Preliminary thoughts on Arkansas week: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Paul’s got a post up about the South Carolina game in which he expresses his disappointment in the team’s lack of emotional readiness for its first SEC contest.

… We lost because we didn’t want it as badly as they did.  Richt can say there wasn’t an effort issue on Saturday.  I disagree. However, it sounds like we do agree (as do several of UGA’s players) that there was an issue with intensity, timidity, toughness, and GATA-itude.  And I can’t comprehend that.

How do you come out flat for a game this important?  There were a variety of players who genuinely looked as if they had zero interest being in the stadium, playing football or wearing a G on their helmet.  I don’t get it, and it’s not the first time…

Hard to argue with that, but I’ve got two observations in response.  The first is that in those prior games when the emotional focus was lacking, they looked much, much worse than they did on Saturday.  I’m not one for moral victories, but a flat team kept it a one-score game until late in the fourth quarter.  Compare that with what we saw in Knoxville last season.

The second is at least a partial explanation for why Georgia came out that way:  the Green suspension took something out of this team.  It’s one thing to play your first game with the uncertainty of the NCAA process hanging over your head; it’s quite another to find out less than 48 hours before your first big test of the season that your best player did something stupid enough to shut him down for the first third of the year.

Richt thinks the hangover should dissipate this week because the team has gotten the time to get acclimated to the situation,

“It’s not as big of an issue this week, because we basically prepared that he wasn’t going to be in the game,” Richt said. “For the other two, we were really hopeful, but we weren’t really sure what was going to happen. This week we just started on the premise that he would not play, and if turns out he can play, we certainly can use him.”

… but when I read quotes like this one from Vance Cuff, I’m not so sure.

Green’s return would “definitely be a plus,” cornerback Vance Cuff said. “About five pluses to tell you the truth.”

One thing the coaches have done this week is raise the level of intensity in practice.  Richt is obviously concerned about a lack of physicality in the defense, judging from the praise he handed out to two true freshmen.

… Freshman safety Alec Ogletree said he practiced more on defense this week. Richt said he hopes to play him not only on special teams, but on defense. “He’s practicing well,” Richt said. “He’s one guy that will strike you. He loves to hit.”

… Richt praised freshman Demtre Baker’s play thus far on the scout team.

“He’s shown signs of being able to strike,” Richt said. “You watch him and say, that guy is going to be able to play.”

The downside, of course – and you know what’s coming next – is that players stand a greater chance of getting banged up when practice gets more physical.

… Georgia could be without cornerback and punt returner Branden Smith on Saturday against Arkansas after he sustained concussion-like symptoms in practice on Tuesday while getting knocked out of bounds.

Rumor is that Ogletree supplied the hit, so I suppose you could call that one of those good news, bad news situations.

If you’re looking for something to get excited about, keep in mind that Coach Grantham believes that Justin Houston is still climbing the learning curve at his position.

“I think the guy’s really trying to buy into what we’re doing,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “I think he’s trying to do the things from a leadership standpoint that we want. This is a new position for him. Basically he’s played two games at that position. I think he can be a very talented outside linebacker. I think this is going to be a good move for him as we move forward.”

Considering that he’s among the conference leaders in sacks, tackles and tackles for loss already, that’s not too shabby.

More thoughts tomorrow…


Filed under Georgia Football

152 responses to “Preliminary thoughts on Arkansas week: damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    Ah man, I hate to say this, but….

    So we lost AJ, which hurt our feelings, and we did not man up because AJ could not play.

    And this is why, according to the OBC we were there, we just did not make the plays?

    Does not speak well for the leadership on this team.

    My feeling of impending doom increases.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The real problem is one of commitment to winning. I have no doubt that CMR and the staff as well as all the players are committed to winning. I do not think the student body, faculty, alumni and fans are committed. I am absolutely positive the current President and his minions are not committed. Look at Bama. When they got an unfavorable schedule this season and their in-state rival Auburn had an extra week off to prepare the Bammers moved heaven and earth to reschedule the previous week’s game to a Thursday night to give the Tide a few extra days to get ready. UGA people would just expect the Dawgs to win and if they didn’t would second guess the coaches and call the players names. In fact, UGA had that exact thing happen with FLA having an extra week to prepare for the WLOCP for years and what did our fans do? Nothing! Just bitched when the Dawgs lost. It’s amazing to me that the Dawgs win as much as they do.

  2. Russell

    I’m no hater, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt more often than not. But even someone as unobservant as me could see a lack of intensity. I hear all the “official” explanations, but I still don’t understand how Georgia Football has become so lifeless.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Nor am I. I don’t get it at all. We didn’t play our best. I haven’t seen us that flat fundamentally speaking in awhile. Those offensive stats were rather stark. Let’s don’t become too discouraged though. I think we all had an idea we split the first two SEC games. We beat the Hogs and we can all relax….a bit.

  3. Ben

    When your team loses a guy like AJ, it’s hard to get jacked up, especially in the circumstances in which he was held out. At least the first week they kind of expected it and it was up in the air; for the SC game, though, that’s a pretty big blow. These guys are not superhumans; they have emotions like the rest of us. They get let down, and they get disappointed. Let’s not ride the team so hard until a “lack of effort” shows up for the rest of the season.

    Also, the idea of “concussion-like symptoms” really scares me. Maybe I’ve been listening too much to sports radio, but brain injuries are no joke. I appreciate what these guys do week in and week out for my alma mater, but I’ll be damned if I want someone to rush back from something like a concussion. I hope he’s better soon, and I hope the coaches are smart about getting him back in.

    • Mongrel Dawg

      When your team loses a guy like AJ, it’s hard to get jacked up, especially in the circumstances in which he was held out.

