Sunday, October 7, 2012
Awful Sports Weekend Part Deux
A night after seeing my baseball team's season end horribly, I saw an even worse performance from my college football team. South Carolina ripped Georgia 35-7. The 2 teams didn't belong on the same field. South Carolina dominated all facets of the game. Georgia didn't score until South Carolina had pulled many of their starters. Several of my co-workers and my own father went to South Carolina so I know I'll get ribbed for last night's game. I wish UGA had put forth a better performance.
In Richt's first few years, his team was tremendous on the road and terrific against ranked teams. Things have changed since. The last few seasons Georgia is 2-9 against ranked teams. That's not good enough for a program that recruits in the top 5 to 10 every season. We lose a lot of players to suspensions off the field. We don't have a special teams coach and haven't for some time. That makes no sense to me. Frank Beamer has shown the football world what special teams can do.
I love Mark Richt the person. He's an amazing human being and easy to root for but I question whether he is the right man to lead this program further. He has been a big upgrade to Jim Donnan. Donnan was a big upgrade over Ray Goff. I think it's time to find a big upgrade to Richt. There are only a few guys out there and most of them are employed like Meyer, Spurrier and Saban. Who is the man I would go get? I would be looking at Kirby Smart, a Georgia guy who has been with Nick Saban and Alabama for some time. The negative is that he's never been a head coach but neither was Mark Richt when he took this job. I know Jim Tressel and Bobby Petrino are out there but ethically I cannot condone hiring either man. Smart, due to lack of head coaching experience, would be a risk and may not even be an upgrade to Richt but I would certainly consider him especially if Georgia loses to Florida, another ranked team that Georgia has as much if not more talent than.
Last night, the analysts said it looked like Georgia didn't even come to play. The week before we nearly lost at home to a far less-talented Tennessee team. Turnovers, penalties and suspensions have been an issue for Richt's teams for several years. We finished with 3 losses a few years ago when we had Matthew Stafford (5,000+ yards last year for the Lions and a number one pick), A.J. Green (1st in receiving in the NFL and a top 5 pick in the draft) and Knowshon Moreno (another 1st round pick though far more of a disappointment in the NFL). That brings me to our offensive coordinator. Bobo seems to take advantage of bad teams which a good coordinator is supposed to do but when he plays teams with solid defenses, his teams implode. See South Carolina last night and Boise State and LSU last year. Also the Michigan State game last year was a big disappointment but I blame Richt more for that game. Richt is also not known for good time management skills.
If you asked me to give you a list of nicest people in the sports world, Richt would be at the top of my list with guys like Dale Murphy and Brandon Beachy. However, I think it's time that the direction of the program change and Greg McGarrity hire someone to lead us to the next step...national title contention.
An outsider might say, "Andy, you're crazy. You went to the SEC Championship last year. The SEC is the toughest conference in football and you were a half away from winning the title." I agree with the SEC being the toughest conference however we lost to South Carolina last year as well. We were fortunate that they had a much more difficult schedule than we did. We lost to 4 ranked teams last year and beat 10 unranked teams. In other words, our record was deceptive. The year before we went 6-7 with a a lot of good talent. We lost to Central Florida in the bowl game. That's not nearly good enough.
When we had Ray Goff, he didn't lead us anywhere. Donnan took over and made us a top 25 team again. Richt took over and made us a top 10 team again. It's time to find someone to take us to the next step. Yes, I'm greedy. I believe Georgia has one of the best athletic programs in the country and is ready to do what they last did in 1980 - win it all. After all, we do fit 90,000 plus people in Sanford Stadium for every home game - we have some of the best attendance numbers in the country.
I'm not giving up on this year's team. They may still make it to the SEC Championship (SC has to play LSU and we don't) but as much as it pains me to say it, the Dawgs are not in Alabama's, South Carolina's or LSU's league...and I'm now worried about the Florida game.
I hope the Falcons give me some good news this weekend but either way I'll tune in throughout the season as the Dawgs and Falcons will be at it again...ready to break my heart and millions of others.