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January 31, 2008

Felton's SEC Road Record Falls to 5-30 with Loss in Columbia


Image: georgiadogs.com

Georgia lost 62-56 on a night that saw our starting guards shoot 4 of 22 from the floor, and our team overall went 4-27 from beyond the three point arc. If you take away the fine effort of Corey Butler (a walk-on), Felton's scholarship players -- all of whom he recruited -- shot 1-23 from three point land.

Why a team with only one legit three point shooter is hoisting 27 threes is positively beyond me.

Here are some stone cold facts to digest. Dennis Felton's SEC road record now sits at a staggering 5-30 after 4.5 seasons. His overall record in true road games (neutral sites excluded) is 8-38. Here are the wins:
    2008 - (1) Hawaii
    2007 - (3) Wake Forest, South Carolina and Arkansas
    2006 - (3) Western Kentucky, Vandy and South Carolina
    2005 - (0)
    2004 - (1) Kentucky
In fairness to Felton, he did beat Clemson, Oregon State, Gonzaga and a few tomato cans in neutral sites games in Atlanta/Gwinnett/Virgin Islands. However, he also lost to Clemson, ETSU, Ole Dominion, Tulane and others in neutral site games. Regardless, in a scary strange place surrounded by people that don't like the Red and Black...it's not so good.

Those are indisputable facts. If there's a mistake, you let me know, and I'll correct it.

Now, here's an opinion. We lose because we go for 5, 7 and 9 minutes without scoring more than a single field goal. Often these long stretches of ineptitude are punctuated with no timeouts from Felton. But mostly, I feel like we lose because we appear to lack the same intensity / effort on the road as at home. Again, that's my opinion.

Now, we can sit here and try to pin blame on Jim Harrick, Tony Cole, Mike Mercer, Takais Brown, Damon Evans, Vince Dooley, Mike Adams or the soap dispensers in Stegeman Coliseum's men's rooms. And maybe some blame still falls there. You've got your opinion on that, I've got mine. I really don't care about causality at this point. I care about outcomes.

The fact is that South Carolina had a 9-10 record going into this game and a coach that is being put out to pasture following this season because he didn't produce results.

Furthermore, while we're counting stats...Dennis Felton is now 69-70 at Georgia. If you eliminate Div II and HBCU teams (only because they are typically some of the lowest rated teams in college basketball) he is about 15 games under .500 in 4.5 years.

I've been to at least 6-8 basketball games a year for 17 years...some years many, many more games than that. I've seen us play in Boulder, Chicago, Charlotte, Columbia, Lexington, Nashville and a few other venues. I'm a hardcore Georgia Hoops fan. The program matters to me.

This...this "progress" and "steady climb" as Felton calls it is getting old.

I'll see you in Athens on Saturday at 1:00 for the Kentucky game.

Go Dawgs.

PWD

January 30, 2008

PS3 Questions?

I'm probably going to buy a PS3 over the next few days. I've had a PS2 forever so I haven't looked into buying a new system. Here are my questions:
  • What attachments / peripherals do I need?

  • It's only $100 extra for the 80 gb version vs. the 40 gb version. Should I go ahead and spring for the bigger unit?

  • The DVD player on my PS2 was a piece of crap (lousy sound). Is the Blu-Ray any good on PS3?

  • Does it have a wireless internet card? My TV is no where close to my Internet hookup. Anything I else should know?
And no. I'm probably not changing to Xbox. I've invested too many hours playing NCAA football to learn a new controller now. I just don't like the feel of the Xbox controller. Plus, I want the Blu-Ray player. The house is going to get a major electronics upgrade pretty soon.

Thanks for the info / help.

PWD

(Note: My old man is going to call me tonight after reading this and say...."You big dummy, this is why you're single." lol)

2008 UGA Football Schedule: Are Your Bags Packed?


If you're ranking the greatest inventions of all-time, Google Maps would certainly not outshine the Copper Still, Yeast, DVR or the Brasserie, but it's not too shabby. For bloggers looking to do a travel article about the toughest rough schedule in school history it's an irreplaceable tool.

Next year's UGA Football Schedule looks like this:
    vs Georgia Southern (Athens)
    vs Central Michigan (Athens)
    at South Carolina (Columbia)
    at Arizona State (Tempe)
    vs Alabama (Athens)
    IDLE
    vs Tennessee (Athens)
    vs Vanderbilt (Athens)
    at LSU (Baton Rouge)
    at Florida (Jacksonville "Home Team")
    at Kentucky (Lexington)
    at Auburn (Auburn)
    IDLE
    vs Georgia Tech (home)
The interactive map below shows that the Bulldogs will travel 7,338 miles from Athens to those six road venues. That's right...

7,338 Miles

To quote my brother upon being confronted with these stats, "The earth only has a 24,901 mile circumference at the equator. When you factor in home games and a bowl game, I will travel 1/3 of the distance around the globe for football. That is hardcore. I'm fired up."

The mileage stats are obviously inflated by 3,827 mile swing to the desert that any right minded Georgia-based Dawg fan will be making via plane. The stats also don't include an SEC Championship Appearance (add 140 miles round trip from Athens) or a bowl trip to Miami (add 1,300 miles) or NOLA (add 900 miles). A trip to the SECC and National Title games would bring the total up to 8,806 miles.

The schedule's murderous section includes four consecutive SEC road games in Baton Rouge, Jacksonville, Lexington and Auburn. That's 3,164 miles in 23 days for the four game swing. Or 2,795 miles in 16 days for the LSU to UF to UK swing.

Any complaints about the four consecutive games away from Athens that the SEC stuck us with are appropriate. In a recent article, the AJC said that the ACC and SEC league offices work hard to "avoid putting a team on the road for two consecutive conference games." Apparently, four consecutive games is no biggie, but two is completely out of the question? Huh?

Those distances also don't include side trips a fan might make to places like New Orleans, St. Simons or The Grand Canyon. Mileage is strictly computed from 1 Selig Circle (the Butts-Mehre Building) to the opponent's stadium (which is visible in the maps below).

