Monthly Archives: October 2015
The window was real.
The moment the window opened is tough to pinpoint.
You could say the window opened the moment Urban Meyer left Florida in the dark of the night because he was letting the game slowly kill him.
You could say the window opened the second Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin, setting off a series of dominoes that included couch-burning, butt-chugging, and illegal substitutions.
You could say it opened the moment Todd Gurley signed at Georgia.
Whenever you say it opened, the window was very real.
What is the window, you ask?
The window was the period of time in which Mark Richt’s teams, on paper, should have won the East every single year. And by winning the East, they had a very real shot at earning a spot in the National Championship via a win in Atlanta.
Florida, their primary obstacle to such a feat, had hired a buffoon that I’m proud to say UGA helped produce. Tennessee had also hired a UGA product that was absolute garbage. Both programs were locked in a downward spiral with no signs of pulling out of the dive for a number of years. And yet here was Georgia with a four-year quarterback, a loaded backfield, an incredible stable of receivers, and the weakest SEC East the world had seen since before the days of Steve Spurrier.
The window was real and it was wide open.
We all know the story of how UGA handled this window. ACL’s were torn. Autographs were sold. Field Goals were missed. And a slew of other head-scratching, surrender-cobra worthy moments came to define this window of time.
In short, UGA managed just two SEC Championship appearances after 2005. One a blowout loss to LSU, the other a loss to Alabama that shall not be discussed further. All while Missouri, of all teams, emerged as the most consistent power in the Eastern Division. They could have, and many would say ‘ought to have’, been the East’s representative for five straight years from 2010 until 2014.
Think about that for a moment and feel the rage.
UGA will not be going back to the SEC Championship game this year, with Saturday’s loss to Florida all but sealing the Division title for the Gators.
This is not to say that the Dawgs won’t make it next year, after all Jacob Eason is coming to save us. But winning the Eastern Division next year will certainly be a tougher ask than it has been for the past five years.
Tennessee, who also beat UGA in spectacular fashion, is clearly back. In fact, the scary thing about Tennessee is that their true talent base is just now finishing their sophomore or freshman years. The Vols were never an easy victory, but this year was a harsh reminder of just how easy we’ve had when the boys in orange come to town.
Still, a revived Tennessee is scary but they are not terrifying. Tennessee, after all, does have to play Alabama every year.
The real terror is that both Tennessee and Florida are reviving at the same time, and at a pace that is turning out to be much faster than the experts predicted.
Florida’s revival has not been the long, torturous Windows-95-ish restart that we all hoped it would be. McElwain has walked into a dominant defense, a serviceable offense, and, frankly, a toothless main rival that is basically a sure division win. They will recruit well. They will be better than fine, it seems, for the foreseeable future.
Now, most folks have defended Mark Richt because, hey, at least we aren’t back in the Goff or Donnan years, right? But the scary thing is to realize that both Goff and Donnan were beset by a situation similar to the one I see developing now — dominant teams from Tennessee and Florida.
Goff could never get his program off the ground mostly because he wasn’t a very good coach, but add to that problem peak Steve Spurrier and peak Phil Fulmer in your own division? Goff was never going to get out of that division alive, even if he had been a coaching phenom.
And a phenom he was not.
Now this isn’t to say that Mark Richt is Ray Goff or Jim Donnan.
It is only to say this: Mark Richt’s window has probably closed and does not look to be reopening any time soon.
That’s not Mark Richt’s fault, per se. It is simply the most accurate interpretation of the facts as I see them.
The next few years won’t be pretty. UGA won’t fire Mark Richt. Mark Richt may or may not retire. But from where I sit, Richt appears out of answers. There is very little to be done about any of this, sadly.
All that remains is to wait it out.
Josh just here to murder you all again. Be blessed.
Did somebody say Cocktail Party? It’s finally time for the best weekend of the year – and the only excuse to ever find yourself roaming around Jacksonville. The Dawgs squeaked out a win over Mizzou, so I thankfully get to enjoy this game with a solid buzz.
Could we focus on how ugly the offense was in that game? Sure, but what’s the point in that? You don’t have to look back very far in the history of this series to find a terrible offense coming out of nowhere to put up 38 points and over 400 yards of offense one game after getting shut down by Missouri’s defense – it hasn’t even been a full year since it happened. Although I’m willing to bet Georgia has to throw the football more than 6 times if they want to match the output of Florida’s offense last year.
