If you want to complain about something…

There’s very little I disagree with in Year2′s review of Saturday’s game (although I do think Rainey had a much bigger impact on the game than he gives him credit for), and in particular this summary of the one real sin I lay at Mark Richt’s feet about how this season has played out:

… If anything, this season demonstrates that Richt waited a year too long to make changes with his defensive staff. If Todd Grantham came aboard in 2009 and the defense learned on the job then instead of now, you can make the case that Georgia would have defeated Colorado, Florida, and possibly Arkansas as well.

It’s not just that the players would have had another year in Grantham’s (and Lakatos’) system.  It’s also that the coaches would have had a full year to go after recruits better suited for what the new defensive staff wants in its players.  Even with the resulting personnel issues, it’s clear there’s been enough improvement on defense (and special teams, don’t forget) to make you wonder what Richt thought he was going to see sticking with Martinez, Jancek and Fabris last season.

In the end, if things don’t work out, Richt will have nobody to blame for that but himself.

************************************************************************

UPDATE: Paul’s got a laundry list of complaints that’s a worthy read.

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94 Comments

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94 responses to “If you want to complain about something…

  1. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Is that an argument for giving Richt another year?

  2. Dawgwalker07

    Just to make your eyes water, can you imagine Rennie Curran under Grantham’s coaching? Or even Rashad Jones with Lakatos?

    It makes me hurt on the inside just to imagine…

    That said, I really do like Richt as a person. I think he’s a great man. But realistically, he’s got one season left to turn this ship around, and I don’t know if he’ll pull it off.

    • dudetheplayer

      Given the schedule next season, I think he’s gotta win 10 games with slight leeway given if he beats Florida.

      I don’t really know how you fire a coach coming off a 9 win season who possesses the best overall winning % in the program’s history, but if Richt throws up a 9 win year next season with another loss to UF, I think he may just be John Cooper’d.

      • Ausdawg85

        Just curious…what if it’s a 6 win season, but we clobber FL? Are we really judging him on the total losses, lack of SEC championships, etc., or by one team?

        I don’t know the answer to this myself.

  3. gatriguy

    Or the 3-4 with Owens, atkins, and westin?

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’m beginning to think Richt might not be a big enough SOB. I think he’s gonna have to learn how to draw blood.

  5. JBJ

    Richt will get another year. We will suffer through another loss at the hands of the mighty Gators. I will walk out of Gator/Alltel/Everbank/SomeCompany stadium to the jeers of obnoxious Gator fans. I will get to hear how we just need to fix one more thing to finally beat them. UGA fans will sit anxiously by hoping UF slips up so we have a chance at the SEC East yet again. It’s all deja vu.

    As a side note. The RV lot at Jax I have stayed the past five years was only about 60% full. I was surrounded by Gator fans in my UGA seats. RV City was empty by about 9:30pm. Several friends from North Georgia area all refused to make the trek. They all had some excuse or another, but they did attend the Colorado game. I don’t blame them. Even my Father who has attended games since the early 70s says he doesn’t want to come back next year. He and his good friend would rather watch the Dawgs lose from the comfort of their big screens.

    What does all this mean? The economy is awful and so are my Dawgs. The fan base has lost hope.

  6. Section Z alum

    experience in the new system is one reason i think we would be self-destructive in turning down a bowl offer. assuming, of course, that we are eligible.

  7. Left to Right

    CMR will be back next year, go 8-4 or 9-3 thanx to an easy schedule, which will allow him to finish out his contract and career in 2012. Meanwhile our recruiting over the next 4 years will nosedive. Richt getting 2 more years will set the foot ball program 6 or7 years.

    PS why do some people think McGarity is some hardass savior (yes I know he fired the volleyball coach)? He has given no indication of demanding more from Richt.

    • dudetheplayer

      You really think 8-4 with another loss to Florida will get him another year? I don’t see it. The schedule is just too favorable.

      LOUISVILLE (probable win)
      at USCe (coin flip)
      COASTAL CAROLINA (sure win)
      at Ole Miss (probable win)
      MISS ST. (probable win)
      at UT (probable win) <– Neyland house of horrors notwithstanding
      at Vandy (probable win)
      BYE
      at UF (see what I did there) (probable loss until future notice)
      NM STATE (sure win)
      AUBURN (coin flip)
      UK (probable win)
      at Tech (probable win)

      There are a lot of variables that will come into play that we don't know of yet, but 8-4 is not going to cut it with that schedule. Especially considering the downward trajectory we've seen the last 3 seasons. We would be firmly in Donnan territory at that point (if we're not there already).

      • dudetheplayer

        Correction: the USCe game will be at home and should be in caps. I like our chances even more in that one.

      • Dawgwalker07

        I think I have a problem putting USCe and Miss St. down as probable wins considering we lost to them this year. Additionally, if Cam Newton comes back we probably don’t beat Auburn. If he’s gone…who knows.

        • dudetheplayer

          I put USCe as a “coin flip” meaning I think the game could go either way. Given that it’s a home game and Murray will presumably be better, I think that’s a pretty fair assessment at this point. Then game is almost always a close one.

          Miss. State was absolutely a winnable game this season that we did everything in our power to lose. If Ealey just holds on to the ball on their 1 yard line it’s a totally different game. We were also without AJ when it is quite clear that we’re a different team without him out there. This one will also be at home next season so I like our chances. This is still Miss. St. we’re talking about. The talent level just isn’t there… yet.

          Of course, we’re not all going to agree on what will happen next season (and we’re probably all going to be wrong anyway)… the point was to show the relative ease of the schedule compared to seasons past and how 8 wins should be unacceptable given that fact.

          • Dawgwalker07

            Yeah those are good points. I’ll go with that. Hopefully we can finish this season out with 2 wins and get to a bowl game. All the practice we can get will be helpful.

    • Chadwick

      I wouldn’t call what McGarrity is doing is making demands. To me, he’s setting up a clear and direct system of communication and accountability. Things are much different in B-M with the arrival of Greg McGarrity. If you only knew.

  8. I think there’s another variable that we need to let play out: McGarity. There are other instruments at his disposal besides dynamite. If we must look at ourselves in the context of Florida, 34-31 is far more relevant than 3-18. 34-31 is where we are today. 3-18 is mostly the tally of coaches, players and staff no longer with the program.

    McGarity hasn’t yet begun to get his hands around this program yet. Firing Richt is an admission that he’s throwing his hands up on all the other work that can be done to right the ship — recruiting, conditioning, evaluating all the position coaches, etc.

    He can work side by side with Richt on that, or just say “screw it,” hit the reset button and no one will ever know the early gains with Grantham et al could’ve been built on with subsequent improvements to other aspects of the program.

    I’m not saying what he should do. Just observing that it’s hardly a safe assumption that McGarity and Richt can’t collaborate.

    • Just to flesh this point out, here’s a thought: If McGarity had been in Athens in 2008, would Martinez and Fabris been in Athens in 2009?

      I suspect not. I think McGarity respects the job Richt is doing, but I think he’ll be firmer than Evans about getting Richt to do immediately the kinds of things that must be done eventually.

    • dudetheplayer

      3-18 is not really the relevant issue to me. It’s just a record created by an arbitrary cut-off date that UF people, the media, and our masochistic fans like to point out because it’s shockingly lopsided. But Goff and Spurrier are no longer on the sidelines of our respective teams, and what happened in 1990 is about as relevant today as what happened in 1980. I say we’re 13-20 in our last 33 match-ups with the bastards. Anybody can create a number.

      The real issue here is 2-8. This streak/trend/voodoo hex/wrath of the football gods has carried over well into the Richt administration and it doesn’t looks to be changing any time soon. When you’re still continuing to lose when you are even or better than your rival (’02, ’03) then there is a real problem.

      • heyberto

        I agree with your thinking. Not only does Richt have a big buyout, but Damon was on board with Richt making an investment at DC, and while our Athletic Department is flush with cash, I think McGarity will be financially prudent and give this time to play out. I think Richt is making progress, and he’s a victim of Meyer’s circling of the UGA game as a point to tweak his team’s game so they’re unpredictable. Richt has to learn to do the same if he’s going to outcoach Meyer.

        • JaxDawg

          BINGO! It’s called urgency like your life depended on it. Until we make this game paramount and circle like FL has since December 1989 then they will continue to dominate the University of Georgia.

          I could not disagree with McGarity more on this issue. You have to WANT this game more than any other. Winning this game would inject tremendous pride and confidence in every single individual associated with our fine program. And beating FL would basically ensure that you are better than 9-10 other teams on your schedule.

          So what are we waiting for?!!!!

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            JD you actually put your finger on the specific problem. UGA people do not WANT to win the game badly enough. Dawg fans are not really committed to winning. Hence, they rationalize playing the game in Jax with stupid statements like”Man up” and deny the obvious, that giving FLA home field advantage has hurt the Dawgs the last 21 years. The real reason is they want to have a trip to Ponte Vedra or Amelia Island in the fall to see their old friends, play golf and go to cocktail paties. Winning is only secondary to them. Sure they would like it if the Dawgs won, but if you gave them the choice, and they could only have one, they want the trip more than the win. They are like a cancer growing on the UGA football program. Real fans would make the change if there was only a 10% chance that it would help the Dawgs win. These are the self-absorbed “phony fans.” I wish they had gone to Tech. Tech deserves them, not UGA.

      • ClassicCityDawg

        3-18 is incredibly relevant to current players, students, and young alumni such as myself who grew up watching the Dawgs lose to the Gators in every way imagineable. McGarity is right, there is a pathological obsession with Florida that pervades student life at UGA. If you’re a player, especially one who grew up in state, it would be almost impossible not to feel the added weight of the past 21 years bearing down on you in Jacksonville when you walk around campus and see your classmates wearing “Beat Florida” t-shirts in February and fliers in the dorms of the same effect.

        I know I’m rambling right now, but I guess my point is something needs to be done to change the culture at UGA in order for us to start beating Florida on a consistent basis. Maybe McGarity can help turn the ship around, but he’s going to need a lot of help from the student body, and the Bulldog nation as a whole.

        • dudetheplayer

          Why 21 years though? Why not the last 10 years? Or the last 28 years if we’re going back that far?

          I am with you, dude… I am 23 years old. I have known nothing but Florida dominance in this series. But frankly, I don’t recall very many Georgia games prior to ’96, the first year I really started passionately following Georgia football. The Goff years are about as relevant as the Dooley years to me. I know the history but I have no personal experience with it.

          Certainly the students of our generation are obsessed with Florida. I think it’s fair to be that way given what’s transpired in our lifetimes. I think JaxDawg is right on the money when he says we need to make the focus every single year on beating Florida our first and foremost goal. We have to do everything in our power to get any type of advantage we can in that game. If we can beat them on a consistent basis, then everything else will fall into place.

          The first thing Steve Spurrier did when he got to Gainesville was circle the Georgia game and make sure his players knew the importance of winning it. His record spoke for itself.

          This current trend can be stopped. Is Richt the right guy to do it, though? We all hope he can, but his record is beginning to speak for itself as well…

          • JaxDawg

            Dude, what do you mean is Richt the guy to do it? Why are you having to ask that question?

            His 2-8 record clearly says “NO” in big, blinking pink letters.

            His record is not beginning to speak for itself, it is conclusive evidence. Case closed. Witness is excused!

            Seriously, how bad does his record have to get before the Dawg Nation says “Enough”!

            Does anyone think that Jeremy Foley or a similar number of FL fans would tolerate a coach that went 2-8 against GA over 10 years?

            NO!

            • dudetheplayer

              I think we’re just in a very difficult situation. Richt has the best winning % of any coach in our history. Firing him after this season would send out major red flags to any of the elite coaches we would look to as a replacement. They would look at our situation and think, “Damn man, they just fired the best coach in their history who was winning at a 75% clip, why the hell would I wanna walk into that mess?” And if we were to hire the next Mike Shula instead of the next Urban Meyer (because of getting turned down), we could be in some deep shit.

              At this point, I don’t think Richt can turn this thing with Florida around anymore. But I also don’t think firing him immediately after this season is in our best long term interest.

              It’s a shitty situation, and I don’t have good answers. :/

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                The answer is for Richt to walk away himself. I say to CMR have a little pride man. You are getting blasted daily on the blogs and in the press. Your fans even don’t want you anymore but cannot think of how to get rid of you (see above). Just walk away and save them heartburn and yourself a little dignity.

  9. heyberto

    I hadn’t thought of it that way. Of course, if he had made the call in ’08, would we even have Grantham or would it be someone else with a more agressive take on the 4-3? Either way, the point you make remains a valid one Senator. For the record, our performance in the Florida game doesn’t change my attitude toward Richt or anyone else on the coaching staff.

  10. JaxDawg

    As I read the above comments, some of which are incredibly logical and thoughtful, a distinct thought comes to mind. Something that I’ve thought for many years re: our program but kinda refused to acknowledge until now.

    There is an old saying that is often used in my business (CRE) – “Go ugly early”. Not in the context of screwing some nasty fat chick, but in addressing problems. Seriously, it’s 99% always best to address a problem early b/c procrastination only yields a larger/worse problem. Attack it early and minimize its impact.

    Perhaps due to the conservative nature of its fanbase and administration, GA is the type of school/program that has never embraced that mentality. Now dealing with human resource decisions are distinct unto themselves, but the mantra remains incredibly relative. Rarely does someone change their strips and dig themselves out of a hole. In the multi-family business, if you have a subpar leasing manager you replace her with another one. If you don’t see the sales results from one broker, you find a new one. I’ve never regretted being proactive in this regard. Your employees know that mediocrity will not be tolerated and they work with an edge – a sense of urgency. Have you seen that with Mark Richt in several years? I certainly see it with Urban Meyer and Jeremy Foley. I see it from their players – more alert and eager.

    So here we are with a coach that we love and admire but clearly see someone who has the propensity to make changes too late. Arguably, Dooley wanted 1 or 2 years to replace Donnan. And he also waited 2-3 years too late to replace Goff. Conservatism is good to a point as your people need to trust that you support them, but it can also be a hindrance if you’re not proactive.

    So no, I’m not calling for Richt to be replaced after this year. I’m simply saying that the best AD in the bunch resides in Gville, FL and has kept them on top for nearly 20 years. I pray that we have an AD with the same mentality b/c that’s what it’s going to take to reclaim our championship status and eventually end this ridiculous slide against those sonsofbitches south of us.

