Daily Archives: September 5, 2008

“Man, that’s a big stadium!”

Mark Schlabach observes Central Michigan’s week of preparation for its game tomorrow with Georgia.

For those of you still fretting about the Dawg D giving up 21 points and 290 yards to Georgia Southern, maybe you can find some comfort in this exchange between Dan LeFevour and his offensive coordinator.

… After watching film for more than a half-hour, LeFevour noticed Georgia’s defensive game plan was pretty vanilla against Georgia Southern.

“They were pretty simple against Georgia Southern,” Bajakian said. “The reason? They’re probably building each week. They won’t look the same against us.”

“So what do you think?” LeFevour asked him.

Bajakian knows Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and linebackers coach John Jancek well. Both coaches once worked at Central Michigan.

“Knowing their linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, I think we’ll see significantly more crap,” Bajakian said. “They like this stuff.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

Auditioning for the Rockettes

This is a photo just waiting to be farked.

(Gerry Melendez/gmelendez@thestate.com)

(Gerry Melendez/gmelendez@thestate.com)

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Filed under The Evil Genius

Time off for good behavior

Listening to John Kincaide on his afternoon radio show with Buck Belue, I heard him say in no uncertain terms that bye weeks early in a football season have very little impact on a team’s chances to win, but do prove significant in weeks eight, nine and ten.

On one level, I can see one big reason why that might be:  injuries.  Teams are likely to be more banged up in the middle of the season than at the beginning, so the extra time is no doubt useful for recharging the troops’ batteries.

But I would think that in most cases extra preparation is valuable, no matter when during the year it comes.  Here’s a quote that USC offensive coordinator gave ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel along those lines:

“We love having the week off,” USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said via e-mail. “[It's] great to re-evaluate our young players and also it’s a great opportunity to get an extra week of preparation on Ohio State. Our track record has been pretty good when we get extended preparation time.”

Mark Richt seems to give a similar indication with his somewhat surprising admission that he wouldn’t mind seeing Georgia play the occasional (gasp!) Thursday night game.

Head coach Mark Richt noted that Central Michigan and South Carolina both have added advantages since they both play Thursday night games the week before playing Georgia.

“It’s more time to prepare than we have to prepare for them,” Richt said. “I don’t like it. I think it’s good for the. I’m not mad them, I think they’re smart. I think there’s an advantage to that, no doubt.”

On the other hand, I wonder how much the psychology of the situation enters into the equation.  Southern Cal goes into its bye week with lots of momentum from its road win at Virginia and its bump in the polls.  But how would they feel about the time off if the Trojans had been upset in the opener?

Look at these two quotes from UT’s John Chavis and Phil Fulmer about UT’s bye week after its loss to UCLA.

If Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis had has his choice, he’d forgo Tennessee’s bye week. For him, a return to action would be the best remedy following Tennessee’s upset loss to UCLA on Monday night.

“I’d rather be playing,” said Chavis, who along with offensive coordinator Dave Clawson addressed the media for the first time since Monday’s game. “That’s what you do: You play. You get thrown off the horse, you get back on it.”

Head coach Phillip Fulmer welcomed the extra time to analyze game video.

“I think this is probably a good time for us,” Fulmer said. “We (can) stay mad a couple of days. … We (don’t) have to turn our picture right to UAB.”

Who’s right?  I don’t know.   But I bet that’s a question they’ll be asking themselves in Columbia this morning.

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Filed under College Football, Strategery And Mechanics

When Steele’s computer talks…

Just so you know, Phil Steele’s computer projects 597 yards of total offense for Georgia this week.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Now is the autumn of his discontent.

From Chris Low’s SEC blog:

… There are bad losses, and then there are bad losses. This one will resonate for a while with Steve Spurrier, who’s simply is not wired to lose four or five games a season. He is definitely not wired to lose to Vanderbilt in consecutive seasons.

The frustration is growing, and you could hear it as loud and clear in what he said Thursday following the Gamecocks’ 24-17 loss to the Commodores as you ever have since he returned to college football in 2005.

Insert snark about big, physical team here.	(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Insert snark about "big, powerful team" here. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Watching the teams trot off the field at halftime, it never occurred to me that Vandy would come back.  The Commodores showed almost nothing on offense – and in fact would finish the game with only 225 yards total offense.  Yet they won.  A Spurrier coached team has lost two games in a row to Vanderbilt.

I have no idea how the ‘Cocks respond to this.  The OBC knows that a win in Columbia against Georgia would turn the season around on a dime, but given how badly damaged his team’s psyche has to be right now, that’s a monumental task, at least in terms of motivation.  Rallying the troops has never struck me as a Spurrier strong suit (mainly because he’s never really been in that position very much).  And the McKinley injury doesn’t help.

Just how long do you think Spurrier stomachs quotes like this one from the coach that beat him last night – again?

“I was surprised so many people thought it would be real hard for us to beat them,” Johnson said. “We beat them last year, and I don’t know why everybody thought they got so much better than we were getting.”

Needless to say, this will be interesting to watch.

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UPDATE: Sorry, but I couldn’t resist posting this quote from SI.com’s Bill Trocchi.

… Spurrier is 11-14 in the SEC with the Gamecocks — 6-11 since his first season. Not only are the Gamecocks failing to climb the SEC East ladder behind Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, it appears Vanderbilt is coming up from behind.

Somehow, I don’t believe that was the legacy Spurrier intended when he took the job.

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UPDATE #2: Barnhart urges caution.

… And here is my first early warning to my Georgia friends. If you’re feeling more confident about the Gamecocks because they lost to Vanderbilt last night, don’t. We’ll have more on that next week.

Should we feel less confident?  Stay tuned.

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