Georgia Bulldog fans were extremely excited over their 15-12 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday. This victory was very satisfying because Tech had their best team in years and by their recent standards, Georgia was finishing up a very disappointing season. As I told anybody that asked beforehand, if Tech doesn't win, they will be missing a darn good chance.
The thrill of victory from Saturday however, may actually pale in comparison to the excitement generated by an announcement that Georgia Coach Mark Richt made on Sunday.
Richt acknowledged that Quarterbacks Coach Mike Bobo called the offensive plays in the Tech game and will do so again in an upcoming bowl game. He also indicated that he might turn this responsibility over to Bobo on a permanent basis in 2007.
The cheer by Georgia fans is not because we think Richt was a terrible play caller or that Bobo will suddenly turn the Bulldogs into an offensive juggernaut. Most of us simply think that if Richt gives this duty to Bobo permanently it will make Richt an even better head coach. College head coaches have a very full plate above and beyond what happens on the playing field. No doubt it becomes difficult to manage everything and be 100 percent prepared for Saturdays.
Georgia fans have had only one real complaint with Coach Richt and that is that he may be spread too thin across the spectrum of his duties. After all, in six seasons Richt is 60-17 with two SEC championships, and he is undefeated against Georgia Tech. I could chip in that we would like to start beating Florida again, but in reality we believe Richt will accomplish that sooner rather than later. The two coaches that preceded him were not beating the Gators either.
I personally believe that offensive play calling, especially who is doing it, is overrated. So much of what happens during a game is dictated by the defense. What is important is for an offensive team to be well prepared going into the games. I did not say play calling was not important, but with the freedom that quarterbacks now have to change plays at the line of scrimmage, a coach's Saturday role has been somewhat diminished. This does make his weekday performance in practicing a game plan more vital than ever.
If an opposing defensive scheme is daring a team to pass, that offensive team must be prepared to pass to loosen up that defense. If the defense is giving away the flats or allowing itself to be outnumbered on the line of scrimmage, again, the offense must be prepared for those opportunities.
As for Bobo's play calling against Tech, it didn't produce many points or yards, nor did it take many unnecessary risks against a very good defense that could result in turnovers. Georgia's only turnover was a fumbled snap in the second quarter that gave the Yellow Jackets a field goal. Turnovers struck Georgia during the season like the plague and holding onto the ball against Tech was the key to victory.
On the high school scene the only two teams to beat Thomson, Carver and Washington County, are both still alive in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. Carver will play Carrollton and Washington County will play North Hall. Warren County will travel deep into the south Georgia swamp to play Clinch County. Lincoln County will host another band of Red Devils from Hawkinsville.
Football season is winding down, but I'm not totally blue yet. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the high school playoffs and the bowl season. The only worthwhile part of the NFL season, the playoffs, will keep us fixed through January. By then it will only be eight months until we get to do it all over again, and I'm one that doesn't believe in looking ahead.