Live from Nashville: Resistible force meets movable object

Twenty minutes before kickoff. I kid you not. (Photo by M. Bradley)

The stands at Memorial Stadium 20 minutes before kickoff. I kid you not. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Nashville – First off, it’s chilly. Forty-three degrees and overcast at present (9:23 Central Time). The few Georgia fans who gathered for the Dawg Walk were wearing coats, scarves, gloves and stocking caps. And they still didn’t look warm.

Speaking of cold … Vanderbilt has the nation’s 108th-best (or, put another way, 13th-worst) passing offense. Lucky for the Commodores that a truckload of magic elixir has just pulled into town. The top passing performance by an SEC quarterback this season was Ryan Mallett of Arkansas on Sept. 19. The third-best was by Stephen Garcia of South Carolina on Sept. 12. The fourth-best was by Jonathan Crompton of Tennessee last week. Guess the common denominator.

You got it. Willie Martinez and his defense.

Say this for Willie: He has single-handedly rearranged the standings of every SEC fantasy league. If you simply drafted the quarterback playing against Georgia in any given week, you’ve clinched first place. (And it’s only midseason!)

OK, enough about Willie. (Really, though, can we ever say too much about Willie?) If ever a game versus Vandy can be said to be a big game, this is it. This is the difference between being 4-3 headed to Jacksonville or looking at a season of 6-6 or (shudder) worse.

Me, I think Georgia wins by two touchdowns. But I thought Georgia would win when last it traveled to the Volunteer state, and we know how that turned out. No matter what happens here today, I’ll be available for observations, bon mots (or, more accurately, bon nots) and song requests. So join me, won’t you?

1,805 comments Add your comment

Chris

October 17th, 2009
10:53 am

Ranked somewhere in the top five here for sure by the time I finish typing

Tom

October 17th, 2009
10:54 am

GT-VT at 6:00 and they sent you to UGA-Vandy?

Short straw, Mark?

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
10:54 am

Not in the top five. The top one. Kudos, Chris.

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
10:55 am

Let me note that I had Georgia-LSU and Tech-FSU the past two weeks. Pretty good games, no?

defactodawg

October 17th, 2009
10:55 am

Mark, Thanks for being there. After a week of fuming and gnashing of teeth, what’s your gut feel for what may come after the season? I look forward to reading the comments all afternoon.

innocent bystander

October 17th, 2009
10:55 am

Much as it hurts to admit it: A great headline.

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
10:58 am

Thanks, Innocent. I wrote that one myself.

And DeFacto, I would imagine there will be a major staff change or two. I don’t see Willie Martinez coming back, at least not as coordinator.

Lenwood

October 17th, 2009
10:59 am

Jeff, I love your humor. Keep it up.

Lenwood

October 17th, 2009
10:59 am

Oh, I though with such a funny tagline this was surely Jeff Schultz. Sorry Bradley.

Blindog

October 17th, 2009
10:59 am

Mark,what do you think needs to happen to make next year not be more of the same? Young players play more? Change coaches?

defactodawg

October 17th, 2009
11:03 am

what’s your take on the dilemma to come if Martinez is fired and Garner doesn’t get the DC job? Recruiting may suffer but I don’t think the new DC should be forced to keep any existing staff, it should be his choice. Methinks the entire defensive staff likely needs to go.

tired

October 17th, 2009
11:04 am

I don’t remember the last time I felt like it was a pain in the you know what to go watch a Georgia game. It has become a drudgery and no fun.

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
11:05 am

Good question. But do you think any coach on this defensive staff deserves to be promoted?

defactodawg

October 17th, 2009
11:07 am

The only way change works is to hire a new DC and allow him to bring his folks. I wouldn’t promote anyone from the current staff.

The Grinch

October 17th, 2009
11:07 am

Bless you, Mark, for giving us hope. We have one of (if not THE) best athletic departments across the board in the country. Given the rabid fan base, marketing success, recruiting success and past on the field success, I just don’t see how Damon Evans can allow Willie Martinez to continue running the football program into the ground (pardon the pun). Something MUST be done. Getting destroyed by a crappy Vols team and then having their smart-@$$ coach flying his helicopter in our state and getting our future talent must not be allowed.

Clint

October 17th, 2009
11:08 am

Hey Mark,

How bout Ron Zook for DC? He stands to be out at Illinois. Has that fiery streak much like BVG. Let him concentrate soley on running a Defense and he can recruit Florida.

tired

October 17th, 2009
11:08 am

Oh, and I think Willie’s new name should be “ole’ ” (spelling?). He should train matadors. Lets face it, our defense is one, big red blanket for teams to run through.

Martin

October 17th, 2009
11:09 am

Mark, who would be a few good choices for UGA’s defense IF they let Martinex go? I was thinking the D-coordinator from TCU, they always seem to produce a top 10 defense. I’m a huge Georgia fan and I think that it’s delusional that Kirby Smart or Muschamp would come back to UGA to lead the defense?

Not Disappointed!

October 17th, 2009
11:09 am

Georgia will be fine.

Mark, did you piss someone off or on to get the Vandy Game. Dude, you made history last week with a 4 1/2 live blog. I’ve never had so much fun on a blog.

Good luck pups.

Ramblin Wreck!

