Who Should be UGA's Next Offensive Coordinator?
As Joe Cox took the final kneel down against Georgia Tech, a feeling of relief spread across the Bulldog Nation.
The Bulldogs had stunned the Yellow Jackets 30-24, and for at least the rest of the night “It was great to be a Georgia Bulldog.”
Not only had they shattered instate rival Georgia Tech's dream season, but they will also have several weeks before they have to worry about which Georgia team will show up in their bowl game.
Despite their jubilee, Bulldog fans realize that this season was a disappointment and changes must take place to make sure that this season is the exception and not the rule.
During the last four games of the season, despite the loss to the University of Kentucky, Bulldog fans witnessed a youth movement, which if properly developed, could translate to a national championship.
However, Dawg fans, maybe more than any other program in the nation, realize that talent does not automatically equal success.
For example, last season the Dawgs produced the first quarterback taken, Matthew Stafford, as well as the first overall running back selected, Knowshon Moreno, in the NFL draft.
Yet Bulldog fans have little to show for their production as a team during their span at UGA. Yes, they did finish No. 2 in the nation in 2007.
However, neither Stafford nor Moreno ever won an SEC championship and the Bulldog Nation has still not felt the jubilee of a national championship since 1980.
It is the opinion of most observers, that UGA will need more experienced coordinators to make a legit run at a national championship.
Both Mike Bobo and Willie Martinez had never been coordinators before being hired at those positions at UGA, and while talent got the team by against teams like Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Arkansas, the Bulldogs have been unable to beat teams like Florida and Tennessee consistently under the tutelage of Bobo and Martinez.
I have put together a realistic look at who their top five candidates should be for a new offensive coordinator. You will not see names like Jon Gruden, Charlie Weis, or any other unrealistic choice. These five candidates are realistic options for the 2010 season.
5. Neal Brown - Troy University
Neal Brown is one of the youngest and most dynamic offensive coordinators in the nation. Troy University is third in the nation in total offense.
Another benefit of hiring Coach Brown would be that he has served as Troy’s lead recruiter for the state of Georgia.
While he has not been able to land the top players in the state, because he is not at a BCS school, he has been able to make good connections with Georgia high school coaches.
4. Chris Klenakis - University of Nevada
Over the last two decades, most successful teams in the SEC have been able to run the football consistently.
If a strong ground game is UGA’s main desire, they might not be able to find a better ground game-led offense than that of Coach Klenakis and his "Pistol" offense.
Nevada is always one of the top offensive teams in the nation. At this writing, Nevada was leading the nation in rushing and has gone over 550 yards rushing on more than one occasion this season.
UGA could open the elite-level head coaching job that Klenakis desires and he would be a good fit for the Bulldog faithful.
3. Mark Mangino
Mark Mangino might be one of the most underrated coaches in the NCAA, and there seems to be little doubt that he will soon be fired from the University of Kansas.
It is doubtful that he will be hired as a head coach at a major university for the next few seasons and a successful tenure at UGA might reopen the doors that were available after he was national Coach of the Year two seasons ago.
UGA has the athletes and Mangino appears to have the play-calling ability to take our offense to the next level. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to see Mangino pull a Larry Munson and break chairs in the booth?
However, we all know the biggest obstacle in Coach Mark Richt hiring Mangino, would be his less-than-Christian methods.
2. Norm Chow
The success of Norm Chow is well documented. His arrival in Athens could mean an instant boost in production and recruiting.
The only concern with Chow is that he has not been as productive at UCLA. However, it appears that injuries to the quarterback position are responsible for the Bruins' lack of production.
I believe that Chow realizes that to get back to the level of success he is accustomed to, he will need to coach at a college that has the athletes.
UGA’s most productive offensive players are currently freshmen and sophomores and they have two highly recruited quarterbacks who will be redshirt freshmen next season.
1. Al Borges
If UGA wants an offensive coordinator who is proven in the SEC, they should immediately interview Al Borges.
Auburn University had a record of 33-5 while Borges was the offensive coordinator, including an undefeated season.
He coached two quarterbacks, Cade McNown and Jason Campbell, who both became first-round draft picks.
Regardless of their lack of success in the NFL, he made them look good enough to become first-round draft picks.
Borges usually has a well-balanced offense, and no time would be better for his arrival then in 2010.
With the running attack of Washaun Ealey and Caleb King returning next season, he could implement a system similar to the one he had with Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown.