Thursday, December 31, 2015
Sports Illustrated once voted Georgia's uniform as the best in college football. Bright Red helmets and jerseys with "silver britches". The lure, especially from Nike, for teams to wear trendy uniforms has led to many different uniform combinations and schemes. It goes without saying that the Oregon Ducks have been the trend setters in this department. It seems as though their Saturday attire has no limitations as to variations. In the last fifteen years, Georgia has altered their traditional Saturday best four times. The Dawgs wore a different Nike creation for a season opener in the Georgia Dome several years ago, and showed up in Jacksonville with atrocious black helmets and pants one game day in October as well. The black jerseys have made it "Between the Hedges" on two different occasions, once for Auburn and once against Alabama. Even when Kirby Smart wore number 16 as a Dawg, Jim Donnan added black striping to the helmets, but thankfully Mark Richt brought back the single white stripe to the bright and distinctive red headgear. Vince Dooley even put Herschel Walker in red pants on occasion. But, Georgia's traditional home and road uniforms are the standard. When anyone sees those uniforms on the TV, they know it's Georgia. They are classic and sharp looking. The temptation is out there to change-up the uniform look, but why mess up a good thing? After all, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Georgia is extremely thin at the tailback position as they prepare for the TaxSlayer Bowl against Penn State. UGA has only two tailbacks on their roster who have logged carries this season, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall. Missing are Brendon Douglas, Quayvon Hicks, and of course, Nick Chubb, all sidelined with injuries. That leaves third team Tae Crowder and fourth string A.J. Turman. The only concern with this rotation is that Crowder is a true freshman who has not seen the field all season, and Turman is a mystery man who the Bulldog staff has had very little to say about all year. If Crowder does play Saturday, he will forfeit a full year of eligibility for his appearance in this single game. The interim coaching staff remains noncommittal on the issue, only indicating that the actual game situation will dictate their response. It seems unreasonable to me that Crowder would enter the game before Turman, regardless of the depth chart. Georgia should protect Tae Crowder's redshirt under all costs. He shouldn't play Saturday. Period.
The Georgia football team is in Jacksonville for final preparations for Saturday's TaxSlayer Bowl. Former head coach Mark Richt is in Miami. Future head coach Kirby Smart is in Texas with Alabama's Cotton Bowl team. Interim head coach Brian McClendon is actually in Jacksonville with the Dawgs, but he'll soon be in Columbia, South Carolina. We fondly refer to the Dawgs as playing "Between the Hedges", but for a while now they have been, and will be, playing "Between the Coaches".
Monday, December 28, 2015
In most cases when an SEC team plays out of conference, I tend to go with the conference when selecting my preferred winner. But I always make that decision weighed upon the impact the winner might have on Georgia's season. With that being said, I am hoping for an upset Michigan State win in this year's Cotton Bowl over favored Alabama. Yea I know. a Spartan win eliminates any chance of the SEC winning the National Championship. I get all of that. My reason for not wanting the Crimson Tide to win is totally selfish: I want Kirby Smart back in Athens as soon as possible working for Georgia, not Alabama. A Tide loss puts Smart with UGA, where he belongs by the way, at least 11 days sooner than does a Tide victory. As far as I'm concerned, the 2016 campaign has already begun and the Head Coach needs to be on campus steering the ship. It's just that simple...
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
It is being reported that Georgia running backs coach Thomas Brown will be joining Mark Richt's staff at Miami after the Dawgs January 2nd bowl game. Earlier, it was speculated that Brown would remain at Georgia with new head coach Kirby Smart, although Smart never confirmed this himself. However, Coach Brown did accompany Smart on several recruiting trips just after Smart was announced as Georgia's new coach. So, what's the deal: Did Smart ask Brown to stay on at UGA and now Brown has had a change of heart, or was he never offered the option of remaining with the Bulldogs to begin with? This coaching wheel just keeps spinning...
Monday, December 21, 2015
It's fair to say that the play of Georgia's quarterbacks this season has been less than exemplary. After losing Jacob Park to transfer, the Dawgs had three signal-callers coming out of summer camp, but none of the trio could nail down the starting job. Incoming UVA graduate Greyson Lambert eventually emerged as the starter, with Faton Bauta making an ill-fated start against Florida. Brice Ramsey earned more time as a punter than he did as a quarterback. In the last several games of the season, the Bulldogs spent a considerable amount of snaps out of the "Wild-Dawg" formation with play-makers handling the direct snap from center. Was the inept play at the position due to OC/Quarterback Coach Brian Schottenheimer's inability to develop any of these guys? Did Georgia miss Mike Bobo terribly in that role? Did Mark Richt not get involved enough in the hands-on quarterback coaching? Did poor offensive line play contribute to the situation? Did the loss of Nick Chubb hurt the quarterback play that much? Were the three just overwhelmed by the level of competition in the SEC and unable to respond and perform? Perhaps some of all the above? I think it was at least some of everything above. Regardless of the reasons, the lack of production was evident. What do you think?
