Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thoughts on the Pathetic Effort against Mississippi State

I have always tried to be an optimist. But there are absolutely no excuses for the play that we saw today. Georgia only had the ball 7 times (well technically 8, but the last drive meant nothing, including the touchdown pass). We were in the red zone 3 times and got only 6 points. We couldn't stop Mississippi State from simply running it straight up the middle with the QUARTERBACK!

And now, I am officially ready to join the fire Mike Bobo bandwagon. Mississippi State sent a blitz nearly every single play, yet Bob continued to call runs straight up the middle. Every pass play seems to have exactly two options: either their is only one person going out or the pass is towards the sideline. We threw no passes (with the exception of the one to Ealey that he fumbled) to the middle of the field. Considering the amount of blitzing they were doing up the gut, there should have been open receivers near the middle.

We are paying Todd Grantham $750,000 to do what? The 3-4 was supposed to be a blitzing offense that created turnovers. All I see is wide open receivers over the middle every time some one runs a pass play.

The effort was piss poor and there seems to be no excitement. The penalties returned and killed us. I am not sure what is going on it that locker room, but someone needs to take some responsibility.

I have not been on the crazy fringe up until now, but I feel myself getting a lot closer to edge right now.

We all better enjoy Colorado, because right now I don't see us playing in a bowl game.

Friday, September 24, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week - New Edition

If I had a Top 10 80's music video list, this would definitely be a part of it. Hell, maybe even Top 5!

It's got love on the court, love on the lake (where's there a lake in NYC?), and drama on the stoop.

I love dated things that make videos awesome, like acid washed jeans. Here, it is jheri curls and Ralph Tresvant's shag (or sometimes referred to as a jheri/black mullet, but I think it's more similar to rat tails that were popular in the 80's).

Here's New Edition's 1984 hit, "Cool It Now."

Check out hard ass 15 year old Bobby Brown keepin' it real with his giant forehead and gold chains.

Why You Should Be Concerned About McGarity's Scheduling Philosophy

Procrastination will certainly be my downfall. I've had the intention of making this post since McGarity's hire and since T Kyle King's argument for playing Clemson more often under the new regime at Butts-Mehre.

Now that McGarity is saying he wants to schedule 7 homes games per season, you should be concerned if you enjoy watching Georgia travel out of the southeast, and even if you like seeing them leave the state.

While this likely doesn't come as a shock to most given that McGarity is considered a protege of Vince Dooley and Florida AD Jeremy Foley (neither known for their strength of scheduling), you might not be aware of the extent to which Florida has avoided rigorous out of conference games.
Many have criticized Florida and Foley for their weak scheduling philosophy. In fact, McGarity's intent on scheduling is identical to Foley's known scheduling standards.

However, there's some facts that everyone should be aware of regarding Foley's tenure as AD that might cause concern, even if you want to see some lighter scheduling:

- Florida has not played an out of conference game outside of the State of Florida during Foley's 18 years (their last out of conference game outside of the sunshine state was against Syracuse 1991, when Foley was second in command).

- Only ONCE has Florida played an out of conference game away from Gainesville under Foley (this was 2003 at Miami and this of course excludes FSU since they are a permanent fixture on the schedule).

We're not talking a 4, 5, or 6 year period. We're talking almost two decades of Florida avoiding leaving their home field, let alone the flat peninsula they call home.

Most of the opponents Florida has brought to Gainesville range from Southern Miss to the Citadel to the always challenging, Charleston Southern. If you look back, they aren't brining quality opponents, they are feasting on trays of cupcakes. One could argue that Florida's 2010 schedule of Miami (OH), South Florida, FSU, and Appalachian State is their most difficult slew of out of conference games in two decades.

Florida also refuses to commit to scheduling anymore games with Miami since Miami insists on a home & home deal, and the gators aren't even interested in traveling to Tampa to play USF. Florida has also turned down an opportunity to play Utah, because at most they wanted a neutral site game in the State of Florida (once again, a home and home series is a non-starter).

As a fan that loves road game almost more than home games, I find this absolutely troubling. The trend goes beyond just scheduling some directional southern schools more often; it's leading towards us never leaving Sanford unless we are playing at Georgia Tech.

I'm not excited about another noon kickoff cupcake game with empty seats at Sanford. I can understand Richt not wanting constant cross country travels and even I'll agree that the 2009 schedule was excessive. However, if McGarity is importing the Florida model, we won't be venturing across state lines after our current commitments are fulfilled (or it will be minimal at best).

