Daily Archives: November 9, 2012

Steve Spurrier, ladies and gentlemen. He’ll be here instead of Atlanta all week.

Zing! (h/t MrSEC)

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier wrapped up his comments for the week with a plea to Gamecocks fans Thursday.

“We need you Saturday,” Spurrier said. “We need you. We need to treat Arkansas as if it’s Georgia…”

Um, about that analogy, Coach… wouldn’t that mean beating a team head-to-head, only to watch it go to the SECCG instead of you?



Filed under 'Cock Envy, The Evil Genius

Catch this: life after Bennett and Brown

Weiszer sums up where Georgia will have to go to make up for the lost production from season-ending injuries to the receivers who now rank second and third on the team in receptions.  Basically, there aren’t any surprises.  The tight ends and wideouts like Conley and Wooten will need to contribute.

But we can also take solace in some of the data Bill Connelly has compiled in this post about receiver ratings.  The best news there is that Georgia’s top two receivers, Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell, are having more efficient seasons than they did in 2011.  In King’s case, there’s significant improvement in catch rate, from 52.3% to 64.3%.  When you’re the guy who gets the most balls thrown his way, that’s a big deal.  Mitchell, who led the team in catch rate last year, has actually improved his rate to an astounding 78.8%.  (That’s tops among SEC wide receivers with at least 20 catches.)

Also good news is that the tight ends are more efficient at catching the ball than Orson was last season and Gurley’s catch rate exceeds Crowell’s.

Wooten, with a 52.2% catch rate, is the guy who needs to step it up.

Don’t get me wrong.  Bennett and Brown will be missed.  But the Dawgs have options.  This really is one area of the team where they’ve developed some legitimate depth.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Crazy crazy world that we live in.”

It looks like Deion Bonner won’t be packing his bags for Alabama State after all.

No charges will be brought against Tennessee freshman cornerback Deion Bonner in connection with a cellphone theft on campus last week.

The case will drop to inactive status, UT spokesperson Margie Nichols said Thursday, and the alleged victim in the case does not wish to pursue charges.

Perhaps it’s best to look at the seamy side of Tennessee football as a continuing episode of Law and Order where Jack McCoy’s witnesses keep getting amnesia.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Crime and Punishment

“There is talent all over that place.”

If this season turns out to be a disappointment – and I’m not claiming that it is at this point – I don’t see how the post-mortem avoids pointing in a certain direction.

Georgia has yet to produce three first-round picks in the same draft, but one NFL scouting director believes that stat will be short-lived.

“Ogletree may be the best linebacker in the conference from an athletic standpoint and everything he can do on the field,” the scout said, “and Jones is probably the best pass-rusher from a linebacker position in the conference. Jenkins doesn’t make a lot of plays, but he’s 360 pounds.

“Jenkins is a first-rounder on size alone, and you look at the way the league is going with 3-4 defenses. Those guys get drafted, because there aren’t a bunch of them.”

Senior safety Shawn Williams has appeared on some first-round mock drafts and is “the toughest of that bunch” according to the scout but may land in the second round. There will be more. Many more.

“They’ve got a defensive line there that’s NFL caliber with Jenkins, Kwame Geathers, Abry Jones and Corneluis Washington,” the scout said, “and then you go to the back end where you’re looking at two safeties who are going to play in the league with Williams and Bacarri Rambo. There is talent all over that place.”

At least eight Georgia defenders could go in the draft, and eight is the most total selections the program has provided in any previous draft. That was in 2002.

That’s a lot of talent to be ranked thirty-third in total defense, especially with five SEC teams ranked in the top twenty.  But the good news is that the talent looks like its rounding into shape.

Georgia’s defense somehow managed to hold Florida and Ole Miss to 165 fewer combined yards than the Bulldogs yielded against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic. The Bulldogs were not at full strength earlier in the year, when Ogletree and Rambo were suspended for the season’s first four games, but they are certainly dominating at the right time.

There’s still plenty left to play for, so this may well turn out to be a happy case of better late than never.


Filed under Georgia Football

Money on the table

So Dennis Dodd is reporting that ESPN’s offer to broadcast the new playoffs is well in excess of what the conferences were initially expecting.  But there’s still a problem.

The price point, though, is less of an issue at this point than the structure. CBSSports.com reported this week that the Big 12 and Pac-12 each want access to another bowl slot. Both conferences currently have only one bowl in the playoff structure. The SEC and Big Ten each have two.

As a way to get that access, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott are advocating establishing another contract bowl with their conferences participating against a team from the so-called Group of Five (MAC, Sun Belt, Big East, Mountain West, Conference USA).

However, multiple sources have said the market won’t support the addition of a seventh playoff bowl. Scott and Bowlsby are reportedly also in support of their game being played within the current six-bowl structure. Big East commissioner Mike Aresco says he still believes a seventh bowl is possible.

Damned market.  There is, however, more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.  Particularly if you’re shortsighted and greedy.  And if the last round of negotiations over the expansion of the basketball tourney tells you anything, it’s that these guys are shortsighted and greedy.

In other words, it’s even money on the football playoff field being expanded before the end of the term of the new broadcast contract is reached.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Minimum wage, for the win

This David Pollack observation about his college defensive coordinator gave me a chuckle:

“He does a good job of finding out how guys respond and knowing which buttons he can push,” said David Pollack, a three-time All-America linebacker under VanGorder. “He’s not going to call you out just to call you out if it’s not going to get the effect. He always used to tell Odell Thurman, because he came from a background where football was going to be his ticket for sure, you’re going to work at McDonald’s or own the McDonald’s. He always had the same energy. You knew what you were getting from him every single day, and you didn’t want to disappoint him.”  [Emphasis added.]

It’s not exactly a pumping gas moment, but it’s from the same family tree.


Filed under Georgia Football

Tomorrow’s key is a subdued Trooper Taylor.

As the 2011 season drew to a close, the suggestion that a year later Gene Chizik would be facing a less certain future than Ted Roof would have drawn chuckles, if not stares of outright disbelief.  Yet, here we are.

AuburnUndercover.com, a subscription-based website operated by 247Sports, reported Thursday that school President Jay Gogue has informed some individuals on the Auburn board of trustees he “plans to possibly” replace Chizik, who coached the Tigers to the BCS national championship just two seasons ago. Auburn has gone 10-12 since the 2011 title game.

Nothing is official as of Thursday. Chizik made his regular weekly appearance on the Auburn Sports Network “Tiger Talk” radio show Thursday evening.

Gogue told some trustees he is considering forming a search committee for a new head coach “within days after the end of the season should the decision be made that Chizik will not be retained,” according to AuburnUndercover.com.

What Gogue does or doesn’t do isn’t of immediate interest.  How the noise affects Auburn’s preparation for and play on Saturday is, though.  If there’s a burning desire to save Chizik’s skin, then tomorrow’s game represents Auburn’s last and best hope:  nobody’s gonna care about a win over Alabama A&M and this flawed Tigers team stands little chance on the road against the Crimson Borg.  So it’s Georgia, which admittedly has had a propensity over the last couple of seasons to play down to the level of its opponent, or bust.

The problem for the Tigers is that they don’t match up well with what Georgia does well.  And Georgia’s got something to play for tomorrow, too.

I’ve never been much of a believer in stand taking for an embattled coach – if that stuff really worked on a consistent basis, would Auburn be entering this game 2-7 in the first place? – but there’s a real easy way to make sure it’s not an issue.  The Dawgs need to come out ready to play tomorrow night and take the crowd and the emotion out of the Auburn side early.  It doesn’t really matter if the game is a rout.  Simple control would be fine.  It’ll be enough if ol’ Trooper has to keep his towel holstered.  And have thoughts about needing to polish his resume before the third quarter is finished.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football