In which I remind myself, patience, grasshopper…

I am a cynic about many things.  I’m sure that comes as not much of a surprise to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis.  No doubt the course of this 2016 season is bringing out the snark in me, especially when I listen to folks try to defend two of the most disappointing games I’ve sat through in Sanford Stadium (and remember, Kirby’s only coached four home games!) as somehow being in context with the history of the Georgia program.

But I’m not that cynical, as this putrid Jeff Schultz column reminds me.  All it takes is a little condescension to bring me back to being clear-eyed about Georgia’s future with Smart.

It’s fair to have concerns about the Bulldogs in general and Smart in particular. But seven games into Smart’s first season is a little early for grand proclamations. His 4-3 start — while alarming given the Vandy game, the blowout at Ole Miss and the debacle against a bought-and-paid-for FCS opponent, Nicholls State — isn’t that dissimilar to the seven-game records of the previous seven six Georgia head coaches. Consider: Wally Butts 3-4; Johnny Griffith 3-4, Vince Dooley 4-2-1, Ray Goff 4-3, Jim Donnan 3-4, Mark Richt 5-2.

There is criticism. There is noise. There is a consensus in the dark corners of the social-media underworld that the house is on fire and that Smart is overmatched in his position.

Okay, a lot of condescension.  But I digress.  There is a vast difference between being frustrated over a few early season debacles, not that I’m excusing those, and believing that the experiment is ready to be deemed a total failure.  It’s not fair to Smart (not that he’s likely to care much at this point, to be honest), who’s operating under a longer time frame than those of Schultz’ ilk credit Georgia’s fans with having.  At least I hope it’s just those of Schultz’ ilk.

I know that some of you are absolutely going to despise this quote because of its source, but if you can take the trouble to separate the message from the messenger, it says a lot about what Smart believes he’s doing.

On the idea of “middle management,” sometimes your job is just to make things work. And sometimes your task is to make incremental improvements. It’s like steering an ocean liner and making a 2 degree turn so that 10 years from now we’re suddenly in a very different place. You can’t turn 50 degrees all at once because that’s not how societies – especially democracies – work. As long as we’re turning in the right direction and we’re making progress, government is working like its supposed to.

I have to start with the supposition that there was a legitimate reason to replace Mark Richt, and, honestly, been there, done that.  Further, as a Georgia fan, even if I question the process that brought Kirby Smart home — and, boy, do I — I sincerely hope and am invested in the belief that his vision will ultimately be vindicated.  There have been longstanding flaws in the program that need fixing, and that fixing won’t come overnight.

None of that, admittedly, makes this season any more pleasant to suffer through.  What bugs me the most about that is no one associated with the administration has ever had enough respect for me or the rest of the fan base to admit the reality of the situation.  Smart himself used Obama’s big boat analogy to describe his approach to this season, although admittedly without getting very deep into what the likely consequences in the short term would be.  But the people who were responsible for bringing Kirby Smart to Athens? Please.

Either they themselves were in the camp that blinded itself to that because of a naive belief that “we’re Georgia and Richt was holding the program back!”, because ninety three thousand showed up at G-Day or some other nonsense, or were in a cynical group who didn’t know what might be coming, but saw an opportunity arising out of the natural excitement that comes with a coaching change to flush a few extra bucks out of our wallets while the honeymoon was in full effect.

All of which is why I can sympathize with those of us who are plenty disturbed from the low points we’ve been through in a mere seven games, while acknowledging that it’s not easy for any of us to see if in fact Smart’s on to something when he says things like this:

“I don’t deal with it,” he said Tuesday. “I focus on us getting better. With this job comes criticism. I’ve accepted it. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it with good friends and programs I’ve been in. That doesn’t scare me. What I’m worried about is our team and our players developing.”

I’m fairly certain I’ll do more grumbling this season, because there’s no reason to think after last Saturday any real corners have been turned when it comes to how this team approaches a game.  When I do grumble, though, I’ll do my best to confine my irritation to the effort at hand, as opposed to any bigger picture stuff, because it’s simply too soon to draw any overarching conclusions.

For those of you who can’t quit the Alabama 2007 analogy —  and note that Schultz indulged you — I will grant you that I would love as much as the next Georgia fan to experience the same shock I had watching Saban’s team in the following season’s opener demolish Clemson in a red and black setting, but who’s to say things will turn around that dramatically?  I will settle for recognizing steady progress as it comes.  For now, I’ve got no choice but to go with the flow.

At least I’m not cynical enough yet to think about what comes if Smart’s wrong.  Let’s hope you don’t have to check back with me in three years or so on that.


Filed under Georgia Football

169 responses to “In which I remind myself, patience, grasshopper…

  1. Russ

    Good thoughts. In my more sane moments between games I feel largely the same way. Kirby’s got to figure it out, I think (hope?) he will, and we’ve got to give him time. I’ll even say the same about Chaney as I want to stop the coordinator revolving door.

    Beamer? He’s dead to me.

    • I just don’t get what UGA is doing on Special Teams. I’ll even give them a pass on both the P and K being bad. They’re young. It happens. I wonder why Ramsey hasn’t been able to punt at least once, but whatever.

      What really blows my mind is how bad the punt/kick coverage and punt/kick return blocking has been. It’s been the absolute consistent shit show from day one. iMac is constantly staring at 3 defenders as he fields a ball. On the flip side, Georgia has given up long returns in almost every game. It’s a total joke.

    • Bright Idea

      When fellow fans asked me during the off season what I expected from this team I said we should we win more than we lose. Most of them freaked out thinking I would say 10-2 at the worst. I’m cynical too so with Georgia, what can go wrong will go wrong is my thinking. Until the roster is built to overcome the “clutter” as Kirby and Saban call it, things will remain that way. And yes, Kirby’s has to learn how to be a head coach. Right now that’s a big part of the clutter.

    • John Denver is full of shit...

      same here

    • Lefty Davidson

      Why, if we pay a coach almost $4m a year do we still think a grace time is due? The team has not been prepared to win!

  2. The record is going to be ugly. I’m thinking UGA enters the Georgia Tech game at 6-5 with two bad losses (Florida and Auburn probably blast the Dawgs). If Smart loses to Ga Tech, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Vandy in the same year… whoa boy. Beating GT to end the year and playing in some shit bowl looks a helluva lot better than not, that’s for sure.

    • I wonder what that game might be like if both teams came in needing a win for bowl eligibility.

      • I’d take GT in that scenario, to be honest. They already want nothing more than to beat Georgia. Let alone at home, to kick them out of a bowl, and to get themselves into one.

      • DawgFan1

        Remember that year when the loser of UGA-GT went to Hawaii and the winner got Shreveport. Talk about your lose lose scenarios!

      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        I think the thing that kills me isn’t the criticism of the now…but it’s the willingness on so many to wait and see if it pays off. It is so Atlanta/Georgia to do that. Here’s what I want…if you’ve got tickets, show up. If you say you want what’s best for the program, commit to being at G-Day 2017 now. We all tend to think we have very little to do with the outcome…but to use the 2 degree turn analogy…over the course of multiple seasons, there is no telling what an enthusiastic, committed, and energetic fan base might influence.

        • 81Dog

          It would tell me that the fan base is all suckers and blind lemmings. They don’t care about us at BM. I care about UGA, but the folks running the show who treat us all like ATMs with feet because they want to play on our sentiments? Not so much. If they want to run it like a corporation, they better expect to get treated like a corporation. If the corporation isn’t performing, expect people to replace it with something else. That’s what BM is giving us, and has given us, at least since the arrival of Mr. Adams. They want me to care and blindly do their bidding? Fine. Show me you care about me as something other than a revenue stream to be squeezed as hard as possible without interrupting the cash flow.

          • MGW

            Don’t hold your breath.

            • 81Dog

              I have no thought or even slight hope that’s going to happen. So, as a result, while I will always pull for UGA to win, I find it increasingly easy to skip the hassle of actually going to games. As long as there are people who will pay the freight, they don’t want or need people like me. But, if (and I sincerely hope this wont be the case) we have 2 or 3 more years of this, suddenly BM will be begging people to come back after the people who came because they were promised Alabama style results moved on to something else.

          • If they want to run it like a corporation, they better expect to get treated like a corporation. If the corporation isn’t performing, expect people to replace it with something else.

            Yep – if you want to treat my Saturday experience as me being just another asshole customer with a wallet, I choose to act like just another asshole customer with a wallet.

          • Russ

            So, better WiFi? Canned music whenever the players aren’t actually playing? Moar cupcakes?

        • D.N. Nation

          Watchable football helps. Asking the crowd to be psyched during that Nicholls game is begging a stone to give blood.

          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            This is true…but it begs the question of IF the crowd was hyped, would that have had an effect on the results on the field?

            If the role of a fan isn’t just to be a wallet…if the game experience isn’t just a transaction, then it must be some sort of loyalty to the cause regardless of the circumstances, right?

            I know we’re running counter to human nature here…but great fan-bases tend to defy human nature. In Atlanta/Georgia we are so upset when ‘the man’ treats us like consumers, but out of all the fan bases in America, we talk and act like consumers more than just about anyone. I just find it ironic.

            I’m not saying that BM should bleed you for every dollar because they can…but just an interesting observation.

            • I’ve attended many other games where we played FCS opponents going all the way back to 1992 vs. GSU. The crowd wasn’t necessarily into it and we smashed those opponents anyway. The Nicholls game was different … the team (coaches and players) didn’t show up. We were damn lucky not to lose because both GM and KS would have been tarred and feathered at the Arch.

            • 81Dog

              didn’t we call all that stuff “fake juice” just a couple of years ago?

        • I’m not going to G-Day because I’m not going to deal with the disaster that was parking, traffic and the fan experience. That doesn’t mean I don’t support the program because I plan to make my contribution and buy my tickets.

      • Derek Smart

        I can’t envision a scenario where we beat Tech. Kirby’s defenses never could contain the option or mobile QB’s. I envision our Tech rivalry balancing out. Which horrifies me. It’s amazing that in 7 games we now sound like Kentucky fans. Happy to just make a bowl game……But hey. Alabama. Kirby. Turning Ships. Process. And all. So lets be happy of what we know is the inevitable outcome of a dynasty. Because ADGM & BM went out and got the most proven HC the search committee could find.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Even if Kirby-dooby-do does lose to the genius it will remain Mark Richt Field @ Vince Dooley Stadium when we play at their house; I will find solice in that. But I think the hedges may get a haircut this year. 😦

  3. JarvisCrowell

    Thanks senator, I honestly needed a little but of positivity/break from criticism. This season
    has been disappointing to say the least, but that UNC game and Tennessee sans the last 4 seconds were a helluva good time. For the rest of this season I’m gonna try to be a better fan and simply support this team until CKS has had enough time to implement his plan. For me that means 3 years.

    • Will (The Other One)

      Yeah, the second half vs Mizzou, the first 59:45 of the UT game, and the UNC were pretty damn fun. Which is honestly an improvement over last year, where the SCar was lots of fun, but all the other wins felt like chores at best (yeah, even before Chubb was injured.

  4. A hobnail boot moment would do a lot to change the psyche of the Georgia people … Missouri wasn’t it because we were picked to win. Jacksonville would be a good place to start as a going away present for Uncle Verne.

    • Russ

      For some reason, I fully expect us to give Florida all they can handle, and maybe even pull out the win.

    • I really thought that the end of the TN game was going to be that moment. That’s why I was so disappointed that we couldn’t defend a freaking Hail Mary.

      • I agree … After the shock about how we lost the game, I thought, “Wow. Maybe we’re on to something.” We then blocked people at USCe. Then Chaney totally went away from what worked and back to “Let’s run it between the tackles over and over and see what happens.” It was frustrating to watch.

        It seems like this whole season has been 1 step forward then 2 or 3 steps back. For the Processphiles out there, I don’t think that’s what Nick (or Kirby) has in mind.

  5. Chopdawg

    I wish we could all keep in mind the simple concept of wins and losses, and quit trying to paint some sort of futuristic picture based on what we’re seeing week to week in this season or any season.

    All the Vandy game and the Tennessee game and the Nichols game etc mean is that we’ve won 4 games and lost 3 games this season. We hope that Kirby as head coach gets his players to play better, so we can win the Florida game. Then, we want to win the Kentucky game, and so on through the season.

    I had lots of discussions with intelligent people last season and early this season on topics like “we haven’t beaten anybody with a pulse” and “we need a coach who’ll put us in the national championship picture”–vague, frustration-inducing topics, which nobody could possibly quantify when asked.

    As for me, I’m happy when we win a football game. So right now I just want to beat Florida. I hope Kirby is the coach who can get the kind of effort from his players that will enable us to beat Florida. I hope the players themselves are talented enough on October 29 to beat Florida. Then, win or lose, we’ll go on from there. Bowl games, season won-lost records, future championships will all take care of themselves.

    • All the Vandy game and the Tennessee game and the Nichols game etc mean is that we’ve won 4 games and lost 3 games this season.

    • 92 grad

      CFB 20 years ago was completely mysterious to the fans. We didn’t get daily Internet and 7 days a week television programming with a hundred “experts” talking about who’s better. We basically saw what we had, in person and maybe on tv 3 times a year, and sort of guessed what we had. Knowing the opponents was limited to some physical media reading and Saturday morning radio.

      CFB now is all about “the program” and the games are secondary, primarily fodder for evaluating program direction. All everyone talks about is who’s got the best program and games are used to support these arguments. Bigger picture every season that goes by.

      • MGW

        Exactly. Which results in about a months satisfaction for fans of teams that win a championship, then its back to handwringing until the next one. Its absurd.

        But its like politics. Only the angry ones post 20 times a day and call into radio shows.

    • Russ

      Yeah, no. The loss to Bama in 2012 and the loss to Bama in 2015 are nowhere near the same.

      Sticking to this season, the win over Nichols and the win over UNC aren’t alike, either.

      If ALL I cared about were the results, I’d read about it in the paper the next morning.

  6. Senator: I swear I’m not trolling, this is an honest question: What could the administration (or Kirby) say about the reality of the situation that isn’t going to look like they’re shitting on the prior coach? And if they were honest, what percentage of our fans actually want to hear and accept it?

    • Not the Senator, but I would like Kirby to admit he’s fucked up, too. It happens. Always blaming the players begins to come off very poorly. And it’s safe to say Kirby has done that many times. It’s not a big deal per se, but it would be a nice thing to see him open up a bit about his own failures this season. I don’t suspect that’ll happen, though.

      • I get that, but his first comments post Vandy were “It starts with me” (paraphrasing of course).

        I would like more transparency in general, but to your point, that’s not going to happen.

        I guess my point is that I don’t think people necessarily care “why”. They just either don’t want it to happen again, or want to rejoice in it because they get to say “told you so”.

        I don’t think there is any cure to any of this other than winning and winning big. I think we are going to be loaded to the tits come 2018/2019, but by then the schedule turns on us and we’ll be rolling on LSU, TXAM, and Bama.

        There just are no quick and easy fixes. And it’s impossible to levelset expectations when half the fanbase thinks we were a lot better that past few years than we actually were (IMO).

        • 81Dog

          Yes, his first comment is “it starts with me,” followed by a string of observations clearly meant to indicate “it isn’t my fault.” Kind of a “Sorry, not sorry” approach. Maybe none of it is his fault, but if he keeps crapping on his team in pressers, it’s hard to see why they would play hard for him. Seeing him dive on the grenade for his team would likely make them feel like he’s in the foxhole with them, not standing on the rim pissing on them.

          Not crapping on his team in press conferences is not “accepting mediocrity.” If he thinks they’re loafing and wants to light them up in the locker room, have at it. If they aren’t loafing, and they just aren’t very good, crapping on them isn’t going to make them any better. If they not only aren’t loafing, but are trying hard and just not very good, crapping on them is probably going to produce the opposite result of what we all want.

          It isn’t great leadership to talk big at press conferences and make big PR statements. It’s great leadership when you get the maximum results from the people you have to lead. I have a hard time seeing that as being the case so far this year.

          • Fair enough. You could be right.

          • Well stated and it scares me half to death about what could be coming in Jacksonville

          • Debby Balcer

            Exactly you do not motivate some one by telling them they are not good enough and never will be. Kirby has never had to do that sort of motivation as he could always bring the back up in. He needs to adjust to this team and work with what he has. We are good enough to beat teams on our schedule if we believe that and play to Our strengths. As fans I hope we do our part.

            • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

              To be fair, having been around athletics or performance based employment(outside, commissions based sales) for 24 years, I can tell you that absolutely there are people who thrive in negative review feedback. “you can’t do this, prove me wrong” vs “you can do this, prove me right.” the job of a leader is to understand which of the two is the effective method with individuals.

              hopefully kirby is using that negative feedback based encouragement with the appropriate players, because the positive feedback folks tend to negatively respond to the opposite much more than the negative folks respond to positive feedback. at least in my experience.

    • For starters, how about not bumping up contributions and ticket prices?

    • Derek Smart

      Every time Kirby has mentioned not having the “right guys” up front. Or “changing the culture”, he is, in fact, shitting on the former coach. Something you should be familiar with. So. He just needs to get his proverbial shit together and quit shitting the bed with his playcalling and lack thereof.

      • This is kind of my point. No one wants to hear the reality of the situation. They just want to win.

        Which is fine with me btw. Nothing any coach says when he’s losing is going to make people happy.

        • Russ

          You and I agree on the “just shut the hell up” approach. I don’t need to hear all the excuses. I’d rather Kirby just accept all the blame like Vince did, and then chew ass behind closed doors.

          I don’t subscribe to your reality, though. I think we have holes, but still have plenty of talent to put a better quality product out there than we’ve seen. I guess that’s just part of the learning process for a rookie HC with a frosh QB.

          • Fair enough. I hope going forward we’ve played our last true freshman QB for a while.

            • MLB2

              You’ve been very civil today, tri. I’ve enjoyed your thoughts. Keep it up. We’re all Dawgs though we sometimes forget.

              • Thanks. We all want what’s best for UGA (I think).

                I am very disappointed in this season in general (but no where more so than special teams. I can’t even with special teams).

                That said, I was probably more bearish on this season than most. I had a conversation with a HOF SEC coach during the offseason that really gave me a heads up on how long the road back is going to be.

                I guess my point is that you can be both. You can think that we’ve underperformed relative to our talent AND also think that we have no where near the talent that people assume we do (given the rankings, for a myriad of reasons).

                We have 5 games left. There is still time for this season to exceed or fall well short of my expectations.

                Playing well in Jax for once would solve a lot of ills.

                • Russ

                  Amen to playing well in Jax.

                  I logically thought we would struggle because of a rookie coach and freshman QB. I just didn’t think specifically what “struggle” would look like. It’s ugly right now.

            • If you listen to the lunatic fringe, they already want Fromm to be the starter coming out of spring practice just to keep the seat warm for Lawrence.

  7. 92 grad

    Senator, they (whomever is middle and upper management) do make it hard don’t they? I was just thinking similar thought. When I imagine our team dominating the east only to be slaughtered in the championship game, I never fail to conclude that they’re playing the long game. We hope they’re not intending to get to Atlanta only to see if we can catch Alabama off their game, scheme around them, steal a win every 5 years. We hope they’re working to actually compete, fielding a team that can play with the best of what Saban, freeze, Meyer, harbaugh, etc… can offer.

    Would it kill them to say it? I suppose one quandary is, how’s it fair to mr. Chubb? Bottom line is, gotta love the infantry but you don’t want to make a career of it.


    Again, we will know nothing after this year…win out or not…of course we all want to win out. Kirby may want to find who really can play/contribute going forward. Sometimes those things are different.

    • The credit card bill came due after paying the minimum balance for 5+ years. The problem is there will still be a major payment on the books (OL) next year. Whereas I think every other aspect of the team will be damn good in 2017, but if the OL is still a mess it won’t matter

      • 92 grad

        Ahh, that’s easy. Just run play action out of goal line formation for every down. Qb sneak, toss to the RB, or throw a hot screen.

  9. paul

    I am sick of the Alabama 2007 analogy. Saban got his first head coaching job in 1989. By the time he arrived at Alabama in 2007 with EIGHTEEN years of head coaching experience he had also been a head coach in the NFL and had already won a national championship at LSU. So yeah, let’s compare that to Kirby’s ZERO years of head coaching experience. Sorry, it makes no sense whatsoever. Do I hope Kirby can turn things around quickly? Sure I do. Do I think it’s fair to compare him to Saban simply because he spent a number of years as one of his assistants? No.

    • Derek Smart

      Logic. It’s not received well by the Saban wannabe Kirbyphiles.

    • Noonan

      Saban’s first head coaching job was the 1990 season at Toledo, which had posted 6-5 records both previous years. His first squad went 9-2 and were Conference Co-Champions.

      • His first head coaching job was at Toledo … not Alabama. I think that’s the issue Kirby is now dealing with. No one at Toledo cared and certainly the WWL would have shrugged their shoulders if Saban had run a 160-pound WR on 4th and 1. He’s under a magnifying glass that Nick really didn’t have to deal with until he was at LSU on job #3.

        • Derek Smart

          And that’s the problem. As if he’s a built in dynasty by osmosis. Which brings us back around to the fact that ADGM is killing us.

  10. heyberto

    I’ve used the 2007 Alabama season to just remind myself, and other fans, that Rome wasn’t built in a day.. and it’s not an excuse. I just think it helps me realize that these losses aren’t the end of the world. If Kirby can get that course correction in place, no one will care about the outcome of the season. Only time will tell if Kirby has us headed in the right direction. I’ll continue to criticize for losses like Vandy, but I’ll give him time to see if this is part of the process of the construction of his program, or indicative of bigger issues. Right now, I’m going to go with the former.

    • Derek Smart

      Let’s not forget that a big part of the Process in Tuscaloosa is the fact that law enforcement answers to Saban and athlete gifts flow freely. APD & UGAPD may not be there yet. Maybe that’s part of the turning ship. I’m sure Leeburn & Tark are taking care of the gift department. Need to get law enforcement in line. It’s a culture that has to be established. I’m hoping it can happen.

      • sniffer

        That is the stupidest, most uninformed statement I’ve read on here in a while. You have no idea what goes on in Tuscaloosa or about illegal gifts to athletes. Who’s taking care of the gift department? Need to get law enforcement in line? Here’s a thought. Read what you type before hitting “Post Comment”.

        • ApalachDawg

          What rock do you live under? Surely you are kidding and know about the R.E.C? Trent Richardson (as a backup) was paid more than Mark Ingram. I guess those ATM cards and casino chips just magically appear for Bama players ‘agents’.
          We criticize auburn for cheating (at least I do) but if they didn’t, they’d be the Kentucky of the west.
          Now once Saban gets those players on campus, he coaches them up but he has THE advantage over everyone in the country for player personnel acquisition…

          • sniffer

            And you have this “on good authority” or were you there when Richardson or Ingram were paid off? I’m guessing you weren’t there so you’re uninformed also. It’s easy to repeat what one hears, especially when it fits ones narrative.

          • Derek Smart

            That’s an awfully big rock, apparently. Go down the list. Alabama player scandals disappear as fast as Hillary’s crime witnesses. Basic example A: Remember Kurt Freitag? Probably not. The story was smothered faster than a Mckenzie sweep on 4th & 1. Freitag was a backup TE at Bama 2 years ago that was busted by Tuscaloosa Narcotics with a pound of pot and $4000 cash in his room. For the uninitiated, he was a dealer. In the Alabama football dorm. Just the year prior, 2 Bama stars beat up a fellow student for his pocket change so they could go to a vending machine because they had the munchies. Maybe their athletic department issued ATM cards had already dried up for the month. Who knows. The point being, these things disappeared. Never to be heard of again in Tuscaloosa unless it slipped out. The media over there sure isn’t going to investigate. Imagine the dots being connected by the AJC if the same thing happened in Athens. The Process includes getting everyone in line.

            • sniffer

              It’s believed Freitas gave up his drug sources to the authorities in exchange for consideration of his charges being dropped. The story was smothered to aid the prosecution of Freitag’s source.

              Blanket statements regarding the actions (or lack thereof) of police, agents, players, coaches and administrations is hazardous and foolish. What you believe and what you know may be two very different things.

              • Derek Smart

                Annnd. The point remains that Alabama had a drug dealer in the football dorm. I’m sure his cash supply came from providing service to the general campus population and not the football team. I’m sure deals were made with the only intent being to go upstream. This is just one example.

  11. Silver Britches

    “What bugs me the most about that is no one associated with the administration has ever had enough respect for me or the rest of the fan base to admit the reality of the situation.”

    Because they’re raising Hartman Fund requirements at the same time.

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    I don’t understand how anyone can blame Greg McGarity for hiring Kirby. Does anybody really believe McGarity made the decision to fire Richt?

    Some folks who appear to be pretty smart have stuck their necks out by insisting a change was necessary, when, in fact, the change was necessary to hire Kirby.

    Believe me…it is not just Greg McGarity’s job that could be on the line because of this decision, Jere Morehead was involved in the decision, too.

    Who knows whether this cabal will turn out laughing and joking or slithering offstage into retirement at this point.

    Would it have gone over any better had Jere Morehead issued a statement that acknowledged that firing Richt was not a decision that seemed rational on its face, but that some important folks really wanted to make Kirby the head coach.

    And further, that Kirby has told everybody that matters, which would not include us, of course, that this is going to be a two-to-three year process and wins and losses during that period won’t be as important as the wins and losses in the future.

    Of course Jere Morehead or his surrogate, Greg McGarity, did not do that, or at least issue a statement that would have made the increase in the cost of donations and tickets slightly more palatable.

    They don’t have to justify the hire, we’re gonna buy tickets anyway, we always have, we always will.

    The reserve fund groweth, if we win more games that is nice.

    Changing ADs or school presidents creates significantly less turmoil in the fan base than changing coaches, and one would hope Jere Morehead and Greg McGarity know this.

    • 81Dog

      who knew that UGA sports was going to become the NCAA version of the Donald Sterling Clippers? Poorly run, but a cash cow, so why would you really care if you win, as long as the checks keep rolling in anyway? Sure, you talk about winning, but in the end, what difference does it make, anyway?

    • Derek Smart

      What if Kirby is an agent for Alabama. I mean think about it. He obviously loves him some Saban. And while we obviously weren’t competition for Saban on the field, we did recruit Georgia moderately well. And everyone knows that the State of Alabama isn’t producing MNC caliber players. Maybe Saban couldn’t stand the thought of Georgia’s best HS talent not being at his disposal. And Florida for that matter. Maybe Agent Muschamp was never our agent, but, in fact, Saban’s agent. So he sends Muschamp to Gainesville, the Plains & now Columbia. He sends Agent Dooley to Tennessee. He sends Agent Kirby to Athens. Agent Kiffin may not have been from his tree but was obviously on his payroll as he is now back at HQ. Agent Chaney & Agent Pittman served with Agent Dooley and are now carrying out their mission with Agent Kirby. Agent Tucker went along with Agent Kirby to help expedite matters. I’ll go ahead and make the prediction that an agent or two will make their way to Oxford & College Station at some point. The Real Process.

  13. Red Cup

    Did I miss a home game Senator? I have only been to three, if you count Nichols and Vandy football games.

    • F…ing accounting majors .You know what he meant….The Georgia Dome might as well be a home game. You are almost as hard to deal with as that “I wanna Red Cup” guy.

  14. dawgtired

    I’m not overly impatient. I just thought we would ‘out talent’ the teams like Vandy and stomp teams like Nicholls while building the program via “The Process”. And I don’t think that’s too much to expect. Vandy is the 2nd worst SEC team we’ll play this year…better circle the wagons now.

  15. Squatch

    This whole debate is unique in that typically when a coach is let go the incoming coach is given a grace period to rebuild/improve the program. In SC, nobody expects much or anything from the Cocks for a few years…..Muschamp has a multiyear free pass because the fans understand SOS left them high and dry. Any win is a celebration.

    In our case, we have two camps – the “10 games a year” camp that believed everything was fine and Richt was doing a good/average job but for a few bad breaks and the “no SEC in 10 years” camp that looked at the overall play of the team and their potential to not only fall backwards into the East but actually have a realistic chance of winning the SEC. The former sees anything below what we could expect from a CMR team this year as a failure/bad hire – the latter willing to give CKS the same grace period as any other new coach that was coming in and changing the system. This includes new coach mistakes, on the job training and motivation issues from kids under the 2nd or 3rd coordinators in 4 years, attached to the prior coach and were 1st party to the shitshow last year with all the inner termoil.

    I’m in the latter group and don’t really draw much from coaching year to date – this is a rebuilding year IMO with new coaching and a new philosophy…which hopefully will work. I’m really disappointed in CKS getting blasted year one by those who want to hold this up as a “told ya so” moment.

    I saw a Tshirt at the Vandy game that said “CMR is still my coach”. I wonder how much slack that guy will give CKS to try and build a championship (SEC not NCAA) team?

    • Derek Smart

      Wow. New info. Haven’t heard this argument before. According to your logic, we all should be as patient as SC fans. Because the shitshow in Columbia and the shitshow in Athens is are obviously identical shitshows. What about the camp that might have been okay with a coaching change but expected BM & ADGM to actually have searched high and low for a proven HC. And not act like we’re Colorado State going after a quality unproven as HC assistant. And don’t regurgitate the “but, but, but Vince & Mark were assistants” line. ’64 & ’00 UGA is not ’15 UGA. We were capable of bringing in the best and BM created their own shitshow.

      • Squatch

        You don’t like the hire. I get that. It can’t be changed – hate the AD. Does that mean CKS shouldn’t get the same grace period that every new coaching staff has gotten …. since the beginning of tackle football? The concept of giving the new coach 2-3 year to get his kids in wasn’t created to give CKS an excuse…it’s pretty common to all fans – not just SC.

        We lost to Vandy…we struggled to beat bottom rung team…we lost at the end of a game on a fluke. This isn’t the first time these have happened to UGA.

    • In our case, we have two camps – the “10 games a year” camp that believed everything was fine and Richt was doing a good/average job but for a few bad breaks and the “no SEC in 10 years” camp that looked at the overall play of the team and their potential to not only fall backwards into the East but actually have a realistic chance of winning the SEC. The former sees anything below what we could expect from a CMR team this year as a failure/bad hire – the latter willing to give CKS the same grace period as any other new coach that was coming in and changing the system.

      But that’s not what the latter told the former the last few years. It was always that Richt was what was holding the program back from achieving its true greatness and there needed to be a change and that’s singularly all that was holding the program back. As somebody that is fine with the change and the reasons behind it, but completely skeptical of the process for which our current coach was hired – this just reeks of moving the goal posts to me and it’s what drives a lot of this divide. I just find it intellectually dishonest to act like what you’re saying was the position of the excellence demanders in the fanbase the last few years, because they never claimed it was a multi-year rebuilding process. It was as simple as changing coaches and that’s it. I also don’t think it’s nearly as black and white as you say with the folks that didn’t want a change. Most of us just didn’t trust Butts-Mehre to not cock it all up.

      TLdr; Y’all spent years telling us a new coach was all that was needed and we said that it ain’t that easy.

      • AusDawg85

        ^^^This…but I never gave a damn what the DRS (Deranged Richt Syndrom) types said. It was the absolute belief that Saban, Meyer, etc. never had “wet the bed” games, or lost to lower ranked opponents, or failed to show up for FCS teams, etc. The belief was that a new coach, and especially “Hell’s Yeah!” Kirby would bring focus, discipline, attention to details, etc. that CMR was incapable of. Never really bought into that, but sure have not seen one sign that Kirby has moved the needle at all in those complaints. So either Kirby is making the same mistakes as CMR, or they were never really valid complaints as it happens to all programs. Some coaches just know how to win despite the mistakes that routinely occur, and Ol Lady Luck sure can help too.

        Holding Kirby’s feet to the fire on this is fair and has nothing to do with “I told you so”. He should demonstrate improvement in these areas soon, or show he can win. Waiting 3 years before even making the evaluation is just an excuse, not A Process. Not getting whipped by the Gators would be a damn good start.

      • Excellent, excellent, excellent!

      • @Audit: Agree, fire Richt and we would be 15-0 the first year. It does take time, but I do not think some thought about that fact.

  16. Mayor

    “I focus on us getting better.”–Kirby Smart OK, that’s almost right. CKS needs to focus on getting HIMSELF better. When you are getting paid in the neighborhood of $4 Mil per year that at least implies that you are competent. What I have seen from CKS in the first 7 games is that (at least as a game day coach) he is NOT competent. He hired a staff full of losers, too. So he is not competent in evaluating hires. What is the guy doing competently that justifies his exorbitant salary? For the amount we paid for this bozo we could have had a host of proven HCs who could have brought a proven staff with them and we wouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel–but no! The UGA “brain trust” (I use that term loosely) choked on the hire like we all knew they would and now we are stuck with this nincompoop for 3-4 years of losing teams. Kirby Smart isn’t the problem. Kirby Smart is a SYMPTOM of the problem. The real problem is B-M, the AB and the “influential alums” who f*ck up every major decision. We need to clean house completely not just hire a new HC. Until we do that things will never change.

    • Mayor

      P.S. I hope it is only 3-4 years. If those rubes act like they did during the Goff/Donnan era it will drag on for 12 years.

    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      To paraphrase Slick Willy…It’s the recruiting and roster, stupid.

      This team has enough talent to win 9-10 games…which also means that i could win 6-7. That’s been mostly the narrative since 2009.

      You know why UGA was so good in 2012? Because they recruited well in 2009, 10, 11 and 12. 247Sports has a thing called the class calculator. You know what happens when you remove all of those guys from 2013 that transferred? Instead of 12th the class is more like 26th…right there with UNC, Vandy, and Miss State. Take out Leonard Floyd and the class is more like 30th. Take Jacob Park out of the 2014 class and it drops out of the top 10.

      I’m not giving a pass to Kirby…at some level coaching is coming out on the right end of 50:50 games more often than not…but to think this team is anywhere close to the talent level it needs to be a championship contender is just not living in reality.

      • Otto

        Agreed with the class rankings/talent on campus. I would also add that rankings do not look at needs, and the lines are not very good. Kriby’s job really depends on this signing class. He needs to make OL a priority, and the current commits look like he has. However, it does not matter if they don’t sign, or don’t play at the expected level.

        I have said before Kirby gets a bit of a pass in year 1, it make take breaking the team down to build up a winner. The team has showed fight for 4qtrs, granted some games should not have been 4 qtr fights. play calling especially on the offense bothered me with Vandy. Time will tell if it is just a painful memory to forget or a stepping stone. Plenty of reasons to be down and plenty to look forward to.

      • You shouldn’t need championship caliber talent to smash Nicholls and beat Vandy by double digits. Prepare, coach and play well … everything else takes care of itself. No one rationally believed this team was championship quality in 2016. No one also thought we may be looking at a season where we would struggle to bowl eligibility.

        • RocketDawg

          Exactly! I don’t think anyone with half of a brain expected a championship this season although with the putrid state of the SEC East it wasn’t completely out of the question to at least get to Atlanta (and if we take care of business against Vandy we are right back in the race). What annoys the shit out of me is that 6 weeks into the season the team looks no better than it did at the beginning of the season. Our special teams look like the keystone kops and have cost us one game (Vandy) and you could argue a second game (UT) with the shitty kick and coverage that allowed them to throw the bomb.

          At the end of his tenure Jim Donnan’s teams were undisciplined and looked completely unprepared and overmatched against the better teams on the schedule. When CMR took over in 2001 his teams made some mistakes but they generally played hard and looked prepared to play. I was fine with 8-4 that year because I felt confident based on what I was seeing with my own two eyes that Georgia was on the uptick. The 2016 version of the Dawgs looks unprepared, poorly coached, and poorly schemed for each game thus far. I see nothing that encourages me or foreshadows success in the future.

          For the sake of the program I hope that I am wrong and Kirby turns out to be the second coming of Saban, as of now though I am still skeptical.