Malcolm Mitchell is one of the "Good Guys". He is a recipient of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Award Team, a published author, a college graduate, and an accomplished college football wide receiver. He was UGA's 2014 Comeback Player of the Year after sustaining an ACL injury during a touchdown celebration at Clemson in the first quarter of the first game of 2013. Bulldawg fans will always remember his 45 yard catch-and-run against Florida in 2012. He knows how to handle adversity. He knows how to handle success. He knows about giving back. On January 2nd he will play his final game for Georgia. No matter what happens in that TaxSlayer Bowl against Penn State, Mitchell will go out a winner. A winner in every aspect of the word. Here's hoping there is a successful Pro career awaiting him, as well as many more children's books published. He deserves all things good, because he really is one of the "Good Guys". Thanks Malcolm!
Sunday, December 20, 2015
coaching career as a graduate assistant at Georgia, and has paid his dues and worked himself up all the way to the title of interim head coach. He now is the man in charge of getting the Bulldogs ready for their January 2nd bowl game. The big thing about this is that McClendon might not be sure of his future. Incoming coach Kirby Smart has not named him as a member of his new staff at this point. It is believed that Smart would prefer to bring Alabama's wide receiver's coach Billy Napier with him to Athens. It is also no stretch to assume that McClendon has a spot on Mark Richt's Miami staff if he wants it. Regardless of where he ends up for the 2016 football season, McClendon is in Athens doing what needs to be done for the 2015 UGA squad. He could be job hunting, or even at a new location by now, but he chose to "Finish the Drill" with this team. That in itself says a lot about the character of the man. Wherever Bryan McClendon is coaching next year, he will be a credit to the kids and the program. Thanks Coach for always being a Damn Good Dawg!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
coordinators. Mark Richt is in Miami, Jeremy Pruitt is in Alabama, and who knows where Brian Schottenheimer is. Several of UGA's position coaches might not coach in the bowl game due to the fact that they will not be on Kirby Smart's staff next season. This could be determined by language in their contracts. The only coach who is a certainty to be with the Dawgs in Jacksonville is interim head coach Bryan McClendon. His coaching staff at this point appears to be composed mostly of graduate assistants. Nevertheless, bowl practices begin on Wednesday. With or without a full coaching staff.
Ole Miss star Robert Nkemdiche fell 15 feet from an Atlanta hotel balcony but told police "I don't know how I ended up on the ground". Well Robert, when you fall 15 feet and you're not over water, the ground is usually where you end up. Nkemdiche can dominate offensive lineman, but it appears he is no match for good old gravity!
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
Georgia Gets Kirby Smart from Alabama, but not full-time immediately. Alabama gets Jeremy Pruitt from Georgia, on a full-time immediate basis. Jeremy Pruitt is on the job at Alabama working on recruiting and looking at tape of his new defense. Kirby Smart will also be on the job at Alabama Monday coaching Pruitt's new defense for their National Championship run. Smart will not be looking at tape of his new Georgia players. He will be looking at tape of the Crimson Tide's next opponent. Something just isn't right with this picture. Nick Saban and Alabama are in a win, win situation. Georgia is in at least a lose, lose situation with no head coach on campus and no coordinators in place. Again, something just isn't right with this. And you know it too.
If it is indeed true that Georgia's Jeremy Pruitt will be the next defensive coordinator at Alabama, then it will be give and take on the recruiting front for the two schools. Georgia will probably lose some recruits that have developed a relationship with Pruitt to Alabama. Conversely, Alabama will also lose recruits who have developed that same type of relationship with Kirby Smart to Georgia. Only time will tell which program comes out on top of this swap shop. One name who will most definitely be lost to the Bulldogs is Mecole Hardman, the number one ranked athlete in the country. Hardman and Pruitt have a bond that will probably turn him to the Tide. Another development that could have a big impact on recruiting is the hiring of Georgia's offensive and defensive coordinators. Those two appointments would certainly clarify a lot for the recruits Georgia currently has committed. Smart has said he wants to take his time in naming his coordinators, but the timing of those hires is now crucial.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Part of me says that Mark Richt should not attend Georgia's annual Senior Gala this weekend. He's moved on, we've moved on, let's all go forward. The other part of me says that he should attend. After all, he's been with these seniors 4 and 5 years. He recruited them, coached them, and mentored them. They asked him to be there. So, why shouldn't he? Are there too many conflicts of interest now that he's at Miami for him to come back at this time? I'm really leaning to the side that says he shouldn't attend. Nothing against Coach Richt. We all know what a great guy he is. It just seems somewhat awkward. But really, is it even such a big deal if he's there or not?
