October 16, 2012

Stay the Course. As if there were an alternative



Image by Jim Hipple


Pardon the ramble. But I waited a week to post this...

Those of you who want to get rid of Richt and are using the SC game as their catalyst to suggest change NOW really need to think about where we are, who we are and where we are going.

1. Mike Adams is not going to Fire Mark Richt.  Not with his retirement looming in June 2013.  Period. If Mark lost the rest of his games, he would STILL not get fired by Mike Adams, and the BOR can't/won't do it without Adams.  Adams is going to coast out and leave this issue on the doorstep of the next President.  That's just who he is.

2.  We aren't going to lose the rest of our games. We are likely going to win 10-11 games including the bowl.  No one is firing their coach for winning 10 games.  Even NFL teams who play 16 games in a season and go through coaches like socks rarely fire coaches for winning 10 games.  No successful college has done it.

3.  Raising hell on message boards about Richt is therefore pointless. And therefore solves what? 

4.  If Richt isn't the answer, then incrementalist improvement won't cut it. Greg McGarity has done absolutely nothing at UGA to suggest he's capable of or willing to make a big important hire or making massive, decisive sweeping changes.  He came into a massive pile of dysfunction left over from Damon, and (to his credit) he made a check list of the dumbest crap we were doing and slowly worked his way through the obvious items on the list.  He fixed issues like not having a nutritionist or playing football games AT Louisville.  But the big issues like the dumpster fire of the S&C program or the Baseball Team's head coach and facilities were dealt with incrementally or not at all.

If we want to "out Bama" the Tide, we're going to need an AD, President and Coach ready to invest about $3 million per year in Football Operations, Football Analysts and S&C personnel.  We're going to need to invest another $2 million a year in coaching salaries across the board.   Then we're going to need a bigger compliance staff to keep those 20 new staffers in compliance.

That's more than a money issue.  That's a culture change regarding what we invest in. Those personnel investments could be happening RIGHT NOW.  And they aren't.  And why?  This isn't 2008 where Richt didn't get the S&C dollars he asked for because Damon didn't trust CVH to do anything with the money.  This is McGarity saying that he doesn't believe Bama's org chart is street legal...and rather than work with the NCAA to end their staffing practices OR adopt the same practices in hiring and staff growth...we are in this passive aggressive purgatory of not doing the new best practice AND not forcing the other guy to stop it.

We're also going to need a world class coach.  Those do not grow on trees, and there is nothing to suggest that Kirby, Mullen or anyone else is going to be that guy.

But I digress.

Just remember the greatest lie ever told was "it can't get worse" related to any situation.  It can always get worse.

If we beat UF...all of this will be in the rear view mirror.  If we don't....nothing is going to change.  Richt will still be the coach in 2013.  Thus, the headline. Staying the Course because there's no other option.

PWD


BTW -- I'm not afraid of change if that's what it takes down the road.  But, I am completely skeptical that we have the organizational competency to fix this if Richt isn't the answer.  Here's hoping he is, and here's hoping that what we saw vs. South Carolina was simply a by-product of the hole CMR dug himself being far larger than most folks realized in 2009.


28 comments:

John Lee said...

So... we are really not an elite program - at least not along the lines of Alabama or Florida?

Unknown said...

Damn dude, you're a good writer. Always love your take on things.

Unknown said...

Damn dude. You're a great writer. Always love your take on things.

Anonymous said...

While your premise may be correct, your numbers and timeline are off. As for the money, it is there and there in a big way. To the tune of 25 million in profit a year from the football program. This university is in the top 3 nationally from a profit standpoint. The trust issue was not with CVH, but rather Richt. New AD, same trust issues. Look no further than his new "extension". As for the timeline, this slide did not begin on 2009, but rather 2006. Look back at the numbers dating back to 06. Richt is averaging 4 losses a year since then and failing in a huge manner on the largest of stages. Put simply, the guy is grasping for air. This program is back to Donnan years; loads of talent across the board with nothing to show for it. This team backed into the SECCG last year, it was not earned. Believing anything different is to delude yourself. I for one am tired of coming up short when it matters most. I am over the fail that Richt has delivered since 2006. Time for change is now, not 2013.

Skeptic Dawg

Paul Westerdawg said...

John - we don't Know that UF with Muschamp is running an elite program. But we will at the end of oct.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Skeptic - Profit is not 25 million and it hasn't been for a while. We were 11-2 in 2007 and 10-3 in 2008. That's not a bucket of fail. Last year we beat UF, UT, AU and GT for the same time since 81. It's not like we joined CUSA or something.

Paul Westerdawg said...

And no. We are not in Bama's league. Who is?

Paul Westerdawg said...

Skeptic - if McGarity doesn't trust Richt to build a better staff. Then he should have fired him in 2009. And he didn't. That's what I mean by being decisive and willing to make bold decisions. That's the guy you want running the coaching search? A guy who won't fire a guy or give him the tools to be successful? That's nuts.

Paul Westerdawg said...

I think profit is now down to around 3-5 million.

Tyler Dawgden said...

The bigger issue is the one you hit on: Do we have the organizational competency to make the right changes? Is Greg McGarity a Mal Moore or a Mike Hamilton?

Honestly, the answer is probably somewhere in between.

I agree that we don't need to make a change for change's sake. There aren't any Sabans out there. Hell, Saban wasn't even Saban until 2001. So, is there a young coach that has the right process, focus, and system but is lacking in the players to take that to the next level? Would that coach come to Athens? Would the current AD be able to find him? Resist the hue and cry about bringing him in despite the 'Hire Kirby/Mullen/Muschamp/Gruden or else crowd'?

That is what Mark Emmert did at LSU in 2000.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Tyler - I don't think folks understand how shallow the talent pool is right now. Gruden isn't a viable candidate for a job that involves as much work as recruiting requires.

Patterson makes 3 million now. He is intriguing but why would he leave now? TCU can afford to pay him more.

The pool looks like Mullen, Strong, Tuberville ( who will openly campaign like hell for it ) and Kirby. That's a scary collection of names.



Paul Westerdawg said...

To clarify - I'm not saying that TCU could pay him more than us. Just saying that he already makes 3 mil. They can pay him more than he makes now.

Like i said he is intriguing. But would be be available in 2013. Who knows.

South FL Dawg said...

I can't believe I'm posting this because we have a coach that has the potential to go 12-1 this year. But if you're going to call for a new coach and bring up Patterson, at what point does the TCU drug scandal come into the picture? Multiple players on the TCU team were not just buyers, but suppliers and purveyors. We hold Richt accountable for a player smoking, yet we're going to hire a coach whose players were dealing? And even if Georgia is willing to overlook what happened at TCU, is Patterson willing to live within our rules? I know our self-defeatist policies are blamed on Adams but still, something of that magnitude should give anyone some pause.

Tyler Dawgden said...

Great point.

Paul said...

I agree that Richt isn't getting fired this year no matter what. But, having said that, if we pull a no-show against Florida that even remotely resembles what we saw in Columbia, a couple of years from now we will probably be pointing to this season as the tipping point that began the downhill slide. I think Richt loses a sizable chunk of alumni and fan support if he can't field a competitive team with a coherent game plan in Jacksonville.

Trey (@CPADawg) said...

I think about 6 years ago or so, I wrote (on a blog long since forgotten) in the midst of the tough 2006 season that the previous four years of Georgia football was about the best we could expect as fans, and that those were the new golden years of UGA football: 2 SEC titles in 4 years, 3 East division crowns, a 44-9 record, 3 bowl wins, etc.

PWD replied that anyone that believed my tripe wasn't around for 1980-1982. I was born in 1980. Since I have no frame of reference for UGA playing for national titles, I took his word for it. I have a high respect for PWD's opinion on UGA athletics (because it's usually dead-on).

I bring that up because I need someone like PWD to tell me that what we have now is not the best we can expect as fans. That the program has not plateaued. That there is a higher place on the mountain that is achievable, and that it's not as far off as it seems right now.

This seems to paint a portrait of the opposite. We are getting nearly the best we can expect with the culture and administration in place. So, do I buy in and just enjoy not being Auburn right now? Or do I wait patiently for something else to happen (for the better or worse)?

JaxDawg05 said...

Does the UGA fan base really think the AD needs to fire a coach winning 10 games and replace him with Mullen, Patterson, Smart, Strong or Tuberville? Really? You don't fire a coach unless you can replace him with one that is markedly better, fact.

todd said...

I've listened to/watched UGA football and basketball for thirty four years now, and have been a season ticket holder for the last fourteen. I'm to a point in my life where I feel the need to justify the dollars I spend. Right now I don't feel that UGA athletics is a good investment for the personal return I get. Not when I factor in traffic, the overly regulated tailgate experience, and the knowledge that there just isn't a fire to win like there is at other places. UGA seems to be a place where the goals of those in charge don't seem to match the goals of the average fan. They talk mostly as others do and stoke the fires of the fan base but don't deliver. And no, ten or eleven wins against watered down schedules isn't delivering. Or maybe its just me? Maybe I'm just getting old.

NCDawg31 said...

Very interesting discussion. I might be in the minority, but I actually do not have the major qualms over the overall direction of the program at present. Until recently, I actually lived in Tuscaloosa for several years where I worked at UA. While there, I frankly found their winning-at-all-costs approach appalling. Their overabundance of support for athletics also was much to the detriment of academics. Living there made me really appreciate what it means to be a part of a program that attempts to have priorities and do things the right way. That said, I think your points about McGarity not lobbying the NCAA about other programs, etc., are very good points and ones we need to look at much more closely.

5thYearSoph said...

With apologies to Baudelaire, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." - Verbal Kint

Meanwhile, the greatest trick in CFB is the next one Saban pulls.

Mr. Sanchez said...

I hadn't seen point 1 made by anyone Paul, and it's a doozy. As you say, making this decision isn't Adams style. And even if he did, I'd hesitate to think what type of Harrick or Donahue hire he'd shove down McGarity's throat to make one last stab for his never ending glory.

Tyler Dawgden said...

Mr. Sanchez, I panicked when I thought about what you wrote. Realistically, if he isn't here to manage the message after it goes down, he is the one left with the blame. That alone will keep him from trying to push a flyer hire down the ADs throat.

Oh, and by flyer hire, I mean Bobby Petrino, which is who you are talking about, right?

Mr. Sanchez said...

When it comes to Adams, my ability to create names in a horror scenario knows no bounds. Petrino, Van Gorder, Kirby, Rex Ryan (this name just popped in to my head as I typed, now it's growing like kudzu) , the possibilities are endless.

Teddybulldawg said...

We need to emulate LSU and dare I say South Carolina before we think about trying to be Alabama. Start with filling up the roster every year and not turning down 4 star DT's. Run the ball stupid.

Anonymous said...

They don't give trophies for winning 10 games a year. They give trophies for winning championships. Yet, most of the CMR defenders always pull the 10-game stat. Like right now people defending "we can win, 12,11,10" but keep forgetting the circus that happened in Columbia. It was a humilliation, the classic a$$ whooping by a better prepared team that we are getting use to year after year. Yet people still mention the 10 straight wins last year as if they were something to be proud about (look at the competition we faced) and the kool aid left from this one. How many years of "hoping this is it" and losing the classic important match up? How much wasted student athlete talent in Capital and Outback Bowls? Yes, yes 10 wins every year, but look a the 2-4 losses and how those affected us, and notice that it is usually the same Ls.

joe_h said...

"So... we are really not an elite program - at least not along the lines of Alabama or Florida?"

We've never been an elite program. There have times and years where we have been elite, but overall we're just a very good program at best. You can't win 2 national championships in a 100+ year history and 2 SEC championships in the last 40 years and consider yourself an elite program.

Paul is partially right. However, the truth is we have an administration that does not care about being elite. As long as the stands are full and the bank account is still bursting at the seams, they are content. Now if the stands start to empty, and I don't mean a few students, and the most starts to decline, then we'll see change. Until one of those two things happen, and they're quite related, we're stuck with what we have.

As for Richt, you have a strongly religious man who doesn't care about losing because he knows there are more important things in life. So that's why he always has a smile on his face. While he may be right, nobody has done less with more than Mark Richt, except maybe Donnan and Goff. Richt will never get this team back to a championship of any kind, because his staff is a joke and he's certainly becoming one with his 2-15 record against ranked opponents.

Bulldawgy said...

When I asked the original question, it was intended to be rhetorical. We all knew the answer.

My point is that while UGA is not an elite program, the fans want it to be. So we need to take the steps to make it so.

Don't forget - in 1989 nobody would have considered Florida an elite program.

And in 1998, certainly no one would have considered LSU an elite program.

There are steps that can and need to be taken.

Anonymous said...

From 80-82, we were carried by a player who was 10-15 years ahead of his time and arguably the greatest player in the history of college football. Using that period as the logic as to why the program "could be elite" just doesn't hold water....and there will never be another Herschel. Without Herechel, Vince Dooley obviously wouldn't have contended for any national titles and he's the best coach in our history.

Richt's weakness has been in his failure to deal with personnel issues on his staff. That will ultimately cost him his job, but not in the next year or even two. Ten years from now, after we've had another Ray Goff or Jim Donnan like era, people will appreciate Richt much more than they do now.

 
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