· According to a source within the Georgia Tech fan base I consider reliable -- and no, it's not my cousin or the guy at the Varsity who says he gives Dan Radakovich a large Frosted Orange every day for the price of a small -- a couple names have taken the lead in the Tech coaching search. One of them is Will Muschamp, which should come as a surprise to exactly no one; I think he's a good guy (he did go to Georgia, after all), but suffice to say I'm a lot less worried about him now that the Dawgs have lit his defense up for 35+ points two years in a row. The other, though? Worries me a bit. That would be your friend and mine, Slick Rick Neuheisel.
There are thirteen billion tiny differences between these two pictures . . . see if you can find them all!
If a total 180 from the Chan Gailey era is what Radakovich wants -- and it pretty much is, for any number of reasons -- you couldn't do much better than Neuheisel. Whereas Gailey had the public image of the consummate old fart, Neuheisel's still in his forties; whereas Gailey's offense was so conservative he probably had a third-down punt somewhere in his playbook, Neuheisel likes it wide frickin' open; whereas Gailey considered even a lukewarm cup of Ovaltine before bed "too racy," Neuheisel apparently sits up and plays guitar with his players into the wee hours. And, of course, he's a hell of a gambler to boot. Does that frighten me a little? Well, uh, yeah; my admiration for Slick Rick is well-known (I pimped him for both the Georgia OC job and the UAB head-coaching position last year), and the one overriding common denominator of Tech's failures over the past six years -- namely, Gailey's head-slappingly subpar job of developing quarterbacks -- is something he seems eminently capable of turning around in a hurry.
And yet -- some car salesmen have a rule that no matter how perfect a car may be for a given buyer, if he can't picture himself in it, if it just doesn't "fit" his personality, he may not buy it. And I wonder if this might be that kind of situation, in both directions. I have just as hard a time picturing charismatic, guitar-playin' Slick Rick getting down with Tech's willfully nerdtastic culture as I do picturing Tech's fan base -- who love lording their alleged moral superiority over the Dawgs, to the point where sometimes you wonder whether they don't love it more than actually winning games -- embracing a guy with as much NCAA baggage as Neu has. Then again, Radakovich isn't a "Tech man," nor has he been all that quiet about his willingness to disregard all those old-guard conventions to get an energetic, program-defining guy. So what the hell do I know? In the end, as long as Neuheisel, Muschamp, or whoever promises to lose their first three games to Georgia so that we can run our streak to a nice round 10, I don't care what the hell else they do.
· Notice I said "alleged" moral superiority just now. Here's Trey Dunmon, "Tech man" and proud upholder of the GT tradition, explaining those high-minded ideals to Georgia DE Brandon Miller in the waning moments of last week's UGA-GT game:
Yes, that's what's known as a "clip," kids, and the refs considered it blatant enough to toss Dunmon from the game. Fine, he did it, he was appropriately punished, and I'd be willing to let it all go if not for this forum thread in which #74's daddy came to his little boy's defense.
Was a chop block that got him tossed. So the guy turned a little and caught it in the back.
The way we look at it, his stock with the Oakland Raiders may have just went up a few points.
But thanks everyone for the support.
Naturally, all those fine upstanding "Tech men" immediately condemned his flippant attitude, right?
breaking a UGAg players leg due to intensity is totally acceptable here.
I'm glad there was a GT player that had the intensity to try to make a legit play, but it turned out bad and got tossed. Those refs were total retards anyway.
Tell Trey we appreciate him, and to keep up the hard work!
And, of course, you can set your watch by the moment when a Techie steps up to compare Mark Richt's excessive-celebration order in the Florida game to the illegal cut-block. So, in case you're scoring at home, dancing in the end zone to celebrate a TD? Thugs! Deliberately trying to injure an opposing player? Intensity! Thank God for the infallible moral authority of those Tech guys, or else we'd never know how to respond in these situations.
Actually, I do know how to respond: Chip Dunmon, you're a piece of shit and so's your kid. Hey, lay off me, I'm just being intense! But if anyone sees a middle-aged, twice-divorced dude in a #74 Tech jersey at the UGA-GT game a year from now, I hope you'll be kind enough to inform him how we deal with that kind of thing in Athens.
Nope, not this year, kiddo.
· Now that I've laid into the Techies for a spell, I unfortunately have to toss some leftover vitriol at a few of my fellow Dawgs. I've been perusing some of the AJC.com comment threads lately, reading the speculatin' on Georgia's bowl destination and this and that, and it's been brought to my attention that a few of you are still clinging to this idea that, by virtue of their identical conference records, Georgia and Tennessee are "co-champs" of the SEC East.
As Dennis Miller used to say before he became an unfunny Bush-administration ass-kisser, let it go. Walk away from it. It never happened.
I don't care what the SEC Web site says -- hindsight is 20/20, and the SEC East championship was decided back on October 6 when we went into Knoxville not giving a fuck and got pasted by the Vols 35-14. Tie, broken; championship, decided. We're not "co-champs" any more than John Kerry is the co-president. If you're a Dawg fan seriously expecting to get some kind of credit for this silly-ass "co-championship," you're no better than the Techies who claim an ACC "co-championship" from 1998 because they managed to finish with the same 7-1 conference record that Florida State did -- in spite of the fact that FSU crushed them 34-7 in the regular season.
Besides, we don't need to pull some contrived co-championship out of our asses to be proud of what the Dawgs have accomplished this season. We're ranked #4 in the country, we're rising a six-game winning streak (the last five coming against bowl-bound teams), and our ultimate bowl destination could very well be better than Tennessee's. All that's not enough to distract you from splitting hairs over "co-championships"?
What, you don't think I'm a lovable coach? I'M LOVABLE, DAMMIT!
· Finally, it is worth pointing out that Virginia coach Al Groh, last seen topping Stewart Mandel's list of the worst coaches in Division I-A, has just been named ACC Coach of the Year. This after overcoming a 5-7 season last year -- and, it should be said, a staggeringly awful performance against Wyoming in this year's opener -- to go 9-3 this year and come within a game of the Coastal Division championship.
But then this is hardly out of the ordinary for Mandel's worst-coaches lists -- not too long ago, he put Chan Gailey at the top, only to see Chan the Man go 9-5 and win a Coastal Division title one year later. With this kind of track record, I can only guess that if Karl Dorrell somehow manages to keep his job after this season, he'll top Mandel's list in 2008, and will follow up that dubious distinction with a 9-3 record and a Holiday Bowl berth. He'll probably go 6-6 and get the ax the very next season, but hey, it's all about makin' that paper.