Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post A beautiful sight

Wednesday October 31, 2007

You’ll never see this in a home-and-home:


Post Two more future end-zone celebrants

Wednesday October 31, 2007

The good news continues for the Georgia football program. RB Dontavius Jackson (Heard County HS, Franklin) and ATH Sanders Commings (Westside, Augusta) committed to Georgia on Wednesday morning.

Jackson is a Rivals 100 running back (one of the top 100 prospects in the nation). The Dawgs also have a commitment from Richard Samuel who could also play running back or linebacker. With those two, Knowshon Moreno, and Caleb King, the next generation of the Georgia backfield after Brown, Lumpkin, and Ware is complete. Jackson picked Georgia over LSU and Clemson.

If you’re a Rivals.com subscriber, be sure not to miss the great video of his announcement. It’s unlike any other you’ve seen.

Commings projects as a safety, and he is quite a baseball player as well. The possibility of playing both sports was a factor in his decision. Ray Tanner and the South Carolina baseball program were recruiting Commings heavily, and that made his decision very close and very difficult. He’ll play both sports at Georgia.

These two commitments give Georgia 23, and signing day is still three months away. Depending on Xavier Avery’s professional baseball future, the Dawgs might have as few as 2 or 3 spots remaining in this signing class. Give us a couple more linemen and perhaps another receiver, and we’ll call it a class.

Dontavius Jackson commits
Trick or treat – let the Big Dawg eat!
Photo: Rivals.com

Post Richt: Get your butt to the stadium Saturday

Wednesday October 31, 2007

I’m not one who believes that the focus of the team and the fans has to be in sync in order for the team to be successful. Last week, many Georgia fans were still in a deep funk over the Florida game and were going to the game hoping for the best but more or less resigned to a loss. Shame on us – the team fortunately had a different outlook.

Likewise, the team doesn’t always perform at its best when the crowd is great. The scene before the Auburn game in 1999 was as good as it gets in Sanford Stadium.

All that said, I still think that the crowd and the team can feed off each other for better or worse. Homecoming is usually a pretty dead crowd and an unexciting game. The alumni can reunite, eat fried chicken, and watch a lackluster win over someone like Vandy or Kentucky. (Well…except for last year.)

Another Homecoming loss is unthinkable, but Troy is a decent team that can put some points on the board. A letdown by both the fans and the team is very possible after such an emotional win last weekend. For that reason, Mark Richt is appealing to the fans to get to the Dawg Walk at around 11:30 and fire up the team.

“Our Bulldog fans can help our players get emotionally ready for the game,” said Coach Richt. “Our players need the energy and heart to face Troy and our fans can help prepare the team for the game.”

After such a good win, the Dawgs deserve better than the usual sleepy Homecoming crowd. Of course the team has a role too, and they need to come out with the same attitude and urgency that led them to a win last week. It’s been over a month since Georgia’s last home game, and a lot has happened since we last heard Soulja Boy.

I don’t think there’s been such a collective release of tension in the Bulldog Nation since Michael Johnson’s catch at Auburn in 2002. Instead of a letdown or coming out flat in the next game, Georgia followed that 2002 win with the 51-7 demolition of Georgia Tech and continued the roll into the postseason. A good start and nice win over Troy could set the Dawgs up for the two crucial home games that follow.

PS…if the pre-game and in-game videos aren’t updated with Florida highlights, someone needs to be drug out of the Butts-Mehre building and left in the street.

Post 11 teams, 8 bowls?

Tuesday October 30, 2007

Could eleven SEC teams be bowl-eligible this season? Six teams already have six wins. Florida and Tennessee should join the club soon enough.

That leaves three teams with longer but not impossible odds for six wins:

Arkansas. Currently 5-3.
Remaining games: South Carolina, @ Tennessee, Miss. St., @ LSU

Mississippi State. Currently 5-4.
Remaining games: Alabama, @ Arkansas, Ole Miss

Vanderbilt. Currently 5-3.
Remaining games: @ Florida, Kentucky, @ Tennessee, Wake Forest

Vandy might face the longest odds of any SEC team with postseason hopes. Conference wins over Ole Miss and South Carolina have put them in a position to need just one more upset, but the competition is tough in their remaining four games. Wake Forest should be considered no less an opponent than any of the other three.

Mississippi State is hanging their hopes on the Egg Bowl, but they could cement their postseason fate with an upset of Alabama or Arkansas. The Hogs meanwhile face three quality teams and each of the current division leaders. The MSU game might become a must-win situation to avoid a .500 (or worse) season.

If all of these teams manage six wins, the question becomes who, if anyone, gets left out? The SEC has eight official bowl tie-ins. An at-large spot could almost certainly be found for a ninth team. If it gets up to ten or even eleven bowl-eligible teams, it’s possible that someone like Mississippi State or Vanderbilt could miss out.

There are plenty of snobs who think that there are too many bowl games or that 6-6 teams should be grateful for the crumbs they get. But the significance of even the most minor bowl game to a program like MSU or Vandy cannot be understated. Croom is desperately seeking legitimacy (and another year on the job), and a bowl bid is the next step after two big road upset wins. The drought is even longer for Vanderbilt, and they are the only SEC team without a trip to a bowl in this decade (not to mention the last decade). One even wonders if the SEC will intervene and send a 6-6 Vandy team to a bowl for the first time in 25 years over a stronger program like Arkansas who might be disappointed in a 7-5 season.

While we’re celebrating the parity and the wild SEC season, the league hasn’t done much to live up to its billing nationally. LSU’s win over Va. Tech stands tall, but there’s not much after that. Tennessee lost big to Cal. Miss. St. was toothless against West Virginia. Auburn fell to South Florida and just escaped Kansas State. Bama lost to FSU. Georgia’s win over Oklahoma State was nice but hardly significant. We’ll see another round of big non-conference games soon against mainly ACC opponents, and hopefully the league can show out a little better there before the bowl season.

Post The World’s Largest Little League Home Run Celebration

Tuesday October 30, 2007

The "right or wrong" question about Georgia’s unsportsmanlike celebration has played itself out. It happened, it worked, and any aftermath will be solely psychological now that no additional discipline is forthcoming.

The notion that Georgia will somehow be seen as a classless program or that Richt’s reputation will be damaged is just silly. As Chuck noted here the other day, "If class were a change jar, then Richt just spent a quarter out of his Duck Tales size swimming vault." If anything, it’s making people finally talk about Mark Richt the football coach. Pundits crank out list after list of the top coaches in the SEC and across the nation, and Richt is more often than not passed over for flashier, though not always more successful, options.

It is noteworthy though to see how a trio of former quarterbacks saw the incident. CBS’s Gary Danielson praised the celebration immediately. Eric Zeier also gushed from the broadcast booth. Kirk Herbstreit likewise had a positive reaction on Atlanta radio. Those three are all veterans of big-time football who recognized exactly what Richt’s motivation was. Meanwhile, the loudest outcries have come from those with – how shall we put it – a little less personal experience with the motivational ups and downs of a college football team.

2-15 was a ridiculous stat for a program like Georgia. Even given Florida’s success over the past 17 years, there was no logical explanation for such a one-sided series. Richt and the team did something equally ridiculous and illogical to address it. I won’t go so far as to say that the past 17 years have been erased, but I suspect that our approach to Jacksonville will be much different in the future than the pucker-fest it has been recently.

What I like most about the ongoing controversy is how Georgia has set the discussion. Florida is responding to Georgia for once. When we saw Meyer and a few Gator players jumping around before the next kickoff trying to show how hyped they were, it was clear that Richt’s tactic had worked. The Gators are a good team and responded immediately on the scoreboard, but Georgia had set the bar for intensity for the rest of the game.

In fact, Georgia’s attitude improvement didn’t start with the celebration. They came out of the locker room with it. The defense sacked Tebow on the opening play. Even after getting burned on 3rd-and-long they kept coming, and Rod Battle caused a rare Florida turnover. Then the offense ran it right at Florida’s highly-ranked rushing defense for nine consecutive plays and didn’t stop until they reached the end zone. The celebration was the most memorable expression of Georgia’s approach to the game, but the Dawgs carried that attitude before and well after the celebration.

Scut Farkus
Go Gators!

This was Ralphie beating up Scut Farkus. Yes, we know that fighting is wrong. Sometimes you have to do something extreme and unexpected to bring about change. Ralphie stood up to the bully, turned the tables on him, didn’t get killed by his father for it, and the neighborhood dynamics were never the same.

It’s a certainty that the celebration will be agenda item #1 in Jacksonville next year, and that will be a welcome change from hearing about 3-15. The Dawgs have not won consecutive games in this series in nearly 20 years, and that will likely be the storyline heading into that game. Georgia stood up to Florida in this year’s win, and next year’s job will be to begin turning the tide of the series. It won’t be easy immediately after playing at LSU, but that’s life in the SEC.

UPDATE: Tony Barnhart gets the reaction of several coaches and former coaches across the country. It’s especially interesting to hear the nearly unanimous support from the former coaches who don’t have to play politics with their own fans. Add in the opinions of the former quarterbacks named above, and it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue in the football community.

Post Bulldog Radio Network to re-air game

Tuesday October 30, 2007

The flagship of the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network is making Saturday’s broadcast of Georgia’s win over Florida available to its network affiliates on Tuesday.

Participating affiliates will re-air the game beginning at 8:06 p.m. on Tuesday. The broadcast will originate with Atlanta’s News/Talk 750 WSB. It will last approximately three hours and 20 minutes.

Post Cue Brenda Lee

Tuesday October 30, 2007

Mark Richt has written an apology on the chalkboard as punishment for Saturday’s celebration, and I for one hope that this sincere letter brings closure to any and all spectators, pundits, fans, and confused moralists who might have been damaged by the incident.  The apology is nothing if it doesn’t make you feel better, and that’s a deep concern of mine right now.

I’m Sorry

Principal SEC Commissioner Mike Slive extracted a telephone apology from Richt, and Richt followed up with a letter addressed to Slive.

“I apologize that I put everyone in that situation and specifically apologize to you, the Southeastern Conference, and the University of Florida. You can be assured I will not ask our team to do this type of thing again.”

“I understand that the entire team running on the field created the potential for an altercation and that excessive celebration is not in compliance with the Southeastern Conference sportsmanship policies and expected standards. My only intention was to create enthusiasm.”

Richt admits that his ultimatum to the team to draw a celebration penalty “was inappropriate”.  The good news is that the SEC will still let him have dessert after he’s through in time-out.

Charles Bloom, associate commissioner of the SEC, said Slive received the letter and “accepts his apology.” The league plans no disciplinary action against Richt, Bloom added.

Well…that’s a load off.

Post Game ball – my wife

Tuesday October 30, 2007

I got married back in June of this year. Though others might claim that I fell for the beauty or intelligence of this woman with two degrees from the University of Georgia, the reality is that I married her for a single reason: her higher Hartman Fund score meant access to Florida tickets.

I thought that was one heck of a dowry, but things got even more interesting. It turns out that she had not attended a Georgia-Florida game since 1989. In fact, she never saw a loss to Florida in the three games she attended from 1987-1989. With that information (and two tickets) in hand, there was no way that she was going to miss the first Georgia-Florida game of our marriage. She has still never witnessed a Georgia loss in Jacksonville. Cards, letters, bouquets, and a self-cleaning litter box can be sent to my lovely bride Karen.

Before you ask – yes, we are planning to be there again next year.

Great job, offense

Welcome to the KnowShow I put the game squarely on the shoulders of the offense, and boy did they do what they had to.  Though the passing game did have several key plays (including uncharacteristically long touchdown passes), not many people expected the running game to be the story of the victory from the opening drive.  The blocking was there, Moreno was magnificent, and Stafford and the receivers efficiently moved the chains when they had to.

As we expected, Florida put points on the board.  It’s no shame to give up 23 to the Florida offense – only Auburn surrendered fewer points to them.  That meant that Georgia couldn’t take the foot off the gas for a second, and they didn’t.  From the opening drive to two huge fourth quarter touchdowns to a simple first down on the final possession which let the Dawgs end the game on their terms, Georgia executed on offense when they had to.

Most important were the answers.  Though Florida stood toe-to-toe and delivered plenty of punches of their own, Georgia was able to answer nearly every big Gator score.  Florida had tied it at 7, and you might have thought that the momentum from Georgia’s early celebration was gone.  Massaquoi’s touchdown erased those thoughts.  Florida answered Henderson’s 4th quarter touchdown quickly, and no one felt comfortable up 35-30.  The Dawgs didn’t cave, and a key third down conversion to Bailey led to Moreno’s clinching touchdown.

My favorite answer was after Florida took a 17-14 lead.  If you think back to 1997, Florida also erased a Georgia lead by going up 17-14.  In that game, a long Bobo pass to Corey Allen set up a Robert Edwards dive over the pile to retake the lead, and the Dawgs never looked back.  In 2007, Georgia also never let the Gators get comfortable with a lead.  My play of the game was a flare to Moreno on 3rd and 4 that could have been stopped for a loss and a 3-and-out.  A 3-and-out following a lead change could have been devastating to Georgia’s momentum.   Instead, Moreno made the first man miss, got a key block from Haverkamp, and made it past the marker.  He’d work some more magic later in the drive by reversing direction and scoring to put the Dawgs back out in front for good.


Make no mistake – Tim Tebow is one hell of a football player. The running element of his game was limited, but he made big throws all night long and gave Florida the ability to drive and score in the blink of an eye. Any Georgia fan who tells you that they felt secure about a win until Florida’s late fumble is lying or still drunk. As I saw all of the “Teabag Tebow” stuff throughout the weekend, I wondered when Georgia would have such a successful high-profile player that would draw that kind of reaction from opponents. Not even David Pollack was so universally hated. I admit that the media “Superman” build-up is behind much of the gag reaction to Tebow, but nobody goes to these lengths of scorn and ridicule for untalented or unsuccessful opponents. Percy Harvin isn’t bad himself.

I remember back in 1992 when Florida players celebrated a close win by mocking Garrison Hearst’s Heisman hopes. I have to admit it felt good to drive the stake into Tebow’s Heisman campaign this year, but I fully expect him to be the front-runner entering next season. He’s a very good player involved in a high percentage of plays in a very good offense. Endurance obviously will be the limiting factor. Hopefully Stafford and eventually Moreno can give him plenty of competition for postseason honors down the road.


It’s usually the role of the losing fan to mention some questionable calls (such as an illegal formation penalty called 20 yards downfield), but I will ask this: how the hell does Urban Meyer coach the game from the near hashmark and not receive the same “sideline warning” that was given to Georgia? I fully expected to see Meyer listed in the game’s participation report.

But, hey – I enjoyed celebrating every Georgia touchdown all over again after the reviews came back.


Charlie Strong has been a thorn in Georgia’s side for the better part of this decade, and most of us would love to see him earn a head coaching opportunity…far, far away from here. It’s incredible how pedestrian a great coordinator can look when his talent wanes and how brilliant other coaches can look when a dynamic young tailback emerges and when passes are placed where they should be (and then caught). The same Florida defense that knocked heads off in recent years is now doing its best PAC 10 audition, and Strong is no less competent now than he was then. The grass-is-greener trap is easy to fall into. In some cases, it really is greener. Stacey Searels has the newcomer-laden Georgia offensive line to the point that they are no longer a liability or excuse for underperforming offense, and that says volumes about the job he’s doing. But more often, coaches are a lazy target for both blame and credit.


Knowshon Moreno was the player of the game and the offensive player of the week in the SEC, but he wasn’t the only newcomer to shine. Tight end Bruce Figgins had a tremendous day blocking and also caught a nice pass on a drag route for a first down. Linebacker Rennie Curran played early and often. He’s only going to get better and should remain a starter. We also can’t forget the linemen. Trinton Sturdivant, aside from providing the seminal moment of the touchdown celebration, also anchored the left side of the offensive line with Chris Davis, and the Dawgs were able to run to that side all night. Standout defensive end Derrick Harvey was hardly a factor.

It wasn’t a perfect day for the youngsters.  Figgins missed a key block that led to Florida’s only sack. Rashad Jones was taught a valuable lesson about pass defense on Florida’s first touchdown. Though not a freshman, sophomore Prince Miller was really picked on. It happened with guys like Thornton, Wansley, Oliver, and so on…there’s just a certain amount of abuse most young cornerbacks have to take before they become stars. Miller is taking his lumps now, but he has the swagger and attitude to let each mistake roll off him, and he’ll be a very valuable defender in the next two seasons.


Every Georgia fan I encountered after the game (the coherent ones anyway) asked the same question.  “Where was that against Tennessee?”  It’s a fair question, and I don’t think there’s a simple answer.  Tennessee came off their bye week with as much intensity as Georgia showed following their own bye.  The Dawgs weren’t able to answer Tennessee’s challenge, and the results were uglier. 

I’m not surprised by inconsistency from such a young team.  Sensing an absence of leadership to fill the intensity void, Richt created his own.  It worked brilliantly for a game.  Now it’s the job of the team to sustain this attitude and make the most of the opportunities opened by the win.  The last two wins over Florida were followed by losses to Auburn.  Troy is no pushover either.  Can the Dawgs somehow avoid slipping backwards?

Post Here goes nothing

Thursday October 25, 2007

Departing this morning for Amelia and of course the game. I’ll always enjoy the trip.

It is time to just win the damn thing.

Post King me

Wednesday October 24, 2007

The drama over Caleb King’s status has really taken off in the past 24 hours. The coaching staff had some interesting things to say on Tuesday, and we’re now parsing every statement looking for a sign that he will or won’t play in Jacksonville. At the very least, we know he’s making the trip and has spent time working at the tailback position.

The good news is that this is a distraction just for the fans – the coaches and team have a much better idea what King’s role (if any) might be.

Let’s be clear that we’re strictly talking about depth. We’re taking for granted that Knowshon Moreno will get most of the carries and snaps. No one is for taking minutes away from Moreno. The question is about those plays where the starter is getting a breather or – God forbid – is injured. It might seem like overkill to focus on the backup tailback, but an effective reserve can be a strategic advantage.

The central issue goes beyond the Florida game. As the Senator points out, the recovery of Thomas Brown’s collarbone is a key question. Though a comeback for the Florida game was never really the question, there was hope that Brown could be ready in time for the Auburn-Kentucky-Tech stretch at the end of the season. But the collarbone is an area that takes constant pounding on a running back. If it were a quarterback, I might believe an aggressive schedule for his return to action. A premature return for a running back who could see contact to the collarbone 15-20 times in a game (not to mention in practice) could result in a greater risk of re-injury, and Brown has a future to consider. For that reason (and this is all speculation anyway), I would plan on a Thomas Brown return later rather than sooner.

There are also other issues making this a more complex decision.

King spent much of his high school senior season injured. If he played against Florida, his first real live game action since his junior year in high school will come on national TV in an unfamiliar stadium against the defending national champions and against one of Georgia’s biggest rivals. That’s quite a setting for one’s debut, especially for a high-profile freshman. Some thrive in that kind of setting, and I’m sure part of the coaches’ decision is gauging how well King might react to being thrown into the Georgia-Florida game.

There is also a non-football consideration. King spent much of his senior year at GAC focusing on academics in order to qualify to enroll at Georgia. One of the advantages of a redshirt season is the opportunity to adjust to the academic environment of college. Given King’s long and public journey to qualify, getting off on the right foot academically at Georgia might be more of a priority for King (and the coaching staff) than it might be for someone else. Could increased playing time become a distraction over the last part of this semester?

It seems as if all of this is boiling down to whether or not the Dawgs can "get by" without burning King’s redshirt. The options of Johnson and Chapas are the safe route, but neither really offers much excitement. Those brimming with hope for King are relying on reputation and potential and not results. Still, the fact that he’s even making the trip with Chapas and Johnson available tells us that the redshirt might be the only thing holding King back from playing time. There is no question though that the moment Knowshon Moreno leaves the game will be one of the most scrutinized substitutions of the season.

If the game gets out of hand early, I think it might convince the coaches to save the redshirt and try to get through Troy without using King. But if the game is still in the balance and the Dawgs need to keep Moreno with something left for the second half, I wouldn’t be surprised to see King trot out there. As Tony Ball said, “We are trying to win games.”

Post More and more, it’s the offense

Wednesday October 24, 2007

The weekend in the SEC was no less interesting than it was elsewhere across the nation. The two marquee games really lived up to their billing, and two upsets out of the spotlight punctuated the day.

It all reminded me how important matchups are. Every team has weaknesses – the question is whether or not you have the goods to exploit them. Everyone but Georgia has had success against Tennessee’s defense, and John Parker Wilson did what Matthew Stafford could not. Meanwhile in Columbia, a Vandy defensive front that got to Stafford only once the week before and saw Knowshon Moreno shred them in the second half stuffed the South Carolina running game and recorded seven sacks.

Every game presents its own unique matchups, and you can’t forecast on the basis of one game without considering how those matchups will change. Mouths are watering after Andre Woodson threw all over Florida, but we’re talking about a Georgia offense that struggles to break 20 points in SEC games and also struggles to hit passes longer than 25 yards.

My initial thoughts about the Florida game haven’t changed after a week, and outcome of the UF-Kentucky game only reinforced the pressure that will be on the Georgia offense. Florida will score some points; they have in nearly every game. They managed 24 on the road at LSU against the BEST DEFENSE EVAR. Georgia’s defense did a good job last year giving up only 14 points to the Florida offense, but it’s reasonable to expect Florida to score a little more this year.

I understand the obsession over Meyer and Tebow. It’s a great story, and Tebow is a unique player in a unique situation. But while I read dozens of message board posts saying, "I hope Martinez is watching this" during the Florida-Kentucky game, I have to admit that my first thought was, "can we complete the kinds of passes Kentucky is completing?" Weaknesses are no good if you can’t use them to your advantage.

Some big plays and stops from the defense will surely help – Kentucky just couldn’t get the late stops they needed. I’m more convinced than ever that Saturday’s game is much more a test for Bobo (and Stafford). If the Dawgs can come out with some efficient and productive drives to start the game, they might just have a chance, and it would be a pleasant change from recent history.

Georgia has come out strong three times against Florida since 1991 that I can remember – four if you count Frank Harvey’s long touchdown in 1992. The Dawgs grabbed the lead in 1997 and were able to answer when Florida grabbed a brief 17-14 lead. Georgia also got off to a strong start in 2000, but a backbreaking Lito Shepard interception near halftime completely erased that early momentum. A pair of gutsy fourth down conversions helped the Dawgs get out ahead in 2004 as Leonard Pope became a household name.

But recently, it’s been all Florida to start the games. The Gators had 14 points seemingly before the coin toss in 2005, and that was all they needed against an anemic Tereshinski-led Georgia offense. Florida also got 14 first half points without a Georgia answer in 2006, and a defensive score to start the second half provided just enough of a cushion before Georgia finally got going.

Against Tennessee, things went about as badly as they could on both sides of the ball. The offense had a miserable three-and-out, and the defense gave up a long scoring drive. Contrast that start with the trip to Alabama. Georgia scored on the opening drive, kept Bama off the scoreboard for a while, and as a result played with enough confidence to weather the Crimson Tide’s comeback and regroup for the win. I don’t want to say that scoring first is the absolute determining factor in this game, but Georgia has lost two of three games this year in which the opponent has scored first (Ole Miss as the exception).

Though Moreno will be a valuable weapon (particularly in a close game in the second half), this game is Matthew Stafford’s chance to show what all of the fuss was about. The Alabama win was a great moment, but there has yet to be a complete great game from the Dawgs’ heralded starting quarterback. Georgia’s best chance is to have Stafford lead a efficient passing game that takes time off the clock and keeps the Florida offense on the bench.

If that fails, the Dawgs will struggle to another 10-14 point output in Jacksonville, and Florida could have Tiny Tim under center. It won’t matter.

Post Playing the unbeaten game

Tuesday October 23, 2007

What a weekend of football. Even Maryland – Virginia was interesting. If you haven’t followed the ACC (and I don’t blame you if that’s the case), Virginia has ripped off a program-record seven straight wins since losing the season opener to…Wyoming. Most of those wins have been decided in the last minute, and the comeback at Maryland was no exception. They are definitely in possession of the golden horseshoe right now.

If you’re a basketball fan, this point in the football season is like the Sweet 16. Everyone dwells on the Cinderellas that made it out of the first round and how this might be the year of Southern Illinois or whoever. But almost always the Sweet 16 weekend brings those dreams to an abrupt end, and the real contenders emerge. There’s no question that the college football scene is muddled this year, but that’s only because the presence of a loss or two is making us think a little beyond the default undefeated=best rule.

There are still several unbeaten football teams – most as a result of schedule. That’s not to say that teams like Boston College or Kansas aren’t good; by this point in the season you have to have beaten someone to remain undefeated, and they have. Who knows – one of them just might survive the rest of the season. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a relative lightweight survives their schedule without a blemish. It’s reasonable though that most, if not all, of these teams will lose and end up with nice but irrelevant seasons.

Meanwhile, teams like LSU, Oklahoma, and, yes, even Southern Cal (has a premature obituary for a program ever been written more quickly?) are right there hanging around, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see things shake out over the next month to see these familiar names separate themselves a little. Until then, we’ll continue to fantasize and fret over a Kansas – Arizona St. title game.

It is interesting to see the issue of being undefeated vs. strength of schedule come up. We live by the bogus "every game is a playoff" mantra, yet it doesn’t seem quite right that LSU’s triple-overtime loss automatically makes them drop below Boston College. It’s good to see people discussing this problem. Obviously there’s a line somewhere; sooner or later you have to actually win regardless of the strength of your schedule. Still, is it heresy to suggest that the best team at the end of the season might have two losses? Or is it time to throw up our hands and say that trying to determine the "best" team is a quixotic pursuit?

It’s this pursuit of the perfect record that leads us to less-than-desirable scheduling. We can debate the merits of a strong schedule, but as it is now, schedule is secondary and a status symbol. Winning is paramount. As long as a single loss continues to carry such a heavy penalty, it remains in the best interests of major programs to schedule accordingly.

Post How not to distribute tickets

Tuesday October 23, 2007

To understand the outrage of Colorado Rockies fans today, picture this scenario:

  • The Dawgs make a rare appearance in the national title game. (I know…stay with me.)
  • Tens of thousands of tickets are made available by the University to the general public with no priority system. First come, first served.
  • The tickets will only be distributed online through a single outlet.
  • There are no alternate plans for ticket sales if something goes wrong with online sales.
  • When the sale begins, the website is brought to a halt after 8.5 million hits in the first 90 minutes. Only a few hundred tickets are actually sold due to the heavy traffic.
  • Georgia officials suspend the sale while they go back to the drawing board. Tens of thousands of tickets remain unsold and in limbo.

I think that the march on Athens would make what’s going on in Denver seem like a pep rally. Though this is a baseball story, I’ve found that online ticket sales have been hit or miss for college sports too. Paciolan, the company involved in the Rockies story, also manages the Georgia Tech system. If you’ve ever bought a football three-pack or Super Regional tickets through Tech, you’ve likely experienced how the Paciolan system saps precious minutes from your life moving from screen to screen. When I read that they were behind the Colorado problems, it all made sense.

Post Your wife is sure to approve of this

Friday October 19, 2007
Stencil your lawn

There are lots of ways to enjoy the bye week. I’ll be watching games at home and getting things in order for next week’s trip to the WLOCP. What will you be doing with the time?

If you’re stuck looking for something to do, why not stencil your favorite team’s logo on your lawn using professional-grade materials from the same people who paint the real thing?

Decorate your yard with the official logo of your favorite college team. Stencil kits come with four cans of World Class aerosol field marking paint in your school’s colors.

The product is currently available only for Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma & Tennessee. Of course it is – there are only about three other fan bases (all in the SEC) who are bat-$#%* crazy enough to buy something like this.

PS…bonus points to this company for the use of "Georgia Tech University".

Post Interview with Damon Evans

Friday October 19, 2007

The NCAA’s Double-A Zone weblog has an audio interview posted with Georgia athletic director Damon Evans. They discuss the Athletic Association’s academic policy which made headlines recently when three basketball players were suspended.