Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bobo turns down VA Tech

Evidently there was an offer from the Hokies to be their offensive coordinator. Schlabach says he turned it down.

Countdown to NSD - 25 days

So we started our annual trek towards National Signing Day a couple days ago. Here's a quick update to go along with those weekend chores.
  • We talked briefly about Montravius Adams on Wednesday. He is visiting Clemson this weekend while the Tigers appear to have a slight lead over the others trying to gain his signature. Clemson has swayed some big time recruits recently but don't expect a surprise commitment as Adams hits Tuscaloosa next before finishing his official visits in Athens on the 25th.
  • But...Georgia coaches visited Adams yesterday morning at Dooly Co. High School and included in that visit was new defensive line coach Chris Wilson. Word is that the visit went well and that Wilson made a good first impression.
  • Reuben Foster is also scheduled to visit on the 25th and would undoubtedly provide instant help at a position of need, inside linebacker. Although he's in Washington this weekend the battle is truly between Georgia and either Auburn or Alabama. May come down to who Foster is better friends with, Auburn commit Dee Liner (who is also considering Bama) or Georgia's early enrollee Tray Matthews. Matthews likes the Dawgs chances.
  • One visit Georgia isn't going to have to wait on is Devondre Seymour, Richard Seymour's younger relative that he has adopted as his son. The Seymours will be in Athens this weekend and word is Georgia is very much interested in the somewhat raw offensive lineman (Devondre is fairly new to football, but has great size - 6'6" and 320 lbs - and upside). Now that the elder Seymour is done with his season, the concentration will be on finding his son a place to further his skills at the college level. There's a chance he may not qualify for 2013, but the Dawgs are interested in adding him to their roster regardless.
  • Lastly, one of the things about recruiting that never ceases to amaze me is how much the practice of it has changed over the years as well as how much more attention it gets from fans. This look back by Ching in his interview with Scott Woerner is pretty cool in that regard. So close to being a Longhorn, and never becoming Woerner the Returner!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Disagreement over Harvey-Clemons' position?

Maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, but when reading this I can't help but wonder if there is more than a little disagreement over where the talented Josh Harvey-Clemons will end up playing in 2013.
–Sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons’ position on defense? Richt wasn’t ready to say.
“That’s one thing that I want to make sure that our coaches are all in agreement and Josh knows exactly what we’re going to do before I would say anything,” Richt said. “That’s something that we’ve all got to get on the same page on and make sure that all parties involved know what we’re going to do before we say anything public.”
Is this like last season's tug of war over Malcolm Mitchell? Or maybe the player has a different idea than the coaches on the matter. I don't know. But the fact is that this needs to be settled now. In all honesty it is past due. Because now is the time that decisions have to be made about how much weight gain to target for this off season.

So this is certainly a subplot to watch for this winter and especially on G-Day.

Irish eyes...are black and bloody

Don't let the media that is still fawning over Notre Dame's epic season fool you. They are not a top tier program. They are in terms of money, support, exposure and money. But in terms of talent, they can not compete on the stage that they were thrust upon Monday might.

So what happens to them now? Again, no reason to feel sorry for them. They are Notre Dame. They'll be back towards the top of the rankings in August. They still print their own cash. And it appears as if they have sufficiently smothered those pesky sexual assault allegations. They'll sign a bunch of recruits and reload for more televised, second tier, overly endorsed football games. So all is good.

But maybe you can't convince Brian Kelly of that. After all, he knew before he got into the locker room the other night that his team was done. To paraphrase, he told the television audience that the only way they could win would be if Alabama didn't come out for the second half.

Whoa nelly!

And now he's interviewed for the Phildadelphia Eagles job. So he knows. He understands what the media will apparently never get. As good as his defense was compared to previous years in South Bend, it's not ready for those types of football games. I heard Saban say Tuesday that people shouldn't be mistaken, the Fighting Irish are a "great team". That's what I heard him say, just as I heard countless other announcers, broadcasters, radio jocks, print jocks, and every employee ESPN bothered to put on a camera say leading up to the BCS game.

