The biggest problem with labeling 2017 a throwaway year

Two stats, via Chip Towers:

… Georgia’s last four coaches — dating back to the early 1960s — averaged six wins in their first seasons. Mark Richt, who went 8-4 in 2001, was the best among them. Jim Donnan went 5-6, Ray Goff 6-6 and Vince Dooley 7-3-1.

Extended over the entirety of the previous century, that number falls to an average of 5.5 wins for first-year coaches…

That takes care of 2016.

Georgia’s average wins in Year 2 under its last two head coaches — 11.5.

The Process versus expectations.  That should be a doozy of a battle to track.  As we’ve already seen, the schedule won’t be much of an impediment.  I guess there’s always the talent gap to blame if they can’t handle Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech again.

196 Comments

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196 responses to “The biggest problem with labeling 2017 a throwaway year

  1. 2017 will be a throwaway year if the record doesn’t meet expectations. Dooley, Donnan and Richt all did some of their best work in year 2. Of course, Goff’s program fell into the 1990 abyss. I expect us to compete for an SEC East championship. Dooley (?) and Richt won SEC titles, and Donnan went from a 5-win team to a top 10 finish.

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  2. FarmerDawg

    Have faith in my Bobby, I mean Kirby. Regards Moma Boucher

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  3. dawgxian

    Let me suggest to everyone that it was probably a good idea for Clemson not to fire Dabo after the 2010 season

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    • Nobody is suggesting Smart be fired.

      Are you saying there’s something wrong with expecting better next season and holding folks accountable if that doesn’t materialize?

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      • dawgxian

        I realize you’re not suggesting that and I realize that being a season ticket holder, you have more skin in the game than I do. I’ve come to the conclusion lately that there’s no formula for turning this around. Richt had one loss in year 2. Swinney was mediocre to bad his first 2 years followed by steady improvement and now he’s probably going to be in the CG for the 2nd year in a row.

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        • Not trying to be a jerk here. The reason it feels like this season stings a little more than the won-loss record is because the fan base got played by the athletic department exploiting the excitement that comes with a coaching change. A little less BS up front would have made for a more understanding attitude now.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            If the fan base got played, then they’re suckers. Coaching transitions are usually not smooth, and nobody had any idea going into the season how good a head coach Smart will be, how good his staff is, and so on. I was hoping for better than this season, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it. Okay, I did expect them to beat Vandy.

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            • DawgFlan

              It’s not about the fans being suckers, at all. It’s about the person occupying the AD’s office using the hire to raise prices, donation requirements, push fundraising, lobby for legislation to make him less accountable, stop writing anything down to make him even less accountable, kowtow to a handful of power-brokers, and continue neglecting the gameday experience and stadium to the point of shamefulness.

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            • Greg

              We played like crap the entire year at home – losses to UT, Vandy and GT, a 2 point win over Nicholls, a 14 point win over ULL and our one big win over Auburn, where the only TD we scored was on an interception return. Were you expecting that? Were you expecting that we’d be down 45-0 to any team, much less one that didn’t finish with a winning record? Were you expecting that we wouldn’t put a single team away until late in the 4th quarter with the exception of ULL? With the schedule we faced and the players we had returning, there was no reason to expect anything less than nine wins. Terrible season capped off by the ridiculous fourth quarter collapse vs GT.

              Next year will tell us whether or not we hired another Ray Goff or someone who might at least approach the standard Mark Richt set. I thought it was time for a change from Richt, but this season brought a lot of reasons to be concerned about Kirby and his staff.

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            • Napoleon BonerFart

              You really consider that Butts-Mehre honestly advertised 2016 as the year we burn it all down and start over? I never saw that in my mailings. I saw hype of The Process combined with Chubb and Michel with the best gunslinger in the country coming to town.

              When they fired Richt after a 10-win season, they announced that they wouldn’t be satisfied with being good. It’s championships or bust. Well, this season was a bust. And no, I wasn’t expecting a championship. Nobody was. But the too-early verdict on Smart is much closer to bust than championship at this point.

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          • sUGArdaddy

            Definitely HAVE to see improvement in the W-L record in year 2, but agreed here that the fan base got played if they thought anything other than bumpiness of a transition. I suspect the Dome win over UNC fooled us, but it’s always wise to not let week 1 tell us much.

            After watching ND/Texas, I thought, “Wow, those are two really good teams and that was an incredible game.” 13 weeks later, “Wow, that was a fun game to watch between two terrible teams.”

            Every new coach brings ‘new energy.’ It’s the nature of the beast. Were we supposed to NOT try and capitalize on that. But, I’ll say that the first year doesn’t tell us much no matter what. Malzhan seems to be a coach whose teams will look a lot more like 2014-2016 (which is 6-6 to 8-4 range) than the 11-1 first year.

