From Seth Emerson’s post ($$) about havoc rate at Georgia:
In fact, the last time Georgia finished in the top 5 in the SEC in sacks was 2013, when it was second. That was a very down year for Georgia’s defense, but it was the last for aggressive defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. That’s what Grantham, now Florida’s defensive coordinator, is known for. But it comes with risk. Insert your “third-and-Grantham” comment here.
I would have, too, if Seth hadn’t beaten me to the punch.
From David Hale’s enjoyable piece on Jake Fromm:
It’s been 39 years since Georgia celebrated a national championship, back when Walker was a freshman and Jimmy Carter was president and the Bulldogs’ QB needed to complete just one pass to go down in the history books. In the four decades since, the fan base fumed as Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer dominated at Florida. Cam Newton won a natty for rival Auburn. Heck, even Georgia Tech‘s got one since UGA last celebrated college football supremacy. The Georgia faithful suffered through Ray Goff, lived and died with Mark Richt, watched as David Greene and Matthew Stafford and Aaron Murray came and went without winning it all.
To be a Georgia fan is to smell success like the faint stink of stale beer and cigarettes on your clothes after a long night on Clayton Street. It’s a hazy memory of happier times, supplanted by a pounding headache and nausea.
Only someone who’s been a Georgia beat writer could get us like that.
So, Jeremy Pruitt’s taking a page out of the Kirby Smart “fans must be a spring game prop for recruiting” book. That, in turn, has inspired John Adams.
Imagine how you would feel a few years from now if an All-SEC player told a reporter, “I almost signed with Tennessee, but Alabama had more fans at its spring game. So, I picked the Tide and never looked back.”
I have such a strong sense of empathy, I feel guilty just writing that.
Some Tennessee fans still feel guilty from the last spring game when Pruitt admonished them for the lack of attendance. They’re probably were asking themselves after the 2018 season, “Would we have ended our losing streak to Vanderbilt if I had gone to the spring game?”
My unbiased opinion: No. So, stop beating yourselves up.
Not bad, and there’s even more if you want.
I wouldn’t change a single punctuation mark of Brian Cook’s fare-thee-well to Jim Delany.
(Although I can’t believe he left out a reference to that $20 million bonus.)
Jeez, does Will
Leach Leitch flat out nail us with this post. For starters,
If there’s one nagging issue that plagues Georgia football fans, I’ve found it is that they have a unique difficulty in living in the moment. Whatever is happening right now, for many fans, can often feel beside the point. Georgia football fans are always either reliving the past or fretting about the future. Whether it was the age of Mark Richt’s 10 wins never being enough or, today, when Georgia has one of the best teams it has ever had and it is just one game away from the whole universe of everyone’s hopes and dreams opening wide right in front of them, and almost everybody I know here in Athens is either dreading Saturday’s game or actively avoiding it … the present is a slippery, elusive concept, a place no one ever quite feels comfortable living in.
This 2018 season, the one where Georgia went 11-1 and destroyed every team it played except for one, has to be the sleepiest season of extended dominance in recent memory. Georgia had one bad game, in Death Valley, a place where countless SEC teams’ seasons have gone to die over the decades, and otherwise, they really didn’t sweat once all year. They flattened Florida, they crushed Kentucky (in a game that was described as the biggest in Kentucky football history, which was sort of amusing considering it was maybe Georgia’s fifth biggest this year), they demoralized South Carolina, they breezed by Missouri, they barely even noticed Auburn was on the field with them and what they did to Georgia Tech is illegal in three-quarters of the states in this country. Georgia’s rivals are so far behind them right now it takes a connecting flight just to get a glimpse of Uga’s tail. Everything – well, almost everything – Georgia could have hoped for when it fired Richt and hired Kirby Smart has happened. Georgia is at last at the place it has always believed it deserved to be … where it belonged.
Man, oh man, is that on target.
If Georgia ever reaches that final destination we hope it reaches, I don’t think our fan base will turn out to be as arrogant as Alabama’s. We’re too neurotic for that.
You’ll want to read all of Matt Hinton’s UGA-South Carolina postmortem, but for now, I’ll just leave you with his conclusion:
In the meantime, like all great teams, the Bulldogs’ only real concern is between their own ears.
“We just didn’t have our best day,” safety Steven Montac said. “They aren’t any better than us. They just executed.”
That’s what South Carolina’s players have to say, what they have to believe, but it’s not what happened on the field. Take Mecole Hardman, for example. Georgia’s sophomore wide receiver, a former five-star recruit, had six catches for 103 yards and one carry for 30 yards on plays that were no more schematically complex than, “Throw it over there to Hardman and watch him run past South Carolina defenders.”