Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ah, more tomorrow...

Here comes the trash talk from Tech-land.  They've earned it.  I'll post more tomorrow when I'm not so frustrated.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Well, it's official...

Capitalism is dead in America. This time next year, I'll probably have to borrow money from the Bank of the United States to buy a hybrid, zero-emissions car from the Automobile Company of the United States and insure it through the Insurance Company of the United States. Freakin' A. It's really unbelievable.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Congratulations Urban!!

It takes a special coach to essentially be called an a-hole by announcers in a game that your team  isn't even playing in, but Urban's a special guy.  Wait, is special the right word?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Very early thoughts on Tech

Watching the end of Tech-Miami, and here's what I think:

--I think the key for us will be using OUR offense to keep Tech off the field.  There is no way that Tech stuffs our running game like they have Miami's.

--You think Chris Fowler would be happy as a pig in shit if Tech beat us?  Talking up Yech's fight song, talking about the importance of Yech beating UGA, etc., etc.  That toolbag HATES UGA and doesn't even try to hide it.

--Knowshon is going to smoke Tech's D on at least one screen play, even without the help of Jon BLITZ!!!!!!  BLITZ!!!!!!! BLITZ!!!!!! Tenuta.  2nd and 3?  Fuck it...Tenuta BLITZ!!!!!

--In the words of Ally, Patrick Nix = EPIC FAIL!!!  I live in Middle GA, Patrick couldn't carry his daddy's jock.

--I'm actually worried about our kick return against Tech's kick coverage.  Can't believe I said that, but we need to get good field position the whole game.

--Jessie Palmer is a douche.  Tech doesn't run the "spread option".  They run the option.  I swear to God, by next year, announcers will be talking about the "Spread I", "Spread Wishbone", and "Spread Power Running Game".

--I'm worried about Tech's penchant for chop blocking given our lack of depth on the D Line.

--Finally, Tech's going to be ready for a fight.  There's no way to sugarcoat it, as pathetic as it is, their whole program exists to try to beat UGA.  We'll know early if we're ready, but if we are at all capable, we need to physically beat them up.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thoughts on UGA-Auburn

Well, I went and froze my wallies off at Clemson without a lake, so I didn't get the pleasure of watching the high quality Raycom production.  But, here's what I noticed from my seats from the upper deck at Pat "I never saw a recruiting regulation I couldn't break" Dye field:

--An hour prior to kickoff, the Jordan-Hare speakers were blaring rap with their students and players dancing to it.  With lyrics.  Not the PG-13 ones.  Pretty hypocritical given some of the comments this week about Crankin' Dat at the Blackout in '07.

--You thought our mike man was bad?  Auburn's pregame cheerleader firing up the crowd was so ridiculous that it looked like something South Park would make fun of.

--Good game by Geno, we finally got some penetration.

--God bless ya Rennie.  

--We are going to LOVE Ben Jones by the end of his career here.  Yeah, he's a freshman and can get COMPLETELY blown up on some plays.  But he has a nasty streak that you can't teach and I think if he can become a team leader, his attitude can permeate throughout the team like Knowshon's did last year.

--The redshirting of Knowshon was the biggest personnel mistake of Richt's tenure.  I'd give anything for him to stay, but I can't fault him for leaving when RB's have such a limited shelf life.  No way we go 9-4 in 2006 if Knowshon is starting by the Vandy game.  To only get 2 years out of such a talent is very bittersweet.

--Stafford has grown by leaps and bounds between this time last year and now.  Leadership, talent, smarts--the kid has it all.  Matt--do you really want to risk playing for the Lions?  Come back, have a better year, then you'll have a little bit of Eli Manning-type leverage if the Oakland Raiders have the first pick next year.

--WTF is up with going deep with the play action on first down?  Have we hit one all year?  And it's not so much the call I have a problem with as much as the route we're running.  A pure vertical takeoff down the sideline?  That has to be a low percentage pass in any circumstance.  If Bobo is going to insist on going deep on 1st down, can we mix in a post, or  a crossing route, or something that Stafford has demonstrated that he can complete with consistency?

--By my recollection, we're now 2 for 10 on endzone fade patterns this year.  Here's an idea on 3rd and 3 from the 4:  a good ole fashioned double iso with Southerland and Chapas leading Knowshon.  Just an idea.  

--Penalties.  Freaking A.  How many drives have we extended this year?  Where the hell did this team's discipline go?

--Sorry Richt.  Maybe you haven't lost confidence in Blair Walsh.  That makes one of us.

--TACKLE!!!  For the love of Christ, where did our fundamentals go?  If our defensive schemes are going to be as vanilla as they appear, then the first guy to the ball HAS to make the tackle.  By far, this is the worst tackling UGA team I can remember since the Donnan years.

--Finally, did our team ever really develop an identity it was going to use to win games this year?  What I mean is, Florida's identity is to play balls to the wall aggressive and run past you on offense, defense, and special teams.  Alabama's identity is to physically beat you up all over the field.  USC's is to let its defense wear you out and play on a short field.  What is ours?  Were we going to try to just outscore everyone, a la the LSU, ASU, and KY games?  Or try to control the clock and tempo of the game, a la UT, Vandy, Carolina?  I just don't think this team ever figured out what it did best and stuck with it.  One of the many things I think Richt needs to address during the off season is figuring out what style he wants to use to win games, then work on his game management so that games don't get away from the team as quickly as they did this year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Well, I'd rather win ugly...

than lose pretty.  Or so the saying goes.  Just got back from Clemson without a lake.  I have some thoughts on the game, will post later.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's Worse than We Thought

I swear I didn't set out this week to bash Willie, but since Richt obviously isn't going to acknowledge the problem, I'm going to drop some more number on the blogosphere. This year's defense is worse than the Kevin Ramsey Project(KRP). No, seriously. Below are the scoring defenses in SEC games + Tech since I started following UGA football as an 11 year old in '92:

Year Avg. Median
1992 14.89 11.00
1993 24.22 28.00
1994 29.22 29.00
1995 24.11 23.00
1996 26.00 24.00
1997 19.89 15.00
1998 19.67 21.00
1999 28.33 30.00
2000 21.22 21.00
2001 20.00 20.00
2002 15.60 17.00
2003 15.30 15.00
2004 16.89 17.00
2005 15.80 14.50
2006 20.00 21.00
2007 20.89 17.00
2008 28.71 38.00

As you can see, this year's D is even worse than the KRP of 1999.
How this is possible is beyond me. The median is even scarier, if that's your preferred measure of central tendency. Because this year's sample size is at least two games smaller than the other seasons, the median should come down more in line with the average as Florida's 49 points is right now a bit of an outlier. Regardless, this defense is bad. How bad you ask? As bad as Ramsey's. As bad as some of the mid-90's Goff disasters. And no question the worst of the Richt era.

For Richt to defend CWM on his job this year is delusional to the point of being scary to me. Special teams, offensive turnovers, and short fields unquestionably contribute to the scoring defense number and if Richt wants to acknowledge that as part of the issue, I have no problem with that. It most certainly is. But he can't bury his head and act like there hasn't been a huge shift in how our defense plays both in terms of production and attitude since BVG left.

On a side note, if anyone ever asks you when you think Georgia's current problems with Florida started, kindly direct them to October 31, 1992. The 1992 was Goff's best team and Spurrier's worst team, yet UF managed to win 26-24. That was their third straight in the series, but more importantly, it was the proof of what Spurrier had been preaching to his team for 3 years about having to believe they were going to beat Georgia no matter what. Zeier, Hearst, Hastings, and a defense that gave up 15 points/game (which is actually even better than it looks as they gave up 34 to UT when they fumbled like 1000 times) couldn't beat Spurrier. Up to that point in the series, it had always been UF that had its more talented teams beat because they played tight and Georgia KNEW they were going to win no matter what. That one game was HUGE for the psychology of the series and certainly caused a change in attitude both in UF's program and their fan's attitude when it came to the WLOCP.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More Willie

In the history of Georgia football, the Dawgs had never given up 35+ points in 3 straight conference games....until now!! I don't want to pile on Martinez, but UGA's defense is in trouble. The fundamentals have gone to shit. If an offensive lineman gets a block on Rennie, it's at least a 15 yard gain. They are constantly out of position, lined up wrong, or take the wrong angle. I don't doubt that Willie is a good position coach, and if he would have had the opportunity to be DC when BVG was, maybe the results would have been similar. But in the SEC today, the coordinators are better than ever, playcalling is better than ever, and Willie is getting schooled on a weekly basis. I could say the same about Bobo, that this isn't the conference to learn on the job, but I think the O-Line cluster buys him a break.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Williefication of our defense

I worked on this because I want to get Willie Martinez fired!!! No, not really. I was just curious about what's change with UGA's defense. Almost everyone I talk to acknowledges that something's different, but no one can quite articulate it. Especially when compared to BVG's prior defenses, something just seems off. Well, as far as 2008 is concerned, it's not that complicated: the UGA defense is just not getting it done.

Scoring D Total D Pass D Rush D
2001 20.4 379.6 267.6 112.0
2002 16.3 309.0 187.3 121.7
2003 16.9 323.0 203.6 119.4
2004 16.7 295.9 200.7 95.2
Avg. 17.6 326.9 214.8 112.1

2005 17.2 322.0 173.5 148.5
2006 19.7 272.8 157.3 115.5
2007 19.3 319.4 205.6 113.7
2008 24.7 308.4 217.1 91.3
Avg. 20.22 305.65 188.39 117.26

Pass Eff. Avg/Car. FD/Game
2001 127.51 3.15 21.33 1.67
2002 115.51 3.34 17.33 3.58
2003 105.54 3.06 17.50 2.50
2004 126.11 2.84 16.00 3.60
Avg. 118.67 3.10 18.04 2.84

2005 108.74 3.98 19.08 2.67
2006 102.15 3.51 15.55 2.27
2007 112.67 3.34 18.91 3.45
2008 137.10 3.20 17.43 1.71
Avg. 115.17 3.51 17.74 2.53

Int/Game Fum/Game Trnv/Game
2001 1.00 0.89 1.89
2002 1.08 1.00 2.08
2003 1.42 1.00 2.42
2004 0.40 1.10 1.50
Avg. 0.98 1.00 1.97

2005 1.25 1.08 2.33
2006 1.64 0.82 2.45
2007 1.18 0.82 2.00
2008 0.86 0.43 1.29
Avg. 1.23 0.79 2.02

TFL/Game Opp Punt "Big Play"
2001 6.00 5.56 9.56
2002 9.25 6.67 14.92
2003 6.67 7.08 11.58
2004 8.50 6.20 13.60
Avg. 7.6 6.4 12.4

2005 6.75 6.08 11.75
2006 5.45 4.64 10.18
2007 7.09 5.00 12.55
2008 5.14 4.38 8.14
Avg. 6.1 5.0 10.7

First, a little on the methodology. I removed any games against 1-AA opponents or teams that just sucked beyond belief. The only good team missing from these numbers is the 2001 BC Eagles b/c the stats from that game weren't in my data and I wasn't going to put forth any more effort. So essentially these stats are SEC games, bowl games, and then the Clemson, OK State, Colorado, Boise St., etc. games. Also, the "Big Play" is the sum of Sack, Turnover, and TFL per game. I figured these were the types of plays that either obviously stopped a drive, or put the opposing offense behind the sticks.

Basically, a few things jumped out at me.

First, WM defenses average giving up about 3 point more a game than BVG, but if you take out BVG's first year, that difference is a little bigger. More troubling is that WM's defenses are trending downwards.

Secondly, holy shit did Pollack make a difference in 2002. UGA's pass efficiency dropped by 12 points, sacks doubled, turnover increased, TFL increased by 3, we forced over a punt more per game, and had over 5 more "big plays" per game than 2001.

Thirdly, what the hell happened to our secondary in 2004? I had forgotten this, but we had four (4!) interceptions that whole year. For comparison, Eric Berry has 6 so far this season.

Basically, in almost category, this year's defense is the worst of the Richt era. That kills me to say, but I think it's almost totally attributable to the lack of pass rush. The DE's this year just haven't performed as highly as we're used to.

As it turns out though, the total defense, rushing defense and passing defense numbers aren't that different under BVG. The difference is in TFL, Opp Punt/Game, and the Big Plays. Obviously how much of a difference all this makes varies on a game by game basis, but the way I interpret this that BVG's defenses were able to get off the field more than WM's are. It sounds cliche to say, but football is a game of inches and seconds and I just think our defenses were more detail oriented under BVG and were able to make big plays when they needed to.

As for the rest of this season, yikes. I don't think our current levels will hold, especially with the teams we have left. The next two seasons up from this one as far as the least number of punts forced, Big Plays, and Sacks were 01 and 06, each of which were 4 loss seasons. I don't think we're a 4 loss team this year though, and once we finish up, those number's will probably even out to around the 03 or 05 season range.

the tri guy

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Man, I just can't catch a break this week...

First UGA wets the bed in the city to busy to bath, then Tech miraculously wins, now Barry the socialist is here to magically fill up gas tanks and pay mortgages. On the flipside, the Steelers won and big Phat Phil was fired, so it wasn't a total loss.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Capitalism's last stand

Vote people, for the love of God, vote. Say no to Socialism and be heard.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My open letter to Damon Evans

November 3, 2008

University of Georgia Athletic Association
Attn: Damon Evans, Director of Athletics
1 Selig Cir.
Athens, GA 30602

Re: UGA/Florida game in Jacksonville

Mr. Evans,

I wish to begin this by commending you on the outstanding job you have done since accepting the position of Athletic Director at the University of Georgia. From the athletic results, to the continued academic development of the student athletes, and also to the incredible financial success of the Athletic Association, there is no other athletic department in the country that should not be envious of yours.

The purpose of this letter is to state my vehement opposition to allowing the annual football game with Florida to remain in Jacksonville. It is my understanding that the University’s contractual obligation with the City of Jacksonville expires in 2010 and that currently negotiations have begun for extending the neutral site game into 2011 and beyond. As an alumnus and loyal Bulldog supporter (my family’s season tickets are Section 117, Row 49, Seats 1-4), I strongly believe that this is one tradition that has run its course and needs to end.

My opposition to the game remaining in Jacksonville is twofold. First, from a competitive perspective, Jacksonville is no longer a neutral site. I realize our historical success there. However, as I am sure you can attest to, the Florida Athletic Department of the 1980’s and before is gone and is not coming back. In the last 30 years, the state of Florida experienced a huge population boom, and incredible economic growth. This can be expected to continue given the retirement of the Baby Boom generation. They are now a university with over 50,000 students, great facilities, a good athletic director and coaches, and the largest instate talent base east of Texas. Playing their most hated conference rival 75 miles from their campus in a stadium formally known as the Gator Bowl is frankly an advantage Florida no longer needs.

I understand the importance of the game to the South Georgia fan base and am sympathetic to what the loss of this game would mean to them. However, a home and home series with Florida would open up scheduling flexibility. As witnessed by the Alabama-Clemson game to open the year, neutral site games are in vogue right now, so I see no reason why we could not maintain a yearly presence in Jacksonville, just not against our most important conference rival.

The second reason I believe the Jacksonville agreement should end is to prevent an inevitable disaster. In 1992, Lewis Grizzard wrote an article for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stating: “The universities of Georgia and Florida, both fine schools, need to make an immediate decision to move their annual football out of [Jacksonville’s] Gator Bowl before somebody gets killed.” He went on to add: “Jacksonville can’t handle this thing anymore. No city could….The taunting never stops. Some of it is fun, but most of it is not. This rivalry has become so intense, it’s primed for a riot.”

As I am sure you are aware, this rivalry has not mellowed with age. That was 16 years ago and rings even truer today. The behavior that takes place on both sides of the aisles in Jacksonville has a name in other parts of the world: hooliganism. Fortunately a European style soccer riot has not occurred in Jacksonville yet, but is there any reason to believe it could not?

I do not envy your position in making this decision. I have no doubt the backlash from breaking the Jacksonville tradition would be the most intense of your tenure. The Florida contingent and national media will criticize you harshly. They reacted similarly when Auburn refused to continue playing their annual game with Alabama an hour from Tuscaloosa 20 years ago. Considering that Auburn has a winning record versus the Tide since that decision, the media story has died down considerably.

I have no doubt that you will make the decision you feel is in the best interest of the program. For this supporter however, the right decision is perfectly clear.

Go Dawgs!!

Matt R.
B.B.A. Finance and Risk Management, 2004

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The loss of my bloginity....

Well, it's human nature.  I tried to wait until I was married, but I wasn't strong enough.  I do feel like I'm ready, I'm using protection, and I'm making a mature decision.  Yeah, welcome to the inner workings of my mind.  This could be scary....