Daily Archives: December 23, 2014

At Florida, former ‘Bama offensive coordinators are just like beer.

You can never have too much.

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The only number we care about

Maybe so, but Mike Bobo hasn’t done too badly.  His new contract is for five years, with a base salary of $1.35 million.  (Those are the same numbers McElwain started with when he went to CSU.)  That’s a nice step up from the $575K neighborhood he was in last week.

Here’s the figure that matters in Athens, Georgia, though:  His buyout will be $5 million.

I guess that means we can expect Mark Richt to be on Georgia’s sidelines for at least another five years, right?

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Another thing Mark Richt needs a plan for.

Seth Emerson is reporting that Will Friend will join Mike Bobo in Colorado.

Offensive coordinator… offensive line coach… hmm… Neil Callaway is tanned, rested and ready, I bet.  Probably not too expensive, either.

(I keed, I keed.)

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And now, the obvious question

Which is, will Mark Richt take back the offensive coordinator reins so he can hire a dedicated special teams coach?

Nah, just kidding.

Richt’s gonna replace Bobo.  He’s made it clear that he’d prefer to let someone else handle playcalling duty.  So who’s out there that has a shot?  If you’re looking for a couple of lists, here’s one from Seth Emerson and one from MaconDawg you can read.

My thoughts?  I haven’t a clue on a specific name, but I do think there are some likely parameters to keep in mind.  First, I don’t think Richt is going to hire somebody who requires on the job training.  If he’s not going to call the plays officially, he’s not gonna do it in training, either.  Second, it’s easy to lose sight of this, but Georgia hasn’t just lost an offensive coordinator.  It’s also lost a very good quarterbacks coach.  You have to think that whomever Richt decides on has experience in that department, too.

Given those items, I think it’s unlikely that Georgia promotes from within (as much as McGarity might like to save a few bucks by going internally), because there’s nobody on the staff with that sort of experience.

The other matters to keep in mind as the search develops would be that I doubt Richt wants to change Georgia’s offensive philosophy in any significant way, budgetary limitations – of course – and Pruitt’s Tuscaloosa-based influence.

If you’re asking me if all that smells like Doug Nussmeier… well, I probably wouldn’t argue with you.

I do think Richt will have plenty of qualified candidates to sort through.  So there’s that.

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Get used to it.

It’s jarring not seeing him in red, ain’t it?

Hey, it’s what he’s wanted, and judging from how things turned out for his predecessor, it’s a great opportunity.  So, what more needs to be said besides congratulations?

Well, since you asked…

  • Bowl game prep.  From what Chip Towers said, Georgia isn’t very far into installing its game plan, but really, this one doesn’t seem too daunting a task.  I expect Richt will run the offense and it’s not like the staff doesn’t have familiarity with Todd Grantham.
  • Other staff defections.  Towers hints at something others have mentioned, which is that Will Friend might follow, but I’m not sure Bobo takes many with him. For one thing, I don’t think it’s something he’d do to Richt.  For another, who would make a lateral move from Georgia to CSU?  The money won’t be better.  (On the other hand, if you’re looking for something non-Bobo related to freak out over, here you go.)
  • Recruiting.  Again, any kid committed to Georgia isn’t heading out to follow Bobo.  The question is whether any of the recruits Georgia’s targeted for the offense who Bobo focused on (Terry Godwin?) can be pried away by its SEC competition.  Tons of good recruiters on Georgia’s staff to tide things over, but I expect the next guy coming in will have to be in place well before signing day to end that questioning.
  • Will a favorite son return home?  Really, I’m amazed at the number of people who assume this is as much an opportunity for Georgia to hire an experienced head coach in Bobo down the road as it is for Bobo himself.  Why is that so likely?  Think about it for a minute.  If Bobo flops at CSU, or even has a rough time for a while (see this article for speculation that McElwain may have gotten out at just the right time for his career), how attractive is he going to be as a future head coaching candidate at Georgia?  And if he’s a big success out there, what happens when he starts getting serious offers at other P5 schools (or, gasp, SEC schools) while Richt remains the head coach in Athens?  To me, this seems like anything but a lock.

But that’s all down the road, right?  In the meantime, best of luck, Coach.  You’ve earned your shot.

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Reading the S&C tea leaves

Interesting list Marc Weiszer managed to compile here.

Georgia hired Mark Hocke from Alabama’s strength staff as its new director of strength and conditioning.

Who else was in the mix for the job?

There were 25 applicants for the position, according to information provided by Georgia under an open records request.

Among those who applied: Tennssee Titans assistant strength coach Jason Novak, Stanford director of sports performance Shannon Turley, current Georgia strength staff members John Thomas and Sherman Armstrong and some current and former college and NFL head strength coaches.

What does that tell us?  A few things:

  • Georgia is an attractive destination for coaches.  When you’ve got current big timers like Turley and other current or former head strength coaches applying for a job, that says something about the opportunity.
  • Georgia didn’t care about the criteria it established for the hire.  This wasn’t a case where the school didn’t have the option of bringing someone on board with plenty of experience being in charge of a big time strength program.  For one reason or another, Georgia simply chose to go in a different direction.
  • The mystery is in the why.  Was Hocke chosen because he brings something unique to the table?  Maybe – again, there’s little doubt that there are several coaches on the staff who could speak for him.  (Although note that another former Alabama assistant strength coach in Ryan Davis was passed over.)  Was Hocke chosen because he was affordable?  Maybe.  I don’t doubt he would have come cheaper than Turley or some of the NFL guys.  But I also doubt he was the cheapest name on Weiszer’s list.  Maybe the answer lies in some combination of both.
  • What’s going to happen with the existing staff?  There’s your $64,000 question.  Does Hocke revamp or even get to add on to who’s already there?  How awkward is it going to be with Thomas and Armstrong?

Like I said yesterday, what’s going to be interesting, aside from whatever fresh perspective Hocke brings to Athens, is whether there’s anything else in the budget to enhance Georgia’s strength and conditioning staff.  I’ve got no idea – I doubt anyone does, except for McGarity and Richt, and they aren’t saying – but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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