Archive for August, 2013

SEC and SECCG Predictions

Corbindawg

East:
Georgia
South Carolina
Florida
Missouri
Vanderbilt
Tennessee
Kentucky

West:
Alabama
LSU
Texas A&M
Ole Miss
Mississippi State
Arkansas
Auburn

SEC Championship Game: Georgia over Alabama
BCS Championship Game: Georgia vs. Ohio State

Ucheedawg

East:
Georgia
Florida
South Carolina
Vanderbilt
Missouri
Tennessee
Kentucky

West:
Alabama
LSU
Texas A&M
Arkansas
Ole Miss
Mississippi State
Auburn

SEC Championship: Alabama over Georgia
BCS: Alabama over Louisville

Kensingtondawg

East:
Georgia
South Carolina
Florida
Tennessee
Vanderbilt
Missouri
Kentucky

West:
Alabama
LSU
Texas A&M
Ole Miss
Auburn
Arkansas
Mississippi State

SEC: Alabama over Georgia
BCS: Alabama over Ohio State

Granite

East:
Georgia
South Carolina
Florida
Vanderbilt
Missouri
Tennessee
Kentucky

West:
Alababma
LSU
Texas A&M
Ole Miss
Arkansas
Auburn
Mississippi State

SEC: Alabama over Georgia
BCS: Alabama over Stanford

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Just Don’t See Dawgs Winning Saturday Night

If you read the Grit Tree often, you know I am an optimistic fan.  I think Georgia is going, or has a chance, to win almost every game.  Rarely do I think we are just going to get beaten.

I can recount a few times I thought we were just going to flat out get beat.  2007, 2009 and 2012 Florida games stand out as ones where I just thought we didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning.

As much as it pains me to say this, I don’t think our Dawgs come out of Death Valley Saturday night as victors.

And you know why I think that?  Georgia will lose because of the offense (in a roundabout way).

The problems with Georgia’s secondary has been well documented.  The healthiest player is Josh Harvey-Clemons, the only player who is ineligible to play!  Now it appears Tray Matthews will be healthy enough to play, but the guy is a true freshman and has had limited practice time to prepare for the high powered Clemson offense.

How are we going to slow down-forget about stopping-Taj Boyd and Sammy Watkins?  I have no beef with Connor Norman-he has been a DGD who has earned his playing time-but I also don’t think he is capable of playing every down against Clemson.  I watched some replays of the Missouri game last year.  There were plays when receivers were running wide open in and then you’d see #11 scampering far behind trying to catch up.

And this is why the offense is not going to be able to keep up.

Look here, I am not one of these detractors who think that Aaron Murray is not good in a big game or just puts up padded, gaudy stats against weaker competition.  I said earlier this week I think he is one of the best QBs in the history of the SEC.  However, in the games Aaron doesn’t play well in, what is the one thing we always say?

That he presses too much.  Tries to make a big play when it isn’t there.

Let’s put aside all the Murray love that has been fostering all offseason.  I see a scenario playing out where Murray goes in thinking “Damn, we are going to have to score 50 to even win.”  A bad throw here or there when trying to make a play gets picked off.  This will give Clemson’s offense to make their big plays on our inexperienced, short manned Secondary.

The defense will actually do a yeoman’s work in slowing down Clemson’s offense, but I am afraid the Georgia offense will do its fair share to help Clemson’s cause.

Final score-Clemson 38, Georgia 27 (which is the UNDER).

I don’t think an opening game loss will ruin the season. I like us to get healthy enough to stop Carolina (their offense is different than Clemson’s and won’t put as much pressure on the secondary anyway), and will improve exponentially by the time LSU and Florida roll around.  I fully expect Georgia to lose to Clemson and win out the rest of the way leading up to a rematch against Alabama and another semi-final for the BCS National Championship.

Now, unlike others who preach doom and gloom (Bill Shanks), I hope I am wrong.  I would love more than anything to report back next week and let you all tell me how wrong I am.

Corbindawg

I Hate To Say I Told You So, But I Told You So

We started blogging in 2009 and the last 4 years have not been the easiest time to be a blogger (well, maybe it  has on second thought, lots of things to discuss).  I am always a “glass half full” guy, and I am a big Mark Richt person.  I need one of those t-shirts that say “Coach Richt is my Dawg.”  I have had my faith tested, and I have had one foot in the water, but I have never been one on to advocate fully for a change at head football coach.

Even when others around me were fed up, I held my ground.  I always thought that after the 2010 season, despite having a losing record, I saw improvement from the awful team in 2009.  That 2009 team will go down for me as one of the worst football teams I’ve ever seen.

Going into the 2011 season, I wrote that the changes in the prorgam were going to be enough to get the ship turned around.  Well, here we are two years later.  The Dawgs are #5 in the country and are legitimate contenders for the SEC and BCS Championship again.  Here is what I said on August 24, 2011:

With 3 more years of Aaron Murray, and young talent like Ray Drew, Malcolm Mitchell, Isaiah Crowell and Jim Jay Rome, Georgia won’t be down for long, regardless of who the coach is.  I think with this infusion of Dream Team talent, plus the stability of Aaron Murray, Georgia is about to go on a run similar to what we saw in the early 2000s.  I am not saying Georgia wins the SEC East this season, but it won’t be long at all.  

If Georgia wins the SEC this year, it will be the first time a team has won their division three consecutive years in 17 years.

It feels good for the Dawgs to be back where they belong.

Corbindawg

 

BBQ Thursday: Smokin Pig, Clemson SC

Smokin Pig

This weekend the wife and I made a short run up to Clemson to visit a good friend and scout out some barbeque before this weekend’s trip.  I knew they would probably be too crowded this weekend and our friend kept telling me all summer that the Grit Tree better do a BBQ Post for The Smokin Pig before the game.  He kept saying that the Smokin Pig was worth the drive over but wouldn’t say more so not to sway my opinion.  So who am I to turn down a BBQ invitation?  And let me say, it was good.  The best description of this place came while we were eating when he said you can find a joint that does one thing exceptionally well but this place does everything good.

The Smokin Pig looks like it may have been an old garage and has a nice waiting area outside with corn hole and tether ball, benches and a large menu board to contemplate while you wait.  We might have waited five minutes and then were called inside to order in a line and then search for a table in a packed restaurant.  Apparently we weren’t the only people who were thinking BBQ Saturday.

Smokin Pig menu

We must have hit the restaurant at a small lull around 1:00 because the wait outside was 5 minutes, no wait in line and we had our food within 10 minutes.  But right after we sat down the place became swamped so I can see why our friend said we may have to wait a while. I decided to go with the pork, brisket and wet rib plate with a side of stew and okra. Among the table we also had some dry ribs, sweet potato fries and sweet potato crunch.  If you go, get a side of sweet potato fries covered in honey and eat them as soon as they hit the table cause they’re much better hot.

All in all I was very happy with the que.  The wet ribs had a very nice crust on the outside and were not sloppy sauced while the dry ribs were good but I still preferred the wet.  The pulled pork had a good smoke flavor but did need a little sauce.  On the table was a sweet molasses which I wasn’t a fan of, a Carolina gold which was very good, a hot which was just the sweet with red pepper but the pepper improved the sauce greatly and a vinegar sauce which fit the pork perfectly. After we finished eating I was told there is an extra hot sauce that is very good but you have to ask your waitress for this. Next time I’ll know. The Brunswick stew was a thin tomato base with pulled pork added which gave it a great smoke flavor but had a tad too much corn for my liking and I know Corbin would refuse to eat any because I found a hunk of potato sunk to the bottom. Now my wife’s favorite part was the brisket. It was so slow cooked that it tasted like roast beef but if you get a bite with the fat cap and burnt seasoning on the outside it couldn’t be beat. Oh and they serve all the plates with a damn good yeast roll.

My Clemson friend asked that I grade the barbeque just to give an idea of my opinion. Keep in mind I also love MAC football and hate wearing shoes so takes these numbers with a grain of salt.
Pulled Pork: 6.5/10 Great smoke flavor but not terribly juicy
Wet Ribs: 8/10 Great crust, moist and not overpowering sauce
Brisket: 8/10 Extremly tender with nice burnt end crisp and fat
Sweet Potato fries: 12/10
Facial Hair: 10/10 Now this place is staffed by all college kids and when we were done eating my friend asked our waitress, who kept our glasses full the whole time which I think is key to a good restaurant (BTW she did not have a beard), about tailgate options.   Well she sent over a young guy who looked like Grizzly Adams with a man beard to give us the low down on the catering menu.  Very nice guy and when we were done sealed the conversation with a strong hand shake.  What more can you ask for?

