Friday, January 2

The future's not so bleak in this wasteland.

The last six hours of 2008 and the first 16 of 2009 were, paradoxically, both highly satisfying and oddly frustrating for Bulldog Nation. They showed just how good the Dawgs -- particularly on defense -- could've been this past season, and at the same time made us ask why they weren't that good when they had the opportunity to be.

So let's start start with LSU-Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl, New Year's Eve. First of all, I have to say thanks, Techies, for allowing us Dawg fans a double-dose of postseason schadenfreude. Not only did y'all get your asses turned out in your own backyard, but you reminded an entire nation once again just how obsessed you are with us. It takes one deeply ingrained inferiority complex to get so excited with yourselves over a single three-point win that you can't stay within five TDs of your next opponent.

But obviously that game induced glee and frustration in equal measure in Dawg fans, because no sane person could watch it without thinking, Why couldn't Georgia have done the same thing? Well, the answer is, we did do the same thing to 'em, in the first half, at least. All that tackling LSU was doing, the beautifully executed assignments, the swarming to the ball? We did that in the first half against Tech, and if we'd kept doing it, if we'd maintained even a modicum of focus on defense in the second half, I dare say we'd have beaten the Jackets almost as bad as LSU did. How we didn't, needless to say, remains a mystery, but none of the possible answers were especially pleasant: Did our coaches get complacent? Did our players just get temporarily distracted after building up a sizable lead, or are they temperamentally incapable of maintaining focus against an above-average opponent?

This is the fire we'd been hoping we'd see all along.

Even though it was several steps down from the national-title game we all hoped we'd be playing in, I thought the Capital One Bowl was a tremendously important game for us, because it'd lead us closer to an answer to that question. If we got back to the Georgia way of doing things, if we got aggressive again and actually tackled players like we actually cared about imposing our will upon them instead of merely grazing them, then it'd be not only a solid win but also a sign that our previous problems had been noticed and corrected. If we just played the same old lackadaisical ball we had over the last month of the regular season, though, then it'd be a sign that for all the shame and derision heaped upon us hadn't made a lick of difference in our actual play, and that there were fundamental problems in terms of our attitude and mindset that a single offseason, or even several offseasons, might not be able to fix. The former would merely mean an isolated, disappointing, but not disastrous season; the latter could potentially mean the kind of long-term slide that claims reputations and coaching jobs.

But the former came true, and the defense showed up. Not only showed up but dominated in many respects, and even saved the team on a number of occasions in the first half when the offense wasn't clicking, and who the hell thought they'd be saying that after this one was over? I think Westerdawg hit the nail on the head when he described our D as a unit that looked "tired of hearing all the bitching," but they also played like a unit whose coaches had taken great pains to address their most glaring specific problems. The run defense that had collapsed so completely down the stretch clamped down on one of the nation's leading rushers (Javon Ringer) to the tune of 20 rushes for 47 yards. Hell, we even discovered a pass rush for the first time all season. And the tackling that had been so half-assed and indifferent during the same period got its swagger back, almost to the point of looking like the best units from the VanGorder years. I wish I'd been keeping track of how many times MSU faced a third-and-middling-distance, Hoyer fired a high-percentage pass in the middle of the field, and the receiver caught it within inches of the first-down line, only to be met with bone-vaporizing force by a Georgia defender who wrapped him up and drove him backward to prevent him from stretching out for the first.

Rennie Curran: great linebacker, or greatest linebacker?

And while I'm not the first person to point this out -- Lord, I wish I was -- the shining moment of season-encompassing irony came late in the fourth quarter when Reshad Jones, poor maligned Reshad Jones, picked off MSU's last-gasp pass, was met by a Spartan player who bumped into him as hard as he could but didn't wrap him up . . . and kept on going. Let this be a lesson to you, Reshad: That shoulderbumping B.S. didn't work on you, it's not gonna work on too many people. Lecture over.

It wasn't a perfect game by any stretch -- pretty damned ugly, actually, depending on your standards, for the first two and a half quarters at least -- but I told one of my fellow Dawg fans after the game that if we were going to win by 12, much better that it be a 24-12 win than one by a score of, say, 48-36. The offense took a while to get started, but I think we've been given reason to be confident by now that any team with Stafford and Moreno on it is never too far from breaking out. The defense was the group that had the most to proved, and they proved it. This one game won't take Willie Martinez off the hot seat in a lot of people's eyes, but it did prove that the talent, the drive, and the coaching are all there, it's just a matter of getting them all to operate at 110 percent at the same time.

Can we count on that happening more often next year? I would hope so. Not to sound like I'm making excuses, but these things have been kind of cyclical for Georgia, as I'm sure they are for a lot of teams -- we had a disappointing year not unlike this one in 2004, massively exceeded expectations in '05, struggled mightily in '06, and bounced back heroically from a rough start last year before underwhelming again this year -- so it's not unreasonable to think next year comes with a certain amount of hope built in. Obviously that hinges on whether Moreno and Stafford come back; if we only get one of them then I think we can still manage, if we lose both then it's a de facto rebuilding year no matter how much experience we bring back at the other positions.

Obviously I hope he stays, but let's be real here, an NFL salary buys a ton of Legos.

But what might be an even more important factor as far as our long-term prospects are concerned is whether the coaches have "gotten it" as far as nailing down problems or bad techniques and taking steps to solve them rather than sitting back and hoping they work themselves out over time. I've praised our coaching staff many times for keeping a cool, level head through good times and bad, which I think is an asset much of the time, but at certain times -- and I think we saw plenty of them this year -- it manifests itself in a certain sort of inertia, a belief that they don't need to get in there and make a big stink and get in guys' faces, that talent will take care of it and it'll work itself out. Obviously, 2008 showed that that isn't true, and to some extent our coaching staff is still learning these things.

I can understand why a lot of people would find this frustrating after eight seasons, but let's keep in mind that Richt went straight from being an OC to being a head coach, meaning that he had a far steeper learning curve in Athens than either Nick Saban or Urban Meyer had at their current jobs, yet he's still managed to win six bowl games and rack up double-digit wins in six out of eight seasons. It'd take a pretty picky fan to complain too lustily about that, and I'm not that guy.

I dare say there's some fight left in him, too.

So it wasn't quite as inspiring an end to the season as the last couple years, but it was an emphatic win when our program was in need of one, it added another W to the Mark Richt Victory Watch, and it showed that our guys weren't content to fold up the tents after a disappointing season. The wait for Knowshon's and Stafford's decisions on what they're doing after this season will be tense, no doubt, but for right now, we've got a pride-regaining win and a 10-3 final record to distract us. I'll take it, and I hope the rest of Bulldog Nation will do the same.

Random thoughts as we count down the last few days of the season:

· If you'da told me before this bowl season that Notre Dame was gonna score 49 points, my first reaction would've been, "How many bowl games are they playing, anyway?" Knowing what I know now, of course, my question becomes: How bad does your secondary have to be to let Jimmy freakin' Clausen throw for 400 yards and five scores? I think the minor reputation of ND's opponent, combined with a 7-6 record, will be enough to keep the Irish out of the final polls next week, but I'm just unsure enough about that to be really pissed at Hawaii for putting me in this position.

Ol' Derek really is starting to resemble his dad.

sun · The game won't be popping up on ESPN Classic anytime soon, but I was really happy to see Dooley's Dawgs -- by which I mean Derek Dooley's Louisiana Tech Bulldogs -- beat Northern Illinois to secure LaTech's first bowl win in more than 30 years. And it was awesome to see Derek get carried off the field on the shoulders of his players just like his dad did at the Superdome on New Year's Day back in '81. Kid's going places, and I'm setting the over/under at 3 years before he gets a head-coaching job in a BCS conference.

· Fun story about the Bowl, and don't make fun because THAT BOWL IS A LOCAL TREASURE AND IT MEANS EVERYTHING TO US, EVERYTHING -- a couple weeks before Christmas I got e-mailed by a Rutgers fan who was coming down for the bowl and wanted to know what there was to do in Birmingham on arguably the two shittiest going-out nights of the week. I surprised myself by coming up with a pretty robust list of restaurants and bars to check out at their leisure. The day before the game, I was getting out of church and saw that he'd e-mailed me to let me know they were gonna be at the 5 Points Grill that night, so I went down there to meet them.

Whereas the neighborhood had been mostly N.C. State fans earlier in the afternoon, the Grill was filled to capacity with Rutgers folk in varying stages of drunkitude, several of them liberated enough to be singing "Livin' on a Prayer" at the bar. (Hey, they're from Jersey, Bon Jovi is like their Skynyrd.) Not long after, one of the singers was like, "Hey, are you Doug?" and he directed me over to where the group was sitting. So I got plied with food and drink for a couple hours by a group of RU fans who'd come down for the game, and they were great. To Nick and the rest of his crew, thanks for coming all the way down here to the Salty 'Ham -- congrats on your win, and we hope you spent a ton of money here. (As you no doubt noticed, we kind of need a new stadium, stat.)

Hope the scoreboard operator brought a good book.

· I know the general consensus seems to be that it sucked giant hairy donkey balls, but I kind of wish I'd caught this one. Anything even more consistently inept than the Auburn-Mississippi State chess match from mid-September had to have been at least a little entertaining, if only in a hurl-snarky-Mystery-Science-Theatre-comments-at-the-screen kind of way.

· Congrats to Vandy, who locked down their first winning season since Reagan's first term and their first bowl victory since I'm not even gonna bother looking it up in the Music City Bowl. I'm not too proud to admit I never thought y'all would do it, not in a million years. IS A NEW POWER RISING IN THE EAST?!? (Answer: No, but that would be funny.)

· Good job, Georgia Tech, those "45-42" rings really did the . . . oh, wait, I've already mentioned this and gotten a whole sackful of laughs at Tech's expense? Oh. Carry on, then. Never mind.

· As I type this, I'm reminded of what Georgia could've done in the Capital One Bowl but didn't: go into the game disinterested, half-assed and refusing to take their opponent seriously. That's what Alabama looked like in the first quarter against Utah, and while they've chipped into Utah's early lead to pull within 21-10 at the half, their one first-half TD came on a punt return and they have yet to execute the kind of heroic, momentum-changing play that would indicate that they're serious about coming all the way back and winning this. I have no doubt that Saban ripped his guys multiple new assholes in the locker room, but this ain't Tennessee or Arkansas State, guys, this is a team that ain't lost yet and thus has very few reasons to believe they can't hang with y'all. Here's to an interesting second half.

UPDATED: Thud. Tide Nation, Kyle Whittingham officially drinks your milkshake. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what Finebaum's gonna be saying about this tomorrow?


Adam J said...

To be fair, MSU would go 3-5 in the SEC. At best.

Anonymous said...

Georgia remains, hilariously, the only BCS team to beat a non-BCS team in a BCS game.

(Though Pitt '04 was a D1-AA school at best.)

oreo said...

Is that what the Tide offense looks like when they lose THEIR starting left tackle? Good Lord, keep giving Searels more money, as much as he wants cuz the man must be doing miracles in Athens right now.

Anonymous said...

We spent as much money as we could, man - I'm sure those double JD shots weren't free! Thanks again from the Garden State, and Upstream Red Team!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recap, Doug. Nice observation on the whole "Richt learning curve" thing. I had that thought earlier this year when I looked up Saban's history and Meyer's history, but I wasn't able to articulate as well as you did just now. If I remember correctly, Richt's been a head coach at UGA (and done some pretty amazing things) for as long as those other guys were gearing up for their current gigs.


Anonymous said...

"meaning that he had a far steeper learning curve in Athens than either Nick Saban or Urban Meyer had at their current jobs"

Huh? Richt's been coaching four years longer than Meyer. Saban IS more experienced than all of them but look what he's done in 18 months! Only when 3 of his 5 O-linesmen couldn't play did they fold, once to the possible next NC and once to the 13-0 Utes.

Richt does not have the smarts nor the passion to take a long series of top 5-10 recruiting classes talent to the NC. Look at who he surrounds himself with: Martinez, a better player than coach; Bobo who looks like Bozo half the time and Fabris who can't teach a potentially great place kicker how to kick off with any consistency - second rate, junior college coaches all. $2.9 million and still on a "learning curve" indeed. What will that get you from Richt? Confusion on the sidelines. Lousy clock management. Poor game management. Dispassionate play from wasted blue chip talent. Leading the nation in penalties. Want to talk about the Clarke County police blotter? Sounds a lot like FSU, don't it?

Get your head out of your ass, Doug. That is, unless you like to cheer "We're number 9! We're number 9! We're number 9!" every year.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

You know, I still wasn't convinced of your argument, but the "get your head out of your ass" at the end really made everything clear. You're right, Richt sucks. What other wisdom do you have to impart upon us, o sage?

Anonymous said...

Nice work leaving your name, Anon 10:07. If you'd do your homework, you'd realized that Nick Saban has been a HC since 1995 (Richt's first year was 2001), and Meyer and Richt have been HCs for the same amount of time. Meyer's UF team will play for their second MNC in his tenure at UF, and one could argue that UGA would have played for two had circumstances been different with other teams in 2002 and 2007.

Taking into account the state of the programs when Meyer took over at UF and Richt took over at UGA, I think an impartial observer would say that Richt had the greatest uphill battle. The Zooker couldn't undo in a few years what Spurrier did; but many years of Goff and Donnan could quickly undo 25 years of Dooley.


Anonymous said...

I can't say I agree fully with your Richt assessment, but it's a solid point. Using the MSU game as an example, there were some highlights, namely the great D. But we still did a lot of the things wrong that we'd been suffering for all season. O line issues don't explain poor special teams play. O line issues don't explain needing a month to learn how to tackle (and the point about RJ is a good one, but he still threw the shoulder more than once in that game). I'm hoarse from saying it, but you can't lay all this at Martinez's feet. Richt is the commander-in-chief here and he bears some responsibility. It's nice to notice that Richt has been at it for a shorter time than Saban, but if I remember correctly, Saban was a winner and a ruthless sob years ago. Let's handicap it from his first MNC and then do the comparisons, if we're going to make them at all. The bigger point is that Richt isn't Saban and we don't want him to be Saban, but we may pay for that preference. Ben, I love the spirit of what you're saying, but saying if circumstances had been different in 2002 and 2007, we'd be playing for the MNC is silly. If circumstances had been different, results would have been different is stating the obvious and impossible. A lot of Georgia fans I know seem content to plod along and wait for things to break our way. I just don't know if I have the patience for that.

Anonymous said...

Dooley was no Prince Charming either with one NC to his name. Other than that, he was 201-77-10 over a 25 year career. We were happy with 1,2 and 3 loss seasons with Dooley. IF that's what floats your boat, you should love Richt because that's all you're going to get. Face it, we would easily put up with a surly head coach like Saban or one with limited social skills like Spurrier for a regular shot at the NC. But we don't have to. There are other Urban Meyers out there that are smart, know how to motivate AND are class acts. Look at the Utes, Boise State, for example. Hell look at what Nutt's done in a year. I would rather have an overachieving 4-loss team than an underachieving 3-loss team any day. Richt'll be gone within 2. I'll give you odds on that bet.

oreo said...

let me know what kind of odds you're giving on that. if you get my bookie on this i'll take on that bet and put the house on it.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Let me get this straight, Anon@12.37: You're wanting to trade a coach with a .788 lifetime winning percentage (.719 in the SEC), two SEC titles, and a pair of BCS bowl wins for one with a .605 percentage (.534 SEC) and no SEC titles, and who's never even been to a BCS bowl?

Excellent idea. If you haven't applied for a senior position in the Auburn athletic department, buddy, you need to -- with level-headed, long-term, big-picture thinking like that, you'd be a natural there.

Anonymous said...

That's what I'm sayin'. Take Richt's talent and put it in the hands of Grobe, Tressel, Schiano, Spurrier, others that you might have a shot at (yes, I believe that Spurrier would leave purgatory for Georgia and $2.9 million)and you will get a better product. Maybe for less money. Or do you believe that Richt has gotten the most out of five straight top 5 recruiting classes? A dollar'll get you five that Richt is not long for this dawg world.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

The fact that you think we'd have "a shot" at Tressel or Spurrier pretty much discredits everything you've said. so thanks for that, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Spurrier's done a shit job coaching since 2001. Hell, he sucked that year (given the talent), too.

Anonymous said...

Oh, now you're Mr. Fucking College Football Einstein, Doug? Remember, you're the one that wants us all to feel good about the shit job Richt has done this year because he's done OK given the "learning curve." LMAO Richt is an excellent recruiter, a helluva nice guy and an overpaid mediocre coach (who, according to you, is in OJT mode at $2.9 mill per) surrounded by a cast of mediocre assistants. Didn't we bring him to UGA to pursue a NC or to just do better than Goff and Donnan? What is it, genius?

Question to all you Richt apologists: do you think Richt would run up the score on UAB if the Dawgs were in the NC hunt?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:57 -

I am definately not a Richt apologist, so you can't lump me in that camp. He's not delivered what we all want: the MNC. However, you are an idiot. The reason we are all expecting to win the SEC every year and have our fair shots at the MNC is precisely because of Richt's performance. He has raised the level of the program from better than average to top tier. Mediocre coaches don't turn out 10 win seasons on the regular. I fault Richt because I think he's taken us as far as he can, but I also can't say he's just fair to middling as a coach. He's a damn fine coach. He may not be national championship caliber, but they can't all be. You may say that we need someone new to push us over the top and I would heartily agree with you, but to call him average is foolish.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

First thing I'm gonna do when I get to work on Monday is put together a Mr. Fucking College Football Einstein certificate in InDesign, and then I'm printing it out and taking it to Michael's to get it framed.

Anonymous said...

It's not that he can't deliver the NC. It's that he can't coach-up kids to their potential - and beyond. "Damn fine coaches" make more from less, not less from more.

UGA got a commitment from Branden Smith today. Smith is Richt's #1 prospect. I wish I could get excited about it but I can't. Another top-rated recruiting class for the Richt mediocrity machine.

Teresa Wynn, Smith's mother, endorsed the Bulldogs last month after meeting Georgia coach Mark Richt. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful choice. [Richt] is very nice and a church-going man … I know he will take care of my baby.”

All I can say is, JEEEEEEEEEEEZUS, please give me a heathen asshole.

Anonymous said...

One more time with feeling:

If Richt were in the hunt for a NC would he run-up the score on UAB?

Anonymous said...

Anon - You are talking around me at this point. The definition of mediocre: "of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance." Synonyms include Ordinary and So-So. I'm not here to make a case for Richt's handling of recruits or how he would perform against UAB with an NC on the line (& I think we know pretty well what the answer to that question is, see the Southern game results). Richt may not be the best man for the job at Georgia, but this is because the job description includes regular SEC championships and pursuit of the MNC. You may not like how he handles recruits, I may not like how he motivates, or fails to motivate, his players. We can agree that he falls short of fulfilling all aspects of his roles has an HC. Nonetheless, he is not mediocre. His record alone proves that point. Just because something isn't the greatest, doesn't mean it's not at all good.

My biggest (and possibly only) trepidation regarding replacing Richt is just who would we replace him with? As Doug pointed out, if you seriously think Tressel is available or that we would want Spurrier, you don't really follow much college football. If you suggest some mid-major coach who has had success or an innovative system, I can only say that we might be better with the devil we know. Just look at Auburn or Tennessee for raging examples of how to gloriously fail at replacing the competent with the rediculous.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I guess you're right. Oh, but, they said Nutt wouldn't go to Ole Miss or Miles to LSU. After last night, Tressel, might just take that call.

Okay, talking directly to your point. What do you call a coach that does less with more? Good? Excellent? Unfortunate? Weiner?

Richt replacements abound. Grobe, for one, comes to mind. Mendenhall, Brian Kelly, Bielema, Jagodzinski, Gary Patterson are others that are approachable. Dancing with the devil you know and staying the course is absurd.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Yes, let's hire Tressel. Please. A guy who's on a three-game bowl losing streak and who gets bent over without fail whenever he faces an SEC team. Yes, let's hire that guy.

Mendenhall? Picked in the preseason to be a BCS-buster, instead managed to lose to a 7-5 Arizona team in Las Vegas. Bielema? Went 12-1 his first year (with Barry Alvarez's players) and has gotten worse every year since. Jagodzinski? Yes, let's hire a two-time ACC runner-up.

Just out of curiosity, anonymous, what did you major in at Georgia Tech?

Anonymous said...

"Doing less with more" is a qualitative statement that doesn't shine any light on the situation. CMR over his first four years at UGA (and remember how meh 2001 was) went 42-10. Meyer, the very definition of "a heathen asshole", went 43-9 over his first four years as head coach. There's really not much of a difference there (and don't talk about what Meyer will do in the future). The point I'm trying to make (over and over) is that Richt, by all measurable standards, has succeed greatly but for the MNC (at all) or the SEC championship (lately), whereas Meyer has succeed there. Your criticism about Richt failing to develop talent may be dead on, but you can't measure it or prove it. Who knows if Mo could have been a better receiver from his freshman year or not? Your hunches, and that's what they are, don't really provide a reasonable grounding for an argument against Richt and they don't prove that he is mediocre. He gives us nearly everything. Just to be perfectly redundant, I absolutely want what he has failed to deliver on and fault him immeasurably for it. But I also know we could be hurting a lot worse than we are right now. Remember Goff?

As for the notion that staying the course is absurd, please see my first point. What would you rather have: no national championship, but a annual top 10 ranking, dominant recruiting, great visibility, and national respect, OR a gamble with a coach unproven a level such as the SEC who could potentially kill recruiting consistency and embarass the program nationally? If nothing else, you have to appreciate what failure by any of the coaches you mentioned would do to our team for years following. Let me put it this way, if you can talk Pete Carroll into heading our way, I'll pay for the moving fees myself. But if you think that Georgia can afford to make a mistake like Bielema or Mendenhall AND that we'll be fine if Richt's replacement doesn't work out, you're kidding yourself.

Anonymous said...

I care not to buy into your perennial disappointment plan. Staying the course will give us more of the same. You will be chanting "We're number nine!" forever with Richt.

Any of the coaching options suggested have done more with less. To repeat and put my comments back in context, they could do more with Richt's talent pool. How many recruits they would lose because they're not church goers? Don't know.

We brought Richt to take us to the NC. He has failed in spite of serial top 10 recruiting classes. Fact.

Points given-up has steadily risen since Martinez got the DC job. Fact.

The Alabama and Florida games were lost by half-time due in large part to an ill prepared defense. Fact.

Richt has not addressed the DC problem. Fact.

The Dawgs lack on field discipline as evidenced by our leading penalties per game. Fact.

Penalty rates are a reflection of coaching. Fact.

The Dawgs lack off field discipline as evidenced by the Clarke County police blotter. Fact.

Richt believes his staff did their best work this year. Fact.

There are more Pete Carrolls out there. Fact.

I say there are better options than Richt for the money. My opinion.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Leaving aside for a moment your strange method for classifying "facts" and "opinions," your stance on this subject basically boils down to "Richt hasn't won a national title, so let's fire him on the chance that there'll be somebody better out there." Congratulations: This is exactly the attitude that has made Auburn the laughingstock of D-IA for the past month.

And let's say, for the sake of argument, that there IS a better coach out there, a diamond in the rough that we've all somehow overlooked. Why would he take a job at a school where winning 80 percent of your games gets you fired? Jim Grobe didn't want the Alabama job, and they had all the money in the world to throw at him. Why would he be any more likely to come to Athens?

Patience and proper respect for a coach's ability get you a Frank Beamer (who, it bears mentioning, started his VaTech career 24-40-2 and didn't take the Hokies to a bowl until his seventh season). Your strategy, on the other hand, gets you Chiziked. You'll have to excuse me for not itching to go down that road.

Anonymous said...

Your summarization of my position is way off. But it would have to be so in order to make your point.

Patience, perseverance, proper respect? For a guy who just said that this year may have been his staff's best coaching effort ever! The prick doesn't even have the cajones to admit his slacker coaching performance this year. Throwing the kids under the bus. Respect my ass.

Doug, can you reply to anything without an ad hominem? Very bitter. Caught your mama having a go at it with the family pooch when you were in diapers?

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Oh, I'd ban you if I was the bannin' type, but I know that's what you're after, and besides, I'm having too much fun watchin' you make an ass of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm still gonna jump in on this one. First, to directly address your list of fun facts...

"We brought Richt to take us to the NC. He has failed in spite of serial top 10 recruiting classes. Fact."
You don't remember what came before Richt, do you? Donnan turned out a 40-19 career at UGA and was handed his walking papers for delivering back-to-back 8 win seasons, violating the university anti-nepotism policy, etc. That's a bit closer to the true definition of mediocre, but still not quite there. Sure Richt was hired to win an MNC, but then again, so is every coach. It may be a fact, but it's a fact in every college town. Whether it's a remote reality or not is another story.

"Points given-up has steadily risen since Martinez got the DC job. Fact." We aren't talking about Martinez here. We're talking about Richt. FWIW, our PPG is also down from last year, which is Bobo's responsibility. You want to dock Richt for failing to deal with Martinez during the season, fine. I'd say you're right. But, that has very, very little to do with what we're arguing about (in case you forgot, it's underperformance for failing to achieve your standard, aka the MNC).

"The Alabama and Florida games were lost by half-time due in large part to an ill prepared defense. Fact." Again, fire Willie. Go nuts.

"Richt has not addressed the DC problem. Fact." The season ended exactly 6 days ago. We haven't played another game, to my knowledge. Certainly the problem needs to be addressed. I guess it's too bad we kick off against the Cowboys next week, if only there were time to address these issues...

"The Dawgs lack on field discipline as evidenced by our leading penalties per game. Fact." You want an MNC. So did the 2007-2008 LSU Tigers. They also had a penalty problem and it seemed to work out just fine. Go figure.

"Penalty rates are a reflection of coaching. Fact." They can be. Scoring can be a reflection of coaching. Come to think of it, all aspects of football performance can be a reflection of coaching, including things like wins. Even 10 wins. Or individual performance. Moreno was sooooo good because of coaching. Prove me wrong.

"The Dawgs lack off field discipline as evidenced by the Clarke County police blotter. Fact."
If you're crying for a "heathen asshole", you shouldn't be the one to complain when our team pees on Lumpkin. I seem to remember an incident down in Gainsville that involved a player shooting an AK-47 that went relatively unnoticed. Anything for a championship, right?

"Richt believes his staff did their best work this year. Fact." It's good to know that you live inside Richt's head and can read his thoughts. Oh, he said that? Why on earth would a guy who's busting his ass to keep key assistants like Garner and Searels around publically praise his coaching staff? It just doesn't make sense.

"There are more Pete Carrolls out there. Fact."
This is just dumb. No, there are not. One of the big reasons that Carroll is idolized is because there aren't more of them out there. And he's only won one. Out of ten.

You also really don't seem to understand what coaching change, let alone a terrible coach can do to a program's recruiting reputation and national respect. Take a look at the incoming class at Auburn, does that look attractive to you? You must hate 10 wins a year so much that you want just 6 or 7.

You don't get much more ad hominem than insulting someone's mother. You may be having fun, Doug, but I'm getting tired of this asshole.

Anonymous said...

I want to be banned? You would ban me if you were the bannin' type? Before you get all omnipotent on me, remember who and what you are in the real world, Doug. No wonder journalism is in the shitter. Well, not that you're a real journalist anyway.

And bird boy (or is it bird girl?), you almost had me until the asshole comment. Most of your retorts were gratuitously out of context but you and Doug have to do that to make a point.

I'll give, lower my standards and expectations and join your admiration of Mark Richt.

All together, now...

We're number 13!
We're number 13!
We're number 13!