Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Well.....Here We Are

Well Boys, it's hard to believe we're where we are.  I texted Teddy last night this…boy, doesn't that cocktail party get sweeter and sweeter.  I can think of few things greater in football world than waking up on Jan. 8 with UGA #1 at 13-1 and National Champs and Floriday at 12-1 and #2…and there's not a thing they can do about it.  They'll be champions of the Sugar Bowl (maybe over Kent St!!!!!!!), and that's about it.  I suppose they'll get Oregon because they get the first 2 picks, but wouldn't Gators vs. Flashes be a beauty.  BTW, the CFA bowl is a happy group after Saturday.  They stand to get something like Clemson vs. TAMU or LSU.  Either way, it will be 2 10-2 teams. 
As for Saturday….
  • I was thinking this morning about Mark Richt.  I wonder if this will show through the broadcast, but you've got to think Danielson and Verne are pulling for Richt.  Moreover, I'd think nearly everyone in the conference is.  He's a good man.  I hope it's his time.  From an SEC perspective, I think ND has a better chance of beating Bama than us.  I think we're too fast and explosive on offense.  #26 and #12 would look like lightning bolts against that ND secondary.
  • If we pull it off, we'll prove something pretty monumental.  They say it can't happen after 12 years.  "THEY" are stupid.  We've got a great coach who has completely re-made himself and the program.  He's been willing to change everything but the pieces he knew were right (i.e. offense).  Now, we look pretty good.  I just keep thinking about poor Matt Stafford.  We owe that kid a defense.
  • I think we're better, plain and simple.  I think we're playing at a higher level right now.  I watched a good bit of that LSU/Bama game.  LSU beat them every which way but sideways and I'm not convinced LSU is a great team.  Right now, I think the Gators and Dawgs are the best 2 teams in the land.  Have I mentioned who won that head to head match-up?
  • I'm most interested to see what they try on offense.  Can they road grade us with that great line they've got?  I don't know.  I'd be shocked if they could pound us all game.  I think that's the test.  I think we'll get our points on offense, but can we stop their physicality?  And, then, can we get to McCarron and get him a little rattled.  #29 certainly gets me rattled, and I'll bet he's ecstatic to be playing against a pro-style attack again.
  • Of course, I'm interested to see if we can run the ball against them.  I think Murray's going to have get something with his legs, maybe even a designed run or two.  We ran the ball enough against Florida, and I think their D is better.  If we can run it, we're going to win this thing.  It's hard to believe we managed to dominate that first half last year with Crowell gimped up and Carlton Thomas in the line-up.  That was literally our plan:  Gimpy IC and Carlton, with a little Boo mixed in.  And we should have been up on them 21-0. 
Just some random thoughts: 
  • You know why our FG kicking hasn't been that big of a deal this year?  We score TDs. 
  • I can't believe all those guys were suspended 4 games and still came back.  Makes me think they want to make this special.  Saturday at 8 p.m. could be pretty special.
  • You know, in a 4-team playoff, the Cocktail party means very little other than winning the SEC.  Sad face.  I think a 4-team is right, but we'll lose a little charm.  What we gain is that conferences that we can't tell if they're equal or not get a chance to square off against one another.  I still think K-state is a pretty good team.
  • We're the home team Saturday.  We've never worn white in the Dome.  Black jerseys would be…ballsy.  You can bet your bottom dollar we'll be in red, as well we should be.
  • The last 2 times that the SECCG has been a 'semi-final', the lower ranked team won.  Bama was #1 in 2008, Florida was #1 in 2009. 
  • Geno Atkins is tearing up the NFL, if you care, as is Dannell Ellerbe.
  • I don't want to hear about schedules.  We were loaded for bear in 2008 and riding high.  We got Bama and LSU out of the West along with Auburn and stupidly had a cross country trip to Tempe the week before the Bama game.  It was ridiculous. 
This season sure has been fun.  It's hard to believe we're less than 2 years removed from that long ride back from Memphis with my boys sleeping in the back of my truck.  I was sad, but hopeful.  After Boise, I was down and out.  Somehow, though, we started figuring out how to win games.  In Nashville in 2011, we won a game we'd found a way to lose in 2009 and 2010.  In Jax, we found a way to win a game we always lose down there.  Turnovers and down early 17-3, we stormed back and won the dang thing, winning the East and setting the stage for this year.  Enter Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.  It's a really fun team to cheer for and a group of guys that seem to really love each other.  I hope they get what they deserve Saturday night.  They've fought hard for the red and black.
Go Dawgs!
Beat Bama!

Aaron Murray

Quick Tuesday night thoughts after devotion (though not related to football, I don't think).  The devotion was about the blood of Christ, and it'll take blood, sweat and tears on Saturday, so there you go.
  • Took a quick gander at the All-ACC teams.  Clemson has zero on 1st Team Defense and 1 on 2nd Team Defense.  Hopkins, Boyd and Ellington, 2 Linemen and the TE Ford all made All-ACC first team.  That's right, they had 6 First Team All-ACC offensive players and zero on defense.  I don't know why the coaches in that league can't figure it out. 
  • Don't know if you saw Richt's comments about Hutson.  It tells me his jaw is set, and I like Richt when his jaw is set.  He said Hutson would play if Murray went down and out for the game -- too much at stake.  We're in it to win it, boys.  Just 2 short years ago we had Logan Gray returning punts.
As I've been for his career, I'm "all in" on the Murray bandwagon this week.  I think we win because of Murray.  After he wins the next 2, will he be considered the greatest QB in UGA history?  None of that matters, really.  Win the next 2 and his legacy will be set.  I think the kid is just ready. I think he's tired of hearing all the big-game and 'vs. elite defense' crap.  I think he's a DGD of epic proportions and got his brains beat in his freshman year.  I think the lights were a little bright in the dome last year for him.   But, I also think after the 2nd series on Saturday he's going to think "These guys look wide open compared to the Florida game."  That Florida defense is the best in the land for my money, and we beat them.  Murray made the plays on the last drive he had to after a shaky start.  I think he'll shine on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You better be careful...

You know, watching all those games Saturday made me think how careful we need to be with college football.  I was glued to the TV and flipping channels between Fox, CBS, and ABC to watch teams in front of us in the polls.  I'd watch anyway, but it won't matter as much in 2 years when we have the 4 team playoff.  In 2 years, by now teams wil simply be jockeying for position.  K-State is a virtual lock for the Big 12 title and in the mix with 4 teams, even at 11-1.  They don't even think about playing a banged up Klein this week.  Oregon needs only to beat Oregon St. and then win the Pac 12 title.  The games against Cal and Stanford aren't worth kids getting injured.  Georgia and Bama are just counting down to playing in the Dome.  Even a loss to A & M or a colossal upset to Auburn won't ruin Bama's chances.  Win in Atlanta with 1 or 0 losses, and they're in.  Heck, even if we lost to Tech and beat 12-0 Bama, we're probably in.  Then, we're all simply watching Notre Dame, because if they lose, an SEC team or FSU is probably in the mix.  Florida St. and Florida are probably playing for a spot in the top 4 then.  What if FSU beats Florida but loses a crazy game in the ACCCG…but Clemson goes 11-1?  Does Clemson get to go even though they didn't win their division.  Does South Carolina go in that scenario if they beat Clemson, even though they finished THIRD in their division, behind 7-1 UGA and Florida? 

I've been a propoent of the 4 teams because I think scheduling is simply too varied these days.  The thought that we could go 12-1 with wins over the #2 and #1 BCS teams, win the toughest conference in the land that currently has 5 of the top 8 BCS teams in the nation while Notre Dame's best win will end up being over Oklahoma and Oregon's best will will be over Oregon St.  Well, it makes you think that maybe 4 is the way to go.

However, watching AJ McCarron weep on the sidelines made me think we need to watchout.  He understood the significance.  Lose, and those guys aren't going to Atlanta or Miami this year.  Not again.  And all the hard work and dominating wins are for nought.  But in a 4 team playoff in most years, 11-1 Bama who didn't win their division, but lost a tough night game in Tiger Stadium and dominated everyone else…they probably get in.  And I don't know that THAT'S good for college football.  What is good for college football is watching that kid hug his parents because he had the sele-awareness to know that he had just had is Belue to Scott moment when all the chips were on the table.  Had Bama lost that game, we would have stayed at 6 and Bama would have dropped to 5, with LSU at 4.  They would have only needed 1 team to lose to get back in the top 4.

That's why this SEC guy was on the Jim Delaney bandwagon of having only Conference champions in the playoffs.  However, we will have a committee select the teams.  My hope is that they give preference to conference champions and only choose teams that didn't win their division or conference as a last resort.  But sometimes even the last resort won't be a good resort.