1. Georgia Thoughts-
What a great job by the Dawgs on Saturday afternoon. Yes, I know it was Tennessee Tech and yes I only know we scored 38 points but it was as close to perfect as UGA has played in a long, long time. Some will say its Tennessee Tech but how many times has UGA played great against a team it should play great against? The Dawgs could have scored 60 if we wanted, but after the first touchdown of the second half Richt emptied the bench and gave a lot of players significant playing time.
I will start with a couple of negatives just because I can. Georgia was flagged for 11 penalties for 86 yards and every time someone committed a penalty they were pulled from the game and met by Richt, for what looked like a tongue slashing (at least by Richt's standards). While the number of penalties probably cost Georgia some touchdowns, I love the fact Richt put his foot down and said enough was enough. Logan Gray's interception was really bad and maybe everyone will now believe Richt when he says that Joe Cox gives Georgia the best chance to win. One more area of concern was the fact that Georgia's defense did not create one turnover on Saturday. What makes this even more puzzling was the fact we dominated the line of scrimmage, had 6 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and we still did not create a turnover. Through 9 games this season Georgia remains 119th out of 120 teams in turnover margin and dead last in turnovers created.
Now onto the positives. Joe Cox did not throw an interception and looked quite efficient completing 10 passes in 13 attempts for 140 yards and 2 td's. Next Saturday if Cox only attempts 13 passes, Georgia will probably beat Auburn by 3 touchdowns. Furthermore, Georgia rushed for a season-high 304 yards and both Caleb King and Washaun Ealey look like they have improved every week this season. These two are quietly turning into quite the running back tandem. Throw in some wildcat type formations with Branden Smith and this could become quite the dynamic offense.
While the rushing game on Saturday was impressive, the star was the defense. -13 total yards on the ground and 55 yards of total offense is downright dominant. Yes, Georgia was supposed to be dominant, but "supposed to" so rarely actually happens. Add in 6 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss and you can really see how impressive the Dawgs defensive was on Saturday. Here are a few more positive stats; Tennessee Tech went 3 and out of their first four possessions of the game and only crossed the 50 yard line once the entire game. To further add to the dominance the Dawgs held the Eagles to only 4 3rd down conversions in 13 attempts.
While I know many of you are saying that it is only Tennesee Tech do not get to excited, may I remind you of the following scores from years past? Against Western Carolina last season Georgia didn't reach the end zone until its third possession and allowed points on three of WCU's first five possessions. Last season against the Eagles of Georgia Southern, Georgia allowed 21 points. When the Central Michigan Chippewas visited Athens last season we had to punt on three of our first six possessions (do not forget we had two top 15 picks on that team last year). In 2007 when we finished 11-2 and some say the best team in the country at the end of the season we allowed Troy to score 34 points. I can go on and on with these examples. One more question, if UGA would have played a Tennessee Tech earlier in the season would we be a better team today?
The past few weeks I have read multiple articles on the effect of the Bye week on both college and the NFL and I have found some interesting results. Andy Staples for CNNSI.com this week did a study on each of the BCS conferences records following a Bye week. The survey went all the way back to 2006 as that is when the NCAA added a 12th regular season game. A couple things of interest, teams in the SEC had the best record following the bye at 32-20 which is a .620 winning percentage. Unfortunately, it should be stated that a .620 winning percentage is not good enough for a majority of the SEC schools. The Big Ten teams had the worst record following the bye week at 4-8 for a winning percentage of .333. A couple things of note about the Big Ten, this is the last year that they ask all member schools to have the season completed before Thanksgiving thus eliminating many schools opportunity for the bye week. In addition, many of the so called experts claim the 7 weeks off between the last regular season game and the bowl games could be a reason for the Big Ten's lack of success in the BCS bowls the past few seasons. (Personally I think the Big 10 has run into better teams in the BCS bowls but they have had success in the other bowl games) Furthermore, I can only wonder if Iowa would have been given a bye sometime this season would they have laid an egg against Northwestern like the did this Saturday?
In the NFL the story is a little different, home teams following a bye have won 58.5% of their games which is not that different than the 58.2% rate that teams win at home who have played the previous week. For teams that are on the road following a bye week they win 47.2% of the time, a lot different than the 41.2% that teams win on the road after playing the week before. A couple of things of note for the NFL study, both teams that played in London two weeks ago won on Sunday following a bye week last week. In addition both teams were at home. It should be noted that the Steelers are on the road tonight following a bye week in which the Broncos played last week. Will this give them an advantage tonight at Invesco Field at Mile High?
3. The decision facing Ryan Clark
Speaking of tonight's game in Denver, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark as well as the entire Steelers organization has an interesting decision to make tonight. Clark who has the sickle-cell trait which attacks his organs at high altitude. It happened to him in '05 when he played in Denver with the Redskins, and he had more severe problems during a '07 game at Denver. Clark had to be hospitalized immediately and eventually had his spleen removed. He lost nearly 40 pounds during his illness and wondered if he would be able to play again. Clark has been cleared by the Doctors to play this week, however the Steelers have yet to confirm whether or not he is going to play. Sources are saying that he is not going to play and one can not help but think this is the right decision. What may make the decision a little easier is the fact teammate Hines Ward said earlier last week that if the decision was up to him that Clark would not play because the risk was not worth the reward. Clark has given interesting reasons why he wants to play in Denver and why this is even a decision at all. "It's not excruciating from a point that, if I don't play, my life will be over. It is one football game. It's not so much I want to go beat the Broncos, as I would like to come back fully from a situation that brought me near death and kind of conquer playing in a place that made me ill in that kind of way. But you have to take yourself out of it from that standpoint, realize you do have children, you do have a life and you have a career that you would like to be long." While I am no doctor and have no idea what Clark is battling internally, I have to agree with fellow UGA Alum Hines Ward that the reward is not worth such a high risk.
4. JJ's 5 Heisman Hopeful as right now
1. CJ Spiller (Clemson) Without him the Tigers are 3-6 right now. It should be noted that Spiller has had a touchdown of at least 60 yards in six of the seven games (60 yard catch against TCU but he did not score).
2. Case Keenum (Houston) Back to back games with 500 yards passing can not be ignored.
3. Mark Ingram (Alabama) Against the 4 ranked teams on Bama's schedule he has ran for 712 yards.
4. Colt McCoy (Texas) He might win this award this season as more of a career achievement award than anything else.
5. Tim Tebow (Florida) He is one big game against Alabama from becoming the favorite again. How many voters will vote for him because of the way he got jobbed last year.
5. Baseball thoughts of the Week
a. Congrats to the Yankees for winning their 27th World championship
b. Fun fact: there has been a Democrat in the White House during the last 9 Yankee W.S. titles.
c. I know Matsui hit .615 for the World Series but I am surprised the writers gave him the MVP when he did not play an inning in the field and only pinched hit in games 3, 4 and 5.
d. How good was Chase Utley during the 2009 World Series? If he could only teach teammate Ryan Howard that same swing, Howard might hit 80 home runs one season.
e. My free agent wish list that makes sense for Braves, Billy Wagner and two of the following three: Xavier Nady, Nick Johnson, Mark Derosa. If Kiko Calera could be had at the right price he would make sense as well.
f. I will be interested to see what news we here from the GM meetings this week if any. I would not be surprised to see a trade or two.
g. Everywhere I read says Matt Holliday is a perfect fit for the Mets, what am I missing besides the fact he plays left field? No way Holliday has success in NYC.
h. Why would the Yankees sign Damon to more than a one year contract when Carl Crawford becomes a free agent after next season?
i. I am still baffled the way the Phillies used J.A. Happ this postseason. He was one of the biggest reasons they got to the postseason.
j. The free agent I am most intrigued about this off-season? JJ Putz. No idea where he will land and at what price. Could he fit in the ATL?
k. The NY Times has a pretty good read on some of the bizarre items many Yankees have left in their locker this off-season. http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/the-calm-after-the-storm/
l. This youtube 3 part series is a must watch. This is from last Thursday's David Letterman show when Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada were the guest. Jeter is so awesome. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
6. What I read this week
Couple quick but fascinating reads this week. The first read comes from the Boston Globe and how a metro Boston high school team is still undefeated this season despite the coach who led them to a state title last year is in jail after pleading guilty to statutory rape. In addition, the star quarterback transferred to a prep school. If that is not enough drama thirty-seven seniors graduated, including the entire offensive line and secondary. Plus the team captain - who could finish as the leading scorer in Massachusetts history - injured his shoulder playing lacrosse in the summer and then his ankle this season. Great read on how influential high school coaches can be.
The second read comes from the Washington Post and their leadership series. This particular article compares the corporate structure of an organization to that of a football team.
The third read also comes from the Washington Post and again their leadership series. This time we will look at Steve Jobs. Jobs has put together 7 techniques that he has learned about inspiring his audience; tips that you can use to inspire who you need to inspire.
7. Football thoughts of the Week
a. What an amazing and at the same time scary play with Jahvid Best. This photo and youtube clip show it all. Word out of Berkley say that Best has a concussion (his second in two weeks) and movement in all his extremities.
b. For those of you who watched Two A Days on MTV a few falls ago here is an update on Max Lerner. Max is now a All-Southern Conference defender for Furman University. Greenville News sportswriter Willie Smith had this to say about Lerner when previewing the Paladins contest against the Auburn Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen from this past weekend: "Lerner is a hard-nosed safety, who played even better than I believe the coaches expected. Watching the reaction to him on the road (mostly by coeds), however, is pretty funny. At a game against Western Carolina in 2007, the entire WCU dance squad waited outside the Furman locker room, then squealed when he came out." I am a little jealous.
c. When did talking to Deion Sanders become more of a problem than trying to blind someone on a football field or absolutely bullying someone on the soccer field?
d. I think the NCAA treatment of Dez Bryant is despicable and should call into question the integrity of some at the NCAA
e. Instead of punishing a kid for lying why is the NCAA not working to come up with a plan to nationalize the standard of officiating, or putting rules in place concerning concussions and when players can return to the field.
f. What a tough season for Wake Forest this year as 5 of the Demon Deacons 6 loses have come by 3 points or less.
g. Josh Nesbitt and Jonathan Dwyer might be the best QB-RB tandem in the country. Dwyer has rushed for 1093 yards this season and 9 touchdowns. Nesbitt has passed for 1223 yards and 6 touchdowns, while he has also rushed for 817 yards and 15 touchdowns. Just a side note for all the Yellow Jacket fans who read this, why all the empty seats Saturday afternoon?
h. USC is 28-0 in November under Pete Carroll, the Men of Troy have also won 10 straight games against Arizona State.
i. Another reason I think Jim Tresel is one helluva coach, Ohio State avenged last year's loss to Penn State, improving Tressel's record to 11-1 vs. Big Ten teams who beat the Buckeyes the year before.
j. How good is CJ Spiller? He scores touchdowns rushing and receiving while combining for 312 all-purpose yards, surpassing the school record of 310 set two games ago in a 40-37 overtime win at Miami.
k. Thinking play at home doesnt't count for something. The Falcons looked awful the past two weeks before coming home and behind Michael Turner's 166 yards and two touchdowns win and improved their home record to 4-0 this season and 11-1 the last two years.
l. The Colts have now won 10 in a row at home and have yet to lose to the Texans in Indianapolis.
m. How impressive is this stat, with its win on Sunday, Indy is now the fourth team in league history with 17 straight regular-season wins. New England did it twice -- winning a record 21 straight from 2006-08 and 18 in a row from 2003-04. Chicago won 17 straight from 1933-34. It should be noted the Patriots go to Indy next Sunday.
n. I wonder how the Bears fans who are readers of this column will react to this comment? It might be time for a change at the helm in the Windy City. While I think there are worse coaches in the league than Lovie Smith but the Bears have underachieved since their Super Bowl run a few seasons ago. Imagine the excitement in the Windy City if the Bears were to go out and hire Mike Shanahan.
o. Whatever is the problem for the monsters of the midway needs to be fixed quickly as they have to travel to San Fransisco on Wednesday this week for the first Thursday night game of the season. By the way the 49ers need a win in the worst way as well. Should be intriguing come Thursday night.
p. What has happened to the NY football Giants? Hard to believe a month ago they were clearly the best team in football and everyone was talking about the potential Manning Bowl for the Super Bowl. Man have things changed and we might want to look at their defense for the reason. In the first 3 games this season the G-Men allowed only 7.7 points per game. In the last four which have all been loses, the same team has allowed on average 33.3 points per game.
r. I find it hilarious that
s. Rookie Colts coach Jim Caldwell became the first NFL coach since Potsy Clark in 1931 to win his first eight games. Clark coached by the way a team now known as the Portsmouth Spartans. By the way the Spartans are now known as the Detroit Lions. I can hear Chris Berman now, "Nobody circles the wagons like the Portsmouth Spartans"
t. Here is to the Bucs! They went with the old school uniforms and won their first game this season.
u. The Packers are 4-4, but the four wins are over teams a combined 7-24. Hopefully, the Packers can win 6 of the following games Cowboys, 49ers, @Detroit, Ravens, @Bears, @Steelers, Seahawks, and @Cardinals. I would love for the roomdawg to cash in on his Packer win total bet, but it is going to be tough.
v. Major props to Joey Elliot to become the first Boilermaker QB to win inside the Big House since Bob Griese.
Football Quote of the Week
"As I just told the team, I coach the team exactly the same way every week regardless of the situation, whether it's win or lose, one thing they know from me is I never change, never, ever change."
Current Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis. My advice to Charlie, in an ever changing world, you might want to change just a little.
8. College Power 5
1. Florida - Pretty big trip to South Carolina this weekend for the Nations number 1 team. You know ex Coach Steve Spurrier has some tricks up his sleeve for this game.
2. Texas- Will they be challenged before the BCS Championship game?
3. Alabama- Clinched the SEC West Saturday with a win over LSU. The Tide still has to visit the the so called loveliest village on the plains the day after Thanksgiving.
