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Monday Night Dawg Bites: Russell Henley, David Hale, Manute Bol, and Mark Richt Edition

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The challenge having been issued, I shall have to prepare a follow-up to last night’s posting in which I list six teams that will be better than advertised in 2010 (or, in the alternative, four), just to prove it can be done. In the meantime, though, here are a few items of note to tide you over this Monday evening:

What do he and Tiger Woods have in common? Neither of them won the most recent tournament. Rising senior Russell Henley, a Bulldog golfer from Macon, competed in last weekend’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, finishing a respectable sixteenth at eight over par, just eight shots behind the tournament champion. (That information, incidentally, comes by way of, which, allyugadawg informs us, is moving to the College Network. This is good news for anyone who has ever tried to follow a Red and Black sporting event using the University’s athletic website.)

David Hale to the rescue! Last week, I expressed concern regarding our favorite beat reporter’s latest Twitter updates. David has made it clear that I shouldn’t have been worried about Aaron Murray, so, naturally, I will find something else entirely about which to worry.

Come to think of it, this probably is to the credit of reporters for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and USA Today. I hate to burst Jon Bois’s bubble, but we were using the phrase "my bad" at Morrow High School by 1985, so Manute Bol wasn’t the first to use it, he was just the first to use it in front of hopelessly out-of-touch reporters for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and USA Today who managed to make it into 1989 without being aware of popular teen slang of a half-decade before.

I allow for the remote possibility that, under certain circumstances, there might be half a chance that perhaps we might not be awful at everything. Anticipating a special season, fans of the Boise St. Broncos are gearing up to defend their team from thoughtless animadversions, for which they have my full support. One interesting note on behalf of Boise State is the way the Broncos have acquitted themselves against "power teams" . . . a metric by which the Georgia Bulldogs stack up better than you might expect. Consider:

In conclusion, Boise State matches up well against the other power teams no matter what formula you care to investigate. They are second in the nation in two of the three rankings and ninth even when ranked not by winning percentage but by number of Top 15 teams played over the four-year period.

Here is how the power teams of the last four years stack up.

Best Four-Year Record:

1. USC 7-1
2. Boise State 4-1
3. West Virginia 3-1
4. Texas 6-4
5. Florida 7-5
6. Georgia 5-5
6. Ohio State 5-5
8. Boston College 2-2
9. Oklahoma 5-7
10. Iowa 3-5
11. Alabama 4-7
12. LSU 5-9
13. Auburn 3-6

I haven’t verified those numbers independently, so I can’t vouch for that math, but, if it’s true (and if it isn’t a season or more out of date by now, which I highly doubt), the ‘Dawgs have stacked up better during their recent (relative) dry spell than I’d have anticipated. Related to that, though, are the following numbers, which came to my attention just this evening.

If Senator Blutarsky has highlighted these data previously, I apologize for forgetting and for duplicating his effort. Nevertheless, I got my copy of Phil Steele’s 2010 College Football Preview today, and I was struck by the following numbers:

Major Coaches v. Top Ten Teams:

Mack Brown: 9-14 (at Texas)
Urban Meyer: 12-3 (overall)
Les Miles: 10-11 (overall)
Mark Richt: 8-9 (overall)
Nick Saban: 16-14 (overall)
Steve Spurrier: 20-26-1 (overall)
Bob Stoops: 12-9 (overall)
Jim Tressel: 9-8 (overall)
Tommy Tuberville: 16-18 (overall)

Once you give Coach Meyer your grudging respect---seriously, a 12-3 record against top ten teams is just off the charts---you have to acknowledge that Coach Richt compares fairly favorably to some of the highest achievers in his profession. At one game below .500, Coach Richt is only a little behind Coach Saban and Coach Stoops, he is hovering in the same vicinity as Coach Miles and Coach Tuberville, and he is a little ahead of Coach Brown and Coach Spurrier. Despite having had six more chances to defeat upper-echelon competition, Mack Brown (the current major college coach whom Mark Richt most closely resembles) has only one more win against such opponents than our own skipper does. With an equal number of opportunities, Coach Richt is a single game behind Coach Tressel.

Maybe---just maybe---the dude knows what he’s doing, after all.

Go ‘Dawgs!