I can win that division in 69 players…

I think we all know the question we wish Ivan Maisel had asked Spurrier here:

Two decades ago, when the NCAA cut back from 95 scholarships to 85, Florida coach Steve Spurrier opined that he believed the limit could fall to 75. Now that No. 1 USC is limited to 75 by an NCAA sanction, I asked Spurrier, now at South Carolina, if he still felt the same. “If you’ve got 75 really good players,” Spurrier said, “and you’re at a state university where you can get a walk-on scout team, you could easily do that.”

If Georgia manages to waltz out of Columbia with a win this year, there’s such an obvious opportunity for Richt to jab in the OBC’s direction at the post-game presser.  I hope he takes a minute to indulge himself so.  Or that at least somebody in the media throws him the fastball down the middle to give him the chance for the quip.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Evil Genius

56 responses to “I can win that division in 69 players…

  1. DawgPhan


    all the guys that cry about the numbers never want situations like this one to happen. They never want someone like Merritt Hall to have a chance to see the field.

    I want CMR to manage the numbers better than he is, no doubt. But making sure that we dont have to cut kids, we have opportunities like this, and year to year number fluctuations aren’t terrible things. They aren’t going to destroy the team or stop us from winning football games.

    • JG Shellnutt

      I agree with most of what you’ve said. The sentiment is certainly pleasant enough.

      I have to respectfully disagree, though, with the last note there. To believe that a shortened roster will not stop us from winning football games is likely a bit shortsighted or at the very least overly optimistic.

      To play a full season with fewer players than we could have or should have had can only put us at somewhat of a disadvantage.

      While I hope it doesn’t translate into a loss, the lack of depth due to empty roster spots is a problem that very well could cost us some victories.

      • DawgPhan

        and yet we won 10 straight in the SEC last year, something that UGA hadn’t done in quite sometime with less than 85 scholarship players.

        • Bevo

          Correlation does not imply causation, amigo.

          We won ten DESPITE low numbers. Not BECAUSE OF low numbers.

          • DawgPhan

            and yet your argument is not even based on correlation. Its a counter-factual argument. Correlation might not be causation, and anecdotal isnt data, but they are a lot stronger than your what if scenario of make believe and conjecture.

            • Bevo

              My “make believe and conjecture” argument: Quality depth helps teams win. Georgia wants to win. Georgia should strive for quality depth.


        • Bevo

          And not to rain on the parade too much, but the ten straight run included a few non-SEC characters: Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State and GaTech.

          As I said below, no reasonable Georgia fan is asking Richt to manage numbers like LSU or Bama, but we should not handicap ourselves so badly. If the coaches didn’t agree with what I’m saying then why would we be aiming to sign 32-34 in this recruiting class? Why not just keep it at 70 since it’s working so well?

          Depth is extremely valuable, especially in the SEC. Having a talented scout team and strong competition within the depth chart probably doesn’t hurt either.

          • DawgPhan

            the schedule includes those types of games every year. I dont recall a lot of 10 game win streaks in the last 30 years.

            • Bevo

              I agree — ten wins in a row is awesome, but I was only correcting this (your) misstatement: “we won 10 straight in the SEC last year”.

          • King Jericho

            Could this be the new Turd Ferguson/Red Blackman rivalry I’ve been longing for? Stay tuned!

            • Bevo

              Probably not, KJ. I’m afraid my pobre amigo might not be civil and coherent enough to maintain a decent and interesting exchange. I can’t hang with him; it’s too much like debating with an Auburn grad.

      • ScoutDawg

        Yeah, OK we know all of that. How many kids can you dress for a game anyway. Quality depth is the meme.

        • Bevo

          I respectfully disagree. This is the canned sunshine response to our low scholarship numbers.

          Based on what you’re saying, why not just keep 22 + 2 kickers on scholarship? How many kids can you put on the field anyway? (Sorry for the sarcasm.)

          Look, I don’t think many of us are asking Richt to manage his roster exactly like Saban, but we are hurting our own chances for success with a self-imposed scholarship reduction. Not only does this hurt depth and make key injuries even more catastrophic, but also having your #1s practice against quality #2s makes the whole team better. More competition within each position group makes the whole team better too.

          • Puffdawg

            Bevo, I think this is a very reasonable response. Unfortunately our fans have become a lot like Congress these days in the face of the Fire Mark Richt meme that went around and still lingers. One group makes such crazy claims that the other group feels the need to make even crazier claims to counterbalance. I believe the “Disney Dawgs,” myself included, agree we’re low on numbers and want Richt to do a better job there. But a lot of our natural responses have become more polaristic than they need to be due to the disparaging nature of many of our fans. If you think we shouldn’t be worried about only having 69, you’re crazy. But if you think Richt set out to get us to this point, you’re also crazy. We’ve had some bad luck in the way of kids doing stupid things. How many kids are not on the team now who were AFTER signing day 2012 whose actions Mark RIcht couldn’t control? If we’re sitting here with, say, 74 scholarship kids, maybe some of those so aggressively criticizing Richt’s recruiting approach might be lauding him for leaving space for the 2013 class? I’m just saying Richt didn’t set out to enter this year with 69 or whatever number of true scholarship players. I would admit, however, he set out to leave extra room for next year’s class, which now appears to be a mistake. But that’s with the benefit of hindsight. The solution is probably somewhere in the middle, and I hope Richt continues to evolve as a coach and understand he’s got to change to stay competitive while realizing he can still maintain what makes him different than all the other blood sucking coaches in this league. I think we can have long term success with Richt as long as he doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel again.

            • Bevo

              Good points throughout and I definitely agree with the conclusions in your last to sentences.

              Unfortunately, the polarization of the fanbase reminds me of Congress as well. Once the hardliners have decided whether they’re pro- or anti-Richt, everything he does is either perfect or terrible. Not much reasoning involved. I support Richt personally, but that doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with or won’t criticize some of the things he does (or doesn’t do).

            • charlottedawg

              Like I’ve said before, I don’t want Richt fired, I want the guy to fix the very obvious problem. Dude can recruit, he just needs to recruit more top shelf talent.

              • Puffdawg

                But don’t you agree this offseason has been a bit fluky and there is the very real possibility Richt – looking at the two deep talent for 2012 and considering most of them would be leaving/graduating – took a calculated risk of leaving some room for a possible home run in 2013? I just don’t remember us ever worrying about Richt being short on scholarship players until oversiging became a hot topic and the Fire Mark Richt crowd started trying to find anything and everything to criticize.

                • Bevo

                  I agree about this season’s unexpected mishaps that exacerbated our problems.

                  But actually I think it’s a general problem with our approach to recruiting and roster management. For every 4 classes we bring in, Alabama and LSU bring 5. They’re not going to stop. Do we have to be like them? No. Should we consider reevaluating our roster strategy (and other policies that affect the roster, which will for now go unnamed)? I think so.

              • dawghouse23

                I think that’s what he was trying to do. He went after some big time recruits and didn’t when all the battles. Some may say that he should have had a backup plan instead of putting all his eggs in one basket, but I appreciate that he didn’t settle just to get the numbers. Especially knowing this class was going to be loaded with talent.

                I’m not saying he is perfect and the low number are concerning, but I think we will be okay with a large and exceptional class coming in for 2013.

            • RocketDawg

              I don’t think leaving room for the 2013 class was a mistake at all. We just picked up our 26th commitment for next year and it is widely accepted that the 2013 class is one of the best to come out of the state of GA in a long long time. While I admit that Richt didn’t shoot for 69 players on purpose (you can’t predict attrition or stupidity….right Isaiah?) he did leave ~10 spots open to “oversign” this year. I am in support of the coaching staff not signing warm bodies last year in order to fill out a roster and missing out on some amazing talent in this years class. You know Richt isn’t going to cut anyone so we would have been stuck with possibly a less than stellar player for 3 more years. I think that we have quality depth on both offense and defense and as long as we avoid a rash of catastrophic injuries we should be fine.

    • The other Doug

      If we had 85 players would Merritt Hall be playing? I bet not.

  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    There was a time when Steve might have been able to do this. I love Steve, he’s great, wonderful….and you know what is best about Steve? He will end his career at the great morass of mediocrity that is South Carolina football.

  3. Dawg in Austin

    The more talented players you have on your roster, the higher the level of play can be at practice. That should translate during games. Merritt Hall 2012 can still happen on a team with a ton of talented kids on scholarship. And that Merritt Hall would be even better.

    • Bevo

      Completely agree. No reason to sugarcoat our scholarship situation. Just because you’re not pleaseed with it doesn’t mean you want a Saban style roster management program. It is what it is — inadequate and risky.

      There are tons of benefits in having a full and talented roster. Georgia is lucky enough to have the potential maintain a very talented and deep roster.

      • DawgPhan

        But your argument is that offering a scholarship to a high school kid makes him more talented than an overlooked walk-on who earns his scholarship. We have right now have nearly or maybe more than 80 scholarship players. Some of those players were offered scholarships based on their work in high school, some were offered scholarships based on their work @ UGA.

        We werent going to fill those empty scholarships with 5* players. We were going to take 2 and 3 star guys to fill those spots. I reject the notion that just because someone is rated 3 stars in high school he will continue to remain more talented than a walk-on for their entire careers. We have 80 players that earned scholarships at the University of Georgia and that has to say something about their talent level. What happened to the cries of “give me 85 guys that bleed red and black”? If you are a walk-on that earns a scholarship I bet you worked your tail off, you love UGA, and you are going to continue to work your tail off.

        It doesnt matter when someone earned their scholarship, it just matters that they earned it.

        • The Lone Stranger

          AJ Bryant comes to mind, as does Mr. Bryan Evans. They each tailed off through their times at UGa and both were 5-star guys I believe (maybe 4+ for Evans).

        • RocketDawg

          ^^^^This….who is to say that the 2 and 3* warm bodies we would have filled out the roster with would have been better than the walk ons that earned their scholorship? The best thing about this situation is that we don’t have to renew their scholorships next year and they are still on the team along with the 33-34 loaded class we are bringing in for next year.

        • Dawg in Austin

          They earned it because it was available. Don’t sell the program short by saying that those spots would be filled by 2 or 3 star guys. If you recruit well enough those could be 4 star guys. And the walk ons will still be there on the scout team but you won’t have as many scholarships to hand out to them. They still will bleed red and black, will still come out and play in practice, and may still even make the two deep. But they’ll be better players. Raise the bar.

          • DawgPhan

            He beat a former 5star RB and a 3star FB who was the #2 ranked FB in the country. He earned his scholarship, he isnt a charity case. Hall has raised the bar. Just because someone started their career as a walk-on doesnt mean that they will always be a walk-on, sometimes the inside of the book is worth reading as well.

            • Bevo

              For the one example you rely on, there are ten counterexamples.

            • Keese

              Give it up dude. Your argument about the talent level of walk-ons is asinine and I’m saying that out of experience, which you probably don’t have. There’s a reason players get recruited and offered scholarships out of high school.

              • DawgPhan

                but that isnt my argument. My argument is that players that earn a scholarship means something. Gaining playing time has to mean something. Winning the top spot on the depth chart has to mean something. People dont stay at the same skill level forever. If someone gets an opportunity, takes advantage and works his tail off do we still count him on the rolls as a talentless walkon?

          • RocketDawg

            We missed on ~4-6 3*-4* guys last year right at the end of recruiting. Evidently we were left at the alter on NSD by at least 3 of those (told the coaches they were signing and then changed their tune on NSD) so yes those slots last year would have been filled by warm bodies of 2* athletes that were left.

            We are going to have 8-9 EE this year that back count against last years class, that is 8-9 players that will get to go through spring ball that wouldn’t have otherwise if the coaching staff signed people just to get to 85 scholorship players.

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Love the headline. You missed your calling.

  5. Gravidy

    I don’t have the time to wade into this discussion right now, but if I did, it would sound a lot like what Bevo and Puffdawg have written above.

  6. Joe Schmoe

    I’m sure that all of the negative talk about Richt over the last several years has made recruiting more difficult for UGA. We may have had to spend more time recruiting a smaller group of players to get and keep their commitments. The affect of the negativity was therefore lower numbers as opposed to a big drop off in the talent level of what is the top tier of the class (the best 15-16 players in any given class).

    • Bevo

      Actually, Richt’s incoming numbers haven’t changed much during his career at UGA. I think PuffDawg was right when he pointed out the unusually high attrition during the last two seasons as the reason we’re so depleted right now.

      Remember, one of Richt’s best recruiting efforts ever (the Dream Team) came after the 6-7 season when hotseat talk was raging and we were fresh off a pathetic bowl game against a directional school from Florida.

      I think the negativity is annoying but I’m not convinced it makes a huge difference to recruits. I think the job security issue, which goes far beyond a bunch of armchair fans whining on the internet, is their real concern.

  7. Debby Balcer

    Joe is right on this one. Richt being on the hot seat hurt us in recruiting. Kids want to commit to a coach they feel will be there all four years. People calling for him to be gone and now blasting him for the low number of recruits need to realize they helped bring this situation about. After this season we should not have an issue because we will be on the upswing and recruits will see that.

  8. IveyLeaguer

    “I can win that division in 69 players…”

    Win that division.

  9. Rebar

    I don’t want them to waltz out of Columbia, I want them to stomp, scream and highstep out of there, bloody but unbeaten.