Monthly Archives: August 2007

Cajun Steeleoid

The big early matchup for the conference is on September 8, when Virginia Tech travels to LSU. The Hokies will be running into a big streak:

Coming into 2007, LSU has won 18 straight non-conference home games.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Youth is served.

This, from Mark Richt’s press conference today, will open your eyes a little:

The theme of Richt’s first presser of the 2007 season was the enormous amount of youth and inexperience on this year’s squad. Richt estimated that we will see between 18 and 20 freshmen play in the Bulldogs’ season opener Saturday evening (6:45 p.m.) against Oklahoma State. He wasn’t sure but thought that is probably the most he’s fielded since becoming Georgia’s head coach in 2001.

“A lot of it has to do with us redshirting an awful lot of players last year,” Richt said. “But I think there’s at least seven true freshmen that are either going to start or play. It bodes well for the future — I hope.”

Yes, but what about the here and now?

“Does it concern me?,” Richt said. “Yes. But I like the way they’ve practiced… . I feel better now than I did when camp started… . If the pressure doesn’t get to them, then I think they’ll be OK.”

This is when you have to trust the coaches as talent evaluators and teachers, that’s for sure.  Again, I do like this team’s chances if they can get through the first two games successfully.  We just have to hope it’s not too big an “if”…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Just block, baby.

Ching reports that Ward and Figgins are the top two at tight end now.

I’ve said it before – there’s a primary reason not to redshirt Figgins.  He may be a true freshman, but he’s a polished blocker:

Figgins’ technically sound game has impressed his coaches in preseason practice, particularly his capability as a blocker. It helps his cause that at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, he already looks the part of a college tight end.

“He looked ready physically when camp began and he’s learning,” Richt said. “He’s a very good blocker. He was a great blocker in high school and he’s beginning to really get good at the college level, so that helps him.”

A decision like this indicates that the coaches believe the offensive linemen need help early in the season.  I suspect that’s another reason why Thomas Brown is the #1 tailback right now, as well.

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Planting those seeds of doubt

Point: “The biggest wild card in the Georgia vs. Oklahoma State game is the new defensive coordinator for Oklahoma State.”

Counterpoint: “Right now, their defensive coordinator can’t just look at everything we’ve done the past couple of years and say, ‘Well, that’s what they’re going to do,’ ” Richt said. “He can’t be sure how Mike may call the game differently or what new twists Mike and the staff might put in. I don’t think there’s going to be that real, clear-cut confidence that ‘this’ is what Georgia does. I’m not even sure what Georgia does anymore. We’re all going to find out. What I’ve seen in practice has been very good.”

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Filed under Georgia Football

“For a Yankee girl, you sure don’t sweat much.”

Evidently Kirk Herbstreit thinks that attractive coeds are few and far between north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Tuesday Steeleoid

With the unbalanced schedule, this one isn’t quite as lopsided as it appears on its face, but still…

Florida vs. Mississippi: In the last two meetings between these two teams, Ole Miss has upset ranked UF teams (#24 UF in ’03, 20-17 & #6 UF in ’02, 17-14). The last UF win in this series was in 1995.

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Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

“The national championship game was a bonus game…”

Little factoid from CBS Sportsline’s Dennis Dodd:

So how tough is the SEC? It’s easier to win back-to-back national championships these days than it is to defend an SEC title. [Emphasis added.] Nebraska (1994-1995) and USC (2003-2004) have won consecutive AP titles in the last 12 years.

There hasn’t been a repeat winner in the SEC since 1998. Only once in the past eight years has the SEC champion finished first in its division the next season.

That’s a little misleading in that if he’s using the period 1994 to present, he needs to account for Florida’s consecutive conference championships from ’94-’96. But coming forward from ’98, it’s pretty impressive, nonetheless.

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Filed under SEC Football

The late, great class of 2007

Rivals has a list up showing the class of 2007 recruits who did not enroll or have not yet enrolled in school for the fall.

There are a whopping 44 SEC signees on the list, led by Auburn with 10 (!). That’s the most from any BCS conference by far. (The next closest conference is the Big XII, at 22.) Only three SEC schools managed to enroll their entire classes – Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt.

I guess those recruiting rankings will need to be revisited.

