Monday, November 2, 2009

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

My favorite month of the year comes to an end but we still have baseball and some pretty good football so things are not all that bad. By the way today is the 2nd of November which means we are 10 months away from my birthday. Not everyone rush to the malls. Also, November marks Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season. Be on the lookout the next few weeks for my Christmas List. Be sure to visit multiple times this week as me and the Captain will have some updates this week for everyone. Without further ado here are the Ten Things.

1.  Georgia Thoughts-
No idea where to begin on this game but I did not believe I would see the day when the Dawgs would try to play gimmick football. I am not really happy where this program is heading and let me tell you why, we are close to becoming an 8-4 team that is stuck behind Florida and Tennessee in the SEC East (remind anyone of the Jim Donnan years). Lane Kiffin is not going anywhere and with the players he is recruiting, I get worried just thinking about it and this fact, if Tennessee in Year 1 under Kiffin can have the same overall record as Georgia in Year 9 under Richt, what happens in 2010, 2011, 2012, etc? Furthermore, I think we are looking at the biggest off-season in program history. Is UGA AD Damon Evans going to give Mark Richt a blank check so he can go hire the best assistant coaches in the country? Tennessee's AD gave Kiffin a blank check for hiring assistants, it is time for Damon Evans to step up and do the same. How much would it take to hire Tommy Tubberville as Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator.

Back to the game on Saturday. What did our defensive coaches do for the two weeks leading up to the Florida game? Backpack through Europe? Roadtrip? Caribbean Cruise? The Bahamas? All inclusive trip to Sandals with their wives? The Big Apple for some shopping and a broadway play? Vegas for a show and maybe some blackjack? Because they sure as hell did not prepare their unit to play football. On Saturday the Gators had 11 offensive drives. Two ended in end of half/game. And one ended because they dropped too many wide open passes. That leaves two drives where we held them scoreless. By the way this is the same Florida unit that looked less than impressive against Arkansas and Mississippi St, teams that had only ONE WEEK to prepare. Also, Arkansas and Miss St. have no where near the players that the Dawgs have. For those that want to say Florida is better talented and that the Georgia coaches can only do so much, that is absolutely STUPID. Secondly, they can not ignore the fact that 2 of the past 5 seasons, we finished higher in the Rivals recruiting rankings than the Gators. Nothing against Tebow but I could have completed a majority of those passes; that is how wide open his receivers were on Saturday.  Here is a question for Willie Martinez: When are we going to cover a tight end this year? We might want to start as we only have four games remaining. 

After the game I was stuck in traffic and listened to a majority of the Florida postgame show on the radio. Multiple Florida players mentioned how they knew what UGA was going to do on certain plays. They also talked about how prepared they were for whatever UGA threw at them. If that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach maybe these stats will: Georgia is 119th out of 120 Division I-A teams in turnover margin (minus-15). That means Georgia has committed 21 turnovers and gained only six. Furthermore, only one team in college football (Texas Tech) has committed more than Georgia’s 74 penalties. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE NOW! This all goes back to coaching and our head coach has won 2 SEC titles after UGA went 20 years without winning so he should be given every opportunity to fix what is wrong. However, he needs to begin fixing this sooner than later.

2. Blackout Thoughts -

When I first saw them on Saturday I did not like them and at the time I was worried about us wearing black in one of the hottest games that I have ever attended than them being a gimmick. However, the more I think about it the more I am not a big fan of the gimmick. I think special uniforms should be worn by teams that have earned the right to wear them. You beat the Gators you can have a blackout against Auburn. You get a Sugar Bowl birth you can have a blackout against Hawaii. You come into the Bama game undefeated with ESPN Gameday in attendance a blackout is fine. But 4-3 teams have no business wearing black pants and helmets. 4-3 teams should just work harder and be thankful they have the privilege of wearing the Georgia uniform. This goes for both players and coaches.

A couple of quotes about UGA's uniforms:

Paulie from the Dan Patrick Show: Georgia looked like the team from Any Given Sunday with the black helmets.”

Florida Linbacker Ryan Stamper: "That's a bunch of fake juice, coaches trying to get their players going."

Saturday was not the first time UGA wore black pants for the cocktail party but it should be the last time. In 1998 we wore them against the Gators and lost 38-7. Here is a quote from Georgia Cornerback and Columbus, Ga native Glenn Ford "Pants, gray pants, black pants, white pants, pink pants, if you play like we did today you are going to get your tail whipped. Pants don't have anything to do with winning." Eleven years later we forget the lessons learned on that fateful Saturday. Couple side notes it was neat to see this picture of Bill Goldberg leading the Dawgs out of the tunnel on that Saturday afternoon.

One more note from the 1998 game, and in particular Champ Bailey, who was as special a player that has ever played for the Dawgs. Against the Gators in 1998 Champ tied his career-high by playing on 103 snaps (44 offense, 47 defense, 12 special teams). The week before against Kentucky he played 103 plays. Bailey finished that Saturday afternoon against the Gators with eight catches for 99 yards, three carries for minus-12 yards, two kickoff returns for 29 yards and 1 punt return for 8 yards. After the Florida game, Bailey has now played 635 plays during the 1998 season. That was 50 percent of the Bulldogs' total for 1998.

3. TCU Thoughts

When watching TCU and studying their team I can not help but be impressed with how dominant Gary Patterson’s team is playing. What makes this even more impressive is that I am someone who is not a fan of the mid-majors and hate to champion their cause (mid-majors are bad for business) but I believe in this TCU team and the program is legit. I hate using Bowl Games in determining who has the better team (to many outside factors come into play) but do not forget that TCU beat Boise State last year 17-16 in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl. The Frogs are 13-3 in their last 16 games against teams from leagues with automatic BCS bids. That 13-3 record includes a 5-2 mark versus the Big 12 the past four seasons and 2-0 against the ACC this season. Furthermore, TCU led the nation in total defense (217.8 yards per game) in 2008 for the third time in nine seasons. No other school in the country has finished first in that category as many times as TCU in that span. The Frogs were also first in run defense (47.1 yards), fewest first downs allowed per game (12.1) and time of possession (35:10). TCU was second in scoring defense (11.3 points per game). Do not forget that TCU had these stats last year with somewhat a decent schedule that did include games against Stanford, Oklahoma, Utah, and Boise St

However, TCU has found itself in this place just last season as they were 9-1 and had a BCS bowl in its sights before losing to Utah, 13-10. In 2006 TCU not only beat Texas Tech but they did not allow a touchdown to move to 3-0. The next week BYU comes into Fort Worth and beats the Horned Frogs. TCU vaulted into the top 25 after a road victory at No. 5 Oklahoma to start the 2005 season, only to have SMU beat the Frogs 21-10 the following Saturday. TCU finished 11-1 that season and missed out on a BCS bowl. Then in 2003, TCU was 10-0 and No. 10 in the polls when it traveled to Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles won 40-28 to end the Frogs' bid for a perfect season.

4. Christian Ponder-

I need to make a correction and send an apology to Christian Ponder. Last week I got some bad information that Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis was the ACC leading passer, while he has had an impressive season throwing for 2315 yards, 15 tds and 4 interceptions he is not the leading passer. The leading passer of the ACC is clearly Florida State QB Christian Ponder who has thrown for 2453 yards, 13 tds and 3 int's. Ponder on Saturday delivered another Heismanesque performance when he threw for 277 yards and a touchdown despite bruising his ribs early in the contest. Ponder is getting penalized for being on a Florida State team that has struggled this season or he would be right in the middle of this seasons Heisman conversation. However, the Florida State junior should be squarely in the conversation at the start of next season's Heisman trophy talk. (By the way I saw the Heisman trophy in person on Saturday and the real life trophy is a lot bigger than one would think). Big game this weekend for Ponder and his Seminoles as they travel to Clemson in a game both teams need if they want to keep their dreams for Tampa and the ACC title game alive. The Florida State-Clemson game is at 7:45 Saturday night, Georgia's game is at 1:00 on Saturday, anyone interested in a doubleheader? This is easily doable, two years ago a group of us did a UK-UGA afternoon game before a BC-Clemson game. Who is interested?

5. Baseball thoughts
   A. Is Jorge Posada the worst defensive catcher to ever play in the World Series? No wonder AJ Burnett likes throwing to Molina, I know Molina would be my preferred catcher. As I write this Posada just dropped a throw from Johnny Damon that could have kept Ryan Howard from scoring, you play catcher Posada, CATCH THE BALL.
   B. Back to Game 3: If you are going to warm up Mariano Rivera and get him hot, why not bring him into the game instead of Phil Hughes, World Series games are no place to screw around, bring in the best of all time.
   C. Fox had done an amazing job with camera shots and with the microphones on the field/umpires. On Saturday night there was a Philly double off the wall that I thought Swisher could have made a play on but the replay from centerfield showed the ball clearly off the top of the fence. Second, the AROD homer in Game 3 off the camera in right field was another piece of good work. Third, great work using the microphone on the umpire catching AROD saying that three times, it is getting obvious.
   D. Why would MLB admit that Fox had the camera in the wrong place? Keep your mouth shut and no one would have ever known.
   E. I love the fact old school guys like Bobby Cox and Charlie Manuel do not do the in game interviews with the television networks. On a side note I am a big fan of these interviews.
   F. I know it worked out for Girardi but why did he pull Sabathia after the Utley homer in the 7th inning of Game 4. Nothing against Marte but why pay Sabathia 161 million dollars if you do not think he can get Ryan Howard out to end the 7th?
   G. All 7 of the Phillies home runs this World Series have been solo. Former UGA pitching coach and current Miss St pitching coach Butch Thompson was correct when he said solo home runs do not beat you.
   H. What an at-bat by Johnny Damon, (shades of his Red Sox days) then he steals two bases.
   I. Teixeira better be glad his team is up 3 games to 1, because his .071 is being quietly swept under the rug
   J. Is anyone surprised that Jeter is hitting .412 for the World Series, I am not.
   K. Good read on Don Zminda who is the vice president and director of research for STATS LLC. He might have one of the coolest jobs in sports.

6. What I read this week –

Another solid read from the NY Times. This weeks article is on Myron Rolle and how he is adjusting to life as a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford. Rolle, who was a standout athlete at Florida State, put a potential NFL career on hold so he could study at Oxford. He is very intriguing as a person. After he completes his NFL career he plans to attend medical school and become a neurosurgeon. In addition, he has started a foundation that is building a medical clinic and recreation center on a remote island in the Bahamas. In addition here is a Q&A with Rolle

Also, for those who did not read last weeks series of articles here is the link again...Go Read Them.

