Tony Barnhart, seat thermometer

If you’re still trying the gauge the warmth of the seat Mark Richt’s derriere is resting on, Mr. Conventional Wisdom is here to clue you in:

… There is a nagging sense from some Georgia people that Richt’s time has come and gone. The SEC East is as weak as it has been in a generation with new coaches at Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and with Spurrier having some issues at South Carolina. There is an opportunity for somebody to step up and become the dominant program in the division. Richt has to make the case that he is capable of getting Georgia back into that position.

So Richt needs to win against a Florida team that is limping into Saturday’s game. It doesn’t matter how good or bad Florida is. It’s Florida. Richt can’t go to 2-9 against the Gators. He just can’t.

Say what you will about Barnhart, he doesn’t make shit up on his own.  This is coming from somewhere – “some Georgia people” – to him.

It might be a good idea to come out of the game in a position to do some serious fist pumping with the faithful, Mark.  Just sayin’.


Filed under Georgia Football

88 responses to “Tony Barnhart, seat thermometer

  1. The other Doug

    I agree Senator. Tony has great sources inside every SEC athletic department.

    I have to agree to an extent. The SEC East is awful, and Richt should be able to win it easily with Georgia’s stability and talent.

    • Connor

      Couldn’t agree more. 3-8 over 11 years is the best case scenario for Richt’s record against UF. That should not be considered a good job against our biggest divisional rival. 2-9 would simply be pathetic. Ask yourself, knowing what we know about every team on our schedule, their performance to date, injury situations, coaching tenures… what loss would be acceptable? Where we would say, “They’re just better” and be ok with it? I think it’s highly debatable for the teams we’ve lost to, and certainly not for any of the teams we’ve actually beaten. Can you imagine how upset we’d be if VU had scooped that punt and scored? Looking ahead, UF in year 1 of Muschamp, with the injuries they’ve had? AU in total rebuild mode, at home? GT, ever? I can’t imagine us finishing worse than 10-2 without it being extremely disappointing.

      • Bevo

        Good points above.

        I think it’s sad that the fan base has become “with him or against him” and excessively black and white about Richt’s future. It’s really hard to have intelligent and critical discussions about it.

        Anyway… I agree with you on the big picture question here: If not this year, then when?

        If we underachieve this season, we will have reached a point where I can no longer say we have much to lose by taking the risk on a coaching change.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          This problem about beating FLA has gone one through 3 different Head Coaches at both UGA and FLA. I would agree with the analysis stated by Barnhart if UGA playing FLA had been done on a level playing field. The fact is that UGA plays FLA as an away game every year plus many of those years FLA has had an extra week to get ready for that game whereas UGA did not. Those problems were created by the 2 previous ADs, both of whom should be fired…er……wait…..uh………….

          • Bojangles

            I have to disagree with you that this is an away game for us every year compared to Florida. Having been to many, many Ga_Fla games in Jax, that stadium really and truly is split 50-50. There is no subtantive difference in supporters, so I just don’t buy that it’s an away game for us any more than it is for them. (Now if you want to argue that there is a disporportionate burden on UGA fans to get there each year, then absolutely right. But we are still there, 50-50.) Our team also flies to Jacksonville, which doesn’t take dramatically longer than Florida drving to the game from Gainesville, so it’s not like we are sitting on a bus for 6 hours while they only drive an hour, where I could maybe see some kind of advantage for them.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Do you at least agree that the 2 previous ADs were fired?

              • Bojangles

                Uhh, sure. But I’m pretty sure Damon was fired over a DUI and some panty-related shenanigans and there are literally books (or at least chapters) written about why Vince was pushed, very little of which had to do with losing to Florida. I don’t disagree with your premise about the off-week for Florida being an advantage. In fact, I cretainly agree with that. But I don’t think Jacksonville is any more a disadvantage for UGA than it is for Florida in terms of crowd/atmoshphere etc. and I don’t think either of our previous ADs were let go for Florida-related failures.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Maybe the current one will be–21 years from now when the UGA crowd finally figures this out. It took the UGA coaches, AD and Administration 15 years to figure out that the off week for Florida before the WLOCP when UGA didn’t have one was an advantage that was helping the Gators win.

  2. jferg

    There is no denying his logic. We all line up the same reasons why our Dawgs should assert themselves at THE team in the East. Someone once said something about a gift horse, right?

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    Barnhart also reported on his radio show that Malcolm Mitchell will not play this weekend. If this is true (I have not heard and/or read anything on his condition) I really do not like our chances. Does anyone know if Michell will sit on Saturday?.

    • SD, Malcolm Mitchell isn’t the big concern. Defense and not screwing up are what the Dawgs need to get a win Saturday.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have him in there. But he’s not going to be the difference.

      • NRBQ

        According to CMR, Mitchell practiced Monday “for about 5 minutes,” and not since.

        He is expressing doubt publicly, but Murray and Bobo sounded more hopeful.

        I think he makes a huge difference for Murray.

      • Russ

        I agree with the esteemed Senator. Our defense is the key, and will win this game for us. All the offense needs to do is a steady dose of Crowell, with Thomas running wide, and short throws to Figgins and Samuel IV. Throw in the occasional TE shot and we’ll control the game.

        Mitchell will be the icing on the cake, but Brown seems like he can play a bit, too. The offense just needs to take care of the ball, and FU will crumble eventually.

      • The Lone Stranger

        I dunno, he has struck me as the most consistent pass catcher the Dawgs have. This is worrisome indeed.

      • Socrates

        Well yes the defense has to play well. Am I the only one more concerned about our awful special teams?

    • stoopnagle

      Mr. CFB isn’t above a little trollin’ to get some calls.

      We could be playing mindgames with little William. Tit of Tat and what not.

  4. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    Here’s a fun thought: We are only one errant pass and one scheduling decision away from being undefeated right now. [NO, NO, NO MUSN’T THINK THIS WAY, RIGHT? ESPECIALLY THE WEDNESDAY BEFORE THE FLORIDA GAME.]

    • Mike

      And had UGA played LSU, Alabama and Auburn the last three weeks, they might well be 2-5!

      • Go Dawgs!

        I’m more than happy to give Flarda the free pass on Bama and LSU. Nobody’s beating them this year save for each other. But Auburn? You couldn’t beat Ted Roof. That’s sad.

      • No way Georgia’s offense looks as pathetic against Auburn as UF’s did.

        • Mike

          But could UGA win at Auburn?

          • Go Dawgs!

            Georgia wins frequently at Auburn. I understand why a Gator thinks of Auburn as some sort of behemoth because Florida can’t beat them for some reason (perhaps the football gods transferred Georgia’s fair share of Gator wins to Auburn? Who knows?) but Georgia’s record in Auburn is actually quite good. And Georgia would beat them down on any field this year.

            • Tony Barnhart Rectal Thermometer

              Yes, Georgia wins frequently against Auburn. Georgia also wins frequently against every other program in the SEC save Florida. Georgia beats several of those other SEC schools at a higher rate than Florida does.

      • fuelk2

        Thank you for that display of scheduling butthurt.

      • No One Knows You're a Dawg

        We’re also one pass away from losing to Vandy.

        Georgia football: It is what you make of it.

  5. Turd Ferguson

    It’s all only rumors at this point, but yeah, I’ve heard that Mitchell likely will not play on Saturday. And I guess Wooten’s status hasn’t improved any. The good news is that Brown has looked really good lately, and King seems to be more of a threat each week. But man … we’ll miss Mitchell if he can’t make it.

  6. Brandon

    I love how you call him “Mr. Conventional Wisdom”, its exactly what he is.

  7. HahiraDawg

    I hate to see or hear those last three words from TB on that insert you provided Senator, but yeah, …he just can’t.

    As for TB, I can’t stand the guy, but at least he’s a professional and he is well connected, so I too have to agree his words have merit here.

  8. TennesseeDawg

    Time for a fake juice cocktail.

  9. Go Dawgs!

    My takeaway from that is that Barnhart didn’t say “some people inside the administration”. Tony does have a lot of contacts throughout college football, and he’s certainly plugged in to Butts-Mehre particularly well. If that was coming from inside the building, I think he’d note that. But yeah, people are saying that, come walk through my tailgating area sometime. Richt can only hurt his stature with a loss Saturday, he can only help it with a win. I don’t necessarily believe that’s a one-game referendum on his continued employment at UGA, though, I really don’t. It’s the biggest game of the year for many reasons. I think that’s really all that needs to be said. But you’re right that Barnhart has become “Mr. Conventional Wisdom”. He’s just repeating the same stuff that people who have never set foot in Athens have been saying all year.

    • Ridley

      This is the biggest game of CMR’s tenure. Period. It’s not a one game referendum. This is a program referendum. Seriously, if we don’t beat this Florida team, should we trust our coach to beat another? I write this a tremendous fan of CMR; but, at some point the rubber has to hit the road.

  10. charlottedawg

    Barnhart’s right. if he loses this year he’ll have gone 2-9 against one of our biggest rivals which is frankly unacceptable double that considering they’re in our division. as someone who after the colorado game thought richt’s best days were behind him and that he needed to go, if i could say anything to richt it would be this: please please please win on saturday. saturday would be a great time to banish this hot seat talk forever. go get ’em coach!

  11. WFdawg

    If CMR loses Saturday but backs into the SECCG, I think he stays.

  12. IveyLeaguer

    It’s only common sense … this is a must-win game for Richt. The only hope for him, should we lose, would be if we lucked into the SEC East Title by default.

    The thing is, there is no reason to lose any game before the game in Atlanta. We are better than all the teams left on our schedule. USC hasn’t lost to Arkansas yet, regardless of what the media and most of CF say. But if USC stumbles, that should put us in Atlanta.

    If it doesn’t, Richt is in serious trouble, IMHO.

  13. BCDawg97

    I’ll echo what WF and Ivey said. Given the state of the east this year, if he can’t at least backdoor into the SECC, it will take at least 9-3 (and probably a bowl win). And I’m not sure that would still be enough if Barnhardt is talking to the right people.

  14. greg

    I know I’ll get attacked for this…but I HATE that radio show with TB/WD. It is awful. The fake accents/voices, the self congratulation….ugh….it’s awful. Like nails on a chalk board. That said…he has a point.

  15. I concurr wiith Go Dawgs this is Barnhart just sticking his finger in and stirring the pudding. Georgia people is a whole lot different than soures. I think writers have learned that saying CMR is going to be fired stirs up readers/venters/bloggers and that is what he’s after,” action not accuracy”. I wonder what Coach we get after the natering nabobs of negativity get their way? How did firing Fulmer work out for UT.

    • David

      If we lose Saturday, he’s gotta go. And I feel confident in McGarity that we won’t hire the next Lane Kiffin.

      • Griff

        And if we win Saturday we’ll be having this same conversation before the Auburn game…and then the Tech game…and then the bowl game…

        • W Cobb Dawg

          CMR isn’t 2-8 versus auburn or yech. It’s the difference between competitor and doormat. If the guy wants to keep his job he needs to show it by beating a hated rival. Not to mention they stand in our way of an SECe championship. How much more motivation does our HC need?!

  16. No reason to be hasty now. CMR has a winning record against the other “rivals”. Recruiting is huge and he’s great at it. Firing him because he struggles with one rival is inviting Clemson, Auburn and many others to swarm into GA and suck up every 3,4, and 5 star recruit available. UGA’s roster might look like GT’s….I’m NOT saying he should keep the job if UGA continues to flounder, but let’s not base the decision on one game…What if he loses to Fl, and then wails the snot out of AU, KY, NMSt, and hangs another fifty on Tech, and wins against a good opponent in a bowl game. Should he be fired if that happens? No. Something good is growing in Athens (it seems) but growning slowly. As long as it’s growning, we’re going in the right direction (see the story of the turtle and the hare).
    To condense all of this….don’t get irrational over what does or doesn’t happen in Jax this saturday….let’s wait and see the whole year through.

    • I don’t know why I put the “n” in growing. I never went to Tech and I still spell poorly.

      • Dog in Fla

        I thought “growning slowly” was perfect. I do it all the time myself.

      • Puffdawg

        Seems you are from Senoia. Do you know the guy trying to sabotage Murray?

        • I’ve lived near Senoia for thirty years. I’m not sure what you are refering to, but I am aware of a website ( or something similar) that seeks to discredit AM’s reputation. It pretty much seethes hatred. I haven’t been able to figure out who’s behind that. I can think of a couple of Tech fans that hate Georgia enough to approve of something like this, but I don’t think they’d be involved. Can you give me more info?

          • Puffdawg

            I’m sure you recall Bluto’s update earlier thhis week on the infamous Aaron Murray pics from last weekend (OMG!!!!!)


            If you click on the update portion of the Senator’s post, it takes you to a twitter account of a Shaftysteamboat. Per his account, he is Ricky Hayes from Senoia, GA, and an avid LSU fan apparently. Presumably with hopes of simultaneously sabotaging UGA and gaining 15 minutes of fame, he twittered the photos of Aaron Murray holding a beer can to media juggernauts Stephen A. Smith and Gerry Dinardo (among 5 or 6 others). Just curious if you knew him.

            UPDATE: he is not the guy in the photo, but he claims he put the pic out there not because of the beer (despite saying “with a beer in his hand in the tweet) but because AM was wearing an FSU shirt. So, today’s lesson is, next time a football player goes to see old high school buddies at another college’s campus, he should be wearing his UGA jersey, with the name on the back and all. Screw blendning in, HONOR THY SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a freakin tool. I hope Bama beats their ass.

            • Know some Hayes’ but most of them are local folks that would never go to LSU. It’s the same pic that is running on the website I mentioned. They are claiming to be doing this to expose hypocracy in atheletes who procaim to be Christians. Senoia area is growing (town has gone from farm town to “lolllypop” town and there are a lot of people around here from all over. We are not too far from Auburn and have a infestation of barners….At the East Coweta games I sit right in front of a bunch of Gator fans. I have UGA stadium seats and it’s been rough. Tonight should be a real test of my gentle-kindness….

    • Macallanlover

      Balanced perspective. No one wants us to lose on Saturday,we shouldn’t and probably won’t, but anyone who thinks this is as simple as a one game do or die is seriously out of touch. Mcgarity isn’t as shallow as many who are on a witch hunt. There will always be a segment that wants a new coach, just as there is a group who wants the back-up Qb, a new OC/DC; it is simply the nature of the passionate people who follow CFB.

      If something is wrong, it is McGarity’s job to fix it, but if he were to make a decision on whether we win or lose on Saturday we need a new AD, not a new football coach. Mark Richt has done exteremely well at UGA despite the media’a constant focus on a way to sell their papers/websites, or shows on the airwaves. When the target of their hysteria survivies, they simply run another target in. While the media amplifies the noisy segment of UGA’s fanbase, there is a ver sizable group who realizes we have the right guy at the helm. We will win Saturday, and probably be in Atlanta. That would be the 5th time UGA has won, or tied for the East in CMR’s eleven years. If you give him the first as a “honeymoon period”, that is a .500 batting average. Have we lost games we should have won? You bet, all coaches do. But you have to keep a perspective on the Big Picture.

      If it weren’t for the UGA blowhards on message boards and call in shows, the “hot seat” issue would not have been about UGA. Media just picks up from the ammunition provided by the Generation X group on computers and cell phones. Much like the Bama faans that call into F’Bomb every day, they aren’t the decision makers. Talk to fans around the country, they all think we are fools for wanting to make a change, I tell them: we don’t. TB is just another media bully trying to have a hot story and we have fans who bite on every story like this. Ignore him, an he will go pick on another HC with a gullible fanbase. I don’t deny we have some disgruntled fans that are over 20, but they are a minority.

      • I suspect a lot of the negative and inflamatory remarks coming out of the (AJC in particular) are wishful thinking, are promoted by techsters (also known as nerds) who, being miserable, are inviting company they don’t actually love. It all hurts recruiting. Sports reporters don’t just “fish”, some of them plant…..Remember the “Quarterback controversy” frenzy that only existed amongst the media. Oh, how they wanted to fan the flames on that one. Trouble was, there was no controversy on the team. In short, I’m skeptical of TB, MB and all the media spawn of FB.

      • As a card carrying member of Generation X, I think you’ve confused your generational labels. Perhaps you mean the perfect little darling Millennials who are all so very talented and very smart and very perfect and can’t get their late boomer helicopter parents to get the **** out of their way and let them do something for themselves once in awhile?

        Gen Xers are at the very least in their 30’s at this point and, generally, are too cynical to think switching coaches will make that big of a difference. Should the stereotype hold, of course.

        • Macallanlover

          Think you are right about that stoop, hard for me to keep the labels right anymore. But I am hoping we Boomer dummies who have screwed up America get enough sense to straighten things out so all of you generations behind us have a chance at what we were handed. Ain’t no way to say how sorry I am about that (nor is there are chance we won’t all have to take some powerful, pain-killing medicine before things get back on track.

          BTW, there is a great book about how generations impact each succeeding one. Name of the book is “Generations, The History of America’s Future” that will explain how this all comes full circle every 4 generations. Guess what? We are due for another “big one” about now, happens every 80+ years, or four full generational cycles, examples: Great Depression was about 80 years ago, before that, the Civil War, and before that American Revolution. Pretty well researched book, but a dry read….may want to skim to get the idea. So yeah, we were spoiled brats who thought we know everything. and also how to force all our knowledge on others by making idiotic laws on how people should behave/live.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Good analysis Mac. I have said all along that the root of the “hot seat” meme re: CMR was with UGA’s enemies who want CMR gone because he routinely has kicked their asses. They want a change to a coach they can beat or at the very least to disrupt our program. Tech fans posing as UGA fans head that list. The local media plays on this to sell papers, TV ads, etc.

        • Puffdawg

          You were pretty vocal yourself about getting rid of Richt earlier this year.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Oh, no. I criticize Richt when he does bonehead things (almost every game, unfortunately) but I have not called for his head this season. In fact when everyone on this blog was screaming for CMR to be fired after the first two games I expressly said that McGarity and everybody else needed to wait until the end of the season to evaluate the team’s performance before making any decision on CMR. What you are talking about was last season when game after game the UGA coaching staff kicked away wins with stupid decisions at the end of the game. Yes, I did “suggest” that CMR should go then. But the powers that be at UGA decided to give him another chance and now I support that decision.

            • Puffdawg

              By earlier this year, I meant January. Sorry for the confusion. While I applaud your decision to support McGarity in exercising patience, you were explicit in saying in January Richt “needs to go – now” and “the worst possible thing would be to keep Richt around” and we need to fire RIcht and pay Mullen’s buyout and give him a long term contract ASAP. I remember all this because despite your conspiracy tendancies, you have been a long time commenter and I was disappointed you were going down that road. Once you advocate so strongly for firing someone, you can’t just magically come back on board all of a sudden if they start doing well. And you sure as heck can’t blame the media and rivals for fabricating hot seat talk.

              • Puffdawg


                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Let me make myself clear. Last season CMR and the staff kicked away at least 3 games, maybe more, with bad decision-making at the end when the game was on the line. I won’t get into specifics here but my take on those mistakes is well documented on this blog. CMR and the entire staff deserved to be canned at the end of last season. The powers that be decided to keep CMR and the staff for at least another year. I did not make that decision. Frankly, if it were up to me CMR probably would have been gone after the Liberty Bowl. Like Smith Barney commercials used to say, “They earned it.” However, it was not up to me. I am a UGA alum and supporter. I will continue to support the Dawgs whoever the coach is. This year there has been marked improvement so far. I am keeping an open mind and am waiting until the end of the season. That does not mean that when CMR or the staff does something stupid I will not point out it was stupid. That also doesn’t mean that I do not recognize that some of the “hot seat” talk originated from UGA’s enemies who want to instill chaos in the UGA program. There is a certain risk to making a coaching change. That’s a fact. I hope UGA beats the Gators, goes to the SECCG and beats Bama or LSU for the SEC Championship this season. I believe that the Dawgs have the best chance to do that of any team in the East because of how the personnel for the respective teams match up. I am reading things on this blog that disturb me, like that UGA has to win the WLOCP for CMR to keep his job. That is ridiculous. One does not decide that sort of thing based on the results of one game. Let’s win, get to the end of the season and see what’s what. I am fine with CMR being HC in perpetuity if he does a good job. If not, then give somebody else a chance.

      • The other Doug

        I agree that the message board nuts are responsible for a lot of the hot seat crap we have listened to the last two years, but I think the AD is finally taking a hard look at Richt’s future. I don’t think it has as much to do with beating the hated rival as it does beating the teams you should beat in important games. We need to beat the Gators to get to Atlanta, and we have the better team.

        For the record I am Gen X.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          In CMR’s defense let me say that he has a winning record against every SEC team except LSU (3-3) and Florida (2-8), some of which are outrageously one-sided like Ole Miss (5-0) and Arkansas (plus he’s dominated our in-state rival GA Tech (9-1).

  17. kckd

    He denied UTK was firing Fulmer from the info he was gettting from his “UTK people” right up to the point they fired him. He ain’t always right. And more and more, on his radio show, he sounds like a guy who doesn’t know nearly as much as he thinks he does.

  18. FRED


    • Castleberry

      Dude – caps lock is on. Just curious who have you been saying will turn this all around?

      Give me a realistic name with a great head coaching record against Florida.

    • Spence

      Winners understand Caps Lock. Start there.

    • Macallanlover

      I swear, I do believe CMR has a winning record against Bama and LSU (maybe a tie with LSU but it isn’t worth my time to look up on a point so ridiculous), so I guess it is likely he would beat them in the future. Maybe the game hasn’t ” pass him “buy” after all, but you may want to look out the window, there is a lot of the world you don’t seem to get and are missing as we speak.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        CMR is 3-1 against Bama. He is 3-3 against LSU but that includes the 2009 game that the refs stole with the bogus “celebration” penalty against AJ Green when replay showed that he did nothing to incur it. In my mind CMR is really 4-2 against LSU.

        • Macallanlover

          Good point, I knew there was a reason we had a winning record against LSU. That game is a W for UGA because it was absolutley stolen by a very stupid, deliberate decision. (I feel the exact same way about the deliberate theft of the GT game on the “phantom” fumble.)

  19. Cojones

    Fred, your typos sound like you are on Dragon Speak. Anyway, thanks for your spoof and we really needed that humor. Thought for a while the go to “L” virus had taken over this blog.

  20. Joe Moore

    Perspective about UF since the divisional split. Any questions about UF dominating the East are right here. Side note the other four teams get Florida at home every other year. Its apparent they own everybody in the East. I still hateum!
    Georgia 15-3
    Kentucky 18-0
    South Carolina 17-1
    Tennessee 13-5
    Vanderbilt 18-0
    Overall 81-9 (.900)

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Since you brought it up, UGA under Richt has the following record against SEC East teams: Kentucky 8-2; South Carolina 7-4; Tennessee 8-3; Vanderbilt 10-1; Florida 2-8. UGA under Richt has the following record against SEC West teams: Arkansas 5-1; Mississippi State 3-1; Ole Miss 5-0; Bama 3-1; LSU 3-3 (really should be 4-2 without the theft of a game by the SEC refs by calling a bogus celebration penalty against AJ Green for doing absolutely nothing in the ’07 LSU-UGA game); Auburn 6-4. Note the one that seems out of place when compared to all the others.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        BTW, using when CMR arrived on campus at UGA in 2001 as a beginning point, Auburn is 4-1 (they don’t play every year) against the mighty Gators. UGA under CMR is 6-4 against Auburn. Curious, isn’t it?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Joe, without looking it all up I think your numbers for Florida victories against SEC East opponents are wrong. You have South Carolina only beating the Gators once in the last 18 years. I remember South Carolina beating the Gators at least twice since Spurrier has been there, last season plus another time about 4-5 years ago.

  21. Cojones

    Time for a new rumor. I’m speculating that a new Uga will be introduced at the Auburn game. We haven’t visited with our mascot in such a long time that Russ seems to be a figment of my imagination.