Sunday, January 4, 2009
State of the U(GA)nion
Just a few comments, to put something on here because there has not been a post in almost a month. I've been working every day since that last post, and I know we've been tied up with family and holidays. So I haven't paid much attention to bowl games other than the Capitol One Bowl, and the Chik-fil-a Bowl. Up yours, tech!
But now that all we have to look forward to is a dismal winter and a national championship game where we have to root for Oklahoma. I mean, really, what good could possibly come from rooting for Florida. On the one hand we would like the SEC to look superior, but the fact the UF's back in the title game 2 years after winning it should be proof enough that cheering for them does nothing for us. Because if they win, how is that beneficial to UGA? It's not, and it could widen the gap even further between us and our competition.
"Hey, y'all! I'm Mark, and this is Mike and Willie..."
The ESPN deal gave all teams in the SEC a bunch of money, and boy are they spending it. It didn't seem like a big deal when you saw that on the back page, did it? It is.
Look at what UT is doing. Clearly, someone over there thinks they're the New York Yankees, because money has been no object for them. Lane Kiffin is the head coach (you know, the dude that got fired by Al Davis in Oakland), Ed Orgeron (former Ole Miss coach) as the recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach, Monte Kiffin (D coordiantor and dad, from the Tampa Bay Bucs) as the defensive coordinator, a guy named Chaney from the STL Rams as the O-coordinator, and they're now trying to swipe Rodney Garner away from UGA. For what, it's unclear, but losing him will not help our cause.
Meanwhile, Auburn, despite hiring Chizik (which is very likely related to some legal issues and who his agent was) has courted Stacy Searles (AU grad, current UGA O-line coach), hired Malzahn (the offensive coordinator from Tulsa), and to my knowledge is still looking for a defensive coordinator. Don't think they won't break the bank.
Alabama beat everyone to it when they hired away Nick Saban from the Miami Dolphins with a ton of money. Oh, and guess who their Assistant Head Coach and defensive secondary coach is? Ever heard of Kirby Smart? UGA 1999?
Meanwhile, LSU hired John Chavis from UT, arguably one of the best defensive coordinators in the SEC, year in and year out.
Arkansas hired pro coach Bobby Petrino, and they can have him.
Mississippi State's new head coach is Dan Mullen, O-coordinator from UF, going after the BCS championship game.
Ole Miss of course now has Houston Nutt, and they're loving life.
South Carolina hired Steve Spurrier away from the pros to be their HBC. And they still suck.
We hardly ever think much about UGA's coaching staff other than Richt, Bobo, Martinez and Searels (who we seem to love but don't know anything about since he won't do press interviews).
The defensive squad is CWM (fellow Miami alum as CMR '86 when CMR was '82, was the DB coach at Central Michigan when Van Gorder was there, and then joined him at UGA as the same here, promoted with BVG left), Rodney Garner (D-line coach and recruiting coordinator, came from UT in 98), John Fabris AKA Coach Fab (D-ends coach, came from everywhere including Notre Dame, South Carolina, and the Cleveland Browns, UGA since 2000), and John Jancek (LB came from Central Michigan in 2005, where he was D-line, then eventually D-coordinator).
The offense is Mike Bobo (the tunnel screen, torn ACL, and famous pass against GT), John Eason (WR, came from FSU and SCAR), Stacy Searels (O-line, AU grad who most recently came from LSU), Tony Ball (RB from Virginia Tech and Louisville).
The points are these: we've never really gone out and dropped a bunch of money on a big-time coordinator. We've had several that have turned out to be good, and others that turned to be so-so. We've only had an offensive coordinator for 2 years now, and it's Mike Bobo, who is not a proven offensive genius by any stretch of the imagination.
Meanwhile, when it comes to defense, it appears that "My baby, she's a Chippewa, she's a one of a kind," that being Central Michigan Chippewas, like the guy that Knowshon jumped over this year. Two of our 4 coaches came from there after being promoted up the ladder. None except for Fabris had any significant higher level experience, and his was just one year with the Browns.
UGA is at a dangerous time when it comes to coaching and recruiting. Like was said earlier, on the surface, there seems to be some money to play with. We'd better get with it if we're going to keep up. I'm not saying that the amount of money necessarily translates to wins, but the "aw shucks" attitude and low salaries for potentially underqualified coordinator/position coaches will cost us big time if we're not careful. Meanwhile, we play a one-dimensional team in MSU, the defense plays arguably one of their best games of the year, and CWM (deservedly or not) will almost assuredly keep his job. While Auburn and Tennessee court 2-3 of our assistant coaches. The scary thought is who would we replace them with if we lost them? The biggest potential loss is Garner who has been one of our main recruiters, as he is also creditted with recruiting many of the players that won the National Championship at UT in 98. They want him back. Pay attention to the upcoming news as Garner is in Knoxville this weekend interviewing for a position in the Kiffin spend-o-rama.
Meanwhile, we're in the minority of schools in the SEC in that we don't have a special teams coach. If we do, we don't list anyone as having that job.
I'm justifiably worried. Maybe it's just the Munson in me.
Posted by OG at 1:48 PM