Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Adios Vaya Con Dios Mike Bobo

First off, Mike Bobo should be given hearty “Thank you” from every UGA fan for nearly a 20 year commitment to the University of Georgia.  Secondly, he should be congratulated for making the next step in his career, and nearly tripling his current salary.  I am disappointed he is leaving, but I understand.   You should, too.  If anyone offered any of us at our current position a promotion and triple whatever your salary is, you’d take it.

But it probably isn’t about the money.  I do think that if UGA had ponied up the cash to make Bobo’s pay equal to what he deserved, he’d probably stay.  Or at least stay until something bigger or closer than Colorado State came open.

Despite what any message board comments may say, the coaches are competitive people, starting with Coach Richt.  It is an ego filled, testosterone fueled business.  He is an ambitious, young coach.  He wants to be a head man.  There aren’t many Bud Fosters or John Chavises out there.  Bobo wanted his chance, and he took it.  Good for him and his family.

I had always said that whenever Coach Richt decides to leave, or the time comes for the University to ask him to leave (and it is not yet), I’d want Mike Bobo to be the head coach.  I think Bobo probably wants that, too.  Going away is the best way for him to come back when momma calls.

Some fans will say “good riddance”, and to them I say, shut up.  If that is your mindset today, you abso-freaking-lutely have no idea what in the hell you are talking about.

Let’s take a look at UGA’s point production during the Richt era of calling plays, and then the Bobo era in calling plays:

2002: 32.1
2003: 26.5
2004: 27.9
2005: 29.5
2006: 25.2
2007: 32.6
2008: 31.5
2009: 28.9
2010: 32.1
2011: 32.0
2012: 37.8
2013: 36.7
2014: 41.7

The Bobo years are highlighted in bold.   Sure, ignorant people will say the talent was better, but that doesn’t take into effect who brought the talent in, who is coaching the talent, and who puts the talent in position to make plays.

And 2014 might be his best year yet.  With the exception of Nick Chubb/Todd Gurley, I would say there probably isn’t one offensive player from last year you would replace with someone from say, 2002-2005, 2008, 2012.  His best deep threat receivers were hurt basically half the year, the running back position was shaky at best, and you had a quarterback who struggled throwing it more than 20 yards consistently.

Sure, people will point to a bad call here or there.  I know I did.   By my math, UGA ran about 812 offensive plays in 2014.  Most were very successful.  It is easy to focus on the few bad ones and ignore the good ones.

What do you want from a position coach and coordinator?  You want a good recruiter.  Check.  You want someone who can coach ’em up.  Check.  For a coordinator, you want someone who puts the pieces in place to make the unit successful.  Check.  You also want the dreaded “L” word in the coaching business-loyalty.  Check.

I’m not going to speculate on what this means long-term for UGA.  It probably won’t be good.  Other coaches will leave, either with Bobo or because of the new guy, if they hire an outsider.  The other shoe will drop, and there will be time to speculate and worry about that later.

For now, I am just going to be like Bernie, and say I am happy for Bobo, but be sad for our program because we lost a good damn good one and a Damn Good Dawg.


When Players Are Arrested This Offseason, Remember This

Every program, UGA unfortunately more than others, has a player or players get into some kind of trouble during the offseason.  College kids will be college kids.

So when it happens again at UGA as it inevitably will, please remember this.


About That Squib Kick

I was thinking after Georgia got the ball back late in the 4th Quarter, the headlines and talk about the game would be about how Paul Johnson blew the game.  Afterall, after Georgia seemingly forgot how to field a kick off (again), Georgia Tech recovered essentially a 30 yard onside kick up 4 points with about 4 minutes left.  Our defense hadn’t had much success stopping the run, was dog tired, so Tech just needed to run it up the gut a few times to kill the clock.

What did Paul Johnson do?  He got cute (again).  He seemingly forgot his teams are built to run and had been doing that well all game.  Of course his quarterback fumbled the ball going back for a pass.

Well a Coach screwed up and cost his team the game, but it wasn’t Coach Johnson.

Mark Richt didn’t trust his players to make a play and decided to step in (again).

The squib kick was awful.  It was one of the dumbest decisions I have ever seen.  Georgia has not allowed a kick off return for a TD this season, and is only averaging 20 yards per return (4th best in the SEC).  Return coverage has been excellent, if you don’t kick it out the back of the end zone.

