Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Waffle House Opens in Downtown Athens

If I'm jonesing for some late-night eats, it's either going to be the Hot Dog Guy or The Grill, but this is neat.
I can't wait to see it in person when I'm in town for G Day...on my way to The Grill.

Go Dawgs 24/7, 365.

Conan

When you have some time to kill, take the time and watch this.



If you don't find it funny, we can never be friends.

Reeder 3:16 and I had a great time in Vegas last weekend. I lost money but if the Hawks win the NBA title then I'll win a large portion of it back. I thought 40-1 odds were pretty bold for a team that's never been past the 2nd round but in the spirit of LC, I placed the bet. For the record, I also have:
  • Giants winning straight up
  • 1st score of game won't be a TD
  • team that scores first won't win
  • team that scores last won't win and
  • Patriots under the 29.5

Enjoy the Super Bowl and commercials everyone and happy recruiting day tomorrow.

-Simple

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Frivolities

Every Friday is a Good Friday, so let's get started.

Word broke yesterday that The Office is going to need a new Assistant to the Regional Manager as Dwight Schrute will be taking his talents to a spin-off show based on his Schrute Farms Bed & Breakfast. He will leave mid-season next season (season 9) and the new show will be a mid-season replacement. I said season way too much. I apologize.

Spin-offs are tricky. One of the best was Frasier as Dr. Frasier Crane left the bar in Boston (Cheers) to take a radio show in Seattle.
One of the worst was Joey. Friends was one of the best, if not the best, ensemble comedies of all time. This would be like making a spin-off franchise about Robin without Batman.

I find Dwight funny, but grating. He's best served in small doses. However, if the right people are cast, the writing is sharp, etc., it might do well (but I doubt it).

We've still been wearing out movie rentals and the last few we've seen were The Ides of March (pretty good; it really just focused on one huge scandal involving a presidential front-runner played by Clooney), Moneyball (I really liked this one because I had heard about how Oakland A's GM Billy Beane based his player acquisitions based on numbers to stay competitive as a small market team; it's worth a look) and The Killer Elite (a smart action movie; I just love Jason Statham and a little bit of De Niro never hurts, either).

I plan on heading to the theater this weekend to catch The Grey (Liam Neeson vs. wolves) if at all possible. I still want to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, as well.

Everyone enjoy themselves this weekend. Simple Man & Reeder 3:16 are in Vegas, Baby, Vegas this weekend, so as much as I'd like to divulge what they text me, I have to remember the Vegas Code.

Onward & upward.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

UGA - Kentucky

Last night's score is no indication of how bad this basketball team is. I watched the entire second half and there were multiple 4 minute stretches where I never thought we'd score again. Pretty sure I was on the elliptical for 20 minutes and we were at 36 the entire time. LC, Rev, and I had an intramural team back in our UGA days and we hit more open shots than our boys did last night.

Ugavet76 was right on with his analysis of this team when he reviewed the Ole Miss game. We took more shots and had less turnovers but got absolutely dominated on the glass. We have pretty much zero offense and you aren't going to win many games when you get out rebounded by 21. Up until the last couple of minutes of the game, Kentucky had as many rebounds as we had points.

I also like Mark Fox but this can't continue. If we can't score, my focus would be getting all 5 guys to the glass on the defensive end. We can't afford to give up second and third chances on that end of the floor. Kentucky didn't look like the best team in the country last night but it was pretty clear to me that they were sleep walking through the game. They had a lot of blocks but really didn't play that tight of defense, we had plenty of open looks but just can't hit anything.

The one thing I don't buy is "rebuilding" in college basketball anymore. I mean freshmen are just too good and have too big of an impact. We have to start landing bigger recruits or we just can't compete. Maybe it's the arena but McGarity has to figure out what's needed and get it done. Atlanta has enough talent that we should always be in the top half of the SEC.

-Simple

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vegas - Super Bowl - Chip

Frequent commenter on here (and one of the 4 horsemen) Reeder 3:16 is meeting me in Vegas this coming weekend. This is a quick weekend trip, so I'm looking for some favorite places to eat, drink, gamble, and be entertained. This is only my second trip to Vegas, so I'm still very new to Sin City. I'll be in MGM and he's at Caesars.

Also, thoughts on Super Bowl? This seems like a total toss up to me. The Giants front 4 is very tough but the Pats are so good at getting rid of the ball quickly. Pretty much every playoff game has been decided on turnovers, so I'm saying that's the key. I think the Pats are more likely to turn it over, so I'll take the Giants if I'm betting on it (and I just might be).

I was surprised to hear Chip Kelly was about to take the Tampa job. He's not one of the college guys that I picture in "The League" and I guess that for now, that remains the case. So basically, Mr. Nike Knight has obviously put some more cash and fancy ugly jerseys in his pocket.

P.S. The mountains out here are finally getting some snow, so start planning your ski trips.

-Simple

Ugavet76's Basketball Recap

As I'm sure most of you have seen already, the Dawgs lost to Ole Miss on Saturday. Ugavet76 was there, and here is the email he sent me afterwards:

Here are my thoughts about the game and the basketball program in general...

I went to the bball game against Ole Miss Saturday thinking I would see an improving team with a chance to win against another SEC team that had its own set of struggles. The game score turned out to be 66-63, but nothing could be more deceiving. The first 35 minutes were painful to watch.

First, let me tell you what is good about the team. Caldwell-Pope. That pretty much sums it up. He is a scoring machine. Unfortunately, with two fouls in the middle of the first half we did not see enough of him. But that pretty much sums up the good.

Next, let me say that I have been a Mark Fox fan since he arrived at Dawg Nation headquarters. But if I were judging him on this game alone, it would be hard to be a supporter. I know it is a rebuilding year, but even in a rebuilding year good athletes can make a coach look good. This game, however, left a lot to be desired.

We do not have an inside game. No inside game on offense and no inside game on defense. We had maybe two offensive rebounds that were put back in for points. I can understand that we need to take outside shots because we don't have the talented big bodies to post up. What I cannot understand is why we run the an offense that does not put players in position to rebound when we do take an outside shot. It is frustrating to watch! Nobody tries to penetrate to collapse the defense and then kick the ball back out for the shot. If they did we would have at least one player inside to try to get the rebound. When we do finally decide with 3 seconds left on the shot clock to shoot a three point attempt, nobody anticipates and crashes the board to try for the rebound.

We do not have the quickness or the talent to play man to man. That was proven at the beginning of the game. We should have just come out in the zone first. Even in the zone defense Ole Miss found the lane open enough to score several times. Nobody was rotating over to help.

It appears we will live and die by our outside shooting. The few times we did get the ball inside, we could not handle the pressure. When we did attempt to take a shot, most of the time the player would not get his eyes up to see the basket. He just tossed the ball in the general direction of the basket and prayed it would go in. Most of the time, it did not go in.

I will say that if he has good athletes, Coach Fox can do well. I am not convince he is able to get the most out of his players when his talent level is low. He needs to recruit. He needs to recruit hard and get KCP some help....as in talented big bodies. Somebody who can be a presence on the inside game both offensively and defensively. Either that or he needs to find players that can hit the outside shot on a high percentage basis. Then we maybe we can score enough to over come the other weaknesses.

I have tickets to the Vandy game in February. I hope I see improvement by then, or it will be a long boring trip as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Congrats to Men's BBall on First SEC Win

I was able to watch the team play last night for the first time in a while, and it was impressive how hard they played on defense. It was not a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination, neither team hit the 40 point mark until there were only 5 minutes left in the game, but there were several times near the end of regulation where the team could have easily folded and didn't. There were probably four or five possessions in the last couple of minutes for the Vols where I was thinking to myself "If they score here, we're not going to recover", and every time the Dawgs made a play to keep it close. Gerald Robinson was our only real scoring threat for much of the night, and Tennessee was bigger and stronger than us down low, but our guys really gutted it out.

Fox still has a long way to go in recruiting to build this team up, but I continue to be impressed with his ability to motivate the team. Our record is not going to be overly impressive this year, but much like with the football team, I can handle a loss if the guys left everything they had on the court (or field). If they continue to scrap like they did last night, they're going to give opponents everything they can handle this year, and win a few that they really shouldn't. I still believe Fox can get us there in recruiting, he just has to be able to hold the team together in the meantime. Based on last night's performance, I'd say he's doing well with that, the players clearly respect him and want to play hard for him. My parents will be at the game on Saturday against Ole Miss, so I'm sure ugavet76 will have some comments afterwards.

-Rev.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Weight Loss Chronicles: Day 13

Wow, the past couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me at work, and I've barely had time to touch the blog.  However, I am happy to report that the weight loss has gotten off to a nice start.  When I weighed myself last Wednesday, I had lost 4 lbs, and when I weighed myself today I was 207.2 lbs for a total weight lost of 6 lbs.  Not bad for the first two weeks, especially since I haven't been going crazy with a diet or exercise.


We all know the first few pounds are the ones that come off the easiest, so I'll have to start working harder as I go along, but so far I've really just made some modest changes.  I've been walking for 30 minutes on my lunch break at work three times a week, then just trying to be more active around the house instead of hanging out on the couch.  Like I said before, I'm not following any particular diet or anything like that, I'm just trying to eat more reasonably.  There are a few things that have helped me though.


I took Jmortonstrauss's advice and took note of what I was eating for a week (I didn't quite make it 10 days like he suggested), and I found that it made me think twice before reaching to grab things.  It also made me realize that I wasn't eating enough during the day, so when I would get home from work, my appetite was just out of control and I'd end up way over-eating in the evenings.  So I've tried to do better about eating breakfast everyday (I'm still a little hit-and-miss on this, but I've probably eaten breakfast 5 of the past 7 days), and trying really hard not to eat anything after 6:30 p.m.  I've also found that if I make one of those little bags of Quaker Oatmeal and eat it about 3:30 or 4:00 p.m., that curbs my appetite through the evening.  I'm still hungry when I walk through the door, but it's not that overpowering urge to consume everything I can possibly get my hands on.  I'm able to just eat a sensible dinner, feel full, and not want to snack through the rest of the evening.


The other thing I've noticed is that not eating after 6:30 p.m. is helping me with eating breakfast.  I usually wouldn't eat breakfast mainly because I just wasn't hungry at all in the mornings, the thought of eating something just wasn't appealing.  But I'm finding that by not eating/snacking late into the evening, I'm actually waking up hungry in the mornings, so it's much easier to remember to eat breakfast.  It's also helped with my heartburn, when I eat earlier in the evenings I have no heartburn during the night, so that's a big bonus.  I'm still eating the things I like though, I'm just eating less of it and combining it with more fruits and vegetables.  So far, so good.


Next on the agenda is to get myself into a more physically demanding exercise routine than just walking three times a week.  I've been encouraged by my results so far, but I know the pounds only come off slower and slower as you go along.


Based on the responses to my last post about this, it seems like there were several of you either already losing weight or debating whether to start.  How are your results coming?  Do you feel like you're able to make behavioral changes that you can sustain?  That's the biggest thing for me, trying to do things that I know I can sustain for the long haul, rather than trying to do the rapid weight-loss thing.  I hope you'll add your thoughts/comments/suggestions below.


-Rev.

Monday, January 16, 2012

So, Apparently Keith Marshall Is Pretty Fast

Check out the two links that Aaron Murray tossed up on Twitter this afternoon of foot races between Marshall and Malcolm Mitchell:








Two for two, and beat Mitchell pretty convincingly both times.  I'm gonna go WAY out on a limb here and predict that Mr. Marshall is gonna be fun to watch.

-Rev.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dawgs Get Gurley

Allow me to toss out a HELL YEAH (h/t sicemdawgs.com).

Friday Frivolities

Forgive last week's absence as I was opting about whether or not to declare for the NFL Draft.
I came back to my senses a week later, so here we go.