      With respect, no it’s not. Our team’s all about the excuses for why they don’t show up to play football games. It happens two or three times a year, every year, no matter what. Despite four years of evidence about what happens when you don’t show up, they continue to do it. I don’t care if AJ wasn’t there. He certainly wasn’t around for Tech or most of Auburn, and we played football. You get to play football 12 times a year. If you can’t get up for every single one of them, even the one game every two years where conference affiliation requires you to play in Vanderbilt Stadium, something’s wrong. If the other guy is better than you, fine. It happens sometimes that you get beaten by a better opponent. Lattimore is a superior player. No big deal. We still could have won that thing, though, and to have so many guys standing around waiting for someone else to make a play… well, isn’t that just *so* 2007? Or 2008? Or 2006? Or 2009? When are they going to learn that you have to be ready to play football, regardless of whether Richt shows up with fancy-colored socks or elbow pads or something?

      • … well, isn’t that just *so* 2007? Or 2008? Or 2006? Or 2009?

        Actually, no, it’s not. Flat in one of those years meant going down by at least three touchdowns. At least.

        • Mongrel Dawg

          You make a good point, Senator, but in the end, we could have gone down by three touchdowns in that game if SC had made more plays. They dropped one gimme ball in the end zone, and I think they also botched another that could have gone for a score. It could have been better for Georgia, but it could have also been a lot worse. My point simply is that it’s alarming to me that these guys keep coming out of the locker room and saying, “we just weren’t up for the game.” WHY? How is that possible in an SEC game when it looks like the table is set for you in the division, and why does it keep happening?

          • That cuts both ways. Where do you think they’d be today if Orson had held on to that bootleg pass on the first drive and Ealey hadn’t fumbled?

            • Mongrel Dawg

              Granted. But I’m not sure that we’re actually debating the same point. I’m saying that this is the fifth year in a row where we’ve had (at least) one of these games where our guys come out and say that they either weren’t up to play, weren’t jacked up, or came out flat. I’m saying that should never, ever happen and I’m kinda dumbfounded that it keeps happening. The fact that we only lost by 11 points and could have won the game only makes it more frustrating that South Carolina’s players seemingly “wanted it more” and that some of our players are more or less saying as much.

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Flat because we lost our star.

          I got two words for you: Carnie Norris

  4. tess

    For the record, not being up for the SC game tends to be a tradition. This year, they do seem pretty good. Previous years? Not at all, and it’s almost always been a close, defensive struggle where often Georgia won because, as Larry would say, Lady Luck glanced our way.

    I went to high school in Columbia, SC, years before the Gamecocks joined the SEC. Every fan of the school considered Georgia to be a huge, HUGE rival, second only to Clemson, and not that far behind. Before the game, they were pumped up, wound up, and always considered themselves Georgia’s equal.

    That Georgia fans considered Clemson a bigger rival was beyond their comprehension, even though it was the mid-1980s, when Georgia and Clemson were coming off multiple seasons as national champ contenders and SC was in their first truly successful Joe Morrison period revered for his “successful” 39-28-2 record and finishing #15 in the 1987 AP poll.

    Think about how loud the stadium was for the Clemson game in 2002. Think about any visit SC has ever made to Athens. We don’t take them seriously, then we struggle, then we ignore them for the rest of the year. This isn’t new, but it needs to change.

  5. heyberto

    The argument on the AJ Green situation’s potential effect on the players seems logical. What I haven’t seen anyone mention is this: Did the fact that they were playing RS Freshman QB on the road have an effect? I mean, the coaches were clearly concerned about him, kept him a bit held back with playcalling… so did that lack of confidence trickle down to the players? Murray seemed to be the only one who didn’t play with a hangover, so to speak.

  6. Turd Ferguson

    The whole A. J. Green issue is really worrisome to me, and for more reasons than just the obvious one that we’d like to get our best player back on the field ASAP.

    Even without Green, our corps of WRs and TEs is absurdly talented, our QB is apparently more-than-capable, and our offensive line can at least pass-block. Why is this such a huge deal? Some of the comments I’ve read from players AND COACHES make it sound like trying to run this offense without Green is like trying to run a car without an engine. That shouldn’t be the case.

    Alabama may have missed their reigning Heisman trophy winner, but as far as their performance on the field goes, you’d literally never know. And yes, Trent Richardson is an amazing talent, but again … I’d put our entire corps of WRs and TEs up against any other in the conference.

    • D.N. Nation

      And yes, Trent Richardson is an amazing talent, but again

      But again, nothing. Georgia losing AJ = Bama losing Ingram AND Richardson.

      • Phocion

        Bama lost Ingram AND Dareus. A greater loss than just Green.

        There is a difference to the way Saban had his team prepared for PSU and how Richt has his team prepared for South Carolina.

        • dcdawg

          I hate to say it but i agree. We have seen way to many games where the team just does not seem ready to play.

          Its up to the coaches to get these guys prepared and ready to play every game.

          Enough with the excuses, do the work.

          • Phocion

            Yes but…these kids are SEC football players. They shouldn’t need much motivation from the coaches to get up for a game like USC in Columbia. Playing Kentucky, or Vandy, or MSU, I can understand being flat. But no way this should happen to Georgia players going into that game. THey need to look hard into the mirror and get their acts together because their schedule consists of more than just Florida and Auburn.

        • devildawg

          There’s a big difference between knowing weeks and months in advance that someone will be gone, and believing for those weeks and months they won’t, and then at the last moment having that expectation reversed. It isn’t some mathematical formula; it’s the human element. Here’s hoping they haven’t gotten too hopeful about Friday’s hearing, even though I know we’re all hoping he gets cleared to play.

          • Phocion

            Bama didn’t have that luxury either. The NCAA left the Dareus stuff open until the last minute…and Ingram got hurt in practicve the week before.

        • D.N. Nation

          Ha! Says you.

          Saban, Andre Smith, Utah. Sh*t happens. To everyone.

          • Phocion

            True, but nobody cared about that game…after the loss to Florida in the SECCG the season was over for all intents and purposes. Even the fans were appathetic going into that one.

            On the other hand, Georgia’s season was/is just begining. With Florida looking weak the team should have been up for seizing the opportunty that may have been presented.

      • Turd Ferguson

        “Georgia losing AJ = Bama losing Ingram AND Richardson.”

        That’s obviously false. And even if Bama lost both Ingram and Richardson, does anyone seriously doubt that they still beat Penn State handily? Nope.

        • D.N. Nation

          South Carolina in Columbia >>> Penn State in Tuscaloosa. Or anywhere, frankly.

          Also, there’s the whole matter of Alabama being better than us right now. This shouldn’t be news.

          • Turd Ferguson

            “Also, there’s the whole matter of Alabama being better than us right now. This shouldn’t be news.”

            It’s not news. In fact, it’s exactly my point. Alabama is better than us … but it’s not because of any real talent gap. On the basis of talent alone, a Green-less Georgia offense is every bit as good as an Ingram-less Alabama offense. On the other hand, there seem to be rather large differences in terms of both execution and competence, neither of which should be affected by the absence of a single player, no matter how talented that player might be.

            We rank dead last in the SEC in rushing offense, despite having one of the most highly-touted O-lines in the country; and by his own (apparent) admission, Mike Bobo literally does not know how to get the most out of Aaron Murray. By my lights, these are our two biggest problems on offense right now, and neither of them has (or should have) anything to do with A. J. Green. With Durham, King, Wooten, Brown, Charles, White, an experienced O-line, and two very capable RBs, we still don’t know how to open things up for Murray? Holy hell.

            • D.N. Nation

              “and by his own (apparent) admission, Mike Bobo literally does not know how to get the most out of Aaron Murray.”

              He’s been the starter for two games. Bama didn’t know how to get the best out of McEleroy until December.

              If we’re putzing around mid-season with the same problems, then I’ll freak. Holy hell, the 2002 version didn’t score an offensive teeder in Columbia, either.

            • Scorpio Jones, III

              Sorry, but I strongly disagree that we are equal in talent to Bama.

              If we are, then what you are saying is that poor coaching is responsible for our poor showing compared to Bama.

              That, in fact, our coaching staff does not want to win badly enough, or does not know how to win.

              Surely you don’t really believe that.

              We have a few players who could beat out starters at Bama….Drew Butler for instance, and possibly Walsh.

              Look at Bama’s two and three deep, do you really believe we have equal talent.

              Surely not.

    • 69Dawg

      In what universe do you think or receiving corp is “absurdly talented”. They can’t get open, they can’t catch the ball and they get no yards after the catch.
      They are absurd but it’s not talent.

  7. Rick

    Am I the only one who thinks this is all nonsense? My two questions are:

    (1) What is the evidence for being “flat” or “lacking intensity”?
    (2) How do your reponses to (2) differ from just plain ol’ not doing something well (tackling, for example)?

    My impression is this: we lost, and now that we have a whole week until the next game, we want to find reasons unrelated to the obvious (new defense, new QB and, best of all, *shit happens*). The collective conciousness has latched on to this explanation, which seems to have been instigated by a few quotes from Mark Richt and some of the players that kinda sorta agree with it. But of course he agrees with it, that explanation is a good sell to his team that “hey, SC didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves, so get jacked up and we can win out!”. I don’t blame them, I would do the same thing.

    But let’s be realistic. Of course they were up for the game, and of course they were intense. It’s a damned SEC football game. This all strikes me as a bunch of silly blather. That said, the feeling seems to be unanimous, even from folks I normally consider insightful, so what do I know?

    • NCT

      Rick, this is what happens when we get these short quotes from the coaches and players and treat them as though they were deliberate analysis of the game. It’s all we’ve got, so many feel compelled to reconcile them with what we observed on the field and inflate them until they fill up all the space (that is, all the questions around “Why’d we lose?”). Nothing wrong with that kind of fan reaction, I suppose, but these quotes are not legislation for which every word must be given meaning. /lawya’d

      Neither are they the-truth-the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth (if I may, and I just did, so there ya go). I don’t think the players and coaches are being untruthful, mind you, but I elect to treat what they say more as off-the-cuff remarks than as a presentation of all known facts upon which I am to base my opinions of the games, past and future, as though the reporters just subjected them to a thorough and sifting cross-examination.

      Which is to say I think you and I are on the same page, Rick. And which also is to say I’m clearly at my office and should be doing something that generates revenue. Cheers.

  8. Jim

    We are firmly back in the goff and donnan years in my opinion. No matter what happens against Ark you can count on at least 1-2 more games where we are woefully unprepared and lose games we should win.

    In addition, fundamentals (tackling) and motivation seem to be real issues.

    Its always something with Richt.

    Maybe the problem isn’t all the excuses we’ve heard through the years – but maybe the problem is Richt.

    I know, I know, 90 wins in 9 years. What our fan base needs to decide is whether we want to live in the past or present/future. In addition, if you dissect the 90 wins you can’t help but determine that we consistently underachieve. Someone also pointed out to me that we have a losing record against the SEC East over the last SEVERAL years. That is unacceptable.

    While I am always proud to be a Dawg, 2002 and 2005 (before Sugar Bowl against WVU) are really the only Richt teams I look back on and say they were excellent, well-coached teams. I can’t say I don’t look at the other years with at least a tinge of disappointment. Even 2007 was disappointing because of the meltdown in Knoxville.

    • Ward Eagle

      Are you UGAROTHS* fan?


    • D.N. Nation

      “Even 2007 was disappointing because”

      If your qualifications for “disappointing” are “finish lower than #1,” then, well, there ya go.

      “While I am always proud to be a Dawg, 2002 and 2005 (before Sugar Bowl against WVU) are really the only Richt teams I look back on and say they were excellent, well-coached teams.”

      That you didn’t include 2003 here speaks volumes.

      “Maybe the problem isn’t all the excuses we’ve heard through the years – but maybe the problem is Richt.”

      Again, I ask the DownerDawgs: Nut up and tell us all who we should hire.

      • D.N. Nation

        (Note: If your answer includes any of the following, as seen on the Dawgosphere:

        Jon Gruden
        Kirby Smart
        Brian VanGorder (!!!)
        DAVID POLLACK (!!!!!!!!)

        Please turn in your fan badge immediately.)

        • Jim

          D*ck Nation – I’m pretty sure just about anyone could coach our program to 8 wins a year, so improvement shouldn’t frankly be too much of a challenge with our financial resources, recruiting base, facilities, current talent on roster, etc.

          You are right about the 2003 season. My mistake. 2 losses to a better LSU team and a heartbreaker in Jax.

          I wouldn’t mind making a run at Chris Peterson (sp?) or Muschamp but I think asking now who we are going to hire is a stupid question. Not many would have named mark richt in 2001 and he has unquestionably been a success, a great upgrade over Donnan and a positive influence on our program (even if his time has now past).

          Show me the next hungry coordinator that is ready for his shot at glory and has the fire in his belly this coaching staff lacks. That is who I want and I’m confident he is out there. I’m just not smart enough to know who it is (that is why search firms are used in these situations).

          • I wouldn’t mind making a run at Chris Peterson…

            Yes, because if there’s one proven thing in college football, it’s that hiring a head coach away from Boise State works. Just ask Colorado and Arizona State.

            • Jim

              Fair point. (See, that is twice now I’ve admitted i’m wrong.)

              I just can see the downhill glide path our program is on and am tired of mediocrity (which is where we were last year and where we are now).

              Change isn’t always a bad thing.

              • D.N. Nation

                Just ask post-Solich Nebraska.

              • dudetheplayer

                We are mediocre “now”?

                We’ve played 2 friggin’ games, man!

              • Ward Eagle

                Downhill Glide Path?

                You guys have the best coach the program ever had.

                He’s doing a terrific job.

                He’s winning games like crazy.

                He has, for the most part, owned AU – a legitimate player rivalry.

                He struggled with the juggernaut at FU – a rival- primarily because he has caught them at the wrong time – so has everyone else.

                He got whupped by Bama when they hit their absolute peak – so did everyone else.

                He is winning games, and generally being expected to win games. By no means is that a downward spiral.

                Please don’t make me defend Mark Richt.

                • Puffdawg

                  Jim would tell you with our resources, current talent, etc, ANYONE could beat Auburn four years in a row and beat Tech 8 out of 9 tries. It’s that easy. Richt is just a lucky bystander.

                • dudetheplayer

                  Why is the Auburn guy making the most sense in here??

                  What strange world have I stumbled upon?

                  • Ward Eagle

                    “Why is the Auburn guy making the most sense in here??”

                    Superior intellect?
                    Hotter wife?
                    More beautiful children?

            • Normaltown Mike

              Arkansas, Ole Miss and Jacksonville State have an opinion on former Boise coaches too.

          • D.N. Nation

            “I wouldn’t mind making a run at Chris Peterson (sp?) or Muschamp”

            A coach from the mid-major teat and an unproven coordinator who isn’t even guaranteed to take the job. I’ll stick with the devil we know, thanks.

            “even if his time has now past”

            I love end-all pronouncements like these. Think I’ll save this one.

          • Puffdawg

            “Show me the next hungry coordinator…”

            Notre Dame and Maryland BOTH tried this, with perhaps the hungriest of coordinators, and got minimal to no success.

            Bonus points if we can hire the head coach flavor of the month, like LSU did with Les Miles.

        • Jim

          Oh – and as to 2007 – I’m not disappointed that we finished #2.

          What I am disappointed in is that the reason we didn’t finish #1 is that we turned in a typically sloppy performance against SC and then sent some empty pads and helmets to knoxville. That is what i am disappointed in.

          If you guys would take your head out of your a** and look around at reality you’d see the truth. I’ve said before and I’ll say again that nobody wants Richt to be successful more than me. Reality sux though.

          • Nate

            If we don’t get our asses handed to us in Knoxville, I doubt we finish the 2007 season the way we did resulting in a worse finish than #2.

            • Jim

              so now failing to show up in knoxville and completely embarrassing ourselves on national TV is a good thing.

              Got to love the blind loyalty

              • Nate

                Absolutely not. But if we beat UT and then lose to Florida or Auburn that year, we’re in the same position and you’d still be on here complaining. Do you expect a 12-0 record every year?

        • Prosticutor

          Not only that, but if Richt is fired, what are the odds of Murray sticking around? Same with Christian LeMay–he’s coming to UGA b/c of Richt.

          • Jim

            Murray isn’t going anywhere – would have to sit out a year.

            I’m not willing to let the tail wag the dog on lemay. he is a promising recruit for sure but to make a fundamental decision about our program based on an unproven recruit is beyond insane – it is simply stupid.

            If things stay as they are and lemay does come and show promise, you can bet he’ll either fail to live up to potential due to lack of development by our coaching staff or (like stafford) be a wonderfully talented player that isn’t a leader worth squat, resulting in continued mediocrity of our program.

            • D.N. Nation

              We’re still insulting Stafford? Wow.

              • Jim

                DN – keep the dream alive. if we try hard enough maybe our program will reach the level of mediocrity you seem to enjoy.

                • D.N. Nation

                  Again: We’re still insulting Stafford? Wow.

                  What value-added anything are you getting out of your Georgia fandom? What makes the endeavor worth it?

                  • Jim

                    Frankly its been pretty underwhelming the last couple of years to be honest.

                    BUT I am a loyal fan, have been for 40 years and my family has been for generations. That doesn’t mean I can’t be honest.

                    Don’t get me wrong on Stafford – I’m glad he was our quarterback and the #1 draft pick. BUT, you have to admit he didn’t exactly lead the team to the promised land like people are already hoping LeMay will.

                  • Jim

                    What makes the endeavor worth it is that knowing, at some point, we’ll have our time of glory.

                    I just don’t see it with this head coach – he had his shot and couldn’t capitalize (some bad breaks, some inopportune breakdowns in coaching, plus all of the other excuses most UGA fans constantly spout.)

                    I am sorry if my honesty is insulting to you but I can’t look at the product on the field the last 3+ years and conclude otherwise.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Oh, really? Did Mallet hang around Ann Arbor? Says here that if CMR were to leave the 2008 #3 QB prospect in the nation hauls ass south to either Tallahassee or Miami (with South Florida as a “safety school”) where they welcome him with open arms.

        • Ward Eagle

          D E R E K D O O L E Y ! ! ! !

    • Normaltown Mike

      The past? What past, cuz Georgia’s wasn’t that great.

      80-82 was an amazing blip on an otherwise average 50 years until CMR took the reins.

      CMR’s record against teams that have won a NC or gone undefeated in a season (UF, LSU, AU & Bama) is 13-14.

      Let’s compare that record with that of the best coaches in the other big conferences:
      Tressel: 0-2
      Stoops: 0-2
      Mack Brown: 1-1

      SEC fans like to crow about how good our conference is but can’t reconcile that playing in the SEC means you take more lumps within your own conference. I’d rather be a contender in the SEC than a dominant power in any other conference.

      Since coming to Georgia, CMR has raised our level of play and with the right team and a few breaks we can win it all.

      Other than hiring Saban and Meyer as Co HC’s what do you suggest?

      If you sat through a homecoming drubbing at the hands of Vandy or a home loss to Southern Miss, you wouldn’t possibly suggest we are back to the 90’s.

      • Jim

        Normaltown –

        The past is (unfortunately) 80-82 and 02-05. You are correct except that we aren’t a contender in the SEC. We are a middle of the pack team who consistently loses games we shouldn’t.

        I’m just so stunned at the mediocrity we are willing to tolerate when we’ve come so close to the pinnacle in Richt’s early years, only to backslide to where we are now, which is a middling SEC east team perfectly capable of losing any game on our schedule due to lack of preparation by our coaching staff.

        I’ve been in the stands for two losses to Vandy in the early 90s and was also there for the Southern Miss debacle in Donnan’s first game, so you’ve got nothing on me there.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Nothing could tempt me into hopping on that Merry-Go-Round-coaching.. they call “improved coaching” at the University of Tennessee. They have a lot of tradition there but…. I’d rather average 9 or 10 wins a year. And no half off tickets sold in the end zone. No Head Coaches instructing smart shower washing detail. No…no ….no…. show me who can do better… who will do better than CMR. I am just not feeling change… for changes sake. Maybe I just don’t have a love for the “Change” message. I have heard that somewhere….I still don’t buy it.

          • Jim

            HomerDawg –

            I applaud you for your honesty with this statement and respect that you are content with 9 or 10 wins a year (although I AM concerned that will look good to us in a couple of years with CMR).

            I for one am not content with that type of performance given our resources, potential and the manner in which we manage to lose a couple of games each year.

            I do recognize that some are happy with that outcome. I don’t agree with it but can respect it.

            • AthensHomerDawg

              Perhaps I should have been less zealous in my appreciation of 9 or 10 wins. I hope I want to win as much as you. I just don’t want that “pig-in-a-poke” approach to replacing a winning coach. Winning…. per stats. OK. Winning vs. championships consistently is up for grabs. I just know… I want a potential coach vetted and don’t want to go through … a lot of “thanks for asking but I’m gonna pass” response to our HC position. I got that T-shirt!

        • Scott W.

          The thing is UGA didn’t do any backsliding only maintaining position while Bama and Co. vaulted the Dogs.

      • dudetheplayer

        Georgia is 12th all-time in wins and is 3rd all-time in SEC titles (1 behind UT).

        If this isn’t a great past, then what is?

        Do only a couple of programs qualify?

    • 69Dawg

      Jim dude pull for Alabama. We are not now nor have we ever been Alabama. We have lived for 30 years off of a 3 year run in the 80’s. And yes even Vince was too dumb to win but one MNC with the greatest running back in college football. So lets just remember who we are and who we probably will be as long as UF has as much talent as they have in state and Alabama is on a roll. We will occasionally win the East with the help of our Western brothers who seem to hold a mystical power over Irwin Mayer’s team. Even if we do win the East we will be destroyed by Alabama because they beat us down in 08 with lot less of a team than they have now.

      Hiring an assistant again is not an option that our Fans would go for and what HC in his right mine would give up a job at a winning program to go to UGA were we fire winning coaches. Richt got the job because no HC would take Dooley’s calls after we canned JD. Guess what would happen now if we can MR, besides being the laughing stock of college football.

      • Richt got the job because no HC would take Dooley’s calls after we canned JD. Guess what would happen now if we can MR, besides being the laughing stock of college football.

        That is indeed my biggest fear if Richt is gone after, say, another 8-5 season.

        Although I hear Phil Fulmer is looking for work.

        • Puffdawg

          Don’t forget about the Pirate. Arrrrrr!

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Mark Richt is the best coach Georgia can get with the situation the way it is.

          We are very lucky he is as good as he is.

          I am glad 69 Dawg understands what we are and what we will always be….a consistently good program with brief sparks of greatness from time to time.

          Again, for like the fifth time, we are not Bama, we ain’t ever gonna be Bama because institutionally we look down our noses at institutions like Bama.

          All we can do is be who we are, and frankly if you look at Georgia football history we are better off now than we have ever been other than 80-83 (I thought that team was pretty good, too.

          I hate to say it, but this place is beginning to sound like the club level in the south stands.

  9. Ward Eagle

    As a reasonably disinterested 3rd party I want to throw some water on the “we came out flat” perspective.

    Whenever one team beats an opponenet, the opponent’s response quite often includes “we came out flat”. In many ways it’s the denial stage in that we don’t ever believe we should lose.

    I’m not saying that’s bad, but I believe, in this case, the better team, ON THAT DAY*, won the game.

    Green may or may not have made a win/loss difference, but he likely would have affected the game somehow.

    UGA should get some props in the game they played with all the preseason distractions, new QB, and new DC. But, there’s no reason to take away from USC beating a top tier opponent.

    At least, that’s what I saw from the “disinterested” cheap seats.

    *Maybe even the better team this year. It happens. Sometimes a better UGA team beats AU. Sometimes a better AU team beats UGA. Sometimes the opposite.

  10. Russ

    I’m a huge AJ fan, but we’ve got plenty of talent at WR and TE. Someone needs to step up. And AJ being out should have no affect on the defensive intensity.

    I know it’s a team game, but individuals can step up and become leaders. The coaches need to instill that in them.

    I’m still optimistic about the remaining games, but we do need to come out with our hair on fire this Saturday and flatten Arky.

  11. dawgs kill hogs

    I don’t buy the green excuse.If aj is the distraction, CMR should say hes out period. CMR should exclude others players mentioning a.j.Most coaches would say , we play with those who don’t break rules. These players should worry about their own jobs(blocking, tackling). D.J. went down before fla., no one “mailed” it in.I do highly question the UGA strength and conditioning. SC outcoached, outplayed, out hustled. UGA sat.

  12. Nate

    I can’t figure out why AJ being out did not incite more intensity and ferocity from this team. To me, it seems like the coaches could have played up the “us against the world” angle and gotten these players so riled up that they were ready to kill somebody on Saturday. Something to the effect of:

    F*ck the NCAA. They think they can take this from us by screwing our best player. Don’t let them.

    Certainly that would not have come from Richt, but Grantham seems capable of lighting a fire.

    Raw emotion never seems to show itself on this team. Ever.

    • It’s hard to be “us against the world” when it’s “us” who screwed up.

      • Nate

        Details like that are not that important when you’re trying to work a group of 85 testosterone- filled young men into a frenzy.

    • Dog in Fla

      “Raw emotion never seems to show itself on this team. Ever.”

      Bob Davies would say that because of geographical osmosis, Athens is too close to Bobby Cox and the Braves for that to ever happen.

    • D.N. Nation

      “Raw emotion never seems to show itself on this team. Ever.”



      • Jim

        Maybe another blackout or uniform stunt is in order…

        I loved the UF celebration and the Blackout against AU but we seem to have gone to the well a few too many times on that front.

        I thought Richt had finally figured it out toward the end of 2007 (as did most everyone else given our preseason #1 ranking in 2008). We’ve been headed backwards ever since.

        • Ward Eagle

          I recommend the next stunt be something like Barbie bike tassels on the helmets.

        • 69Dawg

          Yea that celebration thing worked out alright. Every Ref in the SEC has punished us for two years on behalf of Penn Wagers. LSU celebration flag was probably an indirect result of the refs mind set that UGA was a rouge team. The Black uniforms are as fake a juice as has ever been used by any team. The damn uniforms are not making any tackles or scoring any TD’s.

      • Nate

        Yeah 2007 was great. Except it was three years ago and this is not the same team. There’s no Knowshon, there’s no Rennie. None of these guys seem to have a motor. Do you have a YouTube link to something a little more recent?

          • Nate

            so where was this on Saturday?

            • Puffdawg

              Clearly we were missing Joe Cox. LOL.

              Seriously, I don’t know the answer to your question. Surely it would make me a Disney Dawg to suggest some of the o line preseason injuries hurt our o line’s cohesion. Cordy Gleen can play. I’ve watched the kid play good. And he got whipped fairly often on Saturday. However, I think our biggest problem was that Bobo, who had a good conservative gameplan coming in, waited too long to turn Murray loose when it became apparent he was up to the task. Kid is a gamer. As bad as the defense was, they only gave up 17 points!! Before the game if you told me that I’d have put my house on the Dawgs. And our special teams were just average, not superb (my best to Corrine Brown). Not to mention we got an above average team at home that was ready.

              I can’t sit here and say I wasn’t frustrated at the stadium on Saturday. But all this talk about the apocolypse etc is premature. I said it earlier this week: we are VERY close to being a VERY good football team. If we can tread water next couple of weeks, I can see this being a 2007 type season. The switch WILL come on with this team, and it might be this week.

              Whatever happens, it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!!!

  13. Bryant Denny

    Maybe you need some fake juice.🙂

  14. thewhiteshark

    Some of you guys are missing the point. Maybe you never played football, but football is an emotional game. Intensity and focus make a difference. AJ’s issues were a distraction that had to play out in preparation for the game in not only losing your best player, but also in riding a roller coaster over the issue. I thought the defense looked flat coming out. To their credit they picked it up and adjusted and kept the Dawgs in the game. I suspect we will see a better tackling team this week.

  15. AthensHomerDawg

    we all know who is the number 4 ranked total D in the nation …right? So much for stats?????

  16. Chuck

    I was listening to a sports talk radio, and Bobby Bowden was interviewed and made a very interesting remark on why he felt that the Noles lost their swagger. He stated that they were emphasizing on getting the 3 and 4 star high school players instead of recruiting individuals that wanted to play for the Noles. I believe the same applies to us; we are way to concern with the 3 and 4 star athletes than getting individuals that want to play for Georgia. With that being said, I am not ready to say that we should fire CMR. I am very appreciative of where he has lead this program, an even with the lost to SC I see improvement. Has anyone considered that SC is that good of a team? I personally do not see many beating the Gamecocks. Also, I have always though SC was a good team; their issue is that they do not have the support to make it through out the year. They will start strong and fizzle in the end due to the lack of deep. Yes do we have things that we need to work on, but as true fans we must realize that drastic changes do not happen over night. I have faith that CMR and CTG will turn things around and will bring this program together. As stated by someone in these many remarks, it is the SEC and you do have to have lady luck on your side. During the early years of Georgia Success with CMR how many NC could we have won if lady luck had smiled on us. The GAYturds did after being beaten early by Mississippi on there home field.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Good post.

    • Dog in Fla

      Or it may have been the difference between Bobby and his players as to what the word “swagger” means.

      The players knew it was time to retire the term “swagger” — and all variations of the word [see: swag, swagga] — but Bobby’s most recent attempt to make a “swagger” cool like using a minivan as a swagger wagon is a clear sign that it was time for his players to turn their swag off…

      • Chuck

        Maybe the use of term swagger was the wrong word to use. The way I am defining swagger in regards to my post is the way the Noles dominated and at one time was one of the elite programs in College Football. My point was we need players who want to wear the G and have the same fire that we all do. And do not mind leaving everything on the field. I remember a few years back that the Tide had a punter that was playing with a torn MCL I believe, and he was asked why he was still playing with that type of injury and does he know that it could cost him a NFL carrier. His answer was simple, this will be the last time I will wear the Alabama uniform. That is the type of attitude that we need.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The Gators have been a good team but they also had a horseshoe up their collective asses for years. It’s about time for that horseshoe to fall out. And it also is about time for a little luck to go the way of the Dawg. “The sun does not shine on the same dog’s ass every day.”

  17. 69Dawg

    Lets review yet again the things that were potential problems going into the SCU game.

    1. Best WR is out.
    2. RS FR playing in first SEC game.
    3. Playing SCU at their place.
    4. New 3-4 scheme.
    5. Lack of a true Nose.
    6. DC who has never coached in an SEC game.
    7. Defensive players who were playing new position in the first SEC game.

    I’m sure there are more but just this short list has got to show even the most ardent NO Excuses fan that yea there were some question marks. Add to this the best SCU team in SOS’s years at SC and we were lucky it wasn’t UT 09 all over again.

    • Russ

      Don’t cloud the issue with fact. The crowd is obviously hungry for blood and no facts are going to change that!

  18. Scott W.

    Well when you don’t understand football “Fire ____” is all you know how to say.

  19. Prov

    I love how a large portion of the people that were screaming for Willie Mart’s head are now screaming for Richt’s head only two games into the post-Willie era. Sad.

  20. Macallanlover

    The saddest part of the above is I have always enjoyed the sanity of the posters, it was my escape from the “children” of the DV and DP. Now some of them have discovered GTP as well and all conversation will be dominated by the overreactive “sky is falling” crowd. Somewhere SC fans are celebrating being displaced as the most delusional fans in the universe.

    Who could blame CMR if he walks away from the UGA fanbase? All off-season we were laughed at for the hot seat issue. It was blamed on the media, but truthfully they got their ideas from the “fans” who feel we can never lose a game, or a recruit without feeling life is over for UGA football. Someone must be fired, some player should be booted/demoted, and players are not strong enough, or committed enough to please the armchair experts (who randomly fire missles daily without a clue of what is happening. To their credit, none claim to know anything actually, they just “feel” it due to their superior intellect.) As Pogo said,” We have seen the enemy and it is us.”

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I agree with everything you just said in this post, Mac. Trouble is you need to go back and read some of YOUR posts.

      • Macallanlover

        Interesting. Must be getting older, I don’t recall me ever calling out any of our players/coaches, being negative relentlessly, or saying our program needed serious changes in any way. But if you say so, I will go throw myself off a cliff.

      • Clif Diver

        such as

        September 17, 2010 at 8:42 AM
        Was just thinking the same thing. After all the talk about the great talent and depth we have at TE, they have been invisible thus far. I thought we did that deliberately in Game 1 to set up the SC game, but apparently there is an even more secret plan for this stealth position. Do you think Bobo just has “tunnel vision” and cannot recall the entire playbook when selecting plays? We seem to get stuck in “ruts” and rarely display a wide arsenal of plays/looks.

        • Macallanlover

          Do you honestly equate a concern about involving the TE more in the offense, or showing a more diverse offense with calling for firings of coaches, or saying the program is unacceptable?

          Part of this whole issue is learning to express your opinions in a balanced, civil way as opposed to screaming like a 3 year old brat on a public forum. It also means keeping some perspective and not giving balanced reviews, not just pointing out only the negatives. Many of us that get accused of being too soft have concerns but they are addressed more civilly in public. If I had concerns about firing someone it would be expressed in private conversations with people that might have some influence, but would definitely be Dawg fans only.

          Many forget how open these forums are, to competitors, players, parents of players, and potential recruits. It they are aware, they are guilty of VERY poor judgement.

          • Puffdawg

            These forums are also open to like likes of Finebaum, Schultz, Pennington, etc.

            • Macallanlover

              Pretty sure it is where most of them get the material so many bitch about. This one has been more rational in the past, imo. A couple of bozos, but pretty balanced thinking as a general rule (at least regarding football.)

        • Going over the Cliff

          Here’s another (in part): Macallanlover September 12, 2010: 1. The score was not indicative of how badly we were dominated on both sides of the ball….2. CSS did a good job when he arrived in Athens and had to juggle the OL with little talent and mucho injuries. The past two years our run blocking has failed us despite good talent and experience. Need to question him…4…….Time for CMB to be the OC and QB coach and CMR to take over play calling….

  21. carolinadawg

    I know I’ll catch all grades of crap for saying this, but it sure seems like this season has started badly and is going downhill fast.

    First we had all the off-field incidents during the spring and summer (including Damon and the dismissal of our starting qb), then the AJ Green situation (which is still not resolved and seems to have the potential to actually get worse), the poor play of the offensive line, the loss to SC, Mike Bobo seemingly forgetting three-fourths of the playbook, Chapas gets hurt and now B. Smith suffers a concussion in PRACTICE. I mean seriously, it just keeps getting worse. Things are not good.

    I know most people seem to think everything is hunky-dory and all this stuff is going to magically fix itself. I hope that happens. I really do.

    • Prov

      I was unaware Mett had been named the starter. Also, I personally like to have all the information before I form an opinion. Therefore, I would prefer to let the season play out a little before determining all is lost. Being rational is not believing everything is “hunky – dory” .

      • carolinadawg

        So you’re ok with how the season has started and feel good about where we are right now?

        • Prov

          I just don’t find it as surprising as a lot of folks I guess.

          • carolinadawg

            Surprising or not, its unacceptable.

            • Puffdawg

              It’s worse than I thought. A one loss season is now unacceptable for our fans.

              • carolinadawg

                If you think I, or anyone else, is only upset about one loss, you might want to come out of your foxhole and look around.

                • Puffdawg

                  DUDE! We’ve played two freakin games! What part of a 1-1 season where the only loss is on the road to a top 20 team is unacceptable, especially with a RFr QB and transition on defense. I am not pretending 8-5 is ok. Let the season play on a little bit before we jump off a cliff!!

                  • carolinadawg

                    I’m not “jumping off a cliff”. You’re the one who is overly excited and needs to relax. The overall trajectory of the program over the past few years is not good, and that is undeniable. And after 2 games this year, I see no indication that things are improving. As I said, I hope things will improve, but all hear so far is a bunch of excuses. And I’m getting a little tired of the excuses.

                    • Puffdawg

                      If you watched the game last week and you honestly can say you see no indication that things are drastically improving, especially on defense, from the lopsided losses we’ve incurred over the last few seasons, then I respect your opinion. But I suspect you aren’t looking very deep.

                      I hope we are both happy come Saturday evening.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                Brother, an UNDEFEATED season without winning the BCSNC is unacceptable to some of our “fans.”

                • carolinadawg

                  And apparently, going 8-5 is acceptable to some of our “fans”.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    Well, what exactly are you doing about it other than bitching?

                  • Puffdawg

                    Please show me where a single UGA fan says 8-5 is acceptable. Please, please give me a link or something to bear that out.

                    • Puffdawg

                      We know Mark Richt won’t accept it based on the fact that he fired his best friend from DC position. Of course it’s clearly obvious now that he made a crappy hire in CTG, what with the whopping 17 points his defense gave up ON THE ROAD, IN HIS FIRST SEC GAME, AGAINST A TOP 20 TEAM. God help us all.

                      I’m going to reserve my judgement on our situation for a bit larger sample size.

                    • carolinadawg

                      Show me where a single UGA fan has said 13-0 is unacceptable.

                    • Puffdawg

                      Let’s recap…

                      You said some of our fans will accept 8-5 and I disproved that.

                      I never said our fans think 13-0 is unacceptable. What I did say, however, is that our fans (you, at least) deem a one loss season unacceptable, which is exactly what you did when you said…

                      September 16, 2010 at 9:05 PM
                      Surprising or not, its unacceptable.


                      Dude, don’t put words where they weren’t. That’s twice now. It doesn’t help your argument.

                    • Carolinadawg

                      There isn’t a reply button below your 9:01 post, so I’ll respond here.

                      “Dude”, you might want to put down the bong so you can understand waht I’m saying. First of all, being 1-1 isn’t the same as finishing the season with one loss. Do you think 1-1 is the same as 12-1? Do you think we are going to go undefeated for the rest of the season? Really?

                      Yes, the SC loss is unacceptable. My larger point, however, is that the overall funk that the UGA football team has been in for several years now is what is really unacceptable. And I see very little evidence that things are getting better. Thats it. Thats my viewpoint. Its like we’ve fallen in a hole and can’t get out. I’m not calling for anyone to be fired, I’m not freaking out, I’m just frustrated. We can and should be better than this.

                    • Puffdawg

                      I share your frustration over the erosion of our program. The difference is I am not ready to proclaim this season “unacceptable” after two games. Glad you are a dawg which makes you a friend of mine, despite your sick and twisted expectations. 😉

                    • carolinadawg

                      Large enough sample size now?

    • Puffdawg

      RE: AJ – do you have inside info to suggest it might be worse?

      RE: starting QB – Murray has been starting QB – at least per the head coach who makes these decisions – since spring ball. Mett was never #1, at least if you’re listening to the head coach.

      RE: Bobo – admittedly had conservative gameplan going in. If he had come out wide open and Murray threw 3 INTs, you’d be complaining. I like his gameplan coming in but disappointed he didn’t open it up a bit earlier, but hardly an unforgivable sin.

      RE: Smith concussion – team was admittedly soft last week against SC and coaches are making attempt to toughen up team. The only way to improve tackling is to do it.

  22. AthensHomerDawg

    Shouldn’t we all wait for the Dogs and Hogs to play before contemplating seppuku?