Archive for January, 2015

Great Weekend For Georgia Basketball

You won’t find much talk about Georgia basketball around here.  For years, living in Macon, I hardly went to games.  I think in six years living in Middle Georgia, I only made it to a couple of games.  I went to an Alabama game for my birthday a few years back, and I went to the Missouri game last year when I was in Athens for work.  Georgia wasn’t great, and I didn’t have internet at my house to watch the weeknight games on ESPN3, so I didn’t get to watch as many games.  The affiliates down there didn’t carry the SEC weeknight games very often.  I’d catch them on Saturdays when I could.

We’ve now abandoned cable and are exclusively Apple TV, so I can now watch them regularly, and living closer to Athens now, I’m planning on going to a couple of upcoming games.  I’ve always liked basketball and growing up it was my favorite sport to play. My basketball career ended in 8th grade when I stopped growing and was no longer the size of a power forward and became the size of a guard.

My short and sweet take on the state of Georgia basketball:  Tyler Dawgden and others post about it more regularly, but I’ve often felt it was hard for Georgia basketball.  One, the fan interest just isn’t there.  Most fans are more concerned with the recruiting rankings than Mark Fox’s unit’s RPI.  The facilities have improved drastically.  Stegemen looks great now.  But for so long, Georgia basketball was an afterthought to fans and administration, and when good players and momentum finally came, the Jim Harrick scandal rocked it to its core.  There were so many challenges facing Georgia, and without the program prestige or commitment, that while Atlanta is a hotbed for talent, the talent wasn’t coming to Athens when other schools like Kentucky, Florida, UNC and Duke can come in and get the great ones.

The biggest challenge facing Mark Fox is his lack of recruiting, thought recently it seems that has gotten better.  Mark Fox is, I belive, a very good ball coach.  But his recruiting leaves a lot to be desired.  Only one player he’s brought in-KCP-could really start at programs like Florida and Kentucky.  Maybe Kenny Gaines.

But I watched the game Saturday and felt so much pride for the program.  TV said Stegeman was sold out (thought it appeared there were seats available).  Georgia knocked off Florida.  The hated Gators!  Georgia is relevent in basketball.  They have entered SEC play poised to make a march to March, instead of playing spoiler or the underdog role.

It’s all about expectations. I don’t want to accept mediocrity, but I know what Georgia is and understand its challenges.   I’d love for more than anything for Georgia to be able to make a postseason run.  But realistically, Georgia is where I’ve always wanted them:  fun to watch, competitive, and relevant.

I’d like more, but I’m happy with what we have now.  What we have now hasn’t happened in a long while.



Nick Saban is Full of Shit

About 7 months ago, UGA defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested for allegedly choking and hitting his girlfriend in a dorm.  Taylor, by the way, is 6’5, 330 lbs.  So, as Mark Richt always does when it comes to violent crimes, kicked Taylor off the team.

About 5 months ago, in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, Alabama brings in a speaker about domestic violence. 

Way to go Coach Saban.  Trying to be proactive and help educate your players to be better men.  I’m sure the positive PR you program received didn’t come into consideration for this decision.

Fast forward to the present day.

Former UGA defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was admitted to Alabama and will be eligible to play right away.

Is this decision based on giving a kid a second chance or trying to get a monster defensive lineman?

You really want to know when Georgia’s 2014 season went south?  When Taylor was dismissed.  I’m not saying that the already improved defense would’ve been leaps and bounds better with Taylor, and I’m not saying that Georgia wouldn’t have found a way to follow its formula to lose 3 games.  But I do think that Taylor could have been a difference maker on this team and his presence might have made a difference at some point this season.

I really like the policy Alabama has.  We are going to educate our players and tell them how bad domestic violence is….but….if a great big defensive lineman that can play nose guard for us can come in and help us out, then we’ll look past his troubled past.

Just how disingenuous can you be?  Just when I thought they couldn’t get any more full of shit over in T-Town, I’m proven wrong.


First Thoughts on Brian Schottenheimer as OC

News broke yesterday of Brian Schottenheimer’s hiring to replace Mike Bobo as Georgia’s offensive coordinator.’
My response:


I had thought that Georgia would land Mike Bloomgren from Stanford, or Kurt Roper. I had heard Schottenheimer’s name mentioned as a possible candidate, but I didn’t think that would transpire.

But it did, so we have to go from there.

I’m still not sure what to think. I don’t know anything about him, really. I know he has experience in the NFL, but to mixed results. I don’t think lack of success in the NFL is any indicator of what he could do in college. In the NFL, so much is dependent on a competent front office and elite quarterback play. A good coach can get fired because of poor front office decisions (see what just happened with the Falcons).

If he was as mediocre as his resume appears, he wouldn’t be an OC in the NFL for almost 10 years. As good a football coach as there is in Jeff Fisher wouldn’t hired him-nor retained him.

We’ll have to just wait and see.

A lot of people are pointing to his lack of recruiting experience as a reason to be somewhat skeptical, but I’m not all that concerned about that. First off, (presumably) John Lilly and Bryan McClendon are still on staff, and those guys are great recruiters. So not much of a drop off there. And for all of Todd Grantham’s faults, he was a good recruiter himself. Now I believe that recruiting (among other things) has improved under Jeremy Pruitt, but Grantham’s recruiting wasn’t bad. Tray Matthews, Josh Harvey Clemons, Jordan Jenkins, Damian Swann, Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins were all brought in under Grantham.

Sure, he won’t be as good a recruiter as Mike Bobo was, but few people could be.

My main question for Schott (I am tired of typing that long name) will be his scheme. Not the complexity of it, as the case was with Grantham. Quite the opposite: the simplicity.

I don’t watch a lot of the NFL. I watch it some, but not religiously like Georgia, SEC and College Football as a whole. But what I watch it is obvious that everyone does the same things. You could watch almost any two NFL teams (with a few exceptions), and take the jerseys off, and it would look identical. It would be difficult to discern who is who. Everything is done so similar.

Teams run the same offenses, same schemes, etc. It all looks the same.

Can a NFL mind have the capacity for abstract thought?

Look at Sony Michel as an example. He is a special back. I think Chubb is the man, but Michel is a special, unique talent. He is not the kind of back you want to run behind a fullback between the tackles every time he touches the ball. But he is a dangerous weapon. Bobo found ways to utilize his talents-giving him sweeps in motion, Wildcat runs, lining him up as the slot receiver and throwing him the ball, etc.

Will Schott know how to use guys that aren’t the cookie cutter ‘pro-style” guys he finds in the pros?

I like a pro-style offense and am glad that Georgia runs it. I’m not advocating to run some type of gimmicky offense.
But when our offense was really at its most dynamic and when Bobo really showed he was emerging as the elite offensive coordinator in the country, the offense was more than a vanilla pro-style attack. Think back to 2012 and the first part of 2013-the offense would come out in a spread look one series, then be in a power formation the next. Murray was a good enough QB to adapt to the change of pace, and Gurley was a good enough back to be versatile enough to run out of multiple formations.  It was hard to prepare for, since it could all change at any given moment.

I don’t know if that will be the case with Schott. Time will tell. But I saw enough of LSU play to know that an NFL offensive mind can have trouble changing things up to make the offense work. I kept waiting for Les Miles to pull another rabbit from his hat to help his struggling offense at times this season. It never really happened. Mark freaking Richt rolled the dice more than Les Miles this season.

I’m not hating on the hire. I’ve got some questions. We’ll see in about 8 months how it all shakes out.