Check out this interactive map:


View Larger Map


If you play with the map, you can follow the complete travel route of the team. The map works better if you just go the big version here. If you want to adjust the map to change 1 Selig Circle to your home address, that's as simple as clicking on the "edit" buttons to the left of the larger map. But I digress.

If you're interested in shortening the time spent in the car, you could always pull the Dorsey Hill move. From Lewis Grizzard's column following the 1980 Cocktail Party:
God is a Bulldog
Jacksonville, Fla. - Dorsey Hill, the world's biggest Bulldog fan, left here Sunday afternoon, bound for Auburn, Ala., where Georgia's undefeated football team next appears.

"I don't think you can get from Jacksonville to Auburn," I had said to him.

"You can change buses in Waycross and Columbus," Dorsey answered.

"You aren't going home first?"

"Home?" He screamed back. "I haven't worked since Texas A&M, and I haven't slept since Clemson. You expect me to go back home when we play Auburn in only six more days?"
Ol' Dorsey would definitely leave Baton Rouge headed straight for Jacksonville. That's a great way to shave 300 miles off your journey!

Over the coming weeks and months, we'll try and offer some travel suggestions for the Arizona State game. In the meantime, I'll say this...if you're planning on using frequent flyer miles to get out there then:
    A. I hope you're not with Delta or don't mind a layover.
    B. Are flying from or through a city other than Atlanta.
I only say those things because the great frequent flyer deals (best time slots and direct flights) on Delta have been filling up very quickly.


There will probably be some grumbling about the travel distance and expense from Dawg fans this season...particularly the ASU trip. My response to that: We haven't left the Southeast since we beat Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1965. The Athletic Department gave us a few years to save up. lol. (Image: Sun Devil Stadium)

In all seriousness, most every hardcore Dawg fan that I know is planning on going to this game. I can't imagine what the demand for tickets will be, but it wouldn't shock me to see us take at least 10,000 to Tempe. I personally know more people who are at least tentatively planning on going to Tempe than Jacksonville.

I'm looking forward to this season with more anticipation than any I can remember. Although, I'm not looking forward to dozens and dozens of articles mentioning the 1965-2008 streak without leaving the South. But you gotta take the good with the bad.

After an '08 trip to Tempe, '09 trip to Stillwater, '10 trip to Boulder and '11 trip to Louisville, we should never have to listen to that again.

See Also:
-- Who Travels and Who Doesn't - The Wizard of Odds
-- MapGameday.com
-- Future and Historical UGA Schedules - Sicemdawgs.com

PWD


NOTE: If you're a Phoenix or Tempe based travel agent with expertise in Tempe/Grand Canyon type programs. Give me a shout. I'll interview you and give you a plug. I'd like to recommend sites and destinations for Dawgs coming in early.

January 29, 2008

Chase Vasser Commits for 2009

The Dawgs landed their third commitment of the day for 2009 on Monday when Chase Vasser (6'3" 200 pounds) snatched up his offer. That gives the Dawgs two linebacker commitments for the 2009 class with Dexter Moody (who could also play safety) of ECI being the other. Rivals profile page lists Vasser as having 13 sacks a junior for Chestatee High School in Gainesville.

Jonathan Davis of Tucker High School looks to be the other linebacker on UGA's list. If memory serves, Scott Kennedy and Dean Legge of Scout.com list Davis as one of the top two players in state for 2009 along side current UGA commit Washaun Ealey (RB).

Davis ran a blistering 4.37 at this weekend's Kennedy/CES Combine, and his shuttle scores were also off the map. Much like Rennie Curran, he's extremely unusually sized at 5'7" and just under 190 lbs. However, he is described as having the ability to tackle anything that moves. For those of you thinking, "Five foot seven is just too damn small," I'd like you to look at this photo:


Click on it to enlarge it. That's Rennie Curran standing next to Marcus Washington. Washington is listed by UGA at 6'0" even. Now, you tell me that 5'8" dudes can't ball. Rennie ain't 5'11" anymore than I am. Trust me. I'm not. (Photo: Iron Chef Turducken)

Anyway...the 2009 class looks to be really small in quantity. In fact, Georgia might sign a few as 17 kids. The program's momentum combined with the tight scholarship situation makes me believe that the class may be half full by G-Day.

See Also:
-- UGASports.com Top 30 in State for 2009

PWD

January 28, 2008

Big East Coaches Conference Call Gets Hacked

The Big East basketball coaches conference call was hacked into, and miscreants had their way with the coaches. The Big Lead has the audio from the call and the details. It's a riot. If you're at work, listen to this with the headphones on. My favorite part is the flustered PR hack trying to manage the implosion.

PWD

Dawgs get 2009 Monster Recruits


The Georgia Bulldogs landed alpha male running back Washaun Ealey (Image: Scout.com) and his highly recruited high school teammate Dexter Moody (LB) for the 2009 recruiting class per Scout.com and Rivals.com. Per DawgPost.com
Ealey was named the Atlanta Journal Constitution player of the year for the state after romping 58 touchdowns his junior season. His play led the Bulldogs to the Single A State. He ended the season with 2,982 rushing yards – third best in Georgia high school history.
You have to stare and re-read those stats to believe them. They are jaw dropping for anyone...much less a high school junior. And Moody is a baller himself. Big start for next year's recruiting. The AJC's Player of the Year Video is below.



And here's a video from Scout.com's MySpace Page.




In other recruiting news, Omar Hunter, DeAngelo Tyson and A.J. Harmon all made Parade All-American from the state of Georgia. Congrats to the three young men.

PWD

Three interesting reads

1. The inspiring story of Deangelo Tyson. Our incoming DT has grown up in a Statesboro boys home (nice word for orphanage). He talks about his past and his likely redshirt at UGA.

2. Which teams have the most returning starters in the nation.

3. Gamecocks are just a few players away.

PWD

January 26, 2008

Vols Pummel Georgia in Basketball

It was about like I expected. I still say the game meant little. We took the #122 RPI team on the road to play the #1 RPI team, and the resulting outcome was about like what you would expect. UT 85 - UGA 69.

The next 3 games will let us know where we're going.

Here's my issue with the game...no the program as a whole. My source of frustration if you will. I'm no hoops guru, but I know three things to pretty much be unshakable, unwavering hoops truths:
    1. If you don't hustle defensively on the road, you don't win.

    2. If you don't pass well or move without the ball effectively, you're easy to defend. I think it was Bobby Knight who said, "The easiest man to defend is the man standing still."

    3. Moving and passing intelligently do NOT depend on talent.
I believe those are pretty much bedrock hoops principles. It's easier to win if you have superior talent obviously. However, if you do the above things, you'll give yourself a better chance to win independent of your talent level.

In my opinion, we struggle with all 3 issues, and we have for the vast majority of Dennis Felton's entire 4.5 year tenure. I personally see no reason why upgrading our talent will make us better hustlers, more intelligent passers or move without the ball with competence. If we're not doing it now, when will we?

But I digress.

Like I said earlier. This one game shouldn't change anyone's opinion one way or the other about the current or future direction of this program. The game was meaningless, and it played out as any logical observer would have expected.

We should take nothing away from the Tennessee program. They are one helluva basketball team. They obliterated us defensively, and wavered between toying with us and pummeling us offensively. They are exceptional.

Tidbits from the Game:
  • Per Dennis Felton, "We came out soft with everything. Soft with the ball, soft with our passes, soft with the dribble, soft with our post game. We were just soft."

  • Dave Bliss had the half of his life scoring 15 points in the second. The rest of our forwards/centers (Price, AJax and Barnes) combined to 3-9. That stat is inflated by two garbage buckets by Barnes late. In the first half, they were as useless as tits on a bull.

  • Georgia had 21 turnovers and 11 assists. When you don't pass or move well, it's not uncommon to have 2-1 turnovers to assists. We only had 26 field goals. The team committed 15 turnovers before it sank its fifth basket. (per Bradley)

  • The team's RPI jumped 22 spots in the loss due to the overwhelmingly strong nature of the Vols RPI.


  • UGA scored 1 field goal from 18:55 until 11:41 left in the first. A span of around 7 minutes. After a quick couple of buckets, Georgia then went about 9 more minutes with only 1 made field goal in the first half. While we struggled so savagely offensively, Felton did not bother to call a single timeout. Not one. The only stops in play came from television. We've got 15 turnovers and 5 field goals, but he didn't think some chalkboard time would help? So keep on trucking, I guess. Felton didn't call a timeout until 9 minutes left in the second half as the Vols hit 3 consecutive barely contested dunks.(Chart: ESPN)
They are a good team, but you have to be able to manufacture SOMETHING offensively.

On to Columbia. I'm pretty sure that the Gamecocks have lost their last two games to us in the Carolina Center. It's a winnable game against an SC team that is playing hard, but has virtually nothing to show for it.

See Also:
-- Hard Truth - AJC
-- Not as close as it should be - Bradley

PWD

Two must see videos

The Bulldawg Blawg has their first Sugar Bowl highlight video up. It's sort of a homage to Colt Brennan's rib cage.

The second is a quick highlight video from Rivals.com regarding Mr. Richard Samuel. The video on this early enrollee at Georgia isn't overwhelmingly impressive....until...well....you get to the 1:44 mark. Then it's sorta...well...the awesomests.

PWD

UGA vs. Vols in Hoops Tonight

At 7:00 pm the Georgia Bulldogs (11-5/2-1) will take on the #3 ranked Tennessee Volunteers in hoops on FSN in game that's unlikely to tell us much of anything about the state of this year's Dawgs.

Dennis Felton is roughly 5-28 in SEC road games at Georgia, and he's going to play a team with more talent and depth at every position. The Vols should be pissed off following their road loss to the Wildcats and will likely give us a focused effort. Shocking the SEC and winning isn't out of the question, but the odds are long.

That said. It doesn't matter. This is hoops where a single loss doesn't ruin a season. It's not tonight that could define this season. It's the next three games that will give us incredibly clarity into which direction this team and program are heading:
    Wed. Jan 30 - South Carolina (Columbia)
    Sat. Feb. 2 - Kentucky (Athens) on CBS
    Wed. Feb. 6 - Vandy (Athens)
Those are three must win games regardless of what happens tonight. If UGA can exit the Vanderbilt game at 5-2 in SEC play and 14-6 overall, the season gets interesting.

Our RPI is currently 122nd according to RealTimeRPI.com. Even a loss on the road against the #1 RPI Vols will still probably bring up our score. Our RPI could jump 40 spots in the next two weeks if we play with intelligence and intensity.

After the Vandy game, the schedule takes a turn for the brutal with only three of our following eight games at home.

My point: If we lose by 10 or more tonight, don't read much into it. It's not "jump off a cliff time"...yet. Tennessee is just really damn good. Although, I would love to see a heap better effort than I saw in person last time we went up there.

See Also:
-- Humphrey Leads Dawgs - DawgPost.com
-- Georgia faces tough challenge in Knoxville - AJC
-- Controlling tempo key for Dawgs - ABH
-- Price is Right - UGASports.com

PWD

January 25, 2008

Will the last talented Tech player please turn off the lights?

Promising young Georgia Tech player and former blue chip recruit D.J. Donley has apparently left the Georgia Tech program. Donley is rumored to be considering a transfer to South Carolina. Donley joins Colin Peek (GT tight end) who recently left, and virtually every major blue chip recruit that was part of the 2008 signing class in rejecting the Paul Johnson regime.

Well...not everyone is leaving Tech. They got three commitments recently for the 2008 class.
  • Tevin Washington (QB/ATH) chose GT over offers from Alabama A&M, Troy, Texas Southern, Georgia Southern, Memphis and Arizona State.

  • Phil Smith (OT) - No known offers. Although, he was getting letters from LSU and UF. You know, I once got a letter as a high school senior from the Nashville Auto Diesel College. I wonder if they were going to offer a scholarship to me?

  • Lee Butler (DB/WR) - Butler was a former Duke commit, but gave up all that glamor for life on the flats. His other offers were Air Force, Duke and Furman. Seriously. I'm not making this up.
Georgia Tech is building a program that the entire Sun Belt Conference will soon admire with awe.

PWD

January 24, 2008

Brian Van Gorder Ditches Spurrier. Returns to Falcons


Breaking News: Brian Van Gorder is on the cusp of becoming the new defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons according to the Atlanta Journal, The State, CSTV and GamecockCentral.com. Apparently, he always wanted to be a [____insert type of coaching job here______].

Van Gorder is the former defensive coordinator of the South Carolina Gamecocks, former linebackers coach of the Atlanta Falcons, former head coach of Georgia Southern, former linebackers coach of the Jackonsville Jags, former defensive coordinator for UGA, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

This will be Van Gorder's sixth job in the past five seasons. Pardon me while I laugh at the Gamecocks for a minute. Chuckle. Chuckle. Chuckle. Van Gorder was set to meet with four star Palmetto State blue chipper defensive end Robert Quinn today. I'm sure that visit will go swimmingly well for the chickens.

Prediction: The Gamecocks will hire someone else -- probably John Tenuta or John Hoke -- and the Gamecock Nation will loudly proclaim that this new genius locks up their 42nd consecutive Pre-season National Championship Trophy.

Update: Van Gorder has now resigned as Falcons defensive coordinator to become the head coach of the Wayne State Titans. He always wanted to be a college head coach.

Update: Van Gorder has resigned as head coach of Wayne State to become the cheerleading coach of the Ft. Lauderdale Fighting Tigers. He announced that he always wanted to coach cheerleaders.

See Also:
-- All Georgia Sports Blog Stories about Brian Van Gorder

(Ht - Kit Kitchens)

PWD

January 23, 2008

Recruiting Appears Done

Five-star recruit Richard Samuel

With the commitments of Zebrie Sanders to Florida State and Omar Hunter to the Gators, UGA won't need to scrounge up another scholarship this year. It looks like recruiting is done. The rumors were that the coaching staff would try to find another scholarship for one of those two recruits, but it appears they didn't find one. I wish Zebrie Sanders luck. I wish Omar Hunter serious disaster every year on the football field, but this is not personal. I wish every Gator disaster on the field, floor, air, sea, in space, and underground.

For the second year in a row, we head into signing day without a serious storyline. Last year, we got the last minute surprise switcharoo by Chris Little and Antwan Greenlee, but it looks like the only noise we'll hear on signing day will be the hum of fax machines. Richt & Co. continue to wrap their classes up early and use January as an evaluation period for juniors. So far, we can't complain about the results. The Dawgs will reel in another top 10 class.

The only remaining questions are the continued flirtations of Dwayne Allen, the blue-chip tight end from North Carolina. Allen committed to UGA early, but has continued to visit other schools. There is a large school of thought that believes Allen's pledge was firm before Coach Johnson's departure and nothing has changed with the hiring of Coach Lilly. Allen was reportedly pleased with the hire. I think Allen has known he is going to UGA for a while, but is enjoying as much attention and coed company as possible before Signing Day.

It would have been nice to have Sanders or Hunter, but it should give you confidence that we are now turning away great prospects because we are full.

Quinton

Video: DawgPost interview with AJ Green

Dean Legge of DawgPost.com has an interview with A.J. Green on Youtube.

As for as the production quality, give Dean a break. He's obviously still figuring out that side of the deal. The video is free after all.

PWD

Quick Hoops Update: Derrick Favors

Derrick Favors (6'9" 220 lbs) is one of the top three 2009 basketball recruits in the nation according to Scout.com and Rivals.com (Scout has him #1). He's a dominating power forward/center prospect that is likely a "one and done" type player at the college level.

According to Scout.com, Favors' South Atlanta squad went out to Los Angeles recently to take on one of the better teams in that area. Per the article:
The South Atlanta standout traveled to Los Angeles for the Pangos Dream Classic and took on Jrue Holiday and his Campbell Hall squad. In what turned out to be one of the best games of the year, S.A. picked up a 78-77 double overtime win.

Favors, a 6-foot-9 junior, scored 32 points, grabbed 29 rebounds and blocked 8 shots, while Holiday, Scout.com’s 3rd ranked prospect, scored 35 points, snatched 17 rebounds and tossed out 7 assists.
Scout.com also lists him as narrowing his college choices to UGA, Clemson, GT and FSU. They list him as having "no interest" currently in UF or UNC. So we've got that going for us.

Signing Favors would be even bigger than signing Howard Thompkins for the 2008 class.

PWD

January 22, 2008

New TE Coach

It's not official yet, but both UGASports.com and DawgPost.com are saying that Mark Richt has hired John Lilly as his new TE coach. Kyle King's take on it is here. Dean Legge with DawgPost expects it to be confirmed around Friday.

I think it's an exceptional hire. Richt and Eason have worked with Lilly in the past, and he has managed exceptional recruiting classes for FSU.

There was a rumor that Lilly was the best man at Mark Richt's wedding. As lowiq pointed out on DawgPost.com's message board, that seems unlikely. Richt was married around 1987, and Lilly graduated from Guilford College in 1990. He didn't start working with Richt until 1995. So unless, he was the best man for Richt as a freshmen in college, that rumor pretty much looks bogus.

I think it's a very good hire. As others have said, this pretty much means that we are unlikely to lose any recruits from this class.

PWD

January 21, 2008

Dawgs Smoke Hawgs in Hoops

On Saturday Night in Athens, the Georgia Bulldogs put on arguably their most impressive and complete showing of the Felton Era. They played with a level of intensity and intelligence that we have rarely seen of late as they dismantled Arkansas 82-69 in front of a sparse, snow affected crowd.

Arkansas' top players are 6 seniors, and the team was predicted to win the SEC West this season. The program also had an RPI in the 30s at game time so it was a quality win. Regardless of how poorly the Razorbacks have played the past two games against UGA and South Carolina.

I would argue that Dave Bliss, Chris Barnes and Billy Humphrey all had their best games as Bulldogs while Terrence Woodbury had his best game of the season. We out rebounded, out hustled, out defended, and out shot Arkansas. The offense had movement inside and didn't rely exclusively on the three.

Basically, it was the team many of us have been hoping to see for years. Will it be a flash in the pan like the Gonzaga win last year in Gwinnett? Or is it an indicator of things to come?

The team gets Wednesday night off before heading up to Knoxville. Can their confidence survive a likely thrashing to a much more talented Vol team? Hopefully.

Regardless, If the Dawgs would consistently play with the intensity and intelligence that they showed Saturday night, they would fill Stegeman consistently. That's the type of watchable basketball on both ends of the court that we need to be seeing from this program in Year 5. It's the type of program that silences critics, wins basketball games, makes tourneys and gets coaches pay raises.

It's the type of basketball we also need to start seeing on the road.

PWD

January 19, 2008

Dawgs on TV Tonight



Hoops: The men's basketball team will host Arkansas at 7:00 pm tonight on FSN South. According to WSB-TV, UGA has absolutely no plans to cancel the game tonight due to weather. The Hawgs are already in town, and the roads should be in decent shape until after the game when the precipitation freezes. Update: UGAA Confirms Game On.

The Athens Banner Herald has an article about freshman Zac Swansey, and the AJC has an article about Woodbury. The Dawgs currently have an RPI of 155 while the Razorbacks have an RPI of 38. A win over the Hogs would bring the Bulldogs into NIT selection range. Given that Arkansas lost to a horrible South Carolina squad on Wednesday, we have a legit shot of picking up a W tonight. Arkansas should be highly motivated after UGA broke their hearts in Bud Walton last year with Steve Newman draining a 25 footer at the buzzer after the Razorbacks had taken a 10 point lead with 2 minutes left.

Football: The East West Shrine Bowl will be played tonight in Houston. Thomas Brown and Fernando Velasco are both on the roster. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 7:00 pm. Velasco will likely get around 50% of the snaps at Center while Brown will split carries with about 3 other backs. Best of luck to both guys.


PWD

Unique Video: 2007 Season in Still Images

OnlineAthens.com took a really cool approach in putting this video together. Very cool.

PWD

January 17, 2008

Confirmed: TE coach Johnson to WVU

West Virginia University Head Football Coach Bill Stewart has announced the hiring of the fourth former Mountaineer standout player and coach, David Johnson, today, as the offensive line coach.

From Scout.com

January 16, 2008

Mike Adams vs. the Big 10

From today's PTI on ESPN


For more absurd Big 10 logic, check out the comments on this article which has been picked up by DeadSpin and SI.com.

Update: Adams calls out Big [Little] Ten [Eleven] and Pac Ten as playoff impediments.

PWD

Video: Herschel and Knowshon

This aired before the Sugar Bowl.



PWD

Video: DawgPost.com's Dream On

Good stuff from DawgPost



PWD

January 14, 2008

Rumor: Georgia TE Coach to WVU as OL Coach


The West Virginia Scout.com site is reporting that UGA TE Coach Dave Johnson will be returning to his alma mater to coach the WVU offensive line.

Coach Johnson was rumored to have pursued the UGA OL coaching position last year, but Richt turned to Stacey Searels to fill that role. In the football pecking order, OL coaches rank higher than TE coaches in terms of prestige, future promotional opportunities and compensation. It was also rumored that Johnson pursued and/or interviewed for the WVU OL position last year after Rick Trickett went left the Mountaineers for FSU.

The opportunity to return to OL coaching at his alma mater is a great one for Johnson. He was a good recruiter, and our TE play was very good under his watch. Our guys blocked well and ran good routes. It's true that Martrez had hands of stone at times, and Tripp's first couple games this year were brutal to watch. But overall he coached Randy McMiracle, Ben Watson, Leonard Pope and a rapidly improving Tripp Chandler.

If the rumor is true, best of luck to him and his family.

One replacement name that always pops up in these situations is John Lilly at FSU. Who knows.

PWD

ht - dawgrun

January 13, 2008

All sorts of internet issues this week

Posting will be spotty. Apologies, but the web is a fickle mistress.

January 12, 2008

A Reason to Hit the Local Bookstore Tonight

The Oxford American, a superb magazine about good writing and Southern culture, has issued its first ever sports issue. The OA has been around since I was attending Georgia (think Goff/Donnan era) and has often given short shrift to sports. This always concerned me because it is difficult to be such a good Southern magazine without paying some attention to ball games. Most Southerners, after all, spend a lot of time thinking about, watching, or discussing them. The OA has started to make up that ground with their latest issue.

Be forewarned, the OA is a literary magazine, not Sports Illustrated. The articles are all centered around sports, but not necessarily about specific teams, players, or events. The writing is the show. Clay Travis compiled an employment exam for your college's next head football coach.
"True or False: It is better to have won the SEC with a running back who can't read than to never have won the SEC at all."
Wright Thompson has a sizzling piece on those barbecue nachos they serve at Ole Miss games.
"All I see is the cardboard tray on my lap, a saturated-fat All-Star team: pulled pork, dry rub, sweet barbecue sauce, tortilla chips, jalapeƱo peppers, and a blanket of molten cheese that may or may not be a dairy but sure as hell is an awesome. If I were tobacco-lawyer rich, I'd hire someone to paint a replica of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel on the ceiling of my Gulfstream, except I'd want God reaching down His Almighty Finger into this very plate. It's almost too beautiful to eat."
And there is more. Taylor Bruce writes about the death of Dernell Stenson, a Georgian who was playing for the Reds when he was killed. Farrell Evans writes a profile of eccentric distance runner Brian Pope. The list goes on: Frank Broyles, John L. Sullivan, dogshows, and cockfights. It's got something for everyone.

It's a great collection of sports stories that are worth your time and your five bucks. Pick one up.

Quinton

Some upcoming articles....

Assuming I can pick up a wireless signal tonight, I'm going to upload some pics from the Sugar. Jim Hipple sent them, and they are outstanding. I just forgot to upload them.

