A hard but fair look at stumbling Dogs

Paul Johnson is riding high right now. Mark Richt, not so much. Will Richt address the "decay" in his program? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Paul Johnson is riding high right now. Mark Richt, not so much. Will Richt address the "decay" in his program? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

My friend John is kind of blunt but prides himself on being “hard but fair.” That’s how I’d characterize this assessment of the current state of the Dogs by ESPN.com’s Chris Low:

“There was already a black cloud hovering over Georgia’s football program. This season hadn’t been what anybody wanted, but then the Bulldogs went out and lost to Kentucky … at home. Not only did they lose, but they dominated the statistics and still managed to lose. But that’s what happens when you turn the ball over four times in the second half and have 75 penalty yards for the game. The Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4) are staring squarely into the face of their first non-winning regular season since Jim Donnan’s first season in Athens in 1996. The Bulldogs might not be one of the top two most talented teams in the SEC, but they’re certainly one of the top three or four. Talent is not Georgia’s problem. It’s focus. It’s execution. It’s player development and it’s discipline. When you commit as many penalties as the Bulldogs have the past two seasons and turn the ball over as many times as they have this season (26), it’s obvious that there’s a decay in the program somewhere that has to be addressed. Mark Richt has been as classy as they come and as consistent as they come. But if he doesn’t address this decay with more than just cosmetic changes, then it’s going to be addressed for him.”


What do you think? Too pessimistic? Right on the mark?

I’ll be off Tuesday as usual, but the Blawg will return on Wednesday.

356 comments Add your comment


November 25th, 2009
8:17 am

Your absolutely right BlewsDawg, YOUR fan base BLOWS! The WORST in the country! 2nd to NONE!


November 25th, 2009
8:26 am

Does anyone ever stop to think that just maybe the coaches are doing the best they can with what they got? I am most concerned with the OL play. Rushing starts with blocking and for most of the season the OL has not been able to create space for the backs, thus we pass to control the game. Next year the backs should be better as well as the OL. The defense has played poorly at times but most of that was a result of continuous turnovers. You just don’t win at the SEC level when you have a hugh negative in the turnover category. Just maybe CMR did not play the freshman QB because he was just plain not ready AND that Joe Cox did give the team the best chance to win. CMR had done it before and he will do it again. UGA is very lucky to have him and I hope he is here for a very long time.

Minnesota Dawg

November 25th, 2009
8:35 am

One bad year and we talk about whos the best coach, should Richt be fired, blah, blah, blah. Is this a pattern that we see in Coach Richt that he is a loser and has bad teams? I would say a hearty NOOOO!!!! Tech has one good year and now we are crowning their coach as better than Richt? Hold on there, wait a year or two and let’s see! The band wagon is being jumped off boys and girls! I’m staying on and taking it for the long haul!! GO DAWGS!!! Come live in Minnesota a while and watch the Gophers play and you will be thankful to say, “It’s Great To Be a GEORGIA BULLDOG!”


November 25th, 2009
8:39 am

First, UGA will have another horrible season next year. The choice to stay with Cox and not give enough play time for the new players will be Richt’s last mistake.
Frank James: Blame the players?????????
They are allowed penalty after penalty, try doing that at another school. Look at the coaching staff on the sidelines, their is more enthusiasim at a Nursing home bingo night.
Richt needs to get his act together, first and foremost FIRE MARTINEZ!!!!!!!!!!!


November 25th, 2009
8:42 am

Minnesota Dawg:
We had a national champ team a few years ago, Richt is not a National Champ coach. First problem.
Second problem Richt can not beat Fla, and he never will. He does not have enough fire, he goes into the game to lose. So if you are happy with winning some games and maybe an sec title Richt is your man. But with the recruiting we do and the players I expect a little more. I am tired of waiting for Flordia to have a bad year to beat them.

Robert Vernon

November 25th, 2009
8:52 am

It is amazing what short memories sports fans have. Two years ago Mark Richt was heavily courted by many schools and we were concerned he might go elsewhere. Now, after one mediocre season, people are ready to jettison him. Get serious woofers. Georgia is having a great recruiting year and will turn this situation around next year and the barkers will forget they ever said anything negative about this excellent coach.

Pit Bull

November 25th, 2009
9:00 am

I’m convinced we could have the won the Nat. Championship in 07 if we hadn’t lost to Tenn. in that beatdown because of bad coaching. The defense was completely overwelmed. The same thing happened again this year! It will happen again next year if Martrineze stays. It was just the reverse under Van Gorder. I think Richt owes much of his WINNING RECORD to Van Gorder.

Pit Bull

November 25th, 2009
9:04 am

What is wrong with the program? Richt use to be the Offensive cord. Van Gorder was the Def. Cord. Now, Bobo is the Offensive Cord. and Martineze is the Def. Cord. There is your PROBLEM!

jesse james

November 25th, 2009
9:06 am

Dawg75 – My brother Frank and I agree that the intensity level needs to pick up, beginning with the coaches. I’d like to see the fire back, but just to do a complete overhaul is stupid. Coach Richt will do what he feels is right. Will it please you, no. Oklahoma had a national championship team a couple of years ago. You sound like the parent that always blames the teacher, your not going and tell me the players aren’t to blame also. Sometimes you get kids that just aren’t what you thought they would be or they have trouble grasping things. There are alot of intangibles that you may not know about. The bottom line is we just aren’t that good. We’ve got to recruit better and we have got to get discipline back. The back from Kentucky took the screen pass and ran by everybody. We don’t have a back that could do that. Just one area that needs improvement. But just to forget what Coach Richt and his staff have done is stupid. By the way who else has beat Florida lately. I agree I can’t stand losing to them.

Damon Evans

November 25th, 2009
9:06 am

Richt is not going anywhere. Are you people nuts?

Martinez will not be fired BUT will be reassigned. UGA will make changes in the DC position.

Minnesota Dawg

November 25th, 2009
9:07 am

Dawg75, I don’t agree with you that Richt is not a National Champ coach. I don’t agree that he will never beat Florida. Players like Tebow come around once in a while. That team is Tebow right now. We will beat them soon. Keep the faith and be patient.

SAV Dawg

November 25th, 2009
9:08 am

It’s amazing to see the Tech fans come out and think they are the superior program over the past decade. They think they are so intelligent because they go to tech, and it’s amazing to see how stupid they really are. You have won one game in the past eight years and you thing you are undefeated…….. NOT !

But let’s not forget who the dominant program is and always will be in this state.
1993: UGA 43, Tech 10
1994: UGA 48, Tech 10
1995: UGA 18, Tech 17
1996: UGA 19, Tech 10
1997: UGA 27, Tech 24
1998: Tech 21, UGA 19
1999: Tech 51, UGA 48 (OT)
2000: Tech 27, UGA 15
2001: UGA 31, Tech 17
2002: UGA 51, Tech 7
2003: UGA 34, Tech 17
2004: UGA 19, Tech 13
2005: UGA 14, Tech 7
2006: UGA 15, Tech 12
2007: UGA 31, Tech 17
2008: Tech 45, UGA 42

jesse james

November 25th, 2009
9:09 am

Dawg 75 – Do you know the difference in cover 3 and cover 2? Just wondering! How about a 9 technique. Do you know who Willie, Mike and Sam are? Oh yea Do you know how to play a shade?
Oh yea what is the swim move?

Minnesota Dawg

November 25th, 2009
9:11 am

We had the toughest schedule of any SEC team this year! I like to have a tough schedule. My question is, do we have to play the good teams right at the start. Look at Florida’s first couple of games! EASY! It got them in rhythm. Don’t surprised if Alabama beats them this year!


November 25th, 2009
9:26 am

These are the same fans that were exiting sanford stadium last sat night and where ever else they play when they dont win and win huge, Ga has got THE WORST fans I have ever seen. I remember back before beloved CMR was hired you had to look for ga hats, cartags etc now since he has won a few games we are all back on the bandwagon and seem to have forgotten that ga has really not done much since the glory days of Dooly and Walker. Yeah they have won a few conf chmps but to these bandwagon ga fans that will never be good enough. For the past nine years ga has had nothing but the top recruits best athletes and to hear some tell it best coaching staff around not to mention the all of a sudden millions of fans, but what do ya have to show for all that effort and money, another dissapointing season . all the talent ga has had over the CMR era should have been compared to the dominating sucessful progams back in the day like Neb,OKL,ALA,MIA . if CMR has not done it by now, The odds are not in his favor, too many years too much talent still no national chmps and still the same old bandwagon fans who on Sunday morn after a loss swaps out the beloved G tag on front of the truck for the John Deere.As bad as it hurts to read Ga is still not and will never be a top echelon program under CMR.


