Life-long UGA fan and 2 time UGA graduate (Double Dawg - as we call it)
I am glad to see there are more rational Dawg fans out there! The talent argument is bogus, but I will play along - Bama has out recruited EVERYONE in the nation. UGA has brought in very good recruiting classes and has won 9-10 -11 games a year consistently. Recruiting ratings are not a science - the 2013 class has been a total bust, but on paper they were a group of studs. A championship season comes down to many factors - individual games and even plays (2012 SECCG, Auburn 2013). Come on Dawg fans, let's not turn into Finebaum - worshiping, bat-stuff crazy, hypersensitive zealots. Let's leave that for the fans in the state next door. They are much better at it. Be proud of the winning tradition and atmosphere that Richt has built.
BamaDawg61 - you are great example of a Bulldog fan who has lost perspective. Those programs you list in your rant who have improved after hiring a new coach HAD A HUGE AMOUNT OF ROOM TO IMPROVE. With the exception of Alabama, how many of those programs are better than UGA? Missouri won the East last year by having a schedule that avoided the bad boys of the SEC West. Malzahn!! Are you kidding me! He made it to the last BCS CG because of 2 miracle plays. He is now the Paul Johnson of the SEC. Everyone has figured out his offense. You obviously cannot see the big picture. Chubb injury is huge. Where is Bama without Henry? What has Sumlin won exactly? Hugh Freeze? Dan Mullin? Apply your standards to Vince Dooley - we never get to the 1980 season. So, you are willing to burn the program for an unproven HC? Richt was a great improvement over Donnan who always lost to our rivals. Al the excuses you just made for Texas and Tennessee is exactly what UGA should avoid. If winning 10 games a season is so easy, why didn't Dooley do it every year? You know who made UGA a top 10 program - Richt. It certainly wasn't Goff or Donnan. If Richt implodes the program like Chizik did at AU or Muschamp at UF- then yes, show him the door. Who wants to work for a program and fan base that will run you off after only winning 10 games?
After the UF game, I was ready to side with the Internet pundits and bandwagon fans - Richt had to go. Then I calmed down and thought about. He is coaching against his earlier self. All those stats listed above are true. The pro-Richt stats are what every program wants out of a head coach. If every program in FBS used the expectations placed on Richt (ignoring his consistent success) no program outside of a few 3-4 dynasties would fire their coaches every other year. Fans and pundits alike have spent the last few weeks honoring Frank Beamer and Gary Pinkel for their outstanding contributions to not only their programs but what they have meant to their players and to the college football landscape during their tenure. The are great coaches and great men. We have lamented that they represent all that is great about college football and wish there were more like them. Then we switch the conversation to Richt and Les Miles and quickly forget what we just said - the hypocrisy is too much. Over the last 5 years, Richt has an 8-4 record against the SEC West, 15-5 against the big 4 rivals, and an great overall bowl record. Dawg fans, let's please keep things in perspective - or else we WILL be Tennesee, Texas, Nebraska .....
Ok Bulldog fans, let me give you some stats and hopefully some perspective. Over the last 5 years Richt is 14-5 vs the big 4 traditional rivals of UT, UF, AU, and GT (15-5 if we beat GT this year.) Richt is also 8-4 vs the mighty SEC West. Does anyone remember why Donnan was replaced by Richt? He couldn't beat the big 4. So this winning tradition has a great deal to do with the success of the last 14 seasons. Richt has had more his share of bad bounces and injured superstars. Even so, after the UF loss this year I was ready to concede that his time was done. But over the last two weeks I have heard pundits and fans praise the glories and virtues of the careers of Frank Beamer and Gary Pinkel. I have heard talk of their character and integrity and how they have been so much more than just wins and losses. The pundits lament that we may never see such careers in college football ever again. Then I realized Richt is having one of these careers that should be placed on the same pedestal and Bulldogs should be proud. His time will come. Remember when Phil Mickelson couldn't win a major (he now has a few in his trophy case) -he did not quit playing golf. Auburn - yes you have a recent NC and SEC championship- but you can keep the carousel of coaches (I give your current one 2 more seasons max)
I suppose the rest of SEC east should just quit football all together. While both coaches have quality resumes and pedigrees - maybe such praise should be reserved for after they have actually coached a game at UF. I actually hope that UF returns to a much more competitive era - the SEC east suffers as a whole when all the traditional powers are down at the same time. The SEC west is better as a whole because each team has had to raise their level of play to keep pace with each other. It's time for the East to catch up as well.
I absolutely agree - we should be winning the SEC east on a regular basis and some of those titles should translate into SEC titles and NC shots. I want a NC as bad as the next Dawg. However, you made my point - the problem is not completely on the field - it's in the stands. This perception that only a NC count is tainting our enjoyment of the game. Remember for most Richt's tenure College Football was a beauty pageant - we were so close in 2002 & 2007 - but somebody decided that there were other teams prettier than us. the playoff might change that - I am not quite sure yet. Recruiting ranking are mostly bogus - what that 230 lb running back did against 140 lb high school linebackers doesn't always carry over to D1 football. Ask UF how many stars they would give Jeff Driskel now? I heard a stat a while back that something like 11% of 5 stars make it to All-American. I watched fellow Dawg fans pitch temper tantrums in Columbia - similar to the ones Tammy & Phyllis throw on the Finebaum show. Don't we want to be better than that? I love my Dawgs and watch every game until the clock hits :00 but I refuse to let my passion mire me in depths of lunacy residing in the state next door. Alabama fans throw their NC titles around like they are worried someone might forget that they are good at something. The game is the same - I agree that the $ has changed drastically. TV revenue drives it, in Dooley's day we were lucky to be on TV twice a year. The NCAA controlled who got on TV. Yes, tickets are expensive - simple economics: supply and demand - has nothing to do with our play calling or fumbles or touchdown catches. Nike charges the same for t-shirts at all schools - about 98% of them ALSO Don't have a NC in the last 14 years. All I am asking Dawg fans to do is to enjoy the game, the plays, the players, the moments. I am also an Atlanta Braves fan. I will never forget watching Sid Bream slide into home - what a moment. Did we win the World Series, no - a gut wrenching classic - but that's OK. I will tell my grandkids about Fransico Cabrerra' heroics just like I will tell them about the Hobnail Boot, X-70-Takeoff and Nick Chubb blowing up defenders.
Are you really saying that no other coach would call a play-action pass from the 4 yard line? A play UGA has run over and over again with great success. The SC game was lost on defense - we could not stop the run. Which came up to bite us again against UF and GT. Also, fumbles cost us the GT game I might concede the squib kick call against GT - I have always hated the squib kick no matter who does it and yet it is still getting called both in college football and the NFL. Pruitt will get us stout against the run. Dawg fans are too short-sighted - we have been great - 2012 was a great team. There are probably at least 120 out of the 128 Div. 1 programs who would gladly take UGA's success and consistency. And 5 out of the remaining 8 are having the same issues we have. I am proud to have a coach that we can eventually have a statue of on campus and not one that might win the NC, but then get fired 2 seasons later or do something that would require us to vacate it for cheating. Big Picture, my fellow Dawg, Big Picture.
Fellow UGA fans - I beg you please, get some perspective and check your own history. The constant hand-wringing and consternation over what might have been at the end of each season is completely unnecessary and borderline ridiculous. We have a very successful football program in which we all should be proud. I am perplexed over the calls to fire Coach Richt - one of the most consistent and WINNINGEST coaches in all of college football (.738 winning percentage). I know, I know - I hear your cries: he hasn't won the National Championship yet, he hasn't even won the SEC since 2005, and damn it, he is too nice of a guy to win it all. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE! Take a history lesson. Check the season by season record of the legendary Vince Dooley - you will see ebbs and flows far worse than those of CMR's tenure. Dooley's Dawgs finished more seasons outside of the top 25 than in it. In 25 seasons, Dooley had 7 top 10 finishes - Richt already has 5. Dooley's run through the early 1980's cemented his legacy and one special player made that happen, Hershel Walker. Dawg fans, do not get caught wishing we were Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide - leave that to Auburn. (they are much, much better at it anyway) Saban may be putting together a run of success we haven't seen since John Wooden at UCLA. Don't let Paul Finebaum's circus warp your thinking - "Daryl from Columbus" is NOT my Dawg. Let Phylls from Mulga, Tammy, and Harvey Updike be warning to us all about what happens when we lose perspective. If you subscribe to the "undefeated or bust" measure then you better get used to disappointment. I love college football and my Bulldogs, and I am frustrated too. Why does that funny shaped ball seem to bounce away from us each year? Will it ever bounce our way? I want to wear that National Championship t-shirt, I just don't want it to say "about damn time." If you want to change coaches, fine - how has that worked out for UT, UF or Southern Cal? All legendary programs trying to scrape their way back to relevance. Have faith, it will and CMR will have the boys ready to scoop and score- Bobo and Pruitt will too. We are so close. Our time is coming - be ready to rejoice. Dawg fans learn to enjoy the players and the plays - the Hobnail Boot, 70-X-Takeoff, whole team end zone dances, Knowshon hurdle, Auburn Blackout, Aaron Murray, Jarvis Jones, Todd Gurley, Chris Conley's Star Wars Movie, and the future - Nick Chubb.
Mr. Baldwin - thank you for the analysis of CJM's offense. I think just about anything will be an improvement at UF. However, if you want to prove his prowess, you should have picked a couple of plays that showed great coaching. The first play is bad defense played by a bad team and the second is a terrific individual effort by the running back. As someone once told me it's not always the Xs and Os but the Jimmy and Joes that win football games.
Seriously! because 8-4 makes Auburn SO relevant. CMR is a good man and a good coach who runs a great program. I am sorry that you live in the Bat S**t crazy, Paul Finebaum -infused world. He is the Jerry Springer of College football and you and your Big Brother Alabama are recurring guests and PROUD of it! AU has had 3 different head coaches in CMR tenure and suffers from severe Saban envy. Your best players are cast-off criminals from other teams. Do you know how hard it is to get kicked off an Urban Meyer coached team? Cam Newton does! When Coach McElwain actually coaches a game and starts winning - which he very well might - I will then crown him, but until then, I don't think CMR or any other Coach in the SEC east is ready to concede.