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Olivadotti and Wilson: Godspeed

I am not surprised that Chris Wilson and Kirk Olivadotti are departing.  I imagine either one of them are disappointed they weren’t named defensive coordinator, and when Grantham left I kind of thought that both of them would be moving on.  Whenever you see a new coordinator come in, they usually want to hire their own guys.  Except with Rodney Garner, but that ship has sailed.

I was glad to see Grantham depart, and indifferent to Lakatos’ departure.  But while I am happy for Wilson and Olivadotti, I am disappointed they are leaving the Bulldogs.  Their two units were the only areas of our defense during the past year that was not a complete dumpster fire or let down.  Wilson did a fine job coaching up the defensive line, a big question mark going into the season.  Olivadotti just coached up two of the leading tacklers in the SEC and two all-conference players.

It’s not like they are leaving for Directional State.  Olivadotti is an NFL guy and Wilson is going to USC, another traditional program. So, Godspeed gentlemen.

Now, I am sure Coach Pruitt will hire more than capable assistants to come in.  I get the sense the defensive coaching staff is going to go young and high energy.  If I had any influence, and I don’t, I would suggest that Coaches Richt and Pruitt take a look at a former assistant: Warren Belin.  Coach Belin is the perfect coach for us.  He has been around in the SEC for a while and knows recruiting, has that NFL experience, and perhaps most paramount, is good with special teams.   Quick-when was the last time UGA special teams was not a complete cluster?

Answer:  2010, Belin’s only year as a Bulldog.  He coached up the kick off units and saw dramatic improvement under his guidance.  Belin was the de facto special teams coordinator when he was on staff, and 2010 played the best of any year in recent memory (which, was also the losing year).

I doubt Coach Belin will come back, but here’s to dreaming.


NOTE:  I saw that Bernie wasked the same thing in a post here

Pruitt set to be hired as DC

Multiple outlets are reporting today that Jeremy Pruitt will be hired as Georgia’s new defensive coordinator. He’ll also coach Georgia’s secondary.

Before serving as Florida State defensive coordinator this past year, he coached the secondary at Alabama, being part of two national championship squads. 


Kiffin’s coming like a WRECKIN BALL!

Kiffin's coming like a WRECKIN BALL!

There he goes, he’s gone. Grantham’s Gone

So there I was Sunday afternoon. Getting some much, much overdue outside yard work done, thinking it’s a nice quiet day, that nothing of consequence would happen in the Dawg Nation.

Then, I come inside, and thanks to the marvels of modern technology, we learn that today may as well be a belated Christmas for some of us in the Bulldog Nation. Not only is Todd Grantham leaving, but he’s been lured away by Public Enemy No. 1 to Falcons fans, Bobby Petrino.

You can’t blame Grantham for leaving. I mean, it is much easier to coach against most teams in the Almost Competitive Conference (The ACC) than the SEC.

Grantham had some good moments at Georgia – the defense was pretty stout in 2011 and was at that point when it wanted to in 2012. That’s the thing, though. There was talent here, but for various reasons, it didn’t materialize.

Fair or not, it is the job of the defensive staff to get results from its players. When the talent is there and it does not get the job done, that falls on the coaching. For whatever reason, Grantham’s defense stagnated. It’s for the best – for both Grantham and Georgia, that Grantham is going elsewhere.

While there could be some speed bumps defensively for the new defensive coordinator, Georgia should have no problem attracting a good field of candidates.

When you combine 10 starters returning next year and UGA’s resources, finding top of the line candidates should not be a problem. In other words, Greg McGarity should be opening up the wallet in a wide way.

As for candidates? Here are some very educated guesses.

1. Chris Wilson. Already on staff and is a big reason for the defensive line improvement this year, namely Ray Drew. Plus, he has defensive coordinator experience.

2. Wade Phillips. Ok, just kidding.

3. Mel Tucker. Experienced NFL coach has coached 3-4 defenses in the past and also has experience having coached under Nick Saban when he was at Michigan State.

4. Tim Kish. Assistant defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Oklahoma. Coached a pretty strong position group in a conference that has seen a good share of the spread, which is never a bad thing to have prepped against in the past.

5. Bob Shoop. Did a lot with less at Vandy as defensive coordinator. If Georgia wants him bad enough, they’ll throw money at him and convince him not to go to Penn State.

6. Manny Diaz. Was a hot name among defensive coordinators on the rise a few years ago, but was abruptly fired by Texas earlier this season. There’s some x-factor of hiring a guy who was canned midseason, but the question has to be asked if was Diaz or the overall program at Texas. As a sidenote, how crazy would having two guys named Manny Diaz coaching at UGA?

7. Randy Shannon. It’s hard to go wrong with a guy with head coaching experience. He has rebounded since being at the helm when Miami rock-bottomed, most recently being the linebackers coach at Arkansas.

8. Kirby Smart. I’m sure Georgia will call. But do you really want a guy who turned you down at the last minute last time by?

Go Dawgs!

Lugnut Dawg

Lugnut Dawg

Seriously, can we fire some of our fans instead?

Seriously, can we fire some of our fans instead?

If you’re upset about losing an also-ran bowl game that you’re compelled enough to burn a Georgia flag, well, I don’t know what to say except quit calling yourself a Georgia fan.  

The Senator Gets It

I know if you are reading here, you have already read Blutarsky today.  Hardly link anything he does becuase I know people read him first thing.  I know I do.

But I just gotta say this post nails it on the head and I agree 100% what is written here. 


Don’t You Love The (Sports) Media?

I love Twitter and ESPN. Instant access to information, all the football games you could want to watch, and interaction with others in a digital world. But having to fill time for content in a 24 hour cycle, you see there is room where folks mess up.

You also see this across all media, whether it is Fox, CNN or whatever your flavor is.  They get a hold of a meme or talking point, and run it to death.  But, this is about sports so I’ll spare the news media.

First off, I like how ESPN is now running full court press with the BCS bowls.  They were giving the Sugar Bowl extra special treatment last night. Though they didn’t have the big guns like Herbie and Fowler, they did the B-team in Reece Davis, Lou Holtz and Mark May.  This grinds my gears.  Beucase I remember when Fox had the rights to the BCS bowls, except the Rose Bowl, that ESPN pratically ignored those other games except for highlights.  But the Rose Bowl was shown extra importance.  Now that ESPN has the rights for the BCS bowls, they are back to giving it proper attention.  I get it, they don’t want to promote something they aren’t showing on their network.  But it is a misnomer to call yourself the World Wide Leader In Sports.  It should be “The World Wide Leader in Sports we show on our networks.”

Anyway, I don’t want to hear the sports media talk about Alabama not wanting to be there.  Just like folks say that Georgia didn’t want to be there.  Yes, I said yesterday these bowls are meaningless exhibtion games that are glorified commercials, and it doesn’t matter in the context of a successful season.  But it also doesn’t mean the players and coaches don’t want to win.  I watched Mark Richt’s postgame press conference, and both he and Hutson Mason looked dejected.  Arthur Lynch was in near tears.  The players and coaches are competitors and want to win at everything they do.  As fans, it is just something for us to enjoy.  Football on a Thursday night, or more reruns of the Big Bang Theory on TBS?  I’ll go with football.

I watched almost 100% of the Sugar Bowl last night.  I’ve seen Alabama get down to us in the SEC Championship and to Texas A&M this year.  They managed to come back and win, as we are all painfully well aware.  I did get the sense that the Alabama sideine was dejected and didn’t have the positive body language they’ve had in those games.  But I was listening to Dan Patrick this morning while running out to get some coffee, and he was saying last night was two teams, one had to be there and one wanted to be there.

Sure, Alabama wanted to play for a National Title.  But to make comments like that, it just discredits the awesome job Bob Stoops and his team did.  Alabama didn’t lay down and quit.  They did score 35 points after all.

Why can’t they just say that Oklahoma outplayed and outcoached Alabama?  I still think Alabama is the best team in America, would beat just about any team 10 times out of 10, or at worst 8 or 9 times out of 10.  But on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Oklahoma played a phenomenial game.  And deserves credit.

Saying one team didn’t want to be there is a slap in the face of the great job Oklahoma did.


PS…I can’t stand Bob Stoops.  But that doesn’t diminish the great job.

Bobo’s Future Sign of UGA Success

It is being floated around that Bobo is going to talk with Georgia Southern after the Gator Bowl.  Bobo won’t go to Southern.  That would absolutely dumb for a few reasons:  One, Southern sucks.  Two, with the move up to FBS this year, GSU is going to get their brains beat in for a few years.  It is going to take time for the Eagles to have success in the Sunbelt.  He’d be setting himself up to fail.  Finally, GSU runs the triple option.  Not going to have players to run his scheme.

Look, I know folks out there give Bobo a hard time.  But let me just shoot it straight with you:  if you seriously think Bobo draws plays with a crayon, or think he is a terrible OC, or think that UGA should dump him, or think that just now in 2013 he FINALLY proved himself  to you , then you are an idiot.  An absolute freaking idiot.

In fact, Mike Bobo’s offense is the best thing about this football team, and it has been for quite sometime.   Not only his playcalling abilities, but also throw in his recruiting and his QB development.  The man knows what the hell he is doing, and has proved to be very good at it.  As Bernie pointed out in this quote-Bobo blistered several coordinators who make more than he does including scoring at least 35 points on: LSU’s John Chavis (44 points; $1.1 million), Georgia Tech’s Ted Roof (41 points; $600,000), South Carolina’s Lorenzo Ward (41 points; $650,000), Auburn’s Ellis Johnson (38 points; $800,000) and Clemson’s Brent Venables (35 points, $800,000)-Bobo’s success isn’t just against the also rans.  The job he did in 2013 is especially commendable with all the injuries, and 247Sports recognized that.

Greg McGarity is going to have to dig in to pay Bobo what he deserves.  I know Mike Bobo will leave UGA at some point.  He is young, ambitious and successful. But Georgia shouldn’t let him leave for just any job.  He won’t go to Southern.  Coaches’ salaries have gotten really big, even at smaller schools.  If Bobo leaves for a Sun Belt job or C-USA job for a million bucks, it will be awful.  I can live with him going to a big school for big money.  But there is no reason at all he should leave for a small school for “not much money” when Georgia not only can pony up and pay him, but should pony up and pay him.

Georgia has got to make Mike Bobo the highest paid coordinator not only on staff, but in the SEC.  He is a former player, the longest tenured coach on the staff, and has proven himself.  Name me one coordinator in the SEC who has been in their current position as long as Bobo and who has done as good a job over a 7+ season tenure.   I can think of three:  Kirby Smart, Ellis Johnson, and John Chavis (though the last two have not been at their current school for that long).

Alabama has kept Kirby Smart.  Texas kept Muschamp around for a while.  Clemson is stepping up to pay Chad Morris and Brent Venables.

If Georgia lets Bobo leave for financial reasons, then rage and anger on the message boards, in the stands on Saturdays, and on the Bill Shanks show should be directed at the UGA administation.  People always ask, “Do you think Alabama and Nick Saban would do X?”  I’ll have another question: Do you think the University of Alabama would not properly pay Kirby Smart?  Would they let Kirby Smart leave over money?  And to Richt’s credit, remember he went out of pocket to pay his guys becuase UGA wouldn’t.

People want to constantly point fingers at Richt as to why Georgia isn’t winning a National Championship.  Though a Richt guy, I can see room for criticism.   Critics say all issues start at the top, meaning Richt.  He has to be the one who is ultimately accountable.   Remember that Richt has people over him.  If UGA wants to be successful like Alabama, then it does start at the top.

And I don’t mean Richt.


(I also think Richt is under paid, based on what the market is demanding.  Look at the other SEC head coaches.  Regardless of what you think of Richt, for him to be paid middle of the pack and the same as Hugh Freeze doesn’t make sense.  But that is another post for another day)

Gator Bowl Preview

For the record, I think Georgia wins.  Nebraska can’t stop Todd Gurley, and I know our defense can’t stop anyone, but come on.  Nebraska ain’t exactly the Auburn Tigers on offense.

But, I am not really concerned with how the game plays out aside from one thing:  Hutson Mason getting his experience.

9 wins sounds a whole lot better than 8.  It is always better to go into the offseason with a win rather than a loss to have positive energy in recruiting and among the fanbase.

But the way this year has gone, I don’t really care about that.  I mean, I’d rather win thatn lose, any day, but winning is on the peripheral of my focus on Wednesday’s game.

2013 was just a funky year.  Lots of weird stuff happened.  A lot of it was beyond Georgia’s control; a lot of it wasn’t.  Lord have mercy, how many times did were we on the edge of our seats and going from cheering wildly to throwing our hats down and cursing?

But the most important thing about the Gator Bowl is getting everyone ready for 2014.  So if Hutson Mason throws 4 picks and we lose, but it teaches him something, fine.  If by losing the Gator Bowl, it can help in 2014, then so be it.

Winning is important, but winning in 2014 paramount.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

The Grit Tree



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