            I say it this way. If every coach’s career is a book, the first season is the introduction. Chapter one started Sunday with recruiting. I was with the team in ’96 and ’97. The difference between the team mindsets was startling, and after an off-season of work and understanding the offense, Mike Bobo went from interception machine to the most efficient passer in UGA history to that point. A lot can happen in an off-season, and it certainly needs to with the 2017 Dawgs.

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            • bigdoghunts

              Speaking of recruiting, going 7-5 has seemed to spark the recruiting, seems like recruits see opportunities to start immediately because the needs are so pressing, according to Bulldawg Illustrated. In a strange twist, going 7-5 helps recruiting this year. You agree? I wonder why all the recruits are jumping on board after a 7-5 season, what are they seeing?

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              • lakedawg

                And you believe everything posted on BI?

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              • Macallanlover

                I don’t know if it was sparked by the 7-5 record but current recruiting status is awesome, hope it leads to all them coming in for 2017. My concern is we are vulnerable to our rivals taking shots until February, and many of them have enough weaknesses to offer up immediate playing time as well. KS’s greatest strength thus far has been what he can get done in the recruiting area, he needs to be at his best this off season because our story and early excitement isn’t at its brightest.

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                • bigdoghunts

                  Are you aware of any drops in recruiting rankings at ESPN, Rivals or Scout, or are you just theorizing?

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                  • Macallanlover

                    No, I am not. There has been some theorizing and remarks that some of the ones who looked more certain to be Dawgs may be wavering, and a few that had us higher on their list have moved us down. As you know, what looks predictable in December can turn to slop in February. But my comment was also that most of this class of verbal commits were there before the lack of performance led to a 7-5 record, not after the results were known. I am particularly more concerned with how we looked on offense and the lack of ideas from Chaney. We need some quality receivers and RBs to sign on, and stay on, but our offense didn’t demonstrate we are a place where anyone is going to light up SportsCenter highlights, or plays of the day. Don’t under estimate that need for today’s young folks. Being 3 or 4 now isn’t much more than looking good in the Spring Game, no one has signed an LOI at this point.

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              • Greg

                Bad years do nothing but hurt us with the truly elite players. The guys who have offers from just about every school and wait until the end of the process to decide aren’t afraid of competition. They know they can play for anybody. Do you really think it helps us when we are playing in the crappy bowls we’ve played in for the past several years while Bama, Clemson and others we’re competing against are in the playoff or at least competing for a spot in it? You can bet Kirby used that logic at Bama when he was negative recruiting against us…Why do you want to go there? They can’t even win the SEC East, as weak as it is. Do you want to play in Belk, Taxslayer and Independence bowls or do you want to play for championships?

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                • playmakers in space

                  I don’t think your theory is valid. Some of our worst recruiting classes came directly after some of our best seasons (’07, ’12). ND and LSU currently have top 10 classes after an awful season and coaching change, respectively. Saban started reeling in #1 classes before ‘Bama became the current juggernaut that it is now. Your head coach and staff are either great at ‘cruiting or they aren’t. Smart clearly excels in this area.

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          • Mary Kate Danaher

            You lost me here, Senator. My memory isn’t what it used to be, so what exactly did the athletic department do that exploited the excitement that comes with a coaching change? What specific BS did they spew?

            And in the same vein, what would you have said or done differently leading up to the season ?

            Liked by 1 person

            • I would have waited a year before sticking the fans with a price increase.

              I wouldn’t have used Smart’s honeymoon to lobby the state legislature to pass a law making my job less accessible.

              I wouldn’t have left the fan base with the impression that the transition would be seamless, let alone encouraged it by making G-Day into an enormous event (granted, on that one, they were probably self-delusional a bit).

              I didn’t have a problem canning Richt and I don’t have a problem with Kirby Smart as head coach. But the transition was handled about as poorly as could be imagined, largely fueled by the perception that hiring Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator was almost as good as hiring Saban himself.

              Maybe where they should have started was hiring a professional PR person to guide McGarity.

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              • Mary Kate Danaher

                Thanks. The only place I disagree with you is on who was responsible for “the perception that hiring Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator was almost as good as hiring Saban himself”. Not sure we can lay that one at the feet of McGarity.

                Totally agree on the open records change. Inexcusable.

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              • Mary Kate Danaher

                “I wouldn’t have left the fan base with the impression that the transition would be seamless, let alone encouraged it by making G-Day into an enormous event (granted, on that one, they were probably self-delusional a bit).”

                Isn’t this a bit of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” issue? If the powers that be inside BM had sent the message that the transition was going to be rocky, they would have been ripped for being too negative, for sending a terrible message to ticket holders.

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              • Gaskilldawg

                Do not forget The J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics claiming that his head coach working full time to help Alabama winning a national championship was better for UGA than his new head coach working full time for UGA.

