Bill Connelly’s Georgia preview, despite an occasional foray into cheekiness (“I’m not going to lie: I’ve enjoyed needling Georgia fans over the last year and a half.”) reads like it was written by somebody who’s checked out the comments section here once or twice.
Perceptions are an incredible thing. If Georgia were your typical rebuild job — say, a South Carolina situation, in which the product fell off late in a great coach’s tenure, then fell some more — then it would be easy to say Kirby Smart’s efforts are pretty encouraging.
Despite a reset of sorts on both sides of the ball, Smart’s first team won eight games, beat rival Auburn, and won a bowl game, then inked a spectacular recruiting class, the third-best in the country.
This wasn’t a South Carolina situation, though. This was, for all intents and purposes, a voluntary rebuild.
Smart inherited one of the stablest programs in the country, one that fielded one iffy team in 2015 after four straight excellent ones … and had still won 10 games with that iffy team. Georgia declared that it wants all the recruits and all the rivalry wins; Mark Richt’s 10 wins per year weren’t enough.
Richt was more successful than Vince Dooley, and he was regarded to be one of the best men in football. He had bounced back from downturns before in his 15 years as Georgia head coach. A couple of lean classes had created a two-deep less plump than he was used to, but odds were good he’d get past it. But instead of renovating the mansion, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity tore it down to build a new one.
Glad to see I’m not the only one who noticed.
I’m not going to spoil the rest of what he posted and you should read it in its entirety, but there’s one stat he unearthed that is definitely worth a share.
The recipe was pretty easy. When Chubb averaged at least 6 yards per carry in a game, Georgia scored at least 28 points.
At the risk of dredging back up something I posted a few days ago, 28 points would have beaten Vanderbilt and Florida (!) and sent the Tech game to overtime. Sure would have made for a dramatically different 2016, no?
I believe Bill’s touched on this season’s Job One for Jim Chaney and the offensive line.