Monday, November 30, 2009

Mumme Poll Ballott

Top Five
  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Cincinnati
  • TCU
Next Seven
  • Boise State
  • Oregon
  • Ohio State
  • Iowa
  • Georgia Tech
  • Virginia Tech
  • Penn State
This was the hardest week by far to rank the last 5 teams. I had to hold my nose to put two ACC and 3 Big Ten teams in the Top 12. I think this will get turned upside down during bowl season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How 'Bout Them Redeeming Dawgs!!!

Dawgs 30 - Tech 24. That was a hell of an effort from all of our players and coaches. Tough slugfest and our guys came out on top.

I am leaving for China in 6 hours and need to go to bed, so I will come back on Monday (when I arrive in Hong Kong) and share my thoughts. Until then... Smile because the Dawgs own the State of Georgia as usual!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

To Hell With Georgia Tech

Did you think for one minute that I would not return to this space and boldly predict a Dawg victory? Fuck that shit... Pabst Blue Ribbon.

The Dawgs aren't a very good football team. Tech is an excellent football team. In an ironic twist of fate, the Dawgs are headed to a lowly Bowl while Tech is likely headed to a New Years Day Bowl. Tech fans are riding high and think of Paul Johnson as their savior. The Dawg fans are in a funk and want to see some heads roll. Tech fans are certain they will win tonight. Many Georgia fans agree with them. But... the fans don't play the game. They are "outside the arena" some might say. And the Dawg players have nothing left to play for this season except in-state bragging rights.

The athletes wearing red and black have more than enough talent to beat any Tech team. If these Dawgs play focused and avoid the mistakes that killed them last week, the Dawgs will win a close game. If these Dawgs force Tech into a few mistakes, the Dawgs will win comfortably. The only way these Dawgs will lose to Tech is by committing turnovers and costly penalties. I believe this will be the game that these Dawgs play with enough focus and determination to avoid those mistakes and will earn a measure of redemption at the Joke by Coke tonight!

The heroes for the Dawgs...

Bryan Evans - This is the one game that we need his run support skill and he will make some big plays.

Orson Charles - With AJ Green out with injury, Orson will be our primary weapon in the passing game. T. King, Wooten and Moore will all have important grabs as well.

Rennie Curran - Rennie will have to play the option from the inside out this year and avoid overpursuit. His diligent film study will allow him to be in position to make more plays this go around.

Zach Renner - Block that Kick!

HDD Prediction: DAWGS 34 - Tech 28

Go Dawgs! GATA!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Who Knows? You Don't, I Don't and Yellow Dog Don't

This Georgia team has been consistently unpredictable and predictably inconsistent. All of Dawgnation has had a Godawful taste in their mouth since the halftime of the Kentucky game when our team slipped into a coma. This was after the uplifting win over Auburn had everyone feeling skippy. So now, after a manic-depressive season that will be one to forget, one last order of business remains. Georgia Tech enters with a 10-1 record, a berth in the ACC Championship Game and a shot at their first ever BCS Bowl appearance. Georgia has a chance to wear the spoiler's cap, yet no one is giving them any chance. And for that reason alone, the Dawgs may have a chance.

Actually, our defense has been mostly uninspiring this season and could possible get torched for 500 yards of rushing. On the other hand, our athletes are as good or better than their athletes and it is a huge rivalry game with hometown bragging rights on the line. Tech wants this game but doesn't need it. The Dawgs need this win to garner some measure of redemption for a season otherwise destined for the rubbish bin of UGA football history. The question is, "How bad do they want it?"

Based on recent performances, Georgia should have no chance in this game, especially without AJ Green. Vegas agrees and has the Dawgs as an 8.5 point underdog. I am surprised they ave it that close.

Having watched Paul Johnson's offense during his Navy tenure and the past two seasons at Tech, it is clear that the only way to stop it is to play rigidly disciplined assignment-oriented defense and to create turnovers. This year, our defense has created only 7 turnovers and has shown no discipline when facing misdirection or zone-read types of plays. Guess what... the Paul Johnson offense is all about reads and misdirection. Tech will not lose if they do not have turnovers. Is this article inspiring any confidence in any Dawg fans?

So, if we can't stop them and we can't cause any turnovers, we just have to outscore them right? And we have to outscore them without AJ Green. And we have to outscore them with Joe Cox at QB who had his night game unbeaten streak ended last week with his two 4th quarter throws directly into the arms of Kentucky linemen. Anybody got any bright ideas about how we can score enough points to win?

When in doubt, go to your tight end. Especially when AJ Green is in street clothes. Our tight ends will need to catch a lot of balls Saturday night if we are going to have any chance. Not only that, but we will need to rush for no less than 200 yards. In other words, we will need to have our best rushing game of the season and will also need to have one of our best passing games of the season to win because we will certainly give up no less than 30 points to the Tech offense. I won't say it can't happen, but the odds are long.

Still, at this blog, we never pick against the Dawgs. We either don't pick, or we predict a Dawgs victory. I am not yet sure which it will be. If I can conjure up any way for the Dawgs to pull out a win, I will come back here tomorrow and blow sunshine up your ass and predict that the Dawgs will reverse all of the terrible trends they have establish this long season and will finally, in their 12th try, come up with a successful game in all phases for four quarters. Long odds, indeed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Footie Picker Weekend of Thanksgiving

Here we go again with my round of awful picks.


Texas 22.5 TEXAS A&M


Pittsburgh 1.5 WEST VIRGINIA
Alabama 12.5 AUBURN
CINCINNATI 18 Illinois
Nebraska 8.5 COLORADO


Virginia Tech 13 VIRGINIA
Tennessee 3.5 KENTUCKY
FLORIDA 23 Florida State
7 Georgia
LSU 3.5 Arkansas
STANFORD 7.5 Notre Dame

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mumme Poll Ballot

Here is my Mumme Poll ballot for this week...

Top Five
  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Cincinnati
  • Georgia Tech
Next Seven
  • TCU
  • Boise State
  • Oregon
  • Oklahoma State
  • Ohio State
  • Pittsburgh
  • Iowa
I had trouble selecting the last two. Also, after Texas, I could scramble the next 4 teams and be fairly content with the results.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

HDD Prediction and Predilection: Kentucky Edition

I was going to take the kids up to this game, but that fell through, so we will be watching it from Amelia Island. I am not sure what to expect but it is senior day and Joe Cox is undefeated at night. We will be without our biggest playmaker, AJ Green, so lots of other players will have to step up again just like they did in the second half against Auburn. I expect we will get our running game going and will try to hook up on a few deep balls. But, I would also like to see us work the short passing game effectively including screens, slants and short crossing routes. Our TEs may have a huge night - especially if Caleb King and Washaun Ealey are banging out 5 yards per carry.

Our defense will be facing an offense that is much less fearsome than many we have played this year. But, we cannot play without aggression and discipline. And we cannot play like a team looking ahead to Ga Tech.

I believe this game will be pretty boring with the Dawgs winning 27 - 13. But, all that really matters is getting the win.


Footie Picker Weekend of 11/21

Ohio State 12.5 MICHIGAN
CLEMSON 19.5 Virginia
BOSTON COLLEGE 3.5 North Carolina
TENNESSEE 17 Vanderbilt
GEORGIA 8.5 Kentucky
ARKANSAS 10.5 Miss State
STANFORD 7 California
OLE MISS 3.5 Lsu
NEBRASKA 16.5 Kansas State
Oregon 6 ARIZONA
TEXAS 26.5 Kansas
Oklahoma 6.5 TEXAS TECH

Quick Hitters

Georgia - Auburn Final Thoughts
  1. Firefly Vodka - enough was too much. The Auburn game is my drinking Achilles heel.
  2. I asked for lots of Rambo and we got it and more. He basically saved the game at risk of his life. He would make a damn good Marine!
  3. I asked for more than 140 yards of rushing and we got 169 and all of that in the final 3 quarters.
  4. I wanted Joe Cox to have a better night than Chris Todd. I will say that Cox's zero interceptions beats Todd's two.
  5. I wanted AJ Green to get the ball 10 times. Unfortunately, he got hurt in the second quarter after 3 receptions. We will not have him back for Ga Tech and that hurts.
  6. Beating Auburn always feels good. Really good.

