You can look at this Bulldogs Illustrated piece that poses the question about how close Georgia’s offense under Monken is to becoming elite. My impression is that your guess is as good as mine, but that’s not what this post is about. Instead, I took that as a jumping off point to look at Georgia’s scoring in the context of the SEC over the past nine seasons, from peak Bobo, through Schottenheimer (sorry), Chaney, Coley (sorry again) and now, Monken.
Here’s what it looks like (conference games only stats via cfbstats.com).
- 2012: Georgia, 32.9 ppg, third behind TAMU (39.1) and Alabama (37.2)
- 2013: Georgia, 36.5 ppg, fourth behind Auburn (38.4), TAMU (38.4) and Alabama (38.1)
- 2014: Georgia, 38.8 ppg, first
- 2015: Georgia, 22.9 ppg, seventh behind Arkansas (34.4) and a bunch of others
- 2016: Georgia, 20.9 ppg, twelfth behind Alabama (39.8) and an even bigger bunch of others
- 2017: Georgia, 34.6 ppg, third behind Auburn (37.1) and Alabama (37.0)
- 2018: Georgia, 33.8 ppg, second behind Alabama (45.4)
- 2019: Georgia, 23.6 ppg, seventh behind LSU (46.0), Alabama (45.0) and others
- 2020: Georgia, 33.2 ppg, fourth behind Alabama (49.6), Florida (41.6) and Ole Miss (40.7)
There’s a clear line of demarcation there, and it’s the 2018 season. Mike Bobo’s magnum opus, the 2014 season, when Georgia finished first in the conference in scoring (and eighth nationally) would barely rate as a blip behind the conference leaders of the last three seasons. Forty is the new thirty.
I get that things have to improve in some of the areas the author of the linked piece mentions, but the real starting point is that Smart has to realize he’s tying one hand behind his back if he still thinks he can play by the old normal. Georgia needs to get into the mindset that averaging forty points a game in conference play is what it takes to win championships these days.
That’s something that begins with the head coach. Hopefully, Kirby’s figured that out.