Monday, September 29, 2008

The Coach Mark Richt Bowling Challenge

So I was at my league game at the lovely Showtime Bowl off of Macon Highway tonight and I thought I would go to the board and check on the standings in The Coach Mark Richt Bowling Challenge. CMR is an avid bowler and I've seen him in Showtime with his family on more than one occasion. The challenge is a 32 team co-ed league open to all UGA students, players and coaching staff included. As far as I can tell, there are 11 teams in the league that are comprised of nothing but players/staff. Here's a snapshot of how our boys are doing so far through week four (team names in bold, real averages listed first followed by high game):

Goonies, My House (14th place)
Craig Sager- (real avg.)137-(high game)201
Demiko Goodman- 101-127
Vernon Spellman- 104-148
Kenneth Harris- 106-180
Zach Renner- 119-149

White Storm (9th place)
Brandon Wheeling- 119-138
Casey Nickels- 99-126
Andrew Gully- 136-165
Wes Jacobs- 128-158
Devin Hollander- 135-182

Mono Y Mono (10th place)
Justin Fields- 113-150
Andrew Johnson hasn't shown up yet
Matt DeGenova- 105-122
Josh Sailors- 135-180
Stephen Braue- 89-126

Untouchables (12th place; how about this for a bowling team?)
Mark Richt- 163-193
Knowshon Moreno- 155-190
Matthew Stafford- 166-207
Demarcus Dobbs- 156-190
+ 1 of Knowshon's friends (UGA student not part of the squad)
*Team Scratch Game Leaders (741), Team Scratch Series Leaders (1998)

Holy Rollers (1st place)
Ben Jones- 115-126
Richard Samuel- 124-193
A.J. Green- 135-190
Sanders Commings- 116-148
+ 1 UGA student
*Team Handicap Game Leaders (926)

Dem Freshman (31st place)
Carlton Thomas- 106-130
DeAngelo Tyson- 108-121
Marcus Dowtin- 93-99
Nick Williams- 100-122

Goons (23rd place)
Mohamed Massaquoi- 106-139
Michael Moore- 113-153
Bryan Evans- 110-171
Tavarres King- 122-147
+1 UGA student

Water Bottles (32nd place)
Kevin Perez- 102-141
Ben Harden- 71-99
Chris Davis- 120-165
Darryl Gamble- 97-124
Aron White hasn't shown up yet

Young Stunnas (16th place)
Justin Houston- 119-184
John Knox- 95-123
Vance Cuff- 110-142
Neland Ball- 81-109
Caleb King hasn't shown up yet

Hoof Hearted (25th place; great team name for the kickers and longsnappers)
Andrew Jensen- 100-113
Brian Mimbs- 139-168
Jamie Lindley- 127-151
Bo Fowler- 135-153
Ty Frix- 117-144
Jordan Stowe- 109-145

Hot Rollas (30th place)
Akeem Dent- 129-185
Reshad Jones- 133-157
Ramarcus Brown- 129-148
Bacarri Rambo- 123-155
Prince Miller- 117-143

Here's a video posting the week one results (set to a funky Modest Mouse groove):


By now it's evident that I have way too much time on my hands. Just doing my part to help us keep our minds far (but not too far) away. You know, focus on something a little more lighthearted. Hope everybody is coping okay over the bye week.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Black Saturday

Well, Georgia got hammered. Saban and Richt tend to do this kind of thing to each other on occasion. Congrats to Alabama. Hopefully Georgia plays to their potential and wins the East. Maybe they get another shot at Alabama in Atlanta. I'm really not all that disappointed. I come to expect these letdowns. Not making it to the title game would be a huge failure though.

The crowd was impressive. The atmosphere in Athens was incredible. There really wasn't much Georgia could have done. They ran into a buzzsaw. It happens. It's football. Alabama has great coaching and some really good players. They played an absolutely perfect first half in a hostile environment. Absolutely perfect. I'm just glad it wasn't a hated rival that did this to Georgia this time.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Southern California Shakedown

Isn’t it funny how we all put so much emphasis on the preseason polls and rankings?
All the talk, all the bitchin, all the chaos. Then the truth. THIS is college football. This is why we love it and this is what makes it the greatest pastime in America (sorry baseball fans. I did hear some team called the “Rays” are doing pretty good though). For the last few years college football predictions have perplexed the best of football analysts. This year is no exception. Southern Cal had convinced everyone that they were hands down the best collegiate team to take the field in 2008, and too many of ESPN’s finest propelled them as “possibly the best of all time”. They were stacked, like no team in history from top to bottom. The question before this game was, “who will challenge USC in the BCS Championship game?” Now we see the truth in Pete Carroll’s club and I look forward to the “solitude in silence” from the national media’s opinions leading to the Georgia/Bama matchup (though Corso won’t let that happen).

Many here at C&C, and the Bulldawg nation on the whole, have voiced disturbance in the media’s darling, Southern Cal. So they beat Virginia… Accolades were thrown their way, much to the chagrin of those with any ACC knowledge (made us wonder what info they had to think Virginia was worth a nickel). Then USC beats Ohio State. “All Hail” was the battle cry from ESPN and the overpaid analysts they deploy. I mean, am I the only one to see that Ohio State would probably not win 5 games against UGA’s schedule? All the while Georgia wins significant battle grounds at SEC foe South Carolina, and again at Arizona State, only to be ripped of merit by the media’s darlings. Where will the media claim their alliance now? Surely not UGA. Look for OU and Missouri (or pick your team other than UGA) to take stage 1.

I have to give hats off to Oregon State though. Besides the fact that they confirmed my thoughts on SC, I couldn't help but think, that little Jacquez Rodgers fellow would have relished in a moment with Munson in the booth. He made a few runs that you could almost hear a voice from next door screaming, “My God a freshman!” If you didn’t see the game, you wouldn’t understand. It was beautiful seeing a 5’7 freshman carve up SC like that…

Anyhow, as an SEC advocate, in all honesty, I would put Vandy against SC and anticipate one hell of a game. Frankly, I think Tennessee and that pissin dog, would even take it to the Trojans. This game proved that SC has no place in the BCS and should be dealt a Sun Bowl Bid against Boise State for the “West Coast Bad Ass Trophy”. Whether the media seeks shelter, or stands behind their darling will soon be seen.

Enough on SC though, you’ve got to love this game and now the regionally beloved Dawgs have their work cut out for them this weekend. The table is certainly set, with fine wines and the finest flank steaks awaiting the SEC victor. To leave you all and any football analyst with a question to ponder in making your week 5 team rankings: Would UGA be more frightened of facing Southern Cal, or any of the top 4 SEC rival programs (Bama, UF, Auburn, LSU)?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Double L Ranch

Week 5

Wallet Check following week 4: $2,300
Week 4 gains/losses: $1,300

It was a stellar week for Shlitz on the big board. Going 4 of 5 and losing the single Benjamin game by a hair…

Let’s get right to it, as this week has got me coiled up like a rattlesnake. There are quite a few good games out there for widenin the wallet, but this dang Dawg game won’t seem to let me concentrate on a one of them. We got Munson departing, a blackout looming and some tank ass for this “better than expected” club from Tuscaloosa looking to spoil the party. It makes it hard for the Shlitz to really analyze any game other than this one! However, with a smooth glass of Old Grandad to sip on, I’ve compiled the best bets of the week. So without further ado:

5 Benjamins
UGA – 6.9 over Bama

The Tide have surpassed the expectations I had for them by this time in the season and for that, “congrats to them”. However, I have looked at this game from every angle and have come to a crystal clear conclusion. The Dawgs will beat the lima beans out of the Tide! Even in a feeble attempt to bring the Bama mascot onto the field and suit him up, this game will be easier won then projected. Look for Stafford to scorch Bama early with a steady dose of Knowshon in the end. I also see a pick six coming this week. Something the Shlitz only predicts once a year!

4 Benjamins
Minnesota getting 17.43 against Ohio State

The Gophers are the next team on the Ohio State slate that, like the previous teams, has a legit shot at beating the Buckeyes. I don’t know that they’ll have the offensive strength to pull off the upset, but rest assured, the Gophers will keep it close.

3 Benjamins
Auburn -6.5 against the Vols (and that dog that's probably still pissin himself)

Like I said before, Tennessee will be lucky to get 5 wins this year and this week isn’t one of ‘em. Auburn will be tough at home and that D should come close to blanking the Vols. Auburn still has a lot to play for this season, so don’t expect any letdown after last week. The Vols should throw two touchdowns this week, unfortunately it will be to the wrong team.

2 Benjamins
Miami -7 over UNC

Chapel Hill is out their starting QB and comes of a tough home loss to VT. The wind is definitely out of their sails. While Miami will be parading around their home field like it’s the NBA all star game in the ATL. This one won’t even be close as the U’s speed will disrupt any potential successes the Heels had in mind.

1 Benjamin
Troy +16.5 against OK State
Troy is a heck of a football team. They’ve been taking their lumps while the Cowboys spent last week relaxing on the range and roastin marshmellows. Come Saturday, the Trojans will ride into Stillwater and douse the coals of the still smoking campfire. It’ll take a last minute touchdown by the Cowboys to stop the shakin in their boots and survive this gridiron battle.

Should be quality football viewing this week, but let’s be honest, there’s only one game worthy of the C&C and further discussion. Go Dawgs and we’ll tune in to the Shlitz next week!

Shlitz

'Crazy Cooter'

Corvey Irvin was riding a bus with some of his Georgia teammates when he got his first real introduction to freshman center Ben Jones.

Somewhere along the ride, Jones spotted a dead grasshopper on the ground, Irvin said. The lineman picked it up, bit it in half and swallowed.

"I knew he was kind of crazy when he did that," Irvin said.

"He's a tough kid," Stafford said. "I think you could put Warren Sapp in front of him, and he'd say, 'Let's go.' "
---from David Hale article on Macon.com

I'm starting to think Jones will hold his own against Terrance Cody. Sure Mt. Cody will win some battles, but I'm betting Jones will win the war. He is reminding me of David Pollack. Everyone was shocked when Pollack got on campus as a true freshman and was fighting upperclassmen like Jon Stinchcomb in practice. By the next spring, Pollack was the leader of the team. He never quit. Ever. Ben Jones seems to have the same attributes.

Everyone has that friend that will NEVER back down in a fight. Let's say there is a guy twice the size of everyone else....he's throwing his weight around, trying to intimidate everyone. Then he picks on the wrong guy, the guy we all know...the crazy guy half his size who looks him right in the eyes saying, "Sure you will probably whip my ass, but in the process I'm gonna rip one of your ears off." So now what does the big guy do? How does he react? Is it worth risking an ear?

No one has come close to challenging Cody before now. I have a feeling Mt. Cody might end up having to risk an ear to win the battle of the trenches this Saturday. He's a big son of a gun and a great talent, but I'll be looking for 'Crazy Cooter' to stand up to him. He gets the benefit of the doubt because so far in his career, no one has done that to him. Let's see how Mt. Cody reacts the first time he has someone hit him in the mouth. This Saturday sure as hell won't be a Bobby Petrino coached Arkansas team going against Cody. Ben Jones seems to be one of those kids that you have to kill to beat in a fight. We just might witness the future leader of the team come into his own this weekend.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

40 Watt show

The Dead Confederate release party at the 4o watt last Friday night was a great show. If you want to read about it check Rebel Forces. Some great photos were shot and I figured I'd post a few here. Yeah, I love good photography and Mike White is a talented photographer. Plus one of C&C's contributors opened for Dead Confederate. All photos are by Mike White @ deadlydesigns.com (good site if you like music or photography or both).
Gift Horse:

Gift Horse:

Twin Tigers:

Kuroma:

Dead Confederate:

Monday, September 22, 2008

More on Munson

More on Munson's retirement: read about the world's greatest broadcaster as told by the world's greatest storyteller....from Bubba 'n Earl.

CSS > ABC

I am sitting here tonight watching the CSS replay of the Arizona State game, and I actually have come to the conclusion that CSS did a better job with their broadcast of the game than big, bad ABC did. Yeah, I realize that CSS has the unique opportunity to edit it before it is broadcast, but there are some obvious areas where CSS is easily the superior offering between the two.

1) Matt Stewart and Matt Stinchcomb are much better to listen to than Musberger and Herbstreit. First time I've ever heard Stinchcomb call a game, and I am very impressed. I'm biased since I did spend some time with him on the golf course this summer, but he is actually pretty polished on the air, and obviously knows alot about what he's watching (which is alot more than you can say about Herbstreit when it comes to anything outside of the Big 10.) With the news of Munson's retirement and Howard/Zeier taking over, if I were the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network I'd consider hiring Stinchcomb full time if he wants to do this for a living. I don't have any problem with Zeier, but Stinchcomb is excellent and may have a future as a color analyst for somebody.

2) I didn't have to worry about missing plays due to lousy camera-work with CSS. ABC flat out missed the deep ball on UGA's first play from scrimmage, and had some trouble getting caught up to another one later in that quarter. That is simply pathetic for a national network televising a prime-time game.

3) At one point in the 4th quarter, CSS had a microphone somewhere on the UGA sideline and caught an interesting conversation between Richt and the lead referee. Richt was really giving this dude the business about a missed call, and it was a side of him that I don't think we often see. Stewart and Stinchcomb recognized quickly what was going on and managed to stay somewhat silent throughout the exchange. No chance of that on ABC, with Musberger unwilling to allow a silent moment to pass without mentioning something that usually has nothing to do with the game he's watching.

4) And perhaps most importantly, I don't have to look at Stewart and Stinchcomb superimposed inside of some kind of circus tent. Anyone who can explain to me what ABC is going for with that gets a prize.

I believe it had been 5 years since the Dawgs were last on ABC, and as far as I am concerned 5 more years won't be long enough.

Kudos to the CSS group, their replay broadcasts are getting much, much better with time.

The End of an Era

Larry Munson to retire immediately (Athens Banner-Herald)

Sanford Stadium will be a mess Saturday night when Larry's voice hits the night air just before the kickoff vs Alabama in a raucous atmosphere. The radio airwaves in Georgia will never be the same.

Feel free to comment on your favorite Munson calls of all time.

'Bama week

Looks like we are about to find out how good the young Ben Jones is. Stacy Searles is about to earn his paycheck. Meet Alabama NT Terrance Cody. That is 34o lb All-World OT Andre Smith on the right:

Photo: Dennis Pillon

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How Come?

Can someone tell me how come Oklahoma jumps UGA in the AP Top 25 last week, yet Mizz gets jumped this week by LSU. Both Oklahoma and Mizz beat down bad teams and UGA and LSU both won their SEC road games by, according to the spreads, what they were supposed to win them by. For a week I thought the SEC was getting the shaft. Apparently it is the team. The media doesn't disrespect the SEC. It disrespects certain programs. Typical to being a Dawgs fan.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dawgs 27 Sun Devils 10

Player of the game...
photo: Paul Connor/AP

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Q&A with Pitchfork Nation's Justin Karp

Justin Karp is a regular contributor to the finest Arizona State themed blog that we've been able to find in these here Internets, Pitchfork Nation. He also serves as Assistant Program Director for KDUS, The Fan 1060 AM in Tempe, AZ. We were able to track Justin down with a few questions about the Arizona State program and about some current and former Sun Devil stars. He was even able to give us some info about the Tempe area for the Dawg fans making the long trek to The Grand Canyon State.

Note: Pitchfork Nation was kind enough to return the favor and ask a few questions of us.....you can find our answers here. Feel free to visit the site and comment on your thoughts about the questions asked and answered.


Catfish & Cornbread: How has Dennis Erickson energized the Arizona State program and fan base?
Justin Karp: Dirk Koetter alienated so many fans, alums and boosters over his six seasons in Tempe, which made Dennis Erickson's revitalization of ASU football last year that much more impressive. DE brought immediate credibility to a program that had become stagnant and a constant underachiever when Koetter was in charge. Dennis interfaces with the community and engages in team marketing so well; he's in TV commercials, he's very accessible to the media and he's even got a cameo in the team's jumbotron pump video. When his mug comes on the screen and says "These are your Sun Devils!", Sun Devil Stadium STILL goes bonkers.

C&C: Rudy Carpenter's stats speak for themselves. In your mind, where does he rank among quarterbacks in Arizona State history?
J.K.: Rudy isn't the most liked quarterback in the history of the program, but he will go down as the most durable one the Sun Devils have had in quite a while. He took over midway through his freshman year in 2005 and has not relinquished the job since. His stats speak for themselves and they will continue to grow as the season goes along, but his attitude isn't well liked by fans (and even some teammates) and he'll never be embraced as one of the best of all time.
Though his stats don't lie, because of how he came into the job after the Sam Keller debacle, he'll never be mentioned in the same breath as Danny White, Jeff Van Raaphorst (ASU's only Rose Bowl winning QB), Jake Plummer and Andrew Walter.

It also doesn't help that a guy like Max Hall, who wasn't even given a chance as a local recruit to make his way up the depth chart, is having so much success elsewhere. ASU hasn't had a QB to legitimately challenge RC for the starting job, either, so the face that he's been the incumbent every year and still hasn't won a big game for the Sun Devils rubs many the wrong way.

C&C: Who is the one offensive and one defensive ASU player to watch that Georgia fans might not know about?
J.K.: On offense, make sure to key in on Kerry Taylor. Taylor, who grew up in Chandler and is the son of former 49ers WR John Taylor, has emerged as this team's legit deep threat in the absense of Rudy Burgess. He's tremendously fast off the line and has the 2nd surest set of hands in the WR corps behind Chris McGaha. When ASU is looking down the field to pick up chunks of yards, Taylor will be the one getting open.

Defensively, there are two. Luis Vasquez and Dexter Davis will be a handful for that banged up offensive line. Davis has been a stud throughout his ASU career and shows no sign of letting up. He led the team and was among the conference leaders in sacks his freshman year and has continually impressed with his strong footwork and quickness. On the other side, Vasquez is a JuCo transfer who immediately impressed. He wasn't supposed to play for a while as his spot was supposed to be filled by highly-touted Florida transfer Tranell Morant, but he never played a down in two years at ASU due to injury. Luis didn't miss a beat and he's easily the strongest player on this team.

C&C: At Georgia, everything is predicated on running the ball and stopping the run. How important is RB Keegan Herring to ASU's offense and do you think his nagging injury will prevent him from playing Saturday?
J.K.: Tremendously important. This team has no sign of a running attack without him. He was the only reason the Sun Devils could still run the ball after Ryan Torain went down last season becuase of his homerun ability. Herring, when healthy, can break a big run on any play at any time.

This makes his nagging injury that much more of a concern. When we first heard of his injury, I got more nervous than more people did, knowing full well how healthy he'd been throughout his career. He's the kind of kid that, if he has an injury that keeps him from taking the field, it must be bad. He ran in practice yesterday and so hopefully we'll have him back on the field on Saturday. If not, there's no way the Devils move the ball on the ground.

C&C: We know he is on IR right now, but what can Atlanta Falcons fans expect from former ASU linebacker Robert James?
J.K.: Robert James was easily this team's defensive MVP last season. His best attribute is his innate ability to be a ball hawk. Wherever the football is, James is usually within about 3 feet. He's fast in coverage and quick on the blitz as well, which is something I'm sure the Falcons desperately need. He's also very sure handed; many of his picks throughout his college career were difficult catches that not many other players would have held onto.

C&C: Even here in Georgia, Pat Tillman is a hero and a legend. What does his legacy mean to the Arizona State family?
J.K.: Pat Tillman's legacy will always live on at Arizona State. The team still wears PT-42 patches on the neckline of their jerseys, his #42 has been retired by the school and Tillman jerseys are the top selling pieces of ASU clothing at the stadium shop. Every year, Tempe and San Jose, CA (Tillman's and my hometown) hold Pat's Run, a 4.2 mile run/walk from which all proceeds go to the Pat Tillman Foundation. The tunnel leading from the ASU locker room to Frank Kush Field is named for Pat and there's a giant mural outside the locker room depicting Tillman in his ASU jersey, an Arizona Cardinals jersey and his Army Ranger uniform.
I could keep going on, but I'd take all day. Tillman is a hero to everyone here at ASU.

C&C: For Georgia fans traveling to Arizona for the game, which golf course, restaurant and bar should they try to visit while in town?
J.K.: I just started golfing so I haven't played too many of the courses; obviously there are many to choose from, but you can't go wrong by getting a tee time at Karsten Golf Course, located on the ASU campus just a half a block away from Sun Devil Stadium. Not much shade, but it's a tremendous challenge, has super fast greens and reasonable fees.

I wont let any Georgia fan/blogger/journalist I have talked to since January leave Tempe without going to Four Peaks Brewing Company, an incredible place about two blocks from campus. They brew all their own beer, and if you try to order something else, they'll just bring you their equivalent, which is always better. Their food is amazing...try the Italian Beef Beer Bread Sandwich or, if you're just looking for drunk food, check out the giant soft Bavarian Pretzels.

As for my favorite bar, you'll find a good time pretty much anywhere on Mill Avenue, but my favorite is The Big Bang, an underground dueling piano bar on 5th and Mill under Hooters and The Library. If you like drinking on the cheap, all sorts of good looking people and some rocking good tunes and hilarious times, you'll love this place. I'll be there after the game on Saturday, win or lose...it's even more fun after a win and cheers you right up after a loss.

J.K.: If your readers need any more recommendations on stuff to do this weekend, have them feel free to e-mail me at this address: jkarp1229@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Double L Ranch

Wallet Check following week 3: + $1,000
week 3 earnings: $0

week 4

Good evening gents! It's time for another pocket packing week of picks. I have to apologize for last week... I don't know who saw that one coming. At least we got the push and live to squander our hard earned cash another day. That day is this Saturday and do we have some matchups that have got to make you scratch your nuts wondering what the Vegas oddmakers were thinking. As much as I'd like to place all my smokeless tobacco in one cheek again this week, I've decided to spread it around. Although, we're not going far from home for these picks... Except UGA. This week we stay in the SEC for your thrills of making the american version of a peso. Let the knowledge flow:

5 Benjamin's
UGA -7 over Arizona State
The Schlitz went big on the Dawgs last week and all we got was our money back. If you were a little disturbed by this, look on the bright side, if you had taken that same money and put it in the stock market you'd really be screwed. Therefore, I think the Schlitz deserves a round of applause just for keeping your money in a safe place! Moving on, we all know the deflated feeling AZ State went through Saturday night and frankly, we also know the deflated feeling Dawg fans went through Sunday morning when learning of the tragedy in Tempe. The good thing for the Dawgs is that their team doesn't actually suck. As for ASU, they suck tremendously. Imagine having to live with that feeling the rest of your life. UNLV? You know, it's not worth getting into. Let me just say, UGA will win this by at least 17.

4 Benjamin's
LSU -3 over Auburn
Is this a joke? no. Is it a trick? no. Is it SEC football? Absolutely. On the surface this looks like the biggest no brainer of them all. But we all know SEC football and the rivalries that dwell here. Auburn will bring all they got and LSU will waltz in that stadium, having spent the last week laughing at how pathetic Auburn looked on film. Then bam! LSU will get kicked in the mouth and the bout will be on! It ain't gonna be pretty and like I said Auburn will give them their best. Unfortunately, that ain't good enough. LSU will dominate the second half, realizing what's at stake, and win this one covering the 3 with ease in the end.

3 Benjamin's
UF -7.5 over Tennessee
I don't like the 1/2 point, but UF should run this one to a 3 touchdown domination. UT sucks. As if you all don't know the facts here, let's ponder: UCLA beats UT, UCLA gets slaughtered by BYU. All the while UT slashes Bama Birmingham, ooohhh. Forget it, UT is going to get it handed to them by Tebow and that goofy ass dog will be pissin himself by halftime. Sorry, but UT is looking at a 5 loss season if they're lucky.

2 Benjamin's
Vanderbilt +6.5 against Ole Miss
The school of hot chicks vs. the school of little.... Anyway, the "little d's" can play some football this year folks. Make no mistake, Vandy will upset either UGA, Florida, or Auburn this year. You heard it from the Schlitz. Vandy beat a better than credited SC team and has the opportunity to make some noise in the SEC with a victory this weekend. Ole Miss almost beat Wake Forest, but WF pretty much sucks, so no credit given.

1 Benjamin
Arkansas will beat Bama straight up
Bama is looking ahead. I can feel that damn elephants beedy eyes as I sit here. They will absolutely forget they even have a game this weekend and by the time they figure it out... Too late. Arkansas with a shocker! Don't think that means that Bama won't play UGA like it's the national championship though. They just can't figure out how to put it together week in week out.


There you have it. We all have a great weekend of football to watch so be sure to tell the Mrs. of the house to take the kids and scurry off to the mall for about 9 hours. See you next week!

Schlitz

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoughts on the rankings...

Oklahoma jumping UGA in the polls is a JOKE. So they killed Washington over the weekend and a 7 point favorite Georgia beat South Carolina by 7. Washington SUCKS. Not one player on that team would be in the two deep on defense at South Carolina. Did you see the highlights all weekend from that game? WTF was that on defense. Lack of hustle. Loafing. Missed tackles after missed tackles. No heart. No pride. Washington is the bottom of the barrel in a pathetic league. I couldn't get over how bad their defense was. Watch that 65 yard touchdown by the tank #18 receiver for OU...should have been a 15 yard gain. Sure, it was a nice stiff arm, but NO WAY that goes for a score against any SEC or Big 12 team. They kept quitting on defense. I couldn't believe what I was watching. It was embarrassing. I know he is a lame duck already, but Willingham has completely lost this team. Those kids aren't even remotely trying. Central Michigan would destroy Washington. I'll give you 17 points and Washington against CMU and laugh all the way to the bank.

I know, I know, if Georgia keeps winning everything will take care of itself. Well, that's not my point. I'm sure we play for it all if we run the table. We have already gotten screwed in the polls early in the season, so who's to say the SEC won't if us and Big 12 champs are undefeated or a one loss team. 'Play better teams and you will be rewarded' is a crock right now because Washington would get ROUTED by South Carolina. It would only take 3 scores for South Carolina to beat Washington by 21. No chance they score on that South Carolina defense. With all those loafs and lack of hustle, I could see South Carolina beat UW like South Carolina's opener against NC State. Sure, it would be ugly to watch, but at the end of the day the old ball coach would have a 24 or 27 to nothing victory. Hypothetically, does an undefeated LSU jump to #2 if they beat us in a few weeks. By what has happened in the polls already this year, they better jump OU. What about the Auburn/LSU winner? What about the UGA/Bama winner? Just asking.

Personally I don't have a problem with USC being ranked #1. The problem I have is the fact that they jumped us after beating the worst team in one of the worst leagues in the country. Virginia would be middle of the road in the Southern Conference. Look at these numbers put together by Hamp. Virginia would lose to Georgia Southern. No doubt about it. They were up 3-0 with 7 mins to go at home against Richmond. Richmond. Virginia possibly wins 2 games this year. The fact that we got jumped for the Virginia win is laughable. Ohio State win maybe. Maybe. I mean, what has Ohio State done except get their doors blown off by every decent team they've played over the last couple years? Sure they beat Michigan every year, but my God, Charlie f'n Weis just beat Michigan. I can live with it though. It's just a shame that Ohio State had to get throttled by USC to lose credibility. I mean, has everyone forgotten how pathetic OSU is when the played the best in the SEC? The fact that media darling Ohio State had a chance to totally redeem themselves after the last couple years by beating USC is absurd. What a joke. And to answer your question...No, I don't think Ohio State would beat South Carolina at Williams-Brice. Hell, why should anyone think they would?

This just isn't a Georgia post either. I'm talking about whatever team comes out of the LSU, Georgia, Alabama or Florida group. I hope and pray Georgia or LSU gets USC. A peaking Tiger or Dawg team that wins the SEC would beat USC. I'm convinced. USC won't play another halfway decent team all year. Their conference just spent the weekend losing to UNLV, Maryland, BYU by 59, New Mexico, TCU and Baylor. The two teams in that league that were supposed to give USC a challege lost to UNLV and Maryland (who has a double digit loss to MTSU and beat Delaware by 7) . USC will walk, I mean walk through that league without even a challenge. Just like when they got beat by Vince Young's Texas team, they will not be prepared schedule-wise to beat the team that comes out of the SEC. It's sad too, because for as much success that Pete Carroll has had, and as good of a product as he's put on the field, you could argue that they have never been the best team in any year he's been in LA (LSU in '03, Auburn in '04 and Texas in '05).

Go ahead and flame away. I really don't care. Would a USC or Oklahoma beat Georgia? Possibly. I'm not convinced Georgia is the best in the SEC yet. Whoever wins the SEC won't lose to those two teams though.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Greatest headline in the history of sports journalism . . .

On the eve of the UGA/South Carolina game 41 years ago, I was hanging out with three of my fraternity brothers (the Hound, Tex, and Bake), drinking a few cold PBRs at the old Callaway Gardens Apartment on the Atlanta Highway. We were discussing the upcoming game against the Gamecocks and lamenting the fact that we were going in with several key players out with injuries, including our starting DE, Billy Payne and his roommate, MLB, Happy Dicks.

About 10:00, another fraternity brother, Lewis, came in after he got off work. Our buddy was inactive at the time because he had gotten married over the summer to his high school sweetheart, Nancy. In addition to taking a full load at the university, he was working two jobs to help pay for (as he called it) "this expensive habit". A talented young man, he was writing two columns daily - one in the morning for the Athens Banner Herald and one in the afternoon for the Athens Daily News.

Lewis walked in, went straight to the refrigerator, got a beer, plopped down in a chair, pushed his glasses back up his nose and announced, "Gentlemen, with any luck at all, tomorrow morning you'll witness journalistic history. I have submitted my column and if it gets by my editor - and there's a good chance of that happening, since he "took drunk" earlier this evening - you'll enjoy the greatest headline in the history of sports journalism."

He refused to tell us what it was, and to be honest with you, we all forgot about it. As Lewis went home to his lovely, young bride, the four of us went back over to the fraternity house to get a head start on the weekend.

The next morning, as usual, I went straight for the Sports Section. As I pulled it out, I could do nothing but smile, because our buddy had pulled it off. To this day, Vince Dooley calls it his most memorable column ever - all because of the headline, which read:

DOGS TO PLAY COCKS WITH DICKS OUT

There's no doubt about it, it was "the greatest headline in the history of sports journalism".

'fish

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Down The Schedule......

Note: Beginning next week I'll extend this to the entire UGA schedule. For now, here's a look at what's going on with the next 5 teams the Dawgs' play:

South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC)
9/13, Columbia SC (3:30 PM EST, CBS)
Last Week: Lost 24-17 at Vanderbilt
This Week: vs UGA
The Gamecocks traveled to Nashville last Thursday night for the SEC opener against the upstart Vanderbilt Commodores, and left with a surprising 24-17 loss that was probably worse than it looks. Offense, in particular quarterback play, continues to be the big problem for the Cocks, with starter Chris Smelley the culprit this week. His numbers were OK (23 for 39, 233 yards), but 2 costly interceptions were devastating. Another fumble on a punt return (ball bounced off a blocker's leg), a blocked field goal, and another miss from Ryan Succop, contributed to the loss. The Cocks welcome the #2 ranked Dawgs to Columbia this weekend, and will likely be without its record-setting WR Kenny McKinley, who pulled a hamstring early in Vanderbilt game. WR/TE Jared Cook stepped up in McKinley's absence, tallying 8 catches for 111 yards. Spurrier has determined that two quarterbacks will play against UGA, although which two that will be remains a mystery. The Dawgs are 7 point favorites.
'Dores Take USC to School (The State)
Beecher: Garcia Getting More Snaps (The State)
UGA Ready for a Return to Dominance Against USC (Anderson Independent-Mail)
McKinley Out, Receivers to Step Up (The Daily Gamecock)
South Carolina's Cook has Productivity to Match Potential (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)
The Dread Offense (Joe Person, The State)

#10 Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0, 1-0 Pac 10)
9/20, Tempe AZ (8:00 PM EST, ABC)
Last week: Won 41-17 vs Stanford
This week: vs. UNLV (10:00 PM EST)
The victory over Stanford wasn't quite as easy as the score might look. QB Rudy Carpenter had a banner day, completing 27 of 36 passes for 345 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception, despite the Stanford defensive line generating a fair amount of pressure. This was a 27-17 game heading into the 4th quarter before the Sun Devils put it away. State's defense has been strong through 2 games against less than stellar offenses, allowing 15 points and less than 300 total yards per game. ASU is a 22 point favorite this week over UNLV.

