Last year’s Vanderbilt-Georgia game nearly saw the Commodores upset the Dawgs in Nashville. As you’ll see below, it also nearly saw Vandy head coach James Franklin get his head ripped off by enraged UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Fortunately, the end result was simply Georgia head coach Mark Richt getting a face full of “whine” from Franklin, but there’s little doubt tensions remain.
Listen, we’ve all known that guy that’s with that girl. That girl that, you know, despite whatever good qualities she may have, just kind of makes you feel a little sorry for said guy when it’s time to go home. The guy that’s just kind of hanging on. Lost. Waiting, hoping for some guidance or impetus. Some way out of what at least seems to be an inescapable situation. Well, that guy may very well be Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn.
As you can see from the video above, Kristi Malzahn is, well, quite a handful, and her little Christ-side chat with Dr. Ronnie Floyd at The Summit (a Southern Baptist megachurch conference for evangelical-leaning Christians) shed quite a bit of light on several issues (in chronological order):
How bad it sucks to raise kids
How bad the Auburn fanbase sucks
How bad Lou Holtz’s slurred speech sucks
Why Gus Malzahn spends so many late nights at the office
How bad it sucked that Auburn only scored 22 points in its win over Oregon for the 2010 BCS Championship, and why Gus Malzahn sucks because of it
Kristi Malzahn’s secret, forbidden love for Cam Newton
How Cam Newton was recruited for less than two weeks
How bad Auburn running back Michael Dyer sucks
Potential recruiting violations
More potential recruiting violations
The level of intelligence of Auburn’s football team, and the populace of the State of Alabama in general
The intensity of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry, and how much it sucks
Even more potential recruiting violations committed by Auburn’s football program
There wasn’t much to be particularly happy about on Rocky Top at the end the 1st half last Saturday evening. The Volunteers had played the Georgia Bulldogs to a somewhat pedestrian 6-6 stalemate heading into the locker room, but, nevertheless, there was still a lot of energy in the Knoxville night; still hope for the future and the second half of SEC football that lay ahead.
And then the band took the field.
Listen, we all know that halftime performances can be a bit drab, prompting the creative forces in charge to take risks; to think outside the box in an effort to keep butts in the bleachers and — if nothing else — help curb America’s growing obesity problem. Having said that, there is never a reasonable excuse for the liberties taken at Neyland Stadium over the weekend. Never a rational reason to subject 100,000+ rabid football fans to a Tennessee-themed reworking of Victor Fleming’s 1939 fantasy musical classic, The Wizard of Oz.
That’s right, Volunteer fans watched in captive horror as their “Pride of the Southland” marching band conducted a dialogue-rich reenactment of Dorothy and her dog “Smokey’s” trip down the “Checkerboard Road” in search of a way back to Rocky Top. Replete with embarrassingly lame jokes about Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, and even the evening’s guest in the form of the “Wicked Witch of Georgia,” I think they may have even thrown in a still incomprehensible jab at Texas A&M (around the 6:15 mark).
Out of bounds, Vols. Out. Of. Bounds.
Pat Summit, cast as the Good Witch, has every right to be upset
But wait, there’s more. Obviously not content with embarrassing merely themselves, someone in Tennessee’s music department decided that legendary Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summit should be cast as the Good Witch (and the basketball team as the munchkins, apparently). Indeed, Coach Summit was even tasked with asking Neyland’s capacity crowd to click their heels three times and say “There’s no place like Rocky Top” (I’m not making that up; see around 7:00).
By now, of course, the Tennessee crowd was becoming cannibalistic. The kindest of Georgia fans probably offered their condolences, but most knew the damage was irreparable (and delighted in that fact). The positive energy had been sucked out of Neyland as quickly and as violently as Dorothy had been sucked into Oz.
With the home crowd still reeling from the ten minutes of halftime hell they’d just sat through, any home field advantage was now lost. Tennessee would go on to lose 20-12, gaining just 33 yards in the 2nd half, and in game that saw Georgia’s defense hold the Volunteers to -20 rushing yards for the entire contest. It may very well be only the second time in college football history where a marching band has played a pivotal role in the outcome of a game.
Leave the novel reinterpretations of The Wizard of Oz to bored Pink Floyd fans, okay, Vols?
In the interest of full disclosure, it’s also probably the only “hype” video Frump’s ever seen, but that fact doesn’t necessarily detract from its quality.
Indeed, this “neutral site” game in Atlanta’s Georgia dome is one of the marquee match ups of the 2011 College Football season’s opening weekend, so I guess the above theatrics are somewhat warranted. Notwithstanding the ever rising temperature of Georgia coach Mark Richt’s hot seat, the fact that the Broncos must win in order to preserve any realistic shot at a BCS Title berth means there’s plenty of savory plot lines to keep even the most casual of fans entertained. The start of Boise State QB Kellen Moore’s 2011 Heisman campaign is just gravy.
Right now most oddsmakers have the spread set at Boise State -3, Over/Under 52, which suggests this game will be a far cry from the teams’ last meeting in Athens back on September 3rd, 2005. The Dawgs dominated — despite the reservations of most “experts” — a clearly outmatched Boise team in Athens 48-13 back then, but a lot has changed over the past six years, and UGA fans would be foolish to expect a similar result on the 6th anniversary of that previous beat down.
That said, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable for the Georgia faithful to expect a win, and there’ll be no surprises if this one to comes down to the last few possessions. The bigger surprise may very well come in the form of Georgia Sophomore QB Aaron Murray (Freshman All-American last year) outshining, however slightly, the likes of Heisman-hopeful Moore in what could easily become a shootout.
I like Georgia +3 here, and Over 52, with a scoreline that might look eerily similar to the inverse of last year’s Boise-Virginia Tech thriller. Here’s to hoping for, if nothing else, the same level of excitement/entertainment.
It appears Braves pitcher Derek Lowe isn’t the only professional athlete in Georgia with a weakness for Porshe’s new Panamera 4S sport sedan. Well, we assume that new Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green — the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft — hasn’t fully moved out of Athens yet, but it should be a smooth ride when he does.
Here’s a nice video of the former Georgia Bulldog standout picking up his “hard” wheels at a dealership not too far from Athens — about a month ago.
But yeah, before anyone jumps the gun — i.e. starts making jersey jokes and what not — this is a good time to remind you youngsters about the power of income potential when you sit down to negotiate your first big loan. That and the importance of signing endorsement deals with Nike and Gatorade, and stuff, but let’s just take it one step at a time.
Now, while I’m still not sold on the Panamera, and swear it may very well be the world’s first Sport Sedan-Station Wagon crossover, I do truly hope A.J. fares better in his new ride than Derek Lowe has.
Fanly advice, A.J.: Don’t let the lovely lady friend drive it — that was cute of you to tease her like that, though.
No fancy intro here. Four observations from your humble and unreliable correspondent.
Lets get to it…
1. Finally something to watch on Thanksgiving
Best pick of the night belonged to the Detroit Lions. Hands down. My favorite pick. The most entertaining thing to watch in all of football is a dominating defensive tackle (see Suh’s performance against Texas in the 2010 Big XII title game and Fairley in this year’s National Title). The goat of previous drafts, the Lions have hit 3 home runs in recent years with Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh and now Nick Fairley….with a foruth pick that could make it a grand slam should Ciaran man-crush and ceiling poster boy Matty Stafford ever prove not to be made out of beautiful fine crystal. That aside…
Assuming you can do it legally, what better way to spice up the 1st Round of the 2011 NFL Draft tonight than with some prop bets, right? I mean, if it works for Super Bowl parties, why not the NFL Draft?
Best of all, unlike your average prop, most of these have been analyzed and discussed (albeit indirectly) by countless “Draft Experts” for months now — so you’ve actually got a wealth of supposedly reliable, predictive information to work with.
Let’s take a look at what’s arguably tonight’s marquee prop, for instance:
Or, in other words: Will Cam Newton go #1 Overall, or not?
Now, if you’re at all interested in this year’s NFL Draft, you’ve probably read no less than 10 articles in the past 72 hours on what the Carolina Panthers are gonna do with the #1 pick. The overwhelming consensus: They’re going to draft Cam Newton (but aren’t necessarily over the moon about it).
Carolina is certainly in an unenviable position. Newton, despite how high his ceiling may be, is still almost certainly somewhat of a project, at best. Gus Malzahn’s “One Read and Go” offense at Auburn — however misconstrued it may be — probably didn’t prepare Cam for the complexities of an NFL passing attack as much as it could, amongst other red flags .
It also appears the Panthers, in desperate need of QB help regardless, may not be able to find a viable trading partner for the #1 pick, and Newton — at -400 — is the clear favorite to be selected first overall (Marcell Dareus is the next favorite at a distant +300).
All that said, roll the dice on Newton Under 1.5, and — particularly if you’re a Panthers fan — make sure your fingers are firmly crossed….
At a time when scandals and notorious lapses in student-athletes’ judgment — not to mention the judgment of those responsible for them — dominate the college sports headlines (See UNC, Ohio State, Kentucky, UConn, USC, Tennessee, South Carolina , Florida , Auburn/Mississippi State, etc.), I suppose it’s nice to come across something reminding us that — you know — they’re not “all bad.” Even some of the more high-profile ones.
UGA Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray took a lot of hits throughout his Freshman All-American-worthy first season as the Bulldogs signal caller, but I’m sure few if any compared to the smacker little Jessie Johnson put on him (about the 0:14 mark) at Extra Special People’s benefit pageant.
Bulldog teammates Brandon Bogotay and Josh Murray (Aaron’s brother) also volunteered their services for the event. Good stuff, Dawgs. And even better stuff from you, Ms. Johnson. Way to steal show!
Isaiah — ESPN’s #1 RB (#4 Overall), Scout’s #1 RB (#5 Overall), and Rivals’ #5 RB (#29 Overall) — announced, along with several teammates, at Carver-Columbus High School in Columbus, Georgia.
Lucky for us, Crowell and DT Gabe Wright’s decisions were deemed worthy of a live look-in during ESPN U’s excellent National Signing Day special, because the newest Dawg decided to pull one of the more memorable stunts in recruiting announcement history…
As seen in the above video, Walker made quick work of yet another out-classed opponent on Saturday night’s Strikeforce card.
It took Herschel all of about twenty seconds to knock Scott Carson to the ground, and just another three minutes or so for the physical marvel to secure a 1st Round TKO.
We may never know how the former Heisman Trophy winner would fare against stiffer competition, but, until then, at least it’s nice to see Herschel find continued success in yet another of his many, diverse pastimes.
With the recognition Walker’s name brings to the table, MMA has probably expanded its market a tad as well, and not at the cost of staging a blatant publicity stunt. Most fans have likely come to realize that Walker, however humble his MMA ambitions may be, is serious about the sport.
Now if he could just make that NFL comeback he’s hinted at, no one could deny his status as one of the more remarkable “renaissance men” in the history of modern athletics.
At the tender age of 48, claiming a 4.39 40-yard dash time, it appears there’s still ample time…for Herschel Walker.
Running back Washaun Ealey and linebacker Mike Gilliard, both Sophomores, were on their way home from the dining hall when a bus driving ahead of them slid in the icy conditions, ran off the road, and hit a large tree.
Ealey stopped his car, and both players ran to the scene of the accident. After prying the bus’s door open, they checked to see if the driver was alright.
No passengers were aboard the bus, and the driver, while visibly shaken, was apparently fine despite a deployed air bag and tree branch having punctured the windshield. Both Ealey and Gilliard stayed with the driver until paramedics arrived.
Georgia LB, Mike Gilliard - "Just wanted to help her out, that's all"
Mike and Washaun think they’re superheros now, like they lifted the bus up or something or got a cat out of a tree. That was a good thing they did for the lady. That showed they care and they love everybody. That showed how they were raised up, because anybody could have kept going, but their parents raised them to help others out and not be selfish.
Gilliard himself, however, seems much more humble: “It wasn’t a big deal…just wanted to help her out, that’s all.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt added one of his typical, poetic strokes of wisdom to the story as well:
Those two guys did a very good deed. They stopped and helped out, and I’m proud of them. They assisted someone who was in distress, which is a good thing.
Whether it’s due to being an alumnus of a bitter rival (The University of Georgia), or because he’s allegedly just another pawn in the game of the Worldwide Leader’s apparently evil, agenda driven sports coverage, it’s clear that fans on The Plains aren’t terribly taken by Mark Schlabach.
Maybe it’s because Mark had the audacity to write something so obviously biased against poor ole Cam Newton. I don’t know, but the chants of “You suck!,” “Tell the truth!,” and “You’re terrible!” have never better exemplified the class and nobility of Auburn Tiger/War Eagle/Flying War Tiger fans.
I mean, YouTube user stagman1′s description of this video really nails it, yeah?:
“Journalist,” Mark Schlabach receives less than warm welcome from Auburn fans shortly after feeding misinformation to the media in a well-timed smear campaign against Auburn’s Heisman front-runner, Cam Newton.
Oh, by the way, in case you didn’t notice, the #sarcasm tag is tautly attached to this post…
It’s no secret that the Georgia Bulldogs have struggled mightily – both on and off the field – so far this year. Currently 2-4, the Dawgs have hit some rather unsavory benchmarks to help remember the relatively young 2010 season: First three consecutive losses since 1990, first 0-3 SEC start since 1993, and 11 player arrests, to name a few.
Some have blamed the much talked about 4-game suspension of Georgia’s marquee player, WR A.J. Green, as the primary reason for the team’s rather lackluster performances. Others have cited the fact that a new defensive coordinator (Former Dallas DL coach, Todd Grantham) and an entirely new defensive scheme have necessitated growing pains simply too great to overcome. Still others have suggested that the game has passed head coach Mark Richt by somewhat, and that he’s been far too slow to adapt and change to a college football landscape that’s radically different from his days as Florida State’s Offensive Coordinator, and even his earlier part of his more recent years as head coach in Athens.
Perhaps most curiously, however – albeit jokingly, I assume – some Georgia fans have scapegoated the stand-in mascot, “Russ,” as the source of the woe in the Classic City (he does have rather noticeable liver marks, after all).
Russ took the place of Uga VII last season, after the latter’s untimely death. Filling in nicely, Russ witnessed an upset victory over bitter rival Georgia Tech and a Liberty Bowl win against Texas A&M prior to suffering the debacle of the 2010 season.
Regardless of how much Russ’ legacy may be maligned or appreciated, a new era of Georgia Football begins this Saturday when Georgia formally introduces the next in a long line of storied – all white? – English Bulldogs for the homecoming game against Vanderbilt. Say hello to Uga VIII, after the jump…