My title for this post is pretty much how I feel about this Georgia team this year. This isn’t the Georgia team that I’ve come to know under Mark Richt so they may have well as been Grambling on Saturday. Seeing as how it’s Monday, I don’t know what I can add to the discussion that hasn’t already been said by other Georgia or Florida bloggers. However, leave it to T. Kyle King to perfectly sum up the current state of affairs a lot better than I did a few weeks ago:
During Steve Spurrier’s tenure in Gainesville, Georgia simply was outclassed by Florida, and the results showed up in the record book: 38-7, 45-13, 52-14, 52-17, 47-7, 38-7. Between 2002 and 2007, though, the ‘Dawgs claimed a pair of victories in Jacksonville and never lost to the Sunshine State Saurians by more than a touchdown. There was reason to believe the two programs were on more or less equal footing.
After back-to-back blowouts by 49-10 and 41-17 scores, though, no such cause for confidence exists. Every gain the Georgia program has made since 2001 has been lost. We are now where we were in the 1990s. The glory run is over and we are back to square one.
It hurts, but that is the harsh reality of the disparity between the Gators and the Dawgs respective programs right now. I don’t get this coaching staff anymore. I realize that motivation is a huge part of the job as a college coach, but maybe we can motivate ourselves during the two weeks by studying Florida film and convincing ourselves that we have a solid defensive plan to stop them rather than making wardrobe decisions. Paul Westerdawg puts it perfectly in perspective with this quote:
Therefore my question is simply this….
If the entire defensive coaching staff had gone to Bermuda for two weeks and simply met the team at the stadium, what would have been different about our game plan or execution? Seriously.
I can’t argue with his logic.
I don’t know what has to be done to right this ship or even give myself hope for the foreseeable future. All I know is that Georgia has now been outcoached in every game it’s played this season. I don’t think that could be made any clearer than by this quote from Florida LB Brandon Spikes (more on him in a post to come):
Having said that, here’s what Brandon Spikes had to say about his fourth-quarter interception that effectively ended the game: “I knew what that play was before the ball was snapped, so I was able to make the play. The coaching staff put us in great position to make plays, so I was able to step in front of the ball.”
Vanderbilt only got ugly because of the talent disparity. I’m frankly starting to believe that this current coaching staff is Jim Tressel of the South. He basically dominates the Big 10 because only Michigan and Penn State typically have comparable talent. However, when he gets on the big stage against other schools with similar talent he is being outcoached.
Obviously, there are changes that are likely to happen this year. It does no good to make a fire sale right now. I know many people want Willie Martinez’s head on a stick, but what good does firing him now? It’s not like the defense is going to turn into a bunch of world-beaters overnight. I do believe that this prediction made by some guy is going to turn out very untrue now:
Willie Martinez will still be the defensive coordinator come opening day in 2010 .
One disturbing thought has crossed my mind about this today. I fear that if that prediction does come true, it may be time to make another prediction:
Mark Richt will not be the head coach at the University of Georgia come opening day in 2011.
I want Mark Richt to be the head coach at the University of Georgia for as long as he wants to be there. I want Mark Richt to be the man to lead us to the promised land. I want Mark Richt’s grandchildren to grow up in Athens and for him and the water girl to remain staples of the Athens community like Vince and Barbara Dooley. Right now this program is at a crossroads without any easy answers. Richt has announced today that Joe Cox will remain the starter because the overwhelming consensus on the coaching staff is that he gives the Dawgs the best chance to win. What if it’s the current coaching staff that gives the Dawgs the best chance to lose, though? But hey, what do I know? I’ve never been in the arena.