The Ghosts of UGA’s Past

As the great comedy writer Larry David says, “pretty…., pretty…., pretty good”, is exactly what most Georgia fans are feeling on this Tuesday before the Tennessee game. 

But not this Dawg fan.  In fact, I feel a great deal of anxiety for my beloved Bulldogs this week.  Yes of course I had a great time Saturday watching them thoroughly handle the bizzaro bulldogs from Mississippi.  You may even recall that I did predict this team to go 11 and 1, and so far I am looking much wiser than many thought only 4 weeks ago.  I still believe that record should be the eventual outcome of the season, but this Saturday the game in Knoxville truly has a chance to signify a drastic change in the football culture at UGA.  Most of you reading this should already understand why, but for those of you who don’t let me explain.

I was born almost three months after Georgia won its last national title in football.  Since then my life as a Dawg fan has been filled with great times, great friends, and great memories.  But it has also been filled with great disappointment.  And these great disappointments have come right after some of the really great memories.  That has sort of been the life of Georgia fans for the past 36 years or so.  Don’t get me wrong, I would not change being a Georgia man for any other team or school in the entire country.  I don’t want a degree from a different university, and I don’t want to live anywhere other than Athens.  Long and short, I am all in when it comes to the school and the state of Georgia.  I know this team is good, and I know the new coaching staff was brought here to change things for the better.  But I still have reason to worry.  I hate to be a “Negative Nancy” or a “Debbie Downer”, but allow me to remind you of a few big games followed by some tough losses from the ghosts of UGA’s past.

  • The first two games I have to lump together because I was so young. After rolling through the SEC in 1981 and 1982, Georgia lost two Sugar Bowls to two schools from Pennsylvania.  81’ to Pitt and 82’ to Penn State. Both games likely cost Georgia a national title.  Keep in mind these games were played after beating Florida, Auburn, and Tech to close out the season.  These games were heart breaking, but they are not examples of Georgia playing poorly.
  • The first big letdown game I can recall was Georgia vs. Auburn in 1997. Jim Donnan appeared to have Georgia over the hump with a 37-14 win over Florida.  The joy of that victory was short lived because Dameyune Craig and the Auburn Tigers beat Georgia solidly at Sanford Stadium in the very next game.
  • The next one came just a year later. Georgia went on the road to beat LSU with Quincy Carter in 1998.  Bulldog fans then dared to think their team would beat Tennessee the following weekend.  Well the joke was on us because the Bulldogs lost 22 to 3 in Sanford, and no one called Quincy Carter “ice water” ever again.
  • In 2004, Georgia dismantled the defending national champs, LSU, 45 to 16. We all felt great about ourselves.  Every fan was certain Georgia was on its way to the BCS.  But then Tennessee came to town the very next week with an upset win.  This one stung badly at the time.
  • Here is a list of other games in the last 15 years that hurt Georgia’s chances to have a special year: Florida 2002, Auburn 2005, Tenn. 2007, Bama 2008, Tech 2008, SCAR 2012 just to name a few. Trust me there are more.

So here is my point, this Tennessee game is the typical trap game.  Just about the time that the fan base starts to feel good, the team goes out and losses one they shouldn’t.  This has become a defining characteristic of Georgia Football for 20 years or more.  But here is an opportunity to change that perception with a win over Tennessee this Saturday.  I don’t care how they get it just as long as they win.  Have you also considered that Florida is already 2 and 0 in the SEC?  I know they don’t deserve to be, but regardless of a comically bad off season they are still 2 and 0.  If Georgia loses this weekend, they are already behind the 8 Ball in the SEC East. So in my opinion, the season starts Saturday in Knoxville, and Florida is already a win ahead of both Tennessee and Georgia.

So I hope all you Bulldog fans out there feeling “pretty good” about your team realize that nothing has been accomplished, and there is a long ways to go.  So don’t book a room in Atlanta just yet.  On the other hand, I think our head coach and new staff understand this all too well, and that should help the team keep their head out of the clouds this week.  All this being said, I am going to stand by my predictions for the year.  Dawgs win Saturday and the culture around the program improves a little more with each coming week.  Go Dawgs!

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A Message to Bulldog Fans in South Bend

Today is only Thursday, but it already feels less crowded here in Athens except for the Chick-Fil-A on Alps road of course.  I am trying to recall a game in my lifetime with as much excitement and fervor to make so many UGA fans travel as this week’s match up against Notre Dame.  Sure, there have been some big games here in Athens and Atlanta over the last 15 or so years.  LSU 2004, BAMA 2008 & 2012, along with some trips to the Georgia Dome come to mind.  However, I think you have to go back to 2002 when Georgia returned to the Sugar Bowl as the SEC Champion.  In 2002, Georgia fans were itching to get down to New Orleans to watch their Dawgs play Florida State.  I was one of them of course, and I had a blast even though it wasn’t that great of game.  If you recall, FSU that year was a little beat down, and an underdog to Georgia.  I think Anquan Boldin had to move from receiver to quarterback for that one game.  In the end, Georgia fans weren’t as excited about the match up in 2002 as they were about the trip.  And I worry that too many fans feel the same way about this trip to Notre Dame.

Granted, I have never been to South Bend, but I am pretty damn sure it is not equal to New Orleans.  Nevertheless, it does have appeal thanks to Notre Dame

Lou Holtz

and their football team.  There is not much reason for me to go into Notre Dame’s historic program.  Truth be told, I was not alive for much of their dominance.  I can recall Tony Rice, Rocket Ismail, and a kickoff return against Colorado while Lou Holtz spat on the sidelines with every word he shouted. (Suffering Succotash!)  To be very honest, most of what I remember of Notre Dame is Ron Powlus, Bob Davey, Tyron Willingham, and a dreadfully slow linebacker that believed he was dating a make believe girl on the internet.  None of these memories are good for Notre Dame by the way.   In the end, most people under 30 might be unaware of Notre Dame’s long history.  Sadly, the same can be said for UGA.  For many fans this is  for certain a big game .  But on the other hand, this is simply a fun trip for a lot of fans .  And yes it should be fun.  Fans can visit Chicago, see a Cub’s game, stare at Lake Michigan, eat deep dish pizza, and yes visit South Bend to watch Georgia play. I truly hope all of the Bulldogs enjoy the trip, but I also hope they know that this game means something.

I fully understand that this is NOT an SEC game, and a loss here doesn’t affect the standings in the SEC eastern division.  But do you know what a win in South Bend on Saturday night would mean?  It would mean a return to relevance.  That’s right Dawg fans. Georgia has not been relevant since 2012.  And they weren’t relevant in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 either.  Yikes!  The truth hurts.  Some of you may disagree with me on this point of view because you may define relevance differently.  For me, being relevant is defeating a Top 10 team or even winning a game as the underdog.  I know Georgia beat Auburn last year in Sanford, but that one doesn’t count for me.  I think the last big game Georgia won away from Sanford was Florida in 2012, and even that game was on a neutral field.  I could be wrong, but I think the last time Georgia had a big upset was 2006 against Auburn which was a 12 noon kick off on the plains.  Now I know that Notre Dame isn’t ranked in the Top 10, but the game airs at 8pm on NBC for all the world to see.  Georgia is currently the underdog, and if they can win this one then they are relevant at least for a few weeks anyway.  On the other hand, if they lose they could still have a great year.  But winning in South Bend at night with a freshman quarterback could make a statement for this team and coaching staff.  And that’s what they were hired to do here in Athens.  Winning this game could change the tune or narrative of Georgia Football from what it has been over the last 10 years.  So have fun up in South Bend and be sure to keep it classy.  But if you get into that stadium, scream your head off for your Bulldogs because this one is more than a vacation dawg fans.  Go Dawgs!

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Georgia Football 2017: Predictions & Prognostications

I have been posting these articles or blogs for about two years now.  Even so, I have not kept a real steady schedule or even been consistent on writing about real estate.  I quickly realized that always writing about real estate could become a little boring or even redundant because good real estate topics don’t emerge every week.  On the other hand, Georgia football is always a welcome discussion in our neck of the woods.  Therefore, I try to write a couple of posts each year depending on available time and my current feelings about the state of the program.  For example, in 2015 my feelings quickly went from good to terrible in what was ultimately Richt’s final season.  For better or worse those feelings were well

David Putty’s Classic 8 Ball Jacket

documented on this blog.  Nowadays, I am pretty d@&n optimistic about the “Smart Era” of Georgia football as you will see as you read through my predictions about the Bulldogs this year.  So now let me put on my magic 8 Ball jacket and gaze into the crystal ball.

UGA vs App State Sept 2nd– This is the typical game that happens every year where people want to talk up an underdog that is going to beat UGA, and this year it happens to be Appalachian State.  Long & short people are talking about how they upset Michigan in 2007 and almost beat Tennessee last year.  Well so what!  Tennessee was not a good a football team last year, and neither was Michigan in 2007.   The dawgs are going to win this one by 14 to 17 points.  1-0

UGA vs Notre Dame Sept 9th– Chicago and South Bend have no idea what is coming to town in less than two weeks.  I am not talking about the football team.  I am talking about the Bulldog fan base.  There is going to be a sea of red and black

Hey Chicago! What’s That Coming Down the Tracks?

swarming around up there.  Now I could be wrong, but I bet some of those Dawg fans do a little drinking while they are in town. I am sure the fan base will keep it classy unless the Bulldogs lose badly or even worse lose a heart breaker.  But that is not going to happen.  This game is going to be about Georgia’s defense.  I like Georgia in a close one.  2-0

UGA vs Samford Sept 16th– JUST STAY HEALTHY!  Seriously, get the win and get some people some playing time.  Dawgs Win! 3-0

UGA vs Miss State Sept 23rd– Miss State will be the SEC opener, and probably the first game that brings a big game crowd to Athens.  Plenty of people are already pointing to this game as a hiccup for the Dawgs.  Not because Miss State is that good, but because Georgia always does this once or even twice a year.  But you know what?  We hired Kirby to stop this trend, and I think he will get it done sooner than later.  Dawgs win by 17.  4-0

UGA vs Tenn Sept 30th– Someone I know well is getting married this weekend and I will be in attendance at the wedding.  I am already stressing about the wedding & reception time vs the kick off of this game.  I really hate to miss watching this one.  You know why?  It is going to be fun.  Knoxville is a hard place to play, but Tennessee does not have the talent or the coach to win this game.  I hope the Volunteers enjoyed the two year run over Georgia because it is over.  They will be trying to hire a new coach come December of this year.   Dawgs Win! 5-0

UGA vs Vandy Oct. 7th – Boy this one sure did hurt last year. Georgia has definitely lost too many games to Vanderbilt over the last 20 years or so.   But the year after a loss to Vandy has historically been good to Georgia, and this year will be no different.  I do like their coach, but I have been surprised by Vanderbilt fans of late.  In fact, I don’t really care for them anymore.  No reason to give you details, but I will say some recent experiences are reminiscent of a Duke fan.  GROSS!  Dawgs win again.  6-0

UGA vs Missouri Oct. 14th– This one was a close one last year, and if you recall, it was a big moment for Jacob Eason.  I think that if Mizz couldn’t beat Georgia last year in their own stadium then they won’t be able to do it to this Georgia team in Sanford.  I don’t even like this one to be close.  Dawgs Win! 7-0

GEORGIA vs Florida Oct. 28th– This one will always matter to both fan bases regardless of either team’s record.  Florida doesn’t seem to have a quarterback yet, and they have had a ton of off field issues.  I think 8 players may be suspended for the first game.  Florida will be the trendy pick for this one, and all the talking heads will be calling for Georgia to lose this one in Jax.  It will be close and Florida always seems to show up for this one, but I really believe Georgia pulls this one out.  Probably a low scoring game.  Dawgs Win! 8-0

UGA vs South Carolina Nov 4th– Historically, this is the letdown game for

Muschamp Keeping His Cool in Columbia

Georgia right?  I mean if I am correct and Georgia is undefeated after the Florida game then typically Georgia would lose. But like I said earlier, I don’t think that is going to happen this year.  Georgia pulls away in the 4th quarter to win by 10 or more.  9-0

UGA vs Auburn Nov. 11th – Last year this game proved to be Kirby’s first big win as a head coach.  In fact, Georgia has been dominating Auburn as of late.  Sadly, this domination will come to end on the plains just before 8pm.  Auburn pulls this one out and breaks our hearts.  9-1

UGA vs Kentucky Nov. 18th– Kentucky will probably be pretty good again this year.  At the time, last year’s win in Lexington was actually a really good one for Georgia.  However, this year the Wildcats are going to run into an angry Bulldog team in Athens.  35 to 14 Dawgs Win!  10-1

UGA vs techies Nov. 25th– No reason to even bring up last year with this game because this year is going to be so much fun.  I think Tech is in for a bad season.  A real bad one in fact.  Granted, they will always give Georgia a fight because of the rivalry, but there sting won’t be strong enough this year.  Dawgs Win 11-1

So there you have it.  My prediction for Georgia’s 2017 season.  Pretty optimistic right?  I think Vegas has the over/under on Georgia wins at 8.5 which means I am probably a complete moron or maybe I am just a homer.  In the end, Georgia’s season depends so much on an improved offensive line.  If this area gets better it will really help Eason and the entire offense.  With this in mind, let me rant about Eason for a little bit.  It seems to me that fans are giving this guy a bad rap a little too early.  He played very well at times last year for a TRUE FRESHMAN.  Does anybody remember Stafford’s freshman year?  If you do then you might recall it was worse than Eason’s, but I will say that Stafford showed improvement at the end of his freshman year.  My point is to say, give this guy a chance to be good because with a better line he just might be great.

Moving on, it seems every year in college football there are surprise teams that win more than the experts predict.  So why not Georgia?  The schedule seems manageable to me, and programs in their second year of a coaching change tend to do well.  Especially here at Georgia. Just look at Jim Donnan’s team in 1997 and Mark Richt’s in 2002.  Two great teams both in the head coach’s second year.  Furthermore, Georgia is one of only 10 teams in all of college football that have over 50% blue chip prospects on their roster.  Did you know that every single national champion since the 90s has had over 50% blue chip players?  If that holds true again it means only 10 teams have a chance to win it all.  Now I am not saying Georgia will win it all, but I do think they will win a lot of them.  Go Dawgs!

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Georgia Football 2017:  What are Realistic Expectations?

Another summer has come and gone in Athens, GA.  The students are back, and even now as I sit in our office on Milledge the soon to be sorority girls are parading up and down Milledge for formal rush.  This is always a fun time in Athens for many reasons.  The return of students breathes new life into our town each year and as always college football is soon to follow.  It has been so long since I have written a

Formal Rush in Athens

post on anything let alone Georgia football, so please excuse my grammatical mistakes as I am sure they will be plentiful in today’s post.  That being said, it seemed like a good time to write a football blog since fall practice has begun, and we are only 22 days away from the Appalachian State game.

Last season was a disappointment in many ways, but I do feel like there was some progress made as well. The 2016 season started off strong with a good win over UNC, but it quickly derailed with bad performances, an embarrassing loss to Ole Miss (cheaters), a heart breaker to Tennessee, and how can we forget Vanderbilt and Tech.  In fact, without wins over Auburn and TCU the season could have been a complete failure.  But was it really a failure or were our expectations a little too lofty?  I was guilty of expecting a 10 win season myself.  And with wins over Vanderbilt, Tech, and Tennessee which seemed reasonable to expect the 10 wins could have happened.  I don’t believe that any Georgia team should ever lose to Vandy, and a loss to Tech is acceptable about once every ten years.  But when I look back at what UGA had to overcome the record seems more realistic than I previously thought.  Think about it for a minute.  Georgia had a first year coach, a dismal offensive line, a freshman quarterback, slim receiving corps, and a weak kicking game.  How does that equal a good year?  So what the hell was I thinking?  Obviously, like most I was blinded by red and black glasses along with my unabashed love for all things UGA.  So if my expectations were unrealistic last year, what would be realistic for this football season?  Why should Georgia be any better?  Well, I bet I can come up with a few reasons to think so.

  • The Offensive Line Can’t Be Worse– Last year was bad, and I believe that wasn’t the current staff’s fault. They were undersized without much depth. I don’t want to take away from their effort at all. They played hard, and I believe they got better.  And instead of criticizing Tyler Catalina,  I want thank him for coming down and trying to help where help was apparently needed.  I don’t think the line will be world beaters, but they will be bigger overall and one more year under Coach Pittman will help.
  • The Defense Has to Be Even Better– Last year the defense was a bright spot on the team, and I think this year that side of the ball has a chance to be dominant. Coach Smart and Mel Tucker have already made their mark on the program in this area.  I think the future is bright for Georgia on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Improvements on Offense – I really do believe we will see better offensive production for many reasons. Eason will be improved, but how much only time
    Jacob Eason Fall Practice

    will tell.  At least he got a hair cut. The receiver corps seems to be deeper and may include freshman talent.  Isaac Nauta is probably the best tight end in the SEC already, and the running backs could be as well.  Sure we will miss McKenzie’s big plays, but offenses tend to take big strides in year two of a regime change.  Look at UGA in 1997, 2002, and even the Falcon’s success last year.

  • The Kicking Game– This one remains a bit of a mystery. But the coaching staff has made strong efforts to improve in this area. The kicking competition will continue with fresh young talent to add into the fold.  Kirby even added a new kickoff return specialist from California with the 85th scholarship.  It is apparent that special teams are important to this coaching staff.
  • The Schedule is Manageable– Thankfully for Georgia, the SEC east is not exactly a murderer’s row. There are no national championship teams on the schedule or at least we don’t think so.  Even a pessimists could take a look at the schedule and declare, “it’s possible for Georgia to beat any of the teams on their schedule.”  The issue recently is that Georgia never does it.  Regardless, the schedule could help this team significantly in year two.

In closing, maybe last year’s expectations are better suited for this year’s team. I am not ready to pick a record or the specific games, but I have to be honest.  I feel pretty damn optimistic about 2017.  Then again I guess I always do.  GO DAWGS!

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Athens Real Estate is Booming:  Will it Last?

If you live in the Athens area then you probably know our real estate market is booming.  Granted, there are a few pockets and price points that have not performed too well, but in general the market is thriving.  I recently wrote an article about Athens home buyers where I described the current frustrations of home buyers in this seller’s market.  Over the last several months, I have had many people ask me what I think is driving our market and how long do I think it will last.  In reality, no one knows for sure, but when asked I try to give an open and honest opinion based on what we see in the market on a daily basis.   This morning I find myself in the office looking out the window while Athens is under a tornado watch and flash flood warning.  This being the case, it seems like a good use of time to write a post and share my thoughts on this topic.

For many of us, the past mortgage crisis and real estate bust is ever present in our mind, and that influences our caution or even pessimism about the future.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t’ mean we are heading that way once again.  A wise man once said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.   With that in mind, I think it would be smart to consider the Athens market before the last recession.  I began my career in real estate here in Athens right after graduating from UGA.  It was the early 2000s and the real estate market was strong.  It is fair to say I was pretty green when I started, but with a little hard work along with some help from others I was able to find a little success and make a living.  Nowadays, I am a little older, a little heavier, and a lot wiser.  And I have found that my experience of living through the recession has really helped and given me a good perspective on where we are now in Athens real estate.  I am sure many of my colleagues feel the same way.  That being said, what was going in real estate before the bust?  And how does that compare with what we are seeing now?

Well I can only speak to my personal experience during this time with regard to what I saw in Athens real estate from 2003 to 2009.  At this time rates were not too high but they definitely were not this low.  In some cases, prices were even higher than they are now.  I saw condos finance with ease at prices that have still not returned.  I saw numerous people move towards Watkinsville for schools, more land, and 3,000 plus square feet.  While 5 Points was still very desirable it was nowhere near as popular as it is right now.  In fact, many areas of 5 Points were heavy with rentals for students.  As for Normaltown and Boulevard, they were also filled with rentals and prices per sq. foot much lower than the $175 to $200 we see today.  I often heard clients refer to 5 Points as overpriced and out of date.  To quote a past client, “Why would we pay $300,000 for a 1950s kitchen and no closet space?” Overall, it seemed more and more Athenians were moving out and into newer subdivisions.  We all seemed to think real estate values could never go down, and most folks outside of our industry had never heard of loan terms like sub-prime, no doc, stated income, and the dreaded adjustable rate.  Lastly, it seemed every builder believed “if you build it they will come”.  Looking back I did a lot sitting in neighborhoods asking myself, “Where in the hell I am going to find all the people needed to buy these houses?”  So what is different between then and now?  The major difference between then and now is the Supply and Demand. Back in those days I never saw anything that resembled what I am seeing today.

Many things have changed since the “Great Recession”.  First of all, we all know low interest rates have helped and they continue too.  While we should expect rates to increase, I don’t think we will see anything drastic in the near future.  Interest rates aside, I think the major difference seems to be the demand for housing in our area.  While the University has not grown significantly, people’s desire to live and work here has increased greatly.  In 2005, if a client asked me to find them a home in Athens under $250,000 the options would greatly exceed what you find today.  There would even be feasible options in 5 points and Normaltown.  In the end, the supply was slightly ahead of the demand back then.  Not much but a little.  Nowadays, we have a scarcity of affordable in town housing, and sadly I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  This demand has been created by numerous factors.  Athens as a whole has become a retirement destination to people in Georgia and across the country.  We have a vibrant college town that offers great food, better music, and a good quality of life. Thanks to technology more folks are able to work away from their office in Atlanta which has brought even more people into our area.  I personally have worked with 4 clients in the past year that work inside I-285, but have chosen to reside here in Athens.  Furthermore, our in town neighborhoods just have more to offer now than they did in 2005.  You can walk to dinner and drinks in many areas, and the shopping is better from the Eastside clear across to Epps Bridge.  As I have mentioned before, HGTV shows have influenced numerous people over the years and have helped create many remodels in our area.  While these remodels and tear downs are not always popular with everyone they are a sign of strong local market where demand is way out in front of supply.  To further this point, just look to the recent moratorium on new development in Oconee County which could have a similar impact on the housing climate in Watkinsville .  I do not have a crystal ball, but I think our residential housing market will remain strong in the near future barring any unforeseen national crisis or drastic jump in interest rates.   As for our student housing market, well that is probably better discussed in a future post.  In closing, the market is strong and shows no signs of weakening at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can buy anything anywhere.  You still need to consider all the factors to purchase wisely.

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Georgia Football:  Growing Pains Hurt

I am not going to rehash the events of last Saturday.  We all know what happened, and it was a real tough pill to swallow.  It was just one of those games that someone had to lose, and it was our day to lose.  Sunday was awful for me, and I am sure it was hard for most Georgia fans.  I couldn’t even watch one college football highlight, and Saturday night I ignored the Clemson game totally.  It was all I could do to listen to the Bulldawg brunch Sunday morning.  Thankfully, the Ryder cup was on TV to offer a wonderful distraction.  But today  is a new day, and I am over it.  There is a lot to still be excited about this season, and I want to make sure our fans understand this to be true.  Please allow me to expound on the positives of Saturday and Georgia’s outlook moving forward.


  • The Team Showed Resilience– This team lost a bad one in Oxford two weeks ago. They were obviously able to put it behind them and focus on the future.  They came out, and played a good game with drastic improvements in many areas
  • Jacob Eason Keeps Growing– Yes he threw an interception, and he fumbled in the end zone. But quarterbacks throw interceptions especially freshman quarterbacks.  But you know what he can do?  He can make a big throw when everything is on the line.  I am really excited to keep watching him.
  • The Running Game Showed Up – I love Nick Chubb of course, but Sony Michel is20161001_uga_ten_055 a hell of a good football player.  We need to make sure he gets the ball as much as possible.  Maybe even put him in the slot as receiver from time to time.
  • The Future is Bright at Running Back – We have the running backs. All we need to do is improve some on the line, and things we will be great in the Smart Era
  • Tennessee is Not Great – They are currently the best team in the East, but they just aren’t that great. Regardless, several Tenn. fans have already acted arrogant to me this year.  I find it funny because while they should be happy to be undefeated they have no reason to be so confident.  I hope they keep Butch Jones awhile, and beating Georgia & Florida this year might ensure his job in Knoxville for few more years.  Tennessee better soak it in this week because they are about to drop two SEC games in a row.   I would love to see Tennessee go to SEC Championship with two losses because they will likely get a third loss in Atlanta.  Besides once Dobbs departs they will be the third best team in the SEC East which would should be next year.


Lastly, I want all our fans to realize that Georgia can still have a fantastic year.  No I don’t expect any championships, but I never did.  And you shouldn’t have either.  10 Wins would be fantastic for a new staff with this team.   It all starts this Saturday in Columbia, SC.  If the Dawgs pull this one out Saturday night you better look out because they just might win out.   Seriously, they could end up favored in every game moving forward.  Not to bring up old stuff, but I predicted this to happen in my preseason prognostication blog (link included).  Georgia doesn’t have any world beaters left on the schedule.  South Carolina, Vandy, Kentucky, Auburn, GA Tech, and of course the loathsome Florida Gators.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think any of these teams are great.  Not one damn team, and Georgia can beat every single one of them.  Will they be hard games?  Yes, of course!  But they are winnable. And if Georgia can pull it off it would be a0692dc6113c5828de0da05974cfd6004cd8a34744dccf9f86a088da3184e38ae great year.  It could even lead to a great bowl game.  Especially, if they don’t have to go to the Georgia Dome and get beat by an SEC West team.  We can let the “Hail Mary Heroes” of last Saturday enjoy themselves this year, and I sure hope they enjoy their trip to Tampa for the Outback Bowl.  So keep your heads up Bulldog Fans, and try to remember the old saying, “No Pain, No Gain”.  Go Dawgs!

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Georgia vs. Ole Miss: Can Georgia Win?

Yes, you read the title correctly.  I don’t know if the Dawgs can win this Saturday.  It pains me to say this for numerous reasons.  First of all, I am unabashed Georgia fan that will pull for Georgia no matter what.  Second, I hate admitting that Ole Miss’s roster appears to have more talent.  Third, I am not positive that Ole Miss’s best players were recruited honestly.  Lastly, there are a surprising number of Ole Miss people running around Athens, GA.  That’s right!  Athens is full of Ole Miss fans.  Even my oldest son, Walker, wears Ole Miss T-shirts, and claims that Ole Miss is his 2nd favorite team.  Honestly, it drives me absolutely crazy.  I guess we will see how much he really likes Ole Miss if they beat his beloved Dawgs this weekend.  If that happens, I bet he doesn’t handle it too well.  For example, I claimed to be a Yankees  growing up, and then they beat the Braves in the 1996 World Series, and I have hated the Yankees ever since.

So why does Athens have so many Ole Miss Fans?   Well I think there are several reasons.  The obvious reason is that some people in town went to Ole Miss.  I think Oxford is an attractive place for a lot of people that grew up in Athens.  ItOle Miss vs. TexasOle Miss vs. TexasOle Miss vs. Texas offers a great college experience, and they have never really been a rival to Georgia.  So you can grow up in Athens, and attend Mississippi without feeling guilty.  Additionally, Ole Miss has been easier to pull for over the years when compared to Alabama, Auburn, and LSU.  In the end, one of the biggest reasons may be that it is so hard to get in UGA these days.  Therefore, we are seeing more and more Georgia folks go out of state to other SEC schools.  All Ole Miss fans aside, I have been thinking about the game all week, and I am really glad it is not my job to game plan this one for Georgia.  I think Kirby has his hands full this week, but I have now decided there is hope and a chance for Georgia to pull this off.    And here’s how it can happen:

  • 11 AM Local Kick– Early kick offs almost always favor the visiting team. It is just hard to get motivated for a big game so early.  Most of Georgia’s upsets in the last 20 years were early kick offs.  For example, Tennessee in 2001 and Auburn in 2007.
  • Turnovers– Turnovers are always key, and with Ole Miss’s love for RPOs (Run Pass Option) you just know Chad Kelly is bound to throw a couple.
  • Sony Michel– I am convinced that we will see Michel have a big game. Likely catching some passes more than running the ball.  Someone has to step up and help McKenzie in the passing game. Michel could be another good option out of the back field.  Especially, with against an aggressive defense.
  • Fed Up Offensive Line – These boys have been called out and told that they aren’t playing well. It is just a matter time before they get mad and have a good game.  Tomorrow would be an ideal time for this to take place.
  • Georgia Plays 4 Quarters– If Georgia can keep it close they have a shot. With only three games played they have shown they are fighters. They have come back in every game so far, and that is good to see.  I think Georgia has got a shot if they can keep it a two score game heading into the 4th.

So there it is folks. My optimistic outlook on a game I predicted Georgia would lose.  But they play the games for a reason and that’s because the outcome is never certain.  So pull the Dawgs through wherever you are this weekend.  Go Dawgs! GATA

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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