It's Tech week everyone. Our season may look pretty bad right now, but it's always great to be a Georgia Bulldog (and not one of those bee thingies).
Nov 24, 2009
Ok, so finally everyone was agreeing that we had a chance to get to the Chick-Fil-A, or even Outback, and then we had to go and lose to Kentucky in bed-wetting fashion.
So what's the deal now?
People have completely lost it with Georgia now, and most are crying and expecting an Independence or even Papa John's bowl to end the season. I don't know if they're aware that this would mean UGA would have to finish 9th or 10th in the entire SEC, which honestly seems impossible at this point (thankfully).
Here's how things are shaping up. Georgia will very likely end up 3rd in the SEC East behind either Tennessee or Kentucky, depending on who wins their game. There is a possibility for Georgia to finish 2nd in the East, but only if we beat Tech and Tennessee wins. 3 teams in the West will surely finish ahead of Georgia, and the rest are questionable.
So for certain, we know that we could at BEST finish 5th in the SEC (Outback Bowl). Seriously. It's possible still, but only with a Tech win and everything else going our way, and the bowl committees choosing us over others (very unlikely). Technically, if Arkansas beats LSU and Auburn beats Alabama, we would end up 8th in the SEC (Liberty Bowl).
If you think about it, a Music City or even Chick-Fil-A are still possibilities. It really all depends on what UGA does at Tech next Saturday, and what happens with a few other teams.
In summary, we WANT Tennessee to beat Kentucky, LSU to beat Arkansas, and Alabama to beat Auburn. We also want South Carolina to lose to Clemson, just to make sure they're knocked out. If everything goes our way, we have a shot at the Chick-Fil-A still. Don't expect it, but we can surely hope for it.
First, some quick thoughts on the game (which I'm sure most of you are trying to get past at this point). My last post is pretty ominous to look at now, isn't it? Although I knew that Kentucky could beat us, I didn't think that they would. Neither did most when we were up 14 points at halftime. Once again, Georgia football is the gift that keeps on giving (to opposing teams). And the biggest giver (other than all of the coaches combined) would have to be Joe Cox. A very generous guy.
Yes, our defense has been very, very bad this year, and most Dawg fans are waiting (im)patiently for Martinez to hit the road. But Saturday's game was actually much more similar to the first few games of this terrible season, where the defense really played "alright," but the offense and special teams wouldn't stop turning the ball over or killing us with field position. 2 turnovers led directly to 14 UK points, and the other 2 basically put a stop to our chance of scoring and tying the game. And the defense did hold strong at the end of the game, where we had plenty of chances, but fumbled them away.
Quick thoughts that have probably been discussed by everyone too much already:
- Fumble on the goal line: Why a toss there? I know coaches have said that it's our "bread and butter play" strangely enough, but isn't a toss on the goal line dangerous in such an important situation? My first thought was: Cox's fault. But now the coaches are blaming it all on the freshman Ealey (of course). Either way, why toss the ball backwards when you just need to surge forward a couple of feet for the TD? The saddest part was that we were only on 3rd down and had 2 chances to push it in, before the toss.
- Cox's first interception: Perhaps the worst pick I've ever seen. It looked like when he got under pressure, he was so scared that he just dumped the ball off to the UK linebacker, almost like he thought he was a fellow teammate who could catch a screen pass. It was almost comical during the game.
- Cox's second interception: In Sanford Stadium, we almost couldn't believe that we still had a chance. The game seemed over after that fumble at the goal line, but our defense stepped up, we actually had plenty of time left on the clock, and we had a great chance to go down and tie the game. The stadium suddenly was back in it and ready to win. And then, on the very first play, a poorly thrown pass. It was almost perfectly bad, and laughable.
Certainly the worst ending to a game I've seen at Sanford Stadium.
Labels: Georgia football
Nov 18, 2009
It seems much of the Bulldog Nation (including myself) were looking at the Auburn game as extremely important. We thought, "Hey, if we beat Auburn, then we'll beat Kentucky, and have a good shot to beat Tech after Thanksgiving. What a great way to end the season!" Then, we did beat Auburn, and people are thinking, "Now we have our easy game against Kentucky before we go to Atlanta." I was thinking the same way - until Monday, when I looked up the Wildcats to see how they've been doing this year.
