… if you had Kirby in and Saban out in the SECCG preseason pool.
Daily Archives: November 25, 2017
A rare sighting…
I like Dan, but he’s got this wrong. I’m not saying I don’t respect Tech’s chances to pull off an upset, but scared I’m not.
Sagarin has Tech ranked 32nd, which makes the Jackets his top five-win team in the country. That appears to be premised on their respectable strength-of-schedule and wins over (#18) Virginia Tech and (#24) Wake Forest. But Georgia can counter with wins over (#10) Notre Dame and (#15) Mississippi State.
Georgia also has a 41-0 win over (#83) Tennessee. Tech, not so much.
If you skip past the rivalry aspect as well as the novelty of defending the triple option, I’ve already shown Georgia matches up quite favorably against Tech in a number of statistical measurements. Barring the kind of turnover margin meltdown that did in Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, there’s a good likelihood that Georgia is going to play the kind of game it likes to play and grind the Jackets down steadily over the course of the afternoon.
I like the intangibles today, too. Tech is playing for a chance to salvage a disappointing season, and while, as someone who still smiles over the memory of the 2009 game, I don’t discount that as motivation, the Dawgs have a lot more to play for. I have the feeling that leaving Tech with a losing record is even more abhorrent to Nick, Sony and the rest of the seniors than it is to me, and that, more than anything else, is why I think Georgia prevails comfortably today.
And with that, I’m off. Game day comment away, folks. One thing, though — better make it quick. With the way these two teams like to emphasize the run, this may very well turn out to be one of the shortest games of the season, time-wise.
Yes, my heart and mind are in Atlanta today, but rest assured, Vanderbilt, that you’re in my thoughts, too.
In the wake of Richt’s firing, I once wrote that,
If you manage an SEC football program, there’s a difference between being committed to winning and being financially committed to winning. Everybody wants to win. The hard part is figuring out how to allocate resources to make sure that happens. And, no, that doesn’t mean spending money like a drunken sailor. (We’re looking at you, Tennessee.) It simply means that if you think your rightful place is among the Alabamas, Floridas and LSUs of the world, you’d better take a hard look at what they’re doing and make sure you’re giving your coaching staff the opportunity to keep up with them.
The inspiration for that thought was watching the number of support staffers and assistants Alabama crowded into its coaching booth at that year’s Iron Bowl and comparing the attitude behind that with Butts-Mehre’s notorious cheap-ass approach to the Georgia program.
All of this came back to mind after I read something Seth Emerson wrote in his Mailbag post this week.
Back in February 2013, I counted up UGA as having $1.078 million towards the support staff, not including graduate assistants, assistant trainers, team chaplains, equipment managers, etc. There were four staffers (not counting assistant coaches) who were earning six figures. This year the overall support staff figure is a bit under $3 million. And there are 10 support staffers earning six figures.
Three things have happened on that front, in my opinion:
– The administration has signed off on more hires after Smart’s hiring. It’s not that Richt didn’t want some. I remember asking Richt about it around that time, and I actually expected him to scoff at all the quality-control hires by other schools, but instead Richt said he would “do what was best for Georgia,” and left it at that. It left me with the impression that he wanted to hire more, but was being a good soldier by not saying more publicly.
– Smart has come in with the Alabama mentality, which is a sense that you hire as many as possible to help out…
Before some of you get your asses bent out of shape ready to complain about how I’m denigrating Smart’s work, you need to realize I’m offering this as a compliment to Smart.
While I’ve bitched consistently about the lack of thought that went into the process that led to his hire, one thing I ought to concede about it is that there may not have been another coaching hire outside of Saban himself that would have gotten McGarity and the people McGarity answers to open up the checkbook in support of the football program the way Smart has managed. That is entirely to Kirby’s credit and I don’t see how anyone who has watched the growth of the program this season and the likelihood that the importation of the Process has contributed significantly to that can disagree.
I also wrote at one point that Smart had his work cut out for him, not only in meeting expectations about raising the program’s profile, but also in terms of being the only person in the athletic department who had a real clue about what it took from top to bottom to create a success in today’s SEC. That’s a lot to put on anyone’s plate, especially so for someone who had never been a head coach before. That Kirby has succeeded says a lot about the man. Let’s hope Butts-Mehre has the good sense to let him keep on keeping on.
For those of you who like to sniff about how Georgia ought to discard the Tech series because somehow it’s become a game beneath the likes of us, Chip Towers has some pesky reality he’d like to share with you.
… the Tech-Georgia rivalry just hasn’t had all that much significance from a national standpoint of late.
Of the 17 matchups so far this century, both Georgia and Tech have been nationally ranked just six times. None of those games featured a top 10 matchup. The best we’ve seen recently was the 2014 game, which featured a No. 15-ranked Tech team against No. 8 Georgia. And that was a good one. The Yellow Jackets won 30-24 in overtime.
In 2011, No. 13 Georgia defeated No. 25 Tech; No. 18 Tech beat No. 13 Georgia 45-42 in 2008; No. 5 Georgia edged No. 24 Tech 14-7 in Atlanta in 2005; No. 19 UGA defeated No. 21 Georgia Tech 31-17 in 2001; and No. 18 Tech beat No. 19 Georgia 27-15 in 2000.
Lately, though, the matchup has been a stinker from a national standpoint. Neither team was ranked in three of the last four years and in four of the last seven.
Frankly, I’m not feeling the superiority there, other than that Georgia historically wins this rivalry game at something like a 70% clip. Giving up that kind of return solely because of feelings that basically nobody else in the country shares has a distinct cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face measure to it.