7. JJ's Football thoughts for the week
    A. Something to be said for Iowa and the fact that they are 4-0 when trailing in the 4th quarter this season. The win this past weekend sets up a huge game on the 14th against Ohio State for first place in the Big Ten.
    B. I wonder what the Rose Bowl thinks about the future Oregon-Iowa matchup. on a side note, they have to be giddy over the thoughts of a Texas-Florida/Alabama National Championship Game
    C. What has happened to the New York Giants?
    D. Has anyone done a better job improving their team from week 1 to now than Oregon's Chip Kelly? After the loss to Boise, which included the infamous LeGarrette Blount punch, the program looked like it was in trouble and out of control. What a difference 9 weeks will make?
    E. The difference between Vikings and Packers? The Vikings have sacked Aaron Rodgers 14 times this season.
    F. The Broncos lost for the first time this season as they allowed 24 points in the second half after giving up 10 points in the second half of their first six games.
    G. Weird stat from the Colts game, Peyton Manning's 48 pass attempts are his second most in a game in which he did not throw a passing touchdown (50 at Jacksonville in 2006).
    H. Kurt Warner turned the ball over six times, equaling the number Jake Delhomme had in their playoff meeting. Warner matched his career high with five interceptions and has nine picks in the Cardinals' three losses this season. As a Panther fan it was nice to get some measure of revenge from the playoff debacle last season.
    I. Congrats to the Rams and Titans for getting their first win of the season.
    J. How bad were the two teams that played in Detroit on Sunday? Detroit has lost four straight and fallen to 2-29 in their last 31 games and the Rams snapped their 17-game losing streak and managed to score their first rushing touchdown of the season.
    K. Miles Austin now has 482 receiving yards in his first three starts, the most receiving yards of any player in his first three starts since the NFL-AFL merger.
    L. I knew USC was young on defense but I thought they were better than this. The Ducks piled up 613 total yards (391 rushing) while handing USC its worst loss since 1997. In fact, the 47 points were the most the Trojans have allowed since 1996 when they lost 48-41 at UCLA.
    M. What a 2nd half comeback by the Yellow Jackets against the Dores Saturday night. Even more impressive was the fact that the Yellow Jackets rolled up a season-high 597 yards total offense against a Vanderbilt defense that was ranked 34th nationally.
    N. My good friends Andrew Walters and The Admiral are not going to like this stat: The Commodores are guaranteed their 26th losing season in the last 27 years.
    O. Case Keenum continues to be one of my favorite players in college football as he threw for 559 yards and the winning touchdown with 23 seconds left to lead the Houston Cougars to a win over Southern Miss.
    P. How good is that Tennessee Volunteer Defense? The Vols defense has allowed two offensive touchdowns in their last 12 quarters.
    Q. Not sure what to think of this Brandon Spikes play, I love how the officials missed it during the game.
    R. Speaking of Spikes, apparently he and Tebow got into it last week, this does not make me happy considering the Gators were a team in turmoil coming into Saturday.
    S. Week 9 in the NFl could be a lot of fun, here are the following matchups: Steelers at Broncos, Chargers at Giants, Dallas at Philly, Miami at New England, and Houston at Indy.

8. College Power 5
    1. Florida- Does anyone doubt that Tim Tebow would not make a play when it is needed the most?
    2. Texas- Impressive showing against the cowpokes on Saturday night. Can Mack Brown keep them focused?
    3. Alabama-BYE week at a perfect time for the Crimson Tide, should be interesting game Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa when the Bayou Bengals from LSU roll into town
    4. Cincinnati-I bet all Cincinnati Bearcat fans are happy Auburn hired Gene Chizik over Brian Kelly
    4. Iowa - A win is a win is a win, especially on the road at night and on the last play of the game.
    4. TCU- Can they keep their focus and not stub their toe against someone with lesser talent.

***No idea on how to rank the last three teams so we will have them tied for 4th

9. NFL Power 5
    1. Indianapolis Colts- Was not pretty but a win is a win is a win
    2. New Orleans Saints- Big game tonight, is there anyway the Falcons stop them?
    3. New England Patriots- Bye week after playing in London, the Dolphins and their wildcat roll into Foxboro this weekend
    4. Pittsburgh Steelers- Does the bye week give them an advantage next week against the Broncos?
    5. Denver Broncos- Due to loss one after a great start to the season, huge game next Monday night in the Mile High City.

10. JJ's Non Football Thoughts for the Week
     A. I did not watch much television this week with me falling asleep at 8:00 Monday night, going to Tin Lizzy's Tuesday night, Hawks home opener/World Series Wednesday night and me going out of town Thursday afternoon.
     B. Good job by my best friend Lee Smoak his lovely wife Heather and Donald Sheppard surprising me by being at Buffalo's when we showed up Thursday night. Mind you this is after I received multiple texts saying he wasn’t coming. Well done Lee, I was totally shocked.
     C. Furthermore, it was also a great job by my good friends Ben and Lauren Ross showing up as well Thursday night. Plus if they knew about Lee coming they did an awesome job staying quiet.
     D. I need to make a correction from last week, my good buddy and #1 Met fan Dan Hauptman lives one block from the Pacific Ocean not 5 blocks as I stated last week. Plus he is wondering if Kate Hudson has any friends for David Wright as she has worked wonders for the Yankee third basemen.
     E. What a great scarf worn by Ozzie Guillen in the post-game show Sunday night.
     F. I love the fact that Dan Patrick decided to play a game of dodge ball to decide a bet between Mclovin and Seton. Next time two of my friends are trying to bet on something I will recommend Dodge Ball.
     G. Man did a great sports Sunday in Philly take a turn to negative town Sunday night around 11:30.
     H. Great job by the good doctor Mark Wilson getting us seats right on the 50 for the cocktail party on Saturday. Big week for the doctor as he starts a new set of rounds in Savannah, Ga this morning.
      I. When did Halloween become a three day event? It was celebrated Thursday night in Statesboro, Friday and Saturday at the Landing.
      J. What am I missing by not wanting to dress up?
      K. If half of these book excerpts are true, the media should go after the NBA like they do baseball. I AM SICK OF THE NBA GETTING A HALL PASS.
      L. How about an American winning the NYC Marathon. Even more impressive was the fact 6 Americans finished in the top 10. Here is to you Meb Keflezighi.
      M. By the way the NYC Marathon is one of the coolest events I have ever witnessed. It is amazing how the City of New York comes together and puts on one awesome event. Liz Robbins does an awesome job chronicling the Marathon from start to finish in her book A Race Like No Other (FYI-It is this months book club book).
      N. Good job by my roomdawg in getting to Lambeau Field for the Packers-Vikings game Sunday afternoon. Hopefully, we can get an update from him on his trip to Green Bay later in the week.
      O. Very little Non football thoughts for me, I spent all of last week getting excited for UGA-Florida and forgot to watch some television, something I hope to do this week. Things I have to watch on the Tivo include an Amazing Race, The Office, Community (3 episodes), 30 Rock (3 episodes), Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death.

Story of the Week-This week’s story comes from my good friend The Admiral who spent this weekend in Talladega.

After the race Chelsey had to pee so I waited back for her while everyone else went on back to the camp site. We were both plenty of drinks deep and have no real clue where we are going. We start walking with this guy for a while and all of a sudden we get to a campsite and the guy says “get in the golf cart and i will take you to your tent.” We jump in and he is flying. He then proceeds to tell us that he has just stolen this golf cart and we can’t stop or we will get caught. I’m so confused with what’s going on at this point. All of a sudden he takes a turn to fast and we flip it. We all fall out. Chelsey and I are ok other than some bruises but we are brushing our selves off and realize the guy has run away and we crashed back at the campsite of where we stole the cart. The people who own the cart surround us and are furious. They are calling the cops and really want to beat our asses. I tell them that we didn’t know the guy at all and he said he was taking us back to our tent. I said I will stay here if you want to tell the cops because we had no clue. They finally calmed down and just said that the cops are coming so you better run, we started running and didn’t stop till we got back to our site. The best part of the story is that he gave us his business card so we know who he is and I had a red cooler I was carrying and when we flipped I couldn’t find it and grabbed a brand new Kasey Kahne cooler with twice as many beers in it.

Well done Admiral, well done.

Quote of the Week-From a very sarcastic Bart Scott, who is a linebacker with the New York Jets after his team lost to the Dolphins

"They're a great team, they'll probably contend for the Super Bowl."

Quote of the Week 2: From The Captain of fame, Sean Buchanan, in his opening report from the National Basketball Association.

“Cheryl Miller just reported that the Celtics got in better shape by sleeping more.  All these years and it was being the early bird that made me fat!!”

Text of the Week-

From a friend, who will remain anonymous, to me on Saturday afternoon. Many texts in our convo could have won but we will go with this one as reading it as I walked out of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium put a smile on my face (it is written how I received the text)..........Well. i9e been dribking, smoking cigars,and carving pumpkinsmmmgood  times

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and as always your feedback is encouraged.

Don’t forget to check out often as there will always be more articles and info posted there on a weekly basis.

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