Wednesday, December 16, 2009
And if you want to talk about parity…Since the day Danny Weurffel graduated from Florida, and make no mistake that THAT event changed SEC football forever (They won the SEC all 4 of his seasons in Gainesville), here's the rundown of teams winning titles:
Teams w/ 3:
Florida ('00, '06, '08)
LSU ('01, '03, '07)
Teams w/ 2:
UT ('97, '98)
UGA ('01, '05)
Bama ('99, 09)
Teams w/ 1:
If the Vandy or Kentucky kicker could make a dadgum kick…oh, how that balance of power might look different.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Texas A & M
Chances are you'd have taken Penn St., Clemson, & Texas A&M. So, it's not that bad when you look at the other opponents you could have faced. It was a bad draw all-around for the SEC. While VaTech is a good matchup w/ UT, it's not attactive to us because we just played them 3 years ago. Same is true for Okla. St. and Ole Miss. Every bowl has their choices to make, and I guess they pick their favorites and have their reasons, but someone please explain to me how there will be more fans in Nashville for UK vs. Clemson than UGA vs. Clemson. UGA would have taken more fans than UK, and more Clemson fans would have come after back-to-back disappointing losses at the chance of beating an historic, hated rival. That's the ONE I can't figure out. And how many times in the next 10 years are you going to get a shot at getting UGA vs. getting UK? Just can't figure that one out, coach. These bowl execs are weird folks. Some bowl is finally going to pair UGA vs.Clemson and watch their tickets sell-out in 5 days and stumble onto a gold mine. I can't hardly think of the more perfect bowl matchup as far as creating buzz w/ the universities and fan bases. We hate each other, and we'd love to play against each other in a neutral site. That one's a mystery.
That being said…beat A&M!
Monday, November 30, 2009
I like it. It might be tattooed on my forehead on the Saturday after thanksgiving next year. It was brilliant and ballsy and downright nasty. I love it. I run this state. I run it all the way for over 300 yards. I run it because I wear red and black. I run it because the flagship chose me over you (here's looking at you #21). I run it because I know what tradition means. I run it because I'm faster and stronger, even in my weakest year. I run it to the tune of 75 yard TD's. I run it for 9.2 per carry. I run this state, nerds. And don't you ever forget it.
Moreno's first 112 carries (as a redshirt freshman): 510 (4.6 avg.), 3 TDs, 35 long.
Best I can remember, Knowson's first 112 carries came against Oklahoma St, South Carolina, Western Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss, & Tennessee…maybe Vandy, but he'd probably already reached 112 by then.
Ealey's came against LSU, Tennessee, Vandy, Florida, Tennesee Tech, Auburn, Kentucky & Tech.
Word on the street is that he's switching to #3 next year, too.
He was 50 feet in front of me and and a friend warming up in Stillwater and we both said, "He sure looks ready to me." That wrist couldn't have been hurt that bad, was it?
Monday, November 23, 2009
5 receptions for 115 yards and 1 TD
26-43, 422 yards, 5 TDs
10 carries, 80 yards
Those are the totals for this past Sunday for Mohamed Massaquoi, Matthew Stafford, and Knowshon Rockwell Moreno. Unfortunately, they don't wear Silver Britches anymore. They play in National Football League now. You can't lose that kind of talent and not regress. Good Lord, look at Florida's offense w/o Harvin and Murphy. It's plain. We just couldn't replace those guys. And when our defense stunk it up last year, they often saved us. Something was missing from that '08 team, but I can assure that DC's were scared to death when they lined up against us each week. They are not scared now. They just think, "Stop AJ." This year, we don't have the offense to bail us out of our poor defensive woes. Just think if Moreno and Stafford come back (and there are a million teams that can say those kinds of things), but we beat OSU and LSU for sure. Hard to imagine we wet the bed in Knoxville. We compete in Jax and we beat Kentucky soundly as KM rushes for 468 yards. It's not even close. Though everyone loses players, we're the only ones that lost #1 and #12 in the draft. That's a hard mountain to climb.
Joe's not as good as we'd hoped -- bottom line. He makes dumb decisions. I'm certain it's lack of experience, though I recall us not being able to punch it in against Hawaii in N.O. after Remarcus returned it 90 yards inside the 10. Joe almost threw an INT down there against an absolutely wretched WAC defense that we'd shredded all night. Perhaps that was a sign. I remember thinking, "He's just nervous in the Sugar Bowl." I was wrong. That was what we had to look forward to. He's a good kid. No need to bash him. He's just not a great college QB. It is what it is. He's thrown 14 interceptions and we've still got 2 to play, guys. 14!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's hard to imagine that Aaron Murray throws 14 picks next year. Only Tyson Lee (11) and Snead (14) have double digit picks. Over the last 2 seasons, we've thrown 26 INTs. Tebow, on the other hand, has thrown 8…count 'em…8 picks over the last 2 years, throwing 4 each year so far. DJ threw 5 in 2005. It's an easy game. Throw to the team w/ the red hats.
And it's the defense. We stink. We're not mean, nasty, or generally unpleasant when we arrive to the ball. It's just bad. We just don't shut people down. We just don't play that way. We hope to slow you down. We play scared. We're atrocious. It's simple. New DC. New QB. Look, we can sit here and complain all we want about the other stuff, but it's just that simple. Every team complains about play-calling. The more I've thought about that toss sweep, the more I like the call. Why is the most basic play in our playbook risky? I'll bet I can still catch a toss sweep. Do we really want our play-caller thinking, "Well, he might fumble the pitch." No. I want him thinking, "What play can we score on." Not what is safe. Not what is logical. Not what is normal. Because that's not always the answer. We've been stuffed on 3rd and 1 up the middle all year long. Who were we to think it was going to change on that play. No. What will score. Toss sweep. Then run it. We run it 10 times a game. Run it. Catch it. Score. It wasn't a flea flicker or reverse. It wasn't cute. It was a freaking toss sweep. The bottom line is we scored 27 against UK. Remember when that would have been plenty? People wonder about why not having Caleb in there? That's easy. Washaun's better. Remember, on offense we play our better players. We start Tavares King over Michael Moore because he's better. We run Brandon Smith w/ 2:30 to play out of the wild dawg because he's better. We play the better players on offense. Defense…not so much. I can easily be accussed of being a Bobo apologist, but I think our offense is just fine. I complained about play-calling when we were winning titles w/ Richt calling the plays. Florida fans think Adazzio is an idiot…to the tune of 11-0. Not that all OC's are good. I think ours if fine. And I can't thinking of who would be better. Really, is there some offense out there tearing it up that you want? Our offense usually does just fine when we remember what color jerseys we're wearing.
A change in DC will bring a change in special teams approaches. It has to. It's that simple. We gripe about a lot of stuff, but that's all it is. New DC, new Special Teams coordinator/philosophy, and new QB. We are guaranteed to get one of those next year. Richt has to make the call to get the other 2. A new DC won Spurrier a national championship. A new DC won Mack Brown a national championship. A new DC changed Oklahoma St. from middling to top 12 and maybe BCS bound. A new OC changed Cadillac and Ronnie into world-beaters. New coaches CAN make that big a difference in one year. And by the way, Blair still leads the SEC in touchbacks…by 3. So there's that. He gets a touchback 22.6% of the time. Are you telling me playing those odds weren't better on Saturday than the squib kick? That's 2 out of every 9 kicks as a touch back. It's that simple.
Monday, November 16, 2009
There are lots of questions about if this game saved Willie. To me, those are ridiculous. It was an indictment for me, simply because of the first 2 series. I don't mind that they scored. I mind what we didn't do that allowed them to score, and it's as simple as two words: Bacarri Rambo. For the life of me, I can't figure out this Bryan Evans deal. That kid must have some very inappropriate pictures of Willie, because I can't think of another reason that he starts at Defensive Back for us. Evans in = 2 TDs. Insert Bacarri Rambo on 3rd series = 3 and out. The same thing happened in Jacksonville. The difference is that we left Bacarri in this time for the most part. It's an easy formula: when Bacarri is in, receivers don't seem as open. I just can't figure it out. I'm sure Bacarri still gets things confused. I'm sure Evans understands the defensive calls better. I know Evans is more experienced. I'll bet Bacarri does some stupid redshirt freshman stuff in practice. But Rambo is simply a better football player. Put. Him. On. The. Field!
I heard the folks on Sportscenter U say, "Is there another quarterback in the country more hot and cold than Joe Cox?" That may be the defining statement of the Joe Cox era. He has the ability to look really good and make really good throws. He can also look really dumb from time to time. I've grown tired of his comments. I know he's a college student, but he's a 5th year senior. He better develop some thicker skin if he wants to go into coaching. Yes, Joe, the fans booed…because the offense stunk. How about mixing in a first down every now and then. I'm not a boo-er, but the team should get after it to make something positive happen rather than worry about the negative stuff around. Those 93,000 fans have gone through a lot this year and have invested a lot of time and money into some pretty mediocre football.
But, there is great hope for the future. I've proudly been on the Caleb King bandwagon all season. I still think that kid has some huge days ahead. And Washaun's got IT. We've got a pretty good 1-2 punch there for a couple years. We have an abundance of young talent to burn…everywhere. It seems like we have young, fast LBs all over the roster, even if one of them is a reserve tailback. Williams, Robinson, and Dowtin all look like gamers, and, incidentally, just the kind of guys that will work well against a speedy spread option attack in a few weeks. But, the most telling thing to me on Saturday was how big of a difference Akeem Dent made. I was looking at him through my binoculars. We don't have that many players with that kind of build. We've needed him this year. Not to be a sour grapes-injury guy because everyone deals w/ injuries, but one has to wonder how this season shakes out if Caleb, Trinton, Dent, and Josh Davis are healthy the whole season. And after last season, too, do we have to start raising quesitons about our S & C? Do other teams have this many key injuries every season?
We've still got to get better, but it's always good to beat the Barns. We should be better on defense and still need to make changes at the appropriate time if we're going to compete at the highest level. I just hope CMR sees that. He's earned the right to figure it out. But if he doesn't, his days, sadly, in Athens will also be numbered. How would you like to be Auburn today? Remember when we were thinking, "How did we make Crompton look like Joe Montana?" Auburn's thinking, "How did we make Georgia's D look like the Steelers?"
Get well soon, AJ & Bacarri!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Richard Samuel - LB
Logan Gray - WR
Kiante Tripp (add 30 lbs.) - DT
Those would make us better in a hurry.
Monday, November 9, 2009
WR: AJ, Tavares (who is just a RFr this year), Marlon, Rontavious, Durham, Da'Rick Rogers TE: White & Orson (What in the world are we going to do w/ Figgins)
RB: Caleb and Washaun will be just fine
FB: Chapas & Munz will be seniors (and we moved LB Charles White to FB)
Special Player: Uh, BRANDEN SMITH. I don't know the answer to this, but one has to wonder if this kid could help us more on offense full-time. He'd look pretty good as our full time punt and KO returner and whatever he wants to do on offense. I was on the practice field w/ Champ all of his 3 years. This kid is faster. I think he's the fastest player we've had since the Goal line stalker. I've never seen someone leave guys like he does.
So, the question is…what about the QB position. I heard from some reliable sources in summer and they said Murray still wasn't all the way healed from his high school injury. I think that played a major role in this year, along w/ the fact that we had absolutely no breathers until Saturday. To me, Murray is most like Colt McCoy. A good thrower who can really run. McCoy is 6'2", 210. Murray is 6'1", 206. In 2006, McCoy took over at UT after VY left as a redshirt freshman. You'll recall that they lost an early one to #1 Ohio St. (who went on to go undefeated), but started off 9-1, including beatin Oklahoma. In the 10th game of the season vs. K-State, McCoy was injured on the first drive of the game, and the Wildcats upset the Horns. UT also lost to A & M to close out the year, and won the Alamo Bowl vs. Iowa. One has to wonder what would have happened had McCoy not been hurt vs. K-state. They probably win the Big 12 South, and excuse OU the embarrassment of losing to Boise. But, the point is that you can have a really good season with a Redshirt Freshman QB. In fact, you can have a championship caliber season with one. Even with our young QB, we won't play many teams that will be much better than us at that position. Garcia, Jefferson or McElroy will likely be the preseason pick next year for All-SEC QB, and we only play one of them. Boy, you'd have to think that Spurrier is licking his chops. UT, UF, and UGA will all be breaking in new QB's, and he gets UT and UGA in Columbia. Of course, that's kind of the Gamecock story every year, right. I'm just saying that everybody is saying that we should have done this or that with Murray, and I don't know. I'm not sure the kid was healthy. Let's get him healthy and hand him the reigns. We don't need to fart around in that opener next year. Give Murray the keys early and make sure that we know he's the guy before we head up to I-20, because the East could be riding on that game. One things for sure, #11 is going to have a plethora of weapons at his disposal.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Here's a look at the current top 19 BCS standings:
1 Florida 8-0
2 Texas 8-0
3 Alabama 8-0
4 Iowa 9-0
5 Cincinnati 8-0
6 TCU 8-0
7 Boise State 8-0
8 Oregon 7-1
9 LSU 7-1
10 Georgia Tech 8-1
11 Penn State 8-1
12 USC 6-2
13 Pittsburgh 7-1
14 Utah 7-1
15 Houston 7-1
16 Ohio State 7-2
17 Miami (FL) 6-2
18 Arizona 5-2
19 Oklahoma State
Some of this will blow your mind, so get ready. We play 1 and 10 every year. In fact, they are our biggest 2 rivals. #1 is our biggest divisional rival and by a long-shot our biggest conference game every year. Did I mention they never play in our stadium…I digress. We play #3 and #9 two out of every six years. In the last 5 years, we have scheduled games against #19 and #7. For good measure, though this is really irrelevant, we scheduled a game with #15 in 2001. Now check this out. We have games scheduled in 2016-17 vs. #8. AND…AND!!!! We HAD a series scheduled with #5 in the next couple years but we got out of it. We also have a series scheduled w/ the ACC's other division leading team in 2013-14. All this is to say, "Damon, get control of yourself." In the meantime, the Mighty Gators have a game scheduled vs. #17 in a couple of years. That's it. They don't care. My biggest problem with these games is that they are beating us up. Our opponents aren't taking this scheduling philosophy. We can't. This isn't basketball. This is football. One loss costs you everything. And one more war is one more chance for a star to get injured.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
They are now ranked #9 in the BCS and still in the hunt for all the marbles if they beat Alabama somehow on Saturday. They lost 13-3 to the champs and are getting better each week. They struggled last year, lost a bunch of games, went 3-5 in the SEC, couldn't figure it out at QB, and had a defense that looked like a Pee Wee team. They started a true freshman QB ridiculously late in the season and brought in a new DC in the off-season, and they're looking at 10-2 at worst this year. It can be done. Pull the trigger on Murray. I can't believe I'm saying it, but pull it. And get some new blood on defense in there and this thing can get turned around quicker than we realized. We might take a few lumps this year, but we're taking them anyway. I love Joe and wanted him to succeed. It's apparent he can't.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Good Lord that's a good look, especially since they've revived putting the "America Needs Farmers" sticker back on the helmets this year. So, Go Hawkeyes. Unless, of course, they stumble down the road and we put it together and meet up in Tampa. In that case, death to all things hawkeye!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
But that was a season w/ a couple of memorable moments. We won in Clemson in red pants, as our All-American Center Peter Anderson fell on a fumble in the endzone to score a TD against the Tigers, and we had that moment in Jax, waxing #1 Florida 24-3. It was the epitome of the spell Dooley held over the Gators. They were way better than us that season…but not that day. Florida's schedule looks eerily similar, winning in Baton Rouge and Starkville and beating UT in Gainesville.
