Leash the hounds.

Those AJ-C columnists are truly fixated on Georgia’s penalty numbers.  First we had Barnhart’s post about how the Dawgs are languishing in the polls because of penalties, a proposition that isn’t borne out in reality.  Now we have Terence Moore weighing in on the subject, in only the way that someone with Moore’s ego and cluelessness can do so.

For Terence, it’s all about – you guessed it – the most cataclysmic event in college football last year, The Celebration.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but probably not. Ever since Georgia’s silliness in the end zone last season against Florida, the Bulldogs have gone from ranking as one of the most disciplined teams in the country to whatever they are now.

Moore thinks this is something worth confronting Mark Richt over, if only to remind one and all that Moore saw this coming.  Richt, who clearly has the patience of a saint, manages to drag the discourse back to the only salient point.

“I don’t think [the Florida game] had anything to do with this, but I guess it’s up for people to debate,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt on Wednesday, despite the overwhelming numbers that show there isn’t a debate. We’ll share those numbers in a moment, but Richt wished to add, “I do know that since the Florida game, we’ve won, what, 12 out of 13 or 13 out of 14 [actually it’s 10 out of 11]? I don’t know what that record is, but you might want to throw that in there.”

Well, yeah, there is all that winning.  Moore even goes on to acknowledge that the last two national champions were both heavily penalized SEC teams.  But it doesn’t matter now.  Why?  Because so sayeth the sooth.

None of this should be surprising. A guy predicted such sloppiness for Georgia a year ago in Jacksonville.

I was that guy, and I wrote during the short-sighted joy after Georgia whipped Florida for just the third time in 18 tries: “So much for discipline, poise and class. They could return as staples of Georgia’s football program under Mark Richt, but it’ll take a while. They vanished on Saturday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, where the Bulldogs kept making fools of themselves early and often. They were fools by choice. That’s the scary thing.”

Moore predicts that Georgia won’t win a national title because of penalties, which is less a brave prediction than an effective way to stir the pot.  And it works.  He gets 97 comments in less than four hours followed up with this administrative note:  Commenting has been turned off.


UPDATE: Doc Saturday neatly filets Barnhart and Moore with this post.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

12 responses to “Leash the hounds.

  1. peacedog

    Sweet sisters of mercy. . . that’s a bad column even by Moore’s standards.

    Also, in terms of penalties disciplined is not how I’d categorized the Mark Richt era. We’ve had a number of years ranked towards the top of the conference in terms of penalities committed, even before the Celebration created a small rip in the space time continuum, allowing Yog-Sothoth to corrupt our entire football team.


  2. Christian

    One of the hardest things for “us” fans to understand (and I include myself in this category) is that when you quickly comment and respond to an absolute “ass hat” like Terrence Moore in the manner described above (97 comments in 4 hours) – you’ve made him and the AJC very, very happy.

    They don’t care why you comment, just that you did.

    He knows that he’s hit a chord with the UGA fans on this topic and is going to keep driving the nail in further, and further.

    Oh, and as you and peacedog point point out, don’t try to use facts when you make your rebuttal (like the fact we’ve won 10 out of 11 since UF and that we’ve always been well-penalized under CMR) because those facts don’t help him with his case. Personally, I think the injuries are the main reason it will be hard to compete for a NC this year – not the penalties.

    JMHO, but if you want these type columns to stop from Terrence Moore, let there be only 4 comments in 97 hours…only then would he change his tune.

    Go Dawgs!


  3. Heyberto

    Christian’s right.. and Terence Moore is just a hack that somehow got a job. The best thing to do is ignore him. I don’t even read his columns anymore. I think most readers realize what an idiot he is and don’t take anything he says seriously.


  4. Richt-Flair

    When I read the column, I didn’t get angry. I was thinking: “Moore just got owned by Mark Richt, and doesn’t even realize it.”


  5. Scott

    It happens every time Mr. Moore interviews Coach Richt. I can imagine Coach sitting in his office rolling his eyes when his admin announces ” Mr. Moore is here to see you!”
    I feel kind of bad for Terence. But if ignorance is bliss he must be one happy idiot.


  6. Why, exactly, is the AJC choosing to beat this dead horse [i]now[/i], the week after Georgia played a relatively (for them, really) penalty-free game?

    I would have rolled with it after the USC game, honestly.

    [quote]They vanished on Saturday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, where the Bulldogs kept making fools of themselves early and often.[/quote]



  7. Hobnail_Boot

    All you need to know about Terrance Moore is that he is a frequent guest on Jim Rome’s show.

    Tools of a feather…


  8. Christian

    +1 Hobnail_Boot – that says it all.


  9. Ally

    Don’t hammer me, but I do think Barn & Moore are onto something – they’ve just missed the mark with their conclusion.

    A couple of weeks ago I read David Hale’s article about the penalty problem since last year’s wlocp and came to a different conclusion.

    Here’s his piece: http://www.macon.com/166/story/479653.html

    He points out how the transition from being a rarely penalized team to the most penalized team in cfb was instantaneous after that game. I think its ridiculous to believe its ALL due to youth. I absolutely believe, however, that we were placed under a microscope & scrutinized more than ever before since that game. Anyone remember the hatchet job Penn Wagers did on us during last year’s blackout? Anyone remember the rest of the wlocp after the celebration? Also, think about the numerous absolutely ridiculous calls (tripping & leaping) we’ve received this season. I’ve never witnessed anything like it as a 30 year Dawg fan. I know people are tired of hearing UGA fans bitch & whine this year, but I think we legitimately have a case here. Look at the evidence:

    “In the 11 games – including the Florida game – since the infamous on-field celebration, Georgia has racked up at least 70 yards in penalties 10 times. In the 11 games before Florida, it happened just once.”

    “Since that game, the Bulldogs are averaging 9.2 flags and 81.4 penalty yards per game – nearly double the rate during the 11 games before that. In all, Georgia has been saddled with 36 more penalties in the 11 games since the celebration than it had been in the same number of games before it.”

    “Of the Bulldogs’ 53 penalties in 2008, nine have been for personal fouls and 13 have been 15-yard penalties.”

    Again, I think Barn & Moore’s conclusions are off-base. I think they missed the biggest point & a more important reason to follow the trend of our penalties – the before & after story of the 2007 wlcop for Georgia.


  10. Ally, I think “rarely penalized” is a misconception. I went back and checked the SEC stats for the three years Georgia played in the SECCG. Georgia was eleventh in the SEC in penalties in 2002, ninth in 2004 and seventh in 2005. And Richt’s FSU teams routinely finished poorly in that category, as well.

    It’s never been that big a deal, IMO.

    If you didn’t read Doc Saturday’s post on penalties that I linked to, take a second and check it out. The quantity of penalties has no bearing on a team’s won/loss record.


  11. Ally

    No, I read it and I agree that it has nothing to do with the won/loss record – I never suggested that.

    My point wasn’t to counter Doc Saturday’s. I was simply adding another variable to the equation brought up by both Moore & Tony. If you read David’s articles and posts, I believe he was speaking specifically of the games leading up to the wlocp during the 2007 season only. That’s why I mentioned the term before & after. Sorry – I should’ve made that clearer.

    I’m sure there are several reasons for the spike in penalties, youth being one of them. I just thought the point David Hale was making was interesting as well. I think its plausible and possible that ref’s remember those types of things. Perception is everything. Just ask Miami.


  12. David

    The problem with all these conspiracy theories is that the vast, vast majority of the penalties Georgia has incurred have been obvious infractions. The worst refereed game yet was in Arizona and that wasn’t an SEC crew. Sure the refs blew one on the goal line last weekend, but they gave Georgia every single call for the rest of the first half.

    Maybe, just maybe, they’re getting penalties because they’ve been told to play aggressively. Probably it’s youth. It’s most certainly not that the referees are out to get them. That insinuation insults everyone’s intelligence.