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
High school football players de-commit often. Georgia just had that to happen this week. Kids flip their commitments from one school to another. That happened for, as well as against, UGA last February. Jacob Eason is the Washington state quarterback who has been verbally committed to the Dawgs for more than a year. He has also sent in his non-binding financial aid papers. Eason has helped to recruit other players for his 2016 class. He hung with Georgia even after Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo left for Colorado State. His plans were to early enroll at Georgia in January. He has been counting on being a Bulldog as much as the Bulldogs have been counting on him. But his college world got turned upside down on him when Georgia fired Head Coach Mark Richt. He took an official visit to Florida last week, and now says his choice is between the Gators and the Bulldogs. Once a solid lock, Georgia now finds itself in a battle with an arch rival. Meaning no disrespect to the Bulldogs' two quarterbacks on campus now, but the Dawgs do not have a quarterback to lead them in 2016. That was proven this year. Even though none of us know just how good Jacob Eason will actually be on the college level, he is an extremely talented quarterback who gives UGA another option and new hope. He is also the only quarterback we have committed for the 2016 class. By now I'm sure you see how important it is for newly appointed Coach Kirby Smart to win his first big recruiting war at Georgia. The position is that big; the numbers are that alarming; the stakes are that high, and who knows what Plan B actually would be?
Sunday, December 6, 2015
2015 has not been a banner year for ACC officials, who blew a whole slew of calls on a single play in Miami's win over Duke. There have been plenty of others — like this one and these ones.
In the ACC, I guess some things just aren't meant to be. A lot of times it seems...
fake punt. His futile attempt came up woefully short, and his coach, Dabo Swinney, took over from there. Swinney chewed, and he chewed, and he chewed some more on Teasdall's rear end. All in front of the millions watching at home. It seemed to go on forever; so long that I thought "enough is enough" Dabo. I wonder if the punter will ever get back in the good graces of his coach? Good luck with that one, Andy.
Friday, December 4, 2015
retired as the "South Carolina Head Ball Coach" in mid October. Now in early December when you would think the Gamecocks' brain trust should be getting ready to announce Spurrier's replacement, they announce that the search has expanded. Looks like the 'Cocks had the first SEC coaching vacancy and might just have the last. Study long, study wrong. Just sayin...
Mark Richt answered when asked if he would go after the commits he helped to recruit at Georgia. His answer was that he would not turn a kid away if a young man contacted him. Then he added that he would not "steal the board and all that", meaning he wasn't going to overtly contact and try to take Georgia's prospects. What's wrong with those comments? I don't see anything wrong with them.
Georgia quarterback Faton Bauta is foregoing his final year of eligibility and transferring to another school for that final experience on the gridiron. Bauta already has his degree from the University, so he will not have to sit out the mandatory year before playing. He's been a team player as a Dawg, doing anything that has been asked of him. When he was thrown into the starting role against Florida this year, he wasn't even given a 'package ' to execute that would have fit his skill-set. We all heard that Bauta is a "Tebow type" quarterback whose game is much more fitted to a running attack as opposed to a passing one. UGA's game plan against the Gators did nothing to help Bauta succeed. But I certainly hope he succeeds in this last year of eligibility. It would be great to see him land somewhere that he could get some serious playing time. He deserves that. He's been a "Damn Good Dawg"!
I hate when things get bogged down. I want to see things completed and moving on to the next step. I don't like indecision and having to wait for change to take place. It's especially frustrating when outside issues have an impact on my alternatives. I'm like the kid at Christmas who can't wait for the 'big day" to finally get here. And that is exactly where I am with Georgia Football at this point, and I imagine many of you are as well. I want South Carolina to go ahead and make their head coaching hire. I want Mark Richt to begin assembling his staff at Miami. Coaching decisions at these two schools could have an impact on our new staff. After Saturday night, I want Kirby Smart to at least acknowledge the University of Georgia. It is common knowledge that he is riding out the remainder of the bowl/playoff season with Alabama, but I want to hear about how he is handling that as well as his new job with the Bulldogs. Whether Nick Saban likes it or not, Smart will have responsibilities in Athens once he is officially announced as head coach. He will have to begin juggling those two jobs. We all want to know which coaches he keeps on staff at Georgia, as well as where the ones go he chooses not to retain. Who will be the next defensive and offensive coordinators at Georgia? What will be our new offensive philosophy? Can the new staff hold the 4th rated 2016 recruiting class together, especially securing the commitment of quarterback Jacob Eason? So many questions, so few answers.Stuck in limbo...
