Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gameday Liveblog - the 'Dores

The Dawgs' second business trip in as many weeks. Can we keep the Commodores in their place? Can the defense keep up the intensity?

Let's get after it!

Pregame speech, Blake

Listen up Mr.'s for closers. They're sitting out there waiting to get beaten, are you man enough to take it? Closers beat Vanderbilt. 

Take it away Blake... (NSFLR - definitely not safe for the living room this morning)

A B C, Always Beat Commies. 

Go Dawgs!

In the case of Conley v Mason

First off, Chris Conley should see some more action today. With Mitchell out, Wooten still concussed...others not ready to step up, Conley is ready to suit up and play some ball.
“I definitely thought there was a possibility I would redshirt and that wasn’t something I was opposed to,” Conley said. “I knew the costs and benefits of redshirting and I was just ready to take things in stride and get better so that whenever my opportunity came I could contribute to the team. When my number was called and I was able to go on the field, I had been practicing in such a way it wasn’t really like I had to get caught up.”
"Whenever his opportunity came up....Contribute to the team."

Conley's a receiver and Hutson Mason is a quarterback, but I don't think comparing their recent comments is an apples to oranges situation. Although I understand why Mason is frustrated, his quotes to the media rubbed me a little uneasy. (h/t UGACory)
Q: It’s such, like you said in the spring a ‘sticky situation,’ he’s a sophomore you’re a sophomore, so it’s not like ‘I’ll get my time.’ So how would you like to see it handled eventually?
Mason: (Sighs.) Man, dude I don’t know. It’s kept me up a lot of nights, I mean a lot. It’s rough. I would probably have a lot of peace with it if I knew that 'Hey Aaron’s a junior or senior and hey my time will come.' But not getting redshirted and just knowing that me and him are the same year, and knowing that the pros don’t look as good next year (for Murray), that my time’s ticking. It’s just something that I’ve really been praying about real hard, trying to figure out God’s will for my life.
And it’s here, or if it’s somewhere else. I hope it’s here. I want to play here, and prove to myself that and to people that I can play in the SEC. This is the best conference, and I see on game day how live and how much energy there is. And I can’t imagine taking a step down for that. But I want to play real bad. Like I told everybody I didn’t come here to ride the pine. I don’t know. I’ve always said I’ll evaluate myself after every season, and that’s what I’ll do at the end of this year. I probably won’t be able to tell you till the end of the season.
Now, to be fair Hutson goes on to say he would not only pray about it and talk to his family, but he's also close to DJ Shockley. I like Mason and I truly believe he'll get a chance to shine. I'm not one of those that believes that chance should come today, or last week. Murray's our quarterback and I think Mason is pushing him. Which is what we want.

However, what I don't want are quotes mid-season from a quarterback that aren't team oriented. He's one play away from being the starting quarterback for the University of Georgia, just ask Chris Conley how that works. He was on the friggin' scout team facing his redshirt before Wooten was in a wreck and Marlon sprained an ankle.

If Mason still feels the same way in January, then by all means put all your thoughts into what is best for #14. But right now we need a team. Not a me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Join me tomorrow...

On the Dawgcast talkin' Vandy

Derek was kind enough to throw this Dawg a bone. I do my best not to spill anything on Ol' Dawg's chair during our Tenn recap and Vandy preview.

Check it out here or download the Stitcher app for your mobile device and enter "Dawgs".

Friday misery, chapter 5: 'dored to death

First off, my apologies if last Friday's rant was a bit too PG-13. Last night Mrs. Bernie and I were arguing was scolding me for being a hypocrite because I wouldn't let the kids watch a movie that was PG. All I have in defense is the facts that I warned you and I don't let my own kids on the innerwebs unless it's school related.

Speaking of school, students at Vanderbilt go to class. Each and every one. They grow up to be doctors of medicine and professors of academic crap. I went to UGA and once pretended to have a sprained index finger to get out of a written exam. Got a D in the class and now I have a blog.
Walk that plank bitches!

How ya like me now Music City?

Reader participation
Let's start off with something simple. I drop a clever nugget of awesomeness and you readers actually pick it up and adore it for once. How's that catch your fancy? Granted, it was pretty subtle. But come on! It's not like you're a bunch of degenerate HillBillys. If you are then your fair Senator Al Gore's corner of the cyberspace is down the hall behind a door labeled "In-breds who wear actual suits and pay their way into Vanderbilt University". As for the rest of you, in my Sunday thoughts I ended with a link. It was both a reference to winning the previous evening which makes Sunday morning so easy...AND...the Commodores!

You know, our next opponent. 

Jeebus people, if you're not going to take advantage of everything this crappy blog has to offer then I'm just gonna have to start charging you all admission or something to make it worth the effort. Not one of you picked up on it. At least no one that had the time to respond in the comments. I even threw something similar up on the Twittah and got only chirping crickets. By the bucket loads.

I mean look at you, sitting there with your laptop or mobile device...reading this and acting like you're all that and a bag of hyperbole. Too important to throw a blogger a bone. You might be three times a lady that's too hot ta trot, but you sure ain't no brick house.

Gauntlet, down. Your turn...

The wait
Not only are we destined to endure another WTF? moment in Nashville in front of literally, nearly 30,000 fans, but we have to wait all damn day again for it to happen. Who said I don't like noon kickoffs? Me?...Really?

Did NOT have
Bernie's back
Well, waiting ain't my forte. When I was four I got up right after Santa left and took a spin in my new mini-Jaguar and it's been downhill since. If we're going to be up by a miserable 3 points at halftime to the dandy vandies I'd just as soon get it the hell over with. You're pacing around wondering who can be this year's Daryl Gamble and who's robbing Walsh's apartment while he wins the thing for us at the last minute.

That's a lot of stress right before you go to bed. I'm no doctor, but stress is better served during daylight. I learned that in a psychology class once. Yep, I went to those to see what campus experiments the chicks were signing up for. Don't hate.

You WILL bark like a Dawg!!!
Long story short...Goff lost to Vanderbilt on homecoming in 1994 by a score of 43-30. I was semi-fresh out of school, which means I was hanging around Athens looking for the next keg and free solo cup. Late in December I found myself with a margarita in one hand and a beer in the other with some CommieDouche spoutin' off at the mouth. In other words, this would not end well.

I like Vandy but some of their fans sure can be pompous. I mean, here we were in Athens GA and this kid wants to act like his football team is the best thing since sharpened #2 pencils. I asked him what his SAT score was and he said it was too high for me to count. Yeh, he was a witty sumbitch. Though after two fisting drinks for a couple hours he was probably right. At the urging of Fred and Nama I then insisted he get down on all fours and bark like a Dawg. When he refused, I insisted he meet me at Stegeman that February and sit with me while we watched Hugh Durham's boys dismantle his precious round ball team.

Durham and the Hoop Dawgs came through. CommieDouche didn't. I think he was Al Gore's nephew. Maybe. But I learned another lesson, don't underestimate Vanderbilt. My apologies for sounding too confident yesterday. 

At any rate, that's enough for this week Reader. But before we leave, raise your hand if you've ever been crammed into a corner of Vanderbilt Stadium at Dudley Field while nearly a thousand Commodore fans enjoyed the vast expanse of aluminum luxury? See...they're sneaky smart like that. Don't close your eyes Dawgs.

Enjoy the game everybody. Things can only get more miserable as we head towards Jacksonville.

Gap knowledge, a year later

Last year the Dawgs had no nose for Grantham's new approach to defending turf, literally and figuratively. This year however is a much different story.
"We just have a really good line that plays together," inside linebacker Christian Robinson said. "They know their job. They're not coming out of their gaps. They're staying in their gaps and that allows linebackers to flow and not get picked off.
"I think maybe last year we were all kind of unsure about, 'Do I stay in my gap or do I go, or do I have a choice?' Now they're taking up space and blockers. It allows them to get pressure, and it allows us to do our job."
Lot of season left on the board. But man, what a difference a year makes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Countdown to Kickoff - Vandy

Vandy, the other cupcake

Halftime in Nashville usually means a lot of gnashing of the teeth. That should not be the case Saturday. And by should not be the case I mean prepare for it to happen as much as reason and logic say otherwise.

The goals on Saturday:
PUNT!! Grab a brew dude! We're gonna
exorcise some demons.
  • No injuries.
  • Help Murray get his groove. I think he needs to get under center, drop back and just hit targets until his coaches are satisfied that he's ready for the trip to Jacksonville. That or maybe shotgun a beer with Ben Jones everytime the Commodores punt.
  • Find ways to involve the tight ends more. What? We have tight ends on our roster? Prove it statistically....(chirp...chirp...)...
  • No injuries.
  • Put their QB on the ground in rapid succession. If for no other reason than to make Brantley see it on film then re-injure his ankle in an unfortunate shower incident.
  • Get Crowell enough carries to show Nashville that SAT scores ain't everything in this world.
  • Grab a lead and then grab a ladle, as in pour gravy over that lead. Enough gravy that I get to sit down and loosen the belt a bit.
  • Sin heridos. 沒有人員傷亡. Aon ghortuithe. никто не пострадал. 아무 부상도. nessun ferito. 
Or, for my one reader in the Republic of Armenia...ոչ վնասվածքներ.

No bag man, just plain men

Mark Emmert really loved those trees.

Auburn was the tigers. And...they were also war eagles. Yesterday they turned the page officially and became just plain men. Nope, no bag man. Not at all. Move along, nothing to see here.

On the air with James Franklin

Listen in as the Commodore coach talks about preparing for Georgia.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the Air - Coach Richt

On the Air - Spurrier

I'll have Coach Richt's up in a minute, but thought this one might be interesting as well this week. If we hear a chair squeak as if it is turning, that's probably the OBC turning on Ron Morris.

Update - sounds like it's Pete Thamel of the NYT that finally addresses the elephant in the room, at about the 4" mark.

SEC Today - 10/12/11

Say it...then walk it

The defense is proving its worth on the field. The fans are starting to get into the national rankings and the stats. And the media is starting to run the storyline.

Not sure where the time machine came from but I suddenly can only vaguely remember third and Willie. Ahem!

Now comes this quote from Shawn Williams:
"I feel like we're better than Alabama. I can say that. I feel like we're the best defense in the SEC right now."
Just keep walking that walk Shawn and we might just get a chance to settle the argument on the field.

Unsportsmanlike gray matter leads to more dirty laundry

After his second touchdown Saturday night, was what Crowell did by hopping up and down on the same level as what LSU punter Brad Wing did as he neared the goalline against Florida? Wing was flagged and the touchdown was nullified under the new live ball unsportsmanlike penalty rule. Crowell was not flagged.

In my view, neither Wing nor Crowell's actions were unsportsmanlike. Certainly not to the degree of getting a touchdown taken off the board. Yet both instances were closer to flaggable offenses than what AJ Green was penalized for in 2009. Actually his endzone "celebration" was similar to what Crowell did in that they both faced the crowd after scoring. While AJ's seemed to end there with teammates mobbing him, Crowell had distanced himself enough from his blockers that it took awhile for everyone to get to where he was jumping.
While the NCAA meant to take out some perceived mean-spiritedness, it took out a part of football’s soul along with it. Is a 52-yard fake punt run against a rival not worthy of some bravado? Was Green’s late-game score not important enough to warrant a few seconds with teammates?
And if not, then where is the line? Did Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell cross it on Saturday when, after scoring his second touchdown, he hopped up and down in a corner of the end zone while facing a crowd of Tennessee fans?
It is not athletes to decide, and so you’re likely to see some very conservative touchdown celebrations because, as White said, it’s just something teams now have to face without much recourse.
“Every team was informed in the offseason of the changes, and we’ve had to deal with it,” White said. “We’re definitely a team that’s seen some unsportsmanlike conduct and celebration penalties come back and bite us like at LSU two years ago. But to me, I don’t know, it takes a little bit of the fun out of the game when you can’t feed into your emotion and you can’t get too happy about making a play. Especially with a big play like (LSU’s), there should be a little more leeway, but it’s not up to me to say.”   
And therein lies the problem. The unsportsmanlike penalty is a judgment call that can be interpreted differently by me than it is by you. Did Wing taunt the Florida players? Yes. So the referee was doing his job. But for the fans watching the game the punishment hardly fit the crime. By making it a live ball foul this season that thin line of judgment can carry with it a lot of weight.

