Wednesday breakfast buffet

The usual run of tasty morsels for your enjoyment:

  • If Florida loses the BCS title game, at least it’s got the scapegoat lined up.  That’s good coaching, Urban.
  • Has an AP first team All-American ever been on the field for fewer plays than Terrence Cody?
  • If you’re looking for a particularly harsh evaluation of the Georgia program, check out the last paragraph of this piece.
  • As if anyone doubted this, Jimmy Sexton versus Bobby Lowder/Jimmy Rane isn’t exactly a fair fight. (h/t The Wiz of Odds)
  • If the Auburn coaching search has brought out the worst in the Auburn administration, it’s brought out the best in the blogosphere.  This is a particularly inspired take on Kyle King’s “Mark Richt Victory Watch” tribute, featuring Gene Chizik.  As the author notes, it’s a short journey.
  • Speaking of Auburn and the blogosphere, bloggers are starting to line up to push the concept of Tommy Tuberville, defensive coordinator.  (Personally, I think Tubby is made for TV.)
  • And speaking of defensive coordinators, in an era where people talk a good game about accountability but rarely practice it, you’ve got to admire former Michigan DC Scott Shafer’s take on things.  That’s an honorable man.
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29 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, College Football, Gators, Gators..., Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, SEC Football, The Blogosphere

29 responses to “Wednesday breakfast buffet

  1. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    Between the quote about our S&C program and the story of our season stats, I now need to be talked in off the ledge about the direction of the program and in particular whether CMR is the one to lead it. Yes, I know that there are only about 3-5 better “known” head coaches like Carroll, Tressell, Stoops, and Meyer. So no, I’m not calling for his head (we aren’t AU for goodness sake) because short of taking a chance on an assistant, CMR is one of the top proven coaches in college. I just wonder if we are going to have a 20 year run that is the same as the last 8 years. Sure mostly 10 win seasons and a couple of SEC titles over the next 20 years would be worth more than being South Carolina. And I am aware that most programs would love for an 8 year run that we’ve had. But does he have what it takes to lead the program to the next level? This “let’s just win the game by any means and see how things play out” mentality is what got us a 9-3 season. I just wonder if the “Richt” way will ever get us over the hump to the NC.

  2. Well, there are two ways to look at this. As far as discipline, I’m not sure I agree. This past offseason was bad, but for the most part, Richt has run a pretty clean ship. Compared with other big time programs (Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, etc.), our discipline problems aren’t hugely out of line.

    The strength and conditioning is worrisome however. During Richt’s first few seasons, I thought our conditioning was the biggest difference between his teams and Donnan’s. But from ’05 on, it’s felt like we were watching some of Donnan’s teams in the fourth quarter.

    Richt built up a lot of good will early, beating UT when they were down and taking advantage of some fortunate scheduling breaks. No one with his record is going to have to “fend for their job”, but I do have serious reservations as to when we’ll even win the SEC East again, let alone anything bigger.

  3. The S&C issue is huge. Glad to see someone’s noting it.

    I don’t know who’s helping our guys work out, but they’re doing it wrong. Witness Thomas Brown: Massive guns, but would go down at the slightest nudge.

  4. Dog in Fla

    Oklahoma fondly remembers its last national championship game in which the opposing offensive coordinator had accepted a head coaching job but stayed onboard to call plays. But this time, I don’t think they expect the score to be 13-2.

    But, but, but, I thought when Coach Richt brought Coach Van Halenger with him from FSU that we were going to have the best S&C program, bar none. Or maybe it was just the weightlifting, not the aerobics, portion of the program. Or maybe we just decided just not to finish the drill. Or maybe while you can spell Capital One Bowl f/k/a Citrus Bowl without using U-G-A, you don’t get credit for it but you do get late charges and a higher interest rate with it.

    Unbeknownst to us while it could happening before our very eyes, could some outsiders (Gator fans) think that we have morphed into FSU North?

