Daily Archives: June 4, 2018

There’s never a bad day for Dawg porn.

Pete Fiutak was all in on Georgia last year, so it should come as no surprise that he’s really, really all in on Georgia this season, too.

Make that really, really, really all in.

How good is Georgia? It loses the best linebacker in college football in Roquan Smith, has to replace two NFL starting-caliber running backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and has to replace seven starters on defense and a few key offensive linemen – and it might be better.

At the very least, the talent level isn’t dropping off a lick, mainly because the last two recruiting classes restocked the shelves.

Jake Fromm will someday be an NFL starting quarterback, and Justin Fields has even more talent. The running backs are strong, the receiving corps should be the best the program has had in years, and the offensive line has plenty of options to play around with.

The linebacking corps is loaded with speed and athleticism, the front three will be a rock, and corner Deandre Baker leads what could and should be one of the best secondaries in college football.

And now there’s a hunger there, even more than ever. Now Georgia knows what it can and should do, it knows it can really be national championship good, and it knows it has the pieces in place.

At this rate, I’m gonna run out of reallys next year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“It was counterproductive for the player.”

Maybe it’s just me, but it’s a little funny to hear a guy who thinks it’s taking a major risk to let a back up offensive lineman transfer to a conference rival defend providing an open-door policy — and I mean the door’s wide open — to all sorts of NFL personnel.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“With no disrespect whatsoever to Dan Mullen…”

After reading Pete Fiutak’s Mississippi State preview, I can’t help but wonder what the reaction’s gonna be like if Mississippi State has a better 2018 season than Florida’s.  It’s not out of the question.

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Filed under SEC Football

Today, in lists

Just a couple of quickies:

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A game that will always make me smile.

I’ve seen a lot of great games in Jacksonville — more than my share of crappy ones, too, but I digress — but the one I’ll probably go to my grave enjoying the most was Georgia’s 1985 24-3 upset of Florida.  The Gators came into that game ranked first nationally for the first time in school history.  It didn’t last long, thanks to a relentless rushing attack (344 rushing yards) and Muddy Waters’ game-long encampment in the Florida backfield.

Here’s the last of the three touchdowns Georgia scored that day, Tim Worley’s 89-yard jaunt.

I defy any Georgia fan not to be grinning after watching that.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Mark Bradley’s take on McGarity’s contract year is utterly predictable.

Friends, Greg McGarity has a problem.

He’s a modest guy, someone who doesn’t like tooting his own horn in public.  How, then, to sell the first good year of his career to a skeptical fan base, at a time when his contract is coming up for renewal?

It’s time for one of the great buddy acts of Georgia athletics, folks.  That’s right:  enter Mark Bradley.

We sometimes say that a coach is coaching for his/her job. There’s no equivalent for an athletic director. (“Directing for his/her job?” Nah.) Because Morehead is nearly as inscrutable in his public utterances as his AD, it’s unknown whether another lesser Georgia season would have been cause for directorial change. Today the questions are rather different. McGarity, who’s 63, is under contract through June 2019. Shouldn’t he be given a raise – he makes $675,000 per year, well below the SEC’s going rate – and an extension? Then again, are we even sure he wants to stay?

Oh, FFS.  One modestly good year and suddenly he’s allowed to play hard to get?

And one good year is all we’re talking about.

McGarity is an Athens native and a UGA grad. When he was hired as AD, there was widespread rejoicing. (“One of our own!”) In some circles, that soon yielded – I don’t fully grasp just why, and I’ve tried hard to understand it – to utter scorn. To hear his critics, McGarity was a do-nothing whose doing-nothing did harm to the program under his stewardship. He didn’t support his coaches. He didn’t care about the fans. He wouldn’t spend money. (Never mind that enough counter-examples existed to laugh those claims out of court.)

Firing Richt – which many Georgia fans wanted to see happen, but never mind that, too – only deepened the discontent. When Smart’s Year 1 was an epic fizzle and McGarity stuck with Fox and Stricklin … well, the grousing rose to a mighty din. (Rumor: Billy Payne would replace him as AD any minute.) A year later, McGarity stands rewarded in his faith in Smart, Stricklin and Taylor, and his choice to succeed Fox – Tom Crean – arrived with better credentials than any Georgia basketball hire ever.

The neat trick Bradley plays here is with time compression.  He’d have you believe McGarity just had a bad blip and now everything is back on track.  The reality is that when McGarity was hired, he acknowledged his mission was athletic championships, something that’s been noticeably absent during his tenure.  (Not that it’s affected his tenure, of course.)

Bradley’s examples indicate how weak a case he makes.  Taylor has brought some life back to the women’s basketball program, but it’s not as if her team made much of a mark in the conference or the NCAA tourney.  Sticklin deserves credit for this season’s breakthrough, but he’s the flip side of the coin to Mark Fox, who got the same benefit of the doubt from McGarity.  Crean at this point is nothing more than the result of throwing a lot of money at a problem; sure, there’s new hope, but he hasn’t coached a single game yet.  Which leaves us with what we know is the real bottom line here — after a process that developed from being told to do what the boosters expected, McGarity wants the credit for Kirby Smart’s talent.

Don’t let that stand in the way of a victory lap, though.  Bradley sure isn’t.

If there was ever reason to believe McGarity was in over his head, recent events stand as compelling evidence to the contrary. He’d never say so himself, but Georgia’s AD has done his alma mater proud.

Meanwhile, nothing but aw, shucks from Butts-Mehre.

Does McGarity feel gratified by all the above? Silly question. His response: “No personal vindication whatsoever. It is gratifying to see the success our coaches and student-athletes are experiencing.”

Look, I doubt the court of public opinion will have much bearing on where McGarity’s career goes from here.  At best, puff pieces like this are nice things to waive at folks like us who’ve grumbled, but the reality is that for the folks who really matter, Greg McGarity has been a faithful soldier.  If he’s given the chance to re-up, that’ll be why.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles