Georgia football could be trouble for coaches on the hot seat

Cy Brown

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Georgia football could make some hot seats hotter

The last few seasons have not been full of fond memories for Dawg fans, but one that should bring a smile to their faces is when Georgia helped drive Steve Spurrier out of college football back in 2015. Georgia defeated the Gamecocks, 52-20, in a performance that Greyson Lambert set the NCAA record for completion percentage in a game, which still kind of boggles my mind. Less than a month later, Spurrier retired as head coach of the Gamecocks. While his retirement probably had as much to do with him wanting to play golf every day for the rest of his life as much as anything, there is no shortage of Georgia fans who will tell you, with pride, it was the Dawgs who made him quit.

It’s unlikely Georgia will contribute to any other coach quitting for quite some time, but no one said anything about getting fired.

Aaron Torres of Fox Sports compiled a list of five hot-seat coaches who could be doomed by their schedules, and three Georgia opponents — Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn — made the cut.

Simply because of where Georgia falls on these teams’ schedules, it’s unlikely that a loss to the Bulldogs would directly lead to a sacking of any of these coaches. But Georgia could certainly be part of a confluence of events that would see one or two, or all of them run out of their respective towns.

Just Thursday we discussed the high stakes of the Notre Dame game as it pertains to Kelly’s job prospects. An early loss to Georgia could send the Irish spiraling as important and losable games against Boston College and Michigan State arrive on the schedule. Kelly is the most likely of the bunch to become fired midseason if he’s on track for another 4-8 year.

Jones could be in trouble because of Tennessee’s SEC East schedule in the first half of the season. From Torres:

The Vols then play three of their toughest SEC games by the halfway point of the schedule: at Florida, at home against SEC East favorite Georgia and at Alabama. Therefore, it isn’t inconceivable for the Vols to open the season 3-4. And that’s assuming they beat South Carolina, a team they lost to last year.

After that, Tennessee still has Alabama and LSU. If the Vols are completely out of the SEC running by the time the Alabama game comes around, Nick Saban and company could drive a death knell into his tenure in Knoxville.

But the game against Auburn and Malzahn seems like it would be the most likely for a Georgia win to have fairly immediate implications. Even with a horrendous record going into the Georgia game, Malzahn wouldn’t be fired with a loss. Alabama comes a few weeks later, and I’d expect he’d get one final chance to redeem himself with an upset against the Tide. But a loss to Georgia for the second year in a row, plus a bad record, plus another beatdown at the hands of Bama probably equals Malzahn getting tossed to the curb.

But this is whole lotta projection, because Georgia has to actually win these games to play the part of Grim Reaper. But if you needed another reason to want to beat Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Auburn, there you go.

UGA tennis upsets Southern Cal

Although Georgia tennis is mired in scandal at the moment, there is still business to take care of on the court. And the men’s team did just that on Thursday, using its home-court advantage to help score an upset of Souithern Cal and advancing to quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.

The men will try to move one step closer to a national title when they face UCLA in the quarters on Saturday at 4 p.m. First, though, the women have business to handle, as they face Pepperdine on Friday in the round of 16.

UGA hoops predicted to improve next season

With the loss of J.J. Frazier and potential loss of Yante Maten, not many folks are predicting Georgia basketball to have a better season next year. But there are those who could see Georgia improving over its performance from the last campaign. One such person is ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, who included the Dawgs in his list of six teams that could take a leap forward next season.

[Coach] Mark Fox will have to replace Frazier, his point guard and leading scorer. But he should return one of the top big men in the SEC — and the country — in senior Yante Maten. The key, though, will be the development of young off-guard Jordan Harris and talented freshman wing Rayshaun Hammonds, who was 38th in the ESPN 100. Another critical component will be whether the duo of William Jackson and Tyree Crump can help ease the loss of Frazier at the point.

Much of Georgia’s success next season will depend on Maten and whether he decides to go pro or not. With the deadline for him to pull out of the draft less than a week away, we should have a better idea of the shape this team will take soon.

It’s Friday

Get hyped. Stay hyped.

 

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