Moving to Montana

Okay, fess up – who’s been talking to Stewart Mandel?

… If Georgia runs off Richt this year, it will be textbook Clemson/Ole Miss Syndrome. (Note the example cited in that link: Minnesota. How’s that working out?) Historically, Georgia is more prestigious than either of those teams — but not as much as Dawgs fans like to think. In all my travels, I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a fan base whose self-perception is so far from reality. Georgia fashions itself a national power in the vein of Ohio State, USC, et. al., based primarily off one glorious three-year run 30 years ago with Herschel Walker (and some kick-butt years in the 1940s)…

For the record, I’ve never even been to Montana.

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88 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

88 responses to “Moving to Montana

  1. Castleberry

    Damn. I thought this would be a post about Frank Zappa.

    Gonna be a dental floss tycoon

    What a guitar solo…

    How far off could our perception be? I wonder where Mandel would put us versus our perception.

    Certainly we’d be in his top 20, right?

  2. Dante

    Someone’s never been to College Station, TX. That’s all I’m saying…

  3. Biggus Rickus

    I actually perceive Georgia to be on par with someone like Tennessee, somewhere between 10 and 15 historically depending on how you evaluate it. Is that different from most Georgia fans?

    I heard a radio host down here explaining that Georgia is not an elite program. To which I say: that depends on how you define elite.

    • Biggus Rickus

      More importantly, there’s no reason to think that if Georgia got the right coach they couldn’t do what Alabama and Florida are currently doing given the amount of talent in the state and the ability to draw from Florida.

    • mdr

      We’re 11th all-time in wins and 13th all-time in winning percentage. We’ve won two national titles (not counting the ones that are obscure but still recognized by the NCAA), had 67 All-Americans, tons of bowl victories and individual award winners, and there are 11 dawgs in the college football hall of fame.

      Top 12-15 by any measure. Mandel is an idiot.

  4. Normaltown Mike

    When did Ohio State become the standard bearer for Big-10 greatness over Michigan?

    Isn’t Ohio State’s greatness confined to some kick butt years under Woody, and one glorious season 8 years ago?

    If a writer in Montana elevates Ohio State to denigrate Georgia, does anyone notice?

    • Kevin

      Michigan has the most wins all time.

      UGA is there around 10 or 11.

      UGA sends a bunch of kids to the NFL, has the second most 1st overall picks of any school.

      I would think we are a top 10 (probably number 10) historical school.

    • Will (the other one)

      And by “glorious” you meant “lucky, and aided by a ref” right?

      Or is Mandel giving them special treatment for running away from a middling Big 10 and getting their butts whupped in consecutive national title games?

  5. Objective Bama Fan

    Georgia is definitely a top 10 program, with the chance to become a top 5 program.

  6. Josh

    This reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about lately…

    Periodically over the last few years when the lunatic fringe would get up in arms and call for Richt’s head, the argument against was always “who are you going to hire that’s better than him?”

    For reasons related both to what Mandel insinuates above, but moreso to Richt’s until-recently-unimpeachable record in the toughest conference in the land, I reflexively agreed with that sentiment… he might not be perfect, but who else would be better? Very few, if any.

    But consider:

    1. 2-7 in last 9 SEC games
    2. far too many associated “legal entanglements”
    3. no SEC title in 5 years, and little reason to see one coming anytime soon
    4. a widely held perception that the program is going in the wrong direction, since winning the SI preseason national championship in 08

    Given this, is “who would we get that’s any better?” any longer an automatically foolish question?

    I don’t think so. Doesn’t mean Richt has to go. But it’s no longer laughably stupid to even consider the issue.

    This makes me sad.

    • Hackerdog

      I agree that Richt is no longer considered untouchable, but the question is still valid.

      I’ll be on board with firing Richt if we can hire Saban, although I think we’re more likely to hire me than him. But after that, things start to get questionable. Would Muschamp be an upgrade? Who knows? Would Petersen be an upgrade? Possibly. He has a good record, but most of his wins are against cupcakes. Getting your team up for 2 big games a year is a lot different than getting it up for 5 in a row.

      If UGA continues playing poorly, then the scale tips more in favor of the unknown. But right now, I’m not ready to suggest we name Derek Dooley, or David Pollack as Coach-in-Waiting.

    • 81Dog

      who’s better is not an automatically foolish question, but it’s not exactly a given that anyone UGA could get would be better. The response I get a lot lately to that question is: Lots of people!!!!!

      well, start naming names, and it becomes a little less automatic, at least to me. Alabama’s a storied program, right? Lots of resources, fanbase that will “do what it takes.” How many times did they miss (sometimes badly) between the Bear and Saban? Or Stallings and Saban? But for sheer, blind luck, Rich Rodriguez wouldn’t have pulled a Cremins, and he’d be in Tuscaloosa working the same magic he’s working for the more patient, easier to please people in Ann Arbor.

      I have no doubt plenty of people would be interested if the job came open. I have lots of doubt that any of them would clearly, or even arguably, be better than Richt at this point. That’s not to say he is irreplaceable; clearly, he isn’t. That’s not to say he gets a pass forever due to the uncertainty of improving on him: clearly, he doesn’t.

      But, who? TCU guy? Is he the next Meyer, or the next Franchione, who won impressively at A&M and then wet the bed in the SEC at Alabama. Boise guy? Is he better than the guy who built the program, who is currently hanging on for his life in Boulder, where they’ve won a national championship more recently than UGA? Utah guy? Meyer has prospered, so that’s a mark in his favor. Can lightning strike twice? Would he be a good fit in the SEC? Can he humble his former boss? Who knows?

      Assistant coaches? You want to give the keys to a guy who’s never driven the car after grounding a guy who’s taken us to 3 Sugar Bowls, winning 2 of them? Texas looked great against UCLA last week on D, didn’t they? As for Kirby Smart, all I can say is: Really? THAT’s the guy?

      UGA has hired talented mercenaries in basketball. Tubby Smith, Harrick. Do we want a Saban clone who may or may not win, but will always be looking for the next gig? Sure, Richt can be replaced. Everyone can. I just think before anyone talks about blowing up the program, there ought to be a little more certainty about who replaces him, and a lot less hoping. Faith is a great thing, but I’d rather put my faith in a guy who’s done what Richt has done at UGA than some guy who did something in a lesser school in another part of the country, or did it under the iron fist of a control freak like Saban.

      I could be wrong. I’m not happy we’re losing, but I don’t see any clearly better alternatives at the moment. I can’t begrudge anyone their outrage, or their desire to right the ship. I want to win, too. Richt has been loyal to us when things were going good. He didn’t pull a Saban (or a Tubby Smith) and bolt for a better job as soon as he could. He didn’t start lobbying to replace Bowden whenever the job would open at FSU. He cast his lot with UGA, and firmly told everyone who would listen “This is where I want to be as long as they’ll have me.” I think he’s entitled to a little loyalty in return, or at least, a chance to dig in and right the ship. Not forever, but for this year, for sure. He didn’t quit on us. I’m not quitting on him yet, partly because I see no obvious better alternative.

      Other folks may disagree, but that’s my view.

      • Dante

        I said it in another post but I like June Jones. I don’t like his offense but I’m amazed at what I’m seeing defensively at SMU. For recruits who probably don’t even get stars, they look well-disciplined and well-coached.

        I also like Patterson. I also wouldn’t be opposed to letting Grantham takes the big boy reins if he had a solid plan with what to do on personnel. But I think our overall strategy should be to take a head coach who has a good track record at one or more smaller schools and give them the opportunity to replicate that at a big school.

        When it comes down to it, cutting Richt might be a step backwards but at this point I’m starting doubt we can take any further steps forward without doing so.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1.

      • Hobnail_Boot

        At this point, given what we already know of McGarity, I’d be shocked if Kyle Whittingham isn’t at the top of his short list.

      • Marshall

        I’ll echo the sentiments of the others: very good post 81Dog! It very much articulates what I’ve been feeling lately…although it seems like, at least in my neck of the woods, I’m in a shrinking minority–craziness!

      • sUGArdaddy

        James Joseph Harbaugh. He’d take it in a heartbeat. Ultra-competitive and wants to prove his stock against the country’s best, and you get to play the country’s best week in and week out in the SEC.

        I know, I know, he’ll bolt for the NFL. Just like Meyer was gonna bolt for South Bend. People change when they start getting paid a lot and start winning championships and 90,000+ show up to watch it every week.

        But I agree w/ 81Dog, you don’t ever really know what you’re gonna get. The question we have to ask ourselves is can it get worse. I mean, surely there’s a coach out there that can lead us to victories against UK, FakeUSC, and Miss. St.? Right? Richt’s earned the right to turn it around this year. But I don’t know if he can survive 5-7. Lot’s of guys can take us to 5-7.

        • Will (the other one)

          Harbaugh would make my list.
          Doesn’t have the recruiting advantages of USC, or the resources of Oregon, but took his and whipped both of them last year.

          A former NFL QB, but has his teams play like a defensive or offensive line coach. They play tough, smart football, and their game against Oregon is the non-SEC game I’m looking forward to the most. (Chip Kelly would be on a hypothetical list too, but he just got a contract extension, and Oregon has Nike money.)

      • Will (the other one)

        To quibble a bit, Franchione did pretty well at Bama before the DuBose-era sanctions started to kick in — he quit them for TAMU, they didn’t want him to leave.
        I think part of the issue is when Bama and Florida did their most recent HC searches, the answers were fairly obvious (even if Bama didn’t wind up with their 1st choice.)
        The only great college coach in the NFL (our future Saban) right now? Pete Carroll, who would have NCAA baggage (and isn’t struggling yet with Seattle).
        Boise’s Peterson might be the current Urban, but I’d be nervous about pulling the trigger based on fact that he could turn out to be Dan Hawkins, pt. 2. (With a note that the potential dark horse might be Kevin Sumlin at Houston–sure they pass it a bazzillion times, but rushed for 1,800+ last season too, and beat Okie St. And Missy St.)

  7. The Realist

    This is absurd. Georgia is 11th in all-time wins, and 13th in winning percentage. No one (reasonable) at Georgia believes it is the greatest program of all-time, or should churn out national titles every other year. But, there is a difference between being perennially in the top 10 to 15 teams in the country and being outside the top 25. Georgia should not be outside the top 25 teams for any stretch of time… much less 1-3 and only seeing distant hope to ever be ranked this season.

    But, for the record, the teams most closely ranked to Georgia in terms of wins, and winning percentage is LSU. Georgia is slightly ahead of them in both categories. Should Georgia not expect to be equitable to LSU’s program, and does LSU not garner national respect nearing USC or Ohio State?

    I guess he’s been talking to a Florida fan. They don’t believe college football existed prior to 1990.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Actually among SEC schools UGA and FLA are in a statistical dead heat since WWII at about 66% with AUB and LSU 1 percentage point back at about 65%. Bama is ahead at about 70% and UT is next with about 69%. Nationally BAMA is 7, UT is 9, UGA is 12 and FLA is 13, with AUB 16 and LSU 17. This is for all games not just conference games. The SEC is a very competitive conference. Personally I think any team in the top 20 that plays in the SEC is an “elite” team. See http://www.michigan-football.com/ncaa an interesting site that has such info for every school and conference. The truth is if UGA had won the WLOCP instead of FLA we would be so much of an elite team that assholes like Mandel would get laughed out of the sports business for making such a statement. Alas, losing that one game each year regularly keeps us out of the SEC Championship game and thus the BCSNC game, thereby depriving UGA of the opportunity to get the BCSNC trophy. That is why we have to do SOMETHING different to turn the tide and win that game. Right now, we have other things to worry about but this too shall pass. In the long run we have to beat FLA regularly again for the program to be what we want it to be.

  8. KornDawg

    92,000 fans in the seats every Saturday has to count for something, right?

  9. Senator,

    I don’t know what Mandel considers an ‘elite program’…perhaps multi MNC’s within the past decade or at least getting to the show? However, within the past decade when you look at winning percentage, BCS Bowl appearences, Bowl Records, recruiting, Conference Title Appearences (albeit, not recently), Richt’s record, and top ten finishes UGA is top ten…period.

    Now if we’re talking about 2008-2010, then no, we are not. Apparently Mandel cannot comprehend such radical mathematical theories such as averages, means, and standard deviation. Later today, I’ll be posting my thoughts on this subject at hailtothee.com. Toodles.

    -Inspector G

  10. AthensHomerDawg

    No matter.
    Richt is ….
    9-4
    11-2
    10-3
    8-5
    since his last SEC Championship in 2005. In that time frame he won his division and placed 2nd in the nation polls. I do believe we have some bragging rights since #34. I got no clue as to the O line’s lack of production. I do know it is a “whathave youdoneformelately” world in the SEC. Don’t know who has a better record than Richt worth hiring, who would also be secure in bailing his current job and embracing the meat grinder that is the SEC, not to mention the fan base. I’ve never experienced much success with ….”we have to do something”…”this is something” …. “good…let’s do it” business plans when a company is slipping! I’ve let go of my share of folks… still not enjoying it. If Richt is guilty of anything its promoting too much from within and not being rewarded. Does young D.Dooley have a brother that wants to coach….Barbara????????? “Change!” Change we can count on? …how’s that working?
    We are not “UT”!
    just sayin’

  11. Dog in Fla

    “who’s been talking to Stewart Mandel?”

    Mark?

  12. Toomdawg

    I have to say I have known a lot of delusional fans but I have never met ONE who would put us in the elite company he is describing. I think he is mistaking where we think we are with where we want to be and think we CAN be. Considering we have all the resources necessary, I don’t think that is a bad thing.

    • Ben

      Agreed. I think UGA fans have aspirations to be up there in the elite, and there’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be. With the talent our state produces and the drawing power from states like Alabama and Florida, UGA should always be in top 25.

      I feel this way about basketball, too. The state of Georgia is too big with too many resources for our basketball program to be so abysmal. I think Mark Fox has it headed in the right direction, and it’d be nice to see them make a few tournament runs. This is a football blog, though, so that’ll be the end of that.

  13. Irishdawg

    Between Mandel and Peter King, Sports Illustrated has some of the most ill-informed, unreadable hacks in sports reporting. Ohio State has fattened itself on a soft Big Ten schedule for years; same goes for Texas and USC. Georgia would probably have gone to the BCS title game a couple of times the past ten years too if we got to play Indiana or Washington State every year.

    • anon

      I haven’t read a Sports Illustrated in about 6 years.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1. Me, too. I stopped my subscription more than 20 years ago and haven’t even picked up the rag once in at least 10 years. Stupid mag designed to appeal to stupid people.

  14. Mandel is missing the point. Our perception is not framed by what’s been done, but rather by what’s possible. That’s fandom in a nutshell.

    And what’s possible for Georgia, given its prodigious resources (recruiting base, donor base, facilities, budget, etc.) is quite a lot. So, yeah, we expect a lot.

    Put another way, I think we should contend for titles not because of some misconception about how many games we won way back when, but because we’re the most profitable AD in the country, because the in-state talent pool is ridiculously good and because we have the facilities to develop and showcase that talent at the highest level. That’s not in dispute.

    • Josh

      +1

      what you said

    • SSB Charley

      Thanks, you said what I was going to. Nicely done. I don’t know if we can get anyone better, or if we should can CMR. But to think that we can’t compete at the level of Alabama, UF, USC, tOSU, OU or Texas is remarkably ignorant, particularly when our university is in a state that pumps out talent not only for our school, the NATS, and GSU, but for the SEC, ACC and much of the Big Ten as well, it isn’t too far-fetched to see us competing at the level of tOSU and beyond. Clemson, Ole Miss and Minnesota can’t begin to make the claims on success that we can.

  15. Chuck

    Stewart Mandel perceives himself to be a competent sportswriter, so I guess we are even.

    • Biggus Rickus

      The most damning statement I can think to make about the ability of traditional sportswriters is that Mandel is actually one of the better ones.

  16. Macallanlover

    Mandel is just another man’s opinion, albeit one who has the ability to reach and influence a large number of people due to hus position in the media. He is no more able to define what is, or isn’t, an “elite program” than any of us. What is indisputable is UGA ranks 11th in all time wins and has accomplished that in a conference that is generally conceded to be the best in the country. UGA has 12 SEC titles, trailing only two programs, and one of those has 13. Folks can assign their own label to that, I am comfortable that UGA is a program virtually every CFB fan will admit deserves respect for it’s accomplishments.

    Where Mandel has hit the mark is his impression of UGA’s fanbase. Regardless of how you feel about changes needed for our football program, the way large numbers of UGA fans express themselves in public forums is definitely an embarrassment. During the middle of the season, with players and recruits effected, thousands of “fans” are undermining any chance of turning things around this year, and dramatically lessening the chances of improvement in the next 2-3 seasons. This assault is not adding one, uno, positive to the 2010 team. Do any of you ever talk CFB with fans of other teams that doesn’t begin, or end, with discusion about what is going on at UGA? For once, we are the most talked about program, but it is in a very negative way. We may deserve the ranking as the most ridiculed program in all of CFB, and much of it is self-inflicted.

    No one doubts changes are needed, or that some/many will occur. But the destruction of our team from those who profess to love it is very sad. You only hurt the one you love is an old saying, but I think it is appropriate in this circumstance. We are committing suicide led by a group who thinks sharing their personal “expertise” on the internet, in newspaper column message boards, or on sports talk radio shows is sooooo important they forget to realize the damage they are doing and how little it results in that change……especially 1/3 of the way into the season! Dammit guys, there are better ways to handle this, and certainly a better time to do it.

    Sure, many programs are disgruntled, regardless of where they are ranked year in and year out. But the balanced fans of successful programs beat back those who would do damage, not at UGA these past 2-3 years, it fuels the insanity. I have never seen us so polarized, nor so many over people 21 acting like they are immature teenagers. The wild swings in emotions from UGA fans since the middle of 2006 until the present are just incredible. Are improvements needed? Absolutley. Will changes be made during the season and afterwards? A virtually guaranteed certainty. But it isn’t going to be a public lynching that turns things around, and no one is going to satisfy every wish that is being made.

    As stated before, I have dozens of conversations directly, and privately, every week with UGA fans about many of the concerns I see expressed here. They are not rants, or delusional attempts to dictate and over-power decision makers within the UGA program, and they are not made as if any of us have the perfect solutions. But they are also not overwhelmingly negative about every single aspect of UGA football. A little perspective…..please. I hate to see us take ourselves down in a spiral so far that we will not recover for years. As concerned as every one is, this is far, far from the Goff years, or the pre-Dooley years. Things can get better, and will, but not at the rate the fans are flying this plane into the ground. The amunition for F’Bomb and Mandel is being manufactured and supplied by UGA fans themselves so don’t deride them for bringing up the issues of hotseat, and delusion. It is on display daily, everywhere you turn.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      +1. God bless you, Mac.

    • carolinadawg

      “I hate to see us take ourselves down in a spiral so far that we will not recover for years. ”

      Too late, our coaches have already done that for us!

      To attack your fellow fans and try to somehow make this their fault is the height of absurdity.

      • Macallanlover

        Sorry, you miss my point. No where did I say the fans were responsible for the lack of a creative offensive scheme, or inability to win a chess match with DCs we face, or misjudging the talent coming out of HS, or more effective communication of disciplinary action, or poor selection of position coaches, or any of the other allegations made ad nauseum by the fanbase. I stated the way this very vocal group was going about dealing with this was destructive and would make magnify the problems the current coaching staff has, plus increase the difficulty any new coaches would face.

        Mid-season is not the time to publicly roast the players or coaches. And the public forums our fans have chosen to scream from daily are easily listened to by our competitors who recruit against, our potential recruits for the next couple of seasons, and the current players who might be more inclined to turn this season around who might like to feel we share their pain aand stand with them. That one is on the fans, and it is not absurd. To think this public hanging isn’t detrimental in each of these ways is simply naive.

        I respect there are many who feel differently, and they have certainly stated their opinions to anyone who will give them 10 minutes to unload. At least listen to the other side. We may not have the numbers or lung capacity of those screaming for immediate changes, but we care just as much about the Dawgs and have a right to state our case too.

    • Hobnail_Boot

      Your view is understandably Georgia-centric. That doesn’t make it incorrect, but it is not that much different that any fanbase’s view during hard times.

    • 81Dog

      I mostly agree with you, Mac. I’ve read that stock markets are largely creatures of investor confidence. Crashes occur when investors panic, booms occur when confidence is high.

      I’m not saying the last month has me bullish on Mark Richt’s personal stock, but I’m not bailing out on my investment at any price, either. Where our fan base is letting itself down, in my opinion, is this: the feeding frenzy of “Our staff is terrible. Our players are terrible. Blow the thing up.” No, public sentiment isn’t going to be the sole factor in whether it gets better or worse from here, but public calm, especially in the eyes of recruits, sure seems like it would make it more likely the ship can be righted. Say you’re a highly recruited kid who reads the interwebs. What are you going to conclude from the outpouring of wrath by some of our self described fans who “refuse to settle for mediocrity”? Hmmm. My potential coach may get run out of there; who knows who they bring in, or if I fit in their system? And are they going to quit on me and my team if we only win 9 games a year?

      If you’re one of the righteously outraged lynch mob, take a deep breath. Pull yourselves together. There will be plenty of time to panic, revolt or demand heads in December if things don’t improve. Right now, all the caterwauling isn’t making it any more likely things will get fixed.

      and I don’t care if “all the other fan bases are doing the same thing.” Isn’t part of the reason we consider ourselves better than Tech people or Auburn people or Tennessee people because we aren’t a bunch of unrealistic psychos? Why would we figure, hey, it’s ok to do what they do?

    • Julep

      Macallanlover: I think you’re on to something here. Once upon a time, I took almost as much pride in our fanbase as I did in our team. As an Athens native, double UGA grad, frequenter of at least a couple games a year for most of @35 years, and later a resident of Tennessee, I had ample opportunity to observe and compare our fans v others. Pre-Goff, my view was we had a great blend of fun, loud, confident and friendly fans, notwithstanding the presence of a number of drunken ” ‘ow ’bout dem dayum dawgs” types that had to be escorted out of Waffle Houses. We won games, we had Vince, Erk, Larry, Uga and the tracks, a beautiful campus and stadium, great town and a deep tradition–what’s not to love? I thought fans of some other teams were rude, whiny or prone to minor vandalism, though did think SC, Ole Miss and UK fans were well behaved, and Bama fans were just smug (including the Bear himself, confirmed by my sister after an encounter at a restaurant).

      But I think something happened to us in the Goff years. That was my first experience with UGA fans sitting on their hands during close games and, worse, booing their own team. Sure, there were groans and cussing in some of the down 70’s years, but not apathy or booing. Dooley had spoiled us, and some didn’t handle it too well when they saw teams not at least put up a determined fight.

      This attitude continued through the Donnan era, despite the improvements. I thought frustrated Georgia fans might storm the field if UCF had pulled off that last minute upset in ’99. But I don’t think I fully realized what sort of fan base we’d become until fans did storm the field, wrecking the hedges and goalposts after beating UT in 2000 and unapologetically bragging about it after. I’ve been castigated for criticizing that, but how can fans who committed outright vandalism pretend to be on some superior plane to fans of any second tier program? Why should they expect players to behave off the field if the fans misbehave on it?

      Now I can do no more than glance at message boards on the AJC and elsewhere. The rudeness, occasional racism, displays of ignorance, erratic pivots from irrational optimism to unreasonable pessimism, “fire X,” “fire Z” etc. do indeed make one embarrassed to realize these are kindred fans. Back in the day, I held up UT, AU and Clemson fans as the prime exemplars of bad behavior. Now I must admit that I’ve been treated better at Neyland (never, ever a problem) than some UT visitors have in Athens.

      I don’t hear such junk from fan friends, so I’m convinced this is still just a loud minority of an otherwise great fan base. But I do wish they’d recognize that they, too, represent the institution and the state. Criticize all you want to, but, please do it with some dignity, good humor–or at least editing!

      • Macallanlover

        Whatayahaving? I’m buying. We may get laughed at for being dinosaurs but I am not selling my integrity out to chase a faux title and act like those in the “ESPN age.”

        This blog had been pretty much exempt from that behavior until recently…occasional scumbag or two would pass through, but now some stress and adversity has broken a few more. Or they just decided to wallow in the slop with the bad guys. Sad, I know they were brought up better.

  17. Irishdawg

    Macallan, you make many valid points, but there is simply no way Georgia fans have acted more irrationally than say, Alabama fans pre-Saban or Florida fans during Zook’s tenure or LSU fans, well, ever.

    • Macallanlover

      You may be right, but whether we are record breakingly bad, or not, is irrelevant to me at this point. We should be better than this and not make an unacceptable situation much worse. I don’t know if we are worse than Bama, Florida, or TN were recently but I do know we are the “flavor of the month” this season. I am also convinced we are going to pay a price for this, and I don’t mean in a monetary way.

  18. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Al Golden is the next coaching superstar. He will likely take over Penn St, his alma mater, once JoePa dies, but someone would be wise to grab him before that.

    • 81Dog

      Once, that was said about Tommy West. And Brad Scott. I’m not saying Al Golden will be a bust, but until he gets a gig and runs the show, nobody knows.

      At least nobody is recommending Skip Holtz. Nothing personal against Skip, but I’m not sure I want to live in a world where Granny Holtz throws his support behind the Bulldogs.

      • The Original Cynical in Athens

        Damn, I thought a conference title at Temple would have counted for something.

        Guess that doesn’t count as “running the show” anymore.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          It counts as running the show in ThirdRateville. Plus, if as you say he’s such a likely hire for Penn State post Joe Pa, he would likely want to go to Happy Valley and just use us a a stepping stone.

          • The Original Cynical in Athens

            What kind of crack are you smoking?

            Not to play into Mandel’s theory here, but UGA is NEVER GOING TO BE A STEPPINGSTONE PROGRAM.

            It is one of the 10 best jobs in America.

            You are, without question, too stupid to give your opinions and expect anyone to take them seriously.

            Do some research on Golden, you numbnuts. Of course Temple is 3rd rate-ville. They just went to the 3rd BOWL IN THE HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM.

            • 81Dog

              you kind of sound like most UT fans would have sounded last Christmas if you asked them if Kiffin was using the UT job as a stepping stone. I’m just sayin’……

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              You must be a yankee. Also a particularly stupid one. Of course UGA is not a steppingstone program you idiot! That’s the point. The guy you are talking about would bail on us because he’s a Penn State alum and probably has wanted to coach there his whole life. He’d leave Southern Cal for PSU. What you are advocating is the football equivalent to hiring Tubby Smith. He will take the job and run out on us as soon as he gets an offer from Penn State. Plus his overall record is 21-30. You must be a total moron. Go back to Philly or wherever you crawled out from.

        • 81Dog

          Running the show at Temple isn’t like running the show in the SEC. Jim Donnan ran the show at Marshall, all the way to a 1AA championship. Rich Rodriguez ran the show at W Virginia. Ask the Michigan folks how he’s working out for them.

          How good has Penn State been since he’s been there? They haven’t been better than UGA, have they? Do you think the Big Televen is a tougher league than the SEC? Can Al Golden recruit? Can he recruit down here? Is he going to blow up the offensive and defensive schemes we currently run? How will our current roster fit his systems? Will we have to get Michigan bad before we get better?

          I’m not saying Al Golden can’t coach. I’m saying nobody, including Al Golden, knows if he can coach in the SEC, especially at UGA. I admire your faith in the guy, but our current guy ran the offense at a place that had a couple of Heisman winners and national championships and finished in the top 5 for 15 straight years while he was at FSU. He’s won SEC titles and BCS bowl games at UGA. Are you suggesting that’s a worse resume than Al Golden brings to the table because Al won some games at Temple? (I admit that’s not an accomplishment to sneer at, and I’m not sneering at it)

          Playing “what if” if your current coach is 3-9 after a couple of 6-6 years is one thing. I may be hopelessly myopic, but if the best bullet point for Al Golden is he won at Temple, I am happily sticking with Richt.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            You are actually being too kind 81Dog. Golden is 22-31 at Temple including a 3-1 start this season. By the way that’s in the MAC, the weakest D-IA conference in America. His best record so far in his career is 9-4. He may become a good (maybe even great) coach, and I hope for his sake and his family that he does, but UGA, one of the top programs in the country, has no business experimenting with this guy.

            • 81Dog

              he could be the next Urban Meyer. He could also be the next Tyrone Willingham. To quote the immortal Joaquin Andujar, youneverknow.

  19. hassan

    “If they can salvage things and win eight games, and still fire him … well, just take a look at Tennessee for a glimpse into their immediate future.”

    SM has NEVER written anything so true.

    • Will (the other one)

      We fired Donnan after he won 8 games and somehow survived that.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Donnan was actually the guy who turned the program around. His last 4 years he was 10-2, 9-3, 8-4 and 8-4. That’s 35-13 which is a win rate of 72.9%, almost exactly the same as VD. The problem was Donnan was inflexible (as well as prickly) and unwilling to make changes. As I understand the story, our fearless leader President Michael Adams ordered Donnan to make changes to his staff. One of those changes was to replace Donnan’s son, the QB coach. Donnan refused and was fired. Richt stepped into a great situation. The team was stocked with a lot of talent. All that really was needed was a spark and Richt provided that. I am concerned that the Donnan firing will be misinterpreted to mean that 8 wins is a floor that you must be above at UGA or else lose your job. If that were to become the case no top coach would ever come to Athens because a bad season is inevitable. Bear Bryant himself had years of 5-4-1, 6-5 and 6-5-1 at Bama and a 1-9 year at Texas A&M.

  20. Graduated in 2009 and actually got a Job!

    Skipping over the blatantly uninformed Mandel, I want to pose two questions: 1. Was our goal when we hired Richt to win a national championship? 2. How long do you give a coach to win that national championship? I’m going to go ahead and answer the first one (and according to Mandel I’m delusional for wanting the Bulldogs to win one) with a yes.

    Now for the much more debatable question 2. My view point is such, if you go a decade 90-27 versus 76-40 and in neither case win a NC, is there a difference? In my opinion, yes you had a much more enjoyable time not winning a NC but in the end you didn’t achieve your goal and I don’t care to win 10 games a year for the rest of my life with no NC. “Complacency is the crutch of the underachieving.” By the way, the 76-40 record is Alabama’s under three coaches within Richt’s tenure at Georgia. The point was to show you that you’d probably take the 76-40 record if you knew it came with a NC. You know what else came with that NC? Unrest and the balls to do what it takes to win (aka hire new coaches). I tend to agree with Macallanlover, its unproductive to knock your coach in mid-season. However, I think its important to hold on to this feeling just in case we end up finishing the season 8-5 or better. The hopes of winning a NC or SEC championship are over now, in the 5th week of the season, not hey we went 8-5 or 9-4 just need a few more wins. I think ten years is more than enough time to say you were loyal to a coach especially today in college football. Sorry for the length but I’m tired of the win/loss argument, its irrelevant if your goal is national freaking championships.

    Two other quick notes: um last time I checked Carrol and Saban were the only two coaches in the last decade to have had elite credentials before being hired. You make your bones as an athletic director by taking a risk, finding talent and bringing it to your school. Lastly, has anyone talked to an LSU fan lately? They wish Les Miles would choke on his white hat and they’ve won 2 big ones in the last 8 years, talk about delusional (that’s not even funny delusional, that’s like hey I won the lottery, twice, but I’m pissed I didn’t win last week).

    • 81Dog

      Congratulations on getting a job. Come back in about 10 years; you’ll be amazed at how much smarter everyone on here currently over the age of 23 has become.

      • Graduated in 2009 and actually got a Job!

        I’m 24, it took me an extra year but hey hopefully in ten years you’ll have a valid counter argument besides demeaning my age. And by the way, your little analogy to the stock market is comparing apples to oranges. Going off momentum is called trading (i.e. “Crashes occur when investors panic, booms occur when confidence is high”). When you put in ten years its called investing and when management starts to faulter you take your profits.

        • Graduated in Special Ed and lucky to get a job as a dishwasher

          If it took you that long to graduate maybe you are not so smart after all. Also, the word is spelled f-a-l-t-e-r.

          • Graduated in 2009 and got a Job!

            Two degrees, neither in English. I love to debate what I first wrote instead of trying to defend my age and guess what PAL I worked at a job similar to a dishwasher for a year before finding a career job instead of wasting your taxpayer money on an unemployment check.

            • Graduated in Special Ed and lucky to get a job as a dishwasher

              I can see that neither degree is in English. You use the J.D. Salinger “stream of consciousness” method of communication, apparently without intending to do so. Do you also babble incoherently?

            • Will (the other one)

              You’re out of college now. Please put the Ayn Rand away.

        • 81Dog

          I only have to make a valid counter argument after you make a valid argument, sparky. I’m pretty sure your long history of observing college football in general and UGA football in particular gives you a vast perspective, and we all appreciate your matchless insight. Imagine how much more impressive your wisdom will appear once you learn how to spell.

          Remember, it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Thanks for playing.

          • Graduated in 2009 and got a Job!

            Hey champ, I never claimed to have vast prespective or knowledge, just an opinion, if its wrong tell me why but don’t be a douche. Every older person I’ve ever met that ignored someone’s opinion because of their age was either a lifetime screw-up but considered his opinion golden or couldn’t hack it with people his own age due to immaturity. I’m gonna guess your either early thirties because of your first reply or early fifties because of your 81dog. If its the former then you just had your first couple of kids and think you’ve experienced everything and its time to tell everyone. If its the latter then you realized you haven’t done a damn thing with your life except think about a way to try and burn a 24 year old. Either way you’re pathetic and a prick.

            • 81Dog

              Hmmm. You jump in here like The Definitive Word On UGA Football, and I’m a douche?

              You’re entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that you used about 10,000 words in your original post to say “UGA should be trying to win national championships. 10 years of Mark Richt hasn’t accomplished that, so screw him.” That’s an opinion, but it reeks of dumbassitude. That it took you slightly less space to say it than Dostoyevski needed to compose War and Peace demonstrates an arrogance that only someone who knows it all at 23 can display. Your little temper tantrum that follows my response indicates that you need a time out, or maybe a nice, soothing nap.

              I’m not ignoring your opinion because you’re young. I’m ignoring your opinion because it’s stupid. It doesn’t sound like that’s a condition you’re likely to grow out of any time soon, but good luck!

    • anon

      I respect the sentiment of your post.

      I don’t like to nitpick, but I think you are misremembering Pete Carrol’s reputation when he took the SC job. If anything, he was considered no more than a NFL wash-out and, as it turns out, he left a fairly substantial mess in his wake at SC.

      If my memory serves, it took Joe Paterno in excess of 10 years to win a national title. I believe the same is true of Tom Osborne. I know it’s true of Vince Dooley and Bobby Bowden. I don’t remember how long it was for Lloyd Carr. I don’t think anyone would argue with their standing in CFB.

      Saban won his first NC in his 10th year as a HC. (Toledo, Michigan State, LSU) Let’s not give him a pass for being a nomad.

      Lastly, just as you dislike the win-loss statistic, I’m less than fond of the habit of so many to look to Bama as an exemplar of success. First, there is only one Nick Saban. He “ain’t walkin’ through that door.” Check off the list of his minions and none of them have accomplished anything as HCs. They’ve gotten jobs… and they’ve gotten fired. Second, Bama utilizes the gray areas (oversigning, medical redshirts, etc) which is fine for them. Their institution is far from elite. Not so much for Georgia. There, it’s purely business; here, there’s at least some deference to educational values and the fact that the program is part of something larger. The atmosphere at UGA is different (in a good way).

      To that last point, championships can be won without treating the athlete like nothing more than a cog in a machine (or part of a “process”).

      Do I want to win? Yeah. Do I want to do it like they do? Not so much.

      • Graduated in 2009 and got a Job!

        anon, I appreciate the legitimate reply. I think the Carroll thing actually helps my point because I was trying to say the “is he better than what we have” argument is weak based on the hiring of coaches the past decade. I do see where you’re coming from with the legends and the time they took to the top but I differ in that I think it’s a different ballgame now. With the talent pool of coaches and players, I feel like 10 years is an eternity, but I don’t discount loyalty. The last part of your reply is where we are on opposite sides of the fence and I guess it’s just an agree to disagree thing. I just feel like football athletes, not all but most, use Georgia as a cog in their own machine to get to the NFL. These same players could give two cents about their degrees and I just don’t think having a coach for ten years constitutes abusing players expectations. The very end I do agree with though, we are a proud and sophisticated bunch who think through their decisions. I will end with saying the one thing that would definitely change my mind is if Richt took back play calling duties and we saw marked improvement in the offense.

    • The Realist

      In a non-playoff college football world, I don’t necessarily think the main goal is to win a BCS title because you don’t control your own destiny in the BCS. And, when Richt was hired, I don’t think he was hired with a BCS title or bust clause in his contract. That was a hope in the distant future, but no realistic Georgia fan thought a national title was within grasp. We just wanted to compete for SEC titles, which Richt provided.

      You tried to make the point about Alabama’s decade versus Georgia’s decade by asking which I’d rather have as a fan. It’s easy right now to say you’d rather have Alabama’s decade, but certainly not if you remember any of it.

      Alabama had 3 coaching changes, 21 vacated wins, 2 years with no bowl game, 3 trips to Shreveport, and got pantsed in their lone Sugar Bowl appearance. They were 4-3 in bowl games. They got 1 SEC title and 1 BCS title. They are 80-40 (minus 21 vacated wins) through week 4 of this season (from 2001-2010). Alabama also lost 6 straight to their in-state rival.

      Meanwhile, Georgia has a 91-30 record, beat Alabama 3 times in that span, won 2 SEC titles & played for a third. They won 10 games 6 times, won 2 Sugar Bowls & played in a third. They had 1 trip to Shreveport and were 7-2 in bowl games. Georgia is also 8-1 against their in-state rival.

      Luck has so much to do with BCS titles, that I don’t think you can hold it against a coach who hasn’t won one yet. And if you want more proof that you shouldn’t run off a coach that can’t seem to get over the hump to a national title…

      See Tom Osborne at Nebraska and Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Those coaches and those programs seemed to do okay without a national title for quite some time.

      • Husky Jeans

        I agree with you, Realist. Winning a NC is largely contingent upon luck, and with a few bounces that went the other way, we could’ve potentially played for a couple this decade. If a team keeps putting up a record like ours last decade, a NC will take care of itself.

        I’m much more interested in winning the SEC. We haven’t won the SEC in a few years, but we’ve also had the misfortune of not only being in the same conference, but also the same division as Florida the past few years. There aren’t many teams that would’ve topped Fla the past few years with Tebow and Meyer at the helm. Hate them all you want, but they were damn good.

        Having said all that, I’m ready to get back into contention for NC’s and the SEC. I’m looking forward to seeing noticeable improvement this year as we move along.

        And to answer the question posed by Grad in 2009, I wouldn’t trade our decade for Bama’s.

  21. hayduke

    Interesting title to this post!

    I did my undergrad at UGa during the Goff years (+Dooley’s last year) and received my doctorate from U. of Montana shortly after. My first year UMt won the national championship, and even though it was 1-AA, it was fun as hell. 7 championship game appearances in 14 years, with 2 titles. Back then, Boise St. was the big rival, so it was not quite as cupcake as it might sound.
    Nice Zappa reference if intended, but I have not seen consistency like this on the football field from my Dawgs, no matter the division.

  22. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Hey everybody, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    The last time UGA had a team this untalented was 1996. At least that team had Hines Ward, Robert Edwards and Champ Bailey. There is no hope for recovery in 2011, as the cupboard is bare.

    It is inconceivable for UGA to be this talent poor. Just pathetic.

    • Landry Clark

      But wait…the rabid cynics have cried for years that Richt and cmpany do so little withso much. Now the cupboard is bare? Hilarious! The lunatic fringe, whether pro- or anti-Richt, always seems to want it both ways.

    • Will (the other one)

      Um. So we’re going to beat Florida and go 10-2 next year?

      Not sure “untalented as the ’96” team works as an analogy for the sky falling.

  23. Confused about who is Really Cynical

    What is inconceivable is that you are actually claiming to be a UGA fan. You must be a Tech Nerd faking it just to post stupid insults against the Bulldogs on this blog. Shoo. Go bother some other fanblog. I actually prefer the imposter over you, douche bag.

    • Husky Jeans

      Yeah, it’s funny to me that a Dawg fan would call himself “Cynic in Athens” or whatever the name is. How much do we have to win before that handle changes? Will it ever change, or will you live in a perpetual state of pessimism about the program? Doesn’t seem like much fun. I admit, I have my frustrations with the program…but I try to see the silver lining in things. If not, what’s the point of even being a fan?