Saturday, August 22, 2009

Five Things to Think About

Today is picture day in Athens, an event I usually didn't pay much attention to after gradatuation. I usaully could find players, if I just wanted to see them, and knew folks that could get autographs from coaches, so it seemed both a little useless and unfair to others for me to go. Now I have kids, I completely see the value it in, if for nothing else to provide a little test run with the kids and their tolerance for crowds. Call it football game attendance training.

We are two weeks out from Okie State. If you aren't feeling it now, T. Boone Pickens wants you to. His prediction of a 387-24 win for the Cowboys just begs for it. When I saw that, I realized he is afraid of Georgia's offense. Remember, we aren't supposed to move the ball and the Cowboy's defense is supposed to be much better. His prediction of 24 points bring me to one of the five things we need to remember heading into this season.

1) Georgia will score points. There, I got that out of the way. Yes, the Dawgs had a particularly prolific offense last year, averaging 31.5 points per game, right about 30th in the nation. Yes, the Dawgs lost three of the big reasons for that. However, Coach Richt coached teams have averaged just over 29 ppg in his tenure here, so last season's output wasn't much above the average. In the QB lazy susan season of 2006, the Dawgs averaged 24.7 ppg. I think the Dawgs will do much better than that this year, even if they are merely average.

Three starters. One picture (Image: Dawg Post).

2) The defense will surprise, in a good way. Ok, this one is more gut than based in anything I can point to. True, Georgia faces three at least three offenses (Okie State, Florida, Georgia Tech) that people have "Don Readys" for. However, with renewed emphasis on fundamentals and past history, it is just plain silly to expect the defense to be as sloppy and uneffective as last year. I'm talking to you Tech fans.

Mr. Owens, welcome back

3) I'll do a review in the next week or so (no bold predictions, just general musings), but it seems to me that the exact same things have to go wrong as last year for the Dawgs to lose more than four games. The only game I would add to the list of teams above is LSU for possible losses. That is assuming everyone is right about those four teams.

4) No one is saying it, but it feels to me that September 5th is a trap game itself.....for Oklahoma State. Coach Gundy is fretting the return of coeds. Their players aren't regarding Georgia very highly. The local sports media isn't either. I hope Oklahoma State sees this game as their coming out party, in the way Boise State did. Oh, God, I hope.

5) Less off field issues=greater focus on team. This one is purely speculation. I don't have any great insight into the minds of 21 year olds (despite my career working with them). I can say that last year's team wasn't a good example of players focusing on football and making decisions that are focused on team. I would blame leadership, but I have had my say on that and think that dead horse has been beaten. However, based on the lack of off field issues and the quotes coming out of the spring, camp and practice, I am much less worried about mental preparation than I was last year.
Senior leadership does mean something (Image: Dawg Post)

Bonus thing I was considering: Aside from Florida, name one team in the SEC that seems like a sure thing. I will have a review of the conference, but the only team I can think of immediately is Mississippi State and not in the good way. The other ten teams have several reasons to be nervous and several reasons to be excited. I can't help but think that is good, considering the coach we have in Mark Richt.

4 comments:

  1. "The players aren't regarding Georgia very highly."

    I hope this is true...but I haven't seen any proof of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. IM with ya all the way. I just have that good feeling about how this team is quietly going about their business.

    I have noticed when the players are saying that the coaches are trying to kill them (ala jeff owens) then the players tend to kill the opponent.

    "The score is 45-42, and we arent happy" That's what i was told by a coach in an earlier interview I had, and he asked me to keep his name off the record. I cant wait.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks annon. I have updated with a link from Big 12 media Days.

    ReplyDelete
  4. T Boone (or as Hale now refers to him...T-Bone) thinks beating a Dawg is as easy as tilting windmills. He shall be proven wrong...once again.

    ReplyDelete