Fan talk: Empty student seats, ‘Battle Hymn’ soloists, backup QBs and more!

Not enough of these guys are showing up at Sanford Stadium. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Not enough of these guys are showing up at Sanford Stadium. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

The Red and Black reported this week that the athletic board, school officials and student representatives have been discussing the increasing problem of empty seats in the student section at Sanford Stadium during even big games.

The student section never reached capacity last season, the R&B report noted, with more than half the 18,000 student seats going unused at one game. But while it shouldn’t be that surprising to have 10,000 students deciding to ditch the Coastal Carolina game, it’s shocking to read that there were 3,000 empty student seats for Auburn.

Wells Ellenberg, the student representative on the athletic board, put it bluntly: “Students, for whatever reason, don’t feel the need to go to the football game. We lack the appropriate culture here for an SEC football school.”

While some older fans are quick to conclude that all those scholars with the high SAT scores drawn to UGA by HOPE just aren’t interested in football, I think that’s probably a minor factor in the decline of student attendance. I’ve known of plenty of top students who were ardent football fans; I don’t think it’s really a “culture” thing at all.

There have always been students who bought tickets to the games and then decided not to attend, especially the lesser games. But in the past they could easily give or sell those tickets to friends or even nonstudents (often recent UGA grads), and so someone still wound up sitting in the seat.

In fact, one of the chief complaints about the old way student ticketing was handled was that freshmen got left out because upperclassmen with no interest in going to the games ordered tickets anyway and and then just sold them off.

But the main problem was the athletic association got greedy. They were so upset by the idea that students might sell their discounted game tickets (and possibly even pocket a little profit that didn’t go into the coffers at Butts-Mehre) that they changed the distribution system a couple of years ago to eliminate hard tickets in favor of electronic “tickets” applied directly to today’s interactive student ID cards.

The end result? Empty seats. They tried fixing the problem by allowing students to donate their unused tickets to a particular UGA student or put them back into a pool to be resold by the athletic association and even added penalties for those who bought a ticket and didn’t use it or donate it.

And yet they still ended up with 3,000 empty seats for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, which looks pretty embarrassing on TV.

OK, I recognize that students get their tickets cheaper than the public and the athletic association missed out on a few dollars when so-called “student” seats were filled by nonstudents. But so what? It’s not like UGA’s athletic program is hard up for money. And which hurts more, students scalping tickets or empty seats showing up on national television?

Frankly, I think a return to paper tickets for students, even though they might get scalped, sounds like the lesser of two evils.

Plus, until student demand once again exceeds the supply, they ought to reduce the number of seats allotted for students. Then the athletic association can sell those extra seats to season ticket holders or the general public at full price, which ought to alleviate just a bit of the sting of those ill-gained proceeds going into the pockets of student scalpers!

Now, let’s check out some of this week’s Junkyard Mail. …

Jeff Sutton writes: Hi Bill, I was wondering if you knew why UGA has stopped the trumpet solos that begin the playing of “Glory, Glory” at basketball games? The solos were played at the first few games of the season, but stopped somewhere around midseason. Will they also be banned at football games this fall? I really miss them and the tradition. Thanks for all the info and insight you provide. Keep up the great work!

Thanks, Jeff. I certainly hope there’s no consideration being given to beginning a football game at Sanford without the Redcoat Band trumpet soloist in the corner of the upper deck kicking off the “Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation.” That’s become a really beloved tradition among fans. As for the absence of the soloist at Stegeman Coliseum recently, I put your question to UGA sports information chief Claude Felton, who responded: “I think you could say we are simply experimenting with some new initiatives inside our pre-game and trying some new combinations. The trumpet solos have not been totally eliminated and good chance you’ll see them again.”

Interim mascot Russ may serve for another game or two. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Interim mascot Russ may serve for another game or two. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Michael Parsa writes: Uga IX. Any news? Haven’t heard a thing at all.

Sonny Seiler, owner of the Uga line, said back in December that a new mascot likely will be selected sometime this summer. The Savannah Morning News reported that interim mascot Russ has produced several possible heirs and that Charles Seiler, Sonny’s son who deals with the mascots, will decide when Uga IX takes over from Russ. The paper said he was concerned about subjecting a puppy to the early September heat (although a subsequent schedule change means the second game no longer will be played in Columbia, S.C.), so Uga IX might not don the collar until the third game of the season against Florida Atlantic in Athens. Russ, of course, wasn’t considered for permanent mascot because he’s 8 years old and they don’t want to have to come up with another mascot in just three years, especially after the recent run of bad luck with them. And for those worried about “inbreeding,” the Seilers say that the pup that becomes Uga IX will have a mother who is not related to the Uga line.

Kobie from Savanah writes: Are we going to implement more screen passes into the offense, rather than have [Aaron] Murray sit back in the pocket and hope a receiver is open downfield before the pocket collapses? Also, why is Coach Richt so steadfast in not allowing our backup quarterbacks to get some meaningful snaps? Murray took a pounding some last year and that was with a more experienced offensive line than what we have now. [Christian] Lemay really could use the experience if we are going to redshirt [Hutson] Mason.

You’re preaching to the choir on both counts. I’d love to see Mike Bobo utilize screens and the short passing game a lot more than he did last season, especially on third down! Like I said recently, I’m also a proponent of giving your backup meaningful playing time, but the reality is that Murray is going to be behind center unless the game is out of reach or he’s hurt. And if it’s the latter, you’ve got to wonder whether Georgia would go with an unproven backup who hasn’t played in a couple of years. I think it’s more likely that the redshirt would come off and Mason will be first off the bench in the event of a Murray injury.

Steve Langston writes: Who is going to start on our O-line in the fall?

With Ben Jones, Cordy Glenn and Justin Anderson all gone, the offensive line will get a major shakeup this spring. It’s pretty much a mix and match situation, with any of the players likely to land at any spot on the OL. At least seven guys likely will get major playing time on the line. Center will be either Chris Burnette, who started at guard last season, or David Andrews. If Andrews is the center, Burnette will start as one of the guards. Kenarious Gates will be in the running for one of the tackle spots, as will incoming freshman John Theus. Dallas Lee is likely to get one of the starting guard spots, Junior college transfer Mark Beard could wind up as a guard or tackle, and also in the running are Austin Long, Watts Dantzler and Kolton Houston (assuming his NCAA problems are cleared up). Xzavier Ward, Zach Debell and Hunter Long might eventually contend for backup playing time.

Ryan Graham writes: Hey Bill, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I was born and raised in Athens and grew up a Bulldog. I attended Georgia State for college, though. Now that we have a football team, I am all for it. I was wondering what your thoughts on Georgia State moving to FBS from the point of view of a Bulldog. Do you think it will affect UGA negatively or positively? Personally, I think GT has more to fear than you guys, but I’m looking for your perspective.

Generally, you don’t welcome any additional FBS schools recruiting in your territory, but assuming State does make the jump to the higher level in a conference like the Sun Belt, I think you’re right that it’s more likely to impact the school on North Avenue than it will UGA. Kids capable of playing SEC ball aren’t likely to want to play for the Panthers. You didn’t ask, but if you’re wondering whether I think UGA is likely to add GSU to one of the nonconference spots on its home schedule, I’d say not for a while. And, frankly, I would prefer that UGA wait until Bill “Bring the Cheaters to Their Knees” Curry is gone before rewarding the Atlanta program with one of those big pay days.

Tyler Standfield writes: What’s our projected starters looking like for CB, how is our depth? Also, which freshmen do you think will have the biggest impact next season (Marshall, Theus, Harvey-Clemons, or Gurley)?

Sanders Commings and Branden Smith are the likely starters at cornerback (once Commings finishes his two-game suspension), with Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams as the safeties. Damian Swann is most likely to fill in for Commings and probably will be the starting nickel back. Depth is a bit thin, but Marc Deas, Corey Moore, Quintavious Harrow and Devin Bowman could see playing time. So could incoming freshman Sheldon Dawson. And, of course, Malcolm Mitchell may wind up playing some cornerback, too. As for which true freshman is likely to have the biggest impact, my money’s on Keith Marshall at tailback. Even if he doesn’t wrest the starting spot away from Isaiah Crowell, he’ll still get plenty of reps.

Ronnie Weeks writes: Greetings from the frigid “Rust Belt,” where a displaced DAWG alum is looking forward to some warmer temperatures and some springtime gridiron action! My question has to do with the tailback rotation for the upcoming season. It seems to me like the tailback position has gone from a relative “famine” last season to a “feast” of tailback talent for this season. All accounts I have seen reflect a tremendous offseason for the embattled Isaiah Crowell who will be pushed by the true frosh sensations Keith Marshall and Todd (T.J.) Gurley. Boo Malcome also came on strong at the end of last season and provided some tough yardage between the tackles. Specifically, do you see either Marshall or Gurley getting redshirted next year, and will be there be enough carries for the likes of Carlton Thomas, Richard Samuel, and Brandon Harton? How do you think the coaching staff will use the tailbacks in 2012-13?

I expect we’ll see the usual tailback-by-committee that Mark Richt and Bobo have always tended to favor, with Crowell and Marshall eventually being the first two in the rotation. Samuel may begin the season ahead of Marshall but I think the freshman will supercede him eventually, though Samuel will still get a fair amount of time on the field, possibly at fullback. Gurley certainly will get a look in preseason, too, though I think he might be more likely to redshirt than Marshall. Carlton Thomas just keeps hanging around the program and probably will be used as a change-of-pace back. Malcome might get some relief work. I don’t see Harton getting much action unless there’s another rash of injuries.

Sam Kamar writes: The defense has improved a lot but don’t you think there is a lot of room to improve where depth and conditioning are concerned? Do you have any idea what is happening with the strength and conditioning coaching staff? I’ve read of several departures but not anything about new hires.

As we’ve already noted, depth may be a problem in the secondary. And Richt said recently that “finishing” games was a primary concern for the defense, so he’s thinking along the same lines you are. You can expect the conditioning staff to be filled out to the new NCAA maximum of five pretty soon with a couple of new hires. Athletic director Greg McGarity has said that one of the hires will be a speed specialist and among those in the running is Sherman Armstrong, who runs V.A.S.T. Training in Tampa.

Steve Yearta writes: [The] blowout in Lexington was painful to the point of embarrassment. I support Coach [Mark] Fox and the team but wonder if he’s on Greg McGarity’s “to do” list?

Not yet. I think Fox will be given a couple more years in which to attract the talent he needs to Athens. It’s been a disappointing season for the basketball Dogs, but a couple of big wins over ranked teams even with a depleted lineup showed what Fox is capable of accomplishing.

Happy birthday, No. 34!

Happy birthday, No. 34!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HERSCHEL!

Let’s close off by wishing Herschel Walker a happy 50th birthday. And in honor of that occasion, if you haven’t yet seen the ESPN Films “Herschel” documentary, you can order it on a DVD that also has bonus features like extra interviews, deleted scenes and 1981 Sugar Bowl highlights. It’s available here and here.

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

304 comments Add your comment

Still@theKool-aidBAR

March 3rd, 2012
8:01 pm

Doubled them up at the half

Lakedawg

March 3rd, 2012
8:10 pm

I am one old fart who is in the parking lot by 7:30 every game regardless of start time. Is hard to look over at student section 15 minutes before game and see empty seats. Also have fans come tailgate and then go home for lack of tickets some games.

If it gets bodies in seats by all means go back to paper for students and let them make a few bucks and get some kid or fan in seat that wants to be there.

There or enough fans in state to fill a stadium twice the size if they new they could get in and find a place to park.

Chris

March 3rd, 2012
8:45 pm

read this dumb article. I love the bleacherreport but this is the worst article ever please comment on the article

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1089394-auburn-football-2012-an-early-look-into-the-georgia-game

uga12

March 3rd, 2012
8:53 pm

I’m a UGA student and I get really angry when I see all the empty student seats, especially for the Auburn game. A few years ago when there were paper tickets it was a lot easier to get tickets to people who wanted to go to the game. But what ruined it was the Alabama game when people I know sold thier student ticket for $200 and up. That caught some attention.
Oh and this problem of empty seats was around then too. As a student here I say there just happens to be a lot of students at UGA that don’t have long ties to the school and simply aren’t as passionate as those at other schools. So let non-students buy student tickets if theyre going to come to the games on time and be loud.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

March 3rd, 2012
8:58 pm

Sorry 48 you needed a lot more than 3 to win the bet tonight.

2georgiadawgs

March 3rd, 2012
9:01 pm

Wish I hadn’t read that!! But CMR knows what he’s doing…right???

guy

March 3rd, 2012
9:02 pm

Start winning like Alabama and they will come!!!!!

Dawg48

March 3rd, 2012
9:16 pm

Duke got there clocks cleaned tonight! What a horrible game.

ugalee

March 3rd, 2012
9:18 pm

As a uga grad ‘93 I left right before the hope scholarship started. I went back a few years later and definitely noticed that the composition of the student body seemed to have changed somewhat. I think that there is definitely an i ncrease in the amoun of serious students that dont care about football. Also, I think with Ga Sou becoming a “university” has caused a lot of good ole boys to go there when in years past they would have gone to uga

2georgiadawgs

March 3rd, 2012
9:18 pm

guy…TOUCHE’

westcoastdawg

March 3rd, 2012
9:26 pm

I completely agree that the student tickets should revert back to the old system. of course it wasn’t perfect but it was certainly better than the current system. An important factor that I think isn’t mentioned often enough is that students would often buy extra tickets from other student friends to take visiting friends or family to games when they were in town. The new system impedes the overall enjoyment of the student/university experience which, in the long-term may hurt the university when it inevitably comes calling for donations in the comming years. Additionally, albeit probably less important, the University, athletic program and football team are all a brand, and it doesn’t help to grow the brand by making it more difficult for visitors to enjoy the experience that is a game at Sanford stadium and become a new fan.

ugalee

March 3rd, 2012
9:26 pm

It is no secret that Georgia has the least home fielddvantage of any of the big time sec programs with 90 plus thousand seats. One reason is the Yuppie Atlanta crowd and the other is the gradual slope of Sanford stadium. I know this sounds sacriligous but if they could get rid of the walk ways around the hedges, wipe out the lower deck seats and repour the concrete at a steeper slope,putting the utfront row 50ft closer to the field, the noise level would increase tremendously, I know this will never happen but ohio st did something similar when they got rid of their red track years ago . whaadyall think?

uga grad 2014

March 3rd, 2012
9:35 pm

tell teh student representative that the reason students arent showing up isnt because they dont feel like they need to go to game. the reason is that every home game is at 12:30 or 1:00. college students dont like to get up that early and stand in the heat with a hangover from the night before, they’d rather watch it at the frat house and not waste their time. hopefully we can schedule some later games this upcoming year seeing as we willl likely have a decnt preseason ranking coming in, knock on wood.

2georgiadawgs

March 3rd, 2012
9:41 pm

Why don’t we try winning getting nationally ranked, and winning our bowl games, and see if that helps fill up the stadium?

Mobile Dawg

March 3rd, 2012
9:47 pm

2014, that doesn’t seem to be a problem in Columbia, Baton Rouge, Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, Auburn, etc. Seems the culture has changed in Athens, want to guess why it’s changed? As far as tickets, paper is the only way to go.

Sautee Dawg

March 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

Happy Birthday Herschel.
Whats wrong with the students making a few bucks off unused tickets? Go back to the old system. Embarrassing to have 3000 empty seats on one of our only major televised games of the season.
The Bleacher Report failed to list the positions in which Awbarn will be starting players who haven’t yet played a college snap, not to mention a sideline full of new asst. coaches. Good lick with that one.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

March 3rd, 2012
9:57 pm

2014…How and Why are there so many Underage Drunks at UGa? Freshmen & Sophomores shouldn’t be hungover because they are not legally allowed to be drinking.

Stephen A.Dogg : Fan apathy is starting to set in at UGA.

March 3rd, 2012
10:03 pm

A series of disappointing seasons, player defections, player expulsions, a predicatable and outdated offense, and weak scheduling has caused the students and many fans to lose interest in Georgia football. A wise man once said offense sells tickets and defense wins championships and that statement is true in a sense for Georgia. The students and fans are tired of seeing UGA win the setup games and lose the games versus quality opponents with poor offensive performances. The Georgia defense plays with heart until it wears down and the predictable offense is at best, good at being predictable and just not good enough to win big. Georgia football has become boring as I have stated in several previous posts. I love college football and count down the days until the next game, but that hasn’t stopped me from being incredibly bored at times watching an dysfunctional Georgia offense leave the defense on its own. I’m starting to duck certain UGA games myself. There were several SEC games such as Ole Miss, Florida and Vandy, where the Dogs should have lit up the scoreboard and those games shouldn’t have been nearly as close as they were if Georgia is a real championship contender. I fell asleep on the Ole Miss game, was frustrated throughout the “win” over UF and avoided watching the Vandy game altogether because it went as I predicted. UGA has no killer instinct and lets bad SEC teams hang around in games.

Then Georgia is like a bully that picks on weak-links and always gets whipped when they play a top twenty opponent. Predictable Once fans start skipping games their attention shifts to something else that’s more exciting that can keep their attention, like other programs. Who wants to see UGA wallow with Buffalo on the same day ‘Bama is going to tackle Michigan ? There’s going to be justified fan apathy. The same thing happened here in Tallahassee in the final seasons of FSU’s Bobby Bowden. Due to disappointing ACC losses ( especially when Tech came down from Atlanta and stunned the Noles in Tallahassee) and annual beatings by the Tebow-led Gators, the students and fans stopped coming to Doak Campbell Stadium by the thousands. It got so bad FSU couldn’t even give away free tickets to get the fans to come back. Something had to be done because things like fan apathy can’t be ignored. It is a true indicator of unacceptable mediocrity at programs who are traditional winners. Empty bleachers stand out and it gives ESPN a thrill to report it. FSU’s administration did not ignore fan apathy and forced Bowden’s retirement when all he wanted was one more year after over three decades of service and two MNCs for the Seminoles. Could history be repeating itself at Georgia ? The fans at UGA are badly divided on confidence in the coaching staff. Nobody questions the coaching staffs’ ability to recruit, but everyone is really undecided or delusional about whether the coaching staff is able to win at an elite level in order to win it all. With the addition of a 9th SEC conference game, I honestly don’t see CMR winning a national title if he can’t win the SEC any longer. 2005 was seven long years ago and he was badly beaten in the 2011 SECCG. The odds will get even longer if the SEC implements a playoff system within the conference to determine a champion by adding wild cards. It’s only going to get more and more challenging and the days of backing into the SECCG by having Arkansas play SoCarolina, while UGA plays Ole Miss are over. Fan apathy and the losing at Tennessee and Florida has led CBS to cancel its yearly coverage of the Vol/Gator game due to predicted low tv ratings and lack of interest by college football spectators. Fan apathy ultimately may be CMR’s undoing and I hope he won’t ignore it as his mentor at FSU did. I hope he will make necessary and needed changes to shake the students and fans interest, which will motivate them to be active, not passive, in their support of Georgia football in attending home games or tuning in on tv. People are not going to support mediocre programs any longer. Go ‘Dogs !

Old Dog

March 3rd, 2012
10:11 pm

I think students might come to games where the football payed was GOOD. Mediocre football doesn’t inspire. And that is what we have now and will continue to have until Mark Richt is gone!

Mobile Dawg

March 3rd, 2012
10:17 pm

Stephen, you have described me verbatum. It’s unknown to me why others don’t see it, or choose to ignore it. Change is never easy, but it’s time….

Old Dog

March 3rd, 2012
10:21 pm

I was going to buy a Ford truck until I heard Mark Richt say “Ford Trucks are just like our Bulldogs…”, by which I assumed he meant it would start out good, but when you really need it, it would lay down and die.

Stephen A.Dogg : Hail to our Legendary Hero !! # 34

March 3rd, 2012
10:22 pm

Happy Birthday !!!, Herschel Walker.

Every time I watch the Herschel Documentary it gives me chills !! Truly you are a great person and the greatest RB in modern college football history !! All I can say watching your performances at UGA makes me feel great to be a Georgia Bulldog !! Thank you for all you have done for the sport of football !! Your tremendous sacrifices for the ‘Dogs will be remembered forever and ever !

D Fence

March 3rd, 2012
10:35 pm

Even with half of the student section in attendance, it is still more than those who attend a Tech Thursday night game.

2georgiadawgs

March 3rd, 2012
10:40 pm

Thank you Stephen A.. GO DAWGS!!

g

March 3rd, 2012
10:49 pm

throw all the students out! seats are for paying people not those need broke students!

jack bull

March 3rd, 2012
10:54 pm

Kobie from Savannah,

We don’t use the screen pass anymore because A Murray can’t complete it..I’m not just ragging on Murray, it’s plain and simple, he airmails the ball over everyone’s head when he tries to throw it. Look back on any game where we attempted a screen pass and you’ll see. And the reason he can’t complete a screen pass, because of his height. That’s why we don’t use them anymore.

Murray also has a whole lot to do with why Bobo gets so conservative late in the game, or when we’re deep in our own territory…think about it…

Still@theKool-aidBAR

March 3rd, 2012
10:59 pm

jack bull….But But 35:55minute Murray is one of the 2 best QBs in the SEC and he is an early Heisman Candidate.

A.Bishop

March 3rd, 2012
11:01 pm

Being a recent grad, I was there during both paper tickets and electronic. It’s not a issue with culture. Trust me when I say that there are enough students who care a lot about football at UGA to fill the student section. Going back to the paper tickets might help some but you can’t forget why the students are at UGA in the first place. It’s not to go to football games, it is to be a student and earn a degree. If there is a big test or project coming up a students priority is on that and not the game. Also taking the students tickets away won’t do anything but piss off the students. Besides when it comes down to it they are the most important group of fans there. Not the alumni and other fans but the students. They are the ones actually attending the school, that the student athletes are playing for…no offense. Besides its better a student make some extra money (you remember being a broke college student) than some dirty scalper who will charge you an arm and a leg.

6-18 Against Ranked Teams Since '05

March 3rd, 2012
11:11 pm

Heisman…..and Aaron Murray do not belong in the same sentence!!!

When’s the last time you saw a Smurf QB win a Heisman???

UGA84

March 3rd, 2012
11:25 pm

There are many reasons student seats are empty. One has been mentioned – in order to donate a ticket I think they have to do it by noon on WED. before the game. Also, the end-zone seats are less desirable. I think the students are cramming in the other student section seats. Another is that most of the upperclassmen live off campus now, as opposed years ago when more upper classmen also lived on campus. Back then it was easier to just roll out of bed and get to the game. It is really an all day affair these days. And the buses do not run on game days thus students also have to deal with parking issues.

UGAGOLFER

March 4th, 2012
12:14 am

I have had season tickets since Richt arrived, and either had them or found tickets when Goff and Donnan were around during my 17+ years living in Atlanta. I am fed up with the Athletic Association’s greed and nickel/diming every single thing they can to add more to the coffers. They do NOTHING with the profits but sit on them, occasionally investing in improved facilities. Never mind the mediocre budgets of Men’s basketball and other sports. UGA could have a really good hoops program for example, but it is more important for the mint julip-sipping athletic board members to sit back and count all the profits. Well, I made my Hartman Fund donation but likely will skip season tickets for the first time under Mark Richt. Just tired of the apathy, greed and less than 100% commitment to winning (unlike LSU, Bama, Auburn and even SC to some degree). I’ll have no trouble at all finding tickets to the games I want to attend AT FACE VALUE.

UGAGOLFER

March 4th, 2012
12:22 am

Stephen A. Dogg, you nailed it. Excellent post. Georgia will not win the SEC next season or in 2013. Just not going to happen. A wise observer who has correctly predicted a lot of SEC changes said that Mark Richt will be gone by the end of the 2013 season. He has done all he can at Georgia, mainly because he will NOT change anything and revise his playbook. That being said, there will be many empty seats next season at EVERY GAME unless something strange occurs.

Stephen A.Dogg : What can be done to keep the fans interested in Georgia.

March 4th, 2012
1:02 am

Something has to be done to encourage students and fans interested in Georgia Football and combat mounting fan apathy. Again I defer to the FSU example. FSU was forced to make drastic and dramatic changes that ultimately cost a college football coaching icon to be ousted. FSU became more aggressive in its scheduling by setting up home and away games with teams like highly ranked Oklahoma and West Virginia. When new FSU coach and OC, Jimbo Fisher was installed he represented the change fans had clamored years for. When the Seminoles invited the then No.1 ranked, Oklahoma Sooners to Tallahassee last season, the fans in the thousands came back and set an attendence record at Doak Campbell Stadium at Bobby Bowden Field.

I’m not saying Georgia should get rid of Coach Mark Richt, but damning problems persist that may be writing on the wall. Fan apathy has set in at Georgia meaning support is shrinking in certain areas, the fanbase is badly divided between the delusionists and apathetic, the football program is best described anywhere between mediocre, irrelevant or forgotten, and the coach, who just survived a hotseat is seeking an extension for the proverbial ” the recruits need to know I’m gonna be here for them”, excuse over coaching performance or meeting expectations logic.

Richt may have survived the hotseat, but there’s no room for him to relax. The pressure is not in his face as it was last season, but it’s underground now and volcanoes can blow at anytime. CMR brought in several interesting new recruits on offense but he failed to make any personnel changes to his offensive staff. Lack of talent hasn’t hurt UGA, it’s the coaching that is being constantly called out. Which leads most to believe there will be no changes in offensive philosophy. Former Tennessee coach, Lane Kiffin said,” It was easy to prepare for and beat Georgia, because they don’t change anything about their scheme. They always run what was expected and were very predictable”. Kiffin was in the SEC only one year and has been gone for three years now, and if it’s still like he says it was at UGA, we are running many years behind the elites of the SEC. Richt will have to re-invent his coaching wheel by dumping his old 90s FSU pass-first offense for a more balanced, I-formation attack which will feature the talent his of running back stable and re-built, fully operational O-Line. It’s time for Georgia to dump the finesse labels and play SEC powerball. Change is coming one way or the other at Georgia, and Richt must adapt to at least reluctant change to stay or he will stubbornly keep things status quo and suffer the consequences for the error of having things his way. Richt has been doing things his way for twelve years at Georgia and still no national title, while Bama has two, UF has two, LSU has two, and Auburn got one and should’ve had two within that same 12 year window. It’s past time for CMR to do something different to take Georgia to the next level ! Go ‘Dogs.

RED DOG 77

March 4th, 2012
1:26 am

@Mobile, “change is never easy, but it’s time.”………Let’s say for the point of argument, you’re right. I doubt though given the fact that UGA is about to ink an additional three years on to Mark Richt’s contract [with buyout] the coach is about to be terminated. I’m trying as best I can to see your point. I wonder, are you trying to start a grassroots effort to get rid of him?…….even if I agreed with you, which I don’t, I just don’t see a chance of gaining much steam………….having just come off a season he won 10 straight [never mind who they beat] 2012 looks to be at least as good for Richt considering the schedule, and mabe better…………could be by then, all the 5* studs in the 2013 class we so desperately want and need decide to sign-on with the Dawgs…………..Mobile, I look at coaches like Steve Spurrier [can't stand him] who is as talented a coach as there is, look at his struggles, what about Gator Urban? dude sort of fell apart at Florida didn’t he? Mack Brown ? hell he has his pick of the state of Texas…………question: who will have a deeper downturn, Florida or Georgia? my guess Florida…………The mighty Southern Cal has Lane, they might end-up being pretty good this year but haven’t they been down a spell?………Mobile, I know you are a committed, loyal BULLDOG……….but really, who are you going to replace Richt with today?…….If you were to say Todd Grantham, I might be with you, but Adams certainly wouldn’t do anything as logical………………….So my point, are we going to pull for South Carolina to beat us this year just to.. get rid of our coach?…..My hope is we do well this year, and even better in 2013……..would that be so bad?……..Remember we just went to the SEC championship last year, how many leauge members can boast our numbers over the last 10 years?…………Like that snake Bill Clinton said, “I feel your pain”……….Mobile I do, I’m sure we sweat out the games in a simular way……….but our appraoches to solving our problems seems to be miles apart……….As Jerry Clower said “Son, one of us needs some relief”…………I’m hoping either your dreams or mine comes true, because we both want our Dawgs kickin’ ass and winning championships soon…………..Regards, RED

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
1:27 am

phil March 3rd, 2012 2:11 pm

“As long as we continue rewarding mediocrity by being “positive” about it, we’ll continue to stumble.”
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J.T. Keene March 3rd, 2012 9:11 am

“If you want a “closed circuit blog” for only the dreamers then write each other thru the mail and keep it to yourselves.”
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Stephen A.Dogg : Special Thanks to my fellow 'Dogs.

March 4th, 2012
1:54 am

If Offense sells tickets and Defense wins championships, then Georgia is halfway there. UGA DC, Coach Todd Grantham has shown us all that he is the man for the job on the Bulldog defense. His “34” defense has done an admirable job considering the circumstances the defense constantly is put in by a lackadasical offense. I hope CTG will be able to establish more depth on his defense to combat fatigue. In the MSU bowl game a tired and weary ‘Dog defense mounted a final stand and gave Georgia a chance to put the Spartans away. That’s all you can ask of the defense. It was very painful to watch the UGA offense and special teams squander that opportunity. Okay it’s behind us and I’m sorry for bringing up unpleasant memories. As I said, I feel our defense is in good hands with CTG’s coaching skill and once he builds up proper depth we could possibly have a championship level defense. We were not blown out in the SECCG, but turnovers and lack of depth wore our defense down and LSU did what they were supposed to do by taking advantage of our lost momentum and applied the TKO. Still I think that first half experience meant a lot to our defense after seeing ‘Bama play with that same intensity for both halves. Our Bulldog defense is not that far away from being a championship defense. They say defense wins championships. Go ‘Dogs !!

MaxDog

March 4th, 2012
2:28 am

I stopped going to athens when they put in all the tailgating restrictions—and haven’t been back. I sell my tickets for some games but can’t give them away for all these creampuff games. Watching the game on a huge TV with tons of beer and wings without the uga restrictions? Much more fun.

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
2:32 am

Andy Landers at Georgia has won a combined 11 Southeastern Conference Championships and SEC Tournament titles, the second most by any league school in the nation’s premier women’s basketball conference, consisting of seven SEC regular-season titles, four SEC tournament championships. He is 22-8 ranked # 16 today, and faces an uphill battle again in The NCAA Tournament where, because our gym is never considered for hosting post-season basketball games, he always has to go on the road.

Andy Landers has 5 Final Fours, 10 Elite Eights and 19 Sweet 16s.

26 twenty-win seasons while playing in a cruddy gym not considered one of the top 75 gyms in college basketball.

Averages 24 wins per season, Georgia thrives under head coach Andy Landers.

Georgia ranks No. 2 in both NCAA Tournament appearances with 28 and weeks ranked by the Associated Press 480 weeks, currently ranked # 16 in the nation.

Andy Landers has continued to send his recruits to the WBNA. He has the third-most alumni in the WNBA of any school in the nation with 21 former Andy Landers players in the WNBA.

Andy Landers gets after his recruits both on and off the court, which is why you do not hear about his players with all these off-field issues. This is further evidenced with Andy Landers’ 104 percent graduation rate among four-year letterwinners (57 letterwinners with 59 degrees.)

I have watched every one of Andy Landers seasons. I know women’s basketball. I can tell you this, if he played in a gym considered one of the nation’s best, he would do far better. Several posters state every year on this blog that Andy Landers just has to go. I ask what their familiarity is with our team ? Have they ever watched a game to see how Andy Landers gets after his players to get the most from them ? Have any personal knowledge of the game of basketball, at all – such as earned a letter in basketball, as I and 1 of 4 sports and a walk-on at UGA where I put up a 3.88 GPA thank you very much and still could work for UGA a few hours before my 1st class daily. What was your GPA ? Your parents invited to the Foy Fine Arts Bldg for their son being honored Top 5 % of the Graduating Class?

Mark Richt has Everything to Work With here at UGA in 1 of the Greatest or Certainly one of the Top 6 Greatest Facilities in the nation.

854-277 a .755 winning percentage, Andy Landers significantly impacts the game of women’s basketball.
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The question I have is has Mark Richt significantly impacted the game of college football ?

Stephen A.Dogg : Special Thanks to my fellow 'Dogs.

March 4th, 2012
2:56 am

The Georgia offense is the primary area of concern for the apathetic segment of the divided fanbase. The delusional segment of the UGA fan base are more fans of Mark Richt, the kind, well-respected, religious gentleman, more than they are fans of the University of Georgia, the Institution. Any critical comments about Richt’s decisions or lack thereof concerning the offense is wrong if you ask a delusionist. Their is always an excuse and it’s everybody elses’ fault but CMR’s. The primary scapegoat is my friend, the psuedo-OC, Mike Bobo. The term “psuedo” means, false or artificial. The real OC is Mark Richt and Bobo is responsible for emplementing Richt’s offensive philosophy and gameplans. Nothing is ran outside of Richt’s 1990s FSU playbook and CMR has complete autonomy over the offense. Bobo doubles as QB coach and that’s a whole lot of responsibility to be heaped on a guy that specializes in coaching workman QBs as he once was himself. Bobo is there for Richt, to catch the heat, ire, and blame whenever then antiquated offense stalls or breaks down. Last season the offensive blame game was rampant and passed around like a pair of old shoes from Goodwill. Easley and King were dubbed bad seeds and systematically ran off after Crowell signed. The talented, but unprepared Crowell was labeled a spoiled, injury-prone malingerer after being thrown in a meat-gringer, Boo Malcome once quit the team and spent the season in Richt’s doghouse, Samuel, the injured DGD, was flipped from D to O, the thin, but giant-sized O-line, was inconsistent and totally ineffective by the Mich.St. game. Then there was the forgotten one, TE, Orson Charles, who was fed up and went pro early and the young, inexperienced wide receivers, who dropped TD passes in the SECCG. And last, but not least, the overacheiver, under-sized QB Aaron Murray, who was asked to do more than he should at times and it often resulted in critical turnovers. But Murray, who has yet to QB the team over a win over a top twenty program, threw for a record 35 touchdowns. Some psuedo “experts” have claimed he is a bona-fide Heisman trophy candidate in 2012 and will leave after his junior year to be a top pick in the 2013 NFL draft. All I can say is WOW. Guys help me out. Where do you begin to fix this mess ? I’ve listed some of the chatter concerning the offense. I failed to mention a lot of fans have been crying out for a new OC, citing a plethora of reasons to justify it. Look I have no faith in CMR’s offense and I feel it should be scrapped completely for and I-formation based attack. Bring in a new OC and give him complete control. I know it’s not going to happen under Richt, but it will happen after other changes take place brought on by fan apathy for mantaining things through CMR’s status quo regime.

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
3:03 am

Stephen, that is really good sir. I appreciate all your posts, this 1 more than ever, sir.

P. Bull Terrier

March 4th, 2012
3:05 am

Please tell me that people like “tell me again” and “Ash” aren’t really UGA students.

The problem is that there are too many empty seats in the student section. According to these geniuses, the solution is to take tickets away from the alumni who are comming to the games and give them to the students who aren’t showing up.

No wonder the Tech fans make fun of us.

Stephen A.Dogg : Special Thanks to my fellow 'Dogs.

March 4th, 2012
3:10 am

What’s your point Thomas Brown ? All Georgia fans respect Coach Landers body of work in the UGA Womens basketball program. Georgia is a year in year out top twenty womens basketball program that is nationally respected . I think Coach Landers has done an excellent job and we need to keep him for as long as he desires to coach. He gives us hope each season the UGA girls can win that elusive national title. He will take over the SEC when Tennessee’s Pat Summit, who is in an impassioned fight with dementia, retires.

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
3:26 am

My point is posts such as these that set me off, Stephen :
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Rick S March 3rd, 2012 7:11 pm

“I am ashamed that Georgia continues to keep Andy Landers as Womens Basketball Coach- I wish I could have a job like Mr. Landers where getting into the NCAA and always losing aftyer one round guarantees me another year of medicority! Unbelievable that Georgia Womwen would lose to South Carloina in the Womens Tournament, but Andy Landers has done his job in obtaining a spot in the Women’s NCAA Tournament- right?

Very disappointing that Mcgarity puts up with this type of performance as there will never be a SEC Championship let alone an NCAA Championship under Andy Landers.”
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phil March 3rd, 2012 2:11 pm

“Yesterday? Another in an endless string of lady dogs choke jobs. Yet we keep the angry and over the hill andy landers right there to screw it up yr after yr…”
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I’d also like to further discuss your points about Mark Richt’s average NCAA Rank all 11 years of

# 52 Total Offense Mark Richt all 11 years

How can Aaron Murray go pro early when he is

# 72 QB nationally in pass completion percentage

And, how can we discuss the Offense at UGA and somehow try to ignore the 26 Scholarships Mark Richt gave out for this up-coming 2012 season, not 1 of the 26 who will play one single solitary down ? You mentioned it Stephen about several RB run out of the program, and how that affected the season when Isaiah Crowell did not show up in the 4 games against what you refer to as Top 20 teams. 109 Scholarships Signed by Mark Richt to his 85-Scholarship Limit for 2012, yet he has only 77 on Scholarship and that only because he Rewards Walk-Ons whom he never has played on Offense or Defense, just our lousy # 80 Special Teams.

You really covered it Stephen.

9 losses in a row vs teams finishing top 25
7 losses in a row vs teams finishing top 10

And, we are supposed to post positive posts, now ?

Why ?

Because of the 12 regular season games, only 1 ended up top 25 last season ?

What a cupcake schedule.

I am supposed to mention that Mark Richt beats 7-6 teams.

He also loses to 4-8 type teams and has amassed 16 losses to teams who would have not ended up top 25 in his 11 years without their win over him and 10 of those 16 still did not even with their win over him.

He is 17-24 vs teams finishing top 25 in his 11 years.

He is 3-10 vs teams finishing top 10 in his 11 years, none in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and in fact the last was # 9 Auburn in 2006, when he lost four (4) games that season too (his average over current 8-year period – all 30 to teams with lesser or equal talent.)

Stephen A.Dogg : Special Thanks to my fellow 'Dogs.

March 4th, 2012
3:29 am

@ RED DOG: >>>…………We both want our DAWGS kickin’ ass and winning championships !!

Right on, RED, Right on !!

Stephen A.Dogg : Special Thanks to my fellow 'Dogs.

March 4th, 2012
3:36 am

@Thomas Brown: Oh I see your point now. TB just disregard that hater’s post. Andy Landers is going no where. His job is safe as ever. He will soon be the Dean of SEC womens basketball and all sensible UGA fans know he is irreplaceable. Go ‘Dogs !!

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
3:55 am

We will name the new gym The Andy Landers Coliseum; for it can have no other name. He should have had the opportunity to have had it named after him many years ago. I don’t disregard anyone’s posts. I read them all. Always have. I reply to them all. I try to be respectful of the opinions of those who say their viewpoint in public by attempting to research their points, as that is my hobby.

I have come to the conclusion that, as you correctly identify them as Mark Richt fans RICHT-0-PHILES, that the haters of those who dare to post that our lady’s basketball program is excellent and that our football program has nothing but Bad Press Every Single Day of Every Single Year, are incapable of researching where we really are

and, prefer instead to have here a

“closed circuit blog” for only the dreamers,

while the vast majority – not the vocal minority – see it as phil (one of my favorite posters too) :

“As long as we continue rewarding mediocrity by being “positive” about it, we’ll continue to stumble.”

UGA FRIEND

March 4th, 2012
6:02 am

Decrease the number of student section tickets. Make these seats available at regular ticket prices. Seats will be filled. Simple solution. Why will it not work?

this is pathetic

March 4th, 2012
6:55 am

tells you exactly what the state of UGA football is. no one cares. it’s no wonder that the conference and espn took bama off the schedule. espn needs the ratings in atlanta

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
7:01 am

We were not going to beat them.

Why play anyone who everyone knows we’re going to lose to ?

We have Lost 30 games the current 8-year period to teams with less talent or equal talent to us – 4 a year.

Thomas Brown

March 4th, 2012
7:14 am

Aaron Murray said he’s working hard to “improve on my footwork,” which he believes will improve his accuracy. “I wasn’t as assurate as I need to be.”
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# 72 QB nationally Pass Completion Percentage
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238 completions of 403 passes 59 % completions

23 Fumbles, 22 Interceptions, 56 Sacks, 174 Carries, 27 Games, 0-9 vs End Top 25

11 Games to-date opponent’s QB Far Better than Aaron Murray

21-35 Boise State : 7 carries minus 33 yards, 1 interception, 16 of 29 passing 2 TD, 6 Sacks

42-45 South Carolina : 6 carries 11 yards, 2 Fumbles, 1 interception, 19 of 29 passing 4 TD, 2 Sacks

10-42 LSU : 8 carries minus 5 yards, 1 Fumble, 2 interceptions, 16 of 40 passing 1 TD, 4 Sacks

30-33 Michigan State : 8 carries minus 13 yards, 1 Fumble, 2 interceptions, 20 of 32 passing 2 TD, 4 Sacks

103-155 Totals in 4 Losses : 29 carries minus 40 yards, 4 Fumbles, 6 interceptions, 71 of 130 Passing 9 TD, 16 Sacks, opponent’s QB Far Better all 4 games (and 11 games to-date opponent’s QB Far Better than Aaron Murray)