Category Archives: Georgia Bulldogs
Our crew at DudeYouCrazy (sans Jason Smith) has spent much of the past three weeks vehemently defending Mark Richt and his program at the University of Georgia. When you’re consistently an upper-echelon contender in the best conference in America in said conference’s golden era, you don’t look for the ‘grass is greener’ alternative. Any objective observer knows Georgia has been a couple of breaks in a couple of years away from the promised land.
The same theory applies, and holds even more water, with oft-unfairly-maligned offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
If Bobo is offered the Colorado State head coaching job, he would be a fool not to accept. Andrew and Daniel both covered this very well. New Florida coach Jim McElwain left a stable of versatile offensive talent in Fort Collins, allowing a new coach to step in and replicate McElwain’s juggernaut, balanced, multiple, get-your-hands-to-the-playmakers offense. A couple years of sustained success, and Bobo is a top head coaching candidate in his early 40’s. Perhaps even a sure-fire winner as a Mark Richt replacement.
For the #FireBobo crew, here is what you stand to lose:
- An offense that has spent just two years out of the top four among SEC teams in scoring over the past eight years: Those two years were the 2009 Joe Cox abomination, where output slipped to a still-respectable 28.9 points a game (7th in the conference), and 2013, where all SEC offenses scored at record clips and Georgia finished 5th. You may recall injuries to Todd Gurley, Aaron Murray, Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Justin Scott-Wesley, and Chris Conley in 2013, and that may have had a downwards effect on pulling the Dawgs all the way down to a paltry 36.7 points a game.
– Continuity with an underclassman quarterback taking over next year: Brice Ramsey has looked great in spot duty this year. With the losses of Gurley, Conley, and Bennett, do you want a young QB to lose two years’ education in a system tailored to allow him to make easy throws to open targets? Especially when those targets lack the experience of the past two years’ receiving corps?
– Recruits. I try not to buy into recruiting too much, but you have the next ‘can’t miss blue chipper’ in Washington QB Jacob Eason set to arrive on campus in the spring of 2016. Do you want him to reevaluate if he wants to move 3,000 miles to play ball when Pac-12 offenses are putting more QB’s in the league than anyone right now?
I’ll stick with the guy whose offense has finished in the top four in SEC total offense every year since 2011, even through the proliferation of the no huddle hurry up in the league, thank you very much.
- He’s under-appreciated at Georgia. Look at fan sentiment and look at his compensation. Now contrast that with records he continues to set. Does he have a lot of talent at his disposal? Yes. But he gets that talent. Further, as this year showed, he adapts to that talent. He may get a raise out of this interview with Colorado State and he may decide to stay, but shouldn’t he get a raise without this song and dance? He orchestrated the SEC’s best offense in a year following the departure of the best QB (statistically) the league had ever seen and while going without the best player in the country for most of the year.
- Colorado State is a great first gig. They’ve got enough momentum to benefit in recruiting, but expectations remain reasonably low. He would have success there.
- He’s a big name there. Period. Jim McElwain was a big hire for them. Mike Bobo would be as well.
- It is a stepping-stone job. See: McElwain. But seriously, do well at Colorado State and other schools will call within a few years. Is Georgia Southern (who had interest in Bobo previously) that type of job? Maybe, maybe not. But Colorado State definitely is.
- Bobo needs a stepping stone. The danger for Bobo is getting hotter and hotter and jumping to a job that’s too big (at least right off the bat). Ask Muschamp what that’s like. Who was the last coordinator to jump to a HC role at a major, major program and have success? I’m not being a smart-ass. I’m actually asking. The only ones that come to mind are folks who wait forever and then move in (Jimbo). Bobo isn’t Richt’s successor if the Dawgs hire from within in the future; Pruitt would be. Just look at the paycheck.
To be clear: no part of me wants Bobo to leave. Not even an ounce. I think he would be incredibly hard to replace. He was born in Augusta, played four years at Georgia served as a G.A. for two years, went a away for one and came back in 2001. Further, he’s forty years old and has been the offensive coordinator at a national power for eight seasons. That’s a hard resume to top. And the on-field performance will be equally difficult to replicate.
That’s all I got/
For highlights of Mike Bobo as a player and as a coach download The UGA Vault.
Over the last 12 hours, news of Mike Bobo being targeted by Colorado State has gone from speculation to rumor to confirmed by Athletic Director Greg McGarity. This morning, Seth Emerson (among others) reported confirmation, and the reaction from the Bulldog fans I know has been disheartening to say the least.
News: Mike Bobo is interviewing for the vacant head coaching position at Colorado State, according to UGA A.D. Greg McGarity.
— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) December 17, 2014
So many people have come out of the woodworks to say they are hoping he takes the job, that they want Bobo gone. I am also full of hope, but of a much different variety. I hope that he’s using this offer to step his pay up in Athens, and that the architect of the number 1 scoring offense in the SEC gets more properly compensated.
Sounds like we are about to find out if UGA Admin is fully committed to Mike Bobo or not. SEC’s top scoring offense with 40th in nation pay.
— Rusty Mansell (@Mansell247) December 17, 2014
40th in nation pay? COME ON MAN. If he goes, I obviously wish him well, but I hope this is a move to get his pay more in line with newest coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Bobo is a commodity that is hunted every year, but this is the first time I can recall such envoys getting to the interview stage. Now, I’ll wait for someone to correct me in the comments on that, or just tell me why I’m wrong about Bobo because #FireBobo. Whatever happens, no one should debate that Mike Bobo as both a player and a coach has been a damn good dawg.
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Jeepers, there are too many bowls.
I really have no good way to present this to you in a manner that will excite you, and my only hope of Bowl Viewing Guide Vol. 1 not falling on blind eyes is that you share our obsession with amateur football’s highest level (and/or the betting thereof).
Week 1 is intended only to give you a solid excuse to sit in a recliner, drink bourbon, and ignore your siblings’ children. With one ranked team (Utah, at 22) and one Power 5 team (again Utah, of the Pac-12), these games are good for absolutely nothing else.
Saturday, Dec 20
Nevada (7-5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4), New Orleans Bowl, 11AM, ESPN: Wait. The bowl game located in NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA starts at 10am local time? Even seasoned revelers such as all Louisianans and people from Reno won’t make kickoff for that.
Utah State (9-4) vs. UTEP (7-5), New Mexico Bowl, 2:20, ESPN: Ranked the bowl season’s least watchable bowl by SBNation’s Bill Connelly. Utah State was shut out by Tennessee before Chuckie Keeton went down with injury, so I can’t figure their third stringer is much count. I got nothing.
#22 Utah (8-4) vs. Colorado State (10-2), Las Vegas Bowl, 3:30, ABC: Luckily, the New Mexico Bowl is paired on TV with the best matchup of the day. Utah’s defensive line is a havoc-creating problem, and Colorado State is explosive even without new Florida coach Jim McIlwain. Rams WR Rashard Higgins, he of 1640 receiving yards this year, is the best player you’ve never heard of.
Western Michigan (8-4) vs. Air Force (9-3), Idaho Potato Bowl, 5:45, ESPN: According to the same article linked above, this is the third-most even bowl matchup. I feel like Boise is just the place for a five-overtime meaningless bowl game.
South Alabama (6-6) vs. Bowling Green (9-4), Camellia Bowl, 9:15, ESPN: So, a team that goes 5-3 in the Sun Belt gets in over an 8-0 Georgia Southern? Go away, NCAA. Well, Southern doesn’t have to travel to Montgomery, AL for the inaugural Camellia Bowl (spoken in ‘Gone With The Wind’ accent).
Monday, Dec 22
BYU (8-4) vs. Memphis (9-3), Miami Beach Bowl, 2:00, ESPN: The ‘Monday while people are still working during the week of Christmas game’, this game is played on the gravesite of the Orange Bowl, at… MARLINS PARK!
This game becomes must-see TV if this abomination goes off for touchdowns. Oh, and Memphis is pretty good.
Marshall (12-1) vs. Northern Illinois (11-2), Boca Raton Bowl, 6:00, ESPN: Boca Raton, FL, population 84,392, has a bowl game between two conference champions in its first year.
The first annual DudeYouCrazy.net bowl is accepting sponsorship bids now. We can seat about 9,000 at Grady High School. The game will be played in the coveted 2:15am timeslot, and ESPN WILL CARRY IT!
(This is actually the most compelling game on this list, I think.)
Navy (7-5) vs. San Diego State (7-5), San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, 9:30, ESPN: You may notice that I typed the sponsor’s whole title for the first time here. That’s because the San Diego County Credit Union feels its clients need a bowl game in their honor. San Diego is absolutely one of two cities (Miami being the other) in the U.S. where this is deemed acceptable.
Wednesday, Dec 24
Central Michigan (7-5) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5), Bahamas (!!!) Bowl, noon, ESPN: Two directional midwestern state schools get to travel to the Bahamas. Customs agents in the Central time one, that white powder is NOT tarmac snow.
Fresno State (6-7) vs. Rice (7-5), Hawai’i Bowl, 8:00, ESPN: Christmas Eve is definitely the destination bowl game day of the year. Perfect background fodder to which one blacks out on eggnog. No, Fresno’s record is not a typo. They now join Georgia Tech as the only teams with losing records to participate in bowl games, a distinction I hate seeing the Jackets lose.
All told, these games rank 38, 36, 32, 30, 29, 27, 16, and 13 on Connelly’s rankings. DRAMA!
We’ll be back for the post-Christmas/still-not-great games next week.
Louisville was a tough team to peg in the preseason. They lost their coach, Charlie Strong, to Texas, along with a first round pick at QB (Teddy Bridgewater) and 7 starters from the nation’s #2 scoring defense. They made a step up in competition from the AAC to the ACC. And their new coach? A guy who left them (and the Falcons) (and, to an extent, Arkansas) high and dry just seven years prior, the ultimate wild-card, Bobby “doesn’t matter, had sex” Petrino.
That’s really about as much turnover and uncertainty as a team can expect to have in one offseason, but to the Cardinals’ credit they delivered in year 1 in the ACC. Excepting an early-season loss at Virginia, the Cards breezed through their lightweight ACC counterparts (Syracuse, Wake Forest, N.C. State, Boston College), lost very close games to their competitive draws (Florida State, Clemson), and added two decent nonconference wins (Notre Dame, Kentucky) to close the season. At 9-3, this shapes up to be a pretty tough matchup for the Dawgs.
Let’s start on this side of the ball, because you may be familiar with the guy in charge. Todd Grantham, who coached Georgia’s defense off a cliff last year, emerged as the DC at Louisville and was nearly fired before coaching a single game. At that point, one would have added Grantham to the list of potential causes for a Louisville dumpster fire…but that didn’t turn out to be the case.
UL’s defense finished 6th in the country, allowing 293 yards per game on less than 4 and a half per play. Teams behind them? Michigan State, Alabama, Florida, and Ole Miss, to name a few.
It starts up front with a very experienced defensive line. Sheldon Rankins, Lorenzo Mauldin, Dieontrez Mount, and B.J. Dubose all accounted for at least four sacks, and all but Dubose had at least 10.5 tackles for loss. In the games I saw them play this year, I was impressed with their ability to get off 1-v-1 blocks and into the backfield to blow up the run. That’d come in handy against Georgia’s rushing attack.
Safety Gerod Holliman is the name you absolutely MUST know on this D. The junior tied an NCAA record with 14 (fourteen!) interceptions on the season. Hutson Mason, familiarize yourself and avoid at all costs.
Not pictured are two former Dawgs who will join the UL secondary next year: Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq ‘E-Harmony‘ Wiggins.
As far as Petrino’s system goes, UL’s offense was quite balanced in year one. They were 47th in total offense, but only 50th in passing. Will Gardner missed four games with injury, but was the best the Cards had to offer at QB, throwing 12 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Expect to see freshman Reggie Bonnafon in some packages as well for the Cardinals, as he played in 9 games this year.
Last I checked, Georgia didn’t play Alabama this year, thus avoiding Amari Cooper. I bring this up because it means DeVante Parker will be the single best receiver the Dawgs’ young secondary has faced this year. #9 stands 6’3 211, and in only six games (he missed the start of the season with a leg injury) amassed 735 yards and 5 TD’s on 35 catches. Opposite him are aptly-named James Quick and Eli Rogers, who led the team with 40 catches. All three are home run threats.
Ready for another SEC blast from the past for the Cardinals? Michael ‘seriously, his knee was down’ Dyer. Yeah, the one from Auburn the year Cam was there. Playing at at least his third school, Dyer, Domonique Brown, and Brandon Radcliff split the tailback duties for Louisville. They’re good for 10-12 touches apiece in the Belk Bowl.
This is not a team that Georgia’s fans or players should take lightly. The revenge factor from Grantham and the D may well be in place, the D-line and receiving corps represent legitimate problems, and a loss could lead to more transfers to the greener pastures (some kind of Churchill Downs reference– the pieces are there) from Athens to northern Kentucky.