So, welcome to Day 42 of the Dawgnation hostage crisis.
Crowds began gathering shortly after the Martinez dismissal, demanding an end to the uncertainty.
The longer it goes on, the worse it gets – because it’s not about getting a competent replacement for Willie Martinez any more, it’s about something much, much bigger.
… While Tide fans cheer (and Smart counts his money), Georgia fans are pulling their hair out. Again.
Come to think of it, after getting jilted at the altar by Bud Foster and John Chavis, Dawg fans might not have much hair left. Sort of like if the mange had hit Athens, I guess.
More news will come shortly, but you can be sure of three things:
1. Smart will get a hefty raise out of all this.
2. Georgia will now have to turn its attention to someone of lesser “name” value.
3. Mark Bradley and/or Jeff Schultz of The AJC will use this info as a pointy stick with which to further beat Mark Richt, who seems to be their own personal pinata.
I wonder if the over-the-top negative fan and media reaction to Richt’s first truly bad year in Athens has anything to do with all of these coaches saying “thanks, but no thanks” to the Georgia job? Nah, couldn’t be.
There’s no question Richt has set his sights high, but as he’s finding out now, that can lead to disappointment in the end. It seems to have done just that for UGA fans.
But in reality, why would Foster — a man who’d coached beside Frank Beamer for decades and who figures to be his eventual successor — leave Virginia Tech for Georgia?
In reality, why would Smart — the defensive coordinator for a team that will be the NCAA favorites again next year — leave Alabama for Georgia? UGA wouldn’t help him get any closer to landing a head coaching job… his obvious next step.
Only Chavis had a reason to leave his school for Georgia: the possibility of moving closer to his family. But in terms of winning, recruiting, national prominence and money terms, LSU is just as good or better than Georgia.
Richt went after the top names in the college game and came up empty. Now he’ll have to hear about it until September if he can’t find some other big name to make the move the Athens.
And I’m not sure Todd Grantham will/would be a big enough name to calm the Bulldog faithful at this point.
And that’s it – it’s no longer about getting a better coach (and let’s face it, given how Georgia has performed on defense over the last two seasons, that’s not exactly a daunting task) – it’s about us. And the AJ-C.
That’s why Paul, bless his heart, may turn out to be wrong about this, at least in the short run. Because as long as the Jackets sign a new defensive coordinator before Georgia does, it’s no big deal.
The cynic in me is betting that the next set of rumors will coalesce around Brian VanGorder returning to Athens. I can’t think of another move that will generate this type of feeling amongst the Dawg faithful.
Set us free, Coach Richt, set us free!
When… er, if that doesn’t work, it’ll be time for us to insist that Richt and Evans aren’t up to the task (never mind the fact that they were prepared to make a guy with one year’s experience as a defensive coordinator under a control freak the third highest paid assistant coach in the country for some reason) and turn the job over to somebody with more juice. Not Michael Adams. He’s pretty much botched every coaching hire he’s had a direct hand in. Nah, we’ll need somebody whose unquestioned love for the red and black “G” is matched by clout recognized on an international level.
And I’ve got just the guy in mind.
Nobody says "No" to Hugo Chavez. At least not for very long... (AP photo)
All our trials, Lord, soon will be over. In the meantime, we can always console ourselves with this.