Yesterday Todd Grantham issued the following statement regarding his immediate future in Athens, Georgia:
I want to thank Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints organization for the opportunity to interview and get to know them. They are a first-class organization in every respect. As I said Wednesday, Georgia is a great place, my family loves it here, and I do as well. This is where our heart is and today I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the position with the Saints. I’m excited to start preparations for another season and along with the rest of our defensive staff look forward to coaching some really good returning players as well as developing some very talented newcomers.
Now, the cynics out there might point out that the Saints had another interview with another coach on Friday. You could offer up a “he wasn’t going to get it anyway” sentiment. But do you really want to live in a world in which Georgia’s defensive coordinator is worse than Rob Ryan? I don’t.
So I’m going with the logical reasoning: Todd Grantham didn’t want to be considered a chump. If he left Athens for New Orleans he would have been a chump. He read DudeYouCrazy yesterday, voted in the polls and didn’t want to do the wrong thing. So he decided to stay. Can I prove that Grantham read the site? No. But I also can’t prove that he didn’t read the site.
In any event here are the results of the poll:
Will Todd Grantham be at Georgia next season?
- Yes: 73%
- No: 27%
If Grantham were to leave now, what would his legacy be?
- He had his moments, but 2012 was a bummer: 78%
- He was great and will be dearly missed: 20%
- I never liked Grantham, I’m glad he’s gone: 2%
How long will Grantham remain at UGA?
- One more season: 47%
- 2-3 more seasons: 36%
- A few more days…or less: 16%
- Forever: .6%
- 4-6 more seasons: .4%
As always, thanks for ready. Especially you, Todd. Thank you for staying.
That’s all I got/
What will Todd Grantham’s reputation be within Bulldog Nation this time next year? That may seem like an unnecessarily long-term question as his reputation hangs in the balance even as we speak (he interviewed with the New Orleans Saints for the Defensive Coordinator job yesterday), but I think it holds some merit. After all, Grantham is in a uniquely volatile position as far as fan perception is concerned.
This time last year Georgia fans loved Grantham. His defense had been dynamic in 2011 and he had wrangled a number of NFL prospects into staying in Athens for another year. Those prospects disappointed (by in large) in 2012 and now fans are lukewarm on Grantham and many are terrified that he won’t be able to develop the young talent that is waiting to take the field in 2013.
Furthermore, Grantham is on the cusp of handing the University of Georgia one of the all-time great “screw-overs” in the football program’s history if he does indeed leave. Should he depart for the Saints gig (or another) this late in the offseason it leave Georgia in a bind. Who does Richt find to replace him now that hiring season is over and the candidates are picked over? And suddenly the recruiting class that seemed so disappointing to some (although I disagree) slides from “What was that?” to “Todd Grantham really hurt us; everyone knew he was leaving.”
But, if he stays and develops the talent that most people have forgotten about the way I still think he is capable of doing, he’s a hero. Georgia’s offense returns most of its firepower and if all three of the conditions above are satisfied (1. Grantham stays, 2. The defense has talent, 3. Grantham develops that talent), it could be a historic year for the Bulldogs. And then all of a sudden Grantham is a miracle worker.
The way I see it, there is very little “in between” for Todd Grantham’s legacy as a Bulldog. If he leaves at an inopportune time following disappointing season, he’s a chump. If he sticks around, I think Georgia is due for a fantastic year and he deserves a lot of credit for 2013 season. But what do you think?
That’s all I got/
This is the seventh of fourteen Post-Season Game Reviews focusing on the Dawgs’ performance.
Be sure to check out the other games in the series here:
Georgia at Kentucky
The Georgia Bulldogs took full advantage of an off-week following the disappointing outing in Columbia, South Carolina. Unfortunately, the trip to Kentucky on October 20th resembled on off game in more ways than one.
What We Saw:
- Georgia’s defense continued to disappoint allowing 206 yards on the ground to the less than formidable Wildcats.
- Aaron Murray was brilliant connecting on 30 of 38 passes for 427 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs.
- Gurshall struggled combining for just 70 yards on 18 carries.
What We Learned:
Aaron Murray won this game for the Dawgs. It was unfortunate that it came down to him – Kentucky won only 1 game against FBS opposition in 2012 – but it did, and he handled business. We learned that in a bind (even a bind that should never have occurred) Murray could lead the offense as the running game struggled. Tavarres King had 188 yards and two TDs, Malcolm Mitchell hauled in another 103 yards and Artie Lynch and Christian Conley also added TD grabs.
Depending on the defense – week to week – was not in the best interest of Georgia fans this year. This much was evident.
What We Should Have Learned:
Somebody needed to step up. A few days later Shawn Williams would be that somebody, but immediately following the Kentucky game it was hard to know what to expect from the defense. With a recent loss to South Carolina in the rear-view and a cat-fight with Kentucky just passed, optimism was low heading into the Florida game.
Shawn Williams happened. Playing like men happened. Beating Florida happened. The embarrassing effort in Lexington was a huge factor in the Dawg’s change in mentality.
Kentucky has a new coaching staff in place heading into 2013. The short-lived Bowl-eligible era of Wildcat football now seems a distant memory. Let’s hope games like this are too.
That’s all I got/
In August of 2012 I broke down what I anticipated to be the 10 Biggest Storylines in the SEC. This is the fourth of ten looks back at those topics. Also, I realize how cruel and unusual the punishment of two Vanderbilt Articles in one day is. It’s harder on me than it is on you. And it’s Friday.
The Rise of Vanderbilt?
James Franklin is a hot-head. Not the Missouri quarterback; the Vanderbilt coach. He spent the bulk of his first season (2011) being petty and the entirety of last summer saying things along the lines of, “Vanderbilt isn’t Vanderbilt anymore! We are Vanderbilt!!!” and “This ain’t your pop’s Vanderbilt football team. This is your granddaddy’s son’s Vanderbilt team, baby!”
I hated it. When I wrote about Vanderbilt in August I pointed out that I found little merit in Vandy’s six wins in 2011 (Elon, Ole Miss, UConn Army, Kentucky, Wake Forest) and that I thought Vandy caught a few teams (like Georgia) by surprise and bamboozled their way into some close games by simply being prepared – but not necessarily good.
I summarized the 2012 outlook for the Commodores this way:
For Vanderbilt to win games this season they will have to be the better team – not just the team that is the most prepared. And, there is a difference. Coach James Franklin will draw every opponent’s best effort this season, and I bet he’s fired up about that for three reasons:
1. It’s a sign that 2011 went well for him and his first Vanderbilt squad.
2. Any wins this year will hold the value of “Vandy was the better team” not merely “Vandy snuck up on them today.”
3. He thinks Vanderbilt can win against anyone.
Is Franklin right or will Vanderbilt be put back in their place this season? I refuse to live in a world where James Franklin is right, and I’ll just leave it at that.
I hate James Franklin and I recognize this bias, but I’m still conflicted to an extent on Vanderbilt. Were they better this year than they were in 2011? Abso-freaking-lutely. But, they seem to be drawing upon another consistent trend: over-hype. After last season folks talked about Vandy as if they were a top-25 team in 2011, which they weren’t. Now that they are in the top-25, I can’t help but wonder, are they really one of the 25 best? And that’s the dark, Fanklin-hating place where the conflict stems from.
Obviously, it’s hard to forget Georgia’s 45-point thrashing of the Commodores in the midst of four games (Florida Atlantic before, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky after) that were utterly uninspiring. If you witnessed that game (especially within the context of those surrounding games) it’s probably hard for you to reconcile Vanderbilt as a legitimate top-25 team as well.
On the other hand, I don’t know that points really matter in the grand scheme of things and it’s hard to discount Vanderbilt based on their losses to teams that finished ranked 4th (Georgia), 7th (South Carolina), 10th (Florida) and 16th (Northwestern) in the final Coaches Poll. It’s even hard to nit-pick those losses when they all occurred prior to the middle of October.
And yet, can you garner much from wins against these teams: Presbyterian (little league), UMass (arguably the worst team in the country), Wake Forest and NC State (combined 7-9 in ACC play), and Missouri, Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tennessee (combined 6-34 SEC record)? Probably not.
When you compare Vanderbilt to Georgia the picture becomes a bit clearer. Both played relatively soft SEC schedules, but there is still room for distinction. Vanderbilt played four games against teams in the final top-25, Georgia played five. Vanderbilt went 0-4 in those games, Georgia went 3-2. Oh yeah, and Georgia beat the tar out of Vanderbilt.
What is the true value of the gap between those resumes? I’m not sure. The Coaches Poll says 16 spots in the rankings, the AP says 18. I think those gaps are too narrow.
But then again, I hate James Franklin.
That’s all I got/
In August of 2012 I broke down what I anticipated to be the 10 Biggest Storylines in the SEC. This is the third of ten looks back at those topics.
Storyline 8: The Georgia Defense
Back in August I entertained the notion that Georgia could surrender 11.0 points per game or fewer this season. Actually, I did a lot more than merely entertain that notion. I supported it. I laid out a case. I believed it.
I concluded with the following expression of faith:
I for one would be disappointed to see Georgia allow 11 points per game. Something in the single-digits seems way more significant.
Now is the part where we all laugh and wonder what the heck I was thinking. Sadly as I re-read that article, I still believed it. Here is a sampling of what made 11 points (and yes, even single-digits) seem feasible:
- Georgia returned almost everybody from a defense that allowed 19.6 points per game in 2011.
- Georgia allowed 13 touchdowns (either directly or off of short fields) as a result of special teams errors or mistakes by the offense in 2011. That number was sure to decline.
- The offenses Georgia was facing in 2012 were expected to be less prolific than the offenses faced in 2011.
But what actually happened? Georgia laid a few eggs. Here is the story:
|Yards Per Game||351.2||268.5|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||177.8||165.1|
|Passing Yards Per Game||173.5||103.4|
|Points Per Game||18.8||19.6|
Suspensions hurt the performance. Egos hurt the performance. The scoring defense improved, but this defense never really lived up to its potential, except for in brief spurts.
It’s hard to put the 351.2 yard allowance into perspective for the Bulldogs, so consider this: I sifted through 10 years of data and that total was the highest allowed by any Dawg’s defense.
That’s all I got/