Athens wasn’t built in a day.

Chip Towers is amused.

I had somebody ask me a hilarious question the other day. He said, “Do you think Georgia has overtaken Alabama in recruiting?”

I didn’t mean to, but I’m pretty sure I blurted out a laugh. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful. I’m as impressed as anybody about the job Kirby Smart and his staff have done in a short time at Georgia. But overtaken Alabama? I’m sorry. Not quite.

Since 2010, Georgia’s topped Alabama once in the recruiting ratings.  How do you get from that to overtaking?

Is this representative thinking for a significant part of the fan base, or just Chip’s way of telling us a fable (in the classic sense, that is) to warn us about heightened expectations?

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61 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

61 responses to “Athens wasn’t built in a day.

  1. piper

    a lot closer than chip makes it sound, i think. it took that recruiting powerhouse overtime to eke out a win. unless that is just more a testament to kirby’s coaching prowess.

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    • And they did it plugging three true freshmen in during the game…

      One game doth not a trend make.

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      • piper

        certainly, but if it’s the string of recruiting we’re talking about, there should in no way be any reliance of true freshmen by them. we had our fair share of important freshman too.

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        • Did you not see how many injuries ‘Bama had to deal with this season? That’s what recruiting depth is all about. Georgia was relatively lucky in that department.

          There’s no question the gap isn’t expanding any more, but to pretend that Georgia’s overtaken Saban in that department when the 2018 classes haven’t even taken a snap is getting ahead of reality.

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          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Georgia is 1-4 in games that involved the national championship since 1980.

            Alabama is somewhat better than that.

            That’s all that matters.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Uglydawg

              There should be an * by those numbers with a picture of a referee wearing an Alabama jersey at the bottom of the page. I know I need to let it go, but everytime someone mentions how we flunked the test against the best I imagine that they have forgotten how well these Dawgs actually played. I think we need to always remember this team got screwed out of the NC.
              Hell No, I an’t fergittin! Offsides my ass.

              Liked by 2 people

              • We got fucked. Brutally. I declare shenanigans!

                https://goo.gl/images/kWMj7f

                In the name of the Bulldog Nation, the greatest people that have ever trod upon this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . shenanigans today . . . shenanigans tomorrow . . . shenanigans forever!

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                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  1-4

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                  • 1982 and 2018 is 2 as far as I am aware. What are the other 2?

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                    • Mark

                      The 4 are the 1980, 1981, 1982, and 2017 seasons.

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                    • 1-4 and the 4 includes the 1. Makes a ton of sense.

                      Besides 1980 not belonging in the loss and win column simultaneously and because we were not playing for a natty vs. Pitt, I’m still at 1-2.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Sanford222view

                      Mark, How do you figure on 1981 season? Even if Georgia stops Pitt on the final drive and wins it would not have mattered. Clemson won its bowl game to finish undefeated with a win over UGA. The Sugar Bowl was not for the National Title that year. If Clemson had lost they still finish with the same record and a head to head win. Texas would have been in the picture too.

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                    • Granthams replacement

                      Pitt in 1976 and the 2012 SEC championship game would be 2 more

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                    • Scorpio Jones, III

                      D…
                      “Georgia is 1-4 in games that involved the national championship since 1980.” involved the national championship. If Clemmons, blah blah, in Penn State, blah blah….involved.

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              • Silver Creek Dawg

                Frankly, the non-offsides didn’t matter. Bama had 2 players false start prior to the snap on the punt. Play should have never happened due to dead ball foul.

                The more egregious ones to me were the missed facemask call on Swift and the false start by the Bama WR on the 4th down tying TD pass.

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                • Jeff Sanchez

                  And pushing Fromm’s head in the turf after a sack
                  And tackling Roquan from behind right as he closed in on Tua

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                • Uglydawg

                  That’s the line Alabama fans are spewing..as if that makes it OK..At the very least, Bama would have been penalized 5 yards for an even more hazardous punt instead of being given five yards. The fact that Bama committed a foul and Georgia got punished for it is all the data I need to know. That asshat linesman was standing by the ‘Bama sideline and let them browbeat him into making a call that cost Georgia a rightfully won National Championship. All attempts to poo-poo this is horseshit. and yeah..there were other awful calls as well.
                  At least most GT fans (the ones I know) will admit the Jasper Sanks fumble was a debacle..but Alabama fans won’t ever admit this because to them anything is fair that benefits their team. They’re not comfy talking about it, so I’m never letting it go. Hell, we’ve got a better claim to the NC than UCF who has claimed it outright.

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                • MIssing two guys in different places leaning back isn’t egregious. One of them probably wasn’t committing a foul since he was in the backfield anyway. You can go in motion backwards.

                  Waiting until the punt was blocked to throw an offsides flag that wasn’t even close is egregious. I call bullshit and I’ll always call bullshit.

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              • mwo

                Me too neither!

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            • Where do you get 1-4? We’re 1(1980)-2(1982,2017). We would not have jumped Clemson in 1981, and 2012 was for the SEC championship.

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          • piper

            i agree with that. i’m just saying it’s not as big a gap as what chip thinks it is.

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      • Q

        Its not a crazy question. The question was “passed them in recruiting,” not “overall roster.”

        We beat them in ‘18. Will likely beat them in ‘19.

        Kirby is a better recruiter than Saban. Can Bamas machine push them to the top? Maybe, maybe not.

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  2. dawgtired

    I will be happy when Georgia gets to the place when we are winning championships and people are saying we had a down year. Yes, there were times when Bama didn’t seem as dominate in some games, but as the Senator mentioned, Bama was dealing with many injuries…some to game-changing players. What would we have been without ‘R’ in some games.
    It is obvious that we are climbing the ladder, and soon we may push Bama off the top of the heap…but to say we’ve done it after one season…not yet my fellow fans. I need another season or two like the one we had before I feel that comfortable.

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  3. Spike

    Hey.. A guy can dream can’t he?

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  4. Starbreaker

    The math is easy here, given that CFB has a revolving 3-5 year cycle of players…the answer is definitely NO, the Dawgs have not come close to passing the Tide. As you mention in the comment above, Georgia REALLY, REALLY was fortunate to not have significant injuries this past season AND have tremendous senior leadership and talent. The depth is building, but it’s not there yet. These great recruiting classes still need time to mature and get great recruiting classes under them…if the trend continues, you would expect 2020 or 2021 would be the right time for the “overtaking” discussion. 2016 class was great, 2017 was very great, 2018 was insanely awesome and 2019 is shaping up to be slightly more insanely awesome. The thing is, Bama has been living in that insanely awesome category for the better part of a decade, which has included the weeding out and backfilling of guys who don’t cut it in reality. We’re just starting that process, really, but it’s exciting to be on the front end of what appears to be a great era for our program!

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  5. Uglydawg

    Seems like I remember the starting QB getting injured in one of the biggest games ever…and a true freshman stepping up to the plate. I’m not saying we had injuries on the ‘Bama level, but we had some. Didn’t we have some key defensive players hurt early?

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Yeah, I was going to post that we had the most significant injury a team can have; that is, a starting QB suffering a knee injury in the first quarter of the first game.

      It is a real testament to number 11 that no one remembers the starter getting injured.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Eason’s injury was the greatest blessing bestowed on the team all season. I don’t think we would have won the East if Eason had been the starter all season.

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      • ChiliDawg

        There’s zero evidence to that claim. For all you know Eason could have ended up making our offense even better than it was – enough to put us over the top in the NC game.

        Nobody knows. Eason got hurt. Fromm played as well as anyone could ask. When Eason got healthy nobody wanted to mess with success, and so it went. If you want to make the argument that Fromm’s style benefited the offense – fine. But the notion that we couldn’t have won the East, the EAST, with Eason as our QB is beyond absurd. Fromm wasn’t the difference in historic beat downs of Florida and Tennessee. So you’re essentially saying that Eason was SO BAD that the far and away most talented team in the East would have failed to win it. I call BS.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Appalachian State game was one of the biggest games ever?

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      • ugafidelis

        That’s kind of what I was thinking. 🤔

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      • Uglydawg

        duh…I was thinking it was against ND…my bad. But, hey….App St. did once beat Michigan.

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        • Macallanlover

          Now that is the biggest stretch I have seen recently. 🙂 I am in the camp that we would have still won the East, but not contended for anything else had Eason been our QB. Others are right, we will never know but I consider Fromm a key reason for what was accomplished.

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  6. kfoge

    It comes down to the present view versus the hindsight view 4 years from now. If in 4 years UGA has out recruited Ala and overtaken them, hindsight would look back for a starting point and point to the 2018 recruiting class as when that ‘overtaking’ started. However, in the present view it is looked upon as UGA having not overtaken Ala, though in 4 years this same point (2018 class in the present) would have been the start of the overtaken. This segment brought to you by Socrates 🙂

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  7. Go Dawgs!

    We’ve joined the fray with Alabama. That’s about it. Before Kirby got here, it was more or less a rout. Now it’s at least looking like a fight we could possbly win.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      That’s my thinking. We’ve definitely taken giant steps forward in a very short time. For now I’ll gladly settle for beast of the east.

      But if I’m saban, I’m looking over my shoulder when the dust settled after the last recruiting season. He may have lapped the field for a decade, but somebody is coming up fast behind him now.

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    • Uglydawg

      See posts starting at 8:23 am (this thread)

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  8. Macallanlover

    While it is an over reaction to think the two “super classes” we have pulled in the past two years can/has made us competitive on the field with anyone, the accomplishment Bama had for 7 consecutive years is something no one will ever see again. So if that is the definition of over taking them, it is an absurd claim. But if we hang around the Top 5 while bringing in the positions of need to replenish our losses, we could be said to be “equal” in talent with anyone, imo.

    There are enough flaws in evaluations and rankings to move teams a couple, or few spots, in any year. Other than momentum, what do the classes more than 5 years, or more, (2010-2014) have to do with what takes place on the field these days? So Bama’s record is impressive, but they are only a couple of years ahead of where we are today with talent and depth.

    As we saw last year, and with Clemson’s the year before, the difference now is more about coaching, injuries, development of players, and the job the staff’s did with evaluation of players. In other words, it may be silly for fans to run their mouths about how great their program may be based on recruiting, there are several capable of competing head to head with each other every year. I am pleased to say UGA has joined those ranks, although we need another Top 5 year to perhaps have the depth across the board that we need to withstand the wear and tear some years bring.

    I tip my hat to what Bama has done ion the past but I am not intimidated by them. We went toe to toe with them on January 8th, and we did it playing “their game” (no trickery, wild innovative offenses, or one time, generational player). Few have done that, and it wasn’t a fluke. Respect for what they did in the past, no backing away going forward. A case could be made we are currently their equal, or very, very close. They should say “thank you” for the last W, hope our guys remember what that felt like this December in Atlanta.

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  9. Russ

    No, we haven’t overtaken Bama, but it is a lot closer than Chip makes it sound. We were #3 to their #1 last year. We were #1 to their #7 this year. Another year like the past one and we’re getting very close.

    We were lucky with injuries last year and Bama wasn’t, that’s for sure. Still, we are at the minimum competitive with them and I think we take the next one in December.

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  10. We’re very close in terms of a match up between the teams. I would argue that if they played the 2017 matchup 10 times, and it’s called fairly, we win well more than half. It was just a favorable match up for us in my view. Mainly because we were better at throwing the ball. It’s going to be interesting to see if Alabama goes with Tua and can throw it again. 2018 may actually be a harder matchup if they can.

    They are still better suited for a 15 game season. That’s undeniable. The gap is closing fast though.

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    • Uglydawg

      Tua is physcially talented, but I think he scares the shit out of Saban.
      He was inserted into the NC game out of desperation and he got very, very lucky a couple of times. I think just a little bit of fairness from the refs on holding calls, and a little bit better coverage from the defensive backfield shuts him down. I’m hoping he is what I think I saw..a very talented mistake machine.
      I hope he’s being good to the guy who had the assignment of tackling R.

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      • Jeff Sanchez

        Got into it with a Gump on twitter about this…Tua had a couple of HUGE lucky breaks in that game (taking nothing away from his impressive walk-off pass). He was incredulous that I said I’d still rather have Fromm.

        To pretend like he knew was he was doing on the tying TD pass…come on. That was basically an up-for-grabs pass.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      “They are still better suited for a 15 game season.” nut graph folks. It takes more than two or even three recruiting classes. Wheat-chaff and all that.

      If you wanna drool over a season where we finished first loser and say we are all “even with Bama” go right ahead. But you are delusional.

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  11. Dave

    We haven’t overtaken them, but we did overtake them. There is a difference.

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    • Macallanlover

      When measured in the scope of the past 3 years, there is very little overall difference in the two teams (as we saw on January 8 when we looked a slight bit better). Some position groups look better at UGA, some at Alabama, and the depth is the same with some variance by position group.

      I think too many fans think the ratings of players, and thus the total, are absolutes. Mostly subjective and based at a very critical tipping point in a young man’s life. I am not being critical of those who attempt to assign, and actually project, a numerical value. But how many times do we see players fall below, or rise above, what was assigned to them from playing HS football? And letting the #1 class ranking in 2011 affect how you feel about two teams is 2018 is lunacy. It is why pre-season rankings are only fodder for sports talk radio and message boards. UGA is very close to Bama, maybe behind, perhaps ahead, but negligible. We have no excuses, they didn’t get noticeably better than we did since January from what I see. And no one knows until we see the actual product in the Fall.

