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

Otto

May 8th, 2009
3:45 pm

If DawgGirl’s post is true this sort of thing used to never make the news. Further the police would let the coach know and he would take care of it. I don’t see it as news or anything for the team punish as the police will do that. If a student or employee gets a traffic ticket is any firther action taken? This in’t a DUI or a Bar Room Brawl from the rumors.

Alvin

May 8th, 2009
3:57 pm

As a current UGA student, who has classes with all three of the accused players, it comes as no surprise to hear about this. While I do believe the story about them riding scooters down a one way street at 3 a.m., I would not be surprised if this had to do with academics. I am not here to bash my fellow students in anyway. But, these “student”-athletes get away with whatever they want in class. They are put into easy majors (yes, I am bashing myself here) and basically let their tutors and T.A.’s do their work. It also helps that the head of the department is on the athletic board.

NERDBEATER

May 8th, 2009
4:06 pm

Alvin, this goes on at EVERY institute in America, and always has. If you don’t think it does, visit any campus anywhere! Also, I find it just a little “coincidental” that you have a class with all 3 of the players. That seems kind of “convenient”, don’t you think?

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
4:33 pm

To Alvin.

So what easy major are Simon and Theodore majoring in?

DawgMan

May 8th, 2009
4:41 pm

This stuff is no big deal—no suspensions are needed. Players at florida and bama get in trouble all the time but never get suspended. With meyer and saban, it’s “just win baby”–Richt needs to stop all this disciplinary stuff and let the players have some fun.

Einsteindawg

May 8th, 2009
5:09 pm

Mr. Grinch, thanks for your response, and btw, please return Christmas. My comments were not meant for riding mopeds or any of the normal things college students do, but for drugs…cheating…asault…skipping class. Those offenses, if proved, should be one and done. The others like the mopeds at 3:00 AM or riding a segway (sp) without a license, shouldn’t even be considered. I don’t know about you, but an athletic scholarship should be something special special. Any scholarship should be special! I surely don’t want my contibutions wasted on some punk/thug that has no respect for himself or for others. Let him go to FSU. Peace.

Mr. Grinch

May 8th, 2009
5:21 pm

To Einsteindawg

I agree with you for the most part. Skipping class? I don’t know about you, but when I was at georgia I would use the max allowed by the professor. The serious stuff – drugs, assault, cheating – hell yeah, ship them off. Based on recent events I don’t know if FSU would be their first choice. Probably UT.

Duluth Gator

May 8th, 2009
5:38 pm

DawgMan, is having fun getting in trouble? Meyer has gotten rid of a bunch of kids and I for one can’t understand why these kids can’t behave. They have an opportunity that many kids would love to have and they flat out blow it. Richt can’t hold their hands 24/7 and neither can any other coach. It is time for the kids to grow up and accept responsibility for their actions, and it is also time for people to stop pointing the finger and blaming the coach for all of the off the field problems.

Native Atlantan

May 8th, 2009
5:45 pm

It sounds like we may need to follow the lead of Tech, Florida and Tennessee. Tech can teach you how to be thrown on probation, have academic issues (although their people will tell you all basketball player and football players are ALL brilliant). And where are the 300LB OL women beating goons Mike Mooney and Jim Lavin these days?

Let’s follow Channing Crowder down at Florida where you can almost kill someone but stay out of jail, the classroom and stay on the field. Once hanging around him for a while, maybe one could be promoted to holding up 7-11 stores from Miami to Bradenton to Jacksonville….maybe you can find some Jamar Hornsby clones and steal credit of deceased people.

At UT, I just love how they recruit and covet players arrested for rape. They just took a commitment from another a week or two ago where Hood had this on his record at 13…..but I’m sure the mental experts in Knoxville have this under control. Anyone remember Jason Respert?

Do we need to take this to Alabama, South Carolina, Big 10 (yes, you have trash up there too) or how about the Reggie Bush Riviera where Southern Cal football players can live with some millionaires on the beach and have thousands and thousands of dollars spending cash.

Mark Richt is a hypocrite

May 8th, 2009
6:02 pm

Just like his pappy ..Coach Bobby Bowden.

THUGA

May 8th, 2009
6:09 pm

Hello Athens police 911 how can I help you? (caller)Help My house is being broken into right now! Send the police!! ….Athens police 911 operator says” Just get the UGA player jersey number we will arrest the player later!

bama12titles

May 8th, 2009
6:32 pm

If the worst thing 3 players did was drive down the wrong side of the street at 3 am who the hell really cares? Have some freaking perspective.

A poster on another blog however said that one of the players tested positive for pot and that was the reason for his suspension. On the other 2 he wasn’t sure of the rule they broke. But again who cares? Its something that will be handled internally by CMR so unless someone is arrested which didn’t happen there isn’t any need for flaming by other fans.

I’m obviously a Bama fan and I would say that every major college program is gonna have its share of players do stupid things or get into some type of trouble. With 105 players allowed on the roster (85 of them scholarship) then if they only reflect the at large general student population then its a given that young men are going to do stupid crap from time to time and get into trouble. Sometimes trivial, dumb stuff like underage drinking(how many college kids haven’t drinken underage?) to something more serious.

I hope none of my Bama brethren are jumping on this cause its only a matter of time before a bama player gets arrested, or a UT player, or a UF player, or an Auburn player, etc.

Gatorzone

May 8th, 2009
6:44 pm

Why would richt suspend players over a moped violation? Is there more to the story? All programs have problem students. No need to cast aspersions unless your program is perfect. Ours certainly is not, so I will not.

Gatorzone

May 8th, 2009
6:48 pm

Enter your comments here

Gatorzone

May 8th, 2009
6:53 pm

Get a grip people. This happens everywhere b

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2009
7:05 pm

I heard what they did was pretty embarassing. I heard that all three of them were caught jumping to conclusions without knowing anything more than internet rumors. For that, they should indeed be suspended. It’s not a behavior that big boys aught to be proud of.

macrotech

May 8th, 2009
7:43 pm

Sounds like college to me…. willing to bet that moped was dragging its’ frame on the pavement. This is silly! Hardly, worth the attention. AND i’m a Tech fan! Without a doubt, this is just evidence that we’re ALL desperate for football to begin! GO TECH!!!

Phoneguy

May 8th, 2009
7:51 pm

Well said AltDawg…Rumors people, just rumors.

Phoneguy

May 8th, 2009
7:52 pm

Spoken even better macrotech!

Edith

May 8th, 2009
7:55 pm

The suspension, for a certain number of games, seems to be not working. If you continue to do the same thing over and over and get the same results, try another strategy. I would make it more up close and personal. If there are players who broke the rules, let them face their team each day and tell the team their sad story over and over. Tell what they did to hurt the team. Involve their parents and hope the combination of school and home working together will produce the desired results. These players are hurting themselves and the team. Stop it now!!!!

Phoneguy

May 8th, 2009
7:59 pm

Ya know. I never went to college. I lucked up and got into a telecommunications job after high school. Point being is, I couldn’t tell you guys the crap I did in and after highschool. Put it in perspective man, these are kids just enjoying the best part of their young lives. I agree with earlier posts though.. drugs,guns,crime….C YA…….Oh Yeah Tech,Gators,Vols Suck

Phoneguy

May 8th, 2009
8:00 pm

Thats a great approach Edith. Thats really a good idea

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2009
8:15 pm

Stop what Edith? you have no idea, what, or if, they did anything. Stop what….. having a name that people know?

DOGZILLA

May 8th, 2009
8:53 pm

They should be commended for getting three big bodies on a moped. That might be as impressive as achieving cold fission (nudge to you Techies). Seriously, I did a lot, lot worse in college and it never made headlines. Give Richt time to ascertain the facts before the rush to judgment.

Big Bee

May 8th, 2009
8:55 pm

Why don’t everyone that is not a UGA alum or fan, just get off this blog. It is none of our business. Wehave enough problems now and will have more. Just get off their case and let them handle it. You know how hard they will come down on us the next time we have a problem.

Dawg_Em_Out

May 8th, 2009
9:16 pm

out of all these ppl posting on here, about 5 of those ppl have common sense. its funny to see how you all rip each team, though if it was your teams ‘mistake’.. it wouldnt be as big a deal. anyhow its not known what any of these players did, so nobody can judge yet imo. get the facts first.

AltamahaDawg

May 8th, 2009
9:22 pm

I can’t understand why are they even asking Richt’s mother about this? Don’t bother her this weekend.

daltondawg

May 9th, 2009
12:04 am

Any man who posted comments will honestly tell you they did something much worse in college or when they were that age……..and never got arrested.

FL DAWG

May 9th, 2009
12:36 am

Reported suspensions…not fact yet, Get all the facts before you make a judgement. If it is only riding a moped the wrongway on a street, then I bet there will be a ticket and nothing more…as it should be. The driver will have to pay the fine and that will be punishment enough. If there is more to it than that, and there probably is, then the coaching staff will handle it as they see fit. Depending on past infractions or lack there of, the punishment will fit the crime and the person involved. I have confidence that CMR will handle it accordingly.

SamoanDawg

May 9th, 2009
12:53 am

I heard Notre Dame runs a perfect program. None of their players get in trouble. How does Weiss do it?

Btw, I can’t stand notre lame….

m=saintsimonslover

May 9th, 2009
7:37 am

I bet both of you are typing your STUPID posts on a lap top while you both are waiting in line for Star Trek tickets. PLEASE take a break for a couple of days OK??

jbeggs

May 9th, 2009
8:43 am

Moped down a 1-way skreet. Now there is a real discipline issue…Not!!! 100 lbs of Mary Jane in your trunk is nothing compared to that. Or beating the he!! out of a girl in a pizza joint – petty crimes. We’ve got convicted reapists at UT, murderers and drug abusers at UF (congrats on the MNC by the way), terrorists at tech, and break kids cods over moped violations…even if alcohol is involved (don’t know that to be true). Yep, we have issues.

Preston

May 9th, 2009
10:47 am

Most college town cops would have never allowed this to become an issue in the first place. Athens doesn’t cut the UGA players (or anyone else for that matter) ANY slack. Everyone on this blog talking trash about UGA should consider that before they open their mouths. I’ll bet the folks down in Auburn, Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, etc. give the local sherriff a very nice supplemental income to keep things quiet. The sherriff in Gainesville, FL has the toughest job though. He can’t keep serious felonies quiet.

Maddog

May 9th, 2009
11:23 am

macrotech – as always you are one of the opposition’s voice of reason. If the problems are bad, we’ll certainly hear about it and I’m also certain CMR will handle it.

I’m just glad that every misstep I made during my youth didn’t hit the papers for all the world to see and criticize.

Rick G - FOTR

May 9th, 2009
11:57 am

Ahhhh! Diamond Dogs! One of my very favorite Bowie albums!
………..but Carol Channing was not on the record!???! Fact check please!!

jason

May 9th, 2009
12:22 pm

what were the offenses that Houston and co. committed?

Percy Harvey

May 9th, 2009
12:53 pm

bank walker

May 9th, 2009
1:02 pm

Just spoke to Richt on the phone and he said that it really isn’t anything to worry about. Carry on

jarvis

May 9th, 2009
1:39 pm

NERDBEATER, I’m a UGA season ticket holder not a Tech fan, but don’t let that get in the way of your baseless rant.

RamblinWreck

May 9th, 2009
2:26 pm

Pandemonium at U[sic]GA as officials cannot decide whether to change their fight song to “Dueling Banjos” or the “Cops” theme song

shane#1

May 9th, 2009
2:42 pm

Let’s see what facts we really know. 1- CMR does not issue suspensions for traffic tickets. 2- UGA reports all arrests, so nobody got arrested. 3- Violation of team rules means just that, team rules, not laws. So if suspensions ensue and a mo-ped was involved it would probably mean being out after curfew or doing some dangerous stunts on said mo-ped. Since nobody really knows what happened and Richt is under no obligation to tell us which of HIS rules were violated, if any, I suggest we wait untill someone actually gets suspended before we worry about next fall. BTW, team rules are Richt’s rules. He and he alone will decide what punishment, if any, is necessary. Anyone who disagrees is free to go coach his own team and punish them any way he chooses.

dawggirl

May 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

Well, 6 games for Figgins and two for Houston. Tony Wilson is already leaving the team due to injury, so he escapes suspension. I want to see everybody come out now and say that Richt is soft on punishment. We still have no idea what happened, but it’s clear he’s not putting up with it. We only have one “gimme” game on our schedule this year, and it’s late in the season. So all the haters can just shut the hell up.

Maybe Next Year

May 9th, 2009
7:30 pm

Whatever Dawg girl, Richt probably took a hard line because the misdeeds were so severe that he had no choice. Figgins probably interrupted Ritch’s sun tan session or stole his hair care products. Moped my a$$.

ReptilesRule

May 9th, 2009
7:43 pm

THE TRUTH IS…we can ALL point fingers at each other and ridicule but EVERY program has their own problems and houses to maintain and sometimes clean. Look, fact is, Urban Meyer as well as many coaches, tries to get as involved as he can with the players lives but guess what? You can’t hold their hands 24/7. And with the way society is today, if all you recruited was the Tim Tebows of the world, you couldn’t field a defensive front seven! Sad, but true. All you can do is clearly define the rules and consequences for breaking them, inforce those rules evenhandedly, monitor the players best as possible, teach,instruct and counsel, have an open door policy, rely on your team leaders, and cross you fingers ’cause no matter if you do ALL of those things, you-know-what still happens,

dawggirl

May 9th, 2009
9:31 pm

Okay, now that word’s coming out of what it is, I understand the reason for the number of games. I truly don’t understand why players cannot understand that they’re under a microscope.

Joey

May 9th, 2009
9:39 pm

Damn it’s getting old holding my breath every off-season waiting for the next suspension or arrest. Is it just the UGA campus life or do other big schools have better relationships with their hometown police force?

SamoanDawg

May 9th, 2009
10:19 pm

I don’t know how true it is, but I heard these knuckleheads were caught smoking weeds. They must’ve been with Percy Harvin in Atl.. were they dehyradrated too. Are you friggin kidding me?!? If I was Jeff Owen I would lay a wood on these hard headed stubborn knuckleheads… run stadiums.. after every two a days. It just frustrates and irritates the snart out of me. Honestly, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if these guys were kicked off the team.. I don’t care if they’re our best players. I believe in second chances, but dam.. I don’t think some of these guys really care or respect the program, coaches and their teammates.

Happy Mother’s Day to All you Knuckleheads! Go home and and say sorry to your mama for the foolish act you committed.

Dawgtime

May 9th, 2009
11:13 pm

Again, why are other team fans reading and commenting on UGA blogs? Gator fans placing the halos on their heads and casting stones. You’ve got to be kidding. What school produced Percy Harvin? Yelp, Florida. This is a kid that provoked a racially motivated fight in high school. Knowing he is going to get drug tested during the physicals for the draft, this genius indulgences in some marijuana. Pure brilliance. I guess this kid never smoked weed at Florida. The truth is that as long as you win you get a free pass in Gatorland. Andre Smith goes to the combine close to 360 pounds. That is pure stupidity. Before these other fans get diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain, they should take a look at their athletes. The problems that exist today are that the hip hop culture has produced a culture of apathetic kids that feel a sense of entitlement. Take a look at the NBA. That is nothing but a bunch of thugs. If they tested for marijuana, the league wouldn’t exist. Honesty, integrity, fairness, compassion, courtesy, personal accountability, and willingness to help other are all obsolete concepts in the modern culture. Hmmmmmm and we wonder why are economy is shot. Total irresponsible behavior. We need a cultural revolution in this country. Take a look at Travis Henry, Mr UT. This moron goes out and makes babies all over the place with absolutely no intention of raising any of them. Now he is crying because he has to pay for his irresponsible actions. Grow up and become a man. UT signs a child rapist. Hmmmmm. I wonder how he would be received if he victimized Coach Kiffin’s kids. People, we all need to wake up. Yes, old fashioned values are what this country was built upon. Now the new anarchist leeches are sucking the country dry. Coach Richt needs to more a stronger disciplinarian.

Fools Gold

May 10th, 2009
12:07 am

You see mutt fans will just not listen…. Baseball team is unraveling and now the football team. Georgia college sports program has a long way to go before it can be taken seriously. Dream on is now only left for the fans in mutt nation . The Dawgs are in big trouble and you heard here from Fools Gold! I told you so!!!!!!

Columbus Dawg

May 10th, 2009
5:55 am

Coach Richt can punish players any way he wants, but the opinion of a lot of contributors/season ticket holders/LARGE CONTRIBUTORS/SKY BOX holders, are as follows: if the violation is not so bad that game suspensions will suffice, then so will other means of punishment. The bottom line is, Justin is the only pass rushing DE we have. By keeping him out of the first two games could mean losses, especially in the opener on the road. The opinion is that everyone in the Dawg Nation should not have to weather the effects of the punishment. Richt should take time to devise punishments to fit the crimes other than game suspensions in some instances. The opinion is that it is Mark Richt’s job to have top notch players in these important positions on the field, period. No excuses.