Eason to Start? Who Cares? Either Way Football is Here!

Finally, college football is here, and in 5 short days Georgia will face off with North Carolina in the Georgia Dome.  The first week of college football is truly great because everyone’s team is undefeated, and most fans still have hope for a great year.  I know I am full of hope for the season, but for a type “A” person like me that hope soon turns to worry, and I will expound more on that later.  First, let’s address all the gossip surrounding the starting quarterback. jacob-eason-greyson-lambert-georgia-starting-quarterback-question-2016-1024x609 Apparently, if you believe everything you read than Jacob Eason has been secretly named the starting quarterback.  Maybe he will get the start, but it would still surprise me.  Let me be clear, I feel certain that Eason will play on Saturday, but I just haven’t bought into the fact that he will take the first snap.  It just seems like a risky move for such a young player.  It will be an awful big stage for any freshman, and especially for a quarterback. But you know what?  I really don’t have a clue who will start, and I don’t think anyone is going to tell me. However, I feel certain that whatever decision the coaches make it will likely be the right one.  They are the ones that run practice, evaluate film, and call the plays.  So I am not going to worry anymore about who will play QB because there are other areas of concern heading into Saturday.  Please allow me to share these concerns with you, and fill you with anxiety heading into the game.  Here are My Top 5 Concerns:

  • Nick Chubb’s Return– The big story in this game is not the damn quarterback. It’s Nick Chubb who is one of college football’s most talented running 0804_masp_uga_practice_0407backs.  Of course, I do not know him personally, but he appears to be a great kid with an excellent work ethic.  We all saw him suffer a brutal knee injury in Knoxville not even a year ago.  If this team is going to have success early in the season they need Chubb back on the field at 100%.  I truly hope he runs for 150+ and has the triumphant return he deserves.  I hope he proves to be superman, and looks like he hasn’t lost a step, but I know that could be a lot to ask.
  • Containing Ryan Switzer – Kickoff coverage always scares me, but it really scares me when the new head coach mentions it as an area of concern at the Touchdown club.  Kickoff and Punt coverage have been an issue for Georgia in42a09d5af33447002823101580020324 recent years, and North Carolina has a very talented return man named Ryan Switzer #3.  He is the kind of guy that take one back a few times in a game.  So trust me Dawg fans, the less you hear or see from Ryan Switzer on Saturday night the better.
  • Georgia’s Offensive Line – All football games are won or lost in the trenches, and we just don’t know much about the offensive line. I know that North Carolina’s defense did poorly against the run last year, but can UGA capitalize on that weakness?  I sure hope so because the offensive line will be crucial to the success of Nick Chubb, and whoever the hell is going to play Quarterback.
  • The UNC Offense – Despite scoring just 13 points in the first game last year, North Carolina’s offense averaged 40 points and almost 500 yards of offense a game. Granted, they lost to South Carolina, but they really came to life after that game.  If you recall, they damn near beat Clemson and won the ACC last year. Long and short, the Georgia defense better be in shape and ready to play.  Otherwise, it could be a bad night.
  • UGA’s Dreaded Dome Record – That’s right folks! Georgia has a bad record in the Georgia dome.  To my recollection, UGA is Four and Six in the Georgia Dome-PLdyShH since it was constructed.  The Dawgs have lost to Virginia, Alabama, twice to LSU, and let us not forget Boise State.  Did I mention the loss to West Virginia in the “faux” Sugar Bowl post Katrina?  This record needs to improve a little before they tear it down, and Saturday night would be a good start.

Well are you a little worried now?  I hope so because Georgia can easily lose this game.  All that being said, please allow me to go back on everything and act hypocritical because I still think Georgia wins a good one.  Despite all my worries and concerns, I think it will be a 34 to 30 Georgia win over the Heels.  Go Dawgs!

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Georgia Football: Preseason Prognostications 2016

We are 12 days away from the start of Georgia football, and Kirby is all set to address the Athens Touchdown Club later this evening.  Additionally, there was a very slight and subtle coolness in the air this morning.  Needless to say, it feels like an appropriate time to gaze in to the proverbial “crystal ball” and make some predictions about Georgia Football.  I did the same thing last year about this time, fortuneteller_largeand I was fairly optimistic when I predicted UGA would go 10 and 2 losing to Tennessee and Auburn.  Obviously, I was wrong, but that’s no reason to stop predicting. Even so, this year may prove to be the most difficult season to prognosticate in a long time.   Think about it, what do we really know about this team?  What do we really know about the coaches?  Who is going to play Quarterback? Basically, we don’t much of anything at this point.  Regardless, I am going to ignore that reality, and convince you that I am a modern day soothsayer and quite possibly the next Nostradamus.   So allow me to gaze into the crystal ball, peruse the tea leaves, and examine the tarot cards.  Warning!! Spoilers are ahead.

 

UGA vs North Carolina Sept 3rd The big question here will be who plays QB.  I feel pretty sure that Greyson Lambert will be taking the first snaps in the Dome, and I do think Eason will play as well.  But the story here will be the return of 8503211Nick Chubb.  I think he runs for 150 + yards and 2 scores leading Georgia to a win.  Still a close game I think.  North Carolina is well coached, and played some good defense last year.  Maybe I am blinded by my love for Georgia, but I just have a hard time envisioning a North Carolina win.  On another note, how many times during the game do you think a Tarheel fan will say, “well actually, North Carolina was the first state chartered school to begin classes not Georgia”?  My guess is somewhere in the thousands. (1-0)

UGA vs Nicholls Sept 10thNot really going out on a limb here to say that Georgia will win.  It will be the first home game in the “Smart Era”, and I am so excited I just about can’t stand it.  I am hoping for good weather, and a temperature below 90 which is asking a lot.   Ideally, Georgia will feel good about the quarterback position by the end of this game, but that could be asking a lot as well. (2-0)

UGA vs Missouri Sept 17thThe first SEC game is always a big one.  It feels a little weird for it not to be against South Carolina, and going on the road is always risky.  Missouri has some talent, but they have lost a great coach in Gary Pinkel.  Nevertheless, Pinkel was replaced by someone on the staff so it could be business as usual for Mizz.  They will be improved from 2015, but not enough to win this game.  Georgia actually scores a few touchdowns this year, and wins by a couple scores. (3-0)

UGA vs Ole Miss Sept 24thIt appears that Ole Miss is living proof that sometimes cheating does pay off.  I know, I know Ole Miss is still supposedly innocent until proven guilty, but come on do you really believe they haven’t broken the rules? Regardless of how they got the talent, they now have a good bit of it, and one of the best Quarterbacks in the conference coming back.  Granted, they lost some good players last year, but I just think this one may be a tall order for the Dawgs.  I hate to say it, but Georgia loses this one. (3-1)

UGA vs Tennessee Oct 1stTennessee seems to be the popular pick to win the SEC East.  The only problem is that the media has historically been wrong almost every year when picking the East division.  I don’t think this year is going to be any different, but I do think Tennessee will win this game.  It will be a close one, and maybe a real heart breaker.  The end of this game will be the low point of season for Georgia. (3-2)

UGA vs South Carolina Oct 8thThis game will be just what the doctor ordered for the Georgia.  Kirby vs Muschamp round one and this round will go to Kirby.  Will Muschamp is a good coach, but right now he just doesn’t have enough talent over in Columbia.  Dawgs win this one big, and it marks the turnaround of the season. (4-2)

UGA vs Vanderbilt Oct 15thVandy always plays hard against the Dawgs, and this year will be no different.  However, they won’t win this one.  Georgia will be hitting their stride about this point and it won’t even be close. (5-2)

GEORGIA vs FLORIDA Oct 29th– This game almost ALWAYS decides the SEC East, and that could be the case this year.  Something really needs to change for Georgia-Florida-TNGeorgia in this rivalry, and it needs to change soon.  Richt was never able to win consistently in Jacksonville, but Kirby will get it done.  And I think he starts in year one.  Georgia wins, and Dawg fans will start to get excited at this point because UGA, Tenn, and Florida will all have 2 SEC losses. (6-2)

UGA vs Kentucky Nov 5thThis thing is getting long winded so let’s just say Georgia wins, but it’s close.  There will be a little bit of a letdown after the big win in Jax., but they pull out the win. (7-2)

UGA vs Auburn Nov 12thGeorgia doesn’t beat Florida and Auburn in the same year very often.  But times they are a changing, and Georgia wins this one placing Gus Malzahn on the chopping block.  I wonder who Auburn will hire after they fire Malzahn?  There is no telling, but it will be interesting to watch. (8-2)

UGA vs Lousiana-LaFayette Nov 19thNot much to say about this game.  It should be another Georgia win, and hopefully an ideal afternoon on campus.    (9-2)

UGA vs TECHIES Nov 26th– Man do I hate Georgia Tech.  Not as much as the Gators, but it’s pretty close. One thing Mark Richt did well was beat Tech.  In fact, coaches that don’t beat Tech typically don’t hang around too long at UGA.  Jim Donnan was a good coach, but he just lost to Tech too many times.  Under Paul Johnson, Tech’s offense has always been a little scary.  Especially, if you let them hang around and keep the score close.  The best way to beat Tech is to score.  Once they get behind, they have to pass the ball, and they don’t do that so well.  Georgia wins this game and finishes off the year with only 2 losses surprising a lot of people. (10-2)

 

Just like last year, I have predicted Georgia to finish 10 and 2.  Granted, I was wrong, but I was damn close.   Even though we know so little about the team and the new staff, I still think good things will happen this year.  For example, last year Georgia suffered a devastating knee injury to their best player along with mediocre QB play, but they still managed 9 wins.  Many of you will read this blog and laugh at a 10 and 2 prediction from an unapologetic “homer” like myself.   In all likelihood, most educated fans probably project Georgia to an 8 and 4 or 9 and 3 record.  Hell, I even had one person tell me they would go 7 and 5 to which I replied “you’re an idiot”.  Let’s just hope I was right about his idiocy.Idiot   On the other hand, I understand that it might seem unlikely for a first year coach to do so well without a definitive starting quarterback.  But when you sit down, and look at UGA’s schedule you will see they could feasibly win them all thanks to the weakness of the SEC East.    So bring on the criticism, and call me the idiot.  And maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re wrong.  Go Dawgs!  12 Days !

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Who is Going to Play Quarterback? Deja Vu!

I started this blog a little over a year ago, and one of the first football topics was “Who is Going to Play Quarterback.”  Well here we are a year later, and while there is a new coach and a new 5 Star quarterback we still don’t know who will take the first snap against North Carolina.  At this time last year, I was cautiously optimistic about Georgia football.  Looking back now, I realize that during most of the Mark Richt Era my optimism could be classified as a “false front”.   I tried to see the glass as half full, but I never really believed it.  I would talk a big game about how Georgia could win, but in many cases I knew I was I kidding myself.  In my gut, I always knew Georgia would lose the big game or falter at the wrong time.  So here I am again, feeling good about the season, but I can honestly say it is a more confident optimism.  I don’t expect Georgia to go undefeated or anything, but I do believe good things are on the way.

All that being said, there are still a lot questions going into the season.  In fact, there are probably more concerns heading into to this season than last year.  For example, the defensive line is not very deep, Nick Chubb is coming off a bad knee injury, Sony Michel has a broken arm, and there is an entire new coaching staff.  Most importantly, we still don’t really know who will play quarterback.  So let’s take another look at the quarterbacks and speculate as to who will play.

 

First of all, I think it is fair to say that Brice Ramsey is not going to start.  No offense to Brice, but if he couldn’t win it last year than he is not going to win it this year.  So that leaves us with Greyson Lambert and Jacob Eason.  By now, allQBs - Emily Selby Dawg fans know about Jacob Eason.  He is a highly touted recruit from Washington State, and many fans are ready to proclaim him the starter.  Jacob had a pretty good spring game in April, and all the fans fell in love.  He is without a doubt a very talented young man, but he sure is young.  On the other hand, there is Greyson Lambert.  Greyson did a solid job last year, but he really didn’t do anything spectacular after the South Carolina game, but what a game it was.  Greyson completed 24 of 25 passes for 330 yards.  He also set a NCAA record for completion percentage with 20 complete passes in a row.  I remember thinking that Georgia had found its quarterback0919_masp_sc_uga_1109_bc after that game, but he never really returned to that form last season.  Subsequently, Georgia lost badly to Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida.  And now Mark Richt is down in Miami, and Kirby Smart is in charge.  However, this is not Greyson’s fault.  Last year he managed games fairly well and made good decisions, but he lacked big play ability.  In Lambert’s defense, the entire offense seemed to struggle at times last year, and that could easily be attributed to coaching or injuries.  Now it seems all the fans are ready to push Lambert aside, and anoint Eason the new king.  But as Lee Corso often says, “not so fast my friend.”  Jacob Eason is undoubtedly very talented, and he will be given every opportunity to win the job.  But I just have a hard time believing that Kirby Smart is going to let a true freshman take the first snap in the Georgia Dome against UNC.  If that ends up happening, well than you can color me surprised.

In my opinion, Lambert will start against North Carolina, and we will see Jacob Eason play as well.  I am no football coach, and I have no insight from practice of course.  But I just find it hard to believe that the coaching staff would put Eason031616 UGA spring practice bs11 in that situation so early.   Ideally, we will see Lambert start the game, and have some success.  Then Jacob will be given an opportunity in the first half once the game settles in a little bit.  Ideally, Eason will have some success as well, and be allowed more playing time throughout the game.  I fully expect that Eason will win the job eventually, but not by the first game.  Georgia has had some great quarterbacks through the years, but I can’t recall one true freshman that started his first game.  Eric Zeier didn’t start his first game. Matt Stafford didn’t start his first game either, and both were just as highly touted as Eason.  So get excited about the future, but get behind Lambert as well because he is the present.  Go Dawgs!  30 Days!

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Real Estate Appreciation in Athens

It is now the beginning of August, and kids are either back in school or getting ready to start.  The summer is almost over, but it hasn’t cooled off in the slightest.  And it probably won’t for a month or two.  Historically, this time of year marks the slowdown of the Athens real estate market at least with regards to residential homes.  However, I will say that this year may be unique because things haven’t slowed down quite yet.  There are still plenty of buyers in the house-prices-upmarket, and a surprising number of homes are still going up for sale.  Long and short, our local market seems to be generally strong despite a few areas here and there or difficult price points.  Overall, we have seen most properties continue to appreciate over the last year.  Especially, when it comes to the in town neighborhoods.  Which is great news of course, but what is causing our values to go up?  Will it continue?  Will it not?  No one has a crystal ball of course, and there are numerous factors that create our market many of which are on a national level.  I don’t know who is going to be President, and I don’t know what will happen to interest rates.  I can certainly make an educated guess, but that would be all.  However, I do know our area market, and I think the best way to understand all this appreciation is to focus on the local factors that are influencing our market.

First of all, let me make it abundantly clear that low interest rates are a MAJOR reason for our strong real estate market and increased values.  Money is cheap right now, and people should take advantage while they can because it will not last forever.    While interest rates are a big factor, they are not the only factor.download (2)  For instance, not every real estate market is strong right now even with the low interest rates.  But here in Athens, we have a lot going for us which really helps our real estate.  Earlier, I mentioned in town neighborhoods where homes are achieving the highest per square foot in the area.  This is actually not a new trend.  As an example, 5 Points has always had strong value relative to other areas of town.  It is highly desirable, and land is scarce.  The same can be said for our Normaltown and Boulevard neighborhoods.  Nowadays, Athens is a great place for retirees, families, and young professionals. Which is truly unique for a town the size of Athens.  People are flocking to our small little city because it can offer a high quality of life.  Retirees want to be in town, and many of them can afford to pay for it. Meanwhile, we are seeing just as many young families come to Athens or Oconee from the Atlanta area.  In some cases, they are even willing to commute5 Points Clockeditededited into Atlanta everyday just to live in Athens.  This is all great of course, but I do worry if too many move here we may just become another Atlanta suburb.  Scary stuff!  Another factor that has always helped the Athens economy is the University.  Our local economy is not massive, but thanks to UGA it has some real stability.  UGA is our biggest employer, and it is the primary engine that drives commerce.  The students are wonderful customers to many of our local establishments.  Downtown would likely be a ghost town without them.  Here in Athens, we sell students most of their clothes, gas, entertainment, housing, and food.  Which reminds me of a local business owner who once told me a story about buying a car in Athens.  He said, “the car salesman told me that the university didn’t help his business at all”, to which he replied, “where the hell do you think I got the money to buy this car you dumb@$$? I got it from selling ice cream to college kids!”  To further my point, most of the people that want to move to Athens went to UGA, and love Athens because of the time they spent here in school.  In summary, Athens offers a somewhat stable economy in a highly desirable town.  Meanwhile, land is scarce in most of the in town neighborhoods which creates a demand with limited supply.  Conversely, our neighboring counties have an abundance of land, but also have great schools, achievable home values, and they are right next door to our great city.

To sum it all up, we are really fortunate in Athens.  There many other things I could discuss that influence our market, but I think you get my point.  Besides, I have run on for long enough.  Regardless, this doesn’t mean that you can buy any house in any location and see appreciation.  The same rules will apply to anydownload (1) wise purchase.   First, think about the location which is always the most important factor.  Next, you need to consider the supply in your area and the comparable values.  Lastly, think carefully about the schools, and how many buyers will want your house when you need to sell.  It is much easier to make a bad decision in a strong market.  Thanks for reading, and get excited because we are 31 days away from Georgia football.  Go Dawgs!

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