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Why Tennessee is looking more like the next Georgia rather than Alabama

Why Tennessee is looking more like the next Georgia rather than Alabama

Why Tennessee is looking more like the next Georgia rather than Alabama

Why Tennessee is looking more like the next Georgia rather than Alabama

Georgia football-Tennessee-rivalry-Jim Chaney

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

The Tennessee and Georgia connections are only going to continue to run deeper

For a majority of Georgia fans, Tennessee isn’t the biggest rival. DawgNation Daily host Brandon Adams think that belongs to Georgia-Florida. For me, I tend to lean towards Georgia Tech, simply because losing to Georgia Tech is just the worst.

There also isn’t quite the same level of history between the Volunteers and the likes of Florida, Georgia Tech and Auburn. Every Georgia fan knows about Herschel Walker running over Tennessee linebacker Bill Bates in 1980, but the Volunteers and Bulldogs didn’t start playing annually until 1992.

And the “rivalry” hasn’t been all that balanced either. The Volunteers won every game in the 90’s between the two sides, while Georgia has won 7 of the 9 games played in the 2010’s. And the two losses came in a game where Georgia lost star Nick Chubb on the opening drive of the game, and when the Volunteers caught Hail Mary on the game’s final play. Let’s just agree to never talk about those games again.

But things have started to get very spicy between the two schools since Tennessee hired Jeremy Pruitt, who was Georgia’s defensive coordinator for two seasons.

Many thought Pruitt would build another Alabama-type program, but the reality is that it has a lot more Georgia influence than Alabama. On Pruitt’s staff, five of his on-field assistant coaches have previous coaching experience in Athens: Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, c0-defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer, offensive line coach Will Friend, defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer.

Georgia and Tennessee also have had some interesting recruiting wins in the other’s state. The Bulldogs landed the No. 2 player in Tennessee in 2019 in defensive end Bill Norton. The Volunteers landed the No. 2 player in Georgia in offensive tackle Wanya Morris. Georgia also landed the top player in the state of Tennessee in 2018 in offensive lineman Cade Mays.

Pruitt and Georgia coach Kirby Smart are both Nick Saban disciples. They both served as defensive coordinators under Saban and both specialize in defensive backs. They’re both strong recruiters, and as shown by Pruitt hiring Chaney to be his offensive coordinator, the two head coaches both think about football in a similar way.

Pruitt is trying to turn Tennessee into what Georgia is under Smart: The top SEC challenger to Saban and Alabama. Pruitt is basically  creating the “Spider-Man pointing meme,” with Kirby Smart and Georgia being the other Spider-Man.

Of course, Tennessee still has a ways to go to get on Georgia’s level. The Volunteers have missed a bowl game in each of the last two seasons, as they went 5-7 in Pruitt’s first year. Georgia beat Tennessee 38-12 last season, but the game was closer than that in the fourth quarter. The last time Smart and the Bulldogs went to Knoxville, as they’ll have to do in 2019, Georgia came away with a decisive 41-0 victory.

Georgia has more important rivals to focus on in 2019, as Florida looks to be a team that will begin the season ranked in the top-10, and playing Auburn in Auburn is always tricky. But if Pruitt gets enough time, and there’s a chance he might not given Phillip Fulmer’s presence and the volatility of the Tennessee fan base, he could create a mirror image of Georgia.

Tennessee and Pruitt might not make a better football product than what Smart puts out, as right now the two schools aren’t even remotely competing for the same things. But it is something that Georgia will have to contend with as it tries to win a national title in the coming years.

Georgia-Alabama game named the No. 2 game of the college football season

While the ending wasn’t what any Georgia fan wanted, the SEC championship game between Georgia and Alabama was unquestionably one of the best games of the season.

SBNation ranked the top 100 games of the season, and the Georgia-Alabama tilt came in at No. 2, behind only the seven overtime spectacle that was Texas A&M-LSU this year.

This isn’t the first time that Georgia-Alabama have played a great game that a casual fan can enjoy, as the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide battled tooth and nail in the 2018 national championship game.

Unfortunately, Georgia fans won’t ever be able to enjoy either of those Alabama games given the final score. If fans are looking for a thrilling Georgia game that the Bulldogs actually won, I’d suggest you look for the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma last year.

The Georgia-Alabama game was the only Georgia game from 2018 to make the list, which makes sense given that most of the games in the top 100 where close games. The Bulldogs played only two games that were decided by one-score this season. The Bulldogs lost both of those as the Alabama game was the first and then Georgia lost 28-21 in the Sugar Bowl against Texas.

Georgia is likely to see a few more close games next year, as the Bulldogs welcome the likes of Notre Dame and Texas A&M to Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs beat Notre Dame 20-19 in 2017, and both the Aggies and Fighting Irish figure to be top 15 teams in 2019. Georgia’s 2019 season opens on Aug. 31, when the Bulldogs take on Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.

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The post Why Tennessee is looking more like the next Georgia rather than Alabama appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • For the UGA fans who wish the Bulldogs didn’t always play the Florida Gators in Florida, they’ve found an ally on the other side. Florida athletics director Scott Sticklan was asked this week what he thought about the Gators-UGA series being played in Jacksonville, as part as an extensive Q&A with Gatorsports.com’s Pat Dooley. “Jacksonville is really unique and special,” Sticklan said. “It’s something not many schools have. It would be nice to have Georgia on our campus and go to their’s, but we have to weigh that against what Jacksonville means to that series. It’s pretty important now. But you never say never.” The Georgia-Florida game has been played in Jacksonville since 1933, with the exception being a home-and-home series during the 1994 and 1995 seasons due to stadium renovations at Jacksonville. Many UGA fans approve of the Florida game always being in Jacksonville because it’s a longtime tradition, and nice vacation during the fall to go to St. Simons Island and the nearby beaches. Other Bulldog fans prefer a switch to a home-and-home series because they feel that Florida has an advantage with the game being played in the state of Georgia or they simply don’t like giving up a home game every other year, among other reasons. Are you pro-Jacksonville or not? Please post your opinion below. The post Florida A.D. likes idea of home-and-home series for Georgia-Florida appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The Georgia basketball family is rallying around Coach Tom Crean, whose mother Marjorie passed away Thursday in Michigan. Bulldogs’ assistant coach Amir Abdur-Rahim said he wanted to respect Crean’s privacy at this sensitive time. But Abdur-Rahim confirmed what many of the Georgia players have already come to know and respect: Tom Crean is a man of faith and a man of great strength and resiliency. RELATED: Tom Crean dealing with pain of mother’s passing There’s no doubt Crean will be coaching with a heavy heart when Georgia (9-7, 1-3 SEC) plays host to Florida (9-7, 1-3) at noon on Saturday in a nationally-televised CBS tilt. But throughout these final times of his mother’s life in Michigan, Crean has shown exemplary leadership in Athens amidst a challenging schedule dealt him and UGA the SEC conference office. A sellout crowd will be at Stegeman Coliseum to show their support for Crean and the Bulldogs. UGA has already played the three highest-ranked teams in the SEC in Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn — easily the most difficult early slate in the league. Georgia fans have responded, having already sold out seven games this season. It’s the most sellouts for the Bulldogs since they had eight during the 2002-03 season. Crean has been appreciative of the support, but obviously, he has also been dealing with a much more painful, personal family issue for some time. “I t’s a pretty private matter, (but) the one thing that I will say is you know Tom Crean is a really strong person,” Abdur-Rahim said. “Obviously you know that his faith is very important to him, but just watching him here over the last you know week or so, you just realize how strong of a person he is.  He’s still been able to come to practice dealing with what he was dealing with and still give guys and give our guys and our staff 100-percent effort, 100-percent focus on what we’re doing and preparing us. “I think he’s one of the best leaders I’ve been around. I’m sure it’s been difficult for him, but how he’s done it I couldn’t answer that for you.” Crean has kept the focus completely on basketball, declining to elaborate on his mother’s health after a road loss at then-No. 12 Auburn last Saturday. RELATED: Tom Crean wants more mental toughness from Bulldogs The Georgia head coach hinted that he may have to make some lineup changes to spark his team’s defensive effort and slow starts in the second half. “We know that’s been our Achilles heel this season,” Abdur-Rahim said, “so we have to make sure we do a great job of just mentally coming out with great energy you know physically being prepared to playing knowing that it’s a 40-minute game.” Georgia sophomore star Nicolas Claxton said the Bulldogs are ready to change their mental approach. WATCH: Kentucky coach John Calipari praises Nicholas Claxton “I think it is more of a mental thing, I wouldn’t really say it is a physical thing,” Claxton said. “We have to make sure to come out with the right mentality and make sure that we starting the second half with the right mindset and ready to go.” Georgia is 7-2 at home this season, with the only losses coming to ranked opponents Arizona State (No. 20) and Kentucky (No. 12). Georgia basketball assistant Amir Abdur-Rahim   The post WATCH: Georgia basketball family respects, rallies around Tom Crean leading into Florida game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Once again, Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley appears to be a wanted man. Only this time, it’s an NFL team that may be after his services. The Dallas Cowboys fired their offensive coordinator Scott Linehan on Friday, and will be searching for a new one to optimize the talents of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. And one name that was almost immediately mentioned was that of Coley by the NFL Network’s Adam Ian Rapoport. As the #Cowboys dig into possible replacements for embattled OC Scott Linehan, they have one on their current staff — TE coach Doug Nussmeier — and may look to the college game to better utilize Dak Prescott’s talents. UGA OC James Coley will receive some consideration there. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 18, 2019 Just last Friday, Coley was named Georgia’s new offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Chaney. Chaney left to become the offensive coordinator at Tennessee. Contract details for Coley’s new deal have not been announced yet. Georgia hired its tight ends coach, Todd Hartley, on Monday and released his contract details on Thursday. Coley has been with the Georgia program since 2016, starting as the wide receivers coach before moving up to quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator this past offseason. Coley is also an excellent recruiter in the South Florida area, making him a major asset for the Georgia program. Last offseason, Texas A&M tried to hire Coley to be its offensive coordinator, but he elected to remain with the Bulldogs. Related:  Terry Godwin: Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley ‘brings the juice every day’ Most of Coley’s work has come in college, but he did serve as an offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 06, when Nick Saban ran the team. He previously worked as an offensive coordinator at Florida State and Miami, but only served as the play caller in Miami. While Georgia has filled out its offensive staff, it is still looking for a new defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. The search to fill that position has lasted longer than six weeks, as Mel Tucker was named the head coach at Colorado on Dec. 5. Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football staff attrition challenging Kirby Smart, leaves anxious fans watching, waiting ESPN names Georgia standout Andrew Thomas to early 2019 All-American team Georgia football podcast: UGA’s delay in hiring defensive coach starting to make more sense Terry Godwin: Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley ‘brings the juice every day’ Identifying who could be Georgia’s best under-the-radar offensive player in 2019 When should Georgia fans start to worry about the defensive coordinator hire? The post Report: James Coley mentioned as candidate for Dallas Cowboys OC job appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episodes No. 868 (Jan. 18, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about UGA’s upcoming recruiting weekend. Georgia football podcast: UGA heads into major recruiting weekend without DBs coach in place Beginning of the show: Georgia’s expected to host a number of top recruits this weekend — incuding 4-star defensive back Kaiir Elam. However, as of Friday it still hasn’t announced a defensive backs coach. I’ll address that subject on today’s show. Eight-minute mark: UGA left tackle Andrew Thomas is generating early buzz as both an All-America candidate and a first-round draft pick. I’ll discuss why Thomas might be UGA’s most important player next season. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Whether UGA’s lack of defensive coaching hires is a problem The lastest on Elam Reaction to an interesting thread from the DawgNation forum on UGA’s wide receiver recruitment And a look at some fun videos involving a a new helicopter for UGA coach Kirby Smart and an impressive dunk from 2020 recruiting target, 5-star defensive end Brian Bresee. 35-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including the odd way in which former Alabama quarterbacks coach Dan Enos was reported to have left the program, a minor NCAA violation for Tennessee that might point to a larger problem, and a Vols coach who has apparently decided to pass on a new job and promotion in order to stay with the team. 40-minute mark: I recommend DawgNation Daily listeners and viewers check out Chip Towers’ piece on running back Brian Herrien and address the reports involving former UGA defensive back Deangelo Gibbs transfer to Tennessee. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA heads into major recruiting weekend without DBs coach in place appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean lost his mother, Marjorie Crean, after her long battle with an illness. “My sister Michelle and our family are incredibly fortunate to have my mom as a mother and a grandmother,” Crean said in a school release. “Her perseverance and toughness were huge characteristics in her life, and she carried those with her until the very end,” he said. “We could never thank her enough for giving us the wherewithal and the courage to pursue our dreams with an incredible passion she instilled in each of us.” Crean traveled to Michigan last Friday to be with his 80-year-old mother, returning last Saturday to coach the Bulldogs at Auburn. Crean, in his first year as UGA’s head coach, has let Georgia know he does not plan on missing any games. The Bulldogs play host to Florida at noon on Saturday in the second of five consecutive sellouts at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia is 9-7 overall and 1-3 in the SEC with league losses to No. 3-ranked Tennessee, No. 12-ranked Kentucky and No. 14 Auburn. The defeats to the Vols and the Tigers were both on the road. Marjorie Crean is survived by her two children, Tom Crean and Michelle Dean; her daughter-in-law, Joani Crean; her son-in-law, Shannon Dean; and three grandchildren, Megan, Riley and Ainsley Crean.         The post Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean’s mother, Marjorie Crean, passes away at 80 appeared first on DawgNation.