Tag Archives: Ray Goff

Georgia-Tennessee preview: do I really have to do this?

My natural reluctance to do these posts has only grown from week to week, and it wasn’t lessened reading this quote from Mark Richt:

Georgia’s kickoff coverage team has struggled throughout this season, culminating with a disastrous effort against LSU that allowed the Tigers to begin their final drive with exceptional field position.

While head coach Mark Richt said the team continues to address the problems, he said some of the issues are simply a matter of youth that can only improve with increased experience.

“I can’t sit here and say we’ve got 10 guys that are really getting after it and getting it done,” Richt said. “I think they’re trying their tails off but there’s a lot of youth on that thing and they’ve got to continue to mature.”

Cue the Ray Goff “buttah and buttah” quote.  Sigh.

Anyway, it’s a waste of time to write some sweeping overview and conclusion about tomorrow’s game, because, like the rest of you, I have no idea what Georgia team is going to step out on the field.  So you’re going to have to settle for bullet points from which you’re welcome to draw a larger truth.  If you dare, that is.

  • Considering all the talent that’s flowed through these programs in the last fifteen years, how strange is it that there’s really only one front line receiver playing tomorrow?
  • Semi-amazing stat:  Jonathan Crompton has more passing attempts this season than Joe Cox.
  • We’ll see some tackling machines tomorrow, that’s for sure.  Rennie Curran leads the SEC in tackles per game.  Eric Berry and Rico McCoy rank third and fourth, respectively.
  • I probably shouldn’t indulge myself like this, but I’m feeling better about Georgia’s defensive line than I have all season.  Houston and Weston have really come on.
  • With the game he played last year, I’m happy that Robert Ayers has moved on.  I’ll no doubt regret this observation, but no current member of UT’s defensive line scares me as much.
  • On the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Joe Cox vs. Eric Berry does scare me a little bit.  OK, more than a little bit.
  • As I noted in a previous post, Crompton’s yards per passing attempt figure shouldn’t strike fear into an opponent’s heart.  His longest completion of the season is 40 yards.  Willie Martinez, if you don’t challenge these guys in their short passing game, you don’t have a hair on your arse.
  • By the way, that 40-yard completion was to the tight end who leads their receivers in average yards per catch.
  • Georgia’s defense hasn’t allowed a running back to gain 100 or more yards on the ground all season.  Tennessee has won its two games when Hardesty has cracked the 100-yard mark and lost its three games when he hasn’t.  Just sayin’.
  • I’ve got to give Phil Steele credit:  he’s picking Georgia as one of his upset specials this week.
  • Finally, if you want to wallow in a statistical breakdown of the match up, check out a new blog I’ve been introduced to, College Football by the Numbers.
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Filed under Georgia Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Plenty of stuff to chow down on this morning:

  • In case you’ve wondered what Robert Edwards is up to these days, here you go.
  • Here’s an indication of how 2009 has already had its share of twists and turns:  Oklahoma is looking at a win against Miami as a stepping stone to getting back in the national title hunt.
  • Mitch Mustain – as a quarterback, he’ll make a heck of a punter.  His mom must be thrilled.
  • Junior’s showmanship pays off big for CBS“The Florida-Tennessee drew an overnight household rating/share of 4.8/11 on CBS, which is up 60 percent from last year’s Florida-Tennessee game (3.0/7). Saturday’s rating/share was the highest CBS has had for its first game of the college football season since 2002, when the UF-Miami game drew a 6.0/13.”
  • For those of you unhappy with Georgia’s defense, things could be a lot worse.
  • Another interesting stat from the Arkansas game:  “Richt’s Bulldogs had never won consecutive contests in which they trailed at any point by double digits until the past two weeks. In fact, the last time Georgia turned the trick was in Ray Goff’s second season as coach in 1990, when the Bulldogs defeated Southern Miss 18-17 and Alabama 17-16.”
  • Here’s a review of Munson’s book.
  • Progress of a sort“Kiffin said Crompton played “better” at Florida than he did against UCLA. The quarterback threw for exactly 93 yards each game, but he decreased his interceptions from three against the Bruins to two against the Gators.”
  • None of the USC coaches told Aaron Corp he was starting last Saturday?  Weird. (h/t The Wiz of Odds)
  • I bet Penn Wagers is jonesing to call the Georgia-ASU game.  Arizona State ranks 118th in the nation in penalty yards per game with 94.5. Georgia is 115th with 86.3.

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Filed under College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

More Jacksonville grist for the Georgia mill

A couple more thoughts on the should-the-Georgia-Florida-game-stay-in-Jacksonville debate:

First, here’s some more history from Tony Barnhart’s blog post today.

… But the one thing you DON’T do if you’re Evans is move the game because portions of your fan base think Florida has some sort of competitive advantage in Jacksonville. Yeah, the Gators are 16-3 in the series since 1990, but that doesn’t have anything to do with where the game is played.

After all, Vince Dooley was 17-7-1 against Florida from 1964-88. Back then it was the Florida people who wanted to move the game back to campus because they were convinced that Georgia had some magical spell in that building. There wasn’t any magic to it and that was proven when Dooley retired in 1988 and Steve Spurrier came to Florida in 1990. Spurrier mocked the idea that Georgia would have some kind of advantage in Jacksonville, which is an hour from the Florida campus.

In that 19-year stretch Georgia has won three times (1997, 2004, 2007). In the 16 losses I can think of only two times (2002, 2005) where I thought Georgia clearly had the better team and lost. The 2002 loss (20-13) I will never be able to explain. In 2005 (a 14-10 loss) quarterback D.J. Shockley could not play due to an injury. Eight of those 16 Georgia losses were to teams that won the SEC championship. Another loss was to a Florida team (1990) that would have won the SEC championship if not for violations created by the previous staff. Of those nine losses, four were to teams that either won the national championship (1996, 2006, 2008) or played for the national championship (1995). So Georgia hasn’t been losing to bad teams.

Of course Georgia should have won more than three games in the past 19 years but again, it doesn’t have anything to do with where the game is played…

Now, I’ll disagree a little with Barnhart with regard to the 1992 loss, in that I think Georgia had the best team in the SEC East that year, but overall, I think his point here is sound.

Then, there’s also this cold, hard set of facts brought to you by your friendly Gator athletic department.

… Florida Associate Athletics Director Greg McGarrity, likely to be involved in the negotiations, told the Sentinel that keeping the game in Jacksonville saves each school almost $2 million every two years and allows more fans to attend the game than any Georgia site could.

Each team makes $3.8  million every two years under the current format in Jacksonville, McGarrity said, yet a typical home-and-home pays about $2 million to the home team. That means every other year, either Florida or Georgia would have to miss out on the money. “Even in conservative dollars, you’re missing $1.5 million over a two-year period,” McGarrity said. “That money can do each institution a lot of good.”

The Atlanta Sports Council is pushing the Bulldogs to fight for a Georgia Dome hosting once every four years. But the biggest stadium in Georgia would muscle out more than 5,000 fans who go to the Jacksonville game every year. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium holds 76,877 fans compared to 71,228 in the Georgia Dome.

“You’ve got (almost) 6,000 people now that have been there forever and you’re telling them, ‘Sorry folks, you won’t be able to go to the Georgia game this year,'” McGarrity said. “Who will be the 6,000 people? Where do you cut back? It’s not like those tickets aren’t tough to get anyway. Both institutions are turning down hundreds of thousands per year.”

Now obviously that last argument doesn’t apply if the series goes home and home – in that case, only about nine or ten thousand Georgia fans will be able to attend the Swamp every other year, although another forty five or fifty thousand of the Dawg faithful would be able to catch a game in Athens than get to now in Jax.  But if those figures are true – and I haven’t seen anyone argue differently – there’s no question that playing the game in Jacksonville has some clear pluses to it.

So, let’s sum up a few things about this debate.  On the side of those wishing to keep the WLOCP, you’ve got this:

  1. The results of the series over the past four decades have been driven by talent and coaching.
  2. Moving games from Jax to Atlanta would mean less fans would be able to see the game.
  3. Changing the series to a home-and-home would cost the schools money.

On the side of those wanting a move, you’ve got this:

  1. Money being spent in the local economies of Athens and Gainesville, instead of Jax.
  2. Greater travel for the Florida team and its fans every other season.
  3. Speculation that such a move would benefit Georgia’s on-field performance.

Sorry, but I honestly don’t see how the scales balance there.

And I’d like to reiterate one more thing that I touched on in the comments to my previous post on this subject.  I’ve been to every game in Jacksonville since 1979 and I attended the ’95 debacle in Athens.  I’ve experienced the gamut of emotions leaving those games.  I’ve been happy, sometimes deliriously so.  I’ve been sad, sometimes almost crushed.  I’ve been resigned.  I’ve been angry.  I’ve been disgusted.  I’ve cursed Spurrier.  I’ve cursed Goff.

But one thought that’s never crossed my mind as I’ve trudged back to my car after the game is… we’d have won today if this had been played in Athens.  And I’ve never heard another Georgia fan say that after a game in all that time, either.  Why is that?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Summer means fun.

You know you’ve hit the off-season doldrums when you’ve got a good old-fashioned pissing match erupting… over Jim Donnan.

I’m just as bored as the next guy, so let me add two more thoughts to the debate.

First, what really did Donnan in wasn’t his occasionally prickly personality, the record against Tech, hitching his wagon to Quincy’s star or the inevitable let down after the now infamous “I’ve been waiting” comment before the 200o season.  It was, instead, the same sin that Ray Goff committed – not hiring a first rate defensive coordinator.  That’s why I’ll always see the 1999 Auburn game as Donnan’s Waterloo.  And why I’ll always believe that hiring VanGorder was the smartest thing Mark Richt ever did.

