Tag Archives: Ray Goff

Some follow up thoughts on the Richt contract

As Adams and McGarity pat themselves on the back for the way they’ve threaded the needle on Richt’s compensation, I can’t help but wonder something that I’ve wondered before.  How much is Mark Richt motivated by incentive clauses?  Does this sound like somebody who lives to squeeze every nickel he can out of life?

“I’m not gonna work any harder to get these guys graduated because of a bonus or because of a policy. My intention from the first day I got to Georgia is to do everything we possibly can to support these guys and motivate these guys and discipline these guys if need be to take care of their academic responsibilities. It doesn’t change the way we do anything.”

Not to these ears.

Indeed, this whole thing smacks of the NeSmith silliness from a few years ago.  The truth is that this attention to incentives isn’t so much about motivating Richt as it is about making a goodly chunk of the fan base (including some who are involved in the decision-making process) feel better.  That this kind of thinking has gone from mockworthy to being taken seriously says a lot more about us than it does about Richt, I’m afraid.

I’m not saying that to defend Richt.  Westerdawg’s message board post about the coach having nobody to blame but himself for where fan support is now is spot on, in my opinion.  But the idea that this new contract emphasis on performance incentives will be some sort of magic bullet that will spur Richt to higher levels of accomplishment is unserious thinking at its worst.  I don’t know whether the source for that is Adams, McGarity or both, but if you’re a fan of the program, or of Georgia athletics in general, it should trouble you.

And speaking of Georgia athletics, McGarity’s announcement that David Perno’s continued employment at Georgia is not a matter in jeopardy (“It’s not even an issue.”) makes for an interesting juxtaposition here.  Not in the decisions themselves – Richt’s dismissal isn’t even on the table after a successful 2011 season – but in the difference in the firmness displayed in the calls.  Empires have risen and fallen in less time than it’s taking to put Richt’s new deal to bed, yet McGarity is able to affirm Perno’s status, despite increasingly shaky results, in the blink of an eye.

Groo’s linked post raises a good point.

It is, though, an attempt to understand the expectations that the athletic department has of the Georgia baseball program. McGarity will be held to his own rubric for evaluating coaches which includes this expectation: “Develop a program that is competitive in the SEC and nationally, understanding that the definition of ‘competitive’ is different from sport to sport.”

That’s what’s puzzling about McGarity’s statements about the state of the program. Over the long term, and that matters, Perno has taken Georgia to half of its College World Series.

All of which makes me wonder if there isn’t something of a double standard in play here.  How would the fan base and, more importantly, how would Adams, McGarity and the Athletic Board feel today about Richt if his career in Athens had played out in the context of, say, a sixteen-team D-1 football playoff?

I believe I recently read that Georgia is one of only three SEC schools never to win a conference title in baseball.  Given the way college baseball is structured these days, that’s close to an irrelevancy – just ask South Carolina – but can you imagine the hue and cry if that were the case with Georgia’s football program over the past decade or so?  (In fact, it was the case in the nineties and you see where that got Goff and Donnan.)

We’re in a weird place, man.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Alex, I’ll take high points from the Goff Era for $200.

The last time Georgia beat Florida when scoring less than 30 points was November 11, 1989. The final score was 17-10.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Victim of his own success

Andy Staples ranks the head coaching job at Georgia as the fifth most attractive in all of college football, citing facilities, revenue and recruiting base (coupled with a subtle jab at Georgia Tech).

Now, I’m a Georgia partisan – shocking to discover, I know – but I’m not blind.  That hasn’t always been the case.  A school which boasts the hires of an assistant running backs coach and a 1-AA head coach (after Georgia was unceremoniously dumped by the not-so-special Glen Mason, remember) as Richt’s immediate predecessors wasn’t exactly siphoning off the cream of the coaching crop, so to speak.  Even if you categorize some of the decision making which went into those hires as inept (and that’s a kind way of describing the process that led to Ray Goff becoming the head honcho), there’s no way before this last decade that a neutral observer would call Athens an élite destination.

So if it is now, ironically, I’d think you’d have to say that Mark Richt has had a hand in making it so.  A significant hand.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

A brief AD dissent (not the one you’re thinking of)

I’m sorry if this offends some of you, but I can’t let this little bit of hackery from Tony Barnhart slide by without objection:

[Vince] Dooley is in the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. His peers will tell you that he was an even better athletics director.

If by peers, he means people like Mike Hamilton, well, okay.  For the rest of us non-arena folks, “better than Hall of Fame” seems a bit of a stretch.  I’m not saying Coach Dooley was a bad athletic director – he had his share of hits and misses on hirings (although Goff’s was a debacle due to the department’s disarray in the wake of Dooley’s resignation) and firings (hanging Goff out to dry with how that last year was handled wasn’t fair to either the coach or the program) but he was a good steward on the budget front and the program certainly grew under his direction.  Plus, he was on the side of the angels in bringing the antitrust suit against the NCAA over TV broadcast rights.

However, when you’ve got Jan Kemp and Jim Harrick, Jr. on your watch and your defense in both cases is essentially blissful ignorance, it’s hard to make a case that you walk with the immortals.  The school and its supporters were not served well in either situation.

So welcome back and eyes on the prize, Greg McGarity.  Here’s hoping that Barnhart got the part of his post about you dead on.

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Thursday morning buffet

Grab and go, folks.

  • Spurrier as broken record“You will have to wait and see with the Gamecocks.”
  • Statistically speaking, Oregon’s and Southern Cal’s respective Pac-10 finishes were no fluke.
  • My love for Phil Steele is as much as any college football fan’s, but this comes off as one pointless exercise.
  • It’s times like this – Tech’s baseball team scored more runs than its football team scored points against Georgia – that I’m glad I host a football-only blog.
  • Thought-provoking post from Spencer Hall:  how much football do you expect your average pundit/blogger/journalist to know?
  • Aaron Murray promises to work hard to get (insert Ray Goff accent here) buttah and buttah.
  • You can call him Josh, or you can call him Joshua.   You just can’t call him a quarterback who completes more than half of his pass attempts.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

You know, you didn’t really need to point that out.

David Paschall plays Debbie Downer with this factoid:

… Thursday was the first time the Bulldogs have practiced in a 3-4 system since 1994, when Ray Goff was coach and Marion Campbell defensive coordinator.

Ugh.  Goff never should have asked a swamp fox to do a junkyard dog’s work.

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The genius of lowered expectations

In light of an impending contract extension for Steve Spurrier, it’s worth noting the lofty goal the OBC has set for himself (h/t Team Speed Kills).

“And if I’m going to be the all-time winning coach here – which I said that was my goal when I was hired – I’ve got to average about eight wins a year instead of seven. We hope to get up to that eight to 10 (wins) range soon.”

Spurrier is 35-27 in five seasons at USC and has had the Gamecocks bowl-eligible every year. Enright is No. 1 on USC’s victories list with 64.

It’s not exactly “win one for the Gipper” territory, is it?

Meanwhile, Mr. Westerdawg may have come up with the cruelest measure of Spurrier’s legacy conceivable:  the Ray Goff yardstick.

Spurrier through his first five seasons in Columbia:

    35-27 overall
    18-22 in the SEC
    10 win seasons 0
    9+ win seasons 0
    1-2 Bowl Record
    0 Top 25 Finishes

Goff through his first five seasons in Athens:

    34-22 overall
    18-19 in the SEC*
    10 win seasons 1
    9+ win seasons 2
    2-1 Bowl Record
    2 Top 25 Finishes

*If you include the ’89 UGA vs. SC game and ‘the 91 Arkansas match-up in the Independence Bowl as SEC games, Ray was 19-20 against current SEC Members…which is a still better.

Ray was mocked mercilessly by Spurrier for his mediocrity. I’d love to see how the ’94 version of Steve Spurrier would react to seeing how pedestrian the ’09 version of himself looks.

Make sure you catch the comments to Paul’s post.  The defense of Spurrier’s record – namely, that more was expected from Goff in Athens than is of Spurrier in Columbia – is priceless.  And sad.

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Filed under The Evil Genius

Georgia-Tennessee preview: do I really have to do this?

My natural reluctance to do these posts has only grown from week to week, and it wasn’t lessened reading this quote from Mark Richt:

Georgia’s kickoff coverage team has struggled throughout this season, culminating with a disastrous effort against LSU that allowed the Tigers to begin their final drive with exceptional field position.

While head coach Mark Richt said the team continues to address the problems, he said some of the issues are simply a matter of youth that can only improve with increased experience.

“I can’t sit here and say we’ve got 10 guys that are really getting after it and getting it done,” Richt said. “I think they’re trying their tails off but there’s a lot of youth on that thing and they’ve got to continue to mature.”

Cue the Ray Goff “buttah and buttah” quote.  Sigh.

Anyway, it’s a waste of time to write some sweeping overview and conclusion about tomorrow’s game, because, like the rest of you, I have no idea what Georgia team is going to step out on the field.  So you’re going to have to settle for bullet points from which you’re welcome to draw a larger truth.  If you dare, that is.

  • Considering all the talent that’s flowed through these programs in the last fifteen years, how strange is it that there’s really only one front line receiver playing tomorrow?
  • Semi-amazing stat:  Jonathan Crompton has more passing attempts this season than Joe Cox.
  • We’ll see some tackling machines tomorrow, that’s for sure.  Rennie Curran leads the SEC in tackles per game.  Eric Berry and Rico McCoy rank third and fourth, respectively.
  • I probably shouldn’t indulge myself like this, but I’m feeling better about Georgia’s defensive line than I have all season.  Houston and Weston have really come on.
  • With the game he played last year, I’m happy that Robert Ayers has moved on.  I’ll no doubt regret this observation, but no current member of UT’s defensive line scares me as much.
  • On the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Joe Cox vs. Eric Berry does scare me a little bit.  OK, more than a little bit.
  • As I noted in a previous post, Crompton’s yards per passing attempt figure shouldn’t strike fear into an opponent’s heart.  His longest completion of the season is 40 yards.  Willie Martinez, if you don’t challenge these guys in their short passing game, you don’t have a hair on your arse.
  • By the way, that 40-yard completion was to the tight end who leads their receivers in average yards per catch.
  • Georgia’s defense hasn’t allowed a running back to gain 100 or more yards on the ground all season.  Tennessee has won its two games when Hardesty has cracked the 100-yard mark and lost its three games when he hasn’t.  Just sayin’.
  • I’ve got to give Phil Steele credit:  he’s picking Georgia as one of his upset specials this week.
  • Finally, if you want to wallow in a statistical breakdown of the match up, check out a new blog I’ve been introduced to, College Football by the Numbers.

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Tuesday morning buffet

Plenty of stuff to chow down on this morning:

  • In case you’ve wondered what Robert Edwards is up to these days, here you go.
  • Here’s an indication of how 2009 has already had its share of twists and turns:  Oklahoma is looking at a win against Miami as a stepping stone to getting back in the national title hunt.
  • Mitch Mustain – as a quarterback, he’ll make a heck of a punter.  His mom must be thrilled.
  • Junior’s showmanship pays off big for CBS“The Florida-Tennessee drew an overnight household rating/share of 4.8/11 on CBS, which is up 60 percent from last year’s Florida-Tennessee game (3.0/7). Saturday’s rating/share was the highest CBS has had for its first game of the college football season since 2002, when the UF-Miami game drew a 6.0/13.”
  • For those of you unhappy with Georgia’s defense, things could be a lot worse.
  • Another interesting stat from the Arkansas game:  “Richt’s Bulldogs had never won consecutive contests in which they trailed at any point by double digits until the past two weeks. In fact, the last time Georgia turned the trick was in Ray Goff’s second season as coach in 1990, when the Bulldogs defeated Southern Miss 18-17 and Alabama 17-16.”
  • Here’s a review of Munson’s book.
  • Progress of a sort“Kiffin said Crompton played “better” at Florida than he did against UCLA. The quarterback threw for exactly 93 yards each game, but he decreased his interceptions from three against the Bruins to two against the Gators.”
  • None of the USC coaches told Aaron Corp he was starting last Saturday?  Weird. (h/t The Wiz of Odds)
  • I bet Penn Wagers is jonesing to call the Georgia-ASU game.  Arizona State ranks 118th in the nation in penalty yards per game with 94.5. Georgia is 115th with 86.3.

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Filed under College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

More Jacksonville grist for the Georgia mill

A couple more thoughts on the should-the-Georgia-Florida-game-stay-in-Jacksonville debate:

First, here’s some more history from Tony Barnhart’s blog post today.

… But the one thing you DON’T do if you’re Evans is move the game because portions of your fan base think Florida has some sort of competitive advantage in Jacksonville. Yeah, the Gators are 16-3 in the series since 1990, but that doesn’t have anything to do with where the game is played.

After all, Vince Dooley was 17-7-1 against Florida from 1964-88. Back then it was the Florida people who wanted to move the game back to campus because they were convinced that Georgia had some magical spell in that building. There wasn’t any magic to it and that was proven when Dooley retired in 1988 and Steve Spurrier came to Florida in 1990. Spurrier mocked the idea that Georgia would have some kind of advantage in Jacksonville, which is an hour from the Florida campus.

In that 19-year stretch Georgia has won three times (1997, 2004, 2007). In the 16 losses I can think of only two times (2002, 2005) where I thought Georgia clearly had the better team and lost. The 2002 loss (20-13) I will never be able to explain. In 2005 (a 14-10 loss) quarterback D.J. Shockley could not play due to an injury. Eight of those 16 Georgia losses were to teams that won the SEC championship. Another loss was to a Florida team (1990) that would have won the SEC championship if not for violations created by the previous staff. Of those nine losses, four were to teams that either won the national championship (1996, 2006, 2008) or played for the national championship (1995). So Georgia hasn’t been losing to bad teams.

Of course Georgia should have won more than three games in the past 19 years but again, it doesn’t have anything to do with where the game is played…

Now, I’ll disagree a little with Barnhart with regard to the 1992 loss, in that I think Georgia had the best team in the SEC East that year, but overall, I think his point here is sound.

Then, there’s also this cold, hard set of facts brought to you by your friendly Gator athletic department.

… Florida Associate Athletics Director Greg McGarrity, likely to be involved in the negotiations, told the Sentinel that keeping the game in Jacksonville saves each school almost $2 million every two years and allows more fans to attend the game than any Georgia site could.

Each team makes $3.8  million every two years under the current format in Jacksonville, McGarrity said, yet a typical home-and-home pays about $2 million to the home team. That means every other year, either Florida or Georgia would have to miss out on the money. “Even in conservative dollars, you’re missing $1.5 million over a two-year period,” McGarrity said. “That money can do each institution a lot of good.”

The Atlanta Sports Council is pushing the Bulldogs to fight for a Georgia Dome hosting once every four years. But the biggest stadium in Georgia would muscle out more than 5,000 fans who go to the Jacksonville game every year. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium holds 76,877 fans compared to 71,228 in the Georgia Dome.

“You’ve got (almost) 6,000 people now that have been there forever and you’re telling them, ‘Sorry folks, you won’t be able to go to the Georgia game this year,’” McGarrity said. “Who will be the 6,000 people? Where do you cut back? It’s not like those tickets aren’t tough to get anyway. Both institutions are turning down hundreds of thousands per year.”

Now obviously that last argument doesn’t apply if the series goes home and home – in that case, only about nine or ten thousand Georgia fans will be able to attend the Swamp every other year, although another forty five or fifty thousand of the Dawg faithful would be able to catch a game in Athens than get to now in Jax.  But if those figures are true – and I haven’t seen anyone argue differently – there’s no question that playing the game in Jacksonville has some clear pluses to it.

So, let’s sum up a few things about this debate.  On the side of those wishing to keep the WLOCP, you’ve got this:

  1. The results of the series over the past four decades have been driven by talent and coaching.
  2. Moving games from Jax to Atlanta would mean less fans would be able to see the game.
  3. Changing the series to a home-and-home would cost the schools money.

On the side of those wanting a move, you’ve got this:

  1. Money being spent in the local economies of Athens and Gainesville, instead of Jax.
  2. Greater travel for the Florida team and its fans every other season.
  3. Speculation that such a move would benefit Georgia’s on-field performance.

Sorry, but I honestly don’t see how the scales balance there.

And I’d like to reiterate one more thing that I touched on in the comments to my previous post on this subject.  I’ve been to every game in Jacksonville since 1979 and I attended the ’95 debacle in Athens.  I’ve experienced the gamut of emotions leaving those games.  I’ve been happy, sometimes deliriously so.  I’ve been sad, sometimes almost crushed.  I’ve been resigned.  I’ve been angry.  I’ve been disgusted.  I’ve cursed Spurrier.  I’ve cursed Goff.

But one thought that’s never crossed my mind as I’ve trudged back to my car after the game is… we’d have won today if this had been played in Athens.  And I’ve never heard another Georgia fan say that after a game in all that time, either.  Why is that?

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