So if you are passing through the Upstate and have time, I’d definitely recommend the Smokin Pig.

Granite

Smokin Pig plate*So I was an idiot and took a picture of the table instead of my plate so here’s a picture off their facebook page.

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: To My Son

I mean, was there any other choice but this for Lewis Wednesday? The words speak for themselves and need no introduction.

Great moments in a would be father’s life

To my Son, if I ever have one:

Kid, I am writing this on September 3, 1984. I have just returned from Athens, where I spent Saturday watching the University of Georgia, your old dad’s alma matter, play football against Clemson.

While the events of the day were still fresh on my mind, I wanted to recount them so if you are ever born, you can read this and perhaps be able to share one of the great moments in your father’s life.

Saturday was a wonderful day on the Georgia campus.

We are talking blue, cloudless sky, a gentle breeze and a temperature suggesting summer’s end and autumn’s approach.

I said the blessing before we had lunch. I thanked the Lord for three things: fried chicken, potato salad and for the fact he had allowed me the privilege of being a Bulldog.

“And , Dear Lord,” I prayed, “bless all those not as fortunate as I.”

Imagine my son, 82,000 people, most whom were garbed in red, gathered together gazing down on a lush valley of hedge and grass where soon historic sporting combat would be launched.

Clemson was ranked number 2 in the nation, and Georgia, feared too young to compete with the veterans from beyond the river, could only dream, the smart money said, of emerging three hours hence victorious.

They had us 20-6 at the half, son. A man sitting in front of me said, “I just hope we don’t get embarrassed.”

My boy, I had never seen such a thing as came to pass in the second half. Todd Williams threw one long and high, and Herman Archie caught it in the end zone, and it was now 20-13.

Georgia got the ball again and scored again, and it was now 20-20, and my mouth was dry, and my hands were shaking, and this Clemson fan who had been running his mouth the whole ballgame suddenly shut his fat face.

Son, we got ahead 23-20, and the ground trembled and shook, and many were taken by fainting spells.

Clemson’s kicker, Donald Igwebuike, tied it 23-23 and this sacred place became the center of the universe.

Only seconds were left when Georgia’s kicker, Kevin Butler, stood poised in concentration. The ball rushed toward him, and it was placed upon the tee a heartbeat before his right foot launched it heavenward.

A lifetime later, the officials threw their arms aloft. From 60 yards away, Kevin Butler had been true, and Georgia led and would win 26-23.

I hugged perfect strangers and kissed a fat lady on the mouth. Grown men wept. Lightening flashed. Thunder rolled. Stars fell, and joy swept through, fetched by a hurricane of unleashed emotions.

When Georgia beat Alabama 18-17 in 1965, it was a staggering victory. When we came back against Georgia Tech and won 29-28 in1978, the Chapel bell rang all night. When we beat Florida 26-21 in the last seconds in 1980, we called it a miracle. And when we beat Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl that same year for the national championship, a woman pulled up her skirt and showed the world the Bulldog she had sewn on her underbritches.

But Saturday may have been even better than any of those.

Saturday in Athens was a religious experience.

I give this to you, son. Read it and re-read it, and keep it next to your heart. And when people want to know how you wound up with the name “Kevin” let them read it, and then they will know.

Road Tripping: Clemson Edition

Clemson

After nine months of wandering aimlessly without any real football, forced to get our fix through the decision making of 18 year olds, spring practices, Canadian football and God forbid baseball (I don’t understand you people) real football is here.  Saturday Dawg fans will make a short run up 85 to the loveliest village with a lake which by 8:00 will turn into the epicenter of the football universe.  I’m really looking forward to this trip, not only because it is the first game of the year but because I love starting the season on the road and I love non conference road trips.  Yes some would say NW State school for the deaf nuns would be an easier game and UGA’s national title run can make or break in the first game but that happens every week with every game.  I love a good non conference game because we don’t normally have a reason to hate the other fan base so everyone is a little more friendly and you can just enjoy the atmosphere.  This summer I have been able to spend a few weekends in Clemson and learned that the Auburn by the lake joke has some truth to it.  Clemson is a tiny town along the interstate with ag roots, dedication to football, great small town and just replace kids from Marietta with Yankees, trailer parks with a lake and you wouldn’t know the difference.