1985 Galen Hall
9/7 Miami (Miami) (5/NR) . . . . . . . . . . . . . W 35-23
9/14 Rutgers (Gainesville) (3/NR) . T 28-28
9/28 Mississippi State (Starkville) (11/NR) . W 36-22
10/5 LSU (Baton Rouge) (11/8) . W 20-0
10/12 Tennessee (Gainesville) (7/14) . . . . . . W 17-10
10/19 Southwestern Louisiana (5/NR) . W 45-0
10/26 Virginia Tech (Gainesville) (2/NR) . W 35-18
11/2 Auburn (Auburn) (2/6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . W 14-10
11/9 Georgia (Jacksonville) (1/17) . L 24-3
11/16 Kentucky (Gainesville) (11/NR) . . . . . . W 15-13
11/30 Florida State (Gainesville) (6/12) . W 38-14
I think the most intriguing thing about all of this is the strange range of emotions that all dawg fans are feeling right now. We all desperately want to put it together and spoil the seasons of our 2 most bitter rivals. We want to upset Florida and pull for the Evil Genius to catch lightning in a bottle against his old team and send us to Atlanta. We want to sneak into the SECCG. Or, at worst finish 9-3, end on a high note and go destroy some ACC team in Atlanta, some Big 12 team in Dallas or some Big 10 team in Tampa. We all want something like that. We want to get better and play like we're capable of playing. But, here is the million dollar, gut-check, dark places you don't talk about question: would you trade a miracle SEC title if it meant Willie Martinez keeps his job. Or the better question is probably: would you take and 9-3 turnaround and bowl win if it meant CWM keeps his job? Those are dark questions, my friends. I'm not sure I know the answer. And if I do, you probably don't want to know which way I'm leaning.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Through 6 games:
-Drew Butler will be the best punter in America, averaging right at 50 yards per punt
-Blair Walsh will be having an All-SEC caliber season, leading the SEC in touchbacks, 8-9 on FGs (including 3 50+ yarders) and perfect on PATs.
-We will not redshirt Washaun Ealey
-Brandon Boykin will have 2 100+ yard KO return TDs, and they come against South Carolina and UT
-We march the opening drive 80 yards in Stillwater and take a 7-0 lead before OSU ever touches the ball and both Branden Smith and Logan Gray see action in that series.
That tells me that we practiced special teams (just like we promised!), we put young players in positions to excel, we come out guns blazing and no holds barred.
When you see those things (and if you'd seen them in August), there's no way you'd guess we're 3-3. Such is the nature of college football.
But there's really 4 simple explanations:
1. Our defense has forgotten that 3 and outs are actually still legal in collegiate football.
2. We can't cover a kickoff to save our life.
3. We turn the ball over like it's covered in H1N1.
4. We commit the dumbest penalties you'll ever see in your life.
It's really pretty simple. Of course, there are a myriad of other factors, including our decision to not run block for the 2009 campaign, but fixing those 4 sure would go a long way to making sure that we don't go 3-3 in our next 6.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This whole season is going to challenge our dawgdom. But it's one of those reminders that I don't love UGA because we're good, because we beat our rivals, because I like red and black. Simply, I believe it's a better way to be. It was a better way to be in the Goff years…and it's a better way to be now.
I was thinking today about this season and looking at 2007. Yesterday was a more important game in Richt's career, but the '07 performance in Knoxville was still the worst performance in the Richt era in my book. It's the only game in 9 years that we didn't put up a fight. It was worse. It was uglier. It was 28-0 at halftime. It was 35-0 at one point. We never punched back that day. Thinking about that in light of how bad we looked yesterday, I just got to thinking about that season.
