Monday, January 31, 2011

New Video Technology

The Butts-Mehre is nearing completion, part of that is a new video room, which was Coach T's vision and baby. It's the first time in Pro or college football that a team has run everything on Macs. I don't think we have to worry about this guy being on the cutting edge w/ weight training. He pushed the envelope and pushed spending in video and moved us to the front of the pack in that area. Don't get me wrong, he's crazy as a 3 legged fox, but he might be smart, too.

Blutarsky has a video tour up of the whole facility. No wonder we're recruiting good. That place is Taj Mahal. There is essentially nothing else to do to Butts-Mehre now. The only logicaly step is an indoor facility, which I'm not sure is logical in the first place. But the whole place is magnificent. Offensive team meeting room, defensive, total team meeting rooms. Offensive staff, def. staff, and entire staff rooms. Unbelievable graphics throughout the whole place. And the colors are perfect. I'm biased, but red, black and silver just work in modern construction.
BTW, they mention in the video that T has the players working out in head to toe black sweats, just like the old days. That. Is. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lost Stars

We were hit pretty hard losing Houston & Green to the NFL, but you may have missed the news that I guessed right on my prediction about Darvin Adams. He declared for the draft. One response from an Auburn fan I saw was:

"Auburn will be missing the experience and leadership next year, which will probably cost us a game or two. But, we will be much more talented thanks to a couple of excellent years of recruiting and all of our coaching staff returns."

Let me see, you're going to be more talented how? You lost 4 of 6 of the top WRs? Of the 12 INT's they had, 10 of them just left. That poster failed to recognize that Fairley and Cam were part of that stellar recruiting and, while they got their title, they won't be much help next year.

The great thing about college football is that players leave.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Philosophical Question...

So, $cam and crew have made me think about some deep issues. Of course, he's announced he's going pro, and Fairley has too. They really had a perfect storm of recruiting and senior leadership, which is usually what it takes to win a championship unless you are insanely talented. So those 2 mercenaries are going to play exactly 14 games for the War Chickens. So here's the question:

Would you take a 14-0 national championship run with 2 JUCO one hit wonders if it meant you went into the tank the next year?

It's easy to just say "of course", but you have to think about the longevity of the program and what is best. Is it best to build a program around a Murray or a season around a Newton? Just looking at their roster, it's staggering what they lose. Their 22 seniors consist of:

Etheridge - DB
Washington - DB
Bynes - LB
Burns - WR

Byrum - K
Caudle - 2009 starter & back-up QB
Fannin - 3rd down back
Carter - DE
Pugh - Center
Goggans - DE
Ziemba - OL
Zachary - WR
Clayton - DL

They lose 4 of their starting 5 on the OL and their 2 back-ups at the guard spots were also seniors. They lose 2 of 3 starting WR, they lose their starting, Heisman trophy winning QB and replace him w/ a guy named Barrett Trotter, who looks a lot more like Joe Cox and went to a school w/ the word "Christian" in the name. Just sayin'.

With Fairley leaving, they'll lose 3 of their 4 DL. 2 of their 3 LBs graduate. 2 of their starting 4 DBs graduate and their other 2 are juniors.

Their kicker and their punter were seniors. And their best kick returner was Washington. They will AT LEAST lose 14 of 22 starters on offense and defense (7 on both sides of the ball). And both their specialist. And 4 of those 8 coming back are juniors. Except for Dyer and McCaleb, there's not that many ball players in that bunch, either.

They play @ Clemson, @ South Carolina, @ Arkansas, @ LSU, and @ Georgia.

They also host Florida, Miss. St. and Bama.

I'm calling it. They're going 6-6 next year and they might not make a bowl. So, would you trade a BCS title for 5-7 and not going to a bowl the next year. (I know, I know, we didn't win the BCS and almost did that this year…but it's not like you wanted to.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ringing the bell on the 2010 season, finally...

Well, it's all over with but the investigation. Can I say I really don't like Chizik? And, no, I don't know if I've spelled his name right, and I've made the personal decision to not really learn how to spell his name. I've always felt a little bit of a kindred spirit with LSU. I've always kind of viewed them as kind of the UGA of the West. I didn't mind them winning championships. I hate Florida, and I couldn't stand Tebow on so many levels…but I respected him. You knew Tebow did it right, even if you hated the way he did it. And I've never minded seeing Bama win a title. Their fans are way more annoying than their team. But there's nothing to feel good about this Auburn team. Newton is not cheerable. Fairley is not cheerable. Chizik can't answer a question on the podium w/ a straight answer. Just answer the question Gene. I still believe they're cheaters. I'll always think that.

But it's over now, and I'm reminded of a few things. Spread offenses don't work in the SEC. Oregon runs a spread. They have a mobile QB and use multiple formations and motions. Auburn runs the wing T. Florida ran the wing T. The spread that works in the SEC is not with a QB that can run, but with a Running Back that can throw. You don't need Pat White to run the spread in the SEC, you need Charley Trippi. How many times have we seen an SEC D-line absolutely dominate a National Title game? We have one guy that looks like Justin Houston. Auburn has 4-5, and that made all the difference. But can someone please explain to me why Cam doesn't talk to any cameras after the game. That situation over there smells.

Kelley made some ballsy decisions that our guy would never make, but he also made some stupid decisions. He should have gone for the FG on the 1. Get w/in 5 and the TD takes the lead, and who knows what that last drive would be like if Auburn was trailing. Cam looked tight the whole game. But, as I said last week, recruits can make a difference. I don't understand radio guys that poo-poo recruiting. Newton, Fairley and Dyer didn't play for Auburn last year. Those 3 were clearly the difference in the game. They needed all three to win the game. And, boy, Ontario McCaleb is fast, but he gets a lot of pub for not doing much. He always has a few highlights, but he's useless between the tackles. I am curious to see if Richt follows through with his vow to be cutting edge. A fake FG in the Dome would let me know that's true. The thing I like about Oregon is that they expect everyone on the team to be football players

That being all said, things can change real fast. 4 years ago, Stanford was 1-11 and we called that conference the PAC-1. And we joked that no one would ever compete w/ USC. Now USC is on probation, their coach is playing at Soldier Field this weekend, and Stanford and Oregon will finish #4 & #3 respectively. I do really buy what Richt says that he doesn't believe we're not that far off. We're not. Auburn went 8-5 last year. How far off were they? They lost to a bad UK team in Auburn and lost to a bad UGA team. They got boat-raced by LSU and Akansas lit them up. Something changed. Are we capable of it? I know that we'll have the best player at the most important position in almost every game we'll play. The interesting thing is that we'll play our best two QBs the first 2 weeks of the season. But it starts w/ defense, guys. That's it. We've got to get better on defense.

Oh, and S & C means something because Auburn sure does look different in their unis than we do. We've got some work to do, but be encouraged, it's a new beginning. I like my job and I'd work my rear end off it I knew I'd lose it next year if I didn't perform. Bet you'd do the same. Let's hope Mark Richt does the same.

Go Dawgs!
Beat Boise!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It can change in a hurry...

It may sound a little crazy, but you need to read this article:

The Under Armour game is Wednesday night, and a few could commit then. It's been a bad, bad few months. But it can change in a hurry. Bama went 6-6 and signed a few guys named Ingram, Julio, Darreus, and Cody. Auburn went 7-5 and signed a few guys named Dyer, Newton, and Fairley. Both went 12-0 the next year. We've got a lot to fix. And I don't know if Richt can do it. I don't know if Coach T will work, but I hope he does. I don't know if Coach Richt will be bold, but I hope he can. But I know a few game changers can sho nuff change the game. Talent never hurts, and we desperately need some talent. Better talent. S&C is a big deal, but Justin Houston and Alec Ogletree seem to look fine w/ our program. I think they're just made that way. We need a few more guys made that way. The dream team could help.

Mark Richt won't save his job starting on Jan. 3. He'll save it on Feb. 3.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shifting through the wreckage....again

Well, I'm a positive spin guy, so I'll look for it. I told all of you, win or lose in Memphis, it really didn't change the fact that this season was a train wreck. We have had a lot to fix all year. If we'd have won 54-0, we'd still have had a lot to fix. And that's the positive note. Perhaps winning would have clouded the judgment of everyone in our program. Perhaps we'd have felt like last year. We kind of felt good after a crappy season because we beat Auburn, Tech, and won the bowl. And we don't need to feel good about this in any way. Sure, you want to have a winning record, but, more than anything, our guys (the 20 year olds and the 50 year olds) need to have bellies full of hot urine for the next 8 months. So, if it inspires us more…good. We don't need to feel good. We need to be angry and arrive on Peachtree St. w/ a bad, bad taste in our mouths.

Watching games this weekend, it's hard not to be discouraged about our staff. There are so many out there that could do more w/ what we've got: Edsall @ Uconn and Patterson, to name a couple. But I just don't think it's going to happen. And, frankly, it's hard to base that decision on one game. To me, we had to beat Tech and get to a bowl. I just don't think you change your mind because of the bowl.

In the long run, losing a bowl doesn't mean that much. Heck, even going to a meaningless bowl and losing means nothing. Just a few examples.

-UGA loses Music City and then goes 13-1 SEC champs
-Florida loses Cap. One and goes 13-1 Nat. champs
-Bama loses to Utah then goes 14-0 Nat. champs

It just doesn't mean all that much in the long run. BTW, I looked back and Greeney threw 2 picks in that Music City Bowl. Go figure. He also came out and struggled in the next 2 monster games to open the season and guys named Fred Gibson and David Pollack bailed us out. Greeney got on track after that and led us on a magical run. Of course, he didn't wear gloves.

The list is so long about what we need to fix, but here's mine:

-We are weak, weak, weak up front. We've got to get bigger, meaner, stronger, and nastier on both lines
-Our DBs stink, for the most part
-Our RBs are nothing special
-Our WRs don't work to get open
-We coach scared and timid
-We have no sense of urgency or fire

On a side note, after TCU's win in Pasedena today, UGA's win over Hawaii in the '08 Sugar Bowl remains the only win of a BCS school over a non-AQ school in a BCS bowl. How did he get that team so up to play that game? And how were we so good that year? That wasn't 2002 or 2005, that was 2007 and not that long ago. I loved everything about that team. We were mean, nasty, got lots of personal fouls and didn't care because we were going to stone you, sack you, intercept you, then outscore you -- dramatically. And we were going to wear black when we did it. I just don't get it. What happened?

And the last side note. Boy, it's a been a bad week for Jim Delaney, the Big 10 commissioner. You're premier player on your premiere team gets suspended along w/ 4 others for breaking NCAA rules, the Sugar Bowl President rats you out by saying he basically talked you into not suspending them for the bowl because he wanted a good game, you go 0-4 on Jan. 1, and even your shiniest new toy, Nebraska, loses in the Holiday bowl to an unranked and bad Washington team. Mark Richt had a bad week. Jim Delaney's was worse.

And it's entirely possible that UCF is better than Uconn.