Who: Clemson Univeristy
Where: Clemson, South Carolina
Game Notes
Stadium: Memorial Stadium, seats 81,500, natural grass
Record: 0-0
Distance: 79.9 miles from Sanford Stadium and is 4 miles closer as the crow flies than Bobby Dodd
How to get there: 441 North to I-85, exit on SC-187 to US-76 and get comfortable cause you’ll be there a while.
In Clemson: What makes Clemson such a great college small town leaves us with some pros and cons come game day.  It is a tiny town with only three ways in and three ways out but once you are in there is plenty to do.  If you get to town early enough and don’t mind fighting the crowd Pot Belly Deli has a great breakfast, if you come up closer to lunch you will not go wrong stopping in at the Smokin Pig.  And if you want to do a tailgate right, there is a Bojangles in Seneca and Clemson.  If you think you can fit in a round of golf Saturday morning or Sunday after the game I’ve been told the Walker course is a great golf course and if you want to enjoy the lake then there are four boat ramps near the stadium and you can enjoy the lake in the morning and the game that afternoon.

But honestly most of us going want to know how to get into town, where to park, what bars are around and how to get out.  Well, back to my first point.  Clemson is a university that has only enough space surrounding it to provide basic necessities.  There are three roads leading in and after the games fewer ways out.  Actually I went ahead and applied for SC citizenship cause I might still be sitting in traffic this time next week.  I plan on coming in from Pendleton and parking at the Botanical Gardens which is a thirty minute walk to the stadium but also closer to I-85 when I’m leaving.  Below I’ve posted a map with the four university general parking options but you may also be able to pay for a spot in one of the local businesses downtown if you get in early enough.  Once you’re in town, game day will be on campus and there are a couple of bars downtown but they will be heavy on college kids.  There is the iconic Esso Club, Mellow Mushroom, Tiger Town Tavern and DT’s.  For food Pot Belly Deli is good, Palmettos restaurant is nice and serves beer and Grouch O’s has good sandwiches.

No matter what you choose you can’t go wrong.  Football season has started, enjoy the day and the company, pick up some fried chicken or bbq, deviled eggs and cold beer.  And as Lewis would say, “Dear Lord, bless all those not as fortunate as I.”  Because on Saturday I will be in Clemson to watch Georgia play and I can’t think of anything better.  Go Dawgs.

Granite

Slide 1Post gameParking and local spots:
Esso Club: 6 mins
Mellow Mushrooms: 12
Douthit Hills Parking: 23
Kite Hill: 35
Botanical Gardens: 30
YMCA Beach: 30

Aaron Murray Shattering Records

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again because by George, it bears repeating*:

We are witnessing something special with Aaron Murray.

Fans may want to complain about this or that. Punks might want to egg his house after a bad loss.

But the bottom line is this: Aaron Murray is one of the best QBs in the history of the SEC and could very well be argued that he is the best to ever play at UGA-behind David Greene. And, if UGA wins the SEC Championship this season, I think you have got to put Aaron in that conversation as best ever at UGA.

I pointed it out after the 2011 season and during the 2012 season. And I am going to point it out again before the 2013 season.

Barring an injury that causes Aaron to miss a significant amount of time, he will leave the SEC as the career leader in touchdowns and passing yards. Going into the season, he ranks 3rd in Passing Efficiency Rating, 10th in all time pass completion percentage…he won’t break those records but still impressive showings.

The young man’s name is going to be in all the record books.

Records are meant to be broken. Murray will have broken Greene’s record in 8.5 years. It won’t be long before someone comes along and breaks Murray’s. It will happen. It always happens.

But, quarterbacks like Murray are special. They don’t come around often. Enjoy him while we have him.

Let’s hope Murray can hoist a few special trophies above his head this season. He certainly deserves it, and it would cement his already outstanding legacy. It would at least get the attention of the national sports media.

Or they could always talk more about Johnny Football

Corbindawg

http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/conferences/sec

*Also, and I know I’ve said this before, but am I the only one who is amused that UGA-a school known for Vince Dooley 3 yards and a cloud of dust, Herschel Walker and the Erk Russell Junkyard Dawg defenses, will have the top 3 passers in the history of the SEC in Murray, David Greene, and Eric Zier?


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