Archive Page 2

Important UGA Game NO One Is Talking About

If you talk to anyone about Georgia’s 2015 schedule, and ask them what are the key/biggest games, you’ll get a pretty standard answer. Alabama is the biggest game, likely a College Gameday type of game. Or, some would say Tennessee or Missouri games to solidify the SEC East. Some might say Florida is the key game, due to the rivalry and revenge factor. Others would look to our neighbors to the east and say you just have to win against South Carolina. Of course, Georgia Tech is a MUST win.

I won’t argue with the aforementioned games as being important, big games. But I think the game that will hold the answer to the question if Georgia is going to have a successful season actually isn’t one of those more marquee games.

It is the Vanderbilt game in week two.

Now, I am not going to be like the folks at Saturday Down South and predict a Vanderbilt upset. Even the most jaded among the fan base wouldn’t logically make that bold prediction.

This 2015 Vanderbilt squad isn’t the competently run teams under James Franklin, nor the pesky, well-coached teams under Bobby Johnson. Poor Derek Mason just doesn’t have it going there, and I doubt this is the year for them to get back to respectability.

Quick tangent-I truly believe that James Franklin should have won SEC Coach of the Year in 2012 or 2013 when he guided Vanderbilt to consecutive 9-4 records, with bowl victories. But that is neither here nor there.

No, lowly Vanderbilt shouldn’t provide much resistance to the Bulldogs in Nashville on September 12. The Vanderbilt game should be a good opportunity for a final tune to prepare for South Carolina.

But Nashville has been a shop of horrors for Georgia in recent trips, even when Georgia has had good, or great, teams.

Remember the 2003 game? If you don’t, then it’s OK. It wasn’t on regular TV, and I remember listening to Larry Munson’s call in my dorm room. 4th ranked Georgia limped to a 27-8 victory, but trailed at the half 0-2 on a safety. Eh, not exactly an inspiring performance.

2005 and 2009 were dominant performances, as they should’ve been.

In 2007, the 24th ranked Bulldogs were nearly upset and escaped with a 20-17 win. We all remember that game. We also remember that Georgia found its stride shortly after and finished #2 in the country.

2011 was another unnecessarily close nail biter, and that is more remembered for Drew Butler saving a touchdown on a bad snap, and Todd Grantham and James Franklin nearly fighting.

Of course, we don’t need to get into the most recent trip to Nashville, where the Georgia B team lost in horrendous fashion to a hungry Vanderbilt team, 31-27. The dreadful amount of injuries can be blamed, but bad calls had a lot to do. Of course, ultimately, continued errors on Special Teams proved to be the nail in the coffin for Georgia.

If Georgia goes into Nashville and fiddle farts around, sure, the season can still be successful and they can rebound and learn from that.

If Georgia truly wants to be considered among the national elite, and wants to contend for not only the SEC but loftier goals, they should exert their formidable will on Vanderbilt and win with ease.

Good teams win with ease. Great teams step on the throat.

And not go into halftime with a 0-2 deficit, or rely on the punter to save the season.

Before you play the big boys on the schedule, I think we’ll get a good idea if Georgia will continue to be very good, or if they are flirting with greatness.



Clear Example of How Talent Gap Has Closed

During the lean years in 2009 and 2010, Georgia wasn’t a very good football team. They weren’t particularly well coached, and the recruiting approach had left the cupboard bare, relative to our expectations as fans and the other elite teams in the Conference.

Talent has been back where it needs to be and the recruiting has ticked up a notch for future years.

This is no more evident with the situation at punter. Remember back when Drew Butler was on the team?  Drew was one of the best players.

Now, punter seems to be one of the biggest concerns and question marks. Not to discredit the importance of a good punter, because they are very important, but it says a lot when punter is one of the big areas of concern.

Unfortunately, it said even more when punter was one of the few positions of strength.


Random Musings on Fall Camp Eve

I used to start getting jacked up for football about May.  I used to spend countless hours watching old games, reading all the different magazines, and absorbing whatever nuggets I could.

Now, I generally try to wait until August before I start getting giddy.  I figured, if the players are getting into game shape now, it was good enough for me to wait also.  Plus, having a kid makes you devote your time to Elmo and Doc McStuffins.  And there is this pesky thing called a job…

At any rate, players reported yesterday and fall camp begins tomorrow, so consider this Thanksgiving with Christmas just around the corner. The calendar is playing a cruel joke on us this year, with Labor Day being as late as it possibly could be.  Just another week of anticipation!

Here are some thoughts as we begin the preseason in earnest:

  • How will Schottenheimer run the offense?  If there is one thing about an NFL offensive mind, compared to a college offensive mind, it doesn’t get too creative.  Now, Richt (and Bobo) aren’t exactly Picasso when it comes to offensive creativity, but they have their moments.  One thing I have noticed about LSU the past couple of seasons is gone are the days of LSU doing anything too crazy on offense.  I remember watching the LSU-Ole Miss game last year, and although LSU won, it was an ugly game.  For long stretches, it was like watching the LSU tailbacks run into a brick wall.  I kept on waiting for one of those crazy Les Miles plays.  It never happened.   Ricobo (we’ll see how this sticks) were more traditional in their approach, but at times did do creative things to spark the team.  Remember that long run by Aaron Murray against Tennessee in 2013 when everyone got hurt and nothing else seemed to work?

Scoring a ton of points is the new normal in the SEC…but there is inevitably going to be a 24-17 kind of slugfest game, and if the offense is stagnant, will Schotty’s mind be able to dial up           a play to get something going?

  • Someone new at wide receiver? The receiving corps talent and depth is at low point.  Sure, there are some talented guys there.  Malcolm Mitchell and Isaiah McKenzie have explosive speed, and Justin Scott-Wesley has been a target in the past.  But gone are sure-handed Michael Bennett and Chris Conley.  I don’t have stats to back me up, but it seemed like every single reception for Bennett converted a first down.  Of the newcomers coming in, the most highly touted recruit is 5 star Terry Godwin, but he seems like he is more like McKenzie with speed but not a lot of size.   I’d be curious to see if Michael Chigbu from New Orleans can be that guy.  Not often LSU lets one of their in-state guys get away, and he has good size at 6’2″ and 211 lbs.
  •  Obligatory Quaterback thoughts:  This is the talk of the offseson, but I think Brice Ramsey is the man.  He has highly sought after coming out of high school.  If Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and other big time programs want someone, they are generally pretty good.  And Ricobo have a good track record of developing quarterbacks.  I think Grayson Lambert will provide good depth, but when it comes crunch time, Brice Ramsey is the man.

Surely there are more thoughts, but these are the pressing ones.  Just a little while longer now…



Why I Get No Kick Out of Soccer

So, soccer is in the news with all of these FIFA allegations that make Bobby Lowder look like a saint. Lewis held soccer in a very low regard. 

It was a referee’s controversial call in a soccer match that started World War I

Twenty-one reasons why I hate soccer and wouldn’t pay attention to a World Cup match if it were going on in my backyard and the beer was free:

1) There are only three final scores in soccer. They are 0-0, 1-0 and in a real scoring orgy 1-1.

2) Being able to bounce a ball off one’s head isn’t that impressive to me. I ‘ve seen countless seals do the same thing on The Ed Sullivan Show.

3) Soccer breeds fan violence because it’s very dull and when the fans get bored they pass the time by trying to kill and maim.

4) Nobody ever throws a high, inside fast ball in soccer, baseball’s answer to killing and maiming.

5) A man named Phil Woosnam, then president of the North American Soccer League, one bragged to me, “In 20 years, soccer will be bigger than pro football in the United States.” That was 25 years ago.

6) Soccer is responsible for soccer-style kickers in American football. I agree with the late Norman Van Brocklin when asked about his reaction to the game after his Atlanta Falcons had been beaten on a last-minute field goal by some guy from Yugoslavia or Afghanistan. Van Brocklin said, “They ought to tighten the immigration laws in this country.”

7) It was a referee’s controversial call in a soccer match that started World War I. No, I can’t prove that, but I don’t have to.

8) Too many soccer teams wear dark socks with their shorts, a violation of every fashion law ever written.

9) The theme song for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s coverage of the World Cup is Luciana Pavarotti’s version of Nessum Dorman, from Puccini’s opera, Turnadot. The theme song of WGN’s coverage of the Chicago Cubs baseball is Harry Carey singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

10) If soccer were an American politician, it would be Alan Cranston (liberal senator from California).

11) If it were an American actress, it would be Florence Henderson.

12) Parents of kids who play soccer in American schools are overbearing and obnoxious. It’s because they are secretly upset their kids are too wormy to try out for football.

13) My alma mater, the University of Georgia, overcame all sorts of odds and won the College Baseball World Series. I realize that doesn’t have a thing to do with soccer, but I just thought I would mention it.

14) If Georgia has a soccer team, I am blissfully unaware of it.

15) Bo doesn’t know diddley about soccer.

16) I was in London once and watched the Super Bowl of British soccer match on television because there wasn’t anything else on. The two teams ran up and down the field for approximately three hours, but nobody could score. They decided to play another game two nights later. I watched that, too. I’d seen all the churches, museums and china shops I wanted to see by that time. They ran up and down the field again for an hour or two and then the ball hit a player in the head and went into the goal completely by accident, and the final score was 1-0. When the game was over two guys came on the screen and analyzed it for 45 minutes.

17) If soccer was a vegetable, it would be asparagus.

18) Hitler was probably a soccer fan.

19) Parents of American children who play soccer will react violently to No. 12 and write me a lot of nasty, threatening letters. Hey, it’s what they deserve for raising wimps.

20) If soccer were an American soft drink, it would be Diet Pepsi.

21) How ’bout them Dawgs.

BBQ Thursday: America’s Best BBQ

According to this article on CNN, Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge has been named America’s best BBQ joint.