If Orson is the only guy we're going to lose to the NFL, then we're going to be sitting pretty for next season. There are a couple of guys at the TE spot that have a golden opportunity to step up, so let's hope that Jay Rome absorbed a lot of knowledge and confidence while watching from the sidelines this past season.
I really hope the offense makes strides next year like the defense just did. Strides as in a better showing from Murray in big games and an ability for the OL to open holes for our TBs.
Speaking of, let's hope Crowell gets a bionic ankle to form a dynamic duo w/ Marshall.
I could go on & on, but we'll save that for another day.

In TV news, I caught the premiere of the new NBC show, The Firm, this past Sunday (I have yet to watch last night's 2nd episode as of this printing). This is my 2nd favorite Grisham book (after A Time to Kill) and the movie was really good, even though it deviated from the book's ending. The TV series is a continuation of the McDeere's life after going into witness protection. Well, good ol' Mitch has been discovered by the family of the people he helped put away in the book/movie. I'm looking forward to knocking out episode 2 tonight.

30 Rock made it's long-awaited return last night and it looks like they're going to explore a romantic relationship between Liz Lemon & Jack Donaghy (the best character on TV according to Simple Man). I've always found Tina Fey wildly attractive. She's the sneaky-hot, slutty librarian my high school never had. Dammit.

I'm still a fan of The Office, but I find myself just watching it and never reacting unless Robert California shows up. He's gold, Jerry. Gold!

In movie news, we're still on a rental tear as my wife heals from her surgery. Shark Night was everything I hoped for and more! It oozed cheese and had the main characters in string bikinis the whole time. Plot? What plot?! Sharks + Bikinis = Giggity.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark wasn't what I was expecting, but I didn't hate it...yet can't really recommend it, either.
Crazy Stupid Love is pretty good. I'd recommend it if you & the missus want to settle in for a movie that is chick flickish, yet is watchable for the men. Women will swoon over Ryan Gosling's abs and the men can marvel at the ageless Marisa Tomei. Some men may swoon over the aforementioned abs, so go buy a cat if you do.
We have The Killer Elite & Moneyball to watch this weekend, so I'll report on those next week.

Enjoy your weekend, peeps. I recommend warm whiskey on these cold nights.

Onward & upward.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Orson to the NFL

A 2 p.m. presser is scheduled today where Orson Charles will announce he is entering the NFL Draft.

Godspeed, #7. You were a DGD.

Also, word has leaked that the Falcons have reached out to Grantham's agent to gauge his interest in their DC position. Ledge, I'm coming for you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughts on the End of the Season

I don't know about you, but I was pretty indifferent to all the BCS bowls this year. I don't know if it was the way our bowl game turned out (I've never been so disgusted or irritated after a UGA game) or simply CFB fatigue, but I just wasn't into it.
I watched last night's game w/o one bit of emotion other than marveling at Bama's defense (and like Blutarsky said, we were able to score TDs on LSU).
I don't like the way Bama got there, but it's hard to argue given the current system. At least the LSU fans didn't have to travel far to watch the de-pantsing like Rev's South Carolina cohorts did for their trip to the Orange Bowl. Good Lord.

The VanGorder move to AU is huge. Not just huge in that he is a renowned DC, but huge in the fact that I'm very curious to see how this all plays out. The rumored reason he left UGA was that he wanted Richt to fire Garner. That obviously didn't happen, so he began his vagabond trek to & fro the NFL and is now back in the game on the Plains. There's another rumor that he would have come back after we fired Willie for $1 million/year and an apology. That sounds petty and manufactured, but who knows. Getting back to my original point, BVG is obviously a guy that likes control over his D (like Grantham has w/ us) and I don't see Chizik being very hands-off. Everyone with a pulse knows Saban runs Bama's D and Smart is his puppet, so to speak. I'm hoping Chizik meddles too much, inadvertently spits his gum on BVG during a game, causing BVG to snap and deck Trooper Taylor for no other reason that he's a thuggy douchebag. If there's any justice in the world, this will happen during our game.

On a related note, I'd be in full-blown postal mode if we still had Willie and/or an inept DC with this move, but I'm not. I'm more than comfortable with Grantham here and what he's done in just 2 years. Getting that Jenkins kid last night was huge. Expect more of this to follow.

This was mentioned last night during the BCS game, but Boise State's OC is on the move and Bama & Florida are both heavily bidding for his services. That is going to be very interesting, but you almost have to figure he'll choose Bama based on where they are and based on his history w/ Saban (dating back to their early careers in the NFL).

I'm normally sad in the sense the season is over and September is so far away, but not this time. This will undoubtedly change in a few months, tho, likely around G Day.

Thoughts on the end of the season, etc.?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dawgs Get Jenkins

For the 2nd year in a row, Grantham's unit snagged a Jenkins. Jordan Jenkins, OLB/DE; #1 recruit in GA & #5 overall in nation, committed to us tonight, even though we weren't even considered to be in the running for his services.

BVG To Auburn!?!? Wow

Gotta admit, I sure never saw this coming:



Smith: Brian VanGorder has accepted the defensive coordinator job at Auburn University. #atlny11
Jan 09 via SeesmicFavoriteRetweetReply

That's a great hire by Chizik, there's no other way to put it.  Anybody heard if VanGorder was close to being forced out in Atlanta?  This just seems like an odd move, taking the same position at a lower level, VanGorder has always seemed interested in moving up.  I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Also, here's one other tidbit:



Brian VanGorder was willing to return to #UGA two years ago, just wanted an apology from Richt and $1 mil a year. No biggie.
Jan 09 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Interesting, huh?

-Rev

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Weight Loss Chronicles: Day 1

I mentioned in a post last week that we're going to be expanding the scope of the blog a bit now that the football season is over.  Here is the first installment in following my weight loss efforts, I'm hoping doing this in a more public forum will help keep me motivated.

Ouch, "213.4 lbs" is what my scale screamed at me this morning as I weighed myself for the first time in quite a while.  That would be a pretty awesome weight if I stood at 6' 4" tall or so, but unfortunately my genes decided to stop at a towering physique of 5' 7".  So yeah, I'm pretty fat.

I played soccer year round growing up, and through high school typically maintained a weight of around 155 lbs (I'm naturally built a little wide, so carry some weight even when I'm fit.  Most guys my height in high school weighed in the 135 -140 lb range or so), and I remember my dad telling me one day that I'd have to be careful because once I quit playing soccer all the time, if I didn't watch my diet, I'd be 50 lbs heavier by the time I was in my 30's (I'm 34 now).  I thought he was absolutely nuts, there's no possible way I'd ever be over 200 lbs..........um, well, yeah.  Dammit, hate it when he's right.

I'm actually not the heaviest I've ever been.  When I got married at the age of 25, I was already up to 217 lbs.  Not too long after, I ended up doing the Atkins diet (yeah, I know, not the best diet) and dropped down to 180 lbs in about 7 weeks, and actually maintained a weight of 185-190 for a couple of years after that.  Since then, I've done the yo-yo thing quite a bit, but 2 years ago I was back at 190 lbs when I started my current job, and it's been a steady rise to my current weight since then.  And as I've been gaining weight, my wife has been losing it.  Since having our youngest one about 18 months ago, she's gotten herself in great shape, and is lighter now than even before she got pregnant with our first one.  The disparity between us has become pretty significant, and one of my co-workers was even kind enough to point out that when my wife and I walk beside each other, we're starting to resemble the number 10.  Even I had to admit that was pretty dang funny, but it still kinda drove home the point.

What REALLY drove home the point for me though was from my 5 year old.  She and I were talking about people exercising the other day, and at some point she said "Yeah, but boys aren't supposed to exercise, right?"  At that point I realized that being 5, her memory really only goes back for a year or two, and during that time she's never seen me exercising on a regular basis, while her mom has been at the gym 3-4 days a week.  So based on the example being set in our household, girls are supposed to exercise, but boys don't have to.  While that would be awesome if that were true, it hit me pretty hard how bad of an example I've been setting for my kids on how to take care of yourself.  It's funny how looking at things from a 5 year old's perspective makes you reassess things.

