Archive for November, 2011

Murray > Stafford

I am a big Stafford fan, but Aaron Murray has done what Stafford couldn’t do. 

He has led the team to the SEC Championship game and a 7-1 conference record.  

Great job Bulldogs.  Great job Coach Richt. 

SEC East Champions for fourth time in Richt’s tenure. How sweet it is!!


Friday Locks

The Grit Tree had a pretty good week last week, going 9-5.  Overall for the year, we are 91-66-6 (57.96)

Granite and Corbin lost on the Hokies last night.  That is what you get for trying to bet the ACC.  The MAC is much safer.

Kensingtondawg (2-1 last week, 21-9-3 overall)

NC State +7.5

Texas -8.5

South Florida -1

Corbindawg (2-1 last week, 23-10-0 overall)

United States Naval Academy -5.5

Georgia -30.5

I lost Virginia Tech last night.

Granite (2-1 last week, 20-13 overall)

I lost VA Tech last night

Cal @ Stanford -17.5

KY @ UGA       -30.5

Ucheedawg (17-15-1 overall, 2-1 last week)

Stanford -17.5
Boston College +24.5
Arkansas  -13

Barndawg (1-2 last week, 10-19-2 overall)

Oklahoma State (-27.5) at Iowa State

Clemson (-7.5) at NC State

Nebraska (-3.5) at Michigan

Excuses, Excuses

Fellow blogger Ben Dukes commented on a post earlier in the week and shared a pet peeve he has with our fanbase.  A big pet peeve I have is that UGA fan’s don’t make excuses downplaying the Bulldogs’ failures, but rather the successes. 

I made the same point two years ago in one of the first articles I wrote.   I still think it rings true. 

I had to wake up extra early this morning and turned the radio on.  The unprofessional, ignorant, head in the sand ignoramoose (h/t Cracker Barrell golf tee puzzles)  Bill Shanks had some replays of a previous show playing.  In it, he was saying that Coach Richt didn’t neeed a contract extension or pay raise for winning 8 games and not beating anyone. 

The truth is, even if Georgia beats LSU for the SEC Championship, there are going to be a large number of detractors (even with in our “fanbase”) that are going to say things like “You didn’t beat anyone”, “You got lucky not to have LSU, Alabama and Arkansas on the schedule”, “You only got in because South Carolina sucks and lost Lattimore”, “Florida is down”.  These are the kind of excuses for success that Bill Shanks and the like are going to make.

What about in 2008?  Georiga was preseason #1 and drew LSU and Alabama out of the West and in 2009, drew LSU and Arkansas.  In the old 12 team schedule, 4 times in a 10 year stretch the Dawgs have a more difficult draw from the West.  Teams are up and down at different times, and the schedule is what it is.  You can only play the teams on your schedule. 

Let’s go back to 2008 for a moment, shall we?  That year, UGA was near consensus preseason #1.  But Phil Steele didn’ place them number one.  Why?  Well, in his 2009 preview magazine, he explains why (pg. 34):

Of the 14 sources from, 10 had GA either #1 or #2 and thier lowest rating was #5 but I had the Bulldogs #9 and 2nd in the SEC East.  Most of my analysis was due to a killer schedule including a brutal 4 game road trip. 

No UGA fan will complain about the difficult schedule playing a factor in the failures of the 2008 season.  Undisciplined play, costly turnovers, bad defense, and no leadership are the reasons I list before I get to the difficult schedule (which it was difficult with Alabama, defending champ LSU on the road and Florida).  But Phil Steele, the expert, lists the schedule as the reason for his reason why he was bearish on the Dawgs.

So to these folks who are going to make up excuses for the success of UGA becuase of the easy schedule:  make excuses for the failures of UGA due to the difficult schedule. 

I mean, the only reason the team has improved is because of the piss poor schedule.  Forget UGA played similar teams a year ago, forget that crappy teams a year ago beat Georgia.  Forget that the defense has gotten better, the running game is more consistent, forget Aaron Murray is re-writing the UGA record book.  Forget that Mark Richt did a helluva job recruiting and has infused the program with elite talent again.  Forget that Coach Richt and the assistants have done a great job this offseason and this season.  Forget the improvment of the offensive line due to Will Friend.  Nah, forget all of that.  The only reason UGA has been improved is the schedule.

If you make excuses-for success or failure-be consistent.


My Biggest Fear

Go to the homepage of CNN or the AJC and see today’s headlines.  Wars in the Middle East.  Bad weather across the Southeast.  Europe and the rest of the world on the brink of financial meltdown.  Nancy Grace on “Dancing with the Stars.” 

Michelle. Bachman.

The world is a scary, confusing place right now. 

With all the problems in the world, nothing scares me more than the Bulldogs somehow losing 5 games. 

Now, I don’t necessarily think that will happen.  It is a foregone conclusion to everyone-including Steve Spurrier-that Georgia will beat Kentucky.  What if-WHAT IF-Georgia screws around against Tech, loses to LSU and whatever Big 10 team we would play in a Bowl?

Sure, Mark Richt wouldn’t be fired, and nor should he be.  But that will mean 5-count them-5 losses.  The Dawgs would be South Carolina 2010 Part II. 

There is a big difference between a 9 win season and a 10 win season.

Now, do I think that would happen?  No.  I think we have a better shot at going 12-2 or 11-3 than going 9-5. 

But we’ve come so far now.  Anyway we slice it, 2011 will be a “good” season and a stark, drastic improvement from 2010.  Going 10-2 and beating Auburn, Tech and Florida for the first time in my lifetime would make it a great season.  Winning the SEC Championship  and playing in the 4th Sugar Bowl since 2002 would be, well, I can’t even describe how awesome it would be. 

