Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gameday Liveblog - Boise State

Welcome to a new season Dawg fans! We'll be popping in and out with sights and sounds from outside the Georgia Dome. We're going to interview some Tweeters at the Tweetgate and hopefully wrangle some BSU fans to ask their thoughts on the game and why there's so much acid rain out in Idaho that it's turning the fields blue. If you have a question or comment, just post it.

Let's get after it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Not all Bronco players are making the trip

Three Boise State players are evidently being held out of tomorrow's game due to eligibility concerns:

According to a Weiszer tweet a few minutes later Boldewijn and Febis are starters at WR and S respectively. Tjong-A-Tjoe is a reserve DT.

- - - - - - - - - - - - 

UPDATE - looks like it's based on them leaving the Netherlands early to finish their prep school in Boise, Idaho.

Trivial Update - Tricky lil Smurfs

#ThursdaysRTrivial will resume right after this PSA: that guy could really spread the red!! But only for 1st half. #Dawgs

#ThursdaysRTrivial episode 72 "Fool me once..." Welcome back everybody! It's the weekly Twitter Twivia show that always has something up its sleeve. REPLY back your answer for a chance at an ACTUAL prize. The Broncos are known for their trick plays. What BSU receiver completed all 4 of his passes for 2 TDs last season?

For the second week of three Skelly has provided the actual prize. Here's the way this one played out:

So, returning champion Shan gets the tunes. Meanwhile everyone else up there gets a vial of Gargamel's potion. (Unless you'd all rather have some D.A.'s special purple drank.)

Friday Thoughts: Boise State

36 hours.
  • One thing I neglected to mention yesterday in speaking of Kwame and Jenkins is this: they've been going against Ben Jones for a solid month. And all indications are that he has gotten the better of them, especially Jenkins. How frustrating is that? How much pent up hostility are they containing? 
  • So...I'm sure they're eager to welcome Bronco center Thomas Byrd...all 5'11" 290lbs of Georgia.
  • Tomorrow, like most games, is about the line of scrimmage. If we can't win there tomorrow it is going to be a long season.
  • But it's also about big plays. The Bronco offense is a power hitting deep threat always willing to red line it towards the endzone. If the defense manages the BSU yard eating and the offense can match or better the 20+ yard plays then we'll be in for a good game.
  • Tyler hit on a big point for me when he wondered if the coaches can coach to win. Richt has installed a new attitude and has asked the players to Get on the Bus. Most have responded enthusiastically. Has this permeated throughout? Can the guys in the slacks and cross-trainers see the big picture? Or are they still suffering from game time tunnel vision?
  • From my view, Grantham has every piece he needs to have a great defense. And Bobo has a full arsenal of weapons. Hopefully these kids have been coached up. Now it's just a matter of putting them in position to best help the team.
  • Lastly, are we ready to play 60 minutes. If it's close late, there is absolutely no reason we shouldn't win that game. No excuses. We're deeper. We're more talented.
In short, you don't survive an off season of Coach T just to say "Oh well, we tried." That's so 2010 Dawgs. I hope we've put that behind us.

Be sure and come back tomorrow for the live blog. I watched this a while ago and now I'm not sure I can contain myself for what little is left of the off season.

CFA Kickoff: a Dawg Fan's Guide to Gameday

You all don't need the in depth talking to that I had to give the broncos yesterday. So I thought I would just provide you with a glimpse of what we can expect to see from the non automatic qualifying fans. From what I can tell it's going to be a lot like Jacksonville, with less jorts and hair gel.

How could she possibly say no?
Beastiality runs rampant.
Sad. Just sad.

Clapping impaired
In between sausage biscuits and codeine cocktails
Elvis was a BIG bronco fan.

Just rollin' like a pimped out potato be'otchez!!
Separated... birth?
Spray the paint can dude. Don't
inhale it.
Sure. The economy is fine.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

CFA Kickoff: a Boise Fan's 20 Step Guide to Atlanta

Welcome y'all! Thanks for stopping by. My name's Bernie and I'll be your tour guide for the next few minutes. I'm not an Atlanta resident, but I play one from OTP (outside the perimeter). But please don't venture out here to the suburbs during your stay. You're much more welcome down amongst the crack whores, panhandlers and petty thieves capital city's denizens.
I've put together a list of things to help you during your stay. We want you to feel comfortable while you're here and leave with an empty wallet and a full belly. I've even included some definitions I thought you might need help with so nothing is lost in translation. Let's get to it.
Gen. Peckerwood

1. Down south it is customary to make your own bed, even when staying in hotels. In fact, just sleep on top of the covers. This reduces the risk of bed bugs biting.
2. What are bed bugs? Some critters we used in the War of Northern Aggression (what you prolly call the Civil War) to get back at those yankees. What are critters? Well, you're just messin' with me now.
3. Speaking of yankees, it is not a pardonable offense to even utter the name (of the jackhole that burned our town down). Less'n you want to spend the weekend in the pokey with 15+ former Auburn players that think you have a pretty mouth, I'd suggest you leave your version of the (Civil War) packed in that duffle bag you brought as a suitcase.
4. You are only allowed to wear bright orange clothing with long sleeves, preferably layered. This helps local residents identify you even before you even speak.
5. If you like something called "soduh"...or "pop", I hope you brought some. We drink Coca-Cola down here son.
Tea. Sweet by nature.
6. Speaking of refreshments, tea comes sweetened and poured over a heapin' helpin' of ice. Now, you can add a lemon if ya like. Just don't ask for it hot unless it's before 8am. Cuz by then the devil himself is working up a sweat.
7. As far as refreshments of an alcoholic nature, we serve beer cold and pour our bourbon neat, on the rocks or over a Co-Cola (shortened version of what you call pop). We ain't gonna pretend this is South Beach and you're not on vacation. Football away games are a business trip. Treat them as such and you should do fine. However, if you'd like some fancy drink or some kind of "spritzer" (sp?)...try Midtown Mr. Trendy Toes.
8. If you transported car flags or other vehicle adornments into the state it is okay to use them, but only between the hours of 1am and 7am. If you venture out in a car loaded with orange and blue crap outside of those hours...well, I warned ya son.
9. Wear deodorant. Perhaps you didn't pack any. Hell, for all I know they may not even sell it out where y'all're from. If so, find the nearest store or your concierge and simply raise you're arm as if to ask a question.
10. Grits are served with each and every breakfast, sometimes lunch and often with supper (Supper?'s a meal. Get used to it or you'll starve). A mess of them is a required daily nutritional allowance. Grab your fork, say thank you and eat them. Don't get sassy now.
11. When crossing streets, don't worry with crosswalks. We're all accommodating down here. As long as you're abiding by rule #3 we'll be happy to come to a complete stop so you can mosey on. (what's a mosey?...well I reckon it's at a similar pace to most of your tackle football players)
12. Air-conditioning don't grow on trees round these parts friend. So it can only be used by out of towners if you have paid the tax to City Hall. Just get on a MARTA bus and get off at the nearest MARTA train station. Collectors are scattered around like pecans off a tree, usually wearing old sweatshirts, pushing three-wheeled grocery carts and playing a 2 string guitar. Also, they don't wear deodorant which makes them easier to find.
13. Looking towards actual gameday reminders, grills require a license to operate in the state of Georgia. So leave the cooking to the true professionals. If you get hungry just before the game, simply find a nearby Dawg fan and he'll sell you a burger for a reasonable surcharge.
14. And btw, never, EVER refer to what we're doing on these grills as something called "barbecuing". BBQ (note the proper spelling there) is a product (ie. a noun) of hours and hours of slow heat, preferred seasonings and tender lovin care. It ain't no damn verb!!
For breakfast, lunch or supper.
15. If you happen by a tailgate you're likely to get invited in. If you accept the offer, do so with grace and reverence. We take pride in this and just get tickled to death hearing people like you talk. So don't get snappy when we say things like "Say that again?"...or "You talk like someone I saw in a movie once."...or "What's BOAISY? Why don't you [redacted]!!"
16. Actual game manners are next. Since you all dress like you're going to a Halloween party, you'll likely get searched pretty heavily entering the Dome. Just be glad it's not at Boddy Dobb. They take contriband to a whole nutha level.
17. Yes it's true. Even though you have your ticket in hand, you can't get into the GA Dome without a Waffle House receipt. And if you really want to enjoy the first half, get the hash browns "all the way, country". Your welcome.
18. We know you've all been bellyaching about this being a home game for us. But you know damn well it's not. You and the other bus load of Bronco fans can scream as loud as you want. We might even put one or two of you on the jumbotron so we can point and say "Look, it's those fellas that farted at our tailgate. They must've over did it at the Waffle House this morning."
19. Otherwise you're only allowed to cheer when Pat Forde or Kirk Herbstreit are there to lead it. Forde might make it, but Herbstreit is still too scared to come within so far of anything red and black for fear that Mitch Davis still has eligibility in his pocket and bad intentions in his heart.
20. Lastly, after the game...Delta's ready when you are. Just don't get in front of any departing Georgia fans Sunday. We all have SEC speed in Georgia y'all!

Thanks for stopping by. And next time you're around this way, stop on by Athens. We'd love to have you over again, anytime.

*Dawg're guide to the weekend comes tomorrow. Hunker down and let's get after it!

Key Matchup: nose to the grind

When thinking about matchups that intrigue going into Saturday's opener, the first one that jumps to mind is Boise State's interior line against Kwame and Jenkins.

Thomas Byrd is a RS Senior center who's been named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy watch list. He's 5'11" and 290lbs. And he's charged with controlling the big apple that fell of the Geathers' tree and Big John. To help Byrd the Broncos will surely rely on Jr guard Joe Kellogg (6'2", 303) who along with Byrd is the core leadership for the BSU offensive line. Handle these two and the rest could crumble.

Honestly, I'm not sure who they'll have on the other side of Byrd. And to be even more honest, it shouldn't matter. Coach Peterson's roster includes 4 (four) offensive linemen that tip the scales over 300lbs. And the biggest of those is a freshman at 313lbs. If we can't get a push up the middle on these guys and force Moore to rely on quick drops and dumps...then we're in trouble come next week.

Let's face it...

Kwame's been the story of the football program since the 2010 season ended. He's the poster child for the change in nutrition and conditioning. Hell, for all intents and purposes he might just be the damn bus driver when you get right down to it. He was pissed off that we had to go out and get the top JUCO player at his position and decided that whatever was holding him back last season was not going to hold him back anymore.

Now...can he translate all that work and effort into something substantial on the field? I really think he can be our defensive MVP on Saturday and the season as a whole.

But it's not going to just be #99. We'll also see a lot of Jenkins who has to be at least a little frustrated. He's worked hard the month of August and still hasn't gotten ahead of the guy that couldn't consistently get on the field last season. Big John came to Athens to make an impact and I'm sure he wants to in this game, right out of the gates. There was a pretty steep learning curve for Jenkins that I overlooked. Just in terms of getting used to SEC level practices alone is a lot to handle in a summer.

To close, I'm interested to see how Grantham utilizes his personnel along the front seven. If Geathers/Jenkins are everything they should be then a 4 man front should suffice nicely in most situations. With the talent that we have at LB we could also see some 3-3-5. question that we should see a lot of both nose tackles Saturday night. 

But, can the Broncos handle them?

This and that

 Some items of no particular interest, some of which are gameday related. You realize, it's only two days away now.
  • Toying with the idea of doing a live blog on Saturday. I figured there's going to be a lot of great Dawg fans sitting around on their butts just waiting on this thing to start. I'd love to post some pics and maybe videos of the action outside the stadium pre-game. The downside is that this requires lots of battery power for the handheld device, but I've purchased an extra battery pack for just such a problem. The other hurdle is that when I use Cover it Live as I did for Nat'l Signing Day 2011, it worked really well but required a lot of time (and battery power) to approve comments...which is really the purpose of a live blog. So I may just do a blog similar to what I did for last year's GA/fla game. But with hopefully more comments.
  • Of 3pm the live blog may just become an after thought at the bottom of my pocket. We'll see. Let me know if you have any preferences in the comments.
  • And regardless of what is going on here, I know ecdawg is having a live blog Saturday. So be sure and check that one out.
  • I've been fiddling around with the advertising on the site. Apologize if this has been at all distracting. I'm trying to get away from ones that are too much in the way, like between the posts. I'm also trying to use ones that are more specific to our wants. Turns out Blogger has some other options than what I was using so we'll see how it goes. 
  • Of course, if you'd like to donate a few pennies directly to keep the blog afloat of the economic tumult, just click the "DONATE" button over - - - > there or here.
  • I've also been contemplating the idea of some bigger changes. But Mrs. Bernie I think has convinced me to hold off. Change is good, but sometimes the status quo is just as good if not better. 
Just know that I appreciate the visits and will continue to stand by your side and fight the EVIL WAYS OF BOREDOM....AND MISINFORMATION!!!

    SEC Video: Countdown to Kickoff - UGA vs Boise State

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    SEC Video: On the Air with Mark Richt

    Crowell - perhaps better than advertised

    So Samuel will likely start the game Saturday. But it continues to be the true freshman Crowell that grabs the attentions of both fans and teammates alike.
    “He’s every bit as advertised,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “The kid every day in practice has turned people’s heads in practice like `Wow,’ (with) the things he can do. He’s a tremendously talented running back. He’ll show everyone this year. He’s going to make some plays that people’s jaws are going to hit the ground like `Wow, that kid just made that move.’”
    The article referenced goes on with similar quotes from coaches and other players alike. Everyone loves this kid and from the sounds of it, the hype surrounding his recruitment doesn't do him justice. He's evidently made our starting cornerback look silly at least once and he even put himself into a scrimmage, despite a gimpy groin. Word is he loves practice as much as a human can.

    All that points to a likely successful transition to the college game. And it also makes it hard to believe Samuel has beat him out for playing time. But there's something to be said for easing him into things, especially given the national attention surrounding the game Saturday.

    The Columbus native himself seems okay with the idea of coming off the bench. Here's a quote from last week:
    "Starting is not a big deal to me," Crowell said. "I do want to play in the game, but that’s up to the coaches."
    Georgia coach Mark Richt said on national TV on signing day that he wouldn’t be shocked if Crowell was "running that rock" on the opening play against the Broncos.
    "I know he had said that before, but I really wasn’t looking at it," Crowell said. "The game is 10 days away and, you know, I’m getting ready for it."
    If things hold the way they are, Saturday will be the first time ever Isaiah Crowell hasn't started a football game. And if the quotes from practice are even half-truths his fans will not be disappointed once he does enter the game.

    Extra single game tickets

    Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State and Kentucky have returned some of their ticket allotment. UGA has put those on sale, CLICK HERE.

    You can also call the ticket office to order - 1-877-542-1231.

    Coastal Carolina $45  September 17th
    New Mexico State  $45   November 5th
    Kentucky  $46   November 19th

    Locker Notes - Smurf edition

    Wow. It's time for the season's first edition of Locker Notes. It feels like Christmas Eve...without all the toys and crap.

    If you're new, here's how it works: I hand out several notes to players as a way of giving them a cyber *fist bump*. Then I provide you with the post-it notes and a sharpie (see below) to add your own. I typically don't include coaches, but you hand em out to whoever you feel like needs it. Also, I try to keep them positive in nature...even during last season's struggles.

    So, let's get to it:
    • Jarvis Jones - It's been a long wait for you. Enjoy every minute cuz you've earned it.
    • Chris Burnette - Just bulldoze those boys and we'll worry about the mess afterwards.
    • Isaiah Crowell - Don't stop to laugh when the horsies have trouble keeping up with you. The only 5 star they've ever seen is the hotel they'll be checking out of early Sunday morning.
    • Tree - Closer to the ball = weapon of mass disruption. GATA!
    • Brandon Boykin - I hope Kellen Moore dares to throw it your way twice as much as Coach Peterson dares to kick it your way.
    • Blair Walsh - How far do you suppose you could kick it in the Dome?
    • Drew Butler - (see Blair's)
    Ok. Here's a sharpie. Get to it.

    Humpday Hilarity

    Saw this on the BookFace a week or so ago. 

    Larry probably was well past the point of bowing out gracefully. But he also missed the chance to cut his losses. 

    Damn son.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    The Rambo Situation

    Since news developed some yesterday after my Q&A with Weiszer, I thought I would take this a little bit further in a separate post. Let's look at the exchange closely:

    Two days after Richt said that Bacarri Rambo isn’t starting at safety against Boise State, Richt would not say whether the junior is suspended for the game.
    “No, I’m not going to address that,” Richt said. “At the appropriate time if anybody has anything like that, I’ll let you know.”
    Asked when that would be, Richt said “I don’t know. I’ve got to figure that out. I’m still working on that.”
    Rambo was off to the side not taking part in early drills, but was in a regular jersey, indicating he is not injured. He was again requested for an interview after practice but was not made available.
    Let's face it, Rambo is in the doghouse. It could be a situation as close to the field as a bad attitude towards workouts and practice, or it could be something involving a poor choice off the field. Either way Rambo has fallen out of favor and won't play against Boise. That's how I read things. I don't know what has happened to cause that. If it's a bad attitude kind of a thing then it's easy to connect the dots. Rambo sat behind an older player who was not as good and waited his turn. I can see where he'd be upset if he came into camp thinking the position was his and suddenly it's the opposite.

    If that's the case, the message is clear: show us you're the starter. What happened as far as depth chart decisions in the past is history. Get on the bus! 

    However, if it is an off field issue (and it's been no secret that Rambo has not been made available to the media the entire month) I would caution others just as myself, to stay the course. To be honest, if you think about it...whatever Rambo has done is a much smaller story than how it is being dealt with publicly. It's been known for awhile that Carlton Thomas is suspended for the opener. Why is Rambo's situation so hush-hush?

    And no, I don't think this is some ploy to out-duel the Boise coaches through the media. Rambo and I have something in common Saturday night in that we'll both be observers. Are any others in the same situation as Rambo? Is the bus leaving Athens with less players than we think?

    The answers to those questions are coming, for better or for worse. What's crystal clear right now is that Richt ain't messin around and he'll let us know about it at whatever time he deems is appropriate.

    10 Questions: the 2011 season with Marc Weiszer

    With just four days left until actual toe meets leather, I threw 10 pre-season opener questions at Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald. He didn't dodge a one. See for yourself:

    1.  First of all, I've been wondering as I read about camp and practices how much AD McGarity has been visible. He's kept a close eye on things thus far, such as his seat at the scorer's table during basketball games. Very hands on. I know the media is limited to just a few minutes of practice, but have you seen him around the fields observing things from a distance?
    I’ve seen McGarity at practice just one day so far this month, but then again the media has been more and more limited ourselves in getting access to practice. He told me he also went by practice another time on the first week of camp, went to the team’s 6:15 a.m. conditioning testing before camp began and addressed the team on the night they officially reported. His fourth-floor corner office gives him a view of the practice fields, so he can get a peek whenever he wants.
    2. Turning towards Saturday, can you give us a rundown on players that may miss the opener due to injury?
    After Monday’s final full pads practice before the Boise game, tailback Richard Samuel seems to be the player whose status might be most in question, but he’s optimistic about being able to play.
    Samuel has dealt with a quadriceps injury for two and a half weeks. He said he practiced about half of the workout. Richt said he’s still not 100 percent and is still the projected starter over Isaiah Crowell as of today.
    Cornerback Branden Smith said he jogged on Monday when he did not practice. He was in a walking boot on Friday, but said that he will be ready to play on Saturday. I asked him if his 4.3 40 speed is now 4.4 due to the injury and he wouldn’t even allow for 0.1 of a second to be lost due to the injury.
    3.     Kwame Geathers seems to have locked down the starting NT position for the opener. However, it seems like we can expect both him and Jenkins to play. Given Boise's offense I would think we would need both on the field more often than not. What are your thoughts at the nose tackle position?
    First of all, the position seems to be called many things. Coaches and players also call it nose guard. When Todd Grantham first came around, the guys playing there were listed just as nose. Whatever you call it, Geathers is the starter. He has picked up where he left off in the spring. Even if Jenkins didn’t have his battles with the heat and his hamstring issue, I’m not sure how much of a battle it would have been for the starting job. If Jenkins is healthy enough (he practiced Monday), he’ll get snaps. Grantham said the other day that he’s worked some at end, too, so it will be interesting to see just how he’s used and how effective he is from the get-go.
    4.     Of course the other key position battle fans have been focused on is RB. It sounds like Crowell is progressing as well as could be expected. Do you think he's ready to handle the bulk of the load, or should we expect a more widespread distribution of carries against Boise State?

    I think the distribution of carries against Boise will go this way: Samuel-Crowell or Crowell-Samuel. Mark Richt already likes his top two tailbacks better than the disappointing combo of Ealey-King from last year. Samuel is projected to start now, but his injury may impact that. I’d be surprised if we see either Brandon Harton or Ken Malcome get a carry unless Samuel can't go. From everything coaches have said, Crowell is ready for the demands of the position. He’s not afraid to get physical in pass protection and seems to know his assignments about as well as you could hope for a freshman. As far as how many carries Crowell or Samuel get, the hot hand may dictate that.
    5.     Speaking of Crowell, the Dream Team focus seems to be mostly on him and Mitchell. But the truth is the greatest impact of the 2011 class will be in depth, talented depth. Which freshman that hasn't had much attention thus far do you think will stand out as the season progresses?

    I’ll give you two. Damian Swann and Amarlo Herrera.
    Swann is already in the top four cornerbacks now after Brandon Boykin, Branden Smith and Jordan Love. If Smith can’t go Saturday because of his foot injury, Swann will be a starter in the nickel package. Herrera’s physically imposing already (6-2 and 231 pounds) and plays a position of inside linebacker where the Bulldogs are thin in depth behind Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree. There’s Mike Gilliard and Herrera behind them among scholarship players.

    6.  Will Friend's hire was met with a lot of questions. Months later he seems like a good fit and a welcome change. What are your impressions of him and the offensive line as a whole?

    The players seem to have really taken to Friend, who is quite a change of pace from the often gruff Stacy Searels. Friend is a former Georgia graduate assistant who Mike Bobo helped bring back to Athens. The offensive line has underperformed the last couple of seasons, but if the starting five can stay healthy, they have a chance to be decent. Cordy Glenn and Ben Jones are highly-rated for their position for the NFL, Kenarious Gates started a few games last year and Justin Anderson is a big-body that can potentially be a force in the run blocking. Right guard Chris Burnette hasn’t played a snap yet in college, but has the smarts and held onto the one spot where it looked like there might be a push for the starting job.

    7.     One of the biggest off season stories both locally and nationally is Coach Richt's hotseat. Yet, with some players leaving and the recruiting haul in February the staff seems as confident as ever. At least much more so than the last couple years. What are your thoughts on the coaching staff's attitude after a 6-7 season?

    I’d say the attitude is no nonsense. Starting off with Boise State and South Carolina means Georgia needs to be sharp right out of the gates. There was no trip to Ramsey this year for the annual diving/swimming deal. Everyone has bought into the No Complaining rule that Richt picked up after meeting with Falcons coach Mike Smith. I’m not sure if I sense the coaches are confident as much as at least on defense, there appears to be an upgrade in talent at critical spots for the 3-4 with Geathers/Jenkins at nose and Ogletree/Jones at linebacker.
    8.     The Bacarri Rambo situation has really grown legs here recently. My initial thought was that he was injured in some way, or possibly in the doghouse. Now it seems the coaches have been sending a message. Do you think he starts? If not, what do you think the reason might be?

    Mark Richt finally came out and said on Saturday what players have said and reporters have seen with our own eyes—that Shawn Williams and Sanders Commings are the starting safeties for the Boise State game. Richt won't say yet if Rambo is suspended for the Boise game, but says "I'm still working on that," when asked when he will announce any other suspensions.

    9.     Georgia lost two big playmakers in AJ Green and Justin Houston. In your mind, who helps ease the pain of their loss on each side of the ball?

    It might be a collective effort on offense to make up for Green’s catches, but I would expect tight end Orson Charles to get more passes directed his way. Aaron Murray has said he wants him to hit 50 catches this season, which would be a Georgia record in a single season for a tight end. Freshman Malcolm Mitchell still could turn into another receiving threat along with Tavarres King. Marlon Brown has been talked up by coaches, but I’m kind of taking a wait and see on him until the real games begin. On defense, I think Houston’s production as a sack guy will come largely from Jarvis Jones with Cornelius Washington helping out. Geathers also could generate some push up the middle.

    10. To wrap this up, what do you think the biggest question is heading into this last week of preps for the 2011 season? And given that, what do you think is a reasonable projection for the Dawgs in 2011?
    There isn’t one glaring thing that jumps out as a question mark to me except perhaps the lack of depth at several spots—on the offensive line, at tailback and inside linebacker. An injury to a frontline guy at those positions could be costly. Georgia certainly needs Crowell to be the guy that it hoped he could be as a big-time playmaker when it signed him, but the sense I get on that is he hasn’t disappointed so far. Given the way, Georgia’s schedule sets up, a 9-3 season seems reasonable to expect, but the ceiling is of course higher. At least splitting the Boise-South Carolina games back-to-back is essential because an 0-2 start coming off last year’s losing season would be hard for the fanbase to stomach.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

    Many thanks to Marc for stopping by and dropping some knowledge. You can catch all of his coverage over at Dogbytesonline and you can follow him on Twitter for up to date and breaking news.

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Pulpwood, not impressed by horses

    First 2011 edition of Pulpwood is out. As usual, not safe for work...or family rooms...or scientologists...

    SEC Video: "The Road to Number Six"

    Monday's Meatloaf - Walk Throughs & Dress Rehearsals

    So here we are. Game week. Saturday ends the long off season of our discontent. And hopefully begins a new era in Georgia football. The calendar needs just one more turn and then September is here. 

    By midweek planes from outer regions will land, filled with both Bulldogs and Broncos alike. Buses and RVs will rumble into town as well. Pre game plans will be finalized, only to be subjected to even more scrutiny and fine tuning. Then, by Friday evening the jitters will reach their fever pitch.
    Will we have enough ice? Where'd the kids put that car magnet? Is Kellen Moore as good as ESPN believes he is? What if I forget the tickets? Maybe I should give the tents one more test run in the driveway to make sure they're good to go.

    Then...the sun rises on the official start to the season. You're there to watch it rise because you haven't slept a wink. Why'd you even bother trying? Saturday won't bring with it a change in the color of the leaves, or a dip in the temperatures. But it will have the customary colors of our Nation and the heat from the grills' charcoal. It does bring cheerleaders, tailgating, kids wearing facial tattoos. It'll have the familiar sound of the snare drums and the trumpet blaring Glory, Glory. We won't look over the Sanford bridge from our seats, but we'll see plenty of friends we've missed against the backdrop of a college gameday. 

    We won't see our frosty breath in the air. But our voices will be fueled and we'll shout from opposite sides of the Dome, in unison: "GEORGIA!!.......BULLDOGS!!"

    And that all adds up to meaningful football folks.

    Today's Ingredients
    • Jeff Dantler has 5 keys to rockin the Dome.
    • Yesterday was the college football preview day for many in the local media. Weiszer finds Richt is still able to take a nap on his sofa while Phil tries to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
    • AJCs Chip Towers has five questions for Coach Richt.
    • Emerson has a story about the changing culture in the football program.
    • Along a similar vein, Kimberley uses some Sam Cooke to outline the change that could be coming.
    • Here's just a few of the responses to Boykin's tweet the other night daring Coach Peterson to kick the ball in his direction: Big Muddy is a little uneasy with trash talk, but gives #2 a fist bump. Mr. Sanchez likes the swagger displayed in a public fashion. And the Senator looks out west for some reaction.
    • Martin leaves the light on for his #6 in the countdown.
    • Tyler asks that fans cheer heartily and let the Broncos know early and often that they are no longer in potato land.
    • For all intents and purposes, Saturday is a home game. But it's not in Athens. So here's an event guide to the CFA Kickoff Classic.
    • Remember, Friday is college colors day, and Saturday is Spread the RED. Plan accordingly.
    • Phil Steele updates us on the conference polling.
    • I heard about the ESPN Gameday crew's picks, but missed it. Year2 has a rundown of them.
    • If you're like me you've been getting the tunes ready for the season too. Genxdawg puts a few words in for Jason Aldean.
    • Also, if you missed it...grab a couple good Dawg songs from Skelly.
    • Lastly, here's a great list of the differences between college football in the South as opposed to the North. h/t ecdawg
    I used the weekend to take stock of things; kind of an inventory check to make sure we're where we need to be. I can't recall ever feeling this eager for a season to start. I guess 6-7 does that to you. 

    Our last losing season was 15 years ago, but the off season that followed really doesn't compare to the one we just endured. The 1997 team was just Donnan's second. And quite frankly, after Goff's tenure, we were accustomed to losing. So take some time to pat yourself on the back, as the last several months have been in unfamiliar territory.

    So now we trudge on through the last few days. We've analyzed everything we can and I've given you what I believe our focus should be. But we're not completely done. Tomorrow I've got Marc Weiszer dropping by to give us some insight into what he's seeing through his Athens Banner-Herald glasses. And we'll look at some specific matchups for Saturday's game as well as get to know the enemy a little better than we did the other day.

    Oh, and the season's first Locker Notes comes out Wednesday. Don't miss that. And please don't miss you're mouth shoveling in forkfuls of meatloaf. Would be a shame to waste a good bite...or stain a good shirt. Have a great Monday Reader!


    History, will teach us nothing

    The tendency to compare the 2005 season opener to this year's first game may not end with the media and the fans.
    “A few guys have asked about how that game went,” Brown said, “but I try to compare that Boise team to this one and I think this Boise team is a little bit better. Obviously they’ve been able to recruit a little bit better and get some better players in there. We were kind of able to physically outmatch them last time. Obviously from a talent standpoint they didn’t have anywhere near the type of players that we had in ’05. I think we probably still outnumber them talent-wise, but they’re still a great team.”
    “I’d say their personnel is bigger and faster and to me they play with a different type of attitude, which you can see on the film,” said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, an assistant in 2005, but not the play-caller. “Like they belong and they’re here to kick butt. That’s how they play.”
     ...but it's clear the staff expects a different fight on their hands come Saturday than the one they got 6 years ago.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Aggie's restarting the moving van

    As expected, looks like Texas A&M didn't turn in the keys to that U-Haul. (h/t cocknfire)
    Texas A&M is expected announce that it will leave the Big 12 within the next week.
    A person with knowledge of what was discussed during a conference call of the Big 12 board of directors Saturday told The Associated Press that Texas A&M officials gave every indication they were planning to leave the conference.
    That person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks, says the only thing that could prevent the Aggies from making public their intentions to leave as early as next week would be if SEC officials decide they are not ready to add another team.
    Texas A&M has publicly expressed its interest in joining the SEC.
    Among items discussed during the Big 12 call Saturday was how much money Texas A&M would forfeit for leaving the conference.
    Ball's back in the SEC court.