I've also got an article planned about 2008 logistics.

Until then...

January 10, 2008

New Ohio State Logo


[Hat tip: Iron Chef Turducken]

January 9, 2008

Just what the doctor ordered...

Felton got exactly what he needed. A packed house, a win and some momentum. Kudos to Felton for finding a way to win despite incredible foul trouble by his big men. Huge props to Billy Humphrey for playing on a knee that was giving him issues late in the game, and a helluva a game by Gaines and Corey Butler. The SI.com link above has the details.

Also, hats off to the students. They probably bought 30-40% of the tickets. Way to represent! Now, let's make a little more noise next week.

The basketball team has now won 6 of the past 9 against the Yellow Jackets.

More later. Heading back to Atlanta now.

PWD

Final SEC Power Poll

The guys at Garnet & Black Attack want one more, final poll after the bowl season. The conference performed well during the bowl season, going 7-2, but the two losses were embarrassing. Dominant wins by LSU and Georgia more than make up for it.
  1. LSU - National champs. Conference champs. The best team in the league over the course of the year. When healthy the Tigers were dominant. The Tigers had the total package this year: solid coaches, great athletes, every big game at home. Congrats to the Tigers.
  2. Georgia - An awesome showing in the Sugar Bowl against a marginal team. The Dawgs were white hot at the end, but it's hard to overcome the home loss to Carolina or the beatdown in Knoxville. Next year's team should be loaded, but the schedule is rough.
  3. Tennessee - A typical workman-like performance over an average Big 10 team. Snore.
  4. Florida - What the hell? If you had asked me before the bowl season which team could not possibly lose its game, I'd have said the Gators. Tebow and crew looked awesome at the end of the season. I knew Michigan would be fired up, but they dominated the Gators.
  5. Auburn - Played in the most exciting SEC bowl game. Their new offensive coordinator should have plenty of tricks up his sleeve next year, but who's going to call the defense?
  6. Kentucky - Another good bowl win for the Cats, even if it was against a team that had suspended everybody but the water boy.
  7. Mississippi State - No offense? No problem. Croom's defense dominated as the Dogs get their first bowl win since the 2000 Independence Bowl, which leads us to ...
  8. Alabama - John Parker Wilson has some sort of bipolar athletic disease. The guy looked great for the first quarter and then went back into his normal, plodding self. If JPW could be consistent next year, Bama could avoid their third straight trip to Shreveport.
  9. Arkansas - Damn. I thought Mizzou would win, but not like that. I total beatdown. A little tear runs down my face when I think of DMac leaving. We won't see another one like him for a long time.
  10. South Carolina
  11. Vanderbilt
  12. Ole Miss
Quinton

January 8, 2008

Hoops: UGA vs. GT Wednesday


The Bulldogs take on the Yellow Jackets at 7:30 pm in Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday. The game will be tape delayed on CSS, and I think it's available live via some flavor of ESPN Gameplan (probably out of state or at sports bars). If someone has the details on that, please post them in the comments section.

For Dennis Felton and the Georgia Bulldogs the game is positively enormous. The Dawgs currently sit at 8-4; although, the win over Div II Augusta State doesn't count for NCAA or NIT post-season consideration.

For purely practical reasons, Georgia must beat the struggling Yellow Jackets (7-6) to maintain even a shot at the NIT...much less anything bigger. We will need at least 17 recognized wins to make the NIT due to the quality of the non-conference schedule and the RPI killer losses in Hawaii. More than likely it will take 18 wins including the SEC Tourney to get there. A loss to the Jackets starts making the requirements for success during SEC play (which begins this weekend) staggeringly tough for even the most modest of ambitions.

For symbolic reasons, the game is even bigger.

No Georgia basketball coach has lost to Georgia Tech in Athens since 1976. Most of that stat is inflated due to the extended time frame in which the game was played in the Omni. However, the fact remains that the vast bulk of the Georgia fan base has never watched us lose to Tech on our own court.

The mainstream Georgia fan will let a lot of things slide as it relates to sports not played in Sanford Stadium. Particularly when things are going well in football. However, losing to the Tickle Pilers brings a world of attention to yourself as coach that you don't want. Losing to them at home when they are fielding one of their worst teams in a generation is extremely bad.

Dennis Felton needs to show the Georgia people that there's some reason to maintain confidence in the direction that he's leading this program. We're half way into a Year 5 that has completely gone off the tracks due to a brutal combination of bad luck, frustrating academic issues, questionable off court decisions, and puzzling on court moves.

Everything that has gone wrong -- including the most recent injury to Billy Humphrey -- has not been Felton's fault. I'm not really interested in quibbling over what percent of "blame"for where we are goes to him or anyone else. If you search this site, you'll find very few instances where "blame" or "fault" are ever used (other than sentences involving Mike Adams). At this point, it not about "fault" or "blame." It's more simple than that.

Fans want a winner, but they need hope.

A win vs. Tech would give Coach Felton some much needed breathing room. A loss would bring a level of heat that he has never experienced as a head coach.

The Opportunity is Still There for Good Things:
The SEC is positively awful this year when compared to its historic norms. League teams are dropping games to directional colleges and hyphenated schools at a shocking clip. This should be the season to take the program to the next level. Clearly, that task was made tougher by the dismissal of Takais Brown and Mike Mercer, but still...some level of progress must be maintained to get fans in the door.

If we beat Tech, we can get some momentum going as our SEC schedule sets up nicely for strong start. If we can get some momentum, we could build around potential stars like Jeremy Price. There is plenty of season left to play, but you won't find a more critical game in America this week for one coach's future at his school than this one for Dennis Felton.

It's backs against the wall time. They are going to need all of us to show up and be loud. I'll see you there.

Hoping for the best,

PWD

Love Me, Rank Me, Validate Me!

Preseason polls are a scourge. They create an unjustified inertia to teams who start highly ranked, prejudicing us against other more worthy teams who may not have started out as high. But, they sell newspapers and generate page views. They satisfy that basic human instinct shared by every football fan: the desperate need to see their team ranked and validated. Well, Dawg fans, get ready to be validated!

The ridiculously early preseason polls are out and things look good for the Dawgs. Tony Barnhart has the Dawgs at No. 1. So does Stewart Mandel. So does Mark Schlabach. So does Thayer Evans of the New York Times. Wow. We were hoping for top 5, but No. 1 works too.

The good news is it is far, far better to start the season at the top. It gives the weight and inertia that makes a loss (or two this year) easier to handle if they happen. Essentially, it keeps you in the title discussion longer.

The bad news is that the season is far, far away. It's certainly flattering to be highly thought of now, but who knows what will happen between now and the first AP poll. My guess is at least one underage possession, a fake ID charge, a transfer to Georgia Military College, and a slew of scooter violations. If that's it, we'll be lucky. Keep your fingers crossed for no injuries and no serious suspensions.

Lastly, just because the Dawgs are sitting on top now, this doesn't justify the existence of such polls. They are still largely bad for college football. But if they are going to exist, and they always will, it's better that they benefit us rather than create an obstacle to overcome.

Quinton

Two Random Tidbits after Last Night


"When we score, we're gonna celebrate right over there."**

The Georgia Bulldogs are 6-1 against the defending national champions since 1965. Kyle King at DawgSports.com was the first to tip us off to that stat, and now we're just sorta giddy keeping up with it. Why do I mention it? We're playing at Baton Rouge next year the week before the Cocktail Party. So we've got that going for us.

UGA vs. Defending Champs:
    2007: UGA vs. UF (neutral) - W
    2004: UGA vs. LSU (home) -- W
    1999: UGA vs. UT (away) - L
    1997: UGA vs. UF (neutral) - W
    1991: UGA vs. GT (away) - W
    1982: UGA vs. Clemson (home) - W
    1965: UGA vs. Alabama (home) - W
The second unofficial tidbit...next year when LSU plays at Florida it will only be the fifth match-up of back-to-back national champs over the past 30 seasons. The first such meeting in 18 years.
    2008 - LSU ('07) at UF ('06)
    1990 - Miami ('89) at Notre Dame ('88)
    1989 - Notre Dame ('88) at Miami ('87)
    1982 - Clemson ('81) at Georgia ('80)
    1979 - USC ('78 Co-Champs) at Notre Dame ('77)
I said "unofficial" tidbit for the second set of information because I had to look that up by hand. I think I nailed it, but if you're aware of other instances let me know. There were several such meetings in the 70s usually involving Notre Dame, Southern Cal and/or Pitt. (Note: I only counted UPI or AP titles prior to '98).

Sources:
-- National Champs of the Past - Wikipedia
-- Historical Schedules - College Football Data Warehouse

PWD

**I love recycling that caption.

In case you're wondering....



235 Days til Kickoff

Against Georgia Southern



Give or take a few hours.

PWD

Dawgs Finish #2 and #3 in Polls

AP poll puts the Dawgs at #2 with three first place votes. The Coaches Poll puts Georgia at #3; however, we were only 10 votes behind Southern Cal.

Tony Barnhart has Georgia ranked #1 on his preseason 2008 ranking. Although, Tony doesn't have an AP Vote anymore per AJC policy, so it's only meaningful in so far as Tony is a thought leader in college football.

One helluva a year for the Dawgs!

More later. Crazy day at work.

PWD

January 7, 2008

Neutral Site Football Games Back in Vogue?


Over the past 2-3 weeks there have been two interesting developments in football scheduling. First off, the Arkansas Razorbacks and Texas A&M Aggies look set to play a 6-8 year series in Dallas at Jerry Jones' new facility. The teams will each get $5 million per year for the game. The ARK vs. TAMU series will begin as early as 2009.

Last week, the Atlanta Sports Council announced that Alabama and Clemson will open the 2008 season at the Georgia Dome in a game to be sponsored by the Chick-Fil-A. The game appears to be part of an effort by the city to schedule a yearly season opener at the Dome between SEC and ACC opponents. Rumored payout for the Atlanta game, which will be televised by ABC or ESPN at 8:00 pm EST, is in the $2 million neighborhood.

As you know, last year FSU and Bama played in Jacksonville while Kansas and Missouri agreed to play in Kansas City for two years as part of their rivalry. Other teams considering or booking neutral site games include:
    Notre Dame:
    2009 vs. Washington State in San Antonio
    2011 vs. TBD in Orlando
    2012 vs. Baylor in Dallas (Tentative)
    2014 vs. TBD in Orlando

    Missouri:
    2007-2010 vs. Illinois in St. Louis
    2007-2008 vs. Kansas in Kansas City

    FSU:
    2008 vs. Colorado in Jacksonville (rumor)
    2012 vs. TBD in Orlando
    2014 vs. TBD in Orlando
The Cocktail Party, Red River Shootout and Colorado vs. CSU (in Denver) looked to be the dying breed of neutral site games. But other schools are finally seeing the merit to playing what amounts to an in season bowl game.

In the past, these games were very common. Georgia and Auburn played in Columbus from 1916-1958. Mississippi State and Ole Miss tangled in Jackson from 1973-1990, and Alabama played Auburn in Birmingham from 1904-1988 (well...when they were speaking to each other they played there).

I personally think that neutral site games are good for college football in general. Although, the series at the Georgia Dome is specifically bad for UGA in that it further opens the city of Atlanta up to other programs recruiting in our backyard. Something that annoys Coach Richt.

Hopefully, our athletic department will take note of the trend and keep the Florida game in Jacksonville. If Bama playing in Atlanta helps their recruiting in Georgia, then wouldn't UGA playing in Jacksonville help our recruiting in Florida?

See Also
-- GT will feel the Clemson/Bama series the most - GTP

PWD

January 5, 2008

All Tubs Ex-s Move to Texas

The rumors have swirled for the past few days, but it's official now. Will Muschamp is heading to Austin to be Mack Brown's shiny new defensive coordinator. Mack felt so strongly about Muschamp that he demoted another assistant who had served as defensive co-coordinator. Muschamp replaced Gene Chizik on the Auburn staff. Now Muschamp follows in Chizik's footsteps again by trading toilet paper covered trees for the collegiate paradise of Austin, Texas.

I know the type of resume and reputation Muschamp enjoys. He is coveted by many in the Georgia fanbase. Auburn's defense was 8th nationally in total defense this year. His last three years in college football his defenses have finished no lower than 19th in total defense. His stats are good, but I've just never bought into Muschamp completely. My problem may be that I am evaluating him against Georgia. In the last three times we have faced him, we've scored 45, 37, and 45. Those are large numbers, embarrassing numbers to a defensive coordinator.

So what does this mean to Georgia? First, we are almost certain to see John Tenuta next year, either at Auburn or in Baton Rouge. If I were Tubs, I get on hiring Tenuta today because LSU is going to throw some serious cash at him Tuesday. Second, Rodney Garner may be in line for a new boat. Would Coach Garner leave to go back to his alma mater? It's a question that has enough backstory to make Dawg fans nervous. Garner has made no secret about his desire to be a coordinator. Where better to do that than where he played? Even if Garner doesn't leave, and I don't think he will, his agent should at least arrange an interview. The last time that he interviewed for a DC slot, Coach Garner got a substantial raise.

Quinton

January 3, 2008

Sugar Hangover

Kevin Cox/Getty Images

I don't have any insightful game analysis. I have yet to watch the game again and I didn't pay super close attention to the game after somewhere around the middle of the first quarter, or when I realized what was about to happen. You already know what happened. We were focused. We were stronger. We were faster. A workman-like destruction of a team that was overwhelmed from the beginning. I can't remember feeling that concerned for an opposing quarterback's health since we left Auburn's Gabe Gross a bloody heap in 1998.

After I watch the game, I guess I should have plenty of bad things to say about the FOX broadcast. I had one friend say that he couldn't watch much of the game with the sound on because of FOX's coverage. He said he might rather have Lincoln Financial doing the game than FOX. Orson ripped Thom Brennaman repeatedly yesterday as well. If last night's Fiesta Bowl is any indication, I can look forward to repeated iso shots of the Bud Light sign in the stadium.

A few thoughts on the atmosphere:

1. I really enjoyed the street preachers at Canal and Bourbon screaming at all the "sinners" and "drunkards" making their way from the bars to the Superdome. They told me that Jesus hates football when I went by them and I responded with a "Jesus loves the Dawgs, though. He loves everybody." They then yelled at me about damnation through a megaphone. Jonathan Edwards would have been proud of those guys.

2. Paul has already covered this, but the Hawai'i fans certainly deserved a tip of the hat. Paul hopes to have more on this soon. Almost all traveled a titanic distance to watch the game and enjoy New Orleans. Then when they got there, they cheered for their guys the whole game, even when they were getting beaten badly. Afterward, each one I talked to was polite and courteous, acknowledging that the Dawgs were a great team and that they lost to a much better group of athletes. No excuses. I wasn't sure what to make of the Warrior fans before the game, but they showed themselves to be a great group of devoted fans, willing to support their team with time and serious dollars, even when they're getting waylayed from all angles. Until we meet again, Go Warriors.

3. We may have booed their band before the game (along with President Adams and Ray Nagin), but there was no booing Hawai'i's throng of hula dancing girls. I'm generally a critic of dance lines, but those hula girls were a lot of fun to watch.

4. LSU fan was out to announce his presence on Bourbon Street. I saw at least two LSU mobs chanting "L-S-U" and "Tiger Bait" at fans of both persuasions. I hope no Dawg fans were at the Peach Bowl harassing Auburn or Clemson fans for their New Year's Eve amusement.

5. Is it me or is every bowl halftime show the same? An amalgam of high school bands playing one song loudly and repeatedly. Seriously, can we get some frisbee chasing dogs? I'd even take twenty minutes of the ha'a dance or the hula girls. Anything but a huge group of high school kids in mismatching uniforms.

Quinton

January 2, 2008

DawgPost.com video recaps

Immediate Post Game from Dean Legge of Dawgpost.com

DawgPost also has a "photo story" on Youtube. Pretty cool, but it needs audio. Well...not summer camp "Friends are Friends Forever" Audio. But maybe Back in Black or the Men in Black Theme.

PWD

UGA's punter vs. Hawaii's Linebacker

This sorta sums the whole thing up. You could argue that Mimbs kinda sucker punched him a bit. But really....he was clobbering the punter away from the play like that with the same intent as Mimbs took with his response. I think it speaks volumes that our punter so completely unimpressed with the Warriors (sic) that he went after their linebacker.

ht - dawgjack

PWD

Your Volcano God Can't Save You Now


White Sugar Bowl Champions Shirt. Click to Buy


DawgPost.com beat me to the headline of the day "Aloha Means Blowout." Dawgnoxious, Quinton and I are are all in transit today, so it's unclear how much posting you'll get. Probably very little. Check DawgBone.net for all the headlines. Or just visit the store for Sugar Bowl Championship shirts, hats, sweatshirts, you name it. Go Dawgs. Go Willie Martinez! Go Marcus Howard! Go...well...everything related to 2008.


Black Magic Sugar Bowl Champs Shirt

BTW -- the Hawaii fans we ran into were a class bunch. The horror stories of the Miami Hurricane style NFLish fans didn't really show up. We asked some folks about that, and they said, "The fans you see walking around NOLA aren't necessarily the folks you see on TV at the games. Those folks can't afford this trip." The Hawaii fans represented their school well in the Big Easy. They proudly sported their colors, and they were generally pretty cool. Although, I did have to laugh at all the "UNDEFEATED" Shirts we saw all week. I mean really...wasn't that jumping the gun just a little?

As for UGA Fans, we BROUGHT THE CROWD. I felt like we had a MUCH larger crowd this time than the 2002 Sugar Bowl despite playing a much less "sexy" opponent. More on all that later. We have a lot to be proud of.

PWD
 
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