Georgia-Florida Week: Gator Bashing & Can Georgia Win?

The annual Georgia-Florida game is just a few days away, and many Dawg fans are making the trek to the coast for a few days of fun before kickoff.  This game is a special one for both sides of the rivalry.  Yet some Gator fans will try to down play it nowadays, but those people just haven’t been fans long enough. 912e47d2e3f0db057f15c3af320e3aa7 We all know that Dooley retired right before Spurrier arrived in Gainesville.  And since then, Florida has won most of the games down in Jacksonville.  Nevertheless, Georgia won most of them leading up to Spurrier.  Therefore, Georgia still leads the series 49 to 41.  For many Dawg fans the biggest rival for Georgia is Tech, and I have been known to give Tech a hard time on this blog.  But for some of us, Florida is Georgia’s biggest rival and most hated foe.  I think it depends on where you grow up.  If you grew up in North Georgia or around the Atlanta area you may not see things the way I do.  As I often mention, I grew up in Valdosta which is about 20 miles from Florida right on the front lines of this rivalry.  I hate to say it again, but growing up a Bulldog fan in South Georgia was not easy in the 90s.  We all know that Florida was good and Georgia was awful.  No need to elaborate.  My point is that I grew to despise the Gators early on.  To this day, when a friend wants to aggravate me they often just joke that I am from “North Florida” and not “South Georgia”.  So if we Dawg fans hate Florida so much why do we play in Jacksonville?

Georgia started to play this game in Jacksonville mainly for the fans in South Georgia.  Today you can watch every Georgia football game on TV, but in the past that was not possible.  The only glimpse many Georgia fans got of the Bulldogs came on the “Vince Dooley Show” which aired every Sunday after church.  But once a year fans from South Georgia could make it down to Jacksonville much easier than a trip up to Athens.  Georgia-Florida-TNPlaying in Jacksonville gave UGA a chance to bring the team further south every year.  It helped grow the fan base and was tremendously helpful when it came to recruiting.  It has made this game a special rivalry played in a neutral site which creates one of college football’s coolest atmospheres.  So to all you Dawg fans that want the game moved from Jacksonville, SHUT UP!  Because you just don’t get it.

Ok, time to pick on Florida a little bit.  As a side note, not all Gator fans are bad.  Like many schools, the worst Gator fans never attended one class at Florida.  We all have some bad fans.  Florida just seems to have more than others

The Colors– For me they have to have the absolute worst color combination in the world. That orange is just awful.

Florida in All Orange
Florida in All Orange

Auburn does a pretty good job with their orange, and their uniforms look pretty good.  You know why? Because they down play the orange.  On the other hand, Florida seems to come up with the worst combinations for their uniforms.  Honestly, orange only looks good on fruit.

The Coaches-It all started with Steve Spurrier, but by the end of his run many fans began to enjoy his antics and quips.  However, when he first got to Florida this was not the case. He often seemed like an arrogant a$$ that whined too much and griped at his players.

Past Florida Coach Will Muschamp
Past Florida Coach Will Muschamp

Urban Meyer is a good football coach, but does anyone really like him outside of Ohio?  Now I bet most Florida fans can’t stand him either.  He sure jumped back into coaching quickly for someone with “health concerns”.  Will Muschamp played at Georgia, but his antics on the sidelines often resembled Spurrier on steroids.  The major difference was that Muschamp didn’t win.  The new guy, Jim Mcelwain, may be pretty good though.  I know he scolded a player badly on the sidelines earlier in the year, but I for one didn’t see anything wrong with that.  Besides, the players seem to be responding.

The Gator Chomp– Easily the most annoying thing any fan base does in football.  Cow bells are annoying, and we all get sick of hearing “Roll Tide”.  But when you have a Gator fan clap his hands right in your face…well, let’s just say violence typically ensues.

Corrine Brown– You may recall, Corrine Brown.

 Corrine  Brown
Corrine Brown

The congresswoman from Florida that gave such an embarrassing speech to the State House of Florida right after Florida’s last title.   She later became a “youtube” sensation.  Nothing to hate here, but it was just too funny not to mention. “We them Gators don’t take no jive, Go Gator.”

Tim Tebow– I know, I know he is supposed to be some great guy.  Maybe he is, but many of us are just sick of him.  He is still the only 3rd string quarterback to hold a press conference in the NFL.  O63466Maybe I don’t like him because he went to Florida. But so what?  I get to not like someone especially a Gator.

Urban Meyer– Yes this guy deserves more bashing.  If you look back to his teams at Florida there may be some real questions as to quality of kids he brought into the school.  A few things came out when Aaron Hernandez was tried and eventually convicted of murder.  It seemed there may have been a lack of punishment for many players while he was at Florida.  For example, failed drug tests and other incidents that were not reported or reprimanded.  This was not the case with Spurrier or Muschamp.  I know Ohio State is riding high right now, but they should keep an eye on Meyer.  They can’t afford another scandal.

The Fans– Last but not least are the fans.  For every classy Gator fan there are 5 tacky and obnoxious ones.

   Class  Personified
Class Personified

Florida has won a lot over the last 20 years, and that will attract some bandwagon losers.  Regardless, there is never an excuse for fanny packs, tank tops, mullets, and jean shorts.

In closing, do you think Georgia can win the game?  Well your answer should be H%LL YES!  I know many of us Bulldogs are down right now, but trust me when I tell you they can win.   Florida should of lost to Tennessee where as Georgia should of won.  The win over Ole Miss doesn’t impress me too much.  And Florida doesn’t have a great run game despite last year’s explosion against Georgia.  This is a closer match up than you think.  The one glaring problem seems to be Georgia’s offense.  That is a big problem, but I don’t think there will be much offense at all on Saturday.  Whoever wins the turnover battle and kicking game may just eek this one out.  So keep the faith and let’s see what happens Saturday.  All may not be lost.  Go Dawgs.

Athens, GA Real Estate: The Normaltown Market

As I have mentioned before, Athens is a very unique town for many reasons.  It is a small city but it has a lot to offer.  There are great restaurants, good shopping, great music, and of course there are numerous events in town throughout the year.    But in terms of real estate, Athens is unique because it provides so many options for buyers.  Buyers can choose to purchase in one of several “in town” locations or they can opt for more space and land in one of the many outlying areas that are usually within 15 to 20 mins of downtown.

Normal Hardware On Prince Ave
Normal Hardware On Prince Ave

Recently, I have discussed the 5 Points area and the East Side of town.  Both of which are examples of different “in town” options for buyers.  Another great option for buyers in Athens is Normaltown.  Normaltown is one of the oldest areas of town, and it has a rich history.  In fact, it was the first area of Athens wired for electricity in 1896 or so I am told (didn’t fact check this one).  But in recent history it has seen a lot of positive growth in business and real estate.  So today let’s take a look at the growth and real estate values in the Normaltown area.

First of all, to discuss the Normaltown area you need to define it geographically.  Traditionally, the Normaltown area has been considered the area or neighborhood located in or around Athens Regional Medical Center on the South side of Prince Ave. armc  Meanwhile, the nearby Boulevard area is located on the other side Prince either on or around “Boulevard”.  If you have not visited Boulevard then I highly suggest you take the time to drive down the street.  Many of Athens’ oldest homes are located in the area.  So for the purposes of this blog, we will refer to Boulevard and Normaltown as one general area even though they can be defined separately.

I have talked about the importance of location numerous times already.  But the Normaltown area serves as yet another example of where location raises value.  The 5 Points area is centrally located, but one could easily argue that Normaltown is a superior location. t-27756-005 For example, Normaltown is very close to downtown and in close proximity to a major hospital.  With the recent opening of UGA’s Health Sciences Campus, it is right next to an area of UGA. Additionally, when you head west on Prince Ave you will arrive at I-85 in about 20 mins or so.  Not to mention, that most of Normaltown is zoned for Chase Street Elementary which has become a very desirable school district.  Lastly, the area has seen an increase in places to eat and gather for a drink.  As a matter of fact, many Athenians now prefer to grab a drink in Normaltown and avoid the crowd downtown.

However, every area has its ups and downs so to speak.  But much like 5 Points, the disadvantage of Normaltown could also be seen as an advantage.  Due to the age of the area, many homes are older and not up to date.  Nevertheless, this creates a lot of charm and character in the neighborhoods which many buyers are looking to find.  Furthermore, both builders and home owners are updating the homes and floor plans which is similar to the current trend in 5 Points.  Surprisingly, it may cost you a little less to purchase in Normaltown than it would in 5 Points.  It really all depends on the property of course, but in general the price per square foot (PSF) in Normaltown is less than 5 Points.  The most recent comps in Normaltown support a price up to $175 PSF for a newly renovated and well located property.  This is a good deal lower than the current prices in 5 Points which can exceed $200 PSF.   Nevertheless, you can find homes in the area with a much lower price tag.  But if you find a good house to buy in Normaltown be sure to act fast.  It is currently one of the most competitive areas in town.

We are definitely experiencing a strong market right now.  This is true for many areas in and around Athens, but you should also understand that “trees do not grow to the sky”.  This doesn’t mean that values will suddenly fall, but you cannot expect a property value to go up indefinitely.  On the other hand, if you buy in a well located area that is desirable to many buyers your value should hold up better over time versus other locations. And Normaltown is a prime example of a well-located and highly desirable area.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

College Football Week 8: Here Comes HALLOWEEN!

Last week was a good one for Dawg fans.  First of all, Georgia had the week off which means they didn’t lose.  But more importantly, Tennessee lost a heart breaker to Alabama which keeps hope alive for Georgia in the SEC East. Auburn lost a heart breaker as well which doesn’t really help Georgia, but it can’t be a bad thing for the Bulldogs.  In the south, college football is king, and during the fall, many social activities revolve around football.  Therefore, when your team has an “off week” the calendar can fill up in hurry.  For instance, this past weekend I will guarantee you lots of Bulldogs got married.  It is also a good time to take a break from football and just enjoy the weekend another way.  Earlier this year,  I agreed to play in a charity golf tournament that was scheduled for this past Saturday. The weather was great, my team was fun, but we lost by 1 dang shot.  I guess we just missed too many putts.

Tullis, Giles, and Walker Talley with our Jack O Lantern
Walker, Tullis, and Giles Talley w/ Pumpkin

The rest of the weekend I focused on yard work with help from the wife and kids, and we carved a pumpkin to get ready for Halloween.  All Dawg fans know that Halloween marks the annual “Cocktail Party” down in Jacksonville.  I know, I know we are not supposed to refer to it anymore as the “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”, but that’s asinine.  It is what it is, and what it is, is a big d@#n party.  It’s not exactly a game to bring your kids too.  They are best left at home for this one.  So since it is GA/FL week, let’s take a look back at last week and a look ahead to Saturday.

ALABAMA vs. TENNESSEE – This turned out to be a very entertaining game.  In fact, Tennessee probably should have won this game.  But Bama found a way to pull it out in the end which they often do.

Peyton Watches as Bama Wins
Peyton Manning Watches as Bama Wins

That is one of the major reasons Bama is so good. They have bad games just like everyone, but they find a way to win more often than not.  To me this game represents a “return to normalcy”in the SEC.  For example, Tennessee has athletes again, and even though they have lost four games I think they are pretty d@#n good.  My point is that they are real close, and maybe they shouldn’t bail on Butch just yet.  Normalcy in the SEC to me means that in the East you have Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee fighting it out.  In the west, you have Bama, Auburn, and LSU fighting it out.  That doesn’t mean that other teams shouldn’t be good it just means the big 3 should be clearly defined on each side of the conference.

FLORIDA STATE WHAT HAPPENED! –  Crazy finish for sure.  But I don’t think I will comment anymore on this game.  That team from North Ave will get no applause from this guy.

GUS BUS, UNLOADING? –  Well Auburn lost a heart breaker in overtime to Arkansas, and I don’t feel sorry for them one little bit.