McGarity could be lighter on scheduling standards than his former boss and be willing take a 6 game home schedule every once in a while. Possible, but given how McGarity was heavily involved in Florida's scheduling (as was discussed during the interview process for Georgia's AD position), I'm not so sure we'll be seeing any exciting matchups being scheduled.

3rd Annual BNE Pick 'Em: Week 3

Don't forget to get your picks in this afternoon! Go Dawgs - WAR EAGLE!

BNE Pick 'Em Top 5
  1. Fresh Catch Shuffle: 283 points & 19-5
  2. woof woo: 278 points & 20-4
  3. OneHairyDawg: 277 points & 20-4
  4. Dawgfan17: 273 points & 20-4
  5. dawg1976: 272 points & 20-4
Overall Leaders
  1. woof woof: 844 points & 57-16
  2. G.D.: 828 points & 55-16
  3. srm2006: 823 points & 56-17
  4. Dawgfan17: 821 & 61-12
  5. Dutch: 821 & 55-18
And now for our Bottom Feeder of the Week, sponsored by Blue from American Express. I'm sad to say, but my former co-worker and mentor, calgee, is our new BFotW with a dismal 178 points and 16-8 record. Picking UGA over Arkysaw, ok, I can see that. Tubs over Brown, sure, it was plausible. And no one would have thought Arizona over Iowa. But Duke over Bama? With 7 confidence points?! I think you need to apply for a line of credit with our sponsor, Blue from American Express, to help cover the checks your dumbass picks are making but teams aren't cashing. Blue helps you earn points on purchases you make, much like you earn points for the CORRECT picks you make. Maybe swipe our little Blue friend to buy a few Athlon Sports magazines to help you research your picks for this week. While you're at it, maybe use Blue to buy a ticket to the blue turf capital in Boise for the Oregon State vs. Boise State game. And if you're feeling blue again on Monday, go visit our other friends at to catch a sneak peek at the all new, true-blue Smurf movie coming to a theater near you in 2011. I'm blue-daba-dee-dabba-da-dabba dee-da-ba-dee...

Oh lord the terrible Euro-trash that will be heard in Boise.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

South Carolina Learns to Count, Places UGA at #6

Every year, someone ranks college football stadiums in terms of the size, the loudness, the atmosphere, or the impact on the game. Newspapers and blogs love to rank The Swamp and Tiger Stadium at the top for the volume, and Vaught-Hemingway and The Rose Bowl for the atmosphere, and the Horseshoe and Big House for sheer size.

In preparation for the SUC vs. Auburn game this weekend, Ron Morris, from, has compiled his top 12 most intimidating SEC stadiums based on his experience and opinion from attending games at each stadium. While he freely admits his ranking are subjective, I'm not sure I agree with his placement of Sanford Stadium at number 6 on the list, but I do think that UGA has slipped in its intensity for home games.
#1 stadium in the SEC for intimidation
From the post (click here) Mr. Morris writes of Sanford Stadium, "Georgia football has become too much of a social event in Athens. The world’s loudest and most obnoxious video board system also works against Georgia. It is a sure sign that Georgia has resorted to having to create noise instead of getting spontaneous crowd reaction."

So Dawg fans, what do you think? Has the expectation of winning reduced the intensity of the crowds? Have the short comings this year turned passion and volume from the fans on 4th and 1 situations into anger and dejected silence? Do people care too much about tailgating and not enough about their impact on the game-time atmosphere? Has UGA gone from being known for having the most obnoxious fans to the most obnoxious scoreboard?
Has Sanford lost its mojo?

A Must Win in Stark Vegas

Honestly, I hate the term must win. It is overused, especially in the world of college football because there is no playoff system. In other words, every game is a must win if you want to win a championship.

At this point in the 2010 season, we know that the Georgia Bulldogs will not be winning any type of championship this fall. With an 0-2 SEC record, Georgia would need to win all of its remaining conference games and hope that Florida loses at least one other conference game and South Carolina loses three conference games just to get a chance to play for the SEC Championship. It's not going to happen. But, what could happen is Georgia salvaging an ugly start with a series of big victories. This all begins Saturday in Starkville, where the hope of a respectible season for the Dawgs hangs in the balance.

Georgia should win this game, no doubt. The talent level of the Bizarro Bulldogs is nowhere near that found in Athens. State dropped a close game to Auburn two weeks ago but it was more about Auburn's inability to put points on the board as opposed to State playing well. Their quarterback play is unstable and with Anthony Dixon gone to the pros, they lack a true superstar in the backfield.

