If you’ve got the top job in the country, try acting like it.

Every once in a while, I think back to something Andy Staples wrote about the head coaching spot at Georgia.

I used to consider Texas the best job in the country, but now I think it’s Georgia, followed by Ohio State. Why Georgia? My top criterion is access to players relative to competitors, and Georgia is in a really enviable position…

Do Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, South Carolina and others come in and poach Georgia talent? Absolutely. But there’s such an abundance of it in the state that Georgia can afford to lose a few top in-state targets and still field a team capable of competing for SEC and national titles. Alabama and Auburn have to invade Georgia. During that five-year period, their state produced 36.4 Power Five signees a year. People talk about LSU’s monopoly in its state, but the numbers between Louisiana and Georgia aren’t even close. Louisiana’s average number of Power Five signees during that span was 38.6 a year.

Add to this great facilities (now that the Bulldogs are building an indoor), great tradition, a sharp athletic director, possibly the best college town in America and the fact that they play in the easier division of the nation’s deepest conference. That’s the recipe for a great job that just about every coach in America would crawl over broken glass to take. [Emphasis added.]

For the sake of argument, let’s say he’s right about that.  If so, after dismissing Richt, how easy should it have been for Greg McGarity to survey a field full of candidates with successful experience?  Instead, we heard nothing but crickets chirping Kirby Smart’s name.

Purely for yuks, take a look at the list of possibilities being chewed over at LSU to replace Les Miles.  (Note that Godfrey is careful to say that it’s compiled “according to multiple sources around the program”.)  Jimbo Fisher, Tom Herman, Jim Mora, Dana Holgorsen — all experienced head coaches; there’s not even a thought of giving some hot assistant coach his first crack at the big leagues in Baton Rouge.

The point here isn’t to say that any of those guys are slam dunks, or that Kirby Smart was a bad hire (although Staples whiffed badly on his early call that Smart “walks into a program stocked with talent; after nine years at Bama he should know how to unleash it.”).  Rather, it’s that if you’re the one holding the hot commodity, there’s no reason to push the panic button if your first choice talks to another program in the division about taking over there.  That’s not how Butts-Mehre’s “sharp athletic director” rolls, though.

Kirby may well work out.  It’s way too soon to tell otherwise.  I honestly hope he does, and not just because I’d like to see Georgia break through to the next level while I can still enjoy it.  If he were to fall short of expectations, the thought of watching Greg McGarity or whomever go through the same motions in choosing the man after Smart is too depressing for me to contemplate.  Although maybe this time the folks chomping at the grass is always greener bit will understand my hesitation about making such a move a little better than this past time.

Contrary to what people like Staples think, it’s been a lot easier for the athletic administration to screw the job up in Athens than it’s been to get it right.  That’s part of what makes the Georgia Way the Georgia Way.  So, please, Kirby, bail those people out.

 

176 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

176 responses to “If you’ve got the top job in the country, try acting like it.

  1. jt (the other one)

    OL. OL. OL.

    Richts achilles heel is still there. Anyone think if we had a competent OL we win vs. UF or Vandy or any close games?

    Like

    • gastr1

      Even prior to McGarity our judgment in hiring coaches has been pretty terrible. I remember Ken Hatfield like it was yesterday…we escaped that joke but, of course, not through any effort on our own. We were lucky with Richt, as I see it, because there’s no precedent in any of the major team sports, that we have a clue about who to hire for HC.

      Like

      • Otto

        Exactly, further the alums wanted Smart and according to some UGA stole him from SCar to make a great hire.

        I don’t see where you can say it was crickets when Smart was where the search began and ended. I am still of the opinion that if Smart wasn’t headed to Columbia, Richt even with the WLOCP loss, and Ga Southern OT would be in Athens this year. McG wanted Richt out and the only he was going to get the Alums to fund it, was to hire their boy.

        Like

      • Sgt Carter

        We have yet again to the HBC Spurrier for the chain of events on this one!

        Like

  2. The Quincy Carter of Accountants

    We could have had Orgeron!

    Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo yoooooooooo Footbaw.

    Like

  3. JCDAWG83

    Let’s give Kirby 4 seasons to win the SEC. If he doesn’t, let’s calmly dismiss him and go after someone else. I’d prefer a coach with D1 head coaching experience but since Georgia has only hired one coach with D1 head coaching experience in it’s history, that may not be a realistic hope.

    Being cheap works for the BM crowd because they never see a downside to it. The fans keep buying into the idea of hiring a hot assistant as head coach and they keep mailing in those checks. Until the money talks, BM and our ADs will stay the same course.

    Like

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Look at the bright side. With this crappy season Smart won’t make bank like all those flashes in the pan in the West Division.He’ll be ‘motivated’.

    Like

    • Classof78UGA

      The list of great coaches who had a bad year one win/loss record is a mile long. Your win/loss in year one doesn’t indicate you’re a bad pick, anyone who says so frankly is absolutely clueless.

      Like

      • Agree. Has anyone noticed the season Mark Richt has had (to date) in his first year at The U? I think both UGA and Miami will be on the upswing well within the 4 years mentioned above. If not, as always, heads will roll.

        Like

  5. Classof78UGA

    Its a waste of time going with past hypotheticals.Kirby is our guy, if you have nothing posotive to say, then find a new team, stop writing and killing recuriting.

    Like

    • LMAO. Impressive how much misunderstanding of what I wrote you’re able to pack into two sentences.

      But thanks for the advice.

      Like

      • Classof78UGA

        how are folks who hypothetically revisit the Kirby hire helping recruiting? Believe me, I get the angst, losign isn’t fun. But we have to focus on bringing in a class to fill some of these holes.

        Like

        • First off, I’m not hypothetically revisiting Kirby’s hire. Second, nobody here has to do shit. This blog isn’t an arm of the UGA athletics program.

          Like

          • Classof78UGA

            Herman has already lost to SMU and Navy this year, I can’t believe you mentioned him. Good thing we didn’t hire his sorry ass. Kirby is one of our own. He’s going to put everything he has into this, it’s his dream job. He was good enough to win a top job without any head coaching experience, Just give him a fair chance, all I’m saying.

            Like

            • It’s hard to argue with someone about something I posted when the person hasn’t carefully read what I wrote.

              Like

            • SAtowndawg

              “He is one of our own” is quite frankly laughable…was he one of our own when he almost got his ass whooped by Bryan McClendon outside Colquitt County High School for spreading lies about CMR and his own alma mater…or how about when he shook Richt’s hand and told him he was accepting the DC job only to renege on it to stay with his Daddy Saban…

              Like

              • Classof78UGA

                Smart wasn’t taking a paycut to make a lateral move. The only way Kirby was leaving was for a Head Coaching position.

                Like

                • Richt wasn’t offering Smart a pay cut.

                  Like

                  • Classof78UGA

                    Bama outspends everybody on football staff. Bama always countered higher. And it was a lateral move.

                    Like

                    • ‘Bama did counter. But you’re wrong to say Richt offered Smart a pay cut.

                      Like

                    • Classof78UGA

                      Smart outsmarted Richt on that move, got a raise, won a Championship, proving he is smarter than Richt.

                      Like

                    • Jared S.

                      This is actually in response to your poste below. You said: “Smart outsmarted Richt on that move, got a raise, won a Championship, proving he is smarter than Richt.”

                      Richt has a Championship as a coordinator, too. Remember? And he’s made a hell of a lot more money than Smart has…. and he got to leave Georgia and go to his Alma Mater (which he loooooves) and work for a private school that will let him do as much evangelizing as he wants as long as he wins enough games.

                      I think Richt is pretty smart…. no pun intended.

                      Like

                    • Bama countered, but for whatever reason, some of the subjectivities of Kirby accepting the job didn’t happen.

                      As to he and BMac, I don’t know anything about that. I doubt Kirby needed to spread lies, Bama’s winning sells itself. I tend to think BMac was probably upset about Kirby taking the best players in the state each year.

                      Like

            • soccedawg

              I bet Herman could find a way to get the ball to Chubb and Michel in open space.I understand Chubb and Michel had a sit down with Chaney today. They should not have had to. Time to do something creative (read crayons) to get them the ball. I will blame Kirby if he doesn’t make this happen.

              Like

    • My Significant Other Is not a football fan But she keeps up with the Dawgs a little because I keep up with them a Lot. When Kirby was hired , She
      said that was a major mistake, The Dawgs needed an Experienced HC.
      She thinks all D1 Teams need to hire An experienced Head Coach.

      4 Years from now Bobo will be ready for a D1 HC Job.
      Why doesn’t Kirby hire Hines Ward as an Assistant Coach?

      Like

  6. Classof78UGA

    gentlemen, seriously, recruits are reading this stuff, think before you write. Help your team, be a brown up.

    Like

  7. DawgPhan

    Some new faces to the Comments today.

    And of course it immediately turns into the OL is lacking meme instead of focusing on the topic of how the process was handled, if UGA is actually a top five job, or would ADGM actually be able to pull off a competent search should Smart not work out.

    Last year UGA had the best available job in the country and didnt run a proper search for a new coach.

    Like

    • Bingo. I’m left hoping that Smart pulls McGarity’s ass out of the fire. How hard is that to grasp?

      Like

      • Dawg Vegas

        I agree with you Senator, and am also hoping CKS wins, and wins big, despite the Georgia Way. It won’t be because of it.

        I hate to think about how it will reinforce the mindset of some in BM, but I’d rather enjoy football seasons and the rest oh UGA sports than teach life lessons to the athletic board. Hell, I’m still trying to learn life lessons myself.

        Like

      • paul

        I want Smart to succeed but I believe McGarity deserves to be fired. How do we accomplish both?

        Like

        • You don’t. If McGarity leaving on his own terms is the price to pay for Smart succeeding, that’s a price I’ll pay.

          Like

          • Jared S.

            It’s a Catch-22. We want Smart to succeed and we want McGarity to GTFO. But if Smart succeeds then McGarity will stay. Maybe the best thing is for Smart to crash and burn and take McGarity down with him. Then we rebuild from the ground up. (I keed, I keed……I think)

            Like

            • RCBRick

              If Smart succeeds, it will be like if the business cycle results in a good economy under President Trump. I know he’s not responsible, and I’m a bit annoyed that it makes him look good, but ultimately it’s what we all want, so fine.

              Like

            • Mad Mike

              Brick by brick?

              Like

      • @Senator: Apparently, pretty hard.

        Like

    • Classof78UGA

      Greg M was hired without prior AD experience. So why would he think that is necessary, like a guy has to have Head Coaching success, before a hire? I mean, he didn’t have to have AD success before he got hired by the board.

      Like

      • Chi-town Dawg

        Thank you for encapsulating the Georgia Way in this post.

        Like

        • Classof78UGA

          Huh? Greg M’s hire was widely praised, and even years later, like last year, guys like Staples still said we have a great athletic director. His bottom line profits for the football team are right there with anyone. He saw his new hire pull nearly 100,000 to a Spring game, that’s a lot of suckers or some smart people.

          Like

          • Sanford222view

            Name one successful hire ADGM has made in his tenure. Or name one athletic team that has improved during his tenure. Basketball, I guess, but it isn’t because of anything ADGM has done.

            Like

            • Chi-town Dawg

              Mark Fox was hired by Damon Evans.

              Like

            • Biggus Rickus

              If the basketball team has improved, and it has marginally, then does McGarity get no credit for hiring the coach who improved it? I mean, I don’t know what you guys expect ADs to be. They’re college administrators who manage large budgets. McGarity hasn’t done anything embarrassing to the University and hasn’t wasted gobs of money on things like insanely long-term contracts and terrible buy-out clauses. That puts him ahead of plenty of other ADs out there.

              Like

            • Classof78UGA

              Almost 20 teams have been ranked in top 20 since Greg M got here. The new facility will be amazing.

              Like

          • Russ

            You really don’t watch much UGA athletics, do you? Can you name a single McGarity hire that has been a success at UGA? And hint, I’m not including Kirby in this as the jury is still out.

            Like

            • Classof78UGA

              dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about, everyone knows Greg M runs a top 6 football program in profits according to Forbes.

              Like

              • Russ

                dude, money =/ success. McGarity is a failure as an AD. Every coach he has hired has done worse than the predecessor. Directors Cup rankings have declined since he’s come.

                As far as money, when ESPN is throwing obscene amounts of money to the SEC schools, a trained monkey can “make money”.

                Like

              • Disconnect. Russ is talking about athletic success. You are talking about budget success. The ‘Georgia Way’ everyone talks about here focuses first and foremost on profits, security,’don’t rock the boat’ or take big chances mentality.

                Like

          • Otto

            McG was widely dissed for his handling of Richt and gaffs around that point in time. Again UGA Alums homered a hire taking the man with Athens ties at the hot team.

            Like

            • Classof78UGA

              Huh? Athlon called the Smart hire a top 10 move. The move was widely praised.

              Like

              • Otto

                I’m not talking about the hire, but the way McG handled the press conference firing Richt, or how he handled getting a musical act for the Gday game, Forbes or the WSJ also flamed him for the way he handle Gurley and the NCA. Do you even keep up with UGA football or are you trolling?

                Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      I didn’t get the Kirby hire, and if it goes bad, McGarity probably goes with him. I don’t see the need to harp on it, though. Either Georgia wins or the people who hate McGarity get their wish. Maybe the next guy will be able to throw money at a proven coach.

      Like

      • Classof78UGA

        Exactly, Smart’s the guy for 3 years at least, regardless, so why throw in the towel during his first season, after only 8 games? I mean Bear Bryant went 1-9 his first season at A & M but they won it all 2 years later. He went 5-4-1 hist first year at Bama, but 11-0 4 years later. We just don’t know if Kirby is bad right now, just don’t know.

        Like

        • I mean Bear Bryant went 1-9 his first season at A & M but they won it all 2 years later.

          Ummmm – no, they didn’t.

          Texas A&M Football Championships

          National (3)
          1939
          1927
          1919

          Like

          • Classof78UGA

            Bear Bryant went 1-9 in 54′, undefeated 2 years later. Bet a lot of people thought he was shit after that 1-9 season in 54′.

            Like

            • You stated that “Texas A&M won it all 2 years later”. I proved that false based on Texas A&M’s own national championship claims. Nobody insinuated a thing about the quality of Bear Bryant as a coach. You can keep moving the goal posts, but at this point it’s painfully obvious you’re both a shitty troll and a shitty fact checker.

              Like

  8. truck

    Some random observations:
    1) It’s comical how when a pundit whiffs on a prediction it’s the coach/team that was disappointing, not the fact that the “expert” pundit was an idiot.
    2) Everybody that is comparing this team to last year’s team needs to remember that in 2015 we lost to the only two teams that could (generously in one case) be called decent. I know, coulda woulda shoulda, but realistically save special teams miscues against Vandu and the Hobnail Mary we are in the same place right now even though we’re undergoing a major coaching change. Oh yeah, rookie coach and QB.
    3) I can’t count how many comments I read on this very blog in the aftermath of Richt’s firing that stated in effect, “I don’t care if we wander through the wilderness a few years if it gets us to where we want to be.” That opinion already seems to be in short supply.
    4) Other than being cathartic, does complaining really help?

    Like

  9. Mary Kate Danaher

    I hear you , Senator, but you start to lose me with the following sentence:

    “Rather, it’s that if you’re the one holding the hot commodity, there’s no reason to push the panic button if your first choice talks to another program in the division about taking over there.”

    Is there any proof that this is how the hiring took place? It may be reasonable to infer that Smart was hired out of a sense of panic, but we’re just guessing. I’m far more concerned about the results on the field and the job the coaches are actually doing than I am with how, perhaps, the hiring went down.

    You may well have inside information, Senator. I know that I don’t.

    Like

    • Let’s just say I heard fairly early in the process that Smart was the guy, although there were other coaches who put feelers out in Georgia’s direction after Richt was let go.

      Like

      • Classof78UGA

        technically speaking, the proof you cite is not verifiable. If Greg M didn’t conduct the search properly, the NCAA would have already fired him. He’d been slapped with every kind of lawsuit known to man by now. it was a proper search guys, come on, no one has any verifiable evidence to the contrary.

        Like

  10. Bill Glennon

    If Kirby doesn’t work out, McGarity won’t make the next hire. Even he realizes he doesn’t have the capital to take out Richt and flub the replacement. He will be the scapegoat.

    The silver lining for folks who want to see the Georgia Way go away is that it is will happen either way. Either Kirby will slowly strangle it by being a successful coach or it will be blown out by a new AD.

    Like

  11. Go Dawgs!

    “Sharp athletic director?” Objection, your honor, assumes facts not in evidence.

    Like

  12. PTC DAWG

    I do not agree with Staples premise…top 10-15 maybe…but not #1, not by a long shot. Honestly shocked that anyone would go with that.

    And to the Senator, you have just about beat the Kirby hire to death with various articles of this type…I know, your blog, my comment…fire away.

    Like

    • Classof78UGA

      Dawgbone is going to be de-indexing a lot of these type of blogs, like he always does. He doesn’t want to hurt recruiting or see mass transfers from unceasing anti-Georgia rants. They’re welcome to go negative, they’ll just lose their voice, as they should..

      Like

      • SAtowndawg

        please go back go back to shining McGarity’s shoes…who the hell makes you the arbitrator of who loses their voice?

        Like

        • Classof78UGA

          no way in hell Dawgbone doesn’t index ALL the anti-Georgia blogs, not matter how much “truth” there is, he loves the place too much, they’ll be crying to an audience of 1 soon. His email inbox is alrady flooded with those alerts I’m pretty sure.

          Like

          • Russ

            WTF are you talking about? Time to check your meds. Do you actually need someone to tell you what’s okay and not okay to read? BTW, that was rhetorical. The answer is obvious.

            Like

    • PTC, it was a reaction to the post about the LSU situation. My knee couldn’t stop itself from jerking again.😉

      Like

  13. Classof78UGA

    The Smart hire is considered to be one of the top 10 best hires of 2016.

    http://athlonsports.com/college-football/grading-college-footballs-head-coach-hires-2016

    Like

  14. Here’s something to chew on, signing class of 2013 was a disaster and St. Richt beat who in his last 8 or 9 years? I’m not saying that Coach Smart will be the greatest coach in UGA history (I sure hope her turns out to be), but for anyone to think that St. Richt and Schotty would be better off this year than Coach Smart is you need to step away from the pipe. Crack kills people, its a proven fact. It’s also a fact that St. Richt was a mediocre coach and an even worse recruiter. His early success at UGA was thanks to Jim Donnan’s players and the success he had off those players carried him for a couple of more years then reality kicked in. Take away 2012 (and 2011 if you think that was a special season) and what did he do after the 2008 season? Who did he beat? No one worth a damn on a consistent basis that’s for sure. He came out in 2009 with what should have been a championship team and he pissed his pants on the 50 yard line. He’s a great man I’ll give you that, but something changed and he became a crappy coach. A Change needed to be made and I’m glad it was finally made. 5 years too late IMHO.

    Like

    • He came out in 2009 with what should have been a championship team…

      Wut?

      Like

    • Russ

      Aaaaand, you completely missed the point.

      The point isn’t about whether or not Richt needed to go. The point is about how the replacement was named.

      Like

      • He’s OUR coach and that’s all their is to it. Last time I checked McGarity is the AD and its his decision who to hire and fire. If it works out then great, if not then its his ass on the line. You people haven’t even given him 1/2 a season and you’re already calling for his head. He’s got a mess to clean up from a choke artist coach who checked out of UGA 8 years ago. But the way Kirby Smart was hired is the biggest problem the football program has, what was I thinking….

        Like

    • Jared S.

      “It’s also a fact that St. Richt was a mediocre coach and an even worse recruiter.”

      How do you even respond to this?

      Like

      • Rick

        Thankfully you don’t have to, he already told you it was a fact. FACT.

        Like

      • From 2009 – 2015 who did he beat? He got a couple of great RB’s to sign and save his and booboo’s ass for a couple of years, but outside of that? What? Offensive line? Sucks! WR? Sucks! Defensive Backs? Mediocre at best can’t stop a 4th and forever to save their lives. Getting off the field on 3rd down? That shit ain’t happening even after he’s gone they still can’t get off the field on 3rd down.

        One thing he was amazing at in recruiting is signing ME players who would rather smoke pot and carry illegal weapona and drive around Athens on a suspended license or hell no license at all and act like they should be just given the golden ring.

        Like

    • lakedawg

      Alan explain once ore how the highest winning percentage in our schools history was accomplished by a crappy coach? You gotta e GM’a mother.

      Like

      • That’s the problem right there, who gives a shit what his winning % is? How man SEC Championships and Natty’s did he win? For Pete’s sake how many times did he beat Florida when it mattered? Beating the sister’s of the poor and GA Tech shouldn’t be a good measuring stick for a UGA football coach.

        As for your last sentence if you can call it that, “You gotta e GM’a mother.” sorry I don’t speak ebonics nor do I understand it.

        Like

        • Russ

          Ahhh, now I get it. You’re from the Ricky Bobby “If you ain’t first, you’re last” school. If you’d made it to the end of the movie, you’d have found out that Ricky’s daddy was high when he said that.

          I get it, Spurts and Gets is shut down and you don’t have anywhere to troll.

          Like

  15. ADGM is a complete failure in Georgia. His resume was built by Foley’s success at FU. ADGM is a “Man with a Gutless Hand”. But for Georgia to succeed in athletics moving forwards, ADGM and the whole BM board have to fired.

    Like

  16. Classof78UGA

    I’ve heard Fuentes mentioned with pained regret. Fuentes lost to Tenn by 25 folks, Smart lost to them on the last play on a freakin hail Mary. Glad we didn’t hire him as he gets his ass kicked vs good SEC opponents.

    Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      I’m hesitant to feed the troll, but he also beat North Carolina by 31, has his team at 6-2 and probably has less talent to work with than Georgia. He is an inexplicable loss to Syracuse from being effectively two games up in his division with three to play. Given their remaining schedule, they’ll still likely win their division. I don’t know who will ultimately be more successful, but Fuente has clearly won the early returns.

      Like

  17. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    what in the sam hill is going on in these comments and where did these people come from?

    I hope UGA manages to catch lightning in a bottle twice in 2 hires by going the coordinator route. It truly is like catching lightning in a bottle to have a coordinator become Nick Saban or even Mark Richt with their first job as a head coach. If there is one thing that reassures me that Kirby is that lightning in a bottle, it’s the calm, measured process that rationally assessed all viable candidates for the job, and ultimately landed on CKS.

    /sarcasm

    Like

    • You seriously didn’t just compare Mark Richt to Nick Saban did you?

      Like

      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        Seriously, yes, I seriously compared Mark Richt to Nick Saban, as in, our goal is a coach that will compete with and defeat Nick Saban in order to win a national championship. Or even Mark Richt, someone who came in and in year 2 won an SEC championship.

        You see, in the eEnglish language, “or even” is a sentence structure that indicates, “or to a lesser extent.” So without fully diagramming the sentence, our hope was to have a coach in his first time as a head coach be better than nick saban, or to a lesser extent, to be at least as good as Mark Richt, in which case we have at least not taken a step back as a program.

        Like

  18. Debby Balcer

    Recruiting is affected by a hot seat. Kirby is not on the hot seat. This blog is not putting him on a hot seat. Both the firing of Richt and the hiring of Kirby were majorly mishandled. I think tonyqbr and his alter egos are back. I hope Kirby find a a way to win so we don’t have to wander in the wilderness.

    Like

  19. Made to the end. Gonna give myself some props.

    Like

  20. Well along with gatriguy, made it to the end. That was some major ping ponging away from the purpose of the story. And to think, my brain is not tooooooooooooo scrambled.

    Like