Archive for March, 2014

Fan talk: Freshman tailbacks, Pruitt’s ‘dime,’ unionizing, Andy Landers and more!

Sony Michel comes to Athens as a highly-rated five-star recruit. (Eric Gay / special)

Sony Michel comes to Athens as a highly-rated five-star recruit. (Eric Gay / special)

I spent a couple of days this week recuperating from some oral surgery, but I’ve been keeping track of Georgia spring practices, where Jeremy Pruitt seems to have brought a fresh new energy to the entire team, not just the defense. Offensive line shuffling continues and their performance so far appears to be lagging a little behind the rest of the team, but good things are being heard about names like J.J. Green, Leonard Floyd, Jonathon Rumph and, thankfully, Todd Gurley. The Dawgs hold their first scrimmage Saturday, so that’ll no doubt give us more to talk about.

In the meantime, let’s get to some of the Junkyard Mail that’s arrived this week. …

Peoples Champ writes: What you think about Chubb & Michel? And could we be in for a major ground attack, with the 6-headed monster?

I don’t know about a six-headed monster, but even with J.J. Green moving over to defense, Georgia certainly will be …

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Fan talk: QB competition, Grantham-bashing, Kevin Butler’s tweet plus Ice Dawgs!

Hutson Mason hands off to Todd Gurley in practice this week. (University of Georgia)

Hutson Mason hands off to Todd Gurley in practice this week. (University of Georgia)

Let’s go straight to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

Randy Carter writes: Bill, what is it with Mark Richt/Mike Bobo annointing a starting quarterback without making him earn it? Just because Hutson Mason was Aaron Murray’s backup, why should that mean he’s automatically going to be the starter for the Dawgs next season? And yet Richt and Bobo don’t even seem to be considering having a real quarterback competition. If Mason is the best, let him prove it by beating out Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey in an honest to goodness battle where everybody starts out even. I just don’t think it’s healthy for the program to say that just because Mason is the veteran he gets to start. Anybody remember Joe T. and Joe Cox? How’d that work out for us?

This will be Mason’s fifth season in the program, and so it’s natural he’d have a better understanding of the playbook than the other quarterbacks. He was …

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A day that sums up the varying moral landscape of SEC athletics

UGA's Mark Richt confronts his disciplinary problems openly. (University of Georgia)

UGA's Mark Richt confronts his disciplinary problems openly. (University of Georgia)

So far, this week things are going pretty much the way they usually do during the offseason. Georgia has had some players get in trouble — and, unlike a lot of other schools, hasn’t turned a blind eye or covered it up. And Auburn has latched on to another reject.

You could hardly ask for a better example of the range of moral stances in today’s SEC: Georgia turns in its own players to police on a matter that probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day on some other campuses in the conference, while Auburn hires a basketball coach still under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA for lying to investigators when he was at Tennessee. Was there ever any doubt that if the disgraced Bruce Pearl wound up at an SEC school it would be Auburn?

On the matter of the football Dawgs, you could practically hear the oft-practiced groan from the Bulldog Nation Monday night when news broke that starting safety …

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Fan talk: Spring football concerns, new sack rule, SEC Network and more!

georgia floridaIt’s going to be the red vs. the blue from now on in Jacksonville, as University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley revealed this week that the two schools have agreed to both wear their home football jerseys in their annual game.

“It’s just something a little different,” Foley said. “To be honest, a fan suggested it. He sent me a picture of what they used to do when Coach Spurrier was playing. He had a blue jersey on and whoever was tackling him had a red jersey on.

“It’s a unique rivalry and just a little different something to do. There is no particular reason. Georgia agreed and we agreed. At the end of the day, you’ve still got to win the ballgame no matter what color jersey you have on. I think it’s just a little something that makes the game even more unique.”

I like it!

Now, let’s get to some Junkyard Mail. …

Phil Daly writes: Bill, I know everyone’s going to be watching the defense at G-Day, but I think I’m almost as concerned with having to …

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Bulldog Bites: Appreciating Mike Bobo, rewarding Mark Fox, anticipating Hutson Mason

Mike Bobo's offense has carried the Georgia team of late. (University of Georgia)

Mike Bobo's offense has carried the Georgia team of late. (University of Georgia)

Remember when Mike Bobo used to be Bulldog Nation’s favorite whipping boy? Then the Georgia offense went stratospheric under the former-quarterback-turned-offensive-coordinator (with a hand from Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley) … and Todd Grantham came along.

More and more Bobo’s contribution to Mark Richt’s program is being appreciated. Last year, Bobo signed a new three-year deal that gave him a decent raise to a salary of $575,000 after years of lagging on the list of SEC coordinators’ pay. And now, after managing to overcome a catastrophic run of injuries last season to still have one of the nation’s best offenses, Bobo has been rewarded by having another year tacked on to that contract, which now runs through the 2016 football season and its bowl games.

Athletic director Greg McGarity said Richt wanted Bobo and new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to be “on the same page as far as the …

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Where should Aaron Murray rank among UGA’s all-time greatest quarterbacks?

Aaron Murray rewrote the record books during his four years at Georgia. (University of Georgia)

Aaron Murray rewrote the record books during his four years at Georgia. (University of Georgia)

A couple of media mentions of Aaron Murray this week show the widespread respect the former Georgia quarterback earned despite falling a few yards and seconds short of his quest to bring a championship to Athens.

Ranking the best SEC quarterbacks of the 16-year BCS era, Athlon Sports put Murray at No. 5, behind Florida’s Tim Tebow, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and Auburn drive-by star Cam Newton.

Said Athlon: “When it comes to statistics, no SEC player in history was more productive than Murray. He owns the SEC record for passing yards and touchdown passes. His 137 total touchdowns trail only Tebow and his 13,562 yards of total offense bested Tebow’s record by a large margin (12,232). He is one of only three Georgia quarterbacks to beat Florida in three straight seasons and he posted at least 3,000 yards passing in four consecutive seasons. He is No. 1 …

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UGA’s McGarity answers fans on football scheduling, canned stadium music, improved silver britches and more!

Greg McGarity touched on a wide range of subjects in his latest online chat. (University of Georgia)

Greg McGarity touched on a wide range of subjects in his latest online chat. (University of Georgia)

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity held another one of his periodic live chats Wednesday afternoon at Georgiadogs.com, and while much of it was your usual generic administrator-talk, there were some interesting tidbits scattered throughout the half-hour session.

On the subject of scheduling, McGarity said UGA is “anxiously awaiting” the release of the 2015 conference schedule, which “should be announced before the May spring meetings in Destin.”

Asked if he thought the new four-team College Football Playoff would mean an even bigger push for a nine-game conference schedule in the SEC, and whether this would help the SEC get more teams in the playoff, McGarity said, “Not in my opinion, because eight SEC games allows each school to determine their own strength of schedule. One size doesn’t fit all.”

A fan noted that “this year’s [Georgia home] schedule has the right mix” but …

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Fan talk: Offensive line disappointments, game day rap music, Richt in Texas and more!

David Andrews is one of the offensive linemen returning. (University of Georgia)

David Andrews is one of the offensive linemen returning. (University of Georgia)

Let’s get straight to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail

Albert Brown writes: It’s like the movie “Groundhog Day” with UGA offensive line recruiting. Been that way since Jim Donnan. Bill, no one seems to care. Why does UGA struggle so badly every year? Frustrating. Everyone gets our linemen but UGA. To date we have no one committed and no one calling UGA their leader. Something is very wrong and has been wrong for a long time. When might things change? Problem needs to be addressed or even acknowledged.

Albert, you’re right that the offensive line has been a trouble spot for Richt teams ever since Donnan’s players graduated. Whether it’s a recruiting problem or a development problem is tough to say — probably a bit of both — but the Dogs never seem to have a dominating OL, even when it’s full of veterans. Looking ahead to next season, OL coach Will Friend has several players …

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