                I would be less upset if he said, “We would rather have him here working for us but we are willing to let him finish there as a cost of acquiring him.”

                At least he wasn’t trying to make me a sucker.

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            • bigdoghunts

              Boom MK, capitalism is alive and well. Some hate it. Some love winning 10 games but never winning it all. God forbid the Admin raise expectations to think the shitfest is over.

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  4. Biggus Rickus

    Yes, year 2 will tell us a hell of a lot more than this year. If it’s mediocre, year 3 will determine whether or not he gets a year 4. It was ever thus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jared S.

      “Mediocre” is relative, and in this Kirby will find some breathing room.

      A 7-5 first year kind of helps Kirby in some respects. It won’t help much recruiting, maybe, but it really takes some of the pressure off for 2017.

      Can you imagine how much pressure he’d be under right now for next year if he’d won 9 games this year? 9 games in 2017 would seem “mediocre” if he’d won 9 in 2016. But now if he wins 9 games next year we’ll all be toasting his health and breathing sighs of relief, looking forward to winning the SECCG in 2018. (Ha!)

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      • Biggus Rickus

        If he goes 9-3 next year people will complain and say he better win the SEC in 2018 or at least be competitive with Alabama in the championship, which almost makes 2018 a championship or bust year. Though if he goes 9-3 in each of the next two years, I think he’ll definitely get a fourth. I’m not sure he’d deserve it, but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.

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  5. The other Doug

    Kirby will get a minimum of 3 years, but if he trots the same crap out on the field in 2017 as he did this year, then his seat is going to be blowtorch hot in 2018. He could still redeem himself in 2018, but his margin for error will be thin.

    Kirby & Co. would be foolish to treat 2017 as a throw away year.

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    • bigdoghunts

      I wouldn’t call it a throwaway in 2017, but it was intelligent for the Coach to start 7-5 because it resets expectations. If he goes say 8-4, then 9-3, then 10-2, then 11-1, then 12-0, no one will fire him. He just bought himself 4 years in my opinion to get to 11 wins. And it was prudent by him to start off 7-5. Do we win win 10 games with Lambert? Yes. But look at where expectations would be in 2017.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        Do they really teach, “It is smarter for you to lose football games” at coaching seminars?

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        • bigdoghunts

          I think it was the most prudent choice for Coach Smart to kind of throwaway 2016. Leadership 101 is a leader sets expectations. Coach Smart sent a loud message that sacrificing the long term to win a few more games (over largely lousy teams) is not his style (Hey CMR, here’s looking at Y-O-U). It was my biggest beef with CMR.

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          • So losing to Georgia Tech was a deliberate choice on his part?

            I hope you realize how stupid what you posted sounds.

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            • bigdoghunts

              A lot of my friends are still better about CMR’s firing, so I feel ya Bro. But face it, he never won the big one. We need a better approach than trying to win 10 games a year (against largely nobodies like 2015 for example), I hate that CMR settled for mediocre mentality. CMR would have played Lambert again and won his 10 games (against largely nobodies).

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              • Richt’s firing didn’t affect me emotionally one way or the other.

                And the argument that Smart chose to go 7-5 this season is moronic. Apparently you intend to stand by it. Unfortunately, I don’t have any friends who share the same delusion, so I can’t say I feel ‘ya.

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                • bigdoghunts

                  I sense a little bitterness in your writing since the CMR firing towards the new coach, maybe you are unaware but it’s obvious. Yes, if Coach Smart wanted to focus ONLY on the short term, he could have won 10 games by going with Lambert, taking zero chances with the game on the line, running the shotgun, and getting away from the power running game, played only the most experienced, but that’s not who he is, thank God..

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                  • I sense a little bitterness in your writing since the CMR firing towards the new coach, maybe you are unaware but it’s obvious.

                    Need to adjust your sense meter, then.

                    I’m crossing my fingers Smart works out, but I’m not blind to what I saw on the field this season. You think it was deliberately part of some master plan; I thought it was what on the job training looks like.

                    A great coach doesn’t need to choose between the present and the future. By the way, you realize that if Georgia had won 10 games this year, it would likely be playing in Atlanta this week? Funny, but I suspect had that been the case, your observations would be quite different now.

                    Carry on with the cheerleading.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • PTC DAWG

                      I do not think we needed another Bama beat down this year…sort of glad it worked out that way myself…never would I think it was on purpose.

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                    • Honestly, that would have been the kind of learning experience I would find perfectly acceptable in Smart’s first year.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • HVL Dawg

                      Wow. Bigdonuts hasn’t been reading The Senator very long.

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                    • dawgtired

                      What is the time frame for being able to critique a new coach without hearing how much you loved the old coach? I hope it’s not as long as US presidents. This would make a good subject for a Seinfeld show. Can someone ring a bell or post a note when it’s acceptable to disagree with the current coaching staff?

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                  • The other Doug

                    bigdog, you and I see a drastically different road to success for Coach Smart. In my own life, I have always busted my rear to find some small successes that I can build off of and show others that my path is worth following. Basically, it’s easier to lead when you are viewed as successful.

                    Coach Smart came out of the spring riding an incredible wave and it helped him lay the foundation to an awesome recruiting class. If he had eeked out 10 wins and a trip to ATL to get his ass kicked by Saban it would have added to his recruiting momentum plus the ass kicking would drive home the work still to be done.

                    Instead he wasted all of the capital he had coming out of the spring game. That makes no sense to me and it’s caused me to question his judgement.

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                    • bigdoghunts

                      you have to lay the foundation before you build a tower.

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                    • Well said and it is absolutely right. Kirby wasted every bit of the goodwill and political capital he built up with the rank-and-file of the fan base with the body of work on the field this year. The question is whether the people behind closed doors and with a 90-day waiting period on releasing information feel the same way.

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                  • Greg

                    As he said, your logic is moronic. Yeah, losing 5 games was just part of Bainbridge Bubba’s master plan. Really??!! Let me guess – you’re from South Georgia too. I bet you were saying the same thing after every year of Ray Goff’s tenure.

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            • Well remember Richt lost the Florida game on purpose. Right up there with that.

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          • DawgFlan

            Thanks for the insight, Greg. My biggest beef is losing games we could have won, but if Leadership 101 is running out the clock at the end of the first half instead of trying to score, trying to run out the clock and losing all aggressiveness halfway through the third quarter, and having no confidence in the red zone on either O and D, well then well CKS, here’s looking at Y-O-U.

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            • bigdoghunts

              You do realize Coach Smart could have easily won 10 games if he goes with Lambert right? But in the long term, it hurt us. Please tell me you understand that.

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              • You do realize Coach Smart could have easily won 10 games if he goes with Lambert right?

                Please proceed, governor.

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                • bigdoghunts

                  I’m saying for example, Coach Smart knew how things have turned out for true Freshman at QB at Georgia, yet went with that anyway. He didn’t give a shit about winning 10 games (against largely nobodies see 2015 for example). Kind of reminds me of Stafford’s first season, problem is CMR didn’t have the long term vision to start Stafford in game 2.

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                  • Again, Georgia won 9 games in 2006 in Stafford’s first season, finishing out with three consecutive wins against ranked teams.

                    I think you’re having problems with this whole vision thing.

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                    • bigdoghunts

                      CMR was wired to win 10 meaningless games. That’s who he was. It was all about risk aversion and job security. Nothing wrong with it. CMR had ZERO long term vision. He always sacrificed the long term for the short term and that’s why he never won the big one. Coach Smart is TOTALLY different.

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                    • dawgtired

                      Well at least we now understand the reasoning behind the scheduling…we needed meaningless games to fit CMR’s wiring. Got it.

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              • lakedawg

                Where do some of these guys pop up from? Can feel another warning from the Senator coming.

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              • PTC DAWG

                I disagree that we would have won 10 with Lambert…you think he makes the OL instantly better? Where in the world is this 10 wins coming from?

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                • bigdoghunts

                  Lambert won 10 games the season before, he is a known commodity, remember? Run game was more effective in 2015. Lambert was also much more accurate than Eason. And threw far less interceptions.

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              • Gaskilldawg

                bigdoghunts, I do not think that playing Lambert would have won us 10 games. He would not have won us the Ole Miss game or the UF game, for sure. Eason’s deep ball threat kept us in the UT game and Eason did not cost us the Vandy game.

                If we were building for the future without regard to winning now why did we play 3 seniors on the offensive line and give few snaps to Allen, Hardin, Madden, Barnes, Cleveland or Kindley? Wouldn’t it be smart to go into that sweet, sweet 2018 National Championship season with them having at least 24 games under their belts?

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          • Losing 4th quarter leads to tech and Vandy were needed to reset expectations? Laying another egg in Jacksonville is part of The Process? Falling behind Ole Miss 45-0 was part of the plan? Almost suffering the most embarrassing loss in Georgia history was for recruiting?

            Does anyone truly think this team could have won more while also changing the culture, etc.?

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      • dawgfan

        If CKS loses to Tech in 2017 and 2018, he will probably be a grossly over paid assistant in 2019 just like Muschamp was in 2015. UGA should never lose at home to Vandy or Tech, especially in the same.year. The honeymoon is over as far as I am concerned. It’s time for results now, starting with recruiting. Anything less than a top 5 class will be another disappointment.

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      • Napoleon BonerFart

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  6. Next year for Kirby will tell us all a lot more. If he’s going to make a jump, it’ll probably be in year 2.

    OL still scares the daylights out of me, but maybe there’s hope in the JUCO/Grad Transfer ranks? I honestly don’t know.

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    • The other Doug

      They haven’t changed up the OL much, so there is either zero young talent on the roster or they are holding back.

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      • Sadly, I’m afraid it’s actually both.

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      • Russ

        This is what I don’t get. Our OL underperformed, but we played the same 6 guys all year. We’re red-shirting Cleveland, which can turn out nicely assuming we have others around him. I guess I just don’t know what to expect.

        Back to “hope” for our plan….

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        • Cleveland’s fundamentals needed lots of work.

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          • Rocket Dawg

            I heard this same thing from several people. Big Ben played a lot of defensive line in HS and had only played tackle one year. Red shirting OL is a must if you want to build continuity. What concerns me is that guys like Pat Allen and Sage Hardin are RS Freshman and still never saw the field or cracked the 2 deep. That doesn’t bode well for 2017.

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          • Jesus! How bad could they have been that he couldn’t break into that offensive line…as big and strong as he is? Maybe he couldn’t remember which sides gaps use odd vs even numbers? He sounds like a bust to me at this point.

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          • I’ve heard the same thing- another gym-rat with zero footwork and blocking skills. He was a high school stud simply because he was bigger and stronger than anyone else he lined-up against. Much different story when lined up to larger, skilled DL in the SEC. I hope my insider is wrong and they made the decision to redshirt so he could save a year on a mediocre team in transition. I’m holding my breath on that one.

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  7. bigdoghunts

    As long as the win totals get better each year, Coach Smart will never be fired. 8-4 in 2017 is all he needs. Get real people. No, he doesn’t need to win 12 games in 2017, that’s utterly ridiculous.

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    • I realize you’re just having fun here, but which four games would you think we would lose?

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      • bigdoghunts

        doesn’t matter, I just want to see an improvement in the win column, 8 wins minimum is all most expect. Few expect 11.5-12 wins in 2017 like the good Senator’s article

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      • Will (The Other One)

        Pretty sure if one of the four is the first loss to Tech in Atlanta since 1999 (especially if it’s not a ref-aided close loss) and another is yet another loss in Jacksonville the seat will be quite warm. Especially because 60 years of UGA history tells us coaches that lose 3 in a row to Tech don’t get a shot at losing a fourth.

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  8. Bob

    What is ridiculous is the constant lowering of the bar following the change we made last December. After the euphoria of our savior arriving in the Classic City, the expectations were immediately tamped down. And almost immediately we started hearing about how Saban had such a rough first year so we shouldn’t expect too much. Conveniently omitted was the fact that Bama had been on probation and had finished with 6 wins the previous year and had had losing seasons 2 of the previous 3 years. Now we are talking about a 4 year plan to just get us back to 10-11 wins….or another words the average of the previous 4 years under the old management. If I didn’t care so much, I would be laughing.

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  9. Atticus

    The die was cast for this season with a new staff, a true freshmen QB, no playmakers on defense after losing Ganus, Floyd and Jenkins and NO OL or WRs. NONE. Ridley and Nauta will be good and Wims could make a jump with an offseason in Athens as opposed to his JUCO. But no pro prospects (starters) OL on that roster other than possibly Wynn when he can actually play his correct position at guard an entire season.

    The talent is better than Vandy, Nicholls and GT for sure, but not with TN or Ole Miss (despite their own messes) because of 2 holes in classes (no talented juniors or seniors) and those teams all were playing in a system they know and have played in for a few years. Kicking game cost us one game too. That has to be fixed.

    We were 12 points away from 4-8, 5 points away from 10-2. The margin for error is that close. Especially in the mess that is the SEC. No team won more than 8 games except for Bama. Think about that.

    A few things you have to hope for or we are about to go down another 5 year black hole.

    1-The SEC East sucks and it’s not getting better (for that matter the west isn’t stable either, Saban has to be loving that). Vandy and KY can’t recruit high enough to compete year to year. Same with SC and Boom aint the answer. McIlvane can’t recruit well enough. Butch is Butch, he is going nowhere. Missouri isn’t taking over the east either.
    2-Dabo looked like a deer in headlights for a couple of years until he got some playmakers at WR, an elite QB and a lights out defensive line that had/has NFL players all over it. And it took a couple of assistant hires to get the staff he wanted. You have to hope that is the path.
    3-You have to have a QB to win and its either Eason (with a full year offseason to slow everything down and not feel like he is drinking from a firehose) if you can put a little better offensive line and some improved WRs with him (see Matt Ryan in year 2 under Kyle Shanahan, they looked awful last year) or Fromm or Lawrence will come in and be that guy. By that time (3-4 years) they will have either been in the title game or Kirby will be gone.
    4-The talent wins over. Nobody has challenged Bama and they have the most talent so it has to start there. Last year’s first class was very good in spots with Eason, Nauta, Ridley and the 4 DL (Rochester, Clark, Carter and David Marshall) possibly Herrien and Holyfield…..and you still have to hope Mecole, Manac and Cleveland develop with a full offseason because everybody wanted them. Roquan, Patrick and Trent are all going to be very good next year. You have to hope that the signs of Carter and Bellamy making some plays happens if they stay. Sanders is a solid leader but we need some more talent at DB and they are coming. Lecounte will be on the field immediately. Now they will bring in a much better and deeper class, especially at OL and DB. This will be the #3 class in the nation when it’s done. Not bad for a coach (and staff) considered in over his head and coming off a 7-5 record. Parents are watching and hearing the same things. Eason could’ve gone to Washington, Michigan or Florida…..Fromm and Beal to Bama…..Nauta anywhere…..Swift to Penn State, Carter to TX….Lawrence to Clemson…so they must be selling something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The die was cast for this season with a new staff, a true freshmen QB, no playmakers on defense after losing Ganus, Floyd and Jenkins and NO OL or WRs.

      Most of the staff had experience coming in, including two holdovers.

      Disagree with you regarding playmakers on defense. I thought Patrick and Smith were clear improvements at ILB, for example. Trent Thompson is a beast.

      Godwin was the team’s best receiver last year and was poorly utilized this season.

      Usual YMMV caveat applies, of course.

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      • Atticus

        Agree on Godwin, he wasn’t used properly.

        As far as the staff, yes Sherrer and Rocker were there but the staff in general working together and the exact schemes and game plans were different, especially on offense with the 3rd different offense in 3 years.

        Smith and Patrick are playmakers no doubt and TT is a stud, but they are still sops, most great teams have juniors and seniors making plays….and they didn’t make plays on 3rd down and in the redzone like is needed to stop drive and force FGs. DBS are especially mediocre but that will change next year and I hope they quickly develop Mecole Hardman.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Malcolm Mitchell would like a word.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Also, Godwin caught two more passes in one less game, averaging 0.2 yards less per catch. It seems to me he was utilized in very nearly the exact same way.

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      • CB

        Totally agree on Patrick, Smith, and Thompson. Clear upgrades from last year, and I believe we returned all the db’s from the top passing defense of 2015. Definitely hurt not having Floyd applying pressure.

        I think the issue with Godwin might be that teams now have film on him. He’s under 6 ft tall, and athletically has a tough time creating separation with SEC db’s which is evidenced by him having no receiving touchdowns in SEC play after two full seasons. He’s also not very physical. Overall, not a great formula for success.

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    • bigdoghunts

      Didn’t have any playmakers, agree 110%, CMR’s guys were a huge letdown. Coach Smart needs to get his guys in here let the big dog hunt. Need a monster on the dline, and a playmaker or two at running back and receiver.

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      • The other Doug

        Finally you and I agree on something! Smart needs to bring in a stud running back. I love Chubb’s story like everyone else, but it’s time to get a stud in the backfield.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      I am all in favor of having faith. I really am.
      I was underwhelmed by Smart this year. However, his performance this year does not mean he won’t learn and improve. That is the thing about rookies. We cannot assume they will not learn their craft as the get experience.
      IN 1994 we knew what we had with Goff and there was no reason to expect he would improve. We will have a much better understanding of what Smart can do for us 365 days from today, unless he follows the bigdawghunt blueprint of tanking a few games to keep 2018 expectations low.

      Like

      • Tim in Sav

        Why does everybody here keep busting Ray Goffs ass………He was a damn good Dawg and was put in a position he couldn’t succeed , he didn’t have the experience. I personally think he would have made a good coach given enough time. Great recruiter and not a dumbass. Let the fallout begin in ……..

        Like

  10. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    CKS is sitting in a better position at UGA today than Saban was at Alabama when he arrived there. He has better talent. A potential super star QB with a year of experience. 2 very good recruiting classes on campus and the potential for another fantastic one here in 2017.

    3 fantastic classes with an experienced quarterback, plus a handful of talented upperclassmen is a great thing for the 2017 season. Saban turned Bama into a national title winning team in 2008 after 3 similar recruiting classes, with less of a foundation.

    There are going to be a whole bunch of sophomores and juniors in the front 7 who have NFL talent. Some holes to fill in the secondary. Got to cobble together an offensive line. This is a team that should be more talented than almost everyone we play next year.

    since Saban’s first few years at Bama are what we hope to replicate, some of his best/impact players on that 2008 team were recruited in ’07 and ’08. UGA is recruiting at that same level the last 3 years.

    Like

    • Atticus

      I wouldn’t go that far. Saban had a huge signing class (#3 and #1 in SEC) early that added Julio and Mark Ingram, Mark Barron, Marcelle Dareus and Terrence Cody… and a team that still had upperclassmen had an All American at LT (Andre Smith)and at LB (Rolando McClain). Where are you getting 3 fantastic classes, we have had th3 3rd and 4th rated classes in the SEC the past two years, very good but not great. This years will be no doubt because they have had a few years to get to kids early, something Richt never emphasized…..the OL is a huge question again next year unless he can sign Little or a big time JUCO. DBs will be better but still young.

      Like

      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        signing that 5* Offensive tackle is now Smart’s responsibility.

        Alabama’s signing classes ranked(according to 247):
        2005: 21
        2006: 15
        2007: 13
        2008: 3
        2009: 2

        julio was in 2008. dareus was a 3 star, mcclain was a 4 star in 06. smith was a 5 star in 06. Barron was a 4 star in ’08.

        What I’m saying is that Smart has every opportunity to do exactly what Saban did, except he is starting with a dramatically more talented team. If you want to compare NFL prospects and talent between Mcilroy and Eason, the McIlroy coming out on top in anything, I’m all ears.

        Sure ingram is probably better than anyone we’ll have on campus next year, but this roster has NFL talent scattered all over it from the 15 class onward. they will be sophomores and juniors in 2017 and we ought to be playing and winning like it.

        All of this to say, CKS is recruiting better than saban did in his first 2 years. the issue is Saban has and will always have more talent that UGA, so Kirby has to be a better coach, which is why we fired Richt. It was felt he wasn’t. I hope Kirby is the guy to get us there. my fear is he is UGA’s Ron Zook. I hope those fears are unfounded.

        Like

    • Gaskilldawg

      The disadvantage Smart has in regard to Saban is that Saban didn’t have to coach in the same league with Saban. Smart is being asked to be better than Saban and beat him on the recruiting trail then in a SEC CG. Lots of good coaches have failed to measure up to that standard.

      Like

  11. Greg

    LOL!….GATA. Hope we do not have another Ron Zook/Charlie Strong or TN situation…..but it is kinda what it reminds me of. But I have some hope, we have McGarity .. : > ).

    Like

  12. bigdoghunts

    A dose of reality, sorry Senator.
    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/nineteen-first-year-college-football-coaches-realize-their-new-responsibilities/

    There were 19 brand new coaches hired before this season.

    5 ended up with better records in their first season than Kirby, 13 had worse than a 7-5 record.

    So Kirby out-performed @75% of his peers in real time.

    Most rational people would call that much better than average.

    Carry on with the Kirby sucks CMR is great meme.

    Like

    • Your argument might carry some weight if all nineteen of those coaches walked into the exact same situation. Since that’s not how the real world works, I can’t say much for your reasoning.

      Like

      • bigdoghunts

        but if Coach Smart sucks so bad, why did he outperform 75% of his peers? Doesn’t really fit your view of things does it?

        Like

        • PTC DAWG

          He has been patient with you so far….

          Like

        • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

          didn’t we just fire a coach for being above average? aren’t most first year coaches walking into jobs where the previous coach won 7 or fewer games, likely 4 or fewer?

          If your standard is out performing 75% of the coaches out there, then you will be very, very happy with whoever UGA’s coach is most years.

          My hope is Kirby is as good as Saban, Meyer, Peterson, Stoops, Harbough, which means with good recruiting, some luck(32 years a UGA fan, I’m convinced, one day Lady Luck will smile on UGA), UGA just might win a national title.

          Like

        • When did I say he “sucks so bad”? And how can you say he’s outperforming 75% of peers when you don’t have a common baseline from which to judge?

          By the way, even if what you say is true, is outperforming 75% of all first year head coaches what Smart was hired to do?

          Like

          • bigdoghunts

            Since the average coach at Georgia wins 5.5 games in first year, and Coach Smart has won at least 7 wins, maybe 8, is Coach Smart exceeding expectations or below?

            Like

            • This is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Dooley succeeded Johnny Griffith, who went 10-16-4 in three years as head coach. Ray Goff succeeded Dooley in a period when the program was in slow decline for a few years. Donnan succeeded Goff.

              Prior to Smart, the only coach who came in with a somewhat steady foundation from which to build was Richt, who went 8-4 and then won the SEC in his second season.

              Smart walked in to a situation where the program was coming off back to back 10-win seasons.

              So you tell me about expectations.

              Like

              • bigdoghunts

                I think CMR went 6-7 when he tried it in 2010 and that was with 4 future NFL WR’s in AJ Green, Marlon Brown, Wooten, Durham. Is 7-5 surprising to you at all without NFL calibre receiver- I McKenzie and Godwin are both like 5’7”?

                Like

                • bigdoghunts

                  tried going with a Frosh Qb in 2010 vs 2016*

                  Like

                  • Aaron Murray was a redshirt freshman in 2010. He also finished with a 154.48 passer rating.

                    Like

                    • bigdoghunts

                      My point was CMR went 6-7 when he tried it. And Coach Smart went 7-5 when he tried it. Good signs.

