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Friday, May 20, 2011

Mailbag: Football schedules, transfers, baseball, movie re-makes and more

It may be the dog days of May, but there's still a lot on the minds of Georgia fans. So here's the latest in our popular installment, known as the reader asks a thoughtful and intelligent question, and Mr. Blog Man answers to the best of his ability.

Which tends not to be much.

Onward and upward.

Yesterday on they listed future non conference opponents. Listed for 2020 & 2021 was Ohio State. I have not heard any announcement about this, have you? Thanks,
- Joe

Yep, this came out the week leading up to the Liberty Bowl. Here’s my story from then.

Incidentally, I haven’t been able to post this, but UGA says that Clemson will be the opener for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. While they agreed to resume the series awhile ago, they only recently moved the schedule around to make it the opener each season. The 2013 game is in Clemson, and then the Tigers come to Georgia the next year.

Worst remakes? How about:
The Day The Earth Stood Still (It goes without saying, any film with Keanu Reeves is garbage)
The Longest Yard
I could go on.
Seriously tho: info on the next UGA would be appreciated.
Any update on the baseball team's post-season prospects?
- Joeski

The baseball team got a big win on Thursday night, beating Vanderbilt, which is ranked No. 7 nationally by Baseball America. Georgia is now 28-26 overall and 16-12 in the SEC. If the Bulldogs can pull off one more win either Friday or Saturday, they probably enter the SEC tournament in good shape. If Vandy wins the next two, Georgia will have a lot of work to do in Hoover; It’s hard to see the NCAA committee picking an at-large team with a record of .500 or worse.

This concerns mainly Crowell but I guess could be directed at all the incoming recruits. Are they (Crowell) studying the playbook and learning the offense/defense? If so, are there any kind of tests or conversations being held between the recruits and the coaches that would allow the staff to decipher how well the recruits are or aren't picking up the offense/defense?

The short answer is no, the coaches are not allowed to have contact with the recruits over the summer. But during contact between signing day and the end of spring, I’m sure the coaches were passing along whatever information they felt they need. But there are no summer quizzes or anything.

Any last minute JUCO/walkons to help w/ O-line? Oh, my vote is for Psycho remake...
- Oreo Drama (via Twitter)

The only possible last-minute recruit for this upcoming season is Denzel Nkemdiche, who is a cornerback. Nkemdiche’s brother Robert, a defensive lineman, is currently projected as one of the nation’s top overall prospects for the 2013 class.

I wouldn’t rule out a walk-on or two, but at this point it wouldn’t really be any help for the 2011 season, other than being another body for the scout team.

Good call on the Psycho remake. That had Vince Vaughn – when he was first becoming a hot name – totally miscast. And I love Vince Vaughn, but him saying “Helloooooo, mother” … Uh, no.

Other than the generic "We're training for football now, not the Olympics" and scrapping the mat drills, have you been able to ascertain some specific examples of how the S&C program differs under Coach T? Are there really that many changes from a training standpoint, or is it a matter of getting the players to be more dedicated, or both?
- Regular Guy

I’ll refer you first to my story in January, where some specifics are mentioned. Otherwise, Tereshinski wanted to keep things relatively close to the vest. But from what we’ve gleaned from the players and other staff members, the thrust of changes are: a) conditioning, i.e. playing as well in the fourth quarter as they are in the first, b) nutrition, c) making sure everyone shows up and lifts, rather than coming and going as they please.

As I’ve said before – and frankly, as Tereshinski has said – it’s all going to sound great now. But the true judgment going to be made fairly until well into the season.

Any updates on the new scoreboard? Has construction started yet?
- Aubrey

UGA spokesman Claude Felton said this week that it’s still expected to be ready for the opener (vs. South Carolina), and it’s being built on the same support that currently exists.

Any word on where Ealey is headed?
- Katepy

Not as of this moment. My friend Gentry Estes at was the only reporter to be able to reach him, the day after the transfer was announced, and Ealey told him he didn’t have any schools targeted yet. It’ll be interesting to see whether he ends up dropping a level or transfers to another FBS school.

Which Coach's wife do you think will win the swimsuit competition in Destin ?
- Robert K. Burnham

Oh boy … Don’t get me in trouble here.

The Wire or Sopranos?
Hottest Jim Halpert girl: Katy, Karen, or Pam
Better Office supporting character: Creed or Todd Packer
Shelly Long or Kirstie Alley?
Willy's, Moe's, Barbaredo's, Chipotle's, or Qdoba?
Why won't Nike make our silver britches actually silver again? Why the washed out grey?
- Matt

The Wire … by a nose. Both great series, along with The West Wing the three best dramas of the 2000s.
I’ve always liked Pam. I don’t even remember Katy.
Creed is the best supporting character, period. So much so that I didn’t like him as even the temporary boss in this year’s finale. Some of the best moments in “The Office” are the five-second snippets with a reveal about Creed: “Yes, I run a fake ID operation.”
Kirstie Alley … “Cheers” was one of the rare shows that got better every season. I would argue that about “Seinfeld” too, but I’m in the minority on that one.
“Moe’” … I haven’t been to any of those other options except Barbaredo’s. But I’ve been a Moe’s man since my days in Albany; nothing better after a morning of tackle football than going to Moe’s, grabbing about 5,000 calories worth of Mexican food, and not moving for the next five hours.

Nike would make the silver again if Georgia asked nicely. It just prefers the grey at the moment.

Do you think any of the incoming freshman will end up starting in the secondary?
- PI0we

End up starting, yes. Begin the year in the starting lineup, probably not. Corey Moore at safety would be my best bet to possibly do both, and at a minimum I expect him to be in the rotation against Boise State and South Carolina. The cornerbacks who could also play right away are Damian Swann and Nick Marshall, and depending how that position shakes out either could at least be the nickel back by midseason.

There certainly seems to be more folks transferring out this year than usual. Does this appear to be mostly related to playing time (or lack thereof), grades, chemistry or some combination of all three? Have you heard anything about the next UGA?
- Paul

No one is saying it on the record, but A.J. Harmon’s academics almost certainly had an impact on his transfer. As for the rest, I think it’s fair to say Washaun Ealey’s departure was mutual, and probably with a push from Georgia. You need only look at Richt’s public comments on Ealey leading up to it to make that assumption. Marcus Dowtin’s transfer is almost the exact scenario as Ealey. Logan Gray and Nick Williams each wanted a chance at more playing time, and apparently weren’t that happy on the team.

It is a lot more transfers, compared to previous years, but as I wrote before, team chemistry has become a talking point for the returning players; Christian Robinson, Ben Jones and others have intimated that some “cancers” are gone.

Of course, losing tends to create cancers, and winning tends to fix chemistry issues. So it’s yet to be seen if the cancer issue was a cause, or result, of last year’s record.

All quiet on the Uga front. Obviously the Seiler family is trying to be very careful about its next choice. Although I’m sure they were the last couple times, and sadly illnesses like that just kind of come out of nowhere.

Two questions: 1. With Malcolm Mitchell being regarded as the #1 CB recruit in the country by some, why are we considering moving him to WR (I know depth is an issue at WR but still...), and 2. Have you seen the tapes on RB Keith Marshall? If this kid is a lock to come to UGA then it seems to me that the Crowell era may not last long as this kid looks faster than any RB I have ever seen on tape.
- Atlien

1. Mitchell’s move to receiver is more than being considered, it’s happening. Richt has explained that they recruited him as a cornerback, but around signing day Mitchell “decided” he preferred receiver. And if he can play the position it’s probably a good call; the team has a bigger need at receiver. You mention depth, my concern would be stardom: Tavarres King can be one at receiver, but who else?

2. Whoa, whoa, whoa … I’m sure Marshall is good, but let’s wait for him to actually commit before we start declaring him the starter over a guy who some people still refuse to declare the starter because HE hasn’t played yet. I’m sure Georgia fans would be pleased with a tandem of Crowell and Marshall for at least two years, if it comes to that, and if they’re even close to as good as hyped.

Reading another blog, I saw an interesting topic of Richt and the no huddle offense. It stated that SEC officials were required to hold the ball 12-14 seconds (I think) in between plays in order for the officials to get set. This rule took any option away for Richt to run a no huddle, which he did at FSU. I am just curious since this rule is now gone, why has Richt not taken advantage of this, or will this be seen this year. Seems like an advantage to me.
- DawgWood

First off, I don’t remember that rule. Not saying it wasn’t in place, but that seems like something I’d remember.

The one thing with the no-huddle is that it used to be innovative, but it’s been around for so long that defensive coordinators are used to scheming against it now. They use it so much in high school now that even defensive players are more used to it. But you’re right, that on a down-by-down basis in the heat of the moment, it can still be an advantage – as long as the offensive coaches are good calling plays in 10 seconds, and the players are good at executing said plays in that little time. If it were that easy, EVERYBODY would run a no-huddle, without exception.

Come on Seth, Clash of the Titans is so bad it is awesome. How can you dislike any movie with such quotable lines as "Haha, I'm a god!," "The eye! The EYE!," and of course, "Release the Kraken!" Buy some Kraken spiced rum, have some friends over, drink it whenever the kraken is mentioned in the movie, and then once you are done, watch "Taken," another 90 minutes of awesome.
- Sam

I thought “Taken” was pretty good. Not Oscar-worthy, but not terrible. Were you putting that on par with “Clash of the Titans”? I hope not.

Any idea where we stand with the recruitment of John Theus? Seems like with all the attrition along the O-line Georgia should be at the top of his list. I've read comparisons to Tony Boselli with this kid, and I'm sure Aaron Murray would like the sound of that as well. Think you can pick the elder Theus' brain for some kind of indication where his kid brother may be leaning?
- Stuart

The expectation is that Georgia and Florida are the leaders for Theus, whom ranks the nation’s No. 4 overall prospect for the 2012 class. I’m sure Georgia will do everything it can (legally, one would hope) to nab him.

Interestingly, I’d have to get clarification on this, but I don’t think I’d actually be able to talk to the elder Theus – Nate – about his younger brother once he’s a member of the team. It would be considered an NCAA violation. (Which doesn’t affect reporters, we wouldn’t be penalized, but Georgia wouldn’t be crazy about racking up secondaries so we can get pithy recruiting quotes.)

Seth, my son's preschool graduation ceremony is tonight, the same night Coach Richt is coming to town. Could you ask him if he will drop by the ceremony after his Carpets of Dalton commercial taping so I can ask him a few questions? Thanks.
- Will

Sorry, I assume I’m too late for this, since it was Thursday night. But here’s my question: A few ruffians broke into my apartment and beat me up – it was a case of mistaken identity – and messed up my carpet, which really tied the room together. Could he please grab another one while he’s at one of those commercial tapings? Thanks.

I'm going to go on record and bet that the new boss on the Office is going to be Andy Bernard, the 'Nard dog (Ed Helms). I think all the people they're wheeling out are just a distraction, although, I would love to see James Spader creepify up the place. Thoughts/predictions?
- Brandon

The season finale left the boss question in doubt, but I’m starting to come around on your Andy Bernard prediction. He might be a better fit – in terms of the show, not the office. James Spader was great on Thursday night too, but they wouldn’t be able to sustain that for the rest of the show.

Any chance of Yoculan coming out of retirement?
How can I make $200k by not showing results or making improvements at my job? Sorry, Seth, I think I answered my own question here. I need to become a UGA RB coach.
Why do players who get suspended for unspecified violations of team rules? Why not put the violations out there in public? If someone didn't go to class, missed a meeting, failed a drug test, etc. why not just put it out there in public?
Why do different schools have varying penalties for infractions? Is it true that I read that you can have 5 failed drug tests at Florida before you are kicked off the team? Shouldn't the SEC mandate standards so everyone is using the same measuring stick?
- Riskadvisor

That’s a lot of questions. Let’s see how I can do:
Suzanne Yoculan seems very happy in her current role.

Bryan McClendon was instrumental in the recruiting of Isaiah Crowell, and – according to UGA – was pursued by at least one other school. That’s why he got the raise.

Schools are able to use the “violation of team rules” thing with proclivity because of things like HIPPA and academic privacy laws. I’m not saying they hide behind it … well, they do. That creates an interesting question of how much does the public need to know. Do you need to know why Player A was suspended or booted off the team, or do you just need to know that he’s suspended, or gone?

The SEC wouldn’t be able to set a standard, for the same reasons listed above, re: HIPPA.

Is it bad that the only reason i want the NFL labor talks to be resolved is for my fantasy football league?
- I. Lee

I sort of feel the same way, but I suspect by the time September rolls around I would miss the games themselves too. So would A.J. Green, Justin Houston, Akeem Dent and company, all of whom were counting on paychecks of a certain amount.

1.) So now that we have hit the Debt Ceiling, how long do you give us until our Government implodes.

2.) Since there are only 8 scholarship O-linemen left on the roster (and 3 of them coming off major injuries) which Freshman do you think will see the most playing time this year?
- Clinton

1. Some would argue that happened long ago.

2. David Andrews has a good shot at being the backup center and one of the backup guards. They’re still going to try to redshirt as many of the others as possible – Zach DeBell, Watts Dantzler, Hunter Long and Xzavier Ward – but you’re right, they may have no choice but to play one or two. There’s also Nathan Theus, projected as a long snapper.

Not living close to Athens, or GA for that matter, it is difficult to keep up with the Diamond Dawgs. Can you give us a one pager on our squad? Do we have any studs?
- Kevin

Well, I don’t know that I can give you one page. Honestly, I have to admit to being a bit delinquent in covering the team this year; I only covered the home opener, and wrote a preview before the season. I know the blog posts have been sporadic. I apologize to anyone coming here for that, but frankly being a one-man bureau in Athens means I have to pick and choose my spots.

As for the Diamond Dogs, I mentioned their NCAA situation above. Junior Michael Palazzone (9-3, 3.17 ERA) has been the staff ace and a big reason the team has turned it around this year. Sophomore Kyle Farmer (.316, 7 HR, 51 RBI) has been the team’s top hitter, although junior Levi Hyams leads the team with a .341 batting average.

But do you own a European Men's Carry-All (I think so)?
And given your USC experience, what's your view on Garcia: unnecessary distraction going into a season where they should be SEC East favorites relying on a stud RB, WR and Defense OR a pivotal player worth giving yet another chance and ruining whatever shred of credibility Spurrier had left regarding player discipline?
- Jeff from Milton

First off no, I definitely do NOT own a fanny pack. Although now that you mention it, wouldn’t it be great if people like Rodney Garner, Ben Jones and DeAngelo Tyson started wearing them? Or is that just me?

I’ll give Spurrier a bit of a break on player discipline; obviously he’s picked and chosen here and there, but so do a lot of coaches. The dirty (but open) secret is that there are different rules for players based on their ability on the field. Georgia will kick walk-ons off the team for the same penalty that will draw starters a one-game suspension. And there are specific examples for that, which I won’t bring up but you can easily research.

But as it pertains to Garcia, there’s no doubt if he weren’t the starting quarterback he would’ve been gone long ago. South Carolina is about to give him his FIFTH chance now. That’s ridiculous. The only defense is that each discretion has been pretty minor. But the consistent (and public) rule-breaking just doesn’t reflect well on Garcia or his team.

Have you been around Coach Olivadotti much? I was excited when he was first hired after reading up on him but have not heard much since then. Just checking out his bio on still has him in a Redskins shirt and it made me wonder if he was even on campus at this time.
- Deryll

I’ve spoken to Olivadotti a bit, including about traffic patterns in northern Virginia. (He lived in my native Washington for the past 11 years.) He comes off as a very laid-back, soft-spoken guy, not at all like the hard-bitten son of a coach you’d expect. That doesn’t mean he won’t get after some of his players.

And I’m sure he’ll have a picture with a Bulldogs shirt on by the time the season starts.


benlc said...

A quick note about the baseball team, Seth: The issue isn't just that the NCAA would be unlikely to pick a team at or below .500. By rule, a team has to be above .500 to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Joeski said...

could you elaborate on how HIPPA is relevant? It's the 'Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act' after all-- I could see where it would be applicable in disclosing a player's injuries (or a failed drug test, maybe), but I would think that different privacy laws would cover academics and school-sanctioned athletic activities...

Seth Emerson said...

Joeski, the relevance of HIPPA is something that's been debated for awhile. A lot of media folks think that in certain cases schools invoke HIPPA pretty liberally. General academic privacy laws are invoked for grade issues; for instance, when it was reported that Cam Newton was accused of plagiarism at Florida, a lot of people angrily said that info wasn't supposed to be public.

NCT said...

(1) I think it's HIPAA, not HIPPA.
(2) I was in Athens yesterday for work and strolled by the stadium. The construction is well under way on the scoreboard. I tweeted some pics, which can be found in my feed @NCThom.

Joeski said...

Thanks for the explanation, Seth. Do me a favor? If you ever get stonewalled with HIPAA as the justification (HT to NCT for the correction), will you ask them to reference the applicable clause for you? ;)

Bob said...

I'll refresh your memory on the no huddle. UGA ran it a bunch the first year Richt got here and the other SEC coaches, particularly Phil Fullmer complained that the D was at a disadvantage. So the SEC refs, ever the accommodating Georgia Tech grads started to call penalties on UGA. This not only slowed us down but it became obvious that Bobby GT Gaston had put out the word so Richt just quit using it.

Robert said...

Keith Marshall is just a taller Tyson Browning. Go to his 9 minute highlight reel and find me a single broken tackle. Good blocking + great speed = lots of high school touchdowns. He belongs at West Virginia. I'd prefer a taller Thomas Brown myself...

Seth - I'm looking forward to your replacement.

BuLLdawg said...

“Georgia will kick walk-ons off the team for the same penalty that will draw starters a one-game suspension. And there are specific examples for that, which I won’t bring up but you can easily research.” Seth Emerson May 20, 2011.

Above quote in Garcia answer by Seth Emerson, making excuses for Steve O. Spurrier.

BuLLdawg said...


and I am still here, left behind -

so is Mark Richt.