Bama (Natl Champ)
Alabama Crimson Tide (National Championship)
L, 23-26


Will Smith enjoyed a huge hit with his 1997 album "Big Willie Style," but the UGA defense has been a big flop under the direction of Big Willie Style.

Willie Martinez succession of Brian Van Gorder following the 2004 season was met with some raised eyebrows by Georgia fans, especially with a master D-line coach and even better recruiter on staff in Rodney Garner. This early skepticism was quieted (though not silenced) with a somewhat unexpected SEC championship in 2005. The 38 points surrendered to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl were largely attributed to underestimating an explosive team from a lesser conference, especially when you consider that 28 of those 38 points were scored in the first quarter alone.

Fast-forward to 2008. Jada is still loving her Man in Black, but UGA fans can't really say the same about Blacking out Sanford Stadium. 31 first half points to Alabama leads to a 41-30 humiliation between the Hedges in, what was supposed to be a "prove-it" game for the pre-season #1 Georgia Bulldogs. The homer-apologists, HA's, (a group of which I'm a proud card-carrying member) said that questionable penalties and a perfectly designed and executed game plan led to the debacle. Ok. Fair enough.

Briefly ignoring the 38 points allowed to LSU, let's take a look at the Cocktail party. Welcome to Miami ... no Willie, Welcome to Jacksonville. A competitive game at the half, turned into every UGA fan's recurrent nightmare. Final score: 49-10. Let's hear from the HA's: "Well, the offense squandered opportunities that would have made the entire face of the game different. Plus they pressed when things started going sideways and turned the ball over. The defense was put in too many impossible situations to hold an explosive offense like Florida's in check. Oh yeah, special teams sucked too."

Well, at least we'll be able to make it 8 straight against the bugs from North Avenue. Guess what, Nerds Ain't Nothing But Trouble. What looked as if it would be a blow out in UGA's favor turned into a GT ground attack Hitler would be proud of. 400+ yards rushing surrendered and another 40+ points on the scoreboard.

41, 38, 49, 38, and 45. Those are point totals given up by UGA to Bama, LSU, Florida, Kentucky and Tech, respectively. Those are also the reasons that Willie Martinez needs to hone his resume and start collecting references and recommendations. I knew how to write the homer-apologist spins above because I have continued to defend Martinez's defenseless defense all season. I have reached the point, however, that I can no longer spin. There are three phases to football each able to contribute to a team's score as well as their opponent's score. Understanding this is key to effectively coaching and analyzing football; however, the reality is that the offensive coordinator is responsible for the number next to his team, regardless of special teams and the defense's impact on that number. And, likewise, the defensive coordinator is responsible for the number next to the opponent's team, regardless of special teams and the offense's impact. 41, 38, 49, 38, and 45 are not numbers that can be acceptable to a team trying to win championships. That combined with a horrific lack of discipline and pathetic excuses for tackling mean that Big Willie needs to pack his bags and head to the Wild Wild West.