Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coach to Cure MD Patches on the Sidelines

The green patches you saw college coaches wearing on the sidelines this weekend was part of a partnership between the American Football Coaches Asssociation and Parent Project MD. The goal of this partnership is to raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is the most commom fatal childhood genetic order. This is the fourth year of Coach to Cure MD, and more than 5,000 coaches at more than 400 different schools wore the patch. The program has helped Parent Project MD fund research grants at schools all across the United States.

Dawgs and 'Cocks: 2012 Style...

The week has finally arrived. The game that everyone has circled on their schedules. The two best teams in the SEC East, the second and third best teams in the Southeastern Conference. Head-to-head under the lights. Big time, smash-mouth southern football. The Georgia Bulldogs -vs- the South Carolina Gamecocks. The time is here and the time is now. Just a few early perspectives:
  • Can Connor Shaw exploit Georgia's secondary
  • Will Aaron Murray play really well in a really big game
  • Can the Bulldogs keep Marcus Lattimore in check
  • Will "Gurshall" be successful against the Gamecock defensive front
  • Will a special teams blunder, by either team, decide the outcome
  • Has Georgia's offensive line matured enough to handle South Carolina's pressure
  • Will the Bulldog defense step up and be all they are supposed to be
  • Which coaching staff will do the better job in game preparation
That should be enough to get you started and whet your appetite for this week's Georgia -vs- South Carolina game in Columbia.

Georgia Bulldogs: The Adventure of the Extra Point

The infamous extra point. The point after. The smallest decimal in football that can sometimes "loom so large". It is supposed to be a 'given', automatic if you will. Snap, hold, kick, good. Get ready for the kickoff. Six points become 7, 13 becomes 14, 20 becomes 21, etc. It's one of those things that you really only notice when you don't have it; when you miss it. Marshall Morgan (above) is the very talented, freshman kicker that Georgia has entrusted with handling their extra points this season. Thus far, he is 27 of 30 on extra points. That is not a good ratio. Collegiate kickers go seasons without a miss and careers with only one miss. Not three in the course of five games. I think Morgan has this thing about crossbars. He likes to hit them. Perhaps it is a pinball fetish or something. But hitting is not good, splitting is good. Stop flirting with the uprights and split them. There will be a game soon for the Bulldogs when the win will depend on it.

Middle Tennessee State 49 - Georgia Tech 28

Middle Tennessee State University is an FBS school in the Sunbelt conference. Georgia Tech is in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As far as football is concerned, there probably isn't much difference between the two. I've maintained on his blog that the ACC is a basketball conference first, and a wanna-be football conference last. Nevertheless, the difference Saturday afternoon in "historic" Grant Field was that Middle Tennessee was a much better football team that 'Yellow Tech'. The Blue Raiders rolled up 510 yards of total offense on the Jackets, and rolled on to a 21 point victory. Tech has now played five games this season. winning only two. Things don't look too promising on 'The Flats" right now to say the least. But wait, that new basketball arena on the Tech campus is opening this season. Yea, now that puts everything back in perspective.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tim Hudson: Come On Man

Tim Hudson made one mistake Friday night and it cost his team a win. A nine pitch battle  with the Mets' Lucas Duda in the top of the seventh ended with Duda belting a three-run homer off of the Braves veteran righthander. The result was a 3-1 New York win to spoil "Chipper Jones Night" in front of 50,000+ jacked up Braves fans. Just getting 50,000 fans to a regular season game in Turner Field once football season has started is a tall order in Atlanta. It's a big deal. The whole might was a big deal. The tribute to Chipper was a big deal. The pennant race IS a big deal. The crowed being pumped up was a big deal. A victory last night would have been a really big deal (division leading Washington lost to St. Louis). Come on Hudson, win the dang ballgame.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dabo Swinney: Dabo 'Dat Ticket Gamecock

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney was issued a speeding ticket on September 3rd after being clocked at 63 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone in Pickens, South Carolina. Now policeman Michael McClatchy, the issuing officer, is out of a job. He claims that he was fired because he issued a citation to a popular, high profile college football coach. Wrongful termination? Who knows, but McClatchy now has legal representation. By the way, do you think it matters that Officer McClatchy is a South Carolina fan? Everyone knows that Gamecocks and Tigers don't mix in South Carolina. Just sayin...



