Friday, October 31, 2008

Q&A with CollegeFootball365: WLOCP Edition

LeakBrewerGator, the publisher of the fine Florida Gator blog CollegeFootball365 has been kind enough to join us for a little Q&A in anticipation for the 2008 World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Make sure you visit Cfb365 for all your Gator info. There is also a good weekly Heisman Watch and Power Rankings on his site to follow.

Cfb365 also did a Q&A with us to get the Dawg side of the story for the WLOCP. You can find the Cfb 365 questions and the C&C answers here.

Lets get started...hope you enjoy:

Catfish and Cornbread: We'll start this q&a off with a short question. Steve Spurrier or Urban Meyer?

CollegeFootball365: As most Gator fans will tell you, there is always a place in my heart for the ‘Ol Ball Coach. If it weren’t for him, we probably wouldn’t have an Urban Meyer right now. His style of play completely revolutionized the SEC. He had the personality that made you love him if you were a Gator fan and hate him if you weren’t. All that being said, I truly believe Meyer is a better game day coach than SOS. I think that shows with what the two have done with lesser talent. Meyer excelled at Bowling Green and Utah. Both schools, of course, are no where near the talent level at Florida. Spurrier has struggled at Carolina without the Grossmans, Wuerffels, Anthonys or Hilliards. And of course he bombed in the NFL with a Redskins team that some would argue was less talented than the Gator teams he coached. Also, despite the bad rep he’s received lately, Meyer is truly a leader of men. I don’t know if people outside the program really understand what kind of mess the Zooker left us with. Despite the plethora of talent he left, there was an abundance of douche bags wearing the Orange and Blue. After a few hiccups, Meyer has managed to clean the program up.

C&C: There is a long list of football greats in Florida's history including Emmitt Smith, Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel. Where does Tim Tebow stack up in Gator lore?

Cfb365: Well, the Heisman trophy has already put him ahead of Smith and other greats outside of Spurrier and Wuerffel. He’s also on the verge of replacing Smith as the all-time rushing touchdown leader at UF. You can debate all you want that his touchdowns are “easy” touchdowns, but that’s still impressive.

Stat wise, it’s hard to argue against Tebow. The man is the true definition of a living legend in Gainesville. He has lived up to the hype and then some. However, I don’t think anyone will be able to replace Spurrier or Wuerffel as the icons of the Florida program. Of course than can all change with a title run before Timmy leaves UF.

C&C: It was anticipated that this years WLOCP could match up two undefeateds. Georgia ran into the Alabama buzzsaw. What happened to Florida in the Ole Miss game?

Cfb365: Ah man, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to relive that shit fest of a game anytime soon. If I had to narrow it down to one word it would be: fumbles. I have never seen a Gators squad put the ball on the turf so many times in my life. The real shocker was that we were one of a few schools left in 1-A that hadn’t had a turnover going into the game. We fumbled the ball 5 times! Harvin alone accounted for 3 of those. Granted we “only” lost 3 of the 5 fumbles, but the other 2 completely killed our drives. We should have never been in the position to lose the game on a blocked extra point at the end.

As a side note, I was completely disgusted with all the Gator “fans” that were calling for Meyer and OC Dan Mullen’s job after the game. Never have I wanted to kick my Gator brethren in their collective nuts harder in my life.

As another side note, I’ll take a loss to Ole Miss every few years if it means I get to spend three hours in the stands with the talent from Oxford….

C&C: It is well known that the Florida defense is what held back the Gators last season. It's now obvious that last years weakness has now become a strength for Florida this season. What has been the difference?

Cfb365: I know it sounds cliché, but we got one year older. CB Joe Haden and FS Major Wright each have some big games under their belts, which helps our secondary tremendously. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any other reason for the improvement. We’ve just matured. Brandon Spikes and Dustin Doe are natural leaders at LB, and Jermaine Cunningham gains confidence with each snap. Also, true freshman Janoris Jenkins has stepped in at corner and completely played out of his mind.

C&C: Urban Meyer has probably done a better job in Gainesville than any coach in the country bringing in explosive offensive players. On Saturday who do you predict will have more of an impact on the outcome of the game...Brandon James, Jeff Demps or Percy Harvin?

Cfb365: The obvious choice here would be Harvin. Percy is scheduled to get double digit touches in the game. Anytime that man has the ball in his hands that much, he’s bound to do something special. However, I think James will have the bigger impact on the outcome of the game. If he can return to pre-Ole Miss form, Florida will dominate the field position battle. Not to mention the fact that James could take one all the way back at any given moment.

C&C: We here at C&C have a lot of respect for LB Brandon Spikes. From the outside looking in he seems to be the heart and soul of that resurgent Gator defense. Where does he rank among Florida linebackers in recent history?

Cfb365: You’re absolutely right about Spikes. The dude is a beast! I think he’s overlooked nationally when it comes to the media. If we’re talking about recent history, which would exclude the almighty Wilber Marshall, I would put Spikes in the top 2 or 3 UF linebackers. Mike Peterson and Brandon Siler would be my other two choices.

C&C: We'll finish up with the same question you asked us. The celebration. What’s your take on the whole thing? Is it really fuel added to the fire, or just old news?

Cfb365: I personally think its old news. I mean, we had 3 and a half quarters to respond to it LAST year, and we didn’t get it done. However, I know the Gators are using it for fuel. Meyer is that type of coach. We’re talking about a man that once put BYU decals on the urinal cakes at Utah. He pulls out all the stops.

Honestly, I think all it will do is cause the Gators to put a little extra umph on the first few hits of the game. Once things get settled in, I’m sure last year’s celebration will be the furthest thing from their minds.

I know I'm in the minority on this. Plenty of my fellow jean shorts wearing Gator fans are all about getting revenge for last year. If we need something like that to get us motivated for the WLOCP, then something's wrong...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sold The Ranch

Week 10

Wallet Check: All Square
Week 7 gains/losses: - $500

Well, here we are....

10 weeks in and we have been granted a clean slate by the Gambling Gods (otherwise known as the Oxymoron’s) to make up for hard times. I too, thought we’d be polishing the yachts in St. Simon’s by now and packing our bags for Dubai. It sucks, but it happens. Now, don’t go a fool and bash The Schlitz for not making you millions. We’re gonna pad the cowhide once more, but you’re gonna have to stick with me! Heck pokes, I’m still looking a lot more genius than 99% of your stock brokers out there, so any moanin and groanin for only getting your money back can be saved for the Double P’s, you flakes. That was unnecessary, but certainly not deleted. Now listen, we got several weeks to make multiple pesos! Stick with me. After all, it’s been a good ride and we’re now feeling the vibe from the playmaker’s out there in the WWCF (wonderful world of college football). Whether you been on the sideline’s, or are finally ready for that last chance to hop on the Dubai Express, there’s no time like the present. This is it.

San Pedro certainly provided good times for my newfound family and I, but as a rambling man, the trigger finger on the “latest lines” was simply too much. I spent a couple days just laying low and staring at Double C’s with Neon, when I realized that I had a passion that only Burt Reynolds could rival. Hot Damn, I was, “In it, to win it!” With a high five to the boy and a slap of the round stuff for my reacquainted woman, I caught an Aero Mexico flight at 3:36am Monday morning from San Pedro, to Jacksonville, Florida. I was dressed to impress, but was I in for a surprise…...

Upon arrival I realized I hadn’t just left San Pedro, but had actually left Earth. This is where the story goes a little haywire. A dirty haired man in jean shorts (hemmed), a tank top and a thicker gold chain then L Cool J, runs awkwardly to me with a beer bong and screams, “Gators Rule!” As I’m not from these parts, nor will ever care to be, I told him that the Gator’s do not rule and that he best get off my shoes, or I’ll be droppin a Bruce Lee on his ass. This my friends was a 50/50 bet for the Shlitz, as this shaved head, Gold’s Gym frothin, freckled face boy suddenly found the Gator Pride to go grab all his buddies. Next thing you know, I got 5 guys and 3 hoes surrounding me, with apparel amassing: 30 gold chains, 6 ball caps with tags still on, 12 untied shoelaces, one bitch with black shit in her teeth, two tails (you know the ones) and a dude with a nose ring drinking some Vodka Tea. What happened next was sheer terror. That’s right, the Shlitz unleashed hell! Bruce would have been proud… I placed 3 guys in the ER and the other 2 are apparently still missing (so the papers say). And do I need to mention where the 3 biotches ended up? You got it! At the Holiday Inn of Jacksonville where I’m bringin this live! Enough of that….. I got a coo in my ear, so let’s get to the money.

20 Benjamin’s (don't blink, it's on)
Take Georgia +5.5 at Florida (it is at Florida)

This game was difficult to pull the trigger on. I want to make perfectly clear for any of you Voodoo Doctors out there that The Schlitzz pickziz have absolutely NO bearing on the outcome of the game and I don’t care to hear any comments regarding such. To be clear, if UGA wins or loses, it has nothing to do with which way The Schlitzz Pickziz. Witchcraft and Sorcery have no place in my life or here on C&C. May the best team win (assuming they both play as such) and this is what makes the WWCF so great. However, in this case, the best team will be wearing Red ‘n Black. I’ll leave the analysis to my counterparts, but UGA has their back to the sun and all is feeling right with the world. Let that feeling flow and good things happen. GO DAWGS

Wednesday Night Random

It probably goes without saying, but this is Knowshon's week to get himself a trip to New York City in about 9 weeks. Another 188 (or something in that vicinity) and 2-3 touchdowns will just about solidify the trip. (Although more importantly, those numbers all but guarantee a UGA victory.) Going to be hard to beat Colt McCoy and his 98.2% completion percentage, but making the trip would be nice in and of itself.

I had a detailed BCS post on my fingertips that I really wanted to get out this week, but I noticed a few blogs this week that already did it better than I ever could. Check them out here and here. To keep it simple, here's really all you need to know to make it clear as mud:
  • There are basically 7 teams with a plausible chance to make the BCS Championship in Miami. (Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Southern Cal, Georgia, Florida, and Texas Tech.)
  • Texas has the most control of their destiny. Win out and they are a given for Miami (and deservedly so.)
  • If Texas Tech can upset Texas and Oklahoma and win the Big 12 Championship, they have to get a spot.
  • Penn State needs someone to win the SEC other than Alabama. Even in that scenario, the Nittany isn't a sure thing, although they would be better than 50/50, because their coach is 131 years old and that makes a great story.
  • A 1-loss Florida or Georgia would still have a great case over an undefeated Penn State, and I'm certain the computers would agree. The human voters may be a different story (see: 131 year old coach at Penn State.)
  • Southern Cal has an uphill climb. If Penn State doesn't lose, the Trojans are toast unless a 1-loss Texas Tech (or the Big 12 North representative) wins the Big 12, and either Georgia or Florida win the SEC with 2 losses.
  • You probably noticed I didn't mention Oklahoma in the "plausible" category. The Sooners need Texas to lose twice to even get into the discussion. I don't see it happening. Oklahoma State is in the same boat.

There aren't many folks willing to pick the Dawgs to beat the Gators this weekend, but there is the old reliable. It isn't hard to see why ESPN fired this guy. He obviously didn't fit with the corporate standard in Bristol.

There are whispers that Derrick Favors may have narrowed it down to 2 schools, and those just happen to be the 2 major programs in the state of Georgia. Favors' high school coach isn't commenting, which probably confirms that he's close to an announcement. Keep your eyes on this the next 2-3 weeks. If there was a UGA hoops related story could take 5 minutes of attention away from a UGA football BCS run, Favors committing to Felton and the Dawgs would be it.

Finally, in the midst of a very interesting season thus far, I've had my mind on a few unsung players that are having very, very solid years and are probably flying under the radar given what guys like Stafford, Moreno, Green, and Curran are doing:

  • Shaun Chapas: Started the season off a little bit slow, but you really can't blame him. Southerland has been so good the last 3 years you probably took for granted what a fullback can do. As Chapas has gotten more comfortable, his blocking has been much stronger, and he's proven to be at least equally as effective as an offensive weapon as Southerland has been. His development has allowed Southerland to ease his way back into the game plan.
  • Ben Jones: All you need to know about how good he's been, is that some Dawg fans are rumbling that the way to neutralize Florida LB Brandon Spikes this weekend, is to get Jones out beyond the line of scrimmage to get "nasty" with Spikes, and thus clear the way for Moreno to go off. High praise.
  • Corvey Irvin: Maybe the biggest surprise on defense. He won't get quite the praise, but he's easily held his own along side a sure-fire NFL future star in Geno Atkins. Maybe the key in UGA's ability to stop the run. Irvin and Atkins struggled a bit in Baton Rouge, but we'll strike it up to an off-day for now.
  • CJ Byrd: The latest in a long-line of key senior leaders in the secondary. He's been nothing if not fundamentally sound, which is about all you can ask for where he's playing.
  • Brian Mimbs: Take out the Alabama game, and he might be considered among the best punters in America. We're going to miss him next season.

More Athens Music on the Late Night Television Circuit

As promised, here is the video of Dead Confederate performing "The Rat" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Pay special attention to the end of the video when a classic moment in Conan history takes place at the 4:04 mark:

Special thanks to our pals in the Atlanta comedy troupe The Dorn Brothers for posting that one on youtube. Oh yeah, did you check out the web's hottest manatee site yet? I also really want to personally thank my boy Jason (drummer) for wearing a Gift Horse shirt that I handmade and gave to him. Johnny 5 (keys) is also wearing a Dornstar TV shirt in support of the Dorn Brothers' efforts. How cool is that? Blowing up like crazy and yet the dudes go on national television and look like walking billboards for all their friends' bands and projects back in Athens and Atlanta. That is truly what it's all about.

As if that wasn't enough, the boys in The Whigs will be on The Jimmy Kimmel Show TONIGHT. The show airs at 12:05 a.m. on ABC and the guests are the hilarious Seth Rogen and some kid from High School Musical 7. 

Both of these groups are great bands and are something to behold. They also both write funny and thoroughly detailed tour diaries which you can read by clicking on their band names above.

Also I can not remember a time in my entire life when I was more pumped up about a game than I am this weekend. I'm 25 and I think this is possibly the biggest game the Dawgs have played since I was old enough to understand what was going on around me. I think it's because the game is so definitive this year and because Urban Meyer is an entire box of tools.     

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nail In Coffin: Phillip Fulmer Edition

A break in the WLOCP week to show why Fulmer is gone. WOW, I just can't believe this. I pray this never happens between the hedges. This is the proverbial nail in Phillip Fulmer's coffin:

(video: bchandler22)

Who would Tennessee look to hire?

Go Gators

It is amazing how different the Georgia and Florida fan bases are:

And the well known UF TV commercial:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jim Rome this summer on the WLOCP

The thing is Rome and Meyer actually remind me of one another. He spews so much crap out of his mouth. Florida just might win Saturday, but Jim Rome has absolutely no clue about what he speaks. Cue your blood boiling in 3, 2, 1....

(video: HKTequila)

Edit: Here's the clip that JJ comments about that shows Rome's journalistic integrity:

The Original Gator Hator

There was just no way I would crank up the WLOCP week without this video. "Herschel Walker Culyer, them Dawgs is hell don't they!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

After further review, the defense wasn't all that bad.....

...somewhere in the middle of watching the hometown professional football team get absolutely hosed out of a possible victory in Philadelphia, I spent some of the day today re-watching Georgia's 52-38 victory over LSU.

First of all, it goes without saying that the victory was sweet. This was the UGA offense that we've expected to see all year, and the one we've only seen flashes of a certain times throughout the season, finally put it together for 4 strong quarters. I think it is much more likely that this will continue to be the norm for the remainder of the season. The statistics don't tell the whole story, but from a personnel standpoint we certainly won't see a better defense than LSU this year. On the other hand, we might see a few (4, in fact) that are equally, if not more, effective:
  • Florida has exceeded most expectations on defense (maybe none more than my own.
  • Kentucky was statistically the best defense in the SEC before Florida hung 7/11ths of a hundred on them yesterday in the Swamp.
  • Auburn always has good personnel, but has struggled as of late.
  • Defense appears to be the strength of this year's Georgia Tech team, even though Virginia pretty much lit them up yesterday.

Still, Georgia was near unstoppable yesterday moving the ball, and it wouldn't have mattered who the opposition was. It is probably naive to think that the next 4 opponents won't try to find some way to adjust, but the fact is that if we execute on offense the way we did yesterday, or even reasonably close, we are not likely to lose again the rest of this season. Regardless of what LSU managed to put on the scoreboard, in the end the UGA offense more than likely would have been able to do what it took to win in Red Stick. As Bop pointed out last week, the offensive line is really starting to gel, and that has been the only real question mark to this point. Barring any more key injuries, this group figures to just keep getting better under direction of the best offensive line coach in college football.

More to the point of this particular blog, the defense was a slightly different story yesterday. 38 points, almost 500 yards, and a slew of fundamental and schematic issues left Dawg fans with alot of question marks about whether or not that side of the ball can hold up next week, much less for the rest of the tough season. But after watching the game for the 2nd time, I don't feel quite as bad as I first did.

First, from a statistical standpoint, realize that LSU got 218 of its 497 total yards in the 4th quarter, when the game was almost out of hand. Most of that came through the air. If UGA hadn't been firmly in control of the scoreboard, and the game had been closer, I think LSU would have gained right around its usual per quarter yardage (approximately 90 yards per quarter leading up to that point in the game), the yardage totals would have been in the mid-300's, and we'd all feel alot better about things.

Fundamentally, there were alot of things that happened in yesterday's game that were a little bit of an aberration. I thought LSU Offensive Coordinator Gary Crowton's no huddle really gave us alot of problems all night. Not only were we having trouble figuring out which scheme we should have been in, LSU also seemed to be quick snapping the ball, and a few times we had defensive linemen that didn't even have their fingers on the ground when the play had started. We seemed very flat footed all game long. Florida probably sees that and may try to do something similar, but I can also assure you that if the coaches see the same thing I did, we'll be more prepared for it this week and down the road.

Tackling was much worse than usual yesterday. I hate to seem like I am picking on one guy, but Reshad Jones seems to be looking for the kill shot every time he has a ball carrier coming at him. He missed a bunch of tackles yesterday but still ended up with 12, which tells you how many opportunities he's seeing. Fundamental tackling problems aren't unusual for a young safety with as much talent as Jones has, but I expect to see #9 going at the ball a little more under control in Jacksonville.

Unfortunately, there are some things that were a little more troubling. I don't profess to be anywhere close to the caliber of Willie Martinez when it comes to football (and most likely no one reading this blog would either.) However, there are one or two calls that I'd love to ask Martinez about. To offer just one example....midway through the 3rd quarter, LSU had 3rd and 23 from their own 42, down 31-17. UGA lined up with 3 down linemen and dropped the other 8 into coverage. Jarrett Lee had more time than he was granted at any other point during the game, and threw a completion to a fairly wide open LSU receiver for a 15 yard gain, which could have easily been closer to a first down had the LSU player not slipped at the 27. I'm not sure why you would rush only 3 in that situation, and I'm not sure anybody smarter than me could offer an explanation that would satisfy me. With an opportunity to keep LSU out of field goal range, it seems to me that the better play would have been to rush 4 and bring a linebacker (or more), and make Lee throw it more quickly to someone underneath. Luckily for UGA, LSU got a false start on the next play and Colt David missed a long field goal, so no harm done.

The great thing about it, all of the above is easily remedied. Martinez had an off night, no doubt about it. I will say that he did blitz more than usual, and seems to now be more comfortable that we have the personnel to get away with more blitzing. It won't take much for Reshad Jones to return to the level he played at the week prior vs Vanderbilt. We'll practice against the no-huddle. No doubt in my mind that we'll collectively feel better about the UGA defense this time next week than we might right now.

Let's point out that there were plenty of positives on defense from Saturday. We've found yet another stud linebacker in Darryl Gamble. Personally, I think Justin Houston is making his case to become the starter at DE (he's the best end we have in my opinion.) Alot of defensive players also sit on UGA's special teams, which played one of its best games yesterday that I can remember in years. A few tweaks here and there, and the Dawgs could be ready for another monumental performance at the Cocktail Party this week. It won't be easy, but it is certainly possible, and reason exists for the UGA faithful to feel much better about the Florida game than we did a week ago.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Georgia 52, LSU 38

Player of the Game....

Two INTs, 2 TDs, 93 yards of INT return yardage, 13 tackles (6 solo) and 1 tackle for loss.

Weekend Predictions

I realize a couple of these games may be kicking off in short order, but I wanted to go ahead and get these in for possible early afternoon discussion:

Texas Tech at Kansas (-2): Kansas 35, Texas Tech 34
Oklahoma (-19.5) at Kansas State: Oklahoma 44, Kansas State 27
Kentucky at Florida (-24.5): Florida 35, Kentucky 14
Duke at Vanderbilt (-10.5): Vanderbilt 24, Duke 17
Oklahoma State at Texas (-13): Texas 44, Oklahoma State 30
Virginia at Georgia Tech (-11.5): Georgia Tech 24, Virginia 14
MTSU at Mississippi State (-10.5): Mississippi State 21, MTSU 17
Ole Miss (-5) at Arkansas: Ole Miss 31, Arkansas 23
Alabama (-7) at Tennessee: Tennessee 24, Alabama 23
Penn State (-2.5) at Ohio State: Penn State 27, Ohio State 20
Southern Cal (-16) at Arizona: Southern Cal 37, Arizona 20
Wake Forest at Miami FL (-3): Miami 24, Wake Forest 20
Virginia Tech at Florida State (-5): Florida State 24, Virginia Tech 23
Nevada (-3) at Hawaii: Hawaii 33, Nevada 30

Finally, the Dawgs and Bayou Bengals (-2.5.) This one figures to be as hard hitting as we've usually seen between these 2 teams. This year I actually expect a little more finesse to win out, and that's why I favor the Dawgs. Look for the Georgia OL to protect Stafford, who should have a big day against the struggling LSU secondary. The Dawgs defense will do just enough.
Georgia 27, LSU 23

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home Is Where You Make It

What's being said about Georgia/LSU ...

