Last season, Aaron Murray became the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in three seasons when he went for 3,893 yards and 36 touchdowns — single-season totals that rank third and fourth, respectively, in league history alongside the likes of conference luminaries Tim Couch, Peyton Manning and Danny Wuerffel.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Georgia’s senior quarterback has the chance to join a group that is nearly exclusive this year, when he attempts to become only the fourth quarterback in FBS history to surpass the 3,000-yard mark in four seasons. Only Hawaii’s Timmy Chang (2000, 2002-04), Boise State’s Kellen Moore (2008-11) and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones (2009-12) have pulled off the feat to date — and only Moore and Jones in four successive seasons…
Consider this: Georgia’s Mark Richt is the dean of SEC coaches at the same school. He’s entering his 13th season in Athens. Dating back to when Richt was hired at Georgia in 2001, there have been 43 different head coaches at the other 13 SEC schools, which includes Missouri and Texas A&M.
The remarkable thing isn’t that Richt eventually found himself on a hot seat. It’s that he’s survived it.
That is no misprint in having Auburn third. Recruiting ratings didn’t drop off during Gene Chizik’s tenure. Things like this are why I am so convinced that last year’s 3-9 season was a result largely of players quitting on the coach. The talent is there. It just needs to be used properly, and there’s a good chance that the new regime will get a pretty good bounce back season this fall.
I was at last year’s Georgia-Auburn game and it was pretty apparent, especially on defense, that Tiger team had stopped listening to the coaches. So I think Year2’s got that right.
That being said, Auburn will be on its third defensive coordinator in three years, all running different schemes, on its third offensive coordinator in three years (although 2013 is a quasi-restoration of order in some sense) and looking for a new starting quarterback for the fifth consecutive season. That does not strike me as adding up to a smooth transition.
One tell to watch is whom Malzahn picks to start at quarterback. If he goes with a true freshman there, he’ll be playing for longer term development. That’s not a bad decision if the kid is as talented as early reports make out. After all, if anybody’s got a fan base with some patience this season, it’s Gus Malzahn.
Which again raises the question of what in the hell these guys were thinking in the first place. This deal, especially before the TV revenues were brought into the complaint, could have been settled for a few pennies on the dollar. Plus, working things out amicably would have made for good public relations.
Instead, where they are today is what you get when greed and arrogance trump common sense. Given the decision makers, I can’t say that’s surprising.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23