Monthly Archives: October 2008

Brief admin note

Alright, I’m outta here.  I won’t have a computer with me, so no posting until I get back.

Once again, there is a Sunday night game, so the window for Mumme Poll ballots will be Monday 9:00 AM to Tuesday 9:00 PM.  My ballot will be posted Tuesday and the Week 10 standings will be published Wednesday.

Everyone have a great rest of the week.


Filed under Mumme Poll

First (and last) thoughts on the WLOCP

I’m leaving later today to join the caravan on I-95, so I’m getting my say in a day earlier this week.

First, let’s get the obligatory picture out of the way:

Urban Meyer still wishes hed have thought of this first.

Urban Meyer still wishes he'd have thought of this first.

OK, now we can move on to this year.  For the most part, anyway.  Here’s what I see as the keys to this year’s game.

  1. Withstand the early burst. I don’t think the Gators want to answer the Celebration with some sort of stunt of their own.  I think what Meyer and the boys want to do instead is to come out and overwhelm Georgia from the opening kick with offensive speed, special teams and the unfortunate early turnover – something akin to what they were able to accomplish in Knoxville earlier this year.  Georgia can’t be looking up at the short end of a 21-0 score at the end of the first quarter and expect to make that up.
  2. The long drive is your friend. I’m going to say something sacrilegious here:  as much as I love the 68 yard touchdown runs and the long bombs to Green, I’m going to love the fourteen-play, eight plus-minute drives even more this Saturday.  The more Stafford stays on the field, the less Tebow does.  That’s a win-win in my book.
  3. Make the freakin’ tackles. By far the most troubling thing from the LSU game was the shoddy tackling we saw from the defense.  Reshad Jones – I hope – has been frequently reminded this week that kill shots are only fine if they actually bring the ball carrier down.
  4. Sweat the small stuff. Special teams and turnovers.  Florida blocks punts.  Brandon James is the best punt returner Georgia will see this season.  The Gators are +10 in turnover margin.  Georgia needs to avoid losing any of these battles to win this game.
  5. Make Tebow throw the ball to beat you. I suspect the Gator offensive plan is to show the GPOOE™ the runner to open up the run for Demps and Rainey and to sell that funky bend-the-knee play action pass he does well.  The Dawg defense can’t bite on this; job #1 is to get a handle on the Gator running game and dictate when Florida has to throw.  The tackles have to do much better this week than they did against LSU’s Scott.
  6. Take advantage of the Florida secondary. I’m still not convinced they’re world beaters back there.  They haven’t really been tested much this season by an offense that can run and throw, since LSU got run out of the Swamp early and couldn’t stick to a balanced offensive game plan.  Bobo needs to follow up his brilliant game last week with another jewel.

As for the psychology of this game, I think it’s a little overblown, although, in a way, I hope it’s not.  If Florida comes out too geeked up as a result of having the Celebration pushed in its face all week (hell, all year), that could backfire on it.  But the real reason I don’t think it will matter too much is because of an excellent point Paul Westerdawg made here after last year’s WLOCP – by pulling that, Richt essentially wrote a check for this year’s game that this team is going to have to cash.  He’s raised the stakes for his players and I can only hope that he’s using that to get the team ready.  Given the fact that he’s been pushing most of the right buttons this year (except for the Blackout, ugh), I feel pretty good about that.

My bottom line for this week is the same as last week’s.  If both teams show up to play, I think Stafford makes the difference and walks away with his second win in Jacksonville.  And when’s the last time we could say that about a Georgia quarterback?


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

2008 Las Vegas Sports Consultants Top 30, Week 9

The top seven remain unchanged from last week.

