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BookFacing With Coach Boom

BookFacing With Coach Boom

‘It May Not Have Been The Ending We Wanted, But It Was Ours.”

On a sidenote, whoever was in charge of these videos this year is a DGD.

Send Aaron Murray to New York

I was watching BCS Countdown last night and the questioned was posed by Rece Davis who should go to New York besides Jamesis Winston. Neither Jessie Palmer or David Pollack had an answer. AJ McCarron had a brutal loss Saturday, Jordan Lynch has played nobody at Northern Illinois, and Bryce Petty is out after his embarrassing performance against Oklahoma State last week.

I have a suggestion….Aaron Murray. The Charleston Post and Courier’s Gene Sapakoff brought it my attention in his campaign for Murray as the Heisman winner this morning. Now I am a “innocent until proven guilty” guy so Jamesis Winston should win the award unless he is charged in the sexual assault investigation. Look at Murray’s resume. He is the only quarterback in the nation with two wins over BCS top 15 teams (South Carolina and LSU). He is also thrown for 1,345 yards, 10 TDS, 2 Ints, and 4 rushing touchdowns against Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, and LSU. Murray did not play as well against Missouri but who would with three of your four starting receivers out.

According to The Heisman Trust mission statement “the Heisman trophy recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perserverance, and hard work.”

With all the adversity that UGA has been through this season does any player capture the spirit of this word other than Aaron Murray? Send him to New York!


Auburn Proving Me Wrong

I did this post back in the summer. I said that Nick Marshall at QB for Auburn would prove to be a bad thing and that Guz Malzahn would not be successful.

If I am anything, I am fair.  I will do something that folks like Bill Shanks refuse to do.

I will say I was wrong.

Now, when I wrote that piece I truly believed what I said.  Marshall’s success at a QB was mixed in junior college, and neither Alabama nor Georgia wanted him as a QB when he was being heavily recruited.  Malzhan’s offense at Auburn wasn’t as impressive as the people on the Plains would lead you to believe.  It simply wasn’t.

You also can’t discount the tremendous amount of luck that has befallen the Tigers.  Most teams go a decade without having one fluke, crazy or lucky play go their way.  Auburn has had it happen in their favor twice in back to back games.

But, with all that said, the Auburn Tigers are heading to Atlanta for the second time in four years.  Even with lucky plays going your way, you don’t go toe to toe with Nick Saban and the mighty Crimson Tide and come out the victor unless you’ve done a lot of things right.

It will be interesting to see if Auburn can sustain itself long term.  I think the jury is still out in that regard.  But for the time being, I am man enough to say I was wrong and everyone deserves a pat on the back.  A very remarkable job.


Grantham Staying-Big Gamble For Richt

I posted last week that it was my opinion that UGA should retain Todd Grantham.

I wanted to write that before the Tech game becuase nothing that would happen on the Flats would change my mind.  Of course, when we were down 20-0, I was thinking about changing my stance.  But, the defense actually played pretty well.  We got burned by the deep ball several times, but the defense played the option well and made the excellent halftime adjustments to help us get back in the game.

Now, I am not blind to the compelling reasons why he should go.  I have long said that it baffles me why fans for years would be willing to give Grantham and the defense a pass while critcize Bobo and Murray.  The defense is to blame in the big game blunders, not the offense, many times.  That meme has finally turned around this year, but it has been the same for the past several years.  Bobo gets the blame; Grantham has deserved it.   As I said last week, I am not in love with Grantham and it wouldn’t have hurt my feelings if last night Richt said they were going to make a change and the GAs would coach the defense for the bowl game in the interim.

To summarize, the biggest reason why is the youth on the defense, and we are returning pratically everyone next season.  I think it is better to move forward with the pieces we have under the current scheme and let the young guys get better with another year of learning the system.  In 2011, the defense, coached by the same guys, was one of the best in the enitre country.  That was Year 2 under Grantham.  Most of the guys who are on the team that got signifigant playing time this year will be in Year 2 of the scheme.

If the defense struggles agian next year, and we squander all the talent we have on the team in 2014 becuase of repeated mistakes on defense, then I think Richt’s goodwill he had built back up the last couple of years will be spent up. .

The decision to hire Grantham was extremely important for Richt to save his job.  The decision to retain Grantham  will prove to be of equal extreme importance for Richt to retain his as well.

Like I said last week, if Richt loses this gamble, then it won’t matter becuase a new head coach will be bringing in his own guy anyway in 2014.



A Dawg Nation Thanksgiving

“And dear lord, I prayed, please bless those not as fortunate as I.”

On behalf of all of us here at TGT, we wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. 

As Bulldogs, it goes without saying that we have so much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that out of all the college towns in the country, we get to call the greatest of them all, Athens, home.

I’m thankful for an open west end zone at Sanford Stadium, offering an ever constant window to the rest of campus.

Im thankful for the Loran Smith and Larry Munson impersonators all around the Georgia fan base, and for the fond memories over the years from Larry on the radio. “Get the picture, now…”

I’m thankful for Mark Richt. At times, the program is not where we’d like it to be, but it beats the heck out of the wilderness of UGA football in the time before. And we don’t worry about our head coach embarrassing the program off the field, a la Petrino or Kiffin.

I’m thankful for the greatest mascot in all of sports, Uga.

I’m thankful for the second family many of us have that is rooted in six or so Saturdays a season – our tailgate families.

I’m thankful for Herschel.

I’m thankful to my parents for raising me as a Bulldog fan.

I’m thankful that we’re not nerds.

I’m thankful that the Redcoats don’t play that idiotic Budweiser song. 

I’m thankful for how the silver britches look.

I’m thankful that no matter what Nike does to UGA’s uniforms, it will never, ever include orange.

I’m thankful that Florida is a dumpster fire. As they say, ‘it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks.’

I’m thankful for P-44 Haynes and 47-X takeoff.

I’m thankful that somehow we’re all able to remain steadfast Bulldogs despite perpetual bad luck this program runs into.

I’m thankful that the Bulldog Nation, the south and many other parts were given the gift of Lewis’ humor, and highly thankful that he was a Bulldog.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

UGA Should Retain Grantham

I usually don’t make it a habit of calling for a coach to be fired.  I think people who constantly say “Coach X” should be fired are just clinging to the lowest common denominator.  My opinion doesn’t carry much weight.  I doubt Greg McGarity is one of the few hundred people that might read this article.  But this is a blog where my opinions are put out, so I’ll share it anyway.

Georgia shouldn’t fire Todd Grantham.

I may get accused of being too positive or not wanting to make changes as quickly as others.  I think I was in the small minority of folks who didn’t jump off the Richt bandwagon a few years ago.  My friends remind me I didn’t want Willie Martinez fired after 2008.  That opinion did change after the 2009 Arkansas and Tennessee games.

I am not in love with Grantham.  The defense the last two years has been very bad.  The only reason it was any good in 2012 was becuase of the talent.  Individual players made big plays.  Jones, Ogletree, Rambo, Swann, Jenkins all made big plays.  I thinkt the talent on the team did well despite the coaching.  This year, the youth (and all the attention to the injuries on offense, don’t discount the injuries on the defense either) was a major factor.  But these freshmen are pretty much sophmores at this point, and the same mistakes made in Clemson were made in Auburn.  They haven’t gotten better.

Going back to the 2012 SEC Championship Game, opponents have scored 30 or more points against Georgia 9/13 games.  Not all of that is on the defense-Tennessee and Vanderbilt scored non offensive touchdowns.  But still.  They haven’t played well.   The 2012 defense is historically bad.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement so far.

Georgia will return 10/11 starters next season.  6 of the 11 starters this year were freshmen or sophomores.  The biggest problem seems to be the players this year don’t understand the complicated system Grantham employs.

