Daily Archives: April 7, 2009

Domination, thy name isn’t Florida.

Michael Elkon’s got an intriguing post up in response to a poll question at ESPN.com about which college team has been the most dominant in its sport this decade.  The choices are fairly shallow, in my opinion – UConn women’s basketball, USC football, Florida football, or UNC basketball – and I agree with Michael’s reasoning in whittling down the list to Southern Cal.  (Besides, if we’re going to argue about dominance in women’s athletics this decade, I don’t know about you, but I’m starting in Athens with the gymnastics program.)

But of course it’s the Florida reference that gets me.  Michael’s got a chart of the winningest programs of this decade.  And it’s worth a peek here:

  1. Boise State – 0.85217
  2. Texas – 0.84348
  3. Oklahoma – 0.84298
  4. Southern Cal – 0.80870
  5. Ohio State – 0.79825
  6. Georgia – 0.77586
  7. Louisiana State – 0.76923
  8. Virginia Tech – 0.75424
  9. Florida – 0.75000
  10. Texas Christian – 0.74775

Our (potential) team of the decade only sports the third best winning percentage in the SEC over that time?  That’s one weird-assed definition of dominance.

Speaking of teams with better winning percentages, there sits Georgia at number six, ahead of two of its conference peers which both sport dual MNCs this decade.  There’s something to be said about bad timing and Elkon says this:

… How different would our discussion be if Georgia had found its way into the national title game in 2002 and then won it? Moreover, if we accept the maxim that winning a national title requires a significant amount of luck, isn’t Georgia just unlucky? After all, Georgia went 12-1 in 2002 and didn’t get to play for the national title because two major conference teams went unbeaten, but LSU and Florida got to play for the title in 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2008 with one loss (and in one case, two losses). And that’s before we get to the point that Georgia could have been a one-loss team in 2005 absent the D.J. Shockley injury, but they still would have been frozen out of the title game because they would have again had the misfortune of being a one-loss SEC champion in a year in which two major programs went unbeaten.

Yeah, sad but true (and remember that Georgia lost to Auburn on a flukey, last-minute play in a game when DJ was still shaking out the rust from missing the previous game and a half, so the results arguably might have been even closer than Michael posits).  On such turns are Stewart Mandel’s Montana friends’ minds made up.

I will say this, though.  While I don’t see Florida as the dominant team of the decade, if the Gators win the BCS title game again this season, there won’t be any doubt in my mind about who the dominant coach of this decade is.  As much as I’ll hate to admit it.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

“This year we’re hoping all of that is going to pay off.”

Tony Barnhart talked with Mike Bobo about Georgia’s offensive line.

First, though, he sets the stage.

… Lost in shuffle of a “disappointing” 10-3 season was the fact that offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and OL coach Stacy Searels did some of their best work.

That’s because a team that played musical chairs with its offensive line, the way Georgia had to do last season, is not supposed to finish third in the SEC in scoring (31.5 ppg). And when left tackle Trinton Sturdivant injured his left knee in preseason, that’s exactly what Georgia had to do. Over the course of 13 games last season Georgia’s offensive line:

**–Had six different players start one of the two tackle positions.

**–Had six different players start at one of the two guard positions.

**–Had two different players start at center.

**–Georgia’s longest stretch of starting the same offensive line was only four games.

By contrast, Alabama started the same offensive line in 11 out of 14 games last season. If LT Andre Smith had not been suspended for the Sugar Bowl, it would have been 12 out of 14. At the end of last season Alabama’s offensive line had collectively started 117 career games.

So, yeah, the coaches did a stellar job.  But, as Barnhart notes, the line was perceived to have had help from other quarters as well.

With the exit of QB Matthew Stafford and RB Knowshon Moreno there will be the tendency to sell this offense short. Bobo will have none of that talk.

Good for Bobo.  The line needs to be fed that take-no-prisoners approach early and often.  More so than any other season under Richt, the success of this year’s team is going to rest on the shoulders of Georgia’s lines on both sides of the ball.

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Filed under Georgia Football

More schedule stuff

College Football News does a nice job here posting the SEC composite schedule for this season.

October 10 looks like a good day to make sure your cable is working.  Here’s the slate of games:

Alabama at Ole Miss
Auburn at Arkansas
Florida at LSU
Georgia at Tennessee
Kentucky at South Carolina
Houston at Mississippi State
Vanderbilt at Army

What shapes up as a potential Western Division elimination game, Gus Malzahn’s return to Arky, a matchup between the last two national champs and Georgia’s first taste of Junior all should make for a very entertaining day.

You wanna know how weak the SEC’s non-conference scheduling is this year?  Check out CFN’s top ten list of OOC games.  Georgia makes the list three times and #10 is this gem:  LSU at Washington.  Pretty pathetic.

CFN also breaks down the schedules for each team in the SEC East here.  Here’s what they have to say about Georgia’s:

… Georgia’s reputation for being one of the nation’s best road teams will be put to the test right away with a statement game against an Oklahoma State that’ll likely start the season in the top ten and will likely finish the season in the top five offensively. Along with the OSU game, facing Arizona State and going to Georgia Tech means the Dawgs have the toughest non-conference slate of any SEC team by far … by far. There’s a tough three-week mid-season stretch against LSU, at Tennessee and at Vanderbilt (who should be better this year), but there’s a week off before the Cocktail Party against Florida. Getting Auburn and Kentucky at home, along with a layup against Tennessee Tech, will make for a relatively easy November before the regular season-ending game against the Yellow Jackets.

I think that’s pretty accurate, at least from the vantage point of April.  Let’s hope that the timing of that week off is as fortuitous as we expect.

Speaking of weeks off, whoever got paid to put Vandy’s schedule together should refund the money.  No bye week, and this Bataan Death March to run out the season:

Oct. 17 Georgia
Oct. 24 at South Carolina
Oct. 31 Georgia Tech
Nov. 7 at Florida
Nov. 14 Kentucky
Nov. 21 at Tennessee

That doesn’t look fun.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

By his words, ye shall know him.

Honestly, what Percy Harvin puts in his body is none of my business.  But, like it or not, it is Urban Meyer’s business.

So when the news cropped up that Harvin tested positive for marijuana for the NFL, it kinda made me wonder about whether that was his first brush with the evil weed.  And since his head coach is omniscient, who better to ask?

Alas, Meyer isn’t talking.

… When asked on Monday by a reporter if Harvin had ever failed a drug test while at Florida, Meyer didn’t rule it out.

“I’m not going to talk about guys — stuff like that,” Meyer said.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares