A good Sunday to you all, my long neglected followers (all three of you). It’s been a long time. This is usually where I’d talk about how I’m going to start posting more frequently, but I can’t make those promises, so I’ll just leave this here.
We are officially 14 weeks away from teeing it up between the hedges, so I’m going to start a countdown here at TS2TW, predicting the season records of each team in the newly-expanded SEC. So I figured I’d start with the new additions and work my way up the ladder of last season’s standings, culminating in the 14th week which will lead us right into the opening of the 2012 season (hooray!).
So we start off with TAMU, whose season schedule and my predicted results are as follows –
9/1 – @ Louisiana Tech – W
9/8 – Florida – W
9/15 – @ SMU – W
9/22 – S. Carolina State – W
9/29 – Arkansas – L
10/6 – @ Ole Miss – W
10/13 – *BYE*
10/20 – LSU – L
10/27 – @ Auburn – L
11/3 – @ Mississippi State – L
11/10 – @ Alabama – L
11/17 – Sam Houston State – W
11/24 – Missouri – L
The Aggies early schedule will have them feeling good, especially with a win over Florida in their SEC opener at home (the Gators still have questions marks on offense and Kyle field is a hostile environment and not conducive to the development of young visiting offenses – and make no mistake, the Gators are still a young developing offense), but the meat of their schedule comes after their bye week, and there will be no reprieve there.
It will be interesting to watch the new staff that Kevin Sumlin brought with him from Houston adapt to life in the SEC. My thinking is that Sumlin’s offensive aptitude will give the Aggies enough juice to win a couple of SEC ball games but they’re going to need to work on replacing some offensive starters and building their talent base on the defensive side of the ball before they can even begin to climb the ladder of the SEC West.
Welcome to the SEC, Aggies. Now grab your ankles.
Up next week: Missouri
It sounds like UGA is due to wear Nike Pro combat uniforms against Boise State in the Kickoff Classic.
I know I called this possibility last year, which was ironically one of my last entries for some time after I went into hiding, but it looks like this is going to happen.
The teams selected to sport the 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniforms include the United States Military Academy (Army), Boise State University, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, the United States Naval Academy, The Ohio State University, University of Oregon, and Stanford University.
The uniforms will hit the field on opening day of the 2011-12 college football season and throughout the year during some of fiercest rivalries in college football. Dates include Oregon vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium (9/3), Boise State vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome (9/3), Michigan State vs. Michigan (10/15), LSU vs. Auburn (10/22), Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (10/29), Stanford v. Notre Dame (11/27) and the annual service academy bragging rights matchup between two of the nation’s most prestigious football programs ? Army vs. Navy (12/10).
I know there will be mixed feelings over this, but hell folks, it’s a non-conference game in the Dome. If we can’t have fun while we’re whipping Boise’s ass, then why are we even here? Let’s be honest, if we win the game, nobody will care, and if we lose, everybody will hate them.
Let’s just pray Nike doesn’t make us wear black helmets.
Paul Johnson is insulted at the insinuation that he would cheat. He’d never cheat.
At least, not as a coach.
“I’m sure I cheated in board games,” the Georgia Tech coach said. “And when I played, yeah, you’d do stuff. Move the ball forward. Move it back. Kick it. Maybe grab a guy where you’re not supposed to. But heck, everybody does that.”
Count me as one that has never grabbed a guy “where you’re not supposed to.” But hell, I’m old fashioned. I never realized ol’ Fish Fry was that, er, progressive.
Ideally the rest of the presser would have played out like this –
Reporter: “Coach, what if the NCAA gets in your face and won’t stop?”
CPJ: “Punch them in the nose.”
Stop the presses! Is Georgia going to bust out a new uniform look today against Florida?
The photo below has been making its rounds on the internet…
… leading us to believe that the Dawgs have a set of the custom uniforms that Nike has also made for some of its other sponsored programs (such as Oregon, Florida, TCU and Alabama).
It is unknown whether the Dawgs intent to wear the custom uniform look today, however we do know that Florida will be wearing it’s pro combat uniforms today, so if the Dawgs were going to wear these at some point, today would likely be the day.
Big commitment today for the Dawgs as Sterling Bailey (6’4″ 235lb. DE out of East Hall), one of the state’s top defensive prospects made his decision to wear Red and Black public.
Bailey’s top 5 was Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Tennessee. I think that if you’re a Georgia fan, that should give you a significant dose of optimism for the 2011 class, considering the somewhat unimpressive class of 2010, and the growing concern that Alabama and Florida were out-recruiting us in our own state.
As Mark Weiszer notes, Bailey seems to have been impressed with Todd Grantham and how he recruited him. Specifically, that the Dallas Cowboys coach was in his living room 3 days after stepping off the plane in Athens.
Let’s hope this trend with the in-state talent continues for the 2011 class… and in case you haven’t been reading it, Leather Helmet Blog always has regular recruiting updates worth checking out.
All of us were looking forward to the Spring scrimmage, for two big reasons. One, to see the new 3-4 defense being installed by Todd Grantham and co. Well, the new defensive staff wasn’t about to give Georgia’s 2010 opponents get a good look at what they are planning on running this season, so we didn’t get much of a look at that… but we did get a good look at the 3 QB’s. I have some pretty strong feelings on what I saw out there today, so allow me to opine.
First off, let me say that I am extremely frustrated at how the snaps with the first team offense were distributed. Zach Mettenberger did not get a single snap with the “red” team, working solely with the “black” team second-team offense. I really think Mett should have gotten some snaps with the red team, in order to give the coaches a clear picture of where all 3 QB’s stand. Maybe it was part of his punishment for his Spring break arrest. Maybe they feel they can evaluate him based off of his work with the 2nd team. I don’t know. But from a fan standpoint, it sure would have been nice to see him throwing to AJ Green.
Now, as to where I think they will be ranked on the depth chart when Richt releases it this week.
3. Logan Gray (10/17, 58% comp., 132 yds, 1 TD) – I am not a Logan Gray hater. I’ve met him once, he’s a really cool guy, and I love his attitude and his work ethic. But it’s as simple as this: watching Gray run the offense, you get the distinct impression that we would be a very run-reliant team with him under center, and defenses would load the box all day against us, not worrying much about the passing game. That’s because Gray, while being smart and athletic, does not possess the arm strength or the velocity to make big plays with his arm. And if opposing defenses do not respect our deep passing game, we are going to be flat out ineffective on offense. I’m not saying that our other 2 QB’s are electrifying Heisman candiate QB’s at this point either, but their potential is greater by far.
2. Aaron Murray (10/22, 45% comp., 96yds, 1 INT) - I felt like Murray was trying too hard today. It is clear that his arm is very good, he can put plenty of zip on his throws and he can scramble too. But Murray struggled badly with his downfield accuracy today. He overthrew a wide open AJ Green at least 3 times, by 6 feet or more on all occasions. Most of the day he seemed to do fairly well under pressure, but in one instance, with a defender in his face, he tried to force a throw that ended up in the chest of a waiting linebacker, without an offensive receiver anywhere in the area. David Hale appropriately compared it to a Joe Cox INT. Murray will have the chance to win the starting job before the SEC opener, but he wasn’t the best on Saturday afternoon.
1. Zach Mettenberger (6/10, 60% comp., 150yds, 2 TD’s) – Ironically, the guy who will sit out the first game of the season was the one who looked the best in the scrimmage this afternoon. Mettenberger had it all going for him; accuracy on short and deep passes, velocity, pocket presence, even some mobility thrown in for good measure. I was stunned at just how much he seems to have progressed from when we last saw him in the G-day game of 2009. He looked crisp and confident. I pointed out to a buddy that he looked very Stafford-esque. The arm-strength that everyone has said he has is definitely not overrated, as is evidenced by the fact that he picked up 150 yards in the air on just 6 completions). What may win him more points with the coaching staff than anything was how at ease he looked. He never looked hurried or hesitant. And to be fair, he did play against the 2nd team defense, while the other two QB’s played against the 1st team D, but Mettenberger also was playing behind the 2nd team O-line and the rest of the 2nd team offense the entire time. It didn’t seem to phase him, as he made a great case for himself. The question is: will Richt see fit to make Mettenberger the starter, given that he will not be able to play in the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette? South Cackalacky is a tough game to get your first start in… but if he’s the best at the position, can you NOT start him?
I have this fear though, and maybe I’m just being paranoid, but I’m worried that Richt ends up starting Gray against South Carolina, because he has “the most experience,” and we fall into the same trap that we fell into in 2006 when Joe Tereshinski III was named the starter. Our new defensive coaches seem to have the philosophy that the best player should be on the field. I really hope that Richt changes his philosophy as well, and puts the best player, not the most experienced one, on the field when we take our game to Columbia for the SEC opener in September. Because if we go down that road (experience over talent) again… we may end up losing a couple of games before we finally get the best guy under center, and we may be out of the race for the East at that point. And make no mistake… if Gray is named the starter, it will be because Richt chose experience over talent.
Now… all that said, if the depth chart comes out this week and somebody other than Gray is at #1, I think that will go a long way to clearing up my apprehensions about the decision Richt will make in the Fall.
Seriously, am I the only one who thinks that this is possibly the worst coverage of the Senior Bowl week ever? I have not seen a single thing mentioned OTHER than how Tim Tebow is doing. Which is pretty ironic, considering that he’s probably one of the players that will make the LEAST impact of any player at the Senior Bowl.
I think most NFL fans are far more concerned with how more significant players are doing, and really care very little about Tebow. And yet we continue to be bombarded with Tebow coverage, 24/7. When will it stop? Will this continue into his 3rd season as a backup in the NFL? Will we be hearing weekly tirades from whatever crew is working MNF that Tebow “deserves a chance?”
I’m beginning to think that this will be a never-ending nightmare.
All I can say is “THANK GOD” that the NFL network is carrying the actual game. Those guys are not dedicated to kissing the Chosen One’s ass throughout coverage of any sporting event.