Archive for September, 2009

Early Recruiting Rankings In

This may be a more appropriate story for our resident recruiting expert, Kensingtondawg.  Kensingtondawg really keeps up with this year round; I typically don’t start looking at recruiting until after the season is over with. 

ESPN.com has its early rankings out on the 2010 class.  The Dawgs are currently listed at #3.  I found it surprsing that Tennessee had the 5th best class. 

I was curiours, so I went back  and looked on the site about UGA’s previous classes, going back to 2006.  I also wondered who were the highlighted players from each class.  You decide how that class panned out. 

Year    Rank       Key Players (as of Signing Day)

2006         4         Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Reshad Jones

2007         13      Trinton Sturdivant, Chris Little, Israel Troupe, Logan Gray

2008          5        A.J. Green, Carlton Thomas, Deangelo Tyson, Toby Jackson,     Richard Samuel    

2009         6   Marlon Brown, Washaun Ealey, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenburger, Branden Smith, Orson Charles

What do you think? 

Corbindawg

Go Dawgs!

Georgia over LSU

At least that’s what Phil Steele says. In his Top 25 Weekly Forecast, Mr. Steele calls for the Dawgs to beat the Tigers 27-20.  He’s called 78% correct this year, so let’s hope this one falls into that category.

Geaux Dawgs!

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday 9-30-09

UGA Glory Began With Coach Eaves 
   
  www.lewisgrizzard.com
You look back over your life and you usually see a network of individuals who help you get to wherever it is you happen to be. 

There was an English teacher who encouraged my writing. There was another teacher who taught me to type. God knows how hard it would have been to have had to write it all down in longhand. 

There was a college dean who taught me to love and honor my profession. And this person got me my first job, and that person saw fit to hire me. 

Then there was Joel Eaves. He came close to being the person who changed the direction. He almost made me a PR man. 

Coach Eaves. He was tall and silver-haired with a voice so low and strong, it used to make me think, “That’s probably what God sounds like.” 

Joel Eaves came from Auburn in 1963 to take over as athletic director at the University of Georgia when the department was in near shambles. 

There was that mess about an alleged fix of a football game by Georgia’s Wallace Butts and Alabama’s Bear Bryant. Georgia was averaging three wins a football season and half-empty stadiums in those days. 

But enter Joel Eaves, who shocked the state by bringing in a 30-year- old kid named Vince Dooley to be the new head football coach. Enter Joel Eaves, who could squeeze the green out of a dollar bill and who made the athletic department’s financial situation sound once more. 

I first met him in 1965. I was a 19-year-old kid sportswriter working for the Daily News – Athens’s new morning newspaper. 

I trembled the first time I had to interview him. Walking into his office in the Georgia Coliseum was like walking into an office with the name of Oval. 

Perhaps Coach Eaves sensed my anxiety. He was patient with me, answering each of my questions, most of which, I am sure, were as sophomoric as I was at the time. 

I would interview him often during my last three years at Georgia. He fed me an occasional scoop, invited my young bride and me on a couple of bowl trips and always treated me with respect, something athletic directors are not known for doing when it comes to sportswriters. 

My senior year came along. In early spring Coach Eaves summoned me to his office and offered me the job of assistant sports information director at Georgia. He was willing to pay me $7,200 a year. 

I wanted to take it. I wanted to work for Joel Eaves and I wanted to work for Georgia. My bride wanted me to take it. She enjoyed the bowl trips. 

But Jim Minter, who was executive sports editor of The Atlanta Journal at the time, found me in the Georgia baseball press box a few days later and offered me $160 a week – all the money on Earth – to come to Atlanta and continue as a sportswriter. I took the offer. 

Coach Eaves said, “If you ever decide you made the wrong choice, give me a call.” 

The man died last week. A friend in Athens said, “He just wore out.” 

Coach Eaves had been in a nursing home. 

There’s been a lot of athletic glory at Georgia the past 25-plus years, and let us all remind ourselves it was Joel Eaves who laid the foundation. 

His funeral was at 1 o’clock Saturday. For a reason. Georgia kicks off at 1 o’clock Saturdays. 

Coach Eaves lived 77 good years, and he gave Georgia a large portion of them. We will be forevermore in his debt.

Sadly, we’re not playing the Vandals

Georgia announced today that it will play Idaho State on Nov. 6, 2010.

The Bengals are part of the Big Sky Conference. Sadly, UGA won’t be playing a school within Idaho with one of the coolest names in sports, the Idaho Vandals.

ISU joins an out of conference schedule for 2010 that is lighter than this year’s gauntlet of Oklahoma State and Arizona State. The Dawgs open 2010 at home against Louisiana Lafayette, travel to Colorado and host Georgia Tech.

Tuesday Leans

Updated Standings:

Rank

  Games Behind

1

Corbindawg

.875     0

 

 

2

Kensingtondawg

.667   1.5

 

 

2

Granitedawg

.556   2.5

 

 

4

 Ucheedawg

.333   4.5

Corbindawg

Georgia Tech (-4.5) at Mississippi State- Will Georgia Tech score 4.5 points?  If they do, that will be 4.5 more than the Bizarro Bulldogs score.  After Coach Johnson fixed what was not working, and that is what the great coaches are supposed to do, Tech seems to be playing up to their preseason expectations.  Tech covers in a big way and the nerds will gloat how they will beat the other Bulldogs in November, since that is all they cling to.   

Ohio State (-16.5) at Indiana-   After nearly coming up with the upset over USC, Ohio State has been playing good football the last two weeks.  They have posted consecutive shut outs.  Jim Tressell has been receiving near Willie Martinez levels of criticism in Columbus for his conservative play calling.  Indiana nearly beat Meeeechiagan at the Big House last weekend; nothing would shut up those idiot Buckeye fans more if they beat a team worse than Michigan did.  Look for The Ohio State to cover against Indiana. 

North Carolina State (-1) at Wake Forest-  NC State is giving one to Wake.  Wake is a good, sound football team that plays very smart.  They won’t play smart enough to stop Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson.  After being stymied by a good South Carolina defense, he has caught fire the last week weeks.  He has thrown for over 900 yards and 12 touchdowns after an abysmal performance against the Gamecocks.  NC State was supposed to play spoiler in the ACC Coastal/Atlantic this year.  They will start to prove it this weekend with a win over the Demon Deacons. 

Kensingtondawg

Florida State (-4.5) at Boston College-While Florida State looked embarrassing at home last week to South Florida, they should have no problem with Boston College. The Eagles have MAJOR issues at QB. Expect FSU to bounce back with a conference road win. Take FSU and lay the points.

Arkansas (PK) at Texas A&M-Bobby Petrino is a good coach. Mike Sherman not so good coach. Petrino will not allow the Razorbacks to lose three straight. Take the Hogs.

Houston at UTEP (+ 16.5) Houston is still celebrating a huge win over Texas Tech. Expect a huge hangover against the Miners of UTEP. Take UTEP and the 16.5

Granitedawg

Florida State +5 

Penn State +6.5

Notre Dame -13

Ucheedawg

Clemson (-13.5) at Maryland- Clemson is almost like UGA in the fact that they rarely cover the spread, except when you don’t expect them to. This is one of those cases where they should, so I’m going to take Maryland and the points. Clemson plays to the level of their competition almost as bad as Georgia, and while they may win, it won’t be by 2 TD’s. Take Maryland and the points.

Penn State (-7) at Illinois- Look for the Nittany Lions to try and avenge last weeks loss by racking up the style points against an overmatched Illinois team. Though the Illini typically play PSU pretty tough, I think they get blown out this week. Give the points and take PSU.

UNLV at Nevada (-3.5)- Vegas will be jumping for this game! Take the dog and the points here, UNLV with the outright win against their in-state rival!

Where is Richt without A.J.?

David Hale compared AJ Green to Herschel Walker.  A friend called me Saturday night and made this statement: “Is A.J. Green the Hershel Walker of our generation?” 

I think yes, he is. 

First and foremost, there has not been, nor will there ever be, another player that is greater than Herschel Walker.  There is whole idea in sports that there is going to be the “next” something.  Is: Sidney Crosby the next Wayne Gretsky, Kobe the next Michael Jordan.  Lebron James the next Magic Johnson, Tom Brady the next Joe Montana, etc…? 

There is never going to be another Michael Jordan.  There is never going to be another Hershel Walker.  But for the generation who was not even born when Herschel was stalking the goal lines, is A.J. this generation’s version of Hershel Walker?  We know about the exploits and the on the field talent and what they mean for their teams.  Whenever both of them get on the field, they are the best player.  They can’t be stopped.  They are/were men among boys.   Here is another comparision between the two: what about their contributions to their head coaches’ careers? 

and…

Coach Dooley had 6 SEC titles, 3 of which came when Herschel was lined up in the I. There are many games in the 1980 season we don’t win if it were not for him.  Period.  Also, Coach Dooley wouldn’t be enshrined in bronze on Lumpkin Street if it were not for Herschel Walker.  That is not a controversial statement I don’t think, it is a fact.  Coach Dooley needed #34 to save his job.  If we were in today’s world, Coach Dooley would not have made it out of the 1970s.  1976 was the lone SEC Title in that decade.  We went 5-6 in 1977 and 6-5 in 1979.  We go on to have unlimited success in the early 1980s, followed by years of marginal success in the mid to late 1980s. 

I think AJ is as equally important to Mark Richt’s tenure here at UGA.  Our fan base is spoiled and Richt is a victim of his own success.  At this juncture in his career, Mark Richt is more successful than any other coach in UGA history.   Paul Finebuam wrote this summer that if Coach Richt can’t beat Tech this year, he will be on the hot seat.  I find that line of thinking absurd. 