It is my fear that we are so close to the finish line, so close to glory again, and somehow, the Dawgs stump their toe.


What Would Herbstreit Say?

I want UGA to win the SEC Championship over LSU for all the obvious reasons, but wouldn’t it be fun to have Georgia win the SEC and (deservedly) not play for the BCS National Championship, then hear the pundits make the case for who should play for it all?  LSU would fall in the polls, and Alabama would probably move into the top 2 of the BCS.

I would love for Herbie to make the case with a straight face that a team who didn’t even win its division should play for the BCS Title. 

That would just be a barrell of monkeys, wouldn’t it.


Gus Malzahn Most Overrated Coordinator In America

Is anyone other than me tired about hearing about how great Gus Malzahn is?  He should flee for the next head coaching job he is offered, because his stock has peaked and it is only going to get lower from here. 

Malzahn got very fortunate to have the greatest player in the SEC since Herschel Walker on his team.  Cam Newton is an offensive coordinator’s dream come true.  He can throw, he can run and he can get you first downs in short yardage situations. 

This is nothing new to me.  I have been saying it for two years, since Auburn was beaten by UGA in a thrilling 2009 game.  Allow me to refresh your memory for a moment:  in that game, Auburn got off to a 14-o lead, and UGA won 31-24.  Auburn only scored 10 points after the first quarter.  Auburn got off to a hot start in 2009, winning its first 5 games before losing going 2-7 down the stretch, going 3-5 in the SEC.   I said it then and I say it now:  Malzahn has the first few plays/series scripted out, then once the game wears on and situations change, he can’t keep up with the speed of the game.  It was obvious then, and it is obvious now.

Go back and look through the box scores of the games this season against their 7 SEC games and Clemson, and you’ll see how they score a majority of their points in the first half.  Also, this season against Arkansas and UGA, they scored all twenty one of their points in those two games in the first quarter.  For six quarters against two of the best teams they have faced, they scored 0 points. 

Opponent 2nd Half Points Total Points Percentage
Mississippi State








South Carolina
















Ole Miss












Now, the obvious outlier there is Ole Miss.  If you take out Ole Miss, the percentage goes from 35 down to 28.  In the SEC, Auburn ranks 9th in the SEC -behind Florida!- at 24.2 ppg.  Auburn also ranks 9th in the SEC in scoring against teams with a winning record at a very poor 14.2 points per game.   (

It is also down from their very first season.  In 2009, Auburn was 3rd in the SEC scoring 33.3 ppg and against teams with a winning record, that number was 25.6.   And that was with Tubberville’s players not equipped to run that scheme.  Against the best teams on its schedule, Auburn is scoring 20 points per game WORSE in 2011 than in 2009.  What has happened to all that innovative recruiting?

I am not trying to hate on Auburn.  They Plainsmen have had a very difficult schedule, playing 4 teams in the top 13 on the road.  I also think Auburn has over achieved this season, doing better than I thought before the season began. 

But I am also tired of hearing how great Gus Malzahn is.  These stats clearly show three things:  1)  Auburn’s offense really suffers without Cam Newton, as would be expected 2) Gus Malzahn, once deviating from the script, cannot put his unit in a position to be successful as the game wears on 3) Good defenses have figured out how to stop Auburn.


Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: College Football

Kimbrel Named NL ROY

In a story that should surprise no one, Craig Kimbrel was unanimously voted today as the NL Rookie of the Year.  I thought Freeman might get some consideration.  Although Kimbrel struggled at times, especially later in the season, he was pretty dominant the whole season.  Considering he was the best rookie to ever play his position, I think it was a pretty clear and easy choice, as did the voters.

Big time congratulations!


Lock Him Up

I say whatever Todd Grantham wants, Todd Grantham gets.  Defense wins championships, and a defense that is only giving up 13 ppg will win you a championship.  We can spend all offseason talking about who is coming back, but the Dawgs will have a TON of talent back from this year’s team back next season. 

 With the all of the talent coming back in 2012, it would be in the best interest to borrow Macon Mayor Robert Reichert’s campaign slogan and let’s “keep a good thing going.” 


Aaron Murray Proves He is Elite

Aaron Murray is having a tremendous year.   Yes, Murray had a terrible game against South Carolina (terrible is relative; 4 TD and 248 yards going 19/29 is good, the 1 INT and fumble for a Melvin Ingram TD was what cost UGA that game).  The 3 INT game against Mississippi State was bad also.   There were some ignorant fans calling for Hutson Mason to get a start or suggesting that Murray be given a short leash was completely wrong.

Murray does have 8 INT.  No getting around that.  But Aaron has the best passer rating in the SEC, leads the conference in yards per attempt and TDs, and is mere tenths of percentage points for being the second most accurate passer in the SEC.  The 27 TD is way better than second place in that category (Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson with 18 TD). 

Nationally, Aaron Murray is 8th in TDs, 12th in passer rating, 15th in yards per attempt.  The national numbers are skewed, though, becuase there are some teams out there (Houston, etc…) that throw it a lot more than Georgia and don’t have as balanced offense as the Dawgs.  Murray ranks 56th in the nation in attempts per game.  There are several players who have 40+ attempts per game. 

Again, like with the Dawgs’ success, I don’t want to hear how Murray has padded his stats against the bottom feeders of the SEC.  SEC is SEC, and all players have stat padding games like Coastal Carolina and New Mexico State.

Aaron Murray has broken all UGA records for a QB in a season, and has 4 games left to completely obliterate that record. 

Aaron Murray is playing at a very elite level.