Being a lifelong Georgia fan and eight-year season ticket holder, I have come to realize that we have a fanbase that expects of SEC titles (not sure why). This season started no different, a win against University of Louisiana-Lafayette had the Georgia faithful solidifying this mentality. Then there was the downturn. Why? Is it Georgia’s lack of tackling? Is it A.J. Green’s four-game suspension? Yes. But is that it? No.
See, Georgia is lacking something that every team we’ve played since Week 2 has. It’s called leadership. It’s not coaching leadership, but on-field player leadership. This is evident in each of their four losses.
Ealey fumbles in the red zone late against South Carolina, and they cave.
Arkansas holds Georgia to a three-and-out late, desperately in need of a defensive stand and they cave.
In Starkville the entire game showed a lack of leadership! There were at least three times in the fourth quarter a leader was needed, and Mississippi State found theirs as we continued to look for our way out of the proverbial Egypt with no Moses.
Against Colorado the minute that AJ left the game, the demeanor changed. They then caved again in the third quarter giving up a touchdown the next drive! Then a field goal capped off a nine-minute drive! Still with a chance King fumbles, because no one steps up and gets these players together as a unit. No one makes the big play that changes everything.
You can put it on coaching as a lot of folks are trying to do, but if you ever played football you realize that both players and coaches win and lose games. The coaching has not changed in 10 years, and it doesn’t need to. The system works. But as a former football player, not only do coaches need to be leaders but so do players.
There is always a group of players that are the vocal leaders and the example leaders and right now we’re lacking both. I do think they are there, but I think they are all young. To freshman and sophomores who think “it’s not my turn," well, it is your turn, because we know the upperclassmen aren’t going to do it!
Coaches can’t make this happen, and they can’t recruit it. There are only a few Tim Tebows in a lifetime. Most leaders just “show up.” In my years as a player and former high school football coach, I can tell you leadership shows up in the most unexpected people at the most unexpected time.
My hopes as a Georgia football fan are that it shows up FAST before the redneck faithful actually get their way and Richt gets canned! True Georgia fans look at the body of work and realize this man has built a respectable program and one bad year isn’t enough to fire a two-time SEC champion!
By the way, there are only five schools with multiple SEC titles since 1990: Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. Yes, we’re the only one without a national title, but that is not enough to fire an incredible coach. How long was Vince Dooley at Georgia before he got a National Title? Sixteen years.
I can also tell you I know this view point won’t be well received. No one ever wants to come out and question kids. Coaches don’t do their call-in show calling out players and they don’t go to the media and say, “we ain’t got no leadership.” Great coaches (Richt) take the responsibility on themselves and they deflect any of that from their kids.
Lastly on the “firing” idea, other than it being just plain stupid, what basis do people have for this ridiculousness? Because they give money? Because they watch a game on TV? Because they are a 30-season ticket holder? That’s not enough reason for you to think your opinion on firing a coach should happen! Fire this crappy Athletic Director first! That’s another blog.