To make matters worse, SEC officiating in particular appears to be worse than it ever has been. I know right? Like that ever seemed possible to type. But the "fumble" that never was...or may have been yet was recovered by a hamstring plus one achilles tendon is the perfect example of where SEC officiating has sunk to. Here we are a few days after the fact and no one really knows if he was simply ruled down (which replay clearly indicated he wasn't) or if the Tenn player had recovered before Herrera wraped his actual hands on the football (which replay also confirmed didn't happen).

If it was the former the refs are at best, simply incompetent. If it was the latter then they are at worst terribly biased. Which leads me back to the original discussion about the unsportsmanlike penalty. I'm left with two questions:
  1. When is the time at which this rule truly hurts Georgia? In a game they can probably handle anyway such as Vandy or New Mexico State? Or in Jacksonville where everything works against us anyway?
  2. Since it was the coaches that wanted this rule, will there be enough carnage from it this season for them to change their collective minds?

Humpday Hilarity - My Drunk Kitchen

So yesterday it was raining, a lot. And when it rains a lot and your alarm goes off really the last thing you want to do is ready yourself for work then hit the suburban and metro roadways for some OMG IT"S RAINING AND WE'RE ALL GON DIE!!!!1 travel time. Much

But Alan had a great idea. Watch some Drunk Kitchen. Personally I had never heard of it, but after watching a couple webisodes I had completely forgotten about all the idiots with flashing hazard lights going 35mph in the left hand lane on Highway 316 as I tried to get to work on time.

Not really safe for work. But definitely worth replicating at home. Drunk Poutine just begs for a semi-preheated oven and several cold beers.

You can find more of this awesome sauce at Hannah's site. No umbrellas needed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Curtain falls on El Esteban Sabado Gigante Garcia

It's over. Amid a plethora of near passing records and crushed Schaefer's Light cans, now lies the career of Chickumbia's greatest cock.

Fifth-year senior quarterback Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the football team, two sources told The State on Tuesday.
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier would not address the news when reached by The State. Garcia was informed of the decision Tuesday morning.
Cheers Esteban!
Athletics director Eric Hyman is expected in a statement said:
“Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right, and we remind all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions. For Stephen to return to and remain with the football squad this fall, we agreed on several established guidelines. Unfortunately, he has not been able to abide by those guidelines and has therefore forfeited his position on the roster. We wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in life.”
In that same statment, Spurrier said: “We are all saddened that this has occurred. We all feel like we’ve given Stephen numerous opportunities to be a student-athlete here at South Carolina. Obviously, he has chosen not to follow the guidelines of his reinstatement contract. We wish him the best.”
Just as a Schaefer's is the one beer to have when you're having more than one, Garcia seemed the one quarterback to have when you were having more than one also. After all, someone else was needed to toss balls to receivers during the Spring. 

So...cats on their 9th life all around the world salute the man who pulled off College Football's greatest feat...receiving both fake and actual discipline from the ol' Ball Coach. Meanwhile, Connor Shaw...chicken farmers everywhere turn their lonely eyes to you.

Jeff Owens' Radio Show

I meant to include this in yesterday's meatloaf. But in case you haven't heard to word on the street, Jeff Owens is set to have his own radio show. 

You might remember from his playing days he was pretty savvy with the media. He even did some player interviews on his blog. Looking forward to more from this DGD.

You can follow Big Jeff for updates as well as the show's twitter - JeffOwensShow.

SEC Today - 10/11/11

What's Hot and What's Not this week in the SEC.

Finishing a statement

Coach Richt wants to finish a game in a strong way.
Steven in Dalton wants to know what is one area he feels we need to improve in as we move along. Then gives a shout out to Coach Grantham for the job they are doing. Richt - says the finish is one area where we struggled last year and it cost us some ball games. Mentions the 3rd quarter was really good this week and we were driving to make it at least a 17 point lead. And then all of a sudden we get all the penalties to make it 2nd and 56. So we had a chance but didn’t get it. We need to finish better. As far as Grantham, has done a great job. Mentions all of the defensive coaches and support staff. Tremendous morale on the defense right now.

AD McGarity wants to finish a season in a strong way.
“What everyone must do at a halfway point — it’s just like the halfway point of a project the halfway point of anything you do — it’s how you finish that really is the key thing that everyone has to focus on right now,” McGarity said. “Once you think you might have it figured out or you may rest on your laurels so to speak, that’s when you have problems. The message that we need to have and the message that everyone needs to have is that each week gets bigger and bigger. To get to certain levels, you have to work that much harder.”

Hopefully the former will begat the latter.

- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone

Mumme Poll - week six

Here they are:

  1. LSU
  2. Bama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Boise State
  6. Clemson
  7. Oregon
  8. Arkansas
  9. Stanford
  10. Oklahoma State
At the time of my ballot casting LSU had a comfortable lead over Alabama for first place. That surprised me a little. I think an argument can be made for Bama having a better offense based mostly on the legs of Trent Richardson. But I give the edge to LSU in the end based on schedule strength.

I have two one loss teams ahead of both Stanford and Oklahoma State.The short answer I guess is that they were both "good" losses to the two best teams in football. That and I think both Oregon and Arkansas are better than 9 and 10.

Heading into week seven I'm looking for a reason to drop Okie State.

Monday, October 10, 2011

SEC Today - 10/10/11

Monday's Meatloaf - On a roll with a new role

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son. And feeling uncomfortable in your own skin isn't much better. 

My 9yo auditioned (I guess that's what you'd call it) for a role in a school production last week. Really proud of her for taking that step. And when she brought the rehearsal lines home to memorize before the audition I just had to laugh.

Like...may I have like 10,000
marbles please?
For a few years I've sat there and cringed every time she says the word "like". Cuz like, she like says like, like a lot. The lines to rehearse were of what I remember calling a "valley girl"; the stereotypical young female that uses a lot of words to say very, very little. It was apparent that it was the role she was born to play. If she doesn't get it I'll immediately know that there's another dad in my area that endures even more "likes" than I am exposed to.

And on Saturday night as Coach Richt continued to leave his offense on the field I couldn't help but think...this is a role I want my tackle football coach to immerse himself into. This is us, we're here in your damn house. I didn't wipe my boots off cuz your doormat is an ugly orange. We're going to continue marching down the field and give our punter a rest. If you don't like that you can either call your mom or try and stop us.

Awesome! And as important as that message was to send to the opposing sideline, I think it was exponentially more important to send it to Coach Richt's own sideline. So many Saturday nights lately I've been left wishing for a bye week; a break from the difficulty of watching another down of Georgia football.

Saturday night about 10:45 I was already geek'd up for Vandy. Ready to bark some more. Don't draw that curtain. Leave the lights ablazin'...let's GATA!!

Today's Ingredients


  • And I can't help but smile today knowing that people like AthensHomer don't have to worry about their neighbors' big T flags for another year...or more.
  • A lot of good stuff in ecdawg's Dawg Daily this morning. Including a frustrated Richt over the inability to put his Nike on lil Dooley's throat.
  • Tyler Dawgden answers his three Tennessee questions.
  • Ben Dukes had two initial reactions to the win on Rocky Top. And before you scoff at the notion of punting on 3rd down, isn't it just as fitting as any other play call for the down and yardage?
  • The Senator found Saturday's 100th win for Richt to be a classic in many ways.
  • The cocks "impressive" win Saturday over SEC JV Kentucky did little to impress Dawgola as he analyzes the SEC East race.
  • Macondawg feels it's still safe to ignore FSU fans' boasting of a return to the Dadgum days.
  • In case you missed it, Displaced Dawg gets Slive some help with setting the expansion bar high with his buddy Toothpick's SEC qualifications. Great read. There's only 6 of them, but I think you'll see he's got pretty much everything covered.

In the end it remains to be seen if Coach Richt's squad can continue this march to Glory. Is the role of brash bully that eagerly accepts the challenge of 4th and short something we can continue to use effectively? Or is it a mask that we just pull out of the closet every now and then?

Coaches are human just like the rest of us. They can evolve, develop and recognize changes in the landscape. Unless you're Les Miles and football is simply a casual distraction from the art of being Lesticle. Still change is hard and lasting change is especially elusive. I doubt he'd admit it publicly, but I just have to believe that sometimes in private Richt wishes he'd made some changes that we all saw earlier than he did. Gratham's rolling right now. Wish we were in Year 3-4.

Of course fans have a role too. I expect to see the Richt supporters start to be more vocal this week with the I told you so's. Just like I expect to see the other end of the spectrum to continue with the Don't be fooled, it's going to have a familiar taste at the end. Meanwhile most of us will just continue wait and see attitude. 

Lot of football left. Gotta take em one game at a time. But this meatloaf? Go ahead and take two big pieces, a mound of mashed potatoes and some gravy there. We'll call it the 3rd and 57 plate. Might need two napkins.


Picking some Rocky Flop nits

Completed a rewatch of the game and saw a couple more things I wanted to discuss that I didn't hit on yesterday.
  • We did not have an early answer for Mychal Rivera, the Tennessee TE. Now I bring that up for two reasons. First, nice to see his production dwindle as the game went on. And second, really makes me wish we'd see our TEs more involved. It's worth repeating...there are few if any LBs that can cover our guys.
  • Case in point, early in second half Orson drew a pass interference call in the endzone that set up a first and goal for Crowell's first TD. Only positive things can come of getting him and White more involved.
  • Tavarres King should've had about 3 TDs and 200 yards.
  • Pass rush was better than I originally thought. Bray just has a really good internal clock. He got rid of some balls right on time. Overall though I expected us to get after him a little more than we were able to.
  • Another tip of the hat to the coaches. They did everything we've been wanting them to do: set the tone of the game (4th down bravado), prepared the team for the noise and atmosphere and made the necessary adjustments to win the game.
  • There were a few mistakes Tennessee made that were reminiscent of mishaps we tend to make. Most notably timeout management, but also key penalties. Sure we lost our heads and got in a 3rd and 57 yard predicament. But in the 3rd quarter the Vols had a 3rd and 1 and were about to run a halfback pass, I think. They got penalized into a 3rd and 6 instead and lost the upperhand and element of surprise.
  • Lastly, back to Coach Richt. How much does it say about his character that a player who was on the verge of leaving the program a week and a half ago was one of the guys dumping the Powerade on him as the clock ran out? That's right, I noticed that Boo Malcome was helping Drew Butler with the bucket. 
Kids really want to play for this guy. And although there's a long way to go this season, I'm starting to think he wants to have more buckets dumped on him in the future.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SEC Rewind - week 6

Sunday's 100 Thoughts

Congratulations to Coach Richt! One hundred wins in 11 seasons. And the century mark came against the son of the guy who hired ya. Fate sometimes has a funny script.

- First we need to give credit where it is due. The offensive line did a great job of providing time and a pocket for Murray to throw from. Probably their best game so far. They continue to improve each week.
- We have an offense to be reckoned with when Crowell is in the picture. Doubtful he gets yet another SEC Freshman OTW honor this week, but he kept Tennessee honest when he was in the backfield.
- Malcolm Mitchell could take the honor this week however. Flipped the field right when we needed to on that 3 play, 93 yard drive. But his best catch I thought was on the underthrow where he had to adjust from being 5 yards past the defender to out playing the guy for the ball.
- Speaking of which, not Murray's best night at all. Missed some open receivers and struggled making the deep throws.
- But no turnovers, so the beards are safe!
- 4th and That's way too much laundry.
- I'm humbled that Richt read my misery Wow...balls to the wall on 4th down conversions. It's a nice feeling to be cheering for a team that has more confidence than the opponent.
- Back to the lack of turnovers, I'm still not sure what the ruling was. When it was made I thought they were saying the Vol regained possession. But later I thought I read that the ruling was that he was down. Either way, we got jobbed.
- Vasser played well and Drew provided what may have been the only pass rush. That said, sure hope Washington got all the bones out of his head last weekend. We need him for the WLOCP.
- Vandy's not going to be easy. And Florida will either be decimated or determined come the 29th, likely the latter. But for today it's a nice perch here looking down on them.

That's why I'm easy...

- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone

UGA - UT highlights