Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back in the swing of things...

A lot has happened in the 2 weeks since I last wrote on here. The Falcons season came crashing down with several injuries, including a couple to key skill position players. But, that's the curse of the Falcons. Matt Ryan is 12-1 as a starter at home and the Birds have 2 home games to get to 8-5 and he can't play in either game. That kind of timing is why the back-to-back winning seasons may continue...

As for the Falcons getting back on the right track, it is going to start on defense. The offense could maybe use another lineman and a #2 receiver, but most spots appear pretty solid. The defense has to upgrade the secondary in the off-season. It may be an uncapped year and Art opens up the checkbook, or TD drafts players for the secondary. I will go ahead and go on record that I think Joe Haden and Javier Arenas would be excellent additions. I am not sure what the consensus will be for those players as far as draft position, but I say take either in the teens.

I am very excited at the moves Frank Wren has made with the Braves. Not just the bullpen additions (Wagner, Saito, Chavez), but the speculation that he is actively trying to trade Derek Lowe. I say wait for Lackey to sign, then trade with one of the teams that tried to sign him and failed. I think Wren may even be able to get a team to pay all of Lowe's contract. Even if Braves have to pay a portion, I still think they will have enough money to sign LaRoche and Marlon Byrd. The Soriano situation worked out beautifully, with Chavez being better than potential draft picks. He throws gas and can be a solid guy in the 6th-7th innings along with Moylan.

I don't know when it is going to happen - it may be in 5 months or 5 years, but at some point Lane Kiffen is going down in flames - and it is going to be real ugly. I can't wait...

Looks like the UGA defensive coordinator search is heating up. Kirby Smart was seen in the Butts-Mehre building Friday, but Tony Barnhart says Bama is going to offer 900K to Smart to stay in Tuscaloosa. I don't think UGA will pay 900K, especially when the OC only makes 325K. Vic Koenning is also rumored to be in the mix. He is at Kansas State, but has ties to the southeast and hasn't even moved his family from South Carolina since signing on at K-State.

Other guys like Brian VanGorder and Bud Foster may still be in the mix, but I don't think they are viable candidates. VanGorder has stated that he is not interested in the position and Foster has been with Beamer since 1981.

Hope the Hawks finish 2009 off strong with their next 9 games. They have a chance with the way their schedule sets up to finish the year 7-2 which would put them at 23-8 and in a good position to make a push for a top 3 spot in the East. If they can avoid injuries, I see this team winning 52-55 games and possibly making the Eastern Conference Finals for the 1st time in franchise history.

Finally, I have seen several college hoops teams this year and I think I can give a pretty good top 10 for the season so far. I haven't seen West Virginia, so they won't be listed.

1. Kansas
2. Syracuse
3. Kentucky
4. Villanova
5. Texas
6. Purdue
7. Georgetown
8. UNC
9. Duke
10. UConn


William Satterwhite said...

It pains me that the Falcons season has crashed with all the inuries while New Orleans just keeps finding ways to win every game. It's sickening!

As a Tech fan my opinion is probably going to be viewed with suspicion but if UGA has to step up and pay dollar for a top assistant that's exactly what they need to do if they are going to be a truly elite National Championship winning-type program. I don't like them one bit but that's one thing I credit Mack Brown for at Texas, the last couple of times they've needed a defensive coordinator they've stepped up and gotten a top guy at the time with Greg Robinson, Chizek and then Muschamp. If UGA wants Kirby Smart and its just a money issue, they need to go all out and go get him.

I've come around on Wren, didn't like him initially but he's made some really solid moves. However, the whole Wagner/Saito/Soriano ordeal coupled with the Glavine signing a few years back show me that he doesn't seem to have a real good understanding of the arbitration rules and the importance of those draft picks. For a sub-$100 million payroll team, that is a big deal.

Beezbo said...

Who got your Heisman vote? I'm fine with Ingram and would have bee fine with Gerhart, but Suh should have won easily. I guess he will win in April when he goes top 2 and gets paid big while the others are still in school or lower picks.

Jeff said...

Good points all...All indications are that UGA will pay for a DC, and the longer the search goes, I think it is either Kirby Smart or someone from the NFL.

The Wren arbitration issue is indeed a little fishy. While Wagner is a high risk/high reward signing, we could have had Soriano back for the same price and kept our 1st round pick that we lost to Boston. I think Soriano accepting arbitration caught the Braves by surprise. With that said, why did LaRoche not get offered arbitration?

My final Heisman vote went to Ingram. Other guys were close, but in a year like this without a clear-cut winner, I like the candidate from the best team. It is hard to argue against him after 180+ total yards and 3 TD's against the #1 ranked defense in the sports game of the year...