Archive for January, 2011

What should UGA do about tailgating troublemakers?

UGA students want the tailgate tents to return to North Campus. (Photo by Bill King)

UGA students want the tailgate tents to return to North Campus. (Photo by Bill King)

The issue of what to do about tailgating before football games at UGA reared its head again this week.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported that while students want the school to ease up on restrictions imposed last season on tailgating on the historic North Campus, the administration instead may crack down on tailgaters in other parts of campus.

The Student Government Association has asked the university to drop the prohibition of tents and tables longer than 4 feet and the rule of no tailgating on campus until four hours before kickoff. The ban on kegs, televisions, grills or other cookers, generators and household furniture such as couches on North Campus would remain in place under the student proposal.

The restrictions were put in place after UGA was embarrassed by the continued trashing of North Campus and the damage left behind by fans during the 2009 season, which had a lot of night games …

Continue reading What should UGA do about tailgating troublemakers? »

Mark Richt’s ‘Dream Team’ picks up momentum

Ray Drew is the latest to say he'll join the "Dream Team." (Ray Drew)

Ray Drew is the latest to say he'll join the "Dream Team." (Ray Drew)

Our Chip Towers reports five-star Thomas County Central defensive end Ray Drew announced this morning he’s going to become a Georgia Bulldog.

Perhaps some of those snarky folks who laughed at Mark Richt’s “Dream Team” gambit are taking it somewhat more seriously now.

Snagging Drew is a biggie not just because he’s rated a five-star player, but because Georgia badly needs talent on its defensive line. Now if  UGA can get another stellar DE, Asheville’s Jeoffrey Pagan, who recently decommitted from Clemson and is reportedly favoring the Dogs, plus sign junior college nose guard John Jenkins (who won’t announce until Feb 5), Todd Grantham’s 3-4 will be looking a lot more formidable.

And then, of course, there’s still running back Isaiah Crowell, who’ll make his decision public on signing day on ESPNU.

The Dream Team is far from complete at this point. But it’s closer to reality than many ever thought it would …

Continue reading Mark Richt’s ‘Dream Team’ picks up momentum »

The only football line where UGA rules in SEC: Bottom line

Georgia's defensive line and their offensive brethren got pushed around last season, the new strength coach acknowledges. (The State)

Georgia's defensive line and their offensive brethren got pushed around last season, the new strength coach acknowledges. (The State)

The Dogs’ offensive and defensive lines might have gotten pushed around pretty regularly this past season, but in the most recent financial figures available Georgia’s football program ruled the bottom line in the SEC, according to Forbes magazine.

UGA ranked No. 1 in the conference in football profitability in 2009-2010 according to U.S. Department of Education data, and it wasn’t even close. Georgia’s profit of $52.5 million was $8 more than second-place Florida netted. In fact, Georgia was the second most profitable football program in the country, behind only Texas.

In terms of overall revenue from gate receipts, broadcast revenues, appearance guarantees and options, concessions, and advertising, Alabama ranked tops in the SEC at $71.8 million, with Georgia second at $70.8 million.

But while Alabama was also the top spender in the SEC on …

Continue reading The only football line where UGA rules in SEC: Bottom line »

Fox faced tough call in ‘heartbreaker’ loss to Gators

Jeremy Price said it was a mental collapse, not fatigue, that doomed the Dogs in the second OT against Florida. (Associated Press)

Jeremy Price said it was a mental collapse, not fatigue, that doomed the Dogs in the second OT against Florida. (Associated Press)

Lots of debate among UGA fans after Tuesday night’s game over whether the Dogs should have fouled Florida’s Erving Walker at the end of the first overtime rather than letting him make an admittedly surprising 30-foot 3-point shot.

Georgia was leading 85-82 with 6.7 seconds left and the conventional thinking in such situations is that you foul, give up a couple of free throws and get the ball and the game.

But Georgia didn’t foul Walker and didn’t even cover him that closely, apparently relying on distance and the long odds against him making the shot.

Coach Mark Fox maintained after the game that it was his decision not to foul. Partly, he said, that was because “we have always trusted our defense.”

But more to the point was “the way the rebounding was going in the second half,” he said. While Dogs had dominated the glass in the first half, the …

Continue reading Fox faced tough call in ‘heartbreaker’ loss to Gators »

Who are the coolest Bulldog athletes of all time?

Dan Magill, the quintessential Georgia Bulldog. (University of Georgia)

Dan Magill, the quintessential Georgia Bulldog. (University of Georgia)

GQ magazine has released its list of the 25 Coolest Athletes of All Time, honoring icons who in addition to their sporting achievements also possessed a certain grace, style or swagger that made them fan favorites.

The list, included in the February issue of GQ, which has nine different covers, includes such names as Muhammad Ali, “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer, Pele and Ted Turner (as a yachtsman).

This got me to thinking about who would qualify for a list of the coolest Georgia Bulldogs of all time. Here are 15 names I came up with, listed alphabetically:

Champ Bailey. A virtual iron man for the Dogs, playing on offense, defense and special teams and winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player after his junior year at UGA. He’s gone on to be a top NFL defensive player for Washington and Denver.

Teresa Edwards. In addition to starring for the Lady Dogs, she …

Continue reading Who are the coolest Bulldog athletes of all time? »

A clue to what’s been missing in Dogs’ running game

Nobody at UGA worked harder than Thomas Brown. (Associated Press)

Nobody at UGA worked harder than Thomas Brown. (Associated Press)

While a lot of fingers have pointed at departed Georgia assistant coach Stacy Searels’ underperforming offensive line as a big reason for the Dogs’ running game being only the 10th best in the SEC this past season, there obviously was more to it than that.

The fact that thanks to injuries and disciplinary problems Georgia rarely had both its top two running backs, Washaun Ealey and Caleb King, playing in the same game was a factor. As was Mike Bobo’s tendency to abandon the ground attack for long stretches and his insistence on trying to run Carlton Thomas up the middle at inopportune moments in close games.

But at times there also seemed to be something lacking in the effort of the backs themselves. Rarely did you see Ealey or King break tackles.

And I think maybe you can get an inkling into why that was the case from comments made Friday by former Georgia tailback Thomas Brown, who’s joined the new strenth and …

Continue reading A clue to what’s been missing in Dogs’ running game »

Richt’s ‘Dream Team’ could provide the spark UGA badly needs

Malcolm Mitchell (left) and Jay Rome committing to Georgia is a major coup for Mark Richt. (Chip Towers / AJC)

Malcolm Mitchell (left) and Jay Rome committing to Georgia is a major coup for Mark Richt. (Chip Towers / AJC)

Georgia landing a verbal commitment from Valdosta’s Jay Rome was huge.

It’s not that the five-star player, rated the nation’s top tight end prospect by ESPNU, likely will be needed to make a big impact immediately on the field for “Tight End U,” as he called it. Rome certainly will be given the chance to play early, but the Dogs are well stocked at the position with Orson Charles, Aron White and Artie Lynch, even if Bruce Figgins switches to fullback.

No, Rome’s biggest immediate impact might come before he ever even signs on the dotted line with UGA, by giving momentum to Mark Richt’s alternately praised and derided concept of a signing an in-state “Dream Team.”

After making his announcement on national TV, Rome was on hand Thursday night as Valdosta teammate Malcolm Mitchell, a Top 30 prospect at wide receiver and/or cornerback, also put on a cap with the Georgia …

Continue reading Richt’s ‘Dream Team’ could provide the spark UGA badly needs »

What should UGA fans make of the Stacy Searels situation?

Stacy Searels has drawn a lot of flak for his underperforming lines at UGA. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Stacy Searels has drawn a lot of flak for his underperforming lines at UGA. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

l’m not seeing too many tears shed among Bulldog fans over the apparent impending departure of offensive line coach Stacy Searels for the same job at Texas.

Oh, sure, the timing could be better, coming just a couple of weeks before national signing day. And there’s the concern expressed by a few that Searels jumping ship is just one more sign that Mark Richt’s program is sinking fast.

But that latter view ignores the obvious fact that even if the Richt program wasn’t facing a likely do-or-die turning point next season, the Texas job would be somewhat better than a lateral move for Searels. Despite the Longhorns having suffered a losing season in 2010, that program mints money and is a choice spot for any coach. Of course, the chance of Searels being out of a job in Athens next year if Richt is fired adds to the attractiveness of a move to Austin at this point in his career.

It’s …

Continue reading What should UGA fans make of the Stacy Searels situation? »

Dogs must win those close ones to be an NCAA team

Mark Fox watches his Dogs lose a nailbiter to Tennessee. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Mark Fox watches his Dogs lose a nailbiter to Tennessee. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Tough loss for Mark Fox’s hoop Dogs Tuesday night.

Yeah, the officials should have called a foul on Tennessee’s Brian Williams as he went over Chris Barnes’ back for the rebound that gave him the winning shot for the Vols. But as Barnes said after the game, “At a critical time like this in the SEC, you’re not going to get that kind of call in the league. We know that.”

Still, that noncall is not why Georgia lost the game. The Dogs were outmuscled under the basket most of the night, with the Vols outscoring Georgia in the paint and outrebounding them, too. Plus Tennessee’s bench was twice as productive as Georgia’s.

After a tough week and a half in which Georgia upset Kentucky at home and then split two games on an extended road trip complicated by the snowstorm, it wasn’t really surprising that Georgia didn’t come out looking all that sharp Tuesday night. Consistency still isn’t one of this …

Continue reading Dogs must win those close ones to be an NCAA team »

‘Be True to Your School’ cuts both ways with Dooley, Tarkenton

Is Vince Dooley a Dawg, a Tiger ... or both? (Associated Press)

Is Vince Dooley a Dawg, a Tiger … or both? (Associated Press)

I heard from a couple of fans who were bothered by the way Vince Dooley concluded a phone interview this week on Tim Brando’s nationally syndicated Sporting News Radio show. The former UGA head football coach and athletic director signed off with a low-key “War Eagle.”

On top of Dooley pulling for his son Derek when the Vols played the Dogs (albeit quietly at home, away from prying TV cameras), this latest departure from the true Red and Black path might seem like blasphemy to some. But I have no problem with Vince celebrating his alma mater’s first national championship since 1957 (back when he was on the Tigers’ coaching staff). Besides having coached there before coming to UGA, Dooley played football at Auburn and is a graduate of the former Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

OK, granted, Dooley spent more years as a Dawg than in orange and blue and it’s UGA that put up a statue of him.

But I’m more than willing to …

Continue reading ‘Be True to Your School’ cuts both ways with Dooley, Tarkenton »