Archive for February, 2009

A year later, Dogs, Hogs battle for last place

Let’s get caught up on all things Dog.

  • There’s a monumental matchup going down between Georgia and Arkansas in Fayetteville on Sunday. OK, maybe “monumental” is stretching just a tad. But it certainly is intriguing from the standpoint that the two proud programs will be battling to stay out of last place in the entire league just a year removed from battling for the SEC Tournament championship in Atlanta.

Eleven months after that incredible accomplishment Georgia is 11-17 overall and 2-11 in SEC play. The Razorbacks are 13-13 and 1-12 in the league. The Bulldogs have to go to Kentucky before finishing up at home against South Carolina. The Hogs are at home against Ole Miss then at Vanderbilt.

“It’s really hard to compare those teams,” Georgia interim coach Pete Herrmann said. “Arkansas had a lot of seniors and a strong, strong inside game. We were rolling in the SEC Tournament at that point and started out that game great. Arkansas came back in the second half but we were …

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Cox brings vocal leadership to Bulldogs

Still a little bleary-eyed from a long day yesterday updating the blog, interviewing football players, watching an inning or so of baseball through the fence on Rutherford Street (thanks, Diamond Dave) and covering the Georgia-Vanderbilt basketball game.

But we press on. And fresh off of soliciting your opinions on what you want from this blog, I’m here to give you what you want. First a little football.

I spent just a couple of minutes talking to quarterback Joe Cox, who is going to be real tired of the press by the time preseason camp opens in just over five months. But Joe is one of those guys you just have to get a few words with no matter what the scenario because he’s just so accommodating and really energized about the team and his role on it.

In what has become a constant (and perhaps a little overplayed) theme for this offseason, Cox talked about trying to create more energy in the 2009 team through vocal leadership. “Everything was just kind of flat last season,” he …

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Taking the UGA blog ‘to the people’

It’s late February and things are about to really crank up on the Georgia athletics scene.

  • The basketball regular season is almost over and postseason play is right around the corner. Lost in all the drama and drudgery surrounding the Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team this season is the fact they will be defending their SEC tournament title down in Tampa. Who knows, a hurricane could strike, right? If so I’ll be there to chronicle it. And I imagine they’ll have to hire a coach sooner or later. We’ll cover that, too. Anyone else wondering if the Lady Dogs will get left out The Dance?
  • Baseball season has already cranked up and the Diamond Dawgs are having to rebuild their lineup after last season’s national runner-up finish. They have some arms, though, and some good young talent from what I’ve been able to see. Methinks they may be pretty good again.
  • Of course, spring football practice begins in mid-March and we’ll be all over that as always.
  • Georgia’s loaded for bear as usual …

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Is Georgia coach Mark Richt intense enough?

An interesting question was posed to Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com recently on their feature called “Ask CFN.” Someone going only by “DJ” asked Pete whether he thought Georgia coach Mark Richt needed to become a “more intense” coach for the Bulldogs to ever be in serious contention for a national title.

You can read it for yourself by clicking the link above but, for the record, Pete answers that he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with Richt’s coaching style. Plenty of others like him have won big on every level. But, Pete adds, the SEC is entering into an era where it’s going to be harder and harder for the Bulldogs to contend.

I tend to share Pete’s point of view. I don’t think there is anything about Richt’s coaching or management style or personality, for that matter, that would prevent Georgia from competing on the highest level. In fact, I think they already are. With a few breaks here and there they may have achieved even greater heights than they have …

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Stafford, Moreno get passing grades at combine

It has been interesting to keep up with Georgia’s two highest-profile guys being put through the paces at the NFL combine the last couple of days. Interesting, but I wouldn’t say enlightening.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno have garnered a lot of attention up in Indianapolis. That’s understandable considering they’re both expected to be first-round selections. And nothing that happened over the weekend appears to have changed that. They’re still going to be first-rounders.

Each guy answered satisfactorily the most pressing questions about them: How mobile is Stafford? How fast is Moreno? The answers: Mobile enough and fast enough.

Depending on which report you read, Moreno was clocked at 4.62 seconds in 40-yard dash with unofficial times as low as 4.53 by some scouts. Despite what you read in recruiting, these are actually very good times. Yes, five or six other backs ran faster than Moreno. But if speed was all it took be a great NFL back, then …

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Tough call on UGA’s all-time best QB

I got into a pretty good debate the other day with a friend of mine about who was the better Georgia quarterback, Matthew Stafford or David Greene.

My buddy was emphatic that Stafford was based on the fact that he is about to become the No. 1 pick (or thereabouts) in the 2009 NFL draft and, Greene, well, his NFL career didn’t amount to much. I argued that Greenie, plain and simple, won more games. In fact, he won more games than any quarterback in NCAA history, 42 out of 52, and started every single game he played in college.

Both arguments have merit. There may not have been or will ever be an individual come through Georgia that can hurl a football like Stafford. Take a look at this [video from Rivals.com](http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=3905701&categoryid=2459789) of Stafford working out with his trainers out in Arizona. It’s that type of thing that gets scouts salivating.

But, man, did Greenie have some big moments? Tennessee and P-44 Haynes and Auburn and 70-X Takeoff. …

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Dooley ‘humbled’ by documentary film

Sorry I’m just getting something out to you today. I had a bunch of things to attend to this morning and hadn’t had a chance to settle in at my desk. Now settled in, let’s blog.

I had a nice conversation with Vince Dooley this morning. He was in Macon Thursday night to attend a film festival in which a documentary of his life — “Vince Dooley: The Other Side of Football” — was being unveiled. The event was all the rage in Macon, attended by Gov. Sonny Perdue and some other local dignitaries, and was covered well by the Macon Telegraph.

I asked him if it was like a Hollywood premier, with red carpet walks and paparazzi. “Not quite,” Dooley said with a hearty laugh.

Coach Dooley and I have a good relationship that spans the last three decades. So I just <em>had</em> to give him a call to see what it was like to stare up at a giant silver screen to see someone else tell the world the story of your life.

“It’s a little but of mixed emotions, I’d have to say,” he said. “On one hand …

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Dogs hope new bats are a hit

Now I’m just going to gloss over this because I haven’t looked at a bunch of data on it but Georgia has made a change its baseball players and coaches believe could make a huge difference.

The Bulldogs — who open the season Friday against Youngstown State — will be allowed to use Easton bats this year. To hear a lot of them talk about it, not having that luxury may have cost them the national championship against Easton-swinging Fresno State in the College World Series finals last June.

I talked to athletics director Damon Evans about the switch Wednesday night before the Georgia-Auburn basketball game. Clearly he’s not sold on the premise that Easton’s composite bats are markedly better than Nike’s bats. According to him, there is no scientific data to support that hypothesis. And the Bulldogs did hit 96 home runs last season with Nike bats, the second-most in school history. Personally I haven’t looked into it enough yet to have a strong opinion either way.

But coach David …

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‘Wide open’ race to succeed Knowshon

That was an incredible debate that ensued yesterday regarding Georgia’s best quarterbacks of all time. That’s definitely one of those arguments that can go around and around without ever reaching a consensus.

Here’s one that will be a little more finite regarding this year’s team. I’m currently putting a little something together on tailbacks Dontavius Jackson and Carlton Thomas. Those two guys have been kind of like the forgotten men in the Bulldogs’ wide-open race to succeed Knowshon Moreno as the primary ball-carrier next season. And let’s be clear, new running backs coach Bryan McClendon used just those words — “wide open” — to describe the competition.

So which of Georgia’s tailbacks do you believe will end up having the most carries at the end of the 2009 season? Sophomore Caleb King, sophomore Richard Samuel, redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson, redshirt freshman Carlton Thomas, true freshman Washaun Ealey or junior walkon Kalvin Daniels?

In the meantime, I’m going to …

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