Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gameday Liveblog - WLOCP

Good morning from the Golden Isles.
Good morning from the Golden Isles.

So here we are. Let's do this. I'll update throughout the day. Feel free to comment and hike your leg on a gator's leg. Go Dawgs!
This is what happens when a blogger
leaves his laptop unattended.
Time to hit the road. Pass the bloody Mary mix.

What I'm thinking:
- we'll miss Malcolm Mitchell but I think we still have enough weapons out wide to hurt Florida.
- anxious to see our defense match up. Really believe we have the talent and speed to shut down their offense.
- that being said, we have to stay disciplined and not over commit to the redirection. And Jenkins has to be ready to handle the load in the middle.
- I'm hearing it's doubtful Brantley plays. He didn't take any snaps Wednesday in practice. But like I've said before, I don't give a crap who plays or them. Just hit them early and often.
- Crowell will play but I think he might be sitting during next week's cupcake.

Some pics...

This just in: Georgia girls are classy and Florida girls are trashy.

Just walked into the stadium and avoided six fights. Did I win or lose?

Hey're getting out coached by effin muschamp. What do you have to say?

Halftime story time...

The Legend of the Stadium Cup

Last year after the dramatically crappy ending to the GA-fla game, Nama and I made our way to the car. He had driven down, so it was my turn to drive us back to SSI. He poured a stiff drink into his stadium cup. But in the confusion of trying to get out of the lot, we ended up shutting the trunk with the cup of bourbon just sitting there.

We drove back. It's about 70 miles or so, mostly interstate of course. But plenty of bumps along the way. And sure enough, when we parked at the condo and opened the trunk again, the was the cup. Still upright. Not a drop spilled.

Proof that Dawgs can lose the game, but never lose the tailgate.

Now back to your regular Jax suckitude...

Squidbillies Early weighs in on WLOCP

"You got to look inside the numbers."

h/t Kerri

Friday, October 28, 2011

Prepping the bar, WLOCP

Shake it, don't break it.

Shake it, don't break it.

Not believing any rumors at this point. it's all just jort induced tabloid crap.

As for the blog tomorrow, we'll liveblog. But it'll be a little different than the previous weeks. It's too hard to approve comments while on the mobile. So we'll have a regular post with some comments, pictures and videos. You all can comment as usual and I won't have to press a button to maintain the blawg flow.

Win. Win. I don't have to drain phone battery and you don't have to wait an hour to see your words in lights. In the meantime, smack a damn gator!

And go Dawgs!!!

Friday misery, chapter 7: WLOFP

You know what I'm sick and damn tired of doing? Planting my face in the palm of my hand in the 4th quarter of the World's Largest Outdoor Faceplant Party.

Nice shot of Charlie Weis in his infancy
 there at the 1:48 mark.

This week of hate is always such a torrent of emotions. Losing ground in the rivalry just does that to you. You can't help but get excited at the idea of the actual game, especially after a bye week. Then you get pissed off at the reality of 0-3, 2-8 and 3-18. Throw in some frustration at having to wait until the cocktails are served and the game kicks off and you're really fit to be tied by Wednesday at the latest.

Now it's Friday. And the game is tomorrow. Make no mistake: I want this win tomorrow more than I want world peace. I want to kick their ass more than I want to breath clean air. I want to beat the shit out of them more than I want ice around my bourbon. I want to leave the Gator Bowl AllTel Stadium Everbank Field with a damn smile on my face and a cigar in my mouth more than I want a BBQ sandwich for lunch. 

For once I'd like to see those miserable effin' bastards plant their faces in the palms of their hands as the seconds drain from the clock. Tomorrow, I want my team to want it twice as much as I do. I want euphoria. I want victory, as I drink in their misery from my seat.

Go Dawgs! Do the world a favor. Beat the damn Gators!

SEC Hoops Media Days Interviews

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SEC Today - 10/27/11

Hannah Chalker chats with the Leather Helmet Blog's ecdawg about the upcoming game in Jacksonville. 

Oh yeh, Coach Richt chimes in as well.

SEC Basketball Media Days - livestream link

If you can manage to take a break from the WLOCP preparations, the SEC Basketball Media Days are today. There's a link below to a video stream here on the blog that should provide access to each coaches' session and more from the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover AL. 

Media last today from 9am EST until 7pm EST. It looks like Coach Landers will speak at 9:00 and Coach Fox will take the podium at 9:30. Jasmine Hassell will be at 10:20 and Dustin Ware at 10:50. Here's the full schedule for today.

While on the subject of hoops, here are some pics Coach Fox tweeted earlier of the uniforms.

WLOCP: a vested interest

That about says it all. 

But let me add a few more:
Make the tackle.
Stand up at every opportunity and lend your voice to the cause at hand.
Catch the ball.
Fight for every yard their sorry asses will give you.
Third downs are no time to rest your spine.
Want it more than the person across the line of scrimmage from you.
Want it more than the person sitting across the stadium from you.
The only memory is of what happened on the last play. 
No other game in Jacksonville is relevant.
Earn it with your effort, claim it with your desire.
Earn it with your voice, claim it with your heart.
They're floriDuh.
We. Are. Georgia!

To paraphrase - GATA y'all!

On the Air - Coach Richt

Richt's weekly press conference - discusses the schedule, the WLOCP, injuries and the game as a whole.

On the Air - Muschamp

Florida's coach discusses injuries and the upcoming game against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SEC Today - 10/26/11

Hannah Chalker previews the upcoming Georgia-Florida game.

WLOCP: mental case studies

I used to enjoy making predictions on Georgia football. The blog was actually born from the idea of providing a Friday prognostication before games. The last couple seasons though have made that harder. And the WLOCP is not a comfortable forecast at all for Georgia fans.

Because as many years before, Georgia is the better team in 2011. And that doesn't mean a damn thing. Coach Richt has brought the better team to Jacksonville on several occasions; winning two of those, but losing the others. 

The common thread is a fine line - mental toughness. Is the team mentally tough enough to overcome adversity on the banks of the St. Johns? Are they prepared for 60 minutes of tackle football? Or more in the case of last season? Because having the better quarterback isn't enough in this game. Gaining more yards isn't always enough either.

Get your head in the
game son.
Let's look at two historical examples, one in which we lost and one in which we prevailed.
2002 - What might have been? 
The game against Florida was the only blemish on this season's record. The #4 ranked Dawgs had been able to manage close games against Clemson, South Carolina, Bama and Tennessee, but the offense never seemed to function on all cylinders. When DJ Shockley spelled David Greene it provided a spark for Ron Zook's team as Guss Scott turned an interception into 6 points. That would be all the offense Florida needed until the 4th quarter when Van Gorder's defense (which had only given up two field goals so far) finally buckled under the weight of a long drive, making the score 20-13.
Notes - You could make a strong argument that Georgia had two better quarterbacks in the game and still managed to lose. We were +2 in turnover margin thanks in part to Rex Grossman. But it was DJ's costly interception that kept Florida in the game when we were winning the game on the ground. Georgia went on to a Sugar Bowl and a near perfect 13-1 record, after beating Arkansas for the SEC title. 

2007 - Making a statement
Known for its penalty flags more than anything, the game in 2007 should be notable to Dawg fans for one reason: we scored early and we scored often. After drawing first blood, Richt's team only became more thirsty. Stafford's offense lead the way with 14 points in the 1st quarter, 7 each in the 2nd and 3rd and then finished strongly with another two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Moreno carried the ball 33 times! For 188 yards!!! 
Notes - In short, we stuck our cleat on their throat and didn't let up. We went on to another Sugar Bowl, but thanks to losses to Carolina and Tennessee couldn't get a shot at LSU in the GA Dome.

I could've gone by just what I saw on paper and predicted every WLOCP of Coach Richt's tenure and would've said we'd win at least six of them. I'd have been wrong four times. The mind doesn't translate to paper and it is impossible to predict. Does Isaiah Crowell have the mental and physical toughness to do what Knowshon did in 2007 and carry the workload without wearing down or turning the ball over? I hope so. I think so.

On a larger scale, have the off season attitude adjustments and locker room cleansing been enough to translate into better game management in Jacksonville? Can we now avoid the brain farts, dropped balls and key turnovers? 

Again, I hope so. I think so.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Other WLOCP prep readings:

Murray and Burnette talk Florida

Some video of Aaron and Chris talking about the game in Jacksonville, courtesy of ABH's Chris White.

Humpday Hilarity - Mathematical debate

On the one hand you have math. And on the have like, non-math.

h/t Mac

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SEC Today - 10/25/11

Hannah Chalker looks at What's Hot and What's Not in week 9.

WLOCP: "excuse" me while I puke

Yesterday I failed to remind you all that I am including myself in these fan criticisms. I've been fat and lazy too. I've also bitched my fair share. 

But I'm not doing that crap this year.

I fell into the excuse making mode early in this 21 year quagmire, blaming the lack of an off week prior to the WLOCP. It seemed like Florida always got one. And of course, we were always losing. 

Fake juice has ill effects for players and fans alike.
But you know what, making excuses only made me feel worse. And the only thing more pitiful than someone making excuses after losing is someone making excuses before the game starts. And I can feel many in the Dawg Nation getting pulled in that direction. 

Back in June I outlined a few popular reasons for why many Georgia fans whine. The reason du jour of late is the location of the game. I'm embarrassed to say that I briefly entertained the idea of what it would be like to play this game elsewhere. But once reason prevailed, that thought really only made me sick to my stomach.

Because to say that the location of the Georgia-Florida game has any bearing on the final score is to discredit everything the Dawgs did way back when to completely and utterly dominate the series. Just as Gator fans can forget that college football existed prior to 1990, Dawg fans tend to forget that the distance between Athens and Jacksonville hasn't changed since Munson broke a metal steel chair with about a 5 inch cushion.

When you get right down to it, both teams perform but only one team performs well enough to win. No amount of belly-aching is going to change that, before or after Saturday's game. If you don't want Coach Richt to bring any fake juice to the game in the form of clothing gimmicks and such, then don't bring your own to the cocktail party.

There's not enough Pepto in Jax for that.

Yep. It's that big.

John Jenkins has good intel.
John Jenkins grew up in Connecticut, where he never heard much about how badly Georgia fans wanted to beat Florida. Then he played junior college football in Mississippi, where he still didn’t hear how Florida was the most important game on Georgia’s schedule every year.
Now the Georgia nose tackle has been brought up to speed.
“I hear it’s probably the biggest rivalry game or such. ‘Cocktail Party,’ I guess that’s what they call it,” he said, adding later, “From the intel I’m getting, it’s a big game.”

Mid-Season Roundtable, part two

Part two of College Football Zealots' mid season roundtable. We're getting ready for Florida y'all! Here are my answers. Be sure to CLICK HERE and visit the full analysis.

Just like some years past this looks like it might be shaping up to be a good opportunity for Georgia to beat Florida. Why should we be optimistic Georgia will come out on top this year?
Like many have pointed out, we haven't put together a complete game yet. Everything points to the Dawgs having the advantage overall. But can special teams overcome their missed assignments and miscues? Can the offense perform for 60 minutes? Can the defense refocus after losing their composure in a very chippy game in Nashville? These are much better questions to have than the ones Muschamp's team is trying to answer.
But more than anything this team worked hard in the off season to mold a new image. And that's what we need in Jacksonville; a new attitude that isn't concerned with what's happened the last two decades, just with what happens on the field this year.

Who is the one guy that Georgia just has to stop for Florida in this game?
I think there's one on either side of the ball. Defensively it's #52 Bostic. He's everywhere and makes solid tackles. We need to get a hat on him to give Crowell more space to make his yards.
But if you are to confine me to only one player it would have to be Chris Rainey. He's put down his texting device with its murderous intent and is really putting together a spectacular season. He has 500 yards rushing and 275 yards receiving with 4 touchdowns overall. He's an explosive player, as dangerous as you'll find in college football. One small seam and he's gone. Grantham's guys need to keep him moving east-west as much as possible. Auburn has their issues, but they did a great job of confining him in their last game. Bama did as well. If someone like Herrera or Jones, maybe a really hungry Tree who'll be back from his injured foot..if they can plant him hard once early in the game, we may have a good idea how this one's going to go.
Mark Richt has seemingly had "must win" games all year long. Is this a "must win" game for Mark Richt's tenure at Georgia?
No, I don't think it is. He can survive another loss in Jacksonville with a strong November run. But it would be another embarrassing addendum to Richt's resume in Athens. Florida's had four coaches during Richt's tenure and he's lost to all of them except for their current head coach. If he loses to a former Georgia player at the WLOCP it would not sit well with boosters, alumni and other supporters. It would give his detractors a pretty strong argument that if he can't win this year against Florida, he will never be the one to turn the tide of the St. Johns river.
So is it a must win game for him to keep his job? Maybe not, but a loss here could easily spell the end. 
There is still a lot of time before the game but give us a quick prediction on the outcome.
I've steered clear of predictions all season long. So I can't give a prediction of the outcome, but I will say this. If the game is a blowout I think that favors Georgia. Florida has to be tired, even with the bye week, after the murderous row they've faced this month. If it's close I think that favors Florida for two reasons: our special teams have been inconsistent and history says we just can't seem to get into this game mentally for the duration. 
The only other thing I'll predict is that we see a heavy dose of Crowell Saturday. The more he's on the field the better our chances are of finally winning another one in Jacksonville.

Mumme Poll - week eight

Boise State
Michigan State
Oklahoma State

Some turnover from last week's ballot. I dropped Oklahoma out, kept Wisconsin in. Everyone else moved up two spots except Oklahoma State who only moved up one. Still not sold on the Cowboys being an elite team, but we'll find out for sure soon enough I guess.

Michigan State has impressed me. I certainly haven't seen every game they've played, but they play good defense and you have to admire their grit in standing up to Wisconsin and then stealing the game away at the end.

What I'm looking for next is Clemson's late season drama. They escaped Maryland and seemed to toy some with a mediocre UNC team. Should they beat GA Tech in Atlanta this weekend they should cruise into their annual showdown with South Carolina. If they can finish as strong as they started, then I think that becomes a compelling argument for number 2 after either Bama or LSU lose November 5th.

Monday, October 24, 2011

WLOCP: Fat and Lazy

Accountability. Look it up and then let’s look into a mirror together.


the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
The team has not fared well in Jacksonville in a long time. Wins have been few and far between to say the least. We’ve transformed from a team that dominated the WLOCP to one that just looks for scraps along the banks of the St. Johns.

But the fans have transformed in an even more radical fashion. We expect to lose and look for excuses as to why it happens every year. We're complacent and willing to just take whatever comes and hope for the best.

Here's a few reasons I've come up with as to why this has happened.
  1. First, it's been over 20 years since the Dawgs dominated Florida. That's a large generation of fans and alumni that don't remember what it was like in Jacksonville before 1990. That has an impact on attitudes and our volume in the stands. Just as the team has had players carry on a losing tradition, fans have allowed it to seep into their psyche as well.
  2. Backing in. There's not a feeling like we have to win in Jacksonville because we can lose and still get to Atlanta in December. We lost to Florida in both 2002 and 2005, yet managed to back our way into the GA Dome. Therefore we've lost that sense of urgency in our cheering, taking some measure of comfort walking away from EverBank Field that there still might be hope.
  3. Tired. Since Florida started winning (both this game and overall) their "fans" have spread like locusts. Suddenly Gator logos started popping up on cars and in our workplaces. Hell, the state of Georgia even lets them put it on license plates now. (Thanks Sonny!) We've just grown weary of reminding them how much they suck and the debate has gotten harder to prove.
  4. Emasculated. In the eyes of many, Tebow broke Herschel's record against us. Urban's timeouts the year after the endzone dancing. Hanging half a hundred 'tween the hedges. Even when Georgia has had its moments, they've been fleeting. Once in a couple years is one thing. Over the span of 21 it becomes depressing.
Shed 20+ years of fat and come down to Jacksonville hungry for a win. Put aside your own laziness Saturday and turn on the tv ready to stand up and bark. The team needs active participants, not passive observers.

You want a winning team on the field? Start being a winner in the stands. You want to start erasing two decades of misery? Get off your ass and make some noise. You want a leg up on our chief rivals in the SEC East? Earn it with your voice and claim it with your heart. 

It's the WLOCP. We're Georgia and they're florida. Which side do you want to sit on?

Monday's Meatloaf - Back to the future

You smell that? That's the odor of swamp air mixed with Charlie Weis blowing a hole in his 8XXL Hanes tighties. Miserable bastard.
Don't switch the blade on
the guy in shades, oh no.
I know I complained about the poor timing of Mrs. Bernie’s high school reunion. But once she got dressed and put on the heels Saturday evening I realized that it probably would not have been wise to allow her to look that striking in the midst of a bunch of guys her dad used to beat off with a stick. Not that I’m a very imposing guy mind you. I just think some guys might fall right back in that high school frame of mind too easily, at which point I could be there to remind them that 20 years hasn’t changed much as far as their chances of slow dancing to Cyndi Lauper with the hot chick from their 4th period government class.

Even when I failed in my quest to go the whole weekend without embarrassing my lovely wife it was still apparent that I was just as cool as Billy Idol and Corey Hart rolled into one. Granted, my best break dancing moves eluded me until late in the game, and falling to the floor before even opening my flask was not the greatest accompaniment to everyone’s hors d’oeuvres.

However, it’s all how you finish ladies and gents. And no one can do Michael’s Billy Jean like I can. All you losers in the Members Only jackets, standing there wishing you looked less like George McFly and had moved out of mom's basement…the hottie by the bar pretending not to notice me, the girl is mine.

Nope. These aren't genetic
anomalies folks.
Today's Ingredients
If my calculations are correct, gators
still suck.
It's only fair that I warn you at the outset Reader, this week has hard work ahead. It will not be for the feint of heart. The annual clash between Georgia and Florida is serious business. The theme here will be accountability. If we want the team to perform better in Jacksonville then it's only fair that we hold ourselves to the same standards.

Because the fact is that we've dropped the ball too. We've gotten practically apathetic, just going through the motions down there. Willing to accept our fate while ignoring the history.

And don't get me wrong, I include myself in that brief analysis. But I'm not going to just sit here and type posts this week to make ourselves feel better about the WLOCP. It's hate week and we need to turn things around in this series. So tighten that chin strap and put on the big boy pants. History will teach us nothing and if we're going to alter the future the time is now. 

We'll need more than a plutonium filled DeLorean to do the world a favor and smack a damn gatorHere's your fork Reader. Have a great Monday.


Oh yeh...that guy.

When he left the Boise game with a broken foot, things at the inside LB position looked pretty bleak. But after Sulek, Williams, Herrera and Gilliard pitched in, you almost forgot about the guy they were helping to replace.
More than a month after he last practiced, Ogletree was a welcome addition last week when he returned to practice with expectations to play against Florida on Oct. 29. He said his foot is “about 100 percent,” and the bye week has helped ease him back into the the flow of play. But the 6-foot-3 former Newnan High athlete said he expects returning against a major rival in a game that could play a crucial role in determining the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division standings to be a test.
“It’s going to be a little rough for me,” Ogletree said. “I’ve been out so long and am just trying to get my conditioning back and basically just play. Right now, I’m just trying to work on my conditioning and trying to jell back with the defense and trying to help out my team.”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Jacksonville state of mind

Just a quick word of caution. I keep hearing comments, seeing tweets and reading things that say something to the effect of:

I'm sure John Brantley will be ready before the game against 
Georgia. That's just how our luck goes in Jacksonville.

That's exactly the mindset that gets us in trouble. Instead we should be saying things like:

I don't give a shit who plays quarterback and I don't care
who their coach is. We just need to win damnit!

Just my two cents. We need to keep our head straight. It's been crooked for the better part of 21 years. We used to just go down there, remind them we are Georgia and put another win in the column for the good guys.

Excuses are for losers. Let's use the next 6 days to set our minds right.

- Posted using BlogPress from Bernie's iPhone