Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Big OOC games on the (distant) horizon

We'll probably have flying cars by then, but McGarity is eyeing key non-conference matchups for the 2020's.
"I ask staff, I ask friends, I ask donors, if you had two or three places where would you like to go? And they've aligned with what I think," McGarity said Tuesday before a UGA Day in Albany. "So that's what we're trying to do, is do some experiences not only for our fans but our students."
You can scratch one possibility off the list: Ohio State.
Georgia and Ohio State had a memorandum of understanding to play in 2020 and 2021. But that was canceled by Ohio State, and McGarity said it will not be revived.
"Once Urban came in that was off the table," McGarity said of Urban Meyer, hired as Ohio State coach in 2012.
Michigan is another unlikely opponent, McGarity said, pointing out the Wolverines were "tied up" with other schools, including Florida.
But the A.D. played coy when other schools were mentioned by reporters.
"I think Penn State would be a great matchup," McGarity said, nodding when USC and UCLA were also thrown out. "You're thinking like I'm thinking. Those are the type of venues that we'd love to play in. You mentioned three, and those are three that I would agree with you on. You've got the Coliseum, the Rose Bowl and Happy Valley. I think our fans, that'd be pretty neat. So that's the type of iconic things that we're talking about doing." (via Emerson)
Nice dig at his former corch there, huh?

Losing that game in Corvallis a few years back has always stuck in my craw. There's some great beer up yonder. Hopefully they wouldn't run out like the Sun Devils of Tempe did when we came to town in aught eight.

On a related note, the administration is spending more money and they're scheduling big non-conference games that will excite the players and the fans alike. Now if they'd just stop piping in that engiNerd song I might just have to pinch myself.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Roundtable wrapup

Really appreciate Kevin at College Football Zealots setting this up. It was a fun way to pass some time in the off season.

Here are some parting thoughts after yesterday's conclusion.

If the season started today, which of our quarterbacks would you want under center (and why)?

I think Greg hit the nail on the head with his last sentence - "Leadership will go a long way toward making up for any for any athletic deficiencies that Bauta might have relative to the other candidates." He and I seem to be on the same Bauta Bandwagon. Ramsey adds a dimension we need in the offense; a vertical passing game is the perfect compliment to Chubb's chunks of yardage on the ground. 

We knew the coaches weren't going to name a starter this spring. The last thing we need is a quarterback or two transferring because they feel the competition is over. It's pretty evident, just from how the first team reps were shaking out the last couple scrimmages, that Park is the longshot. I think Bauta has the commitment off the field that the coaches like to see. The next few months gives Ramsey a chance to show some of that leadership Poole referred to. I'm sure Coach Shotty is watching carefully. 

Georgia must replace both of their leading receivers, Chris Conley (36 rec in 2014) and Michael Bennett (37 rec), this season. Barring injury, Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley should be able to contribute greatly in 2015 but depth is a big concern. Who needs to step up in this area and who do you see as the other top contributors?

Expectedly, the tight ends get a lot of mention in the responses. And both Greg and Tyler make mention of some of the talent coming in August that could add depth. But Kevin reminds us of the threats in the backfield, specifically Sony Michel. "One guy that didn’t show up in any of the other responses is Sony Michel. Yeah, he’s a running back but in his freshman season we saw that Georgia had the ability to line him up anywhere in the offense including quarterback and wide receiver. In the first four games last year before he started to get banged up, he had six receptions with one for a touchdown. With Michel and McKenzie, Georgia has two wildcards that can be play-makers from anywhere on the field and from any situation. When it comes to making a difference in 2015, keep an eye on both of those guys."

Then BassinDawg picks it up in the comments and on Twitter (make sure and click the link for video evidence):
Yeh. That'll do quite nicely.

What is your biggest concern on defense (and why)?

Perhaps I just wanted to keep the memory of the 2014 WLOCP in the dark recesses of my mind, but Blutarsky is dead on with this point - "Interior run defense. Georgia has to replace a lot of experience on the defensive line and at inside linebacker. And it’s not like last season’s run defense was all that stout at times. You wonder if Pruitt can find that happy balance between having lots of defensive speed, which generally means not having as much defensive mass, and being able to stop power running games.

I really think the front seven will be much improved this coming season. But until we see that with our own eyes against the likes of the Gamecocks, Tide, Tigers, and Gators, this has to be the primary concern.

This could change but right now what is your gut feeling on what makes this season a successful one for Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs?

This question was taken in a different direction by yours truly. And I agree with my colleagues on their responses. Winning the East should always be the standard by which seasons are judged. You can't win the SEC without taking out the garbage in your own division. And if you win the SEC then you stand a good chance of being in the national discussion.

But after all these years of watching the program come close here and there, the fact that the coaches have no excuses is what intrigues me most. As I said, "I’ve never disagreed with those fans that expect more from the program, just in where the blame lies ultimately. Now all that is just noise from years past. It’s time to put up or shut up. No excuses."

Whether you like Coach Richt or not...and whether you blame him or support him...he's the head football coach at the University of Georgia and deserves the full support, both vocal and financial, of the administration. I'm interested to see what he can do now that the bar has been raised.

Thanks again to Kevin and the other guys. That was fun.