November 25th, 2009
9:37 am

In every job, whether self employed or not, one must compete and show results. Period. Such is life gang. This is nothing new.

CMR and his staff have really failed UGA now for about 3+ years and they need to go. They either fall short with real talent like MS and Momass and No Show and stumble vs big rivals like Florida and tech last year and Bama, then with less talent like this year ……………they are getting beaten by all comers. Most all of our games have come down to the wire. Why? Improper talent for this league. Suitable for FSU maybe in the very weak ACC back when but not the SEC. Big factoid this is.

Time for a change folks. Time for a massive over haul of the UGA staff ( incl MR ) so that UGA can regenerate enthsusiam for the fans, players and all involved. No different than any organization that is not reaching it potential. It has soured beyond redemption now for most UGA grads and true fans. Unless UGA wins BIG in 2011 and stomps the competition, CHANGE will take place this time next year. One way or other richt will leave. I predict that he resigns post Tech game, instead of having to dump his pals in Christ.

UGA, class of 71 & 73


November 25th, 2009
9:39 am

Many of you are just a bunch of babies…CMR is a very good coach, he has piddled away a lot of talent, but one year is not a career. If Murray had been healthy then maybe the season would have been different. Joe Cox is not the solution, but he graduates and then the team will likely be much better in 2010.

Seen Richt's Resume?

November 25th, 2009
9:41 am

Here’s a sampler for the nitwits….

60 wins in 6 years, 70 in 7, 80 in 8 years.

46 NFL Drafts.

#4 winningest active coach in the NCAA.

Cox vs. Tebow

November 25th, 2009
9:45 am

A hard but fair look at Cox vs. Tebow

Against the 6 common opponents Cox got 14 td’s against Tebow’s 5 td’s.

Cox OUT THREW Tebow against common opponents by 280%!!!

Cox threw for AS MANY TD’s in 1 game (Ark) as Tebow did in 6 games!!

I know Johnson really showed Richt up this year in the QB dept, huh?

Haaaa haaa haaaaaa!


November 25th, 2009
9:54 am

Enter your comments here


November 25th, 2009
9:54 am

It sucks that we can’t gt enough fans to come to our home games. I just want all our fans to know about the secret tickle piles that go on after the game. I would love to see us support our team and also, add some new man meat to the pile!


November 25th, 2009
9:55 am

I agree the fan base is horrible all 20 million of them under the CMR era. When is the last time Ga has won over FLA and TENN in the same year. They cant even get out of their own division undefeated much less play for natl chmps. GA fans have always thought their teams are much better than they really are. These bandwagon fans deserve everything their getting right now. The fans reflect the team no loyalty, no discipline, closet losers, blame everybody but yourselves for your demise. Thats the UGA way.


November 25th, 2009
9:58 am

Your right boohoo! Up until 2008 we had 20000 fans show up at our home games. Oops, I just exposed us as bandwagon fans.


November 25th, 2009
10:00 am

As Homer Simpson would say to the Tech fans: To the bandwagon!


November 25th, 2009
10:15 am

Lack of football “skills and awareness” talent. Not athletic talent. Though I did see LB’s get blown away by Kentucky.

Gators Rule

November 25th, 2009
10:16 am

Face it, folks.
UGA is in the second tier of the SEC East…right there with USC and KY the past two years.
Go Tech!
Go Gators!


November 25th, 2009
10:21 am

birddawg92 and all you other guys leave cmr alone this is the first really bad year he has had. Some was his fault most was not. He shouldnt have played joe cox all year but that was because of the tendinitis in Aaron’s Shoulder. We all know Logans not the answer so he should have playe Aaron the last five games of the season to have him ready for next year but hindsight is 20/20 if Cox didnt throw all the picks would you still be c alling for CMR’s demise no you wouldnt. I agree tottaly CWM has to GOOOO!! And the guys who think we cant have Kirby Smart he was a graduate assistant when he was with us last so i for one think getting him from bama is doable we just have to pony up the dough and that is up to DAMON EVANS lets see if hes as commited to winning as he says he is! CMR will right the ship all real DAWG fans are behind you COACH!!!!! GO DAWGS

Gators Rule

November 25th, 2009
10:30 am

And to respond to Cox vs. Tebow above……
How about one (maybe two) Heisman Trophy, and two (maybe three) National Championships?
10-0 vs. 6-5.
BCS vs. Independence Bowl


November 25th, 2009
10:38 am

this is a nice Thanksgiving article

Official Sports Report: November 25, 2009
It’s Not The End-all, Do-all
Johnson said it; other examples prove it
by Matt Winkeljohn, OSR Managing Editor

ATLANTA – Right off the bat, before I dabble in the delight of Paul Johnson’s weekly council fire with the media, I am compelled to opine a tad on something almost entirely unrelated.

Georgia Tech is playing host to Georgia Saturday night in a football game that is important in one way or another to a whole lot of people aligned on two sides of an occasionally ugly line.

But learning as I did a few hours ago that Tech baseball players are about to launch into a fundraiser for a would-be Georgia baseball player not only made me blink, but re-consider the idea of trying to lend gravity to a mere ball game.

Then, I read again what I couldn’t believe I read the first time I read it.

Chance Veazey, a talented UGA freshman from Tifton who went through fall workouts with the baseball team, crashed on a scooter in Athens in late October.

Now, he’s at the Shepherd Spinal Center here in Atlanta, torn nearly asunder. He’s paralyzed from the waist down. After leaving a study hall of some sort, he hit a car, or it hit him.

Doesn’t matter which.

Here’s the double-take maker: Yellow Jacket baseball players are working up a fundraiser for a young man who hasn’t even played against Tech.

Sorry to jump the gun on a story Sting Extra OSR’s Jon Cooper will write for next week, and sorry again that the Tech sports information department folks preferred that SE-OSR wait to write about this until later for fear of compromising this weekend’s start to the Michael Isenhour Toy Drive.

The moment moves me, though, and the greatest joy in my role with Sting Extra OSR is something approximating an absence of rigid oversight.

I have no great, deep, super meaningful words here. It seems a bit of a shame to go this route when Johnson was more intriguing than usual – and that’s saying something – today with a big and perky media crowd in attendance.

But holy cow!

In taking into account all the recent conversations I’ve had with my 12-year-old son about the dangers of motorcycles, we’ve had none regarding scooters.

So in an odd way, this underlines yet again for perhaps the 10,000th time in my life, the fragile nature of existence, and the value of – and need for — perspective.

We all assign different emotional values to things material and ethereal.

I’m having a hard time calibrating the emotional verdict that should be rendered on the concept of the Jackets raising money for a Dog.

But I think it’s big.

In a way, it renders easier to believe Johnson’s comments today that the Georgia game, while very big to some, will not define this squad of Jackets. It’s not likely to define much, in fact.

Johnson referred to a larger body of work meaning much more. He was onto something.

The pending act of the Tech baseball team defines the potential of humanity in simultaneously small and huge ways. This is a small thing writ large.

If I need to apologize for getting your hopes up, for teasing you into reading on with the idea that there would be great Johnson nuggets, I will. I’m a little low on that kind of juice right now, though, as I close another edition of Sting Extra OSR with children behind me who need to be put to bed.

I’m also unabashedly proud to have been moved by all of this, proud that my older and more calloused heart still has soft spots. And I’m glad that people are capable of greatness on many levels.

Lastly, I’m thankful ahead of a special holiday for a forum to open that ever older heart.

Bless Chance Veazey and all on the wrong side of fate. Bless, too, the baseball Jackets, and all who endeavor to help those in need.

Matt Winkeljohn is managing editor of Sting Extra OSR, with a mail box at gtstingx@gmail.com. He promises more football later in the week.


Paul's Johnson

November 25th, 2009
10:55 am

Richt is a mediocre coach at a mediocre university. Face it Dawg fans, UGA has been very lucky in so many games to get a win by a hair. Look at the last several years, there were several games your beloved thugs should have lost. This year, the luck just ran out and you didn’t get those squeeked out wins.

But the UGA mantra will continue…..”wait until next year”……

North Ave. Trade School fan

November 25th, 2009
11:36 am

“BlewsDawg” makes a lot of sense. A Bulldog fan with his feet (paws) on the ground.


November 25th, 2009
11:38 am

DAWG75 and shards1967, Did you two leave the game with 3 minutes left Saturday night? I bet you did. I also bet you tell the people in front of you to sit down during the middle of the game. Did either of you raise any cain when Adams pushed Dooley out the door? IF not then part of what is going on now is your fault and will you take that responsibility? Maybe the game has passed you by and you need to retire from being a fan because you surely do not understand the game? I know several loyal fans that would be more than happy to get your season tickets for next year.


November 25th, 2009
12:17 pm


November 25th, 2009
12:24 pm

Cox has had chances to prove himself and didn’t get it done. Richt stuck with him and wouldn’t play anyone else. Richt refuses to substitute other players! He plays the same guys! So what’s the purpose of all those guys who dress every week? I know for a fact plenty of those guys never even play 1 down. Waste of time, money, and effort on these kids.


November 25th, 2009
12:41 pm

I was at UGA during the late 70’s and the fall of 1980…do you know what I remember?

Bear Bryant was IT at Alabama; during the 70’s, No one in the entire country could compete with him or AL year in and year out. AL won every SEC championship except 1976 (UGA won 21-0 that day and the SEC that year); there were cries of “Dump Dooley” and many of the same criticisms that are on this blog for the last two days…yet, UGA was a “TEAM” first, “me” second organization and that attitude culminated in a National Championship in 1980.

Herschel made a hugh difference in 1980, but he wasn’t the entire team. I remember Florida stuffing our running game in JAX and winning very late into the game, when Buck (8) threw a short pass to Scott (24) and he outran a UF cornerback that wouldn’t take himself out of a game due to a slight leg cramp because he was a SR; result > Lindsay Scott ran the entire length of the field untouched. Lady Luck smiled on us that day and we won because we were a TEAM. I remember Jimmy Harper and Tim Morrison making blocks to open holes for runs and to protect the passing game. I also remember Scott Warner along with many others playing their hearts out on defense, BUT it took a GREAT COACH that many people wanted to dump, fire, replace and get rid of to LEAD and COACH those players to victory.

CMR is a GREAT COACH; LEAVE HIM ALONE until you have WALKED in his shoes!


November 25th, 2009
1:05 pm

TXDawg3, I agree with your post. Well said.


November 25th, 2009
2:17 pm

No excuse for the past nine years under CMR, a program of this magnitude is suppose to Progress not Regress. Just goes to show that obviously having top recruiting classes dont always get the return that the coaches or fans wanted. I read this blog and the bandwogon fans continue to support CMR, dont you think nine , ten years should be enough to determine if your gonna be a national champion , that seems to be the only thing that UGA fans care about. Worst fans I have ever seen and probably the majority have never played a down of football. We now have those same fans in the corporate world, Horrible!!!!!!!!!!!

very short post...

November 25th, 2009
5:33 pm

Richt .768 win %

very short post...2

November 25th, 2009
5:35 pm

Georgia 2001-2008 86-26
Florida 2001-2008 86-27

very short post...3

November 25th, 2009
5:36 pm

Richt. SEC Coach of the Year. Twice.

very short post...4

November 25th, 2009
5:37 pm

2007…..finished #2 ranked in NCAA (many said shoiuld have been #1).

very short post...5

November 25th, 2009
5:42 pm

Who is #1 in NCAA for # of seasons with 8 or more wins? Georgia, the streak is currently at 12 years.

Joe Cox vs. Tom Brady

November 25th, 2009
8:20 pm

Tom Brady 1998 Michigan
131 Effic., 15 td’s, 12 int’s, 2636 yards

Joe Cox 2009 Georgia
139 Effic, 21 td’s, 14 int’s, 2350 yards (2 games to go)

jesse james

November 25th, 2009
8:26 pm

Paul’s Johnson- You sure are an authority! Where were you during the seven game winning streak.
I don’t think you luck up for seven years. You are nothing but a front runner!

Joe Cox vs. Dan Marino

November 25th, 2009
8:36 pm

Dan Marino, Pittsburg, 1982
58% completion, 2432 yards, 17 td’s, 23 int’s, 67 pass rating

Joe Cox, Georgia, 2009
56% Completion, 2350 yards, 21 td’s, 14 int’s, 138 pass rating (2 more games to go)

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

November 25th, 2009
10:29 pm

It strikes me that many FBS schools, but none more than the SEC schools, have developed a sense of (for lack of a better word) entitlement. As a conference, the SEC pays its coaches more than any other conference in the country. Consequently, at least eight of the conference members FULLY EXPECT to be in the running for the national championship EVERY YEAR! Consider the changes that have been made just within the last few years … Cutcliffe at Ole Miss, Nutt at Arkansas, Tuberville at Auburn. These coaches had achieved great success at their respective schools, only to be fired (in many cases, after a single “disappointing” season). For goodness’ sake, Sylvester Croom went from SEC coach of the year one year to the unemployment line the next. Likewise, Phil Fulmer was fired only one year after winning the SEC East, and Les Miles is now on the hot seat at LSU less than two years after winning the MNC!

The fact is, only one SEC school will be able to compete for the MNC each year … and only two will make it to the SECCG. That’s going to leave at least a half dozen teams disappointed in any given season. This year happens to be such a disappointment for the Bulldogs.

Despite this year’s disappointments, those who call for the firing of CMR are, IMHO, shortsighted. This guy has been an excellent coach ever since he arrived in Athens. He has one of the best overall winning percentages in the country, and he’s mostly run a clean program (aside from a few traffic violations … LOL). You guys lost some VERY GOOD players last year, and it takes some time to re-group. Give the guy a chance … he’s earned it.

In a similar vein … you’ve got to trust your Head Coach to make the best decisions for his team when it comes to staffing. Obviously, the UGA defense has been worse than disappointing over the last couple of years, but you need to let CMR make the decisions about his own coordinators. I would be willing to bet that the head coach will not let his personal relationship with WM jeopardize his own career. After all, he’s got a pretty sweet deal.

Joe Cox vs. Joe Montana

November 26th, 2009
12:07 am

Joe Montana, 1978
54% completion rate, 9 int’s, 10 td’s, 2010 yards

Joe Cox, 2009
56% Completion rate, 14 Int’s, 21 td’s, 2350 yards

John Wooden in 1965....

November 26th, 2009
2:28 am

When you think of a Champion, Wooden is one of the greatest coaches ever. In 1966, Wooden went on a run the likes of which no one had ever seen and won 7 CONSECUTIVE Natl’ Championships. CONSECUTIVE.

What you don’t hear a lot about is the year BEFORE he went on the run. 1965. Wooden finished 18-8, a terrible year compared to some of hus undefeated 31-0 years. In 1965 a Champion Coach was born who would turn into a legend.

Losing taught Wooden how to succeed. And for the next 7 seasons, he never forgot the lessons he learned from the bad season of 1965. And he never repeated his mistakes. He eliminated every cause of poor performance.

Would there have been a 7 season consecutive Natl’ Championship run without 1865? I doubt it.

Humility always comes before honor.


November 26th, 2009
5:39 am

i really don’t care if they fire the whole damn coaching staff. just look at what tenn. done with a loud mouth coach,who by the way coached his team, with far less talented player’s. saw somewhere, that cmr. just wanted to get in 10 year’s. then go on mission’s.why is he not just as commited to doing his job? he takes the money for half a** doing it. and just when was the last time anyone
out in the bulldawg nation dared their boss to just fire them? the way cmr. did? they should have
done it ( fired him ) on the spot. he think’s without him our beloved uga. will crumble. he need’s a reality check that uga. made him, not the other way around

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

November 26th, 2009
7:59 am

Rome-Dawg … you must be an idiot! Have you actually LOOKED at what Tennesee has done? They fired a coach who had a winning percentage of 76.9%, who had won a national championship for the Vols, and who had a widespread recruiting network throughout the southeast. What did they get in return? A loud-mouthed coach who has led the team to a 6-5 record, with only three wins in the conference … and no one is particularly confident that they’s be able to beat Kentucky this weekend! As a Jacket fan, I suppose I should WANT the Dogs to be so shortsighted that they would repeat Tennessee’s mistakes, but frankly, I would like to see our rivalry with the Dogs become competitive again, with two strong teams playing games that MEAN SOMETHING every season. CMR gives you a much better chance to do that than someone like Lane Kiffen.