In case you didn't know, Kentucky has the same record as Georgia at the moment (6-4). And guess what? The games they lost were, for the most part, very respectable. Yes, they did get blasted 41-7 by Florida (UF's biggest win over an SEC opponent this season), but Georgia didn't have the best game against the Gators either. Then, UK put up a respectable fight against Alabama, a game which they lost 38-20. No other SEC team has put up 20 points against Bama this year (LSU managed to score 15). At South Carolina, the Wildcats lost a nailbiter 28-26, which isn't bad, considering Georgia pulled out a close one against the Gamecocks in our 2nd game this season at home. Finally, Kentucky lost another close one to Mississippi State, 31-24, and we all know that the Cowbell Bulldogs have stayed in games with LSU and Florida. Oh, and by the way, Kentucky beat Auburn, at Auburn, by the same margin we did.
Then, you look at the stats. Kentucky is actually ranked ahead of Georgia in numerous categories. They're 9th in total offense in the SEC (Georgia is 10th), 5th in rushing offense (UGA is 11th), 4th in pass defense (Georgia is 11th), and their kick returner Derrick Locke is currently the best in the SEC.
So when you look at it, Kentucky is a real threat to the Bulldogs on Senior Day. They aren't like Vanderbilt this year, and they certainly aren't a guaranteed win for UGA. We need this win to get to a good bowl game. Win, and the Chick-Fil-A, maybe Outback, can be ours. Lose, and we're looking at a possibly dismal 6-6 season with a trip to one of those undesired bowls.
Nov 16, 2009
Because they're still the same. I predicted every SEC game remaining, each team's final record, and which bowl they'd end up in 2 weeks ago, and so far, everything has been spot on. Of course, no one knows exactly which bowls will choose which teams, but we have a pretty good idea. Nice to see most Georgia fans and blogs suddenly changing their predictions for us from Music City, Independence, and Liberty, to Chick-Fil-A and even Outback. Did I sense some doubt about UGA beating Auburn this weekend?
Most people are still confused about bowls though, and they forget that the bowl selection for SEC-tie-ins is largely based on final SEC record and SEC ranking. If Georgia beats Kentucky, we'll be the 2nd ranked team in the SEC East, and at worst, the 5th ranked overall. That smells like Outback.
I still think my bowl predictions have been pretty good for the past 2 weeks with no change. I predicted Ole Miss beating Tennessee (even though it was very popular for most people to pick UT in that one), I picked Arkansas beating South Carolina, and of course I picked Georgia to beat Auburn. In fact, the only things I'm not positive about wouldn't really change Georgia's bowl position. For instance, I hope I'm wrong that we lose to Tech, but if we beat them, then the Outback is pretty much a lock. Also, I'm starting to think South Carolina will lose to Clemson, Ole Miss might beat LSU, and Tennessee could lose to Kentucky. But like I said, none of that would affect Georgia's position in my predictions. I stand by what I said before: Assuming Georgia at least beats Kentucky, we'll find ourselves in the Outback, with a chance of dropping to the Chick-Fil-A (which I wouldn't mind).
I don't know why everyone was so pessimistic before. They must have been scared of Auburn (and I'll admit, I was scared of them too when we were down 0-14). But look! The bowl picture looks a lot brighter now, doesn't it?
Nov 11, 2009
It's probably the least useful information we have to compare the performances of two football teams late in the season, but it also happens to be some of the only information we have. That is, comparing teams based on how they performed against the same opponents. Auburn and Georgia have played both played 3 specific teams: Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU. So let's take a look at how each performed against these similar opponents, just for fun. It's certainly no true indication of which team is better this year, or who will win between the Tigers and the Bulldogs this Saturday, but hey, it's fun to look at.
Let's start with Arkansas.
Georgia at Arkansas (W 52-41)
Total Yards: 530
Passing yards: 375
Rushing yards: 155 (ypc. 4.3)
Total Yards against: 485
Rushing: 77 (ypc. 3.2)
Auburn at Arkansas (L 23-44)
Total Yards: 375
Rushing: 242 (ypc. 6.9)
Total yards against: 495
Rushing: 221 (ypc. 4.9)
Georgia clearly had a much better performance against Arkansas, especially on offense. On defense, the numbers for each team were similar, except Georgia was ripped up mainly by Arkansas' passing attack, while the Razorbacks gashed Auburn in the air and on the ground evenly. This could be a sign that Georgia's run defense was actually more effective against the Hogs than Auburn's, forcing them to pass more and rely on Mallet's arm.
Georgia at Tennessee (L 19-45)
Total Yards: 241
Rushing: 89 (ypc. 4.0)
Total yards against: 472
Rushing: 162 (ypc. 4.4)
Auburn at Tennessee (W 26-22)
Total Yards: 459
Rushing: 224 (ypc. 4.7)
Total Yards against: 410
Rushing: 151 (ypc. 5.2)
This time, the story is slightly different. Auburn performed much better at Tennessee on offense than Georgia. But despite a large difference in the number of points the Volunteers scored, both Auburn and Georgia gave up similar yardage in Knoxville. So now through two games we've observed, both Auburn and Georgia have had bad defenses, but up-and-down offenses.
Georgia vs. LSU (L 13-20)
Total Yards: 274
Rushing: 45 (ypc. 1.9)
Total yards against: 368
Rushing: 156 (ypc. 3.5)
Auburn at LSU (L 10-31)
Total Yards: 193
Rushing: 112 (ypc. 2.7)
Total yards against: 376
Rushing: 122 (ypc. 3.8)
So here's the tiebreaker. Georgia only scored 3 more points than Auburn, but did have nearly 80 more total yards against LSU. Auburn's defense also gave up slightly more yardage, and a lot more points. But let's face it: both games were ugly performances by Georgia and Auburn. If it's any consolation, Georgia had a good chance to win the game with a minute left (and we all know about the bad call on AJ Green), while Auburn was down 24-0 in the third quarter. So I'd say Georgia's defense, despite the yards they gave up, played a much better game against LSU than the Auburn defense.
Just for fun, I combined the states from all 3 of these games to see how each team has fared against the similar opponents.
Total Yards: 1045
Total Yards against: 1325
Total Yards: 1027
Total yards against: 1281
In conclusion, both offenses have looked pretty even overall, with Georgia having the better passing game while Auburn is better at running the ball. Defensively, Georgia has actually fared a little better than Auburn, but both defenses are weak against the pass and stronger against rushing attacks. Since Auburn's offense focuses more on running than passing, this is good for Georgia's pass-vulnerable D. Plus, Auburn, like Georgia, is weak against the pass, which has been Georgia's strength on offense.
Nov 4, 2009
No one knows for sure, but I can tell you that most of the "experts" don't seem to really know what they're talking about with their bowl predictions.
Mark Bradley from the AJC wrote a column yesterday in which he sums up most of our bowl predictions, and he seems to relish in the fact that most are predicting Georgia landing in a lower-tier SEC bowl.
So here are the predictions by "experts" so far:
ESPN's Bruce Feldman: Independence Bowl vs. Missouri
ESPN's Mark Schlabach: Music City Bowl vs. Florida State
CBSSports.com: Liberty Bowl vs. Houston
Athens Banner Herald: Music City Bowl
My question is this: Have any of these guys even looked at the bowl selection process or other SEC teams' current records?
Looks like most of the "experts" are picking Auburn to beat Georgia, and that's how they explain our lower-tier bowl. But I'm not sure if they are even looking at things that closely. David Ching at the Athens Banner Herald says he's predicting Georgia will win against Auburn and Kentucky (which would put us at 5-3 in the SEC), but then he has South Carolina losing to Florida, ending up 4-4 in the SEC and yet being in the Chick-Fil-A, while he has Georgia in the Music City. THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. He also has Ole Miss being in a better bowl than us, yet having a 3-5 SEC record. DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.
Here is the list of SEC bowls this year, and who they will probably take:
BCS National Championship: SEC #1
Sugar Bowl: SEC #2
Capital One Bowl: SEC #3
Cotton Bowl: SEC #4
Outback Bowl: SEC #5
Chick-Fil-A: SEC #6
Music City: SEC #7
Liberty: SEC #8
Independence: SEC #9
PapaJohn's: SEC #10
Of course it's still possible that no SEC teams will make it to the National Championship this season, so that would just knock each # up one spot (Sugar is SEC #1, Capital One is SEC #2, and so on.)
Now let's look at the current position of Georgia in the SEC (from ESPN.com).
Right now with our SEC win/loss record (and our overall record), we'd likely be picked as the #6 SEC team (so if bowls were played next week, we'd be in the Chick-Fil-A).
If we beat Kentucky and Auburn, the absolute worst we could end up would be #7 in the SEC, which would probably land us in the Music City bowl. Even if we lost one of those two games, we'd still probably (at worst) end up at #8 (Liberty).
Because the rest of the SEC still has games to play to, and it's likely that some teams are going to knock each other out.