The Grinch

October 17th, 2009
11:10 am

And no, absolutely no promotion from within. I wouldn’t want anyone on this defensive staff coaching my local high school. It’s not like the Athletic dept. doesn’t have the money to hire someone (and their own staff) who knows what he’s doing.

innocent bystander

October 17th, 2009
11:10 am

I would think the Head Coach not the Coordinator would make the call on assistants below the level of Coordinator. You can’t fault ALL position coaches for sub-par play. I don’t know why Geno Atkins’ play no longer merits his starting after being preseason All-SEC after his sophomore year. But let’s give Coach Garner credit for starting Weston ahead of him if Kade merits the playing time.It’s folly not to allow for down cycles in the SEC.Even if we don’t like the particular way we have cycled down.The disappearance of our runnig game when I thought we had as many as 3 potential All SEC performers on the offensive line is the biggest shock of the season for me. I still can’t account for it.

The Grinch

October 17th, 2009
11:14 am

As far as recruiting goes, it must be considered that while we’ve done well at the skill positions, we’ve had no offensive line or defensive ends now for two straight seasons. Someone’s not looking at the whole picture.

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
11:15 am

Muschamp wouldn’t come back. Smart might.

defactodawg

October 17th, 2009
11:17 am

bur is Kirby really as good as it appears or is he simply doing Saban’s bidding…Saban is likely the brains behind that defense

Cuz

October 17th, 2009
11:17 am

Mark glad to have you at the Cumberland River Shootout. Since you are doing song requests could you do a few versus of “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”. Maybe that will fire up the defense. Or put on a cape and bust a move on “Dooley’s Junkyard Dawgs” Huhhhhhhh, Great God.

Martin

October 17th, 2009
11:18 am

Thanks for answering part of my question! Go Dawgs….I wouldn’t complain if Smart came back. Do you have any ideas who UGA could go after?

Cuz

October 17th, 2009
11:19 am

Has Satan made Smart look smarter? He has those evil powers you know.

Cuz

October 17th, 2009
11:21 am

Martin seeing as how CMR will have to be dragged to the burning at the stake, I doubt he has a short list of replacements for Martinez. And why does he pronounce it so funny. Everybody in Augusta knows it is pronounced MART-nez.

Cuz

October 17th, 2009
11:22 am

versus, what am I smoking? verses.

GuyFalks

October 17th, 2009
11:23 am

How ’bout The Zooker? Good D coach: bad head coach.

Sautee Dawg

October 17th, 2009
11:25 am

Mark who’s in charge of assignments at the AJC? Did Shultz get the Paul Johnson game?

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:28 am

Yellow Fuzz will NOT be doing a live play-by-play of the Vanderbilt homecoming game.

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
11:28 am

If coaching expertise is the question, I don’t imagine Ron Zook is the answer.

Cuz

October 17th, 2009
11:28 am

Hey Mark, can you start a fantasy coach league for when Coach Willie is given the axe? The Two Idiots Marketing Group might be able to make a few bucks on this one.

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
11:29 am

Speaking of assignments … I do have the Bears-Falcons game tomorrow evening. And I do have Georgia-Florida.

Sautee Dawg

October 17th, 2009
11:29 am

Mark what makes you think Muschamp won’t come back? Coaching in a leauge where there is no defense, you would think he would be up for the challenge. Mack Brown will probably coach another 10 years or longer, thats a lont inme to wait to take over a program.

GuyFalks

October 17th, 2009
11:30 am

Agree overall as to my “Bad head coach” but his record at UF as coordinator is established. Plus he is a very good recruiter.

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:33 am

Hey dog nation. I don’t normally pay per view, but I am watching you today as I need to kill some time until the nation’s better teams begin playing in prime time and on national TV at 6pm.

Sautee Dawg

October 17th, 2009
11:34 am

Enter your comments here

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
11:35 am

Because being head-coach-in-waiting at Texas beats being defensive coordinator at Georgia. I mean, let’s get serious.

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:37 am

When was the last time the dog nation was sweating bullets to beat Vandy?

Martin

October 17th, 2009
11:40 am

cuz, are you from augusta?…i live in Grovetown. I just wanted to speculate who we could go after IF Martinez is fired. I know Richt doesn’t have anyone in mind.

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:42 am

Think the dog players will stomp on the Vandy Logo at midfield like they did a few years ago?

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:43 am

Where is everyone? Lobbying the Music City Bowl people for a charity pick?

Ed

October 17th, 2009
11:44 am

What’s really aggravating is that Martinez shouldn’t have had a chance to screw up this season. Mark Richt is too smart of a man to think that his buddy would all of a sudden become a great def. coord. in year 5 on the job, so why the wasted year? Or did Ricth think that we could just outscore everyone?

Richt needs to remove his head from his posterior and start being a D-1 head coach, again.

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:44 am

georgia = Vandy’s homcomming bitch

Dawgs2009

October 17th, 2009
11:45 am

Gentlemen, we are now back to the mid-nineties. We will start losing recruits and the program will slip back to the middle of the pack. The powers that be in the athletic department have become obsessed with the skill positions and speed on the lines. I would rather see big, slow, mean and ugly linemen in the trenches ready to dish out some punishment. Save the speed for the linebackers and the secondary.

This will take a few years to fix. We have to start with better recruiting. This staff laid an egg3-4 years ago. Just look at Cox! You mean that guy is the best they could have brought in here in 2005 when we were on top of the world? The cupboard is bare and empty!

Yellow Fuzz

October 17th, 2009
11:46 am

georgia 0
tennessee schools 2?

Mark Bradley

October 17th, 2009
11:47 am

I think Georgia would settle for winning the game. No stomping will be forthcoming, I would guess.

Cuz

October 17th, 2009
11:48 am

yep Martin in National Hills, speculation is all we can do. That is why I came up with the idea of a Defensive Coordinator Fantasy league.

Fuzz, I sure hope and pray we stomp that logo at the end of the game.