OSU-looked good and beat a decent team
So. Car. - Looked absolutely inept on offense and couldn't make the stop we had to at the end of the game.
W. Carolina - It was Western Car…did we really learn anything. Knowshon scores his first TD. But we get rested and better.
Bama - We look sharp on offense. Defense fails late and gives up a big lead and we win in OT. Ole Miss - They take a 7-0 lead in the 1st and are driving late in the 1st and fumble at our 4 yard line…do you remember that. We recover (in all aspects), and somehow strangely win 45-17, and they remember that they are Ole Miss. If you'll recall, this was Orgeron's train wreck season.
UT - Ugliest loss of Richt era, IMHO.
Vandy - Thank you Daryl Gamble.
Off week - The rest is history.
We don't have the talent of that team and we have systematic problems that have to be fixed, but…BUT…the comparison of that season and this is interesting.
OSU - This time we play them on the road and they're a lot better. Do you think we win the '07 opener on the road?
So. Car. - Played our guts out, looked incredible on offense, and schizo on defense, but made the stop this time.
Arkansas - Very comparable to the Ole Miss game that year. Crazy game in which we pull away late.
Arizona St. - What? We don't get to play Western Carolina? You get the idea. Thanks, Damon. LSU - Basically the South Carolina game from '07. Inept offense and can't make the stop we have to at the end of the game.
UT - Same song, different verse. ?????????????????
So, how different are the seasons? You could say the big difference was the schedule. And we're not coaching as good or as talented.
For the life of me I still can't figure out how where that team came from that showed up in Jax that cloudy day. We don't have Knowshon Moreno this year, so I'm not counting on it this time around. But it begs a greater question, and one that I think is the hardest for Richt to figure out, and, frankly, Damon. What if we did go on a run like that? And, I mean, it looks like what we saw in '07. Dominating teams on both sides of the ball. The problem is that wouldn't fix anything. That's the point that Richt's got to see. If we go on a run like that and somehow finish 10-3 and win the Outback Bowl…it doesn't matter. We can't go 11-1 playing the kind of D we play, and that is, essentially, the goal. That's the part I hope Richt as figured out.
Nothing we haven't said about Richt can really be said. The Senator sums it up perfectly: http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/. The fact that Blair leads the conference in touchbacks is staggering. It's like having a clean-up hitter leading the division in home runs and asking him to bunt half the time. This one's going to sting for a while, that's for sure, but it has to have revealed basically every ugly problem w/ the program. To be honest, I don't know if he wants to fix it or cares to fix it. Richt looks like he doesn't care anymore and is being Donnan-esque w/ the media. If that's the way it's going to be, I'll help him pack the truck because the least he can do is be a witness for Jesus…and he's not doing a very good job at that as well when he's curt w/ the fans and media. So, from where I sit. I hope he can fix it. I just don't know if he can. Assuming the wheels don't come completely, he deserves that shot.
As crazy as it sounds. I'm on the Aaron Murray bandwagon (or at least Logan), but I don't think Logan is going to be our QB next year. We need someone who can make some plays w/ their feet. What I'm certain of is that Aaron can throw 10 picks in 6 games just as well as Joe can. It's not that Joe's inadequate like JTIII was. It's just we're not getting the payoff of having a 5th year senior. If we're going to throw picks and spike the ball w/ :01 left…heck, the least we can do is play the more talented kid and get ready to make a run in 2010 and 2011. That's where I am.
-Willie has to go, probably along w/ our entire defensive staff
-Bobo has to get demonstratively better
-We need to play the younger QBs because we can't get worse offensively
-Richt needs to be a strong willed gentleman instead of a weak willed prick
I fear that no matter what, the bigger concern is that Richt has completely lost this team and program and the kids just aren't listening anymore.But, this is what separates the hangers on and the real fans. Let's be the real fans.