Perception of Bobo varies greatly between fans, coaches

Georgia's offense has actually increased its production under the guidance of coordinator Mike Bobo.

Georgia's offense has actually increased its production under the guidance of coordinator Mike Bobo.

ATHENS – Mike Gottfried says Georgia fans should be careful what they wish for with regard to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. The long time college football analyst predicts Bobo likely will be leaving the Bulldogs sooner than they think  — and it won’t be under the circumstances they might expect.

“They won’t have him long,” said Gottfried, a sportscaster and former head coach at Pittsburgh and three other college programs. “He will be a head coach real soon. Coach Bobo is a great human being and a great coach and he’s going to be a great head coach some day, without any doubt.”

Gottfried’s comments illustrate g the disjoint there is between fans’ perceptions the job Bobo is doing and what people inside the business think.

To a large contingent in the Bulldog nation, he is “Bobo the Buffoon” and “Mike Boo-Boo.” He’s characterized in fan forums and chatrooms as a dimwit who is overmatched weekly against the SEC’s powerful defensive minds. But inside college football Bobo in a much different light.

They point to the yards and points Georgia puts up every year, to Bobo’s development of high-caliber quarterbacks and skill players, to his cunning and effectiveness as a recruiter.

Most importantly, Bobo’s boss is quite pleased with him

“Well, I like what he does or he wouldn’t be there,” head coach Mark Richt said succinctly.

Indeed, Georgia’s offense has been very productive under Bobo’s leadership. Since succeeding Richt as the team’s play-caller and being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, the Bulldogs have averaged 392.5 yards and 31.6 points per game. That represents an increase of 4.5 yards and 3.3 points over what the team was doing when Richt was calling the shots on a game-by-game basis.

Bobo’s offenses have advanced the ball in more than one way as well. In 2007, the Bulldogs were among the SEC’s best rushing teams at 177 yards per game while finishing eighth passing. A year later they led the league in passing. This past season the Bulldogs were among the conference leaders in both rushing (5th) and passing (3rd).

Bobo’s offenses have been especially good at scoring. The Bulldogs have averaged more than 30 points per game in all but the 2009 season when they scored 28.9.

Nevertheless, a quick Google search pulls up webpages with unflattering names as “Fire Bobo,” Fire Bobo The Clown,” and “Keep Richt, Fire Bobo.”

None of which seems to faze Bobo at all. “I don’t pay any attention to that stuff,” he said.

Which is exactly the tact Bobo should take, Richt said.

“We don’t worry about that,” he said with a laugh. “Anybody who is a play-caller is 100 percent guaranteed to be criticized and critiqued and helped and anything else you can imagine. It comes with the territory.

“I don’t know how many years I called plays at Florida State. We had a pretty good run of victories and offensive output. But I caught heck all the time. I had one guy that was the president of the ‘Evict Richt Club.’ He had his website up and running and that was before they even had websites I think.”

Nevertheless.there is evidence that Bobo is underappreciated even inside the glassy walls of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. Despite being a relative veteran in the volatile SEC coaching community – 12 years at one school, five as a coordinator – Bobo is not high-paid among his peers.

Bobo’s current salary of $325,000 per year ranks in the bottom half of the SEC and well behind those of relative newcomers such as Alabama’s Doug Nussmaier ($590,000), Auburn’s Scot Loeffler ($500,000) and Florida’s Brent Pease ($500,000), according to published reports.

Meanwhile, the trend in the college football business is for coordinators to have  multiyear contracts. UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is about to ink his second three-year deal at more than twice Bobo’s salary. Bobo’s latest one-year deal expires June 30 of this year.

Bobo steadfastly refuses to discuss his contract status or any of the other job offers he’s received (there have been “a few,” he said).

“That’s not my style,” he said. “That’s just not who I am.”

Bobo, a father of five, said he prefers “to just do my job.” But it likely won’t be long before he commands more attention on the market. Bobo is represented by Birmingham-based attorney/agent Russ Campbell. Campbell’s client list includes a number of high-profile head coaches, including one whose name has been in the headlines lately — Bobby Petrino.

“Certainly the current trend has been toward multiyear contracts [for assistants],” Campbell told The AJC. “But like Mike, it’s just not our practice to talk about negotiations at all in the press. It just leaves a bad taste in the school’s mouth and it’s just not the way we do business. So I can’t confirm or deny that any negotiations are underway.”

But, salary talk aside, Campbell doesn’t believe his client gets enough respect.

“That’s something my partner and I have observed; the perception isn’t there on him that should be,” Campbell said. “If you look at the production, clearly he’s been very productive, very good for the offense. He’s a young coach and we really believe in him. But there’s a disjoint in perception and I find that curious. I think that’s one of the challenges we have, to try to change that a little bit.”

More than anything, Gottfried believes Bobo’s simply a victim of staying in the same place a long time.

“Sometimes it’s like when I see some of my former players, I still see them as 18 years old and they might be 35 or 40,” Gottfried said. “I think the fans still see him as that young quarterback. They don’t see him as the strategist who’s very intelligent and thinking ahead and setting up the gameplan every week. I think that’s what it is with the fans.”

Year Play-caller Total Scoring Pass Rush

2011 Bobo 3 (413.8) 4 (32.2) 3 (247.2) 5 (172.7)

2010 Bobo 8 (385.0) 4 (32.7) 5 (242.4) 10 (142.6)

2009 Bobo 8 (362.2) 7 (28.9) 7 (201.2) 7 (161.0)

2008 Bobo 2 (426.0) 3 (31.5) 1 (277.7) 5 (148.3)

2007 Bobo 6 (375.6) 5 (32.6) 8 (198.4) 4 (177.2)

2006 Richt 10 (311.8) 7 (25.2) 9 (184.4) 7 (127.4)

2005 Richt 3 (391.2) 2 (29.5) 2 (229.0) 3 (162.2)

2004 Richt 3 (404.5) 6 (27.9) 2 (247.7) 9 (156.8)

2003 Richt 5 (380.3) 7 (26.5) 3 (245.4) 10 (134.9)

2002 Richt 4 (384.9) 1 (32.1) 3 (245.4) 9 (139.6)

2001 Richt 3 (432.8) 4 (28.6) 5 (270.4) 4 (162.5)

TOTALS (avg) 5 (388.0) 4.6 (29.8) 4.4 (234.8) 6.6 (153.2)

  • Georgia has averaged 388 yards and 29.8 points over the 11 years of Richt’s tenure.
  • The offense averaged 392.5 yards and 31. 6 points in the five seasons Bobo was play-caller
  • The offense averaged 384.3 yards and 28.3 points in the six seasons Richt was play-caller.

177 comments Add your comment

UGAly

April 12th, 2012
8:27 pm

I’m rooting for MIke Bobo to get a job offer too good to turn down. Whatever it takes.

mvdawg

April 12th, 2012
8:29 pm

God bless Mike and his family.

theMoney

April 12th, 2012
8:30 pm

Take my Bobo – please!

KINGDAWG

April 12th, 2012
8:33 pm

Unfortunately it’s a what have you done lately business. But the pay’s good.

Real Talk

April 12th, 2012
8:35 pm

Looking at the “Year Play-caller Total Scoring Pass Rush” stats when comparing Bobo and Richt, doesn’t really help Gottfried’s argument.

Mobile Dawg

April 12th, 2012
8:36 pm

If he’s so highly respected at UGA, why isn’t his salary commensurate with his respect? I like Mike Bobo, he’s a dgd, I just happen to think that we haven’t been where we need to be. I hold him and Richt accountable. I think he would be a good OC if he could impose his “will” on the defense. He hasn’t had the horses to do that, again, why?

BoboisDGd

April 12th, 2012
8:36 pm

Enter your comments here

Jefferson Davis Hogg

April 12th, 2012
8:37 pm

There is no doubt that the numbers over all look better but my question would be how many of those points and yardage were put up against top SEC opponents especially considering our record against them of recent, as opposed to the numbers against mid to lower tier teams and the patsy OOC opponents…..My biggest problem is that I’ve gotten too good at predicting the next play…

IT IS WHAT IT IS

April 12th, 2012
8:37 pm

mike bobo a head coach!!! yeah freaking right!!!

red hill

April 12th, 2012
8:38 pm

I’m sure Bobo is a decent coach and he’s a DGD in my opinion. However, Bobo has had to open up the offense on a good number of occasions as the team has been behind quite a bit (and frequently by large margins). Richt had the benefit of Brian Van Gorder his first 4 years and didn’t have to be quite as creative. I believe in Grantham and I see the good things he has done in only 2 years. I wish good things for the Dawgs and for Bobo but I don’t think comparing him to Richt as an OC purely on a statistical basis as being valid.

Augusta dawg

April 12th, 2012
8:39 pm

Undefeated season would cure everything. A lot of pressure there. It just seems the timing of his playcalling is the problem. He gets to predictable, conservative and scripted. He seems to do so well and then…..dunno

Jockich Ahn Smelley II

April 12th, 2012
8:40 pm

Hey, don’t touch my Bobo! I enjoyed the UGA Dawgs football Alumni party……it was the nicest event ever thrown at Reidsville State Prison according to most sources……

Beast from the East

April 12th, 2012
8:41 pm

I’ve always thought he did a pretty solid job. I understand he’s a little conservative at times, but what experienced coordinators aren’t? Trust me when I tell you that changing coordinators every few years is not a recipe for championships. What I’ve learned the past 4-5 seasons from my Gators is that it truly takes a full year to implement a new coordinator’s philosophy. Not an easy transition.
You folks need to pay that man or you’ll be criticizing the next guy that averages 22 points a game.

Homeboy

April 12th, 2012
8:42 pm

Mike. Keep doing what you are doing. Richt did great as O.C. Your numbers have surpassed his numbers as he mentored you. He gave you the chance to run the offence. And you have been solid. You have a beautiful family that is important. Continue to keep The Lord first in your life. And He will take you where He desires to have you. You will always be a Dawg in my life. But other doors will open for you in the very near future. And you can walk away with dignity and character; unlike many of the people that I have watched post so much negative stuff about you. You have class, and you are still a great human being. Keep your head up. Blessing.

Paddy

April 12th, 2012
8:42 pm

He will have a chance this year to light it up with the weapons he has on offense. Light it up and prove everyone wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Show me kid

April 12th, 2012
8:42 pm

When Mike Bobo was a senior in college, he and some cronies sat near the visitor’s dugout for a UGA-Furman baseball game. He harrassed the Furman players and said awful things to them. We were sitting behind one of the Furman players families and they were quite bothered about what all he said. The player’s sister even went down and talked to them, without much effect. This told me all I needed to know about Mike Bobo’s character.

Chris

April 12th, 2012
8:43 pm

You have to look past the numbers. They obivously do not tell the whole story. When you score 50-60 points against New Mexico State, that tends to pad your numbers quite a bit. Plus, when you have Knoshon Moreno, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be one of the better rushing teams in the conference.

Bobo’s play calling in the games that really matter is why he is hated. He just doesn’t get it, and 5 years into this debacle, he never will. The first game against Boise State last year speaks volumes. He had 8 months to prepare for that game, and is was by far one of the worst called games I have ever seen. The list goes on and on, and Bobo is notorious for making boneheaded calls when it matters the most.

Whoever this fool is that thinks he will be a great head coach has really lost touch with reality. He will probably get a chance, and I can promise you he will fail miserably.

Bobo sucks, and the quicker Richt figures that out, the better UGA will be. For the love of God, someone please come steal this rare gem away from Georgia!!!!

BoboisDGD

April 12th, 2012
8:45 pm

Hey Chip . . . The picture of Aaron Murray wearing the power ranger uniform in the Boise State game has been on the AJC UGA page for nearly a year now. I desperately want to forget both the game and the God awful uniform. Can you pull some strings and get somebody to update the picture?

Enjoyed the article . . . Agree that Bobo is under rated. He catches way to much flack from fellow Dawg fans.

Macclenny_dawg

April 12th, 2012
8:45 pm

The article fails to mention that offensive scoring is up in the nation!!! It also fails too mention there is no creativity. Somebody please give him a head coaching job!!!

dawgfan2003

April 12th, 2012
8:47 pm

Arkansas should take him. I hope they call and offer him the job. And for the record…..it is not about how many yards per game and how many points you average. It is about HOW you call a game and HOW you make adjustments during the game. Let’s take the LSU game for example. First half, unpredictable play calling full of reverses, double moves, and come back routes. The second half we get the ball and we start trying to run it up the middle like we are going to overpower them thinking we have some kind of dominant line that can push their guys back. All he had to do was to keep mixing it up. It’s HOW you call a game.

superDawg

April 12th, 2012
8:50 pm

gt needs Bo bo!

Jefferson Davis Hogg

April 12th, 2012
8:51 pm

Chris, I would’nt say he exactly sucks but agree with you on many points…If you score 50 on New Mexico St and only 10 against LSU whats the average…..I know alot of this is just perception but mine is he’s to predictable….Being a DGD aside, I really wonder how many other major schools have called him about openings.

Beast from the East

April 12th, 2012
8:51 pm

If all of you that keep questioning his playcalling are so smart, then why is no one paying YOU $500,000 to coach their offense? Think maybe you folks might have a feeling what play is ran because UGA has basically been running the same (Richt’s) offense for 11 years? Nah, that would make too much sense.

Vance Duly

April 12th, 2012
8:51 pm

Average points per game is a useless stat – look at our offense against GOOD teams, and when we are trying to “protect” a lead instead of whipping the other team’s collective backsides. We are usually far too passive in the 4th quarter when we have a lead. Bobo’s play-calling is loaded with several predictable habits. If one phase of our offense is clicking very well, he stops it in favor of balance. The balance doesn’t occur, and we end up wasting several possessions, which keeps the other team in the game. That is just ONE of his several tendencies that drive me (and others) nuts!

I would rather see him stay and IMPROVE than to leave, but what signs of improvement have we seen in his play-calling?? He IS a Dawg, a good recruiter, a good QB coach, but his in-game performance is predictable and inconsistent when we face a good team. GO DAWGS!

Augusta dawg

April 12th, 2012
8:52 pm

Need him to give up the Jim Donnan playbook he grew up under. He can be good. The UF game with stafford and momass was one of his best. He has had some bright moments. The auburn game. He’s had some good ones. Just don’t take the foot off the pedal

Jefferson Davis Hogg

April 12th, 2012
8:53 pm

As Barnhart said today, Spurrier and Petrino would call a play in the 1st qtr to set up something in the 4th…Don’t like either one of them but they are great offensive minds..

G. Tanner

April 12th, 2012
8:55 pm

Bobo is an excellent coordinator, no matter what my fellow amateurs on this blog and others say. The Hogs might come calling for him here shortly. Personally, I wish UGA would raise his pay and extend his deal.

Vance Duly

April 12th, 2012
8:57 pm

I believe that Coach Richt should be asked —- does he have Coach Grantham analyze and scheme against Bobo’s play-calling, to identify and ELIMINATE the mind-numbing tendencies that Bobo has!?!? How about asking Coach Richt about that!?!

(1st & 10 incomplete pass = 2nd down run between the tackles). (10 yard penalty on 1st down = run between the tackles for 3 yards or less, leaving us with 2nd and 17.) (NO quick-hitting run plays……. very few toss sweeps.) If we’re dominating with the run, we stop. If we’re smoking the defense with our passing game, we STOP rather than forcing them to stop us!! Our offense almost NEVER shows a killer instinct – we get a lead and become scared of losing, instead of playing 4 quarters of intense offense………….. GO DAWGS!!!!

Rick James

April 12th, 2012
8:58 pm

What’s the anti Bobo nuts also dont realize is what strong recruiter he is..I’m sure a few would love for to see him replaced with Petrino.

Rick James

April 12th, 2012
8:59 pm

~What~ Sorry

Mobile Dawg

April 12th, 2012
9:02 pm

The mark of a good OC is, they take the talent they have and design a game plan to work against what the defense does. They make adjustments during the game to counter what the defensive adjustments give you. It’s a chess match. I’m sorry but Bobo just hasn’t “seemed” to be able to formulate a gameplan based on what he has for weapons. He runs the same “tired” pro style offense with the same plays over and over. He rarely shows any creativity.

Kracka Dawg

April 12th, 2012
9:04 pm

We dawg fans definitely think $50,000 a year is way to much for Bobo the Bozo… Maybe Arkies will hire him… Petrinos a piece of crap anyway.. what a loser

2 national titles in 3 years

April 12th, 2012
9:09 pm

Mike Bobo??? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAH

Larry Bird

April 12th, 2012
9:11 pm

Elise,
You are a terrible human being. You’re damn straight we take pride in our football team. 65% of football players also earn degrees, which are worth something to them and there families and everywhere else in the world. 65% you say? Could be higher? Maybe so, but that doesn’t take into account the ones that go on to live there dreams in the NFL.

Mikedawg

April 12th, 2012
9:11 pm

OK, so BoBo is wonderful. But answer me this Batman, if he is and he has gotten all those great stats then 1 why is he in the lower paid area of OC’s 2 how did he accumulate those gaudy numbers? Was it against big name teams or was it lower teams? 3 why have we not heard any rumors as to him getting any offers anywhere else or is it his agent trying to shop his talents elsewhere. Quite frankly I as a DAWG fan am tired of hearing excuses about Players, Timing, or anything else because if you put your Defense in a bad situation then bad things will occur. BoBo just take off the handcuffs and COACH if you can, if not then God Bless you and move on….

2 national titles in 3 years

April 12th, 2012
9:17 pm

“Maybe Arkies will hire him…”

Why the hell would Ark hire him? That would be a step down for their offense which has been able to light up the scoreboard the last few years. Considering that they’ve been a far more dominant program the last couple of years than Georgia I don’t think Ark would want any Georgia coaches. It would be a step down for them and that’s even after Petrino left in disgrace.

reality check

April 12th, 2012
9:20 pm

Well said. There is really nothing he can do to please everyone. Thankfully he knows that and just goes about his job. With the home responsibilities and the team responsibilities. In my humble opinion. He’s doing very well. DGD Thank Mike for your committment and investment.

Go DAWGS!

Grantham's the man

April 12th, 2012
9:20 pm

Mike Gottfried is right about Bobo. Ga has had one hell of a long bad streak with offensive linemen getting hurt. I lost count of how many 4 and 5 star linemen that had season or career ending injuries over the last five or so years. Also, it’s not Bobo’s fault that Stacy Searels forgot how to coach while he was on staff.

He also didn’t get much help from the defense during the Willie Martinez years.

Give him a good O-line with the talent he’s developed at the skill positions and Bobo’s offense will light it up.

RNB

April 12th, 2012
9:22 pm

How many schools have asked to interview Mike Bobo? Enough said. How about winning some games and then you can worry about contract extensions. Big mistake giving Richt an extension. We are rewarding mediocrity.

CrashTestChris

April 12th, 2012
9:22 pm

Mike Bobo didn’t drop the ball on a quick post in the end zone against LSU like T. King did….Mike Bobo didn’t drop a sure TD pass at the 5 yd line like M. Mitchell did….Two brilliantly set up plays by the OC that would have given UGA a 24-0 lead and massive momentum going in at the half…Mike Bobo doesn’t coach special teams either; the one glitch that broke the dam in the Dome…

If you don’t think this man can coach up a studant athlete you need to talk to Matthew Stafford…He came to Georgia and left the NFL’s number one pick because of Mike Bobo..

reality check

April 12th, 2012
9:23 pm

The games within the game is often un noticed. There are times I think… why aren’t we running the ball more? Then I notice an OL getting shoved all around. Many times the plays being called are being dictated by the performance… or lack of…. of OL, backs blocking or picking up blitz etc…

Thanks coach for doing a GREAT job! Go DAWGS!

duronimo

April 12th, 2012
9:25 pm

I do think Bobo is a good OC. He had recevers running open all year long but the quarterback didn’t hit many. He is a person of character and a good family man. At times he’s been hampered by poor line play and inferior running backs. But play calling? Overall, he’s pretty good. Those runs up the middle that many complain about, are essential for balance. A better line and running backs would make him look a lot better.

Don'tsufferfools

April 12th, 2012
9:25 pm

Mike Bobo was raised by a coach and a great man George Bobo. He was taught loyalty and would never let anonymous bloggers like us concern him.

duronimo

April 12th, 2012
9:28 pm

The one thing that bothers me about Bobo and RIcht is what appears to be the lack of effective adjustments at half time. It seems the other team has our number in the second half.

JB

April 12th, 2012
9:33 pm

Bobo is a DGD, but a very average play caller and schemer. Spine it all you want, but he’s predictable, abandons what’s working and guess’s wrong more than right. Yes, the offense puts up big yards, but look at the talent, against mostly weak talent. Georgia has not been a dominate football team in 3 years, and hasn’t beat a real good football team in 3 years. 4 losses last year. 10 pretty easy wins.
10 wins and a Florida bowl is big time football in Athens now.

Otis for UGA

April 12th, 2012
9:35 pm

We can always score (on average) some games we are getting out schemed at half time but overall our lack of ability to hold on defense has been our biggest downfall (which will not be an excuse) In close games we do get very predictable on offense. CMBobo needs to keep the play calling fresh and unpredicatble more than he does. Maybe our stats would be off the chart if we didnt get to conservative in tight games. Just a thought but overall I like MIKE!

Bigdsel

April 12th, 2012
9:36 pm

I think he is a good OC. He just has not had a full deck of cards. When we have a running game and a throwing game, he is great at keeping it balanced. He just struggles when we are one dimensional and he tries to balance us out so that the defense doesn’t figure us out.

kingdaddy

April 12th, 2012
9:37 pm

I for one have been very vocal against. CMB. I think he is a DGD, and a good character, family man. He is also a fair OC but against a stout defense, he disappears. How does such a great OC make such a high-power offense look impotent in the second half of important games? How many times last year did we have a lead going into the second half only to start running a 170lb. running back straight up the gut for no gain again and again until the momentum to change in the other teams favor? I saw it with my own eyes game after game. No adjustments for second half that I can see. CMR allows this to happen so it’s really on his shoulders. We know one thing for sure, he won’t be running Carlton Thomas up the gut this year…

TampaGator

April 12th, 2012
9:40 pm

My vote…..Bobo to Georgia Tech as the next head coach. Wouldn’t that be a kick!!!

dbc

April 12th, 2012
9:52 pm

I remember being uneasy about the Joe Cox year, but we had tons of talent and the argument that he only needed to be a good game manager. The Okie State game was hyped as UGA’s coming out party and a chance to teach other conferences what the SEC is all about. Our offense marched systematically down the field for the opening TD and it looked like the cakewalk was on. I even called a friend who was at the game — “the offense looks better than I’ve ever seen it,” I said. Then Bobo inexplicably stopped what was working and we all know the result. That was the first of MANY times that has happened. I don’t think Bobo knows how to match the other team when they adjust — which the good ones always do.