    • Dawgwalker07

      If McGarity firing the volleyball coach in mid-season is any indication, I don’t think he has much tolerance for mediocrity.

      I think Richt had that fire 2001-2005. I don’t know what happened to it after that. Too much talent for his own good? Assuming things would continue to come easy to him? Lack of focus?

      I feel like he’s starting to regain that edge. Things have been encouraging this year as far as how we’ve played. I’m not happy with the losses but I’d much prefer to keep fighting through the losses than see a team implode on itself. Additionally, a culture of mediocrity takes time to change. And I don’t know if Richt has enough time left in order to make it happen before the AD steps in and makes some change of his own.

    • dudetheplayer

      There is definitely a distinct difference in the mentality between the two schools.

      Florida fans react with horror any time the Zook years are mentioned, yet the guy went 23-14 overall, 16-8 in the conference, beat us 2 out of 3 years, and had them ranked at the end of each season. Some people criticized Florida firing him so early in his tenure, but it was unquestionably the right decision to make. Foley didn’t dick around, and he looks brilliant because of it.

      By comparison, Richt is 22-13 these last 3 seasons (with 3-4 games left to go), is 13-10 in conference play, and has lost all 3 seasons to Florida (two of which were uncompetitive, embarrassing losses). Yet, the consensus amongst most Georgia people is that Richt should definitely be given another year (which I actually agree with).

      Granted, Richt built up plenty of goodwill in his first five seasons, but Florida would not have put up with the results of the last 3 seasons, goodwill or not. Is that what’s really separating these two programs? Watching the game on Saturday, it certainly didn’t look like we were lacking for talent. We’re definitely not lacking for resources.

      The standards have to raise in order for us to move forward.

      • JaxDawg

        You and I are clearly on the same page. And yes, the answer is that Florida expects and demands more from their program.

        Why is that so hard for some to understand?

        And more importantly, why is stopping us from taking those steps?

        • dudetheplayer

          Indeed we are.

          I realize I basically just parroted what you said down below in your response to chris.

          Like you, my hatred of Florida runs very, very deep.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Not disagreeing with anything you said but UGA fans also react with horror at the mention of Jim Donnan and his record was 40-19 with 35-13 his last 4 years. The latter is a winning % of 73% which is almost exactly the same winning percentage as CVD and only a point or 2 behind CMR. While I did not care for Donnan for reasons outside of his coaching, one has to admit that it was Donnan who actually turned the UGA football program around with his last 4 seasons being 10-2, 9-3, 8-4 and 8-4. Before that Goff had the Dawgs mired in .500 and sub-.500 seasons.

    • AlphaDawg

      URGENCY: Is the issue with Richt and this team, its been my knock on him for the last few years, and I think it will ultimately cost him his job. I love Richt and a hate to see him leave/fired, but i’ll have no sympathy for him, he put himself in this position with his choices or lack there of.

  11. The ATH

    This game hasn’t changed my opinion one way or the other. I’m not ready to get rid of Richt just yet. This was a close game, and our freshman QB plays a little cooler, we win by 14. Like the Senator said, Freshman QBs happen. Murray is still a stud and will win a lot of games in silver britches.

    I will say this – I was talking to a buddy as we sat in the GA endzone. When’s the last time Richt attempted a fake punt or fake field goal? When’s the last time he attempted to block a punt? See also, Logan Gray returns.

    I’ve played a variety of sports in my life at nearly every level (still holding my breath on the pros), and players want a coach that rolls the dice every once in a while – that trusts them to make some magic happen. It’s not “fake juice;” it’s about having a coach that wants to have fun once in a while. I’m not asking for Les Miles here, but Sean Payton’s onside kick in last year’s super bowl demonstrated some pretty strong gravitas.

    The secondary benefit is that teams have to prepare for that kind of trickery. If I’m coaching against Richt this Saturday, I’m not wasting two seconds preparing for a fake FG or punt this week. That’s precious practice time I can use for something else. What do you think I’m doing if I’m coaching against Les?

    • JaxDawg

      Interestingly, Dooley was the absolute master of well-timed trickery. He would do it when the other team least expected it and the play would be perfectly timed.

      And he did it often enough that the other teams noticed but not too often that they expected it.

      The Richt of 2006-2010 couldn’t trick himself out of a paper bag, or be less the antithesis of Dooley.
      Aside from Fl 2007, that is.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        He is also a lousy game-day coach who finds a way to lose instead of a way to win. And the 2007 endzone stomp happened by accident–it was a miscommunication. Richt apologized for it for goodness sake. I have been a Richt supporter through this whole thing but he has finally lost me. It is not the fact that the Dawgs lost to FLA last Saturday–it’s the way they lost. Stupid mistakes that reveal bad coaching, plus poor coaching decisions during the game. They lose that way with regularity now. CMR gets outcoached almost every game, even when the Dawgs win. Be gone CMR and give somebody who at least acts like he gives a sh!t a chance to see if he can do better.

        • The ATH

          Not sure I’d go so far as to say he gets “outcoached almost every game,” and I definitely think he “gives a sh!t.”

          But he definitely looks like he’s been coaching scared the last two years. From ’01 through ’08, we had a load of talent on the field. You need a lot less pixie dust when your boys are bigger, faster and stronger than theirs.

          Talent ebbs and flows, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve seen a decline (team defections/dismissals, failures to qualify, a few tough misses) – though nothing drastic. That can bounce back, but that normally takes winning.

          Winning w/ lesser talent means doing something a little wild sometimes to 1) surprise somebody and 2) motivate the troops.

          We’ve employed the prevent as a total team philosophy. McGarity just needs to politely remind Richt that prevents don’t win championships, and that McGarity got kind of used to those at his old job.

        • gatriguy

          No, he’s an atrocious game day coach.

  12. TennesseeDawg

    Fuck the Gators (especially after seeing that video). My hate used to be reserved for Tech now it’s reserved solely for Florida.

  13. chris

    I’ve been watching the Dawgs for 40+ years, and we have been mediocre for more of those years than not. Dooley was a great coach, but we were never a national powerhouse over an extended period of time. I think UGA fans have some warped perspective on what the expectations are, believing that we are somehow ordained to blow through an SEC scheduled and play for a BCS title every couple of years. That said, were are one player short (AJ) and a few blown plays from being 7-2 or 8-1, possibly 9-0. But it’s not the grand scheme that’s the problem with our program, it’s mainly about grasping the winning moments when they are in front of you. Winning teams do the little things to win games. It’s said that it’s sometimes better to be lucky than to be good; and we have very few times been lucky this year – sometimes because we don’t know how to take advantage of luck when it’s laying at our feet.

    • JaxDawg

      Yeah, literally. Like the FL fumbles that are laying at our feet and we try and run with them.

      But I disagree with you re fan’s expectations. A select few SEC teams have 2-4 year runs where things come together very well and a few players elevate the team to championship status. Other than that, a select few SEC teams can reasonably expect to win/play for the SEC every 4 years. That means that one of those 4 are an average, rebuilding type year, one is above avg, one year you’re pretty close, and one where it all comes together and you win in Atlanta.

      Any team that plays for a national title more than once every 4 years is riding a heisman type player and a great supporting cast, ie, Tebow or Herschel. And those players come around once every 50 years. So no, the vast majority of GA fans don’t expect to win the SEC every other year but we damn sure expect the program benefit from a state LOADED with talent, $$ out the ass, and second-to-none facilities to play for the SECC more than we have the past seasons.

      And we DAMN sure expect to beat FL more than 3 times in 21 f’ing years!

    • dudetheplayer

      I disagree that Georgia fans expect more out of the program than what we should expect. Georgia is 3rd all time in SEC titles (one behind UT) and somewhere around 12th in all time winning %. That is an esteemed history. I don’t think most rational fans expect to win national or even SEC titles every single season.

      What we DO want (and what we should expect) is to be competitive in just about every single game that we play, regardless of opponent. The talent base, facilities, fan support, and money is there, so there’s really no excuse for extended periods of mediocrity. Down/rebuilding years happen to every team, but what we’ve seen in the stretch from 2006-present is not just one flukish down year.

      Really, we just want what we had from 2001-2005. I don’t think this is unreasonable. Did we win every game in that stretch? Did we win any MNCs? Did we win the SEC every season? No, but we were competitive in every single game we played (sans the LSU title game in ’03 and the Auburn loss in ’04). And those teams were national title caliber teams. No real shame in getting beat by those guys. It happens.

      Teams dreaded playing Georgia then. Our defense intimidated and commanded respect. Our coaching staff was not afraid to take chances. That is what Georgia football should be. That is not unreasonable.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1 to that, too.

        • Dawgfan17

          What game have we not been competative in this year? Three games one play changes and we win for sure (Arkansas, UF, Colorado) and two others that were only put away by the other team in the 4th quarter. Not saying that Richt deserves forever to get it turned around but with the improvements on defense this year and a freshman qb there is great reason to think that at least 3/4 of those close games go our way next year and we are sitting at 10/11 wins when the bowl games are over. If things are not close to that next year there will be no arguments from anyone that Richt’s time has passed at UGA and that we need to spend whatever it takes to get the right guy, not just a great coach but a great fit, to come in and get the program back in the running for the SEC year in and year out. Don’t have to win it every year but should be close at least 2 out of every 4 years with winning it every 3-5 years with a run at the national title (ala 2002/2007) mixed in.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Historically, before the Goff/Donnan period, UGA had never been more than 10 years without winning the SEC in football. Dooley won 6 in 25 years (although some were ties with Bama). ’82 was the last one before Richt’s 2001 team won it again. On average it seems that 1 every 5 years is about the norm for UGA.

          • dudetheplayer

            I think we are on the same page. There have been plenty of things that have happened this season that still make me still optimistic. Please don’t confuse my criticism with doomsdayism.

            But by the same token, every close game we’ve played this season has been a loss. Every single one of them. And most of can point very slight tweaks that coaches could have done in each one of those games that could have swung the game in our direction. Is our QB young and defense still getting its shit together? Absolutely. But that doesn’t excuse the timidity and constant head scratching decision making we see from our coaching staff.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        “Down/rebuilding years happen to every team, but what we’ve seen in the stretch from 2006-present is not just one flukish down year.”

        2001 8-4
        2002 13-1 1stE #3 in AP
        2003 11-3
        2004 10-2
        2005 10-3

        2006 9-4
        2007 11-2 T-1st E #2 in AP
        2008 10-3
        2009 8-5

        Do you really feel the decline started in 2006? I just don’t see it. ’07 and ’08 are on par with ’03,’04,’05.

        I have no explanation as to why we aren’t winning more against Florida. I haven’t looked at the stats ….but I don’t believe anyone else is beating them with any regularity either.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Home field advantage. How many would you expect UGA to win from Bama if the Dawgs played Bama at Legion Field in Birmingham every time the teams played. Just think about it.

        • dudetheplayer

          2007 was definitely a solid year minus the total no show in Neyland. That game was just bizarre. No argument on that one.

          I’ve pointed this out before, but it’s not correct to lump in the 2008 seasons with the the teams from 2003-2005. You and I both know this when thinking about those teams. 10-3 seasons are not created in a vacuum.

          The team in 2003 had 2 losses to the same team… the eventual MNC LSU Tigers. The team in 2005 won a SEC title and flatlined in their bowl game. All 3 losses were by like a combined 10 points. The team in 2004 beat UF and had some tough losses against quality SEC teams.

          The 2008 team got absolutely embarrassed by its two biggest rivals, completely wet the bed in a huge game at home against ‘Bama, and struggled to beat anyone else with a pulse. What was the impressive win that year? The ASU game? The USCe, UK, Auburn, and UT wins were all huge struggles. 3 of them we were lucky not to lose.

          If anyone came away from that season feeling satisfied with our performance as a whole, then that is exactly what I am referring to when I say we need to raise expectations.

  14. Bright Idea

    All of the above points are good ones. I think the worst thing that ever happened to Richt/UGA was playing Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl after the 07 season. That game gave our program a false sense of security and we have been soft and clumsy ever since. It also kept Willie and gang around 2 more years. The da media built Hawaii/Brennan up like the Colts/Manning and we believed it and have been paying for it for 3 seasons.

    • dudetheplayer

      I think this is a fair point. It would’ve been interesting to watch us play USC in the Rose Bowl that year. A loss certainly could have shaken us from the false sense of security that you mention.

      With that said, any sense of security should have evaporated with the loss to ‘Bama the next season. Being down 31-0 at halftime given the expectations and build-up to that game was really quite remarkable. That was where Richt started to lose me (and a lot of other Dawgs I’m sure).

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Actually I was really proud of how the Dawgs came back in the second half in the ’08 Bama-UGA game. I thought that there was a chance to win it, too, that is until Richt had a brain cramp and went for 2 after a UGA TD and killed the Dawgs’ momentum. I’m not saying the Dawgs would have won the game without that Richt screw-up but, damn, doing something like that is plain stupid. A foreshadowing of things to come.

  15. Bright Idea

    Good point but we seem to be doing the same ole same ole since that Bama beatdown. We left tons of points on the field at Arizona State(08) the week before. We ran out the clock last week against Kentucky with 1:09 and 3 timeouts from the 35 before half and were hanging by a thread by the end. Our goal for 3 years has been to hold on to the ball and run out the clock. The tighter we squeeze it the behinder we get.

    • D.N. Nation

      We ran out the clock last week against Kentucky with 1:09 and 3 timeouts from the 35 before half and were hanging by a thread by the end.

      C’mon.

  16. john

    the problem with georgia is everyone wants to be “classy”. SCREW classy, that craps old school, if you want to win, and by all means i know you do, we’re going to have to be like everyone else. urban myer didn’t mind being classless when bringing back chris rainey, you think he would have brought him back if they were undefeated, heck no, he would have needed them. in order for georgia to win championship, they are going to have to sell their souls to the devil. they have to fire mark richt, hire some big shot coach who may or may not imbarass us,we get imbarassed enough as is. we have to do WHATEVER it takes to win! its bussiness, so set all your morals aside, its time to dance with the devil. pay players to come in, throw girls at them, pay the cops off to let the guys get away with whatever. it goes on everywhere else why not uga? i don’t want this but this is the only way to win in this world, in this SEC.

  17. Marshall

    Regarding the ’08 Alabama game–no doubt.

    But, and many folks have talked about this over the years, it was that Sugar Bowl vs. West Virginia where things first started to change. Something happened there…bigger than any of us could realize at the time. Was it VanGorder? Was he the key to early success?

    And then there was the UT game in 2006 which directly lead to the meltdown in the middle of that season.

    Then in 2007, UT again. I’ll never forget walking out of Neyland at halftime and thinking “we are in big, big trouble.” If you’ll remember the next game, we pulled out a miracle against Vandy in a game we probably had no business winning. I’ve often times thought of how different things would have been had that happened. But then things turned around….for a little bit. And I’ll agree with some of the previous posts–The 2007 Sugar Bowl probably did more harm than good in the long run.

    But after the ‘Bama debacle. After the UF games of 2008 & 2009. After the 2008 Tech game. After UT last year. After this season…how can anyone really remain optimistic about our situation.

    I’m serious! Honestly…I’m really and sincerely asking. How can anyone remain optimistic with the status quo at this point?

    • ZDawg

      Um…maybe a redshirt freshman QB and a D in their first year in the 3-4?

      That’s all I got.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Hey, in spite of how I may sound I AM optimistic. I am optimistic because we have a great nucleus of players (Murray at QB, good running backs, the best receiver in all of football–if he will come back–plus other good receivers, really good LBs, the best kicker and punter in college plus terrific special teams) if we can just get the coach to not f#ck up. But what makes me really optimistic long term is the new AD, Greg McGarity. He will not put up with mediocrity. If he decides Richt cannot do the job (I have already come to that conclusion but will defer to McGarity) then Richt will be gone. We are gonna be just fine in the long run. I just am sick about how long the long run is.

      • ZDawg

        Yea me too. My major concern is recruiting. All the (justified) unrest of fans will have an impact. Even if CMR has a great 2011, this year may still sneak up and bite us in the ass later down the line.

        I hate ultimatums, but Richt must be UF next year.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      The loss to Tennessee did not make the 2007 season a bust. We went 11-2 and finished #2 in the AP for goodness sake.

      • Marshall

        Of course. But that is what I was referring to (as well as several others on here). Did the ending to that season create a comfort level and a false sense of superiority. Because I tell you–I think there were upwards of a dozen or more teams that could have beat Hawaii as bad as we did that year.

        Of course, that #2 ranking lead to the #1 pre-season ranking in 2008. And then came that Alabama game. I still think about that first half. It was as unprepared a Georgia team as I’ve seen (and I’ve been following UGA for 30 years). In the stands, I started thinking about the 2005 Sugar Bowl, the 2nd half of the 2006 UT game, the 1st half of the 2007 UT game. I realized then that there was something going on. But then (and I know I’m kind of re-hashing my previous post) we saw the pattern more and more–2008,2009 UF, 2008GT, 2009UT, etc.

        In an intense and emotional game, we usually don’t show up in the 1st half or completely fade in the 2nd. How can that happen?

        And I know we’ve had some really good wins during the last few years–2007UF, 2007AU, last year’s Tech win. That’s the one thing that keeps me from getting completely distraught about things.

        Hell…I like Richt. A lot. I’d love it if we shocked the world down at the Plains Saturday after next and won out. And I’d love nothing more than Richt finding whatever was missing and having a great 2011. I just don’t know if it’ll happen.

        GO DAWGS!

  18. Doug

    A part of me wishes that UGA has a few more years of sub par football so that all there is left are the true Georgia fans again. I remember back in the late 80′s throught the 90′s you could easily spot a true Ga. fan wearing a UGA had or an old Ga. shirt.

    Once CMR came to town and in a few yours changed the program around you couldn’t find a Ga. Hat or T- shirt. Suddendly everyone was a Dawg fan! Soon thereafter they became experts after witnessing some impressive winning seasons and sayin ” see Thats how ya play football”.

    Now these halfassed fans think they know what it takes to win football games and aren’t afraid to voice their stupidity all over the Internet when UGA doesn’t win. So why don’t all you wanna be Georgia fans put your halfwit brains together, design a play book with the perfect play for every situation possible in a game, then write a manual on how to get a team ready to play for 60 minutes, make thousands of copies and shove them up your asses.

    • dudetheplayer

      See, this is the sort of response I don’t get. Who exactly is this in reply to? Most of what has been said on this blog has been pretty fair, even if you don’t happen to agree with it (except for john’s response, which seems pretty obviously tongue in cheek). So you’re a superior fan because you’re more comfortable with losing than the rest of us?

      Why is suggesting that Richt has lost the ability o be a great head coach so out of bounds for some of you (e.g. the Dawgsports crew)? Even if you disagree (which is fair), I think it’s a legitimate question to ask and debate at this point.

      We went 5-6 the year I first started following Georgia football passionately. I despise bandwagon fans. I was born and raised in GA and graduated from the university so bandwagoning someone else wouldn’t be an option even if I wanted it be. I have been so miserable since Saturday that I have seriously started to question the time and energy and hope I put into each football season. The last thing someone could ever accuse me of is being a false or fairweather Georgia fan.

      If you are the Doug we are all familiar with, your takes are usually pretty spot on. I just don’t get where all the vitriol in this response is coming from.

    • Wolfman

      I like this response. The first game I remember attending in Sanford Stadium was in 1990. We came back to beat Alabama 17-16, but I remember there being lots of every seats after people had starting filing out when we were down 11 with 5 minutes to go.

      But the people I remember celebrating that win with were not only some of the happiest people I ever saw at that time, they deserved it the most. Those are the kind of people I want to be dancing in the street with, not people who think their hardline comments on a blog finally got a coach to see the light. I suspect that these are the same people who would have left early grumbling. Fine. I imagine Doug would have been there that day.

      We went 4-7 that year. And I’ve never wavered my commitment to Georgia football since.

      I hate Florida as much as anybody. My personal belief is that Richt still has it somewhere, and that we’ll turn it around. There are legitimate reasons to argue he won’t. But there are legitimate reasons to argue we shouldn’t give up so fast either. I used to tell my non-Dawg friends that even if Richt has a couple losing seasons, we won’t throw him under the bus because he’s a good man and he’s earned the chance, considering how much he’s given to the Dawg community. And, frankly, I’m often embarrassed to learn a large contingent of Dawgs disagree.

      Somebody earlier suggested Georgia’s conservative nature, and why we’ve held on too long sometimes. But Goff never gave me a Hobnail Boot, Donnan never gave me an SEC Championship. So you ask: What has he done for me lately? Well. I’ve been down too. But I feel confident in saying Richt has been a coach that has at least learned from mistakes. Am I wrong?

      • Marshall

        I was at the 1990 ‘Bama game as well…and was there at the very end.

        I started my time at UGA in the Fall of ’93 and proceeded to attend during the worst stretch of UGA ball since the Griffith era–usually attending every home game and at least a couple of road games. I am one of maybe around 8-10,000 UGA fans who have been to a Georgia game at the Swamp. I’ve been to over 10 games in a season at least 4 or 5 times.

        I bleed Red & Black. I always support my Dawgs; however, I am not a blind loyalist and I do not stick my head in the sand. If I have questions about the state of this program, I feel that it is my right and duty to ask those questions. And for anyone to think I am not a “real” fan for feeling that way, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

        • Doug

          I was not calling out everyone,I was not pointing fingers at certain individuals, I was venting my frustrations. The bad calls from the side line, the missed assignments, the lack of fundamentals, the lack of discipline (on and off the field), all seeming to hurt the team just enough to keeps those W’s from reach are all upsetting.

          What nausiates me is the repeditive comments from armchair quarterbacks, wannabe coaches, and aspiring AD’s who all seem to turn into Nostradamus when the outcome doesn’t meet their expectations.

          I’m no Richt homer myself, but I know there are many many other schools that wouls love to have him as their coach. By the way what do you think our win-lose ratio is pre Bobo calling plays and post Bobo?

  19. JHarperDog73

    Richt needs to go. When he didn’t win in 2008 against the Gators with a stacked team we should have seen the writing on the wall. His time has come and gone. Time to start new. Get Gus Malzahn or Dan Mullen. I would prefer Mullen because he knows what goes on in Urban’s head. I am sick and tired of losing to the Gators. It’s time to get a coach who can beat them.

    • JBJ

      Amen brother.

    • Hobnail_Boot

      That’s the game that sticks in my craw, too.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I am a little concerned that Malzahn might be one of those guys who is a genius at what he does as OC but lacks the organizational skills to be the HC. There are plenty of stories out there about OCs and DCs that were “can’t miss” but fell flat as HCs.

      • Otto

        Mayor, I agree a good OC or DC does not always make for a great HC. Auburn required that their new HC to have previous HC experrience. They are now fighting for a SEC title and BCS title.

        UGA is a distination job that has hired an OC and previous to that a D2 coach.

        IF.. UGA goes for a new coach, he should have previous experience as HC and the more knowledge of the SEC the better. Mullen has the experience, the knowledge of the enemy, working experience with the AD, and contacts for recruiting.

        As for UGA’s past and Dooley having mediocre teams, but also having the 3rd most SEC titles, all true. UF has much less history before ’90 but since they are the most successful. The state of Georgia turns out enough NFL talent to support a program that can compete head to head with the power house in Gainesville. Lets get the program moving in the direction to do it. The changes required may include firing a very nice guy majority of us like and respect. But.. not every friend you invite to dinner, you would also trust to manage a company that you own stock in.