Pulpwood ... Pulpwood Smith
Another classic from Pulpwood. NSFW
Georgia Preview ... And The Valley Shook
Good preview of UGA from the eyes of LSU.
LSU Season Recap: LOL Cajun Perspective ... Blogging Pantsless
Funny stuff once again from Mackalicious.
LSU Fans Smell Like Corn Dogs ... From The Bleachers
From an Auburn blog. This is fact.
Recruiting: Rantavious Wooten ... GSB
Good story on former LSU turned Georgia WR commitment from Miami.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hines Ward Video

Hines Ward has been in the news lately because of the Steelers/Ravens feud. Good luck cashing in on that bounty. Here is a new video on youtube of 86 doing work:

(video: aeschylusoresteia)

Great pick by the Falcons in the 3rd round taking WR Jammi German over Hines in the 1998 draft. At least the 'coons made up for it by taking Brooking in the 1st round.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Double L Ranch

Week 9

Wallet Check: + $500
Week 8 Gains/Losses: + $1,000

Listen up player haters. The Shlitz brought the frying pan in week 8 and proved that nothing brings heat to the fire like being in the kitchen. The Shlitz relished in an evening in Athens last week and got the mojo back on track. Although B. Wood didn’t fair as well after dropping me off at the evenings resort for post game activity, all feels right heading into this weekend’s showdown. I suffered minor short term memory loss at the hands of some Yager Bomber’s, but have been able to pull it all together this week as I face a slate that seems all too easy. First off though, in personal news, the Shlitz has had more than double duty this week in learning that I have fathered a little chap that has needed my attention. I got a call from an old “biotch” claiming I was the father of this little fellow. After catching the last Pan Am flight from Hartsfield, I mused myself through the front door of their crib in San Pedro. There the little tike stood in all his glory. Neon, as his mother called him, 3 feet tall and bulletproof, had a liking to me that you’d have to see for yourself. I knew at first sight the Shlitz had brought life to what would bring joy to many a hoe in the coming years through my young protégé. Much time will, and has already, been spent grooming my boy and teaching him the finer things in life. Look for Neon to make strides in pickin winnas for some weekly chickin dinnas in the coming years. So all said, although time has been scarce for the Shlitz, the picks are here to make those pockets jingle once again. Without further ado:

5 Benjamin’s
Alabama -6 at The Pissin Dog house
Is this some kind of joke? Every week I want to give UT some credit based on who they have been in the past. At this point, they have proven their worth and then some. They are simply a bad football team. Bama comes off two close calls and needs to prove something to themselves and the media. This will be an ass whooping at its finest.

4 Benjamin’s
Kentucky +25 in “The Swamp”
Not sure what to make of such a phat line. Sure, UK has proven it’s not a powerhouse, but Florida seems to merely be riding a media wave to propel them to the top. Florida will win this one, but I’d expect a closer ball game then those Vegas bastards are predicting.

3 Benjamin’s
Ole Miss -5 at Arkansas
Arkansas flat out stinks. Ole Miss has been showing up week after week and now they will come away with the fruits of their labor. This team not only deserves a big win, but wants a big win. They couldn’t pick a better week for the stars to align and lay the lumber to a pathetic Arkansas squad.

2 Benjamin’s
Auburn +2.5 in Morgantown
Just when it seemed the wheels had come off in Auburn, look for this SEC player to make a conference statement. I’m not sure what to make of WVU this year, but they are playing some terrible football. This is a battle of two struggling teams that will undoubtedly rebuild in the coming years. My guess is Auburn is able to show a little more heart and take this game by a touchdown.

1 Benjamin
Oklahoma State beats Texas
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Better believe the Shlitz will be filing a lawsuit for plagiarism in Stillwater Sunday morning. Pistol Pete and T. Boone will be doing the watermelon crawl Saturday night in Austin as OSU will role over Texas in what will be a standoff 4 years in the making for the Pokes. They’ll jump out as usual, but this time they’ll have enough D to hold Texas back for the W.

I had to hold off the Dawgs for any voodoo mongrels out there that would blast me for sabotaging the game. Now get out there and place your bets.


Dawg Tags

If you live in Tennessee, North Carolina or Virginia you need to get your University of Georgia car tags ordered. Only residents of these states may complete an application, but you may register more than one vehicle. The website to order from is located here. Seems simple. Two steps gets it done.

If you need additional info, contact the UGA Alumni Association about the Dawg Tags here:
Phone: 706.542.2251 or 800.606.8786

There is a pre-sale number for each state for the tags to be issued. Tennessee is 1000, North Carolina is 300 and Virginia is 350.

Spread the word to Dawgs living in these states.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Corndog Tuesday

The more I think about it, Les Miles really is the perfect coach for LSU.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Midseason All-SEC Squads

My thoughts....interested to hear where you agree or disagree. Always a topic that generates many opinions.

1st Team Offense
QB - Matt Stafford, Georgia
RB - Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
RB - Glen Coffee, Alabama
WR - AJ Green, Georgia
WR - Brandon LaFell, LSU
TE - Jared Cook, South Carolina
OL - Michael Oher, Ole Miss
OL - Andre Smith, Alabama
OL - Herman Johnson, LSU
OL - Mike Johnson, Alabama
OL - Ciron Black, LSU
PK - Ryan Succop, South Carolina
KR - Brandon James, Florida

1st Team Defense
DE - Tyson Jackson, LSU
DT - Myron Pryor, Kentucky
DT - Terrence Cody, Alabama
DE - Antonio Coleman, Auburn
LB - Ellix Wilson, Tennessee
LB - Rennie Curran, Georgia
LB - Brandon Spikes, Florida
CB - Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
CB - DJ Moore, Vanderbilt
S - Eric Berry, Tennessee
S - Emanuel Cook, South Carolina
P - Brett Upson, Vanderbilt

2nd Team Offense
QB - Tim Tebow, Florida
RB - Charles Scott, LSU
RB - Michael Smith, Arkansas
WR - Shay Hodge, Ole Miss
WR - Mohammed Massaquoi, Georgia
TE - DJ Williams, Arkansas
OL - Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas
OL - Antoine Caldwell, Alabama
OL - Gary Williams, Kentucky
OL - Maurkice Pouncey, Florida
OL - Chris Scott, Tennessee
PK - Jonathan Phillips, Florida
KR - Trindon Holliday, LSU

2nd Team Defense
DE - Sen'Derrick Marks, Auburn
DT - Peria Jerry, Ole Miss
DT - Geno Atkins, Georgia
DE - Jermaine Cunningham, Florida
LB - Patrick Benoist, Vanderbilt
LB - Rolando McClain, Alabama
LB - Rico McCoy, Tennessee
CB - Captain Munnerlyn, South Carolina
CB - Joe Haden, Florida
S - Jamarca Sanford, Ole Miss
S - Justin Woodall, Alabama
P -Tim Masthay, Kentucky

Player of the Year: Eric Berry, Tennessee
Offensive Player of the Year: Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
Defensive Player of the Year (not named Eric Berry): Antonio Coleman, Auburn
Coach of the Year: Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt
Freshman of the Year: AJ Green, Georgia

SEC Referees...finest in the land.....

For this week's "What the @#$%??" moment involving an SEC crew, we take you to Columbia SC. This needs no explanation. Just watch.


Head Corndog

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Georgia 24 Vanderbilt 14

Player of the game....

23 carries 172 yards 7.5 average 1 touchdown

Stacy Searles is starting to get that o-line going like he did about this time last year. Upon further review, we should have given Clint Boling the player of the game last week in the Tennessee game. He is a stud. He is leading the youth movement in the trenches. They are starting to get lathered up and 24 and company are starting to reap the benefits. I can't imagine if they were even remotely healthy. Well, actually I can imagine...hopefully we get to see that next season.

(photo: AP/John Bazemore)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekend Predictions (for entertainment purposes only)

Solid week of games upcoming for your viewing pleasure. No less than 5 matchups involving two teams ranked in the Top 25 of the current C&C Power Poll. Without further ado.....

Friday Night Special: Hawaii (+24) at #14 Boise State
Boise State didn't put away Southern Miss last week like you might have expected they would, but they're back at home this week against a better than expected Hawaii. The Warriors have been better lately, and the win at Fresno was impressive. I like Boise to keep it rolling big.
Boise State 40, Hawaii 14

#8 Texas Tech (-21) at Texas A&M
A&M is worse than terrible this year. If it weren't for the Washington teams, they might be the worst BCS conference team out there this season. Mike Leach is the anti-Richt (he loves to cover the number), but I'm suspecting this is a typical Tech defense (contrary to preseason reports.) So Tech wins it on the number.
Texas Tech 42, Texas A&M 21 (push)

Georgia Tech (-2.5) at Clemson
One might think that Clemson would be able to put up an inspired performance this weekend, and that combined with Tech's putrid showing last week against a team that most didn't know played football, this could be an upset. Unfortunately, I think Clemson just isn't very good regardless of who the coach is.
Georgia Tech 23, Clemson 17

Baylor (+17.5) at #5 Oklahoma State
Baylor is much improved, and Oklahoma State might have a slight letdown after last week's big upset of Missouri. This game may hang around the number for a while before the Cowpokes pull away late.
Oklahoma State 45, Baylor 21

#6 USC (-42) at Washington State
USC seems to have found some defense after shutting out Arizona State last week. Washington State is in for a world of hurt this week I'm afraid, and that is if USC takes it easy. If they open it up we could be talking triple digits on the board.
USC 56, Washington State 3

#15 Ohio State (-3) at #19 Michigan State
Ohio State has handled its Big 10 foes this season and has flown somewhat under the radar (at least they are finally under it.) This week looks like a trap to me as the Buckeyes will have their hands full with Spartan RB Jevon Ringer. Look for the MSU crowd to carry the Spartans to an outright win.
Michigan State 23, Ohio State 20

#16 Kansas (+20) at #4 Oklahoma
The Sooners will be looking to impress after the lousy showing on defense last week against Texas, but Kansas is strong offensively and may hang around in this one for a while. OU has too much on both sides of the ball.
Oklahoma 38, Kansas 21

Miami FL (-3.5) at Duke
This spread just looks odd. I didn't think I'd ever see the day that Miami would only be a field goal favorite over the Blue Devils. Strange thing is that Duke is actually good enough to win it outright.
Duke 24, Miami 17

Ole Miss (+12) at #2 Alabama
The Rebels have already won in the Swamp this season, so walking onto the Capstone (or is it "into the Capstone"??) won't be too overwhelming for them. Still, the Tide is rolling in from the off-week and won't let Houston Nutt sneak up on them. This one was close last year, it shouldn't be this year.
Alabama 34, Ole Miss 16

Michigan (+24.5) at #3 Penn State
This used to be a barn-burner, now it just smells like burnt Wolverine. Michigan has about as much chance winning this game as John McCain does of carrying California.
Penn State 40, Michigan 7

Mississippi State (+7) at Tennessee
This game carries about a 2 on a scale of 1-10 for the "Required Viewing" meter, the 2 being just in the off-chance that it could be Fulmer's last game if the Vols lose (and not because he's fired or resigns.) I can't see the Maroon Dawgs pulling it off in Knoxville.
Tennessee 24, Mississippi State 14

Arkansas (+7.5) at Kentucky
This spread looks a little too good to be true, but perhaps the odds-makers saw something in Arkansas' game last week other than a lousy Auburn team. Kentucky has dropped 2 straight, so this is a good week to see them get it back on track.
Kentucky 34, Arkansas 14

#11 Missouri (+4.5) at #1 Texas
This one promises alot of offense and has "letdown" written all over it for the 'Horns. Both teams have alot of pressure in this game, so I'm going with the favorite.
Texas 40, Missouri 27

#12 LSU (-2.5) at #23 South Carolina
The Tigers get a chance here to prove that they haven't been a fluke this entire season. South Carolina has the chance to prove that their recent winning streak is for real. Williams-Brice will be rocking at night, and South Carolina will have every chance to win this game. But I have a feeling The Hat still has some lucky magic left.
LSU 24, South Carolina 23

#20 Vanderbilt (+14.5) at #9 Georgia
The Dawgs apparently got their swagger back in Nashville last year (barely), and have an opportunity to do the same again in 2008. This time a late fumble and tie-breaking FG at the buzzer won't do it. This needs to be an ass-kicking. Vanderbilt is improved, but to be honest this 5-1 record and Top 25 ranking is all smoke and mirrors. The 'Dores are 12th in the SEC in total offense, and 10th in total defense. Eventually that catches up to you. Combine that with a team that desperately needs to make some kind of statement, and you have the makings of what should be a blowout. Unfortunately it is difficult to predict the Dawgs to blow someone out with a straight face. Let's just say UGA wins it comfortably, but not comfortable enough that Mark Richt wouldn't be able to sleep Saturday night.
Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 13

One more......I've got a feeling that BYU's undefeated run comes to an end this week. Look out for the Horned Frogs at home. Just remember that I told you so.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lewis Grizzard info

“The only way that I could figure they could improve upon Coca-Cola, one of life's most delightful elixirs, which studies prove will heal the sick and occasionally raise the dead, is to put rum or bourbon in it.” ... Lewis Grizzard

The post 'fish wrote a few weeks back about Lewis Grizzard and the "Greatest Headline in the History of Sports Journalism" got a lot of much appreciated attention. Just to lay it out on the table and be completely honest, posts like that were the reason that this site was started. Great stories help document part of our history as Georgians and Lewis Grizzard has enriched that history.

There was quite a bit of questions and feedback that was received at C&C about that story. Last week there was a comment on that post that I feel needed to be posted. I just didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle since so many readers have been asking about information regarding that story. God bless the greatest story teller that ever lived. Here is the comment that was posted last week:

dedra grizzard said...

I loved reading that story again and never tired of hearing Lewis tell it when he was alive! For what it is worth the last Mrs. Grizzard and my daughter are doing great. I am working with a publisher trying to get Lewis's books back out there on the market. We are starting with "They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat" teaming with the American Heart Assoc.........