Rank Team Rating Previous Notes
1 Southern Cal 113.6 1 Had to work at Arizona.
2 Texas 112.2 2 Hung tough in tight game.
3 Oklahoma 111.9 3 Offensive show at K-State.
3 Florida 111.9 4 Scoring machine over Kentucky.
5 Penn State 110.9 5 May have leaped biggest hurdle.
6 Georgia 108.9 6 Huge road win at LSU.
7 Alabama 108.5 7 Tide stays unbeaten with key road win.
8 Missouri 107.4 10 Happy homecoming over Buffaloes.
9 Texas Tech 107.3 8 Ready for shootout with Texas.
10 Oklahoma State 105.9 11 No shame in defeat at Texas.
11 Ohio State 105.6 9 Losses to #1 and #5.
12 LSU 104.7 12 Ouch…. Bitten by Bulldogs.
13 Texas Christian 103.6 13 Horned Frogs are hard to handle.
14 California 103.4 16 Host the Ducks before trip to SoCal.
15 Oregon 103.0 20 Boat raced Devils in their backyard.
16 Brigham Young 102.9 15 Letdown from loss at TCU…
17 Arizona 102.6 18 Gave Trojans a tussle.
18 West Virginia 102.5 19 Come from behind win over Auburn.
19 Utah 102.3 17 Heading to New Mexico.
20 Kansas 102.1 13 Couldn’t contain Red Raiders.
21 Florida State 101.9 27 Seminoles handle the Hokies.
22 Boise State 101.6 22 Broncos earned tough win at San Jose.
23 Tulsa 101.2 23 Had to rally for win Sunday night.
24 South Carolina 101.0 25 Host the Volunteers this week.
25 Oregon State 100.9 26 Arizona State comes calling.
26 North Carolina 100.5 NR Tar Heels continue solid play.
27 South Florida 100.0 23 Louisville had the answers.
28 Boston College 99.9 20 Stubbed their toe at North Carolina.
28 Nebraska 99.9 NR Steady move up for Huskers.
30 Michigan State 99.8 NR Spartans own solid 7-2 mark.

Interestingly, these guys see Florida as only a three point pick on Saturday.

LSU was seemingly undervalued early in the season.  Now it seems a little pricey at #12.  On the other side of the coin, the Utes and Boise aren’t getting much love.


Filed under College Football

“Richt shot himself in the foot in the discipline category.”

You know, it’s fine by me that an Orlando Sentinel writer wants to measure the head coaches at Florida and Georgia and find that Mark Richt comes up a little bit short.  But it’s reasoning like this that flat out drives me up the wall:

Discipline: Advantage Meyer. Richt wasn’t going to win this with 10 player arrests since January and two unclassy logo-stomping incidents from his team last year.

Seriously, Jeremy Fowler, why do you want to go there?  First of all, I truly believe that no rational head coach wants problem kids in his program, and I don’t think Meyer or Richt are crazy in that regard.  But how do you brush over little details in Gainesville like firing AK-47s in public places and dead people’s credit cards being stolen?  I don’t see where either program has the high ground in moral superiority right now.

And as for logo stomping, how convenient of you to gloss over this moment.

Look, next time just say “I like Urban better” and save us the commentary.  You’ll come off looking better.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

The man is a genius… a genius, I tell you.

As if you needed it, Chris Low has further proof of the amazing job Stacey Searels has done this season.

… This is the fourth different combination the Bulldogs have used this season, and according to Brett Edgerton in ESPN’s Stats and Analysis department, the youngest starting five by far among the top 10 teams in the BCS standings this week. No other team in the top 10 of the BCS standings starts even one freshman in the offensive line. [Emphasis added.]

The only other Top 25 team that’s as young in the offensive line is Florida State, which also starts three freshmen and two sophomores. Minnesota starts two freshmen and two sophomores, while Boise State starts two freshmen and one sophomore.

Just a reminder – Georgia ranks second in the SEC and eighteenth nationally in sacks allowed.  And, no, you can’t give the o-line all of the credit here.  But it does deserve the lion’s share.  And compare what this bunch has been able to do compared with their 2003 counterparts.  I can’t say enough about what Searels has accomplished.


Filed under Georgia Football

I did it… my way.

Que the strings:

In a season that largely has gone to the dogs, Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer opted for a more subdued approach in his Tuesday press conference rather than the animated, defiant demeanor that followed last month following a blowout-loss to Florida.

“I’m not a dog that barks and then runs into the house. I’m going to do my job on a daily basis, or bark from inside the house,” said the Vols’ embattled coach. “I’m going to do my job and do it the right way. That’s all, there’s only so many hours and only so many things you can fix at one particular time and lay my head on the pillow at night and know I’ve done it and done it right and had a lot of success doing it.”

I’m not sure what that means, but it sure smells like a man who’s resigned to an unhappy fate.


Filed under The Glass is Half Fulmer

The gold standard

If you want to know how celebrity status is measured on campus in Athens, just ask Darryl Gamble.

— Saturday, Gamble had the biggest game of his life. Monday, he was an instant star around campus. So how has life changed since he returned two interceptions for touchdowns against LSU?

“It’s been a lot more hectic. A lot more people know who I am when I’m walking to class and stuff. I guess it’s more of being a Knowshon around campus.[Emphasis added.]

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Filed under Georgia Football

Ah, baby don’t you do it…

It’s contract negotiating time with Jacksonville again.  And it looks like Georgia is going back to its role of being the coy date.

“Every year the questions arise: Do we move back to a home-and-home series or move it back to Jacksonville,” said Frank Crumley, Georgia’s executive associate athletic director for finance and administration. “We address that every time and it’s not totally decided by us. We have discussions with (Florida officials] and the city of Jacksonville and have to present that back to our athletic board for review and approval.

“It’s still too early to tell what the sentiment is.”

Well, I’ve got some sentiment right here for you, Frank:  don’t screw this up.  As long as this is nothing but a negotiating ploy to squeeze the city, fine.  It’s certainly worked before, quite successfully as a matter of fact.  But, please, please, please, don’t take the game out of J’ville.  It just won’t have the same luster if you do.


Filed under Georgia Football

Mumme Poll, Week 9

Fewer voters, fewer schools receiving votes.  That’s the main story this week.  As always, top five votes in parenthesis.


1.   Texas (50)

2.   Alabama (48)

3.   Penn State (46)

4.   Florida (35)

5.   Oklahoma (32)

6.   Georgia (21)

7.   Texas Tech (10)

8.   Southern Cal

9.   Oklahoma State

10.  Utah

11.  Boise State

12.  TCU

13.  Missouri

14.  Ohio State

15.  Florida State

16.  Tulsa

17.  LSU

18.  Minnesota



  • For the third week in a row, Texas remains the only school that was a unanimous top five selection.
  • Look, Ma, no ties!
  • Southern Cal took a noticeable hit for its close game with Arizona.
  • Teams receiving top five votes that didn’t appear on all of the ballots:  Southern Cal, Oklahoma State and Boise State.
  • There’s a very clear consensus on the top ten teams in the country.  Utah appeared on all but six of the ballots.
  • I received a lot of comments this week to the effect that this has been fun, that it’s been a good exercise to keep up with college football on a more involved level than before and that it’s forced many to hold their Bulldog favoritism in check (especially with those top five votes for the Gators).
  • Most people have stopped holding their noses over Texas Tech.  If the Longhorns don’t blow out the Red Raiders this week, it will be interesting to see how the voting is affected by the result.
  • Voters do seem somewhat conflicted about the mid-majors, even as they cast votes for them.  Utah and TCU face off, so some of that will clear up.
  • Again, the time spent on this remains very consistent from week to week, with most of you putting your ballots together in less than 45 minutes.
  • Blogs mentioning the Mumme Poll:  Hunker Down Dawg; Picture Me Rollin; The Connecticut Yankee; A Bulldog In Exile.

Finally, a public service announcement.  I thought I made this clear at the beginning, but in light of some of the e-mails I’ve received, I guess I need to reiterate something:  once you fail to vote, that’s it.  You can’t get back in the voting the next week.  I want to have a consistent, core group of folks casting ballots over the entire season.  So please don’t take a week off and expect to jump in again the following week.


Filed under Mumme Poll

Not in their heads… nope, not one bit.

Give Mark Bradley credit for nailing the sucker:

… Georgia’s celebration, which didn’t go according to Richt’s script and for which it was penalized twice and for which he keeps apologizing, is the single smartest thing he has done as a coach. It changed the dynamics of a series that, from the Bulldog perspective, was past due for a change. It served its purpose leading into last season’s game, turning his team’s focus from the usual Jacksonville gloom and doom to something brighter — how are we going to celebrate? — and it has become the gift that keeps on giving.

Not quite complying with his coach’s gag order, the famous Tim Tebow admitted to the Orlando Sentinel that the Gators have a photo of the dancing Dogs in their locker room. Think about that: A team that won the 2006 BCS title is concerned with the team that, until 2007, was its personal doormat. And the run-up to this year’s game will be dominated by one line of discussion:

How will the Gators respond? Have they planned something themselves? What if Georgia springs a new “spontaneous” display? Does Urban Meyer have a counter-counter-celebration in his famous playbook? And will Tebow and Co. be so bent on vengeance that they forget to execute those famous plays?

Of course, Meyer is on record as saying the Celebration has no bearing on this Saturday’s game, so there’s that…


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles