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October 23, 2007

Thoughts on the Cocktail party

Image: Josh Massey

My confidence in the team and program is pretty low. Sure, I'm looking forward to this weekend's tailgate and festivities, but the game...entirely different story.
    The pluses:
    1. Martinez has actually kept Meyer's squad in check the past 2 years allowing only 2 offensive TDs each year.
    2. We can catch the ball from time to time, and the Gator pass defense is average at best.
    3. Florida can be beaten. See AU and LSU.
    4. Knowshon Moreno

    The minuses:
    1. This isn't the '05-'06 UF offense. Tebow and Harvin are sick.
    2. We haven't caught the ball consistently for any extended period this year.
    3. We don't have LSU or AU's defense. Not by a long shot.
    4. UF's run defense is pretty damn good.
I'm generally a sunshine pumper or at worse a realist. I rarely go into my dark cave of pessimism. But let's look at facts. In 2007, we have struggled with teams that have equal or lesser talent. The Gators are most certainly more talented than the Bulldogs, and you'll have to make one helluva argument that they aren't better coached right now.

My expectation:
Everyone loses football games some times, and it's completely unfair to hold this team accountable for what happened during 15 of the past 17 games in the series. It wouldn't kill me to lose the game, and honestly a win wouldn't totally shock me. Not this season when the entire college football world is upside down. But I do have an expectation or two...
    My expectation is that the team compete.
    I expect 60 minutes of balls out effort.
    I expect UF to know they played UGA at the end.
    I expect us to not play dead when it gets tough.
    I expect us to not cross the Florida line and wet our britches.
I'm still showing up. I'm still giving 100% as a fan. I'll scream my lungs out win or lose, and I'm not leaving early no matter what. But I'm not excited about the real possibility of driving all the way down there to get the hell kicked out of us and have us look like we don't belong on the same field as them.

We are in Year Seven of this coaching regime. There are talent gaps that are legitimate and they are real, and regardless of how they came to be (a topic for a different post) they aren't going to change over night.

But talent gaps don't explain away what happened in Knoxville. And despite the complete lack of a transitive property in football (Just because A beat B and B beats C doesn't necessarily mean that A beats C), talent gaps alone don't explain how a team we beat (Alabama) could dominate a team (UT) that made our guys look like a novice JV Squad.

The gameday cure for my lack of confidence

I'm discouraged and worried about this game, but I'm not flying the white flag of surrender or giving up hope. I hope our team plays in a way that we can all be proud of. That's all I expect and want at this point. I want progress. Because the last two seasons haven't been about progress. They've been about week to week survival and working to not blow ourselves up followed by inexplicable moments of giddiness and then more buffoonery.

Some consistent upwardly mobile progress would be really nice at this point. Win or lose.

Go Dawgs.

See Also:
-- Moreno's example provides inspiration - ABH
-- WLOCP: Tale of the Tape - Get the Picture
-- Dawgs Brace for Tebow - Macon Telegraph



Anonymous said...

well said.

But, i wouldnt say there is that much of a talent gap. Instead, maybe a development gap and willingness to let our kids get their feet wet instead of holding them back and continuously telling them that they arent ready for SEC football.

Preston Porter said...

great post and like my friend anony pointed out, well said

right there with ya

yell, get pissed and celebrate no matter what, but I need to see us compete

King of Tigerland said...

First time you have been reasonable about Georgia this year. No, they don't have Auburn's defense....they don't have the recievers or backs Auburn does either.

Anonymous said...

Right with you all! I've got a rather good feeling about this game.

Come over to my blog and celebrate Gators(in Jean Shorts) Week with me. Its 10x better when you're not alone. Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

king of tigerland - as to Georgia not having Auburn's backs and receivers, Georgia must have something, as the Dawgs rank ahead of the Tigers in scoring offense, passing offense, rushing offense and total offense.

Thanks for playing "Being Reasonable" with us. Come back soon...

Unknown said...

PWD, your expectations sound like those of a Cackylacky Lamecock and I'm, unfortunately, right there with you. I just hope we make it last longer than the premature- emasculating-back-alley-quickie effort we offered Tennessee 3 weeks ago. Philopotamus was smoking a cigarette and eating a sandwich 9 minutes into the contest.

Anonymous said...

They don't have three losses like Auburn either, although that could change after this weekend. Still bitter about the beatdown on the Plains last year?

Anonymous said...

Brad Lester has great vision all right....he can see the papers of other students from across the room.

But he's not in Moreno's league.

Anonymous said...

Tigerland started to make some good points, but then Tra Battle intercepted them.

C. Paul said...

First and foremost - I'll root for UGA until I can't scream any more. And then I'll make signs saying UF Sucks. However, I share the same concerns that you do. Too many facts getting in the way of good fiction.

I'd really just like to see two things:

1. A Game Plan that looks like, and takes into consideration, we've had two weeks to prepare and they haven't. We're the aggressor, we're the one forcing the Gay-turds to make adjustments.

(As I know that you, Paul, are a fellow West Wing fan - I'd bring up Season 5 when they're in the budget impasse with Congress and Josh tells President Bartlett to "go see the speaker ont he Hill" and when confronted with everything the Speaker has done has caught them off guard, Josh replies "Yea, and nothing we've done has surprised him". I feel like this with Urban Meyer. Everything he does put us n the defensive and nothing we do gives him pause.)

2. Show some emotion and fire. I'm never one to encourage unsportsmanlike penalties - but if we were so fired up after a big hit or turnover we got one....we'll I wouldn't cry.

Love your neighbor and smack a Gay-turd!!

Go Dawgs!!

Anonymous said...

To win a "helmet" game like this (that is, one team has been so dominant for so long, they can throw their helmets on the field and the other team will automatically choke), it takes senior leadership.

Seriously, where do we have any?

Dannelle Ellerbe is the only guy I've seen on defense that really plays his tail off, and he's a junior. I'm starting to think that Paul Oliver took the easy way out.

I sure hope A.J. Bryant gets in the game this week so he can get his one catch for four yards.

One positive note, I guess...last year was the only year Richt has lost to Tennessee and Florida in the same year.

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

I for one take great comfort in your dire predictions and manic hand wringing. You are wrong about predictions often enough that I have even more confidence about this weekend than I had before I read your post. If we can score, we are winning this game. I think it is time for Matt to step up and show Tebow there's more than one hot shot QB in this league.

Unknown said...

Good point, Anon - but it was also time for Staffy to step-up and make a show against USC.

But Go Dawgs, Tuck Febow, yada yada yada.

Anonymous said...

From a Nole - Good luck to you guys against Florida.

For what it is worth I found a story on a blog about David Greene in New England:

Anonymous said...

anon - i didn't make a prediction

SlawDawg said...

I just got back from downtown athens and i'm still pretty drunk...


We win this game if we beat them off the line. the physical team wins! always. especially this year. I'm calling it here. look for the little guys to step up. Tripp Chandler has a hell of a game. you heard it here first.

i've never seen a two loss team more high on themselves. Win one MNC and your invincible. I'm not drinking the koolaid. Its a head game. to quote Catch Me If You Can

Frank Abagnale Sr.: You know why the Yankees always win, Frank?
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: 'Cause they have Mickey Mantle?
Frank Abagnale Sr.: No, it's 'cause the other teams can't stop staring at those damn pinstripes.

if we stop looking at those sissy orange helmets...we win

I'm in denial Paul. As a georgia fan i've earned it. Florida is not better. We win in overtime 20-14

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does it seem that there is really no focus on UGA this year. It seems to make some sense given the recent (and not so recent) history. But even though we have some definite issues, this "should" be a hard fought game featuring TWO teams.

I challenge anyone to find a quote from a current past or future florida player, coach, or alumni showing even the slightest bit of respect to one of our players. I can hope that they are taking this one for granted.

I will be an optimist and go ahead and say that these dawgs are gonna play their hearts out and really catch some people off guard with their talent.

I for one don't agree with the "not enough talent" angle. Hopefully we will see their best this weekend. GO DAWGS!

Anonymous said...

Wow you guys have issues....many many issues..pretty sad for an elite program like yours to be slowly sinking in the are 2 for 17 against the mighty gators, thats gotta sting a little!

Pups 24

2 for 18 (10/27/07)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I don't know, every season is a new season. Since Coach Richt arrived the Dawgs have had no problem "bringing it" against the Vols until this year.
Whatever or Whoever that was that showed up in the Red & Black was a lousy imitation of a great football program from Athens Ga. They lost me for a while, they will have to beat UF to make it all better. They looked absolutely 1AA in that blood letting, I thought UT was playing someone else. Sad, and the Vandy win, well woohoo ! Wins and Losses are part of Football, but getting run out the Stadium is un acceptable. Hopefully the right Dawg team shows up this week end.

King of Tigerland said...

....let me know when you actually beat Florida...I believe that is extremely reasonable.

Reasonabilty is being more concerned about Percy Harvin than who your own RB is.......

Jmac said...

....let me know when you actually beat Florida...I believe that is extremely reasonable.

Wow. That's a Georgia Tech comeback.

'You killed us last year? Oh yeah, well we beat those guys and those guys beat you ... so there.'

Anonymous said...

Martinez's D also gave up all their points in the first half, putting us in a tremendous hole. That's what has to stop. We have to do better in the first half.

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