Showing 1 - 9 of 9 posts found matching keyword: kirby smart
Thursday 16 February 2023
No sooner had I put money towards buying 2023 UGA football season tickets than it was announced that the team's new offensive coordinator will be its old offensive coordinator, Mike Bobo.
As evidenced by my keyword tag "bobo is a bozo," I was very, very hard on Mike Bobo during his first turn as UGA OC from 2007 through 2014. The Bulldogs went 75-31 during the time, and many pundits have lauded Bobo for those teams' amazing offensive production. Personally, I always attributed that success to superior on-field talent thanks to Mark Richt's great recruiting. To say that Bobo's offensive plays were "unimaginative" would be doing him a kindness.
Georgia's record with Bobo as OC earned him a head coaching job at Colorado State for 5 years (28-35) then OC jobs in South Carolina (6-16) and Auburn (6-6) before returning to UGA last year so that he could rehabilitate his tarnished "offensive genius" bone fides as an analyst for OC Todd Monken on the way to UGA's second consecutive national title with Monken at the helm.
And now Bobo's UGA's OC again. Once again, Bobo will be handed the reigns of a Georgia team with superior on-field talent thanks to Kirby Smart's great recruiting. And frankly, I'm on board for it.
If Bobo is as great as the pundits have always said, UGA is destined to win more championships. But if his play-calling is as stale as it was in 2014, well, I look forward to the opportunity for many more "bobo is a bozo" posts in the future.
Thursday 1 February 2018
I've had the same two University of Georgia football season tickets since 2002. For most of that time, no matter how many games UGA won or lost, those 2 tickets cost about $500 (allowing for seasonal variation based on the number of home games played).
This year, UGA played for the national title. This week, it was announced ticket prices are going up 50%.
Imagine what the school will do when they actually win a national title game.
For the record, that's just the cost of the tickets. Before you can buy tickets, you first have to make a "donation" to the Hartman Fund (which pays for student athletics scholarships). UGA increased the mandatory donation last year, and I paid it without complaint. A 10% increase after years of stability seemed reasonable at the time. Yet this latest announcement means that the same pair of tickets that cost $1,055 in 2016 will cost $1,480 in 2018. Ouch.
What does this price increase get me? The six-game 2017 home schedule was particularly terrible, with Tennessee, Auburn, and Georgia Tech all out of town. Despite the jump in cost and the return of those three teams, the rest of the home schedule is filled out with Vanderbilt (whose only 2017 SEC win was against Tennessee), University of Massachusetts (who lost to 4-8 Tennessee), Middle Tennessee (who lost to Vanderbilt), and Austin Peay (who lost to undefeated UCF 33 to 73!). $1,480 is a lot to pay for only 3 worthwhile football games.
Athletic Director Greg McGarity said he needs my money so he can make "substantial adjustments to the compensation of our coaching staff" (as quoted by Dawgnation.com). (What's the matter, Coach Smart? Being the highest paid public employee in the state [$3.75 million] wasn't enough for you?) Despite my qualms at the quality of what I'd be buying with my money, if paying an extra $400 for one season would guarantee a coaching staff that could beat Nick Saban's backup quarterback for a national title, I'd pay up. Are you willing to make that promise, McGarity? If we lose again, do I get my money back?
Obviously, I like attending football games. I have imagined myself continuing to travel to Athens on Saturdays until I'm old enough to need a walker to get around. That said, I won't get there if I go broke first. Fifteen years was a good run, but if UGA is getting greedy, I think maybe it's best if I go ahead and give up my dream before it breaks me.
Can you think of a reason I should keep paying? If so, please let me know. I have until February 15 to decide if it's worth giving UGA athletics any more of my money.
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Wednesday 14 June 2017
DawgNation.com reports that last week UGA had to lower the cost of their season tickets for year two of the Kirby Smart era. When asked why such an unusual move was necessary, the UGA Associate Athletic Director for Tickets said "I don't know what the full cause is."
Hmm. I don't know what the "full cause" might be, either. Let's help out the AADfT and see if we can't go all Sherlock Holmes on this using a little inductive reasoning (also known as "what I learned in PHIL 110, Introduction to Logic").
Logical syllogism #1:
Fan enthusiasm wanes following bad seasons.2016 was a bad season.
Therefore, fan enthusiasm is down.
Despite what you may have read between the lines in my opening paragraph, I'm not going to blame Kirby Smart for decreased ticket demand. Not directly, anyway. Last year's very disappointing season is probably playing a role, but UGA has had other lackluster seasons without needing to discount tickets the following year (see: 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, etc.).
Logical syllogism #2:
Spectators do not want to pay to see games against weak teams.UGA's 2017 home schedule is full of weak teams.
Therefore, spectators do not want to pay to see UGA's 2017 home games.
Ugh! What a terrible home schedule UGA has put together for 2017. Home games against Appalachian State, Samford, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky — I'm not sure I want to pay to see most of those. If UGA can't win at least 5 of those games, it's time to get out of the SEC altogether.
Logical syllogism #3 (the important one):
Higher ticket prices result in fewer tickets sold.
UGA raised their football season ticket prices.
Therefore, UGA sold fewer tickets.
That's right, UGA raised their 2017 ticket prices a minimum of 10% over 2016 prices. Personally, I don't consider the new prices so bad because it's the first time they've raised the price in years, but I can't say that I'm surprised others have cut back, especially given other reasons listed above. Football tickets are a luxury expense, after all.
So there you go, Mr. AADfT. It's not going to do much to help you this year, but you might want to keep these things in mind before you set prices in the future. Even UGA fans don't want to have to pay a premium price for an inferior product.
Saturday 22 April 2017
Today is the University of Georgia's annual G-Day
game practice, the unofficial start of the 2017 hype season. This marks Kirby Smart's second year as head coach. You may recall he was hired to take the team to the next level after Athletic Director Greg McGarity lost faith in Mark Richt. Let's just say that year one wasn't everything Bulldog Nation hoped it would be.
So how does Smart kick off year two? By demanding that the media not report on injuries unless he gives permission. Even if the player breaks his leg in front of a television camera.
What the fuck, Kirby?
Hey, man, I get it. You're a tin-pot dictator who gets paid millions of dollars a year to boss around children. That shit goes to your head. Last year, you somehow convinced the Georgia State legislature to pass a law allowing you to extend delays in responding to open records requests from three days to three months. It's only logical that the next step in your plan for world domination would be to refuse the release of any information at all.
The only question I have is how is this media gag order supposed to help UGA win football games? Did the Bulldogs go 4-4 in SEC games last year because our opponents knew Jacob Eason was a Freshman? Did Vanderbilt get its 3rd win versus Georgia in 22 tries because reporters told them ahead of time that the Bulldogs couldn't stop a 75-yard drive in the final quarter? Did Tennessee's Hail Mary to defeat Georgia with only zeroes showing on the clock happen because they'd read news reports about the secondary's practice habits in the week prior to the game? As I recall, it was Nick Chubb's mother who released information about the extent of his knee injury in 2015, by the way. Good luck stopping her from talking to the press in 2017, Coach.
Hey, sports reporters, if you see something, say something. I have a hunch you'll still have a job in two years. Coach Smart I'm not so sure about.
Saturday 26 November 2016
In 2014, Georgia Tech won in Sanford Stadium on a last second collapse by Georgia. Two years later, here we are again. Mark Richt was fired exactly a year after his mistake. Is Kirby Smart on the same path?
First of all, a word about Georgia Tech. The much maligned Paul Johnson brought crafty play calling and superior discipline to Athens and beat a team with superior talent 28-27. Congratulations. See that it never happens again.
Now back to Smart.
Before the season started, a friend asked me what I thought of Kirby Smart as the new head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. At the time, I wasn't nuts about some of the bad habits he brought over from his former employer (including hiding from the press, influencing the Georgia legislature to exempt his program from sunshine laws, and resisting the transfer of student athletes). However, I said I'd wait until the season ended to render an opinion. The season is now over, and I remain less than optimistic.
Fact: Despite playing all four of them most years for the better part of a century, Georgia has never lost football games to Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, and Georgia Tech in the same season before. Not under Richt, not even under Donnan. Add in that we only squeaked by Auburn because they ran out of players and it gets worse. That's an incredibly inauspicious start to the Kirby Smart era.
All season, I've heard about how Georgia is losing because its talent is lacking. Somehow, that never came up while Richt was coach. Smart started the season with Heisman hopeful Nick Chubb, his talented roommate Sony Michel, and the most talked about quarterback recruit in the SEC. He ended the season ranked 12 of 14 SEC teams in total points per game. Maybe former Defensive Coordinator Smart needs time to adjust to learning to coach offense, but his defense still finished 7 out of 14 SEC teams in total points allowed. Maybe, as his defenders claim, Smart doesn't have the players with the skill sets necessary to play "The System" he brought over from Alabama, but that's not the fault of Richt or the kids he recruited. That's on the coach who chose a system and failed to adapt it to suit the talent he had available.
I hope that the problems of 2016 represented growing pains for a rookie head coach learning on the job. The good news for Smart is that it will be hard to do any worse in 2017. That is, unless he's determined to lose to Auburn, too.
Saturday 10 September 2016
UGA played their first home game of the Kirby Smart era against 50-point underdog Nicholls State University. Unfortunately, no one told Nicholls State. The entire Bulldog Nation has to hope that it wasn't indicative of how future home games will unfold.
Full credit to the Nicholls State Colonels. If not for one single play in the 3rd quarter, when their senior QB (who wasn't even their starter at the position — that would be freshman Chase Fourcade, who played a pretty great game) fumbled a ball that UGA returned for a quick touchdown, they would have won the game outright. Instead, they only managed to play to within 2 points, losing 24-26.
Their defensive line held Georgia's offense and Nick Chubb in check all afternoon. The Georgia players and staff didn't help themselves, continuing to make the same sorts of special teams mistakes that were named among the reasons that former coach Mark Richt was fired. Late in the 4th quarter, after Nicholls scored their 24th point, Smart replaced first-time starter Jacob Eason with Greyson Lambert. As the fellow to my left yelled, it wasn't Eason's fault that Nicholls was scoring points.
If a lowly FCS school like Nicholls can stymie the (formerly) number 9 ranked Bulldogs, UGA might be in real trouble when they start SEC play next week against Missouri.
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Saturday 3 September 2016
Word on the street (or at least the word via the AJC) is that the Seiler family, owners of UGA's beloved Uga mascots, is looking to inject some fresh DNA into the winnowed Uga bloodline. Future Ugas should be smaller and look more like the bulldogs of yesteryear. Good for them. Our mascots have been getting far too heavy, and the breed has serious health issues that need to be addressed if it's going to survive into the 22nd century.
There are some other Bulldogs that could use some new blood, too. Greyson Lambert has officially been named as starting quarterback in today's season opener versus North Carolina. Coach Smart has been hinting at this heavily for months now, so it comes as no surprise. It's a shame that Smart hasn't learned from history.
Lambert, as all Bulldog faithful recall, was not spectacular last year. In fact, I blame Mark Richt's firing on his decision to waste a year on the arms of Lambert, Bauta, and Ramsey in anticipation of incoming wunderkind Jacob Eason. Richt learned the hard way that high expectations plus lackluster performance are a fast track to a pink slip.
Eason, Smart says, isn't ready to start yet. He's playing it safe, putting in the proven commodity. Lambert is experienced. If he wins, no big deal. He's also terrible. If he loses, no big deal. That's the kind of selfish coaching decision you like to see: no matter what happens in the game, coach can't lose. Yet another indication of just how much we've lost by ash-canning Richt.
Sink or swim, there's no time like the present to learn how to play the game. If Eason is as great as they've been saying, let's get him some game experience that counts at the start of the season when losses mean the least. When Bulldogs need new blood, procrastination isn't an option.
Monday 18 April 2016
Saturday, Georgia had a packed house at its first G-Day Game under new coach Kirby Smart. Let me restate that: 93,000 people watched a Georgia football scrimmage. Wow. As recently as last season, it was hard to get 93,000 people to watch a game.
So why did so many people turn out for practice? Was it a chance to see what changes Smart might bring to the game plan? Was it excitement over incoming freshman quarterback Jacob Eason? Was it because seats were free? Was it Ludacris' pre-kickoff "performance"? Probably some combination of all the above.
Did I go? No. Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased that 93k people could be bothered to show up to support a team in transition. But I'm not bothered that I missed out on anything, either. After all, it was only a practice.
Wednesday 16 December 2015
Mark Richt gambled that he could survive the 2015 season with a crop of lackluster quarterbacks in the hopes that he could reach current high school senior Jacob Eason on the other side. Many thought that Richt's firing would send Eason to choose another school, but new hire Kirby Smart worked hard to re-close the deal.
It worked! Eason has re-committed to be the University of Georgia's 2016 quarterback. After two years in the wilderness, UGA will have a quarterback again. Cue the fireworks and parades.
Now let reality set in. It will be hard enough for Eason to live up to the years of hype UGA fans have been sold. Worse, to justify Richt's firing, he'll be asked deliver a national championship to Athens sooner rather than later. That's something Eric Zier, Mike Bobo, David Green, Matt Stafford, and Aaron Murray all failed to do.
Good luck, kid. You're going to need it.
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