Here is a comment from the site about Joe’s:

The pork and ribs are the standouts. Both were tender and packed with flavor, and smoked perfectly.

I am ashamed to say that while I have had BBQ in Blue Ridge, I have never been to Joe’s.  That is going to chang next time I’m up that way.

I’m curious now.  Have any of you ever been to Joe’s BBQ?  Do you think its ranking as the very best BBQ joint in America is valid?


Everett Golson To UGA? Pros and Cons

There has been chatter about Everett Golson going south of South Bend to end his college career.  He is reportedly visiting UGA today.  Do I think he will wear the Red and Black this fall?  No.  Do I think he should, or should UGA welcome him in?  I’m not sure.

The pros:

For all the snickering we’d like to make about Notre Dame, the fact is he has legitimate game experience at a “big time” program.  Though he missed 2013 due to academic issues, his first year in South Bend he led the Fighting Irish to the National Championship game.   That season included wins over Michigan State, Michigan, Stanford, and Southern Cal.  Three of those wins-USC, Michigan State, and Oklahoma-came on the road.  Now, last season didn’t fare quite as well, as Notre Dame lost five times, but did go on the road to Florida State (and lost in controversial fashion), and Notre Dame got blown out on the road against USC and Arizona State.

He has real game experience, and this real game experience includes going on the road in hostile environments much like he’ll see in the SEC.  That is more than we can say for the other quarterbacks currently on campus.

While I haven’t seen a ton of his games, I’ve seen enough and gleamed through the stats.  He isn’t a “running” quarterback per se, but he does have athleticism.  He can make some plays with his feet.

Lord knows, we have the scholarship room for him.  If not today, then by the end of the summer. I’ll get to this more in a minute, but doing this is not the normal MO for UGA.  Wouldn’t it be nice to take a chance to try and improve and get over the hump?

Overall, I think the experience he brings to the fold will be a huge benefit.

The cons:

Bringing in a stop-gap quarterback isn’t the Georgia way.  We develop our quarterbacks, and if there is one thing that Coach Richt does exceptionally well, it is produce outstanding college quarterbacks.  Why mess with that system?  Other teams have done this sort of thing with varying levels of success, but I’m not sure we need to take that risk.  Ramsey/Bauta/Park can develop into a competent SEC quarterback, and the strong running game that UGA is going to have will go a long way into helping this development along.

Plus, will bringing in someone at the 11th hour hurt team chemistry?  One thing you can’t say is the team quits on their head coach.  The players, despite the adversity surrounding the team (and a lot of times because of it), always play hard for their coach.  They respect Coach Richt.  Will making this kind of move jeopardize that in any way?

Everything is trending up.  Coaches are good right now.  Recruiting is going at a pace we haven’t seen before in Athens.  You’ve got Nick Chubb.  The quarterback of the future is set to enroll next year.  Why mess with a good thing?

Also, Golson is prone to throwing interceptions.  Last year, he threw at least one pick in 9/13 games.  Three of those games were multiple interception games, with Arizona State having 4 picks!  For a point of comparison, Hutson Mason threw 4 interceptions all season long.   We’ve all heard Coach Richt talk long enough to know what he wants in a quarterback-no mistakes.  I’ve heard him say that it should be the quarterback’s goal to see that every possession ends in a kick-a field goal, a PAT or a punt.  I don’t think you get that with Golson.

So what will happen?  Only two people know for sure.  Coach Richt and Everett Golson.   How will I react to the news, whatever way it breaks?

I don’t know.  But it will be interesting to see.


A Non-Conference Road Trip Wish List

In case you missed it, McGarity hinted recently about some possible non-conference road trips that could be in the works at some point in the future. Unfortunately, a lot of moving parts prevent a lot of dream matchups, but hey, one can hope, right?

Here are ten dream road trips, in no particular order.

10. Texas

Austin is compared to Athens by some as being on par with The Classic City. What better way to see it for ourselves?

9. Michigan

It’s The Big House, that in itself gives it some allure. If tOSU wants to chicken out of playing Georgia, let’s take on their rival.

8. Washington

Don’t let the rainy season fool you. Seattle is a very nice area, especially in September. Plus, who wouldn’t want to tailgate on a boat that you can float right up to the backside of the stadium.

7. USC (The Real One)

The trip to LA would in itself be great, not to mention taking on someone like USC

6. Oklahoma

A chance to embarrass Stoops on his home field? Sign me up.

5. West Virginia

Play the game in November and make a ski trip out of it on the side

4. Penn State

Other than getting to take on James Franklin again, two programs like UGA and Penn State would be an ideal match

3. Pitt

The venue would be less than attractive, but I’m up for avenging a Sugar Bowl loss any time.

2. Stanford

Tailgating in wine country would have its benefits.

1. Northwestern

Can you imagine a road trip to Chicago? Of course, it’d need to be early in the year. Lewis warned us about Illinois winters.

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg



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