The reality: Georgia is just not very good

Wow! September has flown by! So what did we learn on Saturday?

1. Georgia is just not very good: I could spin it for you Bulldog fans, but I won’t. You could rationalize the South Carolina loss.  It was on the road and Georgia was playing a new defense against a great, young running back. You can explain the Arkansas loss and praise Georgia’s comeback to tie the game in the fourth quarter. But after Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State in Starkville, I can only come to one conclusion: Georgia is just not very good.

I see an offensive line that has underachieved. I see running backs that are pretty average. I see a defense that really doesn’t have the personnel to run the scheme that is being employed. Yeah, Georgia was missing its star player (A.J. Green) who finally returns this week. That is a factor, but it doesn’t explain everything.

Mississippi State played hard and deserved to win the game. I’m not taking anything away from them. They played with a sense of urgency after two straight losses.

I thought there would be a sense of urgency for Georgia’s players to avoid an 0-3 start in the SEC. I was wrong.

Georgia fans have a right to be upset. Georgia should be better than this. But you need to know that Mark Richt is going to be the head coach at Georgia in 2011. He deserves the opportunity to fix whatever is wrong with this football team and this program.  Now if things don’t get better Richt  may have some tough decisions to make when this season is over. Let’s see how the season plays out.

2. Russell Wilson is the real deal: Wilson sliced and diced the Georgia Tech defense but you know what? Wilson is going to do that to a lot of defenses this season. With a quarterback like Wilson a team has a chance to win every Saturday. Suddenly, N.C. State’s Thursday night date with Florida State (Oct. 28) and visit to Clemson (Nov. 6) look a lot different.

Georgia Tech needs to put that game behind them and try to get on a little roll here with Wake Forest, Virginia, and Middle Tennessee coming up before a trip to Clemson. If Georgia Tech is going to get back in the ACC race, the Yellow Jackets have to protect the passer and the Joshua Nesbitt has got to throw it better.

3. There is a reason that Alabama has won 18 straight games: Some teams just know how to win despite adversity. Alabama’s defense was being carved up by Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett for about three quarters on Saturday in Fayetteville. But head coach Nick Saban was patient. He and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart made a couple of adjustments to get more pressure on Mallett. Then they decided to smash mouth the Razorbacks and wear them out. The result was a 24-20 victory and No. 1 Alabama stays undefeated with Florida coming to Tuscaloosa on Saturday. It was an impressive thing to watch. Alabama beat the No. 10 team last week and plays No. 7 Florida on Saturday and goes to No. 22 South Carolina on Oct. 9. If South Carolina had beaten Auburn the Gamecocks might have climbed into the Top 10 giving the Crimson Tide three straight games against the Top 10 in consecutive weeks.

Bottom line on Alabama: After jumping out to a 20-7 lead, Arkansas really wanted to win that game. Alabama expected to win the game.

4. Keep your eye on Stanford at Oregon: Oregon won a hard-fought game over Arizona State but when the coaches poll came out Sunday Oregon had jumped over TCU into the No. 4 position. And if Oregon can beat No. 13 Stanford (4-0) at home on Saturday, I predict the Ducks just might make Boise State uncomfortable in that No. 3 spot. Stanford, meanwhile, is just kicking everybody. The Cardinal’s 35-0 win over UCLA (which trounced Texas 34-12 last Saturday) looks even more impressive now. Stanford’s Andrew Luck is the best quarterback in the Pac-10. Florida-Alabama is the game of the week, but Stanford-Oregon is a close second.

5. Auburn showed me a lot of grit on Saturday: I’ll be honest. I wasn’t sure that Auburn had enough left in the tank to beat a team like South Carolina. The Tigers had been in a real slug fest the week before against Clemson. I thought fatigue would catch up with them in the fourth quarter. But quarterback Cameron Newton is turning out to be everything they hoped he would be. And the Auburn defense hung tough, held Marcus Lattimore to just 33 yards, and got the turnovers when they needed them in the fourth quarter. After Louisiana-Monroe this week, the Tigers have a couple more shootouts coming up with Kentucky in Lexington on Oct. 9 and Arkansas home on Oct. 16. Then they get LSU at home on Oct. 23.

