I know if you are reading here, you have already read Blutarsky today. Hardly link anything he does becuase I know people read him first thing. I know I do.
All things Georgia. All things Southern.
I know if you are reading here, you have already read Blutarsky today. Hardly link anything he does becuase I know people read him first thing. I know I do.
I love Twitter and ESPN. Instant access to information, all the football games you could want to watch, and interaction with others in a digital world. But having to fill time for content in a 24 hour cycle, you see there is room where folks mess up.
You also see this across all media, whether it is Fox, CNN or whatever your flavor is. They get a hold of a meme or talking point, and run it to death. But, this is about sports so I’ll spare the news media.
First off, I like how ESPN is now running full court press with the BCS bowls. They were giving the Sugar Bowl extra special treatment last night. Though they didn’t have the big guns like Herbie and Fowler, they did the B-team in Reece Davis, Lou Holtz and Mark May. This grinds my gears. Beucase I remember when Fox had the rights to the BCS bowls, except the Rose Bowl, that ESPN pratically ignored those other games except for highlights. But the Rose Bowl was shown extra importance. Now that ESPN has the rights for the BCS bowls, they are back to giving it proper attention. I get it, they don’t want to promote something they aren’t showing on their network. But it is a misnomer to call yourself the World Wide Leader In Sports. It should be “The World Wide Leader in Sports we show on our networks.”
Anyway, I don’t want to hear the sports media talk about Alabama not wanting to be there. Just like folks say that Georgia didn’t want to be there. Yes, I said yesterday these bowls are meaningless exhibtion games that are glorified commercials, and it doesn’t matter in the context of a successful season. But it also doesn’t mean the players and coaches don’t want to win. I watched Mark Richt’s postgame press conference, and both he and Hutson Mason looked dejected. Arthur Lynch was in near tears. The players and coaches are competitors and want to win at everything they do. As fans, it is just something for us to enjoy. Football on a Thursday night, or more reruns of the Big Bang Theory on TBS? I’ll go with football.
I watched almost 100% of the Sugar Bowl last night. I’ve seen Alabama get down to us in the SEC Championship and to Texas A&M this year. They managed to come back and win, as we are all painfully well aware. I did get the sense that the Alabama sideine was dejected and didn’t have the positive body language they’ve had in those games. But I was listening to Dan Patrick this morning while running out to get some coffee, and he was saying last night was two teams, one had to be there and one wanted to be there.
Sure, Alabama wanted to play for a National Title. But to make comments like that, it just discredits the awesome job Bob Stoops and his team did. Alabama didn’t lay down and quit. They did score 35 points after all.
Why can’t they just say that Oklahoma outplayed and outcoached Alabama? I still think Alabama is the best team in America, would beat just about any team 10 times out of 10, or at worst 8 or 9 times out of 10. But on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Oklahoma played a phenomenial game. And deserves credit.
Saying one team didn’t want to be there is a slap in the face of the great job Oklahoma did.
PS…I can’t stand Bob Stoops. But that doesn’t diminish the great job.
If anything else, the Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska means one thing more than anything else – closure.
You want frustration, this season has been full of it with injuries, unbelievably bad luck, defensive misadventures and haphazard efforts on special teams.
Unless you are playing in a BCS Bowl, a bowl game is pretty much, as Corbin Dawg alluded to earlier, an exhibition. Oh sure, they are fun to go to for fans (me and Lugnut’s dad enjoyed ourselves in Jacksonville) and players get to do some cool things. But for the most part, bowls do not define your season.
Regardless of Georgia’s result in Jacksonville, it does not change the fact that three damning issues exist within the program going into the offseason that would be the same if Georgia would have rallied to win:
- An atrocious defensive secondary
- Bad News Bears special teams play
- Hutson Mason getting a firm enough grasp of the offense
If there is a silver lining, it’s that this team heads into the offseason pissed off. If this team needed a wakeup call, Nebraska may have done Georgia a big favor.
Be Sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!
I have a few thoughts about the Gator Bowl yesterday, but before I jumped in the specifics, I wanted to touch on some big picture thoughts.
I hate when the Dawgs lose. I hate it so bad. I want, and most years expect, Georgia to win every game. I have as unrealistically high expectations on where I want the football program to be as anyone. I was devastated after the Auburn loss, and in the past, I have been devastated by losses in bowl games.
But not anymore. I saw a lot of venom and angst yesterday on Twitter, but I simply don’t care that Georgia lost yesterday. If Georgia had won, I would have felt good, but not have the same feeling of happiness I have when we beat South Carolina, LSU, came back against Tennessee and Tech, and beat Florida for the 3rd year in a row.
Don’t be confused; I am not one to hate on the Bowls. I love watching these games. I stayed up to 12:30 in the morning last night watching UCF beat Baylor. I was glued to Texas A&M and Duke. These are fun games. But in the end, they are just glorified commercials for the sponsors, ways for local towns to fill up hotel rooms, and ESPN to have content and sell advertising space. That is all. The bowls have no merit other than that. Except the National Championship. And I’ll even say the bigger bowls have luster. Living in the South and having the tradition, you want to say you won the Sugar Bowl. The Rose Bowl is important to the Big 10 and Pac 10/12.
But these mediocre bowls are just exhibition games and fun games to watch. How many times yesterday did they talk about the bad playing conditions on the field, yet they let Junior drive his car out on the field and hand over the coin? It was done for pomp and circumstance, and to let Tax Slayer have their spokesmen get TV coverage. I’m sure if this was game in Sanford Stadium, there would be no way in hell a car would be driven on the field, espeically in those conditions.
I saw stats yesterday that UGA is 1-3 in Bowls the last 4 years, or they’ve lost X number of games the last five years and this and that. I hate these stats, because they are intellectually dishonest. If we had won yesterday, UGA would be 2-2 in their last four bowls. Just like with the beating ranked team argument, those stats are only thrown up after a loss. If we had won, no one would say “Hey, Mark Richt is 47-21 his last five years.” But since they lost, it was “Mark Richt is 46-22 his last five years.”
Previously, a bowl win might help you in the polls for next season. But now with the playoff selection committee, the polls are completely irrelevant. And Auburn and Baylor showed that if you start the season unranked, you can still climb up in the hearts and minds of America if you just win the games.
I am not just saying this as a defense mechanism because the Dawgs lost or having sour grapes. It was nice to get a win last year, but did it matter? I mean, it was nice to close out on a win, but last year I was still hung over from the Alabama game. Losing to UCF didn’t keep the Dawgs from signing the Dream Team or winning the SEC East in 2011. Losing to Michigan State didn’t keep Georgia from signing the “Ring Team” or winning the East in 2012. Beating Nebraska last year didn’t do anything to help us for 2012 against Clemson or keep anyone from getting injured this season.
I opened with a quote from one of my favorite movies. I’ll throw in another 80s movie franchise example. In the Rocky movies, what bout was more important-Rocky beating Apollo Creed for the title in Rocky II or beating Ivan Drago in Rocky IV? Clearly, beating Creed was more important. It was for the belt. Did Rocky’s fight against Thunderlips in Rocky III matter? No, it was a charity exhibition.
Like with Ralphie and his Little Orphan Annie Decoder that was thought to be something more than it was, these bowls are just a crummy commercial. Any more or less emotional investment in them is just a waste of time.
The actions in the game certainly frustrated me. Same old, same old.
-I want to get into special teams more in detail later, but how we can’t be competent in the punt return game is maddening. As I was watching UCF last night, every time they received a punt there was no drama. Remember when we had Damien Gary, Thomas Flowers, Mikey Henderson, and Brandon Boykin would could actually make plays? We can’t even field the punts anymore. Man, I long for the days of Logan Gray.
-I think the defense quietly played its best game of the year yesterday, with one glaring mistake. Of course, the glaring mistake was a big one. For all intents and purposes, a 100 yard touchdown pass is not something you see often, especially from Nebraska. And what sucked so bad is as soon as he let it rip, you just knew it was going to the house.
-Gurley was hobbled, it was clear he wasn’t 100% still. But he still had a very good game. I think that if he was 100%, he would have scored on the 3rd and 10 draw play in the closing minutes.
-It seems like Lynch has had some big drops and other miscues this season, but Lynch is still a good player and will be sorely missed. I wish him nothing but the best in his NFL or other future endeavors.
-Not having Matthews or JHC at safety was evident. I hope JHC can get his act together, because I am not sure his leash is going to be incredibly long going forward. He is reminding me an awful lot like Ealey and King.
-Mason did well statistically, but 182 out of his 320 yards (57%) came on little dump offs to Gurley and Douglas, and the one long pass to Bennett. I get the weather didn’t help any, and the O-line protection was shaky, but it seemed he was a little off, hesitant, and held on the ball for way too long. Like I said last week, hopefully he was able to learn something.
I don’t know if I have ever said this, but I am glad this season is over. I love watching the Dawgs play. I pine for it all year. I talk about it all year with friends. Hell, I take the time to blog about it. Football season is fun, even if the team is not doing well. It is even more fun when they are. But this year was an up and down roller coaster of emotions and I’m glad it is came to an end. I’ll be jacked up for the 2014 campaign soon, but right now, I am just glad this year is over and behind us.
It is being floated around that Bobo is going to talk with Georgia Southern after the Gator Bowl. Bobo won’t go to Southern. That would absolutely dumb for a few reasons: One, Southern sucks. Two, with the move up to FBS this year, GSU is going to get their brains beat in for a few years. It is going to take time for the Eagles to have success in the Sunbelt. He’d be setting himself up to fail. Finally, GSU runs the triple option. Not going to have players to run his scheme.
Look, I know folks out there give Bobo a hard time. But let me just shoot it straight with you: if you seriously think Bobo draws plays with a crayon, or think he is a terrible OC, or think that UGA should dump him, or think that just now in 2013 he FINALLY proved himself to you , then you are an idiot. An absolute freaking idiot.
In fact, Mike Bobo’s offense is the best thing about this football team, and it has been for quite sometime. Not only his playcalling abilities, but also throw in his recruiting and his QB development. The man knows what the hell he is doing, and has proved to be very good at it. As Bernie pointed out in this quote-Bobo blistered several coordinators who make more than he does including scoring at least 35 points on: LSU’s John Chavis (44 points; $1.1 million), Georgia Tech’s Ted Roof (41 points; $600,000), South Carolina’s Lorenzo Ward (41 points; $650,000), Auburn’s Ellis Johnson (38 points; $800,000) and Clemson’s Brent Venables (35 points, $800,000)-Bobo’s success isn’t just against the also rans. The job he did in 2013 is especially commendable with all the injuries, and 247Sports recognized that.
Greg McGarity is going to have to dig in to pay Bobo what he deserves. I know Mike Bobo will leave UGA at some point. He is young, ambitious and successful. But Georgia shouldn’t let him leave for just any job. He won’t go to Southern. Coaches’ salaries have gotten really big, even at smaller schools. If Bobo leaves for a Sun Belt job or C-USA job for a million bucks, it will be awful. I can live with him going to a big school for big money. But there is no reason at all he should leave for a small school for “not much money” when Georgia not only can pony up and pay him, but should pony up and pay him.
Georgia has got to make Mike Bobo the highest paid coordinator not only on staff, but in the SEC. He is a former player, the longest tenured coach on the staff, and has proven himself. Name me one coordinator in the SEC who has been in their current position as long as Bobo and who has done as good a job over a 7+ season tenure. I can think of three: Kirby Smart, Ellis Johnson, and John Chavis (though the last two have not been at their current school for that long).
Alabama has kept Kirby Smart. Texas kept Muschamp around for a while. Clemson is stepping up to pay Chad Morris and Brent Venables.
If Georgia lets Bobo leave for financial reasons, then rage and anger on the message boards, in the stands on Saturdays, and on the Bill Shanks show should be directed at the UGA administation. People always ask, “Do you think Alabama and Nick Saban would do X?” I’ll have another question: Do you think the University of Alabama would not properly pay Kirby Smart? Would they let Kirby Smart leave over money? And to Richt’s credit, remember he went out of pocket to pay his guys becuase UGA wouldn’t.
People want to constantly point fingers at Richt as to why Georgia isn’t winning a National Championship. Though a Richt guy, I can see room for criticism. Critics say all issues start at the top, meaning Richt. He has to be the one who is ultimately accountable. Remember that Richt has people over him. If UGA wants to be successful like Alabama, then it does start at the top.
And I don’t mean Richt.
(I also think Richt is under paid, based on what the market is demanding. Look at the other SEC head coaches. Regardless of what you think of Richt, for him to be paid middle of the pack and the same as Hugh Freeze doesn’t make sense. But that is another post for another day)
For the record, I think Georgia wins. Nebraska can’t stop Todd Gurley, and I know our defense can’t stop anyone, but come on. Nebraska ain’t exactly the Auburn Tigers on offense.
But, I am not really concerned with how the game plays out aside from one thing: Hutson Mason getting his experience.
9 wins sounds a whole lot better than 8. It is always better to go into the offseason with a win rather than a loss to have positive energy in recruiting and among the fanbase.
But the way this year has gone, I don’t really care about that. I mean, I’d rather win thatn lose, any day, but winning is on the peripheral of my focus on Wednesday’s game.
2013 was just a funky year. Lots of weird stuff happened. A lot of it was beyond Georgia’s control; a lot of it wasn’t. Lord have mercy, how many times did were we on the edge of our seats and going from cheering wildly to throwing our hats down and cursing?
But the most important thing about the Gator Bowl is getting everyone ready for 2014. So if Hutson Mason throws 4 picks and we lose, but it teaches him something, fine. If by losing the Gator Bowl, it can help in 2014, then so be it.
Winning is important, but winning in 2014 paramount.