Daily Archives: September 12, 2017

Name that caption, a moment of reflection edition

I’m betting most of you come up with some variation of a catty comment about Jim Chaney.

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“Does it mean Georgia is, you know, like, back?”

Matt Hinton hits the sweet spot of where I’m at after Notre Dame with this:

So in that respect — even if only in that respect, on just the one side of the ball — Saturday night looked like the realization of the job Kirby Smart was hired to do: Elite athletes executing at an elite level. For a program that’s spent years watching decorated recruits flirt with their potential before ultimately falling short, Notre Dame’s status in the national pecking order was entirely beside the point.

If you’re feeling less optimistic, you can point to the fact that Georgia’s offense struggled to score points, too, and the fact that wet-behind-the-ears QB Jake Fromm looked every inch the freshman in his first career start. Long term, the looming tug-of-war behind center between Fromm and Jacob Eason has the potential to send the entire season careening off course. Nagging concerns over Nick Chubb and Sony Michel’s durability and explosiveness haven’t entirely gone away. The receivers remain largely unproven; the reshuffled offensive line is just hoping to get by as it gels, maybe, into a cohesive unit.

At the end of the day, though, it’s not new that Georgia remains a work in progress. It’s a given. That project in Athens has been under perpetual construction for at least a decade, spanning full recruiting cycles, myriad injuries and defections, and coaching changes. In that context, it’s rare to see the work result in actual progress in real time. Strictly speaking, Saturday night may not have revealed much more about Georgia or its immediate prospects of a championship run than we already knew. But it did look an awful lot like progress on a big stage, and the best indication yet that the Smart era is on schedule.

There’s no question that plenty of work on offense remains to be done before we can label this program elite.  But between a defense that appears to have earned that label Saturday night and special teams that have removed themselves from being the outright liability they were last season, it’s okay to feel like things overall are heading in the right direction.  For the moment, that works for me.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“As long as we win the game,” he said, “that’s all that matters.”

In case you were wondering, Nick Chubb is cool with Jim Chaney.

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“And that is what college athletics is all about.”

Fuck you, Jim Delany.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Upon further review, Notre Dame edition

A few observations after watching the replay in all its glory:

  • My Gawd, did Tucker call a great game.  If you drew up a defensive game plan, it would have to have been jam the run, contain the edges to keep Wimbush in the pocket and force third-and-longs.  Sounds easy, right?  Amazingly, that’s exactly what the defense did.  If you watch, you’ll see all kinds of stuff going on with the defensive fronts and most of it had the desired effect.
  • Between that and the ridiculous level of talent out there, this defense sure is going to be fun to watch this season.
  • The only offensive lineman who had a game anywhere near consistent was Wynn.  Thomas looks like a gifted freshman, which is exactly what he is, for better or worse.
  • Call it composure, call it moxie, call it whatever you’d like — Fromm’s got it.  His first half mistakes cost his team, but he didn’t make any in the second half.  And that throw to Wims on the winning scoring drive was clutch.
  • Now I understand why I was so puzzled about Miles McGinty playing.
  • It made for great theater, but the mistakes and near misses prevented what could have been a fairly easy win.  If Hardman holds on to that throw, and Baker makes that interception…
  • Wimbush is a pretty good quarterback, people.  He’s got a live arm and some legs.  He just didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver because of Georgia’s defense.
  • I’ll stand by my call about Chaney.  He looked like a man who knew what he was doing at times and at others, frustrating.  I got some of those early Bobo vibes.  But he’s also burdened with a quarterback who limits the playbook and adjustments, which was something that Notre Dame took advantage of at key times on defense.
  • The Georgia crowd’s enthusiasm came through on the broadcast.  We did good.
  • I thought Tirico and Flutie did a good job calling the game.

Plus, more second thoughts from Jason Butt and Seth Emerson, if you’re interested.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The next chapter of Corch’s book writes itself.

Oklahoma whips Ohio State’s ass and this ensues afterwards.

One can only imagine the steam coming out of Urban Meyer’s ears.  Which is what probably led to this.

Damn, Baker, fun means never having to say you’re sorry.  Although this is a subtle touch.

Eh, kid, Corch could teach you a thing or two about what constitutes a big deal.

As always, though, gallows humor is the best humor.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Give the people what they want.

In explaining that there’s no good reason to blame Notre Dame fans for accommodating the desire of our fan base to show up in South Bend, Michael Elkon makes an excellent point that college football’s decision makers ignore at their own risk.

Additionally, the reaction of Dawg fans to the chance to travel to South Bend is a reminder that there is huge, untapped demand among big college football fan bases to see their teams play other elite programs on the road and not at NFL stadiums.

One way to illustrate this point is to look at how the most popular programs have never visited one another. Here are the top 10 in attendance from 2016: Michigan, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Penn State, Texas, Georgia, and Nebraska. There are 90 potential home-and-home combinations among those teams. In over a century of football, 33 of these matchups have never happened. That’s a bevy of road trips that big fan bases have never gotten to take.  [Emphasis added.]

Put Saturday’s game in some sterile environment like Jerry World and I guarantee you never would have heard stories about Georgia fans taking over Dallas.  Sure, there would have been plenty of folks from around here to make the trip, but the cachet of seeing one of college football’s storied environments would have been missing.

As the highlighted portion of Michael’s piece indicates, college football has this treasure trove of matchups it could mine.  What happened last weekend should be an indication that it should make a concerted effort to do so.  If even Greg McGarity could make something like that happen, any program should be able to do it.

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes