The Monday Melange 09.09.09: Vintage Interstates and Willie

Today I am going to try a little something different.  This post is just going to be a series of random thoughts and impressions from the previous week.  I am going to call it the Monday Melange.

–Okay, so this is a couple of days late.  Deal with it.

–Seriously though, I just got back into town after being up in DC with my sister, nephew, and a smattering of other relations for the weekend.  We do this [the blogging thing] when we can.

–I-85 through SC and NC has seen significant improvement over the last two decades, especially around Charlotte, Greensboro, and Greenville-Spartanburg.  But an awful lot of it is still in vintage condition.  Vintage:  Great for music, great for wine…not so great for a major interstate.

–It seems as if Georgia’s football team is in about the same shape as I-85 in SC and NC.  Which means:  Wake me up when it’s December.

–The end of summer is not my favorite time of year.  Everything about it–the shorter days, the fall color starting to show up in the trees, the angle at which the sunlight comes in, even the way in which sound carries outside–suggests the impending onset of winter.  Oh well.  At least I still have the crickets chirping outside my window so I can pretend like it’s still summer.

–Willie Martinez has got to go.  Seriously.

–It isn’t as if the blame for last Saturday’s train wreck can be laid entirely at the feet of Willie Martinez.  Certainly the offense and special teams had significant failings as well.  But consider this:  In four years under defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder (2001-04), Georgia only lost 10 times.  In only one of those 10 losses did an opponent manage to score more than 24 points (LSU scored 34 in the 2003 SEC championship).  This suggests that whatever else was going wrong, at least the defense was doing its part.  In four plus years under Willie Martinez (2005-???), Georgia has lost 13 times.  In seven of those losses, opponents scored more than 30 points.  In four of those losses, opponents scored more than 40 points.  And one opponent even managed to ring up more than 50 points on Willie Martinez–Tennessee got 51 in 2006.  Why, just last year alone Georgia hung a whopping 42 on Georgia Tech and it wasn’t enough to earn the W.  Georgia could have managed 41 against Alabama and it would not have been enough.  And if Georgia had managed to ring up 49 on Florida, it still would not have been enough.

–Willie Martinez and his boys couldn’t stop a Big 12 quarterback.  Does anyone out there think for one second that these guys have even a prayer of stopping Jordan Jefferson, let alone Tim Tebow?

–I-95 from Richmond to DC is insane.  I had not been that way since a trip to DC that we made when I was growing up, and I was reminded why I only go that way once every 20 years.

–Seriously.  Do you realize that Fredericksburg (about an hour north of Richmond) is now a suburb of DC?  Even as far south as Fredericksburg, I-95 southbound is slammed with DC traffic during the afternoon rush hour.  (Fortunately I was not mixed up in that; I was going the other way.)

–On I-395 going into DC, there is a spot where you round a curve and there before you is the Washington Monument and the Capitol.  That is a very impressive sight.

–Georgia only managed 10 points against a defense that ranked 93rd in the country last year.  This does not bode well.

–In the SEC, if the opposing defensive coordinator doesn’t want you running the ball, you ain’t running the ball.  (Unless the opposing defensive coordinator is Willie Martinez.)  Which means that Joe Cox had better get much better–like now–or else it’s going to be a long and ugly year.

–The last time Georgia lost its top two offensive playmakers to the NFL draft as underclassmen was in 1993.  That year, Georgia went from 10-2 and winning the Florida Citrus Bowl the year before to 5-6, including an abysmal 1-4 start (0-4 in conference play).  Think we might have a shot at duplicating ’93?  Well, we’ve already matched the opening week’s result.

–There is a recurring urban legend that the streets of DC are laid out and the monuments are placed in such a way as to duplicate certain Masonic symbols.  This is dubious, as the designer of DC was a Frenchman (there were not very many Masons in France back then).  Many of the Founding Fathers were Masons, but it is quite doubtful that they would have had much input into the design of the city.  Still, this urban legend persists in the minds of some diehard conspiracy theorists.  Personally, I think it’s a lot simpler to believe that it was designed simply to confuse the hell out of any would-be invading army.

–At least we’re not Oklahoma.

–I can’t figure out who’s worse off:  Oklahoma because they lost their starting quarterback, or Georgia because they don’t have a quarterback?

–South Carolina is coming up next week.  This decade, Georgia has averaged 16 points per game against South Carolina–and that was with teams that actually had quarterbacks.  Kids, can you say “Skunk!!!!!”?

–I may yet figure out how to find my way around DC.  And Joe Cox may yet figure out how to find his way around the Georgia offense.