Thursday, December 30, 2010

Give me a Liberty Bowl Victory or give me death!

(Below is an updated version of the famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech given by Patrick Henry to the House of Burgesses es on March 23, 1775. When I began looking at the speech, I realized much of the content fit perfectly with the current situation facing the Georgia Bulldogs. Please note the this is almost the entire original speech. The only changes I have made are highlighted in RED.)

No man thinks more highly than I do of the Georgia Bulldogs, as well as the abilities of the very worthy gentlemen who have donned the Red and Black this fall. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the Bulldawg Nation is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of respectability; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to the Alumni and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my team, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of Sanford Stadium, which I revere above all earthly stadiums.

Dawg fans, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be like the NCAA who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation(like Cam Newton’s father soliciting his services for money)? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the success of Mark Richt’s coaching staff for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which Georgia fans have been pleased to solace themselves? Is it the 14 -11 record over the last two seasons with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our field and darken our campus. Are blowout victories necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which Gators resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Central Florida any enemy, in this conference, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to Memphis to bind and rivet upon us those chains which George O’Leary has been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have recruited; we have practiced; we have gameplanned; we have defeated our in-state rival, and have been relegated to the Liberty Bowl by the tyrannical hands of the NCAA and BCS. Our victories have been slighted; our losses have produced additional violence and insult; our talents have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of a New Year’s day bowl. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be great, if we mean to preserve the national perception and privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the Ghost of Erk Russell is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a Florida or Auburn fan shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Bulldawg Nation, armed in the cause of victory, and in such a state as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There are just coaches who preside over the destiny of this team; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in forfeit! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard from the hills of Athens to the beaches of Jacksonville! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Glory, Glory, but there is no glory. The war is actually begun! The next game that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is a pro career so dear, or money so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of losses and embarrassment? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me a Liberty Bowl victory or give me death!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Thoughts on the Liberty Bowl

In two days, Georgia will wrap up the 2010 season against Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl. To say this season has been a disappointment is an understatement. 6-6 is definitely not the norm and should never be considered acceptable in Athens. I thought about doing a full preview for the game, but to be honest, my heart isn't into it. Here are my quick thoughts about the game.

- Getting to 7 wins is important. Georgia hasn't had a losing record since the mid 90's. Just as 8-5 last year was much better than 7-6, 7-6 this year looks much better than 6-7.

- AJ Green's final appearance? The chance that AJ comes back is basically non-existent. We all know he is gone, so we should enjoy seeing him play in the red and black one last time.

- Freshman quarterback battle. The two best freshman quarterbacks in the country will be on display in this game. UCF's Jeff Godfrey finished #8 in the country in passing efficiency, one spot ahead of Aaron Murray. Both can run as well as pass, so it should be fun to watch each one attack the other team's defense.

- A Familar Face. George O'Leary lost his final game against Georgia as the Georgia Tech coach in 2001 when Billy Bennett hit 6 field goals in the Georgia victory. After losing the Notre Dame job for lying on his resume, O'Leary has done a nice job building the UCF program. It will be nice to see Mark Richt run his record to 2-0 vs. O'Leary.

- Improvement on defense. The Dawgs have had another month to work on the 3-4. With only a few seniors on defense, Georgia should only get better next year (especially if they get a big guy to plug in at DT).

- Georgia 38, UCF 24. The Dawgs should win this game. Central Florida may have a 10-3 record, but they lost the two games (NC State and Kansas State) that they played against BCS conference opponents. Of their 10 wins, only 2 (6-6 East Carolina and 7-6 SMU) came against teams that will be playing in bowl games.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week - Band Aid

Here's the last video for Christmas. Super benefit group Band Aid with, "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week, X-mas Edition - Hall & Oates

I missed yesterday's, so I'll make it up tomorrow.

However, here is the real Christmas Day gem.

Here's Hall and Oates' video and rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock."

It's absurd like every Hall and Oates video, but just to the next level. I love John Oates green sweater, it'd look good with some leather pants.

Also, here's a clip of Beavis and Butt-Head making fun of the video. Geraldo, hehe.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Bubba 'N Earl

No one says it better than Charlie Brown


Thursday, December 23, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week, X-mas Edition - Wham!

I feel like spreading Christmas joy everyday, so I'm going to do videos through Christmas Day (and the one of Christmas Day is fabulous).

There's nothing that will top Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas In Hollis," but this lame ski resort Christmas video is retarded enough to be entertaining.

Plus it is by Wham!, although there's not any short-shorts worn by men in the video (likely a relief to you all).

Here is "Last Christmas" by Wham!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010: A Year of Horrible College Football Music Videos

Since the creation of YouTube in 2006, fans have used the video sharing website to display songs and music videos concerning their favorite teams. 2010 saw an insane number of bad music videos appear on the internet. And while Georgia may have had one of the worst videos of the year, "Party in the UGA" was made by orientation leaders and was not just about the football team. Here's a look at some of the worst college football team music videos made over the last year.

Nebraska - "We Got T Magic"

Nebraska freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez got off to a fantastic start for the Cornhuskers this fall. The team was undefeated until Martinez suffered an injury and the 'Huskers lost to Texas. Later in the season, fans questioned his heart after a verbal battle with Coach Bo Pelini, but early in the season, they were simply calling him "T Magic":

Alabama - "Forever Bama"

White girl rapping about the Alabama football team, "Saying we want this for Bama, man" followed by a guy saying lines about Tebow and Guido's. Priceless.

Oregon - "Put Your O's Up"

You can even get the ring tone!!! "Eugene, Eugene, Eugene, and this Autzen! Ducks on the home turf, we run the whole Earth!"

Miami - "Green and Orange"

Of course The U has a new rap song this season. Plenty of swear words, but still horrible. They even mention Uncle Luke.

Auburn - "6'6'' 250"

SEC fans had fun making videos about the Cam newton situation at Auburn to songs like "Son of a Preacher Man". Those were funny, but this is funnier. Six-six, two fitty! "Wanna say I steal for this?" Why yes Cam, you did steal for this.

But the worst video of the year was actually produced with the cooperation of the school. Here is the worst college football team music video of the year:

Notre Dame - "We are ND"


80's Music Video of the Week, X-mas Edition - RUN-D.M.C.

Here's Run-D.M.C.'s, "Christmas in Hollis."

Classic. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Georgia's Liberty Bowl History: 1987

This is part two of our look at Georgia's history in the Liberty Bowl.

1987: Georgia vs. Arkansas

(Picture Courtesy of DawgToons)

Before Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, Georgia and Arkansas had only met three times. Each of those contests took place in bowl game. The first two meetings went the way of the Razorbacks, defeating Georgia 16-2 in the 1969 Sugar Bowl and 31-10 in the 1976 Cotton Bowl. The two teams would meet again in Memphis in 1987, one of the last few times they would meet as non-conference opponents.

Georgia entered the 1987 Liberty Bowl with a record of 8-3. Lars Tate and Rodney Hampton were the stars for the Dawgs on offense, but this team was better known for its stars on defense. Georgia greats John Brantley, Richard Tardits, and Bill Goldberg led the team to give up no more than 27 points in any game all season. Georgia had lost 3 games by a combined 20 points, including a 1 point loss to #8 Clemson and a 3 point loss to #7 LSU. All three losses were to ranked teams, leaving the Dawgs with a 1-3 record against ranked opponents for the season.
Arkansas had a similar season to Georgia that fall. They were 9-3 (they played a 12th game against Hawaii in December), with two of their three losses coming to ranked opponents. They boasted the #20 defense in the country and were looking to finish with 10 wins for Coach Dan Hatfield.

53,249 fans were in attendance to see the third matchup of the Dawgs and the Hawgs. Arkansas took an early lead with a field goal. But in the first minute of the second quarter, Lars Tate ran one in from the 1 yard line to give the Dawgs a 7-3 lead. But Arkansas answered with a touchdown pass and took a 10-7 lead into the locker room. Georgia’s offense continued to struggle in the third quarter and Arkansas built their lead to 17-7.

But the Dawgs took control in the fourth quarter. John Kasay kicked a field goal to get the Dawgs within 7 before quarterback James Jackson tied the game on a 5 yard run. With the game tied at 17, defensive back Carver Russaw intercepted an Arkansas pass and ran it back into Hawgs’ territory. A pass from James Jackson to tight end Troy Sadowski set up John Kasay for a game winning field goal attempt. The kick was good and Georgia defeated Arkansas, 20-17. James Jackson was named the MVP, rushing for 72 yards and throwing for 148. The Dawgs finished the season 9-3, their first 9 win season since 1983.

John Kasay: Still kicking in the NFL after all these years

Monday, December 20, 2010

Georgia's Liberty Bowl History: 1967

Of the Georgia Bulldogs' 45 bowl game appearances, two times the Dawgs have visited the Liberty Bowl. Here's a quick look back at Georgia's first visit to Memphis:

1967 - Georgia vs. North Carolina State

Vince Dooley's fourth season in Athens was met with high expectations. The Dawgs opened the season at #5 in the polls and was one of four teams featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in their college football preview issue. The team was lead by standouts Bill Stanfill and Jake Scott and rose to #3 in the ratings. But a loss to Ole Miss in October (29-20) followed by losses to Houston and Florida resulted in a disappointing 7-3 season.

The Dawgs accepted a bid to take on North Carolina State from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Wolfpack had finished the season 8-2 and had climbed to number 1 in the ranking following an upset victory over Houston. But a loss to Clemson late in the season cost them an ACC Championship. They were lead by their defense, known as the "White Shoes Defense" and by ACC player of the year, quarterback Jim Donnan. The same Jim Donnan who would later become coach of the Georgia Bulldogs.

On December 16, 1967, the Dawgs took the field against the Wolfpack in front of 35,054 fans at the Liberty Bowl stadium in Memphis. Donnan gave NC State the first lead of the game, ending a long drive with a touchdown pass. Georgia was able to tie the score at 7 before the end of the first half, after marching 68 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Corey Moore completed four passes to set up a one yard score by Ronnie Jenkins.

The second half continued to be a defensive battle. NC State took the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Georgia got the ball back near its own goal line with a chance to go the length of the field for the tie. After driving 96 yards, the Dawgs were faced with a fourth and goal at the NC state 3. Corey Moore pitched the ball to Lawrence, who was stopped at the 1 yard line. NC State held on for the 14-7 victory in a game in which Georgia outgained NC State 276 to 207. Georgia finished the year at 7-4.

FINAL SCORE: NC State 14, Georgia 7

Saturday, December 18, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week - Starship

Just because I felt like giving you what is arguably the worst song ever written, but one of the best 80's videos you will find. Maximum cheeseness. Just blatant overuse of blue screens, bad graphics, mullets galore (and literally every type of mullet), being in fucking space!, and there's just too much to name.

Here is Starship's, "We Built This City."

The youtube title is wrong, the group was called Starship at this point because of legal issues.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Getting Better

Let's face it, 2010 has not been a kind year to the Georgia Bulldogs. Damon Evans, arrests, AJ Green selling a jersey, and a 6-6 record have all tarnished what was a pretty good image for the Dawgs. But in recent weeks, some events have taken place that have given some hope that things are turning around up in Athens. Instead of talking about the problems, I wanted to point out some of the good things that are happening, both on and off the field.

- Continued dominance of Georgia Tech

The victory over Tech may have been ugly, but the Dawgs still found a way to get it done. Can you imagine how enraged the fans would be if we had lost? The men's basketball team followed it up with a victory over the Jackets just a few weeks later. While our programs may not be at the top, they are still better than Tech's.

- Changing the schedule to play Boise State to open 2011

While I still don't think this was the best idea in the world, it does provide an opportunity for the Dawgs to rebuild their national reputation. A win over the Brancos to open the season may be what the Dawgs need to get back on track. Plus, a national television audience will certainly help recruiting both this year and next year.

- Consistency at the Coaching position

Some people would like to see Mike Bobo and even Mark Richt let go. But with other teams (like Florida) in a coaching flux, keeping a consistent staff can only help the Dawgs going into next fall. Plus, its not like Bobo is making $1.2 million to be a coordinator.

- Aron White speaks at graduation

Tight end Aron White was chosen as the lone student speaker for the fall 2010 graduation ceremonies. He applied for the position just like a regular student would and was picked by a board of his peers. He wanted to take the opportunity to show something good for the football team after a tough year of off the field issues. Aron White may have not had a great season on the field, but he certainly had a great year off it.

- Georgia players help an accident victim

Yesterday, Washaun Ealey and Mike Gilliard ran to check on the driver of a bus that hydroplaned off the road. The bus driver ended up being okay, and while this may not seem like a big deal, it will do wonders for Georgia's image. After so many off the field incidents with football players (including the arrest of Ealey back in September), it is great to see some good press. Hopefully, we will see more of these types of stories in the future.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Muschamp took the Florida job...get over it

When I heard the news that Will Muschamp would be the new head coach of the University of Florida, I was shocked. Not because Florida had hired a Georgia grad who was the coach in waiting at Texas, but because Jeremy Foley hired a coach with no previous head coaching experience to lead one of the most successful programs in the country.

Florida has been a national power in college football over the last 20 years. That began with the hiring of Steve Spurrier, who was a Florida graduate. However, Spurrier was experienced having coached in the USFL before helping lead Duke University to a share of the ACC Championship in 1989. After Spurrier's run, the Gators promoted assistant Ron Zook, who had no previous head coaching experience. The Gators struggled over the next 3 seasons and Zook was fired. This time, the Gators went back to their old formula, finding a young but experienced coach to come in. Urban Meyer had been coach at Bowling Green and later Utah, who he lead to a BCS bowl victory over Pittsburgh. Meyer would win two national championships over the next six seasons.

But the hiring of Muschamp goes against the method that has brought the Gators success. Does that mean that Muschamp will be a bust like Zook? Certainly not. But before Dawg fans freak out about Florida hiring the man who many considered to be a future Georgia coach, let's see how he performs.

As a Georgia fan, it always hurts to see one of your own join the enemy. But the anger that some have expressed towards Muschamp in recent days is ridiculous. The head coaching position at a major university is the pinnacle for any collegiate coach. Will Muschamp has been given the opportunity to take over a program that is less than two years away from its last national title. Anyone who says they would turn down this offer (and the $2.7 million starting salary) because they root for another school is an idiot.

I certainly do not want to see Muschamp continue the success of Urban Meyer and it will be painful to watch him wear the blue and orange. But does it mean I want to disown him as a member of the Bulldog Nation? No. He has been given an amazing opportunity and I wish him the best, just as long as that means a loss to the Dawgs in Jacksonville each fall. Will Muschamp is the new coach of the Florida Gators, not the Georgia Bulldogs, and I am perfectly happy with that.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Streit's Bowl Picks '11

It’s hard to believe, but the 2010-2011 Bowl Season kicks off this Saturday with three games. While we don’t planning on running our own contest through the site this year, I will be participating in ESPN’s Bowl Mania. I am a part of Bernie’s group for straight picks and the general public for confidence picks. Here are my picks for all the bowl games, ranked from my most confident pick to my least confident pick:

35. Fiesta Bowl – Oklahoma over Uconn

UConn in the BCS is just sad. Oklahoma is playing well and has momentum after beating Nebraska in the Big XII Championship. Boomer Sooner

34. Capital One Bowl – Alabama over Michigan State

Michigan State struggled to beat Notre Dame. Alabama was preseason #1 and lost to Auburn by 1 point. Roll Tide.
33. New Mexico Bowl – BYU over UTEP

BYU always seems to play well in bowls. The Cougars will go independent next year and this will be their final gift to the Mountain West Conference.

32. Liberty Bowl – Georgia over UCF

I’ll have a full preview for this game later. Needless to say, AJ Green’s last game will be a big one. GO DAWGS!!!

31. Hawai’i Bowl – Hawaii over Tulsa

Hawaii has 10 wins and they are essentially playing at home. They might throw for 700 yards against a bad Tulsa D. Warriors do the HaKa dance all night long.

30. Ticket City Bowl – Texas Tech over Northwestern

Northwestern is missing their quarterback, who was their offense. Tommy Tubberville will have the Raiders ready to win. Guns up!

29. Las Vegas Bowl – Boise State over Utah

Those missed field goals cost Boise nearly $12 million. Utah got invited to the Pac 10 instead of the Broncos. They will be pissed. Kellen Moore goes crazy, Broncos win.

28. Holiday Bowl – Nebraska over Washington

Wow, this is a mismatch. 6-6 Washington against a Nebraska squad that lost 3 games by a total of 13 points. Taylor Martinez will be healthy, the Huskers roll the Huskies.

27. Armed Forces Bowl – SMU over Army

“Pony Excess” was awesome. I love SMU, I wish they would have won C-USA so they could have played the Dawgs. June Jones’ offense against the US Military Academy – no contest. Pony up!

26. Champs Sports Bowl – West Virginia over NC State

Russell Wilson is fun to watch, but West Virginia really should be in the BCS playing Oklahoma. Bill Stewart may get fired, but the Mountaineers send him out with a victory. Couches of Morgantown, prepare to burn.

25. BBVA Compass Bowl – Pitt over Kentucky

Kentucky could not beat the worst Tennessee team in years and now their quarterback is suspended. Even without the Wanstache, the Panthers beat down the ‘Cats.

24. Insight Bowl – Missouri over Iowa

This is an interesting matchup. So much was expected of Iowa, but they finished 7-5. Blaine Gabbert is pretty awesome, so I’m picking Mizzou.

23. Military Bowl – Maryland over East Carolina

Maryland impressed me this season. East Carolina, not so much. Turtles win.

22. Outback Bowl – Florida over Penn State

Urban Meyer’s last game will not end with a loss to a Big Ten team starting a walk-on at quarterback. The torch is passed to Muschamp with a big win in Tampa.

21. Poinsettia Bowl – San Diego State over Navy

The Aztecs have already seen the triple option this season, defeating Air Force back in October. While they have four losses, all of them have been by 5 points or less (and the 5 point loss was to
#3 TCU). If the Navy run game can’t get going early, this may be a blow out.

20. Texas Bowl – Baylor over Illinois

I love Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure and Baylor QB Robert Griffin. They are exciting players whenever they touch the ball. Baylor wins with defense.

19. Alamo Bowl – Oklahoma State over Arizona

At times this year, I thought Arizona was really good. But the loss to Arizona State confirmed they really are not very good. Oklahoma State is better this year than they were in 2009. Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter lead the Pokes to the W.

18. Pinstripe Bowl – Kansas State vs. Syracuse

Syracuse is bowl eligible? Playing in Yankee Stadium in December will suck. K-State beat Texas without throwing a pass after the first quarter earlier this year. They will beat an Orange team that plays its home games in a dome running it over and over again.

