Monthly Archives: September 2018

Tough neighborhood

Somebody posted a great line last night about Georgia — “the best time team in the country not playing its best” — so it’s worth keeping in mind that despite whatever angst you may be suffering through at the moment, the Dawgs are undefeated atop the SEC East.

That beats the alternative.

It’s also worth noting that succeeding in the SEC is nothing to sneer at these days.

None of which should be construed as a prediction of smooth sailing.  This team continues to look like a bunch that at times clearly coasts on its immense talent against sub-par opposition.  That leaves the question of whether they have it in them to step it up when the other guys are better and that’s something nobody knows until the time arrives.

But they’re not exactly chopped liver, either.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“That team in red today tried to change the way we thought.”

Tennessee didn’t turn the ball over six times yesterday, so Jeremy Pruitt channeled a little of his inner Booch at the post-game presser.

“Our guys kept fighting, which means we’re headed in the right direction and that excites me. That’s why I’m getting a little bit emotional.”

They’ve still got those five-star hearts on the roster, I guess.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Just showin’ off

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call this art…

… but it’s something, alright.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Your Urnge game day thread

I don’t really have a lot of time this morning before I head out to Laguna Seca, so I’ll be kind of brief.  Tennessee ain’t winning today.  All that’s up for debate is the margin of victory.

I’m nervous about predicting the Dawgs cover the enormous spread because Kirby likes to call off the dogs in the second half if Georgia gets out to a decently sized lead.  The Vols are overmatched in a number of areas — don’t be surprised if that dormant pass rush many have been concerned about awakens against a pretty sorry offensive line — so that’s not an unlikely scenario.

All bets are off, of course, if Tennessee bleeds turnovers as it did against Florida last week, six in all.  That, plus a safety, is how you let a mediocre Gators team run up the score at home.

I suspect UT plays it as conservatively as possible to keep things from getting out of hand for as long as possible.  How long will that work?  Probably not as long as Pruitt would like.

The other intangible to keep tucked in the back of your head today is how the coaches have gone about their business this week getting the players to flush the inconsistent play that marked some of what showed out against Missouri.  On defense, things are helped by the Vols not having a dynamic downfield passing game that Smart and Tucker focused on stopping.  I do expect a notable effort made to slow down Tennessee’s run game.

Add your thoughts in the comments and keep ’em coming through the game.  I’ll be watching Porsches race and heading to the hospitality suite at game time to check out the game on my cell phone, WiFi be willing and the creek don’t rise.

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Filed under Georgia Football

When advanced stats go boldly beyond where no man has gone before

Check out Brian Fremeau’s score projection for today’s Georgia-Tennessee game.  Prepare to be gobsmacked.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Always be controlling

Nick Saban, as you might imagine (not that it takes much imagination), isn’t too fond of the new transfer rules.

“It’s a pretty slippery slope, not just for seniors but for all players on a team,” Saban said on Wednesday’s SEC conference call. “We have a responsibility and an obligation as coaches that have programs that we support the players and help them be successful, personally, athletically and academically.

“And then they have an obligation on their side of it to play.”

You left out “for me”, Nick.

This isn’t indentured servitude.  If you want your kids to stick around, you’d best come up with some means of making them want to stick around.  Otherwise, they’ll pursue that obligation to play somewhere else.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

A note from wine country

You are looking at the main building of TH Estate Wines, Terry and Jennifer Hoage, proprietors.

We visited there yesterday and met Jennifer, who graciously spent time with several folks who wanted to talk a little Georgia football as much as wine.  (If you’ve never tried any of their products, they make some terrific Syrahs.)

Anyway, one little tidbit to share.  Several of the wines have names that are subtle references to football.  In discussing that, the subject of Hoage’s block in the national championship game against Notre Dame came up.  Jennifer mentioned that Terry sees that play as the one that really got his Georgia career going.

By the way, Terry is planning on visiting Atlanta and Athens next February to do some promotional work.  If you’re a Dawg fan who enjoys good wine, it might be right up your alley.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Even Alabama

I forgot I had this little tidbit bookmarked until Brian Cook mentioned it yesterday.

The Alabama board of trustees on Friday approved Phase I of the athletics facilities rebuild starting with Bryant-Denny Stadium…

The meeting and interview with Byrne shed more light on unanswered questions surrounding the project officially announced Aug. 16. A few answers:

— The new capacity of Bryant-Denny Stadium will be “a hair under 100,000,” Byrne said. It currently seats 101,821.

— What happens to the fans displaced in the upper deck when the video board replaces a big chunk of the 8,500 bleacher seats? “Most of those are student seats in the upper deck,” Byrne said. “Right now, we’re going through the process of contacting fans who are impacted by this and getting their input on what their first, second and third choices are as part of the relocation.”

— Five percent of ticket holders will be impacted by the renovation.

Folks, when even Alabama commits to shrinking stadium capacity, it’s time to acknowledge we’re likely past the canary in the coal mine phase.  We’re seeing college football embarking on corporatization of the product.  Asses in the seats are being replaced by premium features and pricing.

It’s been nice knowing you, five percent of ticket holders.

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Filed under Alabama, It's Just Bidness

Today, in all in

Penn State:  watch us go to great lengths to cover for and honor a head coach who turned a blind eye to criminal behavior by his assistant coach over a period of time.

Ohio State:  hold my beer.

I’d say these people are assholes, except I’m afraid that might be insulting to assholes.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Bum’s rush

I don’t get the backpatting here.

On Wednesday, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant announced that he would be redshirting for the rest of the year and transferring, essentially removing himself from the Clemson team. This comes after Clemson coach Dabo Swinney announced that freshman quarterback Trevor Lawerence would be starting against Syracuse on Monday.

Bryant called the decision by Swinney a slap in the face, as Bryant posted a 16-2 mark as a starter and led Clemson to a College Football Playoff a year ago. But Lawerence is a generational type talent, as he was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2018 class. And Swinney’s faced a decision like this before. In 2014, Swinney went with a veteran, Cole Stoudt, over a hyped freshman, Deshaun Watson, to start the season. That Clemson team lost to Georgia, but had Watson, who led Clemson to the 2016 national title, started maybe the game ends differently.

We’ve laid all of that out to say that juggling a quarterback room is no easy task. And yet, Georgia coach Kirby Smart has done a pretty great job of it so far. In his first year, he turned to the generational talent in Jacob Eason. While the team went 8-5, no one would say that was the wrong move. Last season he again turned to a freshman in Jake Fromm, even through Eason had more raw talent. But again, the results can’t be questioned as Georgia was a handful of plays from a national title.

As for this year, Smart is sticking with experience—and also it’s not like Fromm is a bum.

He’s not a bum.  Cool, man.

Does anybody really think things would be different in Athens than they are at Clemson had Fromm been benched in favor of Fields?  I sure don’t.

Kirby’s doing a great job — dare I say he’s not a bum? — but let’s not act like he’s got some unique skill here.

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Filed under Georgia Football