We know for a fact right now that we will end up in the SEC behind Florida and Alabama, because the worst they could do right now is end up 6-2 or 5-2 in the SEC. We'll very likely be behind LSU, unless they somehow manage to lose their last 3 SEC games and end up 4-4 in conference.
But here's the fun part.
South Carolina is currently 3-3 in conference (like us), but they still have to play @Arkansas and Florida. We all probably expect them to lose at least to UF, but I can see them losing to the Hogs as well.
We play Auburn (and then they have to play Alabama), so if we can beat them, we'll certainly be ahead of them in the SEC.
Tennessee is 2-3 in conference with remaining games @Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and @Kentucky. I can see them losing at least one of those and ending up at best 4-4. Even if they win all three of those, they'll be 5-3 in conference (perhaps like us), and a bowl might choose us ahead of them for money purposes (especially the Chick-Fil-A) or even the Florida bowls.
And finally, Mississippi. They're 2-3 in the SEC with remaining games against Tennessee, LSU, and @Miss. State. Once again, I can see them losing at least one of those, maybe 2 (and possibly all 3).
Mississippi State doesn't seem a likely threat, as they still have to play Alabama, @Arkansas, and Ole Miss.
Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Arkansas have no shot at finishing above us if we win our last 2 SEC games.
If we beat Auburn and Kentucky (even if we lose to Tech in the finale), the worst we could do is end up as the #7 SEC team which would give us a spot in the Music City Bowl. But it's much more likely (and in fact, necessary) that other SEC teams will beat up on each other in the next few weeks. In fact, we have a very legitimate shot at ending up as the #4 or #5 SEC team this season, putting us in the Cotton or Outback.
Will beat LSU, Miss. State, Chattanooga, and Auburn
Final Record: 12-0 (8-0 SEC) (#1 SEC)
Bowl: BCS National Championship Game
Will beat Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida International, and Florida State.
Final Record: 12-0 (8-0 SEC) (#2 SEC)
Bowl: Sugar Bowl
Will lose to Alabama, but beat Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss, and Arkansas.
Final Record: 10-2 (6-2 SEC) (#3 SEC)
Bowl: Capital One
Will beat Tennessee Tech, Auburn, Kentucky, lose to Georgia Tech
Final Record: 7-5 (5-3 SEC) (#4 SEC)
Will beat Northern Arizona, Tennessee, and Miss. State. Lose to LSU
Final Record: 8-4 (4-4 SEC) (#5 SEC)
Will beat Memphis, Vanderbilt, Kentucky. Will lose to Mississippi.
Final Record: 7-5 (4-4 SEC) (#6 SEC)
Will beat South Carolina, Troy, Miss. State, and lose to LSU.
Final Record: 7-5 (3-5 SEC) #7 SEC
Bowl: Music City
Will beat Furman, lose to Georgia and Alabama
Final Record: 7-5 (3-5 SEC) (#8 SEC)
Lose to Arkansas and Florida, beat Clemson
Final Record: 7-5 (3-5 SEC) (#9 SEC)
Will beat Eastern Kentucky and Vanderbilt, will lose to Georgia and Tenessee
Final Record: 6-6 (2-6 SEC) (#10 SEC)
Bowl: PapaJohn's Bowl
Will lose to Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
Final Record: 4-8 (2-6 SEC) (#11 SEC)
Bowl: Not eligible
Will lose to Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee
Final Record: 2-10 (0-8 SEC) (#12 SEC)
Bowl: Not eligible
Even though this is my prediction, I think we'll most likely end up in the Outback, Cotton, or Chick-Fil-A (if I'm wrong on something in there). A Music City bowl seems possible as well, but I think the Liberty and Independence predictions are pretty stupid. The funny thing is, I'm not even being that biased toward Georgia here. I even predicted the loss to Tech.
So tell me, where are these "experts" getting their predictions? I'm guessing they're pulling them out of a place where the sun doesn't shine very much.
I could be wrong and we could lose to Auburn or Kentucky, or even both, in which case we wouldn't even be bowl eligible. But I think I'm a little more realistic than most with my predictions. I'll admit, an Auburn loss seems possible, but for now and from what I've seen (and with Georgia playing Auburn in Athens at night), I think we can win our last 2 SEC games.
Nov 3, 2009
I hate to say it. I still support Coach Richt and think he's a great person, coach, mentor, and recruiter. But I, along with much of the Bulldog Nation, am losing faith in the ability of our coaches to make the right decisions.
The 2009 season has been characterized by complacency and excuses. After each of our 4 losses (so far), we've heard the usual coach speak, the "things just didn't work out" remarks and the "we'll might make some changes" concessions. After our embarrassing self-destruction at Tennessee, the coaches seemed to finally agree with many fans that we needed to change something. Whether it was the schemes of the coaches, the starting players, or just the general attitude of the team, something needed to be changed. A good team doesn't lose a game in Knoxville like we did. We heard "changes, changes, changes" throughout the week leading up to Vanderbilt.
So what exactly did we change during that week? Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo came down from the box and called plays on the sideline. That was pretty much it. After losing to Oklahoma State, LSU, and then that terrible, humiliating loss to Tennessee, all we really did was bring a coach down to the field. Georgia won convincingly, and all was forgotten.
Then, we (and likely the coaches/players) were distracted by the looming threat of Florida. We were fooled into believing that all was well after we beat a pathetic Commodores squad, and we thought we could go to Jacksonville doing exactly what we've been doing all season, with the exact same personnel that were embarrassed by Tennessee, and we could somehow beat the #1 Florida Gators.
But maybe we would secretly make some changes? Maybe something would be different on Saturday and help lead us to victory. In fact, there was a significant change in our Georgia Bulldogs, and it was apparent from the very beginning.
We wore black helmets and pants.
That was, sadly, the most significant change our coaches have decided to make this season. Then it was revealed how poorly thought out our strategy was, and we saw more of the same from Georgia in the Cocktail Party. Why? Because we didn't change anything other than the uniforms.
I'm afraid that our coaches and our team are too complacent with the way things have been. Losses are shrugged off and they claim to focus on "finishing the drill." If these last 4 games are so important (as they should be), then why are we not doing anything possible to win? What we've been doing has not been successful. We're 4-4, and bowl eligibility is actually not guaranteed. If what we've been doing all season just hasn't worked, shouldn't we try something different? Isn't it worth it?
And as a final note: It's not just looking ahead to the future to want to play a freshman quarterback. Many worry that we could have better options at the most important position on the team, and UGA fans are most concerned with winning the next game. With our performance at that position this season, it's worrisome that the coaches maintain that who we have starting is our best option still.
Unfortunately, with closed practices and our beloved program having a red and black clad security person pacing the Sanford bridge, telling passersby to move on when trying to just see for a moment how our options look, none of us can really know what's going on. And that's why we can't trust the decisions being made right now. We have no way to keep accountable our program and coaches, no way to really vote or take action for the good of our team.
But if our coaches continue to refuse to take chances, to make real changes other than fashion, and we continue down the road that we've been on throughout this season, I don't think we'll have to.
Nov 1, 2009
This is the worst instance I could find. If you find any other videos/photos to show similar actions by players on EITHER team, post links in the comments.
It's sad to say that I'm getting used to losing lately, maybe because I try to be realistic and look at this as a "down year." I know, many are saying that our program is headed downhill and there are fears that this is the beginning of some type of Bulldog Apocalypse, but I'll wait and see what happens in the future.
I really wanted to just make this a positive post to help some of you out who are contemplating giving up football fandom altogether, but I can't. So I'll keep it short. The loss wasn't a big shock to me, and I honestly could have seen it being a lot worse. I wasn't heartbroken that our team was embarrassed (again) by the #1 Florida Gators. It happens. It's a game, and someone always has to lose.
But what does bother me is dirty stuff on the field going unnoticed and unpunished. Players on both teams did a lot of it, and it sickens me to see refs watching from a few feet away and doing nothing. If anything, aren't the little yellow flags there to at least be a slap on the wrist? Can we at least get that little penalty to see that yes, the SEC and SEC officiating actually care about the well-being of these student athletes and will not tolerate intentional injuring of other players? Yes, football is a tough game where you aim to hit others, but there is a fine line between playing a game and having some serious, violent psychological issues.
I'm ashamed of the SEC, the officials, the coaches, and the TV commentators who (from what I understand) didn't even acknowledge a lot of these foul actions during (or after) the game. All of these people are responsible for doing nothing to stop those big, violent idiots from doing things on the football field that they would be arrested for if not in uniform. And of course the most to blame are the players themselves who did these things. In the last two "Cocktail Parties" there's been a feeling of "wild west" mentality, as if the refs and everyone will let anything go, no matter how dirty. I'm not sure why things have become like this in a historic rivalry, but I have yet to hear anyone come out and say it.
This is the worst instance I could find. If you find any other videos/photos to show similar actions by players on EITHER team, post links in the comments.
We shouldn't let this type of stuff keep happening with no reprimand.