    No,… of course not,…No…

    Cue to coaches with stylish sunshades and teams with beaucoup personal foul penalties. Chuck Amato, you can go home again.

    Jimmy Sexton is the Scott Boras of Football.

  5. NM

    Jeez, overreact much, guys? Athens isn’t The Plains-East, and if Richt turns out to be the next Papa Bowden, we should be so lucky!

    “I just wonder if we are going to have a 20 year run that is the same as the last 8 years. Sure mostly 10 win seasons and a couple of SEC titles over the next 20 years…” — actually, we’ve had a couple SEC titles in the last 8, so over 20 years, it would work out to be like 5 or 6. Other than Florida in the 90s and Bryant’s Bama teams, can any SEC program ever complain about winning the league 25% of the time? And I would argue the SEC is much stronger top-to-bottom now than it was in the Bryant Era and certainly more so than the Spurrier Era. It’d be nice to have USC/Ohio State type success, but we’re also the same people that claim that their success is fake because the talent and coaching is so much less in the Big Ten/Pac 10. Florida’s been great two of the past three years, but can Meyer sustain it long-term? You don’t know and neither do I.

    “But does [Richt] have what it takes to lead the program to the next level?” — What the hell does that mean? I know you mean national title, but in case you missed it, national titles are LUCK. Conference titles are meaningful, and even those require some luck if you’re not undefeated. Think about it:
    -In 2002, Georgia went 13-1 and won the SEC. In 2006, Florida went 13-1 and won the SEC. But that Florida team was at “the next level” and that UGA team wasn’t? Explain.
    -In 2007, LSU lost 2 games to crappy teams and won a national title. In 2007, UGA lost 2 games, 1 to a good team, and didn’t win squat. Was LSU at “the next level” and UGA not? Or how about this — if Vandy or SC makes a late FG that any college kicker oughta make, Georgia plays LSU in a national semi-final in Atlanta. But because Vandy and SC fall apart vs. the luckiest UT team ever, all of a sudden Mark Richt is less of a coach than Les Miles?

    I’m as disappointed/pissed/outraged about this 2008 season as the next Dawg fan. But let’s get a little perspective. Twelve months ago, we thought we deserved a national title shot. Now, we’re questioning whether Mark Richt has “what it takes”.

    This, my friends, is how you get Chizik’d.

  6. NM

    Oh, I should add that I don’t mean to say that everything is roses and will work itself out. Far from it. Just that, while we should ask questions of Richt and demand more from the program given the talent level we have … the solution is change within the system, not changing the entire system.

    In other words, kinda like how AU should have replaced Tony Franklin, but not Tommy Tuberville.

  7. Dawg93

    Well said, NM, completely agree.

  8. Hobnail_Boot

    Outstanding comments, NM.

  9. Jim

    Around 5 years ago, supposedly a couple of stars were contemplating going pro and told Richt they would unless the conditioning was reduced. The story is that he agreed to lighten up. Maybe its true, maybe its not, but since that time the players have not seemed to be in as good as shape as they were in the first few years. At least they are not pulling muscles every other day like we once did.

  10. PNWDawg

    Reading NM’s comments (which I also think are right on) and looking at the picture of UGA V getting after Baker I’m reminded of a similar situation. Remember Bobo’s first season under Donnan? He was awful (with the exception of that comeback vs. Auburn). I remember thinking there was no way he would be our starter in ’97. And when he was given that title I was outraged. Well, the coaches saw something there and they were right. He went on the have a brilliant season which included a thrashing of UF. I realize patience is no longer a virtue in sports but maybe just this one time it could be.

  11. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    I didn’t call for a change at the top – “So no, I’m not calling for his head (we aren’t AU for goodness sake)”

    “the solution is change within the system, not changing the entire system. In other words, kinda like how AU should have replaced Tony Franklin”.

    That was my question – is CMR going to make change within the system? And I’m not saying with that it even has to be coordinators (unless that’s what has to be done). I’m simply saying to get over this “let’s win a one point game and be happy” thought process that he seemed to apply to EVERY game this season. Is he going to make changes in the system so that our losses look more like how Bama lost to UF in the SEC rather than our losses to UT in 06 and 07 or UF this year?

    Yes, I’m aware of luck. My point is that at times over the last few season’s we haven’t made our own luck through preparation and determination. We shouldn’t have had to rely on missed FGs in 2007, we should have taken care of business ourselves.

    And of course, a “few” (like 5-6) SEC championships would be preferable to being South Carolina – as I said. I lived through the Goff/Donnan years (as I’m sure most of us did) so I do appreciate the state of the program.

  12. Bryan Carver Dawg97

    The Senator makes the point (that refers to Martinez) but that ultimately Richt has to be responsible for – “I have to knock him just as much for not coming up with an alternate strategy when it became painfully apparent that he didn’t have an elite pass rusher on the line this season.”

    I’m asking this stuff as a fan looking at it in terms of our “blind spot” as Evans noted. Perception by people outside our program. You read constantly on blogs about how CMR is good for 1-2 head scratching loses a year. My fear is that these kinds of losses are going to keep luck from being any factor at all.

  13. dean

    What proof is there that our S&C program is sub par? How do you even compare UGA’s S&C programs to other schools? Where does the data come from?

    I would be really surprised if our players are behind other schools in their physical development. I’ve seen my share of “before and after” photos of the players and I really don’t think there’s much merit to our S&C program not being as good as other top schools. I’m as disappointed as the next fan with how this season turned out but I don’t think S&C is holding the dawgs back.

  14. kckd

    If what some guy who won’t give his name said is true, we sure are lying about those weight lifting records we keep breaking every year.

    BTW, Thomas Brown did not go down at the slightest nudge. But he was a lot smaller than most of the guys he was running into also.

    We evidently are getting our freshman OL in the weight room early and often. They’re freshman, but it’s not like they just get pushed around.

    Honestly Senator, that quote doesn’t even deserve blog recognition.

  15. NebraskaDawg

    I think our defensive issues have more to do with motivation than talent or strength issues. At times it looked as if the defense just quit on us. When motivated our defense can play well (see Tennessee). But there is a difference between strength and toughness. And we several lack the latter.

  16. NebraskaDawg

    That should be “severely”

  17. Dog in Fla

    Agree with Bryan Carver Dawg 97 on the question of whether CMR going to make a change within the system.

    No one has suggested the CMR be run out of town on a rail. No one has suggested that Athens is an Auburn-like village. Some have asked what happened this season and that’s nothing more than an understated reasonable diplomatic question.

    My recollection of what Coach Richt said after the Tech wipeout was that the only change will be that he and the same coaching staff will work harder. The players will execute better (did they even say that?), we’ll have fewer injuries(hopefully so), etc.

    Maybe after National Signing Day some assistants will leave because they want to spend more time with their families. I doubt any of our coaches will pull a Michigan Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer but then again Michigan just had its worst season ever. Georgia didn’t. Most disappointing maybe ranking even higher than Coach Donnan’s I’ve Waited 55 Years to Have a Team Like This.

    Other than that team, I can’t recall a Georgia team with more talent even come close to doing less than they did this year. For the first time, I heard head coach say (pre-SEC Championship game), well, we lost to the number 1 and number 2 team in America/we had 18 players with season ending injuries. But even it you take those reasons, it is hard to reconcile that with the way the coaching staff could not seem to get the team running on all eight cylinders during the regular season. And we didn’t just lose to Alabama and Florida. At least someone who used to be the incarnation of the Devil himself, Steve Spurrier, says after a loss: “We got our butts kicked. No excuses. I didn’t do my job.”

  18. Joe

    Very interesting note on the S & C program. Maybe our guys do not do enough ‘roids to keep up with our neighbors?

    As far as the “naturally strong” thing goes, only 1% of college players make it to the NFL and they are the elite of the elite. They have superior genetics to everyone else and are usually much more “naturally strong.”

    I have always laughed hysterically at the 40 times that have come out of FSU and UGA under Van Hallanger, and you really have to think that there is a lot of puff in the weightlifting numbers as well. Perhaps we should bring in a fresh meathead who has a line to San Fran? Then our players would probably get a lot stronger.

  19. For my money, nothing will ever be as disappointing as the 2000 season.

  20. Dog in Fla

    Re the “luck’ issue for LSU, UF and Tennessee referred to above and how it relates to our last two SEC Championships:

    #1 Arkansas was our opponent and

    #2 I think Spurrier beat UF for us to get us to the game v. LSU which I think may have had a game the week before while we may have had an open week. Could that have been a reason why now all SEC teams are required to have a game the week before so no team gets an open date prior to the championship game?

  21. Dawg93

    Dog in Fla – not sure I understand your two points about luck.

    #1 – we killed Arkansas and were rolling at the time. You really think it mattered who we played in the SECCG that year? I don’t.

    #2 – the “luck” we got from SOS beating UF was simply karma for Shockley being out the week we played the Turds. If anyone thinks we lose that game with DJ playing, they should have their head examined. Also, both UGA and LSU played the week before the SECCG that year. In fact, they played the day before we did, so they had an extra day to rest and prepare for us.

  22. HackerDog

    I think UM DC Scott Shafer may have been speaking tongue-in-cheek. Given that UM’s offense ranked 109th this year, I certainly can’t agree that the DC is completely to blame for the disappointing season.

    Anybody know who the UM offensive coordinator is?

  23. SCDawg

    Where is this S&C stuff coming from? Can anyone provide anything concrete other than we look tired at times and Thomas Brown was tackled too easily once, when he was a junior?

  24. I agree with NM and his comments above. But I still cannot get over the way our defense played on the field this year. It seemed at times as if they were distracted or something. Or maybe someone else was? Not a matter of technique or coaching, just pure distraction. Like maybe some stuff going on we don’t get to see?
    Trying to look at this thing big picture wise I’m willing to give CWM another toss to see if he can get it fixed(head further north) and certainly don’t entertain any question of CMR being at the helm. That said, it really appeared to me at times that the whole team was somewhat disjointed(?) AT TIMES this year. Maybe this is the one anomaly CMR is gonna have and we will now proceed to blow the doors off the Cryer and Mr. Corleone,er, Saban.

  25. Dog in Fla

    Dawg 93:

    Points well-taken.

    On #1, Arkansas came into the SECCG with a 9-3 (5-3) record, so the West Division was down that year and even if it were up, you are right, we were rolling then. The luck was that the West didn’t have a team as strong as an LSU or Alabama as in the past to years to face us.

    On #2, Agree that had Shockley played, we could have beaten UF that year. But we still needed UF to lose again and that was the luck to which I was referring.

    When you are a Georgia alum and live in Florida, while this year’s game v. UF was no fun for any of us, the aggravation and needling is more localized for those of us down here who have the pleasure of being among Gator fans each day. Boomer Sooner!

  26. Wolfman

    On another note…

    I’m concerned with the (admittedly weak) calls from those who push Tuberville as a new DC.

    In 2004, I was living in Knoxville, and while listening to the local sports talk radio station, I heard the commentators bemoaning Fulmer, and asking for his head. (They did this beginning in ’99, if you remember.) Then they suggested a different coach who would fit perfectly at UT — Steve Spurrier. Only one person objected the rest of the show.

    Now, I’m certainly not a Vol fan, but I got sick at the thought of it. How could a respectable program sell their soul like that, and how could their fans support it? I immediately pulled my car over and threw up among the empty bottles of Jack lining the highways of the Tennessee hills.

    If we hire Tuberville as a DC, it will be essentially the same, but on my own team. I will vomit every day for the rest of my life.

  27. 69Dawg

    Does no one remember the 92 team. 10-1 and we still could not beat UF with an All-Pro team. More pros for more years than any other. Snake bit UGA. Ray was the most unlucky coach to ever coach at UGA.