Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fairness and Equality, the NCAA way.

Before a snap had been played in 2010, "pay for play" was the theme of the year. The USC Trojans had been dismantled by the NCAA as a result of Reggie Bush's receipt of improper benefits. South Carolina had dismissed players who lived in a pricey hotel for less-than-marginal rates. North Carolina and Alabama were in the headlines due to a Miami Memorial Day party. At UGA, AJ Green was benched by coaches after word of the sale of his Independence Bowl jersey hit the newswire.

It's hard to say that UNC was a lock to win the ACC in the preseason, but they were sure to field one of the league's most talented roster - until (what was it, 17?) players were removed from competition to open the season. USC lost all steam headed into the 2010 campaign as the opportunity for a bowl and ten schollys per year were yanked away. Georgia's primary weapon, and the one sure target of an unproven quarterback was eliminated for four games - as were the Dawgs hopes for a title. AL did not suffer much from the loss of Marcel Dareus, but how much better could South Carolina have been with the services of NFL-bound Wesley Saunders?

And then, there were two.

The NCAA has taken a great deal of flack in recent days due to their apparent "preferential treatment" of a national title contender and a perennial conference champ. People want blood - but I have to wonder why. Generally, it's because there is an overriding desire for "fairness." These fans believe "my team suffered, why shouldn't yours?" Well, in the case of Auburn and Cam Newton, the reason is simply because there is no proof (exposed as of yet) that is grounds for punishment. Sorry, but hypothesizing about payment is not the same as agreeing to receive payment. If there is no paper trail linking Newton and payments for his services at Auburn, he can not be punished for any wrong doing. It's basic habeus corpus. If there's no body, there's no crime. The evidence is circumstantial.

Now, that brings me to Ohio State.

The problem most people have with the situation at Ohio State isn't so much that the punishment isn't fair, or that it doesn't suit the crime - but that the reasoning behind the specific punishment is unmitigated bullshit. Five games is a hell of a suspension. That punishment essentially cuts the season in half for these players, but it does not kill Ohio State's possible bid for a title in 2010. Now, some will say that the suspension means nothing to players like Terrelle Pryor who could be looking to go pro. They insinuate that all the suspension does is make the decision that much easier - that Pryor will definitely make the jump to the NFL now. Then, this morning, came the news from Jim Tressel that all of the players were forced to make their NFL decisions PRIOR to the bowl trip. According to Tressel, it wouldn't be "fair" for the players to be allowed to participate in the Sugar Bowl and then run off to the NFL. With that, the decision was unanimous - all five players will play, and all five will stay. (I'll forgo discussing the fact that Tressell has no way to force the kids into keeping their "pledge of allegiance" should the Bucks lose the Sugar Bowl, and they decide to jump ship).

So, let's see - what we're talking about is a five-game suspension in which Ohio State faces only two teams (Miami and Michigan State) who could possibly cause the Buckeyes to stumble in their pursuit of a national title. Akron, Toledo and Colorado simply don't have the horses in the stable to compete with the Bucks. But, Tressel and Co have nine months to prepare their team for those five games. They aren't going to prepare for the 2011 season assuming Terrelle and the gang are going to play, then make an 11th-hour decision to remove their best playmakers. No, they are going to prepare for life without starpower and then get it back in week 6.

By the way - week 6 of next season is the Nebraska game. Nebraska is probably the best team on Ohio State's schedule. Luckily, the profiteering players will be back on the field. So, OSU has the services of these kids for the Sugar Bowl. They have a win-able schedule during the time when the athletes are off the field, and they get all five back for the home stretch.

Essentially, there is no punishment for the University involved here. I find that amusing, since it was apparently the University's Compliance Department who was at fault in this case. It was Wesley Saunders who was at fault in South Carolina. Dareus and the UNC players were blamed in their respective cases. Green accepted responsibility at UGA. But at OSU, the "education" of the players was lacking. That's the excuse given for not suspending the players for the Sugar Bowl. The University didn't do a good job of telling players they can't receive money for their trinkets. Also interesting is the fact that the University did not self-report any of it during the season, even given the multitude of examples (prior to week 1) that this behavior was frowned upon. Still, the University receives no punishment other than the hit the statbook will take without the finagling five. OSU will be 5-0 to start the season. They will be in the hunt for Big-10 and BCS championships.

Oh, and they just MIGHT have Sugar Bowl rings to go along with it.

And what did it cost? Nothing but the decaying integrity of the NCAA.

- Go Dawgs

Monday, December 13, 2010


I've never met Will Muschamp, and as such know nothing of the man. I do know Kirby Smart. People have been saying Muschamp will attempt to bring Smart over to Florida with him. If this is true, then it already shows that as a Head Coach, Muschamp already has a handle on how hard it is to also be a coordinator. It's not something many people can do - and if you're going to take over the reigns of one of the most premiere programs in the country you will do yourself a world of good by not splitting your focus.

Many pundits are trying to figure out if this is a good hire. Will Muschamp be able to come in and rescue a faltering program? You know...that program that has won two national titles in the last five years. The one that missed out on a national title opportunity by losing one game in 2009. Yeah - that one.

Wow. Sometimes I wonder what the irrational head of a college football fanatic looks like on the inside.

Anyway, here's what I know about Muschamp. He's been hired in as a DC twice in major college football. He was promoted up to DC in the SEC and held the post with Miami Dolphins as well. In his two most recent college jobs, he improved both defenses in his first season. At Auburn, he improved on the Tigers' already great OPP Scoring avg of 15.5 in 2005 to 13.9 in 2006 (his first year). In his second year, the Tigers fell back to 16.9. Still, that was strong enough for Muschamp to be brought over to Texas. In 2007, Texas' Opp Scoring avg was 25.3. In 2008, Muschamp's first year, 18.8. 2009 - 16.7. The 2010 squad was the first Muschamp defense since his return to college football to give up more than 3 scores per game, coming in at 23.7.

Still, the data begs a question - does Muschamp do a great job recruiting kids or not? He obviously knows football. The immediate improvements show that. Whether it be by scheme or by attitude, when Muschamp has come to a new school, he has improved its defense. However, at both of his recent positions, the defense has fallen back off a few years later. Is this due to poor development? Poor recruiting? Is it possible that the offenses that face his defense figure him out after a couple of years?

I'm sure people will over-analyze the hell out of this hire. They will dig into all of the stats possible and come up with whatever answers they want to find. Here's what I know. Florida's defense gave up 21.1 ppg this year. That's going to change. Florida has the talent. They still have all of those great players Urban hung around to sign last February. Muschamp is going to come in and he's going to fix the defensive problems. Losing Charlie Strong was too much for FL to deal with last season.

For me, there's another big issue at play in this one. Whether or not Muschamp gets Smart (or is truly even looking to do so), the defense is going to get better. However, the offenses in the SEC have really picked up the pace in recent years. If Malzahn does indeed go to Vandy, you can bet the Commodores will have an improved look up there, too (*** I'm reading on ESPN that he has decided to stay at Auburn***). That means that despite Muschamp's best first-year efforts, points WILL be scored against his defense. This means his offense is going to need to keep up.

Who is he going to hire on the OFFENSIVE side of the ball? I think THAT is the big question. Does he go pro-style or spread? Is Major Applewhite up for the gig? It's going to be an interesting thing to watch. Also, how will these kids adapt to their third set of coordinators in three years?

Hopefully they'll adapt with an L in Jacksonville!

Go Dawgs!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

About Coach Joe Tereshinski:

People have been asking me about my thoughts on Joe T becoming the new S&C Coach at UGA. I've seen good things said by David Pollack and Kelin Johnson and a host of other former players. There's reason for that. Coach T is all Georgia, and he's of the "tough it out" school. He is, to my knowledge, not a strength and conditioning scientific guru. However, he is a film study guru and has seen the strength and weaknesses of the entire team play out all season. Reading what has been said about the situation, I'd hazzard a guess that the changes to the S&C staff are not complete as of yet. I think there is going to be an additional hire - someone who knows a great deal about conditioning techniques and the science behind it all. That's what I would think.

Coach T is saying all the right things right now. He's talking about a new approach toward monitoring nutrition and workouts. That leads me to a dangerous question - How did we let it get to a point where kids WEREN'T being monitored? I don't get that. When I was on the team, there was a head S&C coach, two graduate assistants and three or four student assistants as well. There was ALWAYS someone in the weight room tracking what we did. I can't imagine that this team would be organized differently. And at what point did we lose accountability? On our team, we pushed each other. Braxton Snyder used to kill me on the bench press. Sometimes I felt like increasing my strength was HIS goal more than it was mine. Do you get that? My teammates pushed me because they wanted me to succeed. Has that been lacking in our S&C program? I can't imagine that it has. But, it's either what you're doing, or how you're doing it.

Van Hallenger had an interview earlier this year where he mentioned that Alabama and Florida and everyone else aren't doing things Georgia isn't. He was saying that the schools all basically do the same lifts- and that is likely very true. Still, other teams seem able to batter us. So, something is definitely off.

I'm hoping Joe T can diagnose the problem and turn it around. I'm hoping his presence will be a solid motivational factor...because I think it's THERE where our team may have been lacking. Kids who are motivated don't skip reps. Kids who are motivated don't loaf. Kids who are motivated finish every drill, they finish every play, they finish every game. This is what we're looking for out of Georgia in 2011.

I doubt the magnifying class has ever been placed as closesly on an S&C program as it will be for UGA over the next 9 months.

Go Dawgs.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Has Pay-for-Play officially arrived to the 2011 signing class?

Isiah Crowell. I want him to play for UGA. I watched him play against my own highschool team (LaGrange Grangers GO BLUE!) on ESPN a few months back and I really liked what I saw. He has size, speed, good lean, good balance, good vision - all the things you want in a back. He was at UGA-GT wearing Georgia gear (no REAL surprise...what's he gonna wear in Athens, Bama colors?). For months, the speculation has been that he'll choose either Georgia or Alabama.

Until recently.

Auburn has suddenly entered the mix. Amid all of the accusations about the Auburn program and the lengths they may/may not be willing to go to get star talent, Crowell suddenly adds them to a list of potential players in the mix for his services.

For months, Crowell has said he will declare his college choice after the State Championship game, which he is hoping to win with his Carver team-mates.

Until today.

Today his coach announced that Crowell will now wait until National Signing Day to make his decision. The reason cited?
“Isaiah and his family want to make the best decision for his future and they feel that taking his five official visits will give them the best opportunity to evaluate and assess what they are looking for in a school,” McGee told the AJC. “They want to give each school a fair opportunity.”
So, whereas he previously believed he had it all figured out, today it comes out that he needs another two months to make the decision. They want to give each school "a fair opportunity." To do what? The kid has 50 offers. Schools have been working him for YEARS. So now, at the 11th hour, he suddenly wants to give five schools the opportunity to do something. What is that something? I don't know....but I think everyone reading this knows what's circling my brain.

I hope I'm wrong in thinking the timing of this announcement and the NCAA decision on Cam Newton are not coincidental. Look, I'm not saying Crowell is looking for a pay-for-play situation. I don't know him, and truly know nothing of him other than the fact that he is a stellar talent. It's simply interesting to me that the NCAA basically doles out permission to parents and other possible assigns of a student athlete to basically get into negotiations with boosters and high-powered alumni just so long as there's plausible deniability on the part of the university and the student himself, and THEN, a day later, one of the highest-profile recruits in the SEC suddenly opens his recruiting up a bit.

This is NOT a character assassination. I wish God had blessed me with enough talent and ability for schools to have competed for my services. Not so. I let my brain get me into a school I loved, and then I walked on. If players of Crowell's caliber have read the writing on the wall and now are seeking their own monetary fulfillment, I say more power to them. These kids are now learning at 18 that if everyone else is gonna make big money because of your abilities, you should be able to cash in too. They are learning that they should get it while it's good, because the opportunity isn't promised tomorrow. Think of kids who blew out knees as juniors and their draft status suffered. Think of kids with career-ending injuries, who were betting their livelihood on the draft, but then were forced to use a degree in "interdisciplinary studies" to get a job at State Farm Insurance. Why not grab a quick few hundred thousand and toss it into an interest-baring account? Or hey, since all we have to do is claim that the kid didn't know, why don't we just be more overt about it and buy him a new Escalade with the "money we found?"

Tony Barnhardt said today that the NCAA "got it right" with the Cam Newton situation, and I can understand his position. A kid shouldn't be punished for the alleged actions of his father and a booster - especially if that kid is, as a result, up for the Heisman, contending for an SEC title and possibly a National Title. With that kind of success, there's no reason to punish him - especially since there's no way he knew about it, right?

Here's my problem with it - if we're going to continue to pretend that we're holding some kind of righteous place in our sport for "Amateurism" then the NCAA needed to rule in a different manner. Perhaps they will at some point. Perhaps they will, after the BCS title game, decide that there is enough evidence "at that time" to condemn the actions of Auburn, MSU, and Newton. At that point, the most electrifying player in the country will have brought more ratings and more revenue to the sport - the NCAA and SEC will have gotten as much out of his playing career as possible (He's in the 2011 draft for sure) and they can rule harshly.

The only negatives at that point become a vacated mythical title, and the future careers of a bunch of high-school kids who thought it was suddenly OK to go shopping for contracts.

Like I said before, I certainly hope I'm wrong. I hope that Crowell's decision is based solely on the fact that he's a high-school kid who knows that he doesn't have it all figured out. I hope he has made his decision based on the realization that there are many schools where he might fit in, and he should really examine them all to decide which one is the BEST fit. I hope he has made his decision based on what will be best for his long-term future, and in the end, I hope he makes the decision to come to Georgia.

I just hope he hasn't made the decision that we need to pay for it. Cause I don't think we will.

Go Dawgs.

Monday, November 29, 2010

About those timeouts....

I've been reading some garbage about people being upset with Richt's use of timeouts in the 2nd half against Tech.


How seriously are you hurting for something to complain about when you try to attach the use of 2 timeouts in the 3rd quarter to "bad clock management"? The big issue seems to stem from the fact that Georgia called two timeouts within two plays and one yard of one another.

Now, forgive me as I am not at home and can not look at the DVR of the game right now, but I don't recall the situation behind the FIRST of the two timeouts. I know Chapas had just made a run to the 2 on 1st down. So, we're at 2nd and goal from the 2. I don't know if Murray or Richt called the 1st timeout. If it was Murray, then it would have been because he didn't like the playcall given the defense. I just don't know.

Of course, it's doubtful that with 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, people would be all up in arms about using the first of 3 timeouts. No, people are upset because a little more than a game-minute later, with 55 seconds remaining in the 3rd, Richt called the second timeout. I remember this one well. I remember Richt running down the sideline and calling the timeout. And I know WHY he did it.

Ealey had just been stoned on two up-the-middle runs to the endzone. His knee touched before he got the ball across on the first play, and he failed to extend the ball on the second. The team lined up quickly on 4th and goal from the 1. My guess is that the call was to run the dive again. Richt saw that it was not going to work, so he called the 2nd timeout. What was the result? We got the right play called, Ealey went off to the right instead of up the middle, and Georgia took a 28-21 lead with 40 seconds remaining in the 3rd.

Oh, and what of that pesky third timeout? We never used it. Didn't need to.

People think that timeouts are there just to prolong the end of a tight game...that you MUST save them in order to give yourself a chance to win it at the end.

Because Richt called that 2nd timeout, we took a lead which we never surrendered and didn't NEED additional timeouts at the end of the game.

But no, I don't expect Joe Fan to understand that.

Go Dawgs.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Grantham's Defense Year One: Much Room to Improve

The above graph shows how Grantham's new 3-4 defense performed against the ten "competitive" teams we played this season. I couldn't bring myself to include ULL or Idaho State. In the graph, the statlines in white are our defense's production, and the statlines in yellow are the teams' avg per-game production for the entire season (our games included). Statistics in RED are areas where our numbers were worse than the average defense against our opponents' offenses. What you'll notice shouldn't suprise you if you've been watching the season.

Grantham has some serious work to do when it comes to defending a spread/option attack.

- 3/5 spread teams ran more plays against UGA than their average.

- 4/5 spread teams ran more running plays against UGA than their average.

- 4/5 spread teams had more rushing yards against UGA than their average.

- 4/5 spread teams scored more points against UGA than their average.

When Richt first announced the Grantham hire, and that he'd be bringing the 3-4 to UGA, there were two major things pointed out. First, that this would give Georgia a chance to put more athletes on the field to defend the potent high-talent spread type offenses. Second, with only 3-down linemen, the defense could become pourous against high-talent spread type offenses.

Georgia was definitely better against the PASS out of the spread than against the spread-run...but not by much.

The Georgia defense's biggest problem this season? Getting OFF THE FIELD on third down. What does that result in? You guessed it - the opposing offenses getting to run more plays. Against spread offenses, there wasn't a game where any combination of YPA or YPC would result in the opposition not being in position to pick up first downs. That's attrocious. We can chalk it up to personnel to some degree - we definitely haven't had a dominating front-3 which is a requirement of success in this scheme. Still, there were a number of instances (especially versus Georgia Tech) were our guys were in position to make stops either at or behind the line of scrimmage, and the opposition was able to keep moving forward.

Against Traditional offenses, the running defense was actually pretty good, but the passing D still needs work.

5/5 Traditional offenses had LOWER YPC against UGA than their average.

4/5 Traditional offenses had FEWER running plays against UGA than their average.

4/5 Traditional offenses had FEWER rushing yards against UGA than their average.

4/5 Traditional offenses had BETTER YPA against UGA than their average.

3/5 Traditional offenses had MORE passing yards against UGA than their average.

** It is important to know that much of TN's success came in garbage time.

The defense "got off the field" MUCH better against Traditional Offenses

Only two Traditional teams played more plays against UGA than their average, with each running 3 more total plays.

While only three Spread/Option offenses ran more plays against UGA than average, they ran 10, 7 and a whopping 25 more plays than average. When you're looking at a LOW of 4.6 yards per play, that's a whole lot of additional yardage/time to be giving up to these offenses. Also, 4/5 of these offenses ran more RUNNING plays, to the tune of 9,12,10,19 more plays. Again, at a low of 4.6 yards per rush, that's alot of time/yards.

We were told the 3-4 would create more turnovers, and it did.

Last year, the Georgia Defense took the ball away 12 times. This year, 24. The 14 interceptions are up from 11 last season, and we still have a game to go. And the 10 fumble recoveries compared to last year's 1? Well, I guess we got the lucky bounces we didn't last season. What I hate is that there were at least three more (two in the FL game alone) that we DID NOT capitalize on.

Personnel makes a difference.

It certainly made a difference against GT. Without big Sanders Commings on the edge, Tech was able to rattle off outside runs by collapsing Brandon Smith. I think Smith is a Nickel corner in Grantham's defense, and probably will do better to get alot of work as a speed man on the offensive side of the ball. Grantham and Lakatos want BIG DBs for a reason. As they come in and develop, you'll see a difference on the edge. Also, with bigger, more dominating play on the defensive line, our linebackers will be more free to make plays. That is ESSENTIAL in this defense. We haven't had spectacular line play against the Spread, and indeed, it's difficult to have. When you only have 3 men on the line, you're at an immediate disadvantage to the blocking scheme. Also, the the Spread/Option is an OPTION for a reason. The play isn't designed to go only in one place, it's designed to take what the defense gives it. When you have only three on the line and they aren't dominant, the O-Line can more easily dictate where the ball is going. If you call a Pinch, the line can collapse it, the QB can pull the ball out, and take it around the end. If you rush hard contain, the dive will be there. Having a stal-wart D-Line is paramount. This will be Grantham's primary focus of the next four weeks.

This ain't the NFL

Grantham had been in the NFL for 10 years. In the NFL, he faced traditional pro-style offenses on a weekly basis. Now, he's in the SEC. He is going to have to work to alter his scheme to stop the spread/option style defenses he will see. Next season brings similar challenges. We still have FL, AU, MSST, and GT on the schedule. We lose spread-style Colorado and traditional-style Arkansas. We pick up Ole Miss, who could be either offense in 2011, depending on who Nutt has at QB. We'll also face Boise State who is a pro-spread team. So, we'll likely have a 50/50 traditional/spread split again or perhaps even 40/60 favoring the spread/option style.

The mark of improvement usually happens in season 2

There is a great deal of evidence showing improvements in second seasons for head-coaches in the SEC. Let's hope the same holds true for defensive coordinators. Richt, Meyer, Saban, Miles, Chizik...all had great success in year 2. Hopefully Grantham will get to work on recruiting, signing, scheming and teaching...because we have to be much better in 2011. We just HAVE to.


Why the final Ealey TD happened...

A few bloggers and friends of mine have asked why the running play to Ealey was ever even called. They are unhappy with the fact that Johnson's "strategy" was allowed to play out, because they believe Richt could have knelt his way to victory.

The Ealey score was on 2nd down. Murray had knelt the ball on 1st down, and Johnson called a timeout.

Now, I'm the first to say the game is never over until it's over. Still, conventional wisdom holds that with under two minutes to go, having only one timeout, and're done. But, Johnson, being the "winner" that he is, decides to give his team a chance. So, the timeout.

Now, it's 2nd down and there is 1:35 on the clock. That's 95 seconds. If we snap the ball and take a knee on 2nd and third down, we'll snap the ball on 4th with about fifteen seconds left. At the least, ten seconds. That means that even a field goal would not run out the clock. So, at some point, you're going to have to run an honest-to-God football play if you want to possess the ball until time runs out. So, Bobo called a simple ISO play. Bobo did not expect Johnson's defense to allow Ealey to run straight through. He expected the play to burn enough time off the clock to get the Bulldogs back ahead of the playclock-gameclock differential, and thus be able to kneel the ball once an then walk off the field.

As for "Why didn't Ealey just kneel the ball?"

Washaun Ealey is a 19 year-old kid who has been told, on every play of his life other than that one play, that his goal is to get into the end-zone and score the touchdown. He hasn't been in this position. Our offense hasn't been in this position. It's safe to say that the coaches haven't likely been in this position either. Once upon a time in a game of NCAA football on PS3, I took the "Johnson Gamble" and it paid off for me, and even I didn't see that one coming.

Basically, that's why the touchdown happened. Bobo had to waste a little time, so he called the ISO. Johnson told his defense not to play the down, on the off-chance that the offense had called an actual play. Ealey did what he's been taught to do for his entire life.

Oh yeah, and we won the frikkin game by 8 points. Go Dawgs.

Really? Still attacking Bobo?

Bobo's offense had 11 possessions, and scored touchdowns on five of them. One possession was the kneel-down possession to end the game. Drew Butler only punted twice. The other possessions ended on King's fumble at the GT 9 and Murray being spotted short of the line-to-gain twice (once after a fumbled snap).

In truth, only twice can you say that Bobo could even be remotely to blame for any offensive woes in this game, and that was on the two punt possessions. The drive where King fumbled featured two big runs, and then the fumble. The drives resulting in 4th down stops were a 65 yard drive with two very interesting ball spots (personally I thought Durham had made it on 3rd) and a thirty-eight yarder that ended because Murray didn't handle the snap well enough to even give the offense a chance on 4th.

On the Dawg's first possession of the game, Bobo called one run, and then two passes where Murray couldn't find a receiver and was tackled for no gain twice. Apparently he diagnosed the coverage that Al Grogh was giving him, because the next drive featured 4 passes, 3 complete, and covered 95 yards and scored a touchdown.

Bobo's offense did not punt again until the fourth quarter when Grogh called his first (only?) blitz of the game, and was able to sack Aaron Murray on third down.

So....tell me, Bobo-haters...where's the indictment of his inability to coach?

Go Dawgs.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thoughts on Boise State and the Dawgs

Let me begin by saying this won't be a "hating on the Blue" post. Those who live in the past and believe that the "Major Conference" schools are by nature better football teams than those in smaller conferences are simply ignorant. Today's college football world is filled with incredible athletes at all levels. Yes, the major programs attract more of these elite athletes than the smaller schools do, but it doesn't take a roster full of five-star players to create a good team. Boise State has developed talent and has a few key players who are absolutely fantastic. That being the case, they have built themselves into one of the premiere programs in the country. Say what you will about their ability to hang with the big boys (and you won't have much of a leg to stand on given their BCS bowl history and a win over VT to open this season), but high-school kids all over the country know who Boise State is.

Now, not many people were happier to see them lose than I was last night. The loss affirmed what I've been saying all year long, that it isn't Boise State's talent as a football team that I question - but their ability to survive a season against similar competition. Boise State has climbed to the level they have mostly by dominating lesser competition. This year, against the only other quality team in the WAC, they couldn't play a full four quarters and win. In the second half, Boise State had two big plays - a 79-yard screen pass TD and a deep bomb with 9 seconds to go, which resulted in a missed field goal attempt. Other than that, the offense did nothing in the final 30 minutes. In overtime, they again did nothing. As the game wore on, you could see it on the faces of the Broncos defense - they simply weren't ready for this kind of a battle. Nevada, on the other hand, was dictating the game and doing exactly what they wanted to do.

Boise State is not likely to end up in a BCS bowl. In my opinion, they HAVE to be ranked below Nevada in the new rankings. Perhaps Nevada jumps to 12 and Boise falls to 13, I don't know. I just don't see how you can rank Boise ahead of Nevada when Nevada is the WAC champion, and just beat Boise. But, the media loves the orange and blue, and there's no telling what they'll do. Still, I beieve this is the beginning of quite a reality-check for Boise State. Next season, Boise opens with Georgia. They will play TCU in-conference. They will play Air Force and Fresno State and Nevada as well. This is not the same cupcake schedule they've been dealing with for the past few years.

Now, for our Dawgs, we can't take them lightly. What I noticed about defending against the Boise State offense was simple. PRESSURE. When you pressure Kellen Moore, he becomes very average. The other thing you have to do? Run with their receivers. The Boise State offense is basically built on Moore dropping back, having time, and heaving deep passes. When you take that away from them, they lose a good bit of potency. What does this mean for the Dawgs? We already have to improve in both of these areas. Our deep coverage has not been great, and our pass rush has been less than stellar.

The Chick Fil A kickoff will be a barometer for how Grantham improves his squad over the next nine months. We must bring in some size on the defensive line. Our line this year has been serviceable, but we're losing Demarcus Dobbs, Kiante Tripp and Brandon Wood. All of these guys have been contributors, and filling the spots vacated will not be simple. Grantham is reportedly looking to do some JC moves, which is a smart - and would have been a great move last winter. Now, it's basically a necessity. He needs kids who are familiar with a 3-4 defense, have collegiate level experience, and are ready to make an immediate impact. Then, the defensive backfield. I don't know much about the young talent on this team, but I think Lakatos is pretty comfortable with Boykin. Ogletree is coming along, but he and Rambo need to be a much more solid duo. Also, finding a solid corner on the other side of the field is going to be paramount. Commings looked pretty good in his work this year, and Brandon Smith is a good Nickel Corner. The LB corps will be strong, even stronger if Grantham convinces Houston to give it one more go.

Overall, I think the defense will improve with a year under their belt and another full offseason under Grantham. Lakatos is getting some more BIG Dbs this year, which is something we need badly to be able to compete with the giant wideouts who are beginning to litter this league.

I'm looking forward to the Chick Fil A game like no season opener I can remember since actually suiting up for the Dawgs. Can't believe this season is over - and can't wait for the next one to get here. The offseason - hell for fans, but quite possibly just what the doctor ordered for this team.

Go Dawgs.


I live in California. I've been here for 9 years now, and I still haven't fallen into the "I love the Pac-10" crap. The SEC is where the best football is played, hands-down. So, imagine how excited I was to find that the SEC Network exists here in Los Angeles. I paid the $120 for ESPN gameplan this fall, and rarely had to watch a Bulldawg game on the upper channels because it was often the early game on KDOC.


The feed is standard definition - square and grainy. It's simply not very inspiring on our 50" Plasma HDTV. The players are fuzzy, and the camera crews are sub-par. For a while, I chalked this up to simply the fact that the less-stellar game crews were covering our early games. Then I watched SportsCenter. There they were, HIGH DEFINITION REPLAYS of the game I had watched on SD only hours earlier.

Something tells me these weren't George Lucas-style digitally remastered replays. No, in fact, there were HD crews AT THE GAME. WHAT THE HELL???? How is it that we can't get the HD feed?

I thought maybe it was because I watched the SEC Network feed on KDOC and not the Gameplan I flipped over, and it was the same grainy picture.

Come on ESPN. I, as well as millions of other fans, paid you $120, and that's going to auto-renew next fall. You have nine months. Find a way to bring us ALL the games in HD. These days, standard definition is about as enticing as watching the gametracker dots on

At least I get to watch UGA wreck Tech in full HD tonight!

Go Dawgs!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not just another running QB

I've been reading posts again. You know what that means...I'm about to do some complaining and airing of the differences!


Tech doesn't have a running quarterback. Paul Johnson's offense doesn't feature a running quarterback. It features a runner who takes the snap and occasionally throws the ball.


People are pointing at the amount of damage running quarterbacks did against UGA this year. Those stats look like this:

Chris Relf 21 rushes, 97 yards, 4.6 ypc.
Tyler Hansen 10 rushes, 51 yards, 5.1 ypc.
Trey Burton 17 rushes, 110 yards, 6.5 ypc.
Cam Newton 30 rushes 151 yards, 5.0 ypc.

However, look at the season PASSING totals for these teams

Mississippi State - 1855, 12 TDs
Colorado - 2500+ , 19 TDs
Florida - 2200 yards, 11TDS
Auburn - 2100 yards, 22 TDs

Georgia Tech - 949 yards, 9 Tds.

Has Georgia had trouble with running quarterbacks? You could say we have. However, you should also note that the four teams who featured a running quarterback have fairly balanced offenses. They throw a good bit as well. With Florida, the majority of the throwing was done by Brantley while the running was handled by Burton, BUT, both guys were often on the field at the same time, causing mismatches by formation. This will not be the case with Georgia Tech. Newton was a danger because he took his snaps from shotgun, and was a threat to run, toss, or throw on any down. He could eat up a secondary that didn't respect his pass, and could dominate a line bent on simply speed-rushing him. This will not be the case with Georgia Tech.

Look folks, Tevin Washington has a 36% completion rate. Meanwhile, the Tech ground game (not including Nesbitt) has racked up 2776 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns.

Simply put, they won't be throwing the ball. They are going to grind. They are going to work towards chewing ground and chewing clock. Paul Johnson is not going to suddenly create a spread passing attack. He's going to run, run, run.

So, what does Grantham do? Grantham spends his off week teaching these kids even more about ASSIGNMENT FOOTBALL. Against a good option attack, every defender has a very specific job, and he has to DO THAT JOB. This can be dangerous in a rivalry game when kids by nature want desperately to make a big play. That is what can kill you against the option. You keep seeing the same dive over and over and over, so you jump on it, trying to make that big hit that causes a fumble or something....then the quarterback keeps the ball and runs past you for a 35 yard touchdown. DISCIPLINE is what must be preached this week.

Will we see more 4-man fronts against this offense? It's possible. Personally, I'd love to see Grantham use some 4-4. It's highly unlikely that Johnson is going to call many plays that would require a 2-deep zone scheme. Having four Big Men in the middle as well as four athletic linebackers would change things dramatically from what Johnson has been preparing his boys for all week. Of course, Ogletree is about as big as some linebackers anyway, so perhaps we'll simply see him walking up into the box. That can cause even greater confusion...and confusion in blocking schemes is exactly what you want against the option.

The option offense is built on reads. If the quarterback is expecting a particular look to perform in a particular way, and suddenly a safety blitz or a dropping DE changes that look, his read will change. When the read changes, the play changes, and the QB is forced to make a decision he may not be ready to make. We could run a blitzing safety off the tail of a slanting DE. The QB would read the DE, and think he should keep the ball, but the safety would hem him up in a hurry. That's just one possibility. It's not nearly that simple to defend the option all day, but crafting these plays is what coordinating is all about. Option offenses require "taking what the defense gives you." The trick is to show them one thing, and then give them something completely different. It's kinda like a Miracle-Bra approach to defense.

Go Dawgs.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I wonder if they'll shut up if....

Anger with Coach Richt is all the rage these days. People consider him a bad coach, a horrible manager of talent, etc.

So here we are....scheduled to open our 2011 season against the perennial media darling and top-5 team, Boise State. At some blogs, people are saying Richt will be coaching for his job in that game. They are saying that with a loss, the fanbase will immediately write him off, and the trustees will begin seeking a new HFC immediately. This is, of course, said in the wake of what has been a nightmare of a season by the Dawgs' own making. There is no big excuse. There's been no rash of injuries. There's been no consistent rate of turnovers. There has been nothing more than a team not playing up to its potential, and that is enough to bring out the hounds.

However, nine months is a long time, and many of the emotion-filled rants will die down. Sure, I'll likely recieve an "anonymous" post to my blog showing the negatives of Richt's career - a desperate attempt by someone to sway me over to the anti-Richt group which simply is NOT going to happen. Still, most fans will accept the fact that CMR is still the one in charge, and they'll begin to look for signs that this team could actually improve in the offseason leading up to the Chick Fil A kickoff.

People say Richt has mismanaged his talent, and that he and his staff just aren't good at getting STARS to suit up for UGA. They all say we aren't going to get Crowell, Drew, Dickson, etc. They all say UGA is a has-been program, and that kids just don't want to come play there. But perhaps there's still a surprise or two left in the salesman's bag for Richt.

I wonder if all of these people would shut up...if Richt convinced Green and Houston to stay for 2011. Would that bring the anger down? Would that impress people at all? Let's face it - these kids are destined for MILLIONS in the NFL. Green is a first rounder, and Houston may be as well - definitely a first-day kind of guy. What would it say about the TEAM's perception of Richt and what they can be in 2011 if those two are willing to turn down the cash and return to the Red and Black?

Would THAT shut people up? It'd be interesting to see.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chick Fil A kickoff...What I know is this:

If that thing happens, I want tickets. I haven't been to a game in the dome since my sophomore year when we rallied to beat Virginia in the Chick-Fil-A Peach bowl. The atmosphere that night was electric. People were hurling stuffed chick-fil-a cows from the highest seats in the stadium. It was AWESOME!

The last time Georgia played Boise State, we rocked them in the face and jump-started an SEC Championship season. Now - this Boise State is not THAT Boise State, to be sure. Still, this is the perfect way to start a season. I've long been a proponent of "To be the best, you have to beat the best." And, I don't think there's any denying that Boise State is a top-25 program. I think there is a good bit of debate on whether they are an "elite top-5" program, and rightfully so given their annual resume'. But, they can certainly line up and play with anyone, and beat the majority of teams as well.

Facing off against Boise State is an IMMEDIATE litmus test of our team's improvement and a "This is where we stand" game from Day 1. Don't get me wrong, I understand the angle of beating up on someone at the start of the season in order to have a "warm up". But if you ask me, this whole frikkin' season has been a "warm-up." The defense was getting warmed-up to its new scheme. Murray was getting warmed-up to true-speed defenses. And the coaches' chairs, well...they certainly got warmed up this season. So, here it comes...a make-or-break type season for UGA and Coach Richt. Opening with Louisville would have been a good game - Charlie Strong is a fantastic coach and I'm sure his defense will be solidified in his second season. That being said, do we REALLY want to face his defense? Our track record against it is pretty awful.

Also, Louisville is a 5-5 team this season. They will not finish in the top-25, and won't start out there next season. UGA will finish outside the top 25 as well. However, squaring off against a team which will definitely be a top-10 if not top-5 team in September will be the best way to catch the voters' attention immediately. If UGA were to come out and win that game, the Dawgs would immediately be launched into the top 25. If we were to somehow ROUT the Broncos, as in 2005, our stock would soar.

Also important to note - this is not the move of an AD who is considering firing his head-coach. You don't schedule a sure top-10 team as the opening game for a first-year head coach. I suppose the guys at Sports and Grits will be exceedingly pissed about that bit of clarity.

The "news" of this is definitely exciting. Since it hasn't been officially announced, I don't know that I'm buying 100% into it happening. But, what I DO know is this:

I want tickets. Who's buyin?

Go Dawgs

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"What Georgia SHOULD be..."

I'm getting increasingly tired of reading about what people believe Georgia Football SHOULD look like. This is a fanbase that is unduly arrogant, and who would cut loose a very good coach simply for the promise of "Change." What these fans are neglecting to realize is that often times, coaching changes prove to be unmitigated disasters. When you go from a crap coach to a decent coach, you are quick to heft praise onto the decent coach. When you go from a decent coach to a great coach, you elevate that coach to a level of expectation which NO COACH can maintain year in and year out for any period of longevity. This is what has happened at UGA. There is not a coach in the history of college football who maintained dominance for decades, not even the greats like Paterno, Bowden and Bryant did that. They had runs. They had ups. They had downs. That is the cycle that is football. What they also had were administrations who were willing to keep them around through the tough times, because they understood that titles are rewards, not measuring sticks. You don't fire a proven winner simply because of a down period.

When Richt arrived in 2001, I knew nothing about him. I had just finished my fourth year at UGA, and had enjoyed my final game as a bulldog out in Hawaii. I met in January. After one conversation with him, I thought hard about staying in school for one more year, earning a second Bachelor's degree, and playing football for him. I knew he was a quality coach. In his second season, he went 13-1 and won the SEC. In 2003, Saban's Tigers beat UGA in the SECCG, and went on to win the national title. I thought we'd see UGA and LSU at the top of their respective divisions for years to come. We did not.

Both teams have been up and down over the years since then - such is the nature of football.

Some fans believe UGA should be in the talks for National Titles every year, and should be competing in Atlanta every year, if not, every other year. They also believe that UGA should NEVER get beat by South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ole Miss, etc. These people are idiots. There is no other way to say it. And, I'm no apologetic if you count yourself among them. You are an idiot. If your belief is that the only teams UGA has any "right" to lose to include and ARE limited to FL, TN, AL, AU and LSU, then you do Georgia, and the SEC for that matter, a serious disservice. This conference is what it is because it is highly competitive from top to bottom. No team is going to own the conference year-in and year-out.

Before the 2010 season began, people asked "Can anyone unseat AL?" and "Is there anyone who can rise to the level of AL and FL?" It was commonly assumed that no teams in the SEC had the rosters, coaches, or wherewithall to defeat these two "perennial powers." Well, here we are at the end of the season and neither of those teams will play for the SEC title.

The old days are gone, kids. Don't expect ANY team in this conference to ride five and six year spans of outright dominance. There are simply too many good athletes being spread among the schools. FL's roster is dominated by 5-star players. UGA's is not. Yet, Georgia was an interception away from possible victory in that game. Should Georgia compete for the east most years? Yes. And we do. In 2009, no, we weren't close. In 2008, we were a victory against FL from being there (of course, that game was never close). In 2007, if any one of five different games (UGAvUSC, UGAvTN, TNvKY, TNvVandy, TNvUSC) turned out differently, UGA would have played in the SECCG and likely the BCS title game.

The fact is UGA HAS been in competition for the East (East Co-Champs 2007), we just haven't won it since 2005. Even in a crap season like this, we were a win away from sliding in under the radar. The team wasn't good enough to do that this season, and it's been a true rebuilding year.

What probably gets me the most is the over-arching idea that Georgia has some kind of "birthright" to be a top-rated team. How did we become so ignorant of the college football landscape? Is this noise coming from people who are still living in the early 1980's? For three years, we were a dominant program. After Herschel, we weren't. Then we were a losing program. Then we were a middle-of-the-road program. Then came Richt, who elevated the program back to Championship level. Now he's hit a rough patch, as happens in all good coaching careers (Dooley and Butts, the two standards of Georgia coaching prior to CMR, both went through them); but, Richt's team this season is stronger than the year prior. Unfortunately for him, so is his competition.

And that's the other part of the equation that everyone seems so quick to forget. Last year, Georgia lost badly to less-than stellar football teams. With the exception of Colorado, we have dominated every "lesser" team we've faced. We also have run up against five top-25 programs who have been able to pull out victories against us in the final quarter. That hurts, but it shows that in a year with a new defense, a young quarterback, and a struggling running game, we're still hanging in with some of the top teams in the country.

THAT is what Georgia SHOULD be. Georgia should be a team that is going to be able to compete with anyone, anywhere. Until now, we haven't seen a UGA team like that since 2007, and even then we were beat solidly by Alabama. Georgia SHOULD be a team that is entertaining to watch. We should be having slugfests with our rivals, and we should be blowing out lesser competition. This is what 2010 gave you. We lost more games than we should be happy with, but it was quite a ride. It will be better in 2011.

Go Dawgs

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Defense is the defense.

In the days since our loss to Auburn, I have seen the ire of Georgia Fans once again climbing up. It's nowhere near the level following the loss to Colorado. Perhaps that's because a season including 6 losses has dulled the pain, I don't really know. One of my friends posed the question to me: "what is the argument for retaining Richt?"

My response:

I don't need to make an argument. He's not getting fired. You guys can whine and bellyache about it, but he ain't getting fired. If he has a crap season in 2011, possibly. I doubt it will happen given what I saw on the field (and no, the w-l record doesn't sway that opinion).

AL 2007: 7-6 (6-6 reg season)
AL 2008: 12-2 (12-0 reg season)

The 2007 AL squad did NOT get better as the season went along. In fact, they lost the final four games of their regular season, including a home loss to Louisiana Monroe. But they did suffer some close losses (including the OT home loss to UGA) which helped them mature and pull together. 2007 laid the foundation for what we saw out of Bama in 2008 and 2009.

You guys like to harp on Richt being at UGA for ten years. The kids who are on the team haven't been there for ten years, and each year the team is different. That's why a 6-6 team can become a 12-0 team. Sometimes it really is a play here or there which can define a season. The question is whether the work this team has put in, in enduring this painful season, will yield rewards in 2011. I believe it will. I know you don't, and that's fine - but I need not make an argument, for it is all moot.

Of course, there came a response, saying that the reference to AL "misses" because Saban's team improved and improved, and in the past two years, we have regressed even further. I was called "delusional" for supporting Richt. I disagree:

The argument doesn't miss. 2007, AL goes to a 3-4 defense. They don't have the personnel for it, and they're all learning. They go 6-6. The next year, with seasoned veterans running that defense, it was nearly impossible to score on them, and they went 12-0.

I'm not delusional, I'm rational.

The team this year has played better than the team last year. He's some real-time knowledge for you:

Last year's team was not good. We beat Carolina (last-second defensive play) and Arkansas in shootouts. We were run out of the stadium against Florida. We beat an average Auburn team on a last-second defensive play. We fell apart against Kentucky and let them beat us. We were HOUSED by Tennessee. Over the spring and summer, we did a complete overhaul of our defense. This season "could" have been a good one, if the guys on defense had been able to defy all logic and beat the 3-4 learning curve. They didn't. So, we had a bunch of close losses.

Still, the offense has performed better than the offense a year ago.

Aaron Murray has 11 games compared to Cox's 13. He has more completions, less attempts, trails in yards by a whopping FOUR, is 3 TDs shy of Cox (and 4 shy of sharing the all-time UGA record for a QB), and has nine fewer interceptions. Our rushing through 11 games trails last year's 13 game total by 475 yards (which means we actually have more than we had through 11 games last season, as our offense picked up over 550 yards on the ground in the final two games of 2009). Through 11 games, our offense has scored the same number of TDs through as we scored through 13 a year ago. 2010 is the first season in UGA history where we've logged six-straight 30+ point outputs.

Last year's PPG - 28.9 This year's - 33.5

Last year's DPPG - 25.9 This year's - 22.1

Through 13 games last year, we forced 11 turnovers.

Through 11 games this year, we've forced 13 turnovers.

Our team is a better team this year. Unfortunately for us, South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Auburn are also better teams this year and we couldn't pull it out against them.

As for Alabama in 07 and 08...In 2006, AL went 6-6 and lost their bowl game. Enter Saban and the 3-4. Alabama goes 6-6 and wins their bowl game in 2007. The players learn the defense. Their DPPG that season? 22.0 The next season, the Defense improves by over a touchdown per game, surrendering only 14.3 ppg. The team goes 12-0. People love to remember the 2008 season for AL, and forget 2007.

A new scheme takes time to learn. This past Saturday, there were three plays that I can name where a Freshman Safety, who will be a STAR at UGA, made mistakes that ended up costing us the ballgame. In the second half, Ogletree had his eyes on Newton and moved with him as he rolled slightly to Newton's right. He didn't need to do that because Rambo was covering that side of the field and was in position to make a play on a ball thrown that direction. Still, Ogletree did it. That caused a seam to open between himself and MLB Dowtin. Newton hummed a TD over the reaching arm of Dowtin, and inside of Ogletree who would have been in position, if not for that mistake. In the fourth quarter, with the score only 4 points apart, AU had a third down. Ogletree was set as the spy against Newton. He aggressively stepped up into a hole, thinking he'd make a stop, but got caught in the wash of the O-Line and Newton went around the block for the first down. Soon after, Ogletree again got caught staring in the backfield. He bit on a play-fake, and the Tightend ran past him. Newton fired another TD to him.

Alec Ogletree is a good safety. But, on Saturday, he made some critical mistakes - and that has been the story of the season for our defense. These athletes are quality athletes. Boykin holds the all-time UGA record for kick returns, and he's returned what, 4, 5 for tds? 3 for 100 yards+. That's an athlete. Houston leads the SEC in sacks. Akeem Dent is second in the SEC in tackles, and 24th in the country. These guys can play football. They're still learning a complex defense, and at times that's gonna bite you.

You don't believe, and I do, and that's fine. But saying I can't make a case for Richt is ridiculous - can I make a case you will agree with? No. No one can. I could tell you that I talked to God on a mountain, he gave me a window into the future, let me watch the BCS title game of January 2012 and that I watched Richt be doused with Powerade before hoisting the Crystal Football alongside Aaron Murray, and that still wouldn't satisfy you. You do not like Richt as a coach, have villified him, and want him gone. There is absolutely no rationale which will change your mind.

Nor is there any which will change mine. He's my coach, and I'll stick by him until the UGA Brass decide he's not my coach any more. McGarity gets paid enough money to make those decisions. What I do is provide a perspective that is NOT based purely on emotion, but rather on observations from both sides of the hedges. Many fans see wins and losses, and that's all they see. They don't see the story behind those wins and losses, or what's going on with a team. They just see wins and losses. That's incredibly myopic.

Wins and Losses matter, don't get me wrong. I don't want to see UGA fight valiantly and go 6-6 for ten years. And I agree with you that the on-the-field performance did trend downward for a few seasons. Then Richt made changes, and the on-the-field performances have improved. What must happen next, is those improved performances have to translate to victories. If they don't, Richt won't live out his contract.

2011 could be Richt's final season at UGA if the W-L columns don't swing drastically back to the left. Here is why: a minimal increase isn't enough. Richt made an educated gamble in 2010 by switching to an entirely new defense. That gamble has to pay off in its second year, or it will be seen as an absolute failure. It doesn't take 2 years to install a system. In year 2, your veterans will know it, and your youth will have time to learn it. Only true freshmen will be at the bottom of the learning curve, and not many of them will be expected to contribute immediately. Defensive Seniors - Vance Cuff (role player, not a true starter), LB Akeem Hebron (never really came on), LB Daryl Gamble (starter), LB Akeem Dent (starter), DE Demarcus Dobb (Starter), DE Kiante Tripp (backup), DE Brandon Wood (backup). We lose 3 true starters on our defense, might lose 4 if Justin Houston leaves. At MLBs, we have Christian Robinson and Marcus Dowtin who are both very good, and get a ton of PT now. The majority of our contributing defensive linemen are Juniors and Sophomores. All of this bodes well for next year. Our defense has improved over last year in the FIRST year of this system. I'm excited about what they can do in the 2nd year!

An 8-4 or 9-3 season without a championship does not buy Richt another season. A 9-3 or 10-2 season in 2011 AND playing in Atlanta does. That kind of improvement will quiet the fanbase, and it will show that Richt hasn't lost anything, and that the moves made in 2010 have proven fruitful. I'm not saying Richt SHOULD lose his job if the Dawgs don't reach Atlanta in 2011, but I could see it. Either way, bickering about it is pointless.

Following that, I was given a list of coaches who are all "better" than Richt, because they wear BCS Championship Rings, earned since Richt's last SEC title. These coaches were Meyer (2), Miles (1), Saban (1..2 overall). Brown was also included, though his ring came during a Richt-coached SEC title year. I decided to toss in Pete Carroll because he is apparently still a standard for some people.

Urban - Charlie Strong
Brown - Will Muschamp
Saban - Kirby Smart (Saban)
Carroll - ???? (Carroll)
Miles - Bo Pelini

These guys did it on defense, something that is near and dear to my heart. When I was in highschool, I played on offense - because we put our best athletes on defense. In our 10-0 senior season, our defense surrendered 64 points. Our offense scored 346. That's a pretty big disparity, but it was because of stellar defensive play that we got to where we were. Saban's teams will always have great defense. Now that Miles has hired Chavis, you can bet his teams will have great defense.

At Florida, Charlie Strong is gone. Florida's defense has not been very good this season. USC has not had great defensive play in a few years. LSU picked up Chavis in the stead of Pelini, and is strong again. Muschamp is as good as they come.

When Richt was winning titles, he had a solid defense. When Martinez entered the fray, the defense suffered. Richt has corrected the mistake that was Martinez. The defense has improved. Look for further improvement in year 2. Urban had the benefit of Tebow. Brown had Young. Carroll had Bush. Dooley had Walker. Saban and Miles had no real superstars on their title teams, just great defense, and a "good enough" offense. That also was Tressel's method. Richt's offense is a good one. He has lacked a strong defense. We saw the growing pains of a defense this year. They will pay off in 2011.

So many people don't understand what happened in this season. People were expecting miracles, and I hoped for them. They didn't come. But, there was a great deal of great work done at UGA this fall. If you were watching more than the box score, you should have seen that.

Go Dawgs.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Silence speaks volumes

I love that my friend Pete asks whether 5 losses prevents me from blogging. No. In the past, as years have turned sour, I have lost my excitement about the coming games. This season is completely different. There is only one loss where I felt we were out-and-out beat by a team, and that was against South Carolina. The funny thing is, we still had a shot to win that game in the 4th. No, it isn't the 5 losses that has kept me silent. It's because there really isn't much to say.

Most bloggers are debating whether or not Cam Newton will or should play against UGA tomorrow. For those who think Auburn will hold him out, I have to say that's next to criminally stupid. If Cam Newton's recruitment is exposed as one of violations, and he is ruled ineligible, the whole season is down the tubes. It's all over. They'll vacate every win he was a part of. That's ten of 'em, folks. So why in the world would Chizik pull Newton at this stage of the game? At this point, you dance with the one that brought you. If Chizik pulls Newton against UGA, AU loses. If Newton doesn't play against Bama, AU loses. So, if the subsequent NCAA findings are that Cam is guilty, AU is 0-2 for the Season. On the other hand, if Newton is innocent, AU is 10-2, and misses out on SEC and BCS title opportunities.

Beating UGA and AL isn't assured even WITH Cam Newton. But without him, they would be waving a white flag.

So, you can understand why I've been quiet this week. The blogosphere is talking about Cam Newton. I think there's nothing to talk about. He's playing. Deal with it.

Go Dawgs.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Aaron Murray throws three picks and fumbles the ball?

We don't get ANY of their fumbles?

Just another day in Jacksonville. I suppose the Anti-Richt crowd will once again begin to roar.

We haven't looked this good losing in years. Still, we're losing too much.

There's really not much to say other than "Damnit."

Go Dawgs.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Concerned about our Dawgs

Early in the year, this Dawgs team had a major problem - maturity. Murray wasn't a "mature' quarterback, so the offense was fairly constrained. The offensive line wasn't mature enough to ignore all the hype they received in the preseason. The Defensive line hadn't matured into their roles in the new 3-4. The defense as a whole wasn't making great tackles - trusting their "big hits" to take down players with more focus than they themselves had.

In total, our team was immature and lacked focus.

Over the past few weeks, we've seen Georgia play like Georgia should play. We've seen a hungry team come out and chew up its opponents. We've seen Washaun Ealey run how Washaun Ealey should run. We've seen AJ Green be AJ Green. A shuffle in the line has brought some fight into our OL, and we've seen the response in the running game and in a very vertical Aaron Murray. We've seen this team win three blowouts. In fact, in all 4 wins this year, the outcome has never been in doubt after halftime. In 4 losses this year, the outcome has not been decided until the 4th quarter, in three of those games - on the final UGA drive.

This concerns me.

It wouldn't have concerned me before last night. Until our win over Kentucky, I thought the team was maturing well - that they were going to put their feet on the throats of the opposition. I thought I was seeing the turn towards domination that often comes late in the first season of a new defense. After last night, though, I do not know if that's the case.

In the first half against Kentucky, the defense was great - right up until the end of the half. They had played about 28 minutes of great football. They had forced turnovers, and created problems for Hartline. Even on a long successful pass play, our stingy defense ripped the ball directly from the arms of the receiver. Then, at the tail-end of the second quarter, Hartline avoided a light rush by UGA and hit a deep pass for a TD bringing the Cats back from the brink of destruction, to a 28-10 halftime deficit. UGA came out of the half and drove the ball 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 35-10, and that's when the defense should have put the hammer down.

They didn't. The defense gave up 3rd and longs all night, and gave up BIG touchdown passes. I have to wonder if the DBs thought the pass rush would get there, so they didn't work as hard in coverage. Twice Cuff was beat for long scores. On one, he slipped while getting into position to make a play on the ball. That's unfortunate, but it's not a breakdown. The second score on him, though, was. He was called for holding, then didn't make a play on either the ball or the man...and it cost our defense a touchdown. PLUS, he dropped an interception in the endzone which would have prevented a touchdown on the drive.

That's a bunch of points we can hang on one guy, but we can't. It was a mindset thing by the whole defense. They simply lost the focus of crushing the opposition. This is a lack of maturity, and it worries me.

Florida hasn't looked good this year, but they are every bit capable of beating UGA. They have the athletes, they have good coaches, and they've had two weeks to prepare. A third blowout win certainly could have given the Dawgs a bit too much confidence. But then, there's also the opposite - this was a blowout win, but it was in ugly fashion. The defense knows the efort they put in against the 'Cats in the 2nd half isn't going to win a game against the Gators. The gameplan was good - take Randal Cobb out of the game....but some of the execution was a bit lax.

Still, when they pulled within two scores late, we completely shut them down and got the ball back. I have to liken it to the UGA-AL game in 2008. Yeah, UGA made a fight and made it look good in the 2nd half, but when the AL defense needed to make a stop, they did, and when they needed to drive down the field, they did that too. That's what UGA did last night. We drove down the field and put in an icing TD, then shut them down.

We lost focus and maturity for a while, but found it again at the end of the game and completed the win.

There's room to improve, and there's cause for concern - but there's also room for confidence. Three weeks ago, most of you wouldn't have given us a snowball's chance in hell to beat Florida.
Things have changed. If we find our focus again this week, and keep getting better, Florida won't stand a chance.

Go Dawgs!

Win the East? I just don't know.

Ok, so Dawgfans across this nation are in a frenzy right now - and it ain't of the "Fire Mark Richt" variety. No, my beloved red and black blooded fellows and gals are of the belief that the Dawgs can actually win the East in a year that featured a 4 game losing streak - and they're right. The Dawgs were dead-to-rights three weeks ago, and people were saying Richt's team would go 1-11. Well, now we stand at 4-4, are second in the East, and playing some pretty darn good football. We COULD win it. Will we? I don't know - and the signs don't point too favorably for it.

The road doesn't get any easier. Luckily, each team remaining in the East race has its own challenges ahead. We have to play Florida and undefeated Auburn. South Carolina has TN, FL and ARK. Florida has UGA, Vandy and SC remaining.

We'll take it as a given for the sake of this argument that UGA wins out. We need South Carolina to lose twice. Looking at their remaining schedule, I just don't know that it will happen. I had hoped Vandy would take care of business and drop the Gamecocks...but betting on Vandy this year is just a bad idea. They have serious issues at QB and the defense isn't strong - even to Commodore standards.

By beating Vanderbilt, South Carolina has created a scenario where they win every tie-breaker scenario with UGA. Had South Carolina LOST to Vanderbilt, Georgia would have the opportunity to play its way into a 3-way tiebreaker. However, if Vandy wins out and South Carolina loses but one, South Carolina will win the East due to their 2-0 record against the other two teams in the tiebreaker.

If UGA can get past FL and AU, then Florida is eliminated from the East and UGA needs USC to drop two games.

For South Carolina, the Arkansas game is loseable. I just don't know about the other two. Tennessee isn't very good, and this year, neither is Florida. If Florida drops the game to Georgia, they will have four straight losses - but may catch Vandy at just the right moment. Losing to Georgia would be rough on them...but Vandy would give them a chance to rebound before taking on South Carolina.

But, I suppose I shouldn't count out Tennessee. Dooley will be pushing those guys hard, and I just can't forsee a TN team not getting an SEC victory. Maybe it can happen against SC this weekend.

In actuality, UGA could be holding the lead in the East when we head to Auburn on Nov 13. At that point, it would most likely come down to defeating a 10-0 top-3 Auburn squad in order to go to the SEC Championship game. As if that Rivalry ever needs MORE pressure applied to it.

Can these Dawgs pull it off? I just don't know.
but I'd love to see it.

GO Dawgs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What is a Champion?

The first BCS standings are out and to no surprise, people are already discussing possible "controversies." The question is, and has been since last season, if Boise State runs the table, should they be voted into the BCS title game ahead of say, a one-loss Alabama. People claim the BCS system is crap, and that a playoff would better determine who the "true" champion is.

I used to think that way. It was my opinion that championships should be won ON THE FIELD; that the only way to BE the best, was to BEAT the best. However, there is an inherent problem with that line of thinking as it pertains to the playoff format - the problem is the idea that you can guarantee a team is beating the best. So many people argue that a playoff system would decrease the importance of the regular season. I disagree with that. I believe that if you build your playoff system out of conference championships, then your regular season is still incredibly important. In the SEC, it has long been thought that once you lose, you're pretty much done. This is because it is always assumed that the best teams in the SEC will not lose more than one game, so if you've lost one, you're behind the 8 ball. Now, if you make the conference title a condition for getting into the playoffs, you haven't lost anything.


That's not what proponents of the playoffs want. They want the possibility of a Cinderella story. They want Boise State to get a shot at the big boys. And essentially, in a 16-team playoff, they'd have to beat 4 "big boys" to claim the title. Now, say somehow a 4-loss ACC team wins the ACC title and then goes on a crazy run through the playoffs and reaches the NCG against that Boise team....and then beats Boise. Boise is undefeated until that game, but loses. The ACC champ has 4 losses, then pulls out a five game winning streak to finish the season. Were they the best team in the country, or did they just hit a good winning streak at the right time?

Sounds a little bit like the NFL a few years ago. The Giants won the Superbowl, but the Patriots held an 18-0 record going into that game (including a win over The Giants). So, the Patriots and the Giants each were 1-1 against one another in the season, and the Patriots did much better the rest of the year. Still, the Giants were the champions.

Is this what we want in college football?

What exactly IS the champion of college football? Well, right now it's a popularity contest with a small "quality win" factor built in. There are actually people out there who say Boise should be "given a shot" if they go undefeated because they've been in the BCS a lot recently, and they've earned it. Here's the problem with that - the BCS teams of years past are NOT this team. So, what you're saying is that a one-loss Alabama team, with wins over multiple top-ten teams hasn't done as much to earn the right to play for the title as an undefeated Boise State who has played only one team that is even ranked in the top 25 (and that one may not even stay in the top 25). People are allowing the "sexiness" of Boise State cloud their judgment.

So, what do we want to reward?

If the idea of "Being the Best by Beating the Best" is still how we determine a champion, then surely we can't think Boise State could be a true National Champion. Why? Because anybody can have a good game. If you play a pancake schedule, then play one solid opponent at the end of the year - when your team has gelled to its max, and has had 6 weeks to prepare - why does that make you a champion? It's a path-of-least resistance model to a title...and I don't see that as championship caliber.

A few years ago, the BCS formula was changed to include more human bias and less computers. I believe this is completely backwards. Humans can get caught up in the hype. Computers have no hype. I think the main focus we need to have is on the team's resume in the year in question.

Undefeated? Great. Who'd ya beat? Oh, you beat one team in the top 25. Well, this one-loss team beat 5 top-25 teams, 2 of them in the top ten. Their only loss is also to a top ten team. Sorry, they have a better resume. I don't care that you won every game you played, you played crap games.

"But Dukes! Without the human-bias polls, how will we know who the top 25 are?" Well, for the point of this argument, it doesn't matter where your team is ranked throughout the season. It matters what the whole season looks like at the end of the year. This system would require an algorithm that digs deep into not only wins and losses, but the records of the opponents, their opponents, and the performance level of each of these teams as well. So you are undefeated and beat nine teams who all are in the bottom thirty in total and scoring defense? I don't care. This one-loss team beat six teams who are in the top twenty in those categories. They have a better resume.

I guess it all comes down to this -

What is a Champion? Is it the team that wins the most games? Is it the team that has the best resume? Is it the team that catches fire at the right time?

Personally, I like to judge things on the body of work. Playoffs do nothing for me. The whole season is a playoff. Schedule the best teams, and beat them. Then your resume' shines like diamonds in moonlight, and you're worthy of being called college football's champion.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just some quick stats to think about....

UGA (3-4) currently ranks Nationally as follows:

Total Offense: 53rd (395.29ypg)
Rushing Offense: 64th (150.43 ypg)
Passing Offense: 41st (244.86 ypg)
Scoring Offense: 51st (29.71 ppg)

Total Defense: 14th (290.14 ypg)
Rushing Defense: 16th (103.43ypg)
Passing Defense: 30th (186.71ypg)
Scoring Defense: 20th (17.43 ppg)

To finish last year:

Tot Off- 75th - 362.15
Rush- 47th - 161
Pass- 80th - 201.15
Scor - 51st - 28.92

Tot Def- 38th - 339.38
Rush- 36th - 126.15
Pass- 51st - 213.23
Score - 64th - 25.92

If this team is truly improving as the year progresses, there is simply no logical standpoint from which you could say this isn't a better team than last year. True, this version of the Dawgs has lost 4 games, but they've been turning in better performances than last year's team on average. Now, this assumes that they will finish the year as strong or stronger than they are playing right now....and I believe they will. Statistics are fickle, but at the moment, our Defense is giving up 8.5 points less per game than last year's team, and our Offense is scoring just about a point more. That's a difference of over 9 points per game. You have to like that.

Go Dawgs.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Vanderbilt put up 52 points last week. We heard alot about Norman and Stacy coming into the game. The duo picked up 62 yards on the ground. Everyone was scared about Washaun Ealey. He ran for 123, including a 58 yarder, and did not fumble. People in and around Athens watched the rest of the college football day and thought "Dear Lord, we could maybe possibly, if all goes right, win the East."

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We would have to win every SEC game from here on out, and hope South Carolina drops games to two more SEC foes. That's going to be hard.

"But Dukes! The run game is back! The defense is solid. We're gonna be awesome from here on out!"

Be objective, kids. The bottom of the SEC East used to be Vandy and Kentucky. Kentucky has taken big leaps forward, and will be a contender in the near future. Vanderbilt is the one that still lags behind. Don't get overly excited about UGA's success running against Vandy. Vanderbilt is #96 in the nation in Rushing Defense. Luckily for UGA...Kentucky is #87. UK had no answer for South Carolina while Lattimore was in the game. Vanderbilt is 60th in the country in rushing...Kentucky, 57.

We seem to have the edge on the ground.

Vanderbilt's passing offense is 101st in the country. Kentucky's is 25th. Get ready to see our DBs actually be tested this week. Against Vandy, there were throws...but they weren't anything to be afraid of. Mike Hartline is 100x the quarterback Larry Smith is. If we don't sack him, we could be in trouble.

I'm as excited as anyone about the direction in which we're moving - but be ready folks, these blowouts ain't gonna continue all season.

(But I'd love one on Halloween weekend)

Go Dawgs!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's in a number?

Just a quick thought -

Some people have said you should never take the number of a great player immediately after he's had it. They say you won't be likely to perform well, and certainly not up the standards set by the previous owner. Some people say jersey numbers can become cursed, and that no one who wears it will be a strong performer.

I've never found either idea to be particularly true. I'm sure people will be able to dig into their memory files and find examples that both prove and disprove the theories.

#14 David Greene was incredible. His successor, #14 Joe Cox, wasn't so memorable.
#1 Mohamed Massaqoui was a damn good playmaker, as is his successor, Branden Smith.
#24 Knowshon Moreno was very very good, and #24 Washaun Ealy looked amazing last season.

Then #24 Washaun Ealy became #3 Washaun Ealy and started fumbling the ball in crucial situations, and apparently lost some of his field vision. Who wore #3 before Ealy? Well, that would be Bryan Evans - did Evans "curse" the number?

At the end of the day, the numbers on a kid's back have nothing to do with how successful he can/will be at the game of football....but it's certainly a fun thing to think about.

Can anyone remember a great #47 after David Pollack?
How has the #33 done since Odell Thurman left?
#10 sure created some memories back in the day.

I wonder if any of these kids who have been kicked off the team/transferred out/injured beyond repair, etc....I wonder if they wore cursed jerseys. Who'll do the research? I put it to you.

Go Dawgs.

And if he does...

If the coaches decide that our best chance of beating Vanderbilt involves pulling the redshirt off Ken Malcome and letting the kid tote the rock a bit, there are some things we need to understand.

First, we're in trouble. This isn't Florida. This isn't Auburn or Alabama. This is Vanderbilt. This is a team that Georgia should not have trouble beating. Ever. It's not just because of Georgia's long history, it's not just because they're a higher "academic" institution. It's because those kids just flat-out shouldn't be able to play with Georgia. Most of their starters would not be 2nd string at Georgia or Alabama. Sure, some of them would...but most would not. I don't say the same about Mississippi State or Ole Miss or even Colorado, because those are large state institutions with access to higher-level recruits. Vanderbilt loses most of the best TN athletes to UT, and surrounding state high-level recruits go to their state institutions or those better known for football.

Simply put, if our BEST chance to defeat them is in the hands of a kid who has thus far been deemed as "too raw" to play ball this season, then we are in trouble.

Now, getting past that - do NOT expect this kid to be a barn-burner. He does not have a great deal of top-end speed. Malcome is a bruiser. He has a low center of gravity and he's thickly built. He's a great deal like the other two featured tailbacks in Georgia's rotation. So, if he's in the game, you're likely to not see much difference - except maybe in the specifics of his play. I don't know how well he picks up blockers. I don't know what his field vision is like. I don't know much about him at all. But, I do know that if he were a full-on stud tailback, he'd probably have been playing before a suspension during VANDY week forced him into it.

Don't get me wrong, the kid was a 4-star recruit, and I'm sure he's quite talented. Maybe he's even talented enough to provide a spark to an otherwise stagnant running game. I don't know. I just don't want people thinking he's likely to come in and take over the game. I'm fairly sure that if we're using him, we're using him to spell Ealy. Of course, if you ask me, that's a waste.

If you're gonna burn the kid's redshirt - do it with purpose. Give him enough of the load to make it worth him losing a year of eligibility. If he only knows 5 plays, then put him in the game for twenty plays, and let him block 10 times, and run those other plays a couple of times apiece. Who knows? Maybe he'll hit an off-tackle for 35 yards and a score. My point is, you don't burn a kid's redshirt just so Ealy can take six plays off over the course of a game. If Ealy needs six plays rest, you send in Chapas and Munzenmeier, and you run some kind of roll-out pass. Or, you go empty backfield shotgun.

