The jury is still out.

I get the point John Pennington makes in response to this quote from Greg McGarity -

“What everyone must do at a halfway point — it’s just like the halfway point of a project the halfway point of anything you do — it’s how you finish that really is the key thing that everyone has to focus on right now,” McGarity said. “Once you think you might have it figured out or you may rest on your laurels so to speak, that’s when you have problems. The message that we need to have and the message that everyone needs to have is that each week gets bigger and bigger. To get to certain levels, you have to work that much harder.”

… that the program would be better served by Georgia’s AD reserving comment until the season’s over.  I’m just not sure I agree with it.

For one thing, complacency has been Richt’s Achilles’ heel the last couple of seasons.  I’m not sure McGarity’s doing anything more there than stating a gentle reminder of the obvious.  (And perhaps that message is a public one because it’s intended to be directed more at Richt’s charges than the head coach.)

And as for this,

“Obviously you’re winning the games that really you need to win,” McGarity said. “At the same time, those teams have really struggled. I don’t know if there’s a (conference) win among them. You’ve got to keep things in perspective because there are some big tests coming up.”

… there’s a little more context to it.

McGarity didn’t want to diminish winning at Neyland Stadium “because everybody knows how tough it is to win there regardless of Tennessee’s program.”

Going forward, McGarity says this team “has very good leadership and I think that translates into doing the right things on and off the field.”

To me, McGarity sounds like he’s letting us know he’s in the same place most of the fan base is right now – hopefulness tempered by remembering what’s gone on over the previous two seasons.  Honestly, isn’t that where we want him?

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58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

58 responses to “The jury is still out.

  1. Red Blackman

    Seems reasonable to me.

    I, for one, expect to see improvement each and every week. I can honestly say that I have. A downturn now would be devastating to Red Blackman’s delicate emotional state. I have been diagnosed with battered fan syndrome.

    I wonder if Greg Mcgarity is blessed with sphinctervision like I am?

  2. JG Shellnutt

    I don’t think that McGarity “isn’t willing to buy into CMR’s turnaround” but that he is trying to make sure we don’t let our foot off the gas at the season’s halftime. Frankly, seeing how the coaches seem to let up in the second half of games, this little half-season statement is appropriate, I think.

    Also, I agree with the senator, this could be directed at the players as much as the coaches.

    I didn’t take this to mean that Mark Richt is not doing a good job or that McGarity isn’t ‘buying in.’ I think he is actually saying that things are going in the right direction and just not to let up.

  3. HVL Dawg

    Public comments vs. private conversations.

    The press corps will tell McGarity that he HAS to fire CMR if we lose any two of UF, AU and GT.

    McGarity put too many cards on the table, too early and for what reason? – just to make the fan base like him?

    • You really think McGarity cares what the press corps tells him he needs to do?

      The only people that matter are the big money folks and Adams.

      • HVL Dawg

        No, I don’t think McGarity cares what the press corps tells him. But the press corps will tell Adams and the big money folks what to think.

        Here’s Don Corleone perfectly expressing my point

        • The press corps has been beating the hot seat drum in increasing intensity for two years. Don’t see where it’s had any impact.

          • Keese

            Really? McGarity and Adams may not care about the media blabber, but im sure they recognize the medias role in lighting the mob’s torches.

            • When has our fan base ever acted as a mob? I can’t think of a single head football coaching hire/fire that was forced by us.

              • Keese

                It never will be “forced” by fans directly per se, but the money, public support, perception etc can be influenced by medias role fanning the fire. Disagree?

                • With Adams in charge? Hells yeah, I disagree.

                  • Same here Senator.

                    Its one of the reasons I am such a fan of Adams as our President.

                    He’s not perfect… I hate the WLOCP decision, not sure I agree with how he handled north campus tailgating, and a few other things.

                    But he makes decisions with a sense of clarity and purpose that show he is relying on his judgement and what is best for the University (that second part is where the money comes in to play) – not ESPN talking heads or clueless media pundits.

    • The ATH

      Unless that stumble still somehow included an unlikely trip to Atlanta, he should be let go with that kind of finish IMO. That being said, I don’t think he loses two out of those three.

      I agree a lot w/ the Senator’s loose criteria of attitude adjustments and program corrections; however, wins still matter. Richt’s had two mulligans already this year. If he loses 2 out of those 3 after opening 0-2, that will make for 3 straight underwhelming years. Given the talent this program brings in, that just shouldn’t be acceptable.

      Again, I think (and certainly hope) it doesn’t come to that.

      • Bevo

        I agree with your observations (most of Richt’s mulligans are gone and losing 5 on this schedule would mean three pathetic seasons in a row), and your conclusion (that I hope it doesn’t come to that).

        Richt started the back nine (this season) with a couple of goodwill mulligans. He burned one on the tee box at #10 when it appeared in the Dome that we hadn’t practiced offense since the Liberty Bowl. He burned another with the loss to S Car, even though I give the staff credit for having the team ready to play that game.

        After the 0-2 start, Richt’s margin for error got a lot slimmer. How much of that margin is left probably depends on who he loses to and how he loses.

        Personally, I have no problem with McGarity stating the obvious/rational — we haven’t proven anything yet. We’ve beaten a few losing teams. We have proven that we don’t belong in the bottom third or maybe even the bottom half of the SEC. The second half of the season will tell us just as much about this team as the first half did.

  4. Jim

    I think he is just trying to make the staff and players a little more uptight for the florida game. (Joking.)

    Agree Senator – his head seems to be in a similar place to mine. Good to see great minds think alike. (Please hold back the jokes…)

  5. vincent

    As someone who thought the season and richt’s tenure was over after the boise game and stated as such i’m glad the last 4 games have proven me wrong. however, i think mcgarity is correct to not evaluate until the season’s end which is not to take away from the obvious improvement by this team. Here’s hoping to this team proving me VERY wrong by the end of the year

  6. heyberto

    The man has a way of speaking that conveys support, but doesn’t let off the gas. I like it. I really believe if this team continues to play hard and games are coached well, Richt will be coaching us next year. Even if we drop another game.

  7. Turd Ferguson

    That’s about where I am.

    You know, there’s a tendency equal and opposite to “dawgrading,” i.e., the tendency of certain fans to overestimate the quality of a Dawg opponent once we’ve beaten them. We now have 3 straight conference wins, and already, the blind-faith optimists are behaving as if Georgia is back. Never mind the fact that there’s literally not a single conference victory among any of those 3 opponents. Yes, winning in Neyland is tough. But Tennessee’s defense is mediocre at best (middle-of-the-pack statistically, despite an awfully weak schedule to this point), their rushing offense is dead last in the conference (by a comfortable margin), their best offensive play-maker (arguably) was out for the whole game, and even Bray was unable to finish the game because of a fluke injury. Add all that up and it becomes A LOT easier to win in Neyland. Or at least, it OUGHT to become a lot easier to win. We went into the half with a 6-6 tie, and ended up winning a 1 score game.

    Meanwhile, Mississippi State almost lost to Louisiana Tech, and Ole Miss got their asses handed to them … by Vanderbilt. (And here again, the response from some Georgia fans will be something like, “Hey, Vanderbilt’s a great team.” Relative to past iterations of Vanderbilt? Perhaps. Objectively, though? Not even a little bit.)

    In my opinion, AT THIS POINT, it looks as if we’ve played 1 very good team (Boise), 1 pretty good team (South Carolina), 2 so-so teams (Miss State, Tenn), and 2 bad teams (Ole Miss, Coastal). Our record against the so-so and bad teams: 4-0. Our record against the good teams: 0-2.

    So yeah, I’d say the jury’s definitely still out. I would say that our next opportunity to prove that we can beat a good team will be the Cocktail Party, but that assumes Brantley will indeed be back (which, I’ve heard, is actually still very much in question).

    • Bevo

      Agree. Good post.

    • Bulldog Joe

      “You know, there’s a tendency equal and opposite to “dawgrading,” i.e., the tendency of certain fans to overestimate the quality of a Dawg opponent once we’ve beaten them.”

      What you just described is a “Pupgrade (v)” – using hindsight in the wake of a close Georgia win to increase the stature of a defeated also-ran to that of a feared opponent.

    • Puffdawg

      “… and already, the blind-faith optimists are behaving as if Georgia is back.”

      Turd, do you refer to the commentors on this blog or somewhere else? I haven’t gotten the impression that’s the overwhelming feeling on this blog and with its followers. I think most here are also in a wait and see mode, although the results of the past 4 games have been very encouraging with respect to progress, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Just curious from where your perception on this was derived.

  8. Go Dawgs!

    It sounds to me like McGarity is right where he should be, and it sounds like a lot of people are trying to read too much into what seems to me to almost be a fairly politically correct non-statement. He’s right. At the risk of Dawgrading some of the squads we’ve faced, nobody can accuse Ole Miss, MSU, or Tennessee of being contenders for the SEC Championship. So our guys need to stay hard at work and not let up. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I really think our guys and our coaches already know that, though. They’re well aware of the past few years’ unpleasantness. Beat Vandy, and then let’s get to the hard work of getting ready for Florida.

  9. Bryant Denny

    Well, if you guys can’t finish this schedule 9-3 (loss to GT) or 10-2, things probably do need to be evaluated strongly.

    Despite Bama rolling on next year, the schedule for 2012 also looks to set up nicely for a big year.

    There’s a window here for UGA to shoot back to the top of the East.

    • adam

      If it shakes out that we win the East this year and next year (and hopefully in that case, win the conference at least once), the “hot seat” years will be long forgotten.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Funny you should bring that up BD. Since Bama lost 3 games last season I think Saban should be on the hot seat. Unless Bama wins a minimum of 11 games this year including wins over LSU and Auburn plus wins the SEC Championship (winning the West is not enough), Saban’s employment with Bama needs to be re-evaluated. After all, in 2007 he was 7-6 with a loss to a D-IAA team. That’s 2 years out of the last 4 that Saban has had a team with 3 or more losses–totally unacceptable! And in 2008 he had 2 losses which is almost as bad as 3 losses, totally collapsing at the end of the season. Unacceptable! Fire him!!!

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    McGarity’s comment is standard management/leadership drivel, no implications necessary. Why the fuss?

    • Gravidy

      As someone who has always loathed (really LOATHED, I tell you) “standard management/leadership drivel”, I whole-heartedly agree.

    • Anon

      Well, considering all the coachspeak and platitudes we get from the coaching staff, I’d say that’s about right.

  11. Starbreaker

    I am 100% on board with McGarity’s comments. We have played some of the worst teams in the SEC on our “come back” in what appears to be a down year for the conference (save 2 teams). I am not downgrading our performance, just saying let’s not get overly confident based on these wins. These types of games were exactly what we needed to get back on track and work out the kinks with a lot of new guys on the field and hopefully the momentum will build going into UF, Auburn and Tech.

    • Puffdawg

      I think if Miss St beats USCe this weekend, half of all UGA fans’ heads will explode trying t0 figure out who are the worst teams in the SEC. ;)

  12. X-Dawg

    But for just 1 of 5 disasters to have been averted in the SCAR game, we’d most likely be ranked in the top 15 now. That’s how razor thin this season is for us. I still can’t get past that game. Sorry.

    • WFdawg

      Me neither. And we sure would be set up nicely to win the East had we won. UF and USC would be two games back at the halfway point. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory that day.

  13. Zdawg

    I had an Auburn fan ask me yesterday what it would mean for us to lose to them. I told him it would sting (especially after last year) but that the UF game is the one that is non-negotiable. I hate that its come to this for Richt, but moral victories and signs of improvement wont get him out of another loss in Jacksonville.

    • Go Dawgs!

      … it won’t get him out of another loss in Jacksonville… with you. And that’s fair enough. But nobody really knows what McGarity would do if we go 9-3 and the only additional loss is Florida.

      • Zdawg

        Thats true. And I ain’t one of those big money guys either, so it won’t mean anything.

        • Go Dawgs!

          I’m not even allowed to make eye contact with the big money guys, so don’t feel bad.

        • Anon

          +100

          I recently had a chance to interact with McGarity in a mixed group of big money/small money guys. He was pleasant and friendly in conversation to those who he recognized as big money, and was borderline rude to my group.

          He knows the whereabouts of his butter.

      • UGAfoo (formerly JBJ)

        There is some extra heat with the UF game due to our 2-8 record under RIcht and McGarity coming from that program. It would be a big statement for UGA to come out and trounce UF in Jax this year. IMHO it would save Richt his job no matter if we lose to AU and Tech to close out the year.

        • austintwo

          Beat Florida bad – just don’t celebrate on the field. Total lack of institutional control, even though I have to admit I loved it at the time.

  14. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I agree that the UGA AD should wait until the end of the season to evaluate the program. I said that after the Boise loss. I also think McGarity needs to STFU until after the season.

  15. Dave

    spot on….spot on. I like this guy.

  16. Skeptic Dawg

    I like having an AD willing to step up and speak his mind. Why continue to allow this staff perform in the same manner for yet another disappointing season. We have all seen this program decline to levels equal/below that of Donnan coached teams. It is nice to see the Dawgs winning again, especially with the solid D. However, if this team stumbles across the finish, what have the honestly accomplished?

    • Dog in Fla

      “However, if this team stumbles across the finish, what have we honestly accomplished?”

      The completion of Year One (“Four More Years|!”) of the Third Five-Year Plan, the social upheaval and chaos of which is loosely based on this

      http://chineseculture.about.com/od/historyofchina/a/Chinese-History-Third-Five-Year-Plan.htm

      • Skeptic Dawg

        We are seeing the social upheaval and chaos amongst the Dawg Nation. Would the “improved” S&C program be included in CMR’s syllabus? Maybe the flashy new no huddle offense as well? Four More Years? Huh?

        • Dog in Fla

          “Would the “improved” S&C program be included in CMR’s syllabus?”
          Yes. If Go Time! worked for the Mandelbaums, Go Time! will work for us. Plus we have a nutritionist come in for a day or two every now and then.

          “Four More Years? Huh?” All we are saying is give Mark a chance….he doesn’t need to be r-u-n-n-o-f-t so soon even if he drops below the Mendoza Line with Florida. After all, Boom already made his pre-season guarantee that Florida would beat Georgia this year. And who doesn’t expect that Weis, in an effort to top Irvin, will rotate at least four quarterbacks v. us this year if four are still walking right before Halloween.

          • Cojones

            I can’t get over how The Third 5-yr Plan fits so well into this blog subject. Yes, a result of goals is being realized that puts sustenance into the fan base just like TT5yP is designed to accomplish. Is it me or Richt who is going “commie”?

            • Dog in Fla

              Communist? Reports of Mark being sighted with a Little Red Book have been greatly exaggerated. He checked into the Butts-Mehre Defense Complex bunker only to find Gideon’s Bible, a small red one, which along with other equipment from Todd’s section of the garrison, was enough to shoot off the legs of his rivals. But Mark decided to only wing them but not kill them because it was good job security for all of them so I guess that would make him a Capitalist with Socialist tendencies

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              It’s you.

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Fla, you hittin the acid a little early today?

  17. hassan

    Sometimes if you try to read between the lines, all you’ll find is white space.

  18. W Cobb Dawg

    Never take winning for granted! – Perhaps McGarity wrote that down and framed it after the UCF debacle.

  19. Cojones

    Except McGarity is in the never take grants for winning school of thought.

  20. shane#1

    “When you recruit kids today and you ask them what they want they say they want to win a championship and have fun. Well, winning a championship is fun only after you have won it. Until then there is nothing but hard work, and no fun.”-Bobby Knight. Could this be what McGarity is getting at?