Friday, October 6, 2017

the Friday Misery is now playing Comeuppance, the Sequel

First things first, here’s a conversation I had with Mr. Larry Munson earlier in the week. I think it should set the tone nicely for today.

Forget it Donny...
We’re fans for a team that is 5-0. We’ve seen some days like that. But being fans of a team that has achieved 5-0 in the fashion that these Dawgs have...well, I have doubts that any of us can remember how to act. Hell, many of us weren’t even singing Glory, Glory back then.

To quote the great Walter Sobchak, “YOU’RE OUTTA YOUR ELEMENT!!”

Goff never sat in these kind of players’ living rooms their senior year of high school. Donnan’s era was largely a bend but don’t break method of defending our end zone.[insert yawn emoji for the millennial readers] In Richt’s early years, Van Gorder had a defense that got us excited and even up on our feet some! But what we’ve seen through five games in 2017 is a defense that plays with the fervor and relentless pursuit of doing bodily harm to the ball carrier like none other in recent memory.

WilMart was just a clean cut dude with a half empty can of mace. On his best days. Grantham was the guy that carried an actual glock but often forgot to load it. Even Pruitt, he was at best a novice ninja with a counterfeit conceal carry permit.

But this defense’s like a menstruating, bazooka totin’, wild eyed bitch with a third degree black belt, strutting through the streets and leaving a trail of dead bodies strewn amidst empty bottles of whiskey and cans of Red Bull.

Slowly the book on Tucker’s crew is becoming a consistent read - steer clear and avoid eye contact. Forfeit the game at halftime if you must, just please don’t put those fresh outta high school reserve offensive linemen in during the fourth quarter. Because they will die. And I’m not calling their mama afterwards to explain your ineptitude and overly glib approach to your job.

But in the stands, and across the television waves where it’s just you and I, we’re not ready for this. We don’t know how to act. Like that dream when you’re suddenly on stage at your old high school and are supposed to be wearing a wig and reciting a Shakespearean soliloquy. We’re unprepared. We’re running a 5k for the first time since birth and after a six taco lunch and by the way we didn’t even stretch. We’re making mistakes. I left the Missouri game out of a sentence in a post where it belonged a couple weeks back. Hell, just in the last week I typed the wrong year in reference to The Hobnail Boot.

AND NOBODY CALLED ME ON IT!! Not even my wife...although she’s so sly she probably just left me hanging until I come back around and say, “Wow, can’t believe I said P-44 Haynes was in 2002 and not 2001. What’s wrong with me?”

“Glad you finally caught that Hon. Now, about that ketchup stain on those shorts…”

Vandy is gonna Vandy y’all
That is to say you never know what you’re going to get outta the ‘Dores - the team that lies down by the end of the 1st quarter, or the one that scraps its way into the thick of things and makes you doubt your own manhood.

When Mel Tucker's defense was a baby and was first told
it would grow up to tackle ball carriers.
Leading off this post with that Munson-esque conversation is an acknowledgement of our past. We tend to lose to Vanderbilt at our own Homecoming every so often (and that can lead to some poor life choices btw), and we tend to have some struggles in doing football type things in Nashville more often than not.

Altogether, it has the aftertaste of playing down to a lesser opponent.

I don’t want to see that tomorrow. I don’t need to see that tomorrow. I don’t think we will see that tomorrow.

This team has been built upon a foundation that is structurally sound. They tackle well. They block well. They’re fast. They know their assignments each and every down. Plus, you can tell they just love to play the game. To paraphrase Dan Rubenstein of The Solid Verbal when describing this defense, “They look like a bunch of excited seven year olds that were just told they can play outside another fifteen minutes.”

Now, it is our first noon kick (11am central). Which begs the question, “Will Kirby’s Dawgs have trouble cranking the motor tomorrow?” If so, I hope there’s another very large contingent of Road Dawgs there to help turn that ignition turn over. It’s been a long week since tasting all those Vol tears. Dawg fans are hungry for more!

Vandy beat Kansas State. Vandy seemed legit. Then conference play happened. The 'Dores slide continues tomorrow. Dawgs give Kylie Shurfur a four hour long headache, 45-0.

Now, please bow your heads...dear Lord Baby Jesus, please don’t let Ramik and Ray get flagged for playing football again. And save us from all the other weird things that happen up yonder. In the name of Terry Hoage and Pulpwood Smith, Amen!

And Go Dawgs!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Coaching Hotseats sees Butch fall to the bottom

A couple weeks ago we looked at what could be the hottest collective seat for SEC coaches we've seen in some time. Now that we've had two more weeks of games there are some coaches who have only made things worse while others have righted the ship somewhat. Here's where I see them today in order from safest to most likely to get (trash) canned soon (the +/- indicates a move up or down from previous list).

Bama - Saban sounds upset about beating other teams so badly. Does it ever rain in Tuscaloosa anymore?

Vandy - Two consecutive losses, but Mason is still in a very safe spot. Even with a difficult stretch coming up (Georgia, @Ole Miss, @South Carolina), all Mason needs to do is show they are competing to keep his office in order.

Georgia (+1) - Kirby is on quite a roll. Nothing makes the Georgia faithful happy like passing on a chance to compare his defense to Bama in order to give Erk's Junkyard Dawgs a nod.
Miss State (-1) - I would say that two blowout losses really takes the shine off that dominating win over LSU, but Orgeron's Tigers are doing a good job of taking the shine off of anything football related in Baton Rouge. Still, Mullen has a chance to get well on BYU and Kentucky before a big trip to College Station.

Kentucky (+1) - Stoops's Cats are two uncovered Gators receivers away from being 5-0 on the season. That plus a solid road win over the Gamecocks moves him up a notch.

South Carolina (-1) - Muschamp's task of undoing the mess Spurrier left behind may be harder than originally thought. But the Gamecock brass will give him enough leash to do it, or hang himself trying.

Texas A&M (+7) - Lot of football left, but Sumlin is making a case that we were off base thinking the train was going to go off the rails so soon. It hasn't been pretty, but wins are wins and the Aggies look a little better each week.

LSU - Coach O's Tigers are a mess. But hard to believe he'll get run out of town before AD Joe Alleva does.

Auburn - Malzahn's offense has started to click. That and what looks like another good defense may keep the Gus bus from catching fire.

Florida (-2) - McIlwain got lucky against Tennessee and even luckier in Lexington the next week. Losing Del Rio adds another starter in street clothes along with the future felons Callaway and Scarlett. I don't think the Gators want to make a change, but our favorite shark lover is going to have find an offensive groove these next couple weeks at home (LSU, A&M, BYE) before another WLOCP showdown.

Arkansas - Things will get worse before they can get better for Bert. Trips to South Carolina and Alabama in the next two weeks could have Bielema coaching for his job against Auburn and Ole Miss to close out the month.

Missouri - Hard to see a single SEC win on the Tigers' schedule. When your defense is giving up 40 points/game even teams struggling to score consistently (like Kentucky, Tenn, Vandy) could find the endzone early and often. Odom won two conference games last year. If he goes winless in 2017 it may force Missouri to find a third coach in as many years.
Smoky gray bUTt fumble will get Butch trash canned. Sad.

Ole Miss (-3) - Each week it gets harder to envision a scenario where the Rebel Black Bears don't bring in a fresh face to lead them out of purgatory.

Tennessee (-1) - Surprised the Vols aren't already (officially) looking for Jones' replacement. They're out of the SEC East race (again) by October and in a bye week. There's zero chance Butch is around next season. And that's unfortunate, because I really liked what that cat was (not) building up there.

A little clearer picture than a couple weeks ago, but still quite a mess. LSU at Florida this weekend and Arkansas at Ole Miss to close out the month could bring some sweeping changes. Like I said a couple weeks ago, it's fun to watch when it's not your team in turmoil.


Update on Jones -if watching that train wreck of a Tennessee team Saturday wasn't enough to satisfy you, then reading about Jones' trip to the Memphis Touchdown(??) Club last night will do you well.
Then, it was dinner, and time for the Liberty Bowl’s high school player of the week, who just happened to be Cordova’s four-star offensive lineman Jerome Carvin, who just happened to have spent last Saturday visiting Tennessee.
“What impressed you?” asked Liberty Bowl’s Harold Graeter.
“Georgia,” someone quietly cracked.
Woo boy! Guess they're not even letting him use any sick days to get out of stuff like that. That's rough.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Thoughts on 72-3

That's our current SEC score differential. Seventy-two to three.

Holy mother of Herschel, we've given up one, ONE!!!, field goal in two conference games.

I'll be honest. I was indoctrinated way back in the early season of the Goff era. I don't know how to handle this. Do you strut around the neighborhood casually? Do you run naked through the downtown streets? Do you just allow the finebaum, espn, SECN personalities to shape your opinions?

I mean what do you do?

Ok, let's start with the recap.

- Tennessee sucked.
- So there's that. They have a great tailback but they couldn't use him effectively. Because their QB situation is trash, their wide receivers are trash, their OL was only somewhat serviceable, and their defense couldn't keep pace.
- Tennessee sucks.
- But more importantly we forced them to stand in the spotlight exposed as what they are - trash.
- They were trash last year. Not quite as rancid because Josh Dobbs use his non-eyebrows to keep opponents on edge. But they weren't SEC East champion material, obviously. We just couldn't expose them.
- Yesterday, they were exposed for what they are - a shitty football team with a dumbass coach.
- And that is the reality - Georgia is trending up, hard. While Tennessee is trending down, real, real hard.
- Seriously, if Tennessee hasn't fired that fake coach by the time this posts, their whole program is soft.
- What a joke. Our true freshman quarterback had a mediocre day and finished with two rushing TDs. Chubb only had 109 yards and no TDs, still they lost 41-0.
- In short, this is a dichotomy of tackle football teams. And there's no Hail Mary to bail their ass out this year.

I think Fromm made the most of what he could. I think the defense dominated an offense that was searching for answers. And I think the special teams proved that Tennessee prefers cheap boxed wine up the butthole.

It was a true road game team victory. One more business trip and a week off before the biggest game of the season. Beat Vandy!