I usually don’t make it a habit of calling for a coach to be fired. I think people who constantly say “Coach X” should be fired are just clinging to the lowest common denominator. My opinion doesn’t carry much weight. I doubt Greg McGarity is one of the few hundred people that might read this article. But this is a blog where my opinions are put out, so I’ll share it anyway.
Georgia shouldn’t fire Todd Grantham.
I may get accused of being too positive or not wanting to make changes as quickly as others. I think I was in the small minority of folks who didn’t jump off the Richt bandwagon a few years ago. My friends remind me I didn’t want Willie Martinez fired after 2008. That opinion did change after the 2009 Arkansas and Tennessee games.
I am not in love with Grantham. The defense the last two years has been very bad. The only reason it was any good in 2012 was becuase of the talent. Individual players made big plays. Jones, Ogletree, Rambo, Swann, Jenkins all made big plays. I thinkt the talent on the team did well despite the coaching. This year, the youth (and all the attention to the injuries on offense, don’t discount the injuries on the defense either) was a major factor. But these freshmen are pretty much sophmores at this point, and the same mistakes made in Clemson were made in Auburn. They haven’t gotten better.
Going back to the 2012 SEC Championship Game, opponents have scored 30 or more points against Georgia 9/13 games. Not all of that is on the defense-Tennessee and Vanderbilt scored non offensive touchdowns. But still. They haven’t played well. The 2012 defense is historically bad.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement so far.
Georgia will return 10/11 starters next season. 6 of the 11 starters this year were freshmen or sophomores. The biggest problem seems to be the players this year don’t understand the complicated system Grantham employs.
The thing I look to is the 2011 unit. That unit was full of NFL talent, and was one of the best defenses in the country. Yes, they gave up 20.6 ppg, but if you remember, that season the offense caused many teams to score on them. If you take away all the scores opposing teams had when the defense wasn’t on the field, the UGA defense was giving up somewhere around 15 ppg. For proof of that, look at UGA’s total defense. That number was 277.2 ypg. That was 4th in the SEC, ahead of Florida and just about on par with LSU. In fact, that was good for 5th in the entire country. The 2011 defense was on par with Alabama and LSU in many areas. Turnover margin, 3rd down conversions, etc… Go to cfbstats.com and see for yourself if you don’t trust me. And don’t say that UGA’s schedule was weak. LSU, UGA and Alabama shared 5 common opponents that season. Their schedules were all similar (though LSU did have the toughest).
2011 was Year 2 of Grantham’s system and the defense played like they should play-great.
The 2014 team will return most of its starters on offense and defense. The offense should continue to be good. The defense should take the next step with most of players in year 2 of Grantham’s system. Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater? The results are there. We know Grantham can coach an excellent unit. Will he? That is multi-million dollar question. Becuase…
This is a tough position for Richt to be in. If he fires Grantham (and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be sad if he were to leave), then he has to make another hire and run the risk of breaking in a new system again. If Richt retains Grantham, and the defense flat out sucks, then all the good will Richt built back up since the 2010 debacle will be gone and we will hear “hot seat” talk again. The comparisions of Mack Brown going through coordinators and shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic will be made.
It is my opinion that Richt should stick it out with Grantham. If it works out, then Georgia should get back to having a great year in 2014. If it doesn’t work out, well UGA’s new head coach can then worry about finding a new DC.
PS…one thing that is not talked about is Bobo. Bobo needs to be the highest paid assistant on the staff. He deserves it, and if we do make a change at DC, then Richt will have to pay a new DC a ton of money to get the guy we want. Whoever it is will be paid more than Bobo, and that just isn’t right. Think about your job. If you are successful, and they have to replace a co-worker and the new person they bring in is making twice what you make, how would that make you feel? Bobo needs to have a big payday.