Also, if Malcome does play, that has to be a good thing for the recruitment of Isiah Crowell. Why? Well, if Malcome plays, UGA has zero freshman on the depth chart next season. Add Crowell, and we have 1. What does that mean? Well, it means that the chance of Crowell himself redshirting is even lower. Whenever you have a top-tier recruit looking at your school, and he sees that you play true freshmen (7 so far this season, 8 if Malcome plays), he likes it. When he sees you play a true freshman at HIS position, he has to like it even more. Why? Because that means there is competition at his position, and most of these top-tier recruits believe they can win those positional battles. Simply put, if Malcome plays, we are telling Crowell that our RB position is not set in stone for this year, let alone next year, and that if he comes to UGA, he can compete for a starting spot. He sure ain't getting that at Bama.

Whatever the decision this week, I'm sure Richt and Co will be doing what's best for the team. You put the guys on the field who give you the best chance of winning the game. If that's Ken Malcome, bring on #24!

Go Dawgs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

If Malcome doesn't play...

So, Caleb King's been suspended for two games. First off, let me say that I'm not the biggest fan of just "letting things slide" but if what I hear about this story is true, I think a two-game suspension is a bit much. Now, since Mark Richt is a hell of a lot closer to his program than I am, I'm going to assume that perhaps what I hear about this story isn't quite accurate.

What I hear: King couldn't afford to pay the fine for his speeding ticket. His Uncle said he'd take care of it. He gave the ticket to the Uncle. Unc didn't do what he said. King got arrested.

Now, this doesn't show the best judgment by King. I mean, if I gave a ticket to my Uncle under the assumption that he would pay it, you better believe that at least 2 weeks before my court date, I would call that Uncle and ask if it'd been taken care of. I also might put away a little money each week just in case he didn't come through. But, I don't know King's uncle...perhaps he's someone who generally comes through. Either way, what's done is done - but if that's the whole story, two games seems kinda rough. It's not like he sold a jersey for $500.

Anyway, I said all that to get to this: Ealy now becomes our top choice at runningback. What does that mean? Well, for me it means that our redzone offense is now pass-heavy. Inside the ten, I think the fullbacks should be carrying the ball. I know the coaches have more confidence in Ealy, and that he carried the ball inside the 10 once without fumbling last week (though he did fumble inside the 5 earlier in the game)...but I'd be curious to see what his "fumblin' in side the ten" percentage is. Don't get me wrong, Washaun is a pretty good back. He's not the best in pass protection, but he's a big fan of fighting for tough yards, which I like.

Carlton Thomas is still hampered by a hamstring injury. So, the list at HB gets shorter and shorter. Could Fred Munzenmeier be a possibility at tailback? I say yes. I mean, I don't expect him to get a ton of work there this week, but the kid is a strong blocker, and he's got some deceptive wheels as well. He could definitely spell Ealy from time to time. Plus, I just like the thought of a Chapas-Munzy backfield...that's some serious size. Line up Bruce Figgins at tightend, and let's run some off-tackle!

There's also Wes Van Dyk. Now, I know most of you have absolutely no idea who Wes Van Dyk is. He's a Junior Walk-on who impressed me at G-Day. Any of you who were at G-Day may remember a white kid getting in at TB late in the game, and running straight through the defense. That was Wes Van Dyk. I'm not saying he's some hidden weapon who is primed to become a big-time starter at UGA. I'm saying the kid is a role-player who works his tail off, and could fill-in and get some carries. Plus, the Mark Richt era has always been good for producing some Walk-On kid who becomes a house-hold name...Verron Haynes, Tra Battle, etc. And this isn't a national title game - let's be real...this is Vanderbilt we're talking about.

I know there are some closet Vandy fans out there. Hell, I "coach" Vanderbilt in my PS3 online Dynasty (UGA was already taken by my friend Chris...Damn you, Chris!). I've always kinda liked Vandy simply because they give it their all in a conference they know they'll never win. Love it. Still, this game shouldn't be close. The way Murray, Green, TKing and Troupe can stretch the field, Vandy shouldn't be able to hang around with us. That should open up the run game even more. Left Defensive End Tim Fugger worries be, because the guy likes to cause fumbles. I don't want him anywhere near Washaun Ealy.

Anyway, If Malcome doesn't play, he keeps his redshirt, he keeps learning, and we still have the depth at TB to let Ealy take a break every now and again. Hey, maybe we'll even go Shotgun-Empty some. And, I could definitely see more WR runs in the package this week. I'm a big fan of keeping redshirts on kids once you've decided they "ain't ready for prime-time." Some proponents of playing Malcome think back just a few years to when Knowshon was redshirted. They believe Knowshon should have played his true freshman year. But really, he didn't start getting the majority of the carries until well into his redshirt freshman year. If he was ready-to-go as a true freshman, he would have been getting the carries. Aaron Murray wasn't ready-to-go last year. People want to think he probably was, but he wasn't. You can look at how much he's progressed just from the beginning of the season to now, and from G-Day to now. Then think about how much further along he is BECAUSE he had a year to learn the system.

If the coaches haven't thought Malcome was ready to go yet, then I hate the thought of burning his redshirt simply because of a two-game suspension during a two-game span when we should win games rather easily. Also, do you burn a kid's redshirt simply so he can "spell" your starter? I certainly don't think so. But then, I don't get paid millions a year to make those decisions.

Go Dawgs.

Monday, October 11, 2010

UGA fans drive me damn near next to crazy - Part Deux

I got into the stadium at Colorado as the 2nd quarter began. They scored, we got the ball. A silver-haired (and not because of school pride hair paint) woman in front of me said, "Watch Bobo...we're gonna throw deep on 1st down, when we miss it, we're gonna run it up the middle twice, and then punt." On 1st down, AJ Green took an end-around 40 yards to the Colorado 40. Then Caleb King busted a 32 yard run down to 8. Murray scrambled on 1st down, then on second down threw a ball up for AJ Green, who made the catch of the year so far.

I leaned into the woman's ear and said, "I don't think you called those plays, dear." She replied curtly, "Neither did Mike Bobo." This is the kind of bullshit that I just can't stand from UGA fans. It's like all they want is to believe the negative. Later in the game, when we were driving again, another fan, this one drunk and boisterous enough to have been nicknamed "Georgia Terry Bradshaw" by my friend The Petis, was going on and on about how Mike Bobo wasn't calling the plays, because we were being too successful. I read all the crap about Bobo on the message boards - it's as if people are PRAYING he will fail. Fans want his head...for no good reason.

Look, a few weeks ago, when we lost to South Carolina, I thought maybe, just maybe, Bobo was to blame. So, I did the digging. I did the legwork. I looked into Bobo's offensive production, and did NOT see a significant dropoff from when Richt was calling plays. In fact, I saw an upswing in a few categories. If you haven't read those blogs, you can find them to the right. Just click on "September" and look at the Mike Bobo as OC and Mark Richt as OC links.

I read something this morning from a fellow blogger who I respect, but also differ with in opinion, Andy Coleman, who suggested this week was the first time Bobo has put together a competent gameplan. This simply isn't true. He poses the question - Why has it taken so long to allow Murray to do what he's doing? I love how often I read that. Does it seriously not occur to the fans that maybe, just MAYBE, Murray is doing these things better now than he was early in the season?

Or do people actually believe that Murray hasn't gotten any better - that he was this good on Day 1, and hasn't progressed? Because, if you're thinking Bobo should have called game 2 like he called game 6, then that's what you're saying. Of course....he kinda DID call game 2 like he called game 6. Against TN there was still a heavy dose of playaction with a running game that wasn't consistent. The difference? Well, the line blocked a little better. Murray had time, and he hit receivers. Murray didn't throw behind his tight-end inside the five. Ealy's redzone fumble didn't hurt us this time. TN is not as good as South Carolina, and we beat the slop out of a team we should beat. But in all honesty, the gameplan wasn't incredibly different.

It was executed better.

Fans want to blame the kids' arrests on the coaches. They want to blame dropped balls and missed blocks on the coaches. They want to blame poor angles and missed tackles on the coaches. All of this because the fans are attached to "Georgia Football" with a love and a passion that sometimes makes them blind to the simplest of facts - sometimes, it's the kids.

On Saturday, we didn't start playing option football. We didn't start going to the Pistol formation, a ton of wildcat, an air-raid offense, etc. Bobo's offense is a Pro-Style offense. He's gonna run the ball up the middle, he's gonna play action, and he's gonna mix in some shotgun stuff as well. That didn't change this week. What changed was the way the kids executed that offense. anyone gonna give credit for THAT to the coaches?

Go Dawgs.

UGA fans drive me damn near next to crazy.

Yes, Caleb King got arrested. Is it a big deal? No. The kid got a speeding ticket, then for some reason didn't pay it and a bench warrant was issued. Does this show incredible decision making ability? No. Is it something we should be extremely concerned about? No.


People in the blogosphere are calling for him to be kicked off the team. Are you frikkin' kidding me? You want to end the kid's career at UGA and toss him out of school for failure to pay a speeding ticket?


When a kid is arrested for burglary or for a numerous DUIs or for fondling a co-ed, and then tries to cover it up and such, I get it. I understand that is the kind of thing most of us can't stomach....but speeding? Really? You want to kick a kid out of school for speeding? Get of your high-horse, UGA fans. Most of you probably sped on your way to work this morning. One or two of you could possibly have gotten a ticket. It's something that happens, and it sucks...kinda like when a receiver drops a ball, it gets kicked around, and a DB happens to be there to catch it. The QB gets an interception. That's horseshit. So is the ire at a kid who failed to pay a parking ticket.


Go Dawgs.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How soon it's forgotten...

Coming into this year, one of the primary story lines of the UGA-UT game was sure to be the romance between Bacarri Rambo and Da'Rick Rogers. But, in the throws of terrible seasons, it looks like the fanbases have other things to worry about. Rogers has caught three passes at UT. Not exactly the barn-burning freshman year he anticipated. Bacarri Rambo is hardly known for destroying receivers coming over the middle.

Will we see these two take their battle from the Twitter board over to the field?

I don't know, and I don't care. Like most fans, I just want a damn win.

Go Dawgs.