After a three day cooldown period I think I’m finally able to discuss the current state of Bulldog affairs without being childish and irrational, so here goes. Unlike many unfortunate souls in the Bulldog nation I did not see any of the game on Saturday other than the first offensive series’ for both teams before I went with the family to Taste of Atlanta. I was able to keep up by checking the updates on my iPhone, but other than that I don’t have a perspective on how the game ebbed and flowed other than reading others comments. These are the basic ideas I’ve come away with about what went wrong with the game:
- Jonathan Crompton morphed into a competent passer
- Willie Martinez is incapable of adjusting to what the offense is doing
- Joe Cox made some poor decisions
- We can’t run the football
- Mike Bobo’s playcalling is suspect
- Directional kicking still sucks
Does that pretty much cover them?
Right now, this program is facing a situation it hasn’t experienced in more than a decade. The team is sitting at 3-3 with realistically two games that should be Georgia W’s in Vanderbilt and Tennessee Tech. The rest of the games certainly look losable. Should we acquiesce to the vocal fringe part of the fanbase (which is gradually becoming inclusive of the rational fans) and start cutting head count now ? I don’t think so. First off, what would that accomplish? The defense is not going to magically start producing at the level that the fanbase expects because Willie goes away. For the last time let me channel my inner Rick Pitino and put this in caps so hopefully people will quit making the comparison: BRIAN VAN GORDER AIN’T WALKING THROUGH THAT DOOR FOLKS!!
People are frustrated with Coach Richt’s comments regarding looking forward, but what else can he do? He and his staff can’t dwell on what’s happened the past two weeks. They’ve got to prepare the team for Vanderbilt this weekend. I will give credit to Richt though. He did come out on his radio show and certainly sounded like a man that isn’t afraid to fire somebody with this doozy:
“I think a lot of people expect blood,” Richt said of the reaction following a 45-19 loss Saturday to Tennessee that dropped Georgia to 3-3 for the first time since 1996. “They want somebody to be let go or fired or that kind of thing, and maybe that’s what needs to be done, but at this point right now, we’re going to do what we know is the best thing to do and that’s to focus on this game this week.”
He also added this in response to another caller which makes me glad to see:
Richt assured another caller who asked if he would look at the program from top to bottom that “I promise you I will do that. I will promise you this, too. We are not bailing out on the season. I think a lot of the fans want this season to end. I don’t think that’s the way we need to function at Georgia.
Everything is not good in Athens, but it’s not the end of the world folks. College football and particularly Georgia football is very important to me and has been a part of my family’s tradition for a long time (My grandparents are both from Athens and my great grandfather helped build the foundation for what is now Stegeman Coliseum). It sucks to lose and it sucks to see the program, players, and coaches you love struggle. This team still has six games remaining and these seniors don’t want to go out on a sour note so you know they’re going to fight like hell to prevent that.
Right now I trust Mark Richt to do what is necessary to correct things, but the knee-jerk reactions that people want aren’t going to happen. I think some fans would be well-served to follow Richt’s even-keel approach to the season. I trust that Coach Richt will assess things at year end and make the changes he sees fit no matter if we go 0-6 or 6-0 the rest of the season. I agree with Mark Schlabach that every coach should be allowed at least one bad season before running him out of town. Gene Chizik may turn out to be a pretty good coach, but I still think the people at Auburn were dumb as hell for basically running off the best coach they’ve ever had because of one dysfunctional season.
If at the end of the season, Coach Richt decides its time to make a change at DC or OC I will support him fully. If at the end of the season, he decides that no change is necessary I will also support him fully. The man has earned at least that much from us. As fans we all need to just step back from the ledge and let the man that we’ve given the keys to our program drive the damn thing and quit being backseat drivers.
Update: Doug sums up everything I’ve been thinking with the Journalism degree to back him.