Left Behind: Jeff Francoeur (by bledsoe)

Jeff Francoeur
RH Hitting, RH Throwing Outfielder
Braves Seasons: 2005-2009
.266/.308/.424, 78 HR, 359 RBI, 310 RS, 89 OPS+

Okay — I wrote this sucker up, might as well put it up.

As I said, in a 2007 update to the 44, Mac opined that if he redid the list, Jeff Francoeur would likely have to fall in in the thirties somewhere. I was surprised at the relatively high ranking, as Jeffy was easily Mac’s favorite punching bag. Mac did say that ranking was IF Francoeur had a decent 2008. And in 2008, Jeff’s OPS fell to .653 and the Braves in desperation sent him in midseason down to Mississippi to relearn to hit, where he didn’t. I left him off, but he didn’t miss by much.

I recall a Baseball Abstract in the early years in which Bill James was noodling a stat that would reflect a player’s intelligence. The concept was to cherrypick certain random stats that James thought reflected IQ. One of them I believe was basestealing success, the notion being that smart guys know when to go and when not to. Another was showing year to year improvement at the plate, and I think one was walk-to-strikeout ratio (having a good idea of the strike zone equaling brains or some such theory). It was just a rough draft, and I don’t remember much more, other than Ozzie Smith scored high. I don’t think Jeff Francoeur would.

Francoeur was one of those high school Golden Boy athletes, excelling in everything he put his hand to. He played both baseball and football in high school in Gwinnett County at Parkview High (Go Panthers!), winning everything in sight and being named All-Everything. He had football offers from Notre Dame and others, but chose Clemson, due to his childhood dream of gelding hogs. (I may have made up part of that last sentence.) However, the Braves took him in the first round of the 2002 draft at No. 23, and he postponed a promising career in tractor maintenance to play professional baseball. In 2005, he made his professional debut at the age of 21. He hit .300 in a half season and finished third for Rookie of the Year.

But Jeff’s promising career sort of fizzled. His OPS marched slowly southward, and he finished his Braves career at a disappointing OPS+ of 89. Part of the reason I thought he struggled at the plate was just a failure to adapt to higher levels of play. This was a guy who had been able to dominate everyone he faced in high school by just showing up and using his natural athletic ability. The game was simple for him: swing at the ball and watch it leave the park. When he got to the bigs, he seemed baffled that that non-strategy – just pick up the bat and do it – wasn’t succeeding anymore. He never saw a pitch that he didn’t think he could hit out of the park, and he swung at most. And he seemed unable or unwilling to change/improve/learn/listen to coaches. He was finally traded to the Mets, as a sort of Trojan Horse perhaps, for Ryan Church in the summer of 2009. There he mysteriously started to hit. He also tipped a Mets clubhouse attendant $50,000 when he left NY at the end of the 2010 season. That’s a lot of shoeshines.

The cobweb of years have perhaps made us forget, but Francoeur was an excellent defensive right fielder for us. In 2005, in 67 games, he led the league in outfield assists (13). He again led the league in 2007 with 19 – that’s a lot of assists. (He posted the same number for the Royals in 2012.) He’s actually the active leader in career OF assists with 124. (I have a theory about outfield assists that I actually like a lot. To wit, elevated outfield assists are largely a function of opponents underestimating a player’s arm and/or range. So a lot of OF assists means that 1) the rest of the league doesn’t respect your fielding and 2) they’re wrong about that.)

I think it’s kinda cool how many recent Braves were taken out of high schools in the Atlanta metro area. Sort of a throwback to the days when teams had regional first dibs on local talent.

I’d say that of the Left Behind, he trails probably only Clete Boyer and Brian Jordan as deserving of being on the 44.

Next: a few guys who also just missed the cut.

72 thoughts on “Left Behind: Jeff Francoeur (by bledsoe)”

  1. I have a theory that Francoeur’s assist totals are due to his unawareness of the concept of the cutoff man. I wonder if he ever asked one of his second baseman teammates why they’re always running at him when he has the ball.

  2. @4, I assume his teammates convinced him early on that the second baseman was deaf and wanted to be get enough to read his lips.

