Grading on the curve

Here’s what Chris Low has to say about the work Steve Spurrier and his staff turned in this season:

Coaching: C-minus. The Gamecocks lost their edge, and Steve Spurrier himself admitted that the commitment across the board wasn’t what it should be. That always goes back to the head coach. Even so, Spurrier was as sharp as ever calling plays for much of the season, and the Gamecocks broke a handful of school records. He was at his Hall of Fame best in the win over Georgia, and yet, would also like to have a few play-calls back in some of those close losses. Defensively, nothing went right. There seemed to be chemistry problems on the staff. The Gamecocks didn’t always play smart or hard, and there weren’t a lot of answers along the way. Spurrier hasn’t ruled out making changes on his defensive staff after seeing the bottom fall out in 2014.

Given that, two questions:  (1) what grade do you think Low will assign to Mark Richt and Georgia’s staff? and (2) what grade would you assign to Mark Richt and Georgia’s staff?

48 Comments

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48 responses to “Grading on the curve

  1. B-. Making Mason a quality SEC starter was great. Getting Sanders and Mauger to play good SEC ball was, too, but you can’t duff a game like they did against Florida nor can you piss one away like they did against GT. But at the same time, can you give a coach lower than a B-grade when you go 10-3 and finish in the top-10?

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    • Mayor

      You left off the play call near the end of the Georgia-South Carolina game where instead of handing the ball to the best back in the nation with first and goal from the 4, the offensive staff (I assume Bobo) called a naked bootleg pass which was sniffed out by the DE and resulted in a grounding call and no points scored. That cost the Dawgs the game.

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      • Ben

        Dammit, man, we did the same thing at tech, and look what happened. It was a pissy call on the grounding, it was a pissy call on the holding, and it was a close call on the 4th down at the end. The way they were abusing our secondary, I’m not convinced that even scoring on that play you’re still complaining about would have mattered.

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        • Mayor

          You’re right about the bad grounding call by the officials. The ball was thrown to the left in the general direction of a back but low and behind him. The ball hit the defender ricocheting even further away. That prompted the bad call of grounding. The the next day the SEC office gave a BS explanation for the call using the old rule instead of the new rule that says a back only need be in the area. Plus, Mason was out of the tackle box so he had the right to throw it away as long as he got it past the LOS. Since the defender blocked the pass with his body it is impossible to tell whether the pass would have gone past the LOS but that should mean “no call” shouldn’t it? Since you brought up Tech, do you recall when the Dawgs were in OT against Tech in 2013? Bobo called Gurley’s number every play in OT and he scored in 3 plays. The SC game was on the line and Bobo should have handed the ball to Gurley, the best back in the nation. Plus, running it would have used up more time. Why do you always defend the staff when they make an obvious screw-up like that. EVERY sportscaster in the nation said Georgia should have run it in sports news shows that night.

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          • Gurkha Dawg

            It was not a bad call. The same play was called from about the same spot earlier in the 4th qtr and it resulted in a TD. Was that a bad call also? You can’t have it both ways. When everybody thinks you are going to give the ball to Gurley, what better time is there to throw it? IIRC SC had 9 men in the box on that play!

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            • Mayor

              Maybe calling the same play from the same spot earlier in the fourth quarter and getting a TD out of it is why the DE didn’t get fooled the second time. Ever think of that? The call stunk IN THAT SITUATION. Is that particular pass play, in the abstract, an OK play? Are TDs sometimes scored from passing? Sure. But given the circumstances it was a bad call. You and a few other people on this blog are the only people on planet Earth who think that call was a good one. As stated above, on all the sports shows that night the commentators talked about what a bad call that was UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES and how it lost the game for Georgia. But, I guess you know more than they do.

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              • Gurkha Dawg

                Actually, before that play was run I was saying “give the ball to Gurley”‘ , but what the hell do I know. We would all be great OC’s with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight wouldn’t we? What if Gurley would have fumbled? Ever think of that? Running into a 9 man box ain’t a great call. But I guess you know more than Bobo.

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                • doiknowu

                  Which was the better player: Gurley or Mason? Whom would you trust more at crunch time? If you say Mason, I don’t believe you.

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      • Bobby

        Yeah, I would have given it to Chubb also!!

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      • Bazooka Joe

        I still don’t think that was a bad call…. the execution of the play ? horrible.
        We have run that same play in similar circumstances (with Gurley) and had a lot of success. Heck everyone in the stadium and TV knew we were going to give it to Gurley, and we switched it up. Too bad Mason had a brain fart and threw it in the dirt and got the intentional grounding call. THATS what killed us – the loss of 5-6 yards on the play. Just my 2 cents….

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      • Russ

        My real problem with that series was when Richt went out there and personally kicked Marshall in the balls causing him to miss the tying FG.

        If the play works, he’s a genius. In fact, it worked before, and it worked after. That time hurt, but that alone didn’t lose the game.

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  2. B – we met expectations. We had some A+ performances (Clemson, Missouri, Auburn) and we had a flat F performance in Jacksonville with a D at Columbia East. 10 wins and a top 10 finish should be the baseline expectation for the Georgia program year in and year out.

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    • BugdsDawg

      According to the preseason AP Poll, we exceeded expectations.

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      • A top 10 finish should be expected year in and year out. Yes, we finished higher than we started, and that’s great. We finished about where we should have.

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        • BugdsDawg

          I put more stock in the AP voters, we finished above what they expected. They know college football better than you and me combined. No one expected this team to go .800 vs ranked teams preseason with all the talent losses in the defensive backfield and the loss of Murray, hell, Hutson ended up top 10 in passer effic and accuracy, and the pass defense finished top 5, go figure, awesome coaching. The Gurley 4 game suspension and ACL injury played a major factor in 2 of the losses, Chubb couldn’t handle the load alone. Think Richt loses to UF or GT with Gurley & Chubb healthy and rotating carries and fresh all season?

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  3. Bulldawg165

    I’d give him a B- for much of the same reasons mentioned above. We looked really, REALLY good at times and average to flat out awful at other times and there’s no excuse for the fact that a team we beat 34-0 managed to do to the rest of the East what we couldn’t.

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  4. Beakerdawg

    We flat out aced our chapter tests with A+ (mistake by the lake team, How did we get invited to the sec and then get placed in the sec east team, our state has great duck hunting and a low price retail powerhouse team) but got Fs on the Final exams(chicken team, gold chain/jort wearing jello stained tank top team, nerd team) but we did some extra credit and pulled our C+ up to a B- with 10 wins.
    The mantra continues – next year we put it all together… Pass that bulldog red kool aid as my cup is empty
    Tot Zeins y’all.

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  5. Hobnail_Boot

    B-

    I’d like to grade him higher based on Mason’s. development, consistency in the ground game, and the Pruitt hire. Also, the Vandy-Mizzou-Arkansas stretch was impressive, as was the Auburn beatdown.

    I can’t grade him higher because the team looked disinterested against our biggest rival and he made (yet another) brutal special teams decision that cost us the game vs. our 2nd biggest rival.

    Per Richt himself, the goal every year is to get to Atlanta. Despite some outstanding play at times, the team failed in that regard.

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  6. Mayor

    Giving an overall grade is tough because at times the team looked like a playoff team (Clemson, Mizzou) and at other times it looked like the worst team in the conference (see WLOCP). Plus, end of game screw-ups cost the Dawgs 2 victories. But the team did win 10 games. B-.

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  7. PTC DAWG

    B. I made B’s without breaking a sweat….A’s require hard work….

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  8. B+. The majority of teams would have gone into a shell mentally after the Gurley announcement, but Georgia went out and thrashed 2 good teams on the road. That, along with the Clemson, Auburn, and Louisville thumpings earns the staff a decent grade.

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    • Bulldawg165

      Would they have? I seem to recall that the national champions lost TWO, not one, but TWO starting QB’s during the season

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      • Ohio State didn’t, that’s true. Most other teams would have. I’ll gladly give Urban Meyer an A+ this year for coaching. I’ll give him a D- on not being an asshole.

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      • sUGArdaddy

        Yes, they would have. Uncertainty and controversy is much different than injury. Plus, the recruiting was key. Richt gets credit for signing Sony and Nick. Think how bad we’d have been without them. It was a crazy year.

        I’d go B+ as well. I was worried sick heading into Mizzou. It was a pretty amazing thing to do what we did. It was a head-scratcher year for sure, but there are about 113 teams who would gladly trade places with us.

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  9. Americus Dawg

    B minus … I’m so ready for next season!

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  10. 3rdandGrantham

    C+. Losing thee games to unranked teams, in which you were a combined 25 point favorite going in, makes it too hard for me to give a grade anything higher than that. Don’t forget we came really, really close to losing to a bad UT team at home to boot.

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  11. Dudemankind

    That F in JAX brought the team average down a lot. Still don’t understand why it happened. C+ for that reason alone, otherwise it would have been an A-.

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  12. G

    I’ll give him a C+. I agree with everything that has been said above, and a B- makes sense for a 10 win team, but I’ll drop it bit because of two instances. We looked like gang busters in most of our wins, but the losses I put a lot on our coach. The Tech game ended on a bone head play call by him, but Its how he prepared the team for the USC, and especially the UF games that really irks me. He had two weeks to prepare for both games, and they came into each one ill-prepared. Both teams were not a talented as the Dawgs, and they had something missing. I put it on him.

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  13. @gatriguy

    Hard to give higher than a B+, hard to give lower than a B.

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  14. A-
    Positive: 10 win season with a learning-on-the-job defense, tailbacks (Gurley, Michel, Marshall) suspended/injured, bridge quarterback, deep threat receivers out for significant time, secondary made of duct tape and bailing wire.

    Negative: Fla, SC, Tech were winnable games that we found ways to lose.

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  15. simpl_matter

    Clemson – A+ (4.5)
    South Carolina – C (2)
    Troy – A (4)
    Tennessee – C+ (2.5)
    Vanderbilt – A (4)
    Missouri – A+ (4.5)
    Arkansas – A (4)
    Florida – F (0)
    Kentucky – A (4)
    Auburn – A+ (4.5)
    Charl Southern – A (4)
    Georgia Tech – D+ (1.5)
    Louisville – A (4)

    Averages out to 3.35, but I’d say B+ (couldn’t figure out to score minuses). I could knock half a letter grade off USC, UT, or GT,

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    • Irwin R. Flecher

      This is my favorite one…although I think you could argue an A+ for Louisville and I’m not sure grades for Chaz South or Camero Troy should count the same.

      The hard one for me is Tech. There’s the squib, but there is also the two fumbles. There is the grit in the 4th Quarter and the drive at the end of the game, but there is also the clear sense that the team was flat after getting left out of the SECCG. But honestly how do you give a D+ to a 6 point loss in OT to a team that finished in the Top 10?

      Here’s how I weight it…Conference Games get weighted to 60% of your grade. On a 4.3 scale…I’ve got Carolina-C, Tennessee-B-,Vandy-a, Mizzou-A+, Arky-A, Florida-F, UK-A, Aub-A+..a 3.16 average during conference play.

      I’d weight P5 non-conference and Bowl games at 30%. Clemson-A+, UL-A+, Tech-C for a 3.53 average.

      Then I’d give cupcakes 10%. Both were A. for 4.0.

      So weighted average is 3.36 or B+.

      I’d say between a B and B+ depending on how you weight each category of games would be fair although I think you get some bump for being in the top 10, recruiting, etc. Just hard for me not to grade it a solid B+.

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      • simpl_matter

        Explaining my Tech grade, I was trying to grade the coaching (not the outcome), and it seemed to me one of our worst efforts. Sure the two fumbles probably cost us the game, but it was the way we came out in the second half that really effected my grading.

        Chubb seemed flat (I think the fumble was in his head for the rest of the day), but they kept feeding him only to be stuffed. If it wasn’t for Swann’s strip, our D would have given up a touchdown on their first drive. It just seemed like the coaches went into halftime and didn’t rally the team very well.The pooch kick cost at least half a letter grade, in my mind. Without that, we probably win, and I give the coaches a C+ or so.

        In any case, I’m with you on the solid B+. With all that this team had to endure, I was very pleased with this team (I had a feeling the bed-sh*tting in Jax was coming, so it didn’t hurt quite as bad as it should have).

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  16. Gurkha Dawg

    Really tough to grade. Pre season I thought we lose 2-4 games. So I guess a B+ based on pre season expectatons. But now, looking back on what could have been, I give CMR a C+. It’s the whole body of work that counts. The big wins listed above prove this team could have been much more successful. MR just did not get it done.

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  17. BugdsDawg

    Team was ranked #12 preseason on the AP Poll, ended up #9, finished in the top 10, 3 plays away from the SEC Championship.

    So, the staff exceeding expectations.

    Improved defense, offense, and special teams. http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/fpi/_/id/61/year/2014/georgia-bulldogs
    Offense improved from #7 to #5, defense went from #58 to #27, special teams from #53 to #14

    Anyone rating the staff lowering than an A, 3 plays from the SEC Championship, fumble on the 1 vs GT, and 2 missed field goals vs SC, cannot be taken seriously.

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  18. JCDAWG83

    B-/C+ for the season and the career. “If only”, “x yards away”, “missed field goal”, “one bad call”, it’s the same after every season. We used to laugh at the SC chicken fans when they said “wait til next year”, and trotted out the statistics to show how good they really were every year. Now, we are those same fans.

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    • C+ for the career – that’s damn funny right there.

      Do you recall what Georgia football was between 1984-2000?
      No championships of any kind
      No appearances in the SEC Championship game
      No BCS-level bowl game appearances
      The embarrassment of the Gators’ one appearance in Sanford
      3 consecutive losses to tech for the 1st time since Johnny Griffith
      9 consecutive losses to Tennessee
      All of 2 top 10 finishes

      Let’s compare that record to the last 14 years:
      2 SEC championships
      5 SEC Championship Game appearances
      2 Sugar Bowl wins
      Multiple top 10 finishes including a #2 and #3 final ranking
      The closest we’ve been to a national championship since 1982

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  19. BugdsDawg

    I expected a 8 win season considering Richt had a 1st year starter at quarterback and a brand new defensive coordinator with his own schemes/terminology to install, without the hand picked player types to run his defense since Pruitt didn’t join until Jan 2014.

    I thought Richt would lose to Clemson, SC, Auburn, Louisville and Missouri.

    Damned if he didn’t go 4-1 vs ranked teams. Color me impressed. Helluva accomplishment right there. No other coach in the country beat that.

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    • Excellent points – CMR generally did a really good job this year. I honestly thought the job he did at Missouri after the Gurley suspension was the best single game coaching job of his career.

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  20. Cosmic Dawg

    As others have mentioned, can’t win 10 and get a C, can’t lose to Tech and Florida (esp. the way we lost) and get an A.
    So…straight-up B.

    The “preaseason rankings / preseason expectations” argument is interesting and I agree it ought to carry some weight.

    Liked by 1 person

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