I had a mailbag planned for today, but we're going to put that off for a bit. Instead, Georgia's new linebackers coach, Warren Belin, is going to be available to media, and I'll have quotes from that coming up this afternoon.
In the meantime, how about some links?
-- Uga8 has a great post up today looking at the overall youth on Georgia's roster. Looking ahead to the 2011 season, the Dawgs return the vast majority of their roster, which means two things: 1.) There isn't going to be a ton of "senior leadership" on this year's team, and 2.) 2011 is going to be a make-or-break year with all the talent that will still be around. As to the first point, I'm fairly certain the impact of that "leadership" is at least a tad overrated. As to the second point, perhaps we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves.
(Still, the only "impact" players Georgia will lose in 2011 are at linebacker (Darryl Gamble/Akeem Dent), left tackle (Clint Boling), defensive end (Demarcus Dobbs) and fullback (Shaun Chapas). Of that group, I'd say only Boling would be terribly hard to replace at this point. Of course, that ignores the fact that A.J. Green is likely NFL bound, and certainly Justin Houston could head that direction, too. Nevertheless, UGA will return virtually it's entire depth chart at QB, RB, DT, and DB, plus the bulk of its WRs and DEs/LBs. Yikes.)
-- And to that end, Rivals answers the key question of when Georgia will win another national championship. (h/t Jim F)
-- Marc Weiszer talks to Richard Samuel about his transition to linebacker, and he brings up a good point. With a brand new coaching staff and new defensive scheme, he's not that much farther down the learning curve than anyone else right now.
-- UGA Blog wonders what it might look like if all three of Georgia's QBs got some playing time in 2010. After the amount of PT Logan Gray got a year ago, however, I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening. (Besides, this is Aaron Murray's job to lose.)
-- Yahoo! talks with Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who still sounds awfully confident in his quarterback, Matthew Stafford.
-- Dawgs BUI writes that Mark Fox must no doubt be getting frustrated with the up-and-down performances from the UGA hoopsters.
-- Here's an interesting study that says that underdogs aren't more motivated to win a game than favorites are, which may or may not apply to Mark Richt-coached teams. (h/t GTP)
-- I'm going to guess this won't get a ton of clicks, but I enjoyed it -- the Wiz of Odds has a video documentary about Syracuse's final game at the old Archbold Stadium. Good piece of cool college football history, at least for an Orange fan like me.
-- Big League Stew asks whether Bobby Cox belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of managers.
-- Earlier this week, an Atlanta newspaper fired one of its writers because he was trying too hard to be objective. You see, the genius that runs the paper thinks "the mainstream media" is worthless because objectivity is an impossible goal, so instead he's just going to tell you what he believes, because, you know, he's smarter than you (and the "mainstream media").
-- This is probably not a good sign for folks hoping "Scrubs" will be renewed one more time.
-- Slice attempts to answer the age-old question of how much to tip the pizza guy. (h/t CNati)
-- When "V" finally returns, it will be following "Lost" on ABC.
-- OK, so some thoughts on "Lost" Season 6, Episode 3:
(Note: Everyone who just groaned about the previous sentence can officially stop reading now, and check back this afternoon to read about Warren Belin. Thanks for your patience.)
First, check out this blog from a writer who had never watched the show before this season, but is now writing about each episode from Season 6. (h/t Schlagdawg) It is yet again another indication of just how absurd this show is if you didn't start suspending disbelief seven years ago.
Second, The Stuff of Legend has some good comments on this week's episode, too. Definitely worth a read.
Overall, I thought this was clearly the best episode of the season so far, and a fine vehicle for Terry O'Quinn, who has been the best actor on the series since its inception. He played two different Lockes in this episode, and played them both perfectly.
In the flash sideways, we saw many more details of just how different life in this universe is than it originally was before the crash in the pilot. Sure, Locke still had his awful job at the box factory, but he's engaged, he hasn't completely ruined his life, and now, he has Hurley around to help him out.
I thought the sideways scenes were a perfect blend of what the old John Locke was all about, while at the same time bringing in elements of the strides he made while on the island. Bad things are still happening to him constantly, but he is both better at standing up for himself (with Hugo and the temp office employee) and at laughing some of it off (the sprinkler).
What confused me, however, was this: He's still paralyzed, but he's planning to invite his "father" to the wedding? So is he paralyzed for a different reason now, or are we talking about a different father?
Oh, and Ben Linus -- European History. Fantastic.
Back on the island, the primary narratives surrounded (mostly) Locke and Sawyer, and (to a lesser degree) Sun, Ben and Lapidus.
First, the latter group:
The Locke funeral was a perfect juxtaposition with the many funeral seasons from early in the season. "Saying a few words" had almost become cliche, but this was different. No one really knew what to say, until Ben of all people spoke up, chimed in with some kind words you wouldn't expect to hear from him, then concluded with, "... and I'm very sorry I murdered him."
I'm beginning to think Sun and Jin are never going to see each other again. This has been dragged out almost as long as the Desmond-Penny thing, but it's not as interesting. Also, I'm thinking Sun is going to owe her babysitter a lot of overtime by the time she gets back home.
I hope they start using Lapidus more. Jeff Fahey is my favorite actor on the show who isn't being used.
And one last tidbit from this group: Illiana says that, once Smokey has inhabited Locke, he can't inhabit anyone else. So what gives with Claire and Sayid?
And to the Locke/Sawyer stuff, which was the crux of the episode:
First, excellent use of Iggy and the Stooges. Quality drinking-yourself-to-death music. And, perhaps not coincidentally, Sawyer played those early scenes much like Nic Cage's character in "Leaving Las Vegas." He almost seemed to enjoy the hopeless absurdity of it all.
The blonde kid who distracts Smokey/Locke... Aaron? A young Jacob? Haley Joel Osment's brother? Regardless, the parallels of "You can't tell me what I can't do!" were perfect. Perhaps our fake Locke is a lot more like the real Locke than we've been led to believe.
The Locke-Richard conversation was an interesting one. I agree with Stuff of Legend on this -- if we weren't sure who was the good guy and who was the bad guy before, this scene went a long way toward painting Locke in the devil role.
So Sawyer and Locke climb down a ladder to a cave where Jacob has apparently been living and keeping tabs on the Losties... i.e. they climbed "Jacob's Ladder." The book of Genesis, of course, describes Jacob's ladder as a ladder to heaven that Jacob climbs to escape his evil brother, Esau. Of course, in the "Lost" version of events, Sawyer is climbing down Jacob's ladder, and it certainly appears he's doing with the evil brother.
Once in the cave, it seems like we get a few answers to big questions: Where did the numbers come from, how did the Losties arrive on the island, why are they there in the first place...
But I'm not satisfied with any of those answers just yet.
First off, what makes us think we can believe evil Locke? Throughout the entire episode leading up to that point, we were told just the opposite.
Second, the numbers still seem to be arbitrary. Why did Jacob put those numbers next to those names? And what about the other castaways like Kate or Juliet that Jacob also "intervened" in their lives?
The answer to that might also be the answer to whether the final number belongs to Sun or Jin. All of the other "candidates" are males, and Kate and Juliet were left off the list despite being visited by Jacob. So could it be that only males can be candidates? Which would mean that the final candidate is Jin?
I also found this intriguing, from Stuff of Legend's post:
"We've had an episode called The Constant, and we've had an episode called The Variable. A variable in a mathematical equation is a symbol that stands for an unknown value in the equation. Once you assign a number or value to that variable, that number or value is called...the Substitute, which is the name of this episode. Maybe Jacob has finally found the factors that will solve the equation?"
But the last point, about becoming the substitute Jacob -- that part strikes me as legitimate, and the choice given to Sawyer seems like it will be at the crux of how the show wraps up.