4. Cincinnati-Two tough contests with West Virginia (this Friday) and Pittsburgh remain.
5. TCU-Can almost guarantee themselves a BCS bid this weekend with a win over Utah
9. NFL Power 5
1. Indianapolis Colts-Have looked less than dominant the last two weeks but a win is a win is a win.
2. New Orleans Saints- Another come from behind win for one of the more dynamic offense in football. This team has by far the easiest 2nd half schedule.
3. Minnesota Vikings-Had the bye week this week and now three straight home games follow.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers - Very intriguing match up tonight as the Steelers face the Broncos in a matchup that features some premiere defenses and QB's that have been playing at a high level this season.
5. Denver Broncos - Tonight begins a period of 5 games in 25 days for the ponies.
10. Non Football Thoughts of the Week
a. 60 Minutes and The Amazing Race continue to impress on Sunday nights. These shows are must Tivo programming in my opinion. Everyone should be watching Football Night in America Live at 7:00.
b. Speaking of 60 minutes, two great stories Sunday night with a sit down interview with Andre Agassi and a feature on how America's most precious computers are so vulnerable to hacking.
c. Curb Your Enthusiasm continues to be the best comedy on television in my opinion. (I have yet to see any of this seasons 30 Rock, even though I have them all Tivo'd)
d. Speaking of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David taught us last night that there are two ways one can injure their neck.
e. Not sure what to think of Agassi's new book and why he would admit to Crystal Meth use in the late 90's. My only thought is that he is running out of money and when one mas their home in Las Vegas, running out of money could become an issue.
f. How much sleep have I gotten in the past day and a half? I feel asleep 945 Saturday night and woke up around 900-915 Sunday morning. Feel back asleep around 1100 and woke up a little after 100 for the football games. Not sure what I should think of this.
g. Great job by The Captain with the link dump on Friday of this past week. The captain would be surprised to know that Shreveport would not be the worst place in the world for a UGA bowl game. The reason why...the multiple casinos in greater Shreveport. My first choice for a UGA bowl game...The Music City on December 27th in wonderful Nashville, Tn.
h. I went and saw the movie The Blind Side on Wednesday night. It was tremendous and a must see for everyone. Follow the link for my review of the movie.
i. The University of Arizona had an undie run this past week, great job by the Arizona Daily Wildcat for the coverage they provided. (Link is safe for work).
j. Why did I not organize an undie run at UGA? Great idea for a potential fundraiser as we could give all the proceeds to a charity. Who is with me?
k. Reebok has a new commercial trying to sell you some shoes, I am thinking about buying a pair.
l. Big fan of this song, I know I am white and not all that into rap but Jay-Z is a must listen.
m. Sunday nights are missing something without Entourage.
n. Where in the hell did Hurricane Ida come from?
o. Modern Family continues to be the best show on ABC and a great midweek distraction. Does anybody watch anything else on ABC because nothing else looks good.
p. Office was decent this week, not great. The writers do a good job of keeping Dwight weird every week. How do they keep coming up with such weird situations for Mr. Schrute?
q. It appears the Office has upset some people from an episode two weeks ago. Personally, I thought this line was funny as it obviously is a joke and I am old enough to take it as a joke, "Kids, just remember, suicide is not the answer. It is the easy way out."
r. Back to this week's episode for a second, this clearly was the line of the episode, "The only time you should care about a woman's age is if she is too young for you and I am not robbing the cradle. If anything I am robbing the grave."
s. Thinking about going to Gary Allan Friday night at the Tabernacle...Anyone interested in going with? Pre-party at the rooftop?
t. Should I admit that I am a huge fan of this song? Put your hands up its a party in the USA!!!
u. In closing I need to congratulate my good friend and Coach, BJ Mitchell for putting together a team that brought home the office championship. Here is a picture of the winners. It should be noted that I was a member of this team and did more for the team to win than Mark Teixera did for the Yankees.
Quote of the week
"I hope at the end of the day Carver's has one piece of Country Fried Steak they have to throw away"
Co-worker Dan Eanes after a group of us returned from Carver's trip in which Dan did not make. Dan decided to not join us for lunch after calling for the menu and not hearing Country Fried Steak on the menu.
“Who are you?”
What NY Yankees fans chanted Friday morning when the Yankees employee buses came by in the Parade. I hope to hear this chant one day soon.
Text of the week
Did not have a text sent by me or sent to me qualify as text of the week. You guys are better than that and I am not proud of you right now. Thus we will go with a random text from Texts from last night.
The text comes from the 916 area code which is metro Sacramento, California. this crazy girl up in Dennys is going crazy because Bob Saget just texted her.
Now that's a text message.
I hope to see everyone in Athens, Ga this weekend. I do apologize for arriving late but I will be there. Stop by and say hello as I should get to town around 500 Saturday afternoon.