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.

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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

Pete Talmadge

September 27th, 2010
8:35 am

Tony, I agree with your assessments of the 2010 team, however I am not so sure what next year brings with our new A D McGarity. If I am the new AD, I see a real mess. A J Green doesn’t block, tackle or run up the middle and try to hold on to the ball, so his return means little based on the train wreck ahead. Short of a miracle in Athens, I see 3-4 wins max this year . Every team is licking their chops to play UGA knowing how fragile our mindset is and given the overall lack of confidence and discipline at UGA. Do you have any doubt Meyer will lay 40-50 points on us , and do you really think the Auburn game will be close ?? The Tech game looks doubtful at best, and by that point McGarity will have seen enough. Is there any team on the planet that does less with more talent than UGA ?? McGarity will have no reason to continue on this path and will accept CMR’s resignation at the end of the year, if not sooner.

Sure we will lose recruits and have to start over . Do you really think all our recruits are solid at this point given the mess at UGA ? As a loyal Dawg for over 50 years I will support the new coach and be patient as long as there is hope for the future, which, sadly, does not exist now . Coach Bowden was right when he said Richt was just too nice, and we all know where nice guys finish – right where we are now- dead last in the SEC.

Pulpwood Smith

September 27th, 2010
8:35 am

I don’t understand how we can be so highly regarded every
year and we find ourselves in this situation.

We can’t blame this on Jan Kemp. I think Adams has destroyed
our spirit)s) ?????

Kiss my foot Prez Adams !!!!!

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:35 am

Question. I have been reading on here for weeks that CMR went to CTG and ask him to “tone it down”.
Does anybody know this for a FACT, or just pile jumping ?

Brady James

September 27th, 2010
8:36 am

Tony its like I told you on Talkin’ Football. If this season continues to be a disaster, AD Mcgaritty will let Coach Richt go at the end of the season. Believe me I know the guy and worked around him for several years here in Gainesville. He learned from the best (AD Foley) and he won’t put up with mediocre play and the severe lack of discipline UGA has been plagued with over the last several years. Now if Coach Richt can somehow salvage an 8-4 record or possibly, possibly a 7-5 record he may allow Richt to stick around for one more season. I just don’t see Richt getting this ball club together to win 7 or 8 more games. I truly believe this is Coach Richts last season and it would be a shame because he is a good coach but not a good motivator.

Snake Doc

September 27th, 2010
8:37 am

Many have already said this and I will second or third it as well!

At least my Saturdays are free now, I will get more accomplished this fall, will be closer to my family. I won’t be wasting them watching a joke of a team when I should be doing yard work or making improvements to the house or spending time with my wife and kids!

Thanks for that MR!

There is a silver lining!

Bulldog Bill

September 27th, 2010
8:37 am

Tony’s attitude is exactly why Georgia’s Football program while at times been very good has constantly UNDERACHIEVED!!!!

Todd Grantham

September 27th, 2010
8:38 am

Why did I leave the Cowboys? Why, why, why? I’m so stupid!

Leo Mazone

September 27th, 2010
8:38 am

UGA is bricks!

MGS - FSU

September 27th, 2010
8:39 am

I really don’t feel sorry for UGA. Many UGA fans were certainly vocal when FSU was having some issues. Times have changed. Now you have the losses and the arrests. Eat crow!

Steve

September 27th, 2010
8:39 am

Georgia Stat of the Day: 10 td’s scored this year and 10 arrests this year!!

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:40 am

The ONLY person that really matters in Richt’s fate is Dr. Adams…..Not McGarity, Bradley,Schultz, Barnhart etc…….Like Clinton, he’ll lick his finger and hold in the wind and see what gives. The man never met a checkbook he didn’t like. I don’t who the big writers are, but a call from 4 or 5 of those guys will also shape his thinking. A few hundred Alum holding out their $2,000 Hartman fund money will not make a trickle.

jumbeauxtiger

September 27th, 2010
8:40 am

Charlie,

LSU has an outstanding defense with great speed which has been surprising to me since they returned only 4 starters from 2009. The special teams are playing well too. The Tigers running game seems to be much improved over last season.

The glaring weakness is the passing game mostly because Jefferson is just not a good quarterback. His ability to read defenses is limited, many of his passes are of target and it hasn’t helped helped that some balls have been dropped.

The Tigers will have problems against Auburn, Bama, Arkansas and Florida if they can’t get some sort of passing game untracked.

JJ was heavily booed on Saturday night and it was embarrassing. I just don’t think fans should boo college players.

At least the Tigers are 4-0. It could be worse as my friends in Georgia will attest.

GaGator

September 27th, 2010
8:41 am

Saw this from one of your own——good analysis.

Red Panties

September 27th, 2010
8:34 am
Do you realize Richt must go 6-2 from here and then win a bowl (toilet) game just to match last year’s 8-5 season. Best case he will go 5-3, end 6-6 and hopefully win a bowl game. It is very very possible Richt will go 4-4 and end 5-7 and some people say give him one more year to really take this program to the depths of the SEC, battling Vandy for 11th place in the conference.

jumbeauxtiger

September 27th, 2010
8:41 am

off target that is

Dontavius Supremo

September 27th, 2010
8:42 am

Undisciplined, unmotivated, unlikely to win many games. It is a bad football situation at our premier state university. As for Coach Richt, he wins when Georgia wins, he loses when Georgia loses. It is teh fate of all big time college coaches.

Norman Lee

September 27th, 2010
8:44 am

This is addressed to #1… Uhhh Der…

tony's a homer

September 27th, 2010
8:45 am

Tony, quit acting like you are not a thUGA fan and just a journalist. You graduated from there and so did your kids. It took 3 losses for you to stop with the excuses. Ricth may have made it till next season but with the off field problems, he gets fired.

DawginLex

September 27th, 2010
8:45 am

The player I feel sorry for is Aaron Murray. He continues to make plays, try his hardest and gets thrown to the curb by his stupid teammates and thrown under the bus by his in over his head OC.

I wouldn’t blame him if he transferred.

WAR EAGLE!

September 27th, 2010
8:45 am

The weekend games turned out pretty much the way I expected. I expected a win over Steve Spurrier and Marcus Lattimore and I was convinced that the Bulldogs from Starkville would prevail. Great game by the Falcons yesterday. On an insignificant note, thank you Charlotte Bamma for the comedy routine. We need that kind of garbage on a Monday morning. Have a nice day and War Eagle, everybody. It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!

UgA Homers

September 27th, 2010
8:46 am

Hey tony and other uga homers at the AJC–I thought Ga was going to win these games because they “gotta win”!!! What gives????

404

September 27th, 2010
8:47 am

UGA now has a BIG MONEY donor problem.

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:47 am

I wonder when McGarity will make a public statement ? or at all. I’m waiting for a reporter with a set to ask Richt in a press conference about his job security and see if he refers that reporter to ask McGarity.

Leo Mazone

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

Let’s discuss something positive:

After digging themselves into a deep hole on Saturday, BAMA showed the heart of a champion in fighting back to win the game.

Arkansas looks like the second or third best team in the conference. How will they respond to Saturday’s loss–win the rest or go into the tank?

CalGatorBrotha

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

The SEC east is a two team race…..Florida and S. Carolina…..Florida is the better team and should come out of the east……the west is still Bama and a few challengers but no one is playing lights out or putting fear into an opponent like Bama does… Bama has a tough stretch coming in the next few weeks….I am picking my Gators to win..somethin I would not have said a week ago…but this Gator team is starting to peak again….and has alot of confidence heading to Bama.

BobbyDawg

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

What am I supposed to do? — Give up on the Dawgs that I have loved and supported all these years and become an Alabama or Florida or Tennessee fan. I don’t think so! Come on UGA ! Go to work! Get this behind you! All true Bulldog fans will be here when you start kicking butt again, GO UGA BULLDOGS!

WonderDawg

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

JB, I don’t think UGA will lose the rest of their games, but I now expect them to lose most of them. Colorado isn’t a sure bet, right? Surely Idaho State. Maybe Vandy. But the rest? The odds will be in favor of our opponents the rest of the way.

If Richt can’t get this turned around somehow, UGA could go – yikes! – 5-7, or 4-8?

Mark Richt better forget his buddy-buddy relationship with Bobo and demote him back to QB coach this week. Surely Richt can do a better job of mixing up plays and ending the endless 3-and-out-mess that Bobo is creating.

He can worry about getting a new OC after the NFL season.

.

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:49 am

War Eagle…………….Wouldn’t it Sux if this UGA team beat ya’ll again this year, which would be 5 of 6 I believe………….Stranger things have happened.

Martin the Calvinist

September 27th, 2010
8:50 am

UGA isn’t very good, what I don’t understand is why don’t we try to throw to establish the run. I mean throw three or four wide outs and have Murray run from the shotgun. He’s got talent and heart and it will spread the field out a little more causing there to be running lanes for King or Carlton. It’ll force teams to stop loading up the box with 8 players. Utilize our talent. That is what our coaching staff isn’t doing. That’s got to stop if we are to have a winning record. The way we looked Saturday, we don’t have 6 wins left in the season. I’m just glad I’m not financially invested in this teams success, I’d be really pissed!

Orlandodawg

September 27th, 2010
8:50 am

Didn’t you say this exact thing last year about richt? that he deserves a chance to fix this?…how many years does he deserve a chance to fix this?…I’m tired of this “stand by your man” stuff…anybody else was performing this poorly on the job, they would get canned

Iknow how2fish

September 27th, 2010
8:50 am

Does any college fan like the 3-4?

PMC

September 27th, 2010
8:51 am

Mark Richt attempted to right the ship last year with some new coaches. Now he’s got to take control of the offense. He’s got to call the plays. He’s got to be more involved. I know Mike Bobo is trying as hard as he can, but it’s not working for him.

Mark has got to sit in a room with Bobo and McClendon and get the personnel situations resolved. It often seems like they don’t understand which players they have on the field on offense and what thier strengths are. They do have some talent but it’s disjointed.

If Mark Richt is indeed an “excellent” coach as he is so often described he’s going to have to stop delegating and start doing. Unfortunately they aren’t good enough for him to delegate anymore.

Another Steve

September 27th, 2010
8:52 am

Good Morning Tony. Both Mallett and Garcia, despite their upside, simply are not 60 minute quarterbacks. Both opposing coaches knew how to push their buttons resulting in turnovers. Very predictable.
Georgia may not be very good, but they are better than MSST in every category, especially talent. The program is in the same state as when CMR arrived. Losing games you should win will get you replaced. Isn’t that right Coaches Goff and Donnan?

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:53 am

If the AJC reporters want to keep shoveling dirt on Mark, I’d be out this week getting statements from some of these commits we have. No that would be news worthy. These AJC like this just like the beat reporters like a good murder or train wreck………It sells papers………..whoops, gets hits.

5IML

September 27th, 2010
8:54 am

Iknow,

We at BAMA love the 3-4 defense. It’s our base defense but we are multiple. We went with four and sometimes five down lineman against Ark.

Florida Dawg

September 27th, 2010
8:54 am

Again, Green should be dismissed too…and I mean now…let him go to the NFL and all the agent parties he wants. He has let us down for selfish reasons. His presence probably would not have made a difference anyway.
Ealey should be dismissed too…he has no respect for his head coach and has really accomplished nothing…think about it….his biggest stir or claim to fame was in the off-season for heavens sake.
Clean house-start over…re-build a “winning FOUNDATION” and go forward.

Dawg Fud

September 27th, 2010
8:54 am

Tony,

The reality is that you are the last one to figure this out.

Sorry, but you have picked them the past three weeks…just saying.

GaGator

September 27th, 2010
8:55 am

DawginLex

Murray is very and will get better, but he has no help from a terrible o-line that was supposed to be the strength of the team. And strength is the problem, these guys are big enough, but they are just not tough and strong enough to block SEC defenses. The Gator D-line will push them back in Murray face.

Murray has been forced to run for his life and is going to really get hurt unless that dunce Bobo puts in some roll out and boot legs to give him a chance to make a play without counting on the o-line to give him time.

Joe Blow

September 27th, 2010
8:55 am

The problems start at recruiting. For whatever reasons, they are not getting top SEC talent. The running backs are average, at best, they are starting a redshirt freshman after a 5th yr Senior (where are the Sophs, Jrs, Seniors?), the defense has average talent. The only real talent appears to be in the kicking game.

There is no quick fix here.

Artie

September 27th, 2010
8:56 am

It’s not all bad in Athens. UGAy does have the #1 drunken party school title, and they’re a lock to win the Fulmer/Richt Cup.

Reality Check

September 27th, 2010
8:56 am

The Georgia Bulldogs are obviously a poorly coached football team!
They are facing the very strong possibility of a losing season.

WonderDawg

September 27th, 2010
8:56 am

Go ahead, Snake Doc, jump off. Get gone!

Little people like you are always the first to climb back on the bandwagon with your UGA hat on, when the winning starts again.

Links for Monday « Josh and Will

September 27th, 2010
8:56 am

[...] Tony Barnhart says the fact is Georgia isn’t very good. (AJC) [...]

gt

September 27th, 2010
8:56 am

What aggravates you about Georgia unlike Tech is they have talent. Notice both SEC teams that beat them lost Saturday, and Miss. State had lost twice before beating them. You have a drunk athletic director running around with red panties, your star receiver dealing with gangsters, and probably 15 more violations brewing over there that are being covered up by this lap dog press coverage. Now on this rainy morning Tony declares a buried corpse dead with a straight face. In the world of reporting Barnhart is one of the best, but his bias and spin for these Dawgs along with many more less talented hanger ons is an enabler to the problem. Save some of that ink that you chase Florida around with and use it in your backyard. Today was a good step.

As for Tech a simple offense can be fixed. Wilson has the “it” that makes watching sports fun. This year more than any year I can remember the press and in turn the public has no clue who is good and who is average. NC State was not on the radar before Saturday. Tech might have played one of the best teams in the country and I gave my tickets away thinking it was too hot for a boring football game at 12 noon. Tech will come back, whatever back is for them. We actually need some good teams in the ACC, it will help all of us get better. The press has tried to make Va. Tech, FSU and Miami their bad boys only because it is easy to stick with brand names. The real teams are looking like State and Clemson. Clemson playing toe to toe with heavyweight Auburn while once again no one knew what they were watching put Clemson on the map. Miami’s Harris is a great talent but has not got what it takes to run that complicated offense they run in Miami. Like I said watch Tech fix their problems with a couple of turns of the screw driver and easier competition for the next couple of weeks.

JB

September 27th, 2010
8:57 am

I’d spread it and get Gray and branden smith the ball in space and get these teams to back off..
They ( opposing D) game plan for 6-7 plays…………You would think an SEC team would be a little more creative.

Douglas

September 27th, 2010
8:58 am

Do you really think Adams has that much power? I believe McGarity has much more support than Adams..he attended UGA, played and coached there.

Herschel Talker

September 27th, 2010
8:59 am

Tony:

With all due respect, your point #1 is a load of BS. Richt has underachieved for several years running now, and you chalk it up to “Georgia just isn’t very good.” What a bunch of BS. Why don’t writers start calling it like it is? “Georgia just isn’t very good” because the coaching stinks. Urban Meyers loses Tim Tebow, yet the Gators keep on humming. How many years are you guys going to make excuses for Richt and company’s pathetic coaching by giving us some silly catch-all like “Georgia just isn’t very good.” And if it is true that “Georgia just isn’t very good,” then why is it that it isn’t fully on the shoulders of the coaches who bring in 4-star and 5-star recruits and turn them into 1-star college players. Enough with the BS already!

HT

decaturdawg

September 27th, 2010
8:59 am

As for our defense looking like a sive at times, let’s not forget CTG was the 4th choice for the job!!!

JB

September 27th, 2010
9:01 am

2011 looks scary, CMR and Bobo gone or not.

joe

September 27th, 2010
9:01 am

Yet TB picks them game after game to win. Now they have to go out to Boulder. I know Colorado isn’t a very good team, but flying that far after starting out 0-3 in SEC with shattered confidence doesn’t bode well for the pups…who will TB pick this week?

TommyJack

September 27th, 2010
9:02 am

I told you mopes a long time ago that MR was Phil Fulmer lite. Sometimes gets by on talent, but doesn’t coach his players up. Biggest underachievers in SEC and have been for awhile. In spite of this, I hope you keep him.