Friday, November 21, 2008

Water'd Down Bye Weeks......

.......are like pitchers of beer at the St. Simons bowling alley.

All's quiet in Butts-Mehre this weekend. The players are huddling with family and friends for a change and the coaches are surely huddling with future players they hope will choose to wear silver britches. The only sound coming from the building is a dryer full of wet laundry someone left running. Let's see if we can sort through it.

Let's start with some recruitin'. As other schools in the southeast dabble in coaching changes some recruits who had previously committed are beginning to stretch their neck back out. It has been reported this week that J.K. Jay of Greenville, SC is willing to look at UGA in case Clemson doesn't retain their current staff. CMR and Coach Searels jumped at the opportunity and will be entertaining the young behemoth this weekend. If Jay were to switch commits (and it looks like we are the only other school he may look at as he has spurned opportunities to visit floriduh and bamma) it would add to what is shaping up to be a stellar O Line class. Jay would join Chris Burnette (no relation), Austin Long and Dallas Lee as UGA commits and we have our interest in a couple others who are also on ESPN's 150 Watch List.

Speaking of Clemson, there are rumors that the head job is Dabo's to lose. Swinney took over when Tommy Bowden played some Steve Miller Band and took the money and run. There is evidently a lot of support from the athletic director for Dabo, but to hire him would be putting the ADs neck on the line. If Terry Don Phillips doesn't get his way, then Bobby Johnson will be given a chance to turn the job down. I don't know much about Dabo, but I do know that the Tigers need a coach that forces his players to get tough. They laid down in the Georgia Dome after the first two snaps. Bobby Johnson would not allow that.

More coaching news:

  • Muschamp is off the market. He is the newest assistant to become the trendy Head Coach Elect. Pretty good deal for both sides.

  • Auburn is evidently a house divided. There is a growing public feeling that Tuberville should be gone. Privately there is much deserved support for the man still growing into his ears. This decision will come down to money ....what else? Both sides may like to part ways. If they can agree on a dollar amount it may actually happen. The wild card will be the bamma game. If Auburn pulls the unimaginable upset and makes it seven straight against the tide, then Tommy could do whatever suits him.

  • Rocky Top has zeroed in on Cincinnati's Brian Kelly. A host of others have said no thanks. Kelly has at least lent an ear. I checked the Bearcats schedule and they don't end until Dec 6th. And they are also in the running for winning some conference called the Big East ....?? If these two suitors end up being a match, it could get a little awkward. Alas! BDB has a solution: Since the vowels aren't bowlin', maybe Philmer would lead Cincinnati in their bowl game as their interim coach while Kelly moved into Knoxville's premier trailer park.

This and That:

Myron Rolle's 36 game streak as a starting safety will come to a close in the early evening Saturday in College Park, Maryland. If you're asking if this is another Seminole to be suspended, then you don't know this young man very well. I've followed this kid since he was a 5 star recruit out of New Jersey. Rolle will spend most of his day in Alabama interviewing to become a Rhodes Scholarship recipient. Rolle, a junior, should finish up around 6pm, quickly board a plane and catch up with his teammates by halftime. Rolle arrived at FSU after a recruiting battle that this blawgger had hoped would end with the future neurosurgeon as a Dawg. He enrolled at FSU a semester early and has already graduated. If things go well Saturday he will have an interesting choice to make: FSU, NFL or Oxford. All three could do a LOT worse.

Well, Knowshon and Stafford aren't in the running for a Rhodes Scholarship, but there are a lot of Dawg fans interested in where they'll be in August '09. SO interested, that a website has recently been created to "aid" them in turning their back on millions of dollars. Don't Go Dawgs even allows visitors to sign a guest book where you can implore our stars to ignore the opportunity to embrace financial security for them and their families. This blawgger prefers to leave this site alone.

Why, you ask? First of all, I doubt Stafford and Moreno will take the time to read and consider the thoughts and musings of Joe Fan before they pull the trigger. Secondly, as much as people make of greedy players leaving school early to grab a bag of cash, they should .......with all due respect ...... look in the mirror.

I would love to see both 7 and 24 return next year. And as a player it would have to be tempting. An experienced O line; AJ Green in his sophomore season; those 20 or so players on crutches and rehabbing in the training room return to the sideline in a uniform. I also pay attention to those pesky graduation reports the NCAA puts out each year. And I know both of these young men are close to finishing their degrees. But I'm not so greedy that I feel they should be given some guilt trip and should feel obligated to stay on campus. This is an opportunity for these players to provide for themselves and their loved ones. It could be there next year. It may not.

And one thing we know for sure is that the NFL will institute a Rookie Salary Cap after this next draft. To put that in perspective, it could mean a difference of not just 7 figures, but possibly 8 figures difference in guaranteed money once their contracts are worked out. That is a factor that will definitely be on Stafford and Moreno's mind in the coming months. Of course they are both competitive. Maybe they will also consider the bad taste Jacksonville left a couple of weeks ago, the lack of a championship, an opportunity to do something special next year.

Whatever their decision, life as a Georgia fan will continue on and we will all wish them well, as a Dawg or as a pro athlete.

This week's trivia is brought to you by a Miranda's Homebrew - as smooth as the surface of the reused bottle. Who is the only team currently in the ACC or SEC to have an all-time losing record to Wake Forest? Winning comment receives a bottle of Liquid Paper.

There's much more to discuss I know. But the bye week has a tendency to water things down some. My State of the BullDawg Nation will be ready for print by Monday. And of course we'll take a closer look at this team of insects that completely obliterated Miami last night. I knew a hurricane could not sustain its forceful winds this far inland, but holy crap!! Various beat writers reported that some Dawgs would be watching the game on ESPN hoping to glean some insight. After that impressive display I just hope they come back to campus next week.

Stay warm. Be a good neighbor. And as always, wear clean socks.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stop me if you've heard this one......

......Georgia plays down to the level of a weaker opponent and escapes with a win.

With the exception of two blow out losses and a couple other games, that has been the story of this season. South Carolina, Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky and now AwwBarn. The WarBird fans I spoke to and overheard before the game all seemed assured that this game would be over before Uga woke up from his first afternoon nap.

And escapes may not be the verb of choice come to think of it. Houdini escaped. And when he did it was to loud cheers and applause. Harrison Ford escaped and evaded in The Fugitive. And in so doing raked in millions of cash. The Dawgs performed well enough to draw praise for another win at the end of a LONG road trip. But applause was superseded by an entire Dawg Nation drawing its collective breath; a breath that had been held in tight for nearly three hours.

Offensively I thought we did about as well as expected except for putting points on the board. The line opened up holes a plenty for Knowshon and when they weren't there he did his own Houdini act and opened one up for himself. Seriously, he looked like Nama avoiding traffic barrels trying to get us to Opelika Saturday morning. The man moves that surburban like he runs on the intramural field a gazelle. Back on Pat Dye Field, it didn't take long for the Tiger safeties to start cheatin' up and that's where we struggled. Up in section 105 the wind was brutal. Down on the field it was much worse and even more unpredictable. Bobo and Stafford seemed determined to burn the undermanned secondary, but just couldn't hit a long one. If they had the Auburn fans' predictions may have come to fruition.

Defensively we were certainly improved. The tackling was better, but I wouldn't grade these Dawgs out with a B until they can consistently stop an opponent (especially and inferior one) at will. The D played with an intensity that was lacking in previous games, I thought. Although it still looked as if we were out of position and meandering at times. I know that the D fell well short of some lofty goals they set for themselves and there are many of us that still wonder (11 games into the season) how good this defense really is. But when you go on the road in this conference and hold the home team to 13 points, I guess ya done yer job! We have two weeks to prepare for the jackets' option. Pass the Wheaties.

Two areas that BDB grades as fat F's are special teams and penalties. Fabris refers to them as his kick teams, not as special. Observers could certainly agree with that reasoning after seeing Knox flagged for roughing the punter on one end of the play and Miller allowing the ball to bounce off of his chest at the other end. I guess it could have been worse. The ball could have pelted a lineman in the back of the helmet like a Walsh field goal attempt.

All kidding aside - the penalties are a mockery of this program, its attitude and its discipline. There's no excuse, none. Perhaps a better, more thorough assessment will follow later this week in Bernie's State of the Dawg Nation Address. Right now I'm just too disgusted.

On a lighter note, Jordan-Hare was impressive. I found myself finding different parts of the field where so many moments in Bulldog history have been born. I could see Tra Battle soaring into the endzone back in 2006. Michael Johnson gathering in Greene's pass. Craig tackled a yard short on fourth and three in college football's first overtime game. But there were other things to behold. The stadium has a very nice video board. And seeing Tiger fly from just above us to the 50 yard line was as impressive as advertised. 

With that, let's get to this week's shout-outs:
  • David McElroy for his quick thinking a time that necessitated it.
  • AJ Green for climbing an invisible ladder and grabbing that ball as if it was ......well, as if it was the game winning catch. Here's your SEC Freshman of the Week.
  • Moreno for another outstanding performance. Hard to believe that was Knowshon's first TD reception. Even harder to believe what our record would be without him.
  • Tim for the fourth quarter passes to the box. It was COLD on the plains.
  • Navigon and IPhone for their technological advances in avoiding construction barrels and I-85 delays. If only I'd brought an extra pair of shorts.
  • And Tiger the WarEagle for not .......releasing his bowels on my Georgia cap. 
Congrats to the Namaman again for correctly posting the answer to last week's trivia. He
knew that John Heisman coached at Clemson in between stops at Auburn and North Avenue. He goes home with a case of Kosher wieners and a dozen eggs. Not sure what he may do with those. Perhaps Allen Randall, Cord Trammell and Chris "Moosehead" Miranda can give him an idea. These emailers sent in their answers which were also correct. They scored a book of the 100 best tailgatin' recipes. Page 78 is autographed by Mr. California HamDog himself, Jeremy Matteson. What a treasure!

Have a great week readers. Set your scouting TiVos for Thursday evening as the wrambled wrecks try to survive a hurricane on the flats. Tickets still available......