A big month in Bulldog Nation

It’s been an interesting month in Bulldog Nation, I’d say.  So before moving on to February, let’s revisit January.

THE MONTH’S TOP FIVE UGA SPORTS STORIES:

1. The defensive coordinator search: For some reason –- maybe the Internet/information age in which we live, or maybe the widespread exasperation with two years of declining defense -– Mark Richt’s search for a defensive coordinator drew more attention than any assistant-coach hiring I can recall.  Kirby Smart’s rejection of the job roiled Bulldog Nation, which was calmed four days later by the hiring of Todd Grantham.

2. Big basketball upsets: Entering the month, the Bulldogs had not beaten a ranked opponent in men’s basketball in almost three years. But they beat two this month, first Georgia Tech and then Tennessee. The second came in front of a   sellout crowd, of all things, in Stegeman Coliseum.

3. Lady Dogs over Lady Vols: Georgia’s women’s basketball team upset No. 3-ranked Tennessee in Stegeman Coliseum, the Lady Dogs’ first victory over the Lady Vols since 2004. The win gave credence to a resurgent season for Georgia’s program.

4. Early exits: In what has become a rite of January in Athens, two Georgia players left school early for the NFL draft.  Linebacker Rennie Curran, the team’s MVP last season, and safety Reshad Jones decided to skip their final seasons of college eligibility. The departures, while unsurprising, add to the rebuilding job on defense.

5. Start of a new era: Georgia’s 10-time NCAA champion gymnastics team began the Jay Clark era, opening a season without Suzanne Yoculan as head coach for the first time in 26 years.

AND IN THEIR OWN WORDS . . .

Notable  quotes from the Bulldogs beat this month:

Todd Grantham, speaking on his first day on the job in Athens:

“I have always believed -– and I believe to this day -– that if we took the best players in the state of Georgia and within a five-hour radius of our school, if they come to the University of Georgia, then we can win the SEC championship and compete for a national title. And I think you can be better than Florida, you can be better than Texas, and you can be better than Southern Cal if those players came to the University of Georgia.”

The chants in Stegeman Coliseum late in the men’s basketball victories over Georgia Tech and Tennessee, respectively:

“Just Like Football!”

“Lane Kif-fin, Lane Kif-fin.”

Georgia safety Jakar Hamilton, a JUCO transfer who enrolled at UGA this month, on his aggressive, hard-hitting approach to football:

“I’m one of those players who just don’t care. I’ll throw my whole body even if I have to break something to do it. . . .  If I have to catch a concussion, I’ll do it.”

A Mark Fox tweet on Twitter:

“My 9yr old asked why DAWG fans don’t do the right/left/right … sit down cheer when an opponent fouls out. I said, we need ‘em 2 foul out 1st.”

And, of course,  Alabama coach Nick Saban’s comment that was  widely interpreted as pointed advice to Kirby Smart that he shouldn’t  leave the Crimson Tide for the Georgia DC job:

“I’m not pleased when guys make lateral moves because it’s a little bit human nature to think, like my dad used to say, the grass is always greener on top of the septic tank.”

YOUR THOUGHTS . . .

So what has jumped out at you about UGA sports in the first month of 2010? Or what do you see ahead for February?

Please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.

82 comments Add your comment

Nick

January 29th, 2010
9:37 am

RxDawg

January 29th, 2010
9:38 am

Good month for the dawgs.

First?

RxDawg

January 29th, 2010
9:38 am

stoopid

January 29th, 2010
9:40 am

that nick saban is a douche.

Elmore Spencer

January 29th, 2010
9:44 am

That Tim Tebow does indeed suck at QB.

reservoirDAWG

January 29th, 2010
9:46 am

Was Saban calling UGA a sh*thole?

DSGB

January 29th, 2010
9:50 am

don’t fry bacon naked…

llf

January 29th, 2010
9:50 am

Willie Martinez

January 29th, 2010
10:01 am

I hope Tenn. will hire me. I love to watch the sun set.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 29th, 2010
10:04 am

The storyline for the month? How Derek Dooley came in and stole Rodgers out from underneath UGA. That my friend is your headline, “Out Dooley’ed!” or however that is going to read!

Ron Mexico

January 29th, 2010
10:05 am

Yeah Nick Saban is a class act folks.

dap01

January 29th, 2010
10:07 am

Saban is a winner but he is a slime.

Who Cares

January 29th, 2010
10:14 am

If Da’Rick Rodgers decided he does not want to be a Dawg, i personally don’t want him here.

Remember the hype Marlon Brown had this time last year, and he proved that playing in a small division in High School miraged his abilities on the SEC level. Da’Rick will get a serious wakeup call wherever he ends up, but I do hope that place is Athens.

Besides…. UGA is NOT hurting in our receiving corps right now anyway.

Alabamadawg, who's never eating at the Outback Resturant again !!

January 29th, 2010
10:16 am

Kirby Smart can kiss my a$$…I actually didn’t want him anyway, I thought bama’s defense was more Saban’s than Smart’s. I do like who we got, although I was really wanting someone else…but I’m happy with our DC. I am worried our gymdawgs will slide back to the rest of the teams, now that Yoculan’s intensity is gone… Now,if we could just get Green, Rogers,Whitaker, and Thorton to join our class next week, we’ll be set…

brucemac

January 29th, 2010
10:18 am

The story line of the month is that the TN Vols are the laughing stock of College Football as they couldn’t even hire the coach at Duke to come to Rocky Top or there next 5 choices. This after their big mouth idiot coach left 12 months into his world conquering mission. He saw all he needed to see of the toothless backwoods country side known as Knoxville. HA HA HA goes the college football world. .

Hutson Mason

January 29th, 2010
10:19 am

Getting me a gold plated name over my locker baby!!!!Also finding the next UGA it is a disgrace to be painting Russ white.

DirtyDawg

January 29th, 2010
10:23 am

Let me take this opportunity to, once again, correct Brother Saban…The grass ain’t greener over the septic tank – the grass there is dead. The grass is greener over the drain field. By the way, there are more septic tanks per-capita in Alabama than there are in Georgia. One would think, given that he grew up in rural West Virginia, that Brother Saban would know these things. Then again, maybe they just dumped stuff into old mine shafts. By the way, two words of caution, be careful about flushing condoms down the toilet when you have a septic tank, cause if your wife is home when the guys come to pump the thing out – which they will eventually have to do – she just might be a little embarrassed…those little suckers fill up with methane gas and float around like Portuguese Man-of-Wars. Sorry, I just thought you’d like to know.

German accent

January 29th, 2010
10:24 am

Derick Rogers can kiss ol’ Maude. I love what Mark Fox is doing. I also really like the hire of Todd Grantham. I think UGA football will get back into the SEC championship mix.

DirtyDawg

January 29th, 2010
10:28 am

I can’t believe I just did what I did…I thought the headline was saying ‘A big MOUTH in Bulldog Nation’, so I was just trying to win the prize.

RedandBlack

January 29th, 2010
10:28 am

Anyone who really believed that KS was going to come back to The University of Georgis was using too much of their own product, Tim. Go Dogs!!

Bremen Dawg

January 29th, 2010
10:30 am

I really believe we got a better DC in Grantham because he has more experience that Kirby does. I think guys will want to to come to Georgia to play for him because of his NFL experience. I want to see Jakar Hamilton put the smack down on some receivers.

LOL

January 29th, 2010
10:42 am

Nice grammar there Jakar …. you should fit right in at UGA.

Maybe willie wasnt so bad

January 29th, 2010
10:43 am

Top 15 Teams Nationally In Total Defense, 2004-2009
Place Team Games Avg.
1. Virginia Tech 80 268.33
2. Alabama 78 275.32
3. Ohio State 76 279.79
4. LSU 78 285.15
5. TCU 76 287.41
6. Penn State 75 290.36
7. USC 78 295.24
8. Florida 79 298.16
9. Georgia 77 206.09
10. Clemson 75 307.05
11. Miami 75 307.51
12. Auburn 76 312.43
13. Oklahoma 80 312.70
14. Boston College 78 312.81
15. Texas 78 313.52

Phil

January 29th, 2010
10:47 am

I like how the summary talks about February for UGA, yet the whole article is a recap, with a single sentence mentioning February. I thought this would be an insightful article about what’s ahead.

Gratefuldawghead

January 29th, 2010
10:48 am

It only took Louisville less than a month to figure out Fabris didn’t know what he was doing!

ASHEVILLE DAWG

January 29th, 2010
10:48 am

That Saban quote about the grass is greener is a must have. You don’t catch one like that every day.

puppydawg

January 29th, 2010
10:50 am

Hutson Mason, do you sleep during English class? Your writing skills take horrific to a new level.

JB

January 29th, 2010
10:53 am

Saban told his wife a couple of weeks ago she could quite buying spray for the bathrooms, his anyway.

ringthebell

January 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Leave Kirby alone,he did what he thought was best for kirby,like any of you idiots bashing him would do.Was it a good choice maybe,maybe not, but it was his F#$%^&N choice!I think Grantham will be good,a lot of recruits like the fact he was in the NFL.

JB

January 29th, 2010
10:57 am

The big story is Fox. Felton said it would take years to be competitive in the SEC. Fox has people running scared with what Felton left him in year one….Let this guy have a couple of recruiting years under his belt, and lookout.

js

January 29th, 2010
10:57 am

Sounds like Saban called Georgia a septic tank!

JB

January 29th, 2010
10:59 am

Wonder what Kirby’s All American UGA basketball alum wife thought about Saban’s comments. We know Kirby is not allowed to speak.

JB

January 29th, 2010
11:00 am

that’s Quit, not quite. Saban does stink though.

Voice of Reason

January 29th, 2010
11:03 am

TO DA’RICK ROGERS – Please understand that bloggers on here are not necessarily fans of the school they pretend to represent. Therefore, all GOOD Dawgs want you in Athens. Those that say differently either are not true fans, or they are fans of some other school pretending to be Dawgs. Don’t fall for their garbage!
As for something new this month – the pathetic reporting by most of these “reporters” at the AJC hasn’t changed a bit. Why can’t you guys get out and cover stories, of find stories, as opposed to writing about what someone else has found out. Example – quotes from Rivals!

SEC East Headlines – 1/29/10 | MrSEC.com

January 29th, 2010
11:04 am

[...] The key to Florida’s four-game SEC winning streak has been the fast break.5.  January was a big month in Georgia athletics.6.  Bulldog guard Travis Leslie is still developing… but he’s already exciting.7.  [...]

Ron Mexico

January 29th, 2010
11:13 am

I agree with Voice of Reason, well said. Go Dawgs!

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

January 29th, 2010
11:25 am

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

In an unrelated story, Alabama is celebrating their 22nd national championship.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

January 29th, 2010
11:29 am

was indeed quite an interesting past month for the Dawg Nation. Bottom line is that progress is being made in both FB & BB and we’re moving forward not backwards. Looking forward to G-DAY and the new D setup. As far as Da’rick is concerned..we’ll just have to wait till next week. GO DAWGS!!!

Sanford Drive

January 29th, 2010
11:31 am

I find it hilarious when people in Alabama make fun of any other state in this country.

Da truth

January 29th, 2010
11:37 am

Dawgs..your jealousy is showing, again. It was simply a old-timers saying. Loosen up.

mike uf

January 29th, 2010
11:38 am

You know when a team like UGA is so desperate that they have to use the term “bulldog nation” and imitate everything Florida does even using a term

The Gator Nation is better than you and again our trophy case with our National Championships is there for you to talk trash to

Feel free to envy us

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

January 29th, 2010
11:44 am

mike uf- the term “bulldawg nation” was being used way before uf was relevant starting in 1990

jim

January 29th, 2010
11:53 am

Really what does it matter? The recruiting has been top notch and we’ve had some good years and not so good, but honestly its what they do when they get to Athens…

As for “maybe willie wasn’t so bad” – The last two years the defense has been POUROUS. You can take a 5 year snap shot, with BVG players in 2004,5,6 and make it look pretty. The fact is UGA played soft defense and got its teeth kicked in by high quality teams.

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR (Waf-SS, LT..Colonel. previouly assigned to Berman Barracks, ret.)

January 29th, 2010
12:01 pm

This is easy. The Lady Dogs over the Lady Vols. And I am Football Fan.

now tha't funny

January 29th, 2010
12:22 pm

We must run the ball.

Mr. Thomas Anthony "The Taxman Cometh" Jones, SR (Waf-SS, LT..Colonel. previouly assigned to Berman Barracks, ret.)

January 29th, 2010
12:22 pm

This is easy. the Lady Dogs over the Lady Vols. And I am a Football Fan!

JC in Powder Springs

January 29th, 2010
12:27 pm

I’m very pleased with the Grantham hire. It’s about time Dawgs got a qualified assistant coach – not just an ole pal who happens to be available when there’s an opening. Look at the Dawgs staff – were Martinez, Fabris, Bobo and McClendon truly the most qualified coaches the Dawgs could hire at the time? Did Richt even bother to look for somebody qualified? Get the nepotism out of hires and bring in good coaches. We don’t need Richt’s best man, old buddies from his Miami or FSU days, or a past player. We need good coaches who have been tested on other programs and have skills to contribute – Grantham (and Lakatos) fits that need.

GW

January 29th, 2010
12:36 pm

I’m a huge Georgia fan and alum but gosh a lot of folks’ whole life revolves around UGA football 24/7/365. I try to save that for Sept.-Dec. and chill about it Jan.-Aug. The off-season speculation and fretting would wear me out. Having a pi$$ing contest on blogs about coaches and recruits does not light my fire.

Moonlight Graham

January 29th, 2010
12:37 pm

I hope that the Dogs hire Travis Jones after the Super Bowl. His hiring would solidify the Defense, for a long time . If Grantham left, for a HC job, then Jones could step in as our next DC.

larrymunsonthe3rd

January 29th, 2010
1:05 pm