It’s not all that Richt made the bad call.  Look, we are all human.  We make mistakes.  He realized it and owned it.  A lot of times after losses, he gives long, rambling, and evasive answers or explanations.  Not this time.  He owned it and fell on the sword.  I appreciate that.  And Mark Richt is compensated well to make tough decisions in crunch time.  But all coaches make bad calls.

What bothers me is the repeated failure to put trust in the players to make plays, and also the moments of inconsistency with the approach to games.

It is no secret that Georgia plays better when they are playing with aggression and their hair on fire.  See, the Auburn game.  No question, Richt wanted that game.  Fake punts, going for it on 4th down, playing and coaching with aggression.  Think back to all the biggest wins or moments.  They all involve a team that is playing with their hair on fire and with nothing to lose.  We all say it; when a Richt coached team is down in the dumps or counted out, they come out swinging.  They are at their best as the underdog, when everyone counts them out.

When he gets bottled up and conservative, that is when things tend to go south.

The squib kick was a dumb decision.  But humans make mistakes.  Whatever.  It happens.  The decision is forgiveable; the mindset behind it is what is troubling and frustrating.

The decision I can’t fathom is settling for a field goal inside the 3 yard line after Richt made a ballsy call to fake a field goal.  That was one of the most unexpected things I have ever seen.  We NEVER fake field goals.  We might fake a occassional punt or try a surprise onside kick once a season.   Not only did we fake a field goal, we did the crazy backwards Les Miles pass thing.

Not going for it on 4th and 2 was just an example of the inconsistent decision making.  Sometimes, they play aggressive and put it all out there.  Other times, they decide to play conservative and not to lose, rather to play to win.

The old saying is a tiger can’t change its stripes.  Richt is who he is, for better and worse.  He has tried to change and evolve over the years, sometimes at a glacial pace.

Playing to win leaves you with no regrets, because at least, by God, you tried to win.

Playing not to lose leaves you wondering…what if?


Remember This On Saturday

A couple of very important things to remember this Saturday:

This senior class might be one of the most important ones we’ve had, and if it isn’t extra special to Coach Richt, it should be.

It gets a little muddled with redshirts and what not, but most of this senior class was signed in 2011, the self-proclaimed “Dream Team”.

This class came in on faith. UGA had just gone out and posted a turd of a 6-7 record. Coach Richt’s job security was at its shakiest.  They also came in with a bunch of hype.  Sure, they haven’t brought a National Championshipr or even a SEC Championship.  The Dream Team class did come in and has 2 SEC East Titles and have been 15 feet from playing for (and winning) a National Championship. We will see on Friday if this class gets its 3rd East Title. Had it not been for cataclysmic injuries in 2013, I feel 100% confident in saying this class would have another Eastern Division banner under its belt.

Most importantly, this class has restored national credibility back to the Bulldogs. After a very mediocre season in 2009 and that turd in 2010, this class has helped restored the Bulldog brand back in the national conversation. Coaches Richt, Bobo and others deserve credit for this, but success-and failure-ultimately is on the players.

These seniors were Damn Good Dawgs and their legacy will be that of a group of guys that came in and restored the program. This senior class is undefeated against Tennessee, 3-1 against Auburn, 3-1 against Florida, and as of now, undefeated against Tech.

On this week of Thanksgiving we should be proud and thankful for this Senior Class.

Go Dawgs!


Tech is having a very good year, no doubt. But this is a rarity. Since 2002, the beginning of the Chan Gailey era, Tech has only had two seasons where they didn’t have at least 5 losses. That occurred in 2008 (4) and 2009 (3). Each year since 2002, Tech has had at least 4 losses except that 2009 team, which did lose to Georgia, by the way.

Matter of fact, in the last 12 seasons, Tech has two 7 loss seasons, four 6 loss seasons, and four 5 loss seasons. 10 out 12 seasons they have lost 5 or more!!!

Their loss totals since winning the ACC Championship in 2009-7,5,7,6. Keep in mind 2009 was the last of Chan Gailey’s recruits.

To keep this very important streak alive, Tech will need to lose to Georgia Saturday, lose the ACC Championship, and again lose a bowl game. A very likely scenario. Forget the state bragging rights or the stupid Governor’s Cup. Helping Tech get to at least 5 losses in 11/13 seasons is something we should all be focused on!


Everything You Need to Know About Tech

This will be the only post I plan to do this week, so I am making it count. Here is something long to read while you await Turkey Day.

This year, I haven’t gotten to watch as much of Georgia Tech as it seems like I normally do, so I’m having to rely a lot on the stats on paper.

Don’t get me wrong…that isn’t a bad thing. I love watching other non-UGA teams play for just the pure enjoyment of the game. But the brand of football Tech plays is just not compelling to me. Maybe my grandparents, but not me.

That brand of football is going to run it, run it, and run it some more. I clearly don’t mind running the ball, but not like Tech does with that gimmick offense.  Much like Auburn, Tech is only going to throw the ball downfield as an element of surprise to get the big play. Not surprisingly, Georgia Tech has the fewest pass attempts of any team in the ACC…only 161. In Tech’s first two series of the game last year that resulted in touchdowns, Vad Lee completed passes of 68 and 43 yards to set up scores-both on 3rd down by the way.

Quarterback Justin Thomas has only completed 52% of his passes, but Tech as 2 passes for 70+ yards, 4 for 60+, 6 for 50+and 8 of 40+. They are going to take some shots, and they are going to hit a few.

What gets Tech in trouble is when Paul Johnson gets too cute and decides to throw it more than they should. Tech isn’t going to beat you exclusively throwing the ball, but they will hit a few shots downfield. It is going to happen.

One thing Tech and Justin Thomas have improved on this year is the TD/INT ratio. Last season, Vad Lee had 11 touchdowns and 10 picks. This year, Thomas has 15 TDs and only 4 passes thrown to the other team.

Defensively, Tech hasn’t improved much from a year ago, when they weren’t terrible but weren’t great, either. By Ted Roof standards, I’d say they are doing pretty damn good, actually.

Pass defense has improved slightly from last year, but Tech’s rushing defense has gotten worse from a year ago, 165 yards per game in 2014 compared to 115 last year.

Scoring defense is about the same.

Not only is Thomas showing improvement in the passing game, he is also the team’s leading rusher.

I think it is safe to say the play of Justin Thomas is the biggest reason that Georgia Tech has been having a better season.

Auburn runs a variation of the triple option, and does not like throwing the ball. Yet Auburn has thrown it more than 100 times more than Tech.

Unlike Auburn, who primarily will throw it on 2nd down, there is no rhyme or reason to when Tech throws it.

Of their 161 pass attempts, 55 have come on 1st down, 49 on 2nd down, 53 on 3rd down, and 4 on 4th down.

While previewing the Auburn game, I said the following:

Georgia needs to focus on Auburn’s running game and play disciplined, assignment football. Just like they do against Georgia Tech.

In the years Malzahn has been associated with Auburn-2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013-let’s take a look on how Georgia has also done against Tech.

2009-Auburn: 24 points; Tech: 24 points

2010-Auburn 49 points; Tech 34 points

2011: Auburn 7 points; Tech 17 points

2013: Auburn 43 points; Tech 34 points (2OT)

While different, the basic principles of what Auburn and Tech do are similar. The key is to play disciplined, assignment football. Georgia did so against Auburn, and held them to just 7 points this year. The same needs to hold true for Tech Saturday.

Two things that are a pause for concern:

  1. Stopping the dive play. That is going to be Tech’s bread and butter. Everything they do is predicated off that success. We can contain their outside attack, but we have got to stop the dive option. Georgia is weakest up the middle. Think the Florida game. Georgia has the speed and athleticism to contain the edge runs; they need to be strong up the middle to stop the dive.
  2. Jeremy Pruitt was familiar with Auburn from his time associated with Alabama and coaching against them in the National Championship game. Tech does present a unique scheme that isn’t seen often. When a coordinator goes against Tech the first time, there is some challenge, then improvement the following year. In 2008, Tech put up 45 points against Willie the first time; the next year they were held to 24. In 2010, Tech put up 34 against Grantham the first time, then were held to 17 the next game. FSU didn’t play Tech last year…what kind of challenge will Pruitt face in his first time against Tech?

The last three games, the margin of victory for Georgia was 17 points, 32 points and 7 points. However, after Tech got up 20 last year, Georgia outscored them 41-14 the rest of the way. A lot of last year can be attributed to gitters from Mason in his first start.

