Daily Archives: September 15, 2009

This season’s metaphor

Chip Towers has some excellent posts up today about how Saturday night’s game has affected Georgia’s standing with recruits.  Here’s something that caught my eye in his Branden Smith story:

… Georgia’s coaches took some heat for even having Smith back returning kickoffs Saturday. Sophomore Brandon Boykin had returned the previous kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. And Smith was criticized the week before for bringing the ball out of the end zone despite fielding it deep.

Then Smith lost the handle on the football without even being hit and South Carolina recovered deep in Georgia territory. He didn’t know what to expect coming to the Georgia sideline.

Smith said he was surprised by what he encountered.

“Hearing my teammates keep rooting me on, that just put the spirit back in me,” Smith said. “They were saying to forget about it, that I’d get another chance. Coach Richt told me, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m gonna put you back in. Redeem yourself.’ It took a little while. The whole time I was just thinking to myself, ‘if I can touch the ball again, what can I do?’ When they called my name to get in on offense, I was just talking to myself saying, ‘I have to make something happen on this play.’ Once I got the ball, it was just good blocking by the receivers and the O-line and I just made it happen.”

Smith’s unpolished and inexperienced with the ball in his hands, but he’s very, very talented.  It’s amounted to one helluva risk/reward ratio so far.  But if you’re Mark Richt, what else can you do but keep the faith, baby?

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A moving experience

So how loud was it Saturday night?  Ask five-star running back recruit Marcus Lattimore:

“. . . Me, my dad, and my cousins went down to the game and it was crazy. The atmosphere, the crowd, the game, it was all ridiculous. The students were so loud the entire game and it was great to be there for that. I couldn’t even hear myself think on that last play because it was so loud in there.”

I’m just glad nobody took them by North Campus after the game.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I’m perturbed at that call.”

If you’ll recall, Stewart Mandel used one of his recent mailbags to ponder the musical question why do the heathen rage about Notre Dame?.  One of the reasons he came up with was this:

Their coach is a (perceived) S.O.B. I don’t remember a whole lot of venom toward the Irish when Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham were coaching them. But from the minute Charlie Weis arrived on campus and announced his intent to out-scheme all comers — then received a big, fact contract for almost beating USC — he became a villain. While he’s changed his tone considerably the past couple of years, first impressions are hard to shake.

First impressions?  More like first, second and last impressions.  Here’s something Weis had to say in the wake of last week’s loss at Michigan.

Charlie Weis didn’t want to spend his Sunday press conference discussing the part officiating played in Notre Dame’s 38-34 loss to Michigan. The Irish coach could talk about Michael Floyd being expected to play this coming weekend, despite 15 stitches to his knee. He could talk about potential changes in defensive schemes.

He could talk about going with passes late in the game instead of killing clock and burning the Wolverines’ timeouts via the run. Weis could talk about all that, because, as he said, “What you don’t want to do is come out after a game that’s hard-fought by both teams and use the officials as a scapegoat.”

But, you know, about those refs…

“I have to be careful when I say this – I have Big Ten officials coming in this week again,” Weis said Sunday. “But that game left a lot to be desired.”

Nothing like showing a little class in defeat.  But I guess it’s easier to question the officiating than it is to defend your last minute playcalling.

**********************************************************************

UPDATE: Maybe Big Charlie’s got his own master plan.

Notre Dame, on the other hand, took the winningest team in NCAA football history down to the wire. In their stadium, no less. No team has won more games than Michigan, and the Big House holds 110,000 or so screaming fans, making it the most hostile environment in Ann Arbor. Despite such daunting odds, the Irish led at times until several questionable calls — by Big Ten officials — finally allowed the Wolverines to escape with a victory. That’s the kind of thing that gets noticed in the polls.

That’s pretty funny.

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Envy and jealousy: the Corch and Junior edition

Tennessee-Florida is my textbook definition of a meteor game, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be glued to the tube this Saturday when it comes on.

Mr. Swindle has his usual brilliant take on things.  I particularly enjoyed this passage, which, um, colorfully expresses the essence of why it’s really not such a hot idea to give Urban Meyer personal motivation for a game:

… Ask Mark Richt about that. Mark Richt is the nicest human being on the planet, a man who takes in the stray children of the world, bonds with his players in teary team meetings, and probably always leaves too much money in the Starbucks’ tip jar even though the barista simply turned, poured coffee, and then presented said coffee to you. Mark Richt is a saint walking among us, and Urban Meyer dropped a motherfucking safe on him and Georgia for dancing. Dancing. Dancing is festive, celebratory, nay, even cheeky, and Urban Meyer took that as justification to put UGA on the rack for four quarters and call timeouts at the end to prolong the agony.

Jack Warner once said of the director Raoul Walsh: “To Raoul Walsh burning down a whorehouse is a tender love scene.’ Ditto for Urban Meyer, whose deepest satisfactions as a coach have always come from the moments where he has his opponent Dexter’d up on the operating table bound and terrified. Now he, a lowly assistant who tacked up the coaching ladder from Bowling Green, to Utah, and then to Florida, faces a guy who at 34 is riding a genetic lottery win all the way to the bank and beyond, a guy who called him a cheater in the offseason riding in with an error machine at quarterback coming off a loss to UCLA at home.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but that’s good stuff.  And just remember, UT fans:  it’s all part of the plan.