Chance Veazey...There were lots of folks wearing Team Veazey shirts supporting the Bulldogs baseball player who was tragically paralyzed when he was hit by a car while riding a scooter. We met some friends of the Veazey family who described Chance as an outstanding All-American kid. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he learns to cope with this challenge. It sounds like Chance is the kind of guy who will continue to strive for excellence in all he does and he can use all the support Dawgnation can provide. Here is a link to Chance's Caring Bridge journal. Keep fighting Chance!

UGA VII... You know that young Uga VII died unexpectedly Thursday. He will be buried in Sanford Stadium this morning. Our beloved White English Bulldogs make the world's greatest team mascots but they are not a breed known for longevity. Maybe the UGA vet school should work with the genetics department to come up with a super Bulldog that can overcome the ailments that commonly afflict this breed. That would be cool. In the meantime, we feel bad for the Seiler family and the loss of their pet, who was described as the sweetest of the Ugas.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Real Man Can Cry, Can't He?

I ain't afraid to cry. Some things give me a tear every time... every time:

Watching my children achieve another milestone.

The National Anthem.


The singing of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" at the processional of every Christmas Eve service.

Fantine's Death in Les Miserables.

The ending of "It's A Wonderful Life."

(Big time waterworks)

The singing of "Navy Blue and Gold" after beating Army or Air Force (or Notre Dame.)

And the glorious tears of joy after Georgia beats a rival. What is so beautiful is that our record was totally irrelevant to the insane joy of the Georgia faithful when we denied Auburn's final attempt and preserved the win! Thank you DAWGS!

Friday, November 13, 2009

HDD Prediction and Predilection: Auburn Edition

What does Vegas know that I don't know? Or, better yet, what do the nation's bettors know that I don't know. Throughout the week Georgia has been held as a 4 or 5 point favorite. As we speak, the Dawgs are giving 4.5 points.

Do they know that Georgia hasn't beaten a team with a pulse since harvest began? Do they know that we have beaten Auburn only three times in Athens since Herschel toted the pigskin? Do they know that we aren't silly enough to try another "Blackout"?

On the other hand...

Maybe they know that Coach Richt has never lost to Tennessee, Florida and Auburn in the same season. Maybe they know that Joe Cox, the Ginger Ninja, is lethal at night. Maybe they are looking at our three common opponents (Tennessee, Arkansas and LSU) and concluding that the Dawgs have done a little better. We beat Arkansas by 11, Auburn lost by 19; Auburn beat Tennessee by 4, we lost by 26; We lost to LSU by 7, Auburn lost by 21. Our net in these three games was -22 while Auburn's net was -36. Could that equate to a Dawg victory tomorrow? It could if we block, run, throw, catch, tackle, cover and kick well. I don't think anyone could possibly know what we will see tomorrow. But, I will tell you what I hope to see.

1. Lots and lots of AJ Green. Please throw it to him at least 10 times and start doing it early. If AJ gets going early, the matchups everywhere else on the field will quickly begin to favor the Dawgs whether we are running or passing. Auburn can't ignore AJ unless we do first. Seems obvious, but in 3 of our 4 losses, AJ saw the ball 5 times or less: (OSU = 4; LSU = 5; UF = 3.) He did have 8 receptions against Tennessee, but so many other things were going wrong in Knoxville that 25 receptions may not have been enough.

2. A solid game from Washaun Ealey or Caleb King or both. I favor having one guy shoulder the load. But in the end, what I want to see is a combined 30 carries for at least 140 yards. If we get that, we should have opportunities in our passing game that would otherwise shut down like screens, an open Orson Charles and less safety help against AJ..

3. Defensive end play! I know it was Tenn. Tech, but I would like to see a continuation of that speed rush that we saw from our ends last week, especially since Justin Houston will be back. A healthy dose of pressure from Houston, Washington, Robinson, Dobbs, et al will go a long way to making it a tough night for Chris Todd. He has a QB rating of 146.55 and has thrown 17 TDs, only 3 INTS and has been sacked only 12 times. By comparison, Cox's number are 136.99, 17 TDs, 12 INTs, 8 sacks. Tomorrow night, we need our Ginger Ninja to have a better night than Todd and our DEs are the key to making that happen.

4. First Blood! In more ways than one. I would like to see us score first, of course. But I also want to see lots and lots of Rambo. You know what I mean.

5. Finally, when this game is done, I want Rex Robinson and Kevin Butler to be thrilled... because that will mean that Blair Walsh and Drew Butler again had stellar performances. Frankly, with Drew, less will be more. But I would like to see lots of Walsh kickoffs and PATs and in the event that he is needed, perfection on field goals!

I will be heading out in one hour for the 6 hour drive. I will be running around Athens tonight in a monkey suit and will look forward to cranking up the tailgate early tomorrow. I haven't decided on my game day drink since, like our coordinators, no combination has been consistently successful.

HDD prediction: Dawgs 30 - Auburn 27.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Footie Picker Weekend of 11/14


CINCINNATI 10 West Virginia


Boston College 4.5 VIRGINIA
Clemson 7 NC STATE
Georgia Tech 10.5 DUKE
Texas 24 BAYLOR
OLE MISS 3.5 Tennessee
PITTSBURGH 6.5 Notre Dame
SOUTHERN CAL 11 Stanford
Alabama 12.5 MISS STATE
TCU 17 Utah
GEORGIA 4 Auburn


I will post something new regarding the approaching Auburn game later. But for now... here is a repost of a couple of my first ever blog posts from November 2005. (I find them still relevant) ...


I cannot exactly remember the first Georgia-Auburn game I saw, but I can remember the better part of the last 25-30 contests. Since my birth, in 1966, the Dawgs are 17-20-2 (update: 20-21-2) against the WarPlainsTigerEagles. Since Auburn holds only a 4 (update: 2 game lead) game advantage in the total 108 (update 112)times the teams have met, we have lost ground during my 39 year tenure as a loyal Dawgs fan. This is a disturbing trend that I would like to see reversed - starting Saturday.

One of the earliest memories I have of this series is back in the late '70s when both teams wore tear-away jerseys. I remember Ray Goff going through several jerseys running the old veer attack, but it always seemed like Auburn's backs were wearing paper jerseys the way the came apart with the slightest tug. Of course, after watching the big boys play, my friends and I would get out our oldest t-shirts for the next pick-up tackle football game. For good measure, we would go ahead and get a few rips started in the old shirts so that before the afternoon was over, we would return home in shreds. For some reason, I have no visual images of other SEC teams wearing tearaways like Georgia and Auburn.

My senior year in high school (Fall 1983), I was fortunate enough to be on a recruiting trip to the UGA-Auburn game in Athens and was in the locker room after the game the Dawgs lost (7-13) which cost us the SEC Championship. I don't remember exactly what Coach Dooley told the players, but I recall thinking that he was a great leader who commanded instant respect. I still do!

In 1986, I was a Midshipman at the Naval Academy, but I vividly recall watching the "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Hose 'Em" game at Chadwicks on K-Street in Georgetown with my friend Mark Haden from Ladue, MO. That year, my brother Drew (USNA '86; pictured at right) was in flight school in Pensacola and made the trip to the Plains with a few other Aviators in training. After Wayne Johnson led the Dawgs to a 20-16 win, the celebration was on. To keep the Georgia fans off the field, West Opelika's finest turned fire hoses on the crowd. My brother, being the way he is and all, got hosed Selma Style. I wish I had seen that! (UPDATE 9-25-07: Apparently this one paragraph from my blog keeps getting linked at on an Auburn message board eliciting discussion from those who want to say Auburn is classless (which I have not done) and those who defend Auburn by stating that there were no firehoses, only sprinklers. Whether or not the water came from firehoses or sprinklers was not particularly germane to my paragraph, but in the interest of accuracy and to not inflame Auburn folks, I will stipulate that some Georgia fans were soaked with "sprinklers" rather than firehoses. Furthermore, I will stipulate that Georgia fans, my brother included, should have stayed off the field. Finally, I will stipulate that I never considered what happened as classless or unwarranted, I simply thought it was funny. That is all. It happened. It was funny to everyone I ever talked to about it. My brother got soaked. I laughed then and I laugh about it still. Life should not be boring - unlike my blog! Furthermore, within a few days of posting this series of recollections in November 2005, I posted this about Auburn fans. I certainly did not intended to throw any trash on Auburn anywhere in this blog and I am disappointed that one innocuous paragraph has been linked several times as an indication of some sort of Auburn bashing. But, it has been amusing seeing how much traffic my little blog has gotten "out of the blue" the past few days. I will also say that I was in Sanford Stadium in November 1995 when Auburn players and fans as well as Georgia fans destroyed our hedges, but it did not matter because the hedges were coming out to make room for the 1996 Olympic Soccer games. Now, don't even try to tell me that didn't happen because I saw many Auburn players walking around the field after the game with pieces of the hedges 3-4' long. Still, so what? The hedges were doomed anyway and that was the last game in Sanford that season.

One last note, while growing up, I worked on our farm and we used "sprinklers" to water our tobacco, corn, peanuts and soybeans. Those sprinklers operated at 110 p.s.i. and would shoot water 120 feet. I'm just sayin.')

In 1988, having graduated from Navy, I was a student at the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens - located not too far from Allen's Famous Hamburgers on Prince Avenue (a brief moment of silence please). Okay, I just spent the last 5 minutes thinking about all the good times at Allen's. I wish I had some of the brain cells back, but other than that, Allen's was good to me and my crew. Anyway... Georgia was playing at Auburn with a shot at tying for the SEC Crown. I stayed in Athens and we had a party at some girls' condo at Eagle (Something) off of South Lumpkin. The Dawgs were playing rather poorly. However, the beers were going down rather nicely. During the half-time, we went out into the parking lot and were throwing a nerf football around. With an excess of zeal, I chased after one throw and rolled my ankle on the curb like Tyrone Prothro. Ok, not quite that bad, but it hurt like I had gotten caught in a steel bear trap and started swelling instantly. The rest of the afternoon, I watched the game with my right foot and ankle submersed in the icy water of our beer tub.


1994 - The Little Man's Streak is Over
In my first visit to Jordan-Hare, the Little Man, Terry Bowden, had led the Tigers to 20 consecutive victories. However, on a night when it seemed that Georgia would never tackle Stephen Davis, somehow Eric Zeier guided the Dawgs to a tie, which was a moral victory at a time when we would take any kind of victory we could get. Other than ending Deddy's Little Boy's winning streak, the game was not that memorable. What was memorable was watching former Glynn Academy great, Bobby Wilkes, scalp two tickets from a fan at face value, sell them for $50 each, then parlay that $100 into more tickets that he rescalped for $150. He did this in the span of 5 minutes while walking to the gate. Mind you, Bobby did not need a ticket, he was just grifting the Aubies for sport. This is the man you want selling your junk on Ebay.

1996 - The Game That Wouldn't End
From January to August, 1996, I took and passed the bar exam, proposed to Leslie McDaniel, graduated Law School, traveled to Europe for 30 days with fellow law grad Chris Hall, came back in time for the Atlanta Olympics and started working at the Atlanta Law Firm, Hawkins and Parnell. I don't suppose much of this is all that relevant except the year (1996) and the part about proposing to Leslie. Because I was so clearly attempting to marry up, her acceptance of my proposal was not a foregone conclusion. However, having been hornswoggled, she accepted and we set our date for December 14 since the SECCG would be played on December 7, and with a new coach (Jim Donnan) at the helm, you had to leave that date open just in case. Actually, the point of this wedding discussion is that our engagement precipitated the absurd, albeit well-intentioned, Southern ritual of having your mother's friends host several engagement parties in your honor during the weekends leading up to your nuptials. Inescapably, a party was to be held in our honor on the same night as the Georgia-Auburn game.

The game was at Auburn during the afternoon. The party was to start at a time well after the game would end...or so we thought. Instead, an epic battle was unfolding that would change the face of college football forever. The Dawgs trailed 28-7 as the fourth quarter began. My dad was sound asleep in his chair, mumbling something about "should've hired Erk, should've hired Erk." Anyway, while my dad slumbered, the Dawgs awoke, scored 21 points and forced a tie at the end of regulation. At some point, Rip Van Winkle also woke up to learn that the Dawgs were battling back. Speaking of waking up, it was during the first over-time, that Coach Donnan realized that he had Robert Edwards in uniform and inserted him into the football game, fresh legs and all. It was all Robert Edwards and Hap Hines in the four overtimes until Georgia finally emerged victorious by the score of 56-49. As a result of the long long long game, the NCAA enacted the overtime rule requiring teams to attempt 2 point conversions beginning in the third overtime. Also as a result of the long long long game, we were late for the party, prompting my wife to enact a rule that parties should never be planned on days of Georgia games unless it is a party to watch the game. I love that woman! Would you believe that she helped me devise a sneaky plan to miss her cousin's wedding in October of 2002 so I could watch Georgia defeat Alabama in Tuscaloosa? Yep, I love that woman.

Major sidenote to the 1996 Georgia-Auburn game: the greatest photograph of any collegiate mascot in the history of athletic competition was taken on this day. Auburn wide receiver Robert Baker, learned the meaning of "Let the Big Dawg Eat."

2002 - 70-X-Takeoff

Get the picture, Georgia must beat Auburn to secure the SEC East and advance to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta for the first time since its inception in 1992. Two weeks earlier, the nasty Gators had provided the only blemish of the season, erasing the Dawgs' fleeting hopes of a chance at the mythical National Title. Sound familiar? The game got off to an ominous start when Ronnie Brown scampered half the field for an Auburn touchdown. Georgia trailed 14-3 at the half and it would have been worse if Sean Jones had not picked two Jason Campbell passes. Very Hoage-ish.

During the gloomy halftime, Mr. Jerry Rothschild of Columbus, a very brilliant man, commented to me that we were getting beat at the line of scrimmage and asked me what I thought. He had a look of profound puzzlement and despair. At a loss for any existential, metaphysical, philosophical answer, I simply replied, "If we can't beat them in the trenches, then I guess they are just better than us." Upon hearing these uplifting words of encouragement, Mr. Rothschild actually smiled and said, "I had not thought of that." It was an "Eureka" moment. Suddenly, we simultaneously came to the realization that if our team was not good enough to win the game, there was precious little we could do to change the outcome. So maybe my comment was a little bit existential, metaphysical, philosophical after all. It was kind of like the final scene in Breaker Morant when, staring at the firing squad, the Brian Brown character says, "Shoot straight you bastards." We were fully prepared to face our unfortunate fate.

But the Dawgs on the field were not done fighting. Behind a career performance from Oklahoman Michael Johnson, Georgia steadily came back. Still trailing by 4, with time running out, on 4th and 15 at the Auburn 19, Richt called a play the Dawgs had never, ever, run in a game and had scarcely practiced. 70-X-Takeoff. I suppose they drew the play out in the palm of David Greene's hand, but somehow, at least two players knew what to do. Greene pump-faked towards Fred Gibson (the odds on favorite to get the ball) and lofted the ball into the left corner for a jumping contest between the 6'-4" Johnson and the much shorter Horace Willis of Auburn. We were seated in the opposite endzone, about 150 yards away with a line-of-sight right down the Georgia sideline. Sadly, I can never tell my grandchildren that I saw Michael Johnson haul in the pass because the players on the sideline all crept out a few yards onto the field and totally obscured my view. But, from the eruption of the Red and Black nation all around me, I knew that it was a night for "Old Lady Luck". The Dawgs escaped with the 24-21 victory and went on to secure their first SEC Championship in 20 years. How 'Bout Them Dawgs!

You can hear Larry Munson make the call by visiting