The Dawg Post Mail Bag

ATHENS - Another edition of Fletcher Page's thoughts, views and somewhat relevant rambling.

What, you guys thought I was kidding about answering 100 questions? Well I wasn't.

But…you guys went all conservative on me. We almost got to 100. And by almost, I mean we clicked the counter 45 times.

Now I know how Aaron Murray felt at the beginning of the season. You guys are only giving me half the playbook to work with. If my primary receiver isn't open, I have to drop the ball off to a tailback. I want to keep making progressions. I want to make multiple reads, damn it. I want to incorporate the tight ends and make checks at the line of scrimmage.

In due time, I suppose. In due time.

In the spare time I had previously allotted to answering the other 55 questions I thought were coming my way, I dusted off my old Super Nintendo and started playing Mario again. And the Minionette dragged me kicking and screaming into the High Museum in Atlanta.

Let's just say thanks to Dali and Princess Peach, I currently feel like a cultured seven-year-old now. Thanks guys. Thanks a lot.

With that said, let's get it poppin'.

BlackDeathD asks: The last SEC team to win the SEC and not play in the National Championship game was the 05' Georgia Bulldawgs. With Auburn being the 4th different SEC team in the past five years to play for a NC out of the SEC, Could UGA be the 5th team soon? Lets not forget Auburn was not even in a bowl 2 years ago. What did Auburn do and what do they have UGA don't? Is it 100% Cam? 90% Cam and 10% Farley?

All it takes is one player in the right system at the right time. There is no way Auburn would have even won 10 games without Cam Newton. Mississippi State, Kentucky and Clemson almost beat them with the Preacher's Son For Hire. Georgia and Alabama had them up against the ropes. Without Cam, this team would have won seven or eight games at best.

Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery did the same for South Carolina. It's not that Steve Spurrier did anything different. He just had the right players at the right time.

The loss to Florida in '02 cost Georgia a possible shot. The loss to Auburn in '05 cost them, too. Over the past five years, we've seen SEC teams get by despite similar losses. It just wasn't in the cards for Mark Richt and Georgia.

If you're optimistic, Aaron Murray and Isaiah Crowell could be exactly what Georgia needs to get back to the double-digit win club. We've seen this year, one or two guys on offense is all it takes.

dbragg7 asks: Fletcher, is it possible for me to earn a masters degree in some sort of journalism if I have a bachelors in education. This is my second year of teaching middle school and I find myself wanting to do something different already. I could not think of anyone better to ask that the author of the Mail Bag! Thanks!

Yeah, I think that's a legit maneuver. As long as you've got the money, GPA and good score on the GRE, I don't think they'll turn you down.

What is your quam with teaching? Let me speculate, if you don't mind.

One of my close friends (we'll call him Sean) is a seventh grade social studies teacher. Apparently, middle school kids already know everything about everything. Apparently, they're an incredible pain in the ass. Apparently, all parents think their kid is the next Nelson Mandela. Apparently, everything is ultimately the teacher's fault. Who knew?

Well, I remember being in middle school. I did know everything about everything. Actually, I was a terror in middle school. I got in a little bit of trouble here and there. Nothing too serious, but I was too smart for my own good. I couldn't imagine being in charge of 30 12-year-old Fletcher Page's right now.

And there is the part where you are in charge of a child's progression and upbringing. That's a big responsibility. I commend all teachers. My mother has been a teacher for over two decades, so I know exactly what it means to go to a school 180 days a year and care for other people's offspring.

But before you bail, let me play the voice of reason. You have great benefits. You get paid summer vacation. You get all holidays off. You have great stability, which is great if you're married and/or have kids. You get weekends off. While I'm freezing my ass off at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, you'll be able to watch from home while on an extended Christmas break. You have a great chance for upward mobility, depending on any post-graduate degree or certification you choose to pursue.

You just can't be seen at the local bar if you teach in a small town. Don't be THAT guy.

And look at the journalism world. Newspapers are losing money hand over fist. Newsrooms are cutting back staff. There just aren't as many jobs as there was even five years ago. Papers aren't spending as much money on sending writers out like they used to. Look at me…I'm stuck riding around with Dean all the time. Kidding. I love what I do, and I'm thankful Dean snatched me up. If it hadn't been for Legge, I'd probably be back in school getting my teaching degree. Wait….do you see how I did that? That's called a vicious circle.

godawgs123456 asks: 1. Of the freshmen redshirting (so not including J. Jones and Samuel), which one makes the biggest impact next year? Sleeper pick?

Well, the way I see it, right tackle is going to be wide open heading into spring. I see three guys—Kolton Houston, Austin Long and Brent Benedict—gunning for the spot. People talk the most about Benedict and Long, but I've had Houston tabbed as a "sleeper" for some time. I think one of those three will probably have the biggest impact, because one of them will be starting.

The defensive side of the ball offers pretty slim pickings. The only real choices are Brandon Burrows (defensive end) and Mike Thornton (nose). Both are undersized for their position, so I don't know if they'll make an impact next season or not.

2. Over/under: 18.5 wins for HoopDawgs

Let's be logical about this. Georgia is currently 6-2. Its next five games should be gimmie putts, so I'm counting them all as wins. That scenario makes for an 11-2 mark entering conference play.

Of Georgia's nine home games, it gets Auburn, LSU and South Carolina for three easy victories. That's 14 wins.

From here, let's take a worst-case scenario for the other six home games. Let's say Georgia goes 2-4 against Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Xavier. I think the team should at least break even, but even if it doesn't that would still put the Bulldogs up to 16 wins.

That would mean all Georgia would have to do is go 3-6 on the road to get to 19 wins. They play at Ole Miss, Arkansas and Alabama, as well as the usual Eastern foes. I think they'll get there.

I think a final record of 20-9 is realistic.

3. If you were not a journalist, then you would be . . . ?

If you had asked this question to me back in 1995 my answer would have gone like this…"I want to be an astronaut or a baseball player. Actually, I want to be Deion Sanders." I was pretty serious about two of those professions (most notably the Deion route).

By middle school though, I knew I would be working somewhere in sports. My love of sports far outdid my actual abilities though. Unless you ask my dad. He'll tell you I was a stud.

So I decided on the media route. I also considered the sports information route. It's still an option, I guess. But the Mail Bag will come to abrupt end if I make that detour.

Now, my escape plan would most likely be going back to school to become a teacher and a coach. I finished college two credits shy of graduating with a minor in history to go along with my flimsy piece of paper that said I was ready to be a professional journalist. I guess I have something to cover up with when I take up residence under the North Avenue Bridge.

Aside from all that, I'd get down to teaching some Western Civ. in high school and coaching basketball. I've had a couple of influential people in my past that were coaches. I'd like to give that back.

willbeezy says: You got to see some class A football. It ain't all about 5A, we got some pretty good stuff going on in the small schools. Why not take in the Clinch County vs. Savannah Christian this saturday in the dome at 1:00? Gonna be a great game.

I hear you will, loud and clear. Believe me, I know it's not all about 5A football. I've seen Nick Marshall play. I've seen David Andrews play. I've been to Darlington High School. I've got nothing but love for all the great smaller programs in the state.

As for this Saturday, my schedule may not allow me to be in the Dome. I'll be in Athens trying to track down a couple of the visitors for an interview or two. But believe me, I'd rather be watching live football.

theburnem asks: What further changes are you expecting to see in the S&C program? Expanded staff? A new hire to focus on the football program?

I can't speak to what definitely will happen, other than the staff will be expanded. From the limited info I've been hearing, there is going to be some people brought in to help lead the charge in the weight room. I'd expect the same for the nutrition side of things.

The new theme to all this is accountability. It's time all these players are held accountable for every rep of every set during every workout. It's time every single meal in the dining hall is monitored. That should have been done a decade ago.

I expect McGarity to give the OK for the strength and conditioning staff to expand.

bjdogg asks: If you could attend any sporting event on the planet, what would it be and why?

I've kind of sort of answered this in the past, so I know I must remain consistent for those you keeping an eye out.

I'll make a list.

I'm sticking with the Daytona 500 at the top. I'll admit: I've lost most of my interest in the sport of NASCAR. I use to be a pretty diehard fan. Maybe it was the expansion of the sport to areas stock car racing had no business being. Maybe it was the streamlining of the sports' image. Maybe it was Jimmie Johnson coming in and going all University of Miami of the 1980s on us.

Whatever it was, I, and many others for that fact, have lost touch.

But the 500 is still a pretty special getup. I'd like to take my dad (as payback for letting me tag along to many a race in the past) and kick it down there for a week or so.

After that, I'd put the NCAA Final Four in my runner-up spot on the dream list. I'd like to be there on semi-final night to feel the intensity of four distinct fan bases in the same arena. Every possession matters. Every shot counts. Every moment could change the next. That's what we're looking for. I haven't been. But I will. Soon.

I'd put the Super Bowl in as my third selection. But only if the Falcons were playing. And only if John Elway isn't raining immortal hell against them.

I know some of you soccer freaks want me to say the World Cup. Don't hold your breath. And I meant freaks in the nicest way possible. I watch the World Cup when the U.S. is playing. I pull for the Americans despite my limited knowledge of the sport. I do that because I'm an American. But you'd have to give me three shots of Jonnie Walker and a rufalin to get me to watch soccer at any other time. Make that five shots.

At No. 4, I'll set up a dream scenario. I'd like to see Team USA face off against Russia in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the basketball gold medal game. I want Russia to somehow turn into a super power in the next two years. I want Team USA to be playing without injured star Lebron James, who suffered a head injury while filming his own reality show, "My Side of the Story: You think you know me…wait, you do." And I want overtime. Overtime plural. Lots of overtimes. I want revenge for 1972, damn it. Google it. That game was total bullshit.

Rounding out my Top Five, I'll slide the Major League Baseball All-Star game. This is centered mainly on my childhood feeling about this game, because I use to think this game was so cool. The older I get, the more I realize it's not the whole bag of chips I grew up pretending it was. But I still watch every year. There is something about seeing an entire cast of characters from all across the league come together for one night for one common goal. Interleague regular season play killed the mystique of this game, in my opinion.

Anyway, that's the list. But know this: I'd ride to a high school game in BFE with you if you wanted. I don't care who plays. I don't care about hype. I don't care. I just like watching people try to be better than other people at stuff.

nayah asks: Assuming we land Crowell, at what point do you expect him to take over as the starter? And do you know what Caleb's intentions are as far as the draft is concerned?

I don't know what Caleb's intentions are. I've said this before, I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't back next season. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes back, either.

As for the specifics with Isaiah, there are many variables in play with this question. First, does he sign with Georgia? Second, is he all he's cracked up to be? Third, is he better than Washaun Ealey and whoever else is at running back entering fall camp? Fourth, can he pick up the playbook and blocking schemes fast enough? Can he stay healthy through fall camp?

If the answer is a clear yes to all of those, then I think we'll see the kid early. That's obvious. But if it takes him a little time, I could see a scenario where Ealey gets the nod against Boise State, but by the end of the game, everybody sees and knows Isaiah is the man. That's the way my gut is leaning right now, but like I said, there are many unknowns I'm projecting and reaching for.

DixieDawg02 asks: The receiver situation really dampers my expectations for next year. We failed last year to get the Green kid and DaRick. You would think we could pull something off this year but apparently not. What will we put on the field at WR next year and how will it be better than what we saw the first 4 games.

Well, without A.J. Green in the first four games, I thought Kris Durham stepped up beautifully. He played well all season, especially considering he was battling all kinds of nagging injuries.

Now, both of those guys will be gone.

I am to assume if Georgia comes out in a three-receiver set to begin the Boise State game, Tavarres King, Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten would be the lineup. Nervous? Having trouble accepting this? I thought so, too. Somebody must step up. Actually, three people must step up.

Will it be better than the first four games this season? I don't see how anybody with half a brain could forecast that. But…Aaron Murray will have another year to continue growing into his awesomeness. And A.J. won't be there to cast a shadow over everybody else. Perhaps taking center stage is exactly what King needs. Perhaps having solid playing time is exactly what Brown needs. A full, healthy offseason would help Wooten. We'll see.

Also, how can South Carolina have 25 guys committed and likely to sign another 5 or 6? They do this every year as does Bama and its not like SoCar is graduating al ot of guys. When will UGA be able to compete in recruiting with numbers? Bama and Socar sign around 10 extra guys every 2 years. That makes an enormous difference over time. We never seem to sign even 25. It's always a numbers crunch. Just like with the OT from Alabama. Either the kid can play or not. You make room if he can.

Well, we can't have this both ways. Most people criticize Nick Saban for running unproductive players off. Those same people praise Mark Richt for honoring his word and keeping injured players or missed recruits on scholarships.

That's what brings questions like this to my Mail Bag. I understand the frustration, but we can't have this both ways.

DickVanDawg #5 Sailors(Josh?) is a terror on special teams, what is his position? Would like to see them give him a shot at WR next year, any chance?

You're talking about Blake. Josh, his brother, is a senior on the team. Blake is a cornerback, and I don't see him moving to wide receiver. He is a killer on special teams, but I don't think he'd be able to get by anybody on the receiving depth chart.

dunkaroos8 Why do we have such a problem shooting free throws? My high school basketball team NEVER missed free throws. We were a bunch of small white kids but we were automatic from the line. If your going to UGA for free to play basketball, I think there is no excuse for not hitting MOST of your free throws. I, like most bulldog basketball fans, expected a lot from this team. I know its early, but do you think we will be playing better come SEC play?

The free throw shooting is a little bit on the dumbfounding side. I think we all knew coming into this season Chris Barnes would struggle at the line. But how in the world is Gerald Robinson shooting less than 50 percent from the stripe? How can a team shoot better from the 3-point line than at the foul line? That's what happened against Georgia Tech.

I don't get it either. Perhaps it's just a bad run, but I think mental focus, or toughness, is playing a factor, too.

Let's see…this team is 6-2 right now, and they've yet to play an entire 40 minutes. They looked great against UAB in the first half. Then they looked average at best in barely hanging on for the win. Against Tech, the team was downright boring to watch in the first half, but then came alive to win in the second.

So, if we're staying optimistic (and we are, right?), this team is 6-2 and has yet to play it's best basketball. Is that a good thing? Sure. Is it going to work come January? I don't think so. But, at least Georgia is picking up wins despite their play. There's something to that.

SuwaneeDawg asks: If we land a beast of a NT, do you see our run defense transforming from swiss cheese to junkyard dawg?

I think the nose tackle is what this defense needed this past season. If Bean Anderson or Kwame Geathers can step up next season, then everything else gets easier.

One of my favorite things to do on Sundays is watch the Patriots' Vince Wilfork. He is such a man-beast. Georgia doesn't even need somebody half as good as Vince, but they need somebody to get some push going and occupy more than one blocker.

This would help the linebackers out big time….Speaking of which….

I expect our LB play to improve next year with JJ and Samuel even though we will miss Dent. What position group do you see improving greatly next year, if any?

I think if Georgia gets the nose tackle you're seeking, then you're prediction about the linebackers could come true. As it stands right now, next season's starting unit should go like this: Christian Robinson, Marcus Dowtin at inside. J.J.E. and Cornelius Washington at outside. T.J. Stripling and Mike Gilliard will be in the mix as well. That's solid.

As for position I think could improve greatly…I'm going to say wide receiver. Kidding. Um…I'll probably go with the defensive line. I think another year to get bigger and stronger, plus perhaps a nose tackle stepping up big (get it) will be such a boost to this defense.

Has Richt and his staff ever gone after a player as hard as they are (Isaiah) Crowell?

Well…I think you can only recruit a player so hard. Obviously there are NCAA limitations. There are time limitations. There are travel limitations.

Look, Georgia has clearly made Isaiah its top priority in this class. But there is undoubtedly a clear-cut top guy in each class.

So, is Georgia recruiting Isaiah Crowell harder than it did Alec Ogletree or Da'Rick Rogers last year? Or harder than they pursued Caleb King a few years back?

Maybe.

Isaiah is dragging this thing out, so there has been more time to recruit him. And there are several kids the Bulldogs are recruiting at Carver, so making the trip to Columbus is well worth it.

I think the staff knows Isaiah is a potential difference maker of the Marcus Lattimore variety. They've made that known. But the staff has been all over Ray Drew, Jay Rome, Malcolm Mitchell, etc., too.

I think they'll recruit the same next year when Player X becomes the new happening "must get" guy.

Overall I have been underwhelmed by my roundball dawgs to this point, do you still predict that we have a good season in the SEC and get into the tourney?

I kinda sorta already ventured down this path earlier in the Mail Bag…but at this point we can look at this basketball team in one of two mindsets.

1) They're playing badly and just squeaking by. They will be exposed in conference play.

2) They're playing badly and just squeaking by. They are finally winning close games and are slowly putting it all together.

I still see a 20-win season happening. So I guess that puts me in group No. 2.

Are you a Disney or a Doomsday Dawg? Do you roll your eyes or yell certain 4 letter pleasantries when reading the other group's posts?

Well, the powers that be don't like me to touch on this subject. But I'm a rebel at heart.

Now that I've become a "journalist," I can honestly say I watch games from a rather unbiased perspective. Sure it pained me to see the offensive line struggle this year, because it meant I was wrong about them all offseason. By the way, I need to write a, "Can I get a mulligan," column for that awful tee shot. Damn.

But here's how my fandom went up until 2009.

Each year, I was a Disney Dawg all offseason. Nobody sang the praises of a running back currently redshirting more than me. Nobody believed Stafford was the chosen one more than I did. But something would always change when the cool fall air settled in. I became, "hand-wringing" Dawg. Leading up to games, I became, ‘Anxiety' Dawg. During games, I became, "Edge on my seat, please don't fumble," Dawg.

At the end of most wins, I was, "Breath a sigh of relief, we're still in the National Title hunt," Dawg. At the end of losses I became, "I told myself I wasn't going to punch a wall again," or, "This reminds me of (insert loss here) from (insert season here)," Dawg.

Some blame Larry Munsen for all the hand wringing. I blame Corey Smith.

Now, I just don't want to ride back from another loss in Jacksonville. I can already hear Corey singing the chorus…"Long ride back from Jacksonville, 500 miles from a game we should've won"…. Maybe I should become, "Eff it, let's go to a bar," Dawg. Wait…what if I secretly already am that Dawg? Marinate on that the next time you buy a random guy a shot at Allgood.

Raddawg99 asks: Why do you think that we have been rotating so few players at DT/DE. Do we have so little faith in the younger players? What do hear on the developments of the the young D-lineman for next year?

My answer stays pretty consistent when it comes to playing time, or a lack of playing time. And you kind of answered this yourself. I don't think the coaches trusted too many players to be out there on the field. Abry Jones came on strong at the end of the season. But Kwame Geathers slowly faded into obscurity thanks to both injuries and being in Garner's doghouse to some degree.

I think Garrison Smith is going to be a good player. He got some playing time this season, but he was way too young to play on a consistent basis. And to be honest, I haven't heard much about Michael Thornton and Brandon Burrows, so who knows what to expect from them.

I still really like DeAngelo Tyson and Jones. Like I've said about 886 times though, they need Bean or Kwame to rise up and man the nose tackle position.

Who is gonna make up the right side of our O-line next year?

I'm assuming Cordy Glenn comes back next season. I don't feel very confident about that though. If he does, here is my starting line when spring practice begins.

Ben Jones at center, with Cordy Glenn and Kenarious Gates and Glenn playing the tackles. Trinton Sturdivant at left tackle and either Brent Benedict, Austin Long or Kolton Houston at right tackle. A.J. Harmon will be somewhere in the mix along the right side, but I don't trust him enough to slate him in as a starter right now.

Why don't we run more two TE sets with all of the talent that we have at that position? Do you think that we will do that more with so much experience at FB graduating?

Good point about the fullbacks—Shaun Chapas and Fred Munzenmaier—leaving. By the way, I like Fred a lot. I'm going to miss him, because he's a good quote. But I'm glad I don't have to type his name anymore.

I think another reason we could see more tight end looks is because of the wide receiver situation. It may be more effective to have Aron White and Orson Charles out there together than to have an average wideout on the field.

Hell, I thought we'd see more two tight end sets this season anyway, even with A.J. Green and a good fullback on the field. I'll file that one away for my "Mulligan" column.

Which of this year's walk on to scholarship players will keep their scholarships? It seems silly to have 2 LS and 3 kickers on scholarship!

If it comes down to it, none of those players will remain on scholarship. There are too many good players out there to turn away if they want to come. I know people are going to say, "Well, we're already turning down so and so…." But, we don't really know what is going on behind the scenes all the time. If Richt needs to take a ship away from a current player, he'll do it. The Brandon Bogotay ship is still a headscratcher to me. I don't understand why they brought him in after Blair Walsh, with reasons that didn't make sense. They wanted a booming kicker who could blast kickoffs through the end zone…but the special teams philosophy at the time was directional kicking. Am I going crazy here? And as it turned out, Walsh could kick farther than Bogotay anyway. Wait…I'm going crazy here.

But to answer your question…yes, if it comes down to taking a ship away to secure another recruit, the staff will do just that. I mean, Charles White and Ben Harden are going to graduate a year early. That wasn't because they wanted to get a head start on their lives after football.

What is your take on Ball? He seems to be this year's coaching scapegoat. Our receivers seem more fundamentally skilled than a couple of years ago. But like RB previously, they seem to be slow to develop. We also don't seem to recruit that position well (although this may be state of GA's fault). Wasn't he considered a good recruiter at VT?

I like coach Tony Ball. He is a pretty fun coach to watch at practice, too. And by fun I mean, I'd actually probably hate to play for him because he is a perfectionist. He's pretty meticulous and he's always putting receivers through drills that would suck to be a part of, in my opinion. By the end of practice, actually getting to catch the football without a cone drill involved is probably like finding a piece of candy in their pocket.

I've been over the recruiting aspect…damn, don't get me started there again.

We're going to find out what kind of coach Ball is very soon. Green and Durham made him look good this season, but how much of that was Ball? Who knows. Maybe a good bit. Maybe not. But with what he has to work with next year, if the position is productive, we'll know Ball is a positive.

What is Bobo's favorite color and why?

Let's see…

(Said through the headset): "I've got something in mind here, Mark. What do you think though?"

(Heard through the headset): "Your favorite color is red, Mike."

(Said back on the headset): "Thanks for the suggestion, Mark. I think I'm going to agree. Let's call red. Isn't it awesome we came to the same conclusion independently of each other?"

(Richt nods in stoic approval).

Let's move on. I think this was semi-funny. I should put "semi" in bold. But just know, I could do this all day. I could so do this for 100 questions…if only….(aimless sigh).

FedorDawg asks: Why does kds challenge people to fights on golf courses

I don't know much about kds…but I know from personal experience that matters can head south pretty quickly on the back nine if alcohol is involved.

As Rusty Wallace once said, "We didn't play too well. We lost a lot of golf balls. But we damn sure drank a bunch of beer."

And for those of you counting, that is the second time I've mentioned a NASCAR related item in this Mail Bag. I'm just one man breaking whimsical records every day. Dare me to go for three NASCAR references. Just dare me.

gadawgluver asks: With your crystal ball how far will this basketball team go?

Well, I've kinda sorta traveled down this path twice now. I've set 20 wins as a realistic regular season total. If that happens, a strong SEC tournament could be in the fold. I think Georgia could get to the semis or the final. They probably wouldn't be favored to win it though.

I think the NCAA Sweet Sixteen is the ceiling for this team. That's just me though. A second round loss is more likely, though.

I just said all that assuming they'd get to 20 wins in the regular season, in the process proving they can win on the road and beat some good conference opponents.

Will any of the new basketball freshman help us this year?

I don't think so. Marcus Thornton hustles well, but he is not even remotely looking to score the basketball. He's the only player I see even getting minutes once SEC play rolls around.

Which commit that we have in football will help us the most next year?

Of the current commits, I'm going to go with Nick Marshall. He's got the versatility to play just about anywhere. I think that will get him on the field, because as it stands right now, I don't see any commit at a glaring position of need. Nick can play on both sides of the ball and could even have his own package as a quarterback.

This all changes if a few names still available come to Georgia. I'm looking at you Isaiah.

Where is the S&C headed, what is next?

I kind of touched on this. To recap: the staff should expand. There should be some people brought in to boost both the workout aspect, as well as the nutrition side of things. There should be no stone unturned. Accountability is the theme.

Who will be our next football commit?

Yikes! Don't put me on the spot like this. It looks like a couple of guys Georgia appears to lead for (Ray Drew, Isaiah Crowell) are going to wait until Signing Day.

So….maybe Damian Swann? Don't count on it though.

Has Dean bought you a steak yet for your Mail Bag since it was great last time?

"I try not to think about what might have been…Cause that was then, and we have taken different roads…And there's no way to know…what might have been."

Somewhere there is about 20 ounces of a ribeye walking around all despondent and singing that song by Little Texas and thinking about me. Somewhere.

Look, this whole steak getup Dean threw together is his version of the carrot in front of the horse. Well you know what? This horse ain't budging anymore. I've waited long enough.

Dean never reads these Mail Bags because he hates the length of them. I'm almost positive he's not going to read these next few sentences. I say we take a grassroots approach here. Let's set Memphis as our intended detonation point. We must band together.

Every so often (and don't overdo it. I repeat don't overdo it) I'd love for some of you guys to keep bringing the steak bet up on the message board. Make sure you put "Dean" and "steak" and "Fletch" and "what gives?" in the topic line. Just in any particular order, maybe once or twice or 16 times a week leading up to the Liberty Bowl. Let's plant the seed. We'll water the seed. And soon, the seed should grow into a tasty steak on my plate.

If I win out and finally taste the fruits of our labor, I won't forget you. I promise. I'll take pictures to prove it. With every bite, I'll remember the struggle it took, so don't worry, I'm not going to go all Hollywood on you.

I think this can work. I hope. I'm tired of eating chicken nuggets.

Patches33 asks: Looking ahead to the opening game next year against BSU. Who is BSU returning that we should know about? who are their weapons?

Well, quarterback Kellen Moore is a redshirt junior. He's probably going to finish fourth in this season's Heisman race, so he's the obvious returning weapon. He isn't an NFL-type quarterback, so he'll be back.

The Broncos leading rusher, Doug Martin, is a junior as well. He has over 1,100 yards, is averaging six yards a carry and has 11 touchdowns. That's pretty impressive. I know, I know, they don't play anybody. Whatever.

Luckily, leading receiver Titus Young is a senior. That dude is good. He'll make some money with his talents next year.

The offensive line will return three starters, so they won't take the hit as bad there.

Defensively speaking, the Broncos will lose four starters—including three in the secondary. That's tough. Perhaps Murray will take advantage of an inexperienced secondary, but that's just speculation on my part.

Overall, this Broncos team isn't losing as much as some people think they are. The season opener is going to be a good one next year.

How are the young guys coming along on the UGA basketball team? Thorton and Williams?

I'm worried neither will be a major contributor come conference play. And that's OK. Right now, both of those guys don't look to score. But they've worked hard doing other things, so I'm not going to blast them.

But who is Thornton going to take minutes away from? Travis Leslie? No way.

Who is Williams going to take minutes away from? Trey Thompkins? Nope. Jeremy Price? Yeah right. Mark Fox has been able to play both of these guys in games that haven't really mattered. But come January, he won't be able to pass out minutes for the sake of improvement and experience.

Those two better get ready though. They may see a lot of minutes next season.

14dawgs47 How is Jarvis Jones doing? Will he be a big time player next year? Is he recruiting for us?

Have you heard about my Jarvis Jones Effect? If not, I'll send you a t-shirt in the mail. It has a picture of Jarvis Jones smiling with the phrase: "JJE Bling Bling" on it. Don't ask why. Just wear the shirt.

Yes, Jarvis is recruiting for Georgia. I've seen this dude talking to all kinds of people on game days. I even saw him talking to basketball coach Mark Fox like they were best friends.

He is a big reason Isaiah Crowell is high on the Bulldogs. But his influence doesn't stop at Carver. Dude is all over the map. I'm intrigued. He's like the closer. I want to know more.

As far as on the field goes, I think he'll be a playmaker. Most people think he'll move to inside linebacker. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED. YET. But he could make the move at any time with no problem.

My journalism life is more than Mail Bags and free press box meals. I do have sources. Here's what I've been told about Jones:

Jones cares about his game and the team than most do. He's all about the little things—studying film, understanding every single possible read, etc. He and coach Todd Grantham are very close, and Grantham has kept him on pace with other current active players to ensure Jones will be able to jump right in come spring. As of right now, Jones is an outside guy, but he's smart enough to slide to the interior if needed.

Here's the best part: Jones is different than most players Georgia has. He's mentally stronger. He has a winning mentality. The Bulldogs could use more guys like him.

So there you have it…the J.J.E.

hammerdawg1 asks: How do you feel about AJ being named to the SEC coaches All SEC "second" team? Is it simply a matter of him missing those first few games? Even though with only a little more than half of the receptions as Julio and Jeffrey, AJ still had more touchdowns than julio, and the same number as alshon (9). Given he obviously had less yards than those guys, but it wasn't by too much considering how much time he missed.

Well…there is no doubt A.J. is the best receiver in the conference. But, he did miss four games. He let his teammates down. For the all the great things he did this season, he probably cost the team two or three losses.

I think Julio Jones and Alshon Jeffrery deserved the award, too. (Ducking).

If Cam Newton fails to succeed on the biggest stage in the national championship, do you still consider him a better college QB than Vince Young? Vince had about the same amount of passing touchdowns, more passing yards, but half of Cam's rushing tds and rushing yards. But he's still a champion (and should have won the heisman). I know Cam is one of, if not the best college player I've ever seen (not to mention he's done it all against SEC competition), but without a performance in the national championship, can he still say he was better than VY?

Great question. In fact, I'll go ahead and give you, "Question of the Week," status. You'll receive $30,000 tomorrow, another $30,000 at the end of the month. And just to make sure we're still on good terms, there will be another $30,000 waiting for you in the spring.

I've been giving this question a lot of thought. I'll still probably hate my answer. I think Vince Young became this great figure in my head over the course of one game. I'd seen him play before that night in the National Title, and I thought he was good. But beating Southern Cal that night made me elevate Vince to this amazing place in my mind.

But looking back, he didn't rush as well as Cam. He had a weird throwing motion. And he surrounded by some pretty good players, too.

I think Cam is a better college player than Vince, regardless of what happens in the Title game. I think he'll be a better pro, too. (Ducking).

By the way, thanks for asking two questions that required me to duck at the end of my answer. Nice going.

gadawgluver asks: Is there any truth to the rumor, I am starting it, that Urbie quit to be the NFL coach where Teeboo is so he could be with his man love?

Well, that would be the only way Tebow would see the field. I don't see it happening though. I don't think NFL players really get behind coaches who refer to themselves in the third person. That's just me though.

By the way, this rumor would be way more exciting if you could work cocaine into it somehow. Work on that and get back to me.

How do you feel about Cam's dad attending the Heisman ceremony?

Well…I guess he's still eligible to be Cam's dad. Somehow. I don't really care what Cecil does or where Cecil goes, to tell you the truth.

If it me, I'd back away and let my son have his moment in the spotlight. Because you know ESPN is going to cut to Cecil's grinning face about 7,781 times during the damn thing. But I think Cecil is selfish and doesn't care.

Will Murray lead the SEC next year in all categories as a quarterback since the ones ahead of him this year are leaving?

I think he very well could lead the league in touchdowns and passing yards. That's saying he doesn't have a second-year slump. (Ducking). I'm just saying.

I doubt he'll lead the conference in rushing yards by a quarterback. I bet somebody at Florida, Auburn or Mississippi State will do that.

Which football recruit do you like the best other than Crowell?

I'm a big fan of 2012 corner Deion Bonner. He's also from Carver. First of all, his parents obviously knew he was going to be a shutdown corner at birth, because they gave him the best name for a corner ever.

And secondly, he backs up his name with stellar play. I look for big things from him next season. And he has Georgia currently at the top of his list.

As for the current class, I like Amarlo Herrera. That's my boy.

Will the new facilities help our S&C? Were they in disarray last year with the remodeling?

I think they will. The team was back and forth between Stegeman and Butts-Mehre this summer. The nickname for the room in Stegeman was, "The Dungeon." So what does that tell you? It was small, cramped and just enough to get by. Those days are over. Thankfully.

I hear the new facilities are going to be a big help.

Will our offensive line improve next year over this year?

Man, I don't even want to get into talking about the offensive line. My prediction for this year's line looks so bad, I'm surprised you guys are still asking me questions for the Mail Bag after all my enthusiasm toward this year's line.

But, there should be four starters returning. And if either Long or Benedict can step in at right tackle, there will be plenty of talent along the front. Plus, Murray will have another year to improve. And if Isaiah comes, then that would help. And I thnk the strength and conditioning will impact this unit the most.

I'm not going on the record and saying the line will be better next season. But I don't see how it could run block any worse.

What is your prediction in the Liberty bowl game? UGA by how much? I hope.

I've got Georgia winning by two touchdowns.

Is our BB attendance up over the before Fox era? Will Fox stay at UGA?

Here's a little stat for you: Through Georgia's first five home games last year there was an average crowd of just over 4,900. The average through the first three games in 2010: 6,795.

So…yeah, attendance is rocking.

And, yeah, I think Fox will be at Georgia for quite some time. I don't think AD Greg McGarity will let somebody else swoop in and offer more money…Speaking of which.

Any thoughts on the new AD?

I like Greg. A lot. I don't really question where he's at on a Saturday night either. Thanks. I'll be here all night. Two drink minimum.

Anyway, I think McGarity is already doing good things. He cancelled that dumb Oregon series. He brings Boise State into the Dome for a $1.7 million payout. He gets out of the Louisville series in the process. Strength and conditioning is already changing.

And for my little insiders note, I see him at Butts-Mehre all the time way late. Like, he's up there past eight almost every night. I like that commitment.

I forecast nothing but great things from him in the future.

(And in tribute to "Dandy" Don Meredith, sing it with me)…Turn out the lights, the party's over. They say that all good things must end. Let's call it a night, the party's over. And tomorrow starts the same old thing again.

Thank ya'll for coming.

By the way, if you're reading this, you just made it through a 7,723 word Mail Bag. That's a new Dawg Post record. Thank you, thank you. I'll be signing autographs later. There will be punch and pie in the fellowship hall.


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