Daily Archives: August 30, 2010

Raining on Jerry Hinnen’s parade (not that I want to)

I enjoyed reading Jerry Hinnen’s SEC preview which he posted today – for one thing, he’s been struggling over many of the same issues that I’ve batted around in my head the last four weeks and I’ve always been a big fan of letting somebody else do the heavy lifting if possible – but, try as I might and with as much as I find in what he writes that I agree with, I can’t quite bring myself across the finish line that he erects:

I’m predicting that either Georgia or Auburn will make it to Atlanta at one of the Big Two’s expense.

I like that (especially because I agree with Jerry that Georgia’s a more likely bet to win the East than Auburn to win the West), but I don’t think it’s gonna happen this season, for more than a couple of reasons.

  • Der Gap. Unfortunately, as Jerry notes, the story in the SEC last season was the two teams at the top and the yawning divide between them and the rest of the conference.  I also agree that the margin is likely to shrink in both divisions.  It’s just that I don’t expect it to shrink enough.  Think about it for a minute:  both divisions were won by four game margins last season, so to erase that completely this year,  a school would have to engineer a three-game swing against either Alabama or Florida (or a two-game swing with a win in the head-to-head match).  I don’t see it in either division.  It looks much more like a two-season project to me.
  • The Tigers have to claw. Auburn has the kind of schedule in 2010 that would make Houston Nutt envious, but it still has a tougher row to hoe than Georgia in that it has to fight its way to the top with two other schools also looking to catch Alabama (and Arkansas, as Jerry notes, with its offense has a puncher’s chance to win any game on its schedule).  On paper, Georgia looks to have only South Carolina to duke it out with to run down the Gators.
  • 3-17. Lose the Cocktail Party and Georgia has to play the rest of its conference schedule two games better than Florida.  How likely is that to happen?
  • Auburn’s defensive depth. Yes, the Tigers enjoyed a terrific recruiting class this season.  But it’s a stretch to think that you can count on a bunch of true freshmen to step in and be major contributors on defense.  And starting out, Auburn looks thin on the front seven.
  • Georgia’s defensive changes. Count me as somebody who believes that Aaron Murray is going to absorb all the turnover direction he’s been receiving from his coaches and take it to heart.  Georgia’s offense should be good enough.  But it’s just not realistic to expect a smooth defensive transition with three new coaches and a new scheme, if for no other reason than some old habits die hard.  It’ll get better as the season progresses, but somebody’s going to catch Georgia early on, and as I’ve already noted, the Dawgs don’t exactly have a big margin for error with the Gators this season.
  • Gary Crowton really can’t be that bad an offensive coordinator, can he? Okay, maybe he can.  But, damn, LSU is a talented squad that’s been no worse than third in the conference in recruiting over the past three or four seasons.  There are certainly more highly ranked players suiting up in Baton Rouge than in either Auburn or Fayetteville.

Bottom line – I hope he’s right, but I expect that Jerry’s a year early here.

About these ads

28 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Shuffling the defensive line

Marc Weiszer has the new two-deep roster here.  No earth shattering developments, except on the d-line:

Defense
LE Brandon Wood, Abry Jones
N DeAngelo Tyson, Justin Anderson, Kwame Geathers
RE Demarcus Dobbs, Kiante Tripp

Wood has moved ahead of Jones, Tyson is back at #1 at tackle… and, hello, Kiante Tripp.

I don’t know if this is how Garner is keeping his players on their toes, or himself, but I suspect this isn’t the last change on the depth chart we’ll see.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Monday brunch buffet

Season’s start is getting close enough, you can taste it.