#15 Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0, 0-0 SEC)

9/27, Athens GA (Time TBD)
Last Week: Won 20-6 vs Tulane
This Week: vs Western Kentucky (7:00 PM EST)
If there was ever a poster game for team being emotionally flat, the Tulane game might have been it. Regardless of that, the offense flat out stunk on Saturday. 20 points is bad enough, but its even worse when you consider that 13 of the 20 came as a result of a Javier Arenas punt return, and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. John Parker Wilson looked nothing like the quarterback we saw against Clemson, completing less than 50% of his passes for just 73 yards. The defense allowed some yardage through the air, but kept Tulane out of the end zone, and the Tide from suffering a major upset. Tulane still outgained Bama 318 yards to 172, and completely dominated time of possession. Alabama is a 28 point favorite over Western Kentucky.
Tide had a Clemson-sized hangover (Cecil Hurt - Tuscaloosa News)

Tennessee Volunteers (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
Last Week: Idle
This Week: vs UAB (12:30 PM EST)
The Vols had a week to stew over the crushing 27-24 loss in overtime at UCLA. John Chavis' defense will look to improve on a lousy 2nd half showing against the Bruins. Despite Jonathan Crompton's inconsistency, the offense was actually a bright spot in Los Angeles, especially the running of Montario Hardesty and Arian Foster. An 0-2 UAB team allowing 47 points per game through 2 contests should provide little resistance. Tennessee is a 29.5 point favorite.
Vols Focus on Fixing Execution Errors (Chattanooga Times - Free Press)

#24 Vanderbilt Commodores (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
Last Week: Won 24-17 vs South Carolina
This Week: vs Rice (7:00 PM EST)
On the strength of a student section "black out", the Commodores stunned the Gamecocks in Nashville. While the offense was just "so-so", the defense did its job in holding the lackluster Gamecock defense to just 325 yards. Linebacker Patrick Benoist tallied 15 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 tackles for loss, to garner SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Vandy sits only 4 wins from its first bowl berth in over 25 years. The Commodores are a 7 point favorite at home against Rice.
Commodores beat South Carolina 24-17 (Vanderbilt University News)

.....and if I might, one random thought. Much has been made of ESPN's supposed "snub" of the Knowshon hurdle on any of its highlight shows Saturday night or through the rest of this past week. I haven't chosen to dwell on it, even though I am absolutely convinced that an ESPN bias against UGA does exist. I've actually been convinced of it for a few years now. Forget about the fact that the hurdle was the most breathtaking play of this young college football season. Forget about the fact that if Joe McKnight or Terrell Pryor had done it, ESPN would have run a continuous loop of just that play for 24 straight hours on ESPN Classic. Where I differ from most with regard to the conspiracy theory is in what I believe is behind ESPN's motivation. In my opinion, the sole reason for the "bias", is because the geniuses at ESPN know that it creates publicity for their network throughout the Bulldawg Nation. The more the Evil Empire acts like the Dawgs don't exist, the more we watch and the more we talk about it amongst ourselves. And whether we like it or not, nobody in the college football landscape cares more about what the media thinks about its own program than Dawg fans do. Not sure why that is or when it began, but it seems to be a fact. Its actually a pretty smart tactic on ESPN's part. Of course, it doesn't make me despise Kirk Herbstreit, Lou Holtz, or Mark May any less.
Enjoy the Dawgs and Cocks on Saturday afternoon.

Double L Ranch

week 3

I hope you all were able to benefit from the Schlitz last week. We were able to bring in $1,300 (primarily due to the Dawgs) of which I blew all mine Saturday night in Cabo. With the $300 loss in week 1, we've still been able to amass a cool grand in two weeks. I have to say, I didn't spend much time looking at the lines this week for one very simple reason...

I saw the UGA/USC line....

After spewing my margarita across the table at a local watering hole, I gathered myself and made the call to the Bellagio Sportsbook, where I keep shoeboxes of Benjamins at all times for moments like this. This is going to come as an unprecedented move, as I normally suggest hedging bets, but not this week folks. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You need to take the follwing advice:

5 Benjamins
4 Benjamins
3 Benjamins
2 Benjamins
1 Benjamin
Total: 15 Benjamins

Take UGA -7 over South Carolina


This is just what the doctor ordered. I've already opened another bottle of Effin to celebrate my victory. Analysts living in the past and recalling days of low scoring affairs between these two clubs need to take cover. This is going to get ugly and stay ugly. Spurrier will be looking for his 3rd visor of the night by halftime somewhere behind the watercooler. Georgia's conservative D is going to load up and bring it with some blitz packages that have been saved especially for this weekend. Neither team will take this game lightly, but the Gamecock's will not have nearly enough to keep up once the route begins. Looks like that trip to Dubai may come sooner then expected for us.

Schlitz

Hmmmm....

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Verdict on Matt Stafford: Coming Saturday?

For 2+ years the Georgia faithful have waited for the most talented quarterback ever to play Between the Hedges to put together a consistent if not spectacular season of work under center. We've been blessed with flashes of brilliance and sure-fire 1st round NFL potential. Stafford has tools that every NFL scout, GM and owner gush over when watching film. Big frame, quick release, cannon arm. He even runs the ball fairly well for someone as big as he is.

Still, to this day it seems that for every Georgia fan defending Stafford to the bitter end, there are critics everywhere (many of those Georgia fans as well) ready to talk about everything that he does wrong. Those critics certainly have plenty of evidence to support their position. Of the 25 games that Stafford has started in his career, he has suffered through 6 games completing 50% or less of his passes. His passer rating was only higher than 100 twice in his true freshman season, and only 4 times in 2007. Coming into this season, his career TD total was barely ahead of his career interception total. There are plenty of individual plays that anyone (Stafford fan or not) can point back to where he missed a wide open receiver, badly overthrew a deep ball, or made an ill-advised throw resulting in an interception.

When you're the #1 rated quarterback prospect in America coming out of high school and headed to one of the best college football programs in the land, your mistakes are magnified. As well they should be. I'm quite certain that if Matthew Stafford reads and hears his critics, he's not completely shocked that there are people who still don't believe in him. Following 2 players in David Greene and DJ Shockley that led UGA to not only its first 2 SEC titles in over 20 years, but to the cusp of BCS Titles, most of the Dawgnation expected (and still expects) that Stafford would ultimately push the UGA program beyond that precipice. Those disappointing moments get remembered well before those highlights, which Stafford's critics will tell you are merely expected of a player with this much talent and expectation.

Early in the 2008 season, we've seen alot more good from Stafford than bad. He's eclipsed that magical 60% completion percentage (which somebody, somewhere, at some point, decided would be the standard by which all quarterbacks should be measured.) He's thrown 4 touchdowns against no interceptions. His passer rating is among the Top 15 quarterbacks in the country, ahead of Chase Daniel, Graham Harrell, and believe it or not, even ahead of Tim Tebow. That said, we all know who he has played in his first 2 games. His completion percentage against Georgia Southern and Central Michigan is eerily similar to what he produced in the 4 previous games he started in his career against non-BCS conference teams, right around 62%.

Which brings us to this Saturday afternoon in Columbia. The South Carolina defense has been Matt Stafford's kryptonite the past two seasons. Two games (only one start, although he played the majority of the 2006 game after Joe Tereshinski's game-ending injury), 43% completion percentage, zero touchdowns, 4 interceptions. Statistically speaking, Stafford's effort against Kentucky in 2007 was his worst game of the season, but most UGA fans remember the 16-12 loss to the Gamecocks as the best evidence of Stafford's deficiencies. Tyrone Nix had the formula to get in Stafford's grill early and often, and you can bet that Steve Spurrier will be sharing what he's observed with new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. (You get the feeling that Spurrier has absolutely no respect for Stafford as a quarterback, which is ironic given what he trots out to stand under center just about every week in Columbia.) Sure, South Carolina is battered and bruised after an embarrassing loss to Vanderbilt. The Gamecock fans, usually whipped into a frenzy for the UGA, may be a little more "down" than usual heading into this one (this year's game marks the first time UGA has visited Columbia since 1986 that South Carolina wasn't undefeated.) But make no mistake what the gameplan will be this weekend at Williams-Brice Stadium: Shut down Knowshon Moreno. Sell out, and make Matt Stafford beat you. Spurrier and Johnson would be silly not to do so. There isn't a more dominant player in college football today than Moreno. Given the success they've had against Stafford the past 2 years, why wouldn't they focus on Knowshon and the rest of the UGA stable of tailbacks?

Granted, "selling out" to stop Knowshon Moreno isn't exactly a given for anybody. If you watched the Vandy game, you noticed Commodore running back Jared Hawkins slicing through the Gamecocks like a hot knife through butter in the 4th quarter. If you tend to fold against the run late in ball games, #24 isn't necessarily the guy you want to see coming to town. That said, Stafford is going to have his chances, and he's probably going to have alot of them. Everything we've seen going back to the spring seems to indicate that he's more than ready. He looks and acts like a different quarterback. Hopefully this Saturday we'll see it confirmed against his first "real" test of the 2008 season.

Leave no doubt, Matt.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

St. Urban's "Meaningless" Field Goal

Anyone who was able to keep their eyes open through the 4th quarter of the Florida-Miami game Saturday night noticed the Gators turning a 23-3 lead into a 26-3 lead, thanks to a 29 yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the game. Anyone that has an interest (vested or otherwise) in the point spread as of kickoff, knows that the game closed with Florida being favored by 22.5 points.

You may have also noticed Miami head coach Randy Shannon mumbling what, for any amateur lip-reader, appeared to be something along the lines of "that is BS." There was, however, no need for inference into Shannon's feelings about the late field goal during the traditional postgame hand shake between coaches. If you didn't see it, let's just say that Shannon could have slapped Meyer in the face and it would have been more affectionate.

First off, there should be absolutely no doubt what Meyer's intentions were with the late field goal. Take a look at the last 3 possessions of the game. Start with 7:28 to go in the 4th quarter and the Gators already up 23-3. After the Gators recovered a Miami fumble on their own 33, Florida ran 8 plays, 5 of them passes. One of them was a 52 yard touchdown from Tim Tebow to Louis Murphy that was called back thanks to an illegal formation penalty against Florida. The drive stalled and the Gators punted. Miami then went 3 and out and punted to Brandon James, who returned the ball down to the Miami 16. The mighty Gators then preceded to run two straight no-back sets with Tebow still in the game. The first pass play being a 9 yard gain, the 2nd being an incomplete fade route toward Murphy in the end zone. On 3rd and 1, the Gators went for the 1st down, but their vaunted running game (Florida's rushing totals from its running backs Saturday night: 9 carries for 14 yards) was stuffed for a 4 yard loss. Then, the field goal to beat the number. The combination of moan and roar coming from south Nevada was deafening, even 2200 miles away in Gainesville.

This was a 3-possession game with half a quarter remaining. Miami couldn't have moved the ball on a Pop Warner team Saturday night. The game was over. If Meyer had chosen to go for it on 4th and 5 from the 12 yard line, this is a moot point. I don't have a problem with him running up the score. That's his decision as the head coach, and the old cliche certainly applies: it is Miami's job to stop Florida. I'm also not going to play high and mighty and tell you that Mark Richt would have taken a knee, although if you held a gun to me I'd say he probably would have just killed the clock and taken the 23-3 victory. Maybe he would have just run the ball and tried to get a backup running back a touchdown. In all likelihood, he would have just gone for it on 4th and 5, most likely with Joe Cox under center. But not St. Urban. He kicks a field goal with 25 seconds left to cover the spread by exactly 1/2 point.

In addition to his "snub" of Meyer shortly after time expired, Shannon had plenty to say after the game: “Sometimes when you do things and people see what kind of person you really are, you turn a lot of people off.....take from that what you want. It helped us more than you will ever know.” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) Meyer denied as much in his weekly television show on the Sunshine Network, although he didn't exactly expound on it.

In any case, you can be sure that Shannon won't forget, and that Meyer probably doesn't care. That's just the kind of guy he seems to be. But make no mistake, we know what Meyer's intentions were from the 7:28 mark of the 4th quarter until the clock hit zero. You, me, Randy Shannon, and the world all know it. Meyer knew the Vegas number and he was determined to beat it. Now, by no means am I inferring that Meyer had any interest of his own in what the spread was. I might think he is a scumbag, but I wouldn't ever say that he had any "personal interest" in covering the spread, unless maybe he thought that recruits in the state of Florida might think more highly of the his program if they won a game against an in-state rival by more than the "experts" thought he would. You just don't normally notice a more blatantly intentional effort to beat a big point spread, as what we saw last night. I can't imagine that Mike Slive or the NCAA powers that be loved what they saw.

I certainly hope that we see St. Urban get what's coming to him, and that we see it soon. (God willing that one day Randy Shannon gets to hand it to him.) I'd get the most satisfaction from seeing the Dawgs give it to him, but I'm really not sure I can wait until November 1st for that.

The Hurdle

Otto: "Nice hurdle."
KM: "Thanks, I've been waiting to do that."

(photo: Ben Gray, AJC)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season

We have family and friends living in St. Simons and in New Orleans. Like so many others, we have been spending a lot of time lately watching The Weather Channel to follow all the hurricanes. The live feed on TWC down in Jacksonville caught this on tape....

"New Dawg Unleashed"

I was reading a new comment from this post from 'fish and thought it should be posted. Thanks for sharing duvy.

Anonymous duvydawg said...

First game memories are always a good topic. Mine was 1992 UGA vs. now defunct Cal St Fullerton and a beat down was handed to the titans. But by far my favorite first day memories was my eldest son's first game back in 2006. This one also coinsided with Matt Stafford's first start. JT did great and we have the socks, pictures and ABH paper haging in a shadowbox. I walk by that everyday and love the headline still that rings true for Stafford and JT, it reads, "New Dawg Unleashed" By the way that game was a 34-0 drubbing of UAB.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Game thread: #21 South Carolina at Vanderbilt

The Gamecocks, coming off a 34-0 rout of North Carolina State, visit Nashville for the SEC opener against a Vanderbilt squad that was impressive on the road in a 34-13 "upset" win over Miami of Ohio. The Commodores have asked their students to come dressed in black for the game. Chris Fowler, Craig James, and Jesse Palmer have the call for an 8 PM kickoff on ESPN.

A few week 1 thoughts...

Some unfortunate family emergencies have kept me from any posts this week until now. Sorry for the lack of content this week.

Some week 1 thoughts:
I am blown away by the Clemson situation. This crap reminds me of the Donnan & Quincy situation. Tommy is on his way out. He will have to win the ACC or he will be fired at the end of the season. Carolina whipping them later on will probably be the final straw. That type of recruiting is like selling your soul. It reeks of desperation. Plus you lose all respect from your kids that are working hard to earn time on the field.

So I just finished with a meeting downtown Athens and I went over to Little Italy's to get a #1 (hot, all the way) and I'm reading JJ's post from the other day about the freshman that played Saturday. As usual anonymous poster shows his ignorance and tries to show up JJ by saying that Nick Williams didn't play against GSU. Personally, I don't see how someone would be so negative to comment like that, especially in one of the best posts I've seen all summer on any blog. So I open up a R&B from Tuesday while eating and see this picture (above). Well played anonymous.

Speaking of that post JJ did the other day, I too was really impressed with the young pups. Marcus Dowtin seemed to play the whole game. Kid is gonna be a stud. Sports Dawg made a good point (commenting in that post) that these kids are going to help the program more this year than they probably would during their 5th year. Not to mention, these are the types of talented players that will be in Athens for only 3 or 4 years anyway. I love the fact that the program is in no need to redshirt anyone who is ready to play right away. Plus, when Garner and Richt tell a recruit that they will compete for time right away, the proof is out there that if you are ready to play as a true freshman, you will get your chance. (unlike above comment about Clemson promising the first carry of season to a recruit whether he deserves it or not)

Also regarding all the freshmen playing early...If this team does live up to its expectations, there is a decent chance that a lot of underclassmen might leave for the NFL early over the next couple of years. Well, this freshmen class will have already gotten plenty of experience for when it becomes their program to lead. And not just experience, but quality experience on a top 3 team. Whether our hated rivals want to admit it or not, Georgia is LOADED and going to be in the National Title picture for the foreseeable future.

Speaking of commenter's...just want to say thanks to people like A Free Man, helpmyunbelief, Ally, Sports Dawg, Mackalicious, hunker down, Bayou, Duvy, dog44, redcrake, Darryl Strawberry, hobnail boot...etc etc etc.... We really appreciate your input and involvement in this blog. Whether you agree or disagree with things that are posted, you always make this site better.

Congrats to this weeks Fan of the Week over on Bulldawg Illustrated. Let's just say, she and her bulldog puppy are friends of C&C. Thought the answer of her favorite all time player was a classic and it looks like someone grew up with a friend that was a maize and blue fan. Btw...the BI is the best publication going. Period.

Screw ESPN...the best CFB shows are Tailgate Overdrive on Sun, College Football Now on NFL Network, and Inside College Football on CBS College Sports--Brian Jones is the best unknown personality in the business.

I'm not so sure Georgia Southern wouldn't beat Virginia. Just saying. No matter if it's for the title or not, I really hope Georgia gets USC in a bowl this year. Man, I wish we would have played them in last years Rose Bowl.

This post really made me smile. Here's hoping there is a lot more of that coming in the future. That was just the tip of the iceberg with the stories that 'fish has.

Double L Ranch

Week 2:

I have to begin by apologizing for my tardiness in this week's breakdown of the top 5. The past few days are nothing more than one giant blur, which has left me not realizing what day it actually is. In any case, after a tough week 1, The Schlitz had but one anecdote for the problems I witnessed on the field this past weekend... Take my issues straight to Vegas. This was not one of my better ideas. I was beaten and butchered by that God forsaken place. Next year however, will be a different story...

As for apologizing for my rough start, I will not. Though I cruised to victory with Mr. Pickens and the merciless Gators as predicted, I had it handed to me by Clemson, Idaho and Tennessee. Oh Tennessee... How they should be ashamed. I mean REALLY ashamed. They were pathetic. Words cannot convey my feelings towards that team. May that rot and preferably not in a place of peace... Idaho, I just had to laugh. Not that anyone really cares about this team unless you happen to bet on them, but how can a state University field such a piss poor group of athletes? I would suggest they rot as well, but it appears they have already done so. And that leaves me with Clemson... In all honesty, they probably aren't as bad a group of athletes as Idaho ("probably" being the key word). The problem is they have a coach that shouldn't be walking the sidelines in my sons YMCA league. He is awful. I've come to the conclusion that against a bad team Bowden can let his team loose and play street ball and they'll probably do OK. But heaven help them if they are going up against a team with a pulse that may actually require some decent coaching. Unreal. Therefore, into the fiery depths with 'em!

The Schlitz learned a lot in Week 1 and unfortunately it cost me about $300 while going 2-3. This week however, seems to bare more fruit for the Schlitz at first glance. Let's get it started:

Bonus
10 Benjamin's
UGA will cover the first half line of 12 against The Chipowacahee's

5 Benjamin's
Texas will beat UTEP by 26.5
UTEP is coming off a hard fought game against the powerhouse that is Buffalo... That's right Buffalo. Not The Buffaloes, but Buffalo. What the F! They got it handed to 'em in a big way. One might suggest they were looking ahead? Whatever, the only place they were looking was straight up their cornhole. They are in for a brutal time with the Longhorns who have little since of decency and sportsmanship, and will relish in the opportunity to blow the doors off the Buffalo. Look for a slaughter.

4 Benjamin's
West Virginia will dominate ECU by 8
I hate WVU, but make no mistake, they are a far better team then East Carolina. I always like betting the second week of the season for games like this. Some team pulls off a miracle and then they want a freakin cookie. ECU, still sucks. Beating V Tech was impressive, but more in the sense that VT sucks that bad then that ECU is that good. Reality will set in this week for ECU.
It should be noted: If ECU were to win, somehow, someway, don't be surprised to see them hollering for a place at the table come seasons end. After Saturday, they don't play another team all year... Scary.

3 Benjamin's
Tulane will not lose to Bama by 30
Alabama looked good. No doubt about it. The problem is they can play down to their opponent better then any team in America. I think the UL game last year would be a worthy mention. Sure they can come to play against the big dogs and occasionally surprise you (ie: rotting Clemson), but this could be closer then you might think. Tulane is playing for pride with their city on the brink of extinction. In their minds - this is a BIG game. In Bama's mind - where is the keg Saturday night? Bama will get it together though, certainly no upset, but no 30 pointer either.

2 Benjamin's
Central Michigan will not get beat by 24
I can hear the blood boiling. Hey, if it happens, it's worth my $200 to see UGA play that well. Especially, since it'll be that second and third team that was hardly impressive against Southern in the end. UGA will jump out quick and by the third quarter, once again, Richt will rest the starters for the upcoming outings and mercy will be dealt the Chipowacah's (or whatever the hell they call themselves). That's when your points are taken away from you late. Again, take UGA in the first half and you'll have you a "winna, winna, chicken dinna!"

1 Benjamin
Vandy tonight getting 9.5 against USC
USC sucks and they sucked last week against NCSU. I don't care what the final score was, it was a close game between two really bad teams. Vandy can play offense and will at home tonight. You may even be wise to take Vandy straight up and get the odds from the bookmakers. If you just want the single Benjamin though, take the points.

Let the discussion begin...

It will be noted that the running tab this year by following the Schlitzz betz is down $300.

Schlitz

Monday, September 1, 2008

Young Pup Report: Georgia Southern Game

The Dawgs put a boatload of players on the field in Saturday's win over Georgia Southern, 70 by my count (including non-scholarship players), although I probably missed a few. 11 of those players were true freshmen, the most that Mark Richt has debuted in a season opener since 2002.

There are 2 ways to look at true freshmen seeing the field in the season debut. #1 - They are so good you can't keep them off the field, and #2 - You have to play them because you don't have anybody else. In the case of teams like Georgia, #1 is certainly the case. Georgia, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU....these programs don't have to play true freshmen out of necessity, except perhaps when an injury at a rare thin position requires it.

Bobby Bowden used to loathe playing true freshmen, saying that you could expect a key mistake at least some point in the season from every true freshman you have to play. These days, the aforementioned programs do their best to make sure that not too many true freshmen they do play are not on the field for too many of those "key points in the season." While that certainly will be the case for a few of the freshman that Mark Richt chose to play against Georgia Southern, the simple fact is that a good number of players in this group are going to be keys for the Dawgs to achieve what we're all hoping for.

With that, here's a look back at the true freshmen that played Saturday, followed by some analysis of who we might still see this Saturday or at some point between now and the end of the season.

Cordy Glenn (RG)
Glenn was the 5th true freshman (not including special teams) to start a season opener under Richt, joining Kedric Golston (2002), Danny Ware (2004), Trinton Sturdivant (2007), and Bruce Figgins (2007.) Glenn had a pretty good day, making very few noticeable mistakes. While he had an outstanding fall camp, easily the most surprisingly impressive of any of the incoming freshman, the fact that he started game 1 of the season doesn't mean he's locked in for the rest of the year. The Sturdivant injury prior to the season, combined with Clint Boling's suspension, forced the UGA coaches to scramble people around, and probably rushed Glenn into a little more action than they may have wanted. But no doubt he would have played regardless, and perhaps even started. In the post-game, Richt confirmed that with the return of Boling for the Central Michigan game, Glenn, Boling, Justin Anderson and Ben Harden will compete for 2 starting jobs at right guard and right tackle. Glenn is going to be a great one for the Dawgs, and is critical to UGA's depth along the offensive line, in particular due to his ability to play both guard and tackle.

Blair Walsh (PK)
Walsh got the season off on the right foot, putting UGA's season in play by booting the opening kickoff 8 yards deep in the endzone for a touchback. 6 and a half minutes later he was scoring his first points for the Dawgs, with a 52 yard field goal, the 3rd longest in history by a UGA freshman (Hap Hines in 1996 and Allan Leavitt in 1973 both hit 54 yarders.) His leg strength is undeniable. I was sitting in the northwest corner of the stadium and had a great view of the kick, and it would have been good from 60 easily. Kevin Butler made the comment in the post-game radio show, that he fully expects his record of 60 yards to be broken at some point in the next 4 years. The only thing that still remains to be seen is how Walsh will do it when the pressure is on in a big-time SEC game. After the opening kickoff, it appeared that he was simply doing what he was being told to do by the coaching staff, with the customary directional coverage kick, and he looked pretty good doing it as well. He was also a perfect 6 for 6 on extra point attempts, and even recorded a special teams tackle. So far, so good.


A.J. Green (WR)
Green had the stadium buzzing when he trotted onto the Sanford Stadium field for the first time Saturday. Immediately after entering the game in the first quarter, Matthew Stafford hit Green for a 36 yard gain that set up Georgia's first score of the season on Knowshon Moreno's 2 yard touchdown run. He'd later make a terrific catch on a fade from Joe Cox in the 4th quarter for his first career touchdown. Quite frankly, that play looks damn near unstoppable to me. I expect to see opponents eventually start keying their defense on it, whether that means double-teaming or perhaps getting a bit physical with A.J. when he lines up wide when the Dawgs are in the red zone. UGA quarterbacks looked toward him 3 times in all, and he caught 2 of them for 40 yards and a touchdown. An impressive debut for Green, but by no means the last flashes of brilliance we'll see.

Tavarres King (WR)
King saw his first action as a Bulldawg early in the game, entering in the first quarter. While he didn't catch a pass (nor was he thrown to that I recall), his early entry into the game signals that he is very much in the rotation at receiver. His production will increase dramatically as he gets more comfortable in UGA's system.

Marcus Dowtin (LB)
Maybe the biggest surprise of the entire day for the Dawgs, getting credit for 3 tackles, although it seemed like he when he was in the game, he found his way to the ball on just about every play. He had his first career sack negated thanks to an offsides penalty. I'm no coach, nor have I ever been one, but to me he looks as technically sound as any freshman linebacker I've seen. He seems to float to the ball. With his frame, you expect him to put on some weight as his career progresses, but I don't think there is any doubt that he stands a good chance to be a major contributor the rest of this season. Dowtin is a stud.

Richard Samuel (RB)
Samuel confirmed the rumors that he had passed Caleb King as the 2nd-string tailback this preseason, when he got his first official carry as a Bulldawg at about the 3:00 mark of the 1st quarter. Unfortunately, he got a little too excited and fumbled for the Dawgs' lone turnover on the day. He'd end his debut with a nice 6 carries for 34 yards, including two runs of over 10 yards. He was more than likely passed by King, who was slightly more impressive ending the day with 12 carries for 95 yards. My first observation is that he runs a little bit "out of control", and maybe slightly upright. That said, I love the way he hits the hole, and he definitely passes the eye test in pads. King looks a little more polished at this point in their respective careers, but Samuel is clearly a great talent. It is easy to see why he's out there.

DeAngelo Tyson (DT)
Given that he didn't enter the game until after the unfortunate season-ending injury that Jeff Owens suffered, one might think the coaches decided to burn Tyson's redshirt only after the injury occurred. I'm not so sure he wasn't going to play anyway. I'm pretty sure he entered the game during the same drive that Owens was injured on, so it would have been a pretty quick decision to burn his redshirt so quickly, without knowing for sure the extent of Owens' injury. The Dawgs were already a little thin on experience at tackle due to Kade Weston's knee problems. Tyson had a pretty good game, recording 2 tackles, including one for a loss. Geno Atkins and Corvey Irvin will start at tackle against Central Michigan, but Tyson will have every chance to increase his playing time, with Weston out for at least another week. From there on out, he'll continue to battle Ricardo Crawford and Brandon Wood for time in the rotation.

Brandon Boykin (CB)
No surprise to see Boykin get his first action against Georgia Southern. The UGA coaches gushed over him throughout fall camp. The first thing I noticed was that he looked awfully small out there compared to the other UGA cornerbacks save maybe Ramarcus Brown. The second thing I noticed is that he is extremely quick. Dripping with potential. Often times he looked a little lost, with his fellow cornerbacks having to show him where to be on the field, but nothing unexpected there. He finished the day with 2 credited tackles. He looks to be the 4th cornerback in the rotation right now, and should continue to see increased playing time as the season progresses.

Ben Jones (C)
Jones is listed as the firm 2nd-string center on the depth chart, but in all actuality he is probably 1B. I didn't catch an exact total of snaps played, but I'd guess Davis played just slightly more than Jones. He did not disappoint in his first game in Athens, and he'll do nothing but get better as we move forward.

Nick Williams (DB)
Williams may have been the biggest surprise among the freshman that saw the field Saturday, although Richt mentioned him as a possibility earlier in the week. He saw his first action on special teams, covering a kickoff in the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately, his first play also resulted in a 15 yard personal foul penalty as he got to the GSU return man just after Darryl Gamble had already put him down. Personally I thought it was a questionable call. (Poor Nick looked like he just wanted to crawl off the field without any of the UGA coaching staff noticing him.) I didn't notice him getting back into the game, but I may have been wrong on that. Expect to see him get increased playing time on kickoff coverage at first, as well as some limited time at safety as we get into the latter half of the season.

Sanders Commings (CB)
I expected to see Commings in the game given the work that he got with the 1st team defense at times during fall camp. To be honest, I never noticed him against Georgia Southern. Based on what some people told me, he was in the game on UGA's last defensive series. The official UGA game notes list him as having played, although he didn't record any official stats. (It should be noted that those notes did not list Nick Williams, and a number of media outlets didn't list Tavarres King as having played.) Commings is expected to contribute all season at cornerback, and can also fill-in at safety based on depth, and on special teams if needed.

Based on what we were hearing and reading prior to kickoff, I expected to see as many as 12 true freshmen Saturday. Some notes on the freshmen that didn't play:
-I thought for sure that Carlton Thomas and Dontavious Jackson would both see time, or at least that one of them would. Turns out neither did. I saw both wearing helmets on the front row of the UGA sideline during a few UGA offensive series', so I doubt very seriously that either knew for sure that he wouldn't play in the game. I'm especially surprised that we didn't see Thomas return a punt at some point in the 2nd half when the game wasn't in doubt. I still don't think it is a given that either or both of these guys won't see the field this year.
-Makiri Pugh didn't dress out Saturday due to injury, but it looks like he'll return to practice this week. When he was healthy in fall camp, he was impressive. If he's picked up enough of the gameplan along the way, we may still see him on the field on Saturdays at cornerback.
-Willie Martinez has constantly mentioned Bacarri Rambo in the same breath with Pugh, Williams, Commings and Boykin in the secondary. He was clear from the start that some of the members of that group would see playing time earlier than others, but that he wasn't closing the door on all of them seeing the field by mid-season.
-A.J. Harmon is a major X-factor at this point. Conventional wisdom is that he redshirts. The coaching staff has inferred that at 330 lbs, they'd prefer to wait another year before deciding whether or not he is an offensive guard or a defensive tackle. That said, with one more injury at defensive tackle combined with Weston's knee issues being worse than originally thought, they may have to re-think things. Barring injury, Harmon is a certain redshirt.
-Christian Robinson and Cornelius Washington were both mentioned among possible players that might see time this season, but given their absence against Georgia Southern, it seems likely that they are headed for redshirts at this point.

To summarize, we saw 11 true freshman on the field Saturday, and I'm betting we'll see at least 3 more out there before mid-season. If so, that would make 14 of 21 incoming freshman that will play during their first year. Unheard of in past seasons Between the Hedges, but more than likely will be the norm in Athens in future years.