Daily Archives: August 4, 2009

Tuesday afternoon buffet

Get that Moody Blues tune out of your heads, now…

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Political Wankery, SEC Football, The Blogosphere, The Evil Genius

ESPN, that’s so 2007.

Should I be flattered or scared that I anticipated this Pat Forde exercise two and a half years ago?  And can I charge royalties?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

The burden of low expectations

In case you can’t tell, I’m going off the beaten path today with the opening of Georgia’s preseason practice – if you want the questions-that-need-to-be-answered route, you can throw a rock at any number of Dawg and SEC bloggers for some very good analysis on that – by looking at a couple of underlying issues related to team psyche.

Why am I doing that?  Because the thing that’s troubled me most about the program of late is this bizarre habit that’s developed of completely disappearing in a game for a quarter or a half.  I call it a habit because it’s gone on now over the past three seasons with a variety of opponents, so it’s difficult to say it’s the result of injuries or bad personnel match ups.  I’m not close enough to the program to know the underlying cause, but I do have the sense that Richt, from some of his comments and actions this offseason, is aware of it and is determined to do something about it, although that’s admittedly easier said than done sometimes.

Anyway, one of the mantras that’s been adopted for 2009 is that Georgia under Richt is a team that performs better in a year when the expectations for the program are lowered.  Nevermind that the theory has been, if not debunked, at least reasonably questioned over at Team Speed Kills, I’m willing to concede that in this case perception becomes reality.  In other words, if flying low gives the team confidence, then that’s what matters.

But here’s the thing I wonder about after reading College Football News’ post on its preseason top ten.  Specifically after seeing this comment in the preview of number five (!) Georgia:

If the Dawgs beat OSU in Stillwater, then the expectations and the attention will quickly be cranked up.

Based on Georgia’s record in tough opening games, that’s not a farfetched scenario. At all.  So what happens if these guys go out in the opener, take care of business and come back home suddenly with a top ten ranking and all that national attention again?  Aren’t they right back in the same boat they had trouble sailing last season?  Can they handle it any better than they did in ’08, particularly when they’ve told themselves this offseason that they’re better off with a lack of notoriety?

I’m not saying they can’t do it, but it’s certainly worth remembering that things change and you either adapt or lose.

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Filed under Georgia Football

All together now

Can you guess which Bulldog said this?

“We’re definitely 180 degrees away from where we were last year, and the team camaraderie is on a whole different level. Since I’ve been here, I have never seen the togetherness of the team the way it is right now.”

That’s actually South Carolina wide receiver Moe Brown, who’s explaining why 2009 will be the year that his team doesn’t crash and burn in the second half of the season.  I’m too lazy to look it up, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t take Woodward and Bernstein to dig up similar quotes from his teammates from prior seasons.  The point being that until his Gamecocks prove it on the field, that sentiment and five bucks will get Mr. Brown a steaming hot latte at his neighborhood Starbucks and little more.

Which is why, as practice opens in Athens today, we should take similar conceits coming out of there with a little grain of salt.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s certainly admirable that the team taking the field today has managed to avoid a single brush with the law.  But aside from affecting Ed Tolley’s pocketbook and Mark Richt’s piece of mind, that offseason discipline and team bonding doesn’t translate into anything more than a good starting point, at least not yet.  You have to hope that these kids have the good sense and growing maturity to realize that they’ve merely taken the first step in a tough journey to regain their mojo.

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Filed under Georgia Football