After last weeks picks debacle, I seriously considered taking a week off. My effort level as about as high as Georgia’s in Jacksonville — though certainly not the fans who racked up an impressive 252 MIP’s in a record setting boozification of the city. However, I decided to fight through, reminding myself that I’m at least over .500, at 24-19 against the spread, which is still better than AJC’s Jeff Schultz. Speaking of which, we’ve entered this blog in a contest to be located on Schultz’s blogroll. To aid this cause, we’re asking for donations to be made here. I’m kidding. Kind of.
To be honest, I’m just worn out by all the anger I’ve held towards the Georgia football season. I saw the beat down coming in Jacksonville (note the asterisk by last weeks pick) and already noted what my changes would be to the team. Coach, can I get a little Aaron Murray love? No, he replies at the weekly presser, “It’s pretty safe to say that they’ll be redshirted.” In the long run, I think Murray will beat out Logan Gray in camp next season and ultimately these last few games would have been valuable experience for the young quarterback. The way Bobo runs the offense, with about a 50-50 split of run and pass, the offense will only go as far as the quarterback can take them. We’ve seen what happens with a first-year starter.
At this point, I’m just ready for changes to be made and Coach Richt isn’t making any of them. Willie Martinez has to go but it’s understandable why that wouldn’t happen until the end of the season. But I fail to understand the reasoning behind keeping Joe Cox. A lot has been made of Richt being “too nice” this season. I’ve said a few times that he lacks the edge to compete with the coaches who are currently in the SEC. I’d like to see more passion on the sideline but I can deal with his demeanor. What I can’t live with is letting mediocrity continue. There’s nothing to gain by starting Joe Cox at this point. But I’ve been there already. Like I said, energy drained (of course, that could also be due to the current mega-hangover.)
Speaking of hangovers, Mark McAfee wrote an interesting opinion piece in the Red and Black about players going downtown after losses. He claims it’s not Willie Martinez’s fault that Georgia has a bunch of unmotivated players. While I think he has a point, isn’t it the coaching staff’s job to keep the team in line? On and off the field, Georgia has had numerous issues with penalties or arrests. Two players have been arrested for driving without a valid license this season. How stupid is that? My number is 770-262-2529, please call me if you need a ride.
I do think these two issues are related. If Richt won’t bring the hammer down on a player who’s not performing on the field, what kind of discipline is he instilling off the field? Players and Coaches alike must feel so safe and free in this system — like they can do no wrong. Players who are disciplined on the field are more likely to be disciplined off the field, right? Or is it the other way around? Does it matter? Whatever’s going on right now just isn’t working. I’d like to see some changes. Or at least signs that change is coming.
Which is a neat little segue into basketball season! WOO! I’m really looking forward to the Mark Fox era at Stegeman Coliseum (which is a word I can never spell correctly. Dictionary.com’ed it for the millionth time today!). He brings a fresh attitude and from what I’ve heard is a great guy to be around. He connects well with his players and I think he’ll be able to bring in come great talent to this program. With our facilities, location in a talent-rich state and sportaholic fanbase, the pieces are all there. Hopefully Fox is the man to (finally) put them together.
Having a team with no expectations (universally picked last by the SEC media in Birmingham a few weeks ago) is actually a great thing for a fan. Every loss is expected so it’s really not a big deal. Every win is a huge celebration. Hell, even a close loss can be a reason for celebration. Matt Bucklin was worried that I’d be killing the team for poor performances. No sir. I’m excited about where this program is going to go. Hopefully we’ll sneak in a few upsets and make this season a lot of fun. And I’ll only kill Bucklin.
Ok, it’s time to get serious here. I’m only going to pick two games in the SEC this week, because most teams are playing high school opponents (Sorry Vandy, but even we blew you out). And I brought in a ringer to make sure I don’t slip further and further to the Schultz line (probably not helping my blogroll odds, huh?) You know him, you love him, he’s the Football Jesus. We talked about the Alabama LSU game as well as some other national title contenders.
The other pickable game this week is South Carolina heading to Arkansas. It’s about time for South Carolina’s perennial mid-season meltdown. The beating in Knoxville was a major red flag that the landslide is coming and if South Carolina gives up that many points to Tennessee, Arkansas could have a field day. Arkansas -6
Until next time, Ball Hard.