Georgia football: not good enough, or just not close enough?

Michael Elkon asks the musical question “Is Georgia the most underachieving team in college football?”.  He doesn’t answer the question, leaving instead for his readers, but he does a nice job framing the debate, which I would summarize as follows:

  1. Georgia historically has been a good, but not élite, program.  I agree.  As I put it in a post earlier, Georgia has been a top twenty program that believes it’s a top ten one.
  2. With that in mind, Georgia under Richt has had three close shots at playing for a national title, 2002, 2007 and 2012 and come up short on all three occasions.
  3. Those two points lead to this question:  “Is Georgia an underachieving giant or a team whose good, but not great, results reflect the program’s natural state?”
  4. If you believe the first is correct, then the program hasn’t been managed to its full potential.  (Michael says Richt, but I’d argue you have to point to both the coach and the athletic department; after all, the underachievement predates Richt’s arrival.
  5. If you believe the second is the more accurate characterization, then Richt has done a respectable job with what he’s been able to carry out.

That is a pretty unemotional way of looking at what Georgia football has done, if you ask me.  It’s still up to you to decide which camp you’re in.  The only thing I’d add to the review is that if you’re someone like me who thinks there’s been a change in the level of support the program has gotten from the administration of late, that has to factor into the equation, too.  Or, as some have put it, there really aren’t any excuses left for either Richt or the athletic department now (barring another insane run of injuries, like 2013, of course) to fall back on.

What do y’all think?

103 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

103 responses to “Georgia football: not good enough, or just not close enough?

  1. The Tick

    We are 10th in all time wins. That’s quite elite.

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    • mp

      Only 1 post-WWII national championship, which is not.

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      • Mayor

        We have the 16th highest all-time winning percentage. I think that is at least approaching elite. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Division_I_FBS_football_win-loss_records

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        • mp

          I think that’s the whole point, though: is UGA consistently good without being elite? Throw out Boise, Georgia Southern, and Old Dominion, and we’re at 13th. I believe the 12 teams on the list ahead of us have won multiple championships in the last 50 years…and 8 of the 12 have won multiple titles since UGA’s championship in 1980 (Texas, Tennessee, Michigan, Notre Dame have each only won one).

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          And, according to one statistical rating, the toughest overall strength of schedule of any CFB team dating back to the early 1900’s. Heck, imagine what our winning percentage would be if we’d been in the ACC the past 20-30 years alone.

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          • Mayor

            Or played FU’s schedule the last 20-30 years.

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          • Hank

            I think that is the most impressive stat we own and should champion BY FAR. If I recall, we have a fantastic win % against Power 5 conference teams as well, damn near the best over a century. In the past 35 years alone I can remember beating, what, 5 defending national champions for instance?

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    • Blake Barnes

      Senator, I think you just helped re-make Stewart Mandel’s point that UGA is one level below the Kings of College Football. Opinions of Montana football fans aside.

      http://www.si.com/more-sports/2012/07/11/kings-barons-knights-peasants-mailbag

      Of course, you’d never admit that. Pride and all…

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  2. Senator, are you trying to draw out the negative Nellies and the 15%ers?

    The program is really good, but it only has 2 national titles. It’s been in a lot of bowl games and is clearly the conference’s 3rd best program historically. We’re on the borderline, but I can’t say we’re a true blue blood of college football.

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    • Dog in Fla

      “We’re on the borderline, but I can’t say we’re a true blue blood of college football.”

      That’s the part that makes some of us borderline

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      • DiF, that’s the jealousy factor coming out

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        • Dog in Fla

          Heck, the jealousy factor is the least of my bad habits. It’s the marked impulsivity, instability of affect and inability to form lasting interpersonal relationships that harsh not only my mellow but the mellow of others, c’est la vie. But once we get that SEC title, I’m sure I will go back to being completely normal

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  3. DawgPhan

    This should bring out the measured and well reasoned comments.

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  4. MattR

    Is say it’s a little bit of both.

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  5. Spike

    JCDawg83 will add his happy 2 cents worth in 3,2,1,…

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  6. Ed Kilgore

    Back towards the end of the Braves’ division title streak, I used to argue with a friend who was a Mets fan about the comparative value of sustained excellence at a non-world-championship level versus erratic performance with the occasional World Series win. It’s really a matter of taste. I can’t say I enjoyed 1980 all that much more than, say, 2005 or 2007 (my favorite recent Dawg seasons). My single best personal experience at Sanford Stadium, having been attending games since 1976, was LSU ’13.

    I get the impression a lot of Richt-haters are younger folk who are obsessed with Georgia’s non-representation during the SEC championship streak. Maybe you had to live through the Goff Era to appreciate what we have now. And we have some good reasons (administration support, a bit of a recruiting spike) to think what we have now could get better.

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    • BoroDawg

      Sigh………(hand raised) I was a student during the Goff years and one year of Donnan. (1993-1996)

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  7. Gurkha Dawg

    I agree Senator, he does a very good job of framing the debate. It is the way I think of our program. We have had success and even great success in the early 80’s. I remember 1980 thru 1983 and it was awesome being the team to beat in order to be the best. I long for another run like that. No team can maintain a run like that for long. We have all the pieces to make such a run. I think for CMR to be considered a great coach, he must put together a 3 or 4 year run of teams that are contenders and win at least 1 NC.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Well put, if you take out the ’80-’83 years for Dooley, he would be a good coach, but nothing special, about a 7-4 average season. Richt needs to go on a run where Georgia is a top 5 program for a 3 or 4 year period and win a NC if he wants to be remembered as a great coach. For about 6 years starting in ’02, Richt was close to making that happen. The ’05 Sugar Bowl started a decline that seemed to change the perception of the program. ’07 was a great team, at the end of that season it was probably the best team in the country. 2012 was a great season and they got about as close as you can get without getting there. Other than that, the 10 years since ’05 have been pretty unfulfilling.

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      • Could Richt’s tenure parallel Tom Osborne’s at Nebraska? For a long time NE had the longest string of bowl appearances…then they ran off 3 NCs in the mid 90’s. UGA has a pretty long run of bowl appearances (and I use appearances loosely here :-)). Maybe Richt is on the cusp.

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        • Charles

          Good point. Absolutely.

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        • Dog in Fla

          If so, he better get off the cusp before Pruitt leaves

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        • You are correct. And I think Osborne was right at 15 years at NE before his first NC. But a big difference is Osborne had a run of great teams during those 15 years and it was truely amazing that NE had not won a NC before that first one. UGA has not had anything close to the quality of teams the last 14 years that NE had.

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          • Ozzy Osbourne

            Also, Osborne’s team played for the national title in year 11 of his tenure.

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            • Ozzy Osbourne

              And he won 6 conference championships in his first 14 years.

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              • Hank

                In an 8 team league made up of TWO legit teams.

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                • BMan

                  And the “Nebraska way” was a far cry from the “Georgia way,” I believe. Tom Osborne was big on internal discipline and not having players lose playing time when they screwed up. And by screwed up, I mean punch women and drag them down a stairwell.

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          • Mmmmm…not sure about that. Who else was great in that conference at the time? Its like the B1G. Of course The OSU is contending because they play 1 or 2 tough conference games a year!

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        • garageflowers

          Thank you! I’ve been think/hoping the same thing. Nebraska fans were ready to run Osborne off. Twenty-two years before his first NT. Three out of his last four. Nebraska has not been the same since he left. Three coaches and seventeen years later, only close once ( Solich’s second year ).

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  8. JCDAWG83

    I’m in the “no more excuses” camp. I think the next three seasons will show the most blindly loyal Richt followers and the Richt skeptics exactly what Georgia has in Richt. Georgia is a state with 10 million people, it produces a huge number of blue chip players every year, UGA has no other major college program to compete with in state, talent hasn’t been an issue for at least 20 years. The BM crowd and the admin have shown a new level of support for the football program. If we can’t win a championship of some kind (I’m fine with and SEC championship, the CFP is still a beauty contest) in the next three seasons, it isn’t going to happen with Richt and/or it may be that it is simply never going to happen with anyone.

    All the talk of “knocking on the door” makes me believe we have the tools and materials to win it all. We’re not a program that lacks the recruiting base, facilities, money, etc to take that next step, we have everything a program needs to win big. I guess we’ll see if we have the coach to make it happen in the next few years.

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    • Bob

      JCDawg, it is true that there is no other viable rival for recruits in state. However, I would also argue that no other school in the country has so many major rivals located almost on the boundaries of the state and some of the richest talent in those areas is closer to those schools than to Athens. Auburn is practically in West Georgia. Clemson is on the Savannah River. Augusta is as close to Columbia as Athens. Valdosta, Savannah and Albany are closer in distance and in culture to Gainesville and Tallahasee than they are to Athens. Dalton and Rome can reach Knoxville much quicker than they can Athens.

      That is not an excuse, but it absolutely is a factor. As to the question, we have historically flirted with the Top Ten and in most stats (i.e., wins, win pct, conference titles etc) wind up around 11 or 12 or 13…in the same boat with LSU and Tennessee. In reality, outside the National Championship year, Richt is a more successful coach than Vince was.

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      • inconvenient fact

        Dooley won 6 conference championships in 25 years. Richt has won 2 in 14 years. He’s gotta win 4 in the next 11 just to equal Dooley.

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        • Inconvenient fact – Dooley won conference championships with 6 conference games and no championship game. He won 3 of those with the best college player of all time. Coach Dooley is a DGD, but the neighborhood and circumstances very different now. Apples and oranges …

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          • Dog in Fla

            For Vince, it used to be scuppernongs and Orange Beach

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          • inconvenient fact

            Yeah and the state of Georgia ain’t the same either. The population has exploded. The number of in-state recruits is through the roof. And the Georgia Tech program is not what it used to be and provides minimal in-state recruiting competition. So yes…it’s apples and oranges.

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            • Dooley also could do some academically pre-Kemp that Richt never could. There was the ability to share SEC titles then that doesn’t exist now. The level of high school talent in Georgia has never been a problem, so that’s a red herring. Dooley had more scholarships to give than Richt does. Bottom line is that today’s SEC is tougher across the board than the SEC of Dooley.

              Richt’s record overall is better than any other coach in Georgia history at this point in his career. I love Coach Dooley, but Richt has done an equally good job in a tougher situation.

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              • inconvenient fact

                It’s not a red herring. You desperately want it to be…but it’s not. The talent level is up in Georgia. Way up.

                And Dooley had more scholarships to give? What?! So did his competition! Give me a freaking break. The Richt fanboy movement is at a fever pitch this offseason.

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                • Has nothing to do with “Richt fanboy” and everything to do with the league is different and circumstances are different. I was responding to your comment about SEC championships. It was easier in Coach Dooley’s day with six conference games and no SEC CG. That’s the fact.

                  Talent level is up, no doubt, but so is the competition on all sides.

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      • JCDAWG83

        Dooley is not the benchmark for coaching for me. As I posted earlier, without the Herschel years, Dooley was a 7-4 coach. He was good enough for the time, but he wasn’t close to great or elite.

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    • Mayor

      You know, earlier this week Irwin posted something that really started me thinking. If Georgia had scored at the end of the 2012 SECCG the Dawgs would have been 2012 SEC Champs and, given Bama’s experience with ND in that season’s BCSNCG, would have undoubtedly kicked ND’s asses to win the 2012 nattie. If that had happened Georgia would have the same number of SEC Championships as Bama and same number of natties as Bama in the last 5 years. Plus, that would have given CMR his 3rd SEC Championship which would have been the same number as Saban, without Bama’s 2012 SEC Championship (Saban’s Tide won the SECCG in 2014 and Saban would have gone ahead there). There would be no hot seat memes. There would be no snarky talk of “underachievement.” CMR would be considered as one of the best college football coaches now in the game. So that end-of-game failure to score with the clock running out with only getting off one play, and the consequential loss of that game, was really bigger than anybody even thought at the time.

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      • Dog in Fla

        That notwithstanding, it’s still the Greatest Moral Victory Ever™®©

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      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        I think it just highlights the problem in truly defining what Georgia is and what it isn’t.

        The biggest problem in my mind is that while the sport exponentially increased in popularity nationally…Georgia hit what could be considered the worst two decade stretch in the program. And it wasn’t just Georgia’s performance…programs like FSU, Florida, Bama, Auburn, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas worked together to create compelling, national story lines. Georgia couldn’t beat Florida or Tennessee and Tech doesn’t do anything as a rival to stir the imagination. The year we finally end up with compelling games…loss, come out flat, etc. Plus, when was the last time Georgia ended up with a truly compelling Bowl match up. No Michigans, Ohio States, Texas, Oklahoma, etc. Sparty, Nebraska, Louisville…blech.

        So I guess what I’m saying is that you have a true deficiency…championships typically define ‘elite’ these days…and you also have a perception problem that is deeply ingrained.

        My answer…the program is one of the most underachieving in the history of college football based upon what it could be with elite coaching, resources, and players from the state. But that’s decades in the making…not a Richt issue…and I think it is 100% systematic. I mean, does the Goff hire or the Goff performance tell you more about the problems? Does the fact that UGA wanted to hire Glen Mason instead of Richt give you more pause that UGA could very well still be where it was in 1998?

        However, I really think that Richt has done more to move the program to elite than anyone else…he came from an elite program and brought that mindset with him… AND I think the change in approach at the university level gives me optimism that I’ve never had that a coach and players aren’t going to be left to do it on their own.

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        • I still cringe thinking about the 20 year draught the Dawgs had before Richt. He brought us respectability if nothing else. Now are we Elite?
          I think that we are..

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        • garageflowers

          Donnan was hire after Mason backed out. Agree with everything else.

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          • Mayor

            I said this in a post the other day but I think it bears repeating here. If you take out Donnan’s first season (only fair–give the guy 1 year to get the Goof out of them) his last 4 seasons he won roughly 74% of his games (35-12). That’s actually better than the winning percentage that Richt has. Donnan wasn’t a bad coach (a prickly asshole–yes: a bad coach–no). He just didn’t win any championships or beat our main rivals much largely because they were being coached by some of their all-time best coaches which had the best winning percentages in school history for their teams.

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            • JCDAWG83

              Yes, Richt has had better talent and a much easier road to the championship game the last 5 or 6 years than Donnan ever had. Florida and Tenn were juggernauts when Donnan was here, they have been weak as ditch dirt the past 5 years.

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              • DawgPhan

                I never understood this argument. These teams dont exist in a vacuum. If Florida is down and UGA is up wouldn’t it stand to reason that part of the reason that Florida is down and UGA is up is that UGA helped put them there. Same with UT. And part of the reason UGA was down and UT was up was that UT help put them there.

                It just goes back to the same ole every win has a “but” after it with some folks.

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              • Donnan lost 3 in a row to tech. Something not done since Johnny Griffith. He deserved his fate for that reason alone. The East was a tougher neighborhood with UF and UT at that time. The problem was we were out of the East race under Donnan when the calendar turned to October. The Cocktail Party never had championship implications for us under Donnan.

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                • Irwin R. Fletcher

                  There were many issues with Donnan’s teams…my favorite to point out is that Donnan got the Dawgs in to the top 10 on 6 separate occasions….however, they were never in the top 10 in two consecutive weeks during his tenure. Think about that for a second.
                  In 1997…#7 after beating Florida…lose next week to Auburn at Home.
                  In 1998….#7 after beating LSU at LSU….lose next week to Tennessee at Home.
                  In 1999….#9 after starting 2-0…beat UCF 23-22 at home to drop to #11
                  #9 after beating LSU at home…lose the next week to Tennessee
                  #10 after beating UK…lose the next week to Florida
                  In 2000…get to #10 after an opening win against GSU and lose to South Carolina the next week.

                  All of those games were nationally televised let downs…back in the days where you didn’t have every game nationally televised. I was in exile during the Donnan years in the midwest…I can tell you straight up that I have to double take when I look at Donnan’s records because it still feels like we lost more than we won those years.

                  Again…goes to the theory that UGA has fueled the perception of underachievement for decades.

                  Liked by 1 person

  9. 3rdandGrantham

    Given the unbelievable inherent advantages that UGA enjoys (recruiting base, close to well known/international city, great academics, best college town, fan support, et al), there’s no question that UGA) is indeed an underachieving giant in CFB. I’d put Texas firmly on that short list as well. When I bring this up, people often will debate me by bringing up the program’s history, but I don’t think that’s fair or accurate. After all, Georgia is a totally different state/school now than it was just in the 80’s, not to mention the 70’s or before.

    With that said, Georgia, in my very strong opinion, is an elite program; they just have had some bad breaks/timing that have coincided with their inability to put it all together. If/when UGA finally gets over the hump and wins a MNC, they immediately will be firmly placed in the elite camp, no questions asked. But until that time, there will be plenty that will continue to place UGA in the “miss. congeniality” camp. And frankly, you can’t really blame them for doing so.

    Someone above made an outstanding point in regard to sustained success compared to sporadic championships, which also needs to be factored in. The Marlins have won more world series than the Braves, but I seriously doubt that anyone would place the Marlins franchise on a higher pedestal than the Braves as an overall organization.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Statistically, Georgia is close to, if not, elite. The perception is another matter. 10th in wins is nice, lots of bowl appearances is nice, but if those wins and bowl appearances don’t equate to championships it sort of takes the luster off of the appearance and the perception of the public at large.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Agree, hence my ‘miss congeniality’ remark and how I can’t really fault others for placing us squarely in such a camp.

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    • Dog in Fla

      At least the new Marlins Park is awesome

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    • Minnesota Dawg

      Agree completely with your observations, especially with respect to (under)achievement and the historical context point-of-view. The assumption that seasonal expectations (and later consideration of that year’s success/failures) must be always and primarily viewed against a program’s long-term historical record in mind is faulty and lazy thinking.

      Sure, a college football program’s history and prestige may be significant in assembling and maintaining a base of talented athletes year–as are a number of different factors, including as you mention, geographic location, academics, facilities, fan support, etc. But to explain away specific on-the-field disappointments (e.g., multiple losses to double-digit underdogs or last minute strategic gaffes) or criticize fans for “unrealistic” expectations because of what happened on the field 40/50/60 plus years ago is absurd.

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  10. I’ve been a fan since 1960 and always thought Ga. Au.and Tenn. have been 10 to15 in the nation through the yrs. Back in the day it was Neb. USC.Texas, Notre Dame, Ala,USCwest, Okla, Penn St, then a group of Mich, Ga, Au, Tenn, LSU, Tex AM. UCLA. Later FLA, FSU, and Mami.

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  11. Dave

    Wow – this is reasoned….what’s going on everyone? Pretty much agree with what has been said. We’re basically almost in-between the two (tail-end of elite/10th all time, or at the top of the next tier). Either way, I’m with Grantham — if and when we win, we are elite. If either of those 3 years breaks the other way, we are elite. Grantham also had a really good point in that the world is not static. The advantages we have right now really do help give us a head start on the Tennessees and Gamecocks of the world. Would you trade with UT for that 98 championship…NOOOOPE. Now with added institutional support, I think both camps agree all eyes are on Richt from now through the Jacob Eason era….should be fun to watch. I for one, am optimistic.

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  12. Denver94

    The Butts Mehre changes will push them into an unarguable elite within three years. Ya’ll enjoy.

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  13. AusDawg85

    Senator…are you crediting the correct author?

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  14. Minus total brain farts in Cola City, Jacksonville, and against eck! we’d have been undefeated, in the SEC championship, and a serious play-off contender. Without brain farts, we’d have been a contenda!

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    • Mayor

      This^. It is ironic that the failure to get off more than one play in the last 30 seconds of the 2012 SECCG with the resulting game loss has had the profound effect that it did when that very thing is what has held CMR, and the Georgia Bulldogs along with him, back his entire career (i.e. end of game screw-ups causing a game to be lost when the team is on the verge of winning). The worst victim of this actually has been CMR, IMHO. The man is stubborn, though. He just will not do whatever it takes to fix this problem which is ruining his career. I wonder if, even to himself, he admits that the problem even exists.

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      • Macallanlover

        Just an incredibly revealing comment by you, again. At first I thought you were just parroting others who didn’t get it, but you actually believe that the decision was a one play call versus two. It is embarrassing for you I know, but we would have gotten off two plays, not one, whether we grounded the ball or not. This wasn’t a roll of the dice, one and done, live or die, option. And you might be the only person on the planet that doesn’t see that…almost three years afterwards. We could have grounded the ball and still had the exact same result, one play. The fact we rolled into the next play without giving them a chance to reset probably increased our odds of success. No matter whatoption was taken, it would have been much, much tougher to score on that next play had we gotten the opportunity.

        And you now say Richt is stubborn, the man knew just what he was doing as the play was developing, you don’t get it 2 and 1/2 years later. That is sad, book a room at “the home”, and order your prunes old timer. The game has truly passed you by. This was nor Auburn 2001, it was a well conceived plan that simply did not work the way any of us wanted.

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        • Mayor

          Mac, incredible as this may sound I respect your opinion on this–I just disagree. The reason you spike the ball in that situation is to huddle up, call the play and make sure everybody is on the same page. The last thing the QB says before they break the huddle is: “Receivers–if you are not in the end zone do not catch the ball!! The ball is either complete in the end zone for a TD or incomplete and we do it again next down!” Then the QB (Murray) has to throw it into the end zone. The reason to do that is to avoid the very thing that happened–a receiver catches the ball in the field of play but not in the end zone, gets tackled and time runs out. After the game literally every football expert in the nation said Georgia should have spiked the ball. I saw and heard that. So did every other poster on this blog, including you. You’re the one who doesn’t get it. What CMR did was the correct thing to do when the team has 1 timeout left. But it is NOT the correct thing to do if you are out of timeouts. The results speak for themselves. Also, it’s not like this was the first time something like this happened. 2001 Auburn-Georgia (mentioned by you above), with Georgia at the Auburn 1 yard line first and goal with no TOs and 30 seconds on the game clock, CMR called a running play, the back was tackled for no gain and time ran out. I wasn’t trying to beat up CMR about the 2012 SECCG although I do wish he would change the way he does things. I was merely making the observation that, in the grand scheme of things, that one play had perhaps the most significance of any other one play since “Lindsey Scott, Lindsey Scott, Lindsey Scott!!” Only this time things went the wrong way. CMR needs to learn from his mistakes and it doesn’t do him, or Georgia, any good to pretend what he did wasn’t a mistake.

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  15. Hogbody Spradlin

    I don’t know how this plays into how the issue is worded, but we lose a game almost every year we shoulda won. There’s always a different reason, but we can’t escape it. Most years it doesn’t matter because we’re not close enough to the top. In 02 Florida mattered. In 05 Auburn mattered. In 07 Tennessee mattered. All of those were games we shoulda won and would have put us in the championship game. In 12 we probably woulda lost to SC without zoning out, but it didn’t matter; we came as close as we could against Bama. In 02 and 07 we were as good as anybody at season’s end.

    On the one hand Mark Richt has made some game losing boners, but nothing yet that robbed us of a chance at a national championship. All the games mentioned above were total team responsibility. On the other hand responsibility lies at the top of an organization and Richt is the top of ours.

    I’ve said this before. Maybe Richt coaching isn’t quite enough. Maybe you need a tougher man. But I’d hate to give up what we’ve got for an unknown unless they can reincarnate Vince Lombardi.

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    • Dog in Fla

      A Hobson’s choice of as tough a man as we’ve got or whether Greg crushes our face with a hobnail boot in the search for Richt’s successor?

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      • Pretty sure Saban would have made Bobo run the ball in the USCe game.

        How to overcome MickyG’s lose lips after Arky? That’s not Richt’s and the failures on the edge are clearly Pruitt’s.

        The fumbles are in the RBs individually period.

        The pooch kick is All Richt. The time outs are all Richt.

        Am going to be really POed if we show up Unprepared and face plant for UTeast.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Fla., that comment, in your acid flashback kind of way is on target.

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    • Mayor

      The problem is with CMR himself. He’s a bad in-game coach and has been unwilling to admit that and take corrective action. He sometimes makes end-of-game decisions that are so bad as to boggle the mind. Squib the kick-off and let the other team get the ball at mid-field when you have a 3 point lead and 30 seconds to play? Then call a time-out when the other team doesn’t have any and time is running out, to give them enough time to set up for the tying FG? Without either one of those screw-ups happening Georgia wins that game. No HS coach in America would make two consecutive blunders like that. There are a whole lot more, many that fans who are only casual observers likely wouldn’t see, but they happened nevertheless. I don’t want CMR gone. He runs a great program. But the end-of-game screw-ups have to stop. That’s what’s holding the team back. Maybe he’s figured out that Schotty can take over that end-of-game decision making role for him. I hope so–at least try something different. We know what the same-old same-old has gotten us.

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      • Dog in Fla

        “I don’t want CMR gone. He runs a great program. But the end-of-game screw-ups have to stop.”

        Of course that’s a reasonable approach for which there can be only one cure —–>

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      • Dawgwalker07

        “He’s a bad in-game coach and has been unwilling to admit that and take corrective action.”

        I don’t know. Just because he hasn’t been willing to throw himself to the fans and beg forgiveness for mistakes he’s made (or mistakes that people THINK he’s made) doesn’t mean he hasn’t tried to fix things. I don’t think you can compare the state of the program in 2008 and now and say that he hasn’t been willing to take corrective action.

        Playing Monday morning quarterback is really easy. Yes, he’s made some bad decisions in games, but I think you’re kidding yourself about how things looked in the moment because of how clear things look now. Icing a kicker=normal strategy, particularly for one who’s attempting a career long and is normally terrible at long range. Squid kick=normal strategy to prevent a long return.

        If you’re going to lay a lot of blame on Richt for those two decisions I think it’s fair to say Jeremy Pruitt deserves just as much criticism for drawing up a defensive play that allowed a running quarterback to scramble like 18 or 20 yards in one play to set that field goal up. If we had any sort of containment on ONE play on defense that whole situation never happens either.

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  16. CannonDawg

    “The problem is with CMR himself. He’s a bad in-game coach …”

    I agree with you, Mayor, to the extent that he’s very often bad when the outcome is on the line. He’s a bit like the major-airline pilot who can fly the big jet and manage the flight deck under normal conditions with the very best of ’em. But in that out-of-the-ordinary moment when there’s a crisis in the air, when the situation becomes chaotic and the stakes are raised, he’s not at his best. He’s just not.

    I’m not sure what the fix is. Is there an end-of-game decision simulator for football coaches that is comparable to the training the pilots receive? Maybe there’s an opportunity to develop and sell one to UGA. 🙂

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    • JCDAWG83

      There’s no cure except Richt learning from his mistakes and he doesn’t seem to do that very well. Every season, after his trademark wtf games, he goes in a press conference and doses the mea culpa about the mistake he made and everyone lets it go because they say “he admitted he messed up”. He’s very stubborn, the whole Martinez situation proved that, and I don’t think he handles stressful in game situations well and it sometimes appears he’s a little lazy in preparation. He stays in the fans good graces by being a good man and having a good statistical record. That’s fine for a while, but it’s worn very thin with me.

      Now that the underachieving meme is a constant in the media and Richt has been given pretty much everything he has ever asked for, I think the rope is getting a little short for him. I don’t think he’s on a one or two year timetable, but if he doesn’t win something of consequence or at least have another 2012 season in the next three years, he might get the opportunity to go into full time ministry. I don’t think McGarity has ever been a huge fan of Richt, I’ve heard rumors that he came from Florida thinking Richt was too soft and wasn’t a championship caliber coach. It will be interesting to see the next few years.

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  17. Dawgoholic

    The program has more support today than at any point since the pre-Jan Kemp glory days. Unfortunately, that episode cost us 30 years.

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  18. Jack Klompus

    The end of the 2016 season should give us much more clarity on the Dawgs and Richt. He’s got support, a great coaching staff and two years to pull it together. A 10-3 2016 should bring about a serious dismissal discussion in my mind.

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    • 10-3 with a bowl game win and a final top 10 ranking wouldn’t be good enough? Good luck finding a proven winner for a coach if we did that to CMR with likely a true freshman QB. The national media would kill us for something like that, and one thing the UGA administration doesn’t like is bad publicity. No way Morehead does that, and Greg McGarity won’t be making that decision … Jere Morehead will.

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      • JCDAWG83

        The “bad” publicity is here. The underachieving meme has become the conventional wisdom for Georgia football. I think he has 3 seasons to win the SEC or he “retires”.

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        • I think Morehead could care less about the “underachieving meme” as “bad publicity.” What he won’t like is the talking heads on ESPN going on about comparing Richt’s record (if fired) to his contemporaries and to other Georgia coaches. I guarantee other coaches who would be considered as a replacement would look at that, too.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if he retired in the next 5 years or so, but no way he is forced into retirement unless he thought it was best for the program.

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      • Jack Klompus

        Sorry. If we 9-3 in the regular season with the talent we are stockpiling, Chubb, Michel, McKenzie, Blaz, not to mention the defense and Pruitt et al in their third year. and the third year under Pruitt, I see that as underachieving. We will also play in the Gator or Outback bowl. No thanks. Any coach out there will be licking the ch

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        • If you think Pruitt would stay in this situation, I would respectfully disagree with you. He came to UGA for the same money he was making at F$U to work with Coach Richt. I don’t think he would hang around with his assistants for whoever was the replacement.

          By the way, Chubb, Michel and Lo Carter will be early entrants to the draft with the possibility of Blazevich as well after the 2016 season.

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  19. If not the end of a 10-3 2016, how about the same on 2017, and so on and on. A never ending saga of “next season” will be different. A never ending saga of excuses. So, let us wait what happens this season, and then the next, then the next, then the next, etc.

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    • DawgPhan

      At 10-3 and the current winning against our rivals, I am willing to wait out CMR. If he doesnt win a title then the next guy will.

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      • DP, I completely agree with you. If he wins 10-11 games per year, I can’t rationally make a case that he should be forced out. After 2009-10, I was ready for a change. He proved he could still win in 2011 and came so close in 2012. That damn cow pasture in Knoxville derailed the 2013 season with injuries, and we lost a couple of games we shouldn’t have in 2014. Let’s get ready for 2015 and expect a great season.

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  20. I understand that this is the question most often asked and debated at this blog but I often think we engage in just a little too much mental/verbal/electronic masturbation. I think I’ll frame the question this way. Am I a Dawg fan or do I want to be a fan of some pathetic excuse of an academic institution that has sold it soul to the devil like AU or U of A, maybe I could learn the Gaturd Chomp and make a living off defending their murderous lot,maybe I’ll join the Hive because their Coach is a genius….better yet I could follow pro ball. Support the team or don’t support the team but for god sake quit debating how many angels fit on the head of a pin. Richt is our Coach and will be until the Richt haters/I’m a better Coach than Richt crowd turns into 51% as opposed to 15%.I personally prefer to not make the perfect the enemy of the damn good….mostly because perfect doesn’t exist.

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  21. Uhmm, you do realize that this kind of discussion is the only reason football blogs and comment sections exist don’t you?

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  22. JT (the other one)

    You can draw a line from the time of the Jan Kemp debacle and to now. Take a historically look; you will realize that the University purposely because of this didn’t invest in the football program and athletics. Look at the presidents of the university. Look at what they did or didn’t do. Combine that w/”Mea Culpa” Dooley and then the lackey Evans w/a lack of leadership in the President’s office and its simply remarkable that Richt was able to do what he has done. This is now changing. Good but not elite’. We are about to become elite’. Jere Moorehead is leading.

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    • JCDAWG83

      The Jan Kemp crutch broke a long time ago. We have had everything a program needs to win multiple championships for the past 20 years. Several national champ programs in that time period have rebounded from probation, horrible coaches and many more problems to come back and win conference and national titles.

      What has been missing? We’ve had top level talent, great facilities, great fan support, everything needed to win big. There is only one thing we haven’t had and that has nothing to do with Jan Kemp.

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  23. @gatriguy

    I think the built-in excuse of lack of commitment from the AD is being removed. The next 2-3 years is put up or move on time for Richt, IMO. I hope he gets it done, I really do. But his in-game coaching and game management will continue to give me pause until he does.

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    • Mayor

      FWIW I think the next 2-3 years is put up or move on for McGarity, too. Like it or not (I’m sure McGarity DOESN’T like it) his fate and CMR’s fate are inexorably tied together.

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