Saturday, June 8, 2013

Not enough mani-pedis in Knutsville

Sad when beauty has to take a back seat to the economy. But hey, at least she had enough sense to not open a dentistry office.
Kim Shrigley, the ex-wife of former University of Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl, made headlines when she opened a hair and nail salon using money from her divorce.
Shrigley made no bones about her feelings at the time, naming the business Alimony’s, written in green cursive with a red heart atop the “i.”
But after five years, Shrigley is closing her beauty salon. Saturday will be the business’s last day open.
When asked about the decision, Shrigley referred all questions to her attorney, Dennis Francis.
“It was an economic decision based upon return on investment,” Francis said. “It was a pure economic decision.”
But the local auctioneer gets the best line:
“It’s general equipment you’d find in a beauty salon,” Kenny Phillips of Powell Auction and Realty said. “It’s all real nice because she wasn’t open that long. If somebody wanted equipment, I’m sure she bought the best with that alimony money.” 
Yes. Mike Hamilton did pay well didn't he.

BCS era - the highs

I'll preface this post by stating outright that I hope the high for Georgia football during the BCS era is yet to come. Kick some Tiger ass and then bitch slap the SEC this fall!

Whew. That typed itself a little too easy. Not even officially summer yet.

Anyway. I see the highs of the BCS era for the Dawgs as a three-way race thus far. You have the pure excitement of the 2002 season, the controversy of the 2007 season and the ever so close 2012 season. Let's look at each individually.
  • 2002. Georgia had yet to even sniff the rarefied air of the BCS. And yet in Richt's second season here we were - packing our bags for one of the big games. Were we in the national discussion? No, as the #3 team in the country we were just outside of it. Miami and Ohio State were clear cut 1 and 2 respectively. But the emotions were raw and unbelievable. It was a glorious time in Georgia football history. One we'll never forget.
  • 2007. Having stubbed our toe tremendously in Knoxville, we rebounded and managed a pretty damn good season behind a fearsome defensive attack and the offensive stars of Stafford and Moreno. We obliterated Tebow and the Gators which spring boarded us into the national discussion once the top two teams lost in consecutive weekends. Despite being ranked higher than LSU, the Dawgs were argued out of the picture as we did not win our division and play in the SECCG. This tarnished the magic of the season somewhat. At least until we got to see Colt Brennan cry at the thought of being put back into the game New Year's night. The domination over Hawaii was sugary sweet, but the aftertaste will always be What might have been...??
  • 2012. Perhaps Richt's greatest season, as well as his greatest team. Arguably. Still, nothing came easy. Absolutely blown out of the stadium in Columbia SC, the Dawgs had to rally together the rest of the way. The reward was a date with destiny's darlings, the team everyone favors and no one really gave Richt's squad much of a chance against Mighty Bama. But it was quite honestly the best college football game I've ever witnessed. Despite the heartbreak and the utter despair, it's hard to imagine a time when all of the Dawg Nation was collectively proud of one team. Five yards short of a certain national title. Son of a bitch.
Together, those are the highs of the BCS era. But you know what our task is now...we have to choose the highest. No real secret here; I'm going with last season. Sure we lost. Sure we were shut out of a BCS bowl game for our efforts. But there has never been a team that proved more to me that they were ready and able than last season. I know that's like calling a lowlight a highlight and putting lipstick on a pig. But that was the closest we've come to cresting this MNC mountain.

And to this point...heading into the last season of the Bowl Championship Series...that is where I cast my vote. Feel free to add yours as well.

Go Dawgs!

BCS era - the lows

If making a list of highs was supposed to be easy, this should be more difficult. Here are the nominees as I see them.
  • 2000. This was Donnan's "guarandamntee you" team and all they were able to manage was a trip to Hawaii on Christmas Eve.
  • 2005. Sugar Bowl gets moved to 60 miles from campus, plus they give us a Big East opponent to sweeten the pot, and we get our asses handed to us by a bunch of trojan hillbillys using some renegade offense? YGTBFKM.
  • 2010. Liberty Bowl against a directional team and we manage two field goals.
I'm going with 2010 as it was an especially low point for me all of us as Dawg fans. And still stands as quite the blemish on Richt's career in Athens. What's your vote? 

Friday, June 7, 2013

When a cowbell goes silent...

UPDATE: Then again, this is the NCAA.

- - - - - - - - 

Mississippi State is preparing to learn its fate this morning (h/t Brad).
The NCAA will announce infractions for Mississippi State's football program on Friday morning, a source told ESPN.
The NCAA announced Friday's 11 a.m. ET conference call, but did not specify which sport it involved.
Because Mississippi State has gone before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, the Bulldogs' improprities are major in nature. A source confirmed that former wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando is a key element to the infractions and that coach Dan Mullen is not expected to be directly implicated.
Georgia fans that follow recruiting closely will remember the name the investigation is centered on - Will Redmond. The defensive back from Memphis was a last minute flip for the other Bulldogs. Redmond had previously been considered a UGA lean and even stated that the Dawgs were his favorite team. Months later, and right before the season was to start, Mirando resigned "for personal reasons".

And if I remember correctly, Georgia's Sheldon Dawson was interviewed by the NCAA back in August. Dawson is also from Memphis and it was believed that the questions had to do with his recruitment by MSU.

No word on whether Redmond's new Mustang will attend this morning's press conference.

BCS era - Dawgs vs. HillBillys

So, previously I had posed the question: Would you trade our own streak of bowl games, which spans all the way back to the 1997 Outback Bowl, for Tennessee's 1998 trophy?

When I first typed it, I admit, I overestimated how easy the answer would come. I mean, the HillBillys have been in a heap of fail since Fulmer was run off: three coaches, academic improprieties, Lane Kiffin, athletic department budget red ink, losses by the dozens, Da'Rick Rogers' career...oh my.

But we should offer a fair comparison before answering. So here goes.
HillBilly Adam and Eve have had little to do
in January. Except eat lard buckets.

          Georgia Tennessee
1997 Outback, W Orange, L *
1998 Peach, W               Fiesta, W *
1999 Outback, W Fiesta, L
2000 Oahu, W               Cotton, L
2001 Music City, L Citrus, W
2002 Sugar, W              Peach, L
2003 Capital One, W Peach, L
2004 Outback, W Cotton, W
2005 Sugar, L
2006 Chick-Fil-A, W Outback, L
2007 Sugar, W              Outback, W
2008 Capital One, W
2009 Independence, W Chick-Fil-A, L
2010 Liberty, L              Music City, L
2011 Outback, L
2012 Capital One, W

             12-4                      4-8

Hard to argue with Tennessee's start. Three consecutive BCS bowls (although the Orange back in January 1998 was just the plain Orange...), two title games and one trophy. But it's also hard to argue against the complete resume for Georgia: four more bowl games and eight more total wins in those bowls. I know a lot of people that would add a lot of weight to that crystal trophy they have up there. But I'd take the composite memories I've had under Richt in the BCS era over the one dash of sunshine in the storm they continue to endure up on Rocky Flop.

But that's just me.

BCS era - Dawgs' report card

I've been reminiscing a bit. Yes, always a dangerous proposition. But as we head into the final season for the BCS, it's good to look back and recall just where our team fit into the landscape. After this I'll also look at the specific highs and lows for Georgia as well as what the perfect ending might be.

To semi-objectify this, I am placing all of the pre-expansion SEC teams into tiers.

Tier 1 - Bama  Florida  LSU   Auburn   Tennessee

So to start things off at the top, if FSU was the early winner in the BCS sweepstakes (making the first three title games, winning one), Alabama lead the charge with flying colors at the end (winning the last three of four). Also in the top tier you'd have to put LSU who won two of three title games, Florida who won both the 2006 and 2008 title games, and Auburn and Tennessee who added one each. Although Tennessee winning one in the first year of the BCS seems like ages ago compared to where they are now. Still, they get "top tier" based in the one title, right?

Tier 2 - Georgia  Arkansas

With that out of the way, Georgia leads the way for the second tier teams - ones that participated in the discussion as well as the second tier BCS bowls. Richt's team had a solid argument in 2007 and came within a breath of the championship game last season. The Dawgs went to the Sugar Bowl three times, winning twice. Then there's only one other team to make a BCS Bowl game that didn't make the title game, Arkansas. And they hold the distinction of losing to Ohio State.

Tier 3 - South Carolina    Mississippi State    Kentucky    Vanderbilt    Ole Miss

South Carolina seems as odd a fit here as Tennessee does at the top. But the lines are drawn, and based on my research the Gamecocks did not make a BCS Bowl. But they did make four Outback Bowls and one Capital One Bowl, which clearly elevates them above the rest in this lot. Has Ole Miss even been to bowl game? Ever?

Back to Georgia. Based on this breakdown I'd give Mark Richt and the program a solid B. They did enough at the right time to enter into the discussion and the national arguments in late November/early December. But they didn't do enough at the right time to elevate to the upper crust.

And it's easy to see that grade of B when relating it to most of the other teams. Alabama sets the curve with an A+; Florida and LSU a solid A for their titles as well as their complete body of work; Auburn an A- for their title and a decent body of work to go along with it; I'd give Arkansas and Carolina a B- and the rest C's , D's and complete failures.

But Tennessee man. Their just a square peg. Given my breakdown here you'd give them an A-. But hard to argue that Georgia hasn't done more over the course of the BCS era. Still, you make your own luck I guess.

Would you trade our own streak of bowl games, which spans all the way back to the 1997 Outback Bowl, for the Tennessee's trophy? Before you answer that question, check the next post.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

CRob doin work

He labeled it "New Beginnings." Very appropriate. Glad he's still around.

Richt, it's Latin for "stability"

Ching takes a deep look at the assistant coaches Mark Richt has had under his watch and specifically how they've helped give him ties to the SEC as well as stability over the years. Although Mike Bobo is the only coach currently on staff that was around for Richt's first season, Athens has seen little turnover in the coaches' housing market when compared to the rest of the college football landscape since 2001.
Few programs have won more consistently than Georgia since Richt took over as the Bulldogs’ head coach, so previous SEC experience might be slightly overrated as a predictor of future success in the league. Richt’s tenure might never have gotten off the ground, however, if he hadn’t initially hired some coaches who understood the SEC’s physical demands and who already developed key recruiting contacts within the state and region. 
Check it out. It's a good read. If for no other reason than to see Jon Fabris referred to as a "live wire".

My guess is that's Greek...

Stricklin ready for the challenge

It shouldn't be lost on us that Georgia's new baseball coach left his alma mater to take over our struggling program. And by this quote from his introduction yesterday you can already see he embraces challenges.
Stricklin has a catcher’s background and has been a pitching coach, so pitching and defense will figure heavily into his philosophy. Since the NCAA toned down bats, the three-run home run has diminished in importance in favor of the bunt and hit and run. Stricklin plans to use small ball but hesitates to call himself a small-ball coach.
“If you go back and watch that game at Kent State when we beat Oregon in the regional final — I’ve watched it several times, it’s fun to watch — we got a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt and a bloop single and we go to Omaha,” Stricklin said. “I don’t necessarily say that we play small ball. There’s times to bunt. But there’s times to hit and run. There’s times to steal bases. Putting pressure on defenses and keeping defenses guessing is important. If they know what you’re doing, it’s a lot easier to defend.”
Stricklin's challenges won't start and end with trying to beat Vanderbilt and South Carolina. He's already thrown into a fund raising campaign to renovate Foley Field as well as evaluating his roster against this week's MLB draft, which starts today.

And a tip of the cap to Coach Perno for reaching out to Stricklin. Things didn't work out the way we'd hoped under Perno's watch, but there's no question that Perno is a Damn Good Dawg.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Season opening tests, mostly failures

Reading Paschall's piece on the growing spotlight of the Georgia-Clemson opener is enough to make your stomach churn. But then he adds this graphic:


The Clemson Tigers could be the ninth top-10 team to open a football season against Georgia:
1961 ... Alabama (No. 3) ... def. Georgia, 32-6
1962 ... Alabama (No. 3) ... def. Georgia, 35-0
1963 ... Alabama (No. 3) ... def. Georgia, 32-7
1964 ... Alabama (No. 6) ... def. Georgia, 31-3
1965 ... Alabama (No. 5) ... lost to Georgia, 18-17
1968 ... Tennessee (No. 9) ... tied 17-17
2009 ... Oklahoma St. (No. 9) ... def. Georgia, 24-10
2011 ... Boise State (No. 5) ... def. Georgia, 35-21
Ouch. Wonder who Buffalo is playing. (Kidding. Really.)

Learning to live with UGA's drug policy

Had an argument with another Georgia fan recently that illustrated both the frustration Dawg fans feel regarding the yearly drug related suspensions and the no man's land that Georgia resides in compared to most of its immediate competitors.

The fact that the SEC's top officials recently discussed the (absurdly remote) possibility of a league wide drug testing program and uniform policies for positive tests is impressive in itself. But Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman put it best:
"If another school wants to do it a certain way and regulate it a certain way, that's their prerogative. What are we trying to do anyway? We're trying to help young people. I don't want another school to tell me how to do it." (via)
Who's to say one school's policy is better than another's? I don't want my neighbor having any kind of say so in how I raise and discipline my kids. So why should LSU want to adopt Kentucky's testing program and suspension policies? In short, schools like UGA have made their bed and now we must take a long, tortured slumber in it.

Have you sent Prez Adams his Thanks for the Memories card yet?

 Is it fair? No. But that doesn't mean it's wrong for the SEC to not have some form of uniform policy. Alabama can gain a competitive advantage over Mississippi State by allowing a player to play in their game after a positive test; a standard much lower than the MSU players on the same field. But that's how the University of Alabama chooses to run things. Do we all need the same entrance requirements for enrollment as well? Where does this train stop? Pre-game meals? Equipment deals? Checkboard endzones?

Just win the games on the field and let's stop belaboring minute details over fairness. Do you really think if Georgia players hadn't been so tired from pissing in all those cups they would've found a way to stop Eddie Lacy or managed to gain a first down and kill more clock? No, games are won or lost on the field. Not in front of a urinal.Speaking of which, take a look at this quote too:
"There are a lot of things we don't do the same as other schools," (Alabama AD) Battle said. "The policy for a lot of schools has been undertesting and overpunishing."
If UGA is overtesting and overpunishing (a matter of debate, sure, but logic would dictate that a case could be made for both) that is its business. Personally, I do think we're over punishing. And I also recognize that I must somehow come to accept that because it's not going to change. Ever. UGA won't lower the standards. It's just not going to happen*.

Instead, as a Georgia fan, I have to come to accept it in some way. In the case of Alec Ogletree, the school's policy did not alter his behavior as much as fans would've preferred. Truly, that's his prerogative. But I can explain to my own kids the tenuous and constantly strained relationship between choices and consequences.

And I can do that without my neighbor knocking down my door and telling me I'm wrong.

*I suppose the President Morehead era could bring lots of changes, I just don't see a new drug policy for athletes being one. And besides, it's not just the President's office in play here.

RIP "Gurshall"

Two men have always been better than one.
I think the guys have been trying to get away from the Gurshall label a little bit because they are two individual human beings,” he said. “So I’m all for kind of breaking off that saying.”
Richt said he expects the running backs to have productive sophomore seasons, especially behind an offensive line that didn’t lose anyone to graduation or the NFL draft.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Around campus this morning...

Quick look at the headlines this morning brings some news to stir into your coffee. First, Scott Stricklin as the new baseball coach is official. I think this is a great hire. The more you read about this guy the more it sounds like McGarity went and got the right guy to turn around the program. Again, it's not going to take much.
"Scott Stricklin is a tremendous hire for the University of Georgia; he is a guy who has had a lot of success as a head coach, taking Kent State to the College World Series and perennially has had one of the best and most talented teams in the Midwest," said Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis. "He's got a background coaching in Georgia and in the SEC at Vanderbilt. As a Georgia alum, I was thrilled by the hire as well."
But we need to continue to keep a watchful eye here as Stricklin starts to round out his staff. If he can convince Mike Birkbeck to come to Athens as well and take over a talented yet raw pitching staff, things will look even better around Foley Field. Birkbeck has been putting top draft picks into the MLB draft, but could stay at Kent State as Stricklin's replacement.

Former player Jonas Hayes has been named as Kwanza Johnson's replacement. This has been expected for a few weeks and comes as welcome news for older fans of the program. Hayes should do a good job for Fox. He'll almost certainly work with big men as well as try and lure young talent to Athens (although there's not a whole lot of recruiting to be done in the coming year unless more spots unexpectedly open up). Yes, Hayes was an easy choice here. Looking forward to seeing what he can do developing players and recruiting for Fox.

Is Kenarious Gates Richt's "most indispensable offensive player"? I don't ask that as a slight against  the very versatile big man here. But I'd personally give the nod to a fifth year quarterback or a sophomore sensation at running back.

Speaking of football, tomorrow a limited number of single game tickets to North Texas and Kentucky will go on sale at

Elisha Shaw and a hotty toddy transcription

It's not that Ole Miss is getting recruits' attention these days. It's that it comes across as if Coach Freeze is throwing buckets of pixie dust on them as they step onto campus. Out of nowhere they're suddenly mesmerized by all of the Rebel Bears' titles and sterling 7-6 record last season.
This past weekend it was Tucker GA four star defensive end Elisha Shaw's turn:
“Robert Nkemdiche and Denzel Nkemdiche are like my brothers agents” $haw said. “We just chill, count ca$h, talk football, make counter offer$ and have fun. Robert told me if I came there, we could win championships games. They are trying to pay off all the Georgia boys.” 
Before the trip it was a battle between Georgia and Alabama. Now it smells like...a trap Colonel Akbar!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Jarvis signs first contract

Steelers just announced that Jarvis signed his rookie contract and he sounds ready for the next step.

GATA Jarvis!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Comparing the 8 and 9 game schedule

Thanks to all who voted in the poll. It may only be clear as mud, but it certainly is fun to speculate; both as to what a schedule might look like and which format would be better overall.

And I don't envy the admins of the SEC for determining which is better, the current 6-1-1 format or a nine game format like a 6-2-1. I tend to side with Saban in that the fans are what matter most when it comes to the schedule. Tickets are expensive. Taking your family and joining your friends for a gameday is even more so. It just makes sense for the game that every Saturday is centered around to be worth the time and money invested. In other words, less Buffalos and more SEC West foes.

But enough of my opinion. I've put together mock 2015 schedules based on the current skeleton at FBS Schedules. I'm a visual learner, so seeing it laid out helps me get a better grasp.

Completely Circumstantial 8 game 2015 schedule
Sept 5 - Southern Jaguars
Sept 12 - South Carolina
Sept 19 - at Alabama
Sept 26 - BYE
Oct 3 - Missouri
Oct 10 - at Tennessee
Oct 17 - at Vanderbilt
Oct 24 - Buffalo
Oct 31 - Florida
Nov 7 - ULM Warhawks
Nov 14 - at Auburn
Nov 21 - Kentucky
Nov 28 - at Georgia Tech

Completely Circumstantial 9 game 2015 schedule
Sept 5 - Southern Jaguars
Sept 12 - South Carolina
Sept 19 - at Alabama
Sept 26 - Arkansas
Oct 3 - Missouri
Oct 10 - at Tennessee
Oct 17 - at Vanderbilt
Oct 24 - BYE
Oct 31 - Florida
Nov 7 - ULM Warhawks
Nov 14 - at Auburn
Nov 21 - Kentucky
Nov 28 - at Georgia Tech

Both of those give UGA seven home games, something McGarity has also put an emphasis on. What it boils down to is, would you rather play an additional SEC West team (and not have to wait a decade to do so) or suffer through another patsy. 

*the Alabama game is based on McGarity's recent comments that hint at the 2014 schedule having the Crimson Tide in it. Potentially.