So, now my adventure begins.  I'm going to take a different philosophy this time.  I normally go into weight loss like hell on wheels, going to the extreme with everything, and I've pretty conclusively proven that doesn't work for me.  So I'm making some small changes initially like taking breaks to walk while at work, doing some light exercise at home (pushups, situps, squats), and trying to get my eating under control.  I don't have the willpower in the long run to just deny myself the foods that I love, but I need to do things like instead of shoving 4 big pieces of pizza down my throat, just eat a couple of small pieces and maybe some fruit.  Portion control is my greatest downfall, so I'm trying to focus on that initially.  As the weight comes off and I start to feel better, that will help motivate me into more strenuous exercise and diet corrections.  I realize that I won't see the huge weekly weight losses that I have seen in the past, but hopefully with the right mindset I can still stay motivated.

My goal is to get down to the 175 - 180 range, and maintain that.  All the official charts out there say a guy my height should be at the most 160 lbs, and closer to the 150 lb range, but that's a pipe dream.  Even moreso than focusing on weight though, I'd like to get back to where jeans with a 34 inch waist fit me comfortably (My 38" jeans are currently getting snug).  My ultimate, pie in the sky goal would be to fit into 32 inch waist pants again, but I would be happy if I could maintain at 34".

Who else out there is doing the weight loss thing right now?  I hope you'll contribute in the comments as I go along, and perhaps we can all serve as an encouragement for each other.  I'll check in with the weight loss thing once or twice a week to update you guys on my progress, my struggles, request advice, etc.  For those of you who come to us through Dawgbone, and are not interested in these posts from me, I'll always use the title of "Weight Loss Chronicles", so it will be easy for you to skip over.  By no means am I abandoning talking about UGA, the weight loss posts will just be in addition to that.

-Rev.

ACC and BCS title game

West Virgina just scored again.

Clemson, really, really. 70 points and WV could have gotten to 100. That has to be the most embarrassing loss for not just any school in a BCS game, but for any conference. The ACC shouldn't get the BCS money associated with that game.

In regards to the BCS title game rematch, what do you all think? Should it have been a rematch and who do you think will win? Also, if Bama wins, would you have a problem with LSU getting a split title?

I'm actually totally indifferent to the rematch aspect. I think it sucks for LSU to have to play someone they already beat in their own stadium but I have no doubt that Bama is the second best team in the country. A nice little playoff would have settled this but oh well.

As far as the outcome, I'm leaning with Bama. They did outplay LSU the first game and it's hard to say this after leaving the Dome back in December, but I think Bama's defense is better. LSU has to make a mistake at some point on offense right?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

G Day Date Set

April 14th. Mark your calendars now.

We'll even have those timeouts leftover from the Outback Bowl to use...

Outback Recap

Where to begin?  I'm sure if you're reading this, you've already hit up most of the other UGA bloggers and gotten their input.  I've done the same, and the themes seem to be pretty consistent across the board:  terrible performance from the OL (Bean is gonna have nightmares of Gholston for months to come), awful game management from the coaches, a defense that wore down late, etc etc etc.  I won't rehash what everyone is already saying, but there was one big thing that jumped out at me that doesn't seem to have gotten a lot of attention.  The one specific example of poor game management that I haven't really seen addressed is us sitting on our timeouts during MSU's final drive in regulation.