But unfortunately, we live in an era where Tommy Tuberville gets fired four seasons after going undefeated.  Blogs, muckraking journalist and “The World Wide Leader”, combined with the exorbitant salaries coaches receive, make fans and administrators’ patience very short.  Coaches aren’t given enough time to recruit a young man and see him graduate.  We are a “win now” society.  That is another post for another day.  But I would venture to say that if it were not for A.J. Green, we probably would have lost to Kentucky and Auburn last year.  In those games, he not only made game winning catches, but the catches were so impressive I am not sure that any one of our receivers could have made them.  A.J. turned a 7-5 year to a 10-3 year.  This season, I honestly believe that without A.J. Green, the Bulldogs would be 0-4.  With all fans complaining of a 10-3 campaign, could you imagine if we started 0-4?  “For Sale” billboards would be popping up, and no amount of SEC Titles, Sugar Bowl appearences, adopted children, or good Christian messages would save Mark Richt’s job.  Is that right?  No.  Is it the truth?  Yes. 

Go Dawgs!

Corbindawg

Tuesday Morning Links

Arguably the best O-lineman to ever play at UGA was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor recently. Here’s a video.

The ABH talks about our #1 problem thus far this year.

Speaking of offensive linemen, this years’ group is not pleased with how they have performed.

Did someone mention turnovers?

The Albany Herald gives a good write-up of Green and Houston recieving SEC weekly awards.

And finally, is anyone tired of seeing this?

Big Jeff

We all know about Jeff Owens. We know how badly he was missed last year and what a great player he is. Most importantly though, we know what a great person he is. Big Jeff is a wonderful role model for all of us, no matter the age. If you’re on twitter, you should follow him. A tweet he made last week really caught my eye. He was telling the twitterverse about his plans to visit St. Mary’s and his hopes to inspire a few folks today. That’s big for a college stud. Jeff is a guy who has his priorities in line. Whether it’s participating in FCA or speaking to a group of underprivileged kids, Jeff always seems to be doing “the right thing.” Thanks Jeff.

**Mike Moore is also an active twitterer and has some good stuff, so if you’re into that, he’s here.  And we’re here.

Ucheedawg

Which way do we go from here?

I  made a parallel to the 2007 season last week in referencing our defense and why I think we are capable of turning it around.  I get accused by some of the other co-contributors on this blog for looking at the past too often.  I do feel to get a grasp on the present, you have to get a historical context. 

I had an eerie feeling on Saturday night.  It was “like Deja Vu all over again.” 

Arizona State had an opportunity to go ahead by a field goal with minutes left.  Had they been able to score, I believe that would have been the ball game, as our offense had proven it could not really move the ball with any consistency.  In fact, the only star was A.J. Green.  We somehow manage to get the ball down field in and we  are able to boot a game winning 37 yard field goal as time expired.  It was, as a matter of fact, the first ever game winning field goal of Blair Walsh’s career.   The team, excited with the victory over a subpar opponent, met their kicker out on the field in a large dog pile. 

This sounds a lot like the 2007 Vanderbilt game.  On a day when top teams were upset, UGA went to Nashville, got an early lead, then faltered until late in the 4th quarter.  Our defense came up big; Daryl Gamble forced a fumble that definitely saved a field goal attempt and quite possibly a touchdown.  Our offense had pretty poor evening; Stafford was barely a 50% passer.  The one bright spot was the play of Knowshon Moreno.  Somehow, Stafford led a drive that set up Brandon Coutu to boot a  game winning 37 yard field goal as time expired.  This was  Coutu’s first game winning kick of his career, also.  Much to the chagrin of Coach Richt, the team met the kicker on field to celebrate the victory over a subpar opponent. 

What followed two weeks later on the Banks of the St. John’s River is legendary:

Any excuse to show this again, right?

So, after this unimpressive win over a subpar opponent, where do we go?  Do we fix the five problems that have plagued us this season?  In 2007, we did not have any heart.  You can’t say that about this group of Bulldogs.  Can Coach Richt and his staff, like they did in 2007, find a way to all of a sudden fix what ills this team?

If they can, they are capable of beating anyone in the country.  I said after the 2007 Vanderbilt game we would be lucky to beat Kentucky that year.  I swore at Chicken Express in Watkinsville, GA that we were headed for a 6-6 season.  We turned it around then.  Can this group of Bulldogs (players and coaches) turn it around now?  I think they are capable, but will they?  If they are, they better do it in a hurry. 

Corbindawg

Go Dawgs!

Over/Under Number of Fumbles

From cornerbacks to receivers, from running backs to  quarterbacks, our team has proven it likes to cough up the ball.  Arizona State’s players have probably never even seen rain before living in the desert.

If the weather is messy tonight, how many fumbles will there be? I will guess 5 total.  Three by us (it seems to be the standard) and two from them.

Are there going to be more/less than 5 fumbles tonight?



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