So after all of the turmoil, the SEC East is back right where we’re used to it being – with the winner in Jacksonville the heavy favorite to win the division. This is a crazy series, with many a crazy game so I’m only willing to make one prediction: if you play this drinking game, you will be very, very drunk.
Georgia-Florida drinking rules:
- Take a shot for Georgia’s first touchdown. It may feel like it’s been a while – but any Mizzou fan will politely disagree.
- Down in Jacksonville? Drink for every pair of jean shorts you see. The weather will be in the 80s, and I’m betting your jean short tally can get there too.
- Finish your drink when CBS inevitably shows the end-zone celebration from 2007. This will probably be shown every year as long as this game is played.
- Drink every time someone with you calls for a quarterback change or to fire Mark Richt. Again, this could be quite a few drinks depending on the company you keep.
- Drink for every highlight to Tim Tebow CBS forces upon us.
- Drink every time the defense stops an off tackle run. After last year, I’m just hoping it can happen once or twice.
- Half a drink for a Georgia defensive touchdown. Finish your drink for a Florida defensive score.
- Drink every time Verne or Gary say something completely wrong or irrelevant.
- You can stop this one at halftime for liability reasons.
- Take a shot on Florida’s 7th passing attempt of the game and take pleasure that they were forced to pass more than last year.
- Finally our favorite rule – Shot for Georgia’s first special teams error, with a healthy drink for every additional error.
World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party season, and we do our best to get you ready for whatever happens Saturday. Plus, we inadvertently break news, or tell the future. Your call.
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The DudeYouPodcast in which I trash the idea is barely even edited yet but it seems that #FreeFaton will be declaring mission accomplished.
Gridironnow.com, where friend of the blog Ashley Barnett is a regular contributor, is reporting that Faton Bauta will be the University of Georgia’s starting Quarterback against Florida on Saturday. Michael Carvell of the AJC has posted a story that only cites the same report so no one is calling it just yet. But still, this seems like it might be real. [For what it’s worth, my preferred iPhone sports app The Score also went with it as of 10:57 PM EST]
Hold on to your butts.
God help us all.
Evil Richt have mercy on us.
More on this as we have it.
You red and black fiend of great devilry, wrapped in the wholesome image of an FCA Chaplain whose doesn’t even know what ‘Netflix and chill’ means, where have you gone?
To what dark place have you slunk to hatch your machinations?
Have you been wounded or, dare I say, have you given in to fear? Surely you have never tasted fear, you hateful ghoul. Surely not.
But where are you if you are not hiding?
I hailed the day that saw you rise, where you tugged the strings of the marionette that was the UGA coaching situation. You moved Third and Todd to Louisville and somehow swept away the golden child of Tallhassee in the night, right from the arms of Jimbo Wormtongue. You sent your team into the endzone to risk ejections, suspensions, and even your job just to turn the tide of a rivalry whose tide seemed a tsunami not to be turned aside. You dressed a team obsessed with their own moral superiority in black.
And it all worked.
But now those days seem lost to an age where none now live to remember them. Who will sing your noxious glory in the halls of Williams-Brice, Jordan-Hare, Neyland, or The-NFL-Stadium-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named when step on their faces with your fabled boot of hobnails? Who will tell their children of your conniving deeds? Your sinister tricks? Your swindling heart?
None remember to sing these songs, and that silence is deafening.
Yet, there are rumors you might be on the move again.
Travelers from the hills beyond the Tanyard tell of whispers. Whispers of QB change, of onside kicks, of fake punts, and even made field goals.
All of this are probably hearsay and idle gossip, but their falsehood only confirms that something might at last be afoot.
If Bauta is not the Quarterback come this Saturday’s battle then at last we know that you have returned, returned to spread the scuttlebutt and subterfuge that once made you fearsome. If the change does happen then we know that you have returned to torment even your own into submission, to crack the ebony whip at the back of your stallions.
I pray the tales are true, but I fear the worst.
No matter the truth of these things, in the end we are faced with a single, haunting truth: you are not the coach we deserve.
Not really. Not when we use the Good One to prop up our delusions of moral superiority, as though our bloodlust and greed were atoned simply by the fact that the Good One is our coach.
But you are the coach we need now, despite the pettiness of our need.
We need you, especially now when we lack the tools to get the job done and lack the favor of the gods to steal wins from the aeries of better-prepared, better-skilled teams.
We need the trickster of old.
Where art thou, Evil Richt?
You are our only hope.