Pleaser follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

Programming note: We’ll break down the weekend’s action and bring out the analyst’s couch for our friends from Georgia and Georgia Tech on today’s “Barnhart and Durham” at 10 a.m. on 790 The Zone. Please come join the fun. www.790thezone.com

753 comments Add your comment

Jimmy Pritchard

September 27th, 2010
7:48 am

So Tony, when exactly is Ellis Johnson’s defense going to start causing problems for Cam Newton? Hey, did you hear that? I think “Godzilla” just scored another touchdown on Carolina.

Time to re-evaluate Auburn. The Tigers would be 2-2 if they played like you’ve picked them so far…

Chris

September 27th, 2010
7:49 am

Well, DUH...

September 27th, 2010
7:56 am

…and neither is Tech – both team’s problems can be summed up from this statement by a Tech player after his interception Saturday “Tarrant said as soon as he saw the pass he was thinking of ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Dawg Trainer

September 27th, 2010
7:56 am

Not first! Go Vols!

The reality is…Tennessee beats Georgia. Again.

Charlie Bama

September 27th, 2010
7:57 am

A crazy SEC weekend for sure. And more to come. The importance of scheduling, road trips and home field advantage is pretty obvious now. Does anyone have an opinion on LSU? Why are they still a quasi-question mark??

Charles Jackson

September 27th, 2010
7:58 am

Hey, Tony – perhaps you should stop picking the Dawgs & Jackets each week as winners – things are obviously godawful in Athens & Tech is in its usual inconsistent, sorry play from week to week. Wake up man – most of the rest of us have.

Charlie Bama

September 27th, 2010
7:59 am

Auburn road trips are ahead. And it will be a long walk home….

Special K

September 27th, 2010
7:59 am

Spot on Tony.

Well, DUH...

September 27th, 2010
7:59 am

…and as mentioned last week, you, by continuing to pick UGA to win a game are really showing journalistic (and I use that word very gently) bias – they should not be considered a favorite again this season (except for the Idaho State game,, and right now that is not a given) until they win a game, and I do not see that happening again this year except for the ISU game…

Chris

September 27th, 2010
8:00 am

If Richt loses to UF and GT, UGA is going to fire him. It’s time to admin the fact he won the SEC title with Donnan’s recruits. Richt is not a good recruiter, and the players do not respect him. The day after the Miss St loss, another player his arrested for DUI. What does this make the 40 arrests during Richt’s time as head coach?

At the beginning of the year I blogged UGA was going to fire Richt and bring in Dan Mullen. The new AD know how good a coach Mullen, and now so does the rest of the UGA fans.

Charles Jackson

September 27th, 2010
8:02 am

“Like many popular insurgencies in American history, the Tea Party movement has attempted to enlist the Founding Fathers as fervent adherents to its cause,” (“The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party,” Ron Chernow, New York Times, September 23).

Unfortunately, Tea Partiers do just that but it’s a bit of a stretch.

As Mr. Chernow points out, ur Founders were a fractious bunch divided between Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian views on the role of government. “Their arguments were rich and diverse” as they struggled to form a government. To use them as a model for the Tea Party movement is both disingenuous and tarnishes the Founders’ singular achievement.

No single group should ever presume to claim special ownership of the founding fathers or the Constitution they wrought with such skill and ingenuity. Those lofty figures, along with the seminal document they brought forth, form a sacred part of our common heritage as Americans. They should be used for the richness and diversity of their arguments, not tampered with for partisan purposes. The Dutch historian Pieter Geyl once famously asserted that history was an argument without an end. Our contentious founders, who could agree on little else, would certainl

fire Bobo.com

September 27th, 2010
8:03 am

Enter your comments here

Beast from the East

September 27th, 2010
8:05 am

Anybody know the line on the Bama-UF game? Also, what’s the line on the Dawgs in Colorado?

JWalker

September 27th, 2010
8:05 am

GT “needs to protect the passer.” What passer?

Georgia Honor Grad

September 27th, 2010
8:06 am

Well, just because you lose all the time don’t mean you ain’t good. I mean, jeez!

Mike

September 27th, 2010
8:07 am

The Stanford-Oregon winner will play Ohio State for the National Title.

Other winners this week…
Bama
Iowa
Clemson
ND
Oklahoma
Wisconsin

TonyBFan

September 27th, 2010
8:07 am

So Tony, we’re supposed to believe that Richt is the coach in ‘11? As Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friend. You said the same things about him last year. Tough decisions, they’ll give him a chance, blah, blah, blah. You’re wrong on this. 0-3 isn’t cutting it. Those players have no heart. What is it, 12 players arrested since March, plus an A.D. makes it 13. Which brings me to my next point, new A.D. You better re-evaluate his situation. I’m sick of it. Nothing outside of a new defensive scheme has changed. Yes, Florida has had their share of run-ins with the law, but here’s the difference, they’re winning. That’s not an excuse for Florida, we expect that. Nothing has changed. Penalties. Lack of discipline. NCAA investigators. Arrests. Lack of desire. Embarrassment for a program that deserves better. This Dawg fan is tired of it.

Jim

September 27th, 2010
8:07 am

Richt is not a leader. He is a friend. Okay, while other coaches are out there getting in the faces of their players, Richt has his arm around his players. His players do not fear him. So what, he kicked off a no-name scout team player? You think that will keep Washaun Ealey from another hit and run? He needs to bring intensity to the team. His complete lack of any structured leadership and discipline are now showing up on the field. I think UT, UF, AU, GT and possibly Kentucky will beat UGA this year.

JWalker

September 27th, 2010
8:08 am

Also, do you really think Richt is the coach in 2011 under any circumstances? I just can’t believe that. If the Georgia athletic dept has already made that determination, then they are selling their fans far short.

Chris

September 27th, 2010
8:09 am

Worry about the Gators Charlie. Our “Road Trips” to UK before coming back to JH for Ark and LSU wont be keeping me up at night.

You Ain't-Know Gaily Whacker

September 27th, 2010
8:09 am

Reporter: Mr. McGarity, you seem to be cleaning up the program already.

Greg: You betcha, any player too stupid to get drunk at home probably can’t read a playbook. They are seeing bats, rats, snakes, and poodles. Here is what one saw recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A6yi_2pLLM

Half of the players have the DTs at kickoff.

The reason we fumble at the goal line is someone, in the stands, turns on a blinking blue light.

The players first and the coaches after the season is over.

I might hide a bottle of rum past the goal line to get us a touchdown, and wet the football with a little J. D. so we can hold on to the ball.

Hindsight is 20/20

September 27th, 2010
8:09 am

Shoulda fired Willie a year earlier,hired Chavis from Tennessee and stuck with an agressive 4-3.It’s crazy going with a radical new scheme in the same year that your starting a new quarterback.This along with off field distractions has resulted in the perfect storm.SCARY STUFF!

Thanks, Charles Jackson for that history lesson`...

September 27th, 2010
8:10 am

…but I really hesitate to listen to ANYONE who can’t get his rant on the correct blog site (not that you will see this comment)…

Charlie Bama

September 27th, 2010
8:11 am

FloriBama will be a Barn Burner (no offense, Aubies). U Meyer has his team clicking, and Bama expects to win in front of 101,000+ fans in Tuscaloosa. Who is Boise State playing this week? Girl Scout Troop 87?

Dawg_Mike

September 27th, 2010
8:11 am

Well, at least we won’t see the same old tired headline on Tony’s blog over the whole weekend
“GA will win over __ ”
At the rate the Dawgs are going, only the Idaho ST game is a given, which will make for a 2-10 season. No bowl game for AJ to sell his jersey this year….

Godzilla's Cuz

September 27th, 2010
8:11 am

Jimmy Pritchard@7:48, as an AU fan you obviously are not accustomed to the rarefied air of winning. As most coaches tell their players about scoring a TD, “act like you’ve been there before”.

Beast from the East

September 27th, 2010
8:12 am

Why the “zero tolerance” for Baker? Is it because he wasn’t going to see the field this year or was it just time to draw a line in the sand? Doesn’t seem too fair considering the minor penalty given to Ealey.

bdawg

September 27th, 2010
8:13 am

Bama -9 UGA-4 Sorry Tony Mark Richt loses to UF and GT we will pay him his 8 million and move on.

chazzo

September 27th, 2010
8:14 am

That is a spot on assessment of the situation. UGA is not very good. The question is are they good enough to get better. I think they are. They are a few plays away from a very different record at this point. If they don’t that will be the kind of disappointment that costs jobs. Things is it will be two years at least before Grantham gets it firing on all cylinders. Go ahead and fire Bobo, and it will be two years before a new O guy can get it together. Fire Richt same deal. Best option: demote Bobo, and have Richt take back ove the O-coordinator and play calling. Then, hope the D (who has had some big plays despite it all) will continue to improve.

Shug

September 27th, 2010
8:14 am

Dear FireBobo.com,
Aren’t you the guy that thought all problems would be solved if only Willie Martinez was axed. How’s that worked out?

Godzilla's Cuz

September 27th, 2010
8:14 am

Charles Jackson, are you drunk? This is a sports blog. Take politics to some other blog.

murray county mystic

September 27th, 2010
8:15 am

Chavis sure has that LSU defense playing at a National Championship level…too bad he can’t develop quarterbacks…..

Dawg_Mike

September 27th, 2010
8:15 am

This Dawg fan would like to know-

How can you have a delay of game penalty when you are running a hurry up offense?
Exactly what is our goal when we take the field for a punt return? We don’t pressure, we don’t set up a return…so exactly what are we trying to do?

chazzo

September 27th, 2010
8:15 am

PS. How come no one calls for Searles head? Isn’t this like the third season in a row that the O-line is not meeting expectations?

bdawg

September 27th, 2010
8:16 am

Enter your comments here

RunningDog

September 27th, 2010
8:18 am

Wow. Thanks for the insight. I think when my team loses to Mississippi State that we are not very good. But thanks for the sharp observation.

Norman

September 27th, 2010
8:18 am

How can Richt fix things this year or next? Next year, he’s going to have basically the same players minus a few seniors. The players he is redshirting this year must not be very good or he would be playing them. Next year’s recruiting class is average at best so far. Let’s face it, Bobo will not be fired, maybe moved from OC to QB coach. Bobo has too many ties to UGA to be fired. If Richt starts calling the plays again, it will be the same plays that Bobo calls. Looks like this year is going to be a long season, with next season not looking good as well. We shall see.

Tommy Casanova

September 27th, 2010
8:19 am

Charlie Bama: Just my opinion, but LSU will give Alabama all it wants – and perhaps more than it can handle – come November 6 in Baton Rouge. I’m sure Saban is praying CBS switches the game to 3:30 PM as well.

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:21 am

I do also think Richt will be back for 2011, even if we lose EVERY game from here on out. We’ll win 3 or 4 games. Georgia’s problems are bigger than Bobo. 90% of the blogs this weekend were about Bobo.He’s only part of the problem……I agree Tony, Georgia is just not very good. The Talent is suspect, and way under coached. I hold CMR accountable. The fall will be bad. I don’t see many who will rally behind this coach for one reason….It’s been building for three years, not the last three weeks.
One thing that MIGHT happen. The pressure will build to explosion before year end. It will get ugly. Mark might go to McGarity and Adams and work out a financial settlement and resign. Yes, it’s that bad. Win 6 of the last 8, most of this goes away. After watching our play “close ” Saturday night, it’s wishful thinking……. We are behind in Athens. Most like the person Mark, not the coach. and are ready for a change.

Charlie Bama

September 27th, 2010
8:21 am

After four weeks of paying attention on Saturdays: Many of the defenses across the SEC look a bit slower than in years past. Hmmmm. Or maybe the offenses are faster….

Northern Sympathizer

September 27th, 2010
8:22 am

Tony is giving Richt a free pass for 2010 regardless of the outcome. He is advocating that Richt throw Bobo under the bus. That isn’t going to fix UGAs problems.

Yep

September 27th, 2010
8:22 am

I think people are playing this AJ Green situation up a little too much. Yes, he is an impact player but I don’t think he would have been in any better position to catch some of those balls as Durham was. With the way the O-Line is protecting Joe Ter… I mean Aaron Murray, and the way he is throwing the football. I don’t think it matters if you have Randy Moss on the outside, they still couldn’t get him the ball. Also, even when Green comes back, a good team (not MSU) will slice that dummy D up so bad that it won’t matter if Green scores on every drive. UF and Auburn will both hang a half-a-hundred on the Grantham Defense. Grantham is another story. I understand that he is dedicated to the 3-4, but he has to understand that until you get players in the hopper that are made for that style of defense, you must mold you D around the players you have. I am not saying an all out switch to a 4-3, but at least give you kids a chance.

5IML

September 27th, 2010
8:23 am

1. Public knowledge
2. NC State’s QB is very good (against Tech’s horrible defense). He had his way on Saturday. After watching only one ACC game this year, I boldly forecast NC State as ACC champ.
3. BAMA played very poorly in the first half. I expected that out of the young DB’s playing on the road in the SEC for the first time but, it was very surprising and disappointing to see McElroy making mistakes. Home field makes a big difference. Expect Florida, one of the youngest times in FBS, to crumble from the crowd noise alone.
4. For the first time in years, I’m looking forward to a PAC10 game.
5. In retrospect (i.e. after UGA’s loss to MSU), USC was not as good as we all thought. Didn’t Aub start 5-0 last year?

Yep

September 27th, 2010
8:23 am

By the way, SI will run a cover entitled “The 3 Stooges of the SEC”, and Bobo the Clown will be the ring leader.

Charlie Bama

September 27th, 2010
8:25 am

Tommy Cassanova — Perhaps. And maybe not. LSU still needs a balanced offense, or just a good one either in the air or on the ground. But there’s still time to develp one, I suppose.

WonderDawg

September 27th, 2010
8:27 am

Tony, it’s like I said last week, the Dawgs, early in the Richt era seemed to hate losing, and that seemed to breed winning. Greene, Pollack, Shockley and the rest acted almost despondent after a loss. And they had very few.

Since then, and I believe it started with Stafford and Moreno, the Dawgs have started shrugging off losses, even big, meaningful, SEC losses, as if they were nothing.

This lastest bunch of Dawg hae taken losing to a higher level. They have now lost 8 of 17 games.

8 of 17!

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

WonderDawg….You are correct sir. The slide is obvious and picking up speed.

Snake Doc

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

Barnhart – Mr. College Football? Just how did you get that moniker? Did the AJC bestow it upon you because you pick UGA and the little trade school to win each week, thereby toeing the company line?

Richt had last year to fix things, and the year before that. When does he become the one that is responsible for this mess. He won with Donnan’s recruits, You see what his recruits bring to the table.

Also, since BVG left he has molded his coaching staff in his own image. We see the fruits of that labor. He hires TG to coach the defense. TG is to fire in the belly and yells at the little babies on the team. MR asks TG not to yell at the babies, it might hurt their feelings.

Then MR states we were blindly running plays against MSU! My god man! MR is supposed to be an offensive genius (sic)!

Time for MR to go! He has turned THUGA-U into a joke!

And as for you, you couldn’t fill a thimble with your knowledge of football!

athensdawg

September 27th, 2010
8:31 am

unfortunately 2008 was a harbinger of things to come.

mark richt deserves the rest of the season to try to fix this problem.
truth is….he can’t.

i bet he resigns and leaves the country to start preaching in the third world.

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:33 am

I’m learning to enjoy watching OTHER SEC games this year…..The Bama/Ark and SC/AU where both great games to watch, with no emotional investment.