  • Todd Grantham is ready.
  • When Bacarri Rambo talks about “hit and run”, he’s not referring what may happen when you’re behind the wheel of a gold Chevy Impala.
  • I guess soccer fans handle their beer better than college football fans do.
  • This isn’t what it sounds like:  “I look for this to be one of the weakest football seasons we’ve had in while.”
  • This conclusion about strength of schedule – “the trend is essentially saying that the harder the schedule, the better a team’s expected performance” – sure seems counterintuitive to me.
  • Though Kansas has a quarterback with the less than fortunate name of Pick, it’s worth noting that Vanderbilt’s backup quarterback is aptly named Funk.
  • The latest victim of Negative Grohmentum is… Negative Grohmentum.
  • Mike Hugenin’s quarterback rankings have Alabama at #20 and Florida at #21.  I’m beginning to think that Greg McElroy is the Rodney Dangerfield of the SEC.
  • Here’s something that Craig James and Mike Leach agree on.  (h/t Coaches Hot Seat Blog)
  • Chris Low predicts we’ll be putting the Mark Richt-on-the-hot-seat meme in our collective rear view mirrors after this season.

8 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

From Dan Hawkins to Todd Grantham

I explain it all here.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“These are my people”

I was sent something by a reader that I was saving until Saturday morning, but since Barnhart posted about it this morning, here ’tis – a letter from Erk Russell to his 1980 team, just before the start of camp.

Erk Letter

If you don’t want to click on the link,  here’s the text:

July 7, 1980

Gentlemen (and Linemen),

The football season of  ‘80 will be my seventeenth as a Georgia Bulldog. During this time there have been many thrilling Saturdays of competition, each with it’s individual memories, because each game has it’s own personality.

There are two Saturday traditions and experiences which have remained basically the same throughout the years for me and I would like to share them with you.

The first one concerns the THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. These are my people because they love the ‘Dogs almost as much as I do. Oh, I know they do some crazy things- like turn over our opponents’s buses sometimes and now and then they throw one another down the bank and into the street below. But they stamp out Kudzu and they pull for us to win and that ain’t bad.

If you can get off the bus to cheers of THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD and walk down those steps to the dressing room and not be inspired to play football as best you possibly can, something important is missing beneath the Georgia jersey you wear. It is impossible not to be inspired. They choke me up!

The season of 1980 will be the last for THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. A great Georgia tradition will have passed with the new addition to our stadium. The view from the tracks will be no more.

Your team will be the last Georgia Team to be greeted and cheered by THE RAILROAD TRACK CROWD. Wouldn’t it be fitting if their last team was also the best Georgia Team ever? Think about it!

Another Saturday tradition which has meant so much to me over the years can be stated very simply. “THERE AIN’T NOTHING LIKE BEING A BULLDOG ON SATURDAY NIGHT- – – – -AFTER WINNING A FOOTBALL GAME.” I mean like whipping Tennessee’s ass to start with, then ten more and then another one.

This is the game plan. We have no alternate plan.

Sincerely,

Erskine Russell

Assistant Head Football Coach

P.S.–Run!

He called it, didn’t he?

If that doesn’t get you pumped up for the start of the season, I give up, folks.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Just thought I’d ask.

The SEC Power Poll (nifty new logo, by the way) is asking its voters to take part in a preseason poll – in this case, not to rank the teams, but the teams’ uniforms. So I thought I’d get your opinion on the matter. Which do you think are the best and worst looking uniforms in the conference?

There actually is an objective measurement for “worst”, believe it or not.  It’s this:

Like the sun, it's dangerous to stare directly at this.

18 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

At this point, what else can he say?

I certainly don’t feel sorry for Steve Spurrier, but I’m beginning to appreciate why he continues to insist that his team hasn’t been distracted in preseason camp.  It’s about the only line he can take.

Consider what he’s been working through:

  • Weslye Saunders has been suspended for almost a week with no indication when he might return.
  • Lingering injuries to key performers like fullback Pat DiMarco, a team captain, and linebacker Shaq Wilson, the Gamecocks’ leading tackler last season.
  • Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward, in charge of the secondary, worked Tuesday without starting safety Akeem Aguste and backup cornerback C.C. Whitlock.
  • Defensive lineman and captain Ladi Ajiboye was late to that session because of what assistant coach in charge of defense Ellis Johnson said were issues about the hotel.

South Carolina hasn’t heard from the NCAA yet, but expects to before its opener Thursday night against Southern Miss.

And that doesn’t even count the self-imposed uncertainty of the quarterback battle between Garcia and Shaw.

Of course, if this is really what Southern Miss is counting on, all the distractions in the world won’t matter.

12 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, The NCAA