17. Bowl – Miami (OH) over Middle Tennessee

Don’t know too much about these teams, but I know the Red Hawks had Florida on the ropes to open the season. Plus my cousin went to school there, so I am taking Miami.

16. Gator Bowl

Dan Mullen is still the coach, right? Okay. Michigan has no defense and MSU will wear them down in the second half. Taking the West Bulldogs to get the win.

15. Sun Bowl – Miami (FL) over Notre Dame
Miami doesn’t have a coach, but it won’t matter. Brian Kelly is a good coach, but injuries have killed his team. It’s all about da U!

14. Cotton Bowl – LSU over Texas A&M

The fact that this LSU team went 10-2 is amazing. They looked so bad sometimes. But their defense is awesome and the Mad Hatter is the luckiest man alive. A&M certainly improved since Georgia saw them in the Independence Bowl, but not enough to beat the Bayou Bengals.

13. St. Petersburg Bowl – Louisville over Southern Miss

Southern Miss looked bad on the opening the night of the season, letting some freshman named Marcus Lattimore run all over them. For that reason, I am going with the Cardinals. Plus, I think Charlie Strong is a good coach who will get things turned around in the Bluegrass State.

12. Humanitarian Bowl – Fresno State over Northern Illinois

They always talk about Fresno State being willing to take on any team. I want to see them step up and beat a team they should crush. Northern Illinois is playing well, but I think the Fresno Dogs get it done.

11. Chick-Fil-A Bowl – South Carolina over Florida State

What a great match up? The losers of the SEC and ACC championships meeting in Atlanta is awesome. Can Spurrier get the troops up for another trip to the destruction that was the SEC Championship? The game rides on the legs of Lattimore.

10. New Orleans Bowl – Troy over Ohio

Who cares? I’m taking the school with the cooler mascot.

9. Car Care Bowl – Clemson over South Florida

Kyle Parker has one final game to prove himself before he leaves for baseball. I think he will get the job done. Skip Holtz’s club could not beat UConn to close the season, I see no reason they will beat the Tigers.

8. Rose Bowl – Wisconsin over TCU

TCU has been solid all season and is a great football team, but Wisconsin has just been steamrolling teams. They won’t score 50 or even 40, but I don’t see TCU being able to do enough to beat the Badgers.

7. Little Caesar’s Bowl – Florida International over Toledo

Another bowl I have absolutely no interest in. FIU gets in fights in the OB, Toledo doesn’t, so they win.

6. Orange Bowl – Stanford over Virginia Tech

This may be one of the best games of the bowl season. Since losing to James Madison, Virginia Tech has been unstoppable. Tyrod Taylor has grown into a great passing quarterback (adding to his running ability). Stanford has the most talented player (Andrew Luck) and a great coach.
This one will be close. Stanford has a tree for a mascot, Va Tech has a turkey. Stanford wins.

5. Music City Bowl – Tennessee over North Carolina

Tennessee had to win its last four games just to make a bowl. They have a found their QB in Tyler Bray. North Carolina lost too many players and never lived up to expectations. Another winning season on Rocky Top.

4. Sugar Bowl – Ohio State over Arkansas

Can Ohio State finally beat an SEC school? I think they have the players to do it. Arkansas is awesome now that they have a running game. Should be a fun night down on Bourbon Street!

3. Independence Bowl – Georgia Tech over Air Force

In what may be the fastest game ever played, I think Tech wins the battle of the option offenses. If Nesbitt comes back, then Tech should definitely get the victory.

2. BCS National Championship – Auburn over Oregon

Both teams score like crazy. But no one is stopping Cam Newton right now. Auburn wins, but this one will be a back and forth battle.

1. Nevada Bowl – Nevada over Boston College

Didn’t Nevada just beat Boise State? Yes. Isn’t Boston College only 7-5? Yes. Then why do I have no confidence in this game? BC’s defense has been playing well and should be able to shut down Nevada’s pistol attack…or they score all over the place and it’s a blowout. I have no clue who to pick, so this game earns the #1 spot.

So those are my picks. Debate.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Team of the Decade: What the Fans Got Wrong

During the Annual Football Gala on Saturday, the "Team of the Decade 2001 - 2010" was announced. The team was voted on by fans through (see the full results here). And while the Dawg fans got most of the obvious players (David Pollack at DE, Knowshon Moreno at HB) right, there were a couple of choices they got wrong.

- Greg Blue over Sean Jones at Strong Safety

Yes, Greg Blue was a fantastic player who was named an All-American. He made a number of amazing hits that can still be seen in Georgia highlight packages today. But picking Blue over Sean Jones is a mistake. In addition to his cover skills, Jones was also a key contributor on special teams. Georgia does not beat Auburn in 2002 without Jones.

- Mohamed Massaquoi over Terrence Edwards at Wide Receiver

Lots of Georgia fans try to remember Edwards for the drop in the Florida game in 2002 rather than remembering his whole career as one of the best in SEC history. Edwards was the SEC's all-time leading in receiving when his career ended. MoMass was a great Dawg for four seasons, but like Edwards, had issues with drops during his career as well. Both great players, but it is hard to leave the SEC's (one-time) leading receiver off the list.

- Blair Walsh over Billy Bennett at Kicker

Seriously? Walsh has been great, don't get me wrong. But Billy Bennett set the NCAA record for career points. People forget that even during the success of the early 2000's, Georgia often had problems scoring TDs in the red zone. But with Billy back there, we almost always came away with points.

Friday, December 10, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week - Talking Heads

"Once In A Lifetime" by Talking Heads.

If you don't like this song, and you don't like Talking Heads, then you're missing out on everything that's good in life. I feel sorry for you.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Around College Football 2010: Stock Up/Stock Down

Only the bowls remain for this season, so I thought it fitting to take a look around college football and see the players, coaches, and trends that are either rising or falling as the season nears its end. Things that are classifies as stock up are items you will hear more about in the coming year, while those that are stock down I feel will take a step back in the national spotlight.

Stock Up - Recruiting and Payment Scandals

I think we have just seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of scandals involving players, schools, and agents. It began with the Reggie Bush scandal, continued with the part in Miami, AJ Green's jersey, and eventually we got Cam Gate. People like to run their mouths and I have a feeling the NCAA is out for blood.

Stock Down - The BCS Doesn't Work Argument

While a playoff is still needed, the BCS worked out about as perfect as it could this year. The National Championship will match two perfect record teams from major conferences. The other BCS bowls are getting pretty good match ups (with the exception of the Fiesta getting stuck with unranked UConn).

Stock Up - Dan Mullen

In just his second year as a head coach, Dan Mullen led his Mississippi State Bulldogs to an 8-4 record that included victories over Georgia and Florida. They also came within a dropped pass of a game winning field goal against Auburn. With the retirement of Urban Meyer at Florida, Mullen is leading candidate to take over in Gainesville. Mullen was already mentioned as a leading candidate for the open job at Miami. If he stays in Starkville or heads back to the sunshine, Dan Mullen is about to get a huge pay raise.

Stock Down - Traditional Powers

Some of the winningest programs in college football history really struggled this season. Texas, coming off an appearance in the national title game, went 5-7 and will be home for the holidays. Miami fired Coach Randy Shannon after losing its final game of the season to South Florida. Michigan has continued to struggle under Rich Rodriguez. South Carolina was the only team in the SEC East to win more than 7 games (Florida 7-5, Georgia 6-6, Tennessee 6-6, Kentucky 6-6). Because of the Reggie Bush scandal, USC was ineligible for a bowl, but only managed a 7-5 regular season.

Stock Up - 1AA Upsets

Appalachian State beating Michigan in 2007 was the gold standard for 1AA upsets and it was just the beginning of what is becoming a trend. During the first 2 weeks of the 2010 season, we saw Kansas lose to North Dakota State, Ole Miss fall to Jacksonville State, and eventually ACC Champ Virginia Tech fall to James Madison. While 1AA schools will never have the depth to match most D1 schools, big programs can no longer completely overlook games against these much smaller schools.

Stock Down - UNC's Defense

When Marvin Austin announced he was partying in Miami with agents, it marked the beginning of the end for what was expected to be one of the best defenses in the country. Many of the players missed most or all of the season, and despite a valiant effort on opening night against LSU, the Tar Heels never lived up to their preseason expectations.

Stock Up - Running Backs

There are two big time running backs that I expect to have big seasons next fall. The first is South Carolina freshman Marcus Lattimore. We all saw what he could do when he dragged gusy all over the field against the Dawgs in September. He rushed for nearly 1200 yards and 17 scores this year, numbers similar to those put up by Knowshon in 2007. He will be the key for South Carolina next fall, the team that will most likely be the favorite in the SEC East. The second is Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure. He is a junior, but if he returns next fall, could be a Heisman candidate. He rushed for over 1500 yards on 6 yards a carry and scored 14 touchdowns. He put up the most impressive single game performance of the season, rushing for 330 yards in the victory over Northwestern at Wrigley Field.

Stock Down - Baseball Playing Quarterbacks

Jake Locker, the Washington quarterback walked away from guaranteed money in minor league baseball and from being a potential top 10 pick to return for his senior season. The Huskies managed to finished 6-6 and get bowl eligibile, but Locker struggled throughout the season. His skill set will still make him a first round pick, but he has clearly been passed by Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. Kyle Parker held off beginning his baseball career with the Rockies to to return under center for Clemson. An up and down season that saw Parker get battered on numerous occassions left many Tiger fans wondering if it was just time to move on. Parker is gone after their bowl game.

Stock Up - Stanford

With sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck, Jim Harbaugh's team was expected to be good. But an 11-1 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl went way above expectations. Especially when you consider they lost Heisman runner up Toby Gerhart. Their only loss of the season was to undefeated Oregon and Harbaugh is now the hot new coaching name for both college and NFL positions.

Stock Down - Alabama

Everyon'e preaseason #1 was expected to be a shoe-in to retunr to the National Championship game. But an early season loss to South Carolina followed by a late game loss to LSU ended their repeat hopes. But they still had a shot to end rival Auburn's perfect season in the Iron Bowl, quickly jumping out to a 24-0 lead. But the Tigers came back for 28-27 victory, costing the Tide a chance to head back to a BCS bowl game. Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram seemed to disappear at times this year and the young Alabama defense was just that - young. Auburn's rise along with great years from Arkansas and LSU means Bama's time as the dominating program in the SEC West may be coming to end.

Stock Up - TCU

TCU put together a second consecutive undefeated regular season and will face Wisconsin in the Bowl. Their decision to leave the Mountain West and join the Big East will give them a chance to play in a BCS conference and increase their reputation nationally. I expect Texas Christian to be a major player in the NCAA for years to come.

Stock Down - Boise State

They came into this year with all the hype. They were the great hope for the little guys, the team that could finally make it to the BCS title. They started their season off great with a win over Virginia Tech and remained undefeated through 10 games. But two missed field goals against Nevada ended their perfect season and cost the Broncos a BCS bowl game. Boise State also made the decision to move conferences, leaving the WAC for the Mountain West. At first, this looked great with quality schools like TCU, Utah, and BYU in the conference. But all three of those schools left (TCU - Big East, Utah - Pac12, BYU - Independent) and now they are no better off than they were. They will open the 2011 season against our Dawgs in the dome. If Georgia shows up and sends Biose back to Idaho with another loss, the days of Boise State as a media darling may be coming to an end.

Stock Up/Stock Down - Auburn

Auburn's rise to the #1 ranking was unexpected and controversial. Cam Newton is clearly the best player in football this year, but the controversy around his father and pay for play can't be ignored. Nick Fairley is also an amazing football player, but his cheapshots and showboating made opposoing fans hate him and referees target him. Never has there been a polarizing team quite like this Auburn team. While people marvel at Newton's ability, they hate the controversy and the NCAA's decision to let him continue to play. Auburn fans took an "us against the world attitude" and it has not painted them in the best light. For all the fans they may have gained this year, they have made new enemies (particulary out of Georgia fans). Most agree that the Cam Newton situation is not over. Only time will tell if Auburn gets to keep all those victories they have accumulated.

This is just a sample of some of the trends I saw this year. Let me know if you agree with my assessments and what you thought were the biggest stock up and stock down topics of the 2010 season.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Urban is quitting again - In Pictures

For the second time in two years, Urban Meyer is stepping down as coach of the Gators.

Pat Forde confirmed the story.

Somewhere, Tim Tebow is crying

But then he gets excited, because he realizes that his coach just got fired in Denver

Dan Mullen is about get paid.

And the Wanstache is still out of a job.

Just Like Football!

The Georgia men's basketball team defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets last night, 73-72. This was the second straight victory for Georgia over Tech in basketball, but Georgia's first win at Tech in nearly a decade. The victory comes just two weeks after the Dawgs defeated the Jackets on the football field. 2010 has been a rough year overall for Georgia athletics, but there's hope that the basketball team could help turn things around.

2010 was a tough year for Georgia football and baseball. Both programs who during the last decade have consistently ranked near the top of the rankings fell hard during 2010. The football team finished 6-6 and will head to the lowly Liberty Bowl to close out the year. The baseball team, who had played in the College World Series during the last 3 even year seasons (2004, 2006, 2008) struggled through what many consider the worst season in Georgia history. The Dawgs finished 16-37 overall with a dismal 5-23 record in SEC play. 2010 was also a tough year for Georgia's most dominant sport, women's gymnastics. The Gym Dawgs had won five consecutive national championships coming into the 2010 season. But the retirement of legendary coach Suzanne Yoculan combined with graduation of a number of stars lead the team to miss the NCAA finals.

But there is hope for Dawg fans. While the football team did struggle this fall, they managed to turn a 1-4 start into a bowl appearance. Aaron Murray will return next fall and is poised to become the next great quarterback in the SEC. Georgia baseball had another great recruiting class and junior outfielder Zach Cone is considered one of the best players in the SEC. But leading the charge for Georgia sports in 2011 may be the men's basketball team. At 6-2, Coach Mark Fox's team is off to a strong start with both losses coming in close games during the Old Spice Classic tournament. Trey Thompkins is just now getting healthy and will only improve throughout the season. The Dawgs have also managed to do something twice this season that they failed do all season last year, win a true road game.

The SEC will be tough, with Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida all looking strong. But if the Dawgs can split home and home with them and win the games against the weaker teams out west, the Dawgs could be headed back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Bowling for Knights

It is official, the Dawgs will head to Memphis to take on Conference USA Champion Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl. For the second straight season, a team with the same record whom Georgia beat is getting a better bowl game (this year, it is Tennessee getting picked for the Music City. Last year, it was Auburn in the Outback). But a chance to play a conference champion may actually be a better stepping stone for Georgia headed into next season. Beating a 10-3 conference champion (as opposed to a 7-5 North Carolina team) and following that up with an opening game victory over Boise State next fall could definitely help point Georgia back in the right direction.

As we all know, Central Florida (or UCF as they preferred to be called) is coached by former Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary. The same O'Leary who was hired to coach Notre Dame and was fired a few days later for lying on his resume. O'Leary has done a good job in Orlando, taking a team that has only been in Division I for 15 years to conference championships in two of the last four seasons.

While short on history, Central Florida has had a few memorable players come through in recent years. Their most famous alum is Daunte Culpepper, who broke the NFL single season total yards record in 2004 with 5,123 yards. Asante Samuel and Brandon Marshall also played at UCF during the early 2000's. The Knights' most recent star was current Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith, who in 2007 rushed for 2566 yards, just 62 yards shy of Barry Sanders' single season NCAA record.

Over the next few weeks, we will look deeper at the Black Knights as we preview Georgia's 2010 bowl game.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Carter Pewterschmidt Friday

Instead of an 80's Video, here's Cater Pewtweschmidt from Family Guy singing an 80's song:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BNE Pick 'Em: Week 13 - This Time It's Personal!

The final week of the season is upon us. This weekend, champions will be crowned, bowl games will send out their final invites, and we will know for sure who will be playing in the BCS national championship. 13 weeks of football has come down to this final weekend of games to determine who lives to play again in December and January.

Week 13 of the Pick 'Em proved to be just as big a turning point for the pecking order as the games themselves. Most everyone had the PIT game wrong, in addition to Boise State, NC State, Vandy, USC, Cal, Florida and Syracuse. Last week was by far the worst week for actual picks and only those who risked the least made the best score. The final shake-up heading into Championship Weekend is below:
FSU knows all about this...
 Week 13 top 5:
  1. Streit's Picks
  2. allyugadawg
  3. Dutch
  4. Dawgsman81
  5. Bubba
Our overall leaders:
  1. Silver Britches with 2829 points and a 208-90 record
  2. WarriorDawg with 2819 points also going 208-90
  3. Our resident lady-fan, allyugadawg with an even 2800 and 212-86 record
  4. Streit's Picks with 2785 points and a 214-84 record, the best win/loss record overall
  5. AUMav's Picks accumulating 2771 points and a 210-88 record
This week's Bottom Feeder of the Week  is sponsored by Atlanta's favorite criminal defense website,, "The Law Office That Doesn't Take 'Guilty' for an Answer". I am ashamed to say, but I am the BFotW this week. After my dismal week of picks, I probably need to contact the law office of Head Thomas Web & Willis, LLC and plea insanity. What was I thinking?!

Now there is a question! What was the NCAA thinking this week? As all now know, Cam Newton was deemed innocent, had no knowledge of the pay-for-play scandal at Mississippi State and has been deemed eligible to play. While I am happy to know Auburn's undefeated season will remain intact, I am now very worried at the precedence set by this decision. The NCAA has essentially removed any player from consequence in any future similar situation simply by claiming ignorance. I'm sure Cam did not have any knowledge of his corrupt preacher-father Cecil's back-door dealings, but I bet a visit to our BFotW sponsor,, might have helped his chances during this investigation if their services were used. I'm sure we'll be hearing about the ramifications next season and in future scandals, but for now, I'm happy that Cam's name has been cleared, he is now eligible to tackle SUC in Atlanta, and hopefully will hoist the Heisman in New York.

Week 14 of picks are due soon, so make sure to tell all your friends to finish strong. The Fighting Zooks take on Fresno State and should be able to eek one out. Take the Wolfpack over Miami (OH) and the Fighting Wanstedts over the Bearcats. In the Civil War, I fully expect the Ducks to punch their ticket to Glendale. The Apple Cup should see the Cougars fall to the purple warriors of Washington State. Connecticut vs. USF is a toss up, but take Conn to take the Bulls. VaTech will finish their season with a win over FSU to take the ACC. Look for Nebraska to go out on top as the leave for the Big 10-11-12 with a win over the Sooners. USC will beat UCLA in a squeaker. Finally, look for another close win in the second half for Auburn as they stop Lattimore and Jeffery for the SEC Championship and their second shot at the national title.
 Check back next week for the final regular season standings and an update for the Bowl Pick 'Em. Good luck!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cam Newton is Eligible to Play - Auburn's Season Remains Perfect

This just in: The NCAA has stated Cam Newton is eligible to play! WAR EAGLE!!

