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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Links (11/4)

Happy Wednesday, folks. Hope everyone has officially slept off their Cocktail Party hangovers by now, and while "turning our attention to Tennessee Tech" isn't exactly anyone's game plan for this week, perhaps we can at least talk about Florida a little less today.

I've largely enjoyed reading the comments from all of you during the past few days -- and all season, really -- but I do have one favor to ask: I realize many of you are upset. I realize that, to this point, the answers you've wanted to hear haven't been spoken by the coaches. I realize that Saturdays aren't nearly as much fun when Georgia is losing.

But, aside from the few pot-stirrers from other programs, you're all Georgia fans. You may have different ideas of what's best going forward, but keep in mind, they're just opinions about a football team. No need for name calling. No need for venomous responses.

One of the things I've enjoyed most about doing this blog during the past two years has been the rational manner in which readers have offered their thoughts and contributed to the overall discussion. Not all have agreed with me or with each other, but for the most part, it's been head and shoulders above the vitriol and irrational ramblings you'll see on some of the bigger message boards. Obviously, I'd really like to keep it that way.

So, outside of particularly vulgar name-calling, I haven't -- nor will I -- censored any comments. But I do ask for you to take the high road when leaving them if you can. I realize it's emotional subject matter -- heck, that's what makes UGA fans great is how passionate they are -- but let's keep in mind that at the end of the day, the vast, vast majority of you all want the same thing: Wins. It's just a matter of discussing the best way to get them.

I realize that plea will fall on some deaf ears. It's the age of the Internet, after all, and anonymous folks can type whatever they want without consequences, so invariably, some will. But I'm hopeful the majority take the high road. To paraphrase a very wise man, "Stay classy, Bulldog Nation."

OK, some linkage...

-- I have a story in today's Telegraph on whether or not Mark Richt is really too nice of a guy to handle such a rocky season.

-- Jeff Schultz thinks things have gotten a little too comfortable in Athens in recent years.

-- Get the Picture says Mark Richt has earned a chance to turn things around, but writes that Richt needs to be careful what direction he decides to take.

-- The funny thing is, Andy Landers perfectly summed up what both the Senator and Schultz had to say three weeks ago.

-- Tony Barnhart offers five questions Mark Richt should be asking himself at season's end.

-- David Ching wonders if we might see Mark Richt vs. Bobby Bowden in a bowl game at year's end.

-- Scott Wiedmer wonders if Richt might choose to leave Georgia rather than be forced to make changes to his staff.

-- Rex Robinson thinks it's ridiculous to bench Washaun Ealey after missing a block when it was Joe Cox who threw the terrible pass that followed.

-- Bernie has his locker notes for this week's game.

-- The Week 9 results of the Mumme Poll are in. A couple thoughts I have:

1.) I get that since Week 1, Oregon has played (and beaten) much tougher competition than Boise State. But we can't ignore the fact that Boise State not only beat Oregon in Week 1, but really dominated the Ducks. And yet, Oregon was the No. 3 overall team with 363 votes and 118 top fives. Boise, on the other hand, finished 10th and had just 65 top fives.

2.) There's a pretty strong consensus on who the top 11 teams are, but after that the voting is all over the board. Penn State at No. 11 picked up 300 votes. Pitt, at No. 12, had less than half that. Essentially, 83 percent of voters agree on the top 11 teams, but the 12th team got just 35 percent of the vote.

3.) Going simply by teams that people voted for the top five, Texas, Alabama and Florida were way out ahead, but the fourth place team was actually Cincinnati. In all, 13 different teams got top-five votes.

4.) Of those teams outside the top 12, five are coming off losses. But of those five, only Southern Cal was in the top 12 last week. What that tells me is there aren't a lot of teams moving up into the top tier, rather the same old teams sticking around regardless of a loss or two.

The funny thing about this season is that I'm not sure there is really a great team out there, but perhaps more than any recent year, we've pretty clearly identified who the really good teams are already. And oddly, 33 percent of them come from either the Big East or non-power conferences.

-- You think Mark Richt is failing to grasp the criticism of fans? The Ol' Ball Coach is getting downright snippy.

-- The Onion takes a jab at SEC officiating. Mike Slive then fined The Onion and suspended it for one game.

-- Well, college basketball season was fun. When's football start again?

-- There's a new record for the world's largest meatball.

-- Maggie Grace appears to be the lone holdout among Ex-Losties to return in the final season.

-- (h/t CNati) Here's an interesting article in the New York Times about how dogs' brains work . My dog displays an innate ability to know whenever a squirrel comes within 500 yards of our house.

-- And finally, Paste offers up its top 50 movies of the decade. What, no "Gigli"?


Ben Rockwell said...

Thanks, David; I've wondered, too, what the chances are of Richt saying, "Screw it; I'm out." Most Dawgs fans are thinking he's got another year with the current staff, more if he makes changes. However, the Times Free Press asks a good question: what if Richt takes the road of Tubby Smith?

I don't know what then. I've already extrapolated in my mind what it would be like to go after a big time coach at a big time school who may have worn out his welcome at said establishment.

Let me state, though, that I want Richt to stay, but I also want him to make some changes to his staff to make it worth everyone's while. When I think of Richt I think of Mack Brown (who seems like a nice enough guy), and I want him to be able to have the same level of success and respect as Brown.

Finally, one thing that I don't ever hear anyone saying (maybe b/c it's obvious) is that Richt has never had the opportunity to learn about being a head coach exept at UGA. He doesn't have exp at Ball State or Utah or Toledo or Michigan State or LSU to draw on. He's having to learn his profession at the highest level, and that might be something for the Dawgs to think about next time they go coach shopping.

David Hale said...

It's a good point, Ben, and I sort of touched on this in my story for the Telegraph today -- at no point in Richt's career, even as an assistant, has he ever had to deal with a season like this. It's uncharted water, and he's bound to make a few mistakes along the way in terms of PR. The only important question, however, is whether he makes the right decisions at the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

We have heard that Cox gives us our best shot at winning, and caleb will start due to pass protection issues- can you as Richt to give specific reasons why #3 still starts despite strong evidence that #18 is simply a better player. There seems to be no accountability on #3.
Can someone loan him Mudcat's car?

Anonymous said...

Alert in Athens, GA

Athens, GA - The UGA Bulldog football practice was delayed nearly two hours today after a running back reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach Mark Richt immediately suspended practice and called the police and federal investigators.
After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to running backs was the GOAL LINE.

Practice resumed after special agents decided the running backs were unlikely to encounter the substance again this season.

Bill said...

Over at Roughing the Kicker, someone asked why we have so little quarterback talent on the roster, and it's a great question that seems to have been largely overlooked.

There seems to be a large gap in QB recruiting that has left the Dawgs in the unfortunate position of having no real options at QB besides Cox.

Shouldn't Georgia have a redshirt freshman, sophomore or junior on the roster right now who is ready to take the reins next year? Logan Gray certainly does not appear to be that man.

Isn't QB the most important position on the team in regards to overall success at the collegiate level?

I know Stafford's early departure threw things off a bit, but surely the coaches saw that event as a possibility. So why only take one QB in 05, 06, and 07, and NO QB in 08?

Isn't that putting a lot of eggs in Logan's basket?

oreo said...

Hi David,
About the Oregon ranking….I think they’re ranked that high, and higher than Boise for a couple of reasons. First, they keep improving week after week and are really blowing by their increasingly tough competition week after week. They pass the “eyeball” test for anyone that has seen them play lately –namely their tremendous team speed. I think the idea is that right now they’re playing as well as any other team, and would in fact beat nearly any other team (including Boise). Secondly, the game was at Boise, and Boise has not really played anybody since. Until they win another game they’ll be viewed as another Oregon St beating USC or Ole Miss beating Florida…unfairly, maybe, but it’s the every dog has its day mentality.
For me, personally, I think this is a completely different team than the one that lost that first Thursday. For one, they have found a new running back, a freshman who is uber-quick. And also, they’re really rallied around that loss. It’s my opinion that they would not be the same team had they not played and lost that opening week. I guess in contrast to Georgia, they not only rallied around that loss and around the tough decisions that their coach made, but they also found new answers at key spots.

John P said...

i was thinking heroin myself

BulldogBry said...

I liked "Gigli".

There, I said it.

bnwdog said...

Having a first round draft pick on your roster can impact commitments from top players who want to play immediately. Not sure we know that we don’t have talent at the QB position though.

David, great comments about the vitriol. I read the articles on some of the larger outlets but stop reading when I get to the comments section.

On a side note, the substantial amount of talented youth and inexperienced upperclassmen we have in addition to some subpar coaching issues have impacted our performance this year. That talented youth with a couple of fiery new coaches could bring rebound sooner than many are able to see at this disappointing time. I think what I see particularly on the defensive side of the ball is that our guys play scared. In any discipline, a scared subordinate does far inferior work to one who is motivated by positive interactions and encouragement.

With respect to Richt leaving.... the man has moved his entire extended family to Athens, that and the fact that the man is not a quitter I think easily debunk that line of thinking.