The thing I look to is the 2011 unit.  That unit was full of NFL talent, and was one of the best defenses in the country.  Yes, they gave up 20.6 ppg, but if you remember, that season the offense caused many teams to score on them.  If you take away all the scores opposing teams had when the defense wasn’t on the field, the UGA defense was giving up somewhere around 15 ppg.  For proof of that, look at UGA’s total defense.  That number was 277.2 ypg.  That was 4th in the SEC, ahead of Florida and just about on par with LSU.  In fact, that was good for 5th in the entire country.  The 2011 defense was on par with Alabama and LSU in many areas.  Turnover margin, 3rd down conversions, etc… Go to and see for yourself if you don’t trust me.   And don’t say that UGA’s schedule was weak.  LSU, UGA and Alabama shared 5 common opponents that season.  Their schedules were all similar (though LSU did have the toughest).

2011 was Year 2 of Grantham’s system and the defense played like they should play-great.

The 2014 team will return most of its starters on offense and defense.  The offense should continue to be good.  The defense should take the next step with most of players in year 2 of Grantham’s system.  Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?  The results are there.  We know Grantham can coach an excellent unit.  Will he?  That is multi-million dollar question.  Becuase…

This is a tough position for Richt to be in.  If he fires Grantham (and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be sad if he were to leave), then he has to make another hire and run the risk of breaking in a new system again.  If Richt retains Grantham, and the defense flat out sucks, then all the good will Richt built back up since the 2010 debacle will be gone and we will hear “hot seat” talk again.   The comparisions of Mack Brown going through coordinators and shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic will be made.

It is my opinion that Richt should stick it out with Grantham.  If it works out, then Georgia should get back to having a great year in 2014.  If it doesn’t work out, well UGA’s new head coach can then worry about finding a new DC.


PS…one thing that is not talked about is Bobo.  Bobo needs to be the highest paid assistant on the staff.  He deserves it, and if we do make a change at DC, then Richt will have to pay a new DC a ton of money to get the guy we want.  Whoever it is will be paid more than Bobo, and that just isn’t right. Think about your job.  If you are successful, and they have to replace a co-worker and the new person they bring in is making twice what you make, how would that make you feel? Bobo needs to have a big payday.

Typical Tech

I won’t dignify Bill Shanks’ latest column in the Macon Telegraph with a link,  and I actually feel dumber after reading it.

I’ll spare you the pain of having to read that crap, but here are some highlights:

Bill Shanks called the Georgia-Georgia Tech programs turkeys becuase the game this weekend didn’t mean anything.  The only thing at stake is the winner can brag about having 8 wins and the loser will have seven wins and five losses, which should make the loser of the game downright angry.

First off, what is on the line is pride, as in any rivalry game.  This game never means anything except a chance for Tech fans to come out of the wood work and make fun of injured players, dead animals, dead announcers and brag about how much money they are going to make.

This game doesn’t mean anything becuase Tech sucks year after year.  It is an important game for Georgia to win, becuase at Georgia we have expectations.  We might fall short of them, but our expectation is to win every game. Even in years where expecations are tempered, we always expect to beat Tech.  Becuase they are Tech.

This game could be a premier rivalry in college football if Tech wasn’t Tech.  Georgia has been ranked high many times going into the Tech game. This game could have more meaning if Tech would hold up its end of the deal more often.

2001:  UGA 19/GT 21
2002:  UGA 5/GT NR
2003: UGA 5/GT NR
2004:  UGA 8/GT NR
2005:  UGA 13/GT 20
2006:  UGA NR/GT 16
2007:  UGA 6/GT NR
2008:  UGA 13/GT 18
2009:  UGA NR/GT 7
2010:  Both NR
2011:  UGA 13/GT  25
2012: UGA 3/GT NR

Only twice since 2001 has Georgia Tech been ranked and Georgia not been.  5 times, Tech has been the unranked team between the two.  5 times since 2001-5!-Georgia has been ranked 8 or better against Tech.  Three times it has been ranked in the top 5.

