Why Georgia’s 2016 season is a disappointment.

Listening to Kevin Butler and Jeff Dantzler after the game describe this year as a “throwaway season” was infuriating to me as a season ticket holder.  But in the cold light of day afterwards, the worst part about that description may be that I’m not sure it’s even accurate.

To me, throwaway season implies that Smart had a plan to use this year as a learning experience to build on towards better times.  That gets back to something I said before the season started, namely, that I would judge his first year as a head coach not so much on wins and losses as I would perceived progress.  As far as that goes, unfortunately, it’s hard to see much of that as we sit here after a mediocre 2016 regular season.

Take, for example, Bill Connelly’s advanced stats percentile performances for the year.

  • North Carolina:  91%
  • Nicholls:  11%
  • Missouri:  83%
  • Ole Miss:  32%
  • Tennessee:  87%
  • South Carolina:  30%
  • Vanderbilt:  33%
  • Florida: 23%
  • Kentucky: 40%
  • Auburn:  35%
  • ULL:  25%
  • Georgia Tech:  19%

That is not the pattern you’d expect to see from a team getting better as the season progressed.  It is, rather, the pattern you’d expect to see from a team that made a habit out of playing down to the level of its opponent… or worse.  That it couldn’t offer an above average performance in a single game out of its last seven is disturbing if you’re looking for a sign of things coming together.

Ordinarily, crappy bowl games mean little to me, other than as a final three-and-a-half hour entertainment to cap off another football season.  This time, though, there’s something more to keep an eye on, simply because this coaching staff has some serious work to do and it can’t start soon enough (or at least soon after a quick burst of recruiting during the week leading up to the SECCG).  If the bowl game proves to be another mediocre slog topping off a throwaway year, I dread hearing what kind of label Butler and Dantzler come up with to slap on 2017.

218 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

218 responses to “Why Georgia’s 2016 season is a disappointment.

  1. Big dawg

    I’m just so tired. It’s been a long 25 years!

    Like

    • 1978Eagle

      Nick Saban, a former head coach of rival LSU. Despite a strong 6–2 start, they finished out the season by losing four of their final five games. The team closed the regular season at 6–6 (4–4, SEC) and lost for a sixth-straight time to rival Auburn. The Tide defeated Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl 30–24 to finish their first season under Nick Saban at a 7–6 (4–4) record.

      Like

  2. DawgPhan

    Listening to those guy after the games and on Sunday drives me nuts. I don’t get how they can be so dismissive of a entire season.

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    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      And you probably noticed they didn’t offer a lot of hope for next year either.

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      • The little bit I listened to yesterday morning sounded like they both expected Eason to be pushed pretty hard through Spring and Fall camp.

        I don’t see how that can be anything but good. He had to get much more accurate and develop touch. I have all the faith in the world that he can sling 12-18 yard passes. But anything shorter or longer has been a train wreck most of the season.

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  3. BCDawg97

    Perhaps the worst thing that happened was the UNC game? We bought into too much post game hype and never got back on track after the Nicholls game. I’ve been numb to the losses, and even the wins, since Alabama last year, but hopefully the 3 game win streak is a sign of some good things to come.

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  4. Bob

    Riding home after those terrible losses this year, listening to Dantzler and Kevin was enfuriating. But Kevin is on the coaching staff so I guess we can’t expect more. But if I hear the cupboard is bare one more time I am going to throw up. You would think we had just played the New England Patriots after the Tech game.

    I was absolutely determined to go to South Bend next year, regardless of what I might have to pay for a ticket. But with the Irish having their own problems and our future more in doubt, I might not make it for something that has been on my bucket list for a long time.

    And I dread we are going to be paired with Miami. Might not even watch that.

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    • Timphd

      Yes, the worst outcome would be to match up with Miami and get their asses handed to them. That would put the cap on a very disappointing season. I was one who expected that a 9 and 3 season was the most likely, 8 and 4 at the worst. To be 7-5, and to be 1-3 against our biggest rivals was painful. Losing to the fired coach would not only be terrible but the trolls would have a field day.

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      • paul

        I don’t know. Perhaps getting our asses handed to us by Miami might be the best thing that could possibly happen to us. It doesn’t appear that much else has gotten our attention.

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    • JD is a broken record. Did he mention that we just need to recruit Georgia?

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  5. JD is too much, but Butler usually just calls balls and strikes IMO.

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  6. paul

    This season wasn’t a disappointment. It was an abject failure. Started with a win and pretty much went straight downhill ever since. We managed one quality win and lost at home to Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Tech. Not to mention that we were one play away from losing to Missouri. If this ain’t rock bottom I don’t want to be around when we actually hit that. Let’s hope Kirby isn’t stupid enough to ask for 93,000 at G Day next year.

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    • Aw, c’mon. Don’t you want to see how McGarity handles the next contract request for condoms?

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    • “One play away” cuts both ways. One play away from beating UT, Vandy, Tech. One play way from losing to Missouri, Auburn, Kentucky, etc.

      We’re just not a very good team right now with 0 margin for error. If you play enough 50/50 games, eventually the odds catch up and you can expect to lose half of them.

      Get through the bowl game and try it again next season I suppose.

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      • Dawgy

        7-5, winning by a play, losing by a play. Your record is who you are!

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        • I expected to see some improvement as the season dragged on.
          I see no reason for the optimism of some of the Fans.
          The quality of the play As well as the record tell a different story.
          How much Is on the coaching staff? Do changes need to be made?
          Wait till next year or the year after?
          However, i still have hope. Time Will Tell.

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  7. lakedawg

    Quit listening to Dantzler quite some time back, biggest butt kisser on radio, be it Andy Landers or Butler. Butler sees no wrong with any coaches decisions this year whatsoever.

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  8. cantondawg91

    Glad you brought this up. Saban finished out his first year at Bama by losing 4 of the last 5 games, including La Monroe. Kirby went 3-2 in his last 4 games. It’s about wins and losses. Saban finished his first season at Bama going 1-4, Kirby finished his first season at Georgia going 3-2. Saban faced 1 ranked team out of his last 5 games in 2007 and went 0-1, Kirby faced 2 and went 1-1. Advantage Kirby..

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    • Glad you brought this up. Saban finished out his first year at Bama by losing 4 of the last 5 games, including La Monroe. Kirby went 3-2 in his last 4 games. It’s about wins and losses.

      Seriously, do you read anything I write? It’s not about the wins and losses.

      I’ve never thought much of the 2007 Alabama analogy because of the resumes of the two coaches, but Kirby’s got nine or so months to get his ocean going vessel turned in the right direction. We’ll see what comes.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Greg, thank you from taking your time away from administering athletics, and I want to give you some sincere advice.

      Your argument is that since Smart’s first season as UGA head coach is similar to Saban’s first year as Alabama head coach, and Smart coached over ten years under Saban then it is a lead pipe cinch we will have Saban results in 2017 and 2018. You may have noted that no one has endorsed that argument.

      If you changed your argument to, “Saban’s first year at Alabama demonstrates that disappointing first year does not preclude tremendous success the second year and third year,” then you would be making a logical argument.

      Smart does not need folks making false causation arguments to keep his job. He needs folks such as you to remind everyone that this year proves nothing about whether 2017 and 2018 can be successful years.

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    • Aladawg

      Canton dog you just get old comparing those 2 seasons. The Senator and many others have clearly shown you the differences, but 1 more time. 1) Saban was a proven head coach. 2) Alabama was following a losing season the year before. 3) Alabama was coming off probation.

      1)CKS is a rookie coach whose team did not progress. 2) Georgia was following a 10 win season with a cupcake schedule. 3) Georgia has had no probation.
      Now CKS may end up being the best coach ever at Georgia, but at this point it’s looking pretty weak.
      As a season ticket holder for 35 years I am not good with a “throw away” year. With next year’s really soft schedule and a full 18 months to install the process I EXPECT an East division championship.

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      • About that cupcake schedule: Auburn, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Tech were all better in 2016 than 2015. Tennessee and Florida were basically the same as the year before. OM was a huge step down from Bama, but UNC was a step up from GA Southern.

        I’m not saying 2016 was a murder’s row of a schedule, but context is important.

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        • Aladawg

          I agree that 2015 was not a difficult schedule, but factor all things in like we had Vandy , Yech, Allbarn and UT at home this year. The all barn team we played was NOT the improved team you say with White a shadow of himself who did not play against Bama and no Pettaway. We also had Nick Chubb all year so I stand with the fact that we had a cupcake schedule and we have that again next year.

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      • cantondawg91

        Everybody will be comparing Kirby to Saban, when you’re someone’s righthand man for 9 years, and win 4 titles, that’s the way it works. I welcome the comparison, Saban is the SEC benchmark, if you want to win titles, you have to beat him. Kirby is the the only Asst who knows Saban’s process due to spending more time with him than any other coach. So far, Kirby comparing Georgia 2016 to Bama 2007, is kicking Saban’s ass. All signs point to titles so far.

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        • mwo

          Jeff Dantzler made a similar comparison after Jim Donnan’s loss against Southern Miss in his first season. Oddly enough, JD noted that Bama with Stallings won the natty after losing to some cupcake the previous year. Sound familiar?

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          • cantondawg91

            To have a great 2017, Kirby needs to:
            1- Fire Chaney immediately
            2- Haul in a top 5 recruiting class
            with at least 2 big time playmakers on offense at rb and wr
            3- Beef up his OLine

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            • Will (The Other One)

              If 1. doesn’t happen, a 1a of “fire Coley and bring in a WR who can coach catching the damn ball” should happen.

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              • cantondawg91

                Coley had a brutal year, the WR’s didn’t block or catch well. IMac is the only one with a good catch rate. A lot of that is on Eason who is very inaccurate, but still.

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        • Gaskilldawg

          Gosh, your methodology would prove that Will Muschamp, who likewise won 7 games his, first season, would have a Saban-at-Alabama career.

          It does not prove Smart will. You are correct in pointing out that nothing about this season prevents Smart from winning the East in 2017. That argument is all you need.

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        • lakedawg

          Not sure what you are drinking dude, but this season was an abject failure and has nothing to do with Saban or Bammer.

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  9. I had told myself that I would judge Kirby’s first year on how we finished down the stretch. As someone who wanted Richt out and Kirby in, I have to admit that he did not do so hot these last couple of weeks. There are signs of improvement in the team, but also signs of regression in certain spots. I am still optimistic, but cautiously so. Saban canned Applewhite after his first year at Bama correct? Maybe Kirby shuffles the deck a bit this offseason.

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    • This is true. I’d have to go back and look at what Bama’s OL recruiting under Shula looked like. 2008 was really when the “beat your ass on the OL” Bama came to be.

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    • I share your uncertainty, but I’m not sure going to a fourth straight year of a new offensive coordinator is what the doctor’s ordered.

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      • Agreed with that too. Chaney does nothing for me, but 4 in 4 scares me even more. Unless we’re going to ditch the pro-style for something Eason is much more comfortable in (an idea I’m not opposed to BTW).

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      • DawgPhan

        4 straight OC doesnt scare you. A 4th straight year of the same guys making the same type of choices scares you.

        If we had just hired 3 straight guys that got hired away, I wouldnt be so worries about hiring the next one.

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        • I get what you’re saying, but the turnover would still bother me, regardless of the reason why.

          If we were so bloody insistent on running a pro-style offense, it wouldn’t worry me as much. There are plenty of good spread OCs out there. How many good pro-style college OCs exist?

          We can still be the physical, beat you up type of team Kirby wants out of a spread look.

          If we do make away from Chaney, now is the time to make that change too.

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      • PTC DAWG

        This…just this…just doesn’t seem prudent…for a few reasons.

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      • artful codger

        Not too sure that 4 in 4 is much worse than 4 in 5, which is where we might well be heading w/o a change this off-season. The 2017 offense projects even younger than this year’s, basically unaffected by offensive philosophy of 2 years ago.

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        • Will (The Other One)

          I’d give a long look at the OC at Texas, who is very unlikely to stick around with Herman coming in. Their lesser-ranked freshman QB put up better numbers plus they had a 2,000 yard rusher.
          Hell, if Kirby wants to really go nuts, fire Coley, bring in the TX guy as WR coach/co-OC with Chaney.

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    • cantondawg91

      Yep, Saban fired Applewhite after 2007 and hired Jim Mcelwain as Off Coor in 2008.

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  10. 0-1 vs Tech

    Have fun defending that bullshit.

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    • cantondawg91

      Saban lost to his rival in 2007, Auburn.

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      • DawgPhan

        Auburn aint tech

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        • cantondawg91

          defend Saban losing to La Monroe.

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          • I’ve let you sing this tune long enough now. Move on to something else, or I’ll move you along.

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            • cantondawg91

              To be clear, what bothers you, are you referring to any Smart vs Saban comparison? If you don’t allow that, I feel that’s unfair since that’s where he trained and that’s the pattern he’s trying to follow.

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              • He’s a first year head coach you’re comparing to someone who’d coached at several levels, including the NFL and had already won a national championship before he set foot in Tuscaloosa. Saban also had administrative support that Smart can only dream of at this moment. Not to mention Saban was faced with resurrecting a program that had been crippled by NCAA sanctions, unlike Smart.

                It’s an unrealistic comparison, especially when you consider that Saban will go down as one of the all-time best head coaches in college football history.

                But I’ve let you make it and that’s fine, as far as it goes. I just don’t care to see you repeat variations of the same argument ad infinitum, which is what you’ve been doing. The reality is that none of us has a clue about Smart’s future and endless repetition by you of the same talking point doesn’t change that.

                Find something new to talk about. You’ve worn this subject flat out.

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          • Gaskilldawg

            Saban didn’t havery to defend anything. All he had to do was flash his 2003 BCS Championship ring.

            See, Saban’s track record in December 2006 is not comparable with Smart’s track record in December 2015. Everyone knew La-Monroe was an anomaly. We do not know yet if Vanderbilt 2016 is or isn’t.

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    • Again, context is important. We beat a dreadful Tech that won 3 games by 6 points last year, and split two OT games the two years prior to that. We just haven’t been blowing Tech out since 2012.

      I’m not defending losing to Tech. It sucks horribly. But until we get back to the 2011 and 2012 style offenses that can bury them, we’re going to keep playing the type of game they want us to.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Agree, not like we have dealing with them the last 3-4 years. There is a reason we have a new Coach. Let the man get his players, then judge.

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      • cantondawg91

        If you look at FPI, there really are no bad losses, TN is #19, UF #24, Ole Miss #29, GT #51, and Vandy #53. We are ranked #43, so GT & Vandy this year are even matchups, GT has a good offense, Vandy has a good defense. GT beat VT, and Vandy beat Ole Miss & TN back to back. On the other hand, there are some REALLY good wins #11 Auburn and #22 UNC. None of the losses bother me, they aren’t to bad teams, and 2 of the wins impress me because Auburn and UNC are really good teams overall.

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        • CB

          Auburn and UNC are average teams. Vandy barely qualified for a bowl game, Ole Miss did not qualify for a bowl and they rival only Tennessee for the biggest let down team of 2016. Tech is a team filled with 2 and 3 star athletes, and they beat our defense by passing the ball. If those losses don’t bother you then we may as well go ahead and join the Sunbelt. Couple all that with the near loss to Nicholls and you have yourself an abject failure of a season. There is no way around that.

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          • cantondawg91

            the season is an abject failure?

            compared to what fair context?

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            • CB

              Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh immediately put Michigan and Ohio State into the national title hunt on day one when they arrived on campus. Michigan was in shambles when Harbaught arrived, they didn’t even go to a bowl game. Was there any such coach available for Georgia to hire?We’ll never know because we didn’t even look.

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            • CB

              Also, Ohio State went 6-7 the year before Meyer arrived. Since then they have yet to win less than 12 games.

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            • CB

              For context, in case you forgot. Georgia won 10 games last season. We are now 7-5.

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              • cantondawg91

                10 wins against unranked teams—whoooeee.

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                • CB

                  I’m not trying to impress you with Georgia’s 2015 season, my point is that we were a lot better shape than Ohio State and Michigan before Harbaugh and Meyer arrived.

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                  • cantondawg91

                    But you need to pick a Head Coach who did better than kirby in his first season, please include recruiting.

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                    • CB

                      Harbaugh and Meyer. Try to keep up.

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                    • cantondawg91

                      Neither finished with a a better record in their first year as a head coach, and finished in the top 3 in recruiting.

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                    • CB

                      Both Meyer and Harbaugh had just as many or more wins in their first seasons as head coach. You can’t compare recruiting because they started off at Bowling Green and San Diego respectively. Nobody get a top 25 class at those schools.

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                    • cantondawg91

                      Recruiting is the #1 thing a Head Coach does. You can compare Smart’s first year of recruiting to Meyer & Harbaugh, if they’re not better, why didn’t they out-recruit Kirby? I’m telling you man, Kirby is the total friggin package. Top 5 defense + top 5 recruiting class. That’s a title winning formula and well within Kirby’s range.

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              • cantondawg91

                2-3 vs ranked teams in 2016 > 0-2 vs ranked teams in 2015. Duh.

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                • CB

                  Richt also beat two ranked teams in his first season. We aren’t talking about his last season. This is about year one according to you.

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                  • cantondawg91

                    Richt didn’t come from a team that had won 4 titles in 9 years (so he didn’t ever win a national title at Georgia), nor did Richt finish in the top 3 in recruiting in his first season as a head coach. Also, Richt’s an offensive guy, Kirby is a defensive guy.

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                    • CB

                      Richt got off to a better start with lesser talent against better competition, that is indisputable. Are you guaranteeing a title from Smart bc Bama was successful when he was there? That’s pretty bold. What does it matter which side of the ball they coach? Answer… It doesn’t.

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                    • cantondawg91

                      If Kirby wasn’t the real deal, why did Saban keep him around, letting him run the defense, Saban’s pride & joy and expertise? Is Kirby doesn’t eventually win a title it will be a complete shock given his insider ‘process’ knowledge, recruiting skills, and defensive expertise.

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                    • CB

                      Tell that to Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp.

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                    • cantondawg91

                      Dooley & Muschamp didn’t coach with Saban as long as a key Asst or have anywhere near the success that Kirby had with Nick. No one has.

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                    • CB

                      So we’re resting the future on the program on the fact that Smart spent more time with Saban? Good luck with that.

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                    • cantondawg91

                      I am leaning on :
                      1- Saban’s judgement in leaning on Kirby for 9 years as his righthand man
                      2- Smart’s insider info about ‘the process’ that no one else can have
                      3- Smart’s defensive execution skills long term bode well
                      4- Smart’s recruiting skills & current #3 ranked class
                      5- His first year performance compares with coaches I consider to be great

                      I am not sure this team will look more like 20-12-2015 Mich St and 2015 & 2016 UF at its worst, strong defense and nothing else,
                      or Bama at best.

                      Either way it’s an upgrade over Richt who couldn’t really beat ranked teams enough to keep me happy lately.

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                    • CB

                      1 Saban replaced Smart with Georgia’s DC from last season and thus far has had the same results.

                      2, and 3 are both fantasy land immeasurables that you haven’t backed up with any facts.

                      4 Nobody has signed yet.

                      5 Who are these coaches? I’ll beat for everyone one example you can find I can find 10 failures who had the same start.

                      You had a problem with Richt during the last few years of his career. I get that. I have a problem with Smart in year one. Like I said Georgia has only beaten one team that is currently ranked, and that team doesn’t have an offense.

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                • rchris

                  “You can compare Smart’s first year of recruiting to Meyer & Harbaugh, if they’re not better, why didn’t they out-recruit Kirby?” On the day he was hired, UGA was 3rd in the 247 recruiting rankings. They finished 8th. Kirby inherited a sweet setup.

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  11. Junior

    Those guys are harping on the 2013 recruiting class no doubt. That’s hard to argue sometimes. Didn’t hear the throw away comment, but I was in some serious traffic on 20. As for the trend you mention, the percentile performance average is all over the place for most teams. Hard to really make much out of it. Auburn had like a 30% pp when they beat Ole Miss. Bama has even had one in single digits with a 28 point win. I guess what I am saying is that number can look bad even when a team comfortably wins and it can look good when a team gets beat. So that po is counter intuitive. There are too many variables there. I agree the advanced stats do show inconsistency, but to me thats a product of all new coaching staff and a very young team. For me, the ability for a team to have a chance to win down the stretch of the game shows they are solid regardless of all the other stats etc. Georgia was in just about every game this year,except for one. Ole Miss was the only one they just looked 100% overmatched. That was early in the season and I think the team was still trying to find an identity overall. The Florida game was frustrating from an o line and offensive game plan perspective and the field never got flipped because of the 20 yard punts. I don’t care how good you are 20 yard punts will kill you. I think the Tennessee game was the biggest sign of what this team is made of. I think the team showed up big in that one only to be hit with an unlucky turn of events. Last year, I would have to argue the team had a better defense and a much weaker schedule and did not beat a quality team with a winning record all year. If any year was a throw away year, it was last year. Those were the most meaningless 10 wins I have ever seen. That team struggled in a lot of those games. Anybody recall the Mizzou game? This year, UGA beat three quality teams: Auburn, KY, and UNC. Let’s see what the bowl game and recruiting looks like. I think next year will be a big step forward. I really think Kirby will be able to convince one if not both of the talented RBs to stay. If they do, I think Georgia will return to the SECCG. That’s my take, but I am an optimist.

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  12. Connor

    Those S&P rating certainly leave a lot to be desired, but when I clicked around UGA seems to have some company across the country. It feels like a very average year for college football. Frustrating that we were again unable to capitalize on all that mediocrity, but perhaps there’s something larger going on. The entire SEC is just incredibly average outside of Alabama. Almost all conferences seem a bit down, maybe the Big 10 excepted. As frustrated as we are at 7-5, think of Ole Miss, or Miss State, or Auburn, or Texas, or ND, or Michigan State, or Oregon… there just seem to be a lot of suck out there this year.

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    • Those S&P rating certainly leave a lot to be desired, but when I clicked around UGA seems to have some company across the country. It feels like a very average year for college football.

      I was listening to Bill C’s and Stephen Godfrey’s PAPN podcast on the way in to work this morning and Bill kinda mentioned something along those lines. The S&P margin between Alabama at 1 and FSU at 9 was larger than the margin between Colorado State at 20 (Bobo is higher than Florida at 21, y’all) and Nebraska at 40. Basically – the margin was very blurred once you get past the top 10 and a few decimal points could jump or drop you significantly which is why Colorado State is at 20 after being absolutely dreadful for an entire month of the season and Nebraska is at 40 after being pretty good for a large chunk of the season. It also speaks to how freaking awesome Alabama (and Michigan) have been this year to push themselves so far ahead of the pack.

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  13. PTC DAWG

    It is what it is.

    Still glad we bit the bullet on the OL we brought in. Hope we do it again next year.

    The D looks to be stronger going forward. Quality depth at QB won’t hurt either.

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  14. Pingback: And don’t forget those Hartman Fund contributions, folks. | Get The Picture

  15. jt (the other one)

    Sigh. I am happy its over. I have many Gaturd friends (who honestly are good people) who are absolutely dreading the game this weekend for good reason.

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  16. W Cobb Dawg

    Kirby got slammed by poor performance of assistants.
    – Chaney: couldn’t cut the mustard on the sideline so he was moved to the booth – and still no appreciative improvement. For a guy with decades of experience he was of little help with clock management. If Chaney isn’t a goner we’re screwed in 2017.

    Pittman: Big reputation coming in, followed by truly awful performance. Not one OL player improved under Pittman’s care throughout the season. Didn’t groom anyone for next year either. One could honestly argue Sale and Friend were better OL coaches – they definitely got better performances out of their players.
    Coley: lousy early season WR performance, but he’s the only offensive coach who showed improvement as the year progressed. I’m cautiously optimistic about our WRs for next year.
    Beamer: Another assistant who was awful early. By season’s end he took STs from a huge liability to almost steady. I don’t know what this guy would point to if Kirby asked the simple question; Why should I bring you back?

    2017: Retain Rocker, Sherrer, Schuman, Tucker, Coley and McGee. Replace Chaney, Pittman and Beamer. Yes, we sacrifice continuity. But it all comes down to fundamentals. We plain and simple need better coaching.

    Like

    • Didn’t groom anyone for next year either.

      With all due respect, it’s kind of hard to know what goes on behind the scene with player development.

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        I think giving Pittman the benefit of the doubt is misplaced Brother Bluto. I strongly doubt Pittman has had a Knowshon or Thomas Davis sitting on the sidelines all season waiting for next year. I’d consider a move like that more a sign of idiosy than intelligence.

        I was surprised and disappointed we didn’t see a backup like Allen or Baker step up, considering how consistently awful the starters were all year. That would at least give hope he could develop “somebody”. Barnett is back with the DL. None of the 2016 OL recruits contributed. Why expect 2017 OL recruits to help? No, until Pittman proves me wrong I’ll stick with my very low opinion of his coaching abilities.

        Liked by 1 person

    • cantondawg91

      if it were just about coaching, I would agree, it’s also about recruiting, and all 3 can recruit. Chaney will be the one that’s most likely to go, if there’s a change, because he’s not a great recruiter AND he had a horrible season where Eason flopped and Chubb and Michel were non factors in many games.

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  17. Gaskilldawg

    There are so many irrelevant comments in this thread. The issue is how the team that kicked off on September 3, 2016 compared with the team that exited the field about 3:30 Saturday.
    Did it improve or not?
    Telling us how well or poorly we did against Tech in 2014 provides zero insight into the 2016 team’s development over 13 weeks in 2016.

    And Mr. McGarity, one game Alabama played in November 2007 tells us nothing about whether Georgia improved from where it started in September 2016.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      The secondary (at least when four healthy starters were out there) got a lot better from first month to the end. Special teams went from “near worst in the country” disaster to mediocre.

      But that’s about it.

      Which has me nervous that we’ve got a great recruiting staff…but only a few good coaches.

      Like

  18. fred russo

    Football is a mans game UGA has to many woman on the team!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. DawgByte

    This wasn’t a “throwaway season”. This was a season of missed opportunities, fans ignoring structural weaknesses and a first time HC that made his fair share of mistakes. For me the most disappointing part of this season was the staff not making progress in the fundamentals – Special Teams, putting hats on players (blocking) and not addressing poor tackling. The other disappointing part of this season was Chaney taking waaaaaaaay too long to realize he hadn’t inherited a “smash mouth” offense.

    Like

  20. cantondawg91

    Might be interesting to compare Kirby’s recent average FPI game score to hotshot less experienced coach like Tom Herman. I see that Herman finished his last 5 games with a 53 game score average, where Kirby’s was closer to 63. I know Herman is thought of as the better coach, but is he? AND consider this: In SMU Herman lost to a team ranked #92 FPI, Kirby’s worst loss was to a team ranked #53. Herman only faced 2 ranked teams, where Kirby faced 5.

    Like

    • The two ranked teams Houston beat were top 5 at the time. No other mid-major can make that claim. In fact, no other team in the country can make that claim.

      Herman also came up with a game plan against Smart that led Ohio State to a national championship behind a third-string quarterback. It was impressive enough that Saban and Smart had him come in after he left Ohio State so they could pick his brain.

      This may not be your best argument for Smart, in other words.

      Like

      • cantondawg91

        But you said wins and losses don’t count🙂 I thought we were talking about the game score of the way the season finished.

        Like

        • “Herman only faced 2 ranked teams, where Kirby faced 5.”

          You’re ignoring context. Point here is the quality of the results. Which was also my point about game plans.

          Look, you are treading dangerously close to troll territory with this stuff. Consider this your second warning.

          Like

          • cantondawg91

            I’m confused, I used game grade scores, fpi rankings, and ranked teams as criteria, I used a new inexperienced Head Coach, the hotshot hire of 2016, all 4 are considered to be quality of result measurements and offer terrific context. I did not refer to the coach in Tuscaloosa there either. I am defending our Head Coach using quality of results comparisons.

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      • Cojones

        Those teams wuz ranked wrong. 🙂

        Like

      • cantondawg91

        Ohio State seems to be doing fine without Herman.

        Like

  21. cantondawg91

    If you want to compare Kirby to another hotshot hire, let’s say Fuentes, look at how they performed vs common teams:
    Both lost to GT, Kirby’s game was a closer loss
    Both lost to TN, Kirby’s game was a closer loss
    Both beat UNC, Fuentes win was by a much larger margin.

    Like

    • Gaskilldawg

      Yawn. Greg, you hired Smart and I doubt you will fire him this week. I doubt Smart will resign, either, so you do not need to spend energy advocating Smart as our coach in 2017.

      The won loss record is what it is. What is relevant is whether he improved his team from 9/3/2016 through 11/26/2016. We do not need to know how Fuentes did against Tech or Herman did against SMU to study whether Smart and staff improved their own team over the course of the season.

      In what areas did we improve during the season? Why did we improve in those areas? We’re there areas in which we made little improvement?

      Like

      • cantondawg91

        Yeah, guess those valid points don’t help your point of view. Area of improvement? The defense got better and improved rankings as the season progressed. So did special teams. The oline is playing better, no sacks in a while. Pretty much improved everywhere by the end of the season. Also improved recruiting rankings, now a top 4 class. Richthad more experience, and Pruitt now runs the #1 defense and is more experienced than the current DC, so you can’t compare Kirby 2016 to Richt 2015, it’s out of context.

        Like

    • CB

      I guess that’ll make you feel better if you’re okay with being Virginia Tech ie. a 7-8 win ACC team whose ceiling is 10 or 11 wins, but no real championship aspirations.

      Like

    • CB

      Really dude? If it makes you feel better to frame this awful season by acknowledging that “Virginia Tech was bad too” then go ahead, but could you spare the rest of us?

      Like

      • cantondawg91

        ok, who is a fair comparison to Kirby Smart since you don’t like Fuentes or Herman? Which coach in his first year as head coach most closely is like Kirby Smart?

        Like

        • CB

          How about Mark Richt? He was a national champion coordinator with no HC experience who took over a Georgia team that I would argue was in worse shape than the 2016 version. The east was also stronger in 2001 with Spurrier at Florida, Holtz had USCe at 9-3, and UT just missed a berth in the national title game with there only regular season loss coming against Richt’s Georgia team in their 4th game. Auburn was decent and two seasons later would go undefeated under Tuberville. Georgia had lost three straight to Tech, a streak that Richt ended.

          Like

          • cantondawg91

            Richt’s an offensive guy, Kirby is defensive. Also, Richt didn’t work for 9 years under a coach who had won 4 national titles. Richt’s a bad comparison.

            Like

            • CB

              They are both head coaches at Georgia, none of your examples have coached at Georgia which is why Richt is head and shoulders a better example than anyone that you’ve put on the table.

              He, coached for 10 years under a coach that won 2 national titles which is pretty comparable to Smart, but if your argument is that Saban is better then I will concede, but that only complicates you position, because Saban’s success hasn’t translated to Kirby this season.

              It is completely irrelevant what side of the ball they specialize in because when you are the head coach the only thing that matters is did you win and how good were the teams that you played? Richt won more games against better teams, and he set the bar incredibly high for year 2. Buckle up son, it could get bumpy and uncomfortable for your kind.

              Like

                • cantondawg91

                  good luck finding a comparison of an Asst who won 4 titles in 9 years. And then did better than Kirby in his first season. Still waitin’.

                  Like

                  • CB

                    Ha ha, very clever. If you make your criteria specific enough then there can’t be a comparison and therefore you can’t be wrong. There is also no example of an asst who won 4 titles in 9 years who did worse than Smart.

                    Like

                    • cantondawg91

                      My point is there is no context. Kirby is the most heralded title winning Asst ever. That should translate to titles eventually. We will see. But to say this season sux, compared to what fair context? Plus Richt went 2-3 vs ranked teams then and Kirby went 3-2. The rest of the games don’t matter as much quality wise.

                      Like

                    • CB

                      Georgia has only beaten one team that is currently ranked. It doesn’t matter what they were ranked when we played them because they are still the same team at the end of the year, so that is another knock on the 2016 season.

                      When you lose to Vanderbilt, Tech, and get thrashed by an Ole Mis team that didn’t make a bowl game… That matters. You’re delusional if you can’t see that. This year is shaping up to be as bad as Richt’s worst season in 15 years. That is a bad sign regardless of where kirby came from.

                      Like

                    • cantondawg91

                      Kirby is changing the entire DNA of the team. I don’t know how you measure that, DEFINATELY not in wins and losses.

                      Like

                    • CB

                      There is no “A” in definitely. Sorry, pet peeve.

                      That’s a good question. How do you measure DNA change? Looks like Harbaugh and Meyer changed the DNA at their schools, and you can tell bc they won immediately. If you come up with some magical metric to measure the DNA change in Athens then we would all love to see it.

                      Like

              • cantondawg91

                how many ranked teams did Richt beat in 2015?

                Like

                • CB

                  “Which coach in his FIRST YEAR as head coach most closely is like Kirby Smart?”

                  This is your criteria for the discussion. Seeing as how Georgia didn’t have a first year head coach in 2015 I don’t see how your question is relevant. To be clear, I’m not arguing that we would be better off in 2016 had we kept Richt, my point is that Richt was better in his first year, and he’s also a better comparison than the ones that you have suggested.

                  Like

            • rchris

              @cantondawg91: Yes Richt is offense. But FSU in the previous 9 years had won 2 national championships AND had the highest winning percentage in the country. Richt’s a good comparison.

              Liked by 1 person

              • cantondawg91

                wonder what kind of recruiting class richt put together in year one, you’re not saying it was higher than Kirby?

                Like

                • CB

                  Doesn’t matter because Richt won a conference title in year 2. You’re focusing on things that don’t matter because you desperately want to be right. Count me as one that hopes you are right, but the recruiting class doesn’t mean jack until they fire up those fax machines. From where I sit our 5 star qb didn’t get any better from week one until now, so I’m too confident that this staff can do anything with talent no matter what our class ranking is.

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                • lakedawg

                  Man could you just go away or hopefully the Senator will put the third strike hammer on you.

                  Like

                • rchris

                  If you’re referring to the 2016 class, Richt put most of that together for Kirby. (In fact Kirby lost recruiting position after he was hired, from 3rd to 8th.) The 2017 class looks good so far, but make no mistake: 5 or 6 losses this year hurts recruiting. Kids wanna play for a winner.

                  Like

          • Dude. You keep beating that drum. Look at the players Richt inherited on that 2001 team. It was built to win big right away.

            The fact that they didn’t is an indictment on Donnan. But Richt walked into a more complete roster than he left behind.

            Like

            • CB

              I’ll leave it up to you to defend that position. I just took a peek at the rosters, and I think you’re have a tough time.

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              • CB

                you’re gonna have a tough time*

                Like

              • Stinchcomb, Breedlove, Foster, Knight, Jackson. Entire offensive line he inherited would start on this team. Boss Bailey and Tony Gilbert. Johnathon Sullivan, Charles Grant, Jermaine Phillips, Tim Wansley. Randy McMichael.

                YMMV. But I’ll take that 2001 roster.

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                • CB

                  Naming all the players doesn’t mean they’re better. Georgia didn’t have near the backfield in 2001 as they do now. Trent Thompson easily starts on that team. Eason has a lot more talent than Greene ever did, but the coaches haven’t developed him at all. When you have a better QB and rb’s you’re gonna be hard pressed to convince anyone that your team isn’t better. McKenzie is also the most dynamic kick returner in UGA history. Most of the stars from 2001 didn’t emerge until the next season so it’s really too early to tell given the youth on the current roster. Either way, as I said previously, Richt had a tougher schedule in 2001 and didn’t seem to have any problem beating Tech and Vandy.

                  Like

                  • Not arguing with you. The NFL draft will sort this out for us.

                    Like

                    • CB

                      The more I think about it the more I have to concede that you may be more right than I first thought. You left out David Pollack who would turn out to be the best defensive player on that team. I saw Jasper Sanks and immediately turned up my nose. I still maintain that Richt was more successful against a tower schedule. As far as the talent on this team, a lot of the players are too young to fully evaluate.

                      Like

            • CB

              Richt also had a tougher schedule in 2001 than Kirby had this year, and didn’t lose to Tech or Vandy. Hopefully Smart ends up a champion, but he’s not off to a good start.

              Like

  22. Still optimist.

    Get a Top 5 class (at least) and build from here. We will be a better team next year even if all 4 juniors try out for the NFL. If 2-3 stay of them stay, that will be huge. We have some talented younger players and the entire roster will be used to the different way of doing things versus the previous staff.

    I think Kirby is bright enough and his nature is to work his ass off . That will get us back to at least a 2002-2004 level of play, in my opinion.

    Like

  23. cantondawg91

    quick anyone: name 1 brand new coach that has his recruiting class ranked higher than Kirby? If Kirby sux, there should be dozens.

    Like

    • rchris

      Kirby is a fine recruiter no doubt about it. He certainly recruited the Board of Regents, the boosters, Moreland, McGarrity et. al. back in 2014-2015 extremely well. I’m, reminded of the time I got a reference on a prospective employee and I asked “What does he do best?” “He interviews well” was the reply.

      Like

    • cantondawg91

      do you know some first year coaches that are better recruiters than Kirby or do you think he is #1?

      Like

  24. SCIllinois

    Here’s why I think 2017 (and beyond) will be better, and why I think y’all are a little too focused on really noisy metrics (and I say that as someone who essentially does stats for a living):

    (1) Demanding a higher level of play

    Watching games, you could see that the defense was demanding a higher level of play than what was demanded of them during CMR years. The coaches were demanding tougher, better execution of the players. Were there a lot of screw ups? Of course. But I saw coaches that were setting the bar at: everyone excels at every assignment on every play. I didn’t really see that in the CMR years.

    You also saw that a little bit on offense. I am happy to see CKS rip up a receiver who missed a block that meant a two yard gain instead of a four yard gain.

    Think about the CMR years. I remember priceless quotes from the OLine player during the Knowshon years, where they said “Well, we didn’t have to get it perfect because we knew he’d bail us out for a good gain.” Does anyone here think that kind of BS is about to come out a CKS team?

    (2) It wasn’t much worse than your typical CMR year.

    This season actually looked a lot like CMR years. The long debate above says things like “You can’t compare CKS to Saban… one was a head coach!!!!” Well, I don’t see anyone at all arguing that “Man, we would have done better this season with CMR!” Everything mentioned in these threads are things that we railed against CMR for. Poor clock management, poor special teams, ability to make one adjustment and then failure to adjust to the counter-adjustment, inconsistent play. Some could argue that the single most distinct hallmark of Richt games was getting too tight and conservative too early.

    I think there’s a better chance of this improving under a young head coach with a fire in his belly (and potentially under his butt) than there was under CMR.

    (3) CKS seems to understand the recruiting pipeline, not just recruiting.

    CMR’s classes were sometimes great on paper, and often underwhelming on the field. The stars shone, and some flopped horribly. I think CKS’ emphasis on talent, top to bottom, first string to last string — and all the subsequent happy facing about recruiting and talent from KB and JD — is something you wouldn’t have ever heard out of CMR.

    Here’s why I am really worried about 2017 (but not beyond):

    (1) No one is talking about how the OLine will improve next year with recruit xyz. No one is talking about how “current player xyz is poised to make a big step.” That worries me.

    (2) Tendencies are hard to break. I have a hard time seeing Chaney open up more. That said, there are a lot of interconnected things on offense: if receivers get better and the deeper ball threat improves, that’ll delay the pack the box response. If the OLine improves, that’ll free up talented TEs for medium passes.

    I was at the game. It sucked. I thought we’d take a step forward and beat the hell out of them. We didn’t.

    But I think the signs point more towards “this is the new floor.” Last year, we all knew this type of season — give or take a few plays — was CMR’s ceiling.

    Ok rant over. Good thread. Go Dawgs.

    Like

    • cantondawg91

      The Eason interception cost us, otherwise we win that one vs GT. It was a good call, playing to win, just executed and placed poorly by Eason.

      Like

      • SCIllinois

        I’m hesitant to judge CJC’s overall tendencies and trajectory from that one call. I’d need to take a lot closer of a look at the games over the course of the season, but I got a “play not to lose” vibe out of him.

        Like

      • CB

        No need to throw the ball near id field when we’re up 6 pts on 2nd down. We had a runningback that was averaging almost 9 ypc. Run the ball and give Sony a chance to get a 1st down. If he doesn’t then punt Tech inside their own 20. If they drive 80+ yards in 1:30 when we are expecting a pass then we deserve to lose.

        Like

        • cantondawg91

          I like the call, and I like the IMac call many criticized that was also poorly executed. Both were super cool calls that took balls. Nice for a change to see a coach with some courage.

          Like

        • SCIllinois

          9 ypc isn’t the right way to think about that call. The “9 ypc” ignores what the defense was doing. We weren’t getting no 9 ypc once they started packing the box. The success of a run in the second quarter isn’t a good predictor of the success of a run in that particular situation.

          Like

          • CB

            We didn’t really need yards at that point. Just needed to run clock and punt. Game over.

            Like

            • SCIllinois

              If I remember right (and that’s a big if), GT still had 3 timeouts. A run that didn’t get a first down would have cost them a timeout and about 30 yds of distance. A first down costs them another 10 or so yards and a lot more time.

              I’d want to see the data, but it isn’t clear to me that the pass was the wrong call.

              Also, full disclosure, I was 100% fine with the Seahawks passing instead of giving it to Lynch. I’m all about positive expected utility. Even if the benefit isn’t realized.

              Like

      • cantondawg91

        at least we aren’t fair catching punts any more. Richt’s too conservative to win big, always said that, and it proved right.

        Like

        • CB

          Formula to convince yourself that you are a college football Nostradamus.

          “A” will happen to “B” because in my opinion “C” is true. “A” happened so I was right about “C” (ignore many other factors that could have played into the situation). If “A” doesn’t happen then rinse and repeat until you guess something correctly.

          Example:
          Richt couldn’t win big because he ate wheat bread instead of white. I always said that and it proved right.

          Anybody can play that game.

          Like

        • lakedawg

          How many games did Richt win this year with a less talented team tha Kirby?

          Like

          • cantondawg91

            Richt did his usual, beat the unranked teams, go winless against the ranked teams. He only faced one ranked team, but true to form, lost it.

            Like

    • Will (The Other One)

      I worry a bit about the “fire in the belly” thing a tad too, given how often Kirby punted inside the opponent’s 40 (plus getting an INT, with one TO and almost a minute before halftime, a cannon-armed QB, and…not even trying to get into FG range.)

      Like

      • SCIllinois

        Those are good points Will. I worry about that, too.

        I think those are mostly indicators of CKS’ lack of confidence in the offense. (Also, that INT started our drive around the 20 if I remember right.)

        Ultimately, I agree with you about those decisions. I wish CKS had said “This is what we’re going to do when I think we’ve got our house in order, so dadgum, we’re going to practice doing it now. We’re going to drive for those three points in two years, when we’re playing Bama in the SECCG so let’s start getting ready for that moment now. Screw it if we mess up and it costs us this game, because we’re not playing for decent today. We’re playing for great tomorrow.”

        However, zooming out, this doesn’t bother me too much. I know CMR wouldn’t be chasing those points in the SECCG two years from now. He wouldn’t be chasing those points 10 years from now in the SECCG or the Belk Bowl.

        I do think the likelihood of CKS chasing those points and demanding excellence are higher than if CMR was in charge. How much higher? I dunno. But higher.

        I’m excited to see next season (something I don’t remember saying with CMR for a long time). If we don’t take steps forward, then I’m going to be the first one in line to say “Y’all were right. I’m disappointed and worried, too.” (cantondawg91 doesn’t seem as willing to eat crow =)

        I think we will take some steps forward.

        Bottom line: this kind of season was guaranteed from CMR every now and then. I think this season is the new floor, not the ceiling.

        Like

  25. Malcolm x

    I wish to thank all those for the growling and gnashing of teeth. I’ve been in a long bad mood due to national politics. I sat down with a frosty Mexican
    Coca-Cola Saturday night and read all the comments after the Tech game.
    I haven’t laughed and chortled in a long time. Truly the cherry on top.

    Like

    • SCIllinois

      That’s some real weak trolling, right there.

      2/10.

      I would have considered a 3/10 if you’d said “Coca-Cola de Mexico.” The vague “national politics” reference, huge missed opportunity. Just really poor stuff all around.

      Like

      • Malcolm X

        I’ve been watching football for 54 years. To quote Joni Mitchell “you
        Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, you paved Paradise…”. I wasn’t trolling..I was honest in describing an emotional joy. I didn’t get to see the game, because the world is unjust and God is vengeful. But reading the comments provoked laughter. How soon you forget Ray Goff and Jim Donnan. You fired a guy who won with honor. Remember the Jan Kemp
        Years. My God you beat Tech something like 14 out of 16 times and the fans are wounded. Welcome to LIFE, my precious snowflakes. College
        Football is fun entertainment only. The students face possible lifetime
        Injuries for no pay, while blowhard coaches make $4-6 million a year. It’s
        A game of my thugs against yours. That’s the facts, Jacks.

        Like

  26. I just read huckabees ? weekly post game synopsis (Blog). He got It correct.
    No reason for Tech to beat the Dawgs except the Dawgs were Outcoached..
    The Dawgs were more talented But they did not play with the intensity and
    winning attitude that Tech did. It was a sorry output & Game by the Dawgs.

    Like

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