But what I saw was totally different. I'm not going to say Notre Dame will never be able to compete at that level. Never is a long time and even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time. But "America's team" isn't ready for SEC teams. That defense isn't better than most of the teams in our league, as many had protested last month.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are what WE knew they were: a suspect offense and an average defense that together made up a good enough team to beat their average schedule. I think Kelly ends up back in South Bend. He'll coach another good Irish team this fall. Millions will tune in each Saturday and slowly build them back up into a program that is ready for glory again. The networks and the newspapers will boost them over better teams in the rankings.

And their fans will say that they've got things turned around. Again.

h/t AHD

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kwame's counts as two scholarships right?

Now that it's official, Geathers scholarship counts as two for the next year right? I mean if we weight his scholarship proportionally since he was a little he had an extra year that he's leaving behind...PLUS he played multiple positions while on campus.

Yes. His is at least a 1.5 scholarship. At least.

As for his decision, if you ask me Kwame has known he was hopping out of Athens ASAP right after this play happened in Nashville. Defensive tackles only get so long to make their scratch in the NFL.

Murray knew all along

Once the clock hit zeros in the Georgia Dome on December 1st, quarterback Aaron Murray knew he'd be back for his last year of eligibility. But as he has become a better quarterback during his time as a Bulldog, he's also become a mature young man. So he also knew he'd better make sure it wasn't just raw emotion he was reacting to.
“I obviously didn’t want to base my decision off emotion. I really wanted to let that SEC game go by a little bit before I really made my decision. After that game, I’m like `I’m coming back, I’m coming back.’ I really needed to let that game go, play another game and great to get a win, clear my head, write down the pros and cons of everything, of staying and leaving, talk to my parents, talk to some other people who I know have my best interest at hand, but at the end of the day, I still felt deep down inside that I needed to come back for another year.”
As we talked about earlier, Murray is very competitive. There's a fire inside that drives him and that is what compelled him to return to Athens; at this point in his life he'd rather compete for an SEC championship than for a spot on a roster. And in the end he might be better off for it, both in terms of collegiate hardware and his NFL career. Georgia returns practically every starter on offense, and has a talented albeit inexperienced defense. That could add up to a lot of good opportunities in 2013 for the team that the fifth year senior will lead.

As for the NFL, some are saying that going into next season Murray will be the top prospect at quarterback for the 2014 draft. He might not be any taller then than he is now, but if he gets to stand on a podium (or two) everyone will be looking up to him anyway.

Johnson raises Roof

So Tech's head guy has hired a new defensive coordinator...Ted Roof!
"I've known Ted for a long time and I'm excited that he has decided to come back to Georgia Tech," coach Paul Johnson said in a prepared statement. "He's one of the most respected football coaches in the nation."
Well, he does have that ring Cam bought him. So there's that.

But seriously, I don't know why everyone is so surprised Roof left Penn State, or that Johnson made the offer. This is Roof's 14th coaching position since he started in the late 1980's. Plus he's from outside of Atlanta and went to Tech. He spent four years on North Ave. with O'Leary.

As far as Johnson extending the offer...who else was he going to get?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Countdown to NSD - 28 days

This won't be a daily thing, at least not yet. And there stands a reasonable chance that I'll be able to get away from work to bring you updates live from Butts-Mehre for the fourth year in a row. This promises to be a big class. And now that the on-field action is complete, I'm started to get excited about how the committed and targeted recruits are shaping up.

For today lets just hit a few updates.

Norcross High's explosive playmaker, Alvin Kamara.
Alvin Kamara. A lot of buzz about possibly committing to Bama immediately following their win Monday night as well as taking in the action down in Miami firsthand. Now, I can't confirm he was in South Beach over the long weekend, but I have it on pretty good authority that he wasn't in school on Monday or Tuesday. He tweeted that he in fact had NOT committed to Alabama. So take all of that for what it's worth...

The fact is that this is down to the Crimson Tide and Georgia, and pits a head to head recruiting contest between two former Georgia players; Kamara has said that he is close with both Kirby Smart and Bryan McClendon. The shifty and explosive ball carrier could add a lot to either backfield, even though both schools have established running backs. I suppose junior Eddie Lacy might go pro, but even if he does there is TJ Yeldon and a host of hungry young guys behind him, including Dee Hart who's coming off a knee injury.

At Georgia things might be even more stable with Gurley and Marshall. But if there is one thing that is clear about Kamara, he's not afraid of competition. And both programs would find a way to use the talented Norcross High School star. He's a great down field runner than has the versatility an offensive coordinator dreams of adding to his depth chart.

Davin Bellamy. Losing Jarvis, along with upperclassmen like Cornelius Washington and Abry Jones, means Georgia needs to add some edge pass rushers. And until recently one of the nation's top guys at defensive end was out of reach on the recruiting trail, even though he's from Chamblee GA. Bellamy committed to FSU back in August, but after Auburn brought FSU assistant and former Tiger Dameyune Craig back home to Opelika, Bellamy decided to open things up a bit.

Turns out the main reason Georgia is back in it is because former recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Rodney Garner has changed zip codes as well ($). Kipp Adams goes into some specific reasons why the relationship between Bellamy and Garner (and consequently Georgia) never blossomed, but the end result is that a top pass rusher from our own soil will give the Dawgs a second chance, as well as an official visit later this month.

Bellamy sticking with the Seminoles certainly isn't out of the question. However, he wasn't happy new FSU assistant Sal Sunseri didn't offer him while the coach was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee last year. That may or may not be Sunseri's doing and he has since said that they indeed want Bellamy in Tallahassee. Other programs of interest are NC State and (the new and improved) Tennessee.

Lastly, Montravius Adams. With the depth at Grantham's nose tackle position in serious limbo, Adams is a key part of the 2013 recruiting class for Georgia. This is one we'll look at closely and update as much as necessary, but at this point we appear to have made the final cut. It's a shame the 5-star DT couldn't participate in much of the Under Armour practices or the all-star game after re-aggravating an injury from the Class A championship game last month. But as a 6-3, 290 lb prospect from Dooly County High School, Adams has plenty of interest. Other programs closing in are Florida, Alabama and Clemson.

Look for him to visit Athens later this month which will help him get to know our new defensive line coach and hopefully close the deal.

EgginDawg takes Festivus4theDawgNus

It was a close call. And much like the actual BCS game, it was decided well before Alabama finished beating Notre Dame. EgginDawg ended up edging out Evil Richt's Goatee after Arkansas State defeated Kent State late Sunday night in the Bowl. Everyone...yes, all 60 entrees had Bama winning. So much like Monday night's contest, the results of that game were a perfunctory matter.

As for me, I rallied. Having back-loaded all my confidence points on the later bowl games I was able to work my way up from 60th at one point to 13th where I finished. But like everyone else, fell short of the impressive 519 points that EgginDawg put up. So he will get the Festivus t-shirt to wear proudly next bowl season as he defends his title...and while he airs his grievances.

Kudos to Evil Richt's Goatee for entering the final stretch in the lead; Morton and rtdew for staying in contention much of the three weeks, JaxDawg for an impressive late run...and La Jolla for being at or near the top the entire time. As well as bothering me daily about who was cheating.

See y'all in December when we'll get the pole out of the crawl space for the fourth year!

Humpday Hilarity - of cows and tequila

Bruce, are you drunj?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The BCS: Katherine, Musberger and 7-leaf clovers

While watching the Fightin' Iwish unmasked as the posers we all knew they would be, I collected a few thoughts to share. You're welcome.
Your 2013 BCS title game in one picture.
  • My overall feeling last night was the same as the one I had walking away from the Georgia Dome December 1st, the true national title game was between the Tide and the Dawgs. I know that's preaching to the choir and may or may not make us feel much better. But it's a fact now, nonetheless.
  • I know what you're thinking. You haven't heard anything about Saban leaving Tuscaloosa. And you are correct. He said, "We'll be getting back to work in two days." But he didn't clarify exactly where that would be. Stay tuned.
  • Hit the Staples button. Eddie Lacy just trucked one golden dome and dodged Te'o to score again.
  • For all the grief he took, Brent Musperver* was the only entertaining part of the telecast. From his slurred words to his soliloquy aimed at boys being raised in Alabama to get out there! and throw the football around with their dad so that they can grow up and fulfill Brent's dream of bedding an Alabama beauty queen...that was just great television. All the while, Herbie chuckles in the background.
  • Overheard somewhere outside Sun Life stadium as McCarron greeted his girlfriend, "Hey AJ. I got 12 texts from someone named Brent and a voicemail from Hugh Hefner. What'd you do tonight?"
  • Did the referees in that game actually make me construct this thought: I should appreciate SEC officials a little more.
  • Seriously, why does college football adopt the NFL practice of taking commercial breaks before and after kickoffs just for these BCS games?
  • This is what the national championship game has become: a comedy. There was no drama outside of the coin flip and how bad the Pac-1? refs would botch the on field judgments.
  • Would we feel any better if the game had been close? I don't think so. Except that we wouldn't have the pleasure of laughing at the absurdity that Notre Dame football has become - media darlings still thumping their chest about a storied history that no else gives a damn about anymore.
However, eventually the discussion will move away from how poorly Notre Dame looked against a team that has actual championship-level talent that can do things like tackle and run. Yes, soon it will turn fully towards a college football introspection. How can this penultimate conclusion to the greatest of all regular seasons in sports best be set up?

Sure, there's a cute little playoff coming. But will the NCAA set a limit to the number of good teams that can enter the playoff? In other words, if the four team playoff were this season would we eventually get the rematch of the actual championship game, where Georgia gets another crack at Bama? Or will they just settle on handing out spots to undeserving teams like the one licking its wounds this morning on their way back to South Bend?

After seven straight consecutive titles for Slive and his minions, anything short of having as many deserving SEC teams in the mix as necessary should end with the SEC just saying Thanks NCAA...but we'll just use our own playground from here.
*all rights reserved because I stole that from Ben. Who undoubtedly stole it from someone else.

Dawgs 5th in AP, 4th in USA

Final AP and Coaches' poll are out and the Fightin' (?) Irish dropped a whopping three spots in one and just two in the other after getting curb stomped last night in Miami. Could not Georgia, aTm, South Carolina and probably 10 other teams across the nation do something similar to what Alabama did last night?

I guess just like Saban, the writers and coaches don't have time for this shit.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday's Meatloaf - Grizzard gives Gollum a riddle

The prophet Lewis Grizzard once said, “Will we one day get all our news from a computerized version of a newspaper, or radio or television?” Given that Aaron Murray chose social media via a computer or handheld device to make his big announcement last night, I believe this furthers the argument that Mr. Grizzard was some sort of deep fried, buttered down, sweet tea Southern prophet.

There's a peacefulness that I end each and every day with as I bend over each of my darlings and kiss their little foreheads while they sleep. It's a moment that makes me feel young and old at the same time: young in that it gives me hope and warmth to end the long day and look forward to the next, and old in that their bed gets a little smaller each night that I creep in.

Grizzard shown here with Twitter's
first prototype.
The best days are every day my friend. And so it's not lost on me that I used to start each day with some peacefulness as well. Before kids my world was much different, and the world as a whole was much different. A few weeks ago it was announced that yet another paper press would come to a halt. Forever. I'm not an avid reader of The Sporting News, but it seems like every week another newspaper ceases to exist, at least in its original form.

And when this news crosses my Twitter timeline, or is a small bullet on the side margin of a website I've navigated to, or reaches my electronic mail inbox somehow, I recall a time when I would start each day by walking to the end of the driveway, picking up the paper, retreating to a comfortable spot on my sofa, and reading it. I would start with the Sports section. And in the quiet of the early morning, before the world was graced with another sunrise and the only two people awake were myself and the delivery person, I would digest everything I both needed and wanted from this disposable news capsule. Then I would drive off to start my day with all of the knowledge I needed...until the next morning.

If the delivery person was late there was hell to pay. How dare the AJC force me to go into work less prepared to discuss these new fangled BCS standings than my colleagues. If I didn't know the latest names involved in the search to replace Steve Spurrier at Florida just because someone didn't double bag it on a rainy morning it was like going into the office half dressed. I felt vulnerable, exposed as an uninformed fraud.

Then slowly the news that hit the driveway was hours old before the words that echoed it were even printed. Eventually it became an easy decision to stop going through that motion each morning. The money we saved from canceling the subscription was probably used to fund half of our newborn's monthly diaper allowance. (Insert your own Atlanta Journal & Constipation joke there I guess.)

Part of this eventuality, this foreseeable certainty where every printed form of news goes the way of the dodo bird, gives me pause and forces me to reflect upon a simpler time. Especially during the holidays when I could turn on the Christmas tree and read about how my Dawgs had dismantled the Arkansas Razorbacks for the SEC Championship in the stillness of the early morning. But I'll trade that in for a quick check on the Twitter news feed and an opportunity to tuck my girls in any day.

The more things change, the older I get. And the closer their little toes get to the foot board. 

Today's Ingredients
- Could a Georgia quarterback transfer as a result of Murray returning for his senior season? Lady Sportswriter has an in depth look at where things are, and ecdawg also looks at the logjam at the position.
- hoopdawg looks at the hardwoord win over our nation's first president the other night.
- The Lady Dawgs couldn't withstand a second half surge up in Knoxville.
- Groo has a interesting (to say the least) look at where the running back situation stands today as opposed to last summer.
- Blutarsky wonders if the Big 12 is putting their playoff cart before the regular season horse.
- A lot of BCS stuff: Spencer Hall has a pictorial look at some Tuscaloosa SEC pride; Looks like Mr. Sanchez is watching tonight's college football season finale with Touchdown Jesus. Meanwhile, Tyler takes a look at the game with this preview.
- Most importantly, Kegs 'n Eggs has your 2013 BCS National Championship Drinking Game. Cheers y'all!
- True, hard to believe Chip Kelly turned down the NFL. But cocknfire points out the ways in which it is good for college football.
- Lastly, let this slip for a few weeks, but it is time to congratulate The Country Club at the Highlands for their work in kicking cancer's ass. If you're in the Richmond area you might be familiar with the VCU Massey Cancer Center. Good people, doing great things.

Filthy little Bagginses!
Is anything timeless any longer? If newspapers can stop pressing, is there anything that can't fall victim to Time's persistence?  As Gollum once riddled Bilbo:
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.
It is the conqueror of all. We all have felt that adolescent feeling of invincibility at a period in our development. Hell, I still feel it from time to time: my hair will never turn gray...oops!...I can play a game of two hand touch with the kids without spraining something...ouch!...Tech never beats Georgia...(waiting...) Well there was that time Jasper's knee was down so they cheated...

But I digress. All good things must come to an end. Whether it is the day as I place that kiss on their foreheads, or a Georgia football season that seemed lost but then was found. We just keep plodding through this thing called life. You can find me there anytime, right in between that bowl of buttered grits and that next glass of sweet tea. Just as our prophet once predicted.

Have a Monday Reader! And don't let Touchdown Jesus keep you up too late. Because news will break early tomorrow (probably via social media) that Saban is taking Frumpy's place. You don't want to miss that!


Kwame update

The suspense of who will go to the NFL early and who will not, should end today (as expected). And actually, the only real suspense has been in Murray and Geathers. In that sense it has been a relatively tame post-season subplot.

And with Murray announcing yesterday that he'd be back for his senior season to finish his PhD and pursue more titles, we're left with Kwame. There's always been a sense that he would likely turn pro, mostly due to his family tree. And there are numerous reports from last night that he was not at the team meeting. So it will seemingly end the way we expected it to unfortunately.

I've felt like next year's defensive lineman class would be a better opportunity for Kwame to work himself into better draft position. For this April's draft there's a long list of guys that Geathers would have to prove himself against in the workouts leading up to it; guys that have had more experience at the position quite frankly. Getting a season as the top nose in Grantham's defense would only help.

But as I've also said, Kwame is 22 years old and has been in Athens a long time. There's not a long shelf life for NFL defensive tackles, why not start as soon as possible? So Geathers will make the third defensive player to leave early. And I wish him well. He may not have the experience as some of the guys he'll be competing against, but he has the size that will have many scouts drooling over.

And hey, in terms of early departures to the draft, at least it's not as bad in Athens as it is in Baton Rouge, or Knoxville.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Murray to stay for final season

And he announces via twitter.

Awesome. GATA.

Favorite Jarvis Jones moment

After trying to narrow it down, I've decided that it's impossible to have just one. But I can say definitively that my favorite game for Jarvis was Florida 2011. I'll always remember him as one of the players that helped turn the tide in this series. For that, we'll always be eternally grateful.

Final stat line for #29: 5 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble.

Jarvis...sir, your money is no good in Athens. Always welcome. Damn Good Dawg!