Grading on the curve, part deux

I asked a couple of days ago how the ESPN pundits would grade Georgia’s 2014 season.  Well, the grades have been posted.

Overall: B. Considering they were without one of the nation’s best players for seven games, it’s impressive that the Bulldogs didn’t fold when Gurley left the lineup. In fact, things looked great when the Bulldogs routed Missouri and Arkansas on the road immediately after Gurley’s suspension. But Georgia was unable to keep it together down the stretch, and its overtime loss to Georgia Tech only added insult to injury when the Bulldogs were unable to win the East. It was a solid overall season at Georgia, but it still ended in disappointment.

That seems a fair assessment. 10-3 is about what most expected going into the season, but a team that not only survived a period of Gurley’s absence, but started out thriving in it, should have done more.

Ching gave the lowest individual grade to coaching (read: Richt), with a C.  That, too, feels about right.  Richt did a lot of good things last season, but the coaching mistakes that cost Georgia in each of its losses undid a lot of that work.

50 Comments

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50 responses to “Grading on the curve, part deux

  1. WF dawg

    Grading the offense at B seems too low. True, we didn’t use a lot of vertical passing, but that’s just because we were too busy running the ball down people’s throats most of the year.

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    • I agree with you. Given Gurley’s absence for much of the season and Bobo’s ability to work with a different skill set at QB, I would grade the offense as deserving no worse than an A-.

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      • WF dawg

        Also this was a little hard to understand: “Senior quarterback Hutson Mason was OK, setting a school record with a 67.9 completion percentage.” Just OK?

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        • A10Penny

          If you only have one stat to refute an argument when there 100’s of stats available…

          That being said, I agree HM was better than “just ok”, but some people may think that he was just ok because of who he followed.

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    • BugdsDawg

      a B for this offense is absurd. Top 10 in scoring. He seems to build his case around Hutson Mason. For real? Mason finished #1 in the SEC for long ball accuracy, finished #1 in accuracy, #1 in least interceptions, and went 4-1 vs ranked teams. If that isn’t A+ offense, don’t know what is.

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    • Debby Balcer

      If our offense is a b there should be no As awarded.

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  2. I respect the opinions of those who rated the coaching in 2014 as a “c” but I see it differently. I have posted before that to many observers Richt’s losses are recorded in stone and his wins are recorded in invisible ink. I acknowledge the issue at Carolina, in Jacksonville and that 12th game, but I also have to balance those with the good coaching that enabled us to overcome the loss of our two veteran deep threat receivers for the first third of the season, developing an offense that ran through a quarterback with a skill set different from what we had previously, and maximizing his production, that held the team together through two tough road games immediately after Gurleygate broke, and slaughtered Auburn.

    In my opinion play calling is an overrated past of coaching, and the most underrated part is the management component. A coach has to have management skills in keeping 105 young alpha males on task and commuted to a common objective. Richt’s teams have never quit on him or each other. I know we received the opening kick in Jacksonville not emotionally ready to play, but we did fight back. That is different than having a team quit on a coach. Chizik won a crystal football, which on the Shanks coaching scale means he is a superior coach to Richt, but two years later his team quit totally on him.

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    • Dudemankind

      I remember Georgia taking the lead in Jax and then it seems the air got let out of the players tires as a result of dumb play calling decisions, like trying to kick a field goal in a 100 mph crosswind, and then not lining up properly to defend Florida’s fake field goal minutes later. At that point it seems like Richt’s team DID quit on him IMHO.

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      • GaskillDawg

        If you equate what happened with UGA against Florida with what happened at Auburn in 2013 then we will never agree.

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    • Cojones

      And I remember the coaching that led us to score and go ahead in that “12th” game with 18 seconds left. How can that great team play be overlooked because the D allowed a runner to get within the distance necessary for an opposing kicker to set a new personal record? That kick was the game for them, filling them with confidence and strength enough to overcome a superior athletic team in overtime.

      I prefer to remember that last great drive down the field engineered by old “Noodle” and featuring a roadgrading O line. While not happy with the outcome, those were glorious moments that, if held true for 18 more seconds, would be at the top of the accolades list for this team. No amount of negativity toward that game can drive that from my old memories.

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      • BugdsDawg

        Coaching didn’t lose the GT game, 2 fumbles on the 1 yardline and the pick in OT did.

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        • The game should have never gone to OT. The two fumbles and the failure to take advantage of momentum after our fake FG lost the game. The 12th game was the only game this season where our offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. The defense did enough in regulation to win the game.

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  3. IAmAGurleyMan

    “the coaching mistakes that cost Georgia in each of its losses”

    14 years of coaching mistakes and counting…

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  4. Uglydawg

    Gaskill, I appreciate your comments, but I’m not in total agreement. Yes, the “coaching error” losses seem to be written in stone while the wins are in invisable ink…I”ll agree…but CMR (and I love and support the man) is paid to win games…paid a lot…and not to make what were really pretty sad mistakes. Now, I’ve moved on from those losses and look upon any ten win season as good…but it’s understandable (although sometimes annoying) that there are some that can’t seem to (move on). CMR probably does deserve a “C” because of mistakes against UF and GT and SC….but he deserves an “A” for what you call “the management component”
    Average those to a “B”.
    I really believe Georgia was one of the four best teams..although the opportunity to prove it slipped away because of mistakes. I know Alabama fans who were convinced that they would lose if they faced Georgia in Atlanta. I believe it. But you can’t lose three games to poor teams and get to ATL or the final four.
    :”Water under the bridge”…”Spilled milk”, etc…We can’t change it. But aren’t you happy we can look forward with a LOT of optimism? I sure am.

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    • JCDAWG83

      One of the four best teams do not lose to two 6-6 teams that needed their wins over Georgia to be bowl eligible or blow a lead with 18 seconds left to their in state rival at home on another bonehead coaching decision.

      For $70,000 a week (last season, will be $80,000 a week this season) the margin for error and forgiveness should be razor thin. 14 years in we still get the inexplicable losses that can be pinned directly on the head coach.

      C is very correct for Richt.

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      • Sanford222view

        I agree the squib kick wasn’t the correct call but that game was lost when we fumbled twice inside the 5 yard line earlier in the game. It should have never come down to the last 18 seconds of the game. We know it do though and thus Richt does deserve some of the blame but not all of it. The players deserve just as much blame for that loss if not more.

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        • W Cobb Dawg

          I see this excuse used a lot. The truth is we were ahead when we kicked that pooch kick, with just seconds remaining. Considering all the other events during the game, the pooch kick decision cost us the game when our victory was all but assured.

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          • Cojones

            It did not. The first play in their possession moved the ball to a range that the kicker had never successfully kicked before. The squib kick didn’t do anything that made those plays successful for our opponent. If we had kicked through the end zone, they probably would have passed for a td on their first play. Would you go back and blame the kick to the end zone for the loss? Yeah, you probably would.

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            • Even Richt said the squib kick was a bad decision on his part.

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              • Chuck

                Please allow me to dig up my old horse and beat it one final time: many teams employ a low, hard kick on the ground in that situation — a “worm-burner” in golf parlance, but I’ve heard it called a squib kick as well — where you’d like the team to pick it up and allow the clock to start, but with little chance of return.

                Without assurance that you could kick it out of the end zone, that kind of squib kick’s not a bad strategy, but the pooch kick we used is tougher to defend (unless Q Hicks was on their return team) as a choice. And the D, for all its positives this year, should absolutely not be let off the hook for making a 22-yd scramble possible in that situation.

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      • GaskillDawg

        If he made $69,500 per week would you feel differently?

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    • BugdsDawg

      Georgia was 2 plays away and 5 yards from the SEC Championship. The fumble on the 1 vs GT, and the grounding on the 4 vs SC, blew the season. But hey, mistakes happen, looking for perfection isn’t the solution.

      If you want to blame Coaching for the losses, got to credit coaching for the 4-1 #1 best record in the NCAA for the wins vs ranked teams.

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    • GaskillDawg

      Your points are well taken. Thank you for the response.

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  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    I guess angsting (?) about last year is gonna go on till next year starts just like chewing on the minds of high school kids. I got a feeling it is gonna be a long off-season.

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  6. RugbyDawg79

    SJ3 that was really good ! how bout a cure for my heart when we lose to those stinking gaters

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    • Cojones

      Lotsa drankin’. Or a really good brownie.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      In my head, there I can replay sacking Spurrier seven times, or 49-0, or sittin in the rain watching us win. Or the Miracle on Duvall Street. By that time I am back to St. Simons and drinking.

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  7. BugdsDawg

    This pisses me off. I’m tired of people not giving Coach Richt credit.

    He has exceeded the AP Poll preseason expectations 3 out of last 4 seasons.

    He improved the team’s special teams, offense, and defense. TO margin was improved.

    He finished 4-1 vs ranked teams, good for #1 in college football.

    He finished the 2nd highest in the SEC in the ap poll, top 10 finish,

    And these guys give him a C, a C, what a joke.

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    • Mayor

      There were 13 games played by the Dawgs this season. 2 of them were walkovers and shouldn’t count: Troy and Charleston. 5 of those games merit an “A” in coaching: Clemson, Missouri, Kentucky, Auburn and the bowl win over Louisville. 3 merit a “B” in coaching: Tennessee. Vandy and Arkansas. 3 merit a flat “F” : South Carolina (lost to a mediocre team because the D presented him with the chance to win with an INT deep in enemy territory near the end of the game and the HC/OC kicked away the win with a blown playcall first and goal from the 4), Florida (lost to an inferior team in embarrassing fashion because the team was not ready to play) and GA Tech (“pooch” kick-off with 18 seconds left on the clock leading by 3–need I say more?). So you have 5 As, 3 Bs and 3 Fs. What does that average out to? About a C. Coaches are paid to WIN games–not LOSE games. The problem with Mark Richt is he alternates between being Knute Rockne and John L. Smith and we never know which one is going to show up.

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  8. Russ

    I agree. The highs were pretty high, but then some real valleys brought the score down. And Richt did some great coaching keeping the team together and prepared for tough games, only to take his foot off the gas at UF and pull a boner at the end against Tech.

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  9. Irwin R. Flecher

    So Richt gets a C because despite two fumbles at the 1 and an IT inside the 5 in OT they lost to a top 10 team by 6. The squib wasn’t a great call. Neither was the prevent D on the 1st down. But were those the only two calls that count in that game?

    And seriously…the offense led the SEC in scoring by almost a touchdown!!!
    Highest scoring against conference opponents? Check.
    Highest scoring overall? Check.
    Highest scoring vs. ranked teams? Check
    Highest scoring vs. P5? Check.

    The O set the all-time record for ppg in UGA history and gets a B? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen David Ching write.

    Hmmm…

    Arkansas coaching gets an A and overall gets a B+? FOR GOING 7 AND 6????
    Kentucky coaching gets a B-.
    Mississippi State wins the same number of games, finishes lower in the polls, and gets the stuffing torn out of them in the Orange Bowl against the SAME TEAM that UGA lost to by 6. Overall B+ and Coaching B+. Surrrrrrrrrrrre.
    Mizzou- Coaching A, Overall A-
    Ole Miss- Coaching B, Overall B
    Tennessee- Coaching B-, Overall B
    Texas AM- Coaching B

    Honestly…I don’t care if you give Richt at C…but you better fail half of the group I just listed above if you do.

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    • Chuck

      Yeah, A&M in particular. Given that everyone shot them to the top after that admittedly deceptive win over SC, they really underachieved. Sumlin certainly didn’t earn the genius tag.

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