Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coaching Rumor Update, episode III

Happy Heisman Saturday Reader! Sometime before tonight's ceremony, take just a minute to envision what it'll be like this time next year as we await the inevitable presentation to Adriel Jeremiah Green. Maybe it's just me, but I imagine him wearing a red tie.

Then of course our smiles will fade just a little as we watch him play his last game as a Dawg.

Ok. Back to Christmas Present. Practice starts today, which means that the team will be prepping for Texas A&M finally. But it also means Coach Richt will finally be in front of some microphones and digital voice recorders. Sure, we can't really expect to hear much. But I'll be eager to hear him dodge questions.

Some thoughts on the DC search:
Spotlight: Travis Jones

current: assistant DL coach for New Orleans Saints

Jones is a popular name among message boarders as a former Dawg with a strong resume and even better recruiting experience. A former defensive captain 'tween the hedges, Jones was a four-year letterman during the Goff years. Since his playing days he has cut his coaching teeth under Nick Saban at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins.

Although he has never coordinated a defense, he has coached both LBs and defensive lineman as well as developed a legendary record as a recruiting coordinator while in Baton Rouge.

Although I doubt CMR would hire an unexperienced DC at this point, Jones could be an intriguing name. Getting him to jump from the NFL back to the college ranks would be difficult from a workload standpoint. But a phat checkbook could get him to the table. And it would definitely be worth a phone call. He's a Georgia native and still runs football camps during the off-season for Georgia youth.

So...what do you think?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Silent Night? Not So Much...

I don't know about you, but...THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING!!!
As I type and you read, either details are being ironed out on a contract for the new DC or...not. I'm sure Coach Richt has enjoyed not having to face the media this week, but it hasn't made the paint dry any faster.

It's anything but quiet in the blawgosphere however. Rex has called it like he saw it, which led to this by the AJCs Bill King and Rex clarifying his point here and here. The criticism has been sharp...and to a large degree a little out of focus in my opinion. From anonymous bold comments not even made on his blog to blowhards on talk radio who can't even seem to remember the name of his blog. (By my count, John Kincade mentioned the Junkyard Blawg 7 times, while we still wait for the phrase Roughing the Kicker to escape his fat mouth.)
As magnificent as the internets are, they tend to create much bravado where there is only cowardice. They tend to make others sound foolish when they get too lazy with their mouse. And they also allow (crap)weasels a place for their (refuse). Case in point...the nerd who spat all over Georgia Sports Blog a couple days ago.
I don't know Paul Westerdawg at all, but I do know what a pain in the ass it is to have to clean up after someone else at your own place. I don't know Rex Robinson real well, but I know enough that his heart is in the same place as ours Reader. He loves the University of Georgia enough to call a spade as such when he sees it.

You know, there's no harm in disagreeing. We all have differing opinions and they should all be welcomed at the table. But every opinion should be an informed one. If we jump to conclusions and let our red and black spirit devolve into a cess pool of raw emotion and name calling...well, we are then no better than the reptiles to the south.
I rarely read the AJC anymore, and when I do I certainly don't waste time in their unmoderated comments section. And to listen to the talk radio guys, I'm not completely convinced that they even read Rex's blog...instead just took the cliff notes version. For those that can't don't read, maybe they'll at least take the time to tune in at 12:15 today when 680theFan's Chuck and Chernoff finally let Rex speak to his point.
I know I will.

Trivial Update
As mentioned, Drew Butler won the Ray Guy last night. So I thought it fitting to tweet a question for ThursdaysRTrivial related to the award's namesake. It was rare for a Ray Guy punt to be blocked. In fact, when his NFL career came to a close he left behind a streak of how many unblocked punts?
For the second consecutive week, @allyugadawg came in second place. But this week it was@Stuff_of_Legend who beat her to the correct tweet of 619. @phr34k also entered the mix to add that Guy only had 3 of his 1049 career punts blocked.
Well done. Enjoy the signature single bar Raiders' facemask Scott, while Ally and Tim attend a free Pilates class in an attempt to gain Drew Butler type flexibility. The rest of you can check out Scott's blog Stuff of Legend with one simple click.

the Friday Feedbag
  • First and foremost, let me make this one thing perfectly clear: I have NOT had sexual relations with Tiger Woods. I was holding out for a big paycheck to keep that under wraps. But I think now it's time to move forward and hope for a Barbara Walters interview.
  • A lot of head coaching dominoes will now fall into and out of place, South Bend tapped Kelly. Which for some reason caught Marty Gilyard by surprise.
  • Kiffybaby made some news this least his kitties did. And the rationalization is thick, as expected. And Groo sees Travis' points, but thinks he goes a little off the map.
  • Speaking of news, the biggest of the week has been from Kyle at DawgSports. Erk has his nomination. I haven't stopped smiling since I read his post.
  • Coach Fox's Hoop Dawgs fell to St. Johns Wednesday night despite Trey Thompkins' 19 points.
  • SicEmDawgs has all the updates you would need for your next visit to Foley.
  • Coach Richt's staff may be slim, but they've been busy leading up to the upcoming dead period. Chad Simmons has all the latest recruiting info in his Insider Report ($$).
  • Also at Scout, Legge has an update on the DC coaching search ($$) and wonders if the end is near.
  • Make sure you regularly check out Hale's series Dawgs of the Decade and click over to cast your vote.
  • Blair Walsh had the best season of any kicker in the nation...but still fell short of the Lou Groza Award. Luckily, Drew Butler's dominance was too much to ignore. Congrats to both young men on a fine season.
  • With the Heisman tomorrow night, cocknfire takes a look at who should win.
  • A lot has been made of the BCS Title game featuring two former Dawgs as defensive coordinators. Coach Magill provides a nostalgic approach.
  • And finally, it looks as if the Erin Andrews' peep hole has been boarded up.

Hope all the recruits in Athens this weekend have a great time and the team enjoys the annual Gala. Especially the seniors. Our Supper Club is concluding another successful year of supping with a kidless night out at something called a restaurant. Evidently they have people there who bring you your food and refill your drink. Sounds fabulous.
Just hope my Tech buddy Miranda and I can get along enough to share a beer long without him getting jealous at the Dawgs’ de facto ACC Championship…ahem!
You have a great weekend too Reader. Only 13 shopping days left. No socks this year...please!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

They Kick'd Some Serious Ass

Without them, we woulda maybe won three. So now it's time to tune in.

Tonight the awards are given out for college football's finest players. Blair Walsh is up for the Lou Groza and Drew Butler the Ray Guy. They are our lone finalists.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 7pm on the mutha.

Walsh shakes his groove thing.

Holy Groin Pull!! Just Chillin'.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Coaching Rumor Update, episode II

As promised, some names I'm not so thrilled about. When I type that, understand that it is a mixture of ignorance, cold research and educated guesses. Also understand that this is not a comprehensive list, just the ones I've taken the time so far to look into. The names below have been gleaned from three different sources, two I trust and one I frequently ridicule. I think by the end you'll see which is the latter.

Feel free to disagree, agree or even add your own.

Vic Koenning

current: DC at Kansas St

PA - 23.3 Sacks - 20 INTs - 13 Fum - 11 TFLs - 62 PBUs - 27 QB hurries - 2

Koenning was the Clemson DC during the Tommy Bowden era. He was basically fired/let go when Dabo Swinney took over. So he's been at KSU just one season. His time at CU was much like Bowden's, littered with stellar highlights (holding Calvin Johnson to zero catches in a 31-7 2006 win) and epic fails (take your pick). I asked my IPTAY connection about the Koenning tenure and it sounds like overall the fanbase was pleased with him. But when Dabo took over Koenning's inability to inspire his troops the way the new HC was looking for led to his dismissal. Given what we've seen from the Dabo tenure so far, I take that to mean he's too laid back.

Overall, I guess the resume just doesn't impress me. His defense from what I have read and remember seeing are a mirror of Martinez's. I recall going with my dad to see a Clemson/Central Michigan game a couple of years ago. It was a Georgia off week, so I figured I'd scout a future opponent. The Tigers destroyed CMU as expected, but the defense really only tried to contain LeFevour and relied on some turnovers to hold them to 17 points (if I remember correctly).

But..on Koenning's side is the fact that he has ties to CMR through the Bowden family.

Kevin Steele

current: DC Clemson

PA - 21.0 Sacks - 34 INTs - 21 Fum - 8 TFLs - 96 PBUs - 42 QB hurries - 30

Took over for Koenning in Clemson this season and was really the reason for their success this season. Steele you may remember, left Saban's sideline in the off-season to assume his role in Death Valley. Again from the land of IPTAY...the feeling on Steele up there is that he's had his troops in the right place all season and that they've done very well all season except for about six quarters against the trade schoolers.

This is a name that at least intrigued me until Saturday night. Dad agrees that the Tigers failed miserably at stopping Dwyer and Nesbitt, as Martinez had the week before. During the drives when they did stop Dwyer, the pitch hurt them badly.

Maybe that's putting too much weight into just one game against a team we play on the last game of the season...maybe not. I mean, when you break your hand trying to fire up the troops before the game and then let them score 39 points...well, I think we've been there before.

Mark Stoops

current: DC Arizona

PA - 23.2 Sacks - 34 INTs - 12* Fum - 7 TFLs - 69 PBUs - 36 QB hurries - 1

Stoops name has surfaced thanks to the mutha up in Bristol. From what I can tell that is the only place it is being mentioned in connection with Georgia's opening. However, one apparent source is a Gamecock site which states that there's a 80% chance that the new Dawg DC will either be Stoops or Sunseri.

So I give this little weight until I hear it from a different source. Right now it sounds like some nervous chickens anxious about the long shot of losing Ellis Johnson.

* just wanted to point out that this number is actually inflated by 5 INTs against Central Mich the first game of the season.

Here's Your Sign

It would normally be out of line to speculate that a coach would instruct school representatives to drive 200 miles to Byrnes SC to watch a football game.

We are talking about KiffyBaby. The new kid on the block that is on Mike Slive's (and every NCAA investigator's) speed dial. So when it comes out that Marcus Lattimore (a top-rated RB prospect, fwiw) and fellow teammates were recruited on their own high school campus to Come to Tennessee (actual poster board sign probably now available on eBay) it at least explains why the NCAA is so interested when the kids have yet to sign a LOI.
All that being said, after reading the full sounds like a couple HillBilly hostesses got a little LOT carried away and stepped over an NCAA about a three and a half hour drive.
The article emphasizes the importance of the interviews with the high school players. But more interesting would be the one with the orange-clad coeds. These young ladies are considered superstars on the Knutsville campus for their ability to open doors and pose for pictures. All of which begs the question: which state they are shipped in from? You know, cuz the pumpin' gas in SC angle is SO oh nine.
Regardless, it's gonna get interesting and should provide some quality entertainment as we watch how the voWel message boards justify their cult heroines' actions. As Bill Engvall would say...
Here's your sign!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coaching Rumor Update, episode I

I'll continue to fan the Kirby Smart flames until the embers are as cold as Saban's heart.

From what I can gather, Smart has been targeted (duh?) which only assures us of one thing: rumors are rampant. Free 2-year subscription to BDB for the first commenter to link a message board entry containing a flight log. Something with more validity, the UberTwitterer David Pollack even says Smart will interview in the state of Georgia....

As nice as it would be to get Smart, our chances at the Bama DC are long...but a necessary step in the process regardless.

So why not look at other options as well. I'm sure you've seen lists out there. When/if Smart is eliminated as a candidate, I believe all bets are off. Coach Richt has a penchant for bringing in hires from nowhere. So who knows who this defensive savior will be...

Some of the names out there I'm really wary of. Others downright scare me (more on that tomorrow). But I kept hearing ($$) the name Manny Diaz and I was intrigued. I snooped around a little and here's what I found:

Manny Diaz

Diaz is finishing his first year as Middle Tennessee's DC and has made quite an impression. The MTSU defense racked up a school record 33 sacks and 96 tackles for loss. Although this season has been his first at the DC position, he's been a part of successful units in the past, namely at NC State where in '05 the Wolfpack was 8th nationally in total defense.

While in Raleigh, Diaz coached LBs, DBs and Safeties at various times and shared in some of the play-calling duties. At Middle Tennessee he coaches the safeties and LBs, according to his bio page.

His ties to Coach Richt are from FSU, where Diaz graduated in 1995. Diaz began his coaching career under Mickey Andrews and was a part of the Seminoles' run to a Nat'l Championship in 1999.

It appears Diaz recruits Florida and has strong ties to the Miami area, where his dad is the mayor.

The turnover margin was an achilles heel for the Dawgs this season. Meanwhile, Diaz's defense pounced on 14 fumbles and intercepted 17 passes. MTSU finished +11 in TO margin. In addition to the sacks and TFLs mentioned above, the Blue Raider defense broke up 46 passes and produced 27 QB hurries.

The Blue Raiders finished the season 9-3 and accepted a bid to the New Orleans Bowl where they will play Southern Miss on December 20th.

  • Ties to Coach Richt
  • Familiar with a recruiting region of need
  • Could finish bowl game and stay in Louisiana to lend Dawgs a hand a week later (j/k...maybe??)
  • history of success
  • aggressive style could match well with young, raw talent in Athens
  • would be relatively cheap**
  • very young, 10th youngest coordinator in college football
  • only one year xp as a DC in the Sun Belt conference
  • could be a hard sell to fans
What do YOU think?

* all stats taken from CFBStats
** I really hesitate to throw that bullet in there, because I hope that money is not an issue in this search. And I feel that Diaz may be better than some of the names I have heard. Like I said, more on that tomorrow.

Mumme Poll - The Final Stand

Click HERE to get this week's Mumme Poll. Just remember that the results may not be released as of the time of this post.

It's been an exciting season voting in this poll. I strongly encourage you to do so next year if you did not this year. I'm big on Bowls and tradition. I've just always enjoyed Bowl Season and always enter a few pools to increase my intrigue to a fever pitch. That being said, just look at the travesty that the BCS has heaped upon us. Alabama vs. Texas...really? TCU doesn't even get a chance to play Florida or another big boy?

I may not be convinced that a playoff system is what's best for College Football. But I am convinced that the BCS is not either. And that in itself has made my ballot an enjoyable, thought provoking experience each week.

Top Five


The Next Seven

Boise State
Virginia Tech
Ohio State
Georgia Tech

I'll admit the temptation was high after watching Florida get their ass handed to them to move them down further. But the reality is they are still among the best of the best this season. As for the second best team, the only thing I'm absolutely sure of is that Texas is not it. Nebraska's D is very good. But when your QB is a senior who has proven to be Heisman worthy and you still need a personal foul horse collar in the final minute to get into FG range to win...

Well, I would give TCU the nod over Cincinnati based on their entire season. They demolished the opponents they should have and have an unblemished record against a challenging non-conference schedule. In short, I see them as a more complete team compared to Cincy.

I'm a little torn about having Ohio State in the Next Seven, but they are the conference champion...who will suffer the consequences in the Rose Bowl of being a weak conference's representative. VA Tech and LSU both have three losses, but if I put so much emphasis on defense with TCU as the #2, then it should fall in line that these two teams can compete with anyone. And VA Tech has proven that with a difficult OOC schedule and very close losses to top teams. LSUs OOC schedule may not be as impressive, but they competed with both Florida and Bama, bitterly.

Call it transitive property...SEC or lunchpail homerism...whatever. That's just how I see it.

Now....bring on the bowls!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday's Meatloaf - Any Port Will Do

Shreveport against Texas A&M. Not what we had hoped for in August, but better than staying home.

There won't be any practices until Saturday as students get ready for finals and Coach Richt checks over his list. The down side of that is that there won't be any media contact this week for us to guage and over analyze the head guy's answers to loaded questions. Or maybe that's the plus side.

I don't know about you, but I'm expecting at least a couple airport stalkers to report on any curious activity from Ben Epps and beyond. Tuberville evidently already has a real estate agent picked out and Van Gorder just signed up for Tae Kwon Do classes on Barnett Shoals Road.

In the related category, The Birmingham News has pegged penned the Georgia DC job as a backwards move for Kirby Smart. As many commenters in yesterday's post pointed out, I think Kausler makes the point for Georgia. CMR doesn't micromanage. You don't come up on the SEC Championship stage unless Darling Nicky wants you to and you don't get credit for holding the mighty gayturds to 13 points unless you crouch to his level.

This will come down to money. In the mean time let's check those flight logs one more time...

Today's Ingredients
  • Advocare Indy Bowl tix on sale HERE.
  • The Sherman-led Aggies give up over 32 points a game, but have an offense that runs up and down the field. The law firm of Hartley, Doolittle and Garner are gonna need some more legal pads and pens...make it pencils.
  • Coach Richt sees the task of preparing with an undermanned staff as a challenge. I don't think that was a dig at Fabris...??
  • From a team with fewer coaches to one with fewer players. Remember MSUs Mark Dantonio? He's not gonna have his team's integrity questioned. So he told another eight players to unpack their bags.
  • After four years of marinating in St. Timmy's tears, you'd be dehydrated too.
  • An Alabama assistant has emerged as the leading candidate for the DC opening in Tallahassee. And it's not Smart.
  • The Senator makes a compelling case in defense of Bobo. This is a very fair and eye-opening statistical analysis that leads me to two thoughts: keep Bobo on the sideline...and Searels in red and black.
  • Speaking of those two, Chad Simmons tells us who's living room they were in last night ($$) trying to convince to become the lone signal caller for the '10 class.
  • It was an understandably quiet weekend in Athens and around Butts-Mehre. But I would imagine things were a little rowdy in the Ogletree house. I've heard and read more than a few comments about how the Dawgs need more hard-nosed players with less stars by their names. Well take a moment to introduce yourself to Zander.
  • Over at TeamSpeedKills, cocknfire made a good case for TCU. But as Joey used to say on Must See TV - the point is moo.
  • Weis lost games this season because of Tenuta's porous defense. And yet it's Pete Carroll that draws the blimps' post-employment wrath. You be the judge: irresponsible journalism or irreverent remarks?
  • You be the Judge, the sequel: was Charlie Strong buying time or still wading in the tide? According to Forde, that point is moo, too.
  • The Pelini Bros. were about as graceful as two coaches could be after having a major upset erased from their resumes.
  • Last season it was the tie-breaker system that caused such Mack Daddy emotions. This season it was one little second. To me that sounds like an improvement.
  • There were times watching that Big XII championship game where the wife and I really expected to finally see a team punt from inside their opponents' 40...on first down.
  • And now, for the moment you've been waiting Heisman ballot: Suh, Gerhart and Ingram. QBs can keep their pose in the pocket.

A lot of you probably get the Georgia Magazine as well. It's a monthly publication that catches alumni up on what's going on around campus. I usually skim through it after my wife has given me the highlights.

Well yesterday I think I got my hands on it first and came across this article written by Josh Darnell. He tells of his experiences in Afghanistan's Maiwand District and more specifically his recovery after his squadron encountered an improvised explosive device. An ABJ '04 graduate, Darnell is a former assistant editor of the Georgia Magazine and enlisted in the Army in 2006. The experiences he relates are both awe-inspiring and humbling.

Quite simply, it's a great read. And a timely reminder that although there are Damn Good Dawgs on Sanford's field each fall, there are even greater ones serving our country.

Dig in and enjoy your Monday Reader. After all, we are near the height of the gluttonous season.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Star Fell on Alabama...'s time for mama to call him home.
Ring that dinner bell Richt. Let's sit down at the table.