Thoughts from the 35: Kentucky-Georgia

Lord, what an awful, awful game.  While it remains to be seen if last night’s debacle joins the ranks of the epic, career-changing Vanderbilt ’94 and Georgia Tech ’00 home games, it can’t be good that this sort of question was on the minds of many before they even turned out the lights at Sanford Stadium.

There were times in the second half when it felt as if we were watching a controlled experiment – you know, what would it be like if you combined the craven mindset Georgia often has when it plays Florida with a lack of focus against a clearly inferior opponent?  Well, four turnovers later, you get a staggering 34-27 loss despite outgaining the other team by a mere 227 yards.

I’m being a little unfair to Kentucky with this.  There’s a clear talent gap between the ‘Cats and the Dawgs – Georgia’s coaches aren’t as good as Kentucky’s at getting their charges prepared to play hard for sixty minutes.

Ah, hell.  I was going to do my usual post game write-up, but then I made the mistake of reading Hale’s blog this morning, where I found this quote from Mark Richt:

Here’s what Richt had to say about the decision to squib kick following Georgia’s lone second-half touchdown: “We actually kicked the ball extremely well last week — high, where we wanted it placed — and we still struggled. So we have a lot of respect for Auburn, but Kentucky’s kick return team is the best in the SEC. They just do a superb job. So we were trying to create a little doubt, trying to get the ball where we could pop it up and maybe get it somewhere around the 30, 35. That’s not anything to brag about, but we feel it’s better than kicking it deep to this guy.”

That, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with the Georgia program today.  Forget about the fact that Kentucky’s return game isn’t the best in the conference (it’s a mediocre seventh).  Why is Georgia timid about anything Kentucky does?

These coaches are so worried about preventing the worst case scenario from happening that it’s affected their ability to get their players to perform up to the level of their talent.  It’s why we saw Kentucky return men catching the ball with no Georgia players within ten or fifteen yards of them.  It’s why Mike Bobo runs the ball on second and ten, over and over again, even in the face of a defense like last night’s that’s committed to stacking the box to stuff the run.  It’s why Martinez plays a soft zone, even if that means leaving the middle of the field open as a standing invitation to a quarterback.

What are they accumulating all this recruiting talent for, if they’re not going to deploy it properly?

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85 Comments

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85 responses to “Thoughts from the 35: Kentucky-Georgia

  1. Carter

    Joe Cox is the first man in the history of the arena to both literally and figuratively self-immolate.

  2. tpj

    If Richt’s quote is accurate, and I have no reason to believe that it isn’t, he should seriously be concerned for his job.

    That is not a quote from a prepared coach, and if my coach is not prepared to coach, we should think about making someone else our coach.

    The complacency and lack of urgency this staff has shown all year despite obvious and glaring mistakes they continue to make is really wearing thin.

  3. If our coaches are going to coach scared, why should the players play any differently.

    Bobo should be shot for not running the ball in the second half.

    With 5 minutes left in the 3rd, up by 14, we open up in a 4 wide shotgun. WTF?

    Was the goal to win, or send Cox out on a high note? Either way, it was a total #FAIL

  4. Dog in Fla

    “What are they accumulating all this recruiting talent for, if they’re not going to deploy it properly?”

    Is it because

    (a) it helps them keep their jobs? Never mind, Mark has already assured them of that.

    (a) they want young, raw talent on the team to counteract the old, stale talent on the coaching staff which thereby neutralizes things, gives us a 6-6 record and keeps us from having losing record? (regular season only – Shreveport bowl not included)
    (b) talent still fumbles and throws interceptions even for good dead or alive coaches such as Bear, Urban and Lane?
    (c) our coaches are already focused on next year’s substantial rebuilding job?
    (d) our coaches do not know what a deployment is?
    (e) All of the above.

  5. catauladawg

    Talent. Our coaches get less from more than any other team in the conference.

  6. Julie

    Fabris should have been executed at the yard line of whatever the average starting field position was for Kentucky after the game, whenever that was. Even our game clock is epic fail.

  7. Just a miserable year all around from the coaches on down.

    No reason to think it can’t be turned around very well for the Murray years though. Richt didn’t start coaching this year. He has nearly 20 years on his resume, and it makes for one of the best resumes in CFB over that time.

  8. Mattr

    The game has passed Richt by. I think he will be here for another year. I think next year will also be more of the same (struggling and ineptitude). It’s time for a change.

  9. The game has passed Richt by. I think he will be here for another year. I think next year will also be more of the same (struggling and ineptitude). It’s time for a change.

    No doubt. It’s clearly passed Stoops and Carroll by as well. (As you will find many on their teams’ message boards saying as well, fwiw.)

    • tpj

      Evidence that Richt has made consistently correct and cogent decisions as head coach this year, please.

      Specifics will suffice, thanks.

      • So it’s one bad year out of far, far more great ones.

        It happens. (Or fire Stoops and Carroll too?)

        Nothing that can’t be fixed, especially by someone who has proven to be one of the best in the game over a whole lot longer period than one bad year.

        • Ray

          I am with you. Bad years happen no matter what team it is. I am not going to say that Richt has to go but I think this is a critical time in his career and needs to make adjustments. Last night was a horrible, frustrating game but to say that the game has passed Richt by is pure conjecture. Any changes in coaching staff are going to made after Tech, certainly not during the season. It’s pretty amazing that fans start turning on another. It’s comical that someone like yourself gets criticized for supporting the program and not screaming “FIRE EVERYONE” from the rooftops. Having the opinion of giving Richt the benefit of the doubt until the off season is obviously taboo to some.

          • It’s comical that someone like yourself gets criticized for supporting the program and not screaming “FIRE EVERYONE” from the rooftops. Having the opinion of giving Richt the benefit of the doubt until the off season is obviously taboo to some.

            I find that most intelligent, professional people… usually the ones who actually went to UGA (or another respectable 4-year college)… are willing to rationally consider things and take Richt’s entire resume under consideration.

            It’s the crazies (usually poorly educated and not UGA grads anyway) who like to act all big on the intertubes. Not people to be taken very seriously though, imho. And fortunately Damon Evans and the decision-makers at UGA aren’t of this latter crowd.

            • Ray

              haha, I thought it but didn’t say it!

            • rbubp

              I appreciate your desire to consider the whole body of work and point that Richt deserves and will clearly be given the chance to fix this.

              But considering the lack of progress on some of the most glaring issues,
              it is understandable why some are frustrated. Trying to be universal zen-master makes you look like an apologist sometimes, Texas_Dawg.
              In addition, being professional and poised also means making statements without trying to quixotically take on the correct moral position on the big-picture message when you have absolutely no control over the messengers. You may end up looking like someone who prefers ineptitude over the harsh reality of the failures of the last two years.

              Good luck on the yeoman work of fending off all the reactionary naysayers, though. These days, you will certainly be busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest, as the saying goes.

            • Scott

              Apparently it takes a “Fire Richt” campaign to get Richt’s attention and force him to make staff changes that are obvious.

              This is not “one bad season” on the defensive side of the ball. Recall 2008 (Alabama 41 pts., LSU 38 pts., Florida 49 pts., Kentucky 38 pts., Georgia Tech 45 pts. in 2008). And that was coming off similar collapses from 2005-2007 (Auburn 31 pts. and West Virginia 38 pts. in 2005); (Tenn. 51 pts in 2006); (Tenn. 35 pts, Florida 30 pts., and Troy 34 pts in 2007).

              We adopted your “intelligent and professional” approach in 2008, where did it get us? Richt did nothing. He made no changes on defense or special teams.

              We now have 5 more embarrassments this season with 2 games still to play.

              We need to get Richt’s attention so he makes the changes necessary. I really don’t want him fired, but if he retains Martinez, then we need to look for a new head coach. I have no problems with hotheads calling for his job. Richt needs to feel the heat. Do you honestly think he would even consider changes if not for the criticism he is now getting?

              Sorry I am not educated, professional or as intelligent as you, but I am UGA law grad who has practiced law for 20 years.

              • rbubp

                Here here. Intelligent, results-oriented UGA grads can see that some things have been statistically determined.

                Including that our coach thinks UK was the best return team in the SEC when they were actually 7th–meaningless as an isolated quote, but a molotov cocktail when your team is at the VERY BOTTOM of the FBS rankings in KO returns for two years running.

                • Mattr

                  If, and I say if here very cautiously, we were a preseason #1 last year, and made the mistakes that we made last year and (this may not be obvious to Richt) and got NOWHERE in cleaning them up, how can we sit here and justify more of the same. I remember sitting thru the misery of the Tech game last year, in the rain, and having to watch that mess and I said ‘No More. They will have to prove themselves to me before I will buy 4 season tickets again.’ And I made the right decision. I demand more than what is being presented by the Dawgs! I voted with my money (i.e. ain’t spending it on what is a load of bullcrap). And my mind is not for rent, Texas Dawg. I know what I see. I don’t like it. What’s the saying? It’s insanity to keep doing the wrong thing over and over again. Or is it just stupidity. I love the Dawgs, but I ain’t in it enough not call a spade a spade. The dawgs are not being coached very well, and that belongs to Mark Richt.

                  • frank h.

                    careful, you don’t want to be labeled as unintelligent or unprofessional.

                    I’m just going to keep my 2 UGA degrees and coaching opinions to myself for fear of Rev./Dr./Gen. Texasdawg’s e-wrath.

                    • Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of UGA grads as well that don’t follow CFB very closely beyond their tunnel vision on UGA.

                      But many others do and they realize that while this has been a miserable year and a bad coaching job by a great coach, it happens to even the best coaches when they coach the same program for a decade or more. So they don’t run off immediately wanting to fire the coach because a team sucks after losing its best players coming off back-to-back top 10 seasons.

                      You know… rationality, perspective on the game, etc. Not stuff for the intertubes I realize.

                  • I’m sure you’d fire Stoops, Carroll, Rodriguez, etc. as well. And you would have fired Mack Brown in 2003. Etc.

                    That’s just how it goes with some CFB fans. Rationality isn’t of interest to them.

                    Fortunately you aren’t the one making the decisions with UGA’s football program though. We certainly would not have had anywhere close to the success we’ve had this decade had you been.

              • Apparently it takes a “Fire Richt” campaign to get Richt’s attention and force him to make staff changes that are obvious.

                No it doesn’t.

                There isn’t one person on the staff that would have been fired at any other program before this year. Not one.

                • rbubp

                  Huh. What happened to those nice fellas that served as LSU’s D co-coordinators last year? Seems it only took one awful year for them to get canned.

                  I am not in favor of firing Mark Richt. I was willing to be patient about Martinez–he has had good seasons in the (distant) past. But enough is enough, and though everyone in these parts is not necessarily trying to run off Richt, there are problems, duh, and if nothing happens this year and 2010 looks like 2009, even you, Texas_Dawg, might have to think about CMR’s future.

                  Saying that is not tantamount to getting rid of the coach right now or supporting in-season coordinator changes.
                  Take off the Loran Smith glasses, man.

          • Macallanlover

            Nice post Ray, Texas Dawg deserves support in the midst of the severe, irrational attacks on the UGA program. This is not to say changes are not required, but the poor form displayed by the “Sky is falling” crowd is sad. Not that every fanbase doesn’t have extremists that make everyone look bad, but the fact they seem to out number those who understand this is an ineffective way to achieve change is most troubling.

            I feel many fans underestimate the internal toughness, pride, and competitiveness of CMR. Like Kenny Rogers’ song, Coward of the County, I think CMR is about to “stop and lock the door”. To think he is not going to do what is necessary to keep the bar high at UGA is both naive and presumptive. The public embarrassment showered on the program by people like Merk below is not the way to act, nor did it do anything during the season but cause disruption and divisiveness.

            We will end up 7-5, 0r 6-6, in a season where 9-3, or 8-4 was the most likely consequence of losing four high impact players like Stafford, Moreno, Momass, and Asher Allen. Not many programs could endure that kind of hit and win in this league. We had a game stolen against LSU that we had won, collapsed against Kentucky on four critical plays, and simply did not show up in Knoxville after the LSU debacle. Satisfactory? Of course not, but fare from the disaster so many are seeing. I have seen more talent on the field this year from Freshmen, and Sophomores, than at any other time in my 45+ years of following UGA. Take 2-3 corrective actions on the staff, regroup, and plan for a revival in 2010.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              +1.

            • Nicely done. He knows what is up. He will handle it when the games are done. As I stated on Nov. 4, “I hate it for him because that first fire is really hard to pull the trigger on. He’s a compassionate/thoughtful/loyal gentleman. That’s why recruits’ mothers and grandmothers love him. Heck, that’s why I love him. He has to do it and he knows it. Everyone needs to back up and let him do it. He does not need to be told, so no amount of yammering adds anything to the dialogue. He knows already.

    • Carroll has 7 conference championships in a row, and either 2 or 3 national championships.

      Are you seriously comparing Richt to Pete Carroll? Really?

      Texas Dawg, you left the planet of reason long ago.

      • Macallanlover

        Carroll is a terrific coach with talent WELL above the level of his competition. He plays in a conference where there is little competition, very little. Winning those PAC10 titles against the other PAC10 teams is no more impressive than CMR’s two SEC titles and four outright, or tied East titles. There is no national championship, so that makes no sense, zero.

        It is much easier to get to the BCS finale if you own the entire West Coast and have to only play 1-2 teams a year that has ANY chance to come close to you. CPC has a loss every year that would compare with the 3 Georgia has had to Vandy and Kentucky during Richt’s nine years. And, he doesn’t have his teams beat up the way UGA, and other SEC teams do facing several teams with comparable athletes each year. Any team can have that “disaster” year, but USC’s fall from expectations this season is much more unexpected than Georgia’s. They were ranked in the Top of ALL polls at the beginning of the season. In addition to his significant losses, he barely beat a weak ND team, and narrowly escaped against an average Ohio State team. So the one who has “left the planet” looks to be you. I respect CPC, but some of his losses defy explanation, except that he is also subject to the whims of 18-22 year olds. It happens to all coaches, you might want to research this.

  10. tpj

    Damon, Richt and Adams don’t get it now, but come February 16th, the day after Hartman Fund donations are due, and they’re down 25% or more, they’ll all know that this year was the beginning of the end for CMR at Georgia.

    • LMAO.

      I’m sure you will be the first to admit you were wrong when that doesn’t turn out to be the case. You know, like all those people bashing Stafford last year and saying Cox would mean new and improved leadership, etc.

      Funny stuff there, dude. Dawg bless the tubes.

  11. After 2004: “We’re screwed at QB. Did you see the GT game?!?”
    After 2005: “SECCs forever. JT3 is next in the progression of great UGA QBs.”
    After 2006: Reasonable optimism given Staffy/Moreno and the ’06 finish.
    After 2007: “Our MNC is here. Florida has no defense.”
    After 2008: “New and improved player leadership (mainly at QB) will turn things around.”

    After 2009? “Richt is done. 7-6/8-5 every year until he’s fired. We’re screwed.”

    Pretty sure the conventional UGA fan “wisdom” will be dead wrong once again this year.

  12. drunk dawg

    Interesting no Cox is better than Stafford in the comments on the blogosphere lately.

    Even more interesting is how Cox is absent from so many post-game reviews. Prior to the season it was “Joe Cox Leadership!!!!11″. Early in the season it was “Joe Cox isn’t as bad as you think!!!111″.

    Now everyone is just leaving him out like they can forget how wrong they were. But yeah ignore Cox and blame everyone but the fiery white guy who was born to lead!

  13. PNWDawg

    Seems like just yesterday we were saying Paul Finebaum is full of it.

  14. Merk

    Everything about this team is crap atm.

    Even Rennie has seen a drop off of where he was at the start of the season. He was at nearly 70 tackles way before mid-season…now he just breaks 100 with 1 game left.

    DTs sucked balls till the LSU game.

    RBs blew ass…Ealey saved them by not sucking and making King have to work for it.

    WRs are good..clearly see Israel Troupe for proof…but we refuse to use them b/c the coaches are idiots and Bobo wants to get 45 run plays per game.

    Secondary has talent in reserves, but they only get 10% play time b/c Evans and Miller are seniors.

    LBs…we have 20 on the roster…will one besides Rennie pls do something.

    DE…Houston is good, but the retard move in the Off-season brings him down to the level of all the others as meh.

    OL…WTF…Seriously WTF…it took 8 games to figure out how to play again?

    QB…Talent in reserve…pls let it not be getting coached down…see Logan Gray for that

    TE…ONE F’in Saving grace…actually I have to give Houston credit for this…he saved us by gettin Figgins suspended for the first 6 games so we could see the real TEs we have…Figgins can block yes, but he was part of the retard TE crew we had last season….OH BTW…Thanks Richt for benching White last season…clearly he sucked…

    Coaches…Fire em all they blow. Richt is a douche who seems to get more angry at the media and fans for the team blowing then he does at the Coaches or players who are the ones sucking. The media and fans pay for ur sorry ass to to do this…GO F urself it the arena A**hole.

    • Coaches…Fire em all they blow. Richt is a douche who seems to get more angry at the media and fans for the team blowing then he does at the Coaches or players who are the ones sucking. The media and fans pay for ur sorry ass to to do this…GO F urself it the arena A**hole.

      Awesome. Very rational analysis there. Definitely worth considering and taking seriously by the people who actually have to live with the results of such decisions. LMAO.

    • Mike

      what exactly do you mean by retard move? pretty insulting to think that all retards (that’s what you call them, right?) all move the same way. only a 7th grader would think that way.

  15. Daniel

    You guys really are fools. Even the senator is letting his emotions get the best of him.

    There is a point at which you can say that a team has underperformed consistently enough to condemn the staff. However, it’s not enough to say that we haven’t reached that point yet. We aren’t even close.

    Bad years happen in good programs, they can even happen two years in a row. Unfortunately, you just have to wait to find out whether the program has actually faltered in systemic, permanent sense, or whether it’s just taken a probabilistically expected dip.

    I know it hurts, and it hurts even more to not know why. And I’m not saying that the problems aren’t systemic. I’m just saying that if you are stating that they *are* with any confidence, then you are either uncommonly brilliant or commonly stupid. Judging from the rationale, it’s pretty clearly the latter.

    In the end, I don’t have any faith in the coaching staff, because I don’t work like that. But I do know that as a whole they certainly haven’t earned their walking papers.

    • Hear, hear. Very well put… but this type of rational analysis of the situation certainly doesn’t belong on the intertubes.

      Either start calling for Richt to be fired because of 1 crappy team out of 9 years or get out of here.

      • Daniel

        By the way, I feel a little bad for being so harsh, because I absolutely relate to the sentiment. Furthermore, while I think this result next year still wouldn’t quite warrant this kind of reaction, it would be close enough.

      • Anonymous

        Richt is 10-10 against the SEC East since 2006. So please knock off the talk of how great we were over the last decade. That isn’t great.

        • The decade started in 2006? Huh. Didn’t know that.

          And fwiw, we won a greater percentage of games in the 00’s than any other decade in UGA history. Fire Richt I guess.

    • rbubp

      So, your position is that Martinez and Fabris, particularly–the two assistants wit the shakiest records for the longest period, as far as any of us can see–should have another season to work things out?

      How many seasons is enough, probabilistically speaking, to determine that a change in leadership is necessary in defense and special teams?

      • Daniel

        No, I didn’t say anything about specific coaches. I was talking about the staff as a whole. Even after winning 4 national championships in a row, it might be worth firing your DC and special teams coach. How the hell should I know?

        I’m basing what I just said on the record of “the staff” as a whole, and I include in that whatever decision making processes the staff makes about promoting and replacing the position coaches. That’s where the math is actually pretty easy, and that’s why I can say what I did with confidence.

        • rbubp

          Right. That’s kind of what I thought. Yet,I think if you look at the majority of postings on this blog very few are actually calling for Richt’s head.

          So you might think twice about calling everyone fools when “everyone” is not saying what you claimed.

    • You guys really are fools. Even the senator is letting his emotions get the best of him.

      How, pray tell?

      Why don’t you give me a rational, logical defense of why Jon Fabris should continue to coach the kickoff coverage team. Lord knows I’d be interested in seeing what I’ve been missing these past two seasons.

      • rbubp

        Christ, no kidding. Texas_Dawg, insert your probablistic rationale for the retention of Fabris and/or Martinez here.

      • Daniel

        Again, I don’t have one. Why should I? I don’t pretend to know enough to hold strong positions on whether coach X should stay on.

        In fact, if I were forced to fire a coach out of my ignorance, Fabris would indeed get the axe.

        Then again, I’ve heard it said that UGA is unique in it’s reluctance to put first teamers on special teams. For all I know, changing that alone would fix all of our problems.

        • So you don’t have enough knowledge to make a judgment as to whether a coach should stay or go, but anyone who’s made up his or her mind otherwise is a fool, regardless of the reason. Based on what, exactly?

          • Daniel

            If they are so sure in their beliefs that they *know* that if Richt doesn’t do exactly what they think should be done, that he needs to go?

            Yes, foolish is a good word, although in fairness I did acknowledge the possibility of brilliance.

      • Daniel

        Further, when I say that you are letting your emotions get the best of you, I am referring to your ever more thinly veiled references to the security of Richt’s job.

        • I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I certainly haven’t called for Richt’s head – quite the contrary.

          But if you think he’ll be able to stand pat after this season without there being any repercussions, you’re dreaming. And that’s purely an observation based on what I’ve seen and heard in the past three months.

          • Daniel

            No, you haven’t. But your post today prominently links to someone who is asking what should be regarded as a very silly question. To what end, sir?

            My guess is that you think Richt’s loyalty will prevent him from making changes which you deem necessary, and that the only way to get him to do otherwise is if he feels personally threatened. So you give voice to something like that. Is that the idea?

            If so, maybe that’s a sound strategy, but I hope you are considering all that is entailed by making Richt feel unwelcome.

            • Daniel, I don’t know if you went to the game last night. I don’t know how many people you talk to who give money to the program. All I can tell you is that there are a lot of very unhappy people right now, and I’m not talking about the small percentage of assholes who are never going to be happy unless Georgia wins every game by at least three touchdowns and plays for the national championship every year.

              I’m talking about the average fan who buys season tickets every year and supports the team in a rational way. I’ve seen Donnan lose those folks and I saw Goff lose them as well. Richt’s not at the same place yet, but he’s burning up his good will with them at an alarming rate. And if he leaves this staff in place after this season, it will be totally gone.

              That question that I linked to comes from one of the more supportive Georgia bloggers out there. And it was a question that was on the minds of many, many people last night, judging from what I heard.

              As for what you believe I think, obviously I can’t control that, but all I can tell you is that I doubt MR has made his mind up to do anything one way or another right now and won’t until after the season. As for the “personally threatened” comment, don’t be silly. This team, by any measure, has had a poor season. I would be disappointed in Evans for not asking pointed questions in its wake and in Richt for not having solid answers to Evans’ questions.

              I would also be disappointed to find that either one of them was reacting to the opinions of an anonymous blogger.

              • Daniel

                I think we could be dangerously close to consensus, actually, with one important caveat.

                I don’t know how many hits your blog gets, but there does seem to be a considerable apetite for football blogs, presumably among the most interested fans. And I hate to say it in this context, but I estimate your blog to be the best, and so I’m guessing it has some non-trivial effect on the general attitude of the fan base. My impression is that the fan base is what ultimately leads to an HC being terminated, so I’m a little surprised by your last comment there.

                Right now emotions are riding high, as you said. Emotion is inversely correlated to reason, and I’m concerned that things may get out of hand. We’ve got a likely loss to Tech next week leading into a very uncomfortable off season. Criticize to the best of your ability where it is warranted, but where it is *not* I would love to see you temper fan reaction, rather than inflame it (or give credibility to posts which do so).

                • Criticize to the best of your ability where it is warranted, but where it is *not* I would love to see you temper fan reaction, rather than inflame it (or give credibility to posts which do so).

                  Which is why I’ve asked for some reasons to explain Fabris’ mindset on kickoff coverage for the last two seasons. Don’t blame my emotions, or call those who disagree with you foolish – give me something concrete that’s worthy of debate and commentary.

                  I appreciate your praise for GTP, but even with the steady increase in traffic here, I’d think you’d be disappointed in where it fits in with regard to the attitude of the fan base. I’m small potatoes, as I’ve pointed out wryly before. And when it comes to the actual decision makers as that relates to the future of the program, I’m invisible.

                • And one more thing – it’s probably not wise to equate the passions you see in anonymous commenters at a blog with the general sentiment of those people who stroke the checks. Those folks, by and large, aren’t going to get emotional. They’re just going to put their checkbooks away. That, in turn, will get Damon Evans emotional. ;)

                  • Daniel

                    I don’t disagree with any of that, but I would point out that though you are invisible, your ultimate influence may not be.

                    Anyway, this conversation thread is getting absurdly narrow, and I have actual work to do, so I’ll leave it at that :)

                • saildawg

                  “My impression is that the fan base is what ultimately leads to an HC being terminated, so I’m a little surprised by your last comment there.”

                  Do people really believe this? Guys lets make no bones about it, the pressure from the fan base doesn’t matter, the only real way changes get made is when the Don Leeburn types demands that changes be made or his sizeable yearly donation will be withheld.

            • Mattr

              If for one think that it should be results oriented. And, the results are not good. If Richt cannot self evaluate his weaknesses, that will be his undoing.
              Let’s face it, there is enough knowledge to look at the results exhibited by the kickoff coverage, the high rate of penalties, and other things to conclude (and this doesn’t take rocket science) that something is out of whack. And after watching the progression of a season, it has NOT improved. What does that tell you? It tells me that we cannot change to system to work for us, but rather, we must change those in the system to do what they cannot do. Which is more likely to result in success? In the end, we are all judged on results, not how good a person we are. Remember, ‘you are hired for what you know, you are fired for who you are’.

      • How, pray tell?

        You’re pretty rational most of the time, but pretending that Mark Richt can’t recover from this loss (or that should even be a concern), largely due to your refusal to write this crappy team off for what it is (a Joe Cox holdover off the back of 21 wins the past 2 years) with the mulligan Mark Richt has more than earned after 6 top 10 finishes in his first 8 years, is just being over-dramatic in a way you normally aren’t.

        “Fabris/Martinez need to go” is a nice switch-a-roo from “Richt can’t recover from this” (so why not fire him now, right?). I don’t know anyone who would argue against the former, even if some of us don’t celebrate the need for the move as much as others.

        • With all due respect, I think that’s a fairly gross distortion of what I’ve posted, TD.

          I’ve never said that Richt’s hit some point of no return. What I have said is that he’s burning through the good will he’s accumulated at an alarming rate and that if he chooses to stand pat with his staff this offseason, he’ll have to live with the consequences of that.

          Nor have I said that any coach “needs to go”. The strongest thing I’ve said is that I don’t see how MR can stand pat with the way the special teams have performed this year. I do believe that Fabris has done a very poor job with the kickoff team and needs to be relieved of his responsibilities there, but that isn’t the same thing as demanding that he be shitcanned.

          And I’ve also got to say that I find your whole “shit happens” spin for the way this season has played out to be unconvincing. I doubt even MR feels that’s an adequate explanation for what’s gone on. After all, he realized that there were problems that needed to be addressed after last season. He just didn’t come up with the proper remedies.

    • Dog in Fla

      “You guys really are fools….[or] uncommonly brilliant or commonly stupid. Judging from the rationale, it’s pretty clearly the latter.”

      Forget it, Daniel, around here you won’t get anywhere with flattery. The foolish or stupid, or both, angles have been used by supporters of various and sundry coaches since the first quarter of the West Virginia Sugar Bowl following the ’05 season and for those hyper-irritated Georgia fans down here, two decades ago, the last time we were competitive with Florida.

      Yes, I realize we have beaten Florida three times in the past twenty games, the intervening #2 ranking and last year when we won the pre-season National Championship, but our program hasn’t really been the same since Rich Rod opened up the Sugar Bowl by knocking both of our front teeth out to start the game…

      http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/10687810/

      During the first half of Richt’s time here, when we lost, at least we were competitive and didn’t get blown out and didn’t lose to teams we historically don’t lose to. That has not been the case during the second half of Richt’s time here.

      Coaches who underperform should not have the same duration as a geological era. They bench players who underperform all the time. Were some of our coaches in the private sector, they would have been gone a long time ago.

      The ‘what does it take to get fired from the Georgia coaching staff’ still remains a mystery to me because, except maybe for one who left because of some behavior problem and one who went back to Texas for its retirement plan, it hasn’t happened since Donnan was fired and Richt was hired. In other words, as far as I know, Richt has not fired an assistant coach for not performing. Unless I’m mistaken and could very well be, Richt even took Fabris back when he quit Georgia to go to Oklahoma. Now I’m all for rehab and everything but the most secure positions of employment within the State of Georgia have to be those positions on the Georgia football coaching staff.

      • Daniel

        Again, I would mention that I’m not a supporter of any coach, except possibly Richt. Even then, when I see concrete evidence that his personnel decisions won’t take us where we want to go, I’m right on board with you guys.

        Most importantly, if it’s true, that evidence will accumulate (and is accumulating) just fine.

        • Scott

          Daniels says “when I see concrete evidence that his personnel decisions won’t take us where we want to go, I’m right on board with you guys.”

          ARE YOU BLIND? What more evidence do you need? Are you waiting for a confession by Richt or Martinez.

          5 defensive collapses last season, and more of the same this year. The evidence was clear after GT humiliated us at home last year. Recall those 4 third quarter touchdowns we gave up.

          What’s sad is that the 34 points we gave up to Kentucky ranks in the top half of our defensive performances the past two seasons. There are 9 worse.

          It’s a shame that we wasted some great talent and chances to win a national title. The blowout Tennessee handed to us in 2007 kept us out of the BCS title game. Last year we were the consensus preseason No. 1, and then gave up 38 points or more five times.

          I am one of those fools who thinks Richt needs some heat. I standby my opinion that Richt needs to be fired if again retains Martinez. This team can’t win with Martinez, so if it takes firing Richt to get a new DC, then it is what needs to be done.

          Why are we so afraid of making Richt uncomfortable? He is an SEC coach. He can handle the heat.

          Daniel, please elaborate on this concrete evidence you require. How many more disappointing seasons before you get on board?

          • Can you name a point at which Richt has kept a coach that clearly would have been fired were he at another program?

            Do you think DCs get fired (as you are apparently thinking Martinez should have been after last year) in reality because of one bad, injury-filled season after 3 previous seasons where the defense ranked top 4 in the conference?

            It really doesn’t appear that you pay much attention to how CFB generally operates outside of your warped tunnel vision on UGA.

            But whatever. Fire Richt. Hire Derek Dooley. Good luck with that, dude.

            • 69Dawg

              Easy none of our coaches would be on another staff except for CSS. The rest are no name hacks.

            • Scott

              Mack Brown fired DC Larry Mac Duff after one season (2007) and hired Will Muschamp. Les Miles fired his DC after last season, despite LSU shutting down a GT offense that embarrassed UGA. Spurrier and Tuberville, who have won the MNC, fired coordinators often.

    • Mattr

      I don’t work like that either Daniel. In my world, that kind of problem would get someone in trouble, right quick. I don’t care what you have done for me in the past (see Bobby Bowden). It is where are we going now.

      But… we won’t Richt will get another year. And I think it probably right that he get it. But, if it doesn’t improve (and the penalties need to improve dramatically), then he is not the man to lead UGA anymore. It is as simple as that.

    • 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 were all bad years.

      Yes, even 2007. There was absolutely no excuse for throwing away the SC and Tenn games. The #2 ranking was totally undeserved and resulted largely from the BS hype of that horrible Hawaii team we destroyed. USC would have obliterated us.

      So we are now at 4 years in a row of underperforming, disappointing teams.

      That’s more than “one bad year.”

  16. Scott

    UGA has given up 218 points in SEC games. Florida has given up 96 points, Bama 64, Ole Miss 135, and LSU 120 points in SEC games. We were worst in the SEC east, and it appears only Miss. St. will finish worse (208 points with a game to play).

    The SEC powers are better by leaps and bounds.

    WOW.

  17. Julie

    At this low point, it’s going to come down to loyalty v. stupidity. Richt hasn’t gotten this far by being an idiot.

  18. Scottdavid329

    In reply to Daniel and TexasDawg and I’m sure a few others, I don’t think that Mark Richt should be fired…I don’t think most rational people when they cool down will either. There are certainly some people that are a bit hotheaded about it…though I don’t think it’s fair to assume that they are illiterate or didn’t go to college.

    The facts as I see them are that if everyone were of the opinion that everything is fine and Mark Richt can do no wrong that he would not even consider making changes on his staff. If all fans of all schools were blindly loyal than Chan Gailey would still be coaching at Tech and Phil Fulmer would still be at Tennessee.

    I haven’t been coming to this blog for all that long but as far as TexasDawg goes, I’d imagine you catch as much flak as you do not because you’re a MR supporter, but that you seem to feel that anyone that has an opinion that differs from yours is somehow inferior to you.

    • I haven’t been coming to this blog for all that long but as far as TexasDawg goes, I’d imagine you catch as much flak as you do not because you’re a MR supporter, but that you seem to feel that anyone that has an opinion that differs from yours is somehow inferior to you.

      Not at all, fwiw. I just don’t pretend that people endlessly bashing Richt and wanting him fired (many of these being people who have been doing this consistently since Auburn ’01, fwiw… as much complete failure on their part as that entails) are rational people or people who pay much attention to CFB beyond their own tunnel vision on UGA (i.e. enough attention to know that there are people just like them at every major program as well, including programs with coaches they would certainly want at UGA instead of Richt).

      • rbubp

        Everyone who is bashing him doesn’t want him fired. Gross oversimplification seems to be your m.o., T_D. Maybe it’s time to STFU on that.

  19. dawgfan17

    Richt has two choices. Option 1, fire Martinez, get a good DC that shows improvement and thereby get himself more time to win back his goodwill.
    Option 2, keep Martinez and deal with the pressure that will be on the team to play near perfect in every game and to win an SEC title or bust. Every mistake will be amplified if Martinez is kept and probably nothing less than perfection will make fans happy. Not saying that is right or wrong but just the cold reality of the situation. I personally think Richt is a good coach and would love to see him at UGA for years to come but with how ultra competative the SEC is right now you are either moving forward or you are falling behind. For the moment it seems we are falling behind and I hope I am right that Richt will quickly get us turned back around.

  20. Mattr

    A question I have had is, do we not have everything that we need to win at Georgia consistently? Don’t we have some of the best facilities? We recruit well or it appears that we recruit well. Yet we are having some very real difficulties. These things have become thematic. Interceptions here and there, penalties galore(!), poor coverage week after week on kickoff (SSDD), more than questionable defense. It seems to be a continuation of the same ole picture, nothing has changed (hence my comment earlier about the game moving by Richt).

    I do want to point out something though. Florida seems to be doing quite well and you can’t tell me that they have fantastically better athletes than we do. So by the process of elimination, I am led to the opinion that it is coaching (although I may be wrong, it could be the location of the game… I mean it could couldn’t it?). Occam’s Razor implies the simplest explanation is the true one. And I have concluded that we need changes in coaching or, OR our coaches need to change their gameplans and attack from a different direction. Are we getting that? I think not.

  21. lUKe

    While UK may be 7th in the SEC in kickoff returns, Derrick Locke is #1 and had already returned one kick for 49 yards.

    • Locke averages just a shade over 30 yards per return.

      Kentucky’s starting field position following kickoffs Saturday night: UK 36, UK 37, UK 49, UK 31, UK 25, UGA 49.

      Even if you assume that he fields every kick, kicking to the goal line is the better strategy.

  22. 69Dawg

    CMR is a fine man and he was one of the best OC’s and QB coaches of the 1990’s on a team that had its opponents so out manned that little things like penalties barely slowed them down. Fast forward to 2000 and a 15 year assistant takes over a program that has historically been mediocre at best. He brings a quick change to the program during a brief down period of the upper programs of the SEC. After several years he decides to turn the QB’s and O over to a young and inexperienced coach. He readily admits that he is unsure of what to do now that he is no longer calling plays. He visits with CEO’s that tell him he should surround himself with good assistants and let them do their jobs. Unfortunately for him his direct assistants, the OC and DC are not good enough to control their independent and higher paid subordinate coaches with job titles that give the appearance of higher places in the food chain. These job titles have become very strange for any organizations and tend to confuse the players and fans as to who exactly is in charge of what. When you have more job titles than a bank maybe nobody knows what the organizational structure really is. Anyway, we have been living through the On the Job training of a head coach for 9 years now and this year he gets to show us if he has learned enough to do the right thing or if he still thinks the Bobby Bowden school of coaching as a family business is the best model. Time will tell but I’m not buying season tickets next year for the first time in 25 years cause I’m not paying to see more of the same. Don’t feel bad for me, I have enough cumulative giving over that time to get tickets back any time I want.

    • Dog in Fla

      +1

      Were I to bet on it, all my money would be that the answer is “he still thinks the Bobby Bowden school of coaching as a family business is the best model.”

      Were he to change, it would be an admission that he was wrong in the first place over nine years. Notwithstanding an outward projection of humility and gratefulness for being here, i think he is far too stubborn, or tactfully, too resolute, to ever admit that his business model was wrong. If his model fails, so does he and he’s ain’t anywhere near thinking he’s failing in the first place despite not delivering on the high-caliber talent that he and his coaches recruit and we are certainly grateful for those recruits.

      An assistant may be quietly guided and directed to a position elsewhere or suddenly on his own volition want to spend a lot of time with his family (an unlikely Christmas Miracle), but even that is not going to change Mark Richt’s approach.

      69 from your posts, we know of his mentor and we know the business model that Mark has chosen to adopt from his mentor and we have seen over the past 3 to 4 years that that model just does not get it done at either place.

      We are living with the fact that almost everyone, including me, fell all over ourselves and gave Mark the impression that he can do no wrong because of his early success. No one thought about bringing the accountability factor back into the picture.

      The only thing that will change it is an economic boycott to get Damon or Adam’s attention, things such as 69 and others not renewing after 25 years will get somebody’s attention. Non-season ticket holders and non-contributors like me bitching won’t.

      It’s a who’s going to throw mama from the train nightmare for FSU. Not nearly that bad for us. Yet. But still a very good preview. Give it another year or so with still bad results and we’ll have the same dilemma that FSU has – who’s going to throw mama from the train. I mean it’s so bad there that when one DC finally is eased out, the old man wants to hire the replacement for the new guy-in-waiting which is not too cool with him.

      Of course, no matter what many think of him, I think Adams has more ability to control what’s going on at Georgia compared to the FSU President. Adams still has to agree on who goes and who stays bu he’s the one who disagreed with Dooley on firing Donnan so Adams had a direct hand in Richt’s hiring. Adams, too, is too ‘resolute’ to ever admit that he’s wrong in hiring Richt so Richt’s got to feel good with Adams still around. Maybe the NCAA will lure him away from us.

      My prediction: same coaching staff next year as we have this year, the only caveat being that one or perhaps more may be guided elsewhere to ensure they are still making similar money but no one is ever going to be ‘fired’ by Mark Richt. In the meantime, we think we are just at the beginning of the beginning and Mark thinks there is nothing to begin with because he’s got it all under control, stable and headed in some direction.

      I have to give a tip of my hat to all those who predicted exactly what we are going through now, especially when hard-workers Urban came into and Nick returned to the league. I thought those who predicted we would slip back were wrong but they weren’t. When you get the talent we have and once again all credit to Mark and his coaches for doing so, it’s a double-edged sword: you’ve got to do something with it. You know who probably is enjoying what’s going on at Georgia? Spurrier. He predicted it when we had Goff.