At some point in time, it’s not the talent’s fault.

Athlon takes a look at talent accumulation, based on averaging the last five classes according to 247Sports Team Composite rankings.

You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that Georgia ranks fifth overall.  That’s tops in the SEC East, which is something else you’re probably not surprised to see.

Now there is one huge grain of salt to be taken with this data, which even the author of the piece acknowledges.

Obviously, this doesn’t take into account attrition. However, with a five-year window in place, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

Not sure I’d go as far with you there, Bunky.  Georgia’s 2013 class attrition is on a different level than “relatively even”.  That being said, it was the lowest ranked class brought in during the five-year period.  (Not that the subsequent vaporization helped.)  Take that year out, and the other four classes average about 5.5.

Recruiting hasn’t been shabby, in other words.

The question for today is a simple one:  when is it reasonable for us to quit making excuses for Georgia’s talent base?  I’d argue with regard to the defense that we’re already there.  Given the state of the offensive line, I’d probably give that side of the ball a little more slack.  Your thoughts?

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80 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

80 responses to “At some point in time, it’s not the talent’s fault.

  1. Got Cowdog

    This should be a good one.
    IMO, Substantiial improvement this year with an SECE title in 2018

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  2. Connor

    We’re there. A failure to win the East is 100% a coaching failure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mayor

      ^^This. We all need to wake up and understand that. I get that SOS and Urban were better coaches than the guys we had so we brought it on ourselves. That is the real problem. We hire unproven hacks then act surprised when they don’t do well. Once in a while it pans out (CVD and CMR–at least for a while) but sometimes it is just a flat out failure (Goof, Johnny Griffith). We need to be professional about how we hire HCs and we just aren’t. Do a national search and only consider top-notch candidates who have a proven track record of winning. But I think that gets back to the inherent cheapness that is B-M.

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  3. If the defense, especially the red zone defense, doesn’t improve dramatically, I think we can assume Kirby wasn’t the brains behind the Tide defense. If the offense doesn’t show some life with an experienced QB and big time backs and tight ends, we can assume Chaney haz a Fat Pencil and should be relieved of his duties regardless of its impact on Sam Pittman.

    Win the East and show me improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dawgtired

      “…I think we can assume Kirby wasn’t the brains behind the Tide defense”

      I doubt there is one person on this blog that believes KS was the ‘brains’ at Bama. What everyone is hoping for is that Kirby learned how to mimic the ‘brains’.

      Like

      • I agree, but even Little Nicky made it clear that Kirby was calling the defense and Nick only had veto rights on calls.

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      • Hal Welch

        Brains of Bama or not, Kirby was the right hire for the moment. If not he was going to USCe… then what happens when “our guy” starts whipping our asses? He also didn’t come cheap so I don’t believe his leash will be as long as Richt’s was. Richt’s first contract was for $750k. I’ve been so surprised at the vitriol aimed at Smart in his year one. We all know the story, we all saw the offensive line, we all knew about the 2013 and to some extent it repeated again slightly in the 2014 class. Sure a couple of those losses last year were head scratchers but I expected that with a first year HC. The defense played well better than I expected last year, and the offense well… had no offensive line, no wide receivers to fear, and an OC that had a penchant for brainfarts.

        I expect a massive improvement in year 2 from all parties, but especially the offensive side of the ball. And anything less that the SEC CG will be a failure of the staff.

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        • Brains of Bama or not, Kirby was the right hire for the moment.

          And anything less that the SEC CG will be a failure of the staff.

          I’m not sure how you reconcile those two sentences.

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          • Hal Welch

            I’m not sure how you don’t… seems pretty simple. A) he was the right hire given the circumstances and B) in year two if he doesn’t win the east then he’s failed. Seems pretty simple.

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            • How is anyone a slam dunk hire when you have an expectation that he could be a complete flop after only two years on the job?

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              • Hal Welch

                Anyone could be a flop. But there is no expectation that he’s a going to be a flop… in fact it’s quite the opposite. The expectation is that it’s going to go very well and vastly improve the University’s football program. The expectation is the reason that failing to win the east would be viewed as a failure. The simple truth is that our biggest rivals in the east are not looking that strong right now, so the reality of the situation is if he doesn’t win the east this year then this year and last would be looked on by many as an abject failure. Is it the end of his tenure? I honestly doubt so unless something odd occurs. But it definitely means the rebuilding/reloading year of last year and the typical leap most programs make in year two didn’t work out.

                The reality is despite all the bluster that he was the right hire. Every hire is a calculated risk, but you’d struggle to name one person that would have been a guaranteed better hire that would have realistically come. Meaning the Sabans, Meyers, Swinneys et al aren’t considered. So we have to look at the Gary Pattersons, or Dan Mullens of the world and I have had this very conversation at least twenty times and not one person has provided a realistic name that would have guaranteed anything better than where we’re sitting right now.

                We’re in a pretty good situation– I think. The lone reservation I have is Chaney, I think that’s pretty universal. But even with Chaney this team was 5 points from being 11-2.

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  4. Connecting recruiting rankings to performance is tricky on so many levels. One, some five stars aren’t very good players it turns out. Two, you could recruit at a high level as to one position group and terribly as to another. Three, if you put Hutson Mason or Greyson Lambert and name them starter in Tuscaloosa, they aren’t winning championships despite thier huge talent advantage.

    I don’t look at recruiting rankings to judge how good we can be, I look at the players we’ve got and how well they perform. I don’t know what Parrish rated as a recruit, but I’d rather have him out there than a 5 star freshman though the rankings to performance proponents would say otherwise.

    The major question marks on this team are:

    1) does Jacob progress to a degree that he looks like the three year, No. 1 overall pick we expected?
    2) can we be competent on the o-line? In other words, can we watch 60 minutes of football and not say, “damn these guys are terrible” this year?
    3) can we find wr’s who can consistently beat man coverage AND catch the ball?

    If we get we go 0-3, we’re 8-5 again. 1-2 and we win 9 or 10. 2-1 and we win the east. 3-0 and we’ve got a shot in Atlanta.

    We’re good enough on defense to go wherever we want, but we’re not so good that we can forego scoring. Nobody is these days it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good post, Derek. Malcolm Parrish is one of my favorite players. He’s talented and plays hard on every down. As a corner, he isn’t afraid to support the run and fights like mad against receivers bigger than he. By the way, he was a 4-star out of Brooks County where he played QB.

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      • Nothing better than a corner doing the job the way it’s meant to be done. He’s out there taking on guys that are faster, bigger and more athletic than he is and he makes up his mind that there’s no way this guy is catching a ball on me and if that qb is dumb enough to even look over this way I’m gonna take it personally and I’m going to make him pay. Then he gets beat, forgets it and does it all over again.

        I hated that Richard Sherman said what he said on national tv about Crabtree, but I loved that he thought it and felt it that strongly. That’s what they are supposed to do.

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      • 1smartdude

        Pretty sure he was a 3 star. Watched him play a few times in high school and he’d have been better early on had he focused solely on DB in high school.

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    • Jared S.

      “We’re good enough on defense to go wherever we want, but we’re not so good that we can forego scoring.”

      Million Dollar Question: Has anyone informed Chaney of this?

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    • Paul

      If we start 0-3 that means we’ve lost to Samford. As such, 8-5 might qualify as a minor miracle. Lose to Samford and you probably have to fire a coordinator or two right then and there.

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    • David

      I would include that the WR blocking and physical play overall has got to be better. They were clearly man-handled in most games.

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  5. The other Doug

    The coaches have to make something out of the OL guys we have. It won’t be the best in the conference, but it can be capable.

    Again, that’s coaching.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. Pittman gives us a 2016 shitshow and then wants us to believe the OL is a work in progress. He had at least 14 offensive linemen at his disposal – and still struggled every week. Nobody improved on that OL.

      Said it in an earlier post. The definition of insanity is hiring SOD assistants Chaney & Pittman and expecting different results.

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      • Irwin R. Fletcher

        Yes….despite his national reputation as a coach and recruiter, I’m sure your hot take on how he used to coach for Dooley and so he sucks should be the final word.

        Do you know how many kids he’s put in the league? 5 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars…I understand that they need to show improvement on the field, but the idea that you’ve seen one season of his coaching (because clearly you haven’t paid any attention to what he did prior) and can declare it insanity is just laughable.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mayor

          Let me defend Westy while at the same time endorsing your view Fletch. It didn’t look to me like the OL improved over the course of last season…hence Westy’s point. But I don’t think you can take marginal players and dramatically improve them in one season either, particularly O-linemen. We have attrition in the OL from last year. Some have lamented that we can’t get better in the O-line when there is attrition. Personally I think it is a good thing when bad players leave and better player, even though younger, take their place–particularly in the OL. I am guardedly optimistic that there will be improvement in the OL and if that happens that could cause a dramatic improvement in the run game AND the passing game. Then the Dawgs have a chance to be good. That said, we need to all pray that Kirby and his fat-boy sidekick grow a brain between them so they QUIT KICKING AWAY WINS AT THE END OF GAMES.

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  6. merk

    This argument is just getting dumb, the horse is dead. Yes, UGA has brought in solid talent, however, look where that talent is/isn’t. Limited good WR, OL, and QBs killed us. We stock piled TEs and RBs, but as seen that can be washed out by injuries and not having an OL causing TEs to stay in and block. I don’t think anyone really thinks the D is the issue. Clearly having a complete overhaul on the D side coaches caused a bit of regression last year (added on to losing 2 top round draft picks). Prior to Smart, we all knew that Richt had the players, but for whatever reason could not seal the deal.

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    • Red zone defense shows you what kind of defense you have. We were horrible once teams got inside the 20. That’s about more than scheme – it’s talent, coaching, fundamentals and just plain desire. You attack the line of scrimmage in the red zone. We didn’t attack anything last year.

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    • MDDawg

      It wasn’t a “complete overhaul on the D side coaches” was it? Sherrer and Rocker were still around last year, and Sherrer is still there right?

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    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      We all know the 2013 class story…2014 gets overlooked because you had some really good talent at the top. But you have 7 kids out of the 21 that were included in that class ranking that have left the program by transfer, 1 in the draft (I-Mac) and 1 finished his eligibility (Fenteng).

      You have a good group there… Chubb, Michel, Carter, Parrish, Wynn, Blazevich, Sims, Sanders and Galliard….but not enough to cover up the other issues with that class and the 2013 class.

      I just think recruiting hit a different level in 2015 with Pruitt and the support staff they added…not just on the blue chips that they closed on, but better evaluation of talent that are ‘3 stars’…DeAndre Baker, Juwon Briscoe, J.. Abram, J. Young, Taylor, Hawkins-Muckle…guys that aren’t just leaving the program, but who are/were ( Briscoe and Abranm) contributors despite their lower rankings. You see it in the 2016 class, too. Pittman went and got Kindley out of no where and reports are that he is pushing for a starting spot. Herrien, David Marshall, T Simmons…

      Bottom line…I think there were some paper tigers in those rankings…but I think we are back to a point where the talent is plenty to win the East and more.

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    • GruvenDawg

      ^^ This is the problem with UGA under Richt. Love the man, but he had a completely different strategy when it came to recruiting in the trenches and especially the OL. My belief is UGA won’t see significant improvement on the OL until the 2018-2019 seasons. The OL and our current offensive philosophy in my opinion is why we can’t currently compete with the teams ahead of us and the real USC right now. I agree we should win the East this year, but to expect anything more this year is unrealistic.

      Jake Fromm should benefit from the OL recruiting when he hopefully starts in 2019. The 2017 OL class (and potentially 2018 class) will have some SEC seasoning and a year or two in a SEC S&C program. The biggest drawback is Chubb and Sony probably won’t see a vast improvement over last year’s line unless two of the incoming freshman are truly SEC ready. Either that or Pittman/Cheney/Smart will need to play with the strengths of the OL they have on campus similar to what Bobo was made to do, ie coaching. Hopefully Zeus sees the benefit of the talent Pittman is bringing in on the OL and chooses us. The 2017 OL/Fromm/Zeus and Swift combo could have a very promising run in 2019. To me 2019 is the first year I think we could actually compete with Alabama in a SECCC if we maintain our current offensive philosophy. This also assumes not completely whiffing on the 2018 recruiting class (Zeus/Slayer/Hill/etc)

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  7. DoubleDawg1318

    I agree the defense is now “there.” The offense needs another year

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  8. Macallanlover

    Nothing will change the way these rankings are compiled because it is the easy way. Someone needs to match the class against the needs and not simply compile a macro ranking. Yes, it would be subjective, but everything about the recruiting process is subjective.

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    • Hard to do, Mac, as a crappier team will always have more needs than a great one.

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    • JCDAWG83

      I’ve always thought the “recruiting for needs” line was sort of a cop out to cover for poor roster management. A coach being paid millions should have enough foresight to make sure he is recruiting to make sure all positions have adequate depth over the next three years. No position group should ever be full of seniors or freshmen in my opinion. Good coaches reload they don’t have to rebuild.

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  9. Dawgy

    Would anyone argue that Georgia’s talent considering misses, transfers, and not recruiting well for needs, which all teams deal with, would be inferior to Vandy? GT?
    I realize that superior talent doesn’t necessarily convert to wins. That’s the point isn’t it?

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    • JCDAWG83

      Over the past 11 years it would be hard to argue that Georgia has lost a football game to any team with superior overall talent outside of the Alabama games in that period. The inexplicable losses were a major reason Richt was fired.

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      • Wut?

        UF won national championships in 2006 and 2009. You really believe when they played in Jax UGA was on a level playing field talentwise? What about 2011 LSU?

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        • JCDAWG83

          ’09 UF probably had better talent we should have won the ’06 game, I’m not sure about ’11 LSU. We shut them down in the first half and punting to Mathieu (sp?) was an idiotic coaching decision that let them get the momentum. They had talent but not really across the board better talent than we did.

          I’d say the fact you came up with 3 games over a 10 year period when we lost way more games than those to teams with far less talent and the Bama games sort of helps my contention that talent was not our problem.

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          • I came up with those three teams in ten seconds off the top of my head after reading your post. I’m sure with a little research, I could find a few more. Nobody’s arguing that Georgia’s been totally bereft of talent over the last decade.

            That you can qualify the talent of three teams that played in or won national titles in years when Georgia never came close to doing so speaks volumes to your open mind about talent assessment.

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            • Macallanlover

              That is my view as well. We have no reason to ask for sympathy in the talent area but we certainly didn’t out-talent everyone but Bama. In fact, at certain points during some seasons ((2013 is a strong example), our available talent was lacking in several games against lesser ranked talent groups based on annual rankings alone.

              To be clear, I think UGA’ collective rankings in this century would be just below our collective recruiting rankings, so we have little reason to moan about talent being a huge plus, or minus.

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              • Mayor

                Agree with your overall view, Mac. That said, we lose to teams when Georgia has better talent all the time. 2016 Vandy is a perfect example. I can’t count the times in the last 10 years that the Dawgs have lost to teams with inferior talent. Every time we lose to Tech. Vandy. We’ve lost to UK multiple times. Others, too.That is really the reason CMR got runnoft IMHO. Now look what we got–a guy who does the same, then blames the players.

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                • Macallanlover

                  True, we certainly have. But that is also true of many of the “real Top 5” in annual talent ratings (Bama, ohio, LSU, USC, etc) and the difference between those programs and the next 10 are substantially greater than a UGA’s class versus those six or seven below us. Look at the raw numbers of 4 and 5 star guys versus a program like UGA, and they are stacked 3 and 4 years deep. The gap is much greater, especially when you have 2-3 injuries to key guys for a close game on your schedule. Not saying we should lose as many but it is far worse than when those guys get beat by by someone a few spots below them because they are significantly better in talent, not just a whisker.

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                  • Mayor

                    The other thing on this line of thinking is how often does Georgia upset somebody–I mean actually win a game against a team that is superior? The last time I recall that was LSU in 2013. But we had ’em ‘tween the hedges which (some don’t believe this) is a significant advantage. That’s why we need to play as many games as possible in Sanford Stadium IMHO. Statistically UGA wins more in Athens.

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                    • Macallanlover

                      Is it possible to not be statistically better in your own stadium? That is where you get to play all your hand-chosen cupcakes, and where you have favorable crowd noise, so yeah, all teams win more there if you look at multiple seasons.

                      But that doesn’t address your intended point, we will lose the neutral field in Jax and go to a situation which favors FU. Simply put, The Swamp is a bigger advantage for the Gators than Sanford is for UGA. Not sure why you continue to beat this drum when it only hurts UGA and gains them nothing. As said before, only the Athens and Gainesville FL business owners gain anything from changing the current setup.

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        • Atticus

          Agreed. Yes he had inexplicable losses. A few to SC were big. But he also lost to several teams besides Bama who had better or equal talent including LSU, Auburn and Florida. And got hammered in several of them.

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      • Wilson (not the ball)

        JC, yes sir, the war is over for most of us on this subject, Richt finally got his ass fired for talent mismanagement. When is it time for us to evaluate Kirby’s management of talent? After his first 3 years, we’ll be able to see if Kirby was the right hire, but it will take some time as most of us know, looking for instant results isn’t realistic. If Kirby isn’t finishing in the top 25 by the end of his 3rd season, I’d fire his ass too. But he likely will be there by then, maybe even by the end of this season. No one gives Kirby less than 3 years to turn it around that wouldn’t be fair. No one who knows the history of college football knows that it takes time to turn around a culture accustomed to mediocrity. We haven’t won the SEC since 2005, that’s a long time and Richt should have been fired long before he was for that.

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      • Otto

        Actually it is rather easy to argue UGA lost due to less talent. http://patrickgarbin.blogspot.com/2015/01/living-low-on-hogs.html

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        • JCDAWG83

          OL talent was always a weak spot with Richt. He and Bobo really liked signing the skill position players and overlooked the OL. I’m saying I think our overall team talent was better than almost all the teams we lost to with the exception of a handful of games in the past 10 seasons.

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          • dawginathens1988

            Will Muschamp did a great job recruiting talent, so did Les Miles, so did Richt for that matter, so focusing on just talent is too simplistic. A lot of games in the SEC East come down to coaching and one on one position matchups at the end of the game. Look at Vanderbilt, their linebacker Cunningham was better than the guy that tried to block him and we lost that one in the last minute, GT, their running scheme was better than our run defense scheme at the end, lost in the last 35 seconds, UT Dobbs and the Jennings outjumped us on the last play, the Hail Mary. Lou Holtz was great at finding one on one mismatches. You just need 1 guy to be better than 1 guy.

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          • Otto

            A skilled OL makes everything easier. It has direct implication on explosive runs by the RBs as we discussed yesterday, which has many dominoes.

            It was far from the only reason that UGA lost games it shouldn’t (special teams, taking your foot off the gas, out of position defenders etc etc) but it is a major factor in why UGA did not have that 1 magical season to run the table.

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            • dawginathens1988

              Otto, true about the OL. I looked at this the other day and I recall, we were @7th in rush defense average over the last 9 years in our conference, remember, we only had 12 teams until 2012 so 7th out of 12 or even 14 teams is not even above average. Either says we had inferior talent on OL or poor OL coaching or schemes, etc. Sure, you could load up the stats on the little guys, but still.

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            • dawginathens1988

              damn it, a typo, @7th in rush offense, not defense.

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            • lakedawg

              How did we put up all those yards and points with Bobo last 5 years withe the inferior OL we had then? Just asking!

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              • dawginathens1988

                Hmm, damn good question. You are talking about 2009-2013, we had Gurley and Chubb for part of that, and the best set of receivers we’ve ever had (look at all the future NFL guys there: AJ Green, Tav King, Orson, Durham, Bennett, Malcolm Mitchell, Conley, Marlon Brown, we were Wide Receiver U) and throw in Murray at Qb. 2014 we had Chubb & Gurley, we had Bennett and Mitchell, and Hutson Mason was very experienced when he took over the offense that set all those records in 2014 he had a real quick release and he was extremely accurate and didn’t turn the ball over, that was some offense, best ever.

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              • Otto

                How did they score 40+ on Vandy and Mizzou but get held to 9 against Florida?

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  10. The disaster that was 2013 is essentially complete out of the program, so talent isn’t an issue anymore IMO.

    Developing and deploying that talent (especially on the OL until some of this year’s class is ready) will be the test of whether Kirby is going to last or be a bust.

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  11. Otto

    The problem with these rankings is they do not take into account filling needs vs stacking highly rated skill players while under staffing the supporting staff.

    http://patrickgarbin.blogspot.com/2015/01/living-low-on-hogs.html

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  12. dawginathens1988

    We all agree Mark Richt should have won more championships 2006-2015 given the talent level, at least the admin eventually came around to that. They kept CMR around too long by looking at other factors. The admin will give the new staff some time to turn the program back in the right direction, when you ask, I’d say a real timeline is likely @4-5 years so by end of 2019 or 2020 at most.

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    • Otto

      I don’t believe Richt should have won a national title after the OL recruiting which wasn’t the best declined in the 2 part of his tenure. However, I do believe UGA as a program has the resources to win more titles.

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      • dawginathens1988

        I wasn’t referring to national titles, just conference championships. How can Richt not even win the conference in 10 years given the talent stockpiled? Richt was never given the full resources until his last year so that’s hard to say. I do think Smart benefits from timing, as the admin cannot afford to fail with his hire or their own heads go so Smart will have the resources for sure. I don’t think the DC and OC are the most qualified out there though, and that could be an issue when you go up against coaches that are better coaches, and worse recruiters. Kirby stockpiled coaches who can recruit, and they have delivered on that, but it still comes down to coaching, coaching beats recruiting every time. CMR and his staff were better recruiters than coaches from 2006 on.

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        • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

          sadly, this is a discussion that will only ever be theoretical. What could have been. When Richt entered the league, some of the aging giants were exiting, and he brought some innovative ideas to the league. During his tenure, the money going to Athletic Departments from television grew at an exponential rate. The historical Also-Ran teams were then awash with money to invest into their teams, both in facilities and in coaching staffs.

          That money leveled the playing field from the top teams to the bottom. In this era of profligate spending, UGA held firm that it would not spend on staff or invest in facilities in the same way other programs were.

          We’ll never know what Richt could have been capable of had the AD invested in football all along his career as they have so quickly with Smart.

          That said, UGA has and always will have inherent advantages over some other teams. Richt underachieved fan expectations. Were those expectations realistic given the differences in how various programs were run? This, I imagine, will be debated over coffee and beers for a generation.

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          • dawginathens1988

            I suspect Richt would have won a few conference championships post 2006 if he’d had the kind of resource and admin support Kirby is getting. You look at Richt’s accomplishments as OC at FSU, and there really is no question he can coach at the highest level given the resources (which he had at FSU). Those offensive teams were a lock at the top 5 nationally while Richt was there.

            My other point with Kirby though, he went after great recruiters for his staffing, like I said, in 2016, that did not pay off as we got outcoached by way less talented teams like Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. Kirby is gambling that talent eventually will win out but as Vanderbilt proved, that’s not the case, you better get better at finding the right one on one matchups, and you better get better at outscheming the other guys, not just outrecruiting them.

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            • Otto

              I don’t think so given the decreased emphasis on OL recruiting.

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            • Otto

              Further Richt proved at UGA he was a good OC, he also proved to be less successful as a CEO Coach.

              Smart is wabnting better players but I won’t say his guys can’t coach better than Vandy and especially GT (due to their unique offense) However I am also not saying his coaches are worse. Last year was a transition year with new players in key positions and new schemes. We will get a better idea on their ability to coach this year.

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        • Otto

          Especially in the 2nd half of Richt’s tenure how many SEC champions weren’t National Champions?

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          • Mayor

            I will go to my grave convinced that if Georgia had scored the winning TD in the 2012 SECCG the Dawgs would have beaten ND in the BCSNCG and won that elusive nattie. 2012 was Georgia’s year to win the national championship and CMR blew it. I will never forgive him.

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  13. Dave

    Holistically, yes, Georgia certainly has had the talent to win more than we have. You can’t look at it overall like that, though. Football is a team sport, and we just haven’t had many well-rounded teams lately. I realize not every unit is going to rank in the top 3 of the SEC every year, but, as has been regurgitated 80 million times, freshman QB and sub-par O-line and average WR’s = shitty offense. Now, look at the “talent” at those positions. 5-star Terry Godwin (5-star “athlete”), and what much else? Wims and Ridley were 1st year players, and then a bunch of 3-star guys. The O-line was not talented if you go by recruiting rankings whatsoever, and definitely not on the field.

    We also didn’t recruit for depth very well, so recruiting busts, injuries, transfers/expulsions, etc. were never planned for very well. Nevermind the lack of competition at some spots. With all the talented freshmen coming in at pretty much every level of both offense and defense, we’ll probably see 1 or 2 starting by the end of the year, but it won’t be out of necessity like in years past. It will be because they’re just flat out better. The rest will push the older players to bust their asses to keep their jobs.

    I really do believe that this is the first year in several that there can be no further talent excuse, though. The O-line will still be a question mark, but with more experienced talent at WR and TE, a more experienced 5-star QB, a healthier Nick Chubb, etc and so forth, all to go along w/ a talented and experienced defense, there’s no excuses for not having a very good/great year this year.

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    • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

      Dave, I wish I’d seen your reply. It would have saved me a few minutes typing.

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      • Dave

        Ha. Yep. Ultimately, if the O-line is at least slightly above average, and if Eason makes the strides you typically (though, not always) see from true freshman to sophomore year, then I will put it on coaching if we don’t win the East. Of course, there are other teams out there, and we can’t know if Florida or Tennessee ends up having a great team, but that’s for another argument.

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    • dawgman3000

      Excellent analysis Dave

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  14. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Senator, is the question, “does this team have the talent to win a national championship this year?” or “does this team have the talent to win the East this year?”

    I don’t see how anyone can look at this team and say no to the East. In my mind, based on who we lose off this team, I don’t see us having a better shot to win the SEC outright for the next couple of years than this year.

    This team is DEEP. Can the coaching pull it all together? The defense should smother bad and average teams. It should be very good against good offensive teams. The offense has two of the top running backs in UGA history, a handful of receivers that are every bit as good as many we’ve seen over the years in Athens.(We are NOT Wide Receiver U. AJ Green and Reggie Brown are the outliers for us, not the current crop.) The offensive line, if protected by play calling, should be sufficient to give Eason a chance and the RBs some space.

    I know the spring game didn’t look it, but I just can’t get over this gnawing feeling that this is a team that should be absolute hell on wheels by the end of the season. If they can survive the first 4 games intact, we could have a very exciting season.

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  15. 69Dawg

    When we begin to play good defense in the red zone and our WR catch the damn ball, then I might come around. The losses to Vandy and GT basically killed the season for me. When you hire a coach that basically does the same thing as the coach you just fired, I don’t get the wild eyed optimism. The only thing Kirby was able to do was recruit, game day he looked like a DC that had to take time to see what the rest of his team was doing. If you hire a DC then let the DC do his job or fire the damn DC. Everybody dogs the offense but UT, Vandy and GT were lost because the defense sucked in the end of game situations. Kirby is making the same mistakes that Muschamp made at UF he uses the Hippocratic oath offense “first do no harm” but for that to work you need Alabama’s personnel. I hope he can get to be a great HC but he is a long way and a lot of OJT from it.

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    • southernlawyer11

      Part of the larger, macro frustration/regret that seem to summarize my thoughts, and are echoed daily in the Dawgospehere are:
      1. From 2011-present, the SEC East has been there for the taking.
      2. During that same time span, everyone of our chief competitors faced large systemic problems or changes that we (had) not.
      3. By default if nothing else, The Dawgs were in position to potentially cement themselves in the divisional catbird seat like alabama has done in the west in recent years.
      4. The Dawgs failed to do this.
      5. This failure occurred without any substantial changes or external forces to explain why this didn’t happen.
      6. It is feared that our rivals are rapidly closing the door on our window of opportunity.

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  16. DawgByte

    Nice pair, but my Full House takes the pot! Recruiting is only one measure of a team’s talent. The more profound measure is how many kids on your team make 1st Team All SEC or 1st Team All American. That’s where the rubber meets the road and Georgia hasn’t faired so well in that department over the last 5 years.

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