BnE's 2010 Georgia Football Superlatives

The 2010 regular season has come to a close. Here is my first look back at the season, as I present the 2010 Georgia football superlatives. These are my opinions, but I would love to hear your opinions as well. Please leave your picks in the comments section.

Best Surprise – Kris Durham
After missing the entire 2009 season with injury, Durham returned for his senior year and became the second leading receiver for the Dawgs. During the suspension of AJ Green, Durham was Aaron Murray’s favorite target. He made some amazing catches in traffic and also showed his speed on a 67 yard touchdown to open the scoring in the Tech game. For the season, he registered career highs in receptions (29), yards (612) and touchdowns (3).

Biggest Disappointment – Bacarri Rambo/ Cornelius Washington
While some would say that the entire 2010 squad was a disappointment, two players in my mind stick out. The first is Bacarri Rambo, personally one of my favorite players coming into the season who has one of the best names for a safety in the history of football. Unfortunately, the promise he showed as a backup in 2009 disappeared this fall. Rambo often looked lost in coverage and while he tied for the team lead in interceptions, he really has a lot to work on before next season.
My other major disappointment was Cornelius Washington. While Justin Houston shined in his position moving from DE to linebacker in the 3-4, Washington was basically invisible. He recorded only 23 total tackles on just one sack. With Houston most likely headed to the pros, Washington will need to become that great pass rush linebacker we expected to see.

Most Overrated – The offensive line
Heaped praise for its experience prior to the season, the offensive line played horribly this year. Even with a quarterback who has the ability to make people miss and run, the line gave up nearly three times as many sacks this year as it did in 2009. The inability to get any kind of push in the middle also limited the run game. And with the Dawgs twice driving for potential game winning field goal attempts (against Arkansas and Colorado) they let a defender go into the backfield and kill drives. Ben Jones is still a hell of a center so there is hope for next season.

Most Underrated – Akeem Dent
After tackling machine Rennie Curran left early, there was a question about who would step into the role as the consistent tackler on the team. Dent took the mantle and ran with. He lead the Dawgs with 122 total tackles and finished second on the team with 2.5 sacks. He also had two forced fumbles and 6.5 tackles for a loss.

Offensive MVP – Aaron Murray
While I was pretty confident that Aaron Murray would be successful under center for Georgia, many fans questioned whether he was the right man for the job. A rough outing during G-Day fueled the fire, but after throwing for 4 touchdowns and running for another during the season opener against Lafayette, people began to see the light. What was supposed to be a position of question in 2010 turned into the most solid on the field. He currently sits one touchdown away from tying the Georgia all-time record for touchdown passes, he has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards, while only throwing 6 interceptions. The only game all season where he actually looked like a freshman was Florida, but it should also be noted he threw for over 300 yards and 3 scores in that game. AJ Green may be the best offensive player at Georgia, but there is no doubt who the most valuable was this fall.

Defensive MVP – Justin Houston
Houston was expected to flourish as he moved from defensive end to outside linebacker in Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense. Boy did he ever. 57 tackles, 10 sacks, 18.5 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception, and 1 defensive touchdown. That was a hell of a year. If he leaves early, I wouldn’t blame him, but it would sure be nice to have his skills for one for fall.

Play of the Year – AJ Green touchdown against Colorado
After being suspended for the first four games, Georgia fans eagerly anticipated the return of AJ Green in the Colorado game. After not touching the ball in the first quarter, Green finally got going on a long reverse run. A few minutes later, AJ turned in the most amazing catch I have ever seen in person:

While the game turned out bad, I will never forget this play. Some other memorable plays from the season include Aaron Murray’s 35 yard scamper for a touchdown against Tennessee, Brandon Boykin’s 4th career kickoff return for a touchdown against Kentucky, Washaun Ealey’s 5 rushing touchdowns against Kentucky, the long Kris Durham catch and run against Tech, and Justin Houston’s fumble recovery and game clinching interception against Tech.

Worst Play of the Year – Third down sack against Arkansas
At home against Arkansas, the Dawgs mounted a huge fourth quarter comeback to tie the game at 31. With the ball and about two minutes left, the Dawgs drove near the 50, within one first down of a Blair Walsh field goal attempt. On third down, Aaron Murray dropped back to pass and Washaun Ealey missed a block. Murray was sacked and the Dawgs had to punt. A few plays later, Ryan Mallett hit Greg Childs for a long touchdown and Georgia fell, 38-31.

Best Win – Tennessee
This is a hard one to pick. Georgia did not have a victory this season over a team that finished with more than 6 wins. The Dawgs were close to wins in a number of games (Arkansas, Colorado, Florida) but came up short in each try. So my pick for game of the year is the Victory over Tennessee at home. Coming in with a 1-4 record and having just lost to lowly Colorado, the Dawgs desperately needed to show up and win big. They did just that, beating the Vols 41-14. Aaron Murray passed for two scores and added two more on the ground, racking up 325 yards of total offense. The defense shut down the Tennessee running game, holding them to a total of just 9 yards. It was revenge for the beat down the Dawgs took in 2009 and helped get the Dawgs back on track to finish with wins in 5 of their last 7 contests.

Worst Loss – Colorado
Colorado is a horrible football team. There is no excuse for Georgia losing that game. We had tons of fans, including myself, he flew thousands of miles to watch the game. AJ Green was back and dominated when playing. But an injury caused him to miss much of the second half and the Dawgs squandered a lead. A Caleb King fumble inside the Colorado 30 killed the Dawgs final drive, which could have ended with a Blair Walsh game winning field goal. But he never got the chance and the Dawgs fell, 29-27.

Biggest “Stock Down” – Rantavious Wooten
What happened to Wooten? So much a part of the game plan in 2009 on screen passes and reverses, he was mostly absent for the entire season. I had high expectations for him after he caught two TD passes against Kentucky last year. With AJ out, I thought he, along with Marlon Brown, would begin to show the potential that earned them high rankings in high school. But it just didn’t happen. How absent was he this season? He only caught seven passes for 41 yards and one TD. He had 6 carries for 28 yards. In other words, he had almost as many carries on offense as he did catches, and neither were significant. His touchdown catch came against Tennessee and it was a great route. I just expected more from him. Hopefully I am wrong, but right now, I just see him falling farther on the depth chart next fall.

Biggest “Stock Up” – Alec Ogletree
By far the most talented freshman coming into the season, Ogletree lived up to the hype by earning a starting job by the end of the season. He started out on special teams and was occasionally seen as a blocker on runs plays. But as the season went on and the secondary struggled, you began to see him more often on the field. The much maligned pass defense seemed to get better towards the end of the season and Alec is one of the reasons why. He was only a freshman and did make his share of mistakes (the blown coverage on the TD pass to the TE against Auburn) but his upside definitely outweighs his faults. Now, if we could only get Rambo to play better, we would have one awesome safety tandem.

Once again, leave your thoughts below.

Staying on Top is Harder Than You Think

The 2010 season was a struggle for the Georgia Bulldogs as their record fell to 6-6. But after going 8-5 during the 2009 season, this drop was not as dramatic as some other college football programs suffered this fall. In looking at the teams that finished in the top 15 of final Coaches’ Poll last year, you will see a number of schools really struggled this year. Here are those 15 schools:

Rank School Final Record
1 Alabama 14-0
2 Texas 13-1
3 Florida 13-1
4 Boise State 14-0
5 Ohio State 11-2
6 TCU 12-1
7 Iowa 11-2
8 Penn State 11-2
9 Cincinnati 12-1
10 Virginia Tech 10-3
11 Oregon 10-3
12 BYU 11-2
13 Georgia Tech 11-3
14 Nebraska 10-4
15 Pitt 10-3

Of those schools, eight schools (Alabama, Texas, Boise State, Ohio State, TCU, Cincy, Oregon, Georgia Tech) were declared champions of their respective conference. In addition, two others (Florida and Nebraska) played in conference championship games. Twelve of the fifteen schools to finish 2009 ranked in the top 15 found themselves ranked in the top 15 again in the preseason Coaches’ Poll. Georgia Tech was still in the top 25 (at #17) while BYU and Cincinnati were unranked. Now take a look at those same programs’ records during the 2010 season:

Alabama 9-3
Texas 5-7
Florida 7-5
Boise State 10-1
Ohio State 11-1
TCU 12-0
Iowa 7-5
Penn State 7-5
Cincinnati 4-7
Virginia Tech 10-2
Oregon 11-0
BYU 6-6
Georgia Tech 6-6
Nebraska 10-2
Pitt 6-5

Three of these schools (TCU, Ohio State, Oregon) have already clinched a conference championship and 4 others are still alive for theirs (Boise State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Pitt). And while these fifteen schools still remained competitive in 2010, there has been a dramatic drop off in the overall records of these schools. Two of the schools, Texas and Cincinnati, who both went undefeated during regular season last year failed to reach bowl eligibility. Over half (8) of these programs failed to win more than 7 games this fall and only one school (Oregon) has already guaranteed itself a better record in ’10 than it had in ’09. Virginia Tech, Nebraska, and TCU can improve on their ’09 win totals by winning either their conference championship or bowl games.

What does this all mean? That getting to the top and staying there in college football is a pretty tough thing to do. Because teams often see success in years when they are filled with senior leaders and talented juniors, the following season can often mean a slight decline in victories. While Georgia’s drop from 8-5 to 6-6 may seem bad in a historical context, it was definitely not a significant single year fall. Just be glad we are not Texas, who went from the National Championship game to being stuck at home for the entire winter break.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thoughts on Georgia Tech

As ugly as it was, damn it feels good to be bowl eligible. As Tech was driving to try and tie the game at 35 in the fourth quarter, I began to imagine how long the wait until next season was going to feel without a bowl game to look forward to. It made me feel sick to my stomach. But the Dawgs were able to salvage a victory to close what has been the strangest football season during my years as a Georgia fan. In the coming weeks, I'll take a look back at the 2010 season and examine what needs to be fixed before the Boise State game next fall. But for now, here are my thoughts on the victory over Tech.

- One of the biggest responses from Tech fans I have seen is that if Tech had Nesbitt, they would have easily won the game. In most cases, I would agree but Tevin Washington actually played a great game. He was perfect at timing his pitches and turned a couple of broken plays into long runs. He is certainly not the reason Tech lost but actually one of the main reasons they almost won.

- The only thing that could stop the Georgia offense from continuing to score points was Georgia. Georgia had 11 drives in the game, six resulting in touchdowns, one ending with a fumble inside the Tech 10, two turnovers on failed fourth down attempts, and two punts. Both of the fourth down failures were inside the 25. even if we only get field goals on those and the fumble, that is 9 more points on the board.

- The efficiency of the Georgia offense was amazing. Despite running about 50 plays less than Tech, the Dawgs racked up over 415 yards. Aaron Murray continued his brilliant season completing nearly 80% of his passes and adding 3 more touchdowns. With one more touchdown pass, he will tie the Georgia all-time record for touchdown passes in a season. He is now ranked 9th in all of college football in passing efficiency. Pretty damn impressive for a kid that some Georgia fans were questioning after G-Day (and calling for Mettenberger as starter before he was booted).

- If Caleb King and Washaun Ealey could fix the fumble issues, they really could be an amazing duo in the backfield. Both run extremely hard. Caleb can make special things happen, but continuing to put the ball on the ground makes him a liability.

- AJ Green and Justin Houston - if this is it, what a way to end it. Both were beasts.

- Grantham, you get a pass for this season. When we roll into Tech next fall, this better not happen again. 500 yards against a Tech team with its back up quarterback is unacceptable. When they run a fullback dive, they should not get 6 yards every time. And one more thing, when they run an option to one side, don't leave a corner back alone on a wideout as the only person to cover the pitch man.

In the end, the Dawgs won and that is what really matters. Thought I just say, Washaun Ealey running into the end zone when all the Dawgs needed to do to take a knee might have been the worst play I have ever witnessed. It is unacceptable that Richt got out coached by Johnson on that play. I have never had any doubt about Coach Richt's decisions on the field, but that was horrible.

Memphis, Nashville, or Birmingham here we come! In honor of Samuel L Jackson being on the sideline Saturday night, I leave you with this: