Saturday, October 10, 2009

Strap on Those Hobnails

The Philmer Era has sadly come to a close. So it's time to shut the baby up!

I'd love a epic sized ass beating. But at this point I'll settle for a W.

GATA Dawgs!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Who's That Comin'...week six

Best joke of the week, an oldie but (most) SEC fans can really sink their teeth into:

What has 200 feet and 7 teeth? The first row at
Neyland Stadium. Boom. Roasted.

Trivial Update

I was too lazy to choose between two questions, so we played a Daily Double.

Q 1 - Who was the holder for the critical PAT in the 1980 Dawgs' 16-15 win in Knoxville?
A 1 - Jim Broadway (h/t Rex)

I thought this would be more difficult than it was. @allyugadawg chimed in first followed by@MikeInValdosta @Shainam @matt_T and @ugagirl88. Each of you will enjoy an authentic replica Bill Bates jersey complete with Herschel's cleat marks. (Disclaimer: all Bill Bates' replica jerseys authenticated in Bernie's backyard with the help of two little girls wearing their soccer cleats.)

Q 2 - According to Hale, what "award" did Crompton win at the 2004 Elite 11 camp?

What SEC quarterback has more facial hair than his pre-pubescent coach? Fresh Outta Crompton...Boom! Roasted! @MikeInValdosta came back for seconds but was kicked aside by semantics. Bernie keeps the luxurious appointed facial hair care kit and plans a Magnum PIesque look coming later this fall.

Tailgate Predictions

  • Rogers Redding takes a nap Saturday afternoon to rest up for all the phone calls Sunday.
  • VA Tech improves to 5-1 and no turkeys get castrated in the process.
  • DiddyFreeShoes stammers his way through another opponent, gets carried off the field following a victory, then refers to NATS as Atlanta PolyTech Southwest State. Jimbo continues to die a slow death.
  • Meanwhile JoePa eats another cupcake.
  • Bad news - Timmy gets the night off and Mike the Tiger throws Brantley around like a piece of raw meat.
  • Good news - three more boys are enjoying their brand new circumcisions come Sunday morning.
  • Awwbarn's run finally finds a pothole. Peetreeno calls the Hawgs late into the afternoon while somewhere outside an Opelika airstrip a man yells, "See...I told ya so..."

Studio Analysis

Dawgs show HillBillys who the real WildBoyz are.

Dawgs 20

Kiffers 14

Sure, I hope that this is finally the complete game we've been hoping for. The game where the offensive unit is in sync with the defensive unit. The game where Fabris finally dislodges his head from his ass like a well cork'd bottle ready to breathe.

But why would I have reason to expect that in this game? I'll admit I've only watched about 5.5 quarters of RockyFlopFootball this season, about 3 quarters of the Auburn loss and a little more than a half of the floriDuh surrender.

What I have seen is a creamsickle'd football team that runs the ball as if they're out of frequent flyer miles. That should play right into Ol' Willie's hand. Play the run hard, force KiffyBaby into passing downs and let him run it anyway. In the event he does put Crompton back in the pocket, the ladies man with the hairy lip will be right in Houston's cross-hairs.

Back to reality...turnovers and penalties (what else...??) keep this one close, despite the disparity in talent level. JoeWaterloo always likes to point out to me that they always have solid o-line and d-line play in Knutsville. The difference this year is no Ainge, no receivers who can catch the ball and no stud LBs. Just Montario Hardesty and Eric Berry.

Keep your shirts on Dawg fans, this is gonna be another wild win. Now go get yo'self a weekend!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cox or Crompton...

...I'm glad we got Joe.

In his media session yesterday Coach Richt related the story of recruiting the nation's #2 QB prospect back in 2005. He was a lanky kid out of North Carolina who played in the Shrine Bowl, a game that pits the best of NCs high school prospects against the best of SC.

The kid's name...Jonathan Crompton. The QB who started ahead of Crompton in the Shrine Bowl...Joe Cox. CMR on Crompton:
I know a lot of people have said this or that about Jonathan, but I can tell you we recruited him heavily. We wanted him as bad as anybody that we recruited at
Georgia at the QB position. He's a very, very talented young man who can certainly hurt you if we're not playing our very best.
The Tennessee QB even roomed with Joe Cox at the Elite 11 camp. Joe on Crompton:
It's tough when you're playing in front of your own crowd and you don't have the support of people who wear your own colors...I do feel for people when that happens to them.
And although Crompton and the Volunteers enjoyed some success in the hurry-up offense last week against Auburn, there's no guarantee Kiffin is committed to using it more frequently. Said the head Kifster:
There's a lot of things that go into that...there's a lot of stuff you have to consider.
What he was trying to say was that his defense was gassed at crucial times because his offense couldn't stay on the field. And this week they'll of course have one less (missed) target for Crompton. Hard to blame Warren too much for being an asshat; his coach was satisfied with losing in the swamp and his QB is toting triple digits in the national rankings for pass efficiency.

ESPNU had a replay of the Auburn-Tenn game on last night. And to be fair, as I watched I noticed several fairly good throws by Crompton that were dropped. When I saw @JeffOwens95 was watching the replay as well, I took the time to hit him up on twitter:
@jeffowens95 I'm watching it too. Thinking you can handle those creamsickle O-linemen... #Dawgs #OrangeisUGLY

@BernieDawg we will
GATA Jeff!! And get Joe back on the field.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

At Home in the Dome?

Weiszer of the ABH reports that Damon Evans is as yet undecided on whether or not the Dawgs would squash the bugs in the GA Dome to open the 2011 season or wait until the regularly scheduled time in late November as we all enjoy a free coke and hot dog.

A wrinkle for the iron: we're currently scheduled to open the '11 season at home against Louisville. I couldn't find a 2011 Louisville schedule, but here's our tentative slate. The biggest hurdle seems to be getting Louisville to move the matchup and/or finding a different dance partner for November 26th, 2011.

Or just walking away from the possibility.

This discussion of moving Tech's home game in the series to the GA Dome came up several years ago from some Tech sources, if memory serves. At the time, all of the Tech friends I reached (in truth, there's just one) were incensed at the idea. The thought of playing the game in the Dome where even MORE Dawg fans would scarf up abandoned and ignored Tech tickets was too much to stomach.

Must've been a Dave Braine idea. I miss that guy almost as much as Gailey.

To the issue of fan support, I would add the issue of speed. Throw away the fact that the Dawgs played the second half of last season's game as if we were ankle deep in quick sand, and the reality is that (historically) Georgia is the faster team. Tech doesn't want to play this game on the Dome's turf. Case in point - last year's Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Regardless, Tech is at Stokan's table. Damon's seat is waiting should he choose to sit down. What're your thoughts?

Locker Notes - Tennessee

I burped in my napkin last night at dinner and my wife threw a flag. I still had a chance to redeem myself with the dishes, but I tried a scatter huddle between the table and the kitchen and dropped them all over the floor.

But that's all behind me now. The focus is on the trip to Knutsville. They've replaced the Great Phat Pumpkin with a Kiffin Family Dinner. While Ol' Man Kiffin and Junior argue over who sits next to Layla, our Dawgs are preparing for the Tampa 2 and a QB they took outta the Glee Club.

Let's hit some Locker Notes.
  • Joe Cox - I steer clear of lending my ear to idiots. Hope you do as well. There's a BIG Monday's Meatloaf shout-out for you if you get a chance to throw one KiffyBaby's ear. Just beware Eric Berry's nowhere near....
  • Drew Butler - How far do you think you could punt Fabris?.....Really?....How much hang time we talking?
  • Washaun Ealey - Knutsville has been known to catapult some Dawg RBs careers into stardom. Is yours next?
  • Coach Richt - You mind if I have a crack at coaching kickoff coverage? I promise you I can't do worse...
  • Justin Houston - The more frantic you can make fresh outta Crompton....the better. Boykin's eager hands are ready and waiting.
  • Brandon Boykin - INTs in the endzone are very special gifts from God. Treat them as such and bend a knee.
  • Coach Bobo - I know it's been years since we've had one who catches the football...but let's work a lil Orson in. Ya get me?
  • Rennie Curran - I had lunch the other day with Montario Hardesty and Bryce Brown. They didn't have nice things to say about your momma. Just Sayin'.
Ok...grab a pen. Here's a pad of post-its. Add your own.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Barking Carefully

In the wake of Rogers Redding admitting his referee's mistake, I've begun to hear a lot of barking. Much of which I do not care for the tone of.

We haven't been told anything in the last two days that we didn't know already late Saturday evening. I just don't like travelling down the road of continuing to bark it up. It smells like sore losing.

We were screwed!!

Sure. And yet we still had the opportunity to win the game. After scoring a touchdown, AJ Green is pretty much going to be the focal point of roughly 90,000 people....give or take an ill-conceived visit to the restroom. We can't really control that.

I find it better to focus on the things we can control. Like kicking off a tee, to huddle or not to huddle (wtf??), wedge busting and tackling. As gratifying as it was to hear the head of SEC officials admit that his charges suck at what they do, it would mean so much more to me as a fan to hear even the slightest hint from our coach that our kickoff coverage lacks the coverage necessary to be called such any longer.

Even better if we admit that our special teams as a whole are not so inherent in their own name.

One Small Step for Man... giant leap for the college football fan.

The first Mumme Poll of the season is out. I hope you are taking part as well. I'm pretty sure both of my readers already are up to date on the history, inspiration and logistics of college football's only impartial poll. But just in can get up to snuff by reading this post at Get the Picture.

I plan on posting my ballot here each Tuesday. Feel free to call me out when necessary. Just don't ever accuse me of being a fan of anything reptilian.

Top Five
Southern Cal
Virginia Tech

The Next Seven
Ohio State
Boise State

I've long been an advocate of doing away with the pre-season polls (even before I was an advocate of doing away with the excessive celebration penalties...yet I digress...)

So the nicest part of the Mumme Poll is the fact that I just cast my first ballot based on nothing but actual results. In my mind, Alabama, Florida and Texas all have an argument for #1. Bama's been a surprise in that respect; I like the way they're playing ball right now. They've shown me that they are sound fundamentally and can do the things necessary to win a MNC, namely play kick-ass defense and control the ball on offense. In August, there's no way I would have had Saban's squad near #1.

In the interest of full disclosure...I hate Florida. (Gasp!) But in all honesty, if those top three teams win out through November I would expect to have Florida #1. However, as good as the gators are on defense and as revered as their QB is...I still think the departure of Percy Harvey has hurt them more deeply than most would like to admit. They'll have to replace him with someone steady if they want to defend their trophy...and keep their QB in the game.

But hopefully that becomes a moot point on the next ballot after LSU plays their way into the Top Five by taking care of business at home this weekend. : )

Southern Cal and Virginia Tech could be too high as one loss teams, but other undefeated teams (LSU, Cincinnati, Boise State, TCU and Iowa) I'm just not sold on enough to pull that trigger yet.

In the end I agree with Hamp...despite the sanity of drafting the season's inaugural ballot the first week in October, there's still not enough information to go on.

But one thing casting a Mumme Poll ballot does, is create an anticipation in the voter for more action. Looking forward to Florida/LSU, Wisconsin/Ohio St and Bama/Ole Miss this weekend. Those games are gonna answer some questions in my mind.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's Meatloaf - Staring Into Reality

In big boy football, there's no such thing as moral victories. So although there have to be worse things than getting beat by the #4 team in the country, it's a game we should have won. Period.

The easiest thing to do after a loss is to take a coach, player or both to task. And there are coaches and players who could use it. But I'm gonna avoid the temptation. Cuz quite frankly there are more fans who need to take a long, lasting glance in the mirror.

Glance #1: Fire Willie Martinez I've been critical at times when I felt it was necessary. There have been games I felt Martinez was completely outmatched and unprepared. Saturday was not one of those times. Those that blame that loss on the defense clearly were absent the first half. We went into the locker room down 6-0 at half. We coulda gone into the locker room down 28-0.

And what exactly do fans want to see happen once Coach Richt gives his buddy the ax later today? Dick Lebeau may be one of the greatest defensive minds in football right now. He ain't coming to Athens. Garner would be the guy tapped in this disastrous scenario. And how awkward of a transition would that be between the 5th and 6th games of the season?

Glance #2: Bench Joe Cox This one suits the common theme among football fans since the game was invented, the most popular guy on a team is the backup QB. Folks, if Logan Gray were ready to run the offense...he would be. He's not, so Joe's our man. If you came into this season expecting the only change to the Dawgs' QB would be his hair color, well you obviously hibernate during the off-season. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Cox needs the help of a good running game. So this glance falls squarely on the shoulders of a poorly performing offensive line.