Bizarro Superman is an official supporter of the Bizarro Bulldogs.

While the losses the last two weeks have been bad, Georgia managed to hang close in both games against two opponents who are now ranked in the top 15 in the country. If the team can carry any momentum from the fourth quarter against Arkansas, this game could be over quickly.
Bring on the Cowbells! The resurrection of our season begins on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's time to retire "Finish the Drill"

"Finish the Drill."

Coach Richt's personal mantra. It arrived in Athens with Coach Richt in 2001 and became a battle cry for the Georgia Bulldogs during their march to the SEC Championship in 2002. But now, almost ten years later, coaches still like the mention the phrase. I am just not quite sure if it has the same affect anymore.

Today, the reality is that Georgia is a talented but struggling football team who has continued to find it difficult to overcome challenges. In 2007, the Dawgs found their own "swagger", symbolized perfectly during the Blackout victory over Auburn. That team started the season with two early SEC losses, but reeled off victory after victory to close the season. If this Georgia team is going to recover, they need to find their own identity to rally around.

So, Dawg fans, any ideas for a new slogan?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Miss. State: A History

Although both are charter members of the conference, Georgia has only met the Western Bulldogs 21 times. The Good Dawgs hold a 16-5 advantage and have won 9 consecutive meetings, dating back to 1974 and a 38-14 MSU win in Jackson.

Georgia won the most recent meeting 27-24 in Athens in 2006, a game remembered for Mo Massaquoi hearing the boo birds after struggling with the droppsies midway through his sophomore season.

When they last met in Starkvegas in 2005, DJ Shockley led the way to a 23-10 victory, sending Georgia to a 4-0 start that culminated in an SEC Championship. Shockley finished the day with 312 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Leonard Pope caught 3 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, while MSU's running back Jerious Norwood was held to 43 yards on 14 carries. Clearly, the '05 SEC Champions could still remember the habits of a hard-nosed Brian VanGorder defense from a year prior.

And clearly today, the '10 version of the Red & Black Dawgs still remember those bad habits of a third-and-Willied defense.

Miss. State's a well-coached football team that provides enough danger to send Georgia to 1-3 in the stinging midst of ringing cowbells. The Good Dawgs have never lost 3 consecutive games under Richt, and if that trend is to continue, Georgia will probably have to run more than two formations on offense.

The 3-4 defensive growing pains may continue to suffer against a very good offensive mind like Mullen's. But at least Miss. State quarterbacks Chris Relf and Tyler Russell have shown a propensity to throw interceptions. Yet in a 29-7 loss to LSU last week, Miss. State outgained the Bayou Bengals in total yardage.

Starkvegas: Beware of Dog, but remember the first Miss. State mascot, Bully I, got hit by a bus on campus.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thoughts on ESPN College GameDay

My wife and I had the fortunate experience to attend a VIP event for ESPN's College GameDay this weekend in Auburn. I know a lot of you watch this pre-game show every Saturday morning as I do, but seeing it from behind the barriers and up close brings a whole different experience. I have a new respect for the show, as well as the on-air personalities.

Having never seen a TV broadcast up close, I was amazed at the number of crew members and staff involved in the production of this show. Everything begins each week on Thursday afternoon when the GameDay bus rolls into town with the production team. As soon as everyone arrives, the support equipment, fences, and sets are set up along with the monitors, cameras, speakers and miles of cable necessary to transmit the show. 5am on Saturday, everyone is on the scene reviewing stats, scores, news and prepping for the show. Over 100 staff and volunteers are on hand to aid in the logistics of producing the show.

We were shown around the tour bus driven by a great gentleman named Bobby, who is a veteran and Georgia Bull Dawg. He drives the GameDay bus for 14 weeks during the fall in addition to the college basketball season, and he seems to know everyone on the staff. He is a great guy with a lot of little stories from his travels, and was so well respected by the staff. Amazingly, he gets to take his wife and dog on the road on the bus in between games.

A Dawg helps bring GameDay to your city.
We were also shown the production trailer. Pulled behind a semi, this trailer expands to hold the entire production team of roughly 15 people, 137 monitors, and the security and satellite equipment. From here, all the TV feeds from the site, from the remote reporters to the live feeds coming from Bristol, are combined to form the seamless show you see every Saturday.  The staff in this trailer spend about 18 hours every Saturday coordinating the broadcast from GameDay to kick-off. The amount of direction and coordination we saw while the show was filming was intense. 
This was one section of 5 in the production trailer. 137 monitors in total!
Bringing everything together are the on-air personalities: Erin Andrews, Chris Fowler, Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso. The biggest thing I noticed was the amount of security on hand. Each broadcaster had two officers escorting them between the set and the bus, with Ms. Andrews having three or four. They are constantly on the move between the main set, the "practice field" and their tour bus. Make no mistake, they were in the heat of the Auburn Plains the majority of the time but still managed to keep their professional cool.
Kirk and his police escort

Desmond Howard making his way to the set.

Erin Andrews
After the taping, we had a chance to take a photo with the crew on the set, in addition to a meet-n-greet. Chris Fowler is very professional and almost stiff, much like you'd expect from a broadcast news anchor. Kirk Herbstreit is very fan-friendly, taking time to sign autographs and going out of his way to see fans outside of the fence line. Out of the 5 broadcasters, he stuck around the longest. Desmond cuts the most jokes around the set. Erin Andrews was very elusive and did not stick around. But the most interesting of the crew is Lee Corso.

Kirk Herbstreit

Don't worry Josh, I passed your message along to Chris. A restraining order is pending.
 Watching Lee on TV, you can see that he has come along way in dealing with the effects of his minor stroke. In person, it is a bit more noticeable, but I admire how well he has persevered and also how approachable he is to those around him. I had great conversation with the coach discussing Auburn and our traditions, the rolling of Toomer's corner, and the game that day. He also let me in on the lapel pin he wears each week. For those of you who are curious, the pin he wears is a B-2 stealth bomber with an American flag on it. It was given to him at the Air Force Academy by the former B-2 wing commander, and its a rare pin to receive. He wears it in honor of our service men and women. It was great to talk Lee and see his passion for college football.

Lee is the man.
Getting up each Saturday going forward will bring a new appreciation for my favorite fall pre-game show. I'm in awe at the logistics, team work and coordination it takes to produce College GameDay each week. It will be hard not to think about the cameramen out in the heat, the statisticians feeding endless numbers, and the guys in the truck for 18 hours on Saturday who help bring it all together. While I won't always agree with the on-air personalities and their picks, I will appreciate their hard work after seeing it in person.

Thoughts on Arkansas

I've waited a few days before writing my thoughts on the last minute loss to Arkansas on Saturday. For much of the game, Georgia looked like a team lost. Lost in the expectations of the fans, in the talent of the other team, and looking for an identity of its own. My thoughts on this game were all over the place, from the incredibly disappointed to the extactically optimistic. When we stopped the Hogs again after getting back to a tie in the fourth, I'd be lying if I said I did not think we were going to win on a field goal. If there is one word I could use to describe my feelings, the word is polarizing. We are 1-2 and looking at a long season ahead, but there certainly are some bright spots from the game.

Let's start with the bad:

- We lost. There's nothing worse than losing in football. Doesn't matter if it is by 1 or 100, it is still a loss in the books. And while I am happy we fought back and had a chance to win, it doesn't really matter in the end.
- Poor Aaron Murray. Yes, he held on to the ball too long a few times, but his receivers were covered. Would you have rather he thrown it up and risked an interception?
- Blown coverages. We got burned short and burned deep. Why can we not defend a crossing route over the middle???
- Without AJ, it is clear we are missing a deep threat. Arkansas stayed in man coverage and the receivers were not getting much separation to take advantage.
- Ealey is a good runner, but we need Caleb back in the game. He is an excellent blocker Ealey clearly is not getting the job done.
- We really missed Branden Smith.

Now, the positive:

- Murray is a special player. Yes, he still makes some freshman mistakes. But he was about one 15 yard pass away from having his very own "David Greene" moment.
- Durham continues to impress me. When AJ gets back, Durham may get even more chances to shine.
- The tackling was improved.
- We fought back. The team could have easily caved with Arkansas up 14 in the 4th. But they didn't. To all those fans who left, shame on you. The team didn't quit, why did you???

We've got to pick up the pieces and move on. There is still a lot of season left. Losing to arguably the best South Carolina and Arkansas teams each school has had in at least a decade does not make me feel so bad. We can right the ship in Starkville on Saturday.


Monday Morning - Still Coming Down

Bloodied, bruised, battered and wondering. It's the state of the program this Monday morning. Here's to it not being so in six weeks. A man can hope.