The audacity of greatness

Mark Richt, summing up his team’s 10-4 season, tampers down the praise:  “… I still think that our guys had a good year, not a great year.”

Dan Mullen, on the other hand, sounds pretty impressed with Mississippi State’s 7-6 year, despite two fewer wins than in 2010, failure to meet his preseason goal of winning the West, etc.:

“You know what,” said Mullen, “to me, it’s a great season.”

Hey, say it enough and you probably come to believe it.

38 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

38 responses to “The audacity of greatness

  1. TennesseeDawg

    The Dawgs beat bad to middling teams and had no wins against any team better than average this year. This is about what we as fans should have come to expect under Richt. Georgia is a slight above average football program that will be ground up by any of the best programs. Exactly one year from now, we will still all be sitting here lamenting another season of what could have been, pointing out the same frustrating shortcomings and complaining about Bobo as we always do.

    • H-Town Dawg

      Yawn. Whatever.

      • TennesseeDawg

        You know it’s true.

        • sUGArdaddy

          Except for the part where it’s not. You know. Except for the part where we’ve been to the seccg more than any other Eastern team during Richt’s tenure.

          Except for the part where it comes to sec titles during Richt’s tenure:

          LSU 4
          UGA 2
          Fla 2
          Auburn 2
          Bama 1

          Do you know that David Greene was the last sophomore or younger qb to win an SEC title. Let’s see what Richt can do with a battle tested veteran for a couple of years.

          Sorry to get in the way of your argument with facts. If you haven’t noticed, it’s hard for everyone to win sec titles.

          • 81Dog

            that’s gonna leave a mark.

            • Skeptic Dawg

              The problem with your “fact list” is that the last SECC the Dawgs won was in 2005. We now sit in 2012. I struggle to remember the last big win this program has had (Maybe the 1st Blackout game against Auburn?). The 2011 season was successful due to a soft schedule. Yes, the team won 10 in a row, and that is an improvement over 2010. However, we simply can not continue to compare each season to a 6-7 record that is still fresh in everyone’s mind. This all boils down to expectations. Some fan are fine with a middle of the pack 3 or 4 loss team year in and year out with great recruiting classes, while others have higher expectations. We all know that CMR is the HC of our beloved Dawgs for the foreseeable future. We also know exactly what we will get from this program for said foreseeable future. Go Dawgs!

          • Puffdawg

            You know it’s true.

          • JMTullDawg

            Richt made his mark and achieved the above listed statistics when the SEC coaching pool consisted of Phil Fulmer, Lou Holtz, Ron Zook, and Mike Shula. What does his resume look like since 2006? How many ranked teams have we beaten the past few seasons? Who did we beat this season?

            • sUGArdaddy

              Okay, I’ll play that game. Since 2006, we’re 4-2 in bowls, have won a Sugar Bowl and finished #2, won the Cap One, had a #1 draft pick, Won 10 games 3 times in those 6 seasons and been to the SEC game 1 time.

              In those 6 years, here are the Eastern Division Championship game trips:
              Florida – 3
              UGA – 1
              USCjr. – 1
              UT – 1

              We’ve had a couple of rough years in that 6. Florida also had a 7-5 and 6-6 season in that stretch. South Carolina missed a bowl during that stretch. And UT has missed a bowl about 2-3 times during that stretch and gone through 3 head coaches.

              The difference is that you see 2011 as a continuation of whatever ailed us in ’09 and ’10 and I don’t. I see 2011 much more like 2001. I really believe Mark Richt re-made himself this year and over-hauled the program. He weeded out some cancers on the team, which left us woefully undermanned at some positions, but helped us have better character. He remade his staff over the last 2 years and the dividends are showing.

              If you think I’m fine with being a 3-4 loss team, then you’re bonkers. I want to win an SEC and NC every year, but I also sit in reality. It’s really, really hard to do. Sustaining excellence every year is just tough. But I think Richt is working toward it. I think we ran into a tough situation w/ Willie, and we’ve corrected that and the S&C issues. This team played nothing like the ’09 and ’10 teams, and in many ways, we coached nothing like it.

              The truth is we’re in a better spot than about every other team in the league right now except the 2 playing for all the marbles. Spurrier turns 67 this spring and will probably retire after Lattimore’s eligibility is gone. Do you really think they’ll be able to replace him with another HOF? Petrino will never be able to recruit at our level.

              So, what do you want? I want to beat LSU and Bama, but it’s a process, and I think we’re getting there. We dialed up the right plays on offense and stoned them on defense so much that we should’ve been up 21-0 on them. We coached aggressive and went after them in every way. I think he’s up to the task.

              I just don’t know what else to expect. I think we’ve made great staff decisions the last couple of years and we’ve gotten rid of some bad apples. We’ve developed players. And we got drastically better from ’10 to ’11. Did we accomplish all our goals? Heck no, but we’re getting there. And I’m not sure anyone else could do better.

              Let me ask you a question: Do you think Saban or Miles could win at UGA without oversigning and our drug/alcohol suspension policies? Honey Badger would have been out for 1/2 the season at UGA.

              The difference is that you think 2012 is year 12 of Mark Richt 1.0. I think 2012 if year 2 of Mark Richt 2.0.

              • Macallanlover

                Stop it Sugar, you are killing them with facts. It is unfortunate when folks spin every single detail in a negative way to fit their psyche, bu that is their right to be unhappy. Like you, I don’t know why they want to drag everyone else down with them, but the old “misery loves company” adage seems appropriate here. Not saying there is never an area to be concerned about, but you have to allow yourself some “happy time” on occasion don’t you? Otherwise, why love the sport? I have to admit there are some really unhappy people among us Dawg people, and that is sad. We have few problems relative to others, and there are so many larger issues deserving of one’s attention. No more humiliating them please, these guys would be angry about winning the lottery if they learned there were multiple winning tickets that night.

              • Skeptic Dawg

                I continue to see the same problemsyear after year from this program: lack of running back, O-line issues, lack of aggressiveness on offense, ST issues. We have seen these problemsthroughout CMR’s tenure sans a select few seasons. I too live in reality. I have acceptedthe fact that the program will drop 2-4 games a year due to the issues listed above. We all know CMR will receive an extensionthis year, so I am willing to accept what this staff puts on the field and I will always be a Dawg. However,I am a Dawg that wants excellence on both sides of the ball. CMR and the offensive staff simply are unable to achieve their desired playing personality for whatever reason. Until that changes, we will continue to get the same results we have seen over the past several years. The reason 2011 was not a disappointment like 07, 08, 09 and 10 is because the bar has been lowered due to the failures of past seasons. I simply expect more.

                • sUGArdaddy

                  Saban’s averaged 2.4 losses each year at Bama. Miles has averaged 2.43 at LSU. Richt has averaged 3.45 at UGA. If you add in Saban’s record at LSU, he’s at 2.8 over that whole span. So, they’re, Miles has been about a game better for his 7 years at LSU. Saban has been .65 games better (a little over half) during his 10 years as a HC in the SEC. Yet, we’ve got a guy that we know is going to stick around for the long haul, and he accumulated 12 of his 38 losses (almost 1/3) in 2 years. Better said, he accumulated 31% of his losses in an 18% window. It was a rough 2 years in ’09 and ’10. No one will deny that, but the remainder of the time, we’ve been playing at the highest level of anyone in the SEC.

                  These stats show that every coach drops a few each year. In fact, Saban and Miles both AVERAGE more than 2 losses each year. And one of them is guaranteed at dropping another one in a few days.

                  I just don’t understand what fans that think like this want? Do you have another, better option? Do you honestly want to get rid of CMR? Do you think Chris Petersen would do better? Really? Because I keep seeing him drop a game each year against a vastly easier schedule than ours. Do you want Bob Stoops? Do you want Chip Kelley, who lost 2 this year, too, in the regular season. He just got to play UCLA in his championship game and we got LSU (of course, he lost to them to open the season).

                  Can you name the coach that averages zero to 1 loss each season…because we should hire him right away. Richt is a really, really good coach. 99% of BCS schools would died to have him and his record.

                  Do we want to improve? Of course. Do you think Richt isn’t seeking ways to have more excellence? This “we’re going to drop a few games each year” stuff is a myth…because EVERYONE is going to drop a few games. Only 4-5 teams will end up with 1 or fewer losses, and 2 of those don’t play in a real conference.

                  You keep winning 9, keep winning 10, win 11 or 12 every now and then, then sneak up with 13 or 14 every once in a while. That’s how it goes for really great programs in our league.

                  • JMTullDawg

                    The Saban stat is somewhat misleading. He lost 6 games in 2007 after inheriting a lost team from Mike Shula. He’s lost 6 games total in the four seasons since 2007. That’s 1.5 losses a year. Do you honestly think we would have a 10-win season if we had played Bama, Arkansas, or LSU? Do you think Richt would still be our head coach if we had played one or two of the above three teams? I don’t.

                    • JMTullDawg

                      We obviously played LSU in the SEC Championship game. I mean to say if we played Bama, Arkansas, or LSU in the regular season. Wanted to clarify.

              • JMTullDawg

                Well reasoned, good post.
                Bowls since 2006: Va Tech (good win, beat a good team), Hawaii (totally overmatched opponent), Michigan State (very talented yet underachieving Dawg team beat a Big 10 sissy), Texas A&M (6-6, bad team), dropped two winnable games the last two years.

                Other than the Va Tech win in 2006, which of those bowl games constitutes an impressive win in your opinion?

                Yes we did have a number one draft pick. Also had a #12 and #4 pick on the same offense. What hardware do we have?

                Do they give trophies now for finishing #2 in the country?

                Again, how many ranked teams have we beaten the last few years?

                Mark Richt coached aggressive in the Florida game because he was coaching for his job. Now that an extension is assured, he went back to the same old in the bowl game.

    • Cojones

      Maybe you will, Tin Dawg, but the rest of us won’t. Wewill just enjoy college football for what it is, an imperfect game.

  2. Tell Mullen to keep the same great season going.

  3. Russ

    It’s comments like this from Richt that make me optimistic about next season. He knows where the problems are, and he’s focused on fixing them. With the talent we’ll have next year, I feel good about it.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      I know it’s the annual prerogative of many Georgia fans to “wait until next year,” but let me throw a little reality your way. Please look at our offensive line. Is it your honest belief for next year that players BLANK, BLANK, and BLANK, who will replace our three leaving OL starters (at the 3 most crucial positions), will be better than those starters? Do you really think that the 3 BLANKS, who (1) couldn’t crack the lineup of this year’s painfully thin OL or (2) will be a true freshmen, are going to lead to vast improvement on the trenches? Improvement that Georgia obviously needs against good defenses in order to produce the running game that sets up our passing game. Improvement that might actually allow us to effectively incorporate a power running game in 2nd halves as Richt and Bobo have shown they are committed to doing (effective or not).

      When confronted with this reality most reasonable fans would conclude that we should not expect improvement and might even be worse. Uh oh. Because I do remember that the OL was a glaring weakness at various parts of the season? Because I do remember how it was a sieve two days ago and greatly contributed to our lack of production? Such a massive issue/problem doesn’t bode well for 2012–even though we look to be in great shape in other spots. Such is Georgia football–can’t put it together in any one year. Like this year, any “success” next year will have to depend on the mediocrity or ineptitude of our division and traditional rivals.

      • sUGArdaddy

        Minnesota, John Theus would have started for us at tackle as a high school senior. He’s the best OL recruit we’ve signed since either stinchcomb. He will be young, but an immediate upgrade I skill set at tackle. If you don’t think you can run the ball with a freshman left tackle, knowshon Moreno would like you to meet trinton sturdivant.

        We’ll miss jones. We’ll upgrade at both tackle spots.

        • mykiesee

          #100 on Sturdivant.

        • MinnesotaDawg

          Theus is an unknown at the college level. There are plenty of 4/5 star kids (especially OL prospects) who simply don’t pan out. We’ve certainly had our share. Of course, I hope that he does. I hope that he’s as good as Sturdivant was at the end of 2007. I hope that whoever we slide out to the other tackle is better than Anderson or Glenn. I hope that Marshall is close to Knowshon (who made our whole line look better than it was). I hope for a lot of things, but don’t realistically expect them.

          Sugar, I think that you are an optimist, but I would LOVE to hear you tell me “I told you so” in about 10 months.

          • sUGArdaddy

            I am an optimist. But I was pretty down after the liberty bowl. Richt has sold me the last 12 months. I think we’re playing a new game.

            And Theus will be good. Trust me.

        • Puffdawg

          Where’s the love for Max Jean Gillis sUGAr?

          • sUGArdaddy

            You know, I was thinking about big Max, too. I remember him coming in as a freshman as a TE in our jumbo package vs. Auburn. Loved that guy.

        • Puffdawg

          Also, from everything I’ve heard, David Andrews is ready to step in at center without missing much of a beat, with all due respect to Ben jones of course.

  4. Colonial Dawg

    Damn sUGArdaddy! I wish I’d written that.

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    I agree with Mullen. 7-6 is a pretty good year for msu. They finished strong by winning their bowl.

  6. shane#1

    Same old crap year after year, and I am not talking about the team. Same old whine, bitch, and moan. I am sick of it. I watch football for fun, it is not life and death. You win some you lose some, deal with it! Get a life, find another team, or grow a pair. I don’t care what you do, but stop raining on my parade. I am going to enjoy the Dawgs in spite of the crybabys, and I had a hell of a lot of fun this year.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      Pretty funny. Referring to others as “crybabys” [sic] in such a post.

      • shane#1

        If the shoe fits put it on big guy.

        • Cojones

          I think that’s his problem shane . It also includes a few others. But I’m glad someone else had a good year watching like most Dawgs did. Your point-on post should go for our entire next year if anyone else is interested in watching our University team perform (He wrote, as he silently saluted with an open beer).

        • MinnesotaDawg

          Are you familiar with the term “hypocrisy,” shane #1? Perhaps you should look it up. It seems you choose to “whine, bitch, and moan” but just at a different target. If you don’t like the different ways in which how Dawg fans react to a issue, loss, problem, etc. perhaps you should “find another team” or “grow a pair” or simply not read this blog. That way you can enjoy your parade any damn way you choose. Think how much more you’ll enjoy the Dawgs alone, Shane #1.

          • MinnesotaDawg

            Or, better yet, with Mother Jones.

            • NRBQ

              Ouch. Good one.

              • shane#1

                Why should I find another team? I like the one I pull for. I am born and bred Bulldog. You are the one that addressed me personally, I did not click on reply. Since you chose to make this personal I will say that you are the absolute worst among CFB fans. I wish you would root for Tech or the Gators because you are not fit to be a Dawg. I will not address you again because you are a waste of good blog time. In other words, you ain’t worth the trouble. Get back to me when you grow up.