Glance #3: Fire Mike Bobo I think Bobo is a good OC. Not great, good. He's best when the components of his offense are all doing their job. When they are not I believe he struggles to make the needed adjustments. Right now our running game is dreadfully awful. The line can't create holes and Samuel and King have not been able to take the load on their shoulders. If Ealey has a good week of practice and improves enough to where Bobo and Richt can trust him in the backfield in passing situations, his energy could provide the spark this offense needs to be good, maybe even great again.

Last Glance: Reality Stares Back In the end we're 3-2 (2-1) heading up to Knutsville. If you're like me you wouldn't have just taken that back in August, but in the back of your mind you would've thought, "That sounds about right...unfortunately."

Today's Ingredients
  • There's a glance that should be in there relating to Fabris...but I think I'm on record with that guy. The bottomline is we made a really bad kickoff return team look really, really spectacular.
  • I haven't rewatched the game...and I doubt that I will. But is it just me, or did Evans play a LOT more than Rambo?
  • I remember at some point after the '07 victory in J'ville someone saying that officials were holding that endzone celebration against CMR. At the time I thought, that's a buncha bunk. (pause) Hmmm....
  • Congrats to Rennie Curran for setting a new career mark with 16 tackles. But it's the one he missed on Charles Scott that he laments. True leader.
  • Cocknfire over at TeamSpeedKills is just as dumbfounded as we are at Saturday's officiating. And Weiszer examines just how costly the flag was. Meanwhile CBS' Tim Brando just went off... (it's about 5 minutes in.)
  • Rex has a word for some of you folks.
  • Get the Picture wraps up the what was from Sanford Stadium.
  • Speaking of The Senator, the first Mumme Poll (corrected link, sorry...) is due this week. I cast my first ballot in the name impartiality yesterday. I feel liberated. Hope you followed suit.
  • Mike has a gameplan for the kickoff team. I don't know...kick, cover and tackle just doesn't sound challenging enough.
  • Since I came back to him - one more thing on Fabris, that was a pretty damn important kickoff there. Looking back, do you think it was a good time for the twirl and whirl huddle? I mean what is the freakin' point of that anyway?
  • Hale's notes on last night's teleconference where CMR broke wind and his piece on AJs rude behavior.
  • PWD has the kickoff and tv schedule for this weekend. Toe meets leather in Knutsville at 12:21.
  • Big shout-out to Cohen Bryan for making his first trip to Athens on gameday. No word yet from Callie or Chris if their 9 week old was indeed offered a scholly while in town.
  • And off the gridiron and onto the diamond, Perno's Dawgs are practicing and getting ready for some spring action at Foley.

So...we are what we are. The mirror doesn't lie. Five games into '09 and we're just about right where we should be. Sure, it hurts that we're within a few plays of being 4-1 or maybe even 5-0. But we're also within a few plays of being 0-5.

But steer clear of the load of crap some fans wanna dump. You know, the ones who might say things like Start Aaron Murray, let's get ready for next season. I mean, do they actually think decent athletes are gonna want to come play for a coach who gives up on his team, his veterans who've worked so hard to get to where they are?

No, there's some fight in these Dawgs. And I'm ready to see them tear KiffyBaby a new one.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

Last Sunday the thoughts were soggy. This week their just sucky.
  • We've known SEC referees were the worst for a while. This season is proving that they also are hellbent on making each game decided by their own ruthlessness.
  • Willie had a sound gameplan to stop LSUs offense, and it worked until his defense stop tackling.
  • Washaun Ealey takes off the redshirt and puts on the red jersey. Kid looked good. My apologies to an Anonymous commenter earlier this week. I obviously don't know what I'm typing about.
  • Unfortunately, this offensive line continues to struggle run blocking. And even more unfortunately, you have to run the football to win games.
  • Another freshman with some playing time yesterday was Montez Robinson. I have to check, but that may have been his first action of the season.
  • As big as AJ is to our offense, Drew Butler stands just as tall on special teams.
  • Once again, it is way past time to put Fabris out to pasture.
That's all I got in the tank right now. I'll have more in tomorrow's meatloaf.