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:

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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

WAR EAGLE!

September 27th, 2010
9:02 am

Yes, JB, that would “sux”. Thank your for pointing that out. Actually, it would “sux” to get beat by anyone. I am not expecting an undefeated season, but at this point, I am expecting a win against UGA. In any case, today, it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!

Palladin

September 27th, 2010
9:02 am

@5IML

“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.”

The defense made some serious mental mistakes early in this game. I believe that the talent is there and many of these problems can be resolved as the season progresses. The second half play was a dramatic improvement.

I got the impression that Greg has become spoiled to having all the time he wants in the pocket. Just because he CAN take his time doesn’t mean that he SHOULD. The one interception at midfield would have been an easy TD but for excellent play on the part of the Arky DB, who read the pass and crossed half the field to make the pick. The play took far too long to develop. We needed to encounter a quality defense to remind these guys that they have to play a faster game against elite competition. Arkansas’ defense is much better than I expected.

It’s a good thing that we got this one under our belt before the Florida game. Penn State didn’t offer the level of competition that we’ll see in the upcoming SEC stretch. I still don’t buy the home field advantage being as big a factor as you obviously do. Arkansas had an emotional advantage and they opened with a huge adrenaline rush, but adrenaline doesn’t last for 60 minutes. Bama won because they remained unshaken and stuck to their game plan. I don’t care if we play LSU at night. They have adequate lighting in the stadium and the drunken fans should not be allowed onto the field of play. I don’t think it was the cowbells that caused MSU to beat Georgia. Vegas assigns 3 points, more or less, for HFA and I think they have it about right. The best team usually wins, no matter where the game is played.

RTR!!!

Ty in Monroe

September 27th, 2010
9:03 am

Green and Ealey need to be dismissed immediately. Both of them are like cancer. The only solution is to remove the cancer.

Neither is as talented as they seem to think they are, and Ealey is worse than useless with his fumbles at the goal line (point-shaving?). Green is even worse with his arrogance and me-first attitude.

Get rid of these jerks now, and the team will be better for it.

JB

September 27th, 2010
9:03 am

NINE new starters on Bama’s defense this year. What’s the difference I wonder? Talent, coaching….or both. They are not as good as last year’s D at Bama, but they come out of that tunnel and defend that #1 ranking pretty good IMO.

JB

September 27th, 2010
9:05 am

Classy Answer War Eagle…….Ya’ll looked pretty good Saturday, and getting better. Good luck this year.

GTJeff

September 27th, 2010
9:07 am

NC State is good, but not that good. GT is just horrible. No way they beat Miami IF they make it to the ACC championship. Tech does not deserve to even be in the ACC race. Its an embarassment for the whole conference. We MIGHT beat Wake, Duke & Mid Tenn but the rest are guaranteed loss. Looks like we really screwed our LONG term success by betting on CPJ. Yeah we got one ACC championship but are looking at many 5-7 years as long as he is here. I will not watch another Tech game this year.

JB

September 27th, 2010
9:07 am

Can anyone comment with facts about CMR telling CTG to tone it down on the sidelines ? I don’t think it happened.

redneck 61

September 27th, 2010
9:07 am

WAR EAGLE !!!!!!!!!!

samuel clemens

September 27th, 2010
9:09 am

AM I THE ONLY PERSON TO SAY THIS AGAIN, BESIDES BEING AWFUL, GEORGIAS OFFENSE FORMATION HAS TO CHANGE, IT IS OUT DATED,JUST LIKE kiffin SAID WE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GONNA RUN, BECAUSE OF THE WAY THEY SET UP,ALSO THE SAME PASS PATTERNS HAVE NOT CHANGED IN YEARS. SO YES THIS YEAR IS TOAST, BUT LETS PUT SOME NEW JAM ON THE BREAD. I HAVE GOT TO GET BACK TO MY RIVERBOAT.

JB

September 27th, 2010
9:09 am

Come on GT JEFF, Ya’lls coach is better than that. I don’t see that happening

Old Dawg

September 27th, 2010
9:11 am

I could write a million words, but it’s a simple as this: with the resources and talent in the state of Georgia, the Bulldogs should never perform this poorly. NEVER!

MURPHY

September 27th, 2010
9:12 am

I watched Cam Newton on sat and was impressed with the way he kept making big plays to eventually get the win. That Au offensive coordinator really knows how to put the pressure on an opposing defense.Congrads to the War Eagle nation.

WonderDawg

September 27th, 2010
9:12 am

People kill me griping about the defense. If you know how to read, you know a coach cannot make a dramatic change such as going from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, and everybody know their new positions and responsibilities in what, 4 weeks of practice? Ask King Saban how long it took him to do the same thing at Bama. A full year. Hell, he lost to Louisiana-Monroe his first year there!

Grantham said himself the worst part about a change like this is that players, even if they have learned their assignments, usually don’t play at full speed, because of the uncertainties of the whole thing being NEW to them.

He’s taken a defense with mostly new players, playing new positions,not players he has hand-picked for the 3-4 positions, and held SC and ARK to 30 points less than they scored on us last season. What did SC score on Auburn? What did ARK score on Bamb?

Don’t blame Grantham for losing games when our offense is scoring 6 and 12 points.

ATL Buffalo

September 27th, 2010
9:13 am

Colorado 34, Georgia 17. Another beatdown, but at least it’s a non-conference beatdown.

UGA goes 1-4, but it doesn’t matter, since their season is over anyway. ;-)

Hey Wonderdawg (aka Ms. Grantham)...

September 27th, 2010
9:15 am

…I can agree about how tough it is on the D when the O only scores 6 & 12 points…

Palladin

September 27th, 2010
9:15 am

Welcome back to the blog Auburn fans. We’ve missed having you around. Congrats on an impressive win.

That said… RTR!!!

Dagny

September 27th, 2010
9:16 am

“I will not watch another Tech game this year.”

I doubt if I will either, but it’s fun to watch the dawgtard thugs go down in flames every week.

Palladin

September 27th, 2010
9:18 am

I do believe that Tech fans would rather see Georgia lose than see their own team win. You guys are the strangest CFB fans out there.

Mobile Dawg

September 27th, 2010
9:19 am

Just a few observations. I for one have been critical of the play calling, although I have never committed to “firing anyone”. Maybe I was wrong on the playcalling. I watched Bama vs Arky and saw some similarities in the plays run. Bama throws long occasionally on first down. Runs a lot of dives up the middle. If one looks at things from a neutral perspective our offensive game plan isn’t that much different. Obviously the difference is the caliber of the atheletes, coaching of these atheletes or both. As Altamaha Dawg has pointed out numerous times, why can’t our players carry out the assignments? Most of us know the answer to that.

Second thing in reference to CMR turning things around. Let me paint that picture one more time. The “CULTURE” in Athens right now is poison. All psychologists know that humans are creatures of habit. We are also very adaptable. When someone goes into an environment (i.e. new recruit, new coach) they immediately start making adjustments to fit in. This could explain why CTG has lost his intensity as some have pointed out so quickly. It also explains why our “top ten” recruiting classes lower their bar when they go to Athens. Generally people will live up to the expectations you set for them, and enforce, if they are capable.

I don’t think CMR can change who he is and even if he could, and does, we are looking at 2 to 3 years minimum to change that “CULTURE” and thinking in Athens.

5IML

September 27th, 2010
9:20 am

Palladin,

Home field advantage makes a big difference if this is your fourth game as a starter.

“I had to get myself (right) mentally because in the first half, I was kind of shaken,” said Kirkpatrick, who was victimized several times by Mallett in the first half. “It was so loud. … I never played in a stadium this loud, being on the road in a big game like this.”

Imagine how Florida will feel on Saturday. RTR!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 27th, 2010
9:20 am

If your Saturday’s are now “Free” then go ahead and keep them free win the tide turns back. Fickle fans need not return.

Again this is not a new thing. Oct. 2007 in Neyland is the day when things started to turn sour for the program. It was hidden by the surprising finish that ended into backing into a #2 ranking.

Then the farce of 2008 #1 ranking that showed that CMR had individuals and not a team. He could not bring them together to play for a common goal, a National Title. Would Saban or Meyer have that problem, you have to ask?

2009 exp all over the field and he has his guy in 5th year QB, Joe Cox. CMR has to think privately he can win with Cox as he is the Anti-Stafford. What happens? They come out and lay an egg with 4 loses.

Now it brings us to the culmination of events with 2010. This is not a shock, this wheel has been churning and many have refused to acknowledge it. I am so thankful for what CMR has done for this university, but it is time to turnover the keys to the school to someone who will demand results.

Last Saturday was a tale of two programs. In Alabama’s comeback they new they would come back and win. No question they had the intestinal fortitude. In UGA’a lose, they didn’t even know what plays to call. That is where this program is at, after a decade of CMR being on the watch.

boohoo

September 27th, 2010
9:21 am

Mr football Tony, How many downs of football have you ever played. UGA and all of its bandwagon fans deserve everything this season has become and fortunately the disappointment is not over . The customer service desk at wal mart is very busy these days with the RETURN of ga apparel. Ten yrs w richt top recruiting class every yr and only 2 sec chmps. 600 arrest in Clark county, and trashing your own stadium and grounds during and after games. Awesome job, Very Impressive Pathetic Sore Loser Fans good riddance.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 27th, 2010
9:25 am

Ealey point shaving? Did you see the hit? He got jacked up. I think that was just the perfect play by the defender and right on the ball.

Miles

September 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Auburn is a big surprise…what are they without Newton? We’ll see what the Tigers are made of when Arkansas comes to town…

chilidawg

September 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Thanks for the newsflash from The Desk of the Blatantly Obvious.

Mobile Dawg

September 27th, 2010
9:27 am

I have read a few posts over the past 4 weeks where people have indicated they would free up their Saturdays. However overall, most Dawg fans are demanding accountability. That’s not fickle IMO. Bulldawg Nation is split if anything on how to correct the problems. Some still think CMR can do it, however I think at this point most don’t. It will be interesting to see how strong of a Leader our new AD is. No fickle fans, no bandwagon fans, just a tight knit, concerned, divided family. Go Dawgs….

Denver Hog

September 27th, 2010
9:27 am

“Georgia is just not very good”
You think?????????????
There’s breaking news, Go (insert redneck accent here) Daaaaaaaaaaaaaawgs.

Really

September 27th, 2010
9:29 am

Someone throw some clorine in boohoo’s gene pool…

UGA DAWG 1978

September 27th, 2010
9:29 am

You dipsh!ts keep comparing CMR to Phil Fulmer. Do you really think Tenn. is better without Fulmer?
Maybe in 5 years. Maybe. Believe it or not there is more to being a good coach than winning games.

Miles

September 27th, 2010
9:29 am

ESPN gameday screwed up the weekend of the Ohio State vs. Miami game (they went to Tuscaloosa); they screwed up last weekend by going to Boise State (they should have been in Fayetteville, AR); this weekend they’ll be in Eugene, OR (they should be in Tuscaloosa)! This “share the wealth” approach runs contradictory to the intent of the show, i.e., THEY SHOULD BE AT THE BIG GAME EVERY WEEKEND!

Loran, whatchu got?

September 27th, 2010
9:29 am

Larry, is thinking…i left the program just in time…glad to catch-up on my fishing this season….

Mobile Dawg

September 27th, 2010
9:29 am

The play to Ealey, that was a big time hit. I’m not an Ealey homer but I think he was in another place after that hit. He was looking for the train, not the ball. It was a great play, but credit MS, they wanted that game.

This may sound like sour grapes but as good as we made MS look, I didn’t think they played that good a game. Very uninspiring game overall.

jumbeauxtiger

September 27th, 2010
9:30 am

5IML,

I’m not so sure that it will be a problem for the Gators to be playing at the Capstone. They were just in Knoxville and beat LSU at night in Death Valley last year.

I am surprised that Bama is a 9 point favorite. Vegas must not believe that the Gators are not as strong as some of the posters on here believe. However I do think that Gators have a real good chance of winning that game. A big key is slowing down your running game. Tall order for any opposing team though.

It did not surprise me that Bama wore down Arkansas in the 2nd half. In the 2nd quarter the Hogs’ defensive players had their hands on their hips. Not a good sign.

SEC fan

September 27th, 2010
9:31 am

Once again Tony, thanks so much for your brilliant insight. Will this make it 5 weeks in a row that you pick the dawgies?

You, like UGA, used to be relevant.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 27th, 2010
9:31 am

Hey Tony,

Is Ealey auditioning for a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial or something?

It appears that Ealey, the goal line and the football have some kind of allergic reaction when they get together. Is there some kind of medication for that?

Buffalo Burgers

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

ATL Buffalo,

If we beat you, does it still count as a Div.1 win?
I forgot you still had a football program until I saw you on the schedule this year.
Even Bozo’s playcalling can beat your high school program.
Your program is possibly the most irrelevant in college football.
When was the last time you were ranked or televised outside of Colorado?
Who is your rival? Colorado State? Just ColoradopState?
Nice program.

BBBUUUHHHHUUUWWWAAAHHHHAAAHHHAAA

Doc

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

Florida will defeat Bama because of the inexperience in Bama’s secondary.

Dawg Fud

September 27th, 2010
9:34 am

I think Richt should get another year but he does need to call the plays. He has earned that much.

However, after Tenn beats us at home, it will give McGarity great concern to see the stands 70 percent full for Vandy, Idaho St. and Tech.

Dawg Fud

September 27th, 2010
9:36 am

Buffalo Burgers,

Are you really taking smack to another team? Georgia is awful and yet you continue to bark…don’t be that typical, ass-clown Georgia fan.

SOOHSO

September 27th, 2010
9:36 am

There’s a complete cultural decline at UGA….trashing the campus, red panties, party school. snooty attitudes, thUGA of football team.. it’s out of control!!!!

Buffalo Burgers

September 27th, 2010
9:36 am

GaGator

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

jumbeauxtiger

Your right the game will be closer than most people think. The Gator defense (d-line and secondary)are actually better than last year because they are deeper. Our d-coordinator rotates 12 linemen every game, you can’t under estimate how fresh bodies help a defense and the Gator D is much better than Arkansas and offense is coming around. We shall see, I’ll take the 9

Marble Rye

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

So, how long will it be before UGA fans realize Mark Richt’s best days were 3 years ago? Another two years? UGA will continue in its mediocre ways, so it’s a question if, not when, UGA fans will wake up to this fact.

Charlie Bama

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Hi Everybody — Been out for the past hour. Any messages for me from that Auburn Troll?

sunny purdue

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Tony, Tony, Tony. I don’t know what you have been looking at. Back in Sept I told you what was going to happen(see below). Do you need my October picks? Also, remember the outrage when the Orlando Sentinel wrote this?
http://blogs.ajc.com/junkyard-blawg/2010/07/23/florida-paper-slams-dogs-again-most-overrated-ever/

Jersey sales – $1,000

September 10th, 2010
11:39 am

I think Ellis Johnson can find a way to stop the run. He has had 2 extra days to prepare for the dawgsqueeze. My money says Ellis over BooBoo, Spurrier over Grantham, home crowd over the freshman. This is the beginning of a 3 game slide for the pukes – er, pups. I think Petrino lights them up next week and Mullen and the cowbells are too much for the downtrodden, disheartened, overrated reform preschoolers.

Dawg4Life

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

Tony, Tony, Tony- Why on earth would you think that Richt deserves a chance to “right the ship”? Well, buddy, the ship should have never been wronged this bad in the first place. I was all about being patient with this team to start the season. We have a young qb, a new def coord and scheme, and for the most part an overall young team. Its not the fact that UGA lost to Miss St, its how they lost. In a must win game for Richt, these players came out and played a very disinterested game. Richt has lost this team, period. There is no discipline on this team, and it looks like a bunch of highly touted recruits just running around blindly. We have been out coached in every real game we have played, and there is 100% no excuse for that. Ultimately, at the end of the day, all of these issues are a product of Richt and it is time for him to go. Let him go be a minister, or what ever tickles his fancy, but it is time for him to hang up the headset.

Ronald

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

Really Tony? Duh. I knew that after last season but you still pick them every week. Can’t wait to see your rationalization for picking them to win in Co

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

“The reality: Georgia is just not very good’

That is an understatement.

Also, I love how Barny just leaves out Cam Newton who was just named National Player of the Week.

Mayo

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

Agree with someone above that this all began in 2008 when the ‘Dogs fell off the bus in Knoxville. They simply were not ready to play that day and looked like they just showed up and went through the motions. I thought then that was a harbinger of things to come.

Beast from the East

September 27th, 2010
9:39 am

5IML,
Not looking for a win in Tuscaloosa this Saturday but I do expect the Gators to compete. Hopefully, our offense will play more like they did against UK and less like the prior 3 weeks. The question will be can the young Gator defense slow down the powerful offense of Bama. I think we’ll struggle with that. Anyway, look forward to the game and may the best team win.