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March 4, 2015

Fox signed his extension

Nice work, Westerdawg.
TD

SEC basketball tournament scenarios

The SEC men's tournament in Nashville tips off a week from today.  The good news is UGA will definitely not play until at least Thursday. The possibility of a double bye to Friday is still on the table.

Schedule (my apologies for the formatting):

DATETIME (CT)TVGAME
FIRST ROUND: Wednesday, March 116 p.m.SEC NetworkGame 1 - Seed #12 vs. Seed #13
SEC NetworkGame 2 - Seed #11 vs. Seed #14
SECOND ROUND: Thursday, March 12NoonSEC NetworkGame 3 - Seed #8 vs. Seed #9
SEC NetworkGame 4 - Seed #5 vs. Game 1 winner
6 p.m.SEC NetworkGame 5 - Seed #10 vs. Seed #7
SEC NetworkGame 6 - Seed #6 vs. Game 2 winner
THIRD ROUND: Friday, March 13NoonSEC NetworkGame 7 - Seed #1 vs. Game 3 winner
SEC NetworkGame 8 - Seed #4 vs. Game 4 winner
6 p.m.SEC NetworkGame 9 - Seed #2 vs. Game 5 winner
SEC NetworkGame 10 - Seed #3 vs. Game 6 winner
SEMIFINALS: Saturday, March 14NoonESPNGame 11 - Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner
ESPNGame 12 - Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner
FINALS: Sunday, March 15NoonESPNGame 13 - Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner
Looking at the tiebreakers, UGA can finish has high as third (with a win over Auburn, and losses by A&M, Ole Miss, plus two by LSU). UGA can finish as low as sixth. Since LSU holds the tie breaker over the Dawgs, we need them to loose both of their remaining games (vs. Tenn tonight and at Arkansas Saturday), AND have either A&M or Ole Miss lose one to get to at least fourth place and the double bye.
TD

Two best games of the season: Georgia vs. Kentucky

If you didn't watch the Georgia-Kentucky game last night, you missed two very important things:
  1. You saw Mark Fox at his best as a coach. He was one step ahead of Kentucky all night. Yes, John Calipari is a terrible in game coach. Yes, he relies on having 8+ guys on his team that would start for every other basketball program in the country. Yes, they are all really 6'7" and over. Still, you have to coach your team to over come the massive differential in Joes. Mark Fox nearly did.
  2. You saw what Stegeman could be. You think we lose to Tech, LSU or Auburn (or maybe even South Carolina) at home with that kind of atmosphere? No way. We shouldn't have to have the number one team in the nation in Athens to have 2,500 of the 35,000 students on campus, plus another 6-8K show up for games against those teams.
Georgia showed we have what it takes to play the kind of basketball it takes to win a game or two in Atlanta and in the NCAA tourney. We also showed we are capable, due mainly to free throw shooting, of blowing a lead to a team they've stood toe to toe with all night. That is a recurring nightmare, and one that will keep Georgia from advancing much farther than than a game or two.

One other thing to note. UK doesn't play that slop grab and grind down low basketball that other SEC teams play, and SEC officials allow to happen. That is a benefit to UGA, especially once we get out of SEC play. There are other teams that do play that style around the country, but the SEC is full of those teams. As we've seen, that is the best way to stop UGA's offense.

The good news is losing at home to the number one RPI team doesn't hurt RPI much. The better news is that Georgia showed that we are a tournament team. Hopefully, we won't go and ruin it by losing to Auburn and whomever we draw in the first round of the SEC tournament.
TD

SEC Media Days

The SEC is really good at this. Right at the start of spring practices, announce your media days schedule. Get those not focused on your (much improved) basketball league on football. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Full Schedule:
2015 SEC FOOTBALL MEDIA DAYS SCHEDULE

MONDAY, July 13
SEC Commissioner
Auburn - Gus Malzahn
Florida - Jim McElwain
Vanderbilt - Derek Mason

TUESDAY, July 14
SEC Coordinator of Football Officials Steve Shaw
South Carolina - Steve Spurrier
Texas A&M - Kevin Sumlin
Miss. State - Dan Mullen
Tennessee - Butch Jones

WEDNESDAY, July 15
Alabama - Nick Saban
Kentucky - Mark Stoops
Arkansas - Bret Bielema
Missouri - Gary Pinkel

THURSDAY, July 16
LSU - Les Miles
Georgia - Mark Richt
Ole Miss - Hugh Freeze

Boy, Tuesday morning is going to be fun.
TD

March 2, 2015

Chris Conley gets it

Man, the list of DGD's in Bulldog Nation is pretty long, but Conley might well have the best seat in the house. He asked Chip Tower's at AJC to publish a letter to Bulldog Naiton. You can read Chip's whole article here.