Second, I’ll never be able to dismiss Donnan as completely as Kyle does, simply because he directed one of the iconic games of the Georgia football program.

Bite me.

Bite me.

56-49, bitches.  Thanks for that, Coach.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

Saturday morning buffet

It’s raining and it’s the last day of February, so it’s not like you’ve got a lot to do at the moment.

  • Man, what’s gotten into Dennis Dodd?  A well-researched article on the current Congressional follies regarding the BCS?  Color me surprised and impressed.  Best line was his advice for the Mountain West’s conference commissioner:  “1) Visit while the lawmakers are actually voting on stuff; 2) Make your case to someone besides the appointment secretary.” True dat.
  • On the other side of the coin, Matt Hayes lives down to expectations with a “he’s tanned, rested and ready” piece about… Dennis Franchione.
  • A. J. Green isn’t worried about Joe Cox, or being double-teamed, either.  He’s just trying to live up to the Ray Goff mantra of getting “buttah and buttah”.
  • It looks like the Brian Butler saga is going to continue on for a while.  I have to admit I’m hoping that Bryce Brown confirms his verbal commitment to Miami when all is said and done, just so we can see what Randy Shannon does.

2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Remembering Richard Bell

I don’t know if you saw Tim Tucker’s post at his AJ-C blog yesterday, but the gist of it was short, sweet and compelling.

• Georgia has allowed 25.6 points per game this season, just one point per game shy of the worst mark in school history (26.6 per game allowed in 1990).

• Georgia’s defense went from first to worst in sacking quarterbacks — from an SEC-leading 42 sacks in 2007 to a last-in-the-league 18 sacks this season.

• Georgia is minus-2 for the season in turnover margin, a telling drop from plus-nine in 2007.

• On a positive note, Georgia players continue to lead the SEC in passing, rushing and receiving yards per game. If that’s still the case after the bowls, it’ll be, according to the SEC, the first time since the 1966 Florida Gators that one team has had the league’s individual leaders in all three categories.

Every one of those stats tells a story.  Actually, two stories.

First, going back to VanGorder, Georgia’s defenses during Richt’s tenure have been built on pressure from the d-line.  That didn’t happen this year, especially in the second half of the season.  That stat line for sacks is bad.  Epic bad.  Unfortunately, the SEC doesn’t track that info prior to 2003, but in the five years prior to this one, Georgia only finished outside the top three in the conference once, and that was a fourth place showing in 2006.

Do I think that factors in to the other two stats related to the defense that Tucker lists?  Absolutely.

The second tale to be told is what an embarrassment of riches on offense was wasted this season.  Think about it for a minute:  this year’s team has a better core group of skill position players relative to the conference than the ’92 team did.  (And two of those guys went on to all-Pro careers in the NFL.)  And just like in 1992, this year’s team didn’t even sniff the SECCG, let alone anything bigger, and wound up the season playing in Orlando.

But even during that year, as painfully as it played out (and, damn, it was painful), and as much as I cussed Richard Bell, we never saw that defense get blown out for a quarter here or a half there as often as did this year’s squad.  Like it or not, 2008 is the gold standard for that.

So while Mark Richt is pondering the state of the program this winter, it might behoove him to think about the lessons to be learned from 1992.  That was as good as things got under Goff.  The recruiting fell off, Ray played with a succession of ever more mediocre defensive coordinators and he also had his fair share of bad luck towards the end.

Do I think things are as bad now?  Of course not.  But if Richt thinks he’ll be able to carry on with a defense (and we haven’t even mentioned special teams) that performed this poorly without making some changes that result in significant improvement, history strongly suggests that he’ll be fooling himself into thinking the end product will be better.   And we’ll all be having a much harsher debate about the program at the end of next season.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

He can’t knock the SEC for this one.

I guess Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has been so involved in his pissing match with Comcast over cable broadcast fees for the Big Ten Network that he didn’t have time to notice that a crew chief of one of his conference’s officiating teams has a bit of a, shall we say, checkered history, including a bankruptcy with over $400,000 of liabilities listing two casinos as creditors.

Oops.

Now, there’s evidently nothing linking this official to gambling on games, but still, it makes you feel a bit queasy when you observe his crew blow an obvious call in an important game like this…

… especially if you’re a Buckeye fan.

And what does the normally quotable Delany have to say about this mess?

When reached at his home Tuesday, Delany said, “I don’t have any comment on that right now.”

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UPDATE: Now that the horse is out of the barn, the Big Ten will do a little more checking.

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UPDATE #2:  The story, as Ray Goff might put it, is getting “bettuh and bettuh”.

… But Pamon not only was allowed to work in the Big Ten, the NCAA also cleared him to work bowl games, the highest honor for a college football official. According to Yahoo! Sports, Pamon was an alternate for last year’s Fiesta Bowl and had worked the Sugar, Holiday and Independence Bowls in years past…

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Filed under Big Ten Football