Daily Archives: November 9, 2022

How the coaching turntables have turned…

That was then.

We have comedy gold to open with this morning. Check out this amusing take from Georgia writer Brandon Adams, who feebly tries to flip the script on Kirby’s stealing of basically everything Alabama does.

One of the most ludicrous SEC storylines in recent years has been the notion that former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart has been copying the Crimson Tide since becoming Georgia head coach in 2016.

The supposed examples of Smart trying to be like Alabama include Sanford Stadium’s LED lights, care packages sent to Bulldogs alumni in the NFL and the decision to hire longtime Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran this offseason.

Frankly, these suggestions are silly. And UGA fans could be forgiven for laughing at the notion.

You can also forgive the rest of the country for perpetually laughing at Georgia fans, Brandon, and the idea that Nick is scheduling better opponents because of Kirby is laughable. The neutral site games have been incredibly difficult to schedule in recent years. It seems that nobody wants to open with Bama in such an environment anymore, thus the move to home and home series that will be more enjoyable to fans.

Besides the items listed, Kirby took Alabama’s recruiting board with him to use against Alabama when he left, took Glenn Schumann and Mel Tucker to run Saban’s defense, implemented the Fourth Quarter program, started a public spat over Maurice Smith, and has done his level best to recreate Alabama’s fan experience in Athens.

This is now,

We live in an age of miracles, my friends.  Cherish it.

44 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football

Ah, but the pre-snap penalties… that’s where they had us!

If it hadn’t have been for that damned crowd…

… Tennessee could’ve been a contendah, I tells ‘ya!

If they get a rematch with the Dawgs, I hope it’s in the Peach Bowl.

46 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Blowing Smoke

Observations from the bed, Urnge Crush edition

Most of the time, my predictions suck, but this time, I got one thing really, really right:  Kirby Smart would not be outcoached by Josh Heupel.  The gameplan, team preparation and motivation, the attention to detail — Smart put on a master class in how to get ready for a hot team.  The only minor detail I could ding him on was clock management at the end of the first half, but since he already dinged himself for that, I’ll move on.

Really, what Saturday reminded me of the most were the two home games against Alabama in 2008 and 2015 when the momentum and expectations were all on Georgia’s side, but nobody told Nick Saban that.  Instead the Dawgs were wiped on both occasions by a ‘Bama team that came in ready to rock and showed it.  This time, it was Georgia that did the rocking.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a tip of the proverbial cap to Erik Ainge.  His reassurance to the Vols that the Sanford Stadium crowd would be a cakewalk for UT served to light a fuse that resulted in multiple false start penalties called on Tennessee’s offensive line (two, back to back, as I recall, that forced them to settle for a field goal).  Thanks, Erik!

If there’s one thing we should all be excited about, it’s watching the growth of this team over the course of the season.  It was something that many of us hoped and expected before Labor Day, but hoping and expecting isn’t the same as witnessing.  In that regard, I might even be willing to entertain the thought that the opener was a bit of a mirage — let’s face it, there were a few bumps along the way after that game when a young, talented team seemed to lack focus against lesser opposition — but anyone who’s closely watched the play of this team from the second half of the Auburn game on has seen a football team coming into its own.  (Yes, that’s a back-handed dig at certain national media types who hitched their collective wagons to a Tennessee win.)

The truth is that Georgia is real and it’s spectacular.  And with that, on to the bullet points.

  • In terms of the growth I just mentioned, there isn’t a position group that’s demonstrated it more than the offensive line.  I’ve already posted about Searles this week, but his players deserve a bunch of credit, too.  The tackles have been solid all season, as has Van Pran-Granger, but the guard play has blossomed over the past three or four games.  In Ratledge’s case, I presume that’s due to improving health, but on the left side, both Truss and Willock have just gotten better.  As was the case with Florida, Bennett had loads of time in the pocket that gave him time to process his reads (for example, check out his work on the touchdown pass to Rosemy-Jacksaint).  The backs had room to run, as well… at least until Kirby pulled the reins in after the rain hit.
  • Yeah, with the running backs, it was a tale of two halves.  Life was good when the offense was wide open in the first half.  McIntosh, in particular, did the most damage.  (By the way, another thing that’s improved is McIntosh’s pass pro.  It may be more serviceable than spectacular, but serviceable is a helluva lot better than what we saw last season.  He’s a tough kid.)  Edwards had his first disappointing game, but even there, he had a couple of big runs, including the one that closed out the game in the fourth quarter.
  • You could say the tight ends had a quiet day, but that’s only if you didn’t see their blocking.  Still, that’s the second week in a row Washington’s dropped an easy reception.
  • You know, after all the “Georgia doesn’t have a deep pass to the wideouts all season” talk, you kind of wonder if Todd Monken wasn’t sandbagging the world, because all he did was dial up three big throws that didn’t involve the tight ends.  I keed about that, at least I think I do, because what’s really held back the deep game has been injuries, right?  McConkey looks to have shaken off his turf toe problem and Arian Smith looked as fast as ever (although I shared Stetson’s disbelief that Smith didn’t come up with that late deep throw).  Rosemy-Jacksaint’s touchdown catch, though not off a deep ball, was sublime.
  • Stetson Bennett was mostly sharp all game long — one dangerous pass on the first drive was his closest brush with disaster and he was a tick off on a couple of other throws.  Other than that, he did a great job with his reads and progressions, displayed excellent touch on his deep throws and made the right decision to tuck the ball and run on Georgia’s first touchdown of the game.  Looked like he was feeling it, too.  And without having to run the ball a couple of times to get into the game!  He definitely outplayed Hooker.
  • If I was kidding about Monken sandbagging, I’m definitely not about Muschamp and Schumann.  They trotted out blitz packages that will be in Hendon Hooker’s nightmares for the next month.
  • It feels like in most of my observation posts this season, the linebackers are the ones who tend to get most of the praise.  Not so this week.  The defensive line turned in their best work of the season and it’s no coincidence that Jalen Carter’s ability to play an entire game happened Saturday.  Calling his play impactful doesn’t do it justice.  He was as dominant as an interior defensive lineman could be; UT’s offensive line had no answer for him.  His play that forced the Hooker fumble in the end zone — also known in most parts as a safety — was nothing short of vicious.  But he had help.  Brinson, Logue and Stackhouse were in the mix and Ingram-Dawkins recovered two fumbles.
  • It was also the best game of the season the secondary turned in, and perhaps they were the real story of the game.  Smart encouraged them to be physical in coverage and they were, in spades.  Starks was a tackling machine.  Bullard broke up a pass and turned in two sacks.  Ringo’s interception was a thing of beauty.  Lassiter played well, also.  Really, what more needs to be said than Hooker averaged less than six yards per pass attempt?
  • None of which is to say the linebackers played poorly, even in Nolan Smith’s absence.  Monden flashed and Dumas-Johnson’s tackle of Hooker for a loss was fantastic.
  • Tennessee’s third down conversion rate coming into Saturday:  50.46%.  Tennessee’s third down conversion rate on Saturday:  14.28%.
  • Special teams play has to start (and maybe end) with Thorson’s ridiculous punt.  It was indeed the play of the game, especially when you consider it set up what eventually became the one-play scoring drive, a 37-yard throw to McConkey.  That whole series seemed to let the air out of the UT balloon.  That being said, at what point in time is Smart going to tell his kickoff return team to signal the fair catch?  There have been few times this season when a returner’s decision to bring back a kickoff has met with success.  A quibble, no doubt, but why give up easy yardage like that?

One of the biggest games ever played between the hedges, and this Georgia team answered the bell in every way imaginable.  That’s what elite teams do.  And hopefully keep doing.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

The rising cost of mediocrity

Holy coaching salary inflation, Batman!

Dude making $6 mil a year has a losing record at his current school.  Is America great, or what?  Jimmy Sexton knows it’s the land of opportunity, that’s for sure.

41 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, It's Just Bidness

“Expansion is expensive.”

The irony of people praising the dawn of a new, inclusive era for the CFP in a year when neither Alabama nor Clemson is likely to make the four-team field — the first team time that’s happened — hasn’t escaped me.

Ari Wasserman ($$) isn’t one of those people.

The College Football Playoff exists to determine the national champion.

That’s it.

But we’re inviting teams that don’t deserve that distinction so we can all feel better for the little guy. Teams that are clearly inferior can hang banners now because hey, it’s not fair they can’t compete with Georgia and Alabama.

… It is just odd that for all the cheering we get from everyone about how cool the expanded College Football Playoff is going to be, nobody is willing to stand up and talk about the cost of expansion: We’re handing out participation trophies to inferior teams and we’re watering down the regular season. And we aren’t even going to get new champions out of it. The same teams you’re bored of watching now are going to win the next version of the Playoff, too, because they are in a league of their own.

Actually, they’re (the suits who run college football) inviting teams so that ESPN and Fox and whoever else will write them bigger checks.  What “we” are cheering is just commentary.  And it will be wrong… or worse, just a prelude to another round of expansion down the road.

40 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

There’s no sense and then there’s Vol sense.

I think this may be destined to go down as the greatest “bless your heart” tweet of my lifetime:

Is denial that river in Knoxville?

53 Comments

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

“The corner” corner!

Get somebody to love you as much as Nessler and Danielson loved this punt.

Gary was right.  It was a game ball punt.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

TFW you’re looking for any kind of an edge

Shot.

Chaser.

That lead was nice while it lasted, I guess.  LOL.

40 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

2022 Mumme Poll, Week 10

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) Twitter

Something got the juices flowing this week, as we had the greatest number of ballots cast so far, 344.  While the overall number of voters jumped, the average number of teams appearing on a ballot dropped to the lowest of the season, 5.3.  51 teams received at least one vote.

Here’s how our top 22 line up:

Quite the gap between the Dawgs and everybody else.  Beyond that, we’re down to only four teams appearing on at least half the ballots cast.  So, at least for the moment, we’ve got a pretty clear CFP field selected.

Speaking of which, here’s how the selection committee voted:

Perhaps a little less overlap than we’ve seen before — we’ve got Liberty and Coastal Carolina, which the selection committee ignored.  (I’m beginning to think some of y’all are trolling me with Michigan State now.)  And we left off the Gus Bus.

We’re also judging Alabama and Clemson more harshly than the committee has.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

What about time, you ask?  No surprise there.

Take that, selection committee!

There’s a big change in conference affiliation this week.  The SEC’s lead has been wiped out.

 

The percentage of voters being from Georgia actually dropped this week, to 61.4%.

Because the foodie question this week wasn’t posed as a choose from a menu of places (see what I did there?) I don’t have an automatic tally to show you, and I’m not about to do a hand count of 344 ballots, so I’ll just say that based on my crude eyeballing of the votes, I’d say the Last Resort tops the list, followed by Cali N Tito’s and Five and Ten.

That’s all for this week, peeps.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football