If Georgia loses Saturday, it will be devistating.  I’ll be pissed for losing to Georgia Tech and losing 5 times this season.  Tech fans will just be pissed about losing to Georgia should they lose.    Since 2001,  Georgia Tech has lost 5 or more games 10 times…every year except 2008 and 2009.  Losing 5 games in a season is the exception to the norm for Georgia; losing 5 games is typical for Georgia Tech.   Shanks tries to elevate Tech’s program while at the same time degrading UGA’s program, suggesting they are equals.

He talks how the Iron Bowl means something, and Georgia-Georgia Tech should too.  For most of the past decade, the Iron Bowl has either featured an irrelevant Auburn or an irrelevant Alabama team.

So win or lose Saturday, Georgia’s program will be in better shape in the long term becuase they are Georgia, and Tech is Tech.

And if Tech wins, they still have the bowl game to get that 5th loss.  You know they won’t disappoint.


PS…the whole Tech thing wasn’t the most absurd thing Shanks wrote.  Shanks went on to mention that Mercer University’s football team was the best football program in the state.  Yes, Mercer who just started up football this season.  Yes, that Mercer with  no scholarships.  Yes, that Mercer.  Bill thinks Mercer is the best pogram in the state. Not taking anything away from the outstanding job Coach Lamb has done in the program’s first year.  But, still.  Come on, man.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Does Tech’s T Stand For Tacky?

Does Tech’s “T” stand for tacky?

Athens - This will end my crusade, at least until next September, to improve behavior at college football games.

After Georgia-Florida in Jacksonville, Florida players strutted in front of the Georgia fans at game’s end and rubbed in their victory by using obscene gestures.

After Georgia-Auburn, a member of the Georgia staff was hit in the head by a bottle thrown from the stands. So we come to Georgia-Georgia Tech here Saturday.

It was the Tech band that decided to show its collective hindparts.

At haltime, the Yellow Jacket musicians rolled out a Georgia Tech logo and covered the logo at midfield in Sanford Stadium that celebrates this, Georgia’s 100th year of football.

“The band,” said Tech drum major Dana Papp, “takes a lot of pride in our creativity.”


What creativity? All I saw was a group of juvenile horn blowers and drum beaters insulting the Georgia crowd.

It was like going to visit and neighbor’s house and deliberately spilling red wine on a white carpet.

The logo was painted on the stadium grass as a means of showing Georgia’s pride in its centennial season. Naturally, Georgia fans booed the Tech crowd.

“It made the people watch,” another member of the Tech band was quoted as saying. “Even if the response was negative, it was great.”

I thought people who make music in public did so to entertain. Whatever work went into the musical performance Saturday was completely wasted.

If those wusses had wanted to do something to make Georgia Tech look good in Sanford Stadium Saturday, they should have put on pads and gone out and stopped
Garrison Hearst. The Tech defense couldn’t, to the tune of a two-touchdown loss.

And speaking of Garrison Hearst, when he scored his third touchdown of the night, he struck the pose of the figure on the Heisman Trophy, given annually to college football’s most outstanding player.

I suppose he was trying to say, “I deserve the Heisman Trophy.”

I happen to agree, and I would like to see him win it. But I’d like to see him handle his acclaim as humbly and appreciatively as Georgia’s other Heisman winners, Frank Sinkwich and Herschel Walker.

And I happen to think Georgia coach Ray Goff would agree with me.

All this bragging, all this rubbing it in, all this show-boating, all this bottle throwing, comes from, I think, this “in your face” mentality in sports.

ESPN uses “in your face” to promote its sports coverage. “In your face” is just another way of saying, “Up yours.”

It breeds anger, and I don’t think anybody who sees it is impressed one bit.

Would the Tech band like to know what Georgia fans said to describe their little prank?

I heard “tacky” a lot, as well as “low class.”

Yeah, kids, you made quite an impression.

Desitiny Is Fickle

Even before the season began, my wife and I talked about what games we were going to attend.  Living in Macon, having a new baby, and both having jobs that require travel, we had to be strategic with what games we could attend.   It ain’t as easy as it used to be packing up and going to Athens.

We decided we would go to South Carolina, LSU, Missouri and Florida.  I think, all things considered, that was pretty good.  Now, after we went up for the Missouri game, I gave the App State and Kentucky tickets to my brother so he could go.

RANDOM SIDE NOTE: I hate scalpers.  I’d rather give my tickets away or simply tear them up and throw them on the ground than deal with them. 

Usually after the team loses, that is when people give up going or become disinterested.  After the heartbreaking defeat to Auburn, the game was still barely over, I was sitting on my couch and told my wife I want to go to the Kentucky game.  Not becuase it was a night game.  Not becuase I’d have to order ESPNU.  No, the reason I wanted to go to the Kentucky game was becuase I wanted to see Aaron Murray play in Sanford Stadium one last time.  I wanted to stand up and cheer for him on Senior Night.  I had a friend that gave me a free ticket so I wouldn’t have to pay for another after I’ve already paid for two.

That may sound stupid.  I am 1 of 92,746.  My attendence there wasn’t going to make his ovation any louder.  But after watching his performance against Auburn, I thought I owed it to him to show up and cheer him on one last time.  Murray has played his guts out for us for the last four years.  His contributions to the program go well beyond the records, the two SEC East division titles, the wins over Florida, the near chance of winning a National Championship.  His legacy, to me, will be that of a selfless guy who played his heart out while at the same time stabilizing the Georgia program.

Mike Bobo and Mark Richt have certainly had a big part in his development, so they should get credit here.  If there is one thing they have proven they can do, it is coach up and develop quarterbacks.  I don’t think anyone, even if you negative towards them, can deny that.  But Murray’s play has kept both of them gainfully employed by the Univeristy of Georgia.  The program was on rocky ground in 2010 and early 2011.  Murray came in and was the stabilizing force that helped the program go from losing to UCF in the Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2010 to going toe to toe with the mighty Alabama and being 5 yards short of a National Title less than two years later.

I stood up and cheered loud when Aaron’s name was called at the end of the Senior line.   I wore my black per his request.  I had to be there.

The way his career ended at UGA is a damn shame.  My favorite character on one of my favorite TV shows, Ben Linus on Lost, once said that destiny is a fickle bitch.  That fickle bitch showed her face to Aaron Murray Saturday night.  What was to be a celebration of a great career turned sour.

I hate it.  My heart breaks.  Big picture, I am glad Hutson Mason is getting some game time.  He will have two and a half games, and don’t discount the importance of bowl practices, to get ready for next year.  But I don’t care about if this means we lose to Tech.  I don’t care if we lose the bowl game.  Get away from football for just a minute.  I hate it for Murray.  His NFL potential was already limited.   I don’t think he was going to get his shot in the NFL.  He just doesn’t have the NFL size.  But I was hoping he would have the chance.  Now, that chance seems like it is even slimmer than before.  He came back for a final year to win a championship.  It is painfully poetic that his career would end to an injury, becuase injuries ended our Championship dreams this year.

I said last week that I thought Murray was the best QB in UGA history.  I plan on writing more on his impact and what he has done.  But right now, I’m just sad for him and his family.  As we spend Thanksgiving Day eating turkey and pecan pie, Aaron Murray will be recovering from ACL surgery.  As the team prepares to take on their rival on the Flats, Murray will be on crutches watching helplessly from the sideline or on TV. We have much to be thankful for this week.  I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for my beautiful and healthy baby girl.  I’m thankful for my sweet and beatiful wife who puts up with me.  I’m thankful I have a job I enjoy.  I’m thankful that I’m the luckiest guy on this planet who has more to be thankful for than he deserves.

I am also thankful Aaron Murray chose to be a Bulldog.  I am thankful that I got to witness him play and lead us to many victories.  I am thankful I got to see him play Between the Hedges one last time.



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