The full text of the letter as reprinted from the above linked AJC article:
Dear Bulldog Nation,
Where do I begin? Before I was officially a Bulldog, I received support from the fans and the Bulldog Nation. Many of you extended kind words at basketball games or during my visits on campus on game days to make me feel comfortable and at home. Thank you all for the support and the encouragement during good times and even in the bad. The “True Dawgs” who bleed red and black have been a source of strength and were truly a part of my support system throughout my tenure at Georgia.
Coach Richt, thank you for giving me the opportunity to play college football. As some may know, Georgia was my first offer, and although I may had gotten other offers later, Georgia’s early offer when I had just completed my second season of football (ever), gave me confidence that I could play this game. You were a constant support throughout my time at UGA. I know you take a great deal of heat for many things, but I am thankful for the coach that you are and even more so for the man that you are. You are a true builder of men and a damn good football coach. I am thankful that you and Coach Ball saw enough in me to allow a raw, lanky, clumsy kid the chance to play the game he loves and grow.
My current transition into the real world has been surreal and abrupt in some instances. I am adjusting to not being in the locker room around the boys or going to the same workouts. I will forever be indebted to Georgia for the work ethic and attitude that was sharpened during my time in Athens. I will always be a part of the the Dawg Nation and always hope to represent the “G” with pride. I may be in a different city or state in the coming months but a part of my heart will always remain in Athens, between the hedges.
People joke that I will one day be a politician because of the way I speak, the way I interact with everyone, or how I like to bring people together. I don’t hope to one day hold one of those positions, but rather I would like to set an example that we as people should have a goal to unite families, neighborhoods, and cities for the well-being of our state and then our country. Call me an idealist but I believe that all it takes for change to take root is a willing participant and the faith that it will happen. That same willingness and faith is what allowed a 2-3 star recruit to defy the odds and contribute at the greatest school in the country. Let us be the change we want to see in our homes, cities, and state. I am standing with you all.
I’m done giving my inspirational pep talk now. So, if you see me around Athens, Atlanta or anywhere else, don’t be afraid to reach out and speak with me. I hope to continue to be active in these communities because they are where I call home. In my brief time in Athens, I hope I have inspired someone to chase his dreams, to work a little harder or dream a little bigger. If my example has reached just one person and encouraged him to be better, I have accomplished so much more than I deserve.
Thank you all. God Bless and Go Dawgs!
Chris Conley

March 1, 2015

Dawgs start winning again; look to make the NCAA tourney

Since anytime I get too excited about forward progress, I'll just leave this latest bracketology here without (much) comment: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/bracketology.

Also, we've moved out of the bubble watch. Kentucky on Tuesday night at 9 is up next.
TD

February 24, 2015

Dawgs travel to Ole Miss: another planes, trains and automobiles adventure?

With tip set for 9am tomorrow night, the Dawgs are flying to Memphis then driving down. I believe the plan is to drive on to Oxford today, which eliminates the non-sense of having to deal with Mark Fox's adventures in winter weather travel, patent pending.*

Ole Miss is a winnable game. They aren't as physical as Alabama or South Carolina, but with how the officials the past few games have let teams play in the posts, they probably could be a high school team, from a physical stand point.

A win here will go a long way in helping ensure we aren't going into the SEC tournament needing two or more wins for an NCAA bid. A bonus is the Rebels are two game ahead of the Dawgs in the conference, sitting in fourth place, which ensures them a bye. Beat them gives the Dawgs a shot at an extra days rest for the SEC tourney.

TD

*I'm not blaming this on Fox, it just seems we've endured more of the winter travel stuff under Fox that we have in the past.

February 19, 2015

UGA to face UNC at Dome in 2016

The good news is that there is no way we'll face them in the Music City Bowl in 2016. I'm cool with the game, as it means UGA will have one fewer shitty SunBelt opponents noon SECNetwork kickoffs at home in 2016. Besides, it looks like the game could be settling on some sort of rotation involving SEC and ACC teams, so getting in the rotation has upsides.

So our 2016 OOC schedule is:
UNC - Georgia Dome - Sept. 3rd
Nichols State - Athens - Sept. 10th
University of Louisiana - Athens - Nov. 19
Georgia Tech - Athens - Nov. 26

I guess it would have been cooler if it would be the first game in the new Blank Dome. What are your thoughts?
TD

-----
See also: PWD on how this matchup almost happened in 2010.

Mark Fox's Future

Has he finally had it up to "here"?

At this point, there's an incredibly shrinking opportunity to debate Mark Fox's future. It appears that he hasn't signed his contract extension from last Spring.  Now he likely won't sign it due to buyout implications which are rumored to impact him negatively in the new unsigned doc.   His old contract ends after the 2016 tourney.  Buying him out at $3.4 million $1.7 million or less is more than manageable. (I checked and the buyout is lower than I thought. #JournalismMath)

So...in my opinion and the opinion of others I talk to...he has to make the tourney or he's out.  That means he likely needs to win 4 more games.  There are 5 regular season games and at least 1 SECT game.

That includes 3 remaining road games and a home game against UK.  Other than UK, the opponents are beatable, but so were Auburn (home) and South Carolina (home and road).  Those are horrible basketball teams.

The only debate left is....what happens if he makes the tourney and loses first round?  Is 6 years without a single NCAA tourney win worth rewarding?  Can he find another job before before McGarity fires him after the NCAAs?

That's the question.

This is definitely coming to a head because he didn't sign that contract extension (which is a paper work maneuver between he and McGarity that makes sense for ALL parties by the way).  He now has to get a net new contract extension after the season.  Can that really happen if he makes the tourney and loses?

Given where we are with attendance and apathy, I can't see it.  As for apathy, I haven't attended a home game in about two years despite being a season ticket holder*.  Some of that is a work travel schedule which results in flying 60,000-130,000 miles a year.  Some of that is due to having a new baby.

But I can't say that I've been missing it much.  Before you call me a fair weather fan. I've been to 6 to 10 games for almost 25 years.  But you can only hit yourself in the head with a hammer so many times before you say what am I doing watching a product that's so dysfunctional and bland that the recruits who sit near me look like they are about to start napping?


PWD

*Note: I do try and give away my home game tickets when I'm not there.

February 17, 2015

I'll raise you $30 Million

Well, that escalated quickly.
But athletics director Greg McGarity said the project ultimately could cost “in the ballpark of $30 million.” That’s twice as much as similar projects, such as the just-announced indoor facility project at Florida.
The focus is on the area I talked about earlier, with the likelihood of taking the Hoke Smith Annex down. For reference:
It looks like the plan includes closing Smith Street and using some of the field turf fields. And for $30M, I'd guess there is already some sort of plan to build State 4-H a new building elsewhere in that budget, because that is one hell of a facility. 
TD

Indoor Practice Facility

Now, we have a little more information on where it might go:
The area just beyond the existing outdoor practice fields, off of Lumpkin Street, leading up to Stegeman Coliseum.
For you visual learners:
As you can see, there is the little problem of buildings there. Those buildings house UGA's cooperative extension and the State 4-H offices. Messing with those programs carry a fair amount of political peril, both on North Campus and around the state. 

I'd think any plan involving that site would include a new building for those programs else where on campus for it to pass muster. Unless you get University and political buy in from State Extension supporters in the legislature, that will drive the cost of the project well past $10M.  

One other thing this could be: a leverage move to get whomever is against using the current footprint to build the IPF (which makes the most sense to me). 


There are ways to utilize the existing facilities, up to and including a movable roof/open wall configuration on a new IPF, that allows you to keep most of the current natural grass fields, while not losing any field turf. If the natural grass area is a non-starter, then those two field turf fields certainly could be utilized and kept as viable practice area.

A retractable roof on your building is much less expensive than a fight with State Extension/4-H folks and buying a new building for them.
TD

February 16, 2015

Thomas Brown coming home

Blind hog, meet Mr. Accorn.
Obviously, I can get behind this.
TD

February 13, 2015

Georgia adds Roquan Smith to class

While I'm at it, I'm glad to say I was wrong about Smith.
Welcome to Dawg Nation, Mr. Smith.
TD

Ball to LSU; Can we get Thomas Brown to come home?

Hey, he didn't get a raise with those other guys. His rap has always been great teaching coach, average recruiter. While I hope he does well, I'm not jumping off a bridge over this.

We do have a chance to improve the staff with a replacement hire. There is a scenario floated that we move Bryan McClendon to WR coache, which he'd be coaching the position he played, if we could get Thomas Brown to come home. I'm not say he should automatically do this, but if BMac is on board, it has the potential to improve recruiting, IMHO.

Brown is the RB coach at Wisconsin, where he coached RB Melvin Gordon to over 2500 rushing yards this season. He's also hit some home runs on the recruiting trail, getting three four star guys, including Arrington Farrar from Woodward Academy in Atlanta. New Wisconsin HC Paul Chryst worked hard to keep him in Madison, but with the pay disparity, if Mark Richt wants him, I'd guess he could get him. Ball's salary at UGA is reported at around $280K. Brown makes a shade less than $174K. Anything around Ball's salary would make Brown the highest paid non-coordinator assistant at Wisconsin.

TD

February 5, 2015

My take on Roquan Smith

I know I want him to come to UGA. I think Jim Mora is the devil. I know UCLA lied to the kid about Ulbrick. It isn't the first time it happened, most recently I can think of with Urban Meyer's Gators team in 2010. I have to assume Arthur Blank leaked it because screw Jim Mora.

And I also think Roquan Smith will go someplace besides UGA.

I get the 'Grantham didn't want him thing.' He's seventeen. For a significant part of his life, especially in his mind, UGA's coaches didn't want him here. Yes, Pruitt has worked on closing that gap, but much like the kid from Liberty County, Smith has decided that he wants to leave the state.

I hope I'm wrong and if you want to blame a coach, blame Grantham.

Because much like Jim Mora with Arthur Blank, bad impressions last a long time.
TD
 
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