Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dress Blues

Memorial Day weekend. It's bittersweet. For some of us, we go through the motions and walk through America's pictures. The parades, the streets lined with flags, the grill in the backyard and the beer in the cooler. There's nothing wrong with that, mind you. Nothing at all. That's what America is at its core.

But at the heart of every Memorial Day, are true heroes that must be remembered. They were never voted into any office. They never asked for donations or campaigned for your attention. They are the sons and daughters of this great nation that volunteered to put their time, their patriotism and their heart where their mouth was. They set aside their everyday lives and their families and never returned to resume what they had begun.

This song by Jason Isbell captures all of that for me. Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend Reader. And by all means, raise your beverage to those who gave their all so that you would have the opportunity.

HillBilly sex boosts....GPAs

Remember when the student athletes in Knoxville induced a "whoa is me" attitude as well as a perplexing, frustrating situation for the UT brass?
The University of Tennessee football team had a "tough fall" academically, which may have been related to their on-the-field performance, said NCAA faculty representative Dan Murphy in a presentation to university faculty Monday.

"My point was that generally people do better in the classroom when they're doing better in the rest of their life," Murphy said following the UT Faculty Senate meeting. "When you're suffering from disappointments, it's hard."

Well, after one simple sex scandal, things have changed ...for the better!
Overall, UT said the department-wide GPA of 3.05 for the 2013 spring semester was the highest since records were first recorded in 2003.

The Vols showed strong growth in the two major revenue sports. In football, the semester GPA climbed 12.5 percent from 2.49 last semester to 2.8 in the recently completed spring semester. UT also climbed 3.3 percent from last spring’s mark of 2.71.

Jenny Wright must've had quite the pencil sharpener.

Current panther, always a DGD!

Charles Johnson... Damn Good Dawg.

DE Charles Johnson (#UGA & Panthers) again providing 2 Hawkinsville High seniors each college scholarships worth $20,000 total over 4 years.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sanders Commings signs first NFL contract

Yesterday Sanders Commings became the Kansas City Cheifs fifth draftee to sign a contract. Details of the contract have not been released. Commings was selected in the fifth round after an impressive career at Georgia. He became the physical defensive back that Coaches Lakatos and Grantham needed in their secondary, recording over 150 tackles (including one sack and six tackles for loss) on top of eight interceptions and 17 passes defensed.

The NFL has become a solid landing ground for Georgia players. For NFL fans out there, you may want to start checking out the available nfl betting lines and odds of your favorite team. Richt has been putting former players into professional rosters with regularity. Forty-seven current players to be exact, although that number could change with a free agent signing or two. Of course, the SEC is a hotbed for future professional talent. But clearly NFL coaches are particularly fond of the players that the Georgia coaches develop.

Back in Kansas City, the Chiefs are looking to improve on their frustrating 2-14 season with new coach Andy Reid. So Commings is a great pickup for them. His physical style and playing experience (one that includes 35 starts and 54 games) will surely help him find the field early on. Playing under a former NFL coach as his defensive coordinator should help as well.

Indeed, I'm looking forward to a lengthy professional career for Commings. Damn Good Dawg!

UPDATE: Commings former teammate Shawn Williams has also signed a contract. The Bengals selected Williams in the third round.

New poll: Eight or Nine games, that is the question.

A week ago people got pretty excited about the thought of opening the 2016 season against Florida State in the Georgia Dome. I'll admit, the blood pumped a little faster for a moment. But scheduling games like that are even more problematic than they used to be because of all the variables involved. A school has to consider it's existing schedule and its inherent, perceived strength, the implications of said strength of schedule on possible post-season opportunities, whether a home game would be lost because of a neutral site matchup, and then money. It always leads back to money.

If the SEC eventually goes to a nine game schedule these games could all but disappear. McGarity has been outspoken (as he should be) about keeping a seven game home schedule. Even if the Chick-Fil-A folks made the offer of playing in the Dome as lucrative as possible (something the city of Jacksonville has had to do in the past to keep the WLOCP where it should be), it would still mean the city of Athens would lose thousands of dollars in potential revenue.

As someone who grew up in the city of Athens, that means something to me. The Loco's on Harris St. closed last Sunday. Weaver D's and Peaches faced a similar fate. Neither were directly related to the football schedule, of course. But if you went to school and/or grew up in Athens undoubtedly you can list off several businesses that enjoy the influx of gameday traffic.

All that to say, I'm all for keeping as many home games on the schedule as possible. And I'd also like the opportunity to travel the SEC more. A nine game schedule gives us trips to The Grove, Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa more of than a blue moon comes around. I would even consider giving up the yearly tie in with Auburn if it made things easier. I'm not yet willing to let go of the Tech "rivalry" just yet. But there are those that are well past that point.

A lot to consider for sure. But at this point it's safe to break it into two categories to determine which side of the fence you are on: eight games with more cupcakes, or nine with more SEC variety. Where do you stand?

How many calories does 70 million cupcakes have?

As the athletic board finishes up this morning there hasn't been much to take away from it. Except that it is Adams' last as the sitting president. And that the coffers are currently bulging at over $70 million.

Whoa. That'll buy a lot of bus rides to Athens for some directional schools. Wouldn't ya say?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's slow, but it's news

Not a whole lot going on of course. But the best May days are the quiet May days. The more time the headlines spend on gardening tips and reality TV gossip, the more it means the guys of autumn Glory are handling themselves according to their coaches' wishes.

But there's still this and that to tend to. There is still tidbits of actual news and then some that is just invented for our own flights of fancy. Unless you're going to checkout available NFL odds and betting lines while fighting off mosquitoes, these nuggets might pass the time pretty well. Even Mark Emmert, up there on his NCAA throne, might give them a casual glance before sending more sample cups to Ron Courson.

In related news, the #FREEKOLTONHOUSTON petition needs a few hundred more signatures. CLICK HERE to add yours. Then pick up your tardy slip from the front office.

So Ty Flournoy-Smith is leaving before I even learn whether he prefers the hyphenated version of his name or not. I keep seeing it presented both ways, so I'll just type one of each version to keep this paragraph balanced. Although that development is not shocking, it is intriguing in terms of the roster and future recruiting. For the 2013 season we'll have a senior (Artie), a sophomore (Rome) and a true freshman (Jordan Davis). For the class of 2014 we've already secured a commitment from one of the nation's top tight ends in Jeb Blazevich. Another target, Herschel Walker's nephew has since committed to Clemson. Also, Richt gave a casual mention that Ty Smith might even end up back in Athens after a stint at what is looking like Georgia Military College. So it'll be interesting if Richt and his staff decide to pursue another signee for the next class. Undoubtedly, they'll wait and see a little more of what they have in Davis and what Rome does with his second season.

As the Athletic Board meets in St. Simons, the dead horse was arisen from his grave topic of an indoor practice facility came up again. Then short of it: Richt wants one, but doesn't think we really need one; meanwhile McGarity would rather invest in building a car dealership outside of an Amish community than an indoor practice facility. Those are my words, not his exactly. Some advice for Richt, if anyone asks about an IPF, just start reeling off statistics from the 2012 WLOCP. You'll always fare better in that direction, promise.

It took three sets in each match, but Georgia's own Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase both advanced to the next round of the NCAA singles tournament. Herring will meet Southern California's Zoe Scandalis tomorrow and Kowase (who fought off a math point from UC-Irvine's Kristina Smith and forced a tiebreaker) will take on TAMU's Christina Sanchez-Quintanar.

Back to football, CBS announced some initial time slots for a few games in this fall's action. Naturally, the Georgia-Florida game will be in Uncle Verne's lap. The two dates for the double-headers are October 19th (noon and 3:30) and November 9th (3:30 and 8:00).

Lastly, if you're setting off any fireworks for your Memorial Day celebration this weekend, confine your dog. He's gonna wanna do his job.

via meme-meme

Muschamp's kids, Jordan Reed and other "Florida guys"

I have to admit, this new video that made the rounds yesterday featuring Coach Muschamp's kids imitating their father's trademark stare is pretty good. And by good, I mean in the way that it can rejuvenate a fan base after getting their ass handed to them by the Louisville basketball team in a bowl they didn't belong in.

Of course, I'm not going to embed the video here. I mean, this is a Georgia blog. It's bad enough I'm going to give you the link here in a second. I'm worried that featuring Muschamp in a video here will allow SEC receivers to run around all over the place.

Like back in the early 1990's at Sanford Stadium.

So here you go. Use your mouse device (or index finger for you tablet/mobile phone holders) to click the link here and watch the video if you haven't already. Then be sure to come back and continue reading as I break this clip down.

For the rest of you, while you wait, here's some footage from Muschamp's sixth consecutive loss in Jacksonville.

To take the words from Will's mouth, I assure you...gators suck.

Ok, back to the floriDuh promo. Some thoughts:
  • How many takes before those kids went the whole thing without fumbling? BOOM!
  • I mean, those are the smallest frat boys I've seen since my last trip to Vandy. The old Vandy.
  • Hey Will, I see their mother also taught them how throw the ball. You know, because of your VW Passat and all.
  • You mean to tell me the richest family in Gainesville can't afford a single pair of jorts?
  • With any luck those kids'll get a gig doing voiceovers for a local news channel and second rate car dealership commercials, thereby somehow avoiding a long standing, deeply tumultuous relationship with a methhead masters student.
  • Lastly, one of my favorite tweets of all time sums this thing up best. Take it away Robert...

One hundred days

From BassinDawg...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can Morgan match Walsh's sophomore season?

In the third installment of Emerson's most important players series he takes a look at placekicker Marshall Morgan. The reasoning is simple: as he puts it, Morgan was on last year's list because he was a freshman and no one knew what to expect from him; and he's on this year's list because as a freshman he didn't allay any of those fears.

Inevitably the comparison to Blair Walsh will come up. So let's have a look. (via

Blair Walsh, freshman 2008

Marshall Morgan, freshman 2012

The first thing to notice is the contrast in number of field goal attempts. Clearly Richt had more faith in the offense on fourth down than the place kicking. And why not, given how well the offense was performing last season. (note: the number of 4th down attempts went down last year, but rose as the season progressed. That's a post for another day.) But Morgan clearly settled down as the season progressed. He didn't miss an extra point after the trip to Lexington. And that's the next thing that jumps out at me - the offense got in the end zone a lot last season. And although there were times the kick was more exciting than it should've been, Morgan made most of those conversion attempts.

So Morgan's freshman season was watched with a more anxious eye, but all in all it was pretty comparable to Walsh' first one in Athens.

Blair Walsh, sophomore 2009

Obviously Walsh had a big jump in confidence and consistency from year one to year two. And as unfair as it might be, this becomes the standard for Morgan entering the 2013 campaign. I would expect to see a similar jump for Morgan this season. And going back to something Emerson says to wrap up:
BEST CASE: Morgan makes his first field goal of the season, and it goes from there. For the first time since Blair Walsh’s junior season, the Bulldogs have a reliable kicker who makes at least 80 percent of his fields. Oh, and his kickoffs are almost always touchbacks too.
If Morgan makes his first field goal of the Clemson's Death Valley...under the lights...on national television...well, that may tell us all we need to know.

More on the coaching search

Was digging around and found this video chat where the guys from Baseball America discuss Perno's dismissal and the coaching search that is developing. Interesting that they agree it is one of the top positions in the country, but just aren't sure how much money will be invested with the hire.

Humpday Hilarity - school's out!

Kid's are officially on summer break starting two weeks ago today at noon. This one comes from one of Springfield's best and brightest.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ron Polk ain't walking through that door again

Nor do we need him to. Despite just releasing its coach from his contract yesterday, Georgia baseball is in a good position to bring back a winning tradition. The current roster is stable. The recruiting grounds are near and plentiful. And the program has a history of success. The park has even had some recent upgrades. (Although it could stand a full overhaul, that's a post for another day.) Still, all in all it's not a bad place to manage a college baseball team. And, there's the draw of being able to not only play against the Southeastern conference, but also in nearby professional parks like Turner Field and Coolray.

Additionally, the HOPE Scholarship program allows the coach to utilize his roster more efficiently and work around the limitations of the 11.5 cap. A smart kid with talent can still get a full ride at Georgia without the coaches having to award a full point towards his glove. That's a huge advantage against Georgia's competitors.

All of them really, except for one. Danny Hall arrived at Georgia Tech just as the HOPE Scholarship was building walls around the state of Georgia keeping its top tier graduates in. Hall has flourished on North Avenue during his 20 years, mainly because he's a good coach and a great recruiter. Perno was doing a good job of keeping up and even pulling ahead before things turned in a different direction. He was an aggressive recruiter. When it was working, the results easily followed. When it wasn't, the wheels came off.

All of that to say that despite the absolute nightmare that was this past season, this baseball team can be a quick fix. A large part of the squad that absolutely embarrassed their in state rival is back. They're also the team that didn't back down from Vanderbilt last month, a team that had one of the best seasons ever in SEC baseball. Georgia will get Nagle (P), Stephens (C) and Welton (OF) back next season after losing them to injuries for the duration of 2013's schedule. Key components are in place to turn things around quickly. What's not in place is a coach.

Enter Greg McGarity. The still fairly new athletic director at Georgia who has not had to make a big hire as yet. He's replaced a coach in three women's sports thus far: volleyball, golf and gymnastics. Unlike those coaching searches, this one will define him in the eyes of many alumni and fans. As Tyler points out, this is the guy that will likely lead the search to find Mark Richt's eventual successor. There's also a decent chance he'll be looking for a new hoops coach as well. We're going to learn something about how he conducts these searches and how well he sells the University of Georgia.

Will he enter those future searches on the firm ground of having jump started his baseball program back on the road to success? Despite the last few years and despite the need for better facilities for the program, the head coaching job for Georgia baseball is still one of the elite spots in the nation. Will McGarity treat it as such?

The Devil is in the graphics

All this talk about Saban being the devil. I bet recruits are eagerly eating up this forbidden fruit
Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 8.45.03 PM
h/t AHD

Dawgs on Top, Dawg Down Under

From Christian Robinson's blog about studying in Italy last year, to Watts Dantzler's epic tale from the floor of a Greyhound bus, to Dustin Royston's new blog about his experiences in Australia studying abroad...I just think it's cool to see another side to these players. And that they communicate/share so well.

Even when they don't have the best of internetting connections.
-P.S. Trying to upload photos on Australian wi-fi is comparable the age of AOL Dial-Up, I'll do my best to upload some on facebook and twitter asap.

Monday, May 20, 2013

#FREEKOLTONHOUSTON petition is nearing 5000!

I've been meaning to put this link up here for a week. Thanks to Jay for the reminder.

If you already added your name, it wouldn't hurt to share the direct link or this post via the twitters or the bookfacers once again. We all have friends that are lazy, don't we?

And if you haven't signed it yet, how's it feel having Mark Emmert's arm as a spine?


Who will replace Coach Perno?

McGarity acted swiftly and dismissed David Perno yesterday. Now he'll begin the search for a candidate that can bring the program back to the level Georgia enjoyed in Perno's earlier years.

Aaron Fitt at Baseball America has a pretty comprehensive list of coaches that may or may not be on McGarity's radar. The real question on Georgia baseball fans' minds is how aggressive we'll be in pursuing a proven coach. And that's why I like Fitt's list. He has a number of hot head coaches' names as well as some assistants that may be ready for a big step up.
The Card's Dan McDonnell is 258-128 in Louisville.
If Georgia wants to make a major financial commitment, it might start by approaching some of college baseball’s most successful established head coaches, like Louisville’s Dan McDonnell, Virginia’s Brian O’Connor, TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle or Kent State’s Scott Stricklin. None of those coaches would be an easy hire, but Georgia has the resources to shoot for the moon. Mid-major head coaches like South Alabama’s Mark Calvi, UCF’s Terry Rooney, Samford’s Casey Dunn, Mercer’s Craig Gibson, Illinois State’s Mark Kingston or College of Charleston’s Monte Lee could also make intriguing targets.
Or the Bulldogs could try to land the next O’Connor, Tim Corbin or Kevin O’Sullivan—all of whom were can’t-miss prospects as assistant coaches who have been hugely successful in their first head coaching stints at major-conference schools. If Georgia decides to take that route, it figures to look at North Carolina’s Scott Forbes, Virginia’s Kevin McMullan, Arkansas’ Todd Butler, Mississippi State’s Butch Thompson or Mississippi’s Cliff Godwin.
Inserting the obvious pun here, I'd love to see our AD swing for the fences. As Fitt mentions, there's no shame in getting a top assistant that has proven his value to college baseball both on the playing field and in the recruiting fields. Fitt mentions Brian O'Connor for a reason. He spent years as an assistant proving his worth before getting the job in Charlottesville. And that move has paid off in spades for the Cavaliers. O'Connor has been named ACC coach of the year three times and national coach of the year twice.

For me, it's just easier for McGarity to go after a proven head guy. All he has to do is open the check book. Georgia is fertile ground in recruiting with excellent talent coming from both the Atlanta area and south Georgia. Plus, the head coach at Georgia enjoys the added bonus of being able to utilize the HOPE Scholarship to manage the roster. That's like printing money in terms of being able to fill out a roster with talent without strapping your program's scholarship counts.

Will McGarity make the big move and try to lure one of these proven coaches to Athens? Or will he settle in on a safe name and save some money? Either way, we're about to learn something about our baseball program and our athletic director.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Diamond Dawgs give Perno one last win over gators

It was a special afternoon at Foley yesterday. Chance Veazey and Johnathan Taylor were back on the field for Senior Day and the Dawgs took the series against Florida with a 9-2 win. And very swiftly attention turned towards the future. That's what happens when you only outpace Auburn to stay out of the SEC cellar and miss the tournament.

On the one hand, the team will be talented and experienced next season. Replacing Kyle Farmer will be a challenge, but for the most part the roster will stay intact. On the other hand, we're facing a coaching search in the coming weeks. That's all but assured.

Even if you're not a baseball fan, it will be important to keep a close eye on how McGarity handles the program. This will be the biggest hire and interviewing process for him during his tenure as Georgia's athletic director.

As for Perno, his legacy will always be strong at the University of Georgia. How many coaches get a chance to lead the program for which they won a national title on for 12 seasons? How many coaches have to lead a program through not one but two career ending spinal injuries to key players?