Friday, August 18, 2017

2017: will the scenery change this season?

When collecting one's initial thoughts about an upcoming season of Georgia Football, Lewis Grizzard is as fine a place to start as any:

"If you ain't the lead dog, the 
scenery never changes."

For Dawg fans, the scenery has been about the same for some time. Since our last December trip to Atlanta in 2012, the SEC East has remained very much winnable. But Georgia has only gone 20-12 in conference play during that span, finishing 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd. So, far from the back of the pack, but still staring at a lot of rivals' asses.

Pass the Lysol please.
What we hope is the gators' view this season.
(pic taken @ Kenny B's French Quarter Cafe,
Hilton Head Island, SC)

A quick glance shows that the division once again is firmly in Georgia's sights this year. Tennessee, 2016's pre-season darling, lost most of its starters and plays at both Florida and Alabama. South Carolina should be improved but is still at least a year away from bringing in the talent necessary to compete for the East. Missouri is awful, and Kentucky and Vandy will do their best to keep the western Tigers in the cellar.

That leaves Florida. I tend to think our schedule is very favorable this season, but a look at Florida's proves they may have an easier road to Atlanta. We have road trips to Knoxville and West Opelika. They're biggest test away from The Swamp is a toss up between Columbia East or Lexington's new Kroger Stadium. The Gamecocks might be improved, but they're still a young offense and Florida's defense will once again be one of the conference's toughest. And while the former Commonwealth Stadium may not be a true beauty to look at, there's only one brand of conference turf whose recent life mission has become to shred as many Bulldog's knees as possible within a 60 minute game - Knoxville's Neyland Stadium.

"It's bad." Advantage gators.

If all that plays out in the division the way that I just typed it, then it will come down to the annual clash along the St. Johns River. Well, I should say it could come down to the Georgia-florida game. We lost there in 2002 and still made it to Atlanta, but wasn't the trip a little sweeter in 2004, 2011 and 2012?

After all, the lead dog shouldn't need a back door in. Go Dawgs!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cleaning out some off season clutter

Before we get to truly preparing ourselves for the Mountaineers (App State is the Mountaineers, right?) there's a few things I want to clear off the desk so that we can truly focus on football.

A brief Q&A. Yes, I do actually remember the password to this little blog thing. How 'bout that!

No, I did not spend the off season at at the "spa" with Nurse Ratched.

Yes, I will be around more frequently so that we can do all of the gnashing of teeth, fist bumping, high-fiving, commiserating, and crying together, as well as share a drink or three.

No, Jim Cheney still won't answer my calls. So I have no idea how good our offense will be.

Yes, I'm hopeful.

No, not overly so.

At least I don't think so.

BBQ. I'm done tweeting about this, and in a moment I'll be done typing about it. Does it make a huge impact on gameday experience that Dreamland is now contracted by Aramark to provide food for Sanford's visitors? No, and I agree this development has garnered way, WAY too much noise. But that's just the problem, it's a small decision that is indicative of a dangerous separation between Butts-Mehre leadership and us, the fans. It's just the Athens-native in me I guess, support local businesses. Or at least make them say no before you call a business on Central time.

Did Kirby's shiny IPF put a blindfold over CMR's "Eye on the Sky"? I do not miss the team having to travel all the way to Flowery Branch to practice football. I do kind of miss Richt talking about the weather some though. Storm clouds in August and hot chocolate in November..ah, good times. Friend of the blog Robert likes to remind me of my staunch opposition to building that thing. And no, I'd rather the team not use it unless it can be filed under "Drastic Measures Taken". But I have to say, I have no issue with how Kirby has managed practices thus far. I've said before he has always struck me as someone who would have the team's overall development at heart when making decisions about whether to head indoors and make 'em grind it out in the actual true-game elements.

Ole Miss. Holy sh*t what a mess. Whether it's mascot changes or bucking the system, you gotta admit those Oxford Grovers go all in. Like you, I'm still spending a little too much time grinning at the fall that Freeze is taking. Man that SOB has had it coming!

One day I swear I'll get more in line with feeling sorry for the true victims, the players, the Freeze family and the Ole Miss fans. But probably not tomorrow and Wednesday ain't looking good either.

I asked, Siri answered. The more you know... The news caught me by surprise, so:
Have a great week y'all. Go Dawgs!