens, it would be hard for the OL to perform worse than it did last year. And that's a decent point, we really don't have anywhere to go but up. He doesn't specifically allude to it in his post, but the other optimistic point I've seen in a few places is that the last year we had this many questions on the OL was 2007, and we went on to finish #2 in the country that year.

I'm still having a hard time buying into it though, until I see it on the field. The OL in 2007 developed into a pretty good pass protection unit by the end of the year, but still struggled regularly in run blocking, and struggled pretty much everywhere the first 5 or 6 games. That was the year that Moreno dazzled us with some of the most amazing 1 and 2 yard gains you'll ever see ---- he covered for a lot of the deficiencies on the OL because most any other back would have been thrown for loss after loss. Maybe King and/or Crowell will find that same elusiveness, but that is a lot to expect.

I'm really excited about the possibilities of our defense, but I still think that success on offense is going to require a level of creativity out of Bobo that we have all come to not expect. A good defense can keep you in any game though, so I'm not totally pessimistic about this season..........I just still think we're an 8 or 9 win team.

-Rev.
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Least Surprising Development of the Week



So, as I suspected (along with pretty much everyone else), Oregon and Chip Kelly cheated. Now, I'll be the first to admit that every school is at the very least dancing a fine line around the rules. The general mentality is the old NASCAR adage, that "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'". That being said, what Oregon has done, and what everyone outside of the Plains suspects Auburn did, are just blatant violations against the spirit of the game that drag down the sport.

Jeez, what a waste of a national title game we had last year.

-Rev

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Long Weekend





As we prepare to embark on a long holiday weekend (for most) and reflect on the one year anniversary of Pantygate, a.k.a. the night Damon Evans became a damn fool, let me toss out a couple of nuggets that are rattling around my brain:


  • The new Sweet & Smoky Sandwich at Zaxby's is off the proverbial chain. You'll need either wet wipes or a bath afterwards depending on how well you enjoy it. I, for one, needed a shower and a cigarette before heading back to work.


  • My wife (!) took the kids to see Cars 2 yesterday. She said it was right at 2 hours and my kids have a 1.5 hour attention span. You do the math as to how well she enjoyed it.


  • I rented Unknown (the Liam Neeson "I don't know who I am, but I'm going to fight like the badass character I portrayed in Taken so you'll pay to watch this" flick) the other day and really enjoyed it. I figured it'd be the formulaic amnesiac story, but the ending was well done. I'm really digging the elder Mr. Neeson and forgive him for participating in the wretched Clash of the Titans remake. OMG.


  • The NBA Lockout is in full swing and those in the know say we could be looking at the 2011-2012 season being cancelled altogether because the 2 sides are so far apart. To put it in perspective, one owner said if the NFL lockout is an ankle sprain, the NBA one is a torn ACL and achilles. Somewhere, the Reverend is rubbing his hands together and grinning like a teenager that just discovered a free weekend on the skin channel.

Happy 4th to one and all and if you're sipping & swerving this weekend, toss the panties out the window or simply put them on if you see the blue lights. You're screwed either way.


Onward & upward.