I can see Lewis sitting on that couch smilin.....just knowing he had slid a fast one past the boss! And, yes, waiting on the drama to follow. Thanks for remembering and writing about him.....would love to hear all your Lewis stories. D
October 8, 2008 8:36 PM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Double L Ranch

Week 8

Wallet Check: - $500
Week 7 gains/losses: - $800

The Shlitz has been scratching his head the last few days. This past week the stars were aligned, the venue was changed and oddly enough the gambler from the Wynn… He broke even (on the Dawgs) after he gave me that advice. Yet, here I sit, throwing out vouchers with zero value along with the pocket lint that’s accumulated over the past few weeks onto the sidewalk in front of Uptown Lounge. Vegas proved to provide too much booze and not enough insight for me to stay any longer. One would think the Shlitz has been defeated, and to the weak minded that idea may hold schnapps, but not so fast. This week we’ve got another 10 bagger in the making being brought in via cargo ship from Puerta Vallarta, which by the way is where most my peeps have taken refuge. Anyhow, on with the story. After arriving on Pan Am flight 324 into the ATL, I made a quick call to an old friend, Mark Richt, in hopes to meet up for some frothy ones and chase a little tail in Athens. As I was brought in via helicopter to a grassy field outside Athens in what’s known to locals as Winterville, I sensed a nervous silence around the Dawg City. Perhaps it had to do with the academic finals taking place, but it seemed more than that. It was as if the Nation merely had hopes to get through this matchup with Vandy and move on to the iron slate that follows. Let me tell you something, The Commodores have different plans. Bobby Johnson, whom Coach Richt and I had cocktails with just last night indicated that he would be bringing in the quiet assassin Mackenzie Adams to unleash havoc upon the Dawgs. Though Mark and I certainly raised an eyebrow at this arrogance, he wouldn’t divulge his grand attack scheme, but did indicate the game will come down to the wire. With this simple utterance from my friend who could no longer stand upright, I took a long pull from my gin & tonic and marinated on that comment for quite some time. As time passed, Mark headed on to the house, but Bob wouldn’t let it go. A fight about broke out as Mark headed for the door, but luckily I was able to call Bob back in with the lure of some breast fed Yager Bombers with our hostess, Joleen, at the East West Bar and Bistro. As a side note, I have to say that as the cocktails streamed, I couldn’t help but notice Bob’s death grip on the cell phone. When I offered a puff of my smoke, he sighed as though he had just pulled his head from a toilet bowl, and suggested he was to be expecting a call from (as he put it) a friend in Northwestern South Carolina. I’m not sure what the hell he was talking about and frankly don't care, but the mood quickly changed as we stumbled around the bend and entered the Double P’s. I have promised Bob to seal the remainder of the AM hours in a bottle, however, it was a marvelous evening and I learned a lot from that character. The Shlitz gained an inside track on this weekends game to say the least… That is, don’t doubt a man when thousands of Benjamin’s may be waiting right around the corner. Look for a closer then expected ball game this weekend between the hedges. Even if it is UGA getting in its own way. But that’s another story.

10 Benjamin’s
Take Vandy and the 15 at Georgia


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mid-Season Stat Check

The only stats that really matter to UGA at this point in the season are 5 wins and 1 loss. But statistics are kept during the games, and as long as that is the case we mind as well take a step back and see where some of our Dawgs stand.

  • The Dawgs currently stand 3rd in the SEC in points per game (behind Florida and Alabama) at 33 points per game.
  • In total offense, UGA stands in 1st by a fairly wide margin at 430 yards per game, ahead of LSU and Florida.
  • UGA sits 6th in the league in rushing offense at 159 yards per game, but are well ahead of everyone else in passing offense at 271 yards per game.
  • The Dawgs' offensive line has given up 4th fewest sacks in the league, only 8 on the season.
  • Georgia leads the league in 1st downs per game, as well as in 3rd down conversion percentage.
  • Knowshon Moreno is the league's 4th leading rusher at just over 98 yards per game. Moreno leads the league in scoring (10 points per game) and touchdowns (10), and is 3rd in the league in All-Purpose yards (124 per game), just behind Arkansas's Michael Smith and Florida's Brandon James.
  • Matt Stafford leads the SEC in passing yards per game (250) and total offense (259), and trails only Tim Tebow in Pass Efficiency.
  • Freshman A.J. Green is 5th in the league in receptions per game (4.8), 3rd in receiving yards per game (74), and actually leads the league in total receiving yards for the season (441.)
  • Mohammed Massaquoi is 9th in the league in receptions (3.9), and 6th in yards per game (55.)


  • 8 teams in the SEC give up less than 20 points per game, and UGA is last among those teams, giving up just over 18 ppg. (Interesting to note than LSU is 10th, obviously skewed by allowing 51 points this past weekend at Florida.)
  • The Dawgs sit 4th in the league in total defense, trailing only South Carolina, Alabama, and Auburn.
  • The Dawgs trail only Alabama in rushing defense, giving up 52 rushing yards per game. UGA is 4th in the country in the same category, trailing only TCU, Alabama and Texas (in that order.)
  • Georgia is a disturbing 11th in the league in pass defense (222 ypg), only better than Ole Miss. The Dawgs also sit 11th in passing efficiency defense. UGA sits a frightening 82nd in the nation in pass defense.
  • UGA is tied for 4th in the league in sacks, but 3rd in sack yardage.
  • Linebacker Rennie Curran is 6th in the league in tackles with 47. Curran is 5th in sacks with 3 (2nd among linebackers), and 3rd in tackles for loss (1st among linebackers.) Rennie is also tied for the league lead in forced fumbles.
  • UGA's 2nd leading tackler is Darryl Gamble, and surprisingly he is the only other UGA player among the Top 50 in the SEC in that category.

Special Teams:

  • UGA sits 9th in the league in kickoff returns, but leads the SEC in punt returns. The Dawgs are 3rd in the nation in the latter category at 20.9 yards per return (trailing only Oklahoma State and Eastern Michigan nationally.)
  • The Dawgs are 9th in the league in kickoff coverage.
  • True freshman Blair Walsh is 2nd in the league in scoring among kickers at 8.7 ppg, 2nd in FG made per game (1.67), and 3rd in the league in FG percentage (10 for 12, 83%.)
  • UGA's musical chairs at punt return have kept any one player from having enough returns to qualify for league honors, but Prince Miller would otherwise easily be 1st in the league and among the Top 5 in the country.
  • Ramarcus Brown sits 4th in the league in kickoff returns at 25 yards per game, even though I can't remember the last time he returned a kick (or saw the field for that matter.)


  • Of course, the Dawgs lead the SEC in penalties by an amazingly wide margin. The 2nd most penalized team in the league, Tennessee, is a full 20 yards per game behind UGA in this dubious category.
What does this all mean?
  • One could make a strong argument that Stafford is the league's best QB through the 1st half of the season, and might very well be the SEC Offensive Player of the Year at the half-way point (hard to argue that any offensive player has been better.)
  • A.J. Green might be the SEC Freshman of the Year at this point, although LSU QB Jarrett Lee could give him a run with a good 2nd half. Alabama RB Mark Ingram is also in the picture, although Glen Coffee has started taking the lion's share of carries on the Capstone.
  • Another thing I notice is an extreme lack of production from anyone other than Curran on defense. In previous years the SEC stat lists would be littered with UGA players at a number of different positions. There is no sign of anyone other than Asher Allen down the list in pass breakups. That is it among the Top 10 in all individual defensive categories.
  • Of course, the stats don't always tell the full story. Anyone who has watched the UGA defense this year knows that Geno Atkins and Corvey Irvin (as well as the other d-tackles) are having very good seasons. That, combined with Curran's uncanny ability to fill a gap like no other linebacker that I can remember, largely explains UGA's success against the run.
  • Likewise, opposing defenses are stacking the box to shut Moreno down, hurting his numbers and helping Stafford's.
  • UGA's pass defense numbers are dramatically skewed because the Dawgs are so good against the run. Still, I think most Dawg fans recognize some problems in pass defense that can't be easily explained at this point.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Top 3 Reasons The NFL Might Be Better Than College Football

Here is why I think the NFL is run better than college football:

3. SCHEDULING- The scheduling for the NFL is obviously more balanced year to year than college football. The bad teams from the year before play the bad teams out of conference the following year. This is why the playoff teams change each year. I am not sure if college football has an answer for this problem, but they could at least make each conference have a championship game.

2. NO VOTERS- I am so sick of the voters for college football. Just look at the top 25 for this week. #1 OK loses to #5 Texas and drops from 1 to 4? What? #3 UGA lost to #8 Alabama and dropped to #10. USC beats a (2-3) ASU team and jumps Texas Tech? What? ASU sucks! Alabama is idle and gets jumped whereas an idle USC doesn't get jumped a few weeks ago. It is so bias it is ridiculous. And it does matter.

1. PLAYERS DECIDE CHAMPIONS- Playoff system. This is an obvious no brainer. Until college football comes up with something that allows the players to decide the Champs, the NFL will dominate the end of the season. The NFL never has complaints about who is in the game and they never split Championships in a year.

Now I love college football. The atmosphere in the SEC can't be matched. All I am saying is that the NFL is run better than college football.

Penn Wagers Remains Inept

Early in the 2nd quarter of yesterday's game with Georgia driving on the Tennessee 6 yard line, Vol cornerback DeAngelo Willingham was called for defensive holding during a pass in the end zone intended for Mohammed Massaquoi. The resulting penalty enforced by head official Penn Wagers, was half the distance to the goal line (the UT 3) and a remaining 3rd down play. 90% of the stadium (not including the UGA coaching staff) commenced to losing their collective minds, thinking that the play should have certainly resulted in a 1st down. (UGA would throw an incompletion on the next play and wound up kicking a field goal to make it a 13-0 game.)

With regard to this scenario, the 2008 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations handbook states the following:
Rule 9.3.4.e: When a legal forward pass crosses the neutral zone during a forward pass play and a contact foul that is not pass interference occurs beyond the neutral zone, the enforcement spot is the previous spot. This includes Rule 9.3.4.c. (note: Rule 9.3.4.c. essentially explains what is holding and what isn't.)
Penalty: 10 or 15 yards from the previous spot, plus first down if the foul occurred against an eligible receiver before the ball was touched.

Further explained in Rule 9 Interpretation, Article 4 (Use of Hands or Arms by Defense):
Approved Ruling 9-3-4
I. During a legal forward pass that crosses the neutral zone, B1 holds eligible A1, who is beyond or behind the neutral zone. The pass is not catchable by A1.
Ruling: Team B foul, holding.
Penalty: 10 yards and first down, basic-spot enforcement.
Note: The above interpretation also applies in the same manner if the holding occurs before the pass is thrown.

I must admit, personally I didn't know at first if the penalty had been enforced correctly or not. But the majority of those in Section 304 (and others that made themselves vocal around the stadium) were convinced that the wrong application of the penalty had been made, by making it 3rd and Goal from the 3 yard line, instead of 1st down. Looking back on it now, I can't believe Mark Richt wasn't 15 yards deep on the field doing jumping jacks to try and get Wagers' attention to get the call corrected. I can only guess that the coaches didn't realize the error before the next play was snapped, or that perhaps they weren't entirely sure of the rule themselves.

The bottom line is this: Penn Wagers and his SEC officiating crew, once again made an error that I wouldn't expect a GHSA Junior Varsity crew to make. Short of awarding points to the wrong team and not correcting the error, I can't imagine a more egregious and elementary error to be made in a football game at this level. This marks at least the 3rd straight UGA game that I can remember Penn Wagers calling where multiple UGA fans have left the game calling for his dismissal (by the way, UGA fans aren't alone in their dislike of Wagers.) I can't wait to hear how the boys in Birmingham are going to spin this one, if they even comment on it at all.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Georgia 26 Tennessee 14

Player of the game...
Freshman kicker Blair Walsh was 4-4 in field goals and 2-2 in point afters for 14 points. Also of note: his first two kickoffs in the first quarter were arguably the best of the season.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just a reminder...

I wanted to give everybody a heads up and let you know that my boys in Dead Confederate are the musical guests on Late Night With Conan O'Brien tonight. They share the bill with some no name movie guy named Oliver Stone and the one and only LL Cool J. As far as I know, they are the second Athens band to play on a major late night talk show in the last year. (Bop has already covered the first one). Chances are they will be playing a song called "The Rat" off of their most recent release, Wrecking Ball. It looks as though this song has been pegged by the record label as the most viable single for release. Here's the music video shot by Pamela Littky at a church in Watkinsville:

Conan's musical guests usually play at a little after 1 a.m., so be sure to stay up extra late tonight in support of Athens music. It's okay if you don't, I will post the youtube video of the performance as soon as I can find it. While we are on the subject of Conan O'Brien, make sure you check out the web's hottest manatee site.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Double L Ranch

Week 7

Wallet Check: $300
Week 6 gains/losses: - $1,300

Shlitz is at a loss for words (and Benjamin’s) this week mi amigos. Listen to the story that has been leaked over the past few days and it all starts to make sense. I got a call Sunday morning at about 4 am informing me that I had taken a sizeable hit on my account the day before. I was in Belize at the time and was absolutely speechless. They were removing my peeps from my penthouse suite at the Bellagio and my posse was asked to leave via taxi cabs (not cool). Next thing you know, the Demagiano is calling to inform me that my credit was no longer welcome at the Bellagio, effective immediately. Right away I knew something was going down and The Shlitz was being duped by those he trusted most. Little did they know, The Shlitz has contacts. My good friend Jo Bob McGintry called Monday afternoon from a gentlemen’s club somewhere in the South Pacific, informing me that several high profile coaches were planning a Vegas trip and had tweaked some of the week 6 games. Never one to tuck tail, I informed the Bellagio that their day will come and I will most certainly be taking my stash and heading to a casino more accommodating for those looking to earn an honest dollar. That’s where we find the Shlitz this week folks. Here in the lavish confines of The Wynn Hotel and Casino. I’ve taken in a few shows and drank several frothy ones of the malt liquor variety the past couple days to prepare for another week of promise. Settling in at the Sportsbook this morning, I ordered a darker beverage and had a seat at the big board, when suddenly a stranger sat down beside me and subtly asked for a taste of my whiskey. I don’t remember what happened after that, but the picks were on my notepad, eerily, without so much as a swipe from my stolen Bellagio pen… Times like this friends is when the Benjamin’s line the pockets of many a Burberry sport coats. So let’s get it on:

5 Benjamin’s
UGA -12 over Tennessee
If history has anything to do with this game it could be a long Dawg day. However, the good news is history has nothing to do with a team as pathetic as UT. I think Smokey will be hiding under the bleachers by halftime and howling “Remember the Times” to the few faithful that have followed down to Athens. Admittedly, any SEC spread over 10 should be doubted, but this is all too easy.

4 Benjamin’s
Vanderbilt -2 over Mississippi State
Not a chance. This is where the past plays to the mindsets of those here in Vegas. I spoke with one line setter yesterday morning at the buffet in TI and he said to me, “It’s just Vandy…” I knew then that I had a handful of Benjamin’s being thrown on this one. Just Vandy is correct, but this Vandy is smart. Maybe they don’t possess the athletes, but they know their roles and execute to a tee. Look for a 17 point debacle of a piss poor MSU team.

3 Benjamin’s
LSU +6 against Florida
LSU will be bringing the reminisce of hurricane Gustav into Gator Town this weekend, and Timmy Tebow, whom I actually have a shred of respect for, will be shut down like an oil refinery in the Gulf. This game will give LSU too much media respect though, as UF really isn’t that good. In fact, they could get shut out this week. Look for LSU to win by at least 10.

