Posts Tagged ‘Urban Meyer’

Dogs’ key to beating Gators: QB, defense or something else?

Urban Meyer was more relaxed before last year's Georgia game than he will be Saturday.

Urban Meyer was more relaxed before last year's Georgia game than he will be Saturday.

ATHENS — Just arrived in Happy Town, where the football team has won three straight, the basketball team is considered a conference dark horse and the outside of Stegeman Coliseum is almost completely encircled by glass panels. (OK. Still looks like an old barn with a new shine. But not bad.)

It’s Mark Richt news conference day and I’m planning on writing something about Georgia-Florida later. The focus will be on what I believe is the key to not only this game but the key to affirming that the Bulldogs really are headed in the right direction this season and beyond.

What is biggest key for Georgia in Florida game?

  • Quarterback.
  • Running game.
  • Defense.
  • Special teams.
  • Turnovers.

View Results

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The answer is . . . well, you’ll just have to wait. I know. I’m such a tease.

If you haven’t heard, the Dogs actually are favored in this game for the first time …

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Early Georgia-Florida primer (and why Meyer is catching heat)

It wasn't that long ago when Urban Meyer had both John Brantley (left) and Cam Newton on the depth chart. (Gatorsports.com)

It wasn't long ago when Urban Meyer had both John Brantley (left) and Cam Newton at Florida. (Gatorsports.com)

(UPDATE II BELOW)

It’s Georgia-Florida week. Here’s a novel idea: How about a Georgia-Florida blog?

Here are five headlines you never could have imagined going into this week:

1. “It’s all Urban Meyer’s Fault!”

Last week we told you about the website that is calling for Urban Meyer’s firing. This is almost that unbelievable. Some fans apparently are now blaming Meyer for Cam Newton transferring following his arrest and suspension for the stolen laptop episode. This is happening, of course, because Newton is now a Heisman Trophy candidate at Auburn, the Tigers are undefeated, the Gators have lost three straight, they rank 89th in the nation in total offense and it turns out John Brantley isn’t better than Tim Tebow after all (go figure). But this whole thing is silly. Newton was buried on the Florida depth chart (behind at least Tebow and Brantley) in 2008, plus he …

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Website claims honeymoon’s over for Urban Meyer (honest)

Wait until Urban Meyer gets a look at this website.

Wait until Urban Meyer gets a look at this website.

Fire coach (Fill In The Blank) websites used to be somewhat of a novelty and a source of amusement. Now most of them are just cliche and stupid. But occasionally one pops up worth mentioning, only because of the absurdity of it.

I just found one: FireCoachMeyer.com.

Laugh it up, Bulldog Nation.

I’m just glad George S. Patton didn’t lose to Mississippi State the week after beating the Nazis. He’d be toast.

OK. It’s a down year for the Florida Gators. I get that. But fire Urban Meyer? And replace him with who — Nick Saban? Oh no wait, Alabama lost to South Carolina. He’s old news, too.

It’s possible this website was started by a fan from a rival school (or a recruiting coordinator from a rival school). But given the lunatic fringe among most SEC fan bases, I  lean toward somebody in Gainesville.

(UPDATE: The website appears to be a carryover from a Fire Ron Zook website in 2005.)

The site looks like it was slapped together in …

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Weekend Predictions: Dogs boot Russ before homecoming

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Russ hits the road after a 2-4 start.

Goodbye, Russ.

Having replaced the defensive coordinator, the defensive ends coach, the linebackers coach, the quarterback, several starters, the list of excuses and presumably the adviser who’s in charge of telling players that those cute little pilot wings he got when he was 6 years old is not a license to drink, drive, hit, run, speed, no-show, steal, deny, and sell your bowl jersey to anybody, let alone a guy whose business card reads, “Snidely Whiplash,” the Georgia Bulldogs finally found a new scapegoat for their fall: Russ, The Temporary Mascot.

Why pick on a poor dog?

Hello, Uga VIII.

Hello, Uga VIII.

Russ didn’t ask for this. He was just fine hanging in the back of the Seiler house with the hamster and the goldfish.

Georgia had already thrown his personal life into public

view when they revealed in Russ’s official bio that he was, “the five-year-old half-brother of Uga VII.”

Half-brother? Was there a sex scandal in Dawgingham Palace we needed to know about?

Oh, the pains of being the …

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Richt isn’t commanding Georgia players’ respect or attention

Mark Richt's biggest problem? Players may be tuning him out.

Mark Richt's biggest problem? Players may be tuning him out.

Sometimes it’s not about whether somebody is a good coach or certainly a good man. Sometimes it’s just about whether players are even listening to him.

Mark Richt preaches to his players, “Finish the drill.” They don’t.

He admonishes them about missed blocks and blown coverages and stresses the importance of playing with discipline, passion and a sense of desperation. They don’t respond.

He states the obvious: Don’t get arrested. They do.

I am not calling for Mark Richt’s firing here. Not yet. There are still seven games left in the season. That’s enough time for Georgia to turn its season around, play in a respectable bowl game and most importantly send the message that this program isn’t going down like Pompeii.

But right now, I’m just not feeling it.

Needing to bounce back after a loss at South Carolina, the Bulldogs lost to Arkansas at home for the first time in 17 years.

Needing to play with a sense of urgency …

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Weekend Predictions: Even Vegas is down on Dogs

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Occasionally, we here at Weekend Predictions, home of the world’s only 100 percent guaranteed financial projections, assuming you didn’t fall for one of those silly picks we just put out there for comic relief, bring in a consultant.

So let me introduce you to my new market analyst, Todd Fuhrman, race and sports book analyst at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where I once helped fund a significant expansion. I phoned Todd because Georgia opened this week as an underdog to Mississippi State, which is somewhat like the Ukraine opening as an underdog to Lichtenstein. These Dogs haven’t lost to those Dogs since 1974 (1951 in Starkville, when bread was 16 cents. Starkville looked the same, though.).

Trust me. I have a system.

Trust me. I have a system.

Todd’s research goes back only 20 years but  he’s never seen Georgia less than 3 1/2 point favorites. Why is Mississippi State favored?

“It’s tough to get behind Georgia,” he said. “Their passing game is stagnant without A.J. Green, their freshman quarterback …

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Weekend Predictions: Dogs over Hades in bounceback week

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According to Greek mythology, Hades ruled over cursed spirits in the Underworld, until one day he grew tired of his morbid existence, and the fact everybody realized what a blithering idiot he was. So before soul-collecting season was complete, he headed south of Hell to Fayetteville, Arkansas.

You're going down, puffy.

You're going down, puffy.

We here at Weekend Predictions Inc. realized (belatedly) something was amiss in the spiritual world last week when Georgia, Georgia Tech and the Falcons all lost, corrupting what would have been a solid-gold week of financial projections (8-1 straight up, 6-2-1 against the line, if you don’t count the 0-3 whiff on the locals). But much like when Gozer The Gozerian turned into marshmallow guts in the end, we sense good will overcome evil once again.

To borrow from the noted Gainesville philosopher, Chris Rainey: “Time to Die, Petrino.”

The daubers are down in Dawgland. Georgia got smacked in Columbia. A.J. Green is still in retailing detention. But we sense a …

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Meyer shouldn’t hesitate in booting Chris Rainey off Gators

Florida, like other programs, is pointing in the wrong direction off the field, and Urban Meyer needs to kick Chris Rainey off the team.

Florida is among programs pointed in wrong direction off the field, and Urban Meyer needs to kick Chris Rainey out.

(UPDATED: 4 p.m.)

Florida coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that Chris Rainey is “not with the team,” and when asked to disclose the minimum number of games the wide receiver would miss, he responded: “I can’t do that because I don’t know.”

Question: Does Meyer need to check the Gators’ schedule first to see how long he thinks they can do without one of their starting receivers? Because it seems to me when a football program is accumulating arrests and one player admits to police that he sent a text message to his [ex-]girlfriend with an assumed death threat, reading, “Time to Die Bitch,” the case is fairly cut and dried.

Rainey should be gone.

This is the problem when you put coaches in charge of discipline for matters slightly more serious than being late to practice. They can’t look at one of their players in handcuffs and make an objective decision when a …

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No more excuses — Georgia’s arrests fall on Mark Richt

If Mark Richt was so angry about Washaun Ealey's hit-and-run that he didn't want to talk to him, how does he feel now?

Mark Richt has been buried in police reports since March.

(UPDATED at 3:30 p.m. with booking and suspension.)

Before you dismiss this as just another trivial arrest in a 24-7, TMZ flip-cam media world, ask yourself this:

What would you be thinking if this was Florida or Alabama or Tennessee? Would your first reaction be, “This is no big deal. Everybody is picking on us”?

What if this was Nick Saban or Urban Meyer or Houston “I’m Just Trying To Save The World One Quarterback At A Time” Nutt? Would you really be absolving the head coach — in this case, Mark Richt — of any responsibility?

Georgia’s football program has hit nine on the arrest chart. That’s nine since March.

Kickoff is Saturday. There’s still time to run out of fingers.

Here’s the latest: Campus police have booked freshman safety Alec Ogletree on misdemeanor charges of theft by taking and he has been suspended for the season opener. Ogletree, a prized member of their 2010 recruiting class, is charged with stealing …

Continue reading No more excuses — Georgia’s arrests fall on Mark Richt »

Richt believes Georgia is poised for a bounce-back season

Georgia coach Mark Richt believes the Dogs can avoid some of the problems that plagued recent teams. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Georgia coach Mark Richt believes the Dogs can avoid some of the problems that plagued recent teams. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Here’s a sneak peek at a column that will appear in print in this Sunday’s special AJC College Football Section. The 34-page section will preview Georgia State, Georgia Tech and UGA seasons, the SEC and ACC, top games, Heisman candidates and more.

Nine years ago, Mark Richt lost his first SEC game as a head coach (to South Carolina) and started 4-3 in a conference that generally doesn’t allow for long honeymoon periods, at least not outside of Vanderbilt.

It wasn’t the usual backdrop for what would happen in the next four years. Richt went 44-9 overall and 25-7 in the SEC. He won two conference titles at a school that hadn’t won one since 1982. He won a Sugar Bowl.

What has occurred since at Georgia is less a market correction than it is a changing landscape. Think of the SEC as a boulevard of resort hotels. Richt built what seemed like Xanadu in 2002. …

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