Archive for September, 2011

Deciding who’s the ‘real’ Bulldogs in the SEC

Russ will play host to the "other" Bulldogs Saturday. (University of Georgia)

Russ will play host to the "other" Bulldogs Saturday. (University of Georgia)

My friend Harvey Parson and I have this (relatively) good-natured thing going where we joke about which of our teams is the “real” Bulldogs.

Of course, outside of the state of Mississippi, there’s no real bone of contention there, so to speak, but whenever UGA plays Mississippi State you hear the yipping of Maroon Bulldog fans (along with lots of bad doggy wordplay).

Speaking of which, I miss the old big red fireplug that the Georgia cheerleaders used to pull out on the field for Uga, don’t you?

Anyway, with interim Georgia mascot Russ playing host to pretender Bully this week, I asked Harvey whether he’s optimistic about Saturday’s game Between the Hedges, and he said he’s “feeling pretty good about the ‘real’ dawgs.”

OK, that could be read two ways, but Harvey made clear that he thinks MSU, which won 24-12 last year in Starkville in one of UGA’s worst games, can do it again.

His take: “I think our …

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Fan talk: Another week, another ‘must’ game

Every game this season is an important one for Coach Mark Richt. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Every game this season is an important one for Coach Mark Richt. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Let’s open up by noting that, again, due to unclaimed UGA student tickets, a limited number of tickets to Saturday’s football game against Mississippi State went on sale to the general public starting at 9 a.m. today and can be purchased until 3 p.m. Friday online or by calling the Athletic Association ticket office at 1-877-542-1231. Tickets are $45 each.

Now, let’s get to some Junkyard Mail …

Gerry Archer writes: Seems like every week we hear that it’s a “must win” for the Dawgs, and they’re saying it again as the Bizarro Bulldogs come to town. What’s your take on the importance of this week’s game?

When Georgia loses the SEC opener to South Carolina, it automatically ratchets up the importance of all the rest of the games on the Dogs’ conference slate. Toss in the heat under Mark Richt’s seat caused by an 0-2 start overall, and every week becomes a referendum on his future, at least in …

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Celebrating a UGA legend: Larry Munson at 89

Happy birthday, Larry! (Brand Sanderlin / AJC)

Happy birthday, Larry! (Brand Sanderlin / AJC)

Today’s Larry Munson’s 89th birthday! To mark the occasion, here’s a piece I wrote a couple of years ago about my favorite Munson calls. …

I remember when Larry Munson, who’d spent a season as part of the newly arrived Braves’ original broadcast team, first took over from Ed Thilenius as the voice of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Even as a ninth grader, I was already a Bulldog traditionalist, and like many fans, I found the gravelly, staccato bark of Munson took some getting used to after the smooth, mellow tones of Thilenius.

I didn’t dislike Munson. In fact, I felt he’d been wronged when he got crowded out of the Braves booth by the tremendous ego of Milo the Mouth. Still, I remember feeling that Munson came across on his early UGA broadcasts as something of an outsider.

For some reason, I recall the moment when Munson won me over and I finally considered him one of “us.” It was the 1968 game matching No. 5 Georgia with No. 12 Auburn …

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Revised 13-team SEC schedule shouldn’t endanger Georgia-Auburn rivalry

The revised SEC logo has 13 pennants. (SEC)

The revised SEC logo has 13 pennants. (SEC)

As MrSEC notes, you could easily get a headache trying to figure out how the SEC is going to make a 13-team schedule work next year, but from all indications that’s just what the league is going to be doing.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told Bulldogs Blog “that’s the direction we’ve heard, is that we’re moving along with 13,” and with Texas A&M now officially in the conference the SEC even issued a photo of the rejiggered logo with 13 pennants.

Indications are that the SEC probably will be sticking with eight conference games until a 14th team is added at sometime in the future. That leaves seven teams in one division (most likely the West) and six in the other.

The problem with handling unbalanced divisions, as MrSEC explains, is that while normally a schedule with eight conference games includes five division opponents and three games against opponents from the other division, with 13 teams three teams in the larger …

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Bulldogs at play: An Athens time capsule

Remember sitting out on the deck at T.K. Harty's Saloon in Athens?

Remember sitting out on the deck at T.K. Harty's Saloon in Athens?

I’m off today as usual, but I came across this piece I wrote for the Constitution 28 years ago in the archives and thought any Dogs fans who were in the Classic City around 1983 would get a kick out of it. It originally ran Sept. 23, 1983, with the headline, “Bulldogs at play: Where to party in funtown Athens.”

Several things strike me about it now: Much has changed, especially the prices. Also, we thought two dozen nightspots was a lot back then; now it seems like there’s that many bars and clubs in one block of downtown Athens. The Normaltown Flyers and Dirk Howell are still around, but I think the only surviving nightclub mentioned is the 40 Watt, and it’s long since moved to a different location. Man, I miss T.K.’s.

Anyway, I remember my brother Tim helped me do the legwork for this piece; I don’t think I exactly had to twist his arm. Think of it as an Athens time capsule. And for those who around UGA back …

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Scoreboard didn’t reflect domination by Dawgs

Orson Charles makes a great touchdown catch against Ole Miss. (Associated Press)

Orson Charles makes a great touchdown catch against Ole Miss. (Associated Press)

A few more thoughts and observations about Georgia’s win over Ole Miss. …

It’s true there was more grumbling in the Bulldog Nation than you’d normally expect after a win, and, yes, if Blair Walsh hadn’t missed those three field goals a 36-13 score would have better reflected Georgia’s near-complete domination of the game.

But the fact that the Dogs had to resort to Walsh four times showed Georgia’s offense still not quite ready for prime time.

It stands out even more when you look at the Dogs’ time of possession by quarter. After holding it 7:26 in the first quarter and 9:03 in the second, for a total of 24 points, Mike Bobo decided to try and sit on an 11-point lead and went conservative in his second-half playcalling.

So while the Dogs had the ball 10:56 in the third quarter and a whopping 11:11 in the fourth, they got only 3 points out of all that time on the field. Thus, the grumbling.

OK, …

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Defense, Crowell shine in Dogs’ first SEC win

georgiaLOGOGeorgia overcame Houston Nutt trickeration and a horrendous day on special teams to notch its first conference win of the season Saturday at Ole Miss.

Offensively, Georgia amassed 475 yards while keeping the ball over 38 minutes, with Isaiah Crowell running for 147 yards on 30 carries, but most of that came in the first half, as the Dogs sputtered their way through a second half that saw only 3 points scored.

The Dogs defense had an impressive day against an admittedly wretched Rebel offense, giving up only one score on a two-play sequence where Ole Miss completed a couple of long passes with a touch of razzle-dazzle.

Ole Miss’ other score came on a long trick play punt return that was poorly covered by Georgia. The Dogs also let the Rebs snag an onside kick (though it didn’t end up producing any points), return man Branden Smith let one of Ole Miss’ line-drive rugby punts go through his legs and get downed at the Georgia 1-yard line, and Blair Walsh had the worst day of his …

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Dogs have something to prove in Oxford

Isaiah Crowell needs to have a big day against Ole Miss. (Associated Press)

Isaiah Crowell needs to have a big day against Ole Miss. (Associated Press)

Some people expect Mark Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs to come out of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford with an easy win over embattled Houston Nutt’s Rebel Black Bears. Vegas has UGA favored by 10.

I think the Dogs ought to win this game, but I’m not so sure it won’t be a nailbiter.

Sure, Ole Miss got kicked around by Vandy last week and statistically its rent-a-quarterback offense is one of the worst in the country. They’ve also been prone to turning the ball over (Zack Stoudt, one of their two JUCO quarterbacks, threw five picks against the Commodores), which is likely to encourage Georgia’s sack-deprived pass rushers to step up the quarterback pressure even more.

But while both teams are looking to even their records and both coaches are feeling the heat from frustrated supporters, Nutt’s seat is considerably hotter than Richt’s, the Ole Miss AD has declared last week’s effort in Nashville unacceptable …

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Fan talk: Is Ole Miss really the ‘must win’ game?

Does Mark Richt face a must-not-lose game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Does Mark Richt face a must-not-lose game? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

It’s not been a good week for news out of Athens. First Rutherford Hall, then R.E.M. and the Georgia offensive line. But, as the old Southern saying goes, Thank God for Mississippi. Or perhaps not, as we’ll discuss when we check some Junkyard Mail. …

Stan the Dawg writes: I think the sports columnists had it all wrong (so what else is new?). They labeled South Carolina a “must win” for Mark Richt, but that never made any sense. Even for a coach on the hot seat, there’s no dishonor in losing to a talented, highly-ranked team. But Ole Miss is another matter. The Rebs are a truly bad team and got routed by Vandy! I think the Dawgs win easily Saturday, but what if they don’t? Is there any way Richt could survive a loss to Ole Miss?

You make a good point. This game could potentially be a lot more damaging to Richt’s job security than the South Carolina game. But it wouldn’t necessarily be an official jumping of the …

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Is raiding the ACC still a possibility for the SEC?

SEC LogoI was talking conference expansion yesterday with a Georgia fan who posited that the ACC upping its exit fee to $20 million pretty much kills any chance of the SEC getting Virginia Tech or FSU or Clemson.

Looks like we’ll end up with West Virginia or Missouri, he said, noting that he didn’t view Texas A&M and Missouri/West Virginia as adding much luster to the SEC, though the conference did enter this expansion mess in a stronger position than any other league, in terms of football (which is what’s driving all this change).

A couple of thoughts about all that. First, the only ACC team that’s made any noise at all about studying possible realignment is FSU, and while their president obviously was among those voting unanimously to increase the exit fee, that doesn’t necessarily mean Florida State might not still find it worth its while to pay the $20 million in order to join the SEC. I can’t really see any of the other ACC schools, like Clemson, paying that fee, though.

Whether …

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