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

Ace

September 27th, 2010
12:14 pm

The Georgia Possums = play dead at home, get killed on the road.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

That game Saturday night was just inexcusable.

I had to watch the better part of it on ESPN gamecast. The dawgs even seemed uninspired on gamecast. How bad is that?

This was a game that was essential to win. A MUST HAVE win. We needed to come out and make a statement on both sides of the ball. And we could even look inpsired on gamecast. One freaking TD in junk time.

Iknow how2fish

September 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

I should have said, any other team than Bama like the 3-4? Bama does not play in college…they play in the SEC semi pro.

Gatorbait 17-3

September 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

BAMA dude

Even the Zooker was 2-1 against Richt, the lone loss came the day after Florida announced he was fired, but would work the rest of the season. Richt will go the way of Goff and Donnan-off into the subset, never to coach again. He could try TV but I’m affrais he would folks to sleep with his lack of emotion.

Trey

September 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

Hey suwanee
last year when gt beat miss st rather easily, you all said ah they are a bottom dweller. big deal. now that you lose to them it’s they are tough at home”. can’t have it both ways. and next year there’s no aj or chris durham. good luck with that.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

DIT

It’s ok, at least you admit that you were wrong about Auburn.

SMITTYSTHEMAN

September 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

And tell pretty boy Murray to get rid of that hairdo. That’s a disgrace to the Dawg nation.

Chuck Uga

September 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

Well Tony, you are wrong about Richt. If he ends the season below .500 and loses once again to Florida, Auburn (a sure loss) and Tech (combined with yet another loss to Tennessee), I can guarantee you he will be fired. He had better finish .500 and he better come up with a way to beat Tennessee. The man was hired to beat Tennessee and Florida at least 50% of th time. He is 5-4 against UT, but 2-7 against Florida. He also is not doing so well against Kentucky. If UGA loses at home to Tennessee, the pressure will be too much for Greg McGarity to handle. I am already hearing from donors and ticket holders that they won’t be renewing unless a change is made. Of course if he can right the ship and get this team to 5-3, order will be restored.

I’ll send you an e-mail and drop some names who are influential in the UGA booster side. That way you can hear it from them.

Gatorman

September 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

I feel for the doggies because Richt use to own Georgia’s best players. Now they are fending of Tech, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, and FSU. Where once they could hold up their record and bowls as a reason to come to UGA, that is no longer a selling point. I think reality is setting in that fewer good players are available, and Richt will have to beat the bushes of the whole country to get the numbers back.

Gatorbait 17-3

September 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

The only two teams in the SEC that matter are Florida and Alabama. An ESPN writer said this morning if the SEC a southern fish fry, Bama and the Gators would be the catfish and the rest of the the league the hushpuppies, looks like the dawgs have taken that hushpuppy thing to heart.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

“JUst make sure you hide your laptops when he is around!!!
He and Masoli have that in common!”

Cam was never arrested nor charged for anything. Now, you want to talk thugs, just head over to Athens.

poopdawg

September 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

Hire Dabo Swinney!

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

“What happened to the lone USCe fan who had so much to say last week?”

We won’t see her anymore.

Monty

September 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

Hey Ace, I’m a hardcore Georgia fan but that made me laugh!

disappointeddawg

September 27th, 2010
12:25 pm

Mark Richt… He is struggling. http://pricezack.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/can-georgia-win-a-championship-with-mark-richt/ this article wast written two weeks ago and hits the nail right on the head. and who ever wrote it did not even have the evidence of the arkansas and miss st losses to back up his claims

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:27 pm

“we had Shula, and Florida had Zook (left Auburn out because Cheez-it and Tubby are about equal)”

Bama Tard, you can call Chizek every name in the book, he’ll just keep making the Auburn football program better.

By the way, most of those guys you saw play on Saturday night will be around for a while.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:27 pm

“That said, yeah they both probably beat Aubie.”

Keep on talking, inbred.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 27th, 2010
12:30 pm

I guess if we are looking for a new coach why don’t we call Muschamp and ask that head coach in waiting why they lost to those UCLA m@therf%ck#rs Saturday.

Topp Dogg

September 27th, 2010
12:30 pm

UGA is a complete and utter train wreck .If you cant see this you are looking through rose glasses wakeup now please.

SEC Fact Finder(the real one)

September 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

Tony,

Great article and analysis. I for one do not like bashing coaches being in the profession which is directly related to the athletic community, I see the time spent on the job and the time away from their families. Yes, they make the big bucks in most cases. However, this is a game of chess by these coaches, they have to balance the control over their teams verse the administration demands.
Coach Richt could have elected to “fire” Washun Ealey as he did their QB this past summer, he could have suspended AJ Green for the year for violating NCAA rules. Mark Richt had to decide which action would hurt his team the least while making a statement to his players and the adminstration. Each situation is case by case, we all get that. However it was a pretty easy decision to “fire” a player who is not contributing to the program, especially when the President of the University has made a public statement regarding arrest in the football program.
The University of Georgia football program started the year with some self confidence the program was going to be back in the elite of the conference and play a role in who wins the SEC East. But for many of us who follow collegiate sports we saw player after player, scandal after scandal, and talent after talent leave the Georgia football program to the NFL or other means. We all sat back and wondered aloud “What are we missing?, Why is UGA ranked so high? Does Mark Richt know something we do not see in his program that propels his team to such lofty expectations?” Well we all know “now” that we were not blind, and that programs filled with “strife, or anxiety, or issues” do not weather the storm more often than not.
The next big decision at the University of Georgia will not be made by Mark Richt, it will be made in November by the School President Michael Adams and the AD. Dr. Adams did what he had to do to put his name on this program when he power brokered a legend Vince Dooley out as AD, and named “his guy” to the post. We all know how that turned out. Now Dr. Adams either will allow the program to drudge along while he applies for every title, job, or position in the Universe as he as done for the past 3 years, or he will decide to make “his statement” on the program and bring in someone new to change the course of the program. With every loss, every arrest, every NCAA investigation the scale of decisions is being weighed.
Mark Richt had built alot of equity in the program, some of that equity was warranted, some he inheireted from a guy(Jim Donnan) who many UGA thought was bland, and not original. However the talent that JD left in the stocked pantry was pretty darn good talent. The staff originally hired by Mark Richt was a heck of a staff, but many of those key guys are gone. Mark Richt did not trust anyone to run his offense his first couple of years so he ran it himself, and using the players he had in that pantry and a few he brought in made him a pretty darn good Offensive Coordinator.
In the “what have you done for me lately?” category, the Mark Richt regime has lost alot more equity than they have garned, and without a BCS bowl or a News Year Day bowl in a warmer climate city the natives have become restless.

To use Economics terms: Mark Richt and company are in a “sell” mode, and those who short sold in the last two years became pretty wealthy. The question is can Mark Richt turn this around or is the Board of Directors looking for new blood to add to the body of work started by Donnan, raised by Richt.

Auburn has played hard nosed football the past two weeks, I think they got the South Carolina State Championship trophy last Saturday night. We all know Newton is a tough cookie and he is their offense. Now the road begins for Auburn and lets see if they turn it around from last season when they started off undefeated and fell off that stagecoach somewhere in October.

Alabama and Florida, well we know Alabama has grit and will go to their bread and butter when they need to- run the ball down your throat. Florida has thought about this game since last December after the lashing they got in Atlanta. But UF found out that they had to look hard at themselves first and find their own identity before they could match up with Alabama. They found some of that last week against Kentucky. But with Jeff Demps questionable and a road game in the worst environment possible for a young team, it may be along night ride back to Gainesville Sunday morning.

GT has to find out who they are on both sides of the ball. They will not defeat a good team until they can pass the ball when they need to pass the ball and stop the run when they need to stop the run.

Oregon and Stanford…does the scoreboards now have three digits under each teams names?

interested

September 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

Why do some SEC teams only play 4 road games? Arkansas, Auburn, LSU?
(florida 4.5=vs. UGA in Jax)

Lame.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:33 pm

“Why do some SEC teams only play 4 road games?”

Who cares.

Prez Obozo

September 27th, 2010
12:33 pm

We simply cannot recruit at the same level as Alabama, Florida or Tennessee and now apparently not as well as Arkansas or Mississippi! Yes each year we pull in a outstanding QB, RB or TE but we are unable to bring in top players in more than one position such as off/def line, linebackers, safeties & special teams!!!!

uga is last in the sec

September 27th, 2010
12:38 pm

LAST, JUST LIKE UGA!

Tim E

September 27th, 2010
12:38 pm

From a UGA guy, I hope Alabama kills Florida this Saturday. I’m sick of all the Florida posters on this board who think they’re so great. Like last year, I hope Alabama smashes the might gaturds….

bamaguy

September 27th, 2010
12:39 pm

Word of Caution to UGA fans:

When people who had bought season tickets for years and years but stopped during the “probation years” when Bama couldn’t beat Slippery Rock College, the bama AD, shall me say, “made a list.” Those people will NEVER get season ticket packages again. They were not present at the NC game unless they bought tickets from scalpers.

Just sayin’

interested

September 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

me.

What are you scared of Auburn?

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:40 pm

SEC Players of the Week

OFFENSE

Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton: He accounted for five touchdowns and 334 yards of total offense in Auburn’s 35-27 win against South Car0lina. Newton rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries and is the only player in the SEC to have two 170-yard rushing performances this season.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Auburn tackle Mike Blanc: He had a season-high seven tackles and one fumble recovery in Auburn’s 35-27 win against South Carolina. Blanc’s fumble recovery led to a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers their final margin of victory.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:41 pm

“What are you scared of Auburn?”

Laziness

gdawginkalamazoo

September 27th, 2010
12:42 pm

War Damn Eagle, “Why do some SEC teams only play 4 road games?”

Who cares.

Amen, doesn’t matter where you play but you have to show and play.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:42 pm

Four weeks in and Newton has already pulled in 2 player of the week honors!

interested

September 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

then what are you doing on this site?

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

“Amen, doesn’t matter where you play but you have to show and play.”

Yeah no kidding. All that matters is who shows up and wins. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the sports media talked about how Auburn was worn out and hurt from the Clempson game yet Auburn showed up and played hard and beat a good USC team.

What is really hypocritical is the fact that some people are now saying USC is overrated AFTER these same people said that USC would now win the SEC East.

Gotta love stupid people.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

“then what are you doing on this site?”

Having fun. You?

DawginLex

September 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

I would personally like to welcome back the Auburn bloggers after a four year absence/hiding.

SEC Fact Finder(the real one)

September 27th, 2010
12:45 pm

War Damn Eage….great game the past two weeks, I was fortunate to work the game this past weekend in Auburn. My biggest fear at Auburn is two fold, Newton is taking a pounding, maybe he can survive it, but Auburn needs to play their second level guys some more, the second thing is falling behind early against a team that can control the line of scrimmage and time of possession.
Great Atmosphere last week, and this is coming from a guy who attended Alabama. The fans in Auburn are loyal, and hospitable.

interested

September 27th, 2010
12:46 pm

you would think not getting the opportunity to play for a national championship because of your schedule would teach your school a lesson. But i guess it’s just easier to bitch about it instead… or be lazy!

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

“I would personally like to welcome back the Auburn bloggers after a four year absence/hiding.”

Four years of hiding?

2006 we went 11-2 and finished at number 8 in the polls.

Yeah, 2007-2009 were crappy but hey, we won the Outback Bowl last year and finished with a better season than most predicted.

SEC Fact Finder(the real one)

September 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

bamaguy….you are correct my friend, I personally have friends who opted out of the TIDEPRIDE program and are now on the “waiting list” while other friends have joined TIDEPRIDE and were awarded season tickets this year. My family has had our season tickets since 1961 when my father played there and we have witnessed the “black balled affect” numerous times.

Now in Tuscaloosa who need to have scalpers on speed dial.

interested

September 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

I’m not singling out Auburn alone. Arkansas and LSU do it to.

It’s just a lame way to ensure an extra win by playing another no name school.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

This would be a great year to get that win over Florida. Just a fluke rise up and beat them this year. It won’t do us a darn bit of good. Won’t turn the tide in the series or anything. We can’t win the east. Won’t stop UF from winning the east. Just one of those games where you see all the potential this team should have been using all season long.

SEC Fact Finder(the real one)

September 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

should have typed “you need to have scalpers on speed dial”

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

“you would think not getting the opportunity to play for a national championship because of your schedule would teach your school a lesson.”

Ah, ok let’s talk about 2004.

1: We had a tougher SOS than USC and Oklahoma.

2: We played 5 top 25 and beat one of them twice. USC played and beat 3 AND THEY CHEATED.

3: Oklahomo played one ranked team all year.

4: Auburn set an all-time NFL recruiting record that still holds.

5: Florida played the Citadel in 2008 and they went to the BCS championship.

6: Alabama plays Georgia State this year. GEORGIA STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bottom line: USC cheated in 2004.

Too tough 44

September 27th, 2010
12:50 pm

CMR will get this straightened out. “IF YOU KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU’LL ALWAYS BE WHERE YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN” Dr. Bill Purvis, cascade hills church columbus, ga.
Also,
CMR needs to be calling the offensive plays!

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

SEC Fact Finder(the real one)

Newton is a beast. Tebow took lots of beatings but still played hard. The two are almost identical in the way they play. Auburn has a lot of talent in Dyer, Mccaleb, Adams, Reed etc….

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:53 pm

“It’s just a lame way to ensure an extra win by playing another no name school.”

They all play lame teams. Ohio State plays a total of 2 ranked teams in a season IF those teams can actually stay ranked.

Alabama plays Georgia State!!!!!! LOL

jumbeauxtiger

September 27th, 2010
12:54 pm

interested:

Why do some SEC teams only play 4 road games? Arkansas, Auburn, LSU?
(florida 4.5=vs. UGA in Jax)

Lame.”

Every SEC team plays at least 4 away league games and 4 league home games each season. Florida and Georgia are the exception because they choose to play in Jax with each team alternating as the home team. That leaves 4 non-conference games that schools schedule themselves.

BTW, LSU has 5 road games this season and not 4. The Tigers have 6 road games in 2011, 4 SEC games plus trips to Morgantown, WV and Dallas.

bamaguy

September 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

SECfact: My father played there too, on the same team with Bear Bryant (you are obviously much younger than me). Because my father and Mister Bryant were friends (only players were allowed to address him as Coach Brying), I got a job in the Athletic Department in the 70’s when I was in undergraduate school. They make a list of the “fair weather fans”. Once you are “on the list” no amount of donation will buy you back in.

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!

September 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

jumbeauxtiger

We have one thing in common. Last year we came away with a win against WV which is a very tough team to beat. Good job!

Paul Hewitt

September 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

Let’s see how the season plays out before we fire Paul jJohnson!