Chipper Jones: Thanks "10"

  • One Man
  • One Career
  • One Team
  • One Legacy

Barbara Dooley : Wear Your Orange Garb, Barb...

Barbara Dooley has never been perceived as being very discreet, so when she so boldly states that she is pulling for Tennessee to beat Georgia on Saturday, you just have to consider the source. She makes no bones about the fact that she will sit in the same Georgia Press Box suite she has for the past 50 years dressed in head to toe in Volunteer orange. I completely understand her devotion to her youngest child, "Precious".  She proudly proclaims: "that's my baby , and I'm pulling for Tennessee".  Even though the University of Georgia has fed her family for those same 50 years, I personally have no problem with her allegiance to her son. I just think she could use a little more tact about it. Perhaps be a little less offensive to the Bulldog faithful. But that really isn't Mrs. Vince Dooley's style. Like I said, just consider the source. So with that in mind and in honor of her orange attire, I hope the Dawgs hang about 60 on her baby.

Georgia Southern Eagles: Military Appreciation Camo

The Georgia Southern Eagles will be decked out in camo uniforms for their game on Military Appreciation Day in October. Their opponent will be Wofford on the 13th. The camo is dark blue digital and will feature the words "Always Ready, Always There" on the backs.  More than 100 different military patches will be worn on  different players jerseys. Southern will wear their traditional navy blue helmets, but will have a red stripe which represents the sacrifices for freedom. There will be gold stripes on either side of the red one, and gray numbers outlined with red and yellow on each side. This will be the first time that the Eagles have not worn their traditional blue and white uniforms.

- - -

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Larry Munson: Gurley & Marshall; My God, Freshmen!

After hearing the legendary Larry Munson's call of Bulldog freshman Herschel Walker running over Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville in 1980 several times lately, I couldn't help but think about how much fun he would be having with our freshmen running backs this year. I mean no disrespect to Georgia's current play-by-play voice Scott Howard at all, but it would be great hearing Munson going bonkers with some of Todd Gurley's explosive runs. On the other hand, perhaps it's a great time for Howard to make a name for himself with the help of these two up and coming stars.

Georgia vs Tennessee 1968

Since it is Georgia-Tennessee week, I thought a flashback of the series would be kind of cool here. On September 14, 1968 Georgia played Tennessee in Knoxville. It was the first game ever played on synthetic turf in the South. The epic battle ended in a 17-17 tie that actually felt like a loss to the Bulldogs and a win to the Volunteers. Tennessee scored a touchdown as time ran out in the fourth quarter to make the score 17-15. They then converted their two-point conversion with no time on the clock, thus the resulting tie. Sports Illustrated called the game "A Rouser On A Rug". As a lifetime UGA fan, I will for a lifetime maintain that the Tennessee touchdown was actually an incomplete pass. The football bounced off the turf directly back into the receivers hip as he was falling to the turf. The officials failed to follow the bouncing ball. (check out the SI link to see a photo of this touchdown). For me, the game has always been Tennessee's "Robbery On A Rug".

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Atlantic High School: The Eagle Has Landed

Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida has decided to one-up the Oregon Ducks in terms of wacky uniforms. I think they have succeeded. One half of the Eagles uniforms are dark green, with the other half being neon-lime green. They have "Oregon Style" wings on the shoulders. A bright orange chin strap is worn on a dark green helmet. A group of Delray Beach business owners donated the uniforms, which were designed by a company known as Futuristic Woo. Woo is right! Heck I thought Stevie Wonder designed the things.

John L. Smith: Arkansas, Alabama, Who Cares...

The Arkansas football program has now reached a new low. Their interim head coach, John L. Smith, referred to his own team as Alabama. Wishful thinking or  honest gaffe? Well, afterwards Smith didn't have a clue he had even mentioned Alabama. Now that's a scary one. With all the reality shows dominating our week-night television experience, I'll bet a reality show on this season of Razorback football would be the highest rated show on the airways. This downward spiral that is the norm for Arkansas these days just never seems to end. However, Smith told the Little Rock Touchdown Club that he still believes his team can make it to a bowl game. The 'Hogs must win five of their remaining games to become eligible.

Steve Spurrier: Just Take the Questions. Geez...

Has Steve Spurrier gone from being the "Head Ball Coach" to just another "Grumpy Old Man", or is Ron Morris the negative catalyst behind the entire media debacle at South Carolin? Perhaps the entire scenario is just mano a mano between Morris the columnist and Spurrier the coach? It appears Spurrier won't take/answer any of the media's questions, and it further appears that Ron Morris is the reason why. Ron Morris gets paid by the state newspaper to critique Gamecock football. Steve Spurrier gets paid to be the head football coach at the University of South Carolina. It is also my understanding that the head coach has a responsibility to take/answer questions brought forth by the media.. Heck Coach, just say 'no comment ' if you don't like the questions. Why not put out the fire instead of throwing fuel to it? You own that dilapidated state anyway. You don't need to call any more attention to yourself. Sometimes you have to play the game off the field as well as on it. Just play the game, Steve. Geez...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Allen Eagles: $60 Million Worth of H.S. Stadium

Allen, Texas has a new high school stadium. It seats 18,000,  has 42 concession stands and 192 bathrooms. The playing surface is NaturalGrass Matrix turf. There is also a 75' x 45' HD video scoreboard which sponsors coughed up $1.3 million for. The total price of the stadium was a cool $60 million, which was funded by a $119 million bond package. The package was approved by 63 percent of voters. It's not just large, it's Texas large. By the way, how are things at your high school stadium?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What A Great Weekend!

What a great Georgia sports weekend. The Bulldogs win in dominating fashion 'Between the Hedges' last night. The Braves win a series in Philly over the weekend as the playoffs draw near. The Falcons win big on the road in San Diego today. Georgia Southern slips by Elon in Statesboro Saturday.  And last but certainly not least, Georgia Tech loses in heart-breaking overtime style to Miami at home Saturday afternoon. It just doesn't get any better than that in this state.

Messing With Vandy: "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That"

The Vanderbilt Commodores have new stadium renovations, new helmets and uniforms, and a new slogan "Anchor Down". What they don't have is an SEC win this season, and that's nothing new (but Kentucky is still out there 'Dores!). Bottom line: Vandy is still Vandy. Unlike the above photo, the program is down there with the anchor. We ain't got time for that.  Just sayin...

Georgia Tailbacks: "My God, a Freshman"!

There is an old buzz that is back in the air at Sanford Stadium. Georgia has a pair of freshman running backs that are causing the crowd to make that once familiar gasp that they had every time the guy above touched the ball. It's way, way too early to begin to make any comparisons with Herschel Walker, but Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have brought back that excitement at the tailback position for the Bulldogs. They each are legitimate threats to "take it to the house" at any time, and that anticipation has the 'Bulldog Nation' on the edge of their seats. As the late Larry Munson once said: "My God a freshman", we are prone to utter those same words ourselves with Gurley and Marshall. That thrill is back in the air 'Between the Hedges', and it's one heck of a lot of fun. (And don't forget sophomore Ken Malcome. He's pretty darn good himself).

Georgia Bulldogs: A Force To Be Reckoned With

Florida  and South Carolina won their games convincingly Saturday afternoon. Even though the Gators romped over a poor excuse for a college football program in Kentucky, and Carolina pretty much throttled a team playing literally 'out of their league' (no pun intended) in Missouri, they both took care of business somewhat impressively. They got my attention to the point of admitting that they both will be formidable foes when Georgia plays them this season. Then later in the evening, the Bulldogs played Vanderbilt. Yea I know it was only Vandy, but the Commodores have been selling the point to anyone who would listen (and many who wouldn't) that they are the new Vanderbilt. A real player in Southeastern Conference football. Well, new Vandy, old Vandy, ya Mama's Vandy or whatever, they ran into a force in the Georgia Bulldogs that no one in the conference would have wanted to play last night , with perhaps the exception of Alabama. Georgia played a focused, dominating, forceful game that was a complete show of superiority in every phase of the game. They are a team on the verge of putting it all together to see just how good they can be. There is an awful lot of football to be played this year, and the SEC is a tough league to play at the top of your game every Saturday. However, I like taking my chances with this bunch of Bulldogs. So much so that they now have my attention much more than Florida and South Carolina. I'm sure those two feel the same way after Saturday night.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Arkansas: Blame Harley-Davidson

After reading some previews regarding tomorrow's slate of college football games, I found it strange that Rutgers is now considered a big game for Arkansas (Arkansas is listed as a 10 point favorite). Apparently, there is already concern among the Razorback faithful about the Hogs becoming bowl eligible. Being bowl eligible is an early season worry for a team who was predicted to be a challenger for this year's National Championship? Just think, all of this turmoil was created when one man drove a motorcycle in a ditch with a woman on board who was not his wife. This led to a firing, then a crazy hiring, then an unthinkable out-of-conference upset at home, then an injured quarterback, then a blow out loss at home to Alabama, then an accusation of the team quitting  by the injured QB, and on and on and on. This is the saga caused by former head coach, motorcycle stunt rider and playboy Bobby Petrino. This is now Arkansas Football. But why blame Petrino when it is obviously the fault of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles? Just sayin...

Cam Newton: Man Up

On Thursday night the New York Giants defeated the Carolina Panthers in blowout fashion 36-7. Panthers' starting quarterback Cam Newton was benched late in the fourth quarter due to his less than stellar performance. Newton then covered his head with a towel and sulked on the bench. Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith called Newton out about his actions, saying he should mentally stay in the game and try to learn from back-up QB Derek Anderson. He felt the quarterback needed to learn from his mistakes to become a better player. Smith said the 23 year old Newton should become a man and learn how to handle adversity. The only adversities Newton has had to handle were laptop theft allegations at Florida, and trying to keep secret the fact that he and his Dad were paid for him to play for Auburn. After those situations, handling a few losses in the NFL should be no problem for the spoiled quarterback.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

They All Will Need to Defeat Georgia...

I have to beat Georgia!

I've just got to beat Georgia!

I better beat Georgia!

Gene Chizik's Auburn Tigers,  Derek Dooley's Tennessee Volunteers, and Will Muschamp's Florida Gators all have dates on their fall schedule that are marked with a crucial game against Georgia.  The fate of these three SEC head coaches may very well ride on whether or not they can defeat the Bulldogs. All three of these guys find their programs, and perhaps their own careers, at a crossroads. They will need to win a 'statement' game to revitalize their respective programs, not to mention buy themselves some time. That type of game could turn out to be the Georgia game. It is a rivalry game for each school, it's always a hard fought game, and it's a game that can be won by either opponent in any given year. There will be much more than bragging rights on the line for Chizik, Dooley and Muschamp. Their state of affairs may be on the line. The phrase "Loser go Home" could take on a whole new meaning for them. All I have to say about that is "Go Dawgs"!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fred Couples: World Golf Hall of Fame

Fred Couples was elected to the World Golf  Hall of Fame today.  The former Masters champion has 15 wins on the PGA Tour, including two at The Players Championship and the 1992 Masters. He has played on five Ryder Cups, five Presidents Cups and was ranked number one in the world for a period during the 1992 season. The tremendously popular Couples was elected with a record low qualifying score of 51 percent. Although the minimum score for election is 65 percent, there is a clause that states that when no golfer gets the minimum, the leading vote getter is elected as long as he has at least 50 percent of the vote. Some may think that Couples "snuck in" the Hall because of the special clause, but I believe Freddie to be deserving of this honor. He has turned in some amazing performances on Tour with that easy, relaxed, almost effortless-looking swing. He describes himself as a good player, but not a great player. I describe him as good enough to belong in the Hall of Fame.

Aaron Murray: Named to AFCA Good Works Team

Only eleven Division 1 football players are named to the AFCA Good Works Team each year, and this year Georgia's Aaron Murray is one of those eleven. He also becomes the 14th UGA player to be so honored, the most of any school in the nation. There were 117 nominees from 35 states, and there is also an eleven member team for lower division programs. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is intended to focus on the positive impact individual players have on their communities. Murray, a redshirt junior quarterback from Tampa, Florida has already earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology, and is currently working on his master's in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. His selection for this prestigious award was based on his involvement in more than ten volunteer activities in the Athens area, not to mention his visits to schools and hospitals in Atlanta, Athens and Tampa. Congratulations to Aaron Murray from An Opinion On Sports! Well done and well deserved.

Missouri -vs- South Carolina: Quarterbacks Back

South Carolina and Missouri both expect to have their starting quarterbacks back on the field when they meet Saturday afternoon. The Gamecocks' Connor Shaw and the Tigers' James Franklin will return after being sidelined for the last couple of weeks. Shaw has been at less than full speed since Carolina's game with Vanderbilt, and Franklin has been on the mend since Georgia and Jarvis Jones rocked his world a little more than a week ago. When the two East division teams square off in Columbia (S.C. that is), it will be Missouri's first SEC road game ever. South Carolina hosts the game as a 10 point favorite.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chipper Jones: Corn Field Maze

A new tribute for the farewell party that is Chipper Jones'. Braves fans Misty and Lamar Duren of Walnut Grove, Ga. have turned a seven acre corn field into their own personal honor of the popular third baseman. The maze includes the shape of Chipper's head, his cap, his name and number. The design was cut in by a tractor with the use of a GPS device. The process took about four hours to complete. Quite a 'large' tribute indeed!

Jay Cutler: Wring His Vandy Head Off

Jay Cutler called out teammate J'Marcus Webb on National TV and then intentionally bumped the huge lineman as he passed by. It probably isn't a stretch to say Webb outweighs Cutler by 150+ pounds, and I wish he had put that overwhelming advantage to work on Cutler. It would have been great to see Webb grab the quarterback by his facemask and put a good, severe twisting on that prima donna neck. If you need to get in the face of a player on your own team, save it for the locker room. Next time Webb, wring his spoiled head off.

Malcolm Mitchell: Please, No Special Teams...

Georgia plans to increase the gameday workload of cornerback Malcolm Mitchell by working him more into the offense, and special teams as well. Since he started at wide receiver last year, and was a standout by anyone's standards, the Bulldog Nation is more than excited about him being used as a two-way player. After all, the coaching staff has hinted at this since summer camp. He will be Georgia's most prolific two-way player since Champ Bailey. However, having stated all that, I hope we leave Mitchell off of special teams. I understand wanting to get your best skill players every opportunity possible to make plays, but lets not push the envelope too far with this guy. He'll need the breather, and none us wants to risk losing him to a special teams injury.

Orange Bowl: This is Your Best Deal?

Reportedly, the Orange Bowl and the ACC are close to finalizing a deal that would begin in 2014. The arrangement would tie up the ACC Champion against either Notre Dame, an SEC representative , or a Big Ten representative. Several things just don't sound right about this. First of all, what is the big deal about having the Atlantic Coast Conference champion to begin with? As I've said before here, it's a basketball conference. Secondly, why Notre Dame to lead the list of opponents? Didn't they just strike an asterick deal with the ACC to play five games a year with their schools but not compete in football as a "member school"? Sounds like the possibility of another regular season/bowl rematch to me, and remember how that situation turned out last year with the SEC. Lastly, it's the Orange Bowl. They can do better than this. Not that long ago the Orange Bowl was a major player on the inside getting their share of really good teams in conjunction with the Rose, Sugar, and Cotton Bowls. They were the "Grandaddys" of the bowls. The Big Four.Now it looks like the Orange isn't such a 'player'. It even looks like they're on the outside looking in.  Just sayin...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Heads Up Football: A New Approach To A Better, Safer Game

Heads Up Football is the new standard in youth player safety. It is now a pilot program that hopes to become the standard in teaching safer techniques with the ultimate goal of preventing concussions and head and neck injuries in football. If you are a parent or a coach of a young football player, keep your eye on this program and learn all you can about it. It is safety oriented with education and awareness as the keys to its success. Encourage your recreation departments, youth leagues, elementary schools and travel teams to research the possibility of becoming involved with this innovative program. Coaches learn to teach the proper techniques for a safer game, players learn the correct way to play a safer game, and everyone goes home safely after the game. That's what I call a win-win-win situation.

Kentucky Football: Illegal Possession

Hey Kentucky Police Department: Ya'll must have brought in some UGA Police Department guys to teach ya'll how to work those routine patrols and "smell out" that marijuana. Three UK football players were arrested for possession when "the distinct odor of marijuana" permeated from their apartment. That distinct odor will get you caught every time! Not to worry though Wildcat fans, all three have already been reinstated to the team, even though one was already academically ineligible. Go figure. Head coach Joker Phillips says they are going to continue to "give guys chances". At least Joker is living up to his name. Maybe Mark Richt really is to strict with his punishment. Just sayin...

D.J. Swearinger: Helmet-to-Helmet

When the so-called experts say certain collisions are the equivalent of an automobile traveling at X miles per hour and hitting another moving object, I would like to know what the equivalent would be for Swearinger's hit. This is a good example of why football is trying to protect defenseless receivers. This hit, along with the one by Ole Miss' Trae Elston, will rattle your teeth just watching them.

SEC: The East-West Gap Narrows

For the last few years, it has been maintained that the SEC West is the much stronger conference division. Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU have been the powers of the conference. I have no argument against such logic. 2012 was to be no different. Now three games into the season, it seems Alabama and LSU have pretty much separated themselves form everyone else in the division. The remainder of the West teams are actually now just pretty mediocre at this point, and I would go so far as to say at least three East Division teams are better than those teams. I don't think LSU is as good as Alabama, and I also think Georgia, South Carolina and even Florida are very close to the guys from Baton Rouge. All  five of those teams are ranked in the top 14 in this week's AP Poll. The gap between the East and West is narrowing. Only Alabama stands head and shoulders above the rest.  Don't forget, it wasn't that long ago that Florida, Tennessee and Georgia  were the powers of the conference. Perhaps we're beginning to come full circle. Just sayin...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kris Medlen: Definitely In A Zone

I know it's football season  now, but we just gotta talk about Braves' starter Kris Medlen here on An Opinion On Sports. Just think about these numbers: In nine starts he's he's 7-0 with an unconscious ERA of 0.86. He has 66 strikeouts to go with only eight walks in 62+ innings. Heavy stuff indeed. He seems to be the only Atlanta pitcher to realize the team is in a pennant race. The other starters, Hanson, Hudson, Maholm and Minor haven't stepped up their games in the stretch run to October. In the old Milwaukee Brave days it was "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain". Now I suppose we have to pray for four days of rain between every Medlen playoff start (yes, Atlanta will make the playoffs). He is the only starter the Braves can depend on. Tommy Hanson hasn't lived up to the hype. Tim Hudson is just plain overrated. Paul Maholm has been another trade disappointment. Mike Minor can find no consistency. Kris Medlen is everything and more Atlanta could have hoped for. After all, he understands it's a pennant race.

Gurley & Marshall & Glory Glory to Old Georgia!

They're only freshman. They will get better, but they will experience some bad days as well. They are extremely talented when running with a football. They will be fun to watch for at least three years (come on guys, stay all four!). Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, two of North Carolina's finest. Good friends, roommates, UGA tailbacks. They each rushed for 100+ yards against Florida Atlantic Saturday night. Gurly had 10 carries for 111 yards, while Marshall totaled 104 yards on the same number of carries. They each added on a touchdown for good measure. These two true freshmen could end up being the best two-back tandem since Worley and Henderson of years ago.There are too many great Bulldog running backs to start name-dropping comparisons at this point, but father time will take care of that. If they ever get to run behind an experienced offensive line with depth, the sky could be the limit for these two. So 'Bulldog Nation', sit back and enjoy misters Gurley and Marshall. They are indeed special, and they are the "Real Deal".  Here's to many more co-one hundred yard outings, along with many more Georgia victories!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Georgia -vs- Fla. Atlantic: Show Me The Money!

Florida Atlantic will hold a new Sanford Stadium record when they depart Athens late Saturday night. The Owls will escape out of town with the largest paycheck of any Georgia opponent in history. They will take the $1 million payout this week, along with another million from Alabama next week, and hopefully balance their budget by the season's end. Georgia claims they will still pocket around $1.7 million form Saturday's contest when all is said and done. They look at the situation as win-win because it gives the Bulldogs a seventh home game this season, which is always income gravy for an athletic department. (Note: Georgia paid Buffalo $975,000 to play in Athens for the home opener this year). The UGA athletic board reports they currently have $68 million in cash reserves. It doesn't sound like any recession has hit Georgia Athletics anytime recently. Just sayin...

Hairy Dawg: Stadium Defender!

You just gotta love that Hairy Dawg! Cheering on the Dawgs, posing with the fans, or looking after Sanford Stadium, there is no one who could do it better. Go you Hairy Dawg! It's Gameday!

Louisiana-Monroe: Two in a Row?

Not so fast my friends. Auburn is a 15 1/2 point favorite today over Louisiana-Monroe, but I'm sure Arkansas was at least that big last week. The element of surprise is gone and there will be no ambush on The Plains today. I won't go so far as to say Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier will have an  easy day. He will not, and there is a very good chance he will be out-played by his counterpart, Kolton Browning (above). But there will be no giant slaying today. The Tigers will prevail over the Warhawks, and their coach Gene Chizik will avoid the 'Hot Seat' for now. But it's coming,, and it's coming soon, Coach Chizik. Beware of those "Auburn Faithful". Just sayin...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Florida -vs- Tennessee: A Second-Tier East Battle

Florida and Tennessee no longer rule the SEC East. They have been replaced by Georgia and South Carolina. They each have two head coaches who have yet to prove themselves at this level. They both would like to elevate their teams back to the top and join the two schools mentioned above. Neither of them would like to slip to the point of joining Kentucky and Vanderbilt as basement dwellers. They are both closer to the bottom than to the top, and that is very difficult for both programs to accept. A win Saturday night does not instantly vault one of them back into the  land of the haves, but the loser is almost assured of being mentioned in the same breath as the 'Cats and the 'Dores. On top of that, the losing coach inherits the first 2012 SEC "Hot Seat" moniker.It couldn't happen to a better bunch, no matter which bunch that turns out to be late Saturday night.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kolton Houston: Ineligible Injustice

Kolton Houston is the victim of a long running saga that involves his testing positive for a banned substance back in April 2010. The substance, norandrolone, was prescribed to him by a less than honorable physician while he was still in high school in Buford, Georgia. Houston was trying to heal from a high school shoulder injury. Now, two and a half years later, traces of the substance can still be found in his system, even though Georgia can scientifically prove Houston has not used the substance since high school. The NCAA steadfastly maintains that until his tests reach an acceptable level, he will continue to be ineligible to play college football. I understand the 'letter of the law'. I further understand that college athletics must continue their fight against illegal substances and performance enhancing drugs. The integrity of sports must not be compromised. However, when there is a young athlete who is caught up in an inexplicable situation (why won't his system flush out the drug?) where it can be absolutely proven he has not reused norandrolene in more than two years, the 'spirit of the law' has to come into consideration. The NCAA does not need to give Kolton Houston a break, they just need to admit it has been proven by scientific testing that he has not reused the substance (his level has never increased), and therefore should be allowed to compete in his sport. He has paid far too heavy a price for the incompetence of a second rate physician, and not for any conscious wrongdoing of his own volition. The Georgia sophomore needs to be reinstated with four full years of eligibility. Period.

Arnold Palmer Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

Eight years ago golfer Arnold Palmer won The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yesterday, Mr. Palmer was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, just one day after turning 83 years old. The awards are especially significant in that they speak more of the man as a humanitarian than as a golfer. He remarked yesterday in the capital rotunda, in a way only he could, that he was "particularly proud of anything the House and Senate could agree on", as they were both represented for his presentation. Palmer is only the sixth athlete in more than 200 recipients to ever receive this award. It is a very big deal. His  receiving the Presidential Medal was a big deal. They are the highest individual honors a citizen of this country can receive. His turning 83 is a big deal. Live on Arnie, continue to 'live large', and "Arnie's Army" will always live on with you. Thank you for your contributions to your sport and your country.

Notre Dame: They "Cherry-Picked" the Weak ACC

Let me see if I have this correct: Notre Dame is officially joining the ACC as a participant in all sports except for football and hockey. However, the conference has said the Irish must play five ACC teams in football each year. Five? Why not require them to be a full-fledged member and play a full football schedule, or require them to play no games at all? What's with this arrangement? I think the reason is what I have maintained all along about the ACC, and that is the fact that they are NOT a football conference. They want to be, and perhaps claim to be, but in reality they are not. I just cannot imagine the SEC ever adding a member who was not going to participate in football. Heck, we could have had that with Vanderbilt years ago if we had dangled it in front of them. They were barely playing football, as we know it,  most of the time anyway. But I digress...I don't know who has come out on top in this arrangement, which by the way probably won't even happen until 2015. I suppose Notre Dame did, since it seems they got what they wanted  for the most part. Go figure...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ole Miss' Trae Elston: Sittin' After the Hittin'

Ole Miss freshman defensive back Trae Elston has been levied a one-game suspension for the vicious hit he laid on UTEP receiver Jordan Leslie. The blow came late in the fourth quarter of the Rebels 28-10 victory last Saturday. There was no flag on the play (why not?) , but an SEC review found the hit to be a "flagrant and dangerous act". The hit was definitely a 'helmet-to-helmet' shot. Check out the video below and see if you believe the suspension is warranted. Elston will be forced to sit out the Ole Miss-Texas game.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stay Thirsty Mizzou!

Richard Samuel: The Ultimate Team Player

Richard Samuel has been asked to wear many hats and fill many shoes for his Georgia football team. He was recruited out of high school as a linebacker/running back and he has flipped-flopped between both sides of the ball during his college career. This year he is even being asked to line up at fullback on occasion. He has made all these changes and done all that has been asked of him without so much as a whimper. He has sacrificed any personal gains for the good of the team. Period. He is the consummate "player's player". Last year against Florida he amped up his game, and his teammates, and helped Georgia sustain a fourth quarter drive to ice the game for his Bulldogs. Last night in Columbus, Missouri, he made a momentum changing play on a fake punt. Samuel fought off two blockers and made a tremendous tackle (pictured above) on punter Trey Barrow to foil the Tigers attempt to catch Georgia sleeping on fourth and eleven. It was the play that swung the game in Georgia's favor. Richard Samuel will do whatever it takes to make his football team better. He always has and he always will. He's just that kind of Dawg!

Jarvis Jones: Just Take Over the Game...

The stage was set. The cameras were rolling. Missouri was going to be the star of the movie. History being made: first SEC game, first SEC win. The storyline was going to read "Old man football won't cut it with Mizzou"!. Then a funny thing happened, one of the support cast got off script. Georgia's Jarvis Jones just took over the game. The player his coach, Mark Richt, said later "may be the best defensive player in America", just put the entire Bulldawg Nation on his back and won the game for Georgia. For the better part of three quarters, it really did look like the shoe might fit Cinderella's foot. Missouri rode the emotion of its fans, its state and a delirious stadium to the point of finding itself in a position to actually pull this thing off. However, the upstart Tigers had no answer for Jones. He completed his night with 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception. But that doesn't tell the entire story.  He was a constant source of defensive pressure on Missouri's offense all night long. He put himself in position to make big plays. He made the guys around him play with more intensity. He made the game easier for his teammates on offense. He led his team to victory. He foiled all of the Tigers hopes, dreams and aspirations. Welcome to the SEC Missouri. Like the board on the UGA sideline read after the game,  It's not old man football, it's "Grown man football"!