Kirby Smart is more level-headed than most Georgia fans.

Which is a good thing.

Smart was Richt’s running backs coach in 2005, and he speaks with reverence when discussing his predecessor. At the same time, Smart has heard plenty from fans about what they want to see out of the new regime.

“What Mark did was remarkable,” Smart said. “Averaging almost 10 wins over 15 years in the SEC is really amazing. But in the last five or six years, the East has been down, and you also have to be competitive with the West. So we know exactly why we’re here and what the expectations are, and I can assure you we have those same expectations.

“If you win the SEC, you’re going to be in the [College Football Playoff]. That’s the aiming point: going and winning the SEC and getting in that four and then going and playing teams that maybe aren’t as good as the ones you played during the year.”

One of the things Smart has heard most from fans, other than their frustration with the championship drought, is that the program has become stale.

“They want passion and energy in the players,” Smart said. “They want passion and energy out of the coaches. They want humility too. A lot of the fans have been like, ‘We’re tired of our players feeling like they’re entitled when they really haven’t done anything.’ Their complaint is, ‘We won 10 games, but who did we beat?’ And it might be 12 wins one season and then eight or 10 wins another season and then eight and then six.

“They want consistency and performance, and that’s what we’re grinding every day to bring them.”

Better win big, son.  And soon.


Filed under Georgia Football

That Process ain’t gonna pay for itself, homes.

Boy, have I gotten a few “Senator, I know you’re on vacation” emails about this:

Georgia has sold out its allotment of 58,000 season football tickets for 2016, as always. Next year, however, the costs to obtain those tickets will go up.

Athletic Director Greg McGarity asked for and was granted by the UGA Athletic Association’s board of directors Thursday an increase for per-seat donations for the right to buy season tickets in 2017. The motion was approved at the end-of-year meeting here at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee.

The minimum donation for the right buy season tickets went up an average of 17.3 percent. That includes a high of 20 percent for Sky Club seats ($1,200 from $1,000 per ticket) and a low of 10 percent for the Champions Club ($2,250 from $2,000 per ticket). General stadium seating increases from $250 per seat to $300 per seat (20 percent).

That goes hand in hand with a budget increase for the athletic department.

The board also approved a record $123.1 million budget approved , operating expenses increased by $11.1 million over this time a year ago. Not surprisingly, a lot of that spending is attributed to increased spending within the football program.

“One of the most significant increases is football expenditures relating to compensation, guarantees, recruiting travel and game expenses,” the board’s treasurer said in his report.

To which all I can say to those of you who are upset by the news is simple:  you should have seen this coming.  The people who hired Kirby Smart did, because Kirby Smart told them what they’d have to do if they wanted him in Athens.

The assistants are scattered out on the road recruiting, and as their boss so appropriately puts it, trying to find players who can beat Alabama.

“That’s the standard in this league,” says Georgia first-year coach Kirby Smart, who has had a close-up view of that standard for the past nine years, as one of Nick Saban’s most trusted assistants. “At the end of the day, if you’re not beating the teams on the road recruiting that you have to beat on the field, then you’re probably not going to win many championships.”

Like all head coaches, Smart isn’t allowed by the NCAA to be off campus recruiting in May, but he’s still going 100 mph prepping for a different kind of recruiting trip. He’s about to catch a plane to visit a group of big-money boosters, and he’s taking a video his staff put together of some of the swanky facilities other programs in the SEC, namely Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Texas A&M, have built in recent years.

“We’ve got to recruit at the same level of the people who are winning titles and playing for titles, and to do that, we’ve got to have great facilities,” Smart explains. “We have the resources and the people within the radius of us to build those facilities, and we’re going to recruit like crazy. We’ve just got to have the facilities to get them in here.”

And judging by this, that’s exactly where we’re headed.

Georgia’s home locker room at Sanford Stadium soon will be switching ends.

The Georgia athletic board on Thursday approved $1 million from its reserve fund for the “pre-construction and design phase” of a project that would include building a new home locker room and recruit entertainment space on the west end of the stadium underneath the Sanford Drive bridge. The Bulldogs traditionally have utilized dressing rooms underneath the East End of the stadium. The visiting teams would remain in the space alongside that.

Athletic Director Greg McGarity could not say when construction would actually begin or how much it might cost.

“It is part of a master plan exercise that has been ongoing for years,” McGarity said. “Now we want to take the next step to move forward with the planning.”

McGarity said the hope is to hire a design and build team by August and hopefully have some tentative plans by the September board meeting. It’s expected to be a major project that will encompass much of the space from the bridge to the backside of the West grandstands. No seating will be affected.

Alabama-style facilities, staffing and recruiting budgets don’t come for free.  And they sure as hell don’t get paid for exclusively out of the reserve fund.  In other words, Dawgnation, you’d better get used to it.  They’re just getting started.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“I’m sorry, but Mr. Starr is scheduled to come down with the flu that week.”

It’s either that, or speak at the most well-attended Title IX conference in history.


Filed under Crime and Punishment

Greg McGarity is sorry.

“We just didn’t pay enough attention to the details, and that’s my job regardless of who signs it.”

Well, yeah, that is your job.  So are they gonna make you run stadium steps until you puke, or what?


Filed under Georgia Football

Everything you need to know about the Briles firing, in one tweet.

I’m too nauseated to discuss the Baylor findings in depth right now, other than to say that if Mark Emmert felt the need to intervene at Penn State, it’s hard to see how he can justify ignoring this debacle… which isn’t to say he won’t.

But this is really why I’m posting.



Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment, The Honorable Craig James

Shoveling off for a little while

I am heading out on vacation for a week, so, as I like to warn you on occasions like this, posting will be sporadic.

Try not to burn the house down while I’m gone, okay?

I’ll leave you with a little something – a podcast I did with the guys at Field Street Forum, who, unlike me, do get deeply into the recruiting weeds, if you’re interested in that kind of stuff.

Behave, you scamps.  We’ll talk real soon.


Filed under GTP Stuff

For the love of Gawd, why?

There are some things beyond my capacity to understand.  At least this dude will get to wear orange when it’s all over.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange