So near, and yet so far.

One thing I can’t help wondering about after reading this piece by Bill Shanks – okay, one thing after I wondered why the Macon Telegraph can’t find somebody who writes better than Bill Shanks – is would people be moaning about an 8-4 season in 2013 if C.J. Mosley hadn’t tipped that pass and Mitchell had come down with it to put last year’s Georgia squad in a national title game?

My point here isn’t to play woulda, coulda.  I’m simply asking how much Georgia making a title game after winning the SEC would have changed your current perception of the program and Richt, assuming your feelings are similar to those of Shanks’.  If your position is that it wouldn’t have and that 2013 reflects not so well on either, I respect your intellectual consistency.  If, though, you admit that you wouldn’t feel nearly as harshly about both had Georgia faced Notre Dame, are you really saying that your disappointment boils down to a tipped pass?

Again, I’m not asking if you agree with Shanks’ arguments.  I’m sure many of you do.  I’m just curious how much you’d be complaining if Mosley hadn’t made a great play.  Tell me in the comments.

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171 Comments

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171 responses to “So near, and yet so far.

  1. heyberto

    I’ve been one that botches now an then about coaches, but I am all for this coaching staff staying in place. The only caveats are I really have my doubts about Lakatos being the right guy… And Grantham needs to show his ability to adapt in some of his coaching philosophies. But I see very little that isn’t fixable. Given the adversity the coaches and players have had to gace this year, it’s hard for me to bitch about 8-4, and the most maddening thing is that we had a real deal offense that could have gotten it done with a serviceable defense, which I really don’t think we had, even when healthy….. And I HATE that for Aaron Murray most of all. But the coaching turnaround Mark Richt did behind the scenes that led us to last year’s outcome and almost outcome, convinced me that we can’t ask for much more, IMO.

  2. Newt

    I had the same thought earlier this year when Murray’s legacy was being discussed. For the people that thought he was “pretty good” or “slightly above average” (yes, I heard plenty of it). The difference between “Legend” and “slightly above average” is supposed to be more than a fingertip.

    • The real question to ask is would this season have been a disappointment had the injuries been less intrusive? With a healthy Gurley UGA beats Vandy and Missouri. I firmly believe that. And with a healthy WR core I think we beat AUB. So would 10-2 or 11-1 be a disappointment? Some seasons are lost due to unforeseen issues. 2013 was one of those seasons. It sucks, but that’s life. But if 2013 is the final straw that breaks a fan’s back, that seems silly to me.

      • @gatriguy

        I get that. The problem is that most people have already made up their minds on Richt, so the injuries this year are similar to the injuries in Goff’s last year, in that detractors are overlooking their impact because their minds are already set.

        • Spot on. People see AUB winning and get pissed (as do I). But sometimes it’s harder to accept there isn’t much to be done. AUB is playing for a national title with a defense ranked 95th !!! in YPP. Think about that. You know how hard it is to pull that off? You need not just some luck, but an enormous amount of it. Georgia is in a better position than every school in the SEC except Bama moving forward. People need to understand that.

      • Will (the other one)

        If we’re going to play “what if” with injuries, a healthy Gurley for the entire game, and certain and full game from 100% Gurely plus Malcom Mitchel and we’re talking about possibly not losing a game, even with a mess on D. (The Vandy and UT games aren’t close, and the Missouri and Auburn games look like the Sakerlina and LSU games.)
        But that would be a mix of the luck to stay healthy, and Murray + Gurely carrying us.
        As crappy as part of this season has been, the lackluster results will hopefully spark far more effort than making the title game with a lesser squad than 2012’s. (For example, the questioning of Friend and the OL is a lot less loud if we went 12-0 or 11-1.)

  3. Bulldawg165

    Saying that our disappointment boils down to a tipped pass is pretty simplistic. We had a heck of a break with the blocked FG returned for TD and we didn’t capitalize on it in the end. Without that play (that rivals Auburn’s FG returned for TD in every aspect except timing and final outcome) we’re down by 11 on our final drive (and possibly 14 if the FG is good).

    We had the lucky break we always wanted but we didn’t play well enough the rest of the game to capitalize on it. That’s the difference between teams like us and teams like Auburn.

    • Again, I’m not asking you to vent (or, in your case, re-vent). I’m simply asking if Georgia had made the play at the end to win the game, would it affect your perception of the program?

      If you don’t want to answer the question, that’s fine. But I really don’t want to hear the same old stuff rehashed in this thread. Thanks.

      • Bulldawg165

        I assumed your question was at least a little rhetorical. How could someone NOT feel better about their team after a MNC?

        • If I’m asking for responses, I think you can assume the question wasn’t rhetorical.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Senator, if the tipped pass in the 2012 SECCG had been an isolated event I would agree with your premise. Unfortunately, it is not. Rather, the tipped pass is another in a long line of end of game failures/in game failures that the coaching staff and its defenders want to lay off as “bad luck.” Just like the tipped pass to the opposition in the ’13 Auburn game was “bad luck.” Just like the missed FG in the bowl against Michigan State was “bad luck.” I could go on and on and list a whole lot of similar events that cost us games during the CMR tenure but what’s the point? The truth is these all occurred as a direct result of end of game coaching errors. I don’t want CMR’s head. I want him to learn from his mistakes and start making decisions that win games rather than lose them. Ivy Leaguer had it right in a post yesterday. CMR needs to get an expert to analyze the reasons behind this and fix the problem but he appears to be in denial or too stubborn to do that.

            • How is the tipped pass a coaching failure? How is the Auburn play a coaching failure? The Barn QB threw the ball up into double (triple coverage). When the ball was released, every coach on that field thought the same thing: INC or INT, game over. The tipped pass was absurd. It was tipped in just the right way to fall to just the wrong person. Does it suck to come up short (in excruciating ways)? Damn right it does. But throwing the baby out with the bath water is a dangerous game. Ask Nebraska, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama (pre Saban), etc…

              • @gatriguy

                Well, one could argue that the pass was tipped because Gurley didn’t step into Mosley like he was supposed to on the play. Or that throwing it to the front of the end zone rather than deeper into the end zone brings a tipped pass that is going to be caught short into play. But whatevs.

                • Bulldawg165

                  This. The pass was tipped because the RB didn’t meet Mosley at the LOS and instead let him into the backfield before picking up the block. Watch the replay on Youtube, folks.

                  • Irwin R Fletcher

                    A segment of the Georgia fan base and Bill Shanks in a web chat circa 1863-

                    “Stonewall is a good general, but he’s not Robert E Lee. Why is he so stoic and reserved? He sure does win a lot of battles, but he’s never won the big one. His faith makes him soft. Can’t we get someone like Grant or Sherman that get angry when they lose? I want some emotion. And don’t tell me that getting shot by friendly fire isn’t bad leadership instead of luck? It’s always something with him…i got shot by friendly fire. I caught pneumonia after the amputation.”

                    • Dog in Fla

                      I blame the Confederate pickets. What happened in Chancellorsville stays in Guinea Station. Sure, he had a combat reputation as a genius with no off-switch but what kind of offensive and defensive coordinator was he “as displayed by his weak and confused efforts during the Seven Days Battles around Richmond in 1862.” (¿Amirite wiki?)

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      Both you guys got it all wrong. Stonewall Jackson was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s not his or the Confederate picket’s fault. Sh!t just happens. It’s fate, Kharma, whatever you want to call it, but it certainly isn’t anything that could have been avoided with better communication or planning. I for one am sick and tired of people like you 2 trying to blame what happened to Gen. Jackson on lack of preparation or some other controllable phenomena. It’s just bad luck. Quit trying to blame some innocent kid on sentry duty for killing the best General in the Confederate Army. How was he to know that the General was going to ride by at night? He did exactly as he was taught–shoot first and ask questions later. He just reacted instinctively. It is not necessary for him to think, he’s just a soldier not a commander. And Stonewall never could have foreseen that riding through combat lines at night might result in one of his own troops shooting him. How could anyone ever imagine such an unforeseeable thing? Next time the Kharmic Bitches will be on our side and Grant will get shot by HIS people. Just wait and see. This will all turn out fine for the South in the end. Let’s just keep on going like always–no changes. We are destined to win.

                  • SCDawg

                    I don’t disagree. I think it was likely a freshman mistake, rather than a coaching error.

                • So every single failed play is a coaching failure? Got it.

            • I Wanna Red Cup

              Seriously. The tipped pass was a coaching error? It was a guy on the other team making a play.

      • I’d say, yes, it would affect it. Having a 3rd SEC title (by way of beating everyone’s favorite deity) and playing for (and most likely winning) the title would. However, I also think people need to realize how much luck goes into these things. Look at Auburn. Take the two games they won to close the reg season out of it. They still needed Mich St to beat Ohio State. They did nothing in 2013 Georgia didn’t do in 2002. Only difference is Ohio State converts a 4th and 7 against Purdue in 2002 and Michigan State beats the Buckeyes in 2013.

        Then you have the tipped pass last year. You also have a different voting mindset this year compared to 2007, when many felt UGA was the best team to close the year, but was jumped by a team 4 places behind them due to not winning their division. The state of the program is much stronger than the debbie downers want to admit, but I get seeing your rivals win adds to that.

        • James Stephenson

          Especially in comparison to the Goff and Donnan years.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Jim Donnan’s last 4 years he was 35-13. That’s a winning percentage of 73%, which is almost exactly the same as CMR’s. Just sayin.’

            • James Stephenson

              And what was Donnans record against Tenn, Florida, Auburn and Tech those years?

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                Something like 6-12. (There were some games Tech, I believe, had to forfeit). There was an interesting article I read once about Donnan, talking about, in retrospect, what a good record he had in light of the fact that FU and UT were in the top 5-10 teams nationally the whole time Donnan was HC at Georgia, each winning a national championship during that span. Tech had O’Leary as its HC and had the best stretch it ever had since Bobby Dodd in the 50s, too. Donnan won the second most games in his 5 year tenure of any coach starting out at Georgia in history up to that time. The higher one was back in the 20s. Donnan didn’t get fired because of losing too many games. That’s a myth. He got fired because (1) he was a prick and (2) he refused to replace his son as QB coach when given a direct order to do so by Mike Adams. The “he had a bad record against our main rivals” argument was just used to justify to the masses Adams’ firing of Donnan.

                • James Stephenson

                  And I would say it was Quincy Carter that got him fired. But Auburn was not a top 5-10 program at the time. And Tenn was still a top 5-10 program when Richt arrived in Ga. And Auburn has been one consistently in Richts tenure. Fact is, we fire Richt, we will get goff Redux. Then we will hire a coach who will have to work to get us to what Richt has us at now and then will have to be lucky where Richt has not been.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    Who is saying fire Richt? I’m certainly not. I’m just saying that Donnan’s record isn’t as bad as some have portrayed it to be. P.S. Q: What do Billy Graham and Quincy Carter have in common? A: They both can get a stadium full of 100,000 people to jump to their feet in unison and scream, “JESUS!!!”

    • A blocked kick returned for a touchdown equates to a kid missing a 57 yarder and THAT being returned for a touchdown?

      No. It Doesn’t.

      • That’s not even the entire story. Your question leaves out the timing of both plays.

        • Bulldawg165

          The sequence of touchdowns in a close game is irrelevant because no single touchdown contributes to the final score any more than any other touchdown. The timing only magnifies the *perception* of the play. Auburn’s FG return for TD didn’t help them win any more than the first TD they scored during the game. If you flip the order of the TDs the end result is the same, the odds of the FG returned for TD is the same, but nobody is talking about “luck.”

          • ETennDawg

            Valid point. But, do you think Auburn returns the kick if it were the 3rd qtr? I am thinking they would have watched it sail and taken the ball around midfield. Perhaps scoring, perhaps turning it over on downs, perhaps turning it over, perhaps losing Marshall to injury.
            Point being, if Alabama attempts the FG sometime other than the end of the game – Auburn doesnt return it.

  4. Tronan

    This season would still be disappointing even if we’d won the 2012 SECCG and the BCSCG, mainly because of the injuries, but also because of the shafting in Nashville and the hand of Satan at Auburn. But, had we won out in 2012, at least the program wouldn’t seem as star-crossed as it does now.

  5. GaskillDawg

    I did not read the article because I do not want to give him the page hit. If his argument is that Richt has not gotten UGA to a BCS championship game and that makes him an inferior coach to Les Miles, then I ask. Richt lost 1 game in 2002 but did not play in the BCS championship because Ohio State completed a long 4th down pass to beat some Big ten team and stay undefeated. Miles got his crystal football with a 2 loss team and only got into the game because Pitt upset West Virginia. What coaching did Miles do that Richt would not have been able to do on behalf of Pitt to cause WVA to lose? What would Miles had done differently as coach of the Bulldogs in 2002 to make Ohio State miss that 4th down pass?

    Corch Irvin Meyers was more fortunate with a 1 loss team in 2006 than we were with a 1 loss team in 2002. Meyers, WHILE BUSY COACHING IN THE SEC CC, made some brillant coaching moves on behalf of UCLA to cause UCLA to upset number 2 USC, The Shanks of the world say, “Meyer can get a team to the BCS. Richt cannot, as if Meyer woudl have personally intercepted Ohio State’s 4th down pass in 2002.

    A few years ago Shanks’s bitching was that Richt had not beaten Florida enough. Now we have beaten it 3 ties in a row he has to complain about something else. If we win the playoffs in 2014 he will bitch that Richt cannot repeat and is no better than Chizik if we do not win again in 2015.

    • Irwin R Fletcher

      It’s actually worse that that…his argument is that Richt can’t coach because:
      (a) he didn’t throw a tantrum in 2008 when Bama was killing them
      and
      (b) he is a bad coach because we don’t get the lucky breaks. Seriously…luck happens when you have a ‘special season’

      Oh..and that South Carolina would have run off Spurrier if he went 10-19 against ranked opponents…which makes total sense because Spurrier didn’t start his first 5 seasons at Carolina with a sub .500 record in the SEC and has won tons of SEC titles while he has been there.

      • Governor Milledge

        Exactly. SC NEVER has won an SEC title and only holds 1 conference title in THEIR ENTIRE HISTORY. SC began the whole trend of the “East” title

        If Spurrier won even one SEC conference title for SC, Columbia would burn itself down in ebullent celebration before re-building the Capitol in his likeness.

  6. sUGArdaddy

    I think it’d change our perceptions, of course, but not really change reality. We’ve got a great coach and program. My biggest concern is that we don’t and haven’t had a D that can win the dang game. It’s always up to the offense to win some last minute miracle or seal the deal because we sure as heck can’t count on the D winning it for us.

    -Bama we led in the 4th (and by 11 in the 3rd)
    -Clemson we led 21-7
    -Vandy we led by 10 in the 4th
    -Mizzou we pulled within 2 in the 4th and couldn’t stop a backup QB to get the ball back to our All-Conference kicker.
    -Auburn…you know the story.

    Win the game for us. Win it. Stop them. We’re ahead. We made the play. Stop them. Even against LSU, the offense had to go BACK down the field and score. When we scored I didn’t even celebrate because there was too much time left and we hadn’t stopped them all day.

    Had Mosley not tipped that pass, we still wouldn’t have stopped them and that story would be the same, we’d just have a crystal football to go with it. And, I wonder if we can win with the style of ball we play if we just can’t stop people. Every D has games they can’t stop people. See LSU vs. us or Bama vs. A & M. But we never stop people. That bothers me. We never seem to have enough points. I’m always worried about that. Without the injuries this year, it might not matter. We might have just outscored folks. The two most disappointing moments for me were Mizzou and Tech. With a depleted roster in a huge game at home, coming off 3 straight wins when the offense carried us, we needed the D and Mizzou shredded us right out of the gate. Same thing at Tech. Back-up QB finding his footing, we need the D to stand up and keep us in this game…and they shred us. The D doesn’t seem to have a gas pedal, and I’m not sure what that means going forward.

    We were babies back there, that’s for sure, and they’re going to get better. I believe that. I hope we have the staff over there to do it, but, frankly, I’m unsure. I’m hopeful Grantham surprises me.

    • Had Mosley not tipped that pass, we still wouldn’t have stopped them and that story would be the same, we’d just have a crystal football to go with it. And, I wonder if we can win with the style of ball we play if we just can’t stop people.

      That’s a fair question. So is that how you feel about Auburn? Because Shanks obviously doesn’t.

      • Joe Schmoe

        This. Shanks says we should imulate auburn and then rants about the D. I could be wrong but I think our D was actually better than theirs this year.

        • SSB Charley

          I’m fully in favor of immolating Auburn.

          • Dog in Fla

            It’s ready. Al from Dadeville has already cleared the foliage. The only thing to worry about now are the machine gun pillboxes on the TOOMER’S DRUGS® fortification and taking out the Forestry Department fire tower pickets

      • sUGArdaddy

        I think the difference is that Auburn is trying to score 50 every game and just rolls with it, and I’m not sure we are. I thought about them, because their D is wretched, and they didn’t stop us on that night on the Plains. Had we 10 more seconds, I think we win the game anyway.

        It’s the style. We play kind of like Bama. We’re more explosive, but we’re not trying to go a hundred miles per hour the whole game and score 50. I’m okay with that. We play kind of hoping our D will put up some resistance, but we can’t.

        For the record, I don’t think the Auburn ‘dynasty’ will last. I think FSU will smoke them. I think defenses will figure out that offense and game-plan and recruit to stop it. I think they’ll never have a good D there, and it will eventually cost them. What has happened with them this year is nearly unexplainable, as we all know. Like Tech, I don’t think they’re D will ever get a good look in practice to prepare them, which will end up costing them over the long haul.

  7. Bulldawg165

    What’s with all of this whining regarding 2002 and a 1 loss GA team not getting to play for the MNC? We’d have played for it with one loss in at LEAST 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    Every SEC team that has won it since then either had an undefeated season or multiple seasons with only 1 loss. We’ve never had an undefeated season and we’ve only had ONE season with only 1 loss. Sorry folks, but the banter about our 2002 season should be dropped.

    • LSU won the SEC in ’07 with two losses.

      • Bulldawg165

        And UGA can only blame themselves for that.

        LSU also only lost once in 2004 and were undefeated in 2011, so my statement still stands. We should put together more than one good season before complaining about being unlucky, because every other SEC team that’s played for a MNC (or won) has done so.

        • Again, you’ve been there, done that with the luck stuff. Please give it a rest in this thread.

          • Bulldawg165

            Half of the posts in this thread have some variation of “UGA was unlucky in 2002, 2007 and 2012.” This feeling has been re-hashed hundreds, if not thousands, of times on this blog. It really bothers you that I’m voicing a dissenting opinion for the second time?

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            165 is right. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Bluto. Almost all the Disney Dawg posts above are just regurgitating “bad luck, bad luck, bad luck” to the point of absurdity, and basically ignore the reasons behind why things happened.

    • GaskillDawg

      If your reply is meant for my post above, I am not whining about not playing for the BCS NC in 2002. I was pointing out that factors beyond the control of the SEC champions’ coaches affect whether the SEC champ could get into the BCS CG.

      If the complaint about Richt boils down to the fact that he was not able to get into the BCS game then the comparison between the teams above us not losing and the good fortune UF in 2006 or LSU in 2007 had shouldn’t “be dropped.”

      By the way, the 2005 SEC champion had 2 loses, as well.

      • Bulldawg165

        Both of those teams have put together multiple seasons like ours in 2002. We’ve only put together one. The more often you put yourself in position to take advantage of luck, the more lucky you will appear.

        • GaskillDawg

          No, LSU has not put together multiple seasons as ours in 2002. It lost 2 games in 2007. It has 1 one loss BCS championship (2003). UF, it is true, does have has one more 1 loss SEC championship than us.

          What is your response to the point of this thread? The question is, “If we had completed the last play pass for a TD and beaten Alabama and then beaten ND would your [perception of Richt and the program change for the better?” You have typed a bunch of words but have not answered the question.

          • Bulldawg165

            I answered the question above. It’s a silly question and of course the answer is yes. I’m saying these things because the comments are flooded by disney dawgs who pretend like Georgia has had nothing but bad luck and other programs have nothing but good luck.

            Oh, as far as 1 or 0 loss conference championships, Florida has FOUR in the past 20 years (1995, 1996, 2006 and 2008). LSU has TWO (2003 and 2011). Auburn has THREE (2004, 2010 and 2013).

            Seems like putting together a good season more than once every blue moon tends to yield good results, huh?

            Try to keep up ;)

            • Why is it a silly question to ask if a single play has much of an effect on how you view the program?

              • Bulldawg165

                Because:

                1) It assumes, pretty boldly, that the pass would have been a TD even though Malcom Mitchell was covered pretty tightly (and it just as likely could have been picked off)
                2) Generally speaking, playing for a MNC is going to make anyone view their program better than playing in the Capital One bowl will, and
                3) The question pretends like the tipped pass is the only reason we didn’t play for the MNC. We were only a tipped pass away because of how lucky we were to have a blocked field goal returned for a TD earlier in the game. How can you ignore this play but attribute so much to Auburn’s similar play against Bama? And then go on to talk about “intellectually consistency”…?

                • Bulldawg165

                  By the way, Bluto, what’s your answer to the question?

                • You’re missing the fucking point.

                  I’m not asking about luck. Say what you will about how Georgia got there, the fact remains that it was one play away from beating Alabama. For purposes of this one stinking post, I don’t care how Georgia put itself in position to pull that off, but the fact remains it was there. All I want to know is if it had been a Georgia player making a great play instead of Mosley, would Shanks have written the same column? And if your feelings about the program would be different, what does it say that one play can have such an impact on your view of things?

                  Why is this so hard for you to grasp? Others in this thread seem to have figured out what I’m interested in.

                  • Bulldawg165

                    I grasp it, and I’ve answered your question (twice).

                    What’s your answer to the question?

                    • You answered this?

                      And if your feelings about the program would be different, what does it say that one play can have such an impact on your view of things?

                      I must have missed it. Sorry.

                    • Bulldawg165

                      It means I am the same as every other fan and care more about actual results than “coulda woulda shoulda.”

              • Chuck

                A single play can change everything. Except for Josh Harvey-Clemons knocking an INT (or drop) away from Tray Matthews, Alabama is playing FSU in the Natty, all else being equal. How much differently is Bama and Bama’s season viewed if they’re playing for 3 in a row in a few weeks?

                Question I’d like to explore: If you KNEW you’d be playing in the Natty once every 5 years, would you accept 2 losing seasons in the 4 out years? My answer: hells yeah.

                  • Chuck

                    Went back and read your original post again and my question answers your question. Your premise: Pass isn’t tipped, Mitchell makes catch, UGA plays in Natty. I’ll extend the premise: UGA likely wins Natty against ND. So your question becomes, “Would people who are bitching about 8-4 be doing so if UGA won the Natty last year?” We agree that most fans would put up with 2 losing seasons in 5 just to PLAY in the Natty much less win it. Ergo, most fans would not be bitching about 8-4 if pass isn’t tipped and Mitchell makes play.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    Funny you should say that Senator because several of our posters just in the few days were waxing on eloquently about how UGA’s program under CMR is superior to Auburn because the Dawgs are more consistent–none of those ridiculous lows to balance off against those undeserved highs (like winning the BCSNC) as Auburn has done. “We’re better because we stay on an even keel.”

  8. Greg B.

    I honestly think that his articles screams “read me”. Maybe that is his plan, because everything that I have read in the past seems that way. If you break down the season this year, I honestly think that CMR may have done his best coaching job since he has been here. The team played hard every down. Luck is a big part of your season and record. This is probably the worst year as far as injuries….especially key injuries, that I have ever seen any college team have. In short, I was happy the way the team performed this year under the circumstances. I certainly was happy last year. Again, luck is a big part of it….Richt is the best coach the Dawgs have ever had. I am proud of the team.

  9. JAX

    The play of last year’s SECCG wasn’t the tipped pass, it was the fact that we didn’t stop Yelton on 3rd and 5 which gave them a first down. We hit him but Williams didn’t wrap up, and Yelton got the 1st by an inch. We all remember the next play where McCaron went up top for the score. THAT was the play that lost the game.

    • But that’s not what I’m asking about!

      I’m beginning to sense that getting people to stay on topic is futile. ;)

      • JAX

        Yeah but I don’t care. I enjoy hijacking the topic.

        The answer from any sane person would be “yes, I feel better about our program after winning the SEC and National Titles. Even with all the problems associated with this year, it’s hard to repeat therefore I can accept the disaapointment of this season”.

        • Dog in Fla

          “it’s hard to repeat therefore I can accept the disaapointment of this season”.”

          I had a dream that I was in Auburn…

      • Bazooka Joe

        Like trying to herd cats….. OK I’ll jump in… from my perspective if we had won the SECCG (and most likely MNC) last year I think I would have the same level of frustration regarding how this season went, but may have cut the coaches additional slack because they proved they could get us to the mountain top.

      • 66DAWGnNC

        The problem with such a question dear Senator is you have too many “coaches” on this blog that know more about how to win both a SEC and National championship more than Mark Richt does. My advice to them: apply for the dang job! Surely some one out there is looking for a “coach” that has all the answers and can win all their games.

  10. Carolinadawg

    “I ALMOST won the trial and kept my client off death row. If I had just remembered to call that one witness! Oh well, I’m still a great lawyer and next time I’ll do better!”

    Yeah, right, that works just about as well.

    • Hard to give me a straight answer, eh?

      • Carolinadawg

        Yes, I’d certainly feel differently about Richt and the status of the program if we had won the SEC championship game played for the BCS championship last year. Feel better?

        Silliest question ever.

    • GaskillDawg

      I have been a trial lawyer for 35 years this coming June (UGA Law class of 1979, proud to say.) I can tell you that I have seen juries rule against great lawyers. Lawyers cannot change the facts and sometimes crappy assistant D.A.s get convictions because their facts are just better. I have seen Bobby Lee Cook walk out of a courtroom after a jury convicted his client.

      • Hackerdog

        Bobby Lee Cook is a terrible lawyer who relies on luck and can’t win the big one. Nick Saban has never lost a case.

  11. @gatriguy

    A couple of points Senator: I agree Shanks isn’t the greatest writer in the world, but the quality of his writing doesn’t diminish the purpose of his point which has been consistent for almost 6 years. He wants his alma mater to win a national title and doesn’t think Richt can get them there (an opinion that incidentally, he isn’t alone on). Is that really so horrible? He thinks Richt is sheltered from a lot of criticism because he’s a good man. That’s hard to prove for sure one way or the other, but I can see where he’s coming from there. He’s right about UGA fans selling the program short and the defeatist attitude of “who are you going to get that’s any better?” Five years ago, no one outside of Palo Alto knew who David Shaw was. Ten years ago, Gus Malzahn was coaching high school football in Arkansas. Fifteen years ago, Nick Saban was going 8-4 in the Big 10 and couldn’t get Michigan St. over the hump. To think that Mark Richt is the only football coach in the country that can win big at UGA is myopic to the point of absurdity.

    Also, it’s time to get past the “tipped pass” story line. We didn’t lose to Alabama because of a tipped pass. We lost because Bama ran for 350. We lost because of timeout management in the second half (shocking development, I know). We lost because once we got up by 10, Alabama’s play sheet could have fit on a cocktail napkin and we couldn’t stop it. Garner never built any depth on the line, JJ and Kwame played with horrible technique, and Grantham never subbed for Tree and Robinson, even though he had Herrera and Wilson.

    YMMV of course, but I personally don’t see a lot inappropriate with Shank’s comments. People can disagree of course, but it’s hard to dismiss out of hand as being completely off base.

    • GaskillDawg

      To answer the Senator’s question I would say, “Yes” and you would say “No,” right?

    • Hackerdog

      Not that it’s on topic, but UGA gave up 512 yards in the SEC championship game last year. Auburn gave up 534 yards in the SEC championship game this year. Perhaps Malzahn is too Christian to have a good defense.

    • Carolinadawg

      @gatriguy: Excellent post!

        • RocketDawg

          What you two mental midgets seem to be missing is that it DOESN’T MATTER HOW we got to the last play of the game last year. How does the result of that one play in a vacuum color your perception of the program and Coach Richt?
          This is not a hard question yet the two of you can’t seem to come up with a straight answer. Let me answer for you: If we had won the SEC and MNC last year the two of you would be crowing from the highest peaks about how awesome “WE” are and how “WE” won (even though the two of “you” didn’t do squat). You would wear something that says “UGA 2012 National Champions” everyday and your car/truck/moped would be covered in every sticker imaginable. But the reality is that pass was tipped and we didn’t win, so you sit here and bitch and moan about everything associated with the program. Funny how one tipped pass can change everything for small minded people.

          • Bulldawg165

            Awww. Poor Disney rocket dawg haz hurt fee fees. Only sunshine and rainbows about our dogs until he stops PMS’ing.

            What a drama queen. Heaven forbid someone put forth an opinion different from yours. Geeze.

    • D.N. Nation

      “I agree Shanks isn’t the greatest writer in the world”

      Here we should note that Bill Shanks was a huge supporter of Jeff Francoeur, and that Charlie Weis is better at his job than St. Jeffy is at his. Moving on.

      “He thinks Richt is sheltered from a lot of criticism because he’s a good man.”

      “Five years ago, no one outside of Palo Alto knew who David Shaw was. Ten years ago, Gus Malzahn was coaching high school football in Arkansas. Fifteen years ago, Nick Saban was going 8-4 in the Big 10 and couldn’t get Michigan St. over the hump. To think that Mark Richt is the only football coach in the country that can win big at UGA is myopic to the point of absurdity.”

      Sure, but getting rid of a good-to-great coach for (enter hot new sh*t here) seems to be what the derp portion of the UGA fanbase so desperately desires, and to that, we put up a big picture of Dan Mullen and call it a day. Richt is the devil we know, and it isn’t 2009-2010 anymore. That would’ve been the time to move on. He’s gotten us to within a whisker of the national championship since. You fire him now, and who….exactly…..would want to come coach? At a program that cans coaches to the whim of Internet Fanboys? Keep in mind that Papa John was initially wary of coming to Florida because they sacked the Zooker after only three seasons.

      “Also, it’s time to get past the ‘tipped pass’ story line. We didn’t lose to Alabama because of a tipped pass.”

      We lost to Alabama for a number of reasons, one of which is a tipped pass. That’s brought up a lot because of how small the thing was that kept us from knocking off the champs. That’s *important*. If you don’t see that, then you’ve already made up your mind about Richt.

      “We lost because of timeout management in the second half (shocking development, I know).”

      Huh?

      If anything, the team that botched timeouts was Alabama, when Saint Saban apparently thought he could take his TOs to the second half and boned his team out of a potential TD drive to end the first half. (Also, Alabama was called for delay of game on a fake punt. And gave up a fake punt. And a long FG return for a TD. If there was any team that looked shaken and not particularly well coached that night, it was the one in crimson.)

      “People can disagree of course, but it’s hard to dismiss out of hand as being completely off base.”

      It’s red meat for morons. It matters squat to this program’s future. If that troubles you, there’s the door. Others (Will Trane, Ivy Leaguer) seem to have taken it, thankfully.

      • @gatriguy

        The Senator asked for opinions, I offered mine. You disagree. That’s fine, but not everyone does. I’m not anti-Richt. I’m not “anything” Richt. I’d like to see him win a national title at UGA, but that’s bc I want a NC. Conversely. If one side or the other decides it’s time for a change, I’m fine with that too.

  12. Honestly, after reading all this, we got the right guy with the wrong luck. Sometimes, the tips, regular season stars aligning and injuries don’t line up. Its tough to argue you need another coach with better luck, but my golly, after watching Auburn this year, maybe there is such a thing.

    This is not to say that a good chunk of this isn’t on Richt. He’s made mistakes. But as maddening as this is for some to hear, his good character and the way he treats the kids has given him some padding.

    If given a choice, I WANT to see us win with Richt. But I can’t say how I would feel if we broke it all up, grayshirted and oversigned a bunch of kids, then won the National Championship on the back of a starting QB who was kicked off Texas A&M after stealing a personally signed laptop from Johnny Football.

    • @gatriguy

      This is basically where I’m at too: I WANT Richt to get it done, but I honestly wouldn’t be disappointed if there was a change either.

      • D.N. Nation

        I would, if it ensured a period of instability and turnover with no clear path to just getting back to where we are now. I don’t want to be Nebraska.

        • @gatriguy

          Why are you so certain we would get it wrong? Have we hired the ONLY coach in America that win at UGA?

          • DawgPhan

            What makes you so sure we would get it right? Hiring someone better than CMR is less than a coin flip…way less.

            • Would be interested to see a post on how a many programs in the last few years got it wrong vs got it right.

              • Dog in Fla

                An uninformed guesstimate is

                Right:

                Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Clemson, FSU, Miami, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Penn State, Duke, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Stanford, Oregon, Washington State, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Auburn, Central Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Miss. State, North Carolina

                Wrong:

                Nebraska, Florida, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Virginia, Southern Miss, Cal, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Maryland, Michigan

                Even:

                Kentucky, Navy

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  In fairness you should list FU as being both right and wrong.

                • Irwin R Fletcher

                  Whatevs? How do you not win a national championship with Andrew Luck? Harbaugh and Shaw suck.No excuse.
                  And Clemson? Dabo can’t even win the ACC.
                  Miami? Duke? North Carolina? See Clemson.
                  Ohio State hasn’t won a championship since 2002. They should have fired Tressell in 2003 and hired Saban. And Corch had it lined up and CHOKED! FIRE HIM!
                  Carolina hasn’t won the SEC. FIRE SPURRIER!
                  Oregon? Puh-leeze! With all that Nike money, they should be UNDEFEATED!
                  Miss State and Ole Miss? Huh? They can’t beat Bama! Losing to Bama by a lot is the sure sign your coach should be FIRED!

                • GaskillDawg

                  When you list Alabama as a got it right are you referring to offering the job to Rich Rodreguiz before offering it to Saban? Had Rich Rod said “Yes” Saban would be somewhere else.

  13. Irwin R Fletcher

    The only moment I keep coming back to from this season is the end of the LSU game…I still well up watching Richt and Murray at the end of that game. That 4 game stretch was as difficult as any the Georgia program has had to go through in 40 years. And Georgia beat two top 10 teams and came within a field goal of beating three.

    Before injuries, this was a team that was talented enough and coached well enough to win a championship. If you watched Georgia football this season and came away with the idea that Richt can’t coach, I don’t know what you were watching.

    As far as not making the championship game, I don’t know how it would change my perspective if it were different. I know this…I watched a team that was that close to the mountaintop have its goals and dreams shattered by injuries, suspensions, and bad calls…and that team didn’t quit. It didn’t ever show any signs of quit, period. The fact that these kids were mentally able to mount the kind of comebacks that they did against Auburn and Tech is remarkable.

    • Governor Milledge

      Exactly. If you told any one of us in the hot month of August that we would be sitting at the end of September 3-1, we’d have started reserving hotel rooms in Pasadena.

      Our team had it all this season to be a contender for the crystal ball, which makes the rest of the season so damn frustrating October forward. We were decimated by injuries, and our defense was never there to help carry the load at the end. Still, but for our offensive injuries we win at least two more (2 of our 3 SEC losses, you pick) and are in the SEC Championship game.

  14. charlottedawg

    No, it wouldn’t change my perception of Richt or the program, which is that we are consistently good, never great and we’re going to be perennially about the third best team in the conference. We played our hearts out against Bama but the difference between the two programs is a lot more than 5 yards. I also don’t understand why it’s a given we would have beaten Notre Dame. We most likely win a shootout but don’t kid yourself into thinking we would have dominated the golden domers the way Alabama did, especially without John Jenkins.

  15. Derek

    I think a better question might be how we would feel if 2009-2011 hadn’t have happened? If you take those outlier years out and I’m not sure there is much to debate.
    There is no question but that the fire Richt crowd would have clammed up had we gotten to the BCS championship game, even if they would claim otherwise. After all, being unreasonable is sort of their specialty. I don’t think that, like Bill Shanks, that you can judge a coach on an isolated flop like the 2008 Bama game or last year’s USC game. I think you have to look at two things: 1) are we bringing in the talent necessary to compete at the highest level? 2) are the players buying in and playing hard for 4 quarters? I think that we’ve improved dramatically since we hit bottom a couple of years ago on both counts. Moreover, I don’t think people realize that the odds of the next coach being more successful are very, very low. Could it happen? Sure? Why just take a chance simply because you can? Especially when there is no reason we can’t be in the discussion for a playoff spot in 2014.

  16. RandallPinkFloyd

    I’ve debated this several times with the people who have been on the ‘Fire Richt’ campaign since 2008. The response is about the same that this thread has garnered. I don’t think it would change my perception of the year or the program itself. This year was just frustrating and there’s just no way to overcome that sort of decimation we saw on the depth chart.. I’m not even sure Saban has recruited well enough to overcome that. My perception of the program overall wouldn’t change, which is that we have a really good coach and a really good program. Are we great? By no means. Have we had our moments? Absolutely.

    I personally feel that we should consider ourselves fortunate to get as close as we did in 2012 considering what we were up against: a semi-professional franchise located in Tuscaloosa. Until our Athletics Dept and the Board ‘commit to the G’ in the same way the fan base, players and coaches do, we will always be what I described earlier. A good, but not great program/team with it’s fair share of moments (2002, 2007, 2012). The playing field is not level and what Richt has done in spite of that is one of the more impressive things I’ve seen.

  17. Russ

    Wow. I actually feel dumber for reading that. Thankfully I didn’t even know this guy existed until now. I guess he’s trying to take F-baum’s place.

  18. Dog in Fla

    “I’m just curious how much you’d be complaining if Mosley hadn’t made a great play.”

    I would be bitching a lot more (if, in fact, that’s even possible) because an 8-4 would be a thermonuclear hotseat. After all, if you win the tournament once, why can’t you do it again stat!

  19. Gravidy

    Well, I’m not on the Fire Richt Bandwagon, so I’m not sure the question applies to me, but I’ll answer it. Of course an SEC title (and likely NC) last year would change my perception of the program. How could it not? And I would view anyone who says otherwise with skepticism, to say the least.

    You are literally correct when you say that means one’s opinion comes down to a tipped pass, but that is a tad simplistic. That particular cat could be skinned many ways.

  20. rampdawg

    I live in the Macon area. I have to listen to Bill Stanks all the time. Bill is a spoiled sounding child of the me me me now now now era. Bill Stanks would have wanted Bobby Bowden and Tom Osborne fired. Why? Because FSU and Uof N didn’t win it all early or often enough. Forget all the good winning seasons they had. Bill wants it last year, this year or 8 years ago, or he’s gonna throw a hissy fit till he gets his way A lot the same can be said about a lot UGA fans on your site. Bobby and Tom were showed patience, and all the fans of the schools they coached for, were rewarded in time with multiple championships. I guess it’s the time we live in now. The rod was spared, and now we have to keep listening to whiny, big mouthed, spoiled brats who were given everything they wanted now, now, now.

  21. eli

    Been a dawg for 52 yrs and I think Mark Richt best coach we have ever had. Dooley played a lot of bad teams every yr, but we only had two chances for a national championship. Herschel Walker yrs. Most yrs 7-3 6-4 or 8-2. Be thankful for what we have.

  22. Tim

    I’m sure I dont represent the mainstream opinion but the tipped pass doesn’t change my opinion of Richt or the program at all. It seems to me that Shanks and those who agree with him are wrong minded in feeling that the only successful season is one that ends with the MNC. That means 120 plus teams fail each season and only one is a success. I’d sure love for the Dawgs to get one but realize a successful season can’t be defined based on getting the crystal. That tipped pass meant to me that the team I love fought valiantly against a team that was heavily favored for the entire game, even after things went against them. I was extremely proud of that game even in the loss. Again I want my team to get that championship but playing with class, representing my University well on and off the field and not cheating matter as much to me.

  23. Tim

    I’m sure I don’t represent the mainstream opinion but the tipped pass doesn’t change my opinion of Richt or the program at all. It seems to me that Shanks and those who agree with him are wrong minded in feeling that the only successful season is one that ends with the MNC. That means 120 plus teams fail each season and only one is a success. I’d sure love for the Dawgs to get one but realize a successful season can’t be defined based on getting the crystal. That tipped pass meant to me that the team I love fought valiantly against a team that was heavily favored for the entire game, even after things went against them. I was extremely proud of that game even in the loss. Again I want my team to get that championship but playing with class, representing my University well on and off the field and not cheating matter as much to me.

  24. Cojones

    Ho Lee Shit! Can’t believe all the Richt-supporting comments that question the author’s question. While it was alluded to by Shanks, the question should have been posed for Grantham, not Richt.

  25. Hogbody Spradlin

    I don’t feel very down on Richt and the program right now, but If we had won that game I’d be swaggering around a little more, thinking that this year is just a little bump in the dynasty.

    I find it hard to believe anybody wouldn’t sincerely feel better (or not as bad) about this year with Richt and the program, if we’d won that game and then beat ND last year.

  26. Slaw Dawg

    To answer your question directly, I would not be complaining as much if Mosley hadn’t made that play. Mitchell would have a TD and we’d have beaten ND like they stole something.

    Mitchell did make the play and another team got to beat ND like they stole something. I never wanted our guys to get back to the SEC title game as badly as I did this year–I’m sure that’s true for other fans, not to mention the players and coaches. That made the year’s disappointments that much harder to take. And it does make me more skeptical of our program and its leadership.

    In short, that tipped past is leading me slowly to the grim conclusion that our favorite program is one that chronically underachieves. Call it bad luck, call it bad staff, call it inadequate administrative support, call it whatever you want. We are the flagship program in a state flourishing with football talent–we have a better deal than any other SEC team in that regard. But our program continues to demonstrate maddening tendencies that I simply no longer believe will be corrected, because they haven’t been. I won’t rehash them, because we know what they are, and you’ve made it clear that’s not the question you’re asking.

    Right now, all I have is a sort of diminishing hope that somehow next year all the lights will finally go “On.” But my actual expectations are well short of that, based on past experience that includes that fateful tipped past.

  27. stoopnagle

    Sorry. Can’t give Shanks a click. He’s a troll.

  28. Dog in Fla

    Just because Football Jesus®* moved our luck and never smiles on us (except for having home rather than road games against USCe and LSU this past season) is there ever a regression to the mean for bad signs

    *”Football Jesus (n.) — a separate, auxiliary Jesus maintained by America’s Christian God to handle all pre-, in-, and post-game prayer requests, as the big guy is kept somewhat busy with sick children, lost pets, failing crops, and what have you.”

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9599552/holly-anderson-college-football-grantland-dictionary

  29. I’ll admit that I’ve given that one play a lot of power over me in relation to my opinion of this coaching staff and the program as a whole. If it goes the other way, this season would still be brutal, but I’d be much more confident about the program.

    Being honest with myself is hard, but I think it matters a ton and, sometimes, legacies are written (or changed) based on one, brief moment.

    So it goes with Richt & the current UGA football program.

  30. AusDawg85

    Seriously, Senator…throwing red meat out for the whiners? How charitable in this season of giving.

    In the spirit of creating turmoil, let’s revisit a constant theme that is presented here quite often by both sides of the Richt argument…”with all of the talent in Georgia” we should de facto win a MNC as the flagship institution. This line of reasoning is the most flawed of all. Georgia turns-out some fantastic players and because of that, is also heavily recruited by all other schools. Texas, California, Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania also have tons of talent. There is no direct relationship to in-state high school talent and State U. winning the MNC. Yet this belief colors the perception of UGA’s program for far too many, including Mr. Shanks. If this “we have the in-state talent, why aren’t we doing better?” argument were valid, then why is it we only have 1980 to show for it since the 1960’s? You can’t blame Richt for this…try as you might.

    Could another HC win the MNC at UGA? Of course…its the perfect hypothetical so why not support the position. But like I pointed-out the other day, there have only been 8 gentlemen to lead their teams to the MNC while Mark Richt has been at Georgia. 4 – 5 of them are no longer with their teams and have proven scandals left behind. So did UGA choose poorly in taking a chance on Richt? As the Senator points-out, what evidence is there that the powers controlling the HC position at UGA (which goes far beyond the AD) are capable of picking the new NC that can turn the corner?

    Frankly, I wish the Senator had asked the whiners why they aren’t screaming at the top of their lungs for us to go get Mack Brown. He’s available, has exactly the resume they demand, and won’t be all that expensive. I’d love to hear the rationale for this conspicuous silence.

    • Dog in Fla

      “I’d love to hear the rationale for this conspicuous silence.”

      Because Georgia hiring Mr. Football would be too much of a good thing for Spurrier?

      “The cruelest and most accurate thing ever said about Mack Brown came from Steve Spurrier. Spurrier was then the coach at Duke. Brown was at North Carolina. Spurrier was fashioning himself into a monomaniacal offensive strategist. Brown was becoming a Reaganesque CEO. When sportswriters traveled that little corner of the ACC, Spurrier would say, ‘I just don’t think I know enough about the game to compete with Mr. Football.’…..

      Spurrier wouldn’t let the slur go. By 1997, he’d moved to the University of Florida and won a national championship. The sportswriter John Feinstein sent Spurrier a note saying that if he thought he was so great, he should go back to Duke. “Nah,” Spurrier wrote in his reply, “I don’t think I could deal with the pressure of competing with Mr. Football again every year.”

      http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10134500/the-end-era-mack-brown-texas-longhorns

      • Irwin R Fletcher

        And yet…here we are 20 years later with Mack Brown sitting on just as many national championships as Steve Spurrier.

  31. Jt

    No….doesn’t change my view of our team. Shanks is a finebaum wannabe and a hack.

  32. Atticus

    How about the coaching staff address these two issues…:

    I am all for running a clean program, running a program that values academic excellence, family atmosphere etc….some people say it’s only a game and we do the best we can and there are more important things to focus on in life……but there is also doing the BEST you can and training the players to be the best, holding the coaches to be the best and bearing down on EVERY detail of the program to make sure the University and the kids and alumni are absolutely getting the most out of their program possible. It’s not happening up there. It’s a joke. It’s not even CLOSE at UGA. Aaron Murray and Stafford go through that program and not SEC titles in those 7 years. AJ and Moreno too.

    A microcosm of this is this:

    Between 2007-2012 these are the following recruiting numbers:

    Auburn 164 players
    Alabama 160
    LSU 151
    S Car 163
    UGA 130

    That is a joke, with these numbers you just can’t compete and that is why UGA is 6-17 against ranked opponents. I understand you don’t want to oversign and gray shirt and run kids off, but you also can use some common sense and understand there is going to be attrition like Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders and some of the OL that have quit. We started FOUR true freshmen on defense this year in Wiggins, Floyd, Matthews, Langley and. That is 100% unacceptable for a team that could’ve made a run. It lost us every game. Clemson was a joke with Connor Norman and Brandon Langley playing. Neither played much the rest of the season.

    The 2nd microcosm is the fact that every year our special teams is horrible. Pathetic.

    Punt return team 103rd nationally
    Kickoff return 111
    Punt team 74th
    Kickoff coverage 96th

    special teams blunders in 2013 and how they impacted the scoreboard.
    · Botched field goal in the third quarter against Clemson (Georgia lost by three)
    · Fumbled snap on a punt in the second quarter against South Carolina (South Carolina scored a touchdown one play later)
    · 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter by North Texas (Cut the Mean Green deficit to seven)
    · Blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the third quarter by North Texas (tied the game)
    · Blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the third quarter by Tennessee (tied the game)
    · Fake field goal for a touchdown in the second quarter by Vanderbilt (gave Vandy the lead)
    · Fumbled punt return late in the third quarter against Vanderbilt (Vandy scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to cut Georgia’s lead to six)
    · Bad snap on a punt in the fourth quarter vs. Vanderbilt (Commodores scored the game-winning touchdown one play later)

    Maybe he magically puts it together next year. I really hope so. I hope the talent so overwhelms the other teams, we can’t help but win.

  33. Atticus

    And success is not wins and losses per se or if they win a MNC or not, although that is a part of it, success is much more attributed to playing at the highest level possible every week given your talent and resources. Demanding excellence. It is NOT playing just good enough to win games and having a coach not demand and correct mistakes and not communicate to the public, the alumni and the players and coaches that “we expect to play better, this was not the way we expect to perform at GA (and when playing far inferior competition) and we will make the necessary changes to make sure it does not ….”

  34. Hope you don’t mind me commenting on this.

    As an outsider, I think y’all should be hugely disappointed in this year – despite AND because of the tipped pass.

    In the pre-season, I believe I had UGA pegged to go 11-1 with the loss being to Clemson. You guys were the team I feared the most of the other 13. Yes, there were losses on defense, but the offense looked to be unstoppable.

    In my opinion, the loss in the SECCG last year should have stoked a fire for a title run this year. So from that perspective, 8-4 would be a huge downer.

    Have a good one,

    BD

    • It did stoke the fire of a title run. We were on that title run until we had our best offensive skill players on the shelf with multiple game or season-ending injuries. When we went to the spread, there wasn’t a defense that could handle the combination of Scott-Wesley, Bennett, Conley, and one of the tight ends with Gurley/Marshall out of the backfield. That’s with our best big play guy hurt on the first play from scrimmage with Malcolm Mitchell. Eventually, Murray gets hurt the week before our rivalry game.

      Bama would have had some of the same issues with Cooper, Yeldon, Drake and others. Then to lose McCarron the week before Auburn, I’m not sure you guys could have survived all of that to go 11-1.

      I’m disappointed but it’s about the defense for me. When the offense was trying to find its way less a bunch of pieces, the defense and special teams didn’t pull their weight.

    • Irwin R Fletcher

      There is a difference b/w being disappointed and thinking the program is in a state of complacency, needing new leadership, etc.

      I’m disappointed in 8-4. Especially after the 3-1 start against three top 10 teams. But you can’t lose your grip on reality.

      This team had to play Mizzou, a top 10 team, and Vandy pretty much without Mitchell, Gurley, Marshall, Scott Wesley, Bennett, Matthews, Rome, Rumph, Norman, and Reggie Wilkerson.

      I’m disappointed Georgia finished 8-4, but it is different than 2009 when you just wondered if it had passed the team by. It feels more like 2006 when it was easy to get down about losses to Kentucky and Vandy, but I felt good about the way the team competed and how Stafford was developing, etc.

      In the last three seasons, the two where the team hasn’t been decimated by injuries, Georgia made the SECCG and in the other has a chance for 9 wins and finished 5-3 in the SEC. The schedule sets up favorably in 2014…ya’ll can keep whining about the program. I’m going to watch Mason get ready for the bowl game and the 2014 campaign.

  35. A10Penny

    All of us would be happier if that pass was caught. But were any of us happy with the Defense last year with the talent we had? Imagine how it would have been without Jarvis.

  36. It’s a very interesting question. First, if Moseley hadn’t tipped that pass, it would have been either incomplete or intercepted.

    But say we had won the NC last year, because that’s what would have happened if we had either scored on the next play or spiked the ball with 3 plays left to score.

    Had that happened I don’t see how it’s possible for anybody’s perception of the program to not have changed. A national championship is very toxic, for at least a year or two, and in a good way.

    Having said that, I can honestly say my take on what’s wrong with the program would not have changed (or at least would have changed back by midseason) because it has never been based on W’s and L’s or Championships. After the Vandy game my stance would have been the same as it is now, and of course the rest of the year would support that as well.

    The Vandy game was the final block of evidence that a long-term systemic problem has still not been addressed. And that’s one thing a NC could not have changed.
    ~~~

    • AusDawg85

      “…it’s an incompletion or interception”. Let’s go to the source, Aaron Murray, who states in post game interviews that “Oh, it’s a touchdown. The defender has his back to the play and it’s just up to Malcolm to go up and get it”.

      In defending HIS decision to not order Murray to spike the ball, CMR quotes consultant, Homer Smith, who says that spiking the ball is for a team without a plan. We had one and wanted to execute to that advantage.

      You guys criticize the program all you want, but at least try to get your facts straight.

      • Murray is not the source. Richt is not the source. EVER. The only real source in football is the film.

        If you are interested in facts, I suggest you study the film. I’ve studied a lot of film, and that’s the way I see it. To me, it’s obvious.

        Further, I don’t get off on criticizing the program. I do, however, point out reality, the best I can discern it. But I know better than to think everybody will agree with it.
        ~~~

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      Just curious how it would have either been incomplete or intercepted, but not completed….for a touchdown? I’m pretty sure all 3 of those things are possible as they are with any pass thrown in football.

      • Because if you are sufficiently negative about the program, or, depending upon your point of view, simply being brutally realistic, it’s a given that Vince Dooley’s famous dictum about throwing the ball (“three things can happen… and two of them are bad”) is overly generous. ;)

        • RandallPinkFloyd

          Thanks for clarifying that, Senator. As soon as I read that, I knew exactly what the rest of his comments would look like. It was too easy when he started it out the way he did.

      • Bulldawg165

        Because on the replay you can see that MM was covered pretty tightly. I actually agree with the decision to not spike the ball there, but to just assume that the pass was a guaranteed TD is a bit of a stretch.

        • RandallPinkFloyd

          And I think it’s a bit of a stretch just to assume it’s not a completion. Again, all 3 things are a possibility: incompletion, interception, TD.

          • Bulldawg165

            I agree. I’m not saying that it definitely wouldn’t have been a completion. I’m just saying a completion was far from guaranteed.

      • Fair question.

        Best I can tell you is go back and watch the film. Notice that the trajectory of the ball, projected forward if un-tipped, is right at the pylon or even just outside of the goal line.

        Then look at the route (which was poor), the coverage, and go from there.
        ~~~

        • RandallPinkFloyd

          Hahaha. Alright, man. There’s no sense in arguing with someone like you. I love that you threw MM under the bus there as well, job well done.

  37. Raleigh St. Claire

    Mark Richt routinely fields teams that are terrible at special teams and defense and has done so since 2005.

    He also fields teams that invariably show up to 2-3 games per year totally unprepared and unmotivated. See, e.g., the Carolina game in 2012 and the first half of the Auburn game this year among many many others.

    He is not a championship coach any longer. He does not coach teams that do the small things well. He is not detail oriented and he is several steps below coaches like Saban, Meyer, and even Malzahn.

    Richt is never again going to win another championship of any kind. And, in the process, he’s going to waste the careers of players like Gurley, just like he did with Stafford, Moreno, Green, and now Murray.

    He needs to go because barring scheduling luck, like in 2011 and 2012, he’s a 3-4 loss per year coach. He’s simply incapable of preparing a team week in and week out to get better results.

    I mean, look at his Gator Bowl press remarks where he said you can’t win every game and that this season was a success. Those arent the types of comments made by a coach who demands excellence and is focused on championships.

    Next year will be just like this one. Terrible defense and shockingly bad special teams. The sheep who love Richt more than UGA will find yet another excuse to explain away the bad coaching and then we’ll do it all over again in 2015.

    All the while, the other teams in the conference will actually be doing the things necessary to out themselves in the best position to win big.

    • I prefer a different solution, because I want Richt to succeed.

      But I certainly agree with your diagnoses. Each offseason, I hope Richt will reach out for a solution, one which would involve systemic intangible changes, and I hope he will this year. But he never does.

      So I hope you are wrong, but fear you are right.
      ~~~

  38. Atticus

    I want Richt to stay and to figure out the overwhelming issues that he is seemingly blind to. But those that support him ask yourself this: What top coach, Saban, Carroll, Meyer, Spurrier, Miles, Shaw….whoever, when they had a team ranked #1 in the country has ever been BLOWN OUT in their own stadium and down 31-0 at halftime? Please answer this for us. And people that see the blue sky and talk about last year and a dropped pass in the SECC……just ask yourself this, what team has ever won a national title when they had been BLOWN OUT (South Carolina) earlier in the year and struggled to beat several other inferior teams? I have supported Richt for years but 08 started the slide (that Bama game was unacceptable and as unprepared a team as I have ever seen) and honestly, when I heard him interviewed after the TN game this year, a team that SUCKED and was BLOWN OUT by Oregon and has been decimated by all the coaching changes, I was embarrassed for the players and as an alumni that my coach said NOTHING about the way we played and how unacceptable it was and that we will do everything in our power to correct these mistakes and we have an obligation to the players to coach them better and hold them accountable and WE WILL get better because this is not the way we play at UGA……nothing. Frankly it was embarrassing.

    • Irwin R Fletcher

      That same Bama team that beat UGA 41-30 (that was the final…I assume those points count, right?) made it to #1 and then got down to Utah 21-0 in the first quarter before losing 31-17.

      But that has never happened to Saban, right? Because that would SUCK!

      I mean…it’s not like Bama got down 20-0 in the FIRST QUARTER of a GAME LAST YEAR….AT HOME…AND LOST…then won a national championship or anything. That would SUCK!

      And Auburn was so unprepared that they were down 21-0 against Bama in 2010 (and 21-7 the week before to UGA!!!).

      The 2008 Florida team lost to Ur Ole Miss at Home.
      The 2007 LSU team lost to two teams that would finish below .500 in the SEC and unranked.

      And I agree that it was embarrassing that Richt didn’t crap all over the team after watching 4 guys go down with ACL tears during the game. Those kids deserved to be publicly humiliated.

      • Irwin R Fletcher

        By the way, one tiny…eetsy beetsy detail….Auburn was losing 21-0 at the end of the first half against LSU this year. THEY WERE UNPREPARED! WHAT TEAM GOES AND GETS BLOWN OUT IN THE FIRST HALF AND THEN PLAYS FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ONLY BEATING GEORGIA VIA A MIRACLE AND SNEAKING BY MISS STATE! BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH ALL CAPS BLAH!

        What world do you people live in? Is it one without TV? Does Google not exist in your corner of the universe?

        Embarrassed is really the right word.

        • Atticus

          You are smoking something fierce if you are comparing UGAs program to LSU, Florida, Bama and Auburn. 6-17 against ranked teams is yes, an embarrassment. There is a difference between crapping on the team (which I never advocated) and holding them accountable. If you think the way they played against TN and Vandy was acceptable then that is your opinion.

          • Irwin R Fletcher

            I thought you made a point about top coaches not getting blown out at home when they are #1? Oh riiiiiiiiiiight…I forgot, that point wasn’t really a good one so on to the next one, I assume.

            Since 2010, Florida is 4-15 against ranked opponents. Of course, UGA is 2-2 against Auburn, 3-1 against Florida, and 1-1 against LSU over that stretch…BUT THERE IS NO COMPARISON OF THESE PROGRAMS! Embarrassment! Hyperbole!

            Again, if you watched the Tennessee game and didn’t see how those kids continued to compete and grind after watching their teammates continue to fall to injuries, then it isn’t really worth any more effort looking up facts that show how bad your opinions are.

    • IveyLeaguer

      {“I was embarrassed for the players and as an alumni that my coach said NOTHING about the way we played and how unacceptable it was and that we will do everything in our power to correct these mistakes and we have an obligation to the players to coach them better and hold them accountable and WE WILL get better because this is not the way we play at UGA……nothing. Frankly it was embarrassing.”}

      A good point, IMO. And a fair point.

      Richt doesn’t have very many faults (outside of some apparent coaching faults that have nothing to do with his personality), but this is one. He does not publicly hold himself or his coaches accountable, i.e., doesn’t always put the blame where it should be.

      After a loss like the 2012 SECCG, where his team played about as well as they could (and didn’t crap all over themselves), and showed heart, fight and resilience, it is proper for a coach to present himself and his program the way Richt did .. as being proud of his team for the way they played and the effort they gave in hard-fought, classic SEC battle.

      But after most of the losses we experience, where we play sloppy ball and pretty much beat ourselves, and perhaps even embarrass ourselves to some extent, some accountability is very appropriate, even called for.

      The best coaches do it all the time. For example, Dooley always did it, Bryant always did it (though losses from beating yourselves were rare for both), Today, you will hear Spurrier say something like, “We need to coach better”, or “I need to coach better.” Saban will say something like, “that’s our fault and our responsibility as a coaching staff, and it’s our task and responsibility to make sure the problem is taken care of.” And so on down the line.

      But you don’t hear anything like that from Richt. He almost seems to refuse to hold himself or his coaches accountable. If there’s any accountability at all, it falls on lack of “execution” .. in other words, on the players in general (he does protect his players, as he should). This might not be absolute (though I can’t think of an exception) but, certainly overall, that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it has been.

      But Richt would do well to make public accountability a habit, IMHO. It has served other coaches well, and would serve him well. It would go long way both internally and externally. Because sometimes his ‘cover’, or ‘shield’, is stretched so thin, it IS embarrassing. Further, in many instances, it doesn’t gel with what he stands for. Let reality be what it is, and be accountable. Be HONEST and forthright about what happens, no matter how bad.

      I even suspect this could be one of the causative elements of the systemic problem that has been integrated into the program for so long now. That is to say, one reason why we can’t consistently play solid football. Richt never lets the weight of accountability fall down upon his players and coaches. He acts as a shield, and never lets it hit. Not even upon himself.

      {“There is a difference between crapping on the team (which I never advocated) and holding them accountable.”}

      Well said. I don’t believe in crapping on the team, either. Or Richt, Assistant Coaches, McGarity .. or anybody else. I love the program as much as anybody, and I’m sure you do.

      Therefore whatever is said – whether in person, in the Dawgosphere, or anywhere else – should have SUBSTANTIVE cause, evidence, grounds, or logic behind it, as it relates to football. Or it shouldn’t be said at all. And almost all of the time, it should be related directly to football, and not anything else.

      I think of it as simply being honest, telling the truth, just being realistic and calling it like it is, good or bad. I’ve never thought of it that way, but holding them accountable is a fair way of putting it, too .. there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

      I’d even go as far as to say that is a desirable quality in a loyal fan and supporter. Provided they know that they are talking about, and freely admit when they are wrong.
      ~~~

      • Irwin R Fletcher

        Here’s honesty….either you didn’t watch the Tennessee game or you have no concept of what happened during the Tennessee game or you don’t want to talk about the Tennessee game and instead just want a platform to talk about some general point you think needs to be made.

        I submit that if either of you really think the Tennessee game and how coach Richt handled himself after the game was an embarrassment, then you both represent the worst of the Georgia fan base. One that doesn’t appreciate the blood, sweat, and emotions poured into every game…and how that affects coaching, players, etc. Embarrassed to pull out a win in Knoxville? When you have 3 guys already out and another 4 go down during the game with possible season ending injuries? Funny you mentioned Spurrier…they lost to Tennessee the next week with a full squad. I guess he should have been fired on the spot.

        • Nah, not after he said he should have coached them better. ;)

        • IveyLeaguer

          My post didn’t refer to the Tennessee game at all, but to Richt’s public accountability in general. And it is accurate.

          The rest of what you said doesn’t reflect anything I’ve said or believe, and i won’t have you putting words in my mouth.

          If you’re going to disagree and/or criticize me, fine. But at least know what you’re doing when you criticize or lecture me. It’s likely I’ve forgotten more about what goes into a football game than you’ll ever know. So please think, and get the facts straight before you fire off.

          I have a vague recollection of Richt after the Tennessee game, and recall no problem with it. It was a tough day. But my post regarding his public accountability, above, stands.
          ~~~

          • Irwin R Fletcher

            “If you’re going to disagree and/or criticize me, fine. But at least know what you’re doing when you criticize or lecture me.”

            Fine. The entire first paragraph of your post was about the Tennessee game. Your second quote about crapping on the team was from a post about the Tennessee game. That’s what it was about. Game over. Done. Fin.

            Only three options here…

            #1- Your post ‘did have something to do with the Tennessee game’

            #2- You think that by cutting and pasting and leaving off the word “Tennessee”, you have completely changed the subject matter of the quote and the discussion.

            That sounds like fun!

            “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,” <—Churchill on Ga-Florida…nothing to do with WWII.

            "We dare not fail to see the insidious nature of this new and deeper struggle. We dare not fail to grasp the new concepts, the new tools,
            the new sense of urgency we will need to combat it"<—-JFK on Georgia's problems in the secondary, nothing to do with Cuba

            Etc. etc.

            #3- You are literally Donny from the Big Lebowski

            Were you listening to the Dude's story, Donny?
            Were you listening to the Dude's story?
            So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know…

  39. ruteger

    Just to add a little different flavor since most of the discussion has been around an unlucky and its negative implications to other seasons, but I wonder how everyone would feel about Richt’s coaching tenure if an Auburn DB didn’t stumble covering Michael Johnson in the corner? It’s a singular lucky play in one season many years ago, but reading so many messages above where posters feel Richt had his team just as positioned for a MNC as other SEC coaches have since, I wonder how everyone would honestly feel about Richt’s tenure if he hadn’t stumbled and made a play on the ball?