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Who would have thought that after Sunday morning Mark Richt and Jacob Eason would ever share a coach /player relationship again? I wonder if Georgia AD Greg McGarity ever thought that? Not me for sure. However, now that Richt is all but assured of being the next Hurricane head coach, it is being reported that Eason will take a look at the green and orange as well. After all, he's in the state of Florida now anyway. He might as well drive a few extra miles for the coach who just a couple of weeks ago flew more than a couple of thousand miles to pay him a surprise visit. Not to mention that they always say recruiting is all about relationships. The plot thickens...
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Georgia Bulldogs just adopted the University of Miami as a "Step-Team". Mark Richt has probably just performed the absolute fastest collegiate head coach rehiring in the NCAA's history. Fired by UGA on Sunday, and the head man of the Miami Hurricanes by Wednesday. How 'bout them 'Canes! They just brought in a former player to help return their program to prominence. Not to mention the fact the Hurricanes play Georgia Tech every year! The Dawg Nation will eat that up! Who says you can't go home again...?
Mecole Hardman is a 5-Star athlete from Elbert County, Georgia. He is a hotly recruited prospect on just about every college's radar. He has developed a close relationship with Georgia's defensive coordinator (at least for now) Jeremy Pruitt. In fact, Pruitt was with Hardman when Coach Mark Richt was fired. Now for the dilemma in Athens: If Kirby Smart does not keep Pruitt on his Georgia staff, can the new regime still get Hardman "Between the Hedges"? I sure hope so...
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Tyson Helton. He'll bring in an offensive scheme that will keep Jason Eason honoring his UGA commitment. With Smart, Pruitt, and Helton the Bulldogs recruiting class stays intact and probably even gets stronger. I have no idea how the wheels are spinning in the athletic offices at Georgia, nor do many other people for that matter. We're all just guessing and wondering. I just gave you my rendition. What's yours? The good thing is we will know the truth after the SEC Championship this weekend.
Jacob Eason, the Lake Stevens, Washington quarterback who has been verbally committed to Georgia for a long time, is heading to Florida today for an official visit. He has always maintained he loves the passion of SEC football. He also, as you would expect, has been contacted by numerous other schools in the wake of Georgia's firing of Mark Richt. His recruitment is obvioulsy wide open at this point.Probably no one knows where Eason's UGA commitment stands at this point, perhaps not even Eason himself. But there is one thing still crystal clear: Georgia needs him desperately. The Bulldogs do not have a quarterback on campus that can carry them through next year, and Eason is their sole target in the 2016 class. This head coach decision at Georgia needs to be swift. There is a 4th ranked recruiting class at stake. It has to be saved. My question for you is this: If Jacob Eason goes to another SEC school because of Richt's firing, is the destruction of the 2016 recruiting class worth the price of a new head coach?
Monday, November 30, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
It seems that Mark Richt's breakfast on the west coast has everyone up in arms regarding his intentions. As the story goes, Richt headed for the airport following Georgia's win over Auburn Saturday and departed on an already planned trip. His intended destination was Washington state and a visit with UGA's top quarterback recruit Jacob Eason. The coach, Eason and Eason's Dad had breakfast together and then spent the remainder of Richt's visit hanging out together. You see, Coach Richt is allowed this unusual visit with a recruit because this particular player has already signed his financial aid papers with the University of Georgia.This gives the Bulldog coaches unlimited contact with Eason. So, why did Richt take a cross-country, in-season recruiting trip? He did it to try and make sure Jacob Eason enrolls at the University of Georgia in January 2016 as planned. Plain and simple. No ulterior motives. Jacob Eason is that important to the future success of the Georgia Bulldogs. Richt just tried to calm the seas among the recent rumored staff turmoil and assure the high school star that Athens, Georgia is where he indeed needs to be to play his college football. A very important recruiting trip. No more - no less.
Monday, November 16, 2015
As a Georgia fan, I believe the Bulldogs should stop scheduling games with Georgia Southern University. Think about it: Georgia has absolutely nothing to gain by playing Georgia Southern. If Georgia wins, it's no big deal because they were supposed to win. If Southern ever wins, Georgia will never hear the end of it. Not to mention the fact that a Southern win would then make the Eagles just like Georgia Tech to Bulldog fans: Hated. Georgia fans admire the Georgia Southern program primarily because of Erk Russell. Seeing the Eagles succeed is an extension of Erk's success.The two go hand-in-hand. There are also many Southern supporters who have always been fans of the Bulldogs. It sounds good to keep it that way. Besides, Georgia has more that enough rivals now. We certainly don't need another one. There's only so much hate to spread around.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Georgia assistant coach and Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is one hot commodity. He is being attributed for many positive changes around the Georgia football program. For example, he is the reason the Bulldogs have changed the way they practice and the way practice is now set-up and conducted. It is said that some of the new hires UGA has made in the football operations department are a direct result of his input. He is being credited as the reason Georgia is much more aggressive in recruiting, offering the elite high school athletes much earlier than they had in the past. It is known that he is a huge reason kids want to come to UGA, and not just kids on the defensive side of the football. Coach Pruitt is a big reason the Dawgs now will remain in Athens on Friday nights before home games instead of having to ride 45 minutes on a bus from a night spent outside of Athens. He is also named as the catalyst for the University finally moving forward with the construction of a long overdue indoor practice facility. He is definitely the Big Man on Campus at the University of Georgia. Since all of these factors are significant reasons for Pruitt's MVP status, doesn't it make sense that Georgia must do whatever they can to keep him wearing Red and Black? With that being said, if Mark Richt, Greg McGarity, and the administration at UGA feel as strongly about Jeremy Pruitt as the Bulldawg Nation does, they have to play all of the trump cards to keep him. Bring out the checkbook again and make him the highest paid coordinator in college football, and by a long shot. In this area, be like Pruitt is with his job, and be proactive and aggressive. Don't drag your feet with this man. Pay him big and pay him now. I don't like the concept of "coaches-in-waiting" because it never seems to work out, but assure him he'll be the head Dawg when Richt decides to retire. Make it legal and put it in writing. Yes, Pruitt is that crucial to the success of the Bulldawg Program. Read the Georgia blogs, read the articles from the UGA beat reporters, read recruiting news concerning the Bulldawgs, listen to high school prospects, and in all of these Pruitt's name will be mentioned at some point. Other schools will come after Jeremy Pruitt, they will come sooner than later, and they will come hard. Georgia must make it tremendously hard for him to leave.
Friday, February 13, 2015
The 2015 recruiting season and subsequent signing day have brought to the forefront the inadequacies of the National Letter of Intent. It is true that this "contract' is heavily weighted in favor of the universities. The recruit is locked in, locked up, and locked down. It is now argued that current day players, generally speaking, sign with a particular school because of developed player-coach relationships, as opposed to signing with the school and program itself. This year in particular, coaching changes at signing day have left several high school players feeling betrayed. This feeling is intensified once the letter of intent has been signed because now the player is bound to that school. There is no question that the process of signing high school athletes to "scholarships" needs to be changed. There is some/much tweaking that needs to be done. Why not do away with "Signing Day" as we know it now. Allow high school seniors to sign a letter with schools any time after Labor Day of their senior year through January 31st. That signed document could be worded to give the student-athlete an "out" option upon certain circumstances that might occur at the school of his signing (such as head coaches position coaches or coordinators leaving) up to the date of his actual enrollment. It could also be worded to protect the validity of a four year commitment by the school. I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I could see a viable document created in a reasonably simple way that would be fair to both the institution as well as the individual. But in reality, is anything simple these days?
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
As we speak, University of Georgia Wide Receiver Coach Tony Ball is a finalist for that same position vacancy at LSU. It is rumored that it could be Ball's job if he wants it, not only as a change of scenery but also as a nice bump up in salary. When Georgia revised the titles and pay grades of several coaches after the 2014 season, Ball's position was not included in those pay hikes. Read in to that what you'd like, but the fact remains he is now exercising his options. For my unsolicited and unwarranted opinion on what the Bulldogs should do if Ball does indeed depart, I think Mark Richt's first call should be to former Bulldog and Pittsburgh Steeler great Hines Ward. With his resume he would certainly be a viable candidate, even though he has no college coaching experience. I can only guess here, but I would see wide receiver recruits jumping at the chance to play for a guy with Ward's credentials. Hines Ward may have bigger and better things going on right now, but he should be UGA's first call. It never hurts to ask...