Bulldogs fans just suffered through a tough 2016 football season under first year Head Coach Kirby Smart, one that we as a fan base aren’t used to. Home losses to Vanderbilt, the Buzz team from North Avenue, a one-point win over Nicholls at home, and a blow out loss to non-bowl eligible ‘Ole Miss on the road have us depressed as we await our bowl destination later this week.
Monday following the 28-27 loss in Sanford Stadium to in-state rival Georgia Tech, 680 The Fan’s UGA Insider and Dawg Nation Reporter Chip Towers said on Georgia Bulldog Roundtable, “This was a 9 or 10 win team that lost wins by the effects of change.”
Of course Chip is alluding to a belief that if Mark Richt hadn’t been fired as the Head Coach at UGA, this team probably would have finished with a better record. There has been a lot of debate among the Bulldog faithful whether that is the case or not, and whether the right decision was made by Georgia AD Greg McGarity this time last year. Personally, I don’t believe if Coach Richt was still at UGA the 2016 Dawgs would have finished with a better regular season record of 9 or 10 wins. No, what the Bulldog faithful need to understand is that the EXACT reason Mark Richt was let go was because UGA needed to take steps to get to the next level!
I’m not shy about saying that I’m still a Mark Richt supporter and hope he has great success at Miami, but my fandom is for the Georgia Bulldogs not the “Georgia Mark Richts” or the new “Georgia Kirby Smarts.” Richt came to UGA and did his part to get us to the next level from where the program was when he arrived. Richt detractors cannot argue this point no matter how much they try. With 9 or 10 wins this season, the Dawgs would most likely have won the East, played in the Dome and “gone bowling” in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. Sounds like a good season and that IS, but UGA is ready to go from good seasons to GREAT seasons!
Winning the SEC East, competing in and WINNING SEC Championship games, and getting berths into the College Football Playoffs is where we need to set our sights. I do believe that Kirby is the man for that job and I support him, and as devoted Bulldog fans, we should support our new head coach.
That doesn’t mean we can’t question his coaching game decisions, because I do have questions AND concerns even though this is Kirby’s first year as a head coach. The hope is that after taking this step backward we will be able to take two steps forward to that next level that Mark Richt just couldn’t get to for a multitude of reasons.
So back to Chip’s statement: Is the cost worth a couple wins this season? We’ll we will have to wait and see, but ultimately but I do believe there are GREAT things in the future for UGA Bulldogs Football!
– “Road Dawg” Adam Gillespie
WCNN 680 The Fan & 93.7 FM – “Official Sports Talk Station of the Georgia Bulldogs”
Producer: Bulldog Roundtable and Senior Road Show