Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bulldog Agonistes

With Mr. Tomlinson still overcome with the vapors from watching Georgia's last-minute loss to Arkansas in person, we turn for perspective to an anomaly: a reasonable Georgia fan.

My friend Bud, who's not quite ready to give up his last name to the ExPats, still offers an archetypal voice to a growling Bulldog Nation. He writes.

I have to admit to being one of those who is dissatisfied with the coaching at UGA.
This is our 3rd disappointing year in a row (disappointing in that we were expected to do a lot better than we did).

Here’s why I’m dissatisfied:

After the South Carolina game Mark Richt said: “We’re still learning our players a little bit and where everybody fits the best and what’s our best lineup still.”

“We gotta just get more guys in the game. We gotta not have [Tyson] play as many snaps as he played,” Richt said. “That’s true of some of the others guys too. We gotta get Abry in the game more, we gotta get Bean in the game more, we gotta get Geathers in the game more. They played a lot of 3-receiver sets, a lot of 4-receiver sets or at least put us in more of a nickel situation so our nose guards come out during that time. We just gotta find a way to get them in there.”

“I think that we got to learn our personnel a little bit better. We gotta probably get our bigger people in there,” Richt said. “Just try to find the right combination in some of our looks. That’ll help us. We definitely gotta continue to improve up front.”

He’s been head coach at UGA for 10 years and the offensive coordinator at Florida State for many years before that. Why didn’t he already know all this before the USC game? Over the past 3 years we’ve learned that the GA team has not been as prepared as our opponent on several occasions.

One other thing that’s interesting is the big disconnect between our recruiting and our performance on the field, although I think that even if we have a problem with recruiting, it’s still the fault of Richt and his staff.

Rivals.com ranks all the teams in the country on their recruiting classes each year. I’m sure they aren’t always right. But here’s their national ranks for the past 5 years for the players that currently make up our team and USC’s team:

2010 (this year’s true freshmen) = UGA 15th, USC 24th
2009 = UGA 6th, USC 12th
2008 = UGA 7th, USC 22nd
2007 = UGA 9th, USC 6th
2006 (this year’s seniors who were red shirted their first year) = UGA 4th, USC 24th

I have to ask – if our recruiting has been anywhere nearly as good as that, why were we unranked at the end of last year and why are we unranked now?

And why are we 2-6 in our last 8 SEC games?

As always, only serious replies -- and the non-serious ones we think are funny -- will be accepted. Woof away.



Rob said...

As an Alumni of The University of Georgia, an Athens resident and avid UGA fan( have seen every Georgia game in person this season) I don't believe Richt should be relieved of duties unless: A) we don't win 7 games or B) we lose to UTK, Fla., and GT. I think a new OC is needed. We barely lost to a top 15 team and a lucky SC team in concecutive weeks with our best player out (thanks NCAA- we will pay whatever Alabama did for Dareus), a new DC and a new QB. Things are the worst in the Richt era, but if next year is more of the same, he deserves the door. Until then I will continue to see Richt on Ford Truck commercials.

Michael said...

Thanks Rob,

The Georgia board's are howling for blood. If the Dogs fall in Starkville, they will approach the Category 5 levels last seen when the Mike Shula era started unraveling in Tuscaloosa.

My take on Georgia is the playmakers they have are either in street clothes or MIA. A freshman quarterback needs big runs and clutch catches. A new defensive schemes needs to start getting more stops and turnovers.

The biggest misnomer in football is that experience and ability are synonymous. Georgia couldn't run the ball against top competition last year. But suddenly the offensive line, simply a year older, has become the best in the SEC?