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  12. It was an over simplification from Chip… From a winning stand point – of course not! What Alabama has accomplished under Saban is remarkable. Especially in today’s world with all the information available to recruits to understand rosters, programs, development, depth charts, etc. The only way to ‘catch’ Alabama from an ‘on the field’ standing is to beat them and beat them at least half the time.

    From a recruiting stand point, Georgia is close. #6, #3 and now #1. Georgia needs to remain in that ‘top 5’ and get the right players for players that are leaving. Example: Clemson’s Class was actually just as, if not more impressive than Georgia’s. Why? Look at the number of 5 stars brought into that class and in every case, it filled a need. And, they took the #1 player out of Alabama and either the #1 or #2 player out of Georgia (depending on the ranking and to be fair – it was a QB), the #1 player out of their own state. If you get to where Clemson is, you basically have ‘caught’ Alabama.

    Bottomline:

    Georgia is closing the gap and Alabama knows it. Thus the behind the scenes claims that Kirby took shots of the Bama recruiting board before leaving and used it against them. (Even if it were true, it had no affect on their 16 Class – which rivals UGA’s 17 class. And by the time you get to 17, that board has changed. So pulling out a photo of a year + old recruiting board would be ineffective). Using Saban’s age (everybody is using Saban’s age against him.) So why the complaining. UGA took Bama to overtime this year and Georgia did this in Smart’s 2nd year. What will Georgia look like with 4 full recruiting years under them? For the first time since Saban arrived, their is a school that can match them resource to resource but also with an advantage with a much stronger instate talent resource, that is willing to work just as hard, be just as strategic and relentless. AND THEY DON’T LIKE IT. The Bama fan base feels ‘entitled’; and that no one should dare challenge Lord Saban…

    The next few years are going to be a lot of fun for Bama and UGA and the SEC… And look for UF and A&M to play into all of this in another year or so.

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  13. Overtake? No, never. Not as long as Saban is there. We gotta wait for him to quit or get so damn old he can’t remember what day it is. We got in the ring with a wounded champ, had them on the ropes, and let them knock our ass out with a wild punch. Oh well.

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  14. PTC DAWG

    Alabama has proven one thing for sure, easier to win a MNC than the SEC Title in Football.

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  15. Tim B

    My guess is that the * rating of UGA and UAT’s starters in 2018 will be so close as to be inconsequential. One more year of experience and one more recruiting class will put UGA on equal or better footing as measured by *’s. . What that means is wins and losses will be another question.

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  16. CB

    I’ve always been a pessimistic Georgia fan, but I truly believe there is a strong possibility that we will look back at 2017 and remember it as the beginning of the end of the Saban era. His statue has been erected, his legacy has been cemented, his scores have been settled, he has as many titles as the Bear, and there is little left to accomplish as he inches closer to 70. How many more years is he going to be willing to do the electric slide at a recruit’s family pot luck? Kirby is 24 years younger with a will to outwork everyone (which has already shown), he has a lot to prove, using the exact same process, with a program located in the middle of one of the most talent rich states in the country. I say “game on.”

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  17. DawgPhan

    One of Saban’s worst teams since he has been @ Bama just won the national title. It seems like a pretty major point to brush aside so you can get to your “Dynasty is over” hot take.

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  18. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    “Georgia has plenty to offer in its own right. More to offer, if you ask me. Better education, more opportunities for in-state kids. Athens versus Tuscaloosa is not even close.”

    Thought that was the best, most accurate part of the column.

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  19. UGA '97

    Clemson may have, but Dogs are close- but we have only overtaken the teams we have beaten. Until we beat bama in the SEC and/or CFP and win the whole dang thing we should just remain humble and support the classes we have now and coach’ em up!

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  20. Macallanlover

    For once, and for all, the blown blocked punt call was the difference, the other calls were missed as well, but that one changed the outcome by itself. The motion “penalties” are a non-factor, that ship had already sailed before the “offsides” missed call. Illegal motion, 2 men moving, etc., are instant calls and no flags had been thrown…they would not have been called afterwards, usually the play would have been blown dead at that point.

    Even if it had been called, they would have been penalized the five yards instead of us with a 10 yard difference in field position. But the flag on UGA, which was not close, kept us from a 1st down around the 15 and we had scored every time we were in the red zone, on Bama and every one else. Hard to miss a call like that.

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