Where I’m at, 2016 season edition

Some of you got the point I was making in my last post of the day after yesterday’s game, but plenty of others didn’t.  I thought to be fair, it might be worth spending some time fleshing things out so maybe you’d have a better understanding of what I was getting at.

For starters, I write a fan blog about Georgia football.  It should go without saying that I’m a supporter of the Georgia football program.  Kirby Smart is Georgia’s head football coach; therefore, I’m a supporter of Kirby Smart.

What I am not, though, is emotionally attached to Smart’s future at Georgia.  That’s a disease Mark Richt cured me of several seasons ago.  Nor do I see the school’s head football coach as the personification of Georgia athletics.

Some of you, like many fans I’ve known over the years, do accept one or both of those points of view.  That’s totally cool with me.  It’s your financial and emotional investment to make, after all, and it’s not for me to say you’re wrong about that.  All I ask in interpreting my remarks about the program after yesterday’s disappointing loss is for a little reciprocity.

With that in mind, here’s what I meant last night, broken down into small bites.

  • After his first full regular season as a head coach, Kirby Smart remains a blank slate.  I’ve seen nothing from the way the season played out to suggest that he’ll be either a flop or a raging success over the longer haul.  With regard to the first point, it’s true that he’s battling certain structural flaws, some generated by Richt, some by Butts-Mehre, that were never going to make 2016 an easy time.  With regard to the latter, it’s hard to look at what happened yesterday and sense that he’s unequivocally got the program turned around and headed in the right direction.  He’s a first-year head coach who, in his own words, is trying to turn around a battleship.  On the job training is generally a messy business even in the best of working environments.  It’s simply too soon to tell how much Smart’s learned from his initial experience.
  • In my mind, it has been from the very beginning prudent to take the approach that Smart’s hire is a different beast from the process that led to Smart’s hire.  (If you don’t believe me, take a little time to go back and read a few posts here from the week following Richt’s dismissal.)  I don’t see how anyone can argue with a straight face that a timeline that included outright panic by the decision makers over Georgia athletics when it came to light that Smart was discussing the opening at South Carolina indicated that the decision to make Kirby Smart Georgia’s next head coach came as the result of patient and thoughtful analysis of how to improve the status of Georgia football.  If that’s not problematic for you, I can only believe that’s because you’re so enamored with the twin decisions to fire Richt and hire Smart that the means to those ends simply don’t matter.  At least not for now.
  • Greg McGarity, as I warned at the time, has yet to make a slam dunk coaching hire in any sport.  If you’re going to be optimistic about Smart’s future, I don’t see how it can be as a result of McGarity’s track record to date.  Further, in many ways, Butts-Mehre remains the same kind of place that fostered the stagnation that generated the coaching change in the first place.  In a time when every SEC school is rolling in TV dough, why is it that McGarity can’t move on a host of major improvements, things Georgia sports need to remain competitive, such as baseball facilities and an IPF, without first demanding supporters pony up most of the expense as a condition for proceeding?  What kind of message does that send about the athletic department’s priorities?  How many of you know that on many things regarding the football program, Smart doesn’t report directly to McGarity, but to another person in the athletic department?  Vince Dooley set the template at B-M, and it’s worth considering that each of his two successors as athletic director both trained under him.
  • Finally, what appalls me the most about this year is the cynicism of the people who run the athletics department.  A bunch that can’t bring themselves to move on a host of issues that are fan-friendly concerns, like stadium facilities and the on-campus tailgating experience, find themselves able to move at light speed to capitalize on the honeymoon Smart ushered in with the state legislature for a law that makes it easier for McGarity to ignore the outside world and, of course, with the fan base by jacking up the cost of attendance.  Give the man credit for knowing to strike while the iron was hot, as I doubt he’ll get the same reception from either group in 2017.

As I’ve said before, Kirby Smart is on his own.  The people who hired him only know enough to make their own jobs and responsibilities easier.  He’s got to carry the weight himself and that’s a daunting prospect for someone who hasn’t operated in that sort of environment before, let alone someone who’s shouldering the responsibility of running a major college football program for the first time.

Like I began with this post, he’s got my support and my sympathy.  For what that’s worth, anyway.  As far as his bosses go, if things don’t click and fan apathy starts settling in to the point where the checkbook feels threatened, they’ll just resort to the tried and true formula of lather, rinse and repeat.  That’s the Georgia Way, after all.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE:  Tyler Dawgden provides the tl;dr version with this observation.

I’ve said all along, it is impossible to write the story of Kirby Smart’s success until we see if he’s learning to be a head coach. On the job training on national television sucks. We can debate if we are a program that should be doing that, but we made the decision that we are a program that does that. Ignore the noise about what Mark Richt was or what Georgia was or blahblahblahMuschamp.

That is until we are still doing those things above in year three.

176 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

176 responses to “Where I’m at, 2016 season edition

  1. aladawg

    Very well said Senator. I am anxiously awaiting the baseball season to see how that plays out. I have gotten no response from ADGM on a letter I sent with my season ticket renewal regarding the direction and future of the baseball program.

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    • UpstateSCDawg

      Good luck. The athletic department didn’t give a crap about the baseball team even when they were winning, which sucks because I love going to games and had some great times at Foley Field.

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  2. As usual, very well said. Kirby is the head coach of my alma mater, and I’ll support him. If he thinks he can turn the battleship with an offensive coordinator that can’t get out of his own way, he gets to sleep in the bed he has made. If he’s going to play the style of football that has a very thin margin for error especially around his defense, good luck with today’s rules. As a 24-year season ticket holder, I’m emotionally unattached to the program at this point and can’t imagine I’m alone. That prospect has to scare the living hell out of the people on South Lumpkin Street.

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    • Macallanlover

      I am with KS as well, and not joining any “fire Kirby” movement, or public lambasting of every questionable decision. But I will be very concerned if he doesn’t make a decision to make a change at OC…now. Our offense is inept and was all season long (yeah, we had a few successes along the way) and Chaney doesn’t seem to have any answers, at all. I don’t want to hear it is all about the OL. With the exception of one tackle position, there isn’t that dramatic a difference between 2016’s line than 2017. And this year has had a full year of both Chubb and Michel. We were stifled by Nicholls. We had a combined 90 yards rushing against Vandy and Florida! Think of that, 8 entire quarters with two outstanding running backs, a passing threat, and a good blocking FB and TEs yet we cannot run for 100 yards? This doesn’t even touch the redzone, lack of screens, mysterious alignments with curious personnel usage, and other obvious issues.

      You can sit and defend him all you want but we are really, really bad, with some pretty talented stars. Are there pieces missing? Of course, rarely are things ready made and perfect. But what has he done to find a way to band-aide it until he changes some pieces? And what is dramatically different now that wasn’t there in September? What was his contribution, and why should young players want to come play under him? In a day where offenses are moving forward at a rapid pace, we are in reverse. KS has a lot on his plate, but this is the most significant crisis he is facing today. Ignoring it can set us on a path to some very bleak times. Call the moving van….

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    • Dawg1

      24+ for me as well, 37 total seasons. I’m not just calm, but I’m numb too it all for some reason.

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  3. Good post.

    I’m pretty much at the same place I was before the season as I thought we would go about 8-4. Losing to Tech is really bad considering that game could have been closed out easily.

    I’m looking for a bad ass recruiting class, improvement in several areas of play for the 2017 season including o-line and QB which I believe will occur; Improvement in coaching such as a more aggressive play calling approach when we have a lead like yesterday, and clock management.

    The 2018 season is what I am banking on: if we can just get back to our level of play where we were in 2002-2004 I will be a fairly satisfied Dawg.

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  4. The raising of prices is a microcosm, IMO, of what will ruin college athletics in addition to being classic Georgia Way. It was a dubious decision beyond the short term given the uncertainty we face, especially given the administration’s reluctance to spend money on anything (a receding reluctance, but it’s sure receding slowly isn’t it). But they could get away with it in the short term, so fuck it why not? People are all too happy to keep paying.

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  5. doofusdawg

    Balancing factions has always been the issue off the field in Athens. Balancing offenses has always been the issue on the field.

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  6. Athens Dog

    Regime change takes time. Yesterday was a disaster. But I’m with you senator. I’m a dog, kirbys our head dog, hope it gets better.

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  7. HVL Dawg

    I’m eager to see your commentary on today’s USAToday article on the difficulty of hiring a proven coach:
    :
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/columnist/dan-wolken/2016/11/26/college-football-coaching-carousel-ed-orgeron-tom-herman/94470080/

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  8. Senator, after the dust settles on this loss maybe you should consider doing an “Airing of the Grievances” post. ‘Tis the Season.

    Of course, I am sure it will all be covered in the next couple days so it may be unnecessary for an official post!

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  9. gastr1

    I think this speculation about Smart’s being an assistant and not having HC experience is a flawed narrative. If it had been Tom Herman, or any other flavor of the moment HC from a lesser program, the questions would have been about SEC recruiting and being able to run with the big boys. In the end you just don’t get Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Mark Dantonio, David Shaw, etc., to leave what is obviously a great fit for them, and you have to take a top coordinator or HC from a second-tier program no matter who you are.

    Bottom line is that HC changes come with risk no matter what. Jim Harbaugh may have been the biggest no-brainer ever for Michigan, but that was a highly unusual case. Even there Harbaugh has never been HC anywhere longer than what, four years?, because he wears out his welcome (and he had been run out of his prior situation just like Saban had been). So again…HC changes are always high-risk, and high-profile programs like Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, and USC have been wrong too– on more than once, even. Look at Notre Dame! Can’t get it right, can they?

    I can’t personally feel one way or the other about Kirby Smart’s fitness, unfitness, or McGarity’s hiring record because it seems to me that any person who got this job would be subject to the very same concerns–no matter who hired them.

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    • Can’t speak for anyone else, but I would have had fewer concerns if I’d been convinced whomever was hired came as the result of a thoughtful hiring process.

      As for your point about risk, I’ve posted about studies that have shown hiring people with prior head coaching experience is less of a risk than hiring those without.

      All of which is water under the bridge at this point. I noted that only because I think people who are optimistic about Smart’s future need to see the complete context of his hire. YMMV, of course.

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      • Exactly my thoughts – go through an exhaustive search as opposed to writing a $40k check for air cover. If the process were thorough, I think people would have been disappointed in the season but would have been more willing to give it time to work itself out. Instead, we got no questions answered by the AD about the change other than a press release and a dodge at Richt’s press conference.

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      • gastr1

        Senator, I think your points are valid as they would pertain to a typical job search. But hiring a top-tier football coach is just so completely specific to the moment and the few true candidates–what if no decent former HCs are available?–as to render the studies moot, IMO.

        I know that doesn’t excuse McGarity from asking if some might have been available. I get that. I also think they just might not have been, just like Herman wasn’t really available for LSU. I’m just not sure you can ever really dictate the terms very much–no matter who you are–which was my point to begin with.

        I would agree that the University of Georgia has been lucky more than good in its successful hires for its most high-profile sports. I remember all too well terrible decisions like Ken Hatfield, Ray Goff, Glen Mason, Ron Jirsa, and Jim Harrick (we can all be glad Hatfield and Mason stayed where they were).

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  10. JCDAWG83

    Good post, I agree with everything you say. Until the fans stop bending over and taking it, nothing is going to change in Athens. McGarity and the BM crowd know they can keep doing what they’ve always done and the fans will keep sending in the checks. That is the only thing that matters to the BM crowd.

    If Kirby turns out to be a bust and I’m in no way saying that will happen, that may be the thing that causes the fans to walk away. I’m pulling for Kirby and the Dawgs but I can honestly say the last 9 seasons have pretty well killed my passion for Georgia football. I can’t be the only person who feels this way.

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  11. I wasn’t for the change last fall and I was pretty clear that “the process” would lower our potential win total in 2016. That said I do see things to be optimistic about. 2016 was never going to be about winning games. It was going to be about changing the make up of the team from a finesse team to a physical team that looks to impose its will, plus recruiting.

    Going from 1 full tackle practice a week to 3 will show dividends. The guys have been quoted as saying the games are easy compared to practice. Recruiting seems to be going well. We need to shore up the OL and get some more playmakers on the outside.

    Looking towards next year schedule, there’s not a current top-15 team (maybe not top 20) on it. By my count there’s just five bowl teams and that includes Vandy and UK.

    Other than the 4th down call vs. Vandy I’m not seeing glaringly bad decisions. CMR had a bigger brain fart vs. auburn and again in the bowl game in his first year.

    The truth about yesterday is that if Eason doesn’t thrown behind Godwin and/or Nauta on the last drive we probably squeeze out another albeit ugly win. The kid was off yesterday. That and all our DB’s going down in their 94 yard drive contributed to the disappointment.

    I think we’ll be happier this time next year and we may even have a game in Atlanta to play after the joke at the coke.

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    • If games are easier than practice, why don’t we see the results on the field against teams with lesser talent? Not trying to be snarky about that, but something happened on Saturdays where the team never played to its potential for 60 minutes. There was no USCe game from ’15, no Auburn or Louisville game from ’14, no USCe or LSU from ’13, no Florida or Alabama game from ’12, etc.

      I take that as happy talk …

      Recruiting seems to be going well. We’ll see if Kirby can close the deal. We’ve had a lot of years where signing day was more fizzle than sizzle recently and hope we’re not headed there again.

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      • Don’t see the logic at all. The effect of difficult practices is to prepare the entire roster in the event of injuries, early departures, etc… It also toughens the team up. Something we’ve sorely lacked.

        A tough week of practice, or even several of them, doesn’t mean you’re going to win on Saturday. It will eventually mean that you’ll be in a position to dominate opponents instead of out athlete opponents. If you believe like I do that consistent, championship football is about winning the LOS not showing your “basketball on grass” skills, more physical practices are a good sign.

        I also like that the coaches make these guys compete every week for playing time. You don’t earn your playing time on Saturdays, you earn it on Tuesday. These things aren’t magic elixirs though. They take time. If we lose the bowl game we’ll have the same record alabama had in 2007. We had one face plant, one beat down, 3 very close losses and we beat Auburn and UNC. Some good, some bad, some ugly, but we’re getting there along the LOS.

        There were times that we pushed Tech around on both sides of the ball quite a bit.

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        • My point is that if practice makes a game seem easy, why didn’t we see that translate to better performance consistently on Saturdays?

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          • the results you get from preparation don’t happen immediately. It’s called “the process” not “the overnight solution.”

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            • The Process doesn’t explain blowing 4th quarter leads against inferior opponents. I wasn’t expecting us to compete with Bama but lose to Vandy and tech and struggle to beat Nicholls. That was poor preparation, coaching and inability to close.

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              • Put some substance to what your saying and we can talk. Did the coaches make Eason throw behind #5?

                Did the coaches make Eason throw low and behind Nauta?

                Did the coaches hurt #2 so that he wasn’t out there on the long drive? Did they ding #35 who was playing a hell of a game up until he went out after stuffing the first play of that drive? We had 3 dbs go out on that long drive. Only one came back on the short drive.

                That’s shit happens not some platitude like “failing to close out games.” Too bad you weren’t a roll tider in 2007. They lost 6 games by a td or less. That saban can’t prepare a team to win the 4th quarter right? Bulldog please!

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                • You play with fire in close games … you get burned. We went into a shell when we got the ball back after stopping them at midfield … 3 and out. Junior would have taken the shot at the knockout blow. On the next to last drive, run, make them use their timeouts, get a first down or two hopefully, and flip the field with a punt (or go into the victory formation). The decision to throw combined with the failure to execute gave up field position.

                  When we kicked the field goal to go up by 13, I was afraid of what was going happen, and it did.

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                  • Check out kiffin taking a shot vs. OSU in the playoff in 2014. Threw a pick where they should have been conservative. Aggression is great until it blows up. Fans like conservative when it works and hate it when it doesn’t. Same with aggression.

                    Had the coaches ran on 2nd and 8 and gotten stuffed some fan would say: why not throw it?

                    Well they did throw it and Eason threw a shitty pass.

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                • Tim in Sav

                  Derek………I’ve never really liked you but your points here are spot on……..give the coaches a freaking minute to do their job

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        • Dawgflan

          There’s a part of me that wants to agree with you and buy into the process, and there’s another that wants me to quote Allen Iverson: “We talking about practice? We talking about practice…”

          I am a huge believer in repetition, muscle memory, and familiarity making the game slow down and allowing players to make plays, but some athletes shrink when the lights come on, and others gear up to another level. I am OK with players getting a first crack based on their Tuesday work, but it has to be earned on Saturday. This year’s kicker situation was to me a clear example of being stubborn to practice results when performance results diverged.

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          • Is that the exception or the rule though? I agree that there are guys who wilt under the lights and there are guys who only shine under the bright lights. However, coaches have to be careful to reward the work because MOST of your players are going to benefit from it.

            If you’re Allen or LT you can bag practice, but you’d better be that special.

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        • Rocketdawg

          For the last goddamn time Kirby is NOT Saban and we are NOT Alabama. Saban had been a head coach at two “Power 5” schools and has won a NC at LSU. He earned the right to lose to LA-Monroe and go 7-6 the first year because he had already demonstrated he could build a winner given proper support and resources (which are unmatched at Alabama). Kirby is a career assistant who has proven absolutely nothing this year.

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          • cantondawg91

            I heard the same stuff when Saban was hired “Saban is not Bear Bryant”. He will turn out to be as good or better as Bear Bryant. So far, the track is right on the money.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              Are you really comparing Nick Saban’s track record when hired by Alabama in December 2006 and Kirby Smart’s track record when hired by Georgia in December 2015?

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    • dawgfan

      The system, program, or whatever will have been in place for 20 months since CKS was hired when the 2017 season begins. CKS and Eason will not be rookies. We should win every home game next year plus Vandy and Tech on the road. We should win at least 2 of 4 road games out of ND, UT, UF, and AU. Anything less will be another disappointing season.

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      • Good chance to be a toss up or favorites in all those road games save UF.

        The schedule sets up for that “second year magic.”

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        • dawgfan

          I agree about the schedule setting up nicely in 2017. But after sitting through Tenn, Vandy, and that 4th quarter train wreck yesterday, I’m not certain that we made much progress this year to get us ready to take advantage. Lots of question marks on staff and players.

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          • I don’t know. I saw some good signs yesterday. We were getting lots of penetration from our DL and lots of push from our ol. They were selling out on the run and we still ran it. Eason didn’t play well.

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            • Chi-town Dawg

              While I agree the schedule sets up nicely in 2017, you could say the same about 2016. Yes, we will return some experienced underclassmen, but we will also likely lose Chubb, Michel and 3 of our 5 starting OL. Also, the issues we faced on the OL this year won’t be any better in 2017 because we’ll either be relying on FR OTs or another graduate transfer situation. I’m still not sure where all of the unbridled optimism comes from for 2017.

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              • dawgfan

                Right now the toughest home games ars USCe, Miss St., Kentucky, and Missouri. Add in Appl St. and Sanford. Easily the softest home schedule going in to a season that I can remember. All the better games are away. ND, UT, UF, AU, Tech, also Vandy.

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        • sniffer

          Derek (and Dawg), what about this team and this staff leads you to believe that next year will be better? Our skill positions will be replaced with unknown abilities as will our OL. Lots of talent coming in to join potential. If there had been “some” improvement as the season progressed, I would join you. Sadly, to my thinking, next season will look much like this one.

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        • DawgPhan

          we are georgia. The schedule should setup for us every year.

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    • Flightdocdawg

      Good analysis. Could not agree more. I’ve been less than impressed with a lot of the offensive “outcomes” but most of that is determined by the players. There’s only so much you can expect from a rookie QB. Most of the productive WRs are also new to the program. Another year of experience in the system, plays, route trees, etc and a solid recruiting class should do wonders across the board.

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    • Uglydawg

      Derek…do you think that, after the way Georgia drove the ball down GT’s throat on our first drive, looking at a third and short should have been a passing situation? I don’t. It’s second guessing, but I wonder if the staff even thought. “heck, we can make this with two downs to run it”. Trying the long FG was not a good decision..we should have gotten 7 on at least one of those 3 trips where we got a total of 6…only to lose by 1. That’s some bad math on the coaches. It’s not like GT has a “steel wall” defense, but we gave them that benefit.
      I consider this a “glaringly bad decision”
      If we’re, as you suggest, in a building year, why play with such caution? It’s a hang over from CMR somehow..I wish like hell we could exercise that mindset from this program. (Of course I realize it’s not a hang over from CMR..but it feels like one).

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  12. SouthGaDawg

    When Kirby was hired, there is the obvious “change of direction” of the program although on the field this year, this team was no different than teams in the past few years. Going from being an assistant to the head coach of a program like Georgia is a big deal, so I’ll give Kirby that benefit of the doubt for this season. Quoting Bill Cosby, next year the proof will be in the pudding. 7-5 is not acceptable, but we are to be patient with the “change of direction.” If we are to believe “the process, then we should expect 11+ wins next year. It should be doable because the SEC east is garbage. UF can’t score an offensive TD on anyone except Georgia and UT is a schizophrenic mess. Ok Kirby, we are looking forward to year 2 of the process. Hey, if we can get to be a team like Bama who can impose it’s will and destroy the spirit of everyone they play, I’m all for it.

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  13. DAWGSBREAKMYHEART

    Senator in respects to recruiting….how does this play out. What exactly will Kirby’s main selling points be after this 7-5 dissapointment? I guess you can argue playing time….but I believe that’s the only thing you can argue in getting a kid to come in this point. I mean it’s not like you can go out and say we beat other teams like world beaters.

    Unless he pulls a “DREAM TEAM” out of his vocabulary I am not sure what he is selling….

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    • RCBRick

      High school kids are pretty easy to manipulate until the writing is well and truly on the wall. Kirby is aces on the trail, I don’t think you have to worry about this year’s class at all.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Recruiting is on track…that will not be an issue..

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    • He’s selling himself and opportunity. I don’t think this season threatens recruiting in the short run and expect the 2017 class to be stellar.

      That’s why I made the Ron Zook comparison last night.

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      • That is not a fair comparison at this point IMHO. If Kirby posts three mediocre seasons, gets fired and leaves the cupboard full of talent for the next guy? Sure. Until then calling him the next Ron Zook is almost as petty as the yankee transplants on here who like to pick at his southern drawl. He didn’t do as well as we all hoped, but there are some good signs to go along with the negative ones. Just my two cents.

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        • Jesus.

          One more time: read the bloody post, man. I said “what if”. Really.

          I don’t have any more of an idea of what’s in store for Georgia football than you do. Quit being so sensitive.

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        • cantondawg91

          good post, calling any Georgia coach by a loser Florida coach is the biggest insult. Kirby deserves a better comparison, God forbid people compare him to Saban who won only 7 games in his first season at Alabama. But sure, Zook, a gator coach, sure.

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          • Saban had a national championship and a failed attempt to jump to the NFL when he landed at Alabama. Other than that, it’s exactly the same. If we had hired Urban Meyer and had these results, probably most of us would say, “He has a track record of success. He’s going to work his magic.” No one can do anything other than hope with Kirby. That’s not meant as a slight or a negative … it’s the truth.

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  14. Tronan

    I think you’ve summed up the state of UGA athletics well, Senator. There’s so much that’s petty and small about how UGA runs it affairs. I’m hoping that Kirby turns out to be an exception to the Georgia Way (TM), but I also was hoping I’d be beyond just hoping at the end of his first year.

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    • Senator, I agree with your analysis & the gist of your Blog.
      Nevertheless, I expected to see more improvement from the first game
      or the second game than I saw In the final game. Did we improve?
      I was disappointed in the entire season. Wait till next year?.

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  15. DawgPhan

    So I listened to the Radi and Reese facebook live show last night and the bummer that came out of that is that the OL could very easily be worse next season.

    I believe the stats they mentioned was losing 3 starters from this group and the possibility of either playing 2 true freshman or at best playing guys on the team with no experience. Regardless we are looking at entering 2017 with at least 2 guys on the OL with no starts.

    That doesnt seem like a recipe for the OL getting better and I feel like it is safe to say that our current offensive coaching staff didnt show a lot of ability to be able to scheme around our OL issues.

    The other main concern is that this team was less effective in week 13 than they were in week 1. That isnt a good sign.

    And finally, they started listing off juniors that could leave and it was depressing. Those guys should go get paid, but many talk about gutting this team if we lost half of the draftable juniors on this team.

    It just seems like we need a lot of things to go just right for all this to work and making adjustments where things are just right does not appear to be a strong point for this coaching staff.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      The 2017 offensive line comments are the ones I use to refute the “Kirby’s willing to sacrifice wins this year to build for the future” positions taken by Jeff Danzler and bloggers on other sites. If he was using this year to build for 2017 and 2018 why did Allen, Hardin and Madden not see the field more. Why did Kindley play exactly one play before we tried to conjure up an excuse to ask for a medical redshirt?

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  16. ZeroPointZero

    With all this whining and gnashing of teeth I propose a GTP Festivus Day in the not to distant future. I’d suggest after the championship weekend and before the bowls start. It would be a perfect time to air our collective grievances about all things GA Football. I’d start with the FN filthy stadium we so cherish. The whole place looks like a downtown bar after a long weekend. I didn’t realize that rain was the cleaning crew, and rain has been on strike all season. Too much money in the coffers not to clean the holiest of holies. Plenty of gripe to go around though.

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    • I’m afraid for some here, every day is Festivus.

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      • Uglydawg

        Senator, don’t be too quick to dismiss having an official Festivus..We would have to rename it..maybe Festered-fuss, but it could be a lot of fun. We could have it at your house and have certain posters on here who seem to have a penchant for cussing each other out, air their grievances in your living room.
        Then.. We could have “Feats of Strength”, where the CMR faithful could meet the “Fire CMR” crowd and see which group could lift your little red car the highest off of the ground with you and Cojones sitting in it. Later, you could serve us smoked brisket…flown in from Texas, as we sip on Macallan 25, or Eagle Rare.
        Later, Cojones could hold a short seminar on how to grow a garden in the backyard by the fence, followed by a flag football game in the street with Derek drawing the offensive plays up and DIF doing the play by play.
        Loran Smith could be the Master of Ceremonies, When we all get a snort full, we could end the day by riding a bus down to the NATS campus circling the stadium (a la meniare Clempson), exit the bus with a mighty “Woof” and spread out across that campus poisoning trees.
        Will the last Saturday in January work for you?

        Like

  17. Russ

    Good points, Senator. I get what you’re saying.

    One comment about Dooley, though. If Dooley set up BM so that the head football coach reported to someone other than him, could that have been a move to prevent accusations that he was still trying to coach the team? That’s how I’d view it. For the subsequent ADs, it’s a different matter, though.

    Tyler nailed it, though. Watching our head coach learn on the job on national TV sucks. I just hope he learns a lot in the off season.

    Like

    • The reporting thing started with the current AD and head coach, as I understand it.

      My Dooley reference was more about general standards of accountability at B-M. You can still make a career out of hackery there.

      Like

      • Russ

        Oh, gotcha. I do agree with that. Thanks for the clarification.

        Like

      • Gaskilldawg

        To whom does Smart directly report? Today is the first time I have read about that.

        Like

      • rchris

        But Dooley was successful. In the Directors Cup standings, he finished 8th in 02, 7th in 98, 5th in 04, 3rd in 01, and 2nd in 99. The first 2 years after he left, they finished 7th and 9th. They haven’t finished better than 10th since then.

        Like

        • Dooley signed off on the Harrick hire. He turned a blind eye to the academic misconduct that led to the Kemp embarrassment. He loaded the athletic department with the kind of hacks who made Butts-Mehre what it’s been for the past 25 years.

          As for his hiring/firing practices, he had his hits and misses (granted, more hits that McGarity, although that’s a low bar). But I also remember a stretch in the mid-90s when the fan base was ready to run him out of town on a rail.

          Like

          • rchris

            Fair enough. You mentioned some of his misses, and I’ll concede he had plenty of those. Among his hits was one home run, and her name was Suzanne Yoculan. All I’m saying is that by the last half of his tenure as AD, he’d obviously learned something or he wouldn’t have done so well with the NACDA standings.

            Like

  18. 86BONE

    ADGM is a joke…really. Write to him all you want…he is merely a puppet to the liquor brokers. Coach Smart has plenty of support and should have an outstanding ’17 class. Stadium upgrades are a MUST at this point. I for one will be writing ZERO checks to anyone in Athens save my son, who is a student. Our University has a chance to be the college it so deserves and unfortunately football wins/losses dictate too much.
    Lastly, if another opponent of UGA tears our hedges up, somebody is gonna get their ass cut!! That’s all I got for now….

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      LOL, gonna cut ’em. While I probably wouldn’t go quite that far it is inexcusable for the bad behavior we see in so many areas these days. Beyond rude, I think that has always existed every where, but now more destructive, and often violent. I am not a tree hugger but view this as defacing property, same as painting a building or keying a car.

      Actions should have consequences, nothing wrong with cuffing a few of those and having them wait overnight in the county jail. A heavy fine, or few weeks on a work detail would be in order too. If it were UGA fans at their house, I am on board with that as well. Fighting, drunkenness, vandalism is all more prevalent these days. Put the hammer down.

      Like

      • Agree. Don’t understand why UGA tolerates that. It’s not like there is a shortage of aggressive cops in Clarke county that could prevent it.

        Of course we have “bigger fish to fry” with just trying to win the game but looks to me that would be an easy fix.

        Like

  19. sectionzalum

    in good cheer,i would offer a good-faith disagreement with this nugget:

    “Nor do I see the school’s head football coach as the personification of Georgia athletics.”

    perhaps it may be accurate to say that the coach is not the personification of the fans or alumni or students, but i think firing CMR and hiring Smart is the absolute expression of UGA athletics – and the leadership of the institution as a whole. our school chose to fire a coach that averaged 10 wins a year while being an absolutely sterling representative of the values the institution purports to value. the choice was clearly orchestrated by powerful $ that happens to be on the Board of Regents, engineered by an AD that was – to be charitable – less than honest about the hiring process, and solemnized by the school’s administration. and as the good Senator notes, our new coach and AD lobbied the legislature to further obstruct the public from getting information under the Freedom of Information Act. and our 4-million dollar head coach throws salt into the wound by going out of his way to ask petulant, rude passive-aggressive questions to Chip Towers – a good soul – when he has the temerity to ask about whether Lord Kirby had explored personnel changes on the O line. CMR apologized to a troll like Schultz and never attacked the sewer-dwelling Chuck Oliver after his “toughness” question after our heartbreaking loss to Bama in SECCG.

    i think it all adds up to this – we can’t pretend UGA is special and does thing the honorable way and look at Ole MIss’ crook coach and pretend we wouldn’t hire him to replace Kirby next year if it would mean one more win.

    signed –
    debbie downer

    Like

  20. W Cobb Dawg

    I think Kirby had the right idea when he put together a veteran staff. And particularly when he wanted a former HC, Dan Enos, as OC. Chaney was definitely the wrong pick – never much of a winner and doesn’t appear to be any help with clock management. Maybe take a look at Sarkisian. I’d rather have fat Freidgen in the booth than fat Chaney. I didn’t see much in Pittman’s performance to make me believe next year will be better. Jury still out on Coley and Beamer.

    Like

  21. lakedawg

    Echoing many comments above this season has left me sort of numb particularly walking out of stadium yesterday. The o ly progress I saw this year was at D-line with the sophomore and freshmen we played. Thought Chaney was as bad as Schott in most ways and also thought Pittman did no better than Sale with O-line. Am real concerned that we played 6 guys the whole year, do not see any way we can be better next year unless the guys that did not play have progressed in practice. There were some big bodies on roster by the way. Not sure if I want to fork out the extra bucks next year particularly for a home schedule that does not have a game on it with a team that has a pulse. One good thing I guess is that is 6 sure wins at home even if all or noon kicks. B

    Like

    • DawgPhan

      you feel confident that we will get 6 home wins next year? 6?

      Like

    • cantondawg91

      Hell man, our team will be fine, we beat a couple of ranked teams and reeled off 7 wins, with a chance for another. Lost at least three by a field goal or less. 7-5 is right where Saban was at this stage at Alabama. Right on track.

      Like

  22. Billy King

    Spot on Senator. Couldn’t agree more. The University’s athletic leadership or lack thereof, has been and is currently the impediment to greatness. Regardless of what sport or who’s coaching. The Georgia Way is no match for The Process.

    Like

    • cantondawg91

      if Smart doesn’t know the process, no one else besides Saban does.

      Like

      • Gaskilldawg

        I am reminded of the recent 81Dawg’s post about former LSU coach Charley McClendon’s quote after being fired by LSU. Charlie McClendon was a former Bear Bryant assistant. McClendon said, “Bear Bryant taught me everything I know about football. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knew about football.”

        I guess Mike Heywood (14-22 as a head coach,) Bobby Williams (16-17 as a head coach,) Derek Dooley (32-41) , Will Muschamp (35-27) and Jason Garrett (55-44) all must have skipped class the day Nick Saban taught The Process to HS assistants.

        Hope you are correct. It appears Jimbo Fisher and Mark D’Antonio are the only branches of the Saban coaching tree with a conference title. Here’s hoping Smart is the third.

        Like

  23. Russ

    Random comments from yesterday’s results:

    I apologize for my snark to one member here who complained about having to listen to Scott Howard. I listened to him yesterday driving home and he truly is terrible. Screams in excitement (literally) at every 3 yard gain. And rarely tells you what’s going on when the other team has the ball. Yells about a great tackle by our guys. Then you finally find out it was 17 yards down the field. I listened to many different team announcers yesterday (I was stuck in traffic for hours and hours) and Howard is easily the worst at football. He is good at basketball, though.

    Watched the replay of the end of the Vandy-Vowels game. Vandy stopped Tennessee (or rather, Kamara pulled a Reggie Ball) on 4th down to seal the game. I watched half the Vandy team (most without helmets) on the field celebrating the big stop. There was 1:45 remaining. There were ZERO flags thrown. Yet we get one for a guy behind the end zone after a hail Mary with 10 seconds left in the game that completely turns our game. SEC officials are a complete joke.

    Like

    • @Russ: Recently when driving across the country, I listened to some college and pro football games. It seems all the announcers are like Howard, these days. Finally, my wife could not take it anymore, screamed at the radio and turned it off. Not that I fought her on that decision.
      The worse was the Nebraska announcer.

      Like

  24. Stuff happens, but that game should have NEVER come down to the last 6 minutes. The game should have been put away when we got the ball at midfield with momentum. Instead We went 3 and out and punted. You get a couple of first downs or hit a play and put the game away.

    Like

    • daphne95

      Going conservative there is a really bad idea. You can’t be acting as if the game is over with that much time.

      Like

      • MurphDawg

        Amen! We were traveling home and listening on the radio and when I heard the announcers say they were trying to run clock with over 9 minutes left, I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I thought back to all the games we lost when we decided to sit on a lead instead of going for the kill and yeah verily, it happened again.

        Like

  25. cantondawg91

    Senator, can you explain your fascination with the hiring process? Can you confirm how many candidates were interviewed? who exactly was interviewed? exactly when the process started and finished? Again, not opinions, what do you know in regard to the above as public facts? I suspect the process started after the loss to UF and culminated the eve of Smart’s official announcement. I suspect as many as a dozen were interviewed. When you look at ties to the University of Georgia, ability to recruit on the level of Alabama, and familiarity with the SEC benchmark Bama ‘process’, the decision was actually very easy and not close.

    Like

  26. Shane#1

    This season is over, thank God! The lack of depth on the O line is my biggest concern, plus they lose their center. I don’t see much room for improvement for next year, It can take years to build a dominant O line for a power offense. If they want to be successful I believe they must go with more of a spread O and hope Eason continues to improve.

    Like

    • cantondawg91

      Recruits are on the way. 2017 looking at maybe 9-3, then look out in 2018 once the depth and size is there.

      Like

      • Shane#1

        Only two O linemen signed in the 2016 class and they lose three. It will take a while to bring the 2017 class up to snuff. I fee we are just going to have to hang in there for a couple of years.

        Like

        • cantondawg91

          we need size and depth at Oline and WR, Smart can recruit like nobody’s grandma. Could happen as soon as next year, only took Saban one season to go from 7-6 to 12-0.

          Like

        • cantondawg91

          Saban’s defense finished 46th in 2007 his first season at Alabama. Kirby’s will finish at 15 in 2016, Smart’s first season at Georgia.

          In year 2, Saban’s defense jumped to a top 5, I think Smart’s defense will make a similar move in 2017. The offense needs a couple of big physical fast receivers and some size at OLine in recruits to crack the top 20.

          Kirby is way ahead of schedule when you look at where his defense finished in year one compared to Saban in 2007.

          Like

  27. Ashley

    As an avid fan and 2000 graduate of UGA, I had to put my feelings into words after watching the Georgia/Georgia Tech game in person yesterday…

    Dear Georgia Football,

    I love you, but it is time for us to break up. I think I will be ready in September of 2017 to get back together with you, but for now… I just must take a break. I have put so much into our relationship, and I just cannot be this emotionally invested anymore. I will always love you and support you, but I most do so from afar for the next nine months or so. I do not need the added stress, disappointment, and discouragement that you bring to me right now. I have no expectations anymore from you. I am choosing to look at you as pure entertainment when I am able to be there for you, but otherwise, I have a family who deserves all of my attention and devotion. You will always be near and dear to my heart, but I must let you go for now. Good luck in the offseason. You will need it, and you deserve to have better days ahead.

    Your loyal fan,
    Ashley

    Like

  28. cantondawg91

    I disagree that Greg McG has not made a slamdunk hire. Most put the Smart hire as a top 5 or top 10 national offeseason hire. Ole Miss was the only team that soundly beat us, we were very competitive and that’s a damn improvement.

    Like

  29. cantondawg91

    If anything the current administration should be praised not insulted for what they have done recently in regards to football: getting rid of Richt, unloading the cash for Smart, unloading cash for a huge support staff, investment in a new Indoor Playing Field that will make our beloved Georgia team the envy of the football world. The admin stepped it up, and from the looks of things so far, we got a future Saban.

    Like

    • Rocketdawg

      Dude I don’t know where your diarrhea of the keyboard comes from, maybe that crack you are obviously smoking while commenting. Let me lay a couple of things out for you:

      1-we are not Alabama and Kirby is not Saban. Saban had 3 head coaching stops before Alabama which included a National Championship at LSU. He earned the right to go 7-6 at Alabama because he had past successes. Kirby has no past successes to draw from.

      2-we lose 3 senior offensive linemen and almost certainly Chubb, Michel, LoCarter, Bellamy, and Sanders. We also lose Mauger out of the secondary. Tell me where this infusion of talent is coming from? You don’t win with true Freshman in the SEC.

      Like

      • cantondawg91

        1- Both Saban & Kirby will finish with damn the exact win-loss record in their first year–7-6. Technically, Saban’s first year as a Head Coach at a real school was Michigan St circa 1995 when Nick went, get it, 6-5-1. Kirby is likely to be 7-6 or 8-5, both bettering his mentor.
        2- We need to gain size and depth at OLine and WR, recruits & Juco will shore that up.

        Like

        • Gaskilldawg

          You realize Will Muschamp went 7-6 his first year at Florida and learned The Process at the feet of the Master, too. I guess South Carolina is looking at 12-2 next year, guaranteed. Oh, wait, we have TWO Saban disciples in the ame division who each went 7-6 in their first head coaching job, meaning, I guess, the cantondawg91 formula spitting out a prediction of 12-2 in 2017 must fail for one of them.

          Like

      • cantondawg91

        By the way, we have 4 oline recruits so far including a top 4 guy, some big wr’s, some heralded rb’s, and one of the best safeties in the nation. Sabana turned it around in 2007 to 2008 by picking up recruits like Julio Jones and Mark Ingram.

        Like

  30. daphne95

    Kirby Smart may be Mark Dantonio.
    Nobody is ever going to be Nick Saban.

    Like

  31. jt (the other one)

    Senator. Great observations as usual. Yes it is frustrating now as a fan to see the priorities of the BM Regime. Many of the structural flaws in that building won’t be corrected over night and we are watching a young coach’s OJT- not fun for us fans but Richt did leave somewhat of a mess wrt the OL and talent.

    Like

  32. cantondawg91

    In 2007-2008, Alabama started turning it around by following up the 7-6 season with the No 1 recruiting class. Also returned 18 or 19 starters. Sound familiar? Looks like the Kirby plan to me.

    Like

  33. Greg

    Nice comments, well thought out. Keep doing what you are doing, this is why I read this blog/site…love your opinion, you are more right than wrong IMO.

    Like

  34. where I’m at with GA football right now…..shit 10-3 is lookin real good right now.. Fire em all….. I ain’t goin to the Birmingham Bowl . Change and hope sucks and Greg McGarity needs to quit pissin on me as a fan and than tell me its raining and he needs my money to buy the school umbrella…Fire em all especially ADGM.

    Like

  35. Will Trane

    As for the hiring process what does the Athletic Board have in the process?A show of hands. Or do they contact the AD and discuss formally or informallt? And does the alleged short list the AD keeps in his desk made known to a few or only the cleaning folks.
    Now in the southern part of this state we know that Fran Tarkenton had the ultimate say so.
    Whatever. The hiring process end last December. Perhaps if the current process is in adequate then a petition should be started to address the heartfelt concerns.
    Whatever. If an AD is not competent to hire and fire (what is the process for firing) then there is a huge issue as to why have one.
    Let me say this I never meant for Van Gorder to be a permanent replacement if Tucker leaves. But I think his hire was a filler just in peoe start moving asthey usually do atyheend of a season.
    Process. We do know what the current alpha dog inthe SEC had to say. He was ready and qualified. In fact he had him stay on until another national championship was in place in the Tide trophy case.
    If there was another more qualified person in the employment of Saban I do not know whoit is.
    Tucker. Now there is a coach with NFL experience. Is there an explanation why Saban did not retain and promote to DC. Nope he went right after Pruitt. And no one at UGA wanted him.
    What is hurting this program is not a hiring process. It is not having onefor awhile. The program process resides at Alabama.
    And there is one person in Athens and afew assistants who werepart ofthatprogram process.
    So UGA can have all the processes they want but I would perfer someone who had beeen in a real damn football program for almost a decade and see how it goes for awhile. More so when the current system at UGA wasway behind the end zone.
    If by chance Smart turns this around, then he has no allegiance to stay at UGA if Bama came calling.

    Like

    • If Smart leaves Georgia for Bama due to his success, he probably goes there alone because his wife is Bulldog through and through. I can’t imagine that she’s going to take her family from Athens voluntarily given they’re building their dream home in 5 Points and have their place at Lake Oconee.

      Like

  36. After all these years, I am an UGA observer, more than a fan. Makes for an easier life. That being said, I support UGA no matter who the coach is. I do hope Smart turns out just fine and as in all things, only time will tell.
    As stated previously, I look for a lot of changes in coaching and players in the off season.
    If UGA is 13-1, two years from now, there will still be some complaining. It is the nature of the beast, you know a fan or observer.

    Like

  37. Pingback: “There are too many people counting on us.” | Get The Picture

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