Friday, December 4, 2009

A Few Predictions for Championship Weekend

Between the victory over Tech, the bowl drama, and the firings, this has been a pretty crazy week. For Georgia fans, this has overshadowed the fact that this week brings us one of the most exciting college football weekends ever. Not only do we have the normal crop of championship games, but the Pac 10 Championship (which Oregon won last night) and the Big East Championship (between Cincy and Pitt) will also be decided. Here are my quick predictions for the games this weekend.

ACC Championship - Georgia Tech vs. Clemson

Both teams are coming off loses to their in-state SEC rivals. Georgia Tech earned a narrow victory on a late field goal when he two teams met earlier this season. It was only after the Jackets had squandered a huge lead. I think Clemson follows the model used by Georgia and gives Tech a healthy dose of All-American CJ Spiller. Look for a high scoring game, with Clemson to get its revenge and take home the ACC crown.

Clemson 34, Georgia Tech 31

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh (Winner gets Big East Championship)

The Bear Cats look to lock up their second straight Big East Championship against the Wannstache. I thought Pittsburgh had a good chance to win this game until they lost to West Virginia last weekend. I expect Brian Kelly's club to score fast and often. Cincy wins this one fairly easily.

Cincinnati 42, Pittsburgh 21

Big XII Championship - Texas vs. Nebraska

Fans from TCU, Cincinnati, and Boise State will be strongly behind Nebraska as they hope an upset means they may get a shot at the SEC Champion for the national championship. Nebraska has a great defense and has a 9-3 record in Bo Pelini's second year. The defense should be able to keep Colt McCoy from having the type of night he had on Thanksgiving, but the question is can Zach Lee and the Cornhuskers muster enough offense to win. I think this will be a close game, but Texas's offense will be too much in the fourth quarter.

Texas 27, Nebraska 17

SEC Chmpionship - Alabama vs. Florida

It doesn't get much bigger than this. Last year, the two teams met with a National Championship berth on the line and played a great game that ended in a 31-20 Florida victory. Once again this year, the teams are ranked 1 and 2, but this time they are both undefeated. Both teams sport amazing defenses and a Heisman candidate on offense. Many people think the difference in the game will be Tim Tebow, but I disagree. We know Tebow will play solid, he always does in big games. The difference will most likely be the running game of Alabama and Mark Ingram. Ingram struggled against Auburn and was injured late in the game, but Alabama was able to get by with a late touchdown. If Ingram and the Bama run game is shut down, I don't think Greg McElroy can be expected to carry the Tide to victory. No matter what the final outcome, this will be one hell of a battle.

In an upset, I'm taking Alabama.

Alabama 30, Florida 28

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Defensive Coaching Candidate: Mark Snyder?

I saw on one of the AJC blogs a reader post that suggested Georgia take a look at Mark Snyder to replace Willie Martinez. This was a new name that I had not heard mentioned in the conversation. Turns out, Snyder is currently available and has coached a national championship defense. Here are the details on Mark Snyder:

Name: Mark Snyder

Age: 44

Coaching Experience:

1988 - Grad Assistant - Marshall University

1991-1993- Linebackers - Youngstown State

1994 - 1996 - Defensive Coordinator, Secondary Coach - Youngstown State

1997-2000 - Defensive Coordinator - Minnesota

2001 - 2004 - Defensive Coordinator - Ohio State

2005 - 2009 - Head Coach - Marshall University

Playing Experience:

1985-1988 - Safety - Marshall University

Career Highlights:

As a member of Jim Tressel's staff at Youngstown State, Snyder helped coach a defense that won 3 consecutive 1-AA national championships (1991-1993). Snyder was promoted to DC and eventually left Youngstown State to become defensive coordinator at Minnesota. During his time with Golden Gophers, the team twice broke the school record for sacks and average over 40 a year during that time. Tressel brought Snyder back onto his staff at Ohio State in 2001. Snyder's defenses helped Ohio State win back to back Fiesta Bowls and claim the 2002 National Championship. Snyder returned to his alma mater in 2005, taking over at Marshall. The team compiled a 16-31 record during Snyder's tenure. He resigned following the end of the 2009 season, despite Marshall reaching bowl eligibility for the first time since he took over.

Why he may be a good fit:

Snyder has experience leading defenses to national championships at multiple levels. After resigning at Marshall, he is currently available and after an unsuccessful stint as a head coach, may be ready to return to being a coordinator. As the picture above shows, he also has a reputation as a fiery guy, something former DC Brian Van Gorder was known for and something people often felt Martinez lacked.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Willie, Fabris, and Jancek Gone: Let the wild replacement rumors begin!


The rumors became fact today as Mark Richt announced that Willie Martinez, John Fabris, and Jon Jancek would not return for the 2010 season. Georgia fans (myself included) have wanted Willie replaced for a while now, but the question now becomes who will be the replacement. Let's forget the wild names being thrown out there (Tubberville, Strong, even Zook) because I don't see any way that any of these guys are coming to Georgia as assistants.

So, who would be on the top of your wish list? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Georgia Offers Hutson Mason: A Sign of Gray Moving to Receiver?

The AJC is reporting that Georgia has offered a scholarship to Lassiter quarterback Hutson Mason. Mason led Lassiter to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the state quarterfinals. He set the single season Georgia state record for passing yards and touchdowns this year, throwing for over 4500 yards and 54 touchdowns. Mason has scholarships to other programs including Iowa and Virginia, but it looks like he was waiting on the offer from Georgia.

It originally looked like Georgia would not offer scholarships to any quarterbacks this year, with 3 quarterbacks on the roster for the '10 season. The news of the offer to Mason today coincides with rumors that sophomore quarterback Logan Gray will be moving to wide receiver in the spring. If Gray moves to receiver, the quarterback job will most likely fall to Aaron Murray (who I expect would win the job out of spring from Gray anyway).

Riddle me this...

Auburn finished the season with a 7-5 record. They started the year 5-0, but went 2-5 down the stretch and lost 5 of their last 6 conference games. They lost their final two games to conference rivals (Georgia and Alabama) and somehow they are invited to play in a New Year's Day bowl.

How the hell does this happen? By Auburn getting an invite to the Outback Bowl, Tennessee will most likely fall down to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. That leaves the Dawgs, who beat Auburn, had an equal overall record (7-5), and a better conference record (4-4 to 3-5) to play in the Independence Bowl. (I won't even get into the BS that is South Carolina or Kentucky getting to go the Music City Bowl ahead of Georgia).

Instead of a rematch of the 2006 bowl game with a 9-3 Virginia Tech squad, we can now look forward to a game against a 6-6 Texas A&M team. The idea of spending New Year's Eve at the Georgia Dome with 40,000 of my closest friends appears to be gone. I guess the party at my house is on.

I have never had much hate for Auburn, but after this I may begin to share some of Kyle King's disdain for API.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PAUL JOHNSON WANTS ME TO BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE

I can't blame Johnson for saying nerds should punch us in the face because 1) I am an unapologetic jerk to NATS supporters and it is because that is exactly what they deserve from me, and 2) his fan base is completely lacking any sort of back bone.

I also can't say that any of us should be worried. As if any Techie is really going to have a success at attempting to beat up a Georgia fan. They'd be afraid of their pocket protector or calculator getting smashed.

It is also hilarious that the AJC writer in the story answers Johnson on exactly what we have done to define Tech. 2 SEC Championships, 3 BCS bowls, and 8-1 against the bumble bees during Mark Richt's tenure. Considering you are the other school in the state, you will be defined by how you measure up against us, and it's not pretty.

Johnson's attempts to down play any loss to Georgia is comical at best. He's the one who drew the line in the sand when he was hired by stating that beating Georgia was his main goal that first year. He put the emphasis on this rivalry and made it a defining element for Tech last season. He accomplished his goal last year, but that doesn't mean the significance of this game is lessened from that point on. Johnson's overreaction to getting bested this year only proves that, and I'm sure he would have had a much different tune had he won Saturday.

At the end of the day, this just proves that our victory gets under his skin. Thanks for the confirmation, asshole.

He's asking for it. Maybe I can take him on in the Publix parking lot in Vinings.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Amazing Fact About Saturday's Win

If I had said at the beginning of this season that there would be a game in which we would not only win but also not have to punt against Tech, you would have most likely thought I was talking about Tennessee Tech. Boy, were you wrong.

Ray Guy Award finalist Drew Butler did not have to punt a single ball on Saturday night. What was even more amazing is that Georgia Tech did not punt the entire game either. When was the last time you saw a game where one team did not punt, let alone a game where both teams did not use their punter?

In case you were wondering, Georgia punted twice in the 38-0 over Tennessee Tech.

Thoughts on Georgia Tech

While this season will still be marred as the year of multiple epic failures, Saturday night's victory over Georgia Tech makes this season hurt a little less. While I thought we had little chance to win going into the game (notice I did not even post a prediction last week), I did point out five things I thought we needed to do to win.

1. Run the ball - we sure as hell did that. Over three hundred yards on the ground, both our running backs over 100 (each averaging an amazing 9 yards a carry), and two touchdowns. Perfect game plan by Bobo and Richt. Caleb's answer to Tech's long touchdown was a thing of beauty:


2. Don't throw it deep - We threw exactly one ball that was over 20 yards and it was dropped by Wooten (it would have most likely been a score had he caught it). With the running game working, there was no need.

3. Make solid tackles - Vance Cuff's complete miss on Demaryius Thomas aside, the Dawgs tackled great. Reshad Jones made up for his performance last year with arguably his best game all year. Oh yeah, Rennie Curran was everywhere and made 15 tackles.

4. Kick it deep - At least we did in the first half when we built the lead. I'll take a game with 3 touchbacks, one out of bounds, and one decent return over what happened against Kentucky any day.

5. Play smart football - The running game was working and we did not change our game plan, even when Tech made a comeback in the second half. I'm glad Coach Richt sent Walsh out for the field goal in the fourth. It showed the defense that he had enough faith in them to let Walsh try a 55 yarder with the risk of giving GT a short field.

Overall, it was a great night for the The University of Georgia football team. We ended another regular season with a winning record and improved our chances of playing in a decent bowl (Attention Chick Fil A guys - a rematch between us and Virginia Tech would be a great match up. Make it happen). We have won 8 of 9 against Tech. Now I am starting to know how Florida feels when they play us.



GO DAWGS!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009