2 Benjamin’s
Oklahoma -6.5 over Texas
What a classic. With both teams looking like they could challenge the world, it’s a shame there has to be a loser. Oh, but there will be… And that loser will be Texas. The light will now be cast upon the holes in the Longhorn secondary and OU will role to an unexpectedly easy victory over the long time Red River Rival. Final score: OU 38 Texas 17

1 Benjamin
Oklahoma State +14 against Missouri
This one would be a great drinking game if you had to chug upon every score (Aardvark may want to try it out). The offenses will put it on the line and at the end of the carnage the two clubs will look up at the scoreboard and may very well find that OSU has pulled the upset. Missouri is looking good, but OSU is looking better. Keep your eye on this one Saturday. With the hits Boone’s been taken in the market, I think he may even have a little wager riding the 14.

Here’s a toast to getting back in the saddle this week. The Shlitz needs some big returns this week to get back in the groove. I think between the changes in venue, the stranger at the Sportsbook and Obama consorting with yet another radical should prove to turn the tide across the board. Bottoms Up!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Special Teams

We need one of these Saturday:

(courtesy: ccsimpson4)

I'm fully expecting Fabris to make something happen with his punt block or punt return teams. He might be the only person that hates Tennessee more than I do. Tennessee special teams have been mediocre at best for the last few years.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The state of football in Tennessee

I only watched a total of about 10 minutes of football yesterday and it was nice. I caught the end of the Vandy win and got to see backup quarterback Mackenzi Adams hug the wannabe pro wrestler/Nashville boy band looking guy in the stands who ended up being his high school football coach father. I didn't see it, but I'm willing to bet that Vandy looked well coached again. Bobby Johnson puts a disciplined product on the field that understands field position....looks like he now has a few more athletes to translate that into wins. It should also be mentioned that Vandy is impressive in the big 3 sports right now. Top 20 football program, a year in year out NCAA tourney basketball program and an elite baseball program.

Which brings me to the other team from Tennessee. All I caught was the 13-9 victorious score at home over a bad Northern Illinois team. I don't really like the man, but I respect what Phillip Fulmer has done in Knoxville. Sure they haven't won a league title or even played in a BCS game in a decade, but he has won A LOT at Tennessee. He's got 2 SEC titles and a bogus Clint Stoener fumble induced National Title. He is an excellent recruiter and has produced quite an impressive amount of talent at a school with a home state that is embarrassingly low on athletes compared to other states in Dixie.

That being said...he's done. I don't care about his raise and extension he signed less than a year ago. He is about to get run out of town. I think Fulmer has to win 3 of 4 against Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Vandy to save his job. I'm just not sure he will win more than one of those games. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still afraid of UT. I won't be shocked if they come to Athens with their backs against the wall and beat Georgia. That kind of stuff happens to me, so I'll never be surprised. All of a sudden they'll get the game of a career out of one of their bad quarterbacks. Taking away my bad luck, my hatred of their football team, and the fluke game of the year for every player on their team last season....Georgia should win the game.

So, who will replace Fulmer? Who do they hire? Can they make the right hire or will they get a Goff or Zook? Let's name some names. First off Vol fan, Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden (I know, grad assist in mid 80's) aren't going to Knoxville so get that thought out of your mind. Here are some of the names in no particular order:

Will Muschamp ... He'd get UT back into the fertile state of Georgia recruiting grounds. Defensive coach with a ton of enthusiasm. Former walk-on turned starter at UGA. Will be a head coach soon and whatever school hires him gets this shirt as part of the package.
Bobby Johnson ... If he keeps winning when he plays the better SEC teams they just might go after him. Would be a GREAT hire. I would be scared to death of him in Knoxville. I think he's the coach to "knock the lid off" of the Clemson program though. If he goes to his alma mater in the next year or two, Clemson will become a legit national power.
Paul Johnson ... Every year a big job opens, his name will be thrown around. It pains me to say it but he's gonna win and win big at tech. If they were as smart as they claim they would over pay him now to keep him. Don't know why he would leave tech for Tennessee. He can run roughshod through the ACC and will get great in state players to fit his scheme in Atlanta.
Brian Kelly ... I just don't know enough about him. I know he's known as an up and comer and a solid coach. I'd welcome this hire. Would be surprised if he went to UT and won big.
Gary Pinkel ... Well, he can coach. Mizzou is the real deal. Has been a Head Coach since age 38. 10 years at Toledo and 8 at Missouri. I'm sure if UT wanted him they could give it a run. Would probably have to throw a bunch of money at him to get him. They can though if they want.
Jim Grobe ... Like Bobby Johnson, Grobe would be a great fit and a great hire. Probably the one coach that would scare me the most if he ended up in Knoxville. What he's done at Wake is amazing. One of the best coaches in the South in my opinion.
Lane Kiffin ... I actually think this could be their guy. Would not be surprised to see them go after him. I would welcome this hire. They just might try to convince themselves that Kiffin could be their Urban Meyer (which is sad since CUM is a fraud). Would be SHOCKED if Kiffin could win big in the SEC East. Getting his dad is the most attractive part of hiring him.
Chris Hatcher ... I'm only throwing his name in here because I expect him to one day go to a rival of Georgia's and be a thorn in our side. Former Cavalier and VSU qb. Great coach and offensive mind. He has all kinds of in roads in the Peach State and his father was a longtime high school coach who is highly respected in the industry. Would be at top of list to replace PJ if he ever left tech.
David Cutcliffe ... All of Tennessee's offensive success under Fulmer has been with Cutcliffe on board. Was an assistant at UT for 18 years. Believe it or not, he's only 54. Was a student assistant under Bear Bryant while attending Alabama. He will have some backing in Knoxville, especially if he has a decent year at Duke. Just don't see them pulling the trigger on him personally. Very good offensive mind.
Randy Edsall ... HC at UConn. Feel free to make this hire UT. He would take the job in a heartbeat. Flirted with tech last season. He's a northeastern yankee that would suck at recruiting the South. Would be shocked if he won in the SEC East.
Bronco Mendenhall ... This guy seems to be the real deal. Has the intensity of a Brian VanGorder. His BYU team is legit. Probably one of the next great young college coaches. Has spent 17 out of 18 years coaching out west. Born in Utah, played in Oregon. Seems to be a better fit (recruiting wise) for a Pac-10 school.
Gene Chizik ... No chance at the UT job which is fine with me, but I'm mentioning him because I think he is a great young coach. He is a future star in the business. Problem is he took the Iowa State job a couple years ago. Will take a while, but will win at ISU. Made his name as DC at Auburn and Texas. Played LB at Florida in early 80's.
Skip Holtz ... Please, please hire him. Overrated.

Throw in the coaches of the month at Boise, Utah etc. etc. Peterson and the like will be mentioned and might get a shot, but at the end of the day I'd be surprised. Two surprising names to keep an eye on would be Tubberville (yeah I said it) and Petrino. If Fulmer wouldn't have won all those miracles last season and would have gotten canned, I'm fairly confident Petrino would have been a realistic hire. I know a very educated Vol I respect actually wanted him and felt like it would happen...then Fulmer saved his job.

At the end of the day I have to careful what you wish for. It's going to be tough to have more success than Fulmer. It almost takes a fair share of luck to hire the right guy. Without that perfect hire, Tennessee will be in trouble. So who will it be? Who would you want or not want coaching at UT?