Archive for September, 2011

Friday Locks

A little late in the afternoon, but still time to make a call to your bookie…

Corbindawg (10-2, 3-0 last week)

Alabama (-4) at Florida-A lot of Star Wars comparisons out there.   The Dark Lord of the Sith Nick Saban will show his young apprentice that life in the SEC is rough and tough.   The speed that Florida has on offense won’t be be enough to stop Alabama’s power on defense.  Using that speed out of the spread last year didn’t hurt Bama, and trying to line up in pro style attack against that Alabama D won’t work out any better.  Tide will use the Force and roll over the Gators. 

Auburn at South Carolina (-10)-Auburn’s defense is terrible.  I predict Garcia will have a huge day.  South Carolina wins easily and Spurrier doesn’t take his foot off the gas. 

Ball State at Oklahoma (-38)- A lot of Chalk here, but OU will run it up if they can.  Stoops does that.  Doesn’t a 56-7 score sound about right?  The Sooners roll…

Kensington (7-3-2, 1-1-1 last week)

N.C. State +10

South Carolina -10

Va Tech -7

Granite (7-5, 1-2 last week)

Texas (-9.5) @ Iowa State                 

WashingtonState@ Colorado (-3)

Baylor (-3.5) @ K-State                     

Ucheedawg (6-5-1, 1-1-1 last week

Texas A & M (+3) @ Arkansas

Auburn @ South Carolina (-10)

Baylor @ Kansas State (+3.5)

Barndawg (1-5-1, 0-3-1 last week)

Washington State at Colorado (-3)

Clemson (+7) at Va Tech

Ga Tech (-10) at NC State

Five Keys Against The Cowbell

1. Pound it, pound it and pound it

State likes to run a no-huddle and wear defenses down. Georgia needs to do what it did last week at Ole Miss – control the game by running the ball like there is no tomorrow. It may not yield style points, but it’ll keep Chris Relf and company on the sidelines.

2. Linebacker play is key

When you play a team like State which likes to rely on misdirection plays within its spread option scheme, you are up against a team counting on you to miss a defensive assignment or open-field tackle. That’s where the linebacker play take credence, namely Jarvis Jones and Cornelius Washington from the outside spots.

3. Be special

If Georgia’s special teams play doesn’t improve, we may be pining for the return of the Father of the Directional Kickoffs – Jon Fabris. Not only is Blair Walsh in a slump, but this team has been caught asleep by two trick plays in the past three games. In both of those instances, the plays turned the game’s momentum, and that can not be afforded against Mississippi State.

4. Consistent Murray

At times, it seems as if there are two Aaron Murrays – the first half version against Florida and South Carolina and the one who plays lights out like he did against USC. Murray needs to be consistently good and not make mistakes that’ll throw Georgia behind.

5. Hit ‘Em Early

For a team which entered the season with high hopes, this has been a disappointing start for Mississippi State. If Georgia can lead early, it could impact MSU’s demeanor, possibly inducing some foolish penalties similar to the first half of the Auburn game.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Mississippi State Game Notes

Sorry I missed the past two weeks.  Here’s the Game Notes again.  If you only want to print the depth chart then it’s on page two.

Mississippi State Game Notes


We occasionally blog about the Braves, but it’s football season and the Bulldogs are the topic de jour.

I feel like the Braves are little kids.  When the calendar struck September, I was amped up for football.  The Braves had a comfortable lead and I was like, “Ok, I am going to focus in the Bulldogs and not watch you as closely.  Now while I am gone y’all mind and don’t cause any trouble while I am gone.  The emergency number is on the fridge.”

Damn.  Just damn.


Happy birthday, Larry!

If you’re a Georgia fan, you have a love affair with a few things – Athens Saturdays, the Dawgs, BBQ and the memories of the gravely voice of one, Larry Munson painting the picture of each Saturday – or as Munson famously said each Saturday, “Get the picture, now….”

For me personally, some of my most vivid childhood memories are of Saturday’s with the Georgia game on TV, and of course with the volume muted and radio turned up with Munson’s call on the radio.

Larry’s not calling games anymore, but he turns 89 years old today. Here at TGT, we’d not only like to wish Larry a happy birthday, but also share some of our favorite Munson memories.

UGA vs. Auburn 2002-Michael Johnson Touchdown catch

Yes, the “hobnail boot” call was more of a vintage call, but this one always holds a special place in my heart. I was a senior in high school, and was watching the game in my living room. Mom and Dad had gone to the grocery store so I was home alone. I had the TV volume turned off and Munson turned on loud. The radio was half a second ahead of the TV, so Munson yelled “Touchdown, oh God a touchdown” as David Greene was letting go of the ball. I went nuts in my living room, started hooping and hollering and I know one of my mommas pillows went across the room. You can’t hear it on this version, but Larry and Scott Howard had a brief conversation prior to the ball. Larry said “It’s the last play of the night.” Scott chimed in and said we didn’t have to score, we could still get a first down. Larry responded it was too far. Always the eternal pessimist, but always the number one fan when things went right. Classic Munson!

Corbin Dawg

Georgia vs. Tennessee 2001, aka, the Hobnail Boot

I didn’t actually hear the call, but it was just something about that win that I’ll always remember. For the 2001 game I was in Perry at the Georgia National Fair (shameless plug…y’all come to Perry! showing steers and heifers for my 4-H project. The Tennessee game is ALWAYS the weekend of the cattle show at the Fair. Before the game started, I tried finding someone with a TV, but it took me about an hour to find one. I watched quarters 2-4 on a little 14 inch portable tv. The more the game when on, the bigger the crowd got in front of that little tv. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, there had to be around 40-50 people watch the game– it was awesome. I will never forget the sound of cheers in that barn when “”David Greene just straightened up and we snuck the fullback over.” When I got home and heard Munson’s call, I knew that I would always have that story.

Barn Dawg

This one stands out not only for the play itself, but for Munson’s call of the action leading up to it. Back in 2001, I was still at Valdosta State (I would transfer to UGA the following summer). I was at home at my apartment that day, settling in to watch the Tennessee game. Having grown up a Georgia fan, I was well adjusted to losing to UT. Even when it seemed like the Dawgs had a shot, especially in Knoxville, it seemed as if something would somehow go wrong – such as Robert Edwards’ injury and Brice Hunter’s dropped pass in 1995.

That day against Tennessee, Munson had Georgia fans on the edge of the seat – causing hopes to rise and fall with his description of the action as it went on, often reminding us, as always, “there’s too much time!.”

It turned out he was right, when Travis Henry caught Georgia’s defense off-guard on a short screen pass which turned into a long touchdown. A former roommate, who was at the game, described the sound at Neyland Stadium, as ‘the loudest place I have ever been.”

That all changed on a quick drive, ended with the now-famous P-44 Haynes, and “MY GOD A TOUCHDOWN! WE JUST STEPPED ON THEIR FACE WITH A HOBNAIL BOOT AND BROKE THEIR NOSE!”

Lugnut Dawg

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Culture Shock

Many of us, those among us working in the South, likely encounter people often who are, as they say, ‘ain’t from here.” Lewis usually had plenty to say about relocated Yankees.

All Shook Up by Culture Shock

There is a group of Atlantans, formerly new Yorkers, who have formed their own support group called “The New York Network.” They get together to whine about all the things they miss about their hometown.

There was a story about the group in the Atlanta papers last week. It said these people missed such things as egg creams.

Quite frankly, I have no idea what an egg cream is, but as an Atlantan who was once held prisoner of war in Chicago, I know what it is like to be ravaged by homesickness.

I lived in Chicago for nearly three years. It was very cold there and the people talked funny.

One day, I met a guy in a bar who also was from the South. I knew that right away when I heard him ask a young lady seated next to him, “Do you think wrestlin’s fake?”

Southerners are known for their ability to engage in clever repartee in such social situations as trying to pick up a date in a bar.

After the young lady moved several seats away fro the man, I began talking with him. It turned out he was from Birmingham, Alabama, and he, too, was homesick.

He told me about a support group to which he belonged, “Grits Anonymous,” for misplaced Southerners.

He invited me to attend the group’s next meeting. It was wonderful. We filled up the host’s Jacuzzi with grits and wallowed around in them until we all felt we could handle Chicago and our homesickness until at least the next meeting.

After some research I found there are other groups of Atlantans who are transplanted Northerners and meet occasionally to deal with problems they have encountered since moving south. There is, for instance, the “Federation of Former New Jersey Americans,” who miss such things as seeing bodies floating in rivers. They meet at Barney’s Waterslide every other Wednesday.

“It’s not what we’re used to, of course,” said the group’s founder, Nick Valentino, from Newark, “but it does help some of our members to cope.”

There’s “We’re from Cleveland,” people who never get to see rivers burn any more. What they do is rent a raft and float down Atlanta’s scenic Chattahoochee River. At lunch time they pour gasoline on the water and roast wienies.

I even discovered a group of transplanted Chicagoans, “The Fruit Loops.” Every time the temperature falls below 60 degrees they take off their clothes and run around outside in hopes of enjoying the invigorating feeling of frostbite once more.

What’s obviously happening in our country is more and more people are leaving their roots to find their fortunes, and this obviously can lead to various forms of culture shock.

I eventually left Chicago for home because I could no longer handle a foreign way of life, and I am certain the people from New York and New Jersey and Cleveland and Chicago will be leaving the South and returning home soon, too.

Bye, y’all.

Interview With 960 The Ref Chris Brame: UGA Point Spreads, NFL, Athens Golf

1.  I was in the money picking UGA to cover the -10.  The -7.5 line for Mississippi State scares me a little, although I think the Georgia Bulldogs win.  What happens Saturday?

Brame: Georgia is just 8-16-2 against the spread since 2008 in conference games.  I’d be careful laying the points.  Though it did open at Georgia minus 4.5, so the movement probably favors the Bulldogs.  As we saw again over the weekend, the Dogs fail time and again to deliver those knockout punches to inferior opponents.  I know Georgia covered the 10 points Saturday, but an obviously overmatched Ole Miss team managed to stay within striking distance for most of the second half.  Also, the last three times Georgia has been a TD favorite at home, they have failed to cover….losing twice straight up.  Now that I’ve proven to your audience that i am a degenerate, on to the game.

Georgia will win.

Mississippi State seduced us last year with a 4-4 conference record and Gator Bowl win.  They beat Georgia, Florida, and Michigan.  But, they were outscored overall in their eight league games and were one of four teams in the conference to be outgained on average in league play (Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss were the others).  Georgia actually outgained them by 73 yards.  A fumble at the goal line and two field goals in two red zone trips left Georgia vulnerable. Chris Relf and  Vick Ballard are dangerous weapons for the Feldmans of the S.e.C and a good measuring stick for what appears to be an improved Georgia defense.  Here’s the play by play from State’s drive last season that erased any hope Georgia had:

M 1-10 M07   MISSISSIPPI STATE drive start at 10:07.

M 1-10 M07   Chris Relf rush for 6 yards to the MS13 (Akeem Dent).

M 2-4  M13   Chris Relf rush for 2 yards to the MS15 (Justin Houston).

M 3-2  M15   Timeout Mississippi State, clock 08:43.

M 3-2  M15   Chris Relf pass complete to Vick Ballard for 15 yards to the MS30,

1ST DOWN MS (Shawn Williams).

M 1-10 M30   Chris Relf rush for 4 yards to the MS34 (Akeem Dent).

M 2-6  M34   Chris Relf rush for 3 yards to the MS37 (Vance Cuff).

M 3-3  M37   Vick Ballard rush for 2 yards to the MS39 (Akeem Dent).

M 4-1  M39   Vick Ballard rush for 4 yards to the MS43, 1ST DOWN MS (Akeem


M 1-10 M43   Vick Ballard rush for 3 yards to the MS46 (Darryl Gamble).

M 2-7  M46   Vick Ballard rush for 21 yards to the GA33, 1ST DOWN MS (Bacarri


M 1-10 G33   Chris Relf pass complete to Arceto Clark for 33 yards to the GA0, 1ST

DOWN MS, TOUCHDOWN, clock 04:22.

Sean Brauchle kick attempt good.

2.  Mike Stoops or Houston Nutt:  which one will be unemployed first?

Stoops.  I had him at the beginning of the year.  I’ll stick with that.  Arizona was dealt a rather twisted schedule this season.  They lost their final five games last year to Stanford, USC, Oregon, Arizona State, and Oklahoma State.  It doesn’t help that four of their first five games this year are against four of those same teams.  They’ve already been blown out by Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Oregon.  They go to Southern Cal this weekend.  If they lose, they’ll be 1-9 over their last ten games with the lone win coming against FCS foe Northern Arizona.

3.  We are 3 games into the NFL season, and let’s play  a little game:  Playoff Pretenders or Contenders.  Tell me if these teams are contenders are pretenders to make the post season:

Detroit Lions-The Lions are, of course, CONTENDERS.  They lead the NFL in point differential and are quarterbacked by Matt Stafford.

     Buffalo Bills-I’m probably being stubborn here.  I know they just beat New England.  But, I don’t think they are better than the Patriots or Jets.  Though the 16 game season isn’t a huge sample and is what drives the “parity” in the NFL more than anything.  After 16 games, the Florida Marlins were 10-6 and tied for first.  They fired their manager two months later.  So, maybe 16 games isn’t long enough for them to be handicapped by the fact  Chan Gailey is their coach…….Still, I’ll say PRETENDERS.

     Oakland Raiders-They play in a weak division and have won 8 in row against the other three rivals.  The Raiders last loss against an AFC west opponent was November 15, 2009……..CONTENDERS

     Atlanta Falcons-Atlanta is giving off a bad odor.  They play in a division with the Saints, and have already dropped one game to the Bucs………PRETENDERS.

     Philadelphia Eagles-Two bad losses in a row, but after watching the nearly unwatchable Monday night game with the Cowboys and Redskins, I think the NFC West is still wide open.  Plus, they still have 3 more games against the NFC West and they play the Dolphins.  If Vick stays in one piece……CONTENDERS

4.  I shifted my attention from the Braves to Bulldogs, and in the meantime, the Braves have really sucked.  Two part question:  If Braves hold onto to their 1 game Wild Card lead, how many games will it take the Brewers to knock the Bravos out of the playoffs?   Since Derek Lowe is over paid and Wren won’t be able to move  him, what can the Braves do to get better in 2012?

The Braves were 4-3 against the Brewers in the regular season.  Swept in Milwaukee,  sweeping them in Atlanta.  However, Hanson and Jurrjens won two of the games.  They’re not likely to pitch.  I still believe the baseball playoffs are a crapshoot.  A year ago, Atlanta was beaten up heading into the postseason and played four one run games against the eventual World Series champions.   While it would be hard to pick them to win, they’d have a shot.

As far as 2012 goes.  Get healthy.  I know that’s beyond Frank Wren’s control.  I’m convinced the free fall this month wouldn’t be happening with a healthy Jurrjens and Hanson.  They need to find a another reliable arm for the bullpen so O’flarhety, Venters, and Kimbrel don’t all finish in the top five in appearances.  If Kris Medlen returns, that could boost the starting rotation.   Dump Lowe.  I know he makes a lot of money.  Paying him not to pitch every four or five days would be better than paying him to.

5.  Had an opportunity to play 18 at the Georgia Club for the first time last week.  It was a beautiful course.  I didn’t take up golf until right before I moved away from Athens, but I have played UGA, the old Creekside Course of Barnett Shoals, Lane Creek, the Georgia Club, and Double Oaks in Commerce.  What is your favorite course to play in the Athens area?

I like UGA.  It’s a wicked course, but, then again, to me every golf course is brutal.  The state park’s courses are underrated.  The Creek at Hard Labor is nice, as is Arrowhead Pointe in Elberton.  Every hole on the back nine runs along Lake Russel.