(h/t The Wizard of Odds)


UPDATE: LD takes offense at the implications of The Wiz’ post and runs with the ball from there. It’s a worthy rant.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

‘Cock-flict of interest

You know, the Ol’ Ball Coach wears a lot of hats… er, visors.  Head coach.  Offensive coordinator.  Internet media mogul.  We all know the man’s a genius, but still, sometimes you wonder how he keeps everything straight.

The short answer would appear to be that he doesn’t.

… On Thursday morning, Spurrier first revealed that some USC players, including starting quarterback Blake Mitchell, were suspended for missing classes during summer school on his site.He did so before the school’s sports information staff was aware. He did so after The State’s Joe Person had asked him Wednesday night about Mitchell’s status. At that time, Spurrier said he wasn’t sure where Mitchell stood.

Shortly after Spurrier broke the news on his website, he told Person that it wasn’t his intention to do so and that the information wasn’t confirmed until Thursday morning.

Even so, it certainly appears like the start of a trip down a slippery slope.

The public institution that pays Spurrier’s salary also pays a sports information staff to disseminate information on the school-supported Website. Instead, this news was confirmed on Spurrier’s Website, which unlike or, charges $29.95 for three months or $99 for a yearly subscription.

In major college sports, the appetite for draining cash from the wallets of obsessed fans knows no bounds.

Shoot, it sounds like the media may have to buy subscriptions, too.

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Filed under The Evil Genius

10 Questions about Georgia

With the season opener less than a week away, what can we say at present about the Dawgs in ’07? There’s a great amount of talent on the field and in the coaching staff, but there’s significant inexperience and uncertainty to go with that.

I’ve got more questions than answers at this point. Here are ten that went through my head this weekend waiting for the start of the season:

  1. How much of a difference will Stacey Searels make in 2007? For my money, the biggest question of the year. As Paul Westerdawg notes, a comparison of this year’s offensive line to that of 2003’s may not be an apt one in that the glue that held the ’03 team together (defensive stalwarts like Pollack, Thurman and Davis) isn’t there – at least not apparently right now – for the offense to rely on in ’07.
  2. Is this the year the receivers show up? Coach Eason is getting tough with this bunch about holding onto the ball as a requirement to earn playing time. On paper, the depth looks impressive, but the reality is that each of Georgia’s three starters at the position have question marks in that one is coming off of a serious injury, one is seriously undersized and one was a bit inconsistent last year. Georgia wants to throw some four and five WR looks out there this year. Will it be a credible threat?
  3. Is Marcus Howard big enough to be a starting DE in the SEC? On paper, I’m hesitant to believe a sub-240 pound DE can hold up in this conference. But the game ain’t played on paper. That being said, there aren’t a lot of schools in the conference that start similarly sized guys at the position.
  4. Which offensive coordinator has the greater success against Georgia’s defense – OSU’s Larry Fedora or UF’s Dan Mullen (/Urban Meyer)? Perhaps this will be the definitive laboratory test for HP’s “Gang of Six” theory this year.
  5. Will the stars align in Jacksonville? All the whining about the weather and site neutrality aside, the Gators have as many holes to fill as Georgia this year. And for once the schedule is set up favorably for the Dawgs, as it’s Georgia that has the open week before the WLOCP this time.
  6. Is Rennie Curran going to be as good as I hope? I really like this kid. Forget the size; he just makes plays.
  7. How much does the offense improve under Bobo? As I pointed out previously, Georgia finished tenth in the conference last year in total offense. For Georgia to compete for a chance to return to Atlanta, Bobo needs to make that production rise by about 70 ypg. Given the inexperience of the offensive line, that’s a tall order.
  8. Can Knowshon Moreno pick up the blitz? He may be a gifted runner, but if he can’t be counted on to save Stafford’s body (especially early), he won’t play as much as we might like.
  9. How much will Stafford’s game improve? I don’t believe he has to be all-SEC for the Dawgs to have a chance. I do think he has to reverse his TD/INT ratio from ’06 and average at least 225 ypg passing for Georgia to contend. For the record, I think he’ll step up.
  10. Do Jancek and the linebackers step up? I have no idea. There’s lots of physical talent, no doubt. But there’s been a decline in production in this area ever since VanGorder departed. The now-ended Brandon Miller experiment at middle LB didn’t exactly increase my confidence, either.

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