                      Like

                    • bigdoghunts

                      should have been 250 with those 4 wr’s. AJ Green???

                      Like

                    • bigdoghunts

                      my question was, considering wr’s are no way comparable to the 4 NFL wr’s we had in 2010, and we went 6-7 then, are you surprised we went 7-5 with a Frosh Qb and very little NFL talent at wr? I’m not surprised at all, expected 6 or less wins with those wr’s and a Frosh Qb.

                      Like

                    • 2010? Green was suspended for four games and Brown rarely saw the field (11 catches).

                      That team was substandard at running back, unlike this season.

                      Look, I get that you’re impressed with Smart in his first season. And that’s fine. But you’re trying to convince me and others who don’t share the same viewpoint by cherry picking stats that have little meaning because they’re drawn out of context. You’re not convincing anyone with that, despite 50 (!) posts in one day on the subject. Repetition is no substitute for depth.

                      I’m trying to be patient with you, but you need to realize you’re wasting everyone’s time with this. Find another subject to discuss. Please.

                      Like

                    • bigdoghunts

                      Ok, I just think a Frosh Qb and no Wr’s “being 1 dimensional” explains the whole season and reflects similar win total outcomes in 2001 (8-4) and 2010(6-7), when those guys were redshirts and Eason is a true Frosh. With that, I’m out. Sorry to trouble your blog on my day off.

                      Like

          • bigdoghunts

            also, average win total of those 18 peers was 5.5, Coach Smart is at 7. Above expectations there or below?

            Like

        • Russ

          So, the 75% of the coaches he beat all came into a team that won 40 games over the previous 4 seasons?

          Like

      • bigdoghunts

        what the good senator wants to do is cherry pick comparison’s in different eras instead of using the real time comparison like this one, that’s bogus.

        Like

      • bigdoghunts

        imagine a salesperson who says “But Boss, no one ever succeeds in this territory, don’t compare me to bigdog, that’s unfair”. The boss goes “tough shit, you are all compared to each other and you were found wanting—you’re fired”.

        Like

  13. bigdoghunts

    Only 5 teams in the SEC had better than a 7-5 record. None of the 5 above him were first year coaches.

    Like

    • Napoleon BonerFart

      CMR was fired after winning 10 games. Only Alabama won more. So, going from second most wins in the conference to sixth most is progress? Because new staff?

      Like

  14. Has bigdoghunts set a record for amount or percentage of comments on one post? Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Russ

    I’ll really be glad when Mrs. Smart gets a job.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gatorhater27

    Didn’t the Kirby sock puppet have a different handle yesterday? Sheesh.

    Anywhoo, interesting stats from Seth in this article – in summation, most coaches who go on to win championships win more games in their first year than their team won the previous season.

    https://www.dawgnation.com/football/a-look-at-how-championship-winning-head-coaches-have-fared-in-their-first-years

    Like

  17. 69Dawg

    Senator how do we keep getting one poster that has diarrhea of the key board and just keeps being a horse’s ass. Kind of wish he and Derek had gotten into it to see if this post could have hit 300 posts without a single good argument.

    Like

  18. hooper

    I’ve been reading a lot, and posting nowhere till now. Three takeaway’s from Sat.’s meltdown, which if you add a dime will buy you a Folgers instant coffee packet, but not the cream or sugar if you so desire.
    For those who want to blame the talent on hand, mostly the OL, that talent was pushing tech’s talent 3 to 4 yards off the ball early. Don’t think the talent said, hell let’s throw the ball down here, and see how that works. That’s on someone else, chose whom you wish. I’m old school, talking Woody and Bo old, so that sort of thing just pisses me off to no end.
    Another thing that I’ve seen very little said about, but seemed out of line at the moment it happened was the time out when we were trying to run out the clock before the interception. Anyone else notice CKS screaming at Eason as he came to the sideline? Next play was the bad throw. Showing him up like that, then asking him to go make a throw maybe doesn’t work the same with a QB, as it may with a LB you think?
    IF, the OL is the biggest problem we have, as many seem to think, then the tech OL should give you much hope. Started 2 Fr., and at times had 3 Fr. on the field. Since we only trusted 6 OL to play this year, and 3 of those won’t be here next year, expect we’ll see some of that next year in Athens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AusDawg85

      Good post.

      Like

    • merk

      Seriously? The play was called to a WR running to the sideline, so typically that throw is either completed or goes out of bounds. It just so happened Eason threw it behind Godwin by a foot or so and it just so happened that Godwin tipped it perfectly to a Tech player that made a great play. I mean hell man, it was a play that had several things go just right for them and wrong for us. It was a safe play and the receiver was open, it was just a bad throw.

      Like

  19. After reading through the thread, I have a headache and a lot of I need whiskey now sentiment for the Senator. Buy some really good stuff.

    Like

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