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

simplythetruth

September 27th, 2010
10:25 am

So Tony, you feel that Richt deserves a chance to fix UGA? What makes you think that he has the ability to do so? Didn’t he put them in this situation because of his lack of leadership and his short-sightedness? If the AD and President at UGA don’t take steps now , by beginning a search, immediately, for Richt’s replacement, aren’t they just going to be another year behind the 8 ball? Many paying fans and alums have waited far too long for corrections to be made and they’ve seen nothing positive occur in the last few years.

jumbeauxtiger

September 27th, 2010
10:27 am

Anyone notice that in the Caoches Poll the SEC has 4 of the top 11?

What I find unheard of is that one conference divsion, the SEC West, has 4 teams in the Top 15 of both polls.

Mr Brightside

September 27th, 2010
10:27 am

At least all you leghumpers can take your new hats and t-shirts back to Wal-mart. No receipt, no problem, they’ll give you a store credit. That’s assuming the ac was working in the trailer this weekend and you didn’t sweat thru em. Question, if Richt does fires Bobo, do you have any confidence that he can hire a competent replacement? See recent dc coaching change.

Patrick

September 27th, 2010
10:27 am

Clemson is better than some of you are giving them credit for.
We were manhandling Auburn for one half. Ark was manhandling Bama for one half. Actually 3 quarters. Mediocre teams don’t do that. Clemson is every bit as good as Auburn SC.

Fantasy Island

September 27th, 2010
10:27 am

Mark Richt, good call on not having 2 adays this year… How’s that working out for ya?

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
10:27 am

“WDE, how are Bama fans delusional? They expect to win every game because they have won every regular season game for the past two and a half years and a national championship. Cam Newton is a great player and it will be interesting to see what Auburn can do if a team can figure out how to shut him down.”

1: See above.

2: 2 years ago, you guys lost two games.

3: Without Saban, your team would be UGA West.

4: Cam Newton is great, and like ANY player, can be shut down. Last year we limited Mark Ingram and you guys came back with .52 left to play to beat us.

McDawg

September 27th, 2010
10:28 am

I was watching the Auburn game and watching UGA on the laptop and the intensity was so much different between Auburn and UGA

our Offensive line simply blows–Defense we don’t have the talent but no excuses for the offense

is our system complicated???? or are we just getting wipped

too bad about Baker he was a rising star

Fantasy Island

September 27th, 2010
10:29 am

And, the Coupe De Grace:

DAWG258
May 12th, 2010
1:27 pm
Dawgs will win the SEC in 2010. Book it!
Bama fan be greatful Colt came out the game or you would’ve been down 14-0 and probably lost the game. with that call on the kickoff you aren’t what you think you are! But you hold the crystal so you have the spot!
Gator fan please look at what happened after the 1 recruiting class the basketball team had left, you now see what your future holds. there is no more cupcake schedule and you will lose 4 games this season; welcome back to reality. Your coach will have to earn respect from this point and by next year im sure the word that will follow him will be OVER RATED! remember anyone can beat OSU. be thankful that 3 teams lost to let you in. We all saw with No Dan Mullen your offense isnt good and now we will see without Charlie Strong your Defense wont be either
UT is laughable
GT is a joke
Go DAWGS! GATA !

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
10:29 am

“Clemson is better than some of you are giving them credit for.
We were manhandling Auburn for one half. Ark was manhandling Bama for one half. Actually 3 quarters. Mediocre teams don’t do that. Clemson is every bit as good as Auburn SC.”

See, this is right on the money. Preseason rankings don’t mean squat. People were talking about how VT was going to run the table in the ACC and they’ve lost 2 games.

In 2004, USC talked about how they beat VT by 6 or so points and how Auburn only beat them by 3 yet when USC actually played VT, VT was not ranked in the top 25.

Clemson is a good team and will be a force in the ACC. Let’s just see how the rest of the season plays out.

JB

September 27th, 2010
10:29 am

The clock is ticking…. If it’s this year or next, Dawgs looking at a new coach……Reading a little optimism from some bloggers here this AM that we’ll shake this off….just a little bad luck….coulda, shoulda ,woulda type stuff…………….Your are using your heart, not your eyes and head. I like Mark…Met him several times. great guy…………He doesn’t have the players, the coach’s or the time to turn this around………….yes, we’ll win 3 or 4 games this year. Will that make it all OK. Auburn is living another day without Tuberville, Tenn. has a bigger mountain to climb, but will……………..We’ll be OK also…………………..Mark will land at North Carolina or Wake…………….He’s rich and will coach again and his family will be fine. He can take Bobo to Wake with him.

McDawg

September 27th, 2010
10:31 am

Perhaps the dawgs needs more of a pagan ethos when it comes to football

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
10:32 am

“was watching the Auburn game and watching UGA on the laptop and the intensity was so much different between Auburn and UGA”

Yep, and one reason we’re good is because we have a chip on our shoulders. UGA was picked to be the surprise team in the SEC and so far they have been a surprise. Surprisingly bad.

We all knew Bama would be good. Florida to me is still iffy because they have yet to play a ranked team. Arkansas is a very good team but lacks defense. Auburn is playing with heart and they have some very talented football players that will be around for the next 3 years. LSU is still iffy because they’ve won by the skin of their teeth.

Shawn

September 27th, 2010
10:33 am

jumbo
they all gotta play each other and fall out. it happened in the big 12 2 years ago

Chris

September 27th, 2010
10:33 am

Tony, if we lose to Florida, Auburn, and Ga. Tech, then something needs to happen. At the very least, Bobo should be gone. But if we also lose to the likes of Tennessee, Kentucky, or Vanderbilt, then how can you say that Richt will still be in Athens in 20011?

I just don’t believe that. You can’t live in the past, and you can’t give Richt a free pass for what he did his first five years at Georgia. The past five years we have underachieved. Even when we were 11-2 in 2007 we underachieved. With all of that talent we should have been undefeated. We weren’t and it all falls back on coaching.

I think it’s pretty simple. If we finish with a losing record, and no bowl appearance, Richt should be fired.

Ted Brogan

September 27th, 2010
10:33 am

WDE,
1) Being delusional means you’re team sucks and yet you still think they are the best. I could understand that if this was Bama fans saying this three or four years ago
2) I said regular season games, not the SEC champ or Sugar bowl in 08.
3) Last time I checked we had Saban
4) Sorry, I forgot about the Auburn moral victory last year.

BAMA dude

September 27th, 2010
10:33 am

Never said best team ever there pal.

But on the road against a top 10 team, in what the Arkansas folks described as the biggest game on campus since the sixties, Alabama manned up and won the second half 17-3.

If you honestly think that compares to home games against the two South Carolina schools then I don’t know what to tell you. The Barners are above average, but nowhere near Bama or Florida, imo.

BAMA dude

September 27th, 2010
10:35 am

LSU is still iffy because they’ve won by the skin of their teeth.

Uh, pot meet kettle? Overtime, Clempson, ring a bell?

Alan

September 27th, 2010
10:35 am

Falcons favored by 7-8 over the 49ers. I think they can win 11 of the next 13. Yesterday’s freebie at the end was huge for playoff seeding. Glad we have one winner in this state.

wesleywhatwhat

September 27th, 2010
10:35 am

Alan

September 27th, 2010
10:37 am

Amazing the dogs are favored by 4 against Colorado.

Ed

September 27th, 2010
10:37 am

I disagree that Richt “deserves” another shot in ‘11. As Clint Eastwood’s character said in Unforgiven, “deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

If Richt has mailed it in and just going through the motions or is simply not a good coach, it makes no sense whatsoever to throw away the 2011 season out a sense of fairness. Richt struck gold as head coach of Georgia, he’ll be just fine.

BAMA dude

September 27th, 2010
10:39 am

Alan, it shouldn’t have even come down to that freebie. I have never seen a crazier bounce on a punt. What are the odds tht a punt hits the shoe of a receiving team player a yard from the sideline, bounces straight up, and a kicking team player is close enough to just barely keep it inbounds?

JB

September 27th, 2010
10:39 am

Who on this Staff get’s retained? Uh, none except those two grad Assit who won the bowl game for us last year………………………………….How did this thing come off the tracks….we used to line up under Richt and win 10 a year, win every bowl and Tech regular. We’ll Tech’s a given.

Pete

September 27th, 2010
10:39 am

funny wesley

Snake Doc

September 27th, 2010
10:39 am

Wonder Dawg – If you at least had the intellect of a 25 year old I might consider debating you. As it is, you have half the brain of flea, maybe not even that. You’re a blind, fool!

Or is your real name Buck Belue? Bozo!

Go away! You bother people!

Mr. Georgia Football Returns

September 27th, 2010
10:40 am

Is Mark Richt initiating some sort of “Scorched Earth Policy” on Georgia before he leaves?

Coach O

September 27th, 2010
10:41 am

@WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

Okay… I’ll admit it. Cam Newton is better than the Georgia Bulldogs.

Good luck with that. :-)

McDawg

September 27th, 2010
10:41 am

hate to be a realist-after all this is college football–but how much does CMR make a year???

whether you like CMR or not is besides the point-these coaches get paid alot of $$ at a time when other parts of the University are hurting and cutting back

i don’t think a coach has to be playing for a National Championship every year to be succesful but there has been a noted decline at UGA th epast 3yrs-even Butler’s punting not living up

buckeyedawg

September 27th, 2010
10:42 am

If i understood correctly the pres. the ad and cmr said there would be no more excuses for bad behavior within the last wk or so. they were not going to put up with it any more if this is the first incident then they are telling all players no more. cmr will get things changed around. he started with defense this year, now i believe he works on offense. be positive dawg fans

BromoDawg

September 27th, 2010
10:42 am

Tony,

Why don’t we go back to what worked? Richt calling the plays and Bobo coaching QBs.

Alan

September 27th, 2010
10:43 am

I know. Total luck. But that’s part of the game. At least we now know that you can push a player into a punt returner to keep him from catching it and it’s considered a block. What made me mad was the total lack of credit we got on the shows later that day. Dilfer was saying how we lucked into the win and acted like we didn’t deserve it. That guy is a da. We’re fav by 8 over San Fran. I guess we have to get to 6-1 before anyone takes us seriosuly. Apparently beating the defending SB champs in their place isn’t good enough. Something the Vikes couldn’t do. And the vikes get so much coverage yesterday.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
10:43 am

“Uh, pot meet kettle? Overtime, Clempson, ring a bell?”

If Clempson has a good season, that overtime win will look just fine.

2011

September 27th, 2010
10:44 am

No AJ no Durham.

SEC FAN

September 27th, 2010
10:45 am

And whose fault is that, Mr. Barnhart? You’re right. Richt. He is what’s wrong with the program. Putting the inevitable off until 2011 or 2012 will not solve the problem. Only prolong it and subject the UGA fanbase to more lackluster and disappointing football. People need to realize that Richt IS the problem and finding a head coach who can fix the problems and who will fix them is the first step toward a solution. Look at Alabama and FL.

TIRED OF BEING NICE

September 27th, 2010
10:45 am

i tried to tell everyone on here that we were not that good,
glad to see people in the state of georgia call for some
heads to roll (tide) i’m not a bama fan just couldn’t
resist that line. 3-9 is the way i see the rest of the
year unfolding and CMR should step down and let us get a
real coach to run this program (dan mullin ) can be bought
out @ miss st, peterson from BOISE, or the TCU coach all
great candidates, the other question is wether CMR will step
down or hold the program hostiage and we really see that CMR
is just about the money, fire BOZO, fire SEARLES, fire
GARDNER(he is recruiting the WRONG TYPE OF PLAYERS), we were
outcoached in STARKVILLE plain and simple, so you think the
rest of the SEC coaches left on our schedule don’t know this
think again, i go back to LAME KIFFIN saying that UGA is the
easiest program to prepare for they are still running the
same offense they have been running for the last 5yrs, get
competent people in these areas and UGA will improve, not
until then. Another thing get a STRENTH and CONDITIONING
PROGRAM THAT WORKS THESE GUYS A$$ OFF then they won’t have
time to go out and BAR HOP and get DUI’S. These players
think that going to the NFL is a given, kick thier butts
off the PROGRAM and send a message, This kind of foolish
ignorance does not live @ THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, ZERO
TOLERANCE, IF you want to play @ UGA this is how it is
or go play elsewhere, cut and dry. like i said last week
WE’VE BEEN SCHLEBROCKED AGAIN BY CMR WOWSEY WOWSEY WO WO!!

Les W. Moore

September 27th, 2010
10:47 am

Wow, you mutt fans are either oblivious or just plain stupid.

Mark Richt has NOT changed ANYTHING with is offense, defense, and special teams since his first day on the job. The program is STAGNATE and PREDICTABLE no matter how many coaches you fire or hire (excluding Richt, of course). But Richt deserves at least one more year to improve the program. He has earned that much.

That being said, I would not expect him to make the difficult changes required in order to improve the team.

jumbeauxtiger

September 27th, 2010
10:47 am

Very true Shawn.

BPOilDisasterDawg

September 27th, 2010
10:48 am

Tony:

Unlikely you will see this post but I am curious about your opinion about whether or not Coach Richt has is simply exhausted and the intensity of the job has gotten to him the way it has other coaches, like Meyer and most recently the Michigan State coach? It is a hard business, very stressful, and a year around consuming job that one never really can get away from. Factor in the work in turning around the program ten years ago, fan intensity, and the struggles of players arrests, can only add to the problem. Regardless of turning things around or not, do you think Coach Richt is worn out from the job and considering retirement this year or next?

BAMA dude

September 27th, 2010
10:48 am

No, it won’t. No ACC team this season should be taking an SEC team to OT that claims itself to be a powerhouse. Some scores:

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
10:50 am

“No, it won’t. No ACC team this season should be taking an SEC team to OT that claims itself to be a powerhouse.”

1: Yes, ACC teams can take SEC teams to overtime.
2: Never said Auburn was a powerhouse.

Bottom line: Let’s just see what happens, Bama.

The Watergirl

September 27th, 2010
10:51 am

So we fire Willie and that doesn’t seem to work! Bobo and Searles should’ve been gone also, its apparent to me that Richt can’t evaluate player talent or coaching talent! It’s time for a change because every year CMR is going to have an excuse why we aren’t where we need to be.

If CMR looks at the program like he is running a company, then me as a stockholder in his company is about sick and tired of flushing my hard earned money down the drain for 1 GOOD year out of every 4!! UGA needs to cut ties and move on for the better of the program

BAMA dude

September 27th, 2010
10:53 am

No ACC team takes an upper crust SEC team to OT. Not this year.

Kansas 28, GT 25
James Madison 21, Va Tech 16
Oklahoma 47, FSU 17
Ohio State 36, Miami 26
West Virginia 31, Maryland 17
Stanford 68, Wake 24
Alabama 62, Duke 13

To Clempson’s credit, they beat both North Texas and Presbyterian. GREAT OT win.

GADevildawg

September 27th, 2010
10:54 am

last year was the year that CMR had to fix the problems….firing 3 asst coaches says he had another year to get things better….this schedule is soft for this year and next…..if they dont get to 7-8 wins I think he should be gone

WinderDogg

September 27th, 2010
10:54 am

No way CMR will be back in 2011…no way

LLoyd Christmas

September 27th, 2010
10:54 am

What is a WonderDawg. Is he named that because he doesn’t know. He just wonders? Sounds like it to me. But, I’m dumb and dumber.

JB

September 27th, 2010
10:54 am

The only fun I’ve having on here this morning is Bama and Auburn going at it out early. I thought I blinked and saw Bama bleed Saturday……They looked Human…..gonna be a good one.

The General Feeling

September 27th, 2010
10:56 am

Leg humpers wouldn’t listen to Tennessee fans telling them that Mark Richt was looking more and more like Philip Fulmer with each and every passing year (without the BCS title, of course).

Just like Fulmer, Richt deserves another year simply because he has earned it. Then, mutts can get anyone they want excluding only Urban Meyer. Nick Saban is NOT off the table for a move and he may be fine with moving closer to his lake home, by then.

walter geiger

September 27th, 2010
10:56 am

You’ve said everything is on the table at Georgia except the dismissal of Richt. Why do you feel that way? What has to happen to remove his ‘untouchable’ status.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
10:56 am

BAMA dude

It’s early in the season, pal. Let’s just sit back, argue and make fun of each other until November.

WDE!!!!!

robodawg

September 27th, 2010
10:57 am

The Dawgs are really missing the personnel on the defensive line. So far, nobody’s been able to fill the shoes left by our 3 DTs who went to the NFL. It could be a long season b/c of that. We didn’t have much left in the second half.

Richt has only had one great RB — Moreno, and only for 2 seasons with no titles to show for it. He won 2 SEC titles with average backs and a great passing game. I think we’re going to have to pass in order to run instead of run in order to pass. That does mean some growing pains, b/c Murray should have had a few interceptions Saturday. But the guy’s also a playmaker. I think it’s past time to let him carry more of the load. We don’t have a fighting chance of being a rushing team first if defenses stack the box.