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Joe Cox-Hutson Mason: Too Soon?

I recently took a trip overseas to India. It was an awesome experience, and while I was glad I went, I don’t have ANY desire to go back and was very glad to come home.

I won’t get too much into my trip, but one thing from India is the food is all the same. For the duration of my trip, I had basically the same food every day, 3 meals a day (except the one night where we found a Pizza Hut, and I thought I was in heaven).  Heavy doses of Naan Bread, lentils, and Kingfisher Beer. The Kingfisher wasn’t all bad.

I like Indian food every now and then. Like, once every couple of years. Needless to say, I’ve had my fill for the next decade.

Our weekly ritual is going to Barberitos on Sunday nights. The little girl especially likes it. We went a couple of weeks back, after my return stateside, and ordered her a cheese quesadilla with black beans. She wasn’t eating it, so I reached over and grabbed a triangle to take a bite. The texture of the loose tortilla and the cheese along with the black beans tasted just like Naan Bread and Lentils. Before I could finish chewing, I had a shiver of fear run up my spine. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Instinctively, I grabbed a napkin and spit it out.

“What is wrong?” my wife asked.

“Too much like Naan Bread and lentils. Couldn’t do it. Too soon,” I replied as I reached for my tea to wash the taste out.

You may laugh, but go to India and you’ll understand.

I say all that to say I had a similar moment in regards to Georgia Football. I saw a picture of Hutson Mason from a game. For a fleeting moment, I had visions of Joe Cox. The skinny guy wearing #14 throwing a “catchable” ball. I recoiled in horror with visions of Joe Cox throwing another interception or fumbling yet again.

It was too soon to see that.

My fear is that Hutson Mason will be Joe Cox 2.0.

To be fair, Joe Cox did have some good moments. The 4th quarter of the Colorado game in 2006 was mighty exciting.  In 2009 he threw a lot of touchdowns. 24, or third most in the SEC that season. But he also had 15 very bad moments, which were the 15 interceptions, or second most in the SEC.  The ineptitude vs. Kentucky in 2009 was pretty bad.

Now, I don’t think Mason will be like Joe Cox for three reasons. Todd. Gurley. II. And two more: Keith. Marshall.

The running game in 2009 was inconsistent at best.  And the rest of the skill talent at that time on offense was subpar compared to what we have in Athens this year (A.J. Green obviously excluded). The defense was pretty bad, too. It was poorly coached and didn’t have much talent. At least this bunch will have talent.

We saw some good moments from Mason last season, but we also saw some good moments from Joe Cox before he became the starter. I keep going back to the point that I think Cox tried to do too much too often, becuase he looked around  and didn’t see much else.

Hopefully, Mason will recognize the talent he has around him, and won’t try to be the superhero.

I’m just glad Mason isn’t a Ginger, otherwise I might be in full on anxiety mode.

Corbindawg

Don’t Get Caught Up In Starters

People are concerned about the reports that Ramik Wilson might not be “the starter” against Clemson due to his concussion.

I would be more worried about the risk of him getting another concussion and potentially being medically disqualified like Merritt Hall rather than his playing time against Clemson.

Becuase even though he might not start, or be listed on the first team, I’d be willing to wager that the SEC’s leader in tackles from a year ago still sees a lot of snaps against Clemson.  Even with missed time, he is a stud that will make plays and find his way on the field.

Corbindawg

Eye of the Tiger Part II: A Clemson Fan’s Perspective

NOTE: Our token Clemson friend-come on, we all have one-again was gracious enough to provide us with some insight on his Tigers and offer a prediction. Rub Howard’s Rock predicted a 30-27 nail biter win for his Tigers last year, and wasn’t far off. Hopefully his prediction for this game is like the picks for the rest of the college football season and will prove to be wrong. Below are his unedited comments. 

 

FROM THE EYE OF A TIGER – TAKE TWO

by: Rub Howard’s Rock

Well it’s Clemson’s turn to drive across Lake Hartwell for the season opener. Hopefully the whole team is able to make it (I hear they like to arrest football players in Athens). The stage is set for another great game with both teams in the preseason top 20. Las Vegas has Georgia walking away with an easy victory, but that is yet to be seen. We will all have to wait just a little longer before “Glory, glory” is bugled, the Red Coats march off the field, and the sweat and blood of the players is exchanged. Here’s what you should know about the Clemson Tigers for the 2014 opener.

Offense:

Like Georgia, Clemson has lost their long time (by college standards) quarterback, Tajh Boyd. He will be replaced by Cole Stoudt who is a senior and has been the backup for three years. The loss of Boyd and Sammy Watkins appear to be the reason why Clemson dropped in preseason rankings and is approximately a 10 point underdawg (that’s for you, Georgia fans) in Las Vegas. I am not so sure this is warranted. Don’t get me wrong-Tajh was good, but he also got flustered easily, locked into receivers, and rarely went through his progressions. On numerous occasions over the past two years Cole has stepped in momentarily during prime playing minutes and our offense didn’t miss a beat. Cole is accurate, makes his reads, and releases the ball quickly. However, he is not as nimble as Tajh was running the ball and his deep ball hasn’t been as accurate (this may be improving as he gets practice reps with the first team). While I won’t vouch for his haircut, I will step out and say Cole can do the job and do it well.

The loss of Sammy is more material in my opinion as Clemson’s big play ability is significantly reduced. There is still a tub full of talent at “wide receiver U,” since the offensive scheme attracts receivers. Mike Williams, Germone Hopper, Charone Peake, and Adam Humphries are all back and have quality experience. None are like Sammy, but a few are better than Martavis Bryant (also left early for the NFL) and could be as good as Nuk Hopkins was.

The running back responsibilities will be done by committee again this year. I know this sounds intimidating, but they only let one or two on the field at a time, so the Georgia defense will be peppered with mediocrity. There a few tight ends that will likely see the field and play a vital role. Stanton Seckinger is one and is responsible for the dagger to the Georgia fans’ hearts last year with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jordan Legget, injured last year, is expected to make an impact. The offensive line isn’t much of a concern, but they are still trying to find the right mix which is a little alarming.

Defense:

Clemson’s defense has gone from atrocious to tolerable to could be pretty good. They allowed 14 or fewer points in 7 of 13 games last year. Starters are returned two deep on the defensive line and the defensive ends are back. In addition, the majority of the linebackers return. That said, the secondary is young in a few spots with little to no game experience. Ole Hutson Mason may have a field day Between the Hedges if the recruited talent doesn’t come to fruition. If Malcom Mitchell makes it back for this game, please someone in Athens teach him how to celebrate.

Prediction:

Clemson’s returning defensive front gives me some comfort, but Gurley still scares me. Granted, I weigh about as much as a dressed Georgia white tail deer, so plenty of people fall into that category. However, I’ve seen him in a casual setting off the field and he sticks out like a bulldog in a litter of pugs. He, and he alone, won more than one game for Georgia last year. Georgia’s defense is also bound to be better as Richt pulled off the best magic trick I’ve seen with Grantham going to Louisville. Cole Stoudt will have to grow up fast in front of 90,000, unreasonably angry, Georgia fans and methodically lead the Clemson offense without turning the ball over for Clemson to win. Looking through my pumpkin colored glasses, I think Cole and the Clemson defense is up to the task. Clemson 35 – Georgia 31.

Will The Braves Make the Playoffs, and Will I Care

Lewis Grizzard had a book titled When My Love Returns From the Ladies Room, Will I Be Too Old To Care?.

That is about how I feel about the Braves this season.  This season has been streaky and downright weird.  As of today, the Braves are 6 games out of the Divsion and are tied with San Franciso for the second spot in the NL Wildcard, 2 games behind St. Louis.  The Pirates and the Marlins are nipping at their heels.

Over the course of the next 7 weeks, the Braves have 6 games against the Nats, 6 against Miami, and 5 against the Pirates.

Here is the rest of the schedule:

going for the sweep against Pittsburg tonight, then 4 games at Cincinnati, 3 games at New York Mets, 3 vs. Miami, 3 vs. Philly, 3 at Miami, 3 at Washington, 3 at Texas, 3 vs. Washington, 3 vs. New York, 4 vs. Pittsburgh,  and the final 3 at Philly.

I think that is managable, and the East is not final yet, though I do believe that the Braves will end up in the playoffs as one of the Wild Card teams.

However, even if they do make the playoffs, will I even care?  I am not sure I will.

Apathy is bad thing.

Corbindawg

 

Will Offense Help the Defense in Early 2014?

One of the more idiotic complaints about Mike Bobo was the offense scored too fast, not allowing the defense to properly rest. Many of the these complaints were quieted down last season when it was apparent that Coach Grantham was the one who needed the pitchforks and torches directed his way. I think-finally-people started giving Bobo the respect he deserves.

I never subscribed to that complaint. I mean, the offense the last couple of years has been dynamic. Our guys had the talent to score from any part of the field, on any given play. Think of how many times that Gurley, Marshall, Mitchell, Scott-Wesley turn a simple play into 6. Do you really want Bobo to tell his guys to fall down and not score when you have an open field? This ain’t a video game.

Perhaps if our defense could stop someone on third down, then they could get off the field.

However, I had a thought the other night. Our receiving corps doesn’t have that deep threat right now. Mitchell and JSW’s health is a question. Conley and Bennett have great hands but aren’t speed demons. There are other potential threats, but they are unproven.

The tailbacks are a strength this year. You have obviously have Gurley. Marshall seems to be back to 100%. Michael and Chubb seem to be legit. And Brendan Douglas showed last year is a capable back especially late in games with a fresh set of legs.

I know that Mason has said he likes to run up-tempo. Bobo and Georgia have moved to a more no huddle offense in recent seasons.

But with the deep threats sidelined, a new QB who isn’t as good as Murray, and the obvious strength at tailback-could Georgia go more to a ground based, eat the clock offensive attack this year? This will certainly help the young defense.

It will be interesting to see how it all comes together.

Corbindawg

Top Thursday Night Games of 2014 Season

Though I would never want Georgia to play in one, I love Thursday night games. They are usually pretty good games, and they help get the football weekend off to a good start. And being the only game on that night in most cases, it can get your full attention.

This year, for whatever reason, there just aren’t that many good games on Thursdays. Some weeks were downright terrible games I won’t be watching (OK, I probably will). Of course, the commentary of David Pollack and Jesse Palmer is pretty dreadful, but an improvement of Jesse Palmer and Craig James.

With that said, I found 9 Thursday games I thought were pretty good. I’ve ranked these 9 in order of most compelling.

1. Texas A&M at South Carolina (8/28, 6:00 SEC Network)

There is something about the opening Thursday night and South Carolina football games that just feels right. Both teams are breaking in new QBs and other key pieces. Will be interesting to see how good both teams are as they move on. Oh yeah, the debut of the SEC Network.

2. LSU at Texas A&M (11/27, 7:30 ESPN)

 Texas A&M swaps out Texas for LSU on Thanksgiving night. This could have been 1b, but I think that Texas A&M will have a few losses by this point, while LSU should be in the thick of the Western division race. At any rate, this should be an entertaining game and a nice way to end Turkey day after suffering through the Lions, the Cowboys, and the family.

 3. Auburn at Kansas State (9/18, 7:30 ESPN)

Kansas State plays fundamental football and has slowed Baylor down better than anyone the last few years. Auburn has a tough schedule, and if they are going to have any big aspirations, they have to get out of Manhattan with a win.

4. Arizona at Oregon (10/2, 10:30 ESPN)

 I don’t think Oregon will be a National Title Contender, but the Ducks will still score a bunch of points. Arizona can, too. This will be a fun game.

5. UCLA at Arizona State (9/25, 10:00 FS1)

 UCLA should have a good team this year, and Arizona State should take a step back, but this still should be a fun game to watch.

6. UNC at Duke (11/20, 7:30 ESPN)

A rivalry game that should be fun. Not sure what Duke is going to do this year, and everyone says UNC should be competitive for whatever ACC division they are in. Could be a good game, could be a snooze fest.

7. Boise State vs. Ole Miss (8/28, 8:00 ESPN)

Ole Miss is one of those mediocre teams that is supposed to “be a contender and/or surprise team.” No doubt that Hugh Freeze has recruited like Jackie Sherrill well, so this opening game will be good to see how they look. Boise State is not as good as a couple years ago, but this should still be compelling if only to see how the Rebels look.

8.  Miami at Virginia Tech (10/23, 7:30 ESPN)

 Probably will decide the Coastal Division, or at least put the winner in the driver’s seat. I mean, I guess it will. Duke won this Division last year, so who the hell knows.

 9. Texas Tech at Oklahoma State (9/25, 7:30 ESPN)

This should be a shootout of a game, so something just fun.

 

 

Top College Football Games During Off Weekends

I love football season. I love going to Athens for games Between the Hedges. But one of the downfalls of going to the games is not being able to watch a lot of the other games on TV. Sitting around the house all day in the recliner and watching football all day is pretty good, too. Now, my wife isn’t crazy about these marathon days, but we make do.

And because I am a degenerate, I usually have a vested rooted in interest in many games.

There are 4 weekends this year we know for sure that the Dawgs are off, or will be getting done early in the afternoon due to playing a subpar opponent. And these games aren’t that stressful from a Georgia fan’s perspective, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy some other college football games.

So I went through and cherry picked some of the best (or most interesting) games the two bye days and the Troy and Charleston Southern game days. And the good thing is these games are spread out strategically in the beginning of the season, early in the season but a few weeks in, smack dab in the middle of the season, and then towards the end. So the timing of these contests are important for many different reasons.

September 6 (Open week)

ECU at South Carolina: Steve Spurrier said it best-ECU might be better than some bottom tier Big 10 teams. After a hard fought game against Texas A&M, it will be good to scout South Carolina again before the Dawgs head to Columbia.

Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State: Anytime Ohio State or an Urban Meyer coached team plays a decent out of conference opponent outside a bowl game, it is newsworthy.

Michigan at Notre Dame:   Two teams I really don’t care for, and the hype for this game will be undeservedly off the chart, but this game has also been pretty entertaining the last several years.

Michigan State at Oregon: A potential Rose Bowl or playoff match up features a contrast in styles. My early bet is on Michigan State.

BYU at Texas: this game last year was the time you knew Mack Brown wouldn’t be around much longer. Be interesting to see how Charlie Strong’s does.

September 20 (Troy)

Florida at Alabama: Two things are going to happen here: Florida will get eviscerated, which is always good TV. Or Florida’s offense is legit and they make it a game, in which I enjoy the all mighty Alabama looking mortal. Either way, good TV.

Mississippi State at LSU: People are saying Mississippi State is a quiet contender in the supposedly wide open SEC West. LSU has to replace a ton of talent, like always, and could be down a bit. However, I don’t think Mississippi State will be there. This game will say a lot about the division race and if State is ready to contend.

Clemson at FSU: Clemson will want revenge following last year’s defeat. Hopefully Clemson will have a loss and will be motivated to play well so this one will be halfway competitive.

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech: A good chance to see Tech and their new QB.

Oregon at Washington State: Just because of Mike Leach, and you have to have a late night, high scoring Pac-12 game to fall asleep to.

October 25 (Bye)

South Carolina at Auburn: No explanation here. Fire up the grill, ice down the beer. This is Big Boy SEC Football at its finest.

Ole Miss at LSU: For the reasons I listed above for the Mississippi State-LSU game.

Ohio State vs. Penn State: This could be known as the “Asshole Bowl”. I want to start that petition. Should be a good game. Well, good game for the Big 10.

Arizona at Washington State; Arizona State at Washington: Both make the cut because I’m sure they will be late night games and should be high scoring affairs to just veg out to and put the sleep timer on to drift away after a long day of football.

November 22 (Charleston Southern)

NOTE: If there is a day to start raking some leaves, helping your wife prepare for Thanksgiving, or to do any other task, then this is the day to do it. Just be prepared this is a suckie day.

NOTE 2: When folks complain about this weekend being so bad in the SEC, I say “So what? There are good games in other conferences.” Not this year that I saw.

USC @UCLA: I guess this one will be interesting.

Oklahoma State at Baylor: This has the potential to either be a high scoring shootout, or for Baylor to destroy the Cowpokes.



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