Catch Chris Brame weekdays, 4-6 on AM 960 or on

How College Football is Like a Martin Scorsese Movie

Multiple Teams in the BCS Since 2001  
Teams Playing For BCS Titles  

(total number of BCS Games in parenthesis)

Other Teams Playing In Multiple BCS games
Miami (3) Virginia Tech (3)
Ohio State (8) Florida State (3)
LSU (4) UGA (3)
Oklahoma (7) West Virginia
Texas (3) Illinois
USC (7) Notre Dame
Florida (4) Boise State
Auburn (2) TCU
Oregon (2) Iowa
Alabama (2) Michigan (3)
Nebraska (1) Penn State

I was watching the Oklahoma-Florida State game a couple of weeks ago, and I was thinking, “Man, Oklahoma is good just about every single year.”  There are teams in College Football that are just good year in and year out.  Truly, there are just a handful of teams at the beginning of the season that have a realistic shot of playing for a national title.  I went through and picked out every team this decade that has played for a BCS National Championship.  Teams in Bold have played for the National Champoinship twice.   Teams in italics have won the BCS National Championship this decade, and teams that are underlined have won it multiple times.

It is like a Judd Apatow, Martin Scorsese, or Cohen Brothers movie.  The plot or story may be different each time, but the same people show up just about everytime. 

The trick to winning a National Chamionship in college football?  Well, for one, you need luck and for the chips to fall.  LSU in 2003 and Georgia in 2002 are no differnet, except what other teams around them did. 

But an elite team has to have a winning pedigree.  You have to make it to multiple BCS games.  Make a BCS game and stay there.  A team that plays for it all just doesn’t show up one season out of nowhere.  Of course, on the list you’ll notice teams like Illinois who played in the 2002 Sugar Bowl and the 2008 Rose Bowl.  I would hardly call Illinois an elite team..things just got right for them a couple of times.  Same with Notre Dame.   Teams like Penn State, Florida State and Georgia were regulars in BCS games at one point but have fallen off now. 

I also thought it was interesting that Virginia Tech, Georgia, Michigan and Florida State have played in 3 BCS game )or about a 1/3 of the decade), and in some cases as many times or more than other teams in the left hand column, but have not played for the whole shebang. 

Just thought this was interesting list. I literally did this in 5 minutes, so if I omitted a team, please forgive me.  A complete list of BCS games can be found here.


NOTE:  Apparently, WordPress doesn’t let you cut and paste charts from Word very well…I do know how to use MS Word pretty well, and it looked better in my original document.

The Grit Tree Welcomes The Fightin Texas Aggies

We here at the Grit Tree would like to officially welcome the Fighting Texas Aggies to the SEC.  This should be your orientation to the conference.  First off, I’d like to pay tribute to you by sharing this:

For our non-Aggie fans, the meaning of all that can be found here.  I put this up when we played y’all (sorry, you all-get used to it) in the Independence Bowl. 

Aggies, welcome aboard!

The Grit Tree

A Closer Look At The UGA Defense

UGA’s scoring defense is 23.3 ppg.  Not that great.

But let’s take a closer look:  Boise State scored 35 points; all on the defense (although the offense didn’t help them out any field postion wise).   Against South Carolina, the defense wasn’t even on the field when South Carolina scored 21 points, yet got charged with it.  And South Carolina got the ball at the UGA 5 following a Crowell fumble; I don’t even think LSU could stop Lattimore from finding the endzone 5 yards out.  So really, 28 points that South Carolina scored can’t be held on the defense.

We shut down Coastal Carolina, but everyone plays a cupcake to pad the stats.  Against Ole Miss, the UGA defense was only one the field for 7 of the 13 points scored.  So instead of calculating UGA’s scoring defense like this:


It should really be calculated like this:

(35+17+0+7)/4, which would equal 14.75.  That is Brain Van Gorder, 2002-2004 levels.

If you want to take out the powder puff Coastal Carolina, the defense has been responsible for 19.67 ppg.  Not too shabby.

Considering that is without Alec Ogletree, I think it is safe to say that the UGA defense has been playing VERY well and if I were Dan Mullen, I would be nervous about finding a way to move the ball on Saturday.