Once and for all, can we please dispense with the Alabama 2007 analogy?

I know for some of you comparing the downward trajectory of this season to Saban’s first year in Tuscaloosa offers the comfort of a warm, soft blanket, but reader Bob explains why it’s a false comfort.

A lot of us are constantly reminded about what Nick inherited. I will tell you what he inherited. He inherited programs at LSU and Bama that had losing seasons when he took over. Those programs won 28 games in their previous 4 years. Alabama had been on probation. Kirby inherited a team that won 40 games the previous 4 seasons…

That’s hardly all, if you think about it.  There are two other huge reasons to disabuse yourself of the notion.

  1. 2016 Kirby Smart isn’t 2007 Nick Saban.  When Nick Saban took over at Alabama, it was his fifth head coaching job.  He’d already won a national championship at LSU. He’d coached in the NFL and in two other conferences, too.  In short, he already had his notions about how to run a football program tested and honed; he walked into his new gig knowing not only exactly what he wanted to do, but how to implement his vision from the start.  None of that applies to Smart.  It’s his first head coaching job.  He’s getting his feet wet in college football’s toughest conference.  Simply put, 2016 is on the job training for Kirby Smart, with all the hiccups that ensue.
  2. Alabama isn’t Georgia.  Duh, I know.  But I’m not even thinking about the obvious administration commitment levels here.  It’s more a matter of how the schools went about their business in the two seasons under comparison.  Alabama was hungry to the point of desperation, but it started from the vantage point of wanting experience for its next head coach and was confident enough in its ability to provide resources to shoot the moon, first with a hot name like Rich Rodriguez and then, after he turned the Tide down, Saban.  Georgia, in turn, started with little more than a belief that it was better than what Richt had delivered, and entered the job search market with a conviction that Smart was its guy.  History may prove McGarity to be correct in that regard, but there is literally nothing to suggest that to date, unless you believe that greatness can be passed to an assistant coach by osmosis.

Before you go there, none of this is offered to make the case that Richt shouldn’t have been let go, or that Smart won’t deliver down the road.  It’s simply that Georgia’s 2016 season is a sui generis disappointment and insisting that Alabama losing to a directional school nine years ago is some sort of evidence for thinking otherwise is… well, embarrassing.  Just stop.


Filed under Georgia Football

123 responses to “Once and for all, can we please dispense with the Alabama 2007 analogy?

  1. Senator, one of the best, fact-based, reasoned posts you’ve written …

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Fact-based, reasonable….Good God, he’s only a blogger. (But hardly a freshman.) Thanks, boss.

      • SouthGaDawg

        Point #1 has been grossly underplayed by everyone. Kirby is a rookie head coach. It’s like we have a 15 year old trying to drive a Ferrari.

        • rchris

          The other part of Point #1 is that recruits weren’t relying on that first season to get a handle on what kind of coach Saban might be. They already had a track record to show that, therefore a crappy first season didn’t hurt as much. Kirby has enough momentum that he may be able to hold the 2017 class together, but if he gets off to a slow start in the regular season, recruits are going to start wondering if they will have a chance to win big during their time at UGA. Kirby’s main appeal is recruiting magic, if he loses that he loses the bulk of why we hired him.

    • Reinmart

      Agreed. !00% nail on the head.

  2. D.N. Nation

    ’07 Bama had a close loss in JAX to a meh FSU team and a OT loss at home to UGA, who ended up being awesome. Then they were leading eventual champ LSU late in the 4th quarter but blew the game.

    At that point, the guys Saban didn’t bring in who were on their way out quit on the team, so you had the losing streak down the stretch, including ULM. But ’07 Bama wasn’t a bad team on paper, and when you saw the guys Saban was bringing in for the next season, you could tell they were going to be good.

    This UGA team sucks. Granted, I’ll be happy to see some of the Richt leftovers (e.g., Reggie Davis. Jesus, dude.) leave, but this is still a team that doesn’t do anything particularly well, but a lot of things poorly. Hope Kirby has a way forward because I don’t outside of “cut half the players.”

  3. Greg

    LOL!….tell it, brother.

  4. Mike Cooley

    You’re right. Let’s all shit our pants. One…two…three…go!

  5. Aladawg

    Thank you Senator. For me it comes down to my return on investment regarding the whole experience. Saturday was Black Friday. I just hope that we are not entering “The Great Depression”.

  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    While I would have enjoyed watching Bama eviscerate Butch Jones football team in front his moaning fans had we not lost to Vandy, Bama helped with the pain…some.

    But then I realized we are, what? 50 points worse than Bama?

    My physicist friend pointed out yesterday that for every action, well, most of you know the rest.

    Tennessee fired Phil almost 12 years ago. The winter of the Vols’ discontent is far from over.

    There is a message there.

    • D.N. Nation

      Of their three post-Phil hires, I still argue that Kiffykins was the best in theory. He had that team generally improving – they put the nail in Willie Martinez’ coffin and nearly beat Bama. Of course, he peaced out on them, so: oops.

      Dooley was a joke, and for all his sound and fury, the best Butch is going to show in four years is backing into the SECCG just to get pantsed by Bama again. Whoopee.

    • Mayor

      It’s actually worse than you suggest for the Vols, Scorp. Last yearUT started out 2-3 and then played the game with Georgia. UGA led that game by 21 points at one time but caved and UT won. If Goergia had won that game UT would have been 2-4 after 6 games. UT played Bama next and lost to the Tide. At that point UT would have been 2-5 and likely Bitch Jones would have been fired. This season without the end of game screw-ups that allowed the hail mary , a Georgia victory would have put the Vols at 4-3 after 7 games and going nowhere. Georgia’s implosions saved Jones’ job–twice. The truth is the Vols suck but the rest of the SEC East (including the Dawgs) is so bad it masks their suckitude.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        I’d say Bama has permanently unmasked the Vols’ suckitude. And the best part of that is that the Vols who surround me have all these excuses…oh the injuries, etc.

        That makes me feel better…for a while. If Nick had just blocked one a those guys….aw fuck it.

      • 92 grad

        And to twist the knife, our team over the last decade of mediocre TN and FL, has been just as mediocre. The east has been awful for 9 years, but we obviously had pretty good teams in ’07 and ’12, but sustaining the success was never even close to being on the table. Everything just sucks. Spurrier, fulmer, and corch ruled the east and the west made hires to counter, they have risen and the east has been stale. The recent hires in the east will take several years to mature and try to even up with the west.

  7. 86BONE

    I don’t know how many more “off seasons” I have left in me. I would love to wake up on a beautiful Sunday morning and read articles relating to how Georgia pummeled its apponent into oblivion. This shit is getting old…

  8. Mike Cooley

    Some of you guys are really something. You almost seem happy that your fears have been substantiated and now you get to say you were right. Pathetic. I’m glad I’m not in a position where I have to count on you for anything. A bunch of our fans, think, talk, and act like losers. Watching that game yesterday made me sick. But that’s all. This existential, whoa is us, we need to fire Kirby even though we aren’t going to say those exact words crap is as bad as watching that game yesterday. There will come a day when it will be obvious to most that either the right or wrong hire was made. Until then this constant crying and wallowing in disappointment just makes being a UGA fan harder than it has to be. Schultz, as obnoxious as he is, isn’t doing anything a bunch of the fan base isn’t doing.

    • sniffer

      No one is in the mood to be lectured to this morning. We lost to Vanderbilt (mediocre by their standards), on homecoming, in a most embarrassing fashion. Ascend your high horse another day.

    • Mayor

      You make a point Mike about giving Kirby some slack in his first year but I think the bigger problem is the staff–not just Kirby. The OC and ST coach need to be replaced post-season for sure and probably several position coaches, too. It is not too early to be talking about THAT.

      • Mike Cooley

        Blow it out your nose, sniffer. If people can cry all over themselves, act like they are almost happy about it, and run for the chicken house in fear, I can tell them what they look like doing it. Mayor I agree about some staff changes. I’m not done with Chaney yet but it definitely has to improve and soon. What is Beamer even being paid for?

        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Mike, when you say you are not done with Chaney yet, are you not saying the same thing as the folks you, rightly, poke in the eye?

          I was not in favor of changing coaches because I had a pretty good idea that changing coaches is a very complicated process, further complicated by replacing a coach with lots of experience and a great record, with a coach who is in his first head coaching job.

          So it sounds like you may have some questions, too, you just don’t like the way some folks are expressing their disappointment.

          When, in fact, being disappointed or surprised at all may be unreasonable, and if someone is in favor of staff changes half way through the first year are they not unreasonable?

  9. Good post, Senator.

    So far, that’s an apples and oranges comparison. Every time you play below expectations, you can’t play the La-Monroe card.

    That was the 11th game of our season. We got off to a really good start, but I think some of the early success caused some of the “bad apples” to chaff at Saban’s process. And Saban probably put up with some of the bad apples a little longer than he wanted to because of the early success and if he had it to do over again, he’d probably do it differently.

    That may be going on with y’all as well, to some degree, but it’s just not the same.

    • The other Doug

      How was Bama’s OL that first year? How did he fix it in year 2?

      I ask because almost all our problems could be masked if we had a good OL, but I’m worried that will 2-3 years of recruiting.

      • Probably had a lot more to work with than y’all have. I recall Andre Smith (1st round pick) , Alonzo Ephraim (brief NFL career) and I think Mike Johnson (who later played for the Falcons) on that line, but I’m getting old and forgetful.

  10. Will Trane

    How many first or second team SEC players are on the Georgia roster?
    Post them up I want to see them. Maybe one or two.
    Not any of the defensive line or offensive line. How did that happen. Poor recruiting in 2012, 2013, and 2014 re these positions.
    If you watched Bama or Florida yesterday you saw the big difference.
    Bama is damn near perfection. Some of those players are Kirby’s.
    We have two players yesterday that figured into the outcome. Both very small in SEC standards…81 and 16. You know what classes they came in.
    Read article on Davis. He is a senior. How many coaches does he have to go thru to learn when and not when to field a kickoff near the sidelines.
    Thousands of high school freshman make better decisions than that.
    Sorry not on the coaching staff.
    41. Want to check the play of Vandy 41 against Dawgs.
    Not one player on offense could handle 41 all day. Why?
    One is talent and youth.
    The other is coaching. Your wine and cheese AD cripped the prep of pl;ay by sacrificing this team and coaches by being a coward to the SEC front office. Sorts of what you hear today. Pay for play. But we alums and the team are the sacrificial dawgs.
    Back to coaching.
    Can someone explain to me why the offensive game plan did not include packages to neutralize or take him out of the plays. He is very good and he totally dominated the offense. Where were all those highly paid analyst on this staff this past week.
    Plus we have seen a tendency in past weeks for the running game to go to the edge. But it is slow. Want to check the times Vandy came backside with speed to track and follow the play.
    Eason. Well I give the kid good marks for his play. Derek Mason according to ESPN and SEC Now is a fucking genius. Really dudes. A frosh lite up his damn overrated defense in the passing game. But he has to start looking to his backs more.
    But I am beginning to seriously question the blocking of the running backs this year. Plus their speed.
    Time for McGee and Beamer to go. 7 games in and Beamer has done nothing. Kirby send a message to your staff and fire Beamer.

    • PTC DAWG

      Your first sentence is one that many do not want to answer…Chubb…TT 78 maybe…who am I missing? Sony maybe. I see some potential Freshmen…but you cannot win relying on a team full of freshmen

  11. Macallanlover

    100%, totally agree with your it isn’t that KS can’t eventually get it done, or whether Richt should have been let go, UGA fans have to let that go…but so very many cannot stop getting mired in that. The issue is, we have Kirby so how do we get things corrected…now. The biggest issues are at OC and not realizing you are no longer the DC, step up to the job you were hired to do. We have lost two games in the last three weeks that we should have won, and there is nothing to suggest it won’t happen again because we look as bad as we did five weeks ago. Secondly, you are not the Alabama HC, make your own footprint in Athens. I see two areas where we have improved at this point, recruiting and eliminating the showboating/look at me that has gone on here for the last 15 years….and the recruiting is at risk if we don’ show something different in the balance of the season.

    Roll your sleeves up and get involved with the totality of problems on the team, which are primarily on offense and STs, areas outside your comfort zone. You have a week and a half to make changes, and they need to be made beginning today.

  12. tonyqbr

    Nick Saban did not start off his well at any of the big time schools.

    I think you have to look at how Saban did at all 3 of his 1st seasons at the big time schools:
    Mich St 6-5-1
    LSU 8-4
    Bama 2-6

    Saban’s 1st 4 years at Mich St were not impressive.

    I know it’s not comparing apples to oranges.

    But, there is something that gives hope….

    In 2007, all 4 of Saban’s last 4 losses were by 7 points or less, he was close.

    Kirby’s 3 losses were the Ole mIss blowout, but more recently Tn by 3, Vandy by 1.

    Derek Dooley as a contrast got blown out in 5 games in 2010 at Tenn for example.

    If there’s any consolation, close losses in year one sometimes mean good things

    It does suck though, no Bama, LSU or A & M on the schedule, opportunity in 2016 squandered.

    2017’s schedule looks solid, no Bama, no LSU no A & M. Notre Dame & TN & UF only real competition.

    • I know it’s not comparing apples to oranges.

      So why are you doing it?

      • tonyqbr

        No 2 situations are exactly the same, but we do need context.

        How you lose, scoring margin wise in your 1st year, was predictive in my example of comparing
        Smart to a coach who turned out to be great, like Saban, and one who turned out t be a dud like Derek Dooley.

        We have to compare to get context.

        • Not when the comparison is to something irrelevant.

          All you’re doing is trying to make yourself feel better about a disappointing situation.

          • tonyqbr

            Ok, which past teams and coaches do compare to UGA in 2016?

            • Look up “sui generis” in the dictionary, sport.

              • tonyqbr

                I tell you a comparison I do like.

                Mark Dantonio.

                Both played DB for an SEC school.

                Both had a long successful career as a def asst, including both working under Saban.

                Both developed stellar reputations as defensive genius.

                Both had 9 years experience as DC before taking their Head Coaching jobs.

                Both won a Natl Champ as DC.

                Dantonio went 7-5 in 1st season as Head Coach at Cincy, 7-6 at Mich St. Kirby is on track for 7-6 too.

                Dantonio has finished in the top 10 3 out of the last 4 seasons.

                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  Tony, I really like the Dantonio thing….I’m gonna think about that all week.


                  • tonyqbr

                    Thanks, all 5 of Dantonio’s losses when he went 7-5 were by 7 or less.

                    Mos tor Kirby’s losses are by 2 or less.

                  • Gaskilldawg

                    I thought the objective was to win national championships. Dantonio has never come close to one. Fourth in line in 2015. Shit, we did better in 2002, 2007 and 2012. (What in mean is that if there was a 4 team playoff in each of those years we would have been in it.)

                    • tonyqbr

                      The post was about finding a comparison to Kirby. First I looked at DC’s who had worked under Saban, with similar college position experience, then similar years of experience as a DC, then also similar in they won a Natl Champshp as a DC, also started out with less than 8 wins in first season as Head Coaches.

                      Can you name a DC under Saban who has done better than Dantonio as a Head Coach?

                      Can you name a better comparison to Smart, if not, I’ll stick with mine.

                • Mke Price

                  I hope Kirby turns out like the Dantonio hire, but there’s a big difference IMO. Mich. State hired him AFTER he learned to be a head coach at Cincy. Kirby will have to learn on the job in Athens. So in addition to all the other factors, rebuilding the talent, changing the culture, he has to learn everything about how to even be the head coach. Not saying it’s not possible, but at least Dantonio had head coaching experience when he stepped up to a major conference job.

                  • tonyqbr

                    True, but even at Cincy, it was his first year, and Dantonio went 7-5.

                    7-5 is within range for Kirby, La Laf gets him to 5, then he could beat both GT & KY
                    to get to 7-5.

          • Mike Cooley

            And all you’re doing is telling people what they are and are not allowed to think so there will be no alternative but say that you are right.

          • tonyqbr

            I’m not disappointed.

            I expected us to go 5-7, 6-6 or 7-5 best case scenario.

            I expected to lose to Ole Miss & Tenn.

            I did not expect to beat NC, so the Vanderbilt loss offsets that.

            I projected us at 3-4 at this point, losses to NC-Ole Miss & TN also
            figured we’d lose a dumb one along the way.

            So 4-3 means we’re as little above where I thought we’d be.

            I expect us to win 1-3 more games in 2016, losing to UF & Auburn.

            I expect we beat La Laf, and split or best case win the Ky/GT games.

            a bonus, but I don’t expect it, is all the remaining games will be competitive, and if we lose,
            it’s not by more than a TD.

  13. PTC DAWG

    I say our OL is a disaster that will take 2-3 years to fix.

    • D.N. Nation

      This is my read on it. I think solving special teams is a matter of some certain players graduating – lord, I hope it is – but the OL is bad from top to bottom, left to right.

      • Gaskilldawg

        If the special teams problem is solved by certain players graduating then why can’t the coach treat those same players as if they are gone by simply not playing them?

    • The other Doug

      sigh. I agree.

    • Will

      5 star talent and a top 3 offensive line coach fixes a lot of things.

      you guys need to take the the noose off and relax. Did you really think we were winning the SEC with a freshman QB and a defensive line with one upper classman on the 3 deep, and a rookie head coach?

      Kirby may or may not be the answer, but at least give it a season before you start calling for mass firings. What happens if UGA comes out to Jax and wins by 3 TD’s? all of this whining and moaning will go out the window and you people will be on here crowning Kirby the next Saban…

      It’s embarrassing watching the entire bulldawg universe act like 13 year old girls on twitter after a canceled Justin Bieber concert…

      • tonyqbr

        Really is recruiting.

        1- Kirby needs to pull in a great big 5 star line, helping the run game, and pass protection

        2- Kirby needs to pull in some 5 star tall playmakers at WR who can also block

        3- Some big fast physical 5 star DB’s

        Next year’s wins should go up by a +1 to +2 based on that.

        • Napoleon BonerFart

          While recruiting can help, I don’t think it will help much with Chaney’s play-calling. 6 future NFL linemen can block, at most, 6 defensive players. If defenses stack the box with 8-9 players to stop the run, the run gets stopped.

      • Gaskilldawg

        I am not calling for firing any coaches at this time. I would rather replace McGarity before we have to hire any new coaches.

  14. sectionzalum

    why do i have the sinking feeling that the Scowl will soon tell us we’re Rebuilding?

  15. Will Trane

    if you think this is a SEC east champion O line, well dudes you need to watch some other teams like Arkansas, Bama, Florida, or LSU.
    If you think being a running back is making long runs and padding your stats, you might want to watch how physical those teams RBs are along with their O line.
    Not big on stationary QBs. You have to have a physical running QB today against a defense, more so if they have a LB like 41 at Vandy. Ever seen a LB like that at UGA in past decade. Nope. But UGA made him world class yesterday. Bet 41 could not wait to get suited up and in the game.
    He left nothing on the field…except Mckenzie and Chubb.
    Top priority for Dawgs on the online. Find a center!!!!

  16. DawgPhan

    I would really like to be done with the 2007 bama comments. It’s so dumb.

  17. Will Trane

    Want to know why there was no targeting call on Eason early in game.
    He was going down and Vandy went head gear to hear gear.

  18. Will Trane

    No targeting on Vandy. They are a sacred team in the SEC office. Only Georgia gets called for that.
    Where is the backbone in the B-M.
    Perhaps the Dawgs will get physical when the B-M gets physical.

  19. Mke Price

    If Bama has a “Kirby Smart-type” hire in its recent past, it would be Mike Shula, not Nick Saban. Think about it. Different circumstances, of course, as Bama was reeling from the Mike Price thing but they hired a “Bama guy” a young assistant coach who had never held a position higher than coordinator, but had a name as a former player that could unite the fan base. A few years later, they saw the error of their ways, fired Shula who was in over his head, and hired someone with not just head coaching experience, but a guy who had won a NC at a different SEC school. Shot for the moon, as the Senator said. And no, we’re not Bama, as many have pointed out, but I do think we made a mistake reflexively hiring a “Georgia guy” instead of doing a real search for the best available candidate.

  20. jt (the other one)

    Well stated absolutely agree.

  21. 69Dawg

    You know what it was like to go from driving a Rolls Royce to a Jeep Wrangler? Well Kirby does. He lost all the luxury features and he frankly does not know what to do except try to recruit his way back to the Rolls Royce. He’s not going to fix this team this year.
    If he fires his OC as many of you suggest he will be taking his first step down the Will Muschamp highway to hell. The weakness on the O staff is he hired recruiters not coaches. WR, RB and ST/TE all marginal. Only great hire is Pittman who is trying to make chicken salad from chicken shit.

    • Debby Balcer

      Agree with you. Let Kirby find his way. We have an entirely new staff building a relationships. Some players take on their 3rd coach offensive and defense. Hopefully we use the next two weeks well.

  22. 5pointsDawg

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Best post ever! Ok, maybe not, but close.

  23. tonyqbr

    Let’s remember, Steve Spurrier had experience, but without recruits and facilities, and new coaches
    installing new schemes, Spurrier got blown out in 3 games in 2005, lost 2 close ones,
    ended up 7-5 in his first year
    at SC.

    So hiring an experienced head coach is no guarantee this season would have gone better than 7-5..

  24. I don’t need to compare this season with Saban’s first year at Bama to understand that a new head coach, with a new staff, at a program that left holes at several key positions, is going to struggle. My only beef with Kirby right now is the piss poor special teams play (excluding the problems at PK) and substitution problems He should be expected to correct this before Florida. The shitty O-line, lack of receivers who can catch AND block, and the freshman QB who cannot run play action or get to his 3rd read? That is going to take time, so buckle up. The defense is looking better though. I joked last year that the corpse of Bear Bryant could win 8 with this schedule if they propped him up on the sidelines and put that hat back on him. I might need to rethink that. Maybe he would only win 7.

  25. Rick

    “unless you believe that greatness can be passed to an assistant coach by osmosis.”

    I have a feeling that if Greg McGarity wrote a book on becoming a chess master, it would read ‘Just go find another grandmaster and steal some of his pieces, the magicals must be in there somehow!’

  26. Ramguy

    The consensus is Richt left UGA with a very talented team. I was watching the SEC network this morning and they didn’t seem to have the same opinion. Smart was left with a not very good WR corp. Same with the OL. As exciting as Imac is there is no way he should be the top WR on a power 5 team. Still this team isn’t playing up to it’s potential. Some of the calls leave you scratching you head, I would have preferred Sony taking the ball on that last play with a true FB in front of him.
    Oh btw Rich and Miami lost to a team that the Dawgs beat by double digits. I can easily see Richt lose this game as well.

    • Rick

      We have 4 of 5 starters from last year’s OL. Does losing one 5th round draft pick really explain Chubb’s yards/carry dropping from 8 to 5?

      Yes, Richt could have lost that particular Vandy game, because it was a bizarre game. Richt would never in a million years be in danger of losing to a bad FCS team or looking up at a 45-0 scoreboard against a 3-3 team. He had over 200 opportunities to put out performances that bad, and while he had some stinkers, it was never as bad as what Smart managed in his first 4 opportunities.

      • Ramguy

        I would beg to disagree. Richt lost more than a few stinkers. Just two years ago he lost to a very bad SC team and got ran out of the stadium by a very bad Florida team.

  27. Bright Idea

    No further proof that Kirby is trying to coach this team like Bama is the defensive substitution packages for matchup purposes. How many of you believe we have 17-18 SEC first team defenders?

  28. blands

    It’s going to take some time but isn’t that the point of ideas like process?

  29. TN Dawg

    I guess the most perplexing thing for me is that, with the game on the line, we didn’t trust the kid has shown he has ice water in his veins twice in similar circumstances.

    Did anyone else watching that game, especially in the second half, not think with absolute certainty that Skinny would have hit Nauta, TG5 or RR with a play action pass?

    Damn. Trust the kid. He’s money with the game on the line.

    • Russ


      But we needed the balance.

    • 92 grad

      Makes me wonder, is it legal for skinny to go to high school games and approach WR targets on his own? I think I would if I were him. I remember visiting high schools working as teacher or coach for all kinds of band stuff, especially marching band, and I always tried to lean on the more talented kids I came across. Heck, I know it’s not NCAA athletics, but I know I told several kids “man, you’d fit in great in our trumpet section”. With twitter and stuff nowadays it’d be hard for me if I were Eason to not say anything to some of the hot seniors out there.

  30. We look like a very poorly coached team and have for all of about 4 quarters of the season. I expected at least some progress by the halfway mark but it’s not there.

    I keep seeing “the future is bright” and it’s so the Georgia Way.

    It’s one thing to be like Bama when you win but doing it when you lose loses fan support and future talent.

    • tonyqbr

      What I’m looking for in 2016 is competitiveness.

      I don’t want to see any more blowout losses like Ole Miss.

      As long as you compete hard, and even lose by 7 or less, to meet that means Kirby can really coach.

      Should we get blown out 2 more times in 2016, I’ll be 50/50 in Kirby, right now, Kirby is competitive like Dantonio was
      his 1st year at Mich St. If that continues, even with 4 more close losses, I’m ok with it.

      A bunch of close losses actually help recruiting, get the team angry, proves Kirby can compete, and resets expectations for 2017 to maybe 7 or 8 wins,
      so there are a lot of pluses of losing close game games competitively in your 1st season.

  31. This comparison to Saban’s Ist season at Bama is just feeding in false sense of hope the next season. It makes the next season with undue expectation on Kirby and the team.

  32. tonyqbr

    The only fans disappointed in 2016 are those who had unrealistic expectations.

    Students of college football history, know 1st year Head Coaches usually mean a 6-8 win season, even for good coaches.

    There are lots of real reasons, not excuses:
    1- new schemes/terminology for players
    2- no time to recruit for scheme–so scheme personnel mismatch
    3- inexperience of Head Coach–has to learn on the job
    4- poor facilities hurt recruiting
    5- often play young talent to set up long term success which leads to more initial losses

    The only guaranteed win left is La Laf, could lose the other 4 UF/Aub/Ky/GaTech.

    Looking at a 5-7 win season.

    If you guys expect better in 2016, you’re dreaming & expect a lot of whining the rest of the season.

    Reality matters.

    • Red Cup

      Just stick with what you know. What was Eason’s QBR this week?

      • tonyqbr

        Very pleased with Eason’s development this week, he got a lot better.

        Went from a 9 qbr, to 86.5, good for a top 15 qbr national performance this week.

        Not bad for a true freshman.

        I did not expect that kind of improvement, was a pleasant surprise.

        • D.N. Nation

          Eason wasn’t bad yesterday, but he wasn’t great either. Missed a wide-open Nauta (?) on the first drive that would’ve been a sure TD. Missed a bunch of easy check-downs, especially one to Chubb on the last drive. The long pass on UGA’s last drive that ended up in the cheerleaders was…suboptimal.

          Still a freshman, though. No turnovers was nice.

          • tonyqbr

            Made a great throw late in the 4th on 4th and 13, very clutch.

            Didn’t make a single really bad decision for a change.

            Qbr score was 3rd best in the SEC this week, I’ll take it.

          • Russ

            27-40, 346 yards, 1 TD, no INT. Eason wasn’t the problem, and in fact was the only reason we were close, along with Blankenship.

            • tonyqbr

              Yes, and that Qbr score was put up on a team that came in ranked #1 in pass defense against conference foes.

              Most of us are impressed with an improvement of 9 to 86 in Qbr in 1 week.

    • 81Dog

      hey, look at the bright side. The people who were complaining about winning 9 or 10 games a year won’t have that to complain about this year. Progress!

      • tonyqbr

        Richt would have gone with Lambert to get to his 10 wins.

        And Eason might have transferred.

        To win a championship, sometimes you have to burn a year to get the young ones experience.

        Kirby has a trophy on his mind long term. Richt never did.

    • Gaskilldawg

      Such as, Gus Malzhan in his first year as a head coach. Increased the record from the previous year.

      • tonyqbr

        Didn’t say all coaches, said most, the vast majority do not have big seasons their very first year as a head coach.

        Vince Dooley for example, won 7 games his 1st year at UGA, 6 his second.

        Butch Jones went 5-7 at TN.

        McElwain went 4-8 at Col St year 1.

        Saban 2-6 at Bama.

        Les Miles 4-7 at Ok St


        But whatever. Sure 12-2 is a realistic expectation for Kirby in 2016.

  33. 81Dog

    Former LSU coach Charley McClendon was a former assistant of the Bear at Alabama. Never beat the Bear, ended up getting fired. He once said “Bear taught me all I know about coaching, but I don’t think he taught me all HE knows.”

    Here endeth the lesson. Too early to tell about Kirby Smart, one way or the other, but the idea “Nick had a bad loss in 2007, so UGA is right on schedule” is just dumb.

  34. Scorpio Jones, III

    With both Tennessee and Vandy we had an opportunity to win the game at the end, but small mistakes cost us both. I wish I was surprised.

  35. stoopnagle


  36. Dawg Asshole

    Vandy is not UGA’s ULM.
    Vandy is UGA’s Miss State, which beat Bama for the 2nd consecutive year in 2007.
    UGA’s ULM is still to come.

  37. HW

    Richt’s first year as a head coach:

    Loses 3 games to ranked teams, SC, Florida, and Auburn, beats #6 Tennessee in Knoxville, loses bowl game = 8-4

    Smart’s first year as head coach:

    Beats an average ACC team, puts together the largest first half deficit in UGA history against Ole Miss, who is now 3-3. Almost loses to Nichols St at home, which would have been the worst loss in school history, loses to an average TN team at home, loses Homecoming game to Vandy. Currently 4-3, on pace to go 7-5 at best.

    Just sayin.

    As of right now, firing Richt and hiring Smart was a mistake, thats all there is to it. Things could change, of course but, as of right now, it was a bad move.

    • D.N. Nation

      Richt lost at home to that average ACC team.

    • tonyqbr

      In one bit of research I found:

      70% of new Head coaches who come on after following a 9 or more win season,
      win LESS games.

      There are exceptions, but the vast majority (70%) would have gone less than 10 wins
      following UGA’s 10 wins in 2015.


      • TN Dawg

        To use this for truly thoughtful analysis, we would need to consider the circumstances.

        It’s probably reasonable to assume in almost every case that the previous coach of a 9 win or better team moved on to pursue a better job (Chip Kelly, Chris Peterson, etc) or because the coach/program had some sort of serious rules infraction. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to accept that losing an outstanding coach would negatively impact a program, as would facing sanctions for violating NCAA rules.

        UGA’s situation is almost completely unique in that it fired its 10 win coach in the belief that the new coach would exceed the win total of the previous coach.

      • garageflowers

        Of that 70%, how many went on to decent coaching careers?

  38. CB

    Ice cream causes murder

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