Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Les Miles > M. Night Shyamalan

Over Twitter this morning we were discussing Les Miles and his brand of football. I'm a fan of ALL college football, but lets face it...LSU football under Les Miles is extremely entertaining and enjoyable for those of us without an emotional attachment to the Bayou Bengals.

Whether it's eating grass, mismanaging the clock, or no-look-pass "Field Goals" (h/t @BernieDawg) even as a die-hard Georgia fan I find Les Miles to be wildly entertaining in a Faces of Death style football sort of way.

This reminded me of the ending to last year's LSU/Tennessee game. I watched this game at The Golfsmith in Kennesaw while putting around with my father-in-law. In case you don't remember how this ended...here's a refresher.

LSU football (since Les Miles took the reigns back in 2005) has done what M Night Shyamalan has failed to do in every movie since The Sixth Sense, he gives the game a final plot twist that you don't expect. In every one of Shyamalan's films you go into it thinking, this is not how the story goes...something odd will happen at the end. But since football is such a conservative sport, even with a "Mad Hatter" type character in charge one is bound to think "Perhaps this time he'll play it safe and attempt a field goal for the win." ...Nope.

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't meant to be a Les Miles schmooze-fest. I'm merely pointing out that he brings a lot to the table when discussing the entertainment value of college football. LSU fans have an affinity for deep fryers at their tailgates, so when that much cholesterol mixes with stressful, intense sports management I'm sure Coach Miles has thrown the occasional corndog aficionado into cardiac arrest.

I find LSU to be the most watchable college football team that I could care less about. I root for them against the SEC East as long as they aren't playing Georgia, and if they want to pound Auburn on occasion I'll gladly cheer them on. Deep down, I think most of us would enjoy small amounts of crazy in our head coach. If it prevents all future field goals from the UCF 2 yardline, I'd take Timothy Leary drinking a Big Gulp of Mercury (Hg) rather than suffer through that frustration again.

Less that 75 days 'til football starts, oh how I long for thee...


Just saw this at Get The Picture...talk about timing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

UGA/Bama '02

Since we are sub-80 days until college football starts, I get in the habit of searching out old YouTube videos of the Bulldogs. I came across the UGA/Bama game from 2002 and it reminded me of how special this game is to me, personally.

When @OliveTheTweets (OTT) and I first started dating, the first college football game we went to together was UGA at Alabama in 2002. Many of you know this as the "Man enough, Dawg enough" game because of Pat Dye's redonkulous claim that UGA wasn't "man enough" to beat the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Since OTT was still a student at Alabama during this season, she was sweet enough to get us tickets to the game...in the Alabama Student Section.

I wore my UGA gear and cheered when the Dawgs played well, and took my lumps when the Dawgs blew their lead later in the game. As Billy Bennett sent it through the uprights for the game-winner I WOOFed even as the cups came raining down.

OTT and I would eventually attend 3 future UGA/Bama contests where the Dawgs hold a 3-to-1 record (yes we were at the Blackout Game). But the '02 game is special to me because it was the first time we didn't cheer for the same team. The week leading in to these games is ALWAYS fun, and as I sit here reading Phil Steele predicting UGA and Bama in the 2011 SEC Championship Game I get all excited and tingly. I promised her anytime our 2 teams play I'd do my best to get our butts in the seats, so in this regular season when we don't faceoff a Championship on the line would be pretty sweet.

This isn't a great post, if you've been reading Blogging Pantsless for the last 4 years you understand mediocrity is the norm and greatness should be left to the awesome bloggers in my blog-roll (column right). But when I saw this game on YouTube I felt compelled to dedicate a post to my wife, who gave me Alabama as a team-in-law, and makes me laugh with her trash-talk on the rare occasions our 2 teams meet.

I long for the days when Alabama was just an okay team and Georgia found a way to win. I've got high-hopes Coach Richt will turn our team around, but I'm a self-professed Richt apologist so even if he doesn't I'll probably be the only Dawg fan left saying "give him one more shot".

Keeping the faith in 2011, happy Friday folks.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Helmet Archive

I stumbled across this the other day and thought it was cool enough to share. It's a website of historical helmets encompassing college and pro ranks called, The Helmet Project.

Perhaps the coolest thing I found was regarding my most hated rival, the Florida Gators.

"In 1962, Florida put the Confederate Battle Flag on the side of their helmet for one game. That game was the Gator Bowl game with Penn State. Florida was 6-4 and Penn State was 9-1 and Penn State felt that playing Florida was a slap in the face since they were 9-1. Since Penn State felt that way Florida put Battle Flags on the side of the helmet to pump the team up. It worked when Florida won 17-7."

...as a fan of college football, history, and the South I'm neither appalled or offended (remember this was is 1962). In fact I find that to be pretty damn cool that an SEC team shoved it in Penn State's face. Perhaps the most shocking thing was discovering the Gators played football prior to the 1990's.

Another interesting bit of SEC history is what Tennessee did with their 1965 helmets...good luck to anyone attempting a design like that in 2011.

No real shockers in UGA's helmet history, but I take great pride in saying I saw in person how HIDEOUS the October 31, 2009 helmet was in person. Never forget, never use again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pantsless Predictions: Part II of IIIIIIIIIIII

September 9, 2011
University of South Carolina
Athens, GA

Raise your hand if you SERIOUSLY thought Stephen Garcia would never play another down for the Gamecocks after the Old Balls Coach suspended him for the 5th time in his college career?

Alright, those of you with your hands raised lower your hand onto the hot eye of a stove because that's your punishment for stupid thoughts.

...yeah, this guy takin' a whiz at Augusta looks like a real rules Nazi.

5th year senior Stephen Garcia will in fact return to drive the Chevy Cruze of college football we know as the South Carolina Gamecocks. Why is USC like a Chevy Cruze? Well, one minute you're enjoying a fun ride in what you think is a quality, low-budget automobile...then next thing you know, disaster strikes and the steering wheel falls off.

Not that I'm slinging mud, because Lord knows Georgia fans aren't really in a great position to trash talk, but the Gamecocks are notoriously streaky. They usually end up with a few baffling losses each year after knocking off a big boy here and there and it costs them serious contention in what used to be a relatively difficult SEC East.

Well that's no longer the case. As I sit here reading prediction after prediction of South Carolina as the preseason favorite in the East (sans Phil Steele WOOT WOOT) I can't help but realize that yes, this Gamecocks team has the stability, experience, and talent to indeed win the East.

...but that doesn't mean the Bulldogs, Gators, and (oh why not?) the Vols are gonna just roll over from 20 years of division dominance and hand it over to them.

The Gamecocks play us like we're their 2nd biggest rival, we play them like they're our 4th biggest rival. That probably has a lot to do with why Georgia appears to embrace the shootout culture surrounding this game and occasionally loses it.

Last year's game in Columbia was frustrating.
...given, ANYTIME we have to travel and play at Dead Cockroach Stadium tends to be incredibly frustrating.

The only good thing to come out of that game was that Washaun Ealey got to see an example of what a program's premier running back looks like. That introduction to Marcus Lattimore exposed our weak tackling, and our inability to score a touchdown only compounded problems when #3 coughed up the ball on a relatively solid 3rd quarter drive toward the end-zone. AAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!1

But the game wasn't lost by Washaun, it was lost as a team.

So this year, our TEAM went out and got our own Marcus Lattimore, bulked up our D-Line, and spiced up our S&C program. We as fans get to enjoy the game in an environment where trees grow and you're not in the middle-of-nowhere's warehouse district. I don't think there's a Dawg out there that doesn't know the importance of this game. Since South Carolina is the team to beat, we sure as hell need to beat 'em.

The only problem is South Carolina is a good, balanced team. If SOMEHOW we shut down Marcus Lattimore, we have to focus on Alshon Jeffrey. If Stephen Garcia doesn't get suspended for a 6th time and starts this game he's got the experience and know-how to pick us apart if we show a weakness. I'd love to get Big John in there and get some grass stains on the back of Garcia's jersey, but for a team as fundamentally sound as South Carolina the opportunities may come few and far between.


UGA 20, South Cackalacky 24

I hate picking the Dawgs to lose, but until I see them play September 3rd I have no idea how this team looks.

Too many question marks and a thin O-Line makes me question whether we can keep Ellis Johnson's defense out of Aaron Murray's face-mask. Plus it doesn't help that this year we have to worry about the nation's #1 high school recruit, Jadeveon Clowney (who made grades).

If Isaiah Crowell lives up to his billing, our defense melds into the juggernaut we're hoping for, and the crowd makes Sanford Stadium's atmosphere electric this prediction could go out the window. I think Aaron Murray is twice the baller Stephen Garcia is, and if Orson Charles and Tavarres King pick up 1/2 the slack free'd up by AJ Green's departure we'll be in good shape.

I love the Dawgs, and I want them to win, but since we all know there is no such thing as WILLING your team to victory (even against a Conference USA opponent), at this time I'm not quite ready to say we can beat South Carolina.

Please prove me wrong, I would be delighted.