Time for rally caps, football team meeting

As the baseball Bulldogs try to pull out of a losing tailspin in the last week of the regular season, the glass-half-full view is that at least the 2009 team broke that David Perno era pattern of a great year (like 2008) always being followed by a terrible year. 

This year’s Diamond Dogs, ranked No. 1 in the nation much of the season, definitely are not terrible. 

But they’re not great, either, as evidenced by their current six-game losing streak, which derailed hopes of another regular season SEC championship. The defensive and pitching problems that have plagued the team all season have definitely gotten more serious of late. The Dogs seem incapable of holding a lead, even in the ninth inning. 

Still, with the chance of hosting an NCAA regional in Athens still within their grasp if they take this weekend’s final home series against Vandy, Perno’s Pups can’t be written off yet. 

It’s been a precipitous fall, though. Three weeks ago the No. 1-ranked Dogs, who’ve packed Foley Field most of the season, took two of three from also nationally ranked Arkansas and appeared to be in good shape. But the signs of inconsistency had been there all season. Led by the big bat of Rich Poythress, they were generally producing at the plate but often were unable to generate clutch runs and left too many runners stranded. The bullpen generally has been pretty awful in the latter part of the season, and there’ve been too many errors. 

But let’s keep this in perspective. It’s a young team that at times has started as many as five freshmen. The remarkable 14-win streak that opened the season got a lot of hopes up, but was mostly against lesser opposition, and while Georgia had some impressive sweeps against Mississippi State, Tennessee, Clemson and Kentucky, they dropped two of three to Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss and had some embarrassing midweek losses (including getting beaten in two games a week apart by Jacksonville State). 

Then came last weekend and getting swept by Florida in Athens.

Now sitting at sixth place in the overall SEC standings and ranked 13, 14 and 22 in the major national polls, the Dogs are 9-9 against ranked opponents and have won only two of their last eight games, leading many to say they’ve run out of gas. 

But as Perno has noted, his 2004 team, which finished third in the College World Series, also had a six-game losing streak (though they were SEC co-champions). And assuming they don’t continue to lose more than they win in the last week of the season, projections are the Dogs will continue the postseason in Athens after the SEC tournament. Even the worst case scenario has them making the NCAA  tournament if they don’t host a regional.

Not bad for one of Perno’s alternating “off” years.

If you’re able to make it to Foley Field to support the Dogs this weekend, tickets are still available for all three games of the series against Vandy, with first pitch at 7 p.m. tonight, 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. And if your kid has been just dying for a Georgia baseball jersey pillow (??!!), the first 1,500 fans entering on Saturday will get one as a freebie.

Nip it in the bud: As I wrote Thursday, the most troubling aspect of the rumored possible suspensions of three football players, still not confirmed by Mark Richt, is emerging pass-rush threat Justin Houston missing any playing time at defensive end. But the larger issue here is whether the suspensions, if they happen, are the sort of occasional minor rules violations that can be expected out of any group of 100-plus college students, or if they’re the first sign that the team’s off-season focus is beginning to waver. Either way, this probably would be a good time for leaders like Joe Cox to call a team meeting and get everyone’s attention. Forcefully.

133 comments Add your comment

WTF???

May 8th, 2009
10:52 am

Richt needs to nut kick these kids. I’m tired of it.

gte268p

May 8th, 2009
10:55 am

T-Bone

May 8th, 2009
11:04 am

Discipline problems at UGA. Typical.

dawgman

May 8th, 2009
11:08 am

Let’s wait and find out what happened. CMR has not made it a habit of hiding anything. This story seems like a reach. I realize that college news is a little quiet now, but this story is really a bit over-dramatized.

murfdawg

May 8th, 2009
11:09 am

Just like football, the Diamond Dawgs are too young to be ranked that high. Looke at the freshmen who are on the infield and the inexperience of the pitching staff. Winning baseball games depends on pitching and winning football games depends on good offensive line play. The Dawgs have neither this year. Damon Evans should take some lessons from Vince and learn how to downplay the coming season instead of beating his chest about how great every program will be. But that is not how things are done in the 21st century.

GatorFan

May 8th, 2009
11:13 am

Discipline problems at UGA, NOOO! These are the finest men in college football, ask any UGA fan that!

GaDawg

May 8th, 2009
11:21 am

Gatorfan, is that you Persy? failed anymore drug tests lately or our your tebows to tight?

MiltonDawg

May 8th, 2009
11:21 am

What? There is no problems in Florida?? Semi-automatic weapons, deceased girl’s credit card. It’s all a wonderland down in Gainesville.

Jeff D

May 8th, 2009
11:32 am

Bill, WCPAYW? *hic*

MegaT

May 8th, 2009
11:36 am

Well, well, well. So the little puppies are at it again. Guess you are not as perfect as you thought you were. Of course, this won’t stop you puppy fans from pointing your finger at the other 11 conference schools because I’m sure in your eyes, your shortcomings are not near as bad as the other 11.

Soulja Boy

May 8th, 2009
11:37 am

Richt has, indeed, been covering up discipline problems or winking at them. His attornies fixed a number of issues last year such as Bolling’s DUI and the sacking of the hospital plants by unnamed thugs on the football team. Don’t expect any change with the “gang of three.” Worst case, they will miss a meaningless game at the beginning of next season.

Cracker

May 8th, 2009
11:39 am

Billy

May 8th, 2009
11:39 am

Salukis Rule! deal with it

DawgGirl32

May 8th, 2009
11:41 am

If what Gen Neyland said is true on one of the other blogs, the three guys were riding on a moped at 3 am going down the wrong way of a one way street. Stupid? Yes. Deserving of a suspension? Probably. But if that story is true, it’s really not the worst thing they could have done. Sounds like a few college kids celebrating being done with finals to me.

Reality Check...

May 8th, 2009
11:42 am

MegaT needs a reality check…What a loser? Doesn’t even know what team rules that were broken. Please…. Get over yourself…pathetic….GO DAWGS!!!!

DawgGirl32

May 8th, 2009
11:46 am

Richt has done nothing to cover this up. He is simply not commenting until he knows all the facts. He wasn’t even in town when this did or did not happen. He does no more to “fix issues” than any other coach in college football.

Observer

May 8th, 2009
12:08 pm

Once gator players stop shooting guns in apartments and getting charged with felonies, then they can point fingers at others…..

ryan

May 8th, 2009
12:09 pm

Tech fans were saying that you have absolutely no idea what the APR measures if you want to use it us a yardstick for a schools academics. It just means we don’t pass the idiots though, they actually fail out if they don’t work.

Braindawg

May 8th, 2009
12:15 pm

If this is the worst thing to happen with the players of the UGA football team, thats great. As a matter of fact, if this were the worst thing to happen to any young person, that would be a good thing also. Kids get into trouble learning to live alone, and growing up. This case isnt a big deal, and is a waste of time. No matter if it happens at UGA, GT, Fla. or any other school in the country. So come on folks, find something else that is news worthy to disscuss or blog about. Have a great day, go Dawgs, and dont be riding your moped a 3am in the morning any more!

m

May 8th, 2009
12:25 pm

Tech has already beaten the crap out of the diamond dawgs and will do it again next week at Turner Field.

As far as the football players in trouble, that is standard at ugag. If they didn’t have 8 or 10 players get in trouble every year, they would be kicked out of the sec. It is par for the course in the sec…and at ugag.

Lane

May 8th, 2009
12:28 pm

you can’t hold these guys hands 24/7, players have to take personal responsibility. MR, has a very difficult job.

Men’s BB has hired and assistant coach from VT – Stacey Palamone(????). Strong Recruiter – from Greenville, SC -

Voice of Reason

May 8th, 2009
12:39 pm

Amazing that such a small portion of Mr. King’s Blawg gets the BIG headline, and the majority of the attention. Typical “apartment fire” editing…

Turn My Swag On

May 8th, 2009
12:39 pm

Hey Soulja Boy,

Know the facts before you speak. Dewberry actually worked at the hospital in housekeeping for several months to pay for the damage he caused.

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
12:47 pm

To GatorFan

perhaps you would prefer one of our players steal their dead girlfriend’s credit card or go an fire an AK47 in public. THOSE are real discipline problems. Perhaps you need to repeat your charge while looking in the mirror.

UGA89

May 8th, 2009
1:00 pm

What do you mean, “BEFORE” things get out of hand? Things were out of hand for this program before last season even began –it’s an embarrassment.

Einsteindawg

May 8th, 2009
1:00 pm

I have been a loyal UGA fan for the past 45 years, as well as a graduate of the university and season ticket holder. A couple of years ago, UGA said the cost of a football scholarship was approx. $38,000 a year…I’m sure it has increased since then. That included books, tuition, tudors, housing, meals, equipment, training, game tickets, travel, etc., etc., not to mention a chance for the NFL. This is a substantial investment, as well as a wonderful opportunity that most students don’t have. We should wait until all the facts are known, but if any student-athlete disregards the rules, then it should be one and done. They let their teamates down, the fans that pay their scholarship, the university, and are terrible role models for the kids. I believe in second, third, fourth, et al chances; however, the scholarship is taken away when the rule is broken. They are welcome to stay in school, hopefully the Hope will help along with a part-time job, but they will need to earn their way back on the team. And, the players will have to approve any reinstatement. You have to draw a line or else this will continue to fester and grow. Anyway, just my opinion. Go DAWGS…beat the crap out of Florida and Tech. Peace.

Observer

May 8th, 2009
1:01 pm

Anyone who uses the term “ugag” is obviously a mentally deficient moron with a double digit I.Q. at best.

St. Bernard

May 8th, 2009
1:28 pm

riding a moped @ 3 a.m on the wrong side of a street?! If these were your everyday college kids, would it be a headline? Get some perspective!

Voice of Reason

May 8th, 2009
1:44 pm

why has someone stolen my name? Good thing I don’t disagree with what the other VoR says or I might be upset!

dny1979

May 8th, 2009
1:50 pm

Bama just landed Juwan James this afternoon… Thought some of the UGA fans would like to know in case you haven’t heard yet. Huge pickup. Not a flame, just news.

Saint Simons

May 8th, 2009
1:54 pm

jailyard dogs!!! 45-42!!!! hahahahhahahhhaha

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
2:09 pm

average range of yellow jacket bb players IQ, 45-42, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

PHIL

May 8th, 2009
2:11 pm

As a former college student, I see nothing outrageous about riding a moped the wrong way down a one way street at 3 am in the morning. If they weren’t football players, no one would have ever even heard about it. I assure you there were at least 5,000 kids doing much more egregious acts.

As for baseball, when I was in school there was no one in the stands AT ALL. We brought chairs and sat out in the parking lot in left field and talked to the other teams left fielder. Back then, the fence was just a five foot high chain link fence. At one point in a game where a Clemson player wasn’t seemingly able to keep his underwear in place, he was moved to run back to the fence and yell, “I’m not an animal in a cage, leave me alone!” After which he promptly allowed a ball to go right between his legs to the fence. Needless to say he was not left alone.

I also saw Bo Jackson hit a grand slam that went out over the light post in center field and hit a Ford Fairlane’s front bumper. I walked over and picked the ball up and noticed that it was a long way to the fence. So I stepped it off 37 steps to the fence where it went over at the 396 mark, the ball must have gone nearly 500 feet.

Baseball has come a long way at UGA. We don’t have to be ranked first to be proud of what they have accomplished after losing so many guys to the pros. It is great to see so much fan support when I remember how it was when I was in school.

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
2:13 pm

To Einsteindawg

So you think it should be “one and done” for violating team rules? Regardless of the infraction?

When you were raising your children did you have “house rules”? Did any of your kids ever violate your “house rules”? Were you “one and done” with them?

Let’s keep the proper perspective here.

braveshater

May 8th, 2009
2:27 pm

CMR and staff have completely lost the confidence of the best in-state talent. Just lost another one to Alabama. The program is becoming stale and the kids know it. Only downhill from here.

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2009
2:29 pm

Since there didn’t seem to be any actualy police intervention (I assume since it wasnt reported) what exactly is the “team rule”? Just being out at that hour? Could be, and its a good one.

1. Dawgs fans. You are tired of what? You dont set the team rules so it’s not your place to get tired of something internal to THEM. This is not even news you should even know about, and a few years back you wouldn’t have, so get over it. When they do things to embarass the good name of your universtity, sure, but this is TEAM rules, not your rules.

2.Rivals. I can tell you without any hesitation, if your entire team broke your internal team rules, I wouldn’t say a word, as it’s none of my business and I don’t get my jollies with your kids getting into trouble.

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
2:45 pm

To braveshater

Yeah, right. Lost confidence of the in-state talent. All downhill from here. What does that mean? Having the 7th best rated recruiting class versus the 5th best?

Perspective, perspective, perspective.

Former UF student

May 8th, 2009
2:49 pm

I once eluded the Campus Cops by driving my moped THROUGH the business school’s building (with a girl on the back mumbling, “I’m so going to get kicked out of school!”)!
Oh, what fun college was!

jarvis

May 8th, 2009
2:54 pm

Bill, your articles are so predictable.
Your blog makes me feel as though the AJC has hired the buffoon that sits in the seats in front of me at Sanford.
During the Tech game last fall, he kept screaming “run the ball!” at the top of his lungs. At that point we had put up 30+ points and trailed by 10.
My point? He was angry with the team, but he was so uneducated in football as a game that he didn’t even grasp the problem.

Sissy Dawg

May 8th, 2009
3:13 pm

Discipline off the field and on the field. This is why Mark Richt will never win a championship. Every player knows the penalty. A suspension from a nothing game. There really is no discipline at Georgia.

Preston

May 8th, 2009
3:16 pm

Soulja Boy you’re an idiot. I hardly think a road game at Oklahoma State to open the season is a meaningless game. We don’t even know what they did so give it a rest until we find out. It doesn’t sound like a legal issue or it would be public record. Did you catch them in bed with your wife?

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
3:19 pm

Somebody calling themselves “Sissy Dawg” talking about no discipline?…………………HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

WildBill

May 8th, 2009
3:20 pm

Discipline on the football team? You gotta be kidding. Same ol same ol, year after year. Why don’t the dawgs have a clubhouse brawl and get it out of their system. AJC, don’t report it, it isn’t news anymore.

athensdawg

May 8th, 2009
3:21 pm

college football players getting in trouble. Imagine that!
what cracks me up is the way everyone tries to say that their thugs are better than your thugs.

this is what this blog sounds like….stop and read what you all are writing!

at least our players didn’t shoot a gun.
well, your players tore up a hospital room and got a dui….so there.
at least we didn’t sign a rapist…..

no one – least of all any team in the sec, has any room to talk about being lilly white virgins when it comes to player discipline.

the fact that college football is such a big business has totally devalued the entire concept of “student athlete” it is now find an athlete and hope that he can be a student. we haven’t changed much from the dark ages of the 70s and 80s. fans don’t care, as long as their team’s key player isn’t thrown in jail and they beat their rival…what does it matter?

NERDBEATER

May 8th, 2009
3:30 pm

Jarvis…..your point being??????? “Uneducated about football and didn’t grasp the problem”? Are you the one Nerd that “understands football”? You guys are the ones that scream “to hell with Georgia” at every game, no matter who you are playing! I bet you bought a ring for the “ass whippin”- 45 – 42? Get back to work….the Geek Squad needs you. Oh, and by the way, finish the porn in your mom’s basement before seeing the new Treky movie.

uuugh.

May 8th, 2009
3:35 pm

The dawgs don’t need to be without a single defensive player for the trip to Oklahoma. Team Rule or State Law…if you do something that causes you to miss playing time you are letting the team and the fans down. Give them a second chance? Sure…but missing playing time hurts more than just the punishee.

Then again maybe Richt is the smartest man in the world and wrote a rule that reads “3 Players will not ride together on a single moped the wrong way down a one way street.” If these are D-Lineman, where did they find a moped that will still run carrying half a ton!? This must be the best moped ever.

Finally…aren’t we paying our guys enough for them to afford a cab home from downtown!? Here is a solution. The athletic department opens accounts with all the cab companies in athens. Then the athletes are given a card that they show to the cabbies…and the AD is billed for the ride. No Mopeds, No Police, No Arrests. If it is against NCAA rules get the law school students to find a way around the rule. How many problems would we avoid with these free cab rides?

…and to the Florda Fans. I am still impressed with Percy Harvins 12 on the Wonderlic. “When told that the lowest score ever was a 4, Percy laughed and said ‘Ha Ha I got 4 times higher.’” Keep up the good work Percy!

uuugh.

May 8th, 2009
3:37 pm

Sorry for the typo…that should be Flo-Rida

NERDBEATER

May 8th, 2009
3:40 pm

I heard that Tebow had ridden a Flo…..wait a minute- isn’t that his male tudor in remedial English class?

PTC DAWG

May 8th, 2009
3:41 pm

Order? What? It’s TOO HOT for order. Don’t you know the Dawgs can’t perform in the heat?

Richt’s comments from earlier about Jax are still burning in my head. IF he’s scared, just say so.

Virginia Dawg

May 8th, 2009
3:43 pm

“Meaningless suspensions” for a “nothing game”? We open with Oklahoma State…..there! That game will be difficult with a full squad, let alone without some key players. However, I am fully confident that Coach Richt will make his decision based on what is best for the players involved (tough love) and his team (being fair and balanced).