Now that the first year is in the books…

I’m curious to hear from you about something.

If the spectrum of expectations for Georgia’s 2017 season runs from “another throwaway season” at one end to “great leap” at the other, where do yours fall?

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185 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

185 responses to “Now that the first year is in the books…

  1. Mark

    “Regression to the mean” is a phrase in use here a bit recently. I’d think that in year 2, regression to our 15 year mean of 10 wins is a reasonable expectation.

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  2. VoxDawg

    I’m cautiously optimistic, expecting 10-2 and winning the East not being off the table.

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  3. 81Dog

    Better be a great leap. Don’t the metrics all indicate if the new guy doesn’t have it going by year 2, he probably will never get it going? Either way, next year UGA will have 2 stellar recruiting classes in the bag, almost 2 years of The Process, continuity at QB and with the staff (it appears). As Big Ed Bookman says in Texas, “It’s time to stop talking about the picture of the dog.” I don’t expect a national championship next year, or even an SEC title, but I expect to see something a lot better than what I saw this year.

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    • gastr1

      I’m with you. If it’s not a great leap, we did not get our man, IMO.

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    • Dabo would disagree, but yes, for the most part he who doesn’t win early in his tenure doesn’t stay long enough to right the ship.

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      • Russ

        You mean Deshaun would disagree with you. 😉

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        • Tahj Boyd got Clemson to 11-2 and beat Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. People keep sleeping on Dabo like he’s some chump…the dude can build a staff and recruit. Clemson isn’t good because of Deshaun alone.

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          • Russ

            How good can he be? After all, that bum Mark Richt beat the pants off of him in Athens, and nearly did the same at Clemson.

            I will admit that Dabo has built a pretty strong team around Watson. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them win tonight.

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          • Will (The Other One)

            No, but if Watson and Venebales left after this season, I’d be very skeptical of Auburn with a Lake next year.

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            • Venables isn’t going anywhere as nothing is open worth his time. And Clemson might dip to 9-3 next year, but that’ll be because they’re in between QBs. If 9-3 is a bad year you’re doing something right.

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      • You could maybe say that about Jimbo too. His 2nd year was pretty underwhelming. Then he got rolling downhill and smoked fools.

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      • Mike Cooley

        Agree Parrish. I don’t understand the reluctance to give credit where it is due where Dabo is concerned. I also don’t understand the tendency people have to or the need they seem to have to characterize him as buffoonish and not to be taken seriously. They can do that if they want t to but they do it at their own risk of being made fools of themselves. I don’t have real strong feelings about the guy either way but dude is legit as a coach. Some of the self styled intellectuals may not think he’s cool enough for them but he did t trip and fall into the success he’s had. Clemson was a perennial “close but not quite” sort of team for what seemed like forever. Dabo has made them into the real thing.

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      • 81Dog

        Dabo seems to be an outlier, metrics wise, which I guess goes to show that metrics aren’t everything. For the record, I think Dabo is a hell of a good recruiter and coach, and it wont surprise me one bit to see Alabama go after him when Saban decides to hang it up. A school could do (and has done) much worse than to hire a guy with a proven track record as a head coach at a Power 5 school if they want to be a national power.

        Liked by 1 person

        • A school could do (and has done) much worse than to hire a guy with a proven track record as a head coach at a Power 5 school if they want to be a national power.

          I see what you did there.

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          • 81Dog

            Can you imagine a guy like Dabo with the unlimited resources and administration support he’d get at Alabama? Me, I hope they hire another Mike Shula or Ray Perkins.

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            • Napoleon BonerFart

              Saban has transformed the culture. They’re more likely to hire Bill Belichick than Mike Shula for their next coach.

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              • 81Dog

                well, Belichik is a great coach, but he’s getting old, isn’t he? Can Bama boosters offer him eternal youth or something? Talk about attention to detail.

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        • Rpcpisme

          How good was UGA the last time Clemson made a run at the national title?

          Perhaps the Dawgs can get something going next season?

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          • Georgia was not a good team in 2015.

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            • But they won 10 games

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              • Yeah – but the question was how good was Georgia the last time Clemson contended for a national title which was a whole year ago.

                FWIW – that 2015 team was better than this 2016 team by nearly any objective measure you want to use.

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                • I don’t argue that. 2015 had 2 5 year SR tackles, Malcom Mitchell, Leonard Floyd, and Jordan Jenkins. It was still the worse 10 win team you’ll ever see.

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                  • You must have missed that Iowa team that went to the Rose Bowl last year. Absolutely mediocre team that got lucky it missed Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State in the regular season. Hell – Northwestern won 10 games last year and got obliterated by Tennessee in its bowl game. There’s plenty of average as grits 10 win teams in the modern era of CFB with 12 game schedules. You keep acting like Georgia 2015 is unique in this respect.

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                  • In all seriousness – there’s like 3 Power 5 teams that finished with 10 wins last year that fell below Georgia’s #32 in S&P+. I just don’t see why people feel the need to continuously shit on the 2015 team. As far as I’m concerned, 2016 was a far more unenjoyable viewing experience. At least that 2015 team put Spurrier in the retirement home. That’s a redeeming quality for an average season in and of itself.

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                    • To each their own. I’m not saying 2016 set the world on fire, bc God knows it didn’t, but 2015 was the most miserable season I had as a UGA fan since the 2000 disappointment. Probably just me.

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                    • Mayor

                      Tri, you have a warped perspective. How much did you like the 2010 6-7 team? ’09? The ’09 team looked all season like a it would have a losing record but pulled the fat out of the fire at the end to go 8-5. The 2015 team was a decent albeit not great team that actually could have won the SEC East if Chubb hadn’t gotten hurt in the UT game and CMR had not made the biggest game-planning blunder of his career in the FU game.

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            • rpcpisme

              OK, you got me…I was referring to early 1980s. My attempt was making a correlation between Clemson national title run and UGA national title run. Just looking for a silver lining to UGAs benefit from the CU run. Their QB is special, it will be interesting to see how they look next searon.

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      • Jack Klompus

        As would Mike Macintyre.

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    • Jeff Sanchez

      Agree. Not winning the East, considering the schedule and the state of our division, would be a colossal failure

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  4. Grathams replacement

    10-4,11-3. Defense improves to 17-20 ppg, even more improvement if a dominant pass rusher emerges. OL,WR, and Eason improve as the season goes on. Kicker is the wildcard with the Blankenship drama.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Kicker has been the wild card for the last two years, and not just because of the befuddling situation with Blankenship. For a program with a long long history of great kicking and punting to have come to this is some kind of existential bitch-slap. Its like we done pissed somebody off, there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Spike

    Well.. since you asked.. Our weakest points were first, an undersized and out maneuvered O line who had difficulty run blocking. And if we can run with Chubb, Michel et al in the backfield we are in trouble. Second, Eason wasn’t quite up to the hype he came with. He is a great talent and a nice young man. But, he overthrew a lot of open recievers or didn’t see them at all. He did show some promise in the Liberty Bowl by running when flushed out of the pocket instead of getting sacked or throwing the ball away. We have a favorable schedule next year, but we had that this year too. If we get the O line organized and BEAT FLORIDA who knows?

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    • Derek Dooley 2.0

      You mean an undersized and improperly coached Offensive Line. I see improvement coming in with this new OL class. I’m not certain we have the coaches in place to capitalize. Let’s hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Biggen

    Be in the SEC championship game. That is the bar for me and anything less would be a disappointment. No reason to not run the table in the East with the amount of talent returning AND coming into the Fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aladawg

    I don’t know how it will go, but it better go to the SECCG and an east division title.

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  8. sniffer

    9-3. Losses to Notre Dame, UF and Auburn.

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    • James Stephenson

      Auburn. If you had said any other team, I could be on board. But AU.

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      • Jeff Sanchez

        I like how we just chuck up a loss to Florida, naturally (I do too)

        But hey, frat beach! Barbara Jean’s in October! Good times, I guess.

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        • James Stephenson

          Well he is saying Losses and naming teams, losing to ND at their house, could see. Losing to UF, 50-50 ok. But in the last 10 years, UGA has owned AU. So there I draw the line.

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        • Otto

          I would consider the program being on schedule the East coming down to the WLOCP win or loss in a 4Qtr game. Smart needs to get the program to a point where is .500 or slightly better against UF.

          The UF QB situation will be interesting to watch. McElwain catches flack for the QB situation but he was having a solid 1st yr before the QB was ruled ineligible, and a good 2nd yr when the starter was injured. They red shirted a QB who was ranked just behind Eason and Del Rio is back. UF should be favored to win the East again.

          GT is a must win or Smart hot seat talk starts. UGA coaches don’t start 0-3 to the nerds.

          Year 3 is the big year. Smart recruited OL heavy this year, Hopefully they sign and then develop in year 2. Chubb and Sony are great but they can’t create miracles with a mediocre OL.

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      • Otto

        I was thinking ND but I’ll take a SEC loss over a non conference loss any day.

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  9. SemperFiDawg

    Middlin

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  10. Heyberto

    If anyone says Kirby will succeed, they’re lying. No one knows. Any throwaway season will only be excused in hindsight… if he actually builds something. The caveat I’ll give is that I’m not going to bitch too much about his 1st year, despite some real head scratching moments (games). 2nd year doesn’t get a pass. I can’t put a number on that, but all I can say today is I need to see significant progress

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  11. rchris

    If you look at raw athletic talent on hand, the only teams that will be remotely close to us are Notre Dame (coming off a losing record), and Auburn (who we beat). Unfortunately we have to play them both on the road as well as Tennessee, and we play the Gators in Jax. If Kirby can get as much out of his talent as the opposing coaches do theirs, then we should win at least 2 of those 4. 10-2 in the regular season is a reasonable expectation.

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  12. Heyberto

    Also, if Kirby & Co. weren’t killing it on the recruiting trail, I think there’d be a lot more restlessness amongst the natives.

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  13. Dave

    Win the east, beat Florida, lose pretty handily in the champ game, but not by five TDs

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  14. DawgPhan

    I think that all the indicators will point to an East title or 9-3, 10-2 a top 15 type of team.

    What I would be more interested in is being able to pull up Bill C stats at the end of the season and seeing 2+ games in 90+ range, 5-6 games in the 75-90 range and maybe 4 games in the 60-75 range. No games in the single digits. No game below 50th percentile.

    Regardless of the wins and losses that would indicate that this team was moving towards being a competitive national title team. Maybe a team that ends the year better than they started.

    My guess is that we see something a little better than a throwaway season, but the drive home is still nothing but guys telling you that we just dont have the players and talent in athens to beat Mizzou.

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  15. The other Doug

    I was let down because Smart was so rigid in his philosophy that he didn’t go after the wins. I think he learned a lot though, and I bet we see more out of the offense next year. I expect there to be changes in the OL if someone gets beat like Catalina, I expect Eason to be under center as much as he can handle, I expect to see Mr Chubb and M Michel to get the ball more often.

    I still think Smart will be successful. His recruiting is incredible, the East sucks, and I’m an eternal optimist.

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  16. Starbreaker

    Looks like I’m on the same page as most others…win the East and be competitive in the SEC championship game, at least. It’s not as much about our team, but the competition and next year is looking like an even more down year for the SEC East (if that was even possible). Also, the offense is going to have to pass the eye test and appear more in sync and fluid in Chaney’s offense. No doubt there will still be struggles with a new OL, but I need to feel better about the offense and see improvement.

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  17. I feel like 2017 is going to have a lot of similarities to 1997. So I’ll go with 10-2. Whether that’s good enough to get to Atlanta or not, idk. Obviously it depends on how the rest of the conference shakes out.

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  18. I want to see two things (drastically) improve next season.

    1: Eason has to get better and take advantage of the gimme plays. I don’t need him threading the needle 25 yards down the field with regularity, but I need him to hit the open receiver for the big play. He failed to do so far too often this year, but since he’s a true freshman learning a complicated system I’ll give him a one-year pass. That pass expired Dec. 30th, however.

    2: Kirby’s in-game coaching has got to get better. I expected there to be some issues and he didn’t disappoint. His time out usage is awful for the most part and truth be told his demeanor is too up and down. I know we all wanted Richt to be a little bit more emotional, but Kirby seems to be a classic overcorrection to that. He needs to settle himself down a bit while keeping some of the emotion that makes him who he is. That’s not an easy thing to manage but it’s part of the gig.

    As for the season outlook, it’s just so hard to tell this early. Players will be hurt. Players will transfer. While I’m somewhat bullish on the offensive line, I still think UGA is one year away before contending for anything special. That doesn’t mean UGA can’t win the SEC East. In fact I would be disappointed if it didn’t. But it could very well be a sacrificial lamb should Bama find itself in Atlanta again a la Florida the past two years. I think 10-2 is a very real possibility with 9-3 being more realistic. Road games at Auburn (who will be much better next year), Tennessee and Notre Dam plus Florida in Jax isn’t an easy 4 game deal. Then you have to worry about losing to a team you shouldn’t, because UGA showed it was more than capable of doing that this year.

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  19. The first team to 15-0 ever!

    (See what I did there?)

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  20. As many have pointed out, if a new coach doesn’t win big by Year 2, they usually don’t end up winning big at all. I’m not saying I’m expecting it, but anything less than an East title isn’t going to look good for the future. And I would add at least being competitive in the SECCG too. Barely winning a weak East division then getting blown out in the SECCG wouldn’t be a huge step forward in my opinion.

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    • I mean… UGA went 7-5 this year, so winning the East and playing in Atlanta would most definitely be a major improvement. Doesn’t matter if UGA gets blasted in Atlanta or not.

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      • I see your point……I’m just saying that let’s say we swapped places with UF this year – I wouldn’t feel drastically more optimistic about the future if we’d had their season instead of ours.

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        • MGW

          I think thats why so many people here see getting to Atlanta as the baseline. UF has been a very bad team and still won the east two years running. We should at least be able to do that.

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  21. Bulldog Gemes

    A great throwaway season

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  22. Russ

    Win the East or have compelling reasons why not. Demonstrate a willingness to use our talent to their best advantage.

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  23. Bill Glennon

    I look at Kirby this year like I would a true freshman QB in the SEC. I think he will make good progress this year, and the game will slow down for him. However, he might not yet be seasoned enough.

    Kirby is absolutely lights out in the “off the field” coaching aspects like recruiting and building enthusiasm. He has experience in these areas. His “on the field” coaching has been bad, although the D has been OK. His media and press dealings have been bad. His bad coaching areas are those that that he never handled under Saban.

    Kirby has the right personality. He is a motivated, intelligent grinder. A gym rat. Those types of people are resourceful and learn from their mistakes. They figure out how to win over time. I expect we will see steady progress but not a championship for a few years.

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  24. Cpark58

    Improved with flashes of greatness, hitting on all cylinders by whatever Florida bowl we go to. SEC East Champs or missed by a thin margin and added depth another top 5 recruiting class.

    The O-Line could be a liability as it will be super young but with leadership in the RB position, more experience at QB and a more talented receiving corps, we should be much improved on offense. Next year’s line will have more upside but still be mighty young to motor-grade but now that Eason is possibly 1/3 through his career, the game should be slower for him so playbook should open up and its reasonable to expect he have the command of the offense and be better able to make changes at the line away from doomed plays.

    No one is asking for an all shotgun, 5 wide, air raid spread attack. UGA can still be the pro-style, run first, wear down the defense, play action team it wants to be but Mr. Cheney will have no excuse but to adapt or die until the motor-grader is ready.

