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July 18, 2017

Fan Day Scheduled for August 5th

Open practice, followed by a short autograph session.

Fan Day Schedule – Saturday, August 5, 2017
12 p.m.                 Ticket distribution for photos with Uga X
2:30 p.m.              Gates Open – Gates 2, 4, 6 and 9
3 p.m.                   Uga photos in Athletic Box on North Side (Ticket holders must by in line by 3:30)    
3:30-5:30 p.m.     Open Practice
5:45 p.m.              Player autographs on the field (45 minutes)
                             Defense – South sideline
                             Offense – North sideline
                             Coach Smart in East End Zone
6:30 p.m.              Event Concludes

Also, directly from the website: "In case of inclement weather, the Fan Day portion of the afternoon would be cancelled.  Please check for more details on the day of the event."

When Narrative is So Loud

A little fun with stats:

QB freshman season stats:
PASSING              GP   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
Random Fr QB         13  108.99 135-256-13   52.7 1749   7  53 134.5
So, you bench his ass, right? Start the next freshman in line. The New Guy looks better, loves the game more, is picking up the system really good, works so hard in the weight room, bleeds red and black, ect.

So what about Random So QB?
PASSING              GP-GS   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
Random Soph QB       13-13  128.92 194-348-10   55.7 2523  19  84 194.1
Of course, you had no choice but to play him, because your recruiting philosophy dictated you didn't have too many QBs on campus at one time (which, to be fair, was the predominant recruiting philosophy of the time).

You probably know these stats are for Matt Stafford. His freshman season, we lose to Kentucky, Vandy, (National Champion) Florida, and Tennessee. That Sophomore season? Georgia loses to South Carolina in a Fair Bryant special, then to Tennesse...OMG ARIAN FOSTER JUST RAN FOR SEVEN MORE YARDS. That team finished 11-2.

What say you about Mr. Eason?
PASSING              GP-GS   Effic Cmp-Att-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Lng Avg/G
Jacob Eason          13-12  120.25  204-370-8   55.1 2430  16  77 186.9
Well, crap. Those stats look a lot more like Stafford's sophomore season, save average per attempt and per completion, but narrative dictates it is time to start Fromm. I realize it isn't an apples to apples comparison, per se, but you can make the argument that Staff had a better offensive line in year 1 than Eason did.

All this is to say, expectations are a bitch to over come. I'm not willing to say Fromm doesn't play, or for that matter doesn't take the job from Eason. However, anyone saying Fromm should be given the job because Eason isn't what he was billed to be doesn't have my attention.


Also see:
 - So, About Bellamy and Carter (obviously, I'm on a thing about Georgia fan expectation)

July 12, 2017

Media Daze

For some reason, I'm just not as stoked about the unofficial start to football season as I normally am. Ten years ago, I anxiously awaited media days and whatever nuggets came from Hoover.

Now, I'm all meh.

Part of that is the overwhelming amount of minutia that comes out of media days.  I literally can see everything that happens. But there is also the sideshow spectacle of it all.  We've become more interested in the crowds for Alabama Day, Ole Miss death penalty threats, trolling the B1.5G, how drunk Bret Bielema looks, and inane Clay Travis questions. Ten years ago, there was some of that, but the worst we got from reporters was bitching about wifi and the food.

The other part is I'm genuinely flummoxed by what to expect this football season: both out of Georgia and out of the rest of the firmament. Part of me wants to believe that Kirby's ability to learn on the job will help him become the coach that many people believe him to already be.  Part of me is desperately afraid he never will. I do know he won't have much leash to play with if this becomes a four year project.

As for the national football firmament, I'm worried if Georgia does take that step this year, the narrative will be 'the SEC is down' because look at the SEC East!1!  Basically, the same argument we heard in the 2002-2005 run. Fundamentally, coverage is designed to generate clicks. As I've long said (about the AJC, but it applies to SBNation and most other websites), nothing gets hits like a positive Alabama story or a negative Georgia one.

Honestly, the only thing that would turn that narrative around is an undefeated run out of Georgia, where the offense looks like the best of the Mike Bobo days and the defense looks like the 1983 Junkyard Dawgs. Win ugly, and I'll be happy, but I don't think those that talk about the sport will.


June 23, 2017

Pumping the Brakes?

Let's say you are vanilla college football team. Let's say you have a young head coach. Let's say you have this returning from last season's team:
  • 2nd year starting QB 
  • All but 200 rushing yards from last season, including two RBs with 3-1000 yard rushing seasons between them.
  • Nearly 90% of tackling production returning
But, let's say you also have big question marks at WR, poorish recruiting and attrition, and OL, because of absolutely poor recruiting two to four years ago.

What would you think about this team?

I'm trying to be realistic about Georgia's season this year. We have a sneaky tough schedule. We have a young QB who is looking to have that game where it all works. We have an OL that has a lot to prove, but hasn't shown they can. We have a coaching staff that showed flashes of brilliance (North Carolina, Auburn) and maddening glimpses of youth (Vandy, Georgia Tech)

We also play in a division with two of the (assumed) top teams starting new QBs, three teams rebuilding defenses, two teams decimated by the draft, and three teams that had terrible recruiting classes two to four years ago.

All of this is to say, I'm not sold on UGA as the prohibitive favorite to win the East. I'm certain not sold on anyone picking UGA to open 0-2.

June 21, 2017

WSLS Ep. 088: Seasons End, but Podcasts Don't

As is typical for CFB focused podcasts recorded in June, we discuss Gremlins, soccer, Plato's theory on fandom, and the Braves. We also talk our favorite pod episodes and get a "69, NICE!" reference.

Scott tells me that rating and reviewing us at iTunes and SoundCloud are important, so, if you don't mind....

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Snarky Seth Emerson is my favorite Seth Emerson

Boy, Seth is bringing the header heat in his "Georgia's Most Important Players 2017" piece on the kicking game:
ATHENS — By now, many fans assumed, Rodrigo Blankenship and his goggles would be somewhere else, chased off the Georgia football team because of the lack of a scholarship, as well as the recruitment of seemingly every available well-footed person with college eligibility.
But, he isn't wrong.

Nor is this assessment:
WHY WHOEVER WINS THE JOB IS IMPORTANT: Because in the average season, the kicker decides a couple games, perhaps more.  
For my money, we win Vandy (though that return to open the game isn't on the kicker, per se) and Georgia Tech, missing a 42 yard FG.  More importantly, Georgia punted from inside their forty in places Smart could have taken, and needed, the points (Tennessee game comes to mind).

Also, I'm not rooting for Blankenship over Martin or vice versa. I'm rooting for 60+% touch-backs, missing inside the 30 only because of poor snaps/handles, and enough leg and consistency to give the coach options on longer kicks.

I'm sure I'll disagree later, but it feels like 'Kicker' at number 8 is low.

June 14, 2017

To Answer a Question

One thing that keeps popping up when I get asked what I think about 2017 Georgia Football® is what makes me think Kirby can take a significant step forward in year 2 as a coach.

Thankfully, William McFadden and Blutarsky does the heavy lifting for me. Reading McFadden's feed yesterday (NSFW for Bulldog fans), I had exactly the same feeling I had leaving Vaught-Hemingway last year: We Mark Richt because his teams were not prepared in big games to hire one that hasn't learned to prepare a team for a big game.

Let me preface this by saying, I almost never say that Kirby has already learned how to do that, just that I believe he can and think he will. That is what all of us are counting on, right?

Because stuff like this
will happen this year, because we are likely to have several 'big' games, including one on the road on September 9th that will be, at worst, the 3rd biggest game of the college football day, and in prime time.

The biggest hole in Kirby's coaching resume when we hired him is that he never had a head coaching gig, and he didn't bring in someone that had recently been a head coach to address that. As head coach, you can talk about how it was done at 'Bama, but until you actually find the buttons to push, you are really just trying to paint your dog crimson and hope he looks like an elephant.

To put it another way, Ole Miss wasn't 45-0 better than Georgia last season. Hugh Freeze was 45-0 better at getting his team ready to play a highly ranked opponent with a chance to make some news than Kirby was.

I think Kirby Smart can be that coach, or he won't be coach at Georgia for nearly as long as Mark Richt was.

June 2, 2017

Pwnn Wagers Would Like a Word

Boy, is this going to go really well....
“We haven’t said to them, gosh your toe was on it. We’re not going to be ridiculous,” said Steve Shaw, the SEC coordinator of officials. “What we’re saying to them is if you come out on the field of play and you protest a call, it’s unsportsmanlike.”
Pwnn Wagers would like to make sure you know this

wasn't his fault.

June 1, 2017

Georgia 2017-18 Men's Basketball Opponents Announced

Georgia will host Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M, South Carolina, Auburn and Florida.
The Bulldogs’ road opponents are Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Auburn and Florida.

The non-conference schedule for Georgia includes a trip to Kansas State in January (for the SEC-Big 12 Invitational), a trip to UMass, and home games against Georgia Tech and Oakland (Mich.)

We get Kentucky in Rupp, but not here. Sorry worst sports fan Will knows, no selling tickets to Big Blue fans for you.

We are looking at a probable five non-conference home games, so we'll add a couple of more (putative) patty cakes for the early part of the season.

May 31, 2017

Updated Georgia Football Projected Kickoff Times

To include The SEC on CBS schedule:

Times and networks in bold are confirmed.
9/2/17App State6:15 pmESPN Tickets
9/9/17at Notre Dame7:30 pmNBC Tickets
9/16/17SamfordNoonSECN Tickets
9/23/17Miss State7:00 pm ESPN2  Tickets
9/30/17at Tennessee3:30 pm CBS Tickets
10/7/17at Vandy4:30 pm SECN Tickets
10/14/17MizzouNoonESPN2 Tickets
10/28/17Florida3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/4/17South Carolina3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/11/17at Auburn3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/18/17Kentucky7:00 pmSECN  Tickets
11/25/17at Tech3:30ABC/ESPN  Tickets

A couple of interesting things...
  • CBS is doing three doubleheader weekends! 
    • Nov 4 - 3:30/8pm
    • Nov 11 - Noon/3:30pm
    • Nov 18 - Noon/3:30pm
  • Notice Georgia/Florida is now locked in at 3:30 on CBS.
  • I figured the Nov 4th weekend would the CBS prime-time game. Nothing about confirmation changes my prediction for the South Carolina game for now.
  • For that matter, the doubleheader weekends don't make me think I should change anything. 
    • Nov 11 - Looking at that weekend, I still think Georgia at Auburn will be the top match-up. If anything, the South Carolina game might be moved on the 4th to avoid a possible three weekend in a row run for Georgia on CBS. That is going to solely how Georgia and South Carolina are looking at that point in the season.
    • Nov 18 - If you look at the prior three weeks, you see why I think the Kentucky game will not be a noon kickoff on CBS. That doesn't mean it won't be on SECN or an ESPN property at noon.
Two nooners, a 3:30, and three nightish home games? I'd lock that up today.

May 26, 2017

So, about Bellamy and Carter

This exchange about the excitement I expressed in Ep 087 of the "Waitn' Since Last Saturday" Podcast over our returning outside line backers
got me thinking, am I, as a fan, over rating Bellamy and Carter? This isn't to prove Walton wrong, as much as to think through why I'm excited about their season.

Let's star with the basics. If anyone thinks I believe Carter and Bellamy will become Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins, let's pump the brakes. I would say that both Bellamy and Carter are on athletically on par with Jenkins, with Carter having potential to reach Floyd's use of athletic ability to change games. In fact, we saw some of that in prior years.

Yes, I know this is a highlight video, so it shows, you know, highlights, but just looking, I'd say Carter's first step and speed, at least in his 2014 and 15 seasons (this was posted in August of 2016) were pretty good. Remember, 2015 was the season he got ejected against Vandy and looked tentative the rest of the season. Looking at his stats from 2016, I see a guy that had 44 tackles (ten fewer than Floyd had in his next to last year) and 6 TFL (3.5 fewer than Floyd had). Also, you can argue Floyd drew more offensive attention than Carter.

You can also argue that Jeremy Pruitt's defense was more predicated on the OLBs being aggressive at pushing up field than Mel Tucker's, so that skews the TLF stats, IMO. 

That is all to say my expectation for Carter is that he'll be an All-SEC player in 2017. Could he be a top ten NFL pick like Floyd? Maybe, but that's a really high bar. I absolutely believe he will be drafter higher than Jordan Jenkins was (83rd pick) in the 2018 draft.

Looking at Bellamy, I see a guy who is always around the ball.  Yes, I know that is crap football speak for jumping on the pile, but that is essentially what Parrish was saying in his tweet. I also see a guy that has steadily increased his production to 55 tackles and 9 TFLs in 2016. Yes, those are nearly mirror stats for Floyd. Again, Bellamy drew less attention than Floyd.

I think he'll be drafted around where Jenkins was, with the potential to take his game to a higher level where he could be drafted as high or higher than Carter.

The trick for both Bellamy and Carter is getting better at pass/run recognition, the one place I think they are not as solid at as Floyd or Jenkins were in their penultimate seasons.

Let me finish by saying I think Walton's view isn't invalid, as both Carter and Bellamy have not performed to expectations, expectations set pretty high by Floyd and Jenkins (and I'm not saying his expectations are that; I don't know). If UGA fans think both will be Floyd, I don't see that, but could be proven wrong. I do think both Bellamy and Carter have the potential, and potential I think they'll reach, to be top 4-6 OLBs in the conference.

Now, about depth at OLB......


May 25, 2017

App State Kickoff Announced for 6:15pm on ESPN

I'm surprised it's on ESPN main, but I'll take the 6:15 kickoff.

Times and networks in bold are confirmed.
9/2/17App State6:15 pmESPN Tickets
9/9/17at Notre Dame7:30 pmNBC Tickets
9/16/17SamfordNoonSECN Tickets
9/23/17Miss State7:00 pm ESPN2  Tickets
9/30/17at Tennessee3:30 pm CBS Tickets
10/7/17at Vandy4:30 pm SECN Tickets
10/14/17MizzouNoonESPN2 Tickets
10/28/17Florida3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/4/17South Carolina3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/11/17at Auburn3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/18/17Kentucky7:00 pmSECN  Tickets
11/25/17at Tech3:30ABC/ESPN  Tickets

I still expect the SEC on CBS schedule out soon.

May 24, 2017

WSLS Podcast Ep 087

We're back! We take pot shots at Alabama's locker room culture, cause Scott to have to bleep out several words, and predict a National Champion in Life.

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May 17, 2017

Georgia's Projected 2017 Football Kickoff Times

Remember, you mileage might vary.

Times and networks in bold are confirmed.
9/2/17App State4:30 pmSECN Tickets
9/9/17at Notre Dame7:30 pmNBC Tickets
9/16/17SamfordNoonSECN Tickets
9/23/17Miss State7:00 pm ESPN2  Tickets
9/30/17at Tennessee3:30 pm CBS Tickets
10/7/17at Vandy4:30 pm SECN Tickets
10/14/17MizzouNoonESPN2 Tickets
10/28/17Florida3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/4/17South Carolina3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/11/17at Auburn3:30 pmCBS Tickets
11/18/17Kentucky7:00 pmSECN  Tickets
11/25/17at Tech3:30ABC/ESPN  Tickets
  • CBS still has their doubleheader weekends, which they usually announce around June 1. They usually announce the first couple of weeks and select games from the season, such as Georgia/Florida.
  • You can bet on November 4th being one of those doubleheaders, so CBS can get LSU at Alabama into their fall prime time inventory. I'm betting on that decision allowing our game against South Carolina to be on CBS at 3:30.
  • That being said, having those weekends locked down will probably change at least one of my projections. Say November 4th isn't a doubleheader, there is no way very little chance our game is picked before Alabama vs. LSU.
  • So there are my predictions. Kickoff times during the season are announced 12 days ahead of time (usually Monday around noon Eastern), unless the TV partners go to a six day window, which they can do twice.  

*I fully expect the full SEC TV schedule to be released about ten minutes after this goes live, so you are welcome.

March 27, 2017

Hell No I Ain't Happy

Fine, SEC basketball is a thing. That doesn't mean I need to be happy with it.

Though, I get what Marc is saying: UGA was close. I've been saying that for a month. We were. Still 1-9 against NCAA tourney teams is why you get left out.

If anything, South Carolina's Final Four run will make it harder for Coach Fox. Not to mention there is now a blue print example of a middle tier SEC team getting from around 20 wins and a questionable 7 seed to the National Semi-Finals.

So, if it is the same with you, I'll stick with the other Bulldogs and hope Gonzaga wins next weekend, because Lord knows Gamecock fans will be insufferable enough with this.

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