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He can’t say that about our players. Only we can say that about our players …

Caught this little bit of faux sympathy from a Tech supporter commenting about AJ and Joe over at Dawgrant:

I feel your pain. (Calvin and Reggie)

Give me a break, pal.  At least Joe has mastered the ability to count to four.

Besides that, it’s not like he exactly stunk on ice against South Carolina.  Over at Team Speed Kills, cocknfire has the tale of the tape.


vs South Carolina / 9.12.09 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT RAT Rush Yds Avg TD
Joe Cox 17 24 70.0 201 2 1 160.35 4 -24 -6.0 0


vs Georgia / 9.12.09 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT RAT Rush Yds Avg TD
Stephen Garcia 31 53 60.0 313 2 1 116.78 10 42 4.2 0

That’s right – that’s Joe Cox with a passer rating of 160+.  That’s Joe Cox with a passer rating about 45 points higher than the kid who turned in the game of his career.  Now, admittedly the PR doesn’t tell the whole story.  An interception counts the same whether it’s a smart or stupid throw, whether it leads to three points or is a pick six.  And obviously, it doesn’t take into account the damage Garcia did with his feet.  But even with that in mind, it’s hard to call Joe’s statistical performance anything less than credible.

That’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement – Cox would probably be the first to tell you that – but to call that performance Ballesque is laughable.  Dude, we knew Reggie Ball.  Joe Cox is no Reggie Ball.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

The perfect storm (of trash)

As an environmentalist, I rank somewhere between a Sierra Club member and a pig.  Which I guess, judging from this post of Paul’s, puts me ahead of about 75% of the people who tailgated on North Campus last Saturday.

As the header indicates, there’s a certain amount of inevitability about the situation that’s been building up over the past few years -  a combination of more tailgaters, fewer places on campus to tailgate and more night games.  Admittedly, it also doesn’t help that there are far fewer trash receptacles made available by the university than are needed.  That being said, as Paul notes, it’s not exactly hard to bring a few trash bags to a tailgate.

I’m not going to waste bandwidth being a scold here.  The idea that a blogger like myself can put peer pressure on the masses regarding an issue like this seems unlikely, and besides that, Paul’s done a much better job of being a grump about this than I ever could, so I’ll just leave you with a sad prediction.

Knowing what we all know about the economics of higher education these days and the way Georgia’s administration operates, this will be the excuse the school uses to implement a pay-to-tailgate plan much like the one I posted about that’s in effect at Alabama.  While that has the downside of costing $700-800 per season, it does have the benefit of working.  If things continue as they are, I give it two years, max.

A few trash bags would seem to be a far cheaper option.

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SEC Power Poll Ballot – Week Two

Another week in the books, one that didn’t change perceptions too very much.

  1. Florida. What’s the over/under this week?  Not on the points – on Crompton’s turnovers.
  2. Alabama. Oooh, did you hear?  The Tide struggled against Florida International for half a game.  Yawn.
  3. Ole Miss. It’s a good thing the Swine Flu isn’t the nickname for another school’s program, because it definitely kicked the Rebels’ ass last week.  But since they didn’t play, I’ll leave them alone.
  4. LSU. Since when did playing Vandy tough at home become a badge of honor?  A very shaky fourth place vote.
  5. Georgia. After what I’ve seen in the first two games, nothing this team could do this week would surprise me.  This, too, is a shaky pick, but I’m beginning to think this team may have more upside talent wise right now than anyone else in the conference.  Unfortunately, if they don’t cut down on the screw ups, the record won’t reflect that.
  6. Auburn. The run Auburn’s on may last a little while longer, given the schedule.  You have to respect the newfangled competency on offense, even if it’s been compiled against weak opposition.  The lack of depth is very scary, though.
  7. South Carolina. There is no running game.  None.  How far can you go in the SEC with a brutal schedule and no running game?  Answer:  as far as your defense can take you.
  8. Arkansas. They didn’t play, so they take advantage of the egg Tennessee laid to move up one slot from last week.  I keep hearing this Petrino guy is an offensive genius, but what’s so great about their defense?
  9. Tennessee. The Vols may defy one of my standards: regression to the mean.  They look as good on defense and as inept on offense as they did last season.  I thought about placing them lower, but decided to save some room for this week’s results.
  10. Kentucky. They didn’t play last weekend and the two teams I had ranked lower in week one both lost, so the ‘Cats get to stay here by default.
  11. Vanderbilt. I don’t care if LSU had a tough time with Vandy’s defense.  When you break even on turnovers and lose the time of possession battle by almost thirteen minutes, 210 yards of offense ain’t gonna cut it.
  12. Mississippi State. Woody McCorvey’s gone, but they’re still losing.  They do get a chance to move out of the cellar by playing Vandy this week.

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