And, now, bring on the negativity.

Start with this piece at Rivals.com.  What we care about from it can be summed up in less than 140 characters.

No doubt bad luck and timing explains some of that.

But there’s this, too.  (Even though kids like Heyward and Berry never were coming to Georgia.)

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59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

59 responses to “And, now, bring on the negativity.

  1. AusDawg85

    The MNC is clearly one of the toughest achievements in college sports, especially because of the arbitrary nature of the BCS selection process. This look at recruiting highlights why it seems we’ve probably had one of the greatest decades of opportunity we’ll ever see and just couldn’t get all the pieces to fall into place.

    I hardly think that is an indictment of the program, and especially of Mark Richt…but man, we just can’t get good breaks year in and year out.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      “The MNC is clearly one of the toughest achievements in college sports…” If that is true how come LSU and Florida both won 2 of them in just the last 10 years?

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Let me amplify my meaning. The universe from which the BCS National Champion comes is limited as a practical matter to the Big 6 conferences. Really,with current team membership the Big East is a nullity. The ACC has gone down somewhat and really has only FSU and VA Tech as serious contenders. Some might say Georgia Tech but I don’t see it. The SEC from whence the last 5 champs have come really only has about 7 or 8 teams that a could pull it off (Auburn, Bama, LSU, Arkansas-if they got their act together, Florida, Georgia, UT and South Carolina–a stretch). The Big-10 has even fewer, 3-4 max (tOSU, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan-when they come out of their funk). The Big-12 has 2-3 (Texas, Oklahoma and possibly Okie State). Only a couple of non-Big 6 teams could do it (Boise and TCU-which is about to be the only chance for the Big East). Add all that up and you have less than 20 teams as the universe from which the BCSNC is crowned. What’s amazing is that UGA has NOT won the damn thing!

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        • AusDawg85

          Without engaging the argument about whether there should be a playoff or not, my assertion is that the arbitrary nature of the polls used to select the BCSCG means you need something else to get your ticket punched than just your record. I submit that repeat winners (both from the SEC) probably had a favorable boost in the early season polls from reputation rather than solely the current season’s performance. How does any one coach control that?

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  2. Dog in Fla

    “What we care about from it can be summed up in less than 140 characters.”

    That was easy: ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they are seldom disappointed’*

    *A. Pope’s Oct. 6, 1727, letter to a Gay guy

    http://www.personal-development.com/chuck/expectations.htm

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  3. jerome

    We were actually Berry’s first choice for awhile…

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  4. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    In fairness, UGA did finish 2nd in 2007, and likely would have played for the MNC had either Vandy or Kentucky been able to pull out a win against UT (I try not to think about the end of the UT-Kentucky game, where Kentucky had 1st and goal on the 1 yard line and didn’t score. But that’s the problem with needing help from a Vandy or Kentucky-they can’t be counted on to come through.) Also, had cheating tOSU not cheated in 2002, UGA may have been in line to play for the MNC against cheating USC.

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    • Scott W.

      Could have also gone by beating UT.

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      • Newt

        While true, I always shake my head when people refer to UT as the “game that got away” in 07. Clearly, the gamecocks were the team we should have beaten. If I remember the situation right, UT was coming off a bye week that was preceded by a bad loss. They were in full “circle the wagons” mode and played almost perfectly. I maintain they would have beaten pretty much anybody that day.

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        • Bingo on the SC game. If there’s a game about which Bobo has regrets about his playcalling, it’s that one. 5-10 more Moreno carries (with that many fewer pass players) and Georgia’s playing for a national title.

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          • MenloDawg

            2007 SC is the 2nd most important loss in Richt’s career behind 2002 Florida. All we had to do was get the ball into our best players hands instead of throwing to Tripp Chandler, Tony Wilson, etc.. That was my sophomore year in Athens. Disappointed. Went to the UT game that year too. Blackout was fun though, so was Bourbon Street.

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      • Jim

        Thank you. Or SC. Had no business losing either game and UT was flat out embarrassing.

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  5. JaxDawg

    This should surprise no one and frustrate everyone b/c all the pieces are in place for a monster run. And at some point you have to look at the leader of the program and ask the tough question. You can bet McGarity will.

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  6. AusDawg85

    Another thought…we’ve seen a lot of commentators on here wish for “true dawgs” who are not hot recruits with the prima donna attitudes. So which is it…are we over-recruiting divas, or be better off with lower recruiting rankings?

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  7. Gary

    Doing less with more. Richt’s specialty.

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    • Dawgfan Will

      Griping about a coach that’s accomplished everything you could ask for EXCEPT win a championship that requires as much luck as anything: UGA fans’ specialty.

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      • Sanford222View

        +1

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      • JaxDawg

        Apparently, Will has been out to lunch for the past several years.

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        • Dawgfan Will

          Okay, show me a coach that has been at his CURRENT program for more than five years and who hasn’t had a drop-off at least once in that career. I might take him over Richt, but I’m not interested in changing coaches every half decade in some vain effort to sustain success.

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          • JaxDawg

            Will, the problem isn’t Richt’s body of work, it’s the overall trend that is worrisome. No one, not even the most hard-core Richt supporter can disagree with the stats and the trend. Blame on it whatever variable you desire (Martinez, lady luck, the boogyman, tone loc) but the record speaks for itself. I always fine myself going back to the WVa bowl game as the demarcation point – since then Richt’s teams have been inconsistent and inexplicably absent numerous times.

            They say that 2-3 games does not make a trend, however 3 years does and tell me how many ranked teams has Richt defeated in that timespan?

            With all that said, Defense is the key. So goes Grantham’s D, so goes our record and Richt’s future.

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            • HackerDog

              The main criticism of Richt that is legitimate is he was hesitant to fire Martinez. After that, I don’t see many criticisms that haven’t been addressed. Much of the grousing either focuses on record exclusive of everything else, or the belief that scooters emerging from alleys means the program is out of control.

              And I think 2010 was written off before the season. You don’t change defensive schemes to one you don’t have the personnel for and expect to win right away. Hopefully this year we’ll see improvement akin to Saban’s second year at UA.

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              • Macallanlover

                Agree, being slow to pull the trigger on Martinez was his biggest error, imo. Somewhat understandable given his personal relationship, he isn’t the only “manager” to have ever made this mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

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            • Jim

              “I always fine myself going back to the WVa bowl game as the demarcation point – since then Richt’s teams have been inconsistent and inexplicably absent numerous times.”

              Finally someone else shares my view point. IMO this could not be more true. “Inconsistent and inexplicably absent numerous times” is an excellent summary of our program the last several years.

              Somebody will always respond to this by pointing to the 2007 #2 finish – but “Inconsistent and inexplicably absent numerous times” applies to that season more than any other given the SC and UT debacles. If we even show up for either game we play for and likely win the MNC

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    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Gary was trying to be funny, but a little tone deaf in this instance.

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  8. da

    Also of the top 5 schools in recruiting, only UGA lacks a 1st place recruiting class. I reckon development might be an issue for the UGA coaching staff, but it’s probably not quite so cut and dried. I think Mark Richt has consistently acted in the university’s long-term interests, and I don’t envy an AD forced to cater to fans who see a national championship as the only success worth measuring, but it is the fans that make the thing go…

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  9. SRQDawgs15

    Getting to the MNC game is as much about luck as it is about winning. We were the best team in the land in ’07, but didn’t get the breaks against SC early or the help from UK/Vandy late. Take a look at the “On-field Winning Percentages” listed in the Rivals post….notably UGA being tied for 10th with UF, slightly ahead of Auburn(12th), and way ahead of Bama(35th). While all of those teams have won NCs (2 for UF), we have the same or better record. While some might find a way to blame Richt here too, it really is just the luck of the draw. It all depends on what everyone else does that year and how much ESPN and the other media outlets like you. Another thing, Dawg fans love to think we are the only team with recruits that don’t work out, often pointing to Florida as the team that “knows what they’re doing.” Well take a look at all the players jumping ship down in Gainesville….at least 5 players have transferred this offseason and the Gators actually have less players on scholarship than we do. 5 Star guys not working out? How about Omar Hunter and Matt Patchan? What an uproar I saw when we couldn’t find a way to fit Hunter into our class that year. Well he’s been injured most of his career and hasn’t done much when healthy either. And, as far as missing out on in-state guys….look no further than Aaron Murray and Orson Charles, both studs who were at the top of UF’s list from Florida. From reading blogs in these parts, you’d think that stuff only happens in Athens. It happens everywhere and bitching and moaning about it years later doesn’t do a damn bit of good!

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    • JaxDawg

      You’re right, it does happen everywhere. So all things being equal, what’s the reason for us not winning a national championship?

      Hint: It’s not b/c Vandy and Ky couldn’t beat TN, or that we’ve gotten less breaks than other teams (see Michael Johnson). But it may have something to do with the team down south.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Now that I agree with. On the day of the Florida game in 2002 I heard two unbeatens go down before we even kicked off. My first thought was uh-oh. D.J. Shockley gets a fluke injury in 2005. And so on and so on.

        I’m a big demographics and population man, and Florida has been the most populous state south of the Mason Dixon (excluding Texas) since at least the mid 60’s, and they’re always recruited superbly. Remember their wishbone backfield in 76, the nation’s fastest.

        Point is, Im surprised it took them until 1990 to start flipping the series. However, the balance has swung way too far in their direction, and there’s some weird karma going on. When whatever has gone around comes back around, the weird karma should last a good while in our favor. I’m 54 and I just hope I stay sentient long enough to enjoy it.

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        • JaxDawg

          Well said Hogbody (hopefully at 54 you’re in better shape than your name indicates). Anyway, Florida’s population is double that of Georgia’s and you couldn’t be more correct about the demographics – they have had a distinct edge for years and years, decades even. The difference at the time was always coaching. Not that Vince didn’t have some studs (he did and our ’76 team was loaded), but Florida couldn’t find a coach to piece it together. Now I believe that (aside from Zook) they’ve had the superior coaching to accompany that talent for 21 years. Will they continue to trump us for 20 more? No. Will they continue to have better talent than us for 20 years? No.

          I keep saying this over and over and over – we are a sleeping giant. Not ONE school is this country can trump what we offer to the degree we offer it – not one. God bless Mark Richt but I would love for McGarity to find a coach that could maximize the potential of this program. Instead of underachieving or just meeting potential, I want to see someone blow past the self-imposed limits that we’ve endured since that stupid search committee decided that Ray Goff was a good choice.

          People think ’02, ’05, ’07 were good years. We can exceed that in spades.

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          • Hogbody Spradlin

            I’ve said it before but I like repeating it. Hogbody Spradlin is a fictional Lewis Grizzard character; a fraternity brother I think. Know why he didn’t mind people calling him Hogbody? His real name is Norbert.

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      • HackerDog

        So your opinion is that coaches don’t get good breaks during championship seasons and don’t get bad breaks when they miss the cut?

        You believe that Urban Meyer is such a consummate showman that he intentionally kept the 2006 USC/UF game close so that Jarvis Moss could block a last second field goal to win the game and go on to the championship?

        Fate, destiny, or just plain luck are no match for a good coach’s iron will? Sorry, but I just can’t place that much faith in any one man. Even Nick Saban.

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  10. Macallanlover

    “No doubt bad luck and timing explains some of that”, perhaps your grandest understatement, Senator. For those that believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Genies, and Faux NC titles this comparison has validity. But when you look at the aughts, UGA would likely had two of those BCS finales (’02 and ’07) but simply was denied the chance to even compete. What a system for people to decry others and run their flag up the poll. It is simply pure T crap, yet it is the biggest knock on CMR that you hear. Does anyone feel if the ’02 or ’07 teams had played tosu and won, we would be hearing all the attacks on Richt?

    So exactly what is he lacking based on the criteria most attack, or defend headcoaches on? Big Game Bob, The Hat, and Mr. February are three coaches that would have been fired at their respective schools….except that they were given a shot. Our fans should be deeper than that, even if the media isn’t.

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    • JaxDawg

      well if you beat either USc or TN in 2007 then you’re in. and if you beat FL in ’02 you’re in. “The system” didn’t deny us a shot at the cheese – WE did!

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        JD, FLA didn’t win all their games and still won 2 BCSNCs. FLA has never had an undefeated season in school history. LSU didn’t (actually lost 2 games) yet won the title that year anyway. When the Dawgs get close that’s when the lobbying against us begins. Just look at what Holtz and company did on the WWL in ’07. UGA fans have every right to be pissed off about the unequal treatment. That said, the way to end all the unequal treatment is to win all our games.

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    • Dog in Fla

      “So exactly what is he lacking based on the criteria most attack, or defend headcoaches on? Our fans should be deeper than that, even if the media isn’t.”

      My guess is that it’s the number of SEC East titles won over the past five (5) seasons.

      http://www.ask.com/wiki/SEC_Championship_Game

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      • Macallanlover

        So he has forgotten how to coach? I don’t buy it, I hear it, but not buying it. Tressel and Brown have never won SEC titles, recently or ever. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Any claim to a national title that doesn’t include a win over the SEC champ is flawed from the beginning, imo.

        It is why I hope we end up with the Top 60 breaking off and having a playoff of winners. It won’t guarantee the best prevails every year, but the championship will at least be authenticated. But that is an argument for another day, or decade.

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        • Dog in Fla

          “So he has forgotten how to coach?”

          I think Mark is as good a coach now as he was during his first decade here. I did think that he forgot how to assemble or manage, or both, a coaching staff but efforts have been taken to remedy that. The hires of Todd, Lakatos and the new LB coach from the Skins should work out great. Hopefully, so will Friendly for the OL.

          Insofar as the Top 60 breaking off and your concern about best having to beat the SEC Champ, the BCS has presented that opportunity over the past five years. That’s why The SEC, its presidents and AD’s want things to stay exactly as they are with the SECCG being consistently the only annual semi-final for the BCSCG. These are the salads days for the SEC.

          I’m ambivalent. When it comes time for a +1 or a more extensive playoff, that will provide as many opportunities for complaint than the BCS does now, e.g., why ignore the overall body of work and favor the teams who are hot at tournament time, who plays where, why do we have to play there, why can’t we play here or somewhere else, etc.

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          • Dog in Fla

            change “first decade” to “first half decade”…I was getting ahead of myself with the contract for life thing

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        In fairness DIG, the 2007 team tied with UT as SEC East Champions but did not go to the SEC Championship Game as a result of the tiebreaker. That does not change the fact that the ’07 team was co-champions with UT that year. I realize that the UGA Athletic Department does not recognize the ’07 team as co-champs of the East that year. Nevertheless, what I am saying is the way things are supposed to be, not necessarily the way they are. I strongly suspect that if the Dawgs had not been screwed by ESPN’s talking heads, had played in the BCSNCG and won that game the banner for the team would have said: “2007 SEC EAST CO-CHAMPIONS AND BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.”

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        • Macallanlover

          You left out the most important title of all, a banner for SEC Champs (the most prestiguous title in CFB, where it is earned!) No way LSU could have beaten that UGA team the first week in December, 2007. They were beaten up and UGA had hit their stride. You are right about the co-title though, other programs do claim that—–along with co-conference titles before the divisional split. So in the first eight years Richt won two conference championships, plus two division titles. The last two years have sucked for sure, but winning division titles at a 50% clip in the first eight years is danged impressive. I mean, this isn’t the ACC, Big 10/11/12, or PAC 10. Winning anything in the SEC is an earned title.

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          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Last year sucked but ’09 was really just an “off” year. In fact, the ’09 team got ripped off in the LSU-UGA game by refs who actually got suspended a week later by the conference for their actions in another game. 9-4 without the best QB in the country and the best back in the conference who both left school early for the NFL (what the Dawgs’ record would have been without the unwarranted intervention of Marc Curles and company) sounds better than 8-5 but in reality neither is really a “bad” season. So really we are only talking about one “bad” season–2010.

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  11. JaxDawg

    Jesus guys, all this talk about us not betting the breaks and the system being unfair and how this didn’t perfectly allign for us……..give it a rest. Winners don’t whine – the continue to pound at the door until they knock it the F down.

    You want to hear a team whine about “the system” screwing them over? Then listen to the AU fans re 2004, and they actually HAD a reason to bitch about.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      See my post above. I think UGA fans had at least as big a legitimate gripe in ’07 as the Aubies had in ’04.

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      • JaxDawg

        Mayor, for christ’s sakes, we had two losses and AU had none. How could the gripes be considered to have parity?

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        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          It’s all relative. In ’07 everybody had 2 losses or more. We were in the same position as the Aubies–next in line and left out even though we had the best team. Even worse the lockout of UGA from the BCSNCG was orchestrated by an ESPN propaganda campaign. Ever see that before–or since?

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          • Dawgfan Will

            The argument about Richt’s continued employment all seems to come down to relativity versus absoluteness. Some (including me) look at Richt and see a coach who has won as many conference championships as any other SEC coach, who continues to recruit at a high level and who had one disastrous season. Others look at him and see a coach who hasn’t won the only championship that matters, who continues to find recruits that never live up to their billing and who has been on a steady decline since 2005. I don’t think the twain shall ever meet because even if we win the SEC championship again this year, it still wouldn’t be enough for some.

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            • JaxDawg

              It would be good enough for me b/c it would go a long way towards establishing another uptrend considering what we have returning in 2012.

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              • Dawgfan Will

                It would be good enough for me as well, but winning seven or eight games would also establish an upward trend. This whole conversation started because Richt hasn’t won “the big one.” An upward trend won’t necessarily lead to that end result. I’m fine with that because the only championship that matters to me is the SEC because it’s the only one that we can control; anything more is gravy. I will say that I do think it’s about time we won another one, but it isn’t a requirement for me to keep Richt around this season.

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                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  If you win the SEC there is a high probability that you will play in the BCSNCG and an SEC team has never lost a BCSNCG.

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    • SRQDawgs15

      Winners don’t whine? Being a “JaxDawg” you should know as well as anyone that winners do indeed whine…..that is, if you consider UF a winner. They whine about media bias (completely ridiculous, imo), they whine about the Gainesville cops being out to get them, they whine about every call that doesn’t go their way, they whine about some other NC they should have gotten to play for(can’t remember what year), and they whine about other teams fans especially. Everyone bitches when they feel their team has been screwed….winner or not. My point above, and I think Mayor of Dogtown’s point also, is that people need to back off of the whole Richt can’t coach/recruit garbage. We have the same winning percentage as that team down south for Christ’s sake (and better than Auburn and Bama)…so I guess its Richt’s fault he just picked the wrong years to be good? And we have the 2nd best recruiting ranking over the time span discussed….despite what some would have had you belief in ’09 and again this year.

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    • AusDawg85

      You completely miss the point, and even make “our” point when you note that Auburn got screwed by a system that is arbritary (what door did they kick-in? Oh, yeah…the $200k Cammy door). The BCS does not reward just the “best team” each season, so using that as a measuring stick for Mark Richt is way off base. But that falls on deaf ears…you want Richt gone, so no other line of reasoning is acceptable.

      Let’s have it your way…fire Richt today, right now. Begin your search. The list is thin for those with a “proven” track record. Past NC game coaches (not just winners) would include Tressel, Miles, Urban, Mack, Carroll, Kelly and Saban. Exactly which one of those would you want to see in Athens? And how many seasons will be needed to adjust to the new coaching regime, and overcome the problems with the BCS?

      There may come a time…soon…when we’ll have to give a promising OC/DC or maybe even a HC outside of the SEC with an impressive record in another (likely weaker) conference a chance to lead the Dogs. But Richt is still our best chance, right now, to get it done.

      Lord…give it a rest.

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    • Dawgfan Will

      I, for one, have never said the system is unfair; I’m a college football fan and to me the system is part of the fun. But to say that there is any difference between Richt’s 2002 season and Saban’s 2003 season, or between Richt’s and Miles’s 2007 seasons is splitting hairs at best. Do I think we deserved to play for the MNC in 2002 because of what we know about OSU now? No. But I also don’t cotton to canning a coach who has twice gotten us to the cusp of what is unfortunately considered the only measure of success by a percentage of our fanbase.

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    • HackerDog

      I agree. In 2007, UGA had 2 losses. They just didn’t get it done.

      On the other hand, LSU only had 2 losses. They just knocked that championship door down.

      That’s why Miles is a better coach than Richt. Right?

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  12. Thanks for sharing that little nugget. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pull out all my hair.

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  13. Cojones

    Sic’em all you positive Dawgs! Just don’t get anything out of bitchin’ and running down the team and coaches’

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