Monthly Archives: July 2012

“Elite, but not elite. Successful, but underachieving.”

That’s how Bill Connelly summarizes Georgia’s history as a football program in his post today at Rock M Nation.  I think this part about Mark Richt is pretty fair:

Richt’s tenure is an interesting case study in luck. If his 2002 squad had gone 13-1 in a different season (perhaps 2001 or 2003), they very well may have earned a shot at the national title, perhaps even winning it. Instead, Richt timed his best season in a year that produced two undefeated BCS-conference teams (Miami and Ohio State). Years later, one of the critiques of Richt’s tenure is that he hasn’t won a title, hasn’t won “the big one.” As I’ve said many times, when it comes to true, elite levels of success, you have to simply hope to put a great product on the field as many times as possible and hope that the breaks eventually go your way. Georgia has taken a relative step backwards in recent years — they finished in the Top 10 in five of six seasons from 2002-07 but haven’t since — but are expected to challenge for elite status again in 2012.

One thing, though.  The jury is still out on some of this:

Suspensions will prevent Georgia’s defense from being full-strength versus Mizzou — corner Sanders Commings is gone for two games, safety Bacarri Rambo for four, linebacker Alec Ogletree for two, and corner Branden Smith might be suspended, too — but this is a stout team regardless.

Anyway, lots of good stuff packed in there.  Make sure you take a look.



Filed under Georgia Football

‘Gosh, 35 bowls, that’s a lot…’

I’m sure you’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that six wins will still get a school into a bowl game.  And for all the usual suspects reasons.

“I see it staying at 6-6 for the foreseeable future,” said Wright Waters, the new executive director of the Football Bowl Association. “When commissioners went back to their conferences, they found out there’s an awful lot of support for 6-6. That’s 35 athletic directors who get an early jump on selling season tickets and 35 coaches who are talking to recruits about winning a bowl game.”

SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark Womack, whose conference supports six-win eligibility, also no longer hears discussion of switching to a 7-5 standard. “Thirty-five bowl games can be a lot, but certainly those games provide an opportunity for a lot of student-athletes to experience the postseason,” Womack said.

Throw in the other squeaky wheel…

Staying at 6-6 helps ESPN, which televises most of the bowl season during the TV doldrums of December and owns seven lower-tiered bowls, including Birmingham’s game. The BBVA Compass Bowl has invited a 6-6 team in three of the past four years.

… and I think they’ve got all the food groups represented.

Now as someone who doesn’t have a problem with watching college football in December, I’m more than fine with this.  But I’m wondering about something else:  since the seven-win requirement for bowls is being ignored, what’ll be the next flimsy excuse for why the SEC can’t go to a nine-game conference schedule?


Filed under College Football

Everything Donnan is new again.

A lot of you are going to accuse me of reading way too much into this – hell, you’re probably right, too – but I can’t help but admit to being intrigued by something Josh Kendall tosses out in his early look at Georgia’s offense:

Samuel, a former starter at tailback, could line up at fullback at times in 2012 to give the Bulldogs flexibility in play-calling and formations.

If by that he means that Georgia will try to run Samuel out of two-back sets, à la Georgia’s offense from the late 90’s, I’m down with that.  Those types of formations will make better use of Samuel’s ability than lining him up closer to the line of scrimmage as a fullback in a traditional I-formation set.

It’s not as if Bobo lacks familiarity with two-back sets, either.

And while I’m on a “the more things change” kind of kick here, check out something from this other piece I came across looking for more on Donnan’s offense:

… But the converted defensive back’s latest injury has Bulldog fans talking. On the radio, the streets and the Internet on Saturday, many fans questioned Edwards’ toughness, wondering why he seemed so injury-prone. Donnan dismissed those observations Sunday after seeing the tape of Edwards’ injury.

Bitching about the toughness of your best running back, a proud Georgia tradition.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

If mocking Stewart Mandel is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

I don’t understand why cocknfire doesn’t understand.

I’ve never quite understood why the meanderings of Stewart Mandel and his absurd ranking system for college football teams upsets Georgia fans so much — but it does. And so to answer Mandel’s ridiculous way of ranking the teams — how many people in Montana would recognize a given teams helmet — a couple of otherwise generally sensible Georgia bloggers are actually sending a Georgia helmet up to Montana.

At least I’m generally sensible.  So I’ve got that going for me.


Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff

Cause for offensive line optimism?

I didn’t find much in the way of surprises in Dean Legge’s fall camp preview… well, except for this tidbit:

Truthfully, it’s hard to know every scenario for the line because none of the spots are really locked down – besides Gates starting – and the Bulldogs are pretty deep. Georgia may be inexperienced on the line, but it is deep. Consider that Xzavier Ward is starting to look like a legit SEC tackle, and he’s an afterthought.

This fall will be about the offensive line figuring out who is the best overall combination of five players on the field at one time… once that happens the Bulldogs will be able to rotate in order to keep fresh at the game goes on. Expect no less than seven linemen to get significant playing rotation this fall: Gates, Andrews, Burnette, Lee, Theus, Dantzler, Beard and Houston (?). Don’t be stunned to see Ward come along. If Austin Long can stay healthy and contribute it will simply be icing on top of the cake.

Xzavier Ward as an afterthought is a pretty apt description.  I don’t think he’s shown up on anybody’s radar to this point.  If it turns out he’s functional, Houston gets the NCAA’s blessing and Theus can make a significant contribution as a true freshman, the offensive line situation may not be as worrisome as I’ve thought.  Although I’m still skeptical about how Andrews’ size holds up over the course of an SEC season.


Filed under Georgia Football

Everyone’s a winner, baby.

Jim Delany looks back on what he and his colleagues hath wrought and pronounces it all good.

“It will actually energize the regular season even more than it has in the past,” Delany said of a plan for a four-team playoff in the Football Bowl Subdivision that was approved by Bowl Championship Series presidential oversight committee in June. Delany said he believes the playoff will benefit everyone, including players and fans.

“Our student-athletes will benefit because there will be double the opportunity to compete for the brass ring,” Delany said. “Our fans will benefit because I think that there’s going to be real emphasis on winning championships as well as strength of schedule. So I think that will encourage us to have stronger nonconference schedules. I think that’s a good thing.”

Question for Delany:  if that’s all true – and I’m taking the talk about stronger nonconference schedules with a huge grain of salt – then why wouldn’t an eight-team playoff be even better?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

“We thought it was a done deal.”

Boy, it didn’t take Hugh Freeze long at all to master the intricacies of SEC roster management.

One of Georgia’s top linebackers had his football scholarship revoked by Ole Miss because “they didn’t like progress of his recovery from knee surgery,” according to his father.

Mario Mathis of Thomasville High School had been committed to Ole Miss for nearly three months. He got a big surprise when he showed at Ole Miss for camp this past weekend.

“They told us he was no longer on the commitment list,” said Mario’s father, David Fletcher told the AJC. “They basically pulled the scholarship offer.”

The best part of the story is Freeze giving the kid a lecture about “what commitment means.”  That’s funny stuff, coming from a guy who’s been handing out offers like candy.


Filed under Recruiting

In for a penny…

C’mon, fess up.   How many of you thought “Alabama State” as soon as you heard this news?


UPDATE:  Here’s a gem from the underlying story to Dyer’s dismissal.

According to a Jonesboro Sun report written by Matt Roberson (subscription required), the dismissal is likely related to a March traffic stop in White County. Dyer was pulled over by an Arkansas State Trooper who found marijuana and a gun in his vehicle. Video of the traffic stop was obtained by The Sun through a Freedom of Information Act filed by the Searcy Daily Citizen.

It is unclear who was in possession of the gun and marijuana, per the newspaper’s report. Trooper Royce Denney issued Dyer a speeding ticket and no charges were filed stemming from the discovery of the handgun or drugs. Per The Sun Denney is currently under investigation for his handling of the stop.

The Sun has details of conversations between Dyer and Denney caught on the officer’s in-car video camera. (It’s worth the $.99 one-day subscription fee.)

“You’ve got a career ahead of you, but you’re being a total dumb ass right now,” Denney apparently says to Dyer during the stop.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football

Envy and jealousy: the snark is strong with this one.

Granted, he’s gathering low-hanging fruit, but Jon Solomon’s piece on what a disappointment the addition of the 12th game to the college football schedule has turned out to be is an epic snarkfest.  And I do mean epic.  Here’s a sample:

“I would understand if the media misinterpreted the motive for the 12th game as a long-term fiscal fix, but I would be disappointed if athletics administrators saw it as anything but a short-term salve,” NCAA President Myles Brand wrote in 2005. “I believe most administrators and presidents understand that the decision is not a panacea for fiscal responsibility.”

No, that’s why a playoff is coming. But I digress.

**Sniff**.  That’s beautiful.


Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Something else to put on Emmert’s to-do list.

Quite frankly, this is getting ridiculous.

Alabama coach Nick Saban’s support staff has expanded to nine “analysts.” That’s up from six in 2011, three in 2010 and none before then.

Five of the analysts work with the offense: Kevin Garner, Jules Montinar, Jeff Norrid, Kelvin Sigler and Jody Wright. Norrid is back for a third year. Wright was the offensive graduate assistant two years ago and an offensive analyst last year. Sigler is the former head coach at Blount High School near Mobile.

Three analysts will work with the defense: Dean Altobelli, Russ Callaway and Wesley Neighbors. Altobelli and Callaway also were defensive analysts last year. Callaway is the son of former UAB head coach Neil Callaway, a former Alabama lineman and linebacker. Neighbors, a walk-on defensive back at Alabama (2008-10), is the son and grandson of former Alabama stars.

John Wozniak, most recently the running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator at UAB, is Alabama’s new special teams analyst.

Adding someone to your staff and calling him an “analyst” may not violate the letter of the rules, but it sure as hell does the spirit.  If all we get is crickets from the NCAA on this, expect it to become the next subject of college football’s arms race.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, The NCAA