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  25. Sparrow

    I guess I’d ask what’s going to be different? Our OL was a huge problem, will freshmen from this lights out recruiting class be enough to fix that problem? As this blog has noted, our general offensive approach has been… undynamic. Is there reason to think that will change? Is there someone in-house who can help develop Eason into the QB we all want to see? For everyone calling for the 10/11 win season this year, I’d ask why specifically you think you’ll see improvement?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Because we won’t be playing a true freshman, 18 year old QB?

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    • Cpark58

      it’s reasonable to expect an improvement between year 1 and 2 as everyone becomes more comfortable with everything. It ain’t like UGA’s offense was prolific or dynamic before Cheney got there and he wrecked it.

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  26. FarmerDawg

    So yur sayn there’s a chance?

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  27. RCBRick

    Talent improves, but Chaney is still calling the O and Kirby is still in over his head. 50/50 shot we win a bad east, and could win anywhere between 4 and 11 games, because that is just how football is, but it would be surprising if UGA finishes top 15 in S&P+. I’m guessing somewhere around 30th.

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  28. Biggus Rickus

    I don’t expect anything. If they take a leap forward, Smart may end up being a good hire. If not, he’ll probably be fired a year or two later.

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  29. Tronan

    SEC East champs and at least nine wins in the regular season. Anything less is going to put Kirby and staff on the hotseat – and considering the 2017 schedule, rightfully so.

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  30. paul

    I think we need to see some dramatic improvement. Having said that, we could easily still lose three games while playing vastly better than last year. We need to see the things we were promised THIS year: no face plants, attention to detail and a team that gives it’s best effort on every play of every game. It would also be nice NOT to see the coaches stubbornly insisting on pounding square pegs into round holes.

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  31. AusDawg85

    There’s not a loss on that schedule, but there are 5 tough games. We would have expected not less than 10 – 2 with an East Division title pre-Kirby. Given all of the issues this coaching staff needs to overcome, I think they come up one game short at 9 – 3 and miss winning the East again.

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  32. I don’t expect an SEC championship next season because (1) Jim Chaney will still be calling the plays and developing the offensive game plan and (2) I’m not bullish on the offensive line play being championship quality. After saying that, I expect what we got in year 2 of the previous guy … an appearance in Atlanta and a team that fights like mad and lets the chips fall where they may. If there’s not an appearance in Mercedes Benz Stadium on the first week of December, someone’s seat is going to be hot entering 2018.

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  33. Connor

    I think with our talent and schedule 9-3 would the expectation given a perfectly average coaching job. So I expect we’ll go 8-4. I expect we’ll be unhappy with that.

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  34. Beat Tech and don’t ruin my trip to Chicago.

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    • paul

      We are going to ND as well. I sure hope the restaurants aren’t the highlight of the trip.

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      • Ditto. Already booked our house in South Bend for the weekend.

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        • Have you been to South Bend? It’s not Athens.

          We’re flying to Chicago Thursday, Cubs day game on Friday, partybus to and from ND on Saturday, Chicago fun until Wednesday. Is there a Ferris Bueller tour?

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          • paul

            We’re staying in Chicago as well. South Bend is a beautiful campus but rather isolated.

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          • I’ve not been to South Bend, but have a few alumni friends here in Atlanta recommending things to do. If nothing else, we’ve got a large enough crowd to have a good time in our house before and after the game.

            We’re flying into Chicago on Thursday and thinking about catching that Cubs game on Friday as well. Haven’t decided if we’re renting a car or taking a train to South Bend from Chicago. I’m certain there’s got to be a Ferris Bueller tour if you search for it. The wife and I are heading back to Chicago later that month for a wedding so not planning on spending much time there after the game other than to fly home.

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      • More Arizona, Less Colorado.

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      • soccerdawg

        To you South Bend Travelers, I am looking to go in on a house for my UGA Junior son and myself.

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  35. Saltwater Dawg

    Beat Florida
    Win the SEC East.
    Beat Tech
    Competitive game in SEC Championship

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  36. Scorpio Jones, III

    Seems like most folks would be happy if we got to the SEC Championship game…and got beat.

    If that’s the happy spot, wtf did we go through all this drama and pain for?

    I more or less understand the process, that next year should be better than this year and I can almost guarantee that next year will be better than this year.

    But that’s hardly the point, is it?

    I will not be happy next year or any year we are not playing in the national championship game and winning it.

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    • RCBRick

      Oh, silly Scorpio, don’t you know Smart needs to time to purge the losing mentality that Richt instilled in the program for all those years?

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      • dawgman3000

        Its not a losing mentality Kirby is trying to correct, it’s a mentality of doing just enough to get by is what he’s trying to root out of program.

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        • RCBRick

          Yep, fourth-most wins in the nation from 2001-2015 = just barely scraping by. Kirby has indeed put a stop the mentality that produced those results, whatever it was.

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          • dawgman3000

            How many championships of any kind do we have to show for all of those years?

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            • Jeff Sanchez

              Two SECS, five east titles, but yeah, no rings.

              About the same as any team not coached by guys named Meyer or Saban

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              • dawgman3000

                2 SEC titles in 15 years while sitting in the 4th best recruiting state in the country. Yeah that’s really lighting it up there champ. Keep dancing to that 10 win drumbeat.

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                • Jeff Sanchez

                  Yeah I’d take 10 wins in a heartbeat right now. You?

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                  • RCBRick

                    Most of them wouldn’t. For a lot of people, an 11 win season with a 3-1 or 4-0 record against rivals that doesn’t result in a title might as well be a 0 win season. I don’t get it personally, seems like a miserable way to live your life, but they’re calling the shots for our program now.

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                    • Tim in Sav

                      Rick……he’s gone, get over it. He had 15 years to get the job done and he didn’t(notice I didn’t say couldn’t) Mark Richt is a great man and a good coach but he’s gone. Lets give Kirby at least three or four years and see what he can do.

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                    • RCBRick

                      Of course we can and should give Kirby time, but I don’t see a point in faking optimism for a situation that looked bad when the staff was hired and has only gotten worse (other than recruiting, which is going gangbusters). We’re likely to be looking for a new coach in a couple years, so we might as well remember how monstrous of a fuck-up this was and who is responsible. If that means I am not ‘letting it go’, so be it. It will be great if Kirby defies the odds, otherwise I am stoked about the guy we hire after McG is sent to the un-hireable purgatory he so richly deserves.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Not all championship game appearances are created equally. If they go 9-3 and squeak in only to be blown out, that’s a far different thing from going 12-0 or 11-1 and losing a competitive game. The latter will still only get him to a fifth year (barring a dropoff of Muschampian proportions) if he doesn’t follow it up with anything.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Your last sentence would make for a pretty miserable year most of the time. You’re not very happy are you? 🙂

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        No I am pretty happy most of the time because I don’t have unrealistic expectations about my football team.

        To want any other result than a national championship for my football team is kinda stupid, no?

        I am bored with all this bullshit about what is acceptable.

        If 10+ wins a year for 15 years is not acceptable, then by God I want the big enchilada, the glass do hickey, the confetti bath…

        To want, or expect, anything else is stupid.

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    • Saltwater Dawg

      It is possible to develop the right strategy, coach players to be great and play great as a team, to have the right game plan, and still lose. Consistently playing down to or losing to teams with inferior talent has been the UGA way recently. I believe we all expect that to change quickly, and starting next year.

      I have seem many teams in many sports get to a championship game for the first time (players and/or coaches – not ever), play extremely well, and not quite have that secret sauce to win while playing under that pressure. I’ve also seen those teams and coaches come back the second time and kill it.

      From my own comment, that’s what I meant by competitive in the championship game.

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    • Well, we were in the driver seat for that in 13 14 and 15 but flunked even that test.

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  37. MGW

    If we could get a little improvement along the O line, I don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to beat anyone on the schedule. I expect we lose a game or two but get to Atlanta and play a competitive game. I don’t “expect” to win in Atlanta, but even if its Bama we play, it should be competitive into the fourth quarter.

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  38. Compete in every game. Beat Florida. Win the SEC East. Finish the year looking like 2018 will be special. This is what I expect.

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  39. bigshot

    All of you predicting or wanting big years forget we play at UT this year and you can expect some devastating injury to come out of that,

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    • CB

      We should take a forfeit in K ‘Ville, either that or refuse to play anyone on the two deep. They’ll be fighting hard to defend their 2016 Life Championship and we can’t risk the knees of our kids.

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  40. Macallanlover

    I expect UGA to be a strong favorite to win the East, and would be disappointed if they don’t make it to Atlanta. While I don’t expect any/many more votes for us to be in the Top 10 next year, we should start somewhere around 15th as a consensus rating, and could be competitive with all teams by the end of the year. Biggest question marks are OC deficiency, whether Eason makes good strides, and whether we get better with in-game management issues (timeouts, challenge communication issues, and personnel groupings.)

    Last year I was overly optimistic at 8 1/2 wins, but next year I see 10-2 as the most likely record, assuming no surprise changes before September. This is based on returning personnel, and a soft schedule of opponents, more than us having closed the gap from a team rated in the 60s last year to a Top 15 team by September.

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  41. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    What is a ‘great leap’? I don’t know, but I fully expect us win the East. Can we compete with the West in the SECCG? If compete means not get embarrassed then I think we might be able to do that. Win it all the next year (2018). By the way, if we can get tickets, we’re going to South Bend – I actually think we are going to win that one.

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  42. Allen

    The mythical Year 2. Key juniors on offense a defense returning, coupled with a slew of talented, experienced freshmen & sophomores who have shown great early promise. Back-to-back elite recruiting classes to add depth. A weak division and a relatively easy schedule. Everything is set-up to make this another in a long line of national championship caliber “Year 2’s”.

    Given the uninspiring performance of the coaching staff and the fact that this is Georgia, I’m certainly not predicting that it will be, merely thinking that the ingredients and environment dictate that it should be a SEC-title / BCS playoff type of year. Anything less will be a disappointment. Anything less will be what Mark Richt delivered for 15-years.

    Unfortunately for Kirby, he is the victim of expectations raised not by his own hand, but by the way in which he was hired and the man he replaced. Another 10-2 season where we wind up on the outside of the national championship race and again pointing to next-year might be realistic, but it is not what Kirby was hired to deliver. He was hired to be better than CMR, not simply a younger, more irritable version with very, very good, but not elite, results.

    In short, 2017 is exactly the type of year, and the type of team that Kirby was hired to turn from really good-to-great. Anything less should be viewed as a huge disappointment and the cause for many tough questions to be directed at not only Coach Smart, but also our beloved AD and his cronies in the hydration business.

    Like

  43. Rocksalt

    With next year’s schedule? Win the East is the bar.

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  44. 10-2 and an SEC Championship game appearance. If Kirby doesn’t deliver that then I don’t think we have our guy.

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  45. Timphd

    I personally want to see the coaching staff focus on winning games over “establishing an identity”. I want to see reins loosened on Eason so he takes a few more chances, like throwing a deep ball that his receiver can catch rather than worrying too much about a turnover. I want to see CPJ make excuses of why he can’t beat Georgia in Mark Richt field. I want to see Gator tears after the Cocktail Party. I want to see Auburn smoked so badly that Gus has to answer lots of hard questions about his leadership. And I want to see the Fighting Irish get their asses whipped by the Dawgs (I hope to witness that one personally). They’ll still be a top ten team after the loss by the way. If those things happen I am pretty secure in thinking that would mean a good season.

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  46. Doggoned

    My heart: We’ll beat Florida, Auburn and Tech, plus Notre Dame at South Bend, win a weak SEC East and give Bama all it can handle in Atlanta.
    My head: this is CKS’s second year, following a spotty first season, and nobody should expect miracles. But it would be nice to get back at least to where Richt left us. I truly felt we regressed last season. That was a major disappointment. A repeat of that will portend a short stay in Athens for CKS.

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  47. Derek Dooley 2.0

    Another throwaway. Btw, no former Saban assistant has beaten him head to head. Still.

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    • Keep beating that drum while ignoring that Jimbo is a badass. Saban hasn’t played an assistant that has had the time, support, recruiting, etc. to build a program that can complete with him. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It means he hasn’t run into it yet.

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      • MLB2

        Season opener in 2017. Dome christening.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        I doubt there is any school in the known universe that supports its football program with the gusto of the University of Ala by God Bama…really. What other school would have the consummate gall to put “having championship football” in its mission statement?

        Hell, Jimbo can’t even get out of the ACC.

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  48. PTC DAWG

    Georgia is one of 3 teams in the East that expect to compete for the SECE Title most every year. Next year is no exception.

    Kirby’s going to get it done.

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  49. Medium leap tripped up by occasional coaching learning curve events:
    -Clock management trip up
    – ‘Impose your will’ mentality that ends up playing against personnel strengths
    – Critical bad call on offense
    – Over coaching on D that leads to a devastating penalty

    I expect an SEC east championship, but with perhaps some needed help from other east teams.

    I expect a loss to UF until I see the rise of a game changer like Jarvis Jones. UT will be a shootout and I’ll be left wondering what happened to the high octane offense a few weeks later when they struggle due to the ‘impose your will’ mentality.

    We will see flashes of greatness from the new kids that will leave us wanting more in 2018.

    That’s what I expect. Would be ecstatic to be proven wrong on any or all of the above statements (except the SEC east prediction of course).

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  50. PTC DAWG

    Let me add that a Group of Six Bowl would be a nice touch..we haven’t been to a bowl of that magnitude since the 07 Season…unless my memory is failing me.

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  51. Joe

    Expecting a step in the right direction. The main concer being that, yes we have some awesome recruits coming in on the O-Line….but does anyone really expect them the perform at an elite level until year two?

    The defense will be as nasty as we’ve seen in 10 years.

    Eason will make a significant jump in year two.

    Chubb and Michel are an obvious advantage.

    Receiving corps will have more experience.

    But that O-Line????

    Expect 9-10 wins with a good shot at winning the East and a close loss in the SECCG due to a nasty Defense and an Ine that just can’t push us over the finish line. 2018 will be the year I expect a slot in the playoffs.

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  52. South FL Dawg

    Max 1 loss
    Win the weak SEC east
    Don’t get embarrassed in the Dome

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  53. Squatch

    Expect much improvement and making it to Atlanta unless there’s some major implosion. I still think Kirby’s model will yield results so I won’t be jumping off the wagon though if this doesn’t happen.

    The wild card is Eason. I want to see him improve on accuracy and check downs. I can do without another season of Sony and/or Chubb jumping up and down in the flat waiving their arms with nobody with 30 yds of them.

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  54. MLB2

    No expectations or opinions until Jacksonville 2018. We’ll know for sure by then. As far as getting to Atlanta and losing this year or any year, there is no bigger screwover in college football than to be the loser of the SECCG. If you don’t play in it and are the next highest ranked team, you get a New Year’s 6 bowl. The SEC gives no shits about teams that aren’t from Florida or Alabama. Thus I give no shits about any teams that aren’t UGA.

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  55. dawgtired

    The suspense of the season is one of the things that makes college football so great.

    I believe we should be equal or better in all areas of the team.
    QB – will be more experienced and possibly pushed by the next guy.
    DL – will be more experienced and should be better
    DB – many coming back with experience and pushed with new talent coming
    WR – see DB
    RB – needs no comment
    OL – here is the big question and concern – we would have to expect to be better just because we stuck so bad this year. Pittman will have another year with the current players and the influx of all the new-improved talent coming. This will be were the offensive coaches prove they earned their pay.
    K – who knows. it’s such a fickle part of the game.

    We should be able to claim wins against App St and Samford now (hope I don’t regret saying that)
    The trip to South Bend could be tricky but they didn’t have the best year themselves. Their best win was against Miami.
    I won’t claim a win at UF until I see one.
    Even though we struggled with UK and Mizzu and lost to Vandy this year I expect us to be MORE improved than they will ber next year.
    USC and MissSt had bad years and I didn’t see anything to make me think they’ll improve by more than UGA.
    Auburn, GaTech and UT seem to be the 3 games that could make or break the season…although I expect UT to struggle with the change at QB and we seem to have Auburn’s number. Tech is Tech.
    I will go with a 10-win season but don’t know which 2 to pick as losses. All are winnable but many are lose-able. September can’t get here quick enough.

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  56. Ken Dorfman

    •SECE
    •SECC
    •NATTY
    •Heisman
    •Bronko Nagurski Trophy
    •Chuck Bednarik Award
    •Dave Rimington Trophy
    •Davey O’Brien Award
    •Dick Butkus Award
    •Doak Walker Award
    •Fred Biletnikoff Award
    •Jim Thorpe Award

    Liked by 1 person

  57. We should win the east. We didn’t fire a 9-10 win/coach, and excellent human being, for a 4-5 year rebuilding job. Considering the state of the east, winning the division isn’t expecting too much, either.

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  58. artful codger

    If offensive philosophy and offensive line play jell, and if better supported by sideline management, I would expect to play in the new dome in early December. And that would suit me just fine heading into ’18.

    Like

  59. If we lose to any team from the State of TN next year ,I’m going to be harder on Smart than I already am. (2) I thought we hired Smart so we could compete with the Process not just concede that we’ll never beat them in the Championship game. (3)The goal is to win the SEC and let everything else take care of itself…that has been the goal since Dooley.

    Like

    • lightbud

      right now the SEC East pecking order is:
      UF
      TN
      UGA

      Until Smart starts beating those guys, he’s third tier.

      Like

  60. NoAxeToGrind

    9-3. It takes time to develop an OL, and the verdict has not yet been rendered regarding Chaney/Pittman.

    Like

  61. lightbud

    I feel we are looking at a 6-6 or 7-5 season. Here’s why I say that.

    We are a non-championship team trying to change the entire culture
    without any Championships since 1980.
    1- Saban struggled at Mich St to do that going 6 or 7 wins for 4 years.
    2- Sweeney went from 9 wins down to 6 wins in 2nd year at Clemson.
    3- Dantonio went from 7 wins down to 4 in his 2nd year.
    4- Harbaugh won 9 games in his first 2 years at Stanford.

    My point is it’s tough changing a culture used to non-championships, even for great coaches.

    Here’s how most see it:
    Top 25 finish in 2017
    top 10 in 2018
    Win Natl Champ in 2019

    Sorry, show me a list of coach’s with that 3 year pattern.

    More likely will be like:
    6-8 wins in 2017
    7-8 wins in 2018
    8-9 wins in 2019

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  62. W Cobb Dawg

    I don’t see how the heck we could lose the sec east in 2017. It would be a fail of epic proportions.

    fu lost their best coach (Collins) and much of their talent. ut lost their entire offensive backfield and a few of their best defensive players. We have 7 returning starters on O, 10 on D, all the ST players except Imac, most of the backups return, and we have a huge recruiting class.

    If any other team in cfb was this stocked they’d be in the top 5. But at underachievement U the nation has come to expect screw ups. If we don’t win 10 the whole organization should be scrapped.

    Like

    • lightbud

      Returning players don’t mean a lot if they don’t win but 8 games together.

      Saban lost his DC and went undefeated the next season.

      Oklahoma, FSU, Michigan, LSU, has good recruits every year and rarely wins a Championship.

      Like

  63. Mayor

    It depends on whether Kirby Smart is the HC B-M thought he would be when they hired him or if he is the bozo he looked like during certain games this season. I am hoping for the former but I fear the latter. The former is 10-2 regular season next year. The latter is 6-6.

    Like

    • lightbud

      6-6, yep.

      The losses to Vandy, Tech, and Tenn are puzzling, as were some of the close wins.

      Could have easily gone 5-7.

      Smart did not achieve anything in his first year in wins, for sure.

      Like

  64. 69Dawg

    I don’t know what his record should or would be in 2017 but I do know that any UGA coach that starts his career 0-2 to Florida and 0-2 to GT will not have a long career. If by some total freak of the fates he should also lose to Vanderbilt again, he will not get to 2018. He took a team that lost some good players and was 10-3 and managed to totally waste the best backfield tandem we have had since Worley and Henderson and through stupid play calling on offense and the worst red zone defense in college football win 8. Tell me when the damn OC finally called the right runs for our offensive line in the TCU game it didn’t make you slap your forehead. 2015 and 2016 were the worst offenses since Ray Goff but at least 2015 won 10 and beat Tech.

    Kirby is a stubborn guy with the sideline demeanor of Will Muschamp but apparently not the vocabulary. He better take self control lessons or he will continue to be a great assist coach for somebody sooner rather than later. He can’t continue to “coach the defense” it confuses the players. Why are we paying Tucker?

    I know he’s a great recruiter but if he can’t win damn games he is just insuring that his successor will have a great lineup.

    By the way Fromm has a better touch on his passes than Jacob. He does not try to knock the receiver down with the ball. Chaney better go back to QB school because I was not impressed with Eason’s matriculation of the ball down field.

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    • lightbud

      I’d say with this AD, Smart could survive a 6-6 season with losses to UF, Tenn, GT, and Vanderbilt.

      It’s not an AD who really knows what he’s doing.

      Agree on recruiting, so what, 7-5 sux.

      Agree on Fromm, hope he gets a real chance, those Stafford/Eason types get a lot of drops trying to impress people with their arm.

      Like

  65. Senator, when are you going to post a post-mortem on the entire season?

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  66. Athens Dog

    Don’t lose to tech. Ever.

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  67. doofusdawg

    2016 we averaged 3 touchdowns and a field goal per game. In 2017 if we average 4 touchdowns and a field goal per game we should win the east and have a good year. With the talent we have coming back on both sides of the ball and the easiest schedule in memory, anything less will get Chaney fired and put Kirby on the proverbial hot seat in 2018.

    I’m not overly optimistic.

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  68. DB

    I thought they should have gone 9-3 regular season. Should have won 2 of these 3 home games(UT,Vandy,GT). 10 wins should be doable next year.

    Like

  69. DawgByte

    Regular season expectation is 9-3 with a good bowl bid.

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  70. 92 grad

    I will be pretty disappointed if we don’t win the east.

    I will be satisfied if nick and Sony have noteworthy success, they deserve to be treated to quality football.

    I will be surprised if we win the east being undefeated, but honestly, there is no reason to lose any of our conference games looking at our roster. Kirby needs to embrace the pressure.

    Like

    • lightbud

      The oline will be worse, losing 3 starters and special teams will be worse without IMac.

      Same QB, RB’s, TE’s, and WR’s (No All SEC winners this year) who only went 7-5 and average 24 points a game.

      Nothing I saw showed me Kirby knows how to play defense in the red zone. Virtually no improvement there all season.

      Here’s the 6 potential losses:
      Notre Dame,UT, Vandy, Auburn, UF, GT.
      And that assumes you get through App State, Miss St, Mizzou, and South Carolina.

      Like

  71. I know I’m late to the game here, folks, but we need to come to grips with a few things. As I type this, I’m watching Clemson get theirs for the first time in 35 years- and here we collectively sit- still waiting.
    I am so sick and tired of the “CMR and the 10 win season argument”. Wins and losses do not tell the whole story here. Since 2008- his teams to put it mildly-underperformed and to be completely honest-sucked with the exception of one year (2012) and he chose not to spike the ball-thus losing all of his capital with the majority of constituents. His teams failed to finish in the top 25 in 4 of his last 7 seasons in Athens. The numbers of players drafted before 09 and after 09 are staggering. The 2013 recruiting class has one NFL player and he went pro in 2015. There’s this incredible misconception that the program was in good shape. It wasn’t. I know The Senator may rip me for this, but we need more realism in our fandom. Most likely another throwaway year may be headed our way- only because what we EXPECT as fans and what the players and coaches are CAPABLE of at this moment are not parallel. This team lost to Vanderbilt and Tech at home, and almost lost to Missouri, Nichols St and Kentucky. Realism stings sometimes. But what I have seen for the last 4-6 years is a collective team that was not all that good. Yes, we’ve had some great individual players who have won us some games. But generally speaking I saw nothing that gave me a confidence in our overall ability to win games we are supposed to, put inferior opponents away early, and compete with superior opponents and occasionally steal a win against them.
    I get that there is a glimmer of optimism to hold onto (19 returning starters- easy schedule- the clown circus that is the SEC East to name a few olive branches). But a realistic win total for 2017 is 8-9. In other words, more football purgatory.
    The Smart hire is about a total reconstruction of the football program- not some magical quick fix. There were just too many massive deficiencies to expect an immediate turnaround. How fast the program improves is going to be based on how well he accumulates talent and develops the talent into elite players. He learned this “process” from one of the best. If he can’t perform, he will be excused and we will find another poor sucker to try to get us back to the glory days. But the further I grow away from the 10 year old who watched us play on that glorious New Year’s Day I become less and less convinced that it’s possible. Nevertheless, it ain’t next year.

    Like

    • I know The Senator may rip me for this, but we need more realism in our fandom.

      Quite the contrary. I’ve noted the “we’re Georgia” attitude that a substantial portion of the fan base subscribes to and found it unrealistic.

      That being said, I think you’re overcompensating. Richt certainly had his flaws, some of which were of a magnitude that justified a change, but “massive deficiencies” over the past 4-6 years? Come on, man, there were two trips to the SECCG in that time period and the 2013 team would have made a third but for the rash of injuries on offense.

      Unless you mean by that phrase “not in the same league as Alabama”. But it’s not like Georgia was alone in that regard.

      Like

  72. Don'tStandSo

    Next year will be a disappointment and the year after and the year after that and so forth and so on until Kirby is fired. Kirby has no clue what he is doing. Hopefully, we will hire a proven head coach from a smaller school next time, not another untested coordinator.

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  73. RLJ

    Improvement–possibly an Eastern Division title–but no conference title. At least 10 wins. It is year 3 of the Kirby era that I say championship or bust.

    Like

  74. ugadawgguy

    8-4.

    Like