I thought before the season that Paul Johnson needed a good season to keep out of trouble with the Tech fans (sic).   After struggling early in the year to beat Georgia Southern and Virginia Tech, then losing two straight to Duke and UNC, they have rebounded to beat Pitt, Virginia, NC State and Clemson convincingly. Though they only play in the ACC, Tech and Paul Johnson deserve credit for a job well done this year. A nine or ten win season is something really good for Tech.   Georgia fans have bigger aspirations than just another 10-2 year.  I think GA Tech people would be estatic with that.

With that said, the only close games Georgia have been in were the loss to South Carolina and the win against Tennessee. All the other wins have been rather convincing, and even the Florida game was a convincing loss.

Georgia is just too good this year. Chubb, Michel, and efficient play by Mason will be too much for Tech to handle.

Georgia is 7-4 ATS this season. As a double digit favorite (counting Clemson -9.5 in this), Georgia is 4-2 ATS. That is exceptionally good for Georgia teams.

There is some concern that the outcome of Friday’s Missouri-Arkansas game might take the focus away from Tech. Mark Richt and the coaches know the importance of this game.

Two touchdown favorites rarely lose outright, and even less so at home. Georgia is going to win this game, and I think they are going to cover the -13.

Dawgs win and will win big. 45-17!


Pruitt Changing My Mind On Indoor Practice Facility

One of the topics that gets beaten worse than a dead horse is Georgia’s lack of an indoor practice facility.  Vanderbilt has one.  It hasn’t helped them with wins and losses.

Florida has been pretty successful over the last decade without one.

Georgia hasn’t not won a national championship because of lacking an IPF.

The recruiting hasn’t suffered much because of the lack of one.

Everyone just needs to get over it.

But…if Jeremy Pruitt wants one, then by George, build the man one.  Build him two.


The End Of The Muschamp Era

When some monumental event occurs in your life, you remember exactly where you were.

I remember where I was the day I heard that Will Muschamp was hired.

For several years after we got married, my wife and I got together with another married couple around Christmas.  We would go to their house and have a dinner and exhange small presents.  These friends lived in Athens, and we decided that we would take a trip to the Mall of Georgia and have dinner and do some Christmas shopping.  Having to fight the crowds was much more tolerable with friends than going it alone.

After a day of fighting the crowds, we decided to eat a nice dinner and forego the food court, though a good food court is hard to beat.  We were eating some Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish near the Mall of Georgia, and the 2010 Heisman Trophy Celebration was on the bar TV.  I was going to the bathroom and walked by the TV, and I saw the breaking news.  Then during dinner my phone started blowing up.

I thought, “Wow!  What a great hire by Florida.  This means trouble for UGA.”

My mindset at the time was Georgia was 6-6 with an embattled head coach.  Florida just hired probably the best assistant coach at the time.

I’m glad to be wrong.

I found out Muschamp was fired while driving home Sunday morning.  My wife as on Facebook and said, “Will Muschamp was fired this morning.”  My response?

“Oh, Ok.  What’s for lunch?”

Muschamp was a flop as a head coach, but was definitely the right hire at the time.  Like we say about our situation in Athens, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.  Sometimes the next big thing isn’t what it is all cracked up to be. Muschamp will be a defensive coordinator at a high-profile job soon…and he will become a head coach again at another BCS Power 5 Conference school.

When that day comes, he needs to evaluate what went wrong at Florida.

First, what went right.  He is a phenomenal defensive mind, and clearly can bring in high level defensive talent.  Florida’s SEC rank in total defense while Muschamp was at Florida:

2011: 5th

2012: 2nd

2013: 2nd

2014: 4th

But what went wrong.  Florida was consistently the most (or near the bottom) penalized team in the SEC during Muschamp’s tenure.  That is a reflection of their head coach.  The man is a maniac on the sidelines.  You can’t expect your players to play with discipline if your coach doesn’t have any.  And the offense was, well, offensive.  Here are SEC rankings for penalty YPG and scoring offense:

2011: 12th(out of 12); 60 ypg……..8th; 26 ppg

2012: 14th; 69 ypg………….10th; 27 ppg

2013: 14th; 59 ypg…………14th; 18 ppg

2014:  12th; 58 ypg……….9th; 29 ppg

Hey, give Boom credit for something.  The Florida offense actually had improved this year.

It will be interesting to see where Muschamp lands.  Since he is going to be getting paid big bucks, he can afford to  be picky.





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,018 other followers