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February 24, 2015

Dawgs travel to Ole Miss: another planes, trains and automobiles adventure?

With tip set for 9am tomorrow night, the Dawgs are flying to Memphis then driving down. I believe the plan is to drive on to Oxford today, which eliminates the non-sense of having to deal with Mark Fox's adventures in winter weather travel, patent pending.*

Ole Miss is a winnable game. They aren't as physical as Alabama or South Carolina, but with how the officials the past few games have let teams play in the posts, they probably could be a high school team, from a physical stand point.

A win here will go a long way in helping ensure we aren't going into the SEC tournament needing two or more wins for an NCAA bid. A bonus is the Rebels are two game ahead of the Dawgs in the conference, sitting in fourth place, which ensures them a bye. Beat them gives the Dawgs a shot at an extra days rest for the SEC tourney.


*I'm not blaming this on Fox, it just seems we've endured more of the winter travel stuff under Fox that we have in the past.

February 19, 2015

UGA to face UNC at Dome in 2016

The good news is that there is no way we'll face them in the Music City Bowl in 2016. I'm cool with the game, as it means UGA will have one fewer shitty SunBelt opponents noon SECNetwork kickoffs at home in 2016. Besides, it looks like the game could be settling on some sort of rotation involving SEC and ACC teams, so getting in the rotation has upsides.

So our 2016 OOC schedule is:
UNC - Georgia Dome - Sept. 3rd
Nichols State - Athens - Sept. 10th
University of Louisiana - Athens - Nov. 19
Georgia Tech - Athens - Nov. 26

I guess it would have been cooler if it would be the first game in the new Blank Dome. What are your thoughts?

See also: PWD on how this matchup almost happened in 2010.

Mark Fox's Future

Has he finally had it up to "here"?

At this point, there's an incredibly shrinking opportunity to debate Mark Fox's future. It appears that he hasn't signed his contract extension from last Spring.  Now he likely won't sign it due to buyout implications which are rumored to impact him negatively in the new unsigned doc.   His old contract ends after the 2016 tourney.  Buying him out at $3.4 million $1.7 million or less is more than manageable. (I checked and the buyout is lower than I thought. #JournalismMath) my opinion and the opinion of others I talk to...he has to make the tourney or he's out.  That means he likely needs to win 4 more games.  There are 5 regular season games and at least 1 SECT game.

That includes 3 remaining road games and a home game against UK.  Other than UK, the opponents are beatable, but so were Auburn (home) and South Carolina (home and road).  Those are horrible basketball teams.

The only debate left is....what happens if he makes the tourney and loses first round?  Is 6 years without a single NCAA tourney win worth rewarding?  Can he find another job before before McGarity fires him after the NCAAs?

That's the question.

This is definitely coming to a head because he didn't sign that contract extension (which is a paper work maneuver between he and McGarity that makes sense for ALL parties by the way).  He now has to get a net new contract extension after the season.  Can that really happen if he makes the tourney and loses?

Given where we are with attendance and apathy, I can't see it.  As for apathy, I haven't attended a home game in about two years despite being a season ticket holder*.  Some of that is a work travel schedule which results in flying 60,000-130,000 miles a year.  Some of that is due to having a new baby.

But I can't say that I've been missing it much.  Before you call me a fair weather fan. I've been to 6 to 10 games for almost 25 years.  But you can only hit yourself in the head with a hammer so many times before you say what am I doing watching a product that's so dysfunctional and bland that the recruits who sit near me look like they are about to start napping?


*Note: I do try and give away my home game tickets when I'm not there.

February 17, 2015

I'll raise you $30 Million

Well, that escalated quickly.
But athletics director Greg McGarity said the project ultimately could cost “in the ballpark of $30 million.” That’s twice as much as similar projects, such as the just-announced indoor facility project at Florida.
The focus is on the area I talked about earlier, with the likelihood of taking the Hoke Smith Annex down. For reference:
It looks like the plan includes closing Smith Street and using some of the field turf fields. And for $30M, I'd guess there is already some sort of plan to build State 4-H a new building elsewhere in that budget, because that is one hell of a facility. 

Indoor Practice Facility

Now, we have a little more information on where it might go:
The area just beyond the existing outdoor practice fields, off of Lumpkin Street, leading up to Stegeman Coliseum.
For you visual learners:
As you can see, there is the little problem of buildings there. Those buildings house UGA's cooperative extension and the State 4-H offices. Messing with those programs carry a fair amount of political peril, both on North Campus and around the state. 

I'd think any plan involving that site would include a new building for those programs else where on campus for it to pass muster. Unless you get University and political buy in from State Extension supporters in the legislature, that will drive the cost of the project well past $10M.  

One other thing this could be: a leverage move to get whomever is against using the current footprint to build the IPF (which makes the most sense to me). 

There are ways to utilize the existing facilities, up to and including a movable roof/open wall configuration on a new IPF, that allows you to keep most of the current natural grass fields, while not losing any field turf. If the natural grass area is a non-starter, then those two field turf fields certainly could be utilized and kept as viable practice area.

A retractable roof on your building is much less expensive than a fight with State Extension/4-H folks and buying a new building for them.

February 16, 2015

Thomas Brown coming home

Blind hog, meet Mr. Accorn.
Obviously, I can get behind this.

February 13, 2015

Georgia adds Roquan Smith to class

While I'm at it, I'm glad to say I was wrong about Smith.
Welcome to Dawg Nation, Mr. Smith.

Ball to LSU; Can we get Thomas Brown to come home?

Hey, he didn't get a raise with those other guys. His rap has always been great teaching coach, average recruiter. While I hope he does well, I'm not jumping off a bridge over this.

We do have a chance to improve the staff with a replacement hire. There is a scenario floated that we move Bryan McClendon to WR coache, which he'd be coaching the position he played, if we could get Thomas Brown to come home. I'm not say he should automatically do this, but if BMac is on board, it has the potential to improve recruiting, IMHO.

Brown is the RB coach at Wisconsin, where he coached RB Melvin Gordon to over 2500 rushing yards this season. He's also hit some home runs on the recruiting trail, getting three four star guys, including Arrington Farrar from Woodward Academy in Atlanta. New Wisconsin HC Paul Chryst worked hard to keep him in Madison, but with the pay disparity, if Mark Richt wants him, I'd guess he could get him. Ball's salary at UGA is reported at around $280K. Brown makes a shade less than $174K. Anything around Ball's salary would make Brown the highest paid non-coordinator assistant at Wisconsin.


February 5, 2015

My take on Roquan Smith

I know I want him to come to UGA. I think Jim Mora is the devil. I know UCLA lied to the kid about Ulbrick. It isn't the first time it happened, most recently I can think of with Urban Meyer's Gators team in 2010. I have to assume Arthur Blank leaked it because screw Jim Mora.

And I also think Roquan Smith will go someplace besides UGA.

I get the 'Grantham didn't want him thing.' He's seventeen. For a significant part of his life, especially in his mind, UGA's coaches didn't want him here. Yes, Pruitt has worked on closing that gap, but much like the kid from Liberty County, Smith has decided that he wants to leave the state.

I hope I'm wrong and if you want to blame a coach, blame Grantham.

Because much like Jim Mora with Arthur Blank, bad impressions last a long time.

February 1, 2015

My favorite Super Bowl commercial

Appeal to my childhood 
Unexpected twist 
Steve Buscemi 

Dawgs and the NCAA Tourney

With the loss to South Carolina, where do we stand?

While that loss isn't great, it isn't a 'tournament chances killer' like some were speculating. South Carolina was RPI 115 before the game, and will rise after the win. Georgia was very well placed at 25. The loss will drop them some, but not to the 40 or so line that put us in a bit of a crunch for an at large spot.

The bigger issue is which Georgia team are we? Clearly, the team that was in Columbia isn't the team we saw during the win streak. Strangely, it looked like the team we saw is the team we used to see at the start of prior seasons: poor shot selection, lack of direction in running sets, lack of ball hustle on defense.

And a Mark Fox that tears up a guy for something, then sends him to the end of the bench for the game.

Coach Fox has done a great job of in game coaching this season. Yesterday wasn't a good look for him. Getting the technical when he did was about 6 game minutes too late and that is just to name one instance.

Georgia basketball is doing much better this season than I thought possible. Part of that has been a more effective in game coach in Mark Fox. We need him to be that coach if Georgia is going to make the NCAA tournament.


January 29, 2015

"That is terrible!"

Yes, Mr. Vandenburg, it is.

I've spent most of January purging. I still love Georgia, college basketball/football, and writing. I just need a break, I guess. I intend to continue on that purge over the next few weeks (but if you are desperate, I'm on Twitter), but the Vanderbilt rape trial is one that I have been following that compels me to write. But not about the actual trial or what led to the trial.

While there are some pieces to the story that are in contention, these facts are not: Brandon Vandenburg, who was at the time projected to be Vandy's starting TE, videoed his girl friend getting sexually assaulted by team mates, while encouraging them to do so. He and Cory Batey were convicted this week. Mr. Vandenburg was also convicted of evidence tampering and unlawful photographing the victim during the attack.

There is a whole month of cautionary tale posts here, but one thing that just struck me totally wrong was Brandon Vanderburg's father shouting "That is terrible!" when the jury foreman read the verdict.

"That is terrible!"

Yes, Mr. Vandenburg, it is terrible in a real way, but not in the way you meant it. But using that particular verbiage, something I feel comfortable you've shouted countless times at coaches, referees, Brandon's other team mates, teams he's gone against, and probably Brandon, too, illustrates bigger issues. I can't imagine how hard it is to have a child convicted of something this terrible. I hope I never, ever find out or even face the possibility of that.

But there is that video. Perhaps you didn't see it; I know I didn't. I don't think I would have wanted to, if I were in your position. The terrible thing is that sitting in the court room, with the victim, her family, your son's co-defendant, and everyone else that did see the video, you decided one more time to make it about how your son isn't getting his fair shake.

The terrible thing is you made it about your son.

Mr. Vandenburg, it's on us. Fathers. Brothers. Coaches. Leaders. Administrators. Men. It's on us.

The idea that you and your wife will lose your son, who had so much promise, nearly moves me to tears in the abstract. I can't imagine the pain you are going through. I'm gussing this isn't how you taught him to be. I'd sure like to think so. But this is a bed he made for himself. One that ultimately cost his team mate, and likely two more team mates, their liberty. One that cost a young lady so much more.

Don't be that guy. Don't be the 'couldn't be my son.' Don't be the 'he just watched' guy. Don't be the 'its only kids being kids' guy. Don't be the 'boys will be boys' guy. Don't be the 'it is the culture' guy. Don't be the 'it was this way when I was in school' guy. Don't be the 'she got too drunk' guy. Don't be the 'she knew it was coming' guy. Don't be the 'she wanted it' guy. Don't be the 'he ain't responsible for others' guy. Don't be the 'it isn't my business' guy. Don't be the 'that's terrible' guy. Just don't.

It's on us.

January 13, 2015

Dawgs finish ranked 9th

Let the 'worst 10 win team in history' nonsense start now.

I'll have more on the season later, but consider this: would you have been ok with 10 wins and a top 10 ranking on August 28, 2014? Clearly, I would have.

January 10, 2015

Rob Sale named UGA OL coach

Exceptional hire. His staff bio.

January 7, 2015

Final SEC Power Poll Ballot

  1. Alabama - Lane Kiffin can't figure out how to stop a third team QB, can he?
  2. Missouri - By carrying the SEC's flag with the conference's top bowl win, there is no way the Tigers aren't a lock for next year's SEC East preseason top pick.
  3. Georgia - Mickey Mouse offenses always trumps defenses that don't have any idea what alignment they are supposed to be in.
  4. Mississippi State - Stop the damn dive!
  5. Mississippi - The Rebels first December trip to the Georgia Dome turned out about like you would expect.
  6. Texas A&M - A&M is a decent defense from being scary. They are a good WR from being terrible.
  7. Auburn - Hard to say if teams have caught up to the Auburn defense, but it has to be hard to ignore that they've not beaten anyone with a pulse since November 1st.
  8. LSU - In a Catholics vs. mostly Catholics, Notre Dame beat LSU in football the same way they beat them in the wing eating contest: Failing to come back late.
  9. Arkansas - If the Hogs can replicate that defense, they'll be dangerous in 2015.
  10. Florida - Florida wins in Birmingham with a QB that was already released from his scholarship. That's just how good the SEC East was in bowl season.
  11. Tennessee - I'm not ready to proclaim Tennessee a darkhorse SEC East contender, but I do think they'll give more teams than Georgia a tough game next year.
  12. South Carolina - The toughest question facing Gamecock fans in the off season is 'are the glory days over.
  13. Kentucky - Hey, Kentucky hasn't lost a football game in over a month!
  14. Vandy - Mercifully, it ends.
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