          • Normaltown Mike

            Go look at the 2001 roster and look at the number of players that earned a paycheck in the NFL. Specifically on defense.

            Compare that with 2016.

            • Rocketdawg

              As hard as it may be for you to admit, there are multiple NFL players on defense now. Trent Thompson will be a 1st round pick in ’17, LoCarter and Bellamy will be drafted this year if they choose to go simply on size alone, and Sanders and Parish will get looks from the secondary. The defense isn’t the problem. CMR had a RFr QB and a couple of retreads at RB and managed to beat UT in Knoxville

              • Normaltown Mike

                As hard as it may be for you to admit it, this team is average at best with marginal talent at most positions, save RB.

                NFL talent on defense in 2K1: Sullivan, Grant, Mallard, Geathers, Witherspoon, Bailey, Gilbert, Wansley, Thornton, Phillips, Jones

                On O: Watson, McMichael, Stinch, Foster, Musa, Verron & Terrence

                This excludes underclassmen that didn’t contribute in 2001 but went on to stardom.

                I’m not good at math (I went to UGA) but I count more NFL players on THAT team than I do this one.

                This isn’t a defense of Smart or an indictment of CMR. But this team isn’t that good.

    • Derek Smart

      There’s logic again. We’ll have none of it!

  17. tonyqbr

    We are 4-3 because players are overwhelmed with complexity.

    It’s on the leaders to simplify.

    Give each unit one key rule.

    1- Special teams- put the guy with the best decision making ability/poise back there on KO & PR, not the best hands or speed.
    2- Run scheme- run plays away from their best front 7 guy, not where you have the numbers advantage.
    3- Offensive Scheme- run/pass option on key downs is almost indefensible.
    4- Def Stop- key on their best runner and receiver.
    5- Strategy- break UGA tendencies by self scouting. Especially on returns on special teams, and run offense.

    • OdontoDawg

      Special teams: I think you just described Logan Gray.

      • tonyqbr

        Credit where credit is due.

        Yep, stole all 5 proven & well tested concepts from:
        #1 Mark Richt use of Logan Gray
        #2 & #4 Billichick
        #3 Hugh Freeze’s use of Chad Kelly
        #5 Nick Saban

        Good eye Odonto.

  18. Turd Ferguson

    The most difficult thing about the Vandy loss — for me, at least — was discovering that there are actual human beings over the age of 9 who need to be told things like this:

    “But seven games into Smart’s first season is a little early for grand proclamations.”

    • Otto

      7, after the spring game some were proclaiming ’16 East champs. I didn’t see that coming if Richt were coaching or if they had hired Saban, or Knute Rockne

  19. DawgPhan

    I dont understand why we need to turn the battleship at all. Last year wasnt great, but we nearly made the SEC title game. Beat Florida and we are in the championship game for the 3rd time in 5 years.

    We needed a slight course correction. A couple of degrees. Slight improvement in a couple of areas. Instead we got a total remodel by a guy that has never remodeled anything. I would have a lot more confidence in Smart to bring some slight improvement and manage some course changes as opposed to managing a complete rebuilding project.

    • Rankin Smith


    • Turd Ferguson

      Except for the fact that it’s been a topic of discussion for years now how Georgia’s good-but-never-great status is probably rooted in deeper issues related to the overall culture of the program, administration, and so forth, all of which will have to change if we’re ever going to be a consistent championship contender.

      “Beat Florida and we are in the championship game for the 3rd time in 5 years …”

      … only to get our asses handed to us yet again, by a team from the Western division that is bigger, faster, stronger, and better-coached.

    • Normaltown Mike

      was a slight course correction going to happen when Schottenheimer and Pruitt were both let go from the staff?

      Had Richt stayed, we’d still have a new OC and DC and the same group of average experienced players (with notable exception at RB) and an amazing but unproven QB.

      Other than the one extra practice in lieu of the pool day, not sure that the results of this team are different than would have occurred.

  20. So. IL Dawg

    Let’s be honest, CKS came from Bama where they enjoy tremendous depth and tons of talent on both lines. At UGA, he sees no depth and a lack of talent on the lines. Bama wins by winning the LOS; and he wants to develop that at UGA that’s why he saying we need to turn the ship in the right direction. CMR never put a huge emphasis on linemen. CKS wants to change that and he’s doing it on the recruiting trail. However, I also think there’s enough talent to win the East. We won’t do that; but we should’ve.

    The UT loss was a fluke play. The Vandy loss was unacceptable and all on the coaching staff. I truly believe we’ll play the Gators tough and possibly win. Why don’t we cheer for our team and the players working hard and see what happens the rest of the season? CKS will get things right and the ship will be pointed in the right direction. The future looks bright!

    • Rankin Smith

      I agree the UT loss was on a fluke play. But it was a fluke play made possible by a series of coaching f*ck ups including the infamous pooch-kick by CKS of CMR fame (that sort of blows up the theory that hiring CKS was a coaching upgrade). Without all those coaching screw-ups at the end the fluke play cannot happen.

  21. Jp

    Sure hope he is not charting the same course as Obama. Off a cliff

  22. Squatch
    That was a well summarized position but you really didn’t have to tell us you were in the “I’ll wait on the Process” camp. Anyone who has any talent for inferred or secondary meanings knew that when you referred to 10 wins a year as “a good/average job”would understand that was going to be your position, The reality that we are having shoved down our throats at this juncture is that 9-10 wins a season is a good/very good season or any average joe wold crank out 9 and 10 win seasons. No Georgia coach before Richt had that kind of winning percentage and it would appear to my untrained and clearly biased eyes that it is going to be quite awhile before we see 9 or 10 “average” seasons again. Next season is going to look just like the Stafford’s 2008 team….good to great skill positions and NO line…if you think this year’s line is bad next years will be a nightmare. As impressive as Eason has been nobody throws well off his ass..
    I’m also curious , what are they people who honestly argued against this or any other move suppose to do? Seriously am I suppose to just shut the F… up? I’ve been posting for a little while now and had numerous exchanges with the Hope and changers ( or more precisely “change and Hope ers” that down played any win and just knew anyone could beat Tenn at their own field if they just were more motivated ….not squib kicked if they had a brain…etc. My counsel through out the last two to three years of Richt bashing was ,please, know where your going to land before you leap off this bridge.My consistent position caused me to be lambasted as one of those old fans who really were happy/just fine with mediocrity . When that insult gets hurled enough do you really expect me or other Richt Realists just to say nothing. .It does not work that way….Deal with it. I’m not happy I was right , I never wanted Kirby to fail, (his 1997 Ga/Fla performance literally made me cry) but Saban’s process ain’t bearing fruit in Athens.
    Good coaches adapt to the talent they have and don’t blindly run dive plays into 9 man fronts because in my “process” we impose our will. We don’t have the talent to impose our will on Vandy but we all know we did have the talent to win against Vandy if handled properly.

    • This. So. Much.

      I’ve said it in prior threads here, but how in the hell did the excellence demanders think constantly insulting or belittling the positions of those that viewed the world differently the last few seasons was going to play out for them once the trigger was pulled? Did they just automatically assume that everybody they spent years insulting and belittling was just going to come to their side of the fence and want to play nice? They want to bitch all the time about how fractured the fanbase is and how hard it’s going to be for Kirby to succeed with the fractured fanbase without taking a long, hard look in the mirror and acknowledging that maybe, JUST MAYBE, they might be responsible for creating said fracture.

    • Dog in Fla

      “No Georgia coach before Richt had that kind of winning percentage and it would appear to my untrained and clearly biased eyes that it is going to be quite awhile before we see 9 or 10 “average” seasons again.”

      Our ultimate goal is to do better than .5283 in the 3:30 p.m. games..
      Irwin for the win from “Win one for the Vernester.”

      @Irwin R. Fletcher October 19, 2016 at 1:41 PM

      “In the curiosity got the better of me department…assuming Verne called the 3:30 CBS game from 2000 to present and the SECCG…UGA has gone 28-25 with Uncle Verne in the booth….which probably is just another stat that shows how a coach that has a .749 winning pct gets fired.”

      • great statistical cherry picking….but the more realistic question at present is will we be playing at 3:30 ? It looks to me like we’ll be playing a lot at noon….ugh.

  23. Vladimir Alexander Stalin Marx AusDawgovitch

    Comrades, unite!! Do not let the prior bourgeoisie of past mediocrity deter you from your mission! You are called upon to demand compliance in a united effort to steer our great ship in a new direction. A direction of dominance! A direction of success! A direction of pride! There is no room for dissent…conformance with the party line is mandatory and necessary to rid ourselves of the waste and excess of prior regimes. Our destiny is to toil on the field today, for tomorrow will bring the richness of success for all. Time will prove our commitment to the process of building a community will be justly rewarded.

    Now, prove your allegiance by contributing to the Hartman Fund in greater amounts!. Gladly pay for more expensive seats! Turn-out and support the cause at home against all FCS invading hordes!

    …and don’t look behind any curtains.

    • Servicestaff

      Kirby’s picture on the GIANT cups in the stadium seems to fit this line of thinking. He has look very reminiscent of your favorite dictators. It’s a little spooky.

  24. hooper

    May be because I’m so old that much of what is called our history is what I call my life that gives me a somewhat different take than others. Coaches who follow legends often fail!!!! The CMR haters can believe he’s not a legend if they wish, but the history of UGA football says he is. I would hope that CKS is the next legend in UGA football coaching history as at my advanced age there are not many more seasons left if nature takes its natural course. Best I can hope for is this takes a better turn than ADGM decision to upgrade our soccer team by firing a coach who could win, get in the NCAA postseason, but not really a threat to win either the SEC, or the NCAA. The answer to this was to hire a lifelong assistance to take them too the promise land. How did that work out?? I know most could care less about the soccer program/team, but it’s much the same only on a different scale.

  25. Buster

    As several of these comments suggest, another reason I keep saying 2019 is the year (I wish it was 2020 because that sounds cool, but I hope we get there before then) is not only for culture building and getting the right bodies, but an honest appraisal affirms: it will take that long for CKS and his team to really click. He’s never been a head coach before; this is on the job training. So along with changing a culture and and getting the right bodies, he’s on a learning curve. The chicken and the egg question with coaching fails is ‘was it the wrong vision, or could he not execute his vision?’. We’ve purchased a vision called the Process; we’ll find out what execution looks like. Or doesn’t.

    • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

      if it takes till 2020 for CKS to win the SEC, he better be undefeated going into that game or the odds say he will never do it. Our team has to be there in 17 or 18 if we want to see long term success out of CKS. Otherwise, he likely goes the butch jones track, which does not appear to be headed towards the top of the mountain just yet.

      • Derek Smart

        Jones is lucky that pathetic Vol team isn’t 0-7. He isn’t a great coach. Maybe ADGM will go after him! One can only hope. Right?

  26. Among other reasons, I am glad that Richt is gone for the simple fact that many were so devoted to him. It is pretty obvious from the comments here today that he was well on his way to becoming bigger than the program itself. If he had been left around for another 5 years, who knows if anyone would have ever had the power to fire him. Maybe that’s one reason why they did it when they did. Who knows. Anyway, one man should not become bigger than the football program he runs or the university he works for. This crap really reminds me of how a church congregation gets split up over a preacher after he is told to go elsewhere.

    • Derek Smart

      He was certainly bigger than pencilpusher ADGM. Not as big as I Haz A Fat Pencil, though.

    • “Anyway, one man should not become bigger than the football program he runs or the university he works for.”

      Like Nick Saban? He’s bigger than the state he works for.
      Like Jim Tressel? Gordon Gee joked that he reported to the Sweater Vest.
      Like Urban Meyer? UF consistently looked the other way while his players were out of control in Gainesville.

    • Macallanlover

      Another low point from a commenter whose hate/bias has already blinded his opinions to the point of being worthless. Obsessed and toopid is no way to live dude.

  27. Dawgtwo

    CKS, take the time you need. Just show me this is a TEAM.

  28. I forgot what year it was, deliberately, but I did see UVA beat UGA, in what was the worse game I have sat through at Sanford. I think it was 31-0.

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