It was clear as Sparty marched down the field that our defense was gassed there at the end.  Now as long as the clock is rolling, I understand that you don't take a timeout and stop the clock.  However, once MSU crossed the 50, there were 4 different occasions where the clock was ALREADY STOPPED due to an out of bounds play or an incompletion, so taking a timeout would not have done anything to benefit MSU, but it could have been a huge benefit to our guys to have a chance to regroup.  Here are the times and the lines of scrimmage on UGA's side of the field:

:56 @ 38 yd line
:48 @ 18 yd line
:43 @ 12 yd line
:40 @ 12 yd line

Again, in all 4 of these situations, the clock was already stopped, the defense could barely catch their breath long enough to muster any sort of pass rush effort, and we were holding 2 timeouts in our back pocket.  There was no reason to be holding onto both timeouts, it was clear that if MSU scored, it was going to be with very little time on the clock for us to try to win the game.   I was PLEADING with my television, especially before the play at the :40 mark, for somebody..........ANYBODY to call a timeout and give the defense a chance to regroup (that was the play that resulted in the TD that was called back, but got them down to the 1 yd line).  In all reality, a TO should have been taken before the play at the 18 yd line with :48 to go.  Once they got into the red zone and the defense was sucking wind, it amazed me that nobody thought to give our guys a chance to regroup.  As it was, we didn't use a timeout until the Spartans were on the 1/2 yard line, and the resulting TD was already inevitable. From there, the game management just continued to go to hell in a handbasket.  

This game was certainly a reality check that UGA is a long, long, long way away from being a national title contender.  Our Strength & Conditioning did show improvement this year compared to the previous year, but needs to make yet another quantum leap between this year and next.  Our offensive line is going to have to grow up in a hurry, because we'll be replacing 3 seniors with mostly freshmen and sophomores, so having any expectation of the line being improved over this year's line, especially in the early part of next season, is probably wishful thinking at best. RB will continue to be a question mark going into next year, as will Murray's tendency to wilt in the big game spotlight, and our already shaky special teams will be working with 2 new kickers.  There were times this year that Richt really showed a desire to play to win though, I'm just hoping we see more of that next year. 

The other thing I would like to see next year, especially on the defensive of the ball, is more substituting throughout the game.  I know we had some injury issues Monday with Gilliard and Tyson, but we saw either only brief appearances or no appearances at all from guys like Herrera, Vasser, Drew, and Swann, and they are all guys who have shown they can at least be serviceable enough to relieve some guys for 10-15 plays a game and hopefully keep the starters fresh for things like trying to stop the opponent with less than 2 minutes to go to win the game.  I have VERY few criticisms of Grantham anymore, but the one I'm holding onto is that at some point he decides who he trusts, then from that point on doesn't seem to give anyone else a chance. So you end up with guys playing the entire game, and wearing out towards the end.  I really thought we would see the younger guys get more playing time as the season wore on, but once we hit the halfway point of the season, you barely saw any of those guys play.  Then, when a situation comes up like we had at the end of regulation where you really need some fresh legs to get in there and try to make a play, you don't have anyone with enough experience for you to trust them and bring them in off the bench.  We're lucky to have Grantham though, and that's really my only criticism of him.

To look at the other side of the coin, the program made some big strides this year.  The biggest one, in my eyes, is that we played with a high degree of effort throughout the season.  Even the Boise game, where we looked lethargic at times, was I think more an issue of guys not being sure what the right thing to do was, as opposed to not having a desire to play hard.  I may have questioned the mental toughness of this year's team at times, but I can't think of any time that I questioned their heart or desire.  The mental toughness is something that will come with experience, but desire is something that has to come from within, and I believe these kids have it.  If we make as much improvement from now until September as we did in last year's offseason, we'll definitely have some fun next year. I will not, however, allow myself to get caught up in the inevitable hype next year of us having the team and the schedule to compete for the national title.  I'm not saying it won't happen, I'm just saying I've been down that road of disappointment already. I'll be excited for the new season come August, and ready to cheer hard every game, but will leave the Kool-Aid behind.

I'm sure I'll have some additional thoughts later this week that I've forgotten to include.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

-Rev.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Angry Dawg

I'll keep this short and sweet. I obviously like CMR as a man and looking on paper what he's done in 11 years is pretty impressive. More east division titles than anyone else during that time, over 100 wins, BCS bowls, top 5 finishes, and SEC titles.......

HOWEVER, I haven't been sold on him getting us to the status of elite in a long time. Again, maybe I have unrealistic expectations but it sure doesn't look like we're getting beat in talent and recruiting. That only leaves one area. Our defense is so solid I feel bad for them. I watched the first 3 quarters from BWW because I wanted to watch all 4 bowls on. Why 3 started at the same time, I'll never understand. Anyway, after all other Big 10 schools were losing convincingly, we were chocking it away, and I made a display of myself when our QB decided once again to keep the other team in the game, I headed home to watch the remaining collapse in solitude. I absolutely lost my mind when we took a knee on 2nd down actually playing for a 42 yard FG. That's simply a loser mentality. Everyone in the whole country was thinking the same thing, how in hell are you trusting a kicker that has been a steaming pile of Uga poop.

I try not to put a lot of stock in bowls, because as I've stated earlier, I think the time off and motivations are ridiculous. But yesterday was as pissed as I can ever remember being. There's no need to break it down further because you all saw what I saw but we probably could have won that game with just playing our defense the entire second half. Line them up and just let BS or BB run the wildcat the whole time on offense.

Our talent and schedule next year will make us a top 5 team and our coaches (excluding CTG) will make us maybe a top 25 team.


Still very angry dawg
-Simple

Aftermath

Concerning the game yesterday, I went into it with very little knowledge about MSU other than what I had read from other bloggers & beat writers. My dad has a golf pal that spent his entire medical practice career in Michigan (yet has always been a huge Nebraska fan) and told me last week that if we couldn't run the ball, we were going to have a long day. Oh, how right he was.

Look, losing to a good, well-coached team that went 10-2 and lost in their conference championship game is nothing to be ashamed of. How we lost is what has me (and Bulldog Nation) in such an uproar.

In sum, the sins of the past came back to haunt us with something else that absolutely does not sit well with me at all. Let us examine:


  • Richt is getting roasted for being too conservative and not pouncing at opportune times. I get that, but at the same time, we couldn't run the ball and were pretty much one-dimensional. Having said that, that one dimension was an erratic QB looking like he hadn't played in a year.

  • When you can't run the ball, you have to be able to complete your passes and Murray simply could not do that well enough to avoid 2 catastrophes. You can't pin the entire loss on him, but you can without question point a finger if you choose to do so.

  • Bobo went back to being Bobo. I hate criticizing coordinators, coaches, etc., but for the love of all things pure and holy, WTF was that on 3rd & 8? Up the gut? Really? That hadn't worked all game, so...

  • Yesterday was not a good day to be a kicker in a bowl game and Blair Walsh crapped the bed again that was set up to be a Cinderella-like ending to redeem himself. Didn't happen.

  • Crowell's ankle injury kept him on the sidelines. Again. I swear to God, James Caan's character in Misery had more stable ankles.

I could go on, but I'm going to stop. Basically, this isn't the end of the world. We still have the #1 TB in the country coming to campus to early enroll this month. We're still set up with a lot of returning talent and a favorable schedule, but...this still hurts and leaves a bad taste in our mouth.


Like I said, not catastrophic, but this isn't how we wanted to end the season and start 2012.


How do you feel?

Monday, January 2, 2012

GATA



This shot of Grantham leaving the field at halftime followed by the one of Richt walking off like he'd just seen The English Patient was fantastic.



Let the good times keep rolling!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rev's Outback Bowl Prediction

I've done the previews, and I've stated (as have many other people) how equally matched I believe these teams are.  That being said, I think we're a little better prepared for this game.  Our defenses are both very good, but I think our offense will be better prepared for their defense than they will be for ours, simply because of who we play throughout the year.  I know it's probably the SEC homer in me, but I feel like our offense has probably been battle tested against really good defenses (SC, Boise St, LSU, etc) moreso than their offense has.  Plus, as good a QB as I think Cousins is, the drop back passers are exactly what our pass rushers like to see.  I anticipate seeing a LOT of the short/quick passing game from MSU early in the game to nullify our pass rush, but eventually we're going to start getting to Cousins and causing some mistakes.  I see this as a one score game, but ultimately the good guys win:

MSU - 21
UGA - 27

What do you guys think?

GO DAWGS, and Happy New Year everyone!

-Rev.