I’m still nervous.

So yesterday afternoon, I learn my other alma mater hires Bronco Mendenhall away from BYU – a D-1 head coach with 99 wins – under the radar, with no fuss and no bother.  And remember, the process to hire him essentially kicked in after UVa made a stab at Mark Richt.

So it seems it is possible for a major college athletic director to target someone relatively high profile and get a deal knocked out quietly and efficiently.  Just not at Georgia, where we’re still in the “if” stage with Kirby Smart.

Don’t misunderstand.  I think this deal gets done in the end, because the school simply can’t afford the fallout from Smart walking away.  But the notion that the two sides are still working out the details says a lot about the Georgia Way.

Time’s running short, fellas.

119 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

119 responses to “I’m still nervous.

  1. 3rdandGrantham

    Great hire for UVa. He’s going to do big things there.

    As for Smart, I think the fact that they have to wait until tomorrow to officially announce plays a role in all of this, and if he indeed isn’t announced as HC a huge red flag will go up. Either way, the continued negotiations can only be good for the program, as clearly Smart is doing everything possible to end The Georgia Way before he steps foot on campus.

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    • The Georgia Way still in the “Turtle Pace” mode. On the other hand USCe remains in the wait and see everybody mode. I don’t know if they are still hoping the Kirby – Georgia deal falls apart. Or probably waiting for the cheapest candidate.

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      • Athens Townie

        Much ado about nothing.

        I’m not sure what people are expecting. Do we want Smart to jump ship on Saban and his players right before the SEC Championship game? I don’t. That would be a bad indication of Smart’s loyalty. Do we expect a fully negotiated deal before then? I’m pretty sure Smart’s a bit preoccupied right now.

        Let’s accept this: The details of the Smart deal won’t be completed until after Alabama’s SEC Championship game.

        If it’s Monday afternoon or Tuesday next week and we don’t have something more definitive, then it’s time to sound the alarms. I’ll be freaking out right beside you.

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  2. Dawg93

    Yeah but my guess is that the reason things have slowed down on the Kirby front lately is simply a function of him shutting things down the last few days as the SECCG approaches. I’d bet Saban told him he needs to focus on the game 100% from about Wednesday on.

    I just wish we had given Tom Herman real consideration. Seems very sharp, worked under Urban, has been wildly successful at Houston in year 1, and helped Ohio St. win a natty with their 3rd string QB (who has struggled this year in Herman’s absence). I think there was a reason he waited until late in the week to sign his new contract. And he had already pulled out of the SC job consideration, so what other job could he possibly have been considering? Only Mizzou would make any sense, IMO, but I’d be surprised if he took that job.

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    • So. IL Dawg

      Odom took the MIZZOU job yesterday.

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    • Herman’s dream job is Texas. Texas will be open next year unless Charlie Strong comes up with 10 wins. Not a given Herman will be the Longhorns next coach but if he can win 9+ games again at Houston he would be high on their list.

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    • Athens Townie

      Exactly right, Dawg93.

      Saban and Smart have been working together for many, many years. Smart isn’t going to bail out on Saban right before this game. To expect that to happen is kind of silly.

      I get that people have an ax to grind with McGarity. But he hasn’t screwed this up…yet. The jury is still out.

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  3. TC5

    Say Georgia & Kirby officially announced he would be our next coach, but is concentrating on the SEC Championship this week. I really think that would’ve been less distracting for Bama/Saban/etc. and better fot UGA.

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  4. I was stunned to see Mendenhall’s name come up on the ticker for that.

    I think the situations are different though. For one, if Alabama isn’t playing for the title I think we’d already have an announcement and I think our job opening is more high profile garnering more attention.

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  5. aristoggle

    Add me to the group that thinks the conversation has quieted down because of the SEC Championship Game. My bet is the official announcement comes this evening after the game. Then we’ll start hearing Kirby’s plans.

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    • If it’s only about the formalities – which Schlabach just hinted on Game Day may be the case – then that makes sense. I’m still hearing rumors that there are details that still aren’t ironed out, though, and that’s something Smart can leave to his representatives to handle.

      It’s Georgia. I take nothing for granted. 😉

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  6. If the people behind the curtain (the athletic board and the big donors) wanted the piss-poor parts of the Georgia Way to go away, they would be telling the piss-poor AD to get this thing done. That’s what’s troubling me.

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    • "the" ChilliDawg

      They are the Georgia Way & have been for years. McGarity is just the go between (car salesman). He has to carry everything back to the managers for approval. Wanna bet that Sexton is asking for free floor mats?

      This is all part of the process. Richt knew it & probably managed it as best he could. It drove Pruitt crazy. Lots of moving parts especially if we’re trying to retain certain coaches. If we retained a “search firm,” how come we haven’t seen all these high profile coaches come knocking on our door given all we have to offer? Those who wanted CMR gone seemed to have forgotten the lessons of the last two coaching changes. You live with the consequences of what you ask for. And if Kirby ultimately passes because negotiations break down, show of hands for how many will still be happy. In the meantime, the Eason clock ticks.

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  7. Bright Idea

    It wouldn’t be the Georgia Way unless Bama was dictating our timeline.

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  8. Because we’re just gonna sit around waiting on Bama/saban to let Smart go, whenever that is. If he’s gonna be our coach we need him NOW. Bama winning another NC isn’t really gonna help us, wether or not Smart is there.

    We have no guts. We didn’t push back on the NCAA and we won’t on Bama. The Georgia Way…

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  9. TennesseeDawg

    When it’s all said and done, Mendenhall might end up being the best hire of any school

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  10. roswelldawg

    Bronco. If there was ever an All-NameTeam for football coaches, he is surely in the starting eleven. Along with Erk. And,maybe, Jimbo.

    In other news…….word of the day: “Migraine”. Rhymes with McGarity.

    Sheesh…..

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  11. Billy Mumphrey

    I have been cautiously optimistic that the deal wouldn’t fall through, but after seeing Nick get all verklempt yesterday when asked about Kirby I am now very confident.

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  12. Craig Giddens

    i would much rather have seen UGA interview some HCs … including Bobo. We can’t talk about how we have a top notch program and not even talk to the top names.

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    • I’d rather have a guy who learned from saban for ten years than a guy who learned from Richt for ten.

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      • Russ

        Yeah because losing Bobo had no effect at all on the team.

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      • Dolly Llama

        I’d rather have this blog without you here than with you here. But you can’t always get what you want.

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        • I’m getting what I want lately 😉

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          • AusDawg85

            Psychology Today offers the following definition:

            An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

            Otherwise known as the “dark triad,” Psychology Today offers the following definition:

            Lurking beneath the surface of people who use others to their own advantage is psychology’s “Dark Triad.” Defined as a set of traits that include the tendency to seek admiration and special treatment (otherwise known as narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy) and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism), the Dark Triad is rapidly becoming a new focus of personality psychology.

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            • Scorpio Jones, III

              Aus, I tried, really I did, chili’s response was the he was Irish, thus immune to reasoning, or something like that. But you are a good man for trying.

              chili’s claimed Irishness does explain his propensity to be at war with himself, though.

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            • Trolls also like to derail a subject by making things personal. Kind of like you’re doing now.

              Might be time to look in the mirror, buddy boy.

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            • Debby Balcer

              Some trolls are just attention whores.

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          • Bulldawg Bill

            Show off!

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      • Bob

        You mean like Will and Derek Dooley?

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    • dawgtired

      I agree with UGA being a program that should attract top HC’s…but Bobo is not one. One year removed from OC is NOT a top HC candidate. We should have the pick of who we want that wants to come. Just saying.

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  13. Mike Cooley

    Nice hire for Va. And he has one of the greatest footbLl coach names ever. With that name what else could he have been? As for Kirby, I think after the game things will change a bit but I would lie if I said I wasn’t starting to get nervous. I didn’t feel that way earlier in the week and laughed at people who were immediately creaking out about Kirby and Alabama being mum on the matter. But at this point I’m starting to get a little worried. Like the Senator said I don’t think there is anyway the deal doesn’t get done in the end. McGarity and UGA have too much to lose. And I agree that this also seems like the haggling means Kirby is not willing to accept the Georgia Way and is making sure he will have what he needs. I didn’t expect anything less from him and am glad of it. But I’ll feel a lot better when this is “official.” Right now I just fear the fact that we can never underestimate McGarity’s incompetence and stubbornness. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of this had to do with Pruitt.

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  14. @gatriguy

    Senator, I’ve been away for a few dayy, so maybe you’ve touched on this, but did you see Mark Fox’s presser? The said that the admin demanded the Georgia Way and that Richt cemented it. I personally found that very telling. For all the gnashing of teeth post-Richt about how he was playing at a disadvantage, etc., no one mentioned that perhaps Richt had more than a little to do with that as well. The Georgia Way didn’t force Richt to not sign full classes, which is REALLY what got him in trouble in 08-10 and bunted up his goodwill.

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    • Maybe he was just fed up with it also and wanted out.

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      • gastr1

        Maybe I saw a different Mark Fox presser. The one I saw had Mark Fox passionately defending the Georgia Way as well as stating that Mark Richt also “cemented” it (@gatriguy’s term).

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        • Lakatos Intolerant

          I watched the Fox presser and IMO, he wasn’t referencing ‘The Georgia Way’ as we do on this blog. I took Fox’s comments as a little more surface level, as in we want to win but we want to do it the right way, whereas we often discuss various institutional issues that are systemic in nature and work to hold our football program back from competing at the highest level. That’s why the phrase has been diluted … because everyone uses it to mean something different.

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      • @gatriguy

        That’s fine, and I actually think you’re right–I think Richt wanted out, but didn’t want to quit (though a cynic could question if starting a 3rd team QB in the biggest game of the season wasn’t a way of firing yourself). My point is that the Richt defenders can’t have it both ways: they can’t rail against The Georgia Way culture and then also act as if Richt didn’t having anything to do with engraining that culture into the team’s DNA.

        Ultimately, the culture Richt created got chewed up by Saban and Meyer, and Richt couldn’t change it and didn’t know what changes needed to be made anyway (I firmly believe in retrospect that 08 Blackout game rocked Richt and that from that point on every decision he made was reactionary).

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    • I’ve said it before – there are no innocent parties in the downfall of Mark Richt.

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      • @gatriguy

        10-4, just been away a few days and didn’t know.

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      • Very true. Plenty of fingers to point in all kinds of directions. My wish is that Smart knows this and at least avoids some of the pitfalls. I am sure there are times he will tell himself “What the hell is going on here”. Fingers crossed and hope it works out.

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    • aristoggle

      Interesting, triguy. I’ve been thinking about this Georgia Way stuff. I don’t really remember hearing it until Richt got here.

      I’m old enough to remember Jan Kemp and the fights at Cooper’s when no football players got arrested and Mama Kasay prowling McWhorter Hall to keep folks in line and on and on and on. Also UGA suing the NCAA to get TV rights (which may be one reason the NCAA hates us … are those black helicopters?).

      Not that Coach Dooley ran a dirty program (although he did come from Auburn), but maybe Richt was responsible for a good bit of the Georgia Way, and Adams liked it because he got to feel superior. (Harrick, cough, cough).

      Don’t get me wrong, I do like being a clean program. I just think it’s more a function of Richt’s personality and not the other way round.

      Liked by 1 person

      • "the" ChilliDawg

        It was around way before Jan Kemp. That was just when the lid got blown off and the AD couldn’t keep it contained. There has always been a divide between the academic side and the athletic side. One claiming that we could be like Alabama and the other claiming that we were “the Harvard of the South.” The University President usually made the difference. Why do you think the drug policy is tougher at UGA than the rest of the SEC? That wasn’t Richt pushing for it. That was a symptom of the “Georgia Way.”

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Very enlightened comment. I always got the feeling Richt picked his battles, and when engaged, remained very low-key, knowing that if the scuffle got out of the arena it served no useful purpose.

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        • Great insight. I remember as a student after winning the NC in 1980, the UGA parking stickers were in shape of a football. Academics went nuts. Don’t remember the details, but the stickers were changed either that year or the next.

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    • Athens Townie

      Great point, @gatriguy.

      As far as our football program is concerned, the Mark Richt Way and the Georgia Way are very difficult to disentangle.

      Richt-ites believe he was totally hamstrung. Richt’s cricits blame the head coach for all our failures. The truth is in the middle.

      The Georgia Way was the Richt Way and vice versa. To the extent Mark Richt couldn’t get what he needed from B-M, that his own damn fault. Part of the head coaching job is getting what you need for the program. Richt certainly succeeded in getting his salary up to upper echelon SEC standards. Why not the rest?

      Hopefully the Smart Way makes for a better Georgia Way.

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      • Napoleon BonerFart

        You think the truth is on the middle, but it’s still Richt’s fault? That’s interesting. Especially when ADGM seems hell bent on running an elite DC out of town because he wasn’t deferential enough.

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        • Athens Townie

          No, my dear. Fault belongs to both, like I said.

          Please revisit: “The Georgia Way was the Richt Way and vice versa.”

          It’s B-M’s fault if Richt wasn’t enabled. And, if that was the case, it was Richt’s job to unshackle his program. Richt failed. B-M failed. Fault belongs to both.

          That is the Richt Way aka the Georgia Way aka the Richt Way, etc.

          I’m no happier than you are that we’re running off an elite DC (the only major coach at UGA doing his job). But would Pruitt have to act out if Richt was properly managing the folks at B-M and getting what he needed?

          Richt was a failure at UGA (albeit with some important early successes). But his failure belongs to B-M as much as it belongs to Mark Richt himself.

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          • Napoleon BonerFart

            When you wrote that it was Richt’s fault that he couldn’t get resources from B-M, it seemed that you didn’t understand a major part of the Georgia Way. We know that Richt lobbied for things like the IPF for years, only to be rebuffed. Could he have lobbied harder, more publicly, and told all the fans that it was ADGM’s fault that it wasn’t done? Sure. And he might have gotten some concessions. But we’ve all seen where that behavior has gotten Pruitt.

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  15. Russ

    I was wondering why Mendenhal wasn’t being mentioned. I thought he was another big name that was ripe for the picking.

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  16. dawgfan

    If KS is not announced as the new coach by Monday, ADGM will be on suicide watch and reaching for razor blades. Hello South Carolina! KS needs to get ALL of the concessions he wants before he signs on the dotted line.

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  17. UVA is where my Dad graduated from, so I keep up with them. They did go out and hire a name. I hope Mendenhall can adjust. BYU is not UVA. However, he is an excellent coach.

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    • Same here. Dad’s a big UVA booster, and was pushing for CMR. UVA Administration wasn’t convinced CMR had the commitment to uphold “the lofty academics standards” that UVA likes to tout. I think Mendenhall is a good hire. In terms of adjusting, I think you are spot on. C-Ville is certainly not Provo.

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  18. Walt

    Who says anything has slowed down? Who says Bama is dictating anything? Maybe Smart is calling the shots? All this rampant speculation is just that.

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  19. Jack Klompus

    Perhaps they are still explaining the Georgia Way to him.

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  20. TMC dawg

    Stay strong Kirby, you and the real Uga fans deserve better than we are getting from BM Building

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  21. Roterhals

    Schlabach said meeting with Moorehead Sunday and announcement Monday. Might be pitchfork time if nothing comes out Monday.

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  22. Hal Welch

    Guys take a deep breath. We’ve put a lot of eggs in the Kirby basket. This whole move was about Kirby and I’d be willing to wager was felt out when Alabama came to Athens. Surely Greg was pissed, said “hey Kirby if I would you”? You can’t Fuck the whole thing up now over a couple days or weeks. Kirby has worked hard to earn our job, but he’s also worked hard to earn a shot at a fourth ring. Let’s not turn back into the whiney bitch fan base that ran our last coach off before our new one even gets here.

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    • Dolly Llama

      How much of our recruiting class will end up fucked over “a couple days or weeks?”

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    • Hal, the whiny birches will be right back with his first loss or his first win where we don’t win as big as they think we should have. It will be “I can’t believe we’re paying this guy $4m for that” or “Nick’s teams never soil the bed like we do” or “He’s too nice and took his foot off the gas.”

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  23. Debby Balcer

    I am with you in being nervous. I loved Coach Richt but he is gone and I want the next coach to be as good and have better suppor; support that allies him to succeed. After his hip replacement Mark always still looked tired. I thought it was lingering pain but now feel it was working in an overtly hostile work environment. I do not want that for our next coach.

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    • "the" ChilliDawg

      Too late! If by year 3, there’s no championships, then Debby, bar the door.

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    • Dog in Fla

      Name things that do not exist?

      Hostile Work Environment for $4,000,000.00 per year plus benefits

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      • Debby Balcer

        I guess you have never worked in one. Money not even 4 million is worth working where you are not supported and actually undermined. Money did not motivate Mark Richt. He was willing to pay from his own money to get his assistant coaches’ salaries up to a competitive level. He stayed because he was loyal. I swear a lot of you have salary envy. We will pay that amount because it looks bad if Georgia does not.

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        • @Debby: Having worked in a very hostile work environment, agree no amount of money would have made me want to stay. As an aside, when all the hostile folks were fired in mass, life got a lot better. Imagine working with psychopathic, pedantic, pompous, narcissist, asses. Not fun. I think the final straw was the fistfights.

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  24. Gaskilldawg

    Serious question. If the deal with Smart has been done what keeps UGA from announcing it? Smart and UGA can appear together at a press conference and say he is hired effective the completion of the SEC CG or the playoffs or whenever.

    If nothing prohibit that then it appears to me that we do not have a deal.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      I think the two sides, Kirby and us, and The Georgia Way are still negotiating over a few small details….minor things like who controls the football program, the color Kirby prefers for his new truck, you know, minor stuff like that.

      I know this is against conventional wisdom, but I’m thinking Pruitt.

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      • If this is about CJP, Scorp, this thing won’t get done. The AD is going to say “No” and he probably thinks he has the support from the puppet masters that they will back him on that. It seems the AD detests CJP after the IPF rant and wants him out of the way at all costs.

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        • By the way, I would love to be proven wrong about that.

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        • @gatriguy

          Again, this just doesn’t make sense to me. Todd Grantham was a buffoon, an embarassment, and not a particularly good DC who humiliated UGA worse than Pruitt ever could with us f-bomb tirade win Franklin….and yet he was coming back in 2014.

          Either Pruitt and GM dust up is WAY overblown, or we need to consider the possibility that whatever happened was so bad that GM might be in the right not bringing him back.

          Richt had gone public before about needing an IPF, so I don’t think it’s as simple as that. It’s either nothing, or it’s really, really bad.

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          • People on power trips do strange things that don’t make sense. If it’s really bad, GM should have sent him packing with his buyout. If it’s nothing and Smart wants him, put you pride aside, GM, and give the guy what he wants.

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          • Debby Balcer

            Richt wrote a letter of endorsement for Pruitt.

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            • Well maybe that is the issue—kiss of death. As stated earlier neither a Richt supporter or anti supporter.

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              • Debby Balcer

                He wrote it as a reference. I don’t think Pruitt would need a reference to work for Smart since they already have a relationship. If Mark liking him makes McGarity want him gone this is really about McGarity’s ego.

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  25. Mike Cooley

    That’s why we are all nervous. Between McG being who he is and the possibility of Saban deciding at the last minute that he won’t “let” Kirby take the job…

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    • Saban had likely whispered to Kirby, “Do as I am doing here in Bama, don’t be a pushover like Richt”, “Kick all their asses now before they kick yours”, “Without you, ADGM is toasted”, “Stand strong”. And by the way “Roll Tide”, LOL.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      “Saban deciding … he won’t “let” Kirby take the job…”

      No problem, McG’s fallback plan is to hire ‘the bottle’.

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  26. Glenn Mason

    While everybody seems so sure that Kirby Smart is coming to Athens as the next University of Georgia Head Football Coach, and it appears to be a foregone conclusion, I will believe it when I see it. “Many a slip ‘tween the cup and the lip” as they say. After all, Georgia has had “done deals” with head coaches before that didn’t materialize. Right?

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    • Dick Sheridan

      Tell me about it.

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    • 92 grad

      This is what I’m thinking. I’d bet that Kirby hasn’t even talked to anyone from Athens yet. I think Georgia is running with information from Sexton in that sexton told Georgia that “yes, Kirby might be interested”. So, basically, until Alabama’s season is over, there will be no contact with Kirby. When Kirby gets time to talk with McGarity he might just laugh and say “no thanks”.

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  27. Kinda gives you pause now that the SC job is still open.

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    • Mayor

      Right. Methinks that USCe would much rather have Kirby than Muschump. Since Kirby hasn’t announced he’s taken the UGA job yet the Cocks are keeping their options open.

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  28. Brandon Meier

    You remind me of a UGA football player coached by Richt… I’m “nervous.” I’m “scared.” Grow a pair bro…we will be OK.

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