It's been labeled "Clean Old-Fashioned Hate". It's been called the 'Backyard Brawl'. It's otherwise known as Georgia -vs- Georgia Tech (and no it is not Tech -vs- Georgia; you gotta keep the order correct). After all, Georgia plays football in the toughest conference on the planet. Tech plays football in a basketball conference. Georgia has a real live mascot. Tech has a 'hive' for a mascot. Georgia's home is a beautiful sprawling campus. Tech's home is a crime invested concrete jungle. The Bulldogs play "Between the Hedges". The Yellow Jackets play between the interstates. The loyal followers of Georgia make up the massive 'Bulldog Nation'. The followers of Georgia Tech don't really have such a distinction. They are more like a "Jacket Neighborhood", I suppose. The only similarity between Georgia and Georgia Tech is a genuine hatred for each other. A disdain for losing to the other permeates both programs. As an avid Bulldog, I hate losing to our long-standing rivals in the Southeastern Conference. But I REALLY hate losing to Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech. Thank goodness Georgia doesn't lose to Tech very often, and I won't go to bed Friday night thinking that's going to change this year. Wreck Tech!
Friday, November 18, 2011
It's funny how the talk of renewing coaches contracts and pay raises always comes up when a team is winning. A year ago at Georgia, coaches were probably hoping no one mentioned a contract because that talk would have meant somebody was out the door. This year, it has been brought up that head coach Mark Richt will most likely have his contract renewed because he only has two years remaining on it. It looks better for prospective recruits to know that the main man is scheduled to be around their entire college career, thus the contract extension. Next came talk of extending defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's current deal. The Bulldog defense is playing in the neighborhood of spectacularly and the coordinator's contract expires in fourteen months. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity has said he will not entertain contract discussions untill after the 2011 football season is completed. I would only say that if Georgia continues to play well and finishes strong, I would do what I had to do to keep the key members of the coaching staff intact if I was Mr. McGarity. But he is correct in waiting until after the first of the the year. There's enough time and there is a lot of football left to play.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
When Tim Tebow was at Florida, I hated it when Georgia had to play him. He is one of the fiercest competitors on the planet. However, I have always admired him for his faith and religious stand. He not only talks his faith, but he "wears it on his sleeve" and lives it every day of his life. Now that he's a pro, I find myself wanting him to succeed. Not many of the so-called experts think he can, but he sure does and that might be all that matters. As for as the jersey is concerned, I think it's fine. Tebow knows he's not Jesus, but I'm sure he would be glad that others are caring enough about Jesus to put his name "out there".
Saturday, November 12, 2011
In spite of all that has happened at Penn State this week, as well as all that has been written and been said, the two teams meeting at mid-field prior to the game was a class act all the way. The players and coaches kneeling in prayer showed what is still right about collegiate athletics, irregardless of all that is obviously wrong. Whether or not the Penn State football program is able to put this deplorable scandal behind them is of no consequence at this point. However, whether or not the victims of the abuse are able to do so is of the utmost importance. Never underestimate the power of prayer, and hopefully our government will see the above photo and realize it is more than o.k. to pray in public. It isn't the least that can be done, it's the most.
Offense, defense, special teams, coaching. You name an aspect of a football game and Georgia totally dominated it in their 45-7 rout of Auburn University. The Dawgs thrashed the Tigers as badly as they have been whipped in quite some time. Auburn was completely routed and run out of town on a rail. They had no paid junior college transfers to bail them out this year, but it would not have mattered anyway. They ran into a runaway train that was the Georgia Bulldog football team, and they got their rears handed to them on a platter. I personally have been waiting for Georgia to play a complete football game so that we could know just how good this team could be. Now that they have, I'm convinced they are an impressive group. They have come a very long way since the debacle that was the 2010 season. They deserve to soak up this win and enjoy the fruits of their labor. But only for one more day. There is still much work to do this season. Just like Tom Cruise said in 'Top Gun', "but it's looking good so far"!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The NCAA currently allows Division 1 football programs to have nine assistant coaches. Once those nine coaches have been assigned to offensive and defensive titles and responsibilities, not all schools have an assistant to designate as a special teams coach. It doesn't seem right that such an important aspect of a football game does not necessarily have a coach designated specifically for it. After all, when we talk about the three phases of a game, we talk about offense, defense, and special teams. I think the NCAA should expand college coaching staffs to ten positions, with one of those having to carry the title of 'Special Teams Coach'. With the amount of money being made by major college football programs, it shouldn't be a financial burden. It would also open up a lot of coaching positions around the country, and everyone know how scarce jobs are these days. It would have to lead to an improvement in special teams play, with more time and attention devoted to the details and fundamentals associated with all the special teams. It's time for all colleges and university football programs to have a special teams guru.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Patrick Witt faces one of those super-tough life decisions that literally tears you apart. It's one of those desperate calls that makes you wish you could be two places at one time, doing two totally different things simultaneously. The Yale quarterback is scheduled to play his final college game Saturday against Harvard at 12 noon, and he also has an interview in Atlanta the same day for the opportunity to be selected for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Witt has an Ivy League GPA of 3.91, has already been offered a full-time job, and has NFL scouts considering him for a future in professional football. This kid has his act together, but that still does not make the choice on Saturday any easier. He has a lot of blood, sweat, and tears invested in football. He has coaches and players who depend on him. He will never wear the Bulldog uniform again. He will never receive another shot (not guaranteed to be selected at all) to be a Rhodes Scholar again either. He will be passing up the chance to study international relations at Oxford University in England. It would be the 'Super Bowl' of learning. Now you have a better understanding of what Witt is facing. He is the only one who can make the call because he alone has to live with his decision. It will be interesting to see the choice he makes. What do you think he should do?
Joe Frazier, the boxing heavyweight, died of liver cancer yesterday. He finally met an adversary that he couldn't out punch. The unrelenting, steam engine of a fighter was 67 years old. Frazier, who won a gold medal for the United States in the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, will best be remembered professionally by his three epic bouts with Muhammad Ali, culminating with the famous "Thrilla in Manilla". The grass roots fighter with the heavy hands and the big heart was a two-time heavyweight champion. Godspeed Smokin' Joe!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Now let me see if I have all this down correctly. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt will resign at the end of the 2011 football campaign, which is to say in three more games. This is not a shocking development, because you don't buy yourself more time on the sidelines when you've lost ten conference games in a row (even if you are Ole Miss and you don't have very much of a football tradition to begin with). Now for the next administrative change in the Ole Miss athletic department, athletic director Pete Boone will step down from his responsibilities no later than December 2012. Boone stated when he hired Nutt that this would be his last head football coach hire. I'm fine with that, no problem there. But why hang around for another 13 months? This means that the new coach will not know who his athletic director is going to be, and the new athletic director will have had no input into the hiring of the new football coach. Is this the proverbial 'cart before the horse', the verbally incorrect 'bass-ackwards', or just "the way things are done at Ole Miss by damn"? And to top that all off, 'ole number 18, Archie Manning himself will be an integral part of the search process for the new head coach. Now who will have the upper hand in the hallway of the football offices, the guy who Archie hired or the athletic director who Archie won't hire? My money says Archie's money speaks loud in Oxford, Mississippi! Thus, we've solved the potential conflict for the Rebels, or is it the Black Bears(?), before it ever arises. But to tell you the truth, the only uprising that will ever occur over football in Oxford is when anyone tries to change the hallowed custom that is known as simply, "The Grove". Hotty Toddy! That's all anyone at Ole Miss cares about anyway.
Georgia -vs- Auburn, "The South's Oldest Rivalry", resumes again this Saturday. This edition will be number 115, with Auburn currently holding a slight edge over the Dawgs at 54-52-8. Georgia does enjoy a slim lead in points scored at 1809 to 1771, testifying to the overall closeness of the series. The rivalry has had so many games that were meaningful in the conference picture, not to mention several significant outcomes regarding the national polls. This year is no different with respect to the former, with the SEC East title at stake for the hosting Bulldogs. Although the series has always been looked on as a "friendly rivalry", that all changed last year due mainly to the cheap shots committed by AU's imported nose guard Nick Fairley. Fairley's two very late and very cheap shots to UGA's quarterback Aaron Murray were at least successful in removing the 'friendly' moniker from the description of this annual battle. As you can plainly see in the 1996 photo above, the Georgia-Auburn game has never been friendly as far as Uga is concerned. Like the old saying goes, "track 'em Dawgs, just like beagles. To hell with you, you damn War Eagle"!