 Gus Malzahn
Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn

My prediction is proving true, and Auburn still has to play Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama.  Like I said earlier this year, “I wonder how full the Gus Bus will be in Decemeber?”  Personally, I think there will be plenty of room.  Auburn has shown us before they have a short memory and little patience.  But maybe that’s why they have played for 2 nationals in the last 5 years.

CLEMSON – Good for Clemson.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am no Clemson fan.  But you have to admit they look pretty good despite Miami’s awful display of football last week.  The real thing for Clemson to worry about now is losing to Florida State.  If they take care of business they are in the playoff.  And if that were to happen, it will provide Georgia fans with even more frustration.

GEORGIA/FLORIDA – Please take note that the game is called “Georgia/ Florida” and NOT “Florida/Georgia.”  The game this week is not as big as it could be, but it is still very important.  If Florida pulls this out they are basically in the dome for the SEC Championship.  If Georgia wins they will be in control and can still make it to Atlanta.  We all know Georgia seems to be struggling on offense, and many fans aren’t feeling great about their chances on Saturday. 912e47d2e3f0db057f15c3af320e3aa7  But there is a reason they play the games.  Just look at the FSU game last week.  It goes to prove that you just never know.  Not to mention it is a rivalry game that will be played on Halloween under a full moon.  The circumstances are primed for a crazy game.  I think a lot of Florida fans are taking this one too lightly which doesn’t surprise me.  But it does recall a memory from 3 years ago.   In 2012, I went to the UGA/Kentucky game instead of GA/FL.  And you just can’t visit Lexington without hitting the horse races at Keeneland.   At the time, UGA had been whipped badly by South Carolina and Florida was undefeated.  At Keeneland, I ran into a Florida fan wearing an “Aaron Hernandez” jersey.  Basically, this guy was just brimming with class (please sense my sarcasm).  I was not wearing a “G” anywhere so he had no idea I was a Bulldog, but since Kentucky was playing Georgia you would think he could’ve figured it out.  Regardless, he told me all Florida had to do was beat South Carolina, and they would face Bama again in the dome.  I then expressed that I thought Florida would beat S. Carolina, but they shouldn’t over look Georgia.  He laughed at me and said, “There was no reason to worry about the Dogs this year.”  Of course, his prediction proved wrong, and Georgia won the game.   A year later, Aaron Hernandez was indicted for murder and later found guilty.  I wonder if that guy still has his Aaron Hernandez jersey.  Surely not.

I know it seems unlikely that Georgia will win, but you just never know.  Maybe, just maybe the Dawgs have a little fight left.  On the other hand, you know what sure would be nice this week?  A D@#N indoor practice facility. The forecast  is calling for rain here in Athens.  And it sure would help to have a place to practice indoors.  Honestly,  I cannot believe it has taken this long to get plans for one underway.

I am hoping to have time to write another blog later this week focused on the game.  Go Dawgs!  Boo Gators!

College Football: A Look Back at Preseason Prognostications

We have reached the half way point, and Georgia is off this week.  So it seems like a good time to look back and see how my predictions are holding up.  As I mentioned before, I am no football analyst or college football insider.1813792  I simply enjoy college football like many people here in the South.  I have been right on predictions before, but more often than not I have been wrong.  It is always fun to look back, and see where you got it right and where you got it wrong.

Where I Was Right:

Georgia’s Record– I called for UGA to go 10-2 with losses to Auburn and Tennessee.  Well obviously Georgia has already lost 2 games.  One to Bama and one to Tennessee, but I am going to hold out hope that they can win out and at least finish 10-2 however doubtful it may seem.

Auburn was Overrated– So far, Auburn has lived up to my predictions.  But much like Georgia they are at point in the season where they can salvage the year or make it a total disaster.  This one wasn’t too hard to predict.  I just think their coach is overrated, and any Heisman hype for a kid that played 1 game is always a bad sign.   I will say they seem to be improving and remain dangerous for any opposing team.

USC was Overrated– Jiminy Crickets! USC is a dumpster fire. Much like Auburn this was not exactly a bold prediction in my opinion.  USC is just one of those teams people want to be good.  Sort of like Notre Dame.  But I would have never guessed their coach would be fired and sent off to rehab in mid-season for alcoholism.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney

Clemson and LSU– I was big on these two teams to start the year.  So far, it looks like I may be right.  I have not watched a lot of Clemson, but I will be pulling for them against FSU.  But Clemson really needs another sponsor. FATZ is not the image you want to project.  On the other hand, I am not sure LSU is exactly a world beater.  In fact, I think the SEC may just be weaker this year that in years past.  Time will tell, but LSU seems a little too one dimensional.

Others– Well I said Michigan State, Baylor, and Ohio State would be good.  I don’t exactly deserve a cookie for this prediction. Would love to see them all lose however.  Even Michigan State.

Where I was Wrong:

Georgia- Going have to put this one in the wrong category too. download (1) I really hope they finish the year strong, and I do think they could surprise everybody in Jacksonville.  But let’s be honest.  Right now this looks like an 8-4 football team.

Arizona and Arizona State Good– What the hell was I thinking? That’s what I get for making predictions about teams I know very little about.  This was a very stupid prediction. Seriously, why did I even bring these two teams up at all? I might as well have made predictions on Colorado and Washington State while I was being an idiot.

Alabama Overrated– After the Ole Miss game I was looking pretty good, but they responded by soundly beating my beloved Bulldogs.

Bama Coach Nick Saban
Bama Coach Nick Saban

And they recently beat A & M in College Station.  I still think they could lose 3 games so stay tuned on this one.  They are not world beaters either.

TCU Overrated– Probably a bad call because they have a good coach.  But I just have a hard time excepting a world where Baylor, TCU, and Utah are powers.

Florida State Not Top 10– Well the Clemson game will decide this one.  But I have to admit that Everett Golson has looked good so far this year.

Spurrier & South Carolina Being Dangerous– Wow!  Who would have thought this would happen?  Not only was South Carolina awful this year, but Spurrier walked away from coaching mid-season.  I am really not sure what happened with this one.  I wonder if the administration asked him to leave at the end of year and he just said, “To hell with it, I’ll leave now”

What’s so sad to think about is that college football has about a month left.  That is really sad to me because it is such a fun time of year.  Why can’t they extend football and shorten baseball.  I love the Braves of course, but by August I am totally over baseball.  Still it should be a very interesting finish to the year in college football.  There are a lot of big games left that will decide a lot.  Stay tuned and don’t give up on your Bulldogs.   Two of the best wins in Jacksonville came when no one thought it would happen.  1997 and 2007 were great wins for Georgia, and they caught everyone by surprise. Rivalry games are weird and impossible to predict sometimes.  When everyone thinks you can’t win it often provides a lot of motivation.  Boo Gators!  Gators Eat Boogers!  More Gator bashing to come next week.

Athens, GA Real Estate: East Side Value

Athens is a great community that is driven by our wonderful university.  As I have mentioned before, the university brings many different people to Athens which helps create a unique population here in town.  Even though Athens is geographically small there are many different areas one can choose to live.  Each one of these areas has its own advantages that may or may not appeal to different people.  But the east side of Athens is an area of town that is often undervalued and under appreciated.  And that can provide buyers in Athens an opportunity.  We all know that the real estate market is recovering.  In some areas it has fully recovered and other areas aren’t quite there but are progressing.  Here in Athens, you hear a lot about 5 Points, Normaltown, and Oconee County.  And we just don’t hear as much about the east side, but that doesn’t mean it is without value.  In fact, the east side offers a lot of value and may offer more as time goes on.  I am not referring to value with regards to its worth or price.  But value in terms of what you get for what you pay.  So this week let’s take a look at the growth and value on the eastside of Athens.

University Heights Entrance

Athens’ east side of town is a fairly large area, but in general it begins once you cross the North Oconee River heading east.  To the north, that begins on Oconee Street just past downtown, and to the south it begins where College Station road and The Loop intersect.  The east side of town is primarily comprised of residential neighborhoods. For example, University Heights, Green Acres, Cedar Creek, and Falling Shoals just to name a few.  However, the east side like most of Athens has plenty of student areas as well.  The student housing areas are concentrated on Barnett Shoals between Lexington road and Gaines School, yet those are not the only student housing options.  Nevertheless, the majority of east Athens is comprised of residential neighborhoods.

Vet School on College Station

You don’t have to be a real estate agent to know that real estate seems to be more affordable on the east side of town. Over the years, that has generally been the case and there are reasons for the difference in price.  One main reason maybe that Atlanta is located to the west of Athens.  It is only natural that Athens would see more growth towards Atlanta than Augusta over the last 40 or 50 years.  When I was in school the eastside had a lot less to offer than it does now. First of all, there were less amenities and fewer places to eat,  but now the east side has two great grocery stores, several restaurants, and even a few places to grab a drink.  These are all good things, but the biggest thing to happen on the east side of town has come very recently. And that is the opening of UGA’s new Veterinary Medical Center.  Better amenities and the new vet school serve as two good examples of where the east side can offer convenience and good location.  But what are the real estate costs?

In other areas of town, buyers often have to pay well over $250,000 just to get a house in need of work with no upgrades.  On the eastside of town, buyers can pay much less and receive more.  Falling Shoals serves as a good example of an east side value.  Falling Shoals is a swim/tennis neighborhood with great amenities located about 10 mins from UGA.

Falling Shoals Tennis Court
Falling Shoals Tennis Court

That is much closer than many west side locations and Oconee neighborhoods.  But the price tag is much lower.  In Falling Shoals, resale homes with over 2,000 sq. ft. sell around $230k, and there are still a few new homes available that can be purchased around $250k.  The price per square foot makes Falling Shoals a real value for many home buyers and families.  A similar value is offered in some of the older neighborhoods as well.  For instance, Green Acres and Cedar Creek are located closer in and still offer a good value per square foot. In Green Acres, a large house on a basement would probably sell close to $170,000.  Meanwhile, a smaller brick house with no upgrades might be purchased below $130,000.  At today’s interest rates, these prices make home ownership available to many more buyers.  In my opinion, there may be real opportunity in other areas as well.

Vet School on College Station

As I mentioned before, UGA recently opened its new Veterinary Medical Center on the corner of Barnett Shoals and College Station.  This is a good thing for the whole area and UGA.  But its impact on the east side could be fantastic.  Essentially, the university now extends to the end of College Station road making all of the east side more convenient for vet students and professors.  More importantly, University Heights is now situated between the vet school and UGA’s main campus.  In case you didn’t know, University Heights is the neighborhood located off of College Station road between Research Drive and the vet school.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but the vet school could increase prices in University Heights over time.  The homes are older and many are rentals.  But the location is close to campus, 5 points, and not far from downtown.  And of course, it is right next to the vet school.  Given that prices in University Heights range from $100k to $150k it provides more value and opportunity than many other areas in Athens.  Granted, most east side homes will likely never have a price tag as high as some other locations. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad investment.  In the end, it may offer the most bang for your buck in all of Athens.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

College Football Week 7: O Bobo, Where Art Thou?

Saturday in Athens was an opportunity for the team and the fans to get their heads right and feel better.  We all know that Georgia lost two games in a row and desperately needed a win.  The fans needed a win and a little good weather as well.  It has rained on Athens a lot this fall literally and figuratively.  But Saturday was beautiful, and gave the Bulldawg nation a chance to take in a little sunshine.  The temperature was cool and the sky stayed blue all day.  Later that night, Georgia squeaked out a win but it sure wasn’t pretty.   In fact, at times it was downright ugly.  In the end, Georgia got the win and that is really all that matters, but most dawg fans didn’t leave the game feeling much better.  I will always take a win no matter how bad it looked.  A win is win right?  A lot happened last week in college football. Spurrier retired, USC fired their coach for drinking, and Michigan lost a heart breaker in really weird fashion.    Regardless, this is Athens, GA so I will continue to focus almost exclusively on the Dawgs.


THE GAME– Georgia won 9 to 6 Saturday night and didn’t have a lead until the 1:44 mark in the 4th Quarter.  No one even scored a touchdown.  One could look on the bright side and call it a defensive struggle, but most Dawgs fans seem to be focusing on the anemic offense.  I will discuss the offense a little later, but for now let’s focus on the positives.  First, they did win the game and it was a SEC win.  Second, they actually won the special teams battle.  In a game with no touchdowns special teams become even more important.  I know that Georgia had a missed field goal and a failed on sides kick.  So maybe I am being generous to say they won special teams.  Nevertheless, they recovered a fumble and made the game winning kick. But the key play of the game may have come when Malcolm Mitchell got down the field on punt coverage and caused the fumble.  In my mind, Georgia had the two biggest plays on special teams and that equaled a win.    Third, the defense played well but more on that ahead.  Lastly, #5 Terry Godwin had a great night and is emerging as a weapon on offense which Georgia really needs.

MIKE BOBO, WHERE ART THOU? -The offense struggled again Saturday.  Which makes it three weeks in a row that Georgia has looked just awful on that side of the ball. In retrospect, the South Carolina game was not real impressive given their record.  And the fact that their coach has already quit midseason.  Ok, Ok, I understand that Nick Chubb is hurt and that is bound to effect any offense.  But these problems existed before Chubb’s injury. O-Brother The offense has looked bad against Vanderbilt, Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri.  That’s not good considering Florida’s defense will have two weeks to rest before Jacksonville.  So what is going on?  Is it the coordinator?  Well maybe and maybe not.  I am sure you can recall Georgia’s last coordinator.  His name was Mike Bobo, and he was often bashed by the fans.  Mainly, for two calls.  The infamous “No Spike” against Alabama and the “First and Gurley” debacle at South Carolina.  But when he wasn’t being unfairly bashed by the fans his offense routinely scored over 30 pts and set offensive records almost yearly.  Thank goodness because the defense usually gave up 30 as well.16632487-mmmain   On top of that he was a pretty darn good recruiter.  Well Dawg fans, who has egg on their face now?  That’s right, we do.   But let’s not blame everything on the new offensive coordinator.   In general, Coach Schottenheimer’s offense is very similar to Bobo’s and many plays are almost identical.  I don’t feel like I have a seen a lot of bad play calling.  But I have seen a lot of bad execution, bad throws, and bad blocking.  At the end of the day, this offense doesn’t seem to have too many playmakers.   At times, it looks like a two man show that doesn’t feature a quarterback.  Thanks to Malcolm Mitchell and Sony Michel the offense has a pulse.  But they better find some more weapons soon or there will be dark days ahead.  I do think Mike Bobo is a hell of a good coach, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to blame the new guy just yet.

DEFENSE, WAS IT IMPRESSIVE? –  The short answer is yes.  I don’t care who you play.  When you keep a team out of the end zone for 4 quarters it is impressive.   Granted, Missouri’s offense is probably worse than Georgia’s, and they started a freshman quarterback.  5622f22ee16f4.imageBut if they are bad on offense, and have a freshman quarterback than Georgia did exactly what they needed to do.  If you recall Missouri returned an interception to the 1 yard line in the 1st quarter.  The defense kept Missouri out of the end zone and then only gave up 3 more points.  Sorry folks but that’s impressive.

LOOKING AHEAD – We have reached the half way point of the season and as usual there are really big games ahead.  In fact, Georgia has a chance to make this year successful if they can win out.  Sadly, when you look at the schedule that doesn’t seem too realistic. Here’s what remains for Georgia:

Florida at Jacksonville

Kentucky in Athens

Auburn at Auburn

GA Southern in Athens

GA Tech at Tech

Four of these games seem winnable, but they are losable as well.  Let’s be honest with ourselves.  If Georgia beats Florida we will all be surprised and it would be a BIG upset.  But so was last year’s outcome so you never know what can happen.  Kentucky has improved.  They are hunting for a big win over a top program, and Georgia is prime to give another team that big win.  Auburn looks bad, but they are improving and this game is often unpredictable.  Georgia should of course beat Georgia Southern but the triple option offense is designed to give underdogs a chance.  And then there’s Tech.  I do not care for Tech.  Boo Tech!  My point is that these last 5 games are really important.  If Georgia wins out that would be incredible.  But if they lose 3 of them things could get very interesting.

SILVER LININGS– I am trying to be more positive these days, and they say every cloud has a silver lining.  So let’s take a look at the silver linings from last week.  At least from the Georgia point of view.

  • Bye, Bye Spurrier- Mixed emotions here for me. This guy was good for college football, and he made things more interesting for sure.  SEC-Media-Days-Football-2-We were all surprised by the way he left.  But Spurrier has been a thorn in Georgia’s side for 25 years.  So in the end, it is a positive for Georgia.  Depending on who South Carolina hires of course.
  • Florida Lost- Always a great thing for Georgia fans. The loss wasn’t that surprising but still good to see. It gives Georgia a chance.  At least for now.
  • Tech Lost Again- Wowser! Tech lost to Pitt and this season keeps getting worse for Paul Johnson. What a shame.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow.
  • Georgia has HOPE- Technically, UGA is still in the SEC East race. If they beat Florida they have a shot.  So let’s all keep the faith a little longer and see what happens.

College Football Week 6: Anger in Athens

Once again Dawg fans suffered a tough loss on a rainy day.  As bad as the Bama game was, this one hurt more. When I decided to start a real estate blog the football posts were a fun add on for me.  I love college football, and I really love Georgia football.  It’s not to hard to write about things you know a lot about or love.  Real estate & Georgia football fall into those categories for me. Nevertheless, the past two football blogs haven’t been much fun to write.  In the past, I have spent too much time griping or complaining.  And sadly I still let negativity get the best of me from time to time. But I try real hard to stay positive especially when it comes to pulling for the Bulldogs.  So I am going to try and stay positive here, but I may veer off course from time to time.

THE GAME– I called for Georgia to win last week which was yet another flip flop.  That was maybe an example of me being “positive”.  By the time Saturday morning rolled around I started to get a bad feeling.  It was very similar to the way I felt last year before the Georgia Florida game.  I am no soothsayer, but I have seen a lot of Georgia games go bad. And sometimes “you can feel it coming in the air” just like Phil Collins(pictured).  I also called for the Dawgs get up off the mat and hit back.  I think they were trying to do just that, but they took yet another punch to the gut on the very first play.   We all know what happened and there is no need to delve into more.  Let’s just hope that Chubb makes a strong recovery and keeps his future bright.  After the injury, the 1st quarter was pretty bleak for the offense.  Maybe it was due to an aggressive Tennessee team or maybe it was because a bunch of kids just watched their friend, teammate, and leader suffer a really bad injury which has been too common for these Bulldogs.   I feel that I have to comment on the CBS coverage.  I was sick and tired of CBS showing Nick Chubb in physical & emotional pain on the sidelines.  Once or twice is permissible, but they did it too much. I think it was in very poor taste.   Boo CBS!  I am not going to talk much more on how it happened , but Georgia essentially lost the game in the final minute of the 1st half.  Totally unacceptable to give up 14 points in less than a minute of play.

THE DEFENSE- I have been listening to the radio, and the defense along with Jeremy Pruitt are starting to catch a little blame as well.  Some of this maybe warranted, but I think the defense was asked to play too many plays last Saturday.  If you recall, Georgia was winning 24 to 3 with 1:30 to go in the first half.

011514 ATHENS: New UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt takes a question during his press conference with head coach Mark Richt looking on in amusement on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Athens. Pruitt was defensive coordinator at Florida State where he won a national championship this season. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Jeremy Pruitt and Mark Richt

That was mainly due to the defense and special teams.  However, at that point in the game the defense had played the equivalent of 3 to 4 quarters.  They were on the field almost the entire half.  This caught up to the Georgia late in the 1st half and again in the 2nd half.  What the defense needs is more depth, more experience, and more rest.  I don’t think anyone should be blaming the defense.  If anything you should thank them for keeping it close.

THE QUARTERBACK– Well its official this has become a real problem.  I said before that they made the wrong call taking Lambert out so quickly against Alabama.  lambert vs tennWhat confidence Lambert had in himself is gone, and I think it has affected his play and his team mate’s perception of him.  At this point, you might as well go ahead and play Ramsey.  All that aside, Lambert has to take some blame here.  The only receiver he throws to is Malcolm Mitchell.  They have to get the Tight Ends involved in the pass game.  They also have to find another threat other than Mitchell.  Maybe the receivers just aren’t getting open or maybe the quarterback just isn’t looking.

THE COACH – Well here we are again.  Mark Richt is on the hot seat and it’s not even Halloween.  I have to admit that I am down on Mark Richt right now, but not sure I am ready to give up on him.

Oct 10, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt before the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt

I am really frustrated and closer than I have ever been to getting out of his corner.  The next couple of weeks will go a long way for me.  If the team rallies and puts up 4 wins than I am going to stay on board. But if we lose 2 or 3 more games…well, I don’t know.  I just don’t know.  There is a good way to tell if you have the right coach.   Just ask rival fans if they want to see your coach leave.  If they say, “yes” than you probably have the right guy.  If no, than you probably don’t.  So let’s take a look a look at who wouldn’t mind seeing Mark Richt leave Georgia.

GA Tech would love to see Richt leave UGA.  They have only beaten him twice.

Tennessee would love to see him leave as well.  They won Saturday but it had been a while.

Auburn would like to see Richt leave too.  They have won 2 times in the last 7 years.

Florida would like to see him stay.  Florida still seems to have his number

South Carolina could go either way but I say they want Richt to stay.

Alabama definitely wants him to stay.

So that’s 3 wanting him to leave and 3 wanting him to stay.  This is a prime example of why it is such a hard call.  Will he turn it around or we will see more of the same.  Let’s check back around Thanksgiving.

THE FANS – I think it may be time for many Georgia fans to take a long look in the mirror. You may not like what you see.  Saturday serves as a prime example of what an ugly bunch we can be from time to time.  The internet was full of negative and ugly comments.  Some about coaches and some about players.  Georgia fans like to make fun of Gator fans, Bama fans, and Auburn fans.  This is of course typical in SEC football.

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 3: Fans of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrate after a score against the Ole Miss Rebels at Sanford Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA – Fans of the Georgia Bulldogs

Not getting along with other fans is part of the fun, but we Dawg fans seem to think our “s%#t” doesn’t stink so to speak.  Let me explain the reality to you. Georgia hasn’t won a national championship in almost 35 years.  That means we Georgia fans may have an unrealistic expectation.  Don’t misunderstand me. I think UGA should be in the discussion every year, and it is totally unacceptable to me that it has been so long.  But the reality is that it has been that long which is the entire span of my life.  Sanford Stadium is always full of fans calling some coach an idiot.  I have been hearing it my whole life. All the way from the early 80s to now.  This may be the case everywhere, but I also know that Sanford stadium is not a scary place for opposing teams.  That is our fault.  Our rivals seem to do a better job of supporting their teams and getting loud.  It just seems to be an area that Georgia doesn’t quite get it done.  There are plenty of great fans, but too many of us are just not as dedicated as our rivals and maybe that trickles all the way into the program.  Maybe just maybe we are getting out what we are putting in.  Granted, we have some great fans and some real die hards.  But I just think we could use a little less bit#%ing and a little more cheering.   I hope to see a big crowd at the tailgate Saturday.  Good weather would help.  But Sanford stadium needs to be rocking because these kids could use a little support this week.  Go Dawgs!

Wake Up Dawg Fans! Because Tomorrow Matters

Tomorrow at 3:30 pm Eastern Standard Time the Georgia Bulldogs will do battle with the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, TN.  At this point, it is the biggest game on Georgia’s schedule.  Despite the game’s importance, many Dawg fans seem a little apathetic.  Here in Athens, you can smell the apathy and all the previous energy from the fans seems to have disappeared. georgiavstenn There just isn’t much talk or buzz around this game especially from the fans.  Well I want to tell the fans to WAKE UP!  Wake up and care again!  Georgia lost 1 game to a good team, but there is still a lot of football left to play.  Stay behind your team folks!  Regardless of record, this game is always big.  It is a rivalry game, an SEC game, and a divisional game.  But if you still need a few more reasons to get excited about tomorrow here is a list to help you:

  • ORANGE– Orange only looks good on fruit, and Tennessee is one of the hated teams that wear that awful orange. In fact, their shade of orange maybe the worst.UF_Orange  Hard to decide between the Vols and Gators.  In the end, I think the Gators still hold the title of worst orange.  Nevertheless, Tennessee’s orange is awful.
  • THE 90s– Do you remember the 90s? If so, you should recall the absolute a#$ whippings UGA received from Tennessee.  I remember every one of them and they still hurt.  Georgia was way down in the 90s and Tennessee took full advantage.  They built their program with top notch athletes from Georgia.  Back then Tennessee would come into Georgia year and year out and take great football players.   Here is a rundown of this game from 1989 to 1998:

1989 17-14 VOLS WIN

1992 34-31 VOLS WIN

1993 38-6   VOLS WIN

1994 41-23 VOLS WIN

1995 30-27 VOLS WIN (Robert Edwards got hurt & they broke our hearts)

1996 29-17 VOLS WIN

1997 38-13 VOLS WIN

1998 22-3   VOLS WIN

1999 37-20 VOLS WIN

How do you feel about this game now?  You outta be fired up.

  • PEYTON MANNING– That’s right Peyton Manning. I don’t like him and you shouldn’t either if you bleed red & black. papa-johns-referee-featuring-peyton-manning-large-9 He can sell all the Papa John’s pizza he wants but I ain’t buying any.  I’m a Dominos man.  He should have gone to Ole Miss anyway.
  • THAT DAMN SONG– If you have ever made the trip to Knoxville for a game than you understand. They play “that song” almost nonstop.  It will drive you crazy. I don’t care how good a song is if you play it 100 times in a row it will get old.  I love me some Steve Winwood, but even I need a break from the smooth tunes of Winwood every now and then.
  • LANE KIFFIN– Yep that’s right Lane Kiffin. He coached there for 1 year and in that one year he beat the Dawgs.  It still bothers me to this day.
  • BUTCH JONES– I can’t decide if this guy is a football coach or just a cheerleader. I have never been to a Tennessee football practice but even I am tired of his microphone.  Georgia better win tomorrow because losing to this clown is unacceptable.

    Tennessee head coach Butch Jones instructs his team during Tennessee's opening spring football practice at Haslam Field on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Lau) ORG XMIT: TNKNN308
    Tennessee head coach Butch Jones

I could keep on writing but I have to do some real work this afternoon.  But now I hope you understand that this game matters every year.  All my points above are of course valid, but this game is big for more pertinent reasons.  Right now Georgia controls their destiny in the SEC East.  If they lose tomorrow they don’t.  Georgia can win out and still have a great year.  Heck they may even have a chance at redemption against Alabama.  I know, I know, that doesn’t seem very likely but you never know.  I don’t think Georgia is as bad as they looked last Saturday and I’m not sure Alabama is as good as they looked.  Revenge is a powerful motivator sometimes.  In 3rd grade, I took a pretty good whipping from a 4th grader on the playground.  Not sure why I kept getting up just to get beat up again.  But I did until the teachers finally saw what was happening.  I wound up in the principal’s office with a fat lip and tears in my eyes.  But I never forgot about that kid, and years later I seized an opportunity to settle the score.  That’s exactly what the Dawgs need to do.  They just got hit the mouth and fell to the mat. It’s time to get back up and hit back.  So let’s Go Dawgs!


Athens, GA Real Estate Value: 5 Points

The last 5 years have been a little crazy for real estate all over the country. And Athens, GA serves a prime example of what was good and what was bad.  I am sure you can remember what it was like 5 years ago.   Our economy was in full recession which was created by the mortgage crisis, and the real estate industry was suffering.  We experienced a record amount of foreclosures along with a sharp drop in real estate values across the country. What-is-my-home-worth-mascot I think it was late 2010 or early 2011 that we finally saw the bottom.  After that the only direction to go was up and boy have things gone up.  Here in Athens, we have seen many areas of the market make a full recovery.  Granted, not every area of town is all the way back but the recovery is evident.  So what areas have recovered the most?  If you go by the numbers the strongest real estate values are in three primary areas:  5 Points, Normaltown, and Oconee County.  Oconee is a large county and not every location is strong but in general the area is doing very well. I plan to discuss the values and current trends for each area or market in Athens over several blog posts.  But since our office is located in 5 Points it makes sense to start there.


5 Points is the general area that runs from UGA’s south campus and ends around Baxter street and the Alps road area.    It is an older area of town and is considered to be a very central location.  Subsequently, it has always been a desirable part of town.  You would have to go back a long ways to say otherwise.  In 2010, 5 Points values were much lower than today.  Nevertheless, when compared with other areas of town it was still one of the strongest.  But lately there has been a huge comeback and increase in values. 5 Points Clockeditededited  This is of course due to the location and traditional look of the area.  During the recession, values were topping out around $150 PSF, but when the recovery began 5 points was positioned to boom.  Have you ever heard to buy low and sell high?  Well 5 Points real estate serves as a great example, and many home buyers were able to take advantage of a depressed market from 2009 to 2012.  As of today, some values in 5 Points are over $200 PSF.  For instance, if a house is fully renovated or up to date it may easily achieve a value of $200 PSF or greater.  On the other hand, if a house is small or drastically out of date the value can be much less.  With respect to residential lots, the dirt in 5 points is worth more than any other dirt in town.  So what caused this value or boom?

Well there are many reasons.  First of all, 5 Points is right next to UGA, and the university is a desirable area of town where many people work.  Convenience could be considered another driving factor.  Over the last several years, we have seen more and more people want to live closer in to town.  Nowadays more people want to walk or bike to places and 5 Points can provide that option. In general, the overall driving force behind 5 Points is location which should be no surprise.  But every area has at least one drawback.  In 5 points, the drawback could be seen as the age or size of the homes.  Many people love older homes and their charm so to speak.  I am definitely one of those people.  I enjoy the unique characteristics of older homes and neighborhoods.  I enjoy the feel of a home that has been lived in or has a history.  Unfortunately, many older homes do not have much space.  Many of us have grown accustomed to large kitchens and open floor plans along with expansive closet space.  But older homes were just not designed in this manner and this can obviously be a drawback to many buyers.  Nevertheless, people are working hard to make houses up to date in 5 points.

You are probably aware that numerous renovations have taken place in 5 Points and more are underway.  Depending on your taste, you may or may not like this new trend.  In my opinion, some renovations look fantastic and others could have been done better.  I don’t want to get into a discussion about which renovations are good and which are not.  But the fact is that every home needs to be kept up or renovated from time to time.  Overall, this is a good thing for the 5 Points area.  It also proves the rule that people will sacrifice and work to be in a good location.  In summation, the 5 Points area has proven to be a desirable area in good times and bad.  It remains a great location to purchase a home or invest in real estate and should be for years to come.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

College Football Week 5:  Oh Heavens! That Was Bad

So far I have tried to cover 5 different topics every week on college football, but this week it’s all Georgia.

For Dawg fans last Saturday was utterly awful.  The weather was absolutely dreadful all day and the game didn’t help matters.  I foolishly operate a large tailgate for all the home games, and we hosted over a 100 people in the pouring rain last Saturday.  635794791651372227-ugarainparkingTo speak frankly, the tailgate was a huge pain in the A#$ last week.  It poured on our spot from setup at 7am to take down at 9pm.  Regardless, I saw a bunch of true, and dedicated Bulldogs come out to brave the weather and support the Dawgs.  But that was about the only good thing I saw all day.  Here are my thoughts on the whole debacle.

The Game Overall– I called for UGA to win this game in the preseason but then flip flopped last week.  Therefore, I was not surprised that Georgia loss but still disappointed.  What’s so frustrating is the way they lost which has become the rule and not the exception.  Georgia will lay an egg and get humiliated at least once a year.  You can set your damn watch by it.  Well here we are again.  100415 UGA vs Bama 26RHGeorgia has been humiliated which means it must be time for the leaves to change color.  Losing the game would not have bothered me that much if we made it competitive.  I guess I could say it was competitive for about a quarter and a half.  After that, the same ole shenanigans occurred.  Special team blunders always lead the charge in this department.  By halftime there was not much hope left for Dawg fans.  But there was at least some, and I was one of the few staying positive.  I tried to explain that it wasn’t over and all we needed was a stop and a score.  Well those hopes faded quickly when our back up QB started the 2nd half with pick six.  At that point, it was officially over.

The Quarterback– This is a sore subject for me right now.  I will pull for whoever they play at QB, but I do not understand why Brice Ramsey played.  I know that Lambert did not look good in the first half.  635796170985223808-USATSI-8842346But he didn’t against Vanderbilt either and look what happened.  I am huge believer in picking your guy at quarterback and sticking with him.  Maybe I am wrong here, but how can you ask your offense to follow the quarterback if you show no confidence in him.  I felt that Lambert was pulled to early and that decision may affect the rest of Georgia’s season.  They went into the game without any controversy but left with uncertainty at the position.  That was not Lambert’s fault but the coaches.  It was the wrong call.

All is Not Lost– I said it before the season and again last week.  Losing this game does not have to be the end of Georgia’s season.  Georgia is still in control of their destiny in the SEC East.  Win out and you are in Atlanta.  This week will tell us a lot more about our team than last week.  How do they respond?  Are they still hungry?  Can they get up off the mat and hit back?  Well they better because Tennessee and Butch Jones are going to be ready in Knoxville.   This week’s game was circled as a lost by me since August.  Well I am going to flip flop again.  I think the Dawgs will rebound and get the win in Tennessee. Because if they don’t the season is over.

Recruiting is the Difference- If you want to know why Georgia lost this game, just look back to the Georgia recruiting classes since 2012.  Too many kids didn’t pan out and there weren’t enough big lineman taken on either side of the ball.  Hell, half of the 2013 class isn’t even on campus anymore.  There is a reason why Alabama is ranked #1 or #2 every year and it’s because of recruiting.  They rank 1st or 2nd every year there too.  They don’t have bad years at recruiting.  They bring in top notch kids every year.  And yes, Georgia does recruit well.  But not as good as Alabama.  For example, Georgia is almost always in the Top 10 nationally with recruiting.  Sounds pretty good right?   Well it’s not great when 4 to 5 teams in the SEC are usually ranked in front of them.  Georgia seems to be doing better in this area now, but they have to keep it up.  That means big time lineman year end and year out.  UGA has no problems attracting skill players but they absolutely have to get more depth and size on the ball.  Only time can fix it.

The Delusion Continues for Now- I was born on March 25th, 1981 in Valdosta, GA.  At that moment, Georgia was at the top of the college football world.  They beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl almost 3 full months prior and won the national title.  In fact, it looked like UGA may stay there for a while since Herschel was only a freshman.  Well the Bulldogs did win a string of SEC Championships in the 80s, but they came up short in the national championship department.   It has been 34 long years since 1980 which is almost the entire span of my life.  Saturday night I referred to it as 34 years of delusion.  At that point, I was very frustrated, very wet, very mad, and slightly over served.  Georgia can still have a great year and maybe they will.  But if not, no biggie.  There is always next year.  Thankfully, I do not gather my self-esteem from Georgia’s championships.  Win or lose I am a Dawg fan, and I hope you will be too.  Our day will come and when it does we may just burn Atlanta down again.    To Hell with Rocky Top!  Go Dawgs!