  3. #3
    Thanks. Will probably get to it at some point. I finally paused on the music bios for awhile and have been devouring these terrific (and timely) history books by Stephen Kinzer. But, I see that Elvis Costello just came out with his memoir, so I’ll probably get back on that train again sooner than I want.

    Funny you mention Glyn Johns. I was at the Audio Engineering Society convention at the Javits Center a few weeks ago & I picked up this uber-geeky recording mag called Tape Op, which had this crazy-long interview with Glyn Johns, who discussed his book. Was a really fun read, actually.

    He sounds like a prim, if somewhat cranky old Brit, but, yeah, he’s got more great stories about bands than you could ever imagine. The list of bands that he worked with in the studio… it’s essentially a big chunk of my old vinyl collection.

    In the interview, he said that he’d written his book twice – he had to take the dirty laundry out for the second version because he didn’t want the negativity to be part of his own legacy. From what I gather, he remains a bit frosted at The Beatles, for example (for what became the Let It Be album… long story). Curious to know how deep that goes in the book.

    But imagine having pints with that guy? Great stories for days…

  4. @MattEddyBA: Jordy Lara and Brandon Snyder will battle RH platoon 1B/3B at-bats with #Braves after signing minor league contracts.

  5. He’s just crankier than ever in his Q&A feature, and I’m having a hard time discerning a cogent pattern to what sets him off.

  6. @16,17 – I have a theory that he’s determined that his Great Project in life is to elevate the level of public discourse in this country. Every now and then, when he actually opens up and explains it outright rather than trying to game his readers into the system, he really nails it and writes something worth reading on a wider level. But most of the time lately he’s running his QA feature like a weird Public Discourse Trap, where only he knows the rules of proper conversation, and he’ll let you think a topic is flowing along happily, and you’ll say something and unwittingly violate one of his weird unwritten rules, and he’ll respond to it viciously and rip you a new one.

    He did it to me once when I innocently asked if George Brett’s extensive time as a DH was relevant to a comparison of Brett and Chipper.

    If you don’t take it personally (and I don’t think anyone should) it doesn’t hurt, but it sure is off-putting–and at least as unproductive as most of the things in Public Discourse James is railing against.

  7. Bill has been a crank for years now. Sometimes it’s amazing that he actually stumbled upon the nut wrt baseball stats back in the 80s.

  8. I didn’t know anything about Trevor Plouffe, so I looked him up on Wikipedia, as I do when I don’t know anything about a thing.

    I never knew he was so versatile–played every position but C, P, CF. That sounds like an asset, but then it says his walkup song is Thuggish Ruggish Bone. Are we sure we want to hear that 4 times per game in 2016?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Plouffe

  9. He’s a reflexive skeptic. That is incredibly useful when the conventional wisdom is illogical and wrong, and it doesn’t contribute very much when the targets of your skepticism are not necessarily wrong. He got older, and the rest of baseball incorporated his insights. His legacy, like that of virtually everyone who survives their most productive years, is to witness himself becoming less important, thanks to his own success.

  10. I’ll put this another way: if and when the Twins receive a lesser package for Plouffe than we could’ve offered — they seem to want pitching — it’s going to add fuel to the “we’re not really trying to be competitive by 2017” and/or the “we’re turning into the Marlins” fires.

    Here’s a widely available, relatively inexpensive 3B who should create 2-3 WAR per year before he becomes a FA in 2018. I can’t wait to read the DOB tweet explaining that the Braves didn’t think he was worth paying for his arb years, or whatever.

  11. @25 – I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Braves won’t value a guy who hits exactly league average, earns most of his value with the glove at a non-premium defensive position, and will be around for only 2016 (a lost season) and 2017 as much as you do.

  12. There’s no reason we should be acquiring anyone for next year in the first place. We’ve already got a team that will fight for last place. Mission accomplished.

    If anything remains in the offseason to-do list, it’s to see what we can get for Teheran and Freeman.

  13. Agreed. I think he was never meant to pitch meaningful games for us. He’s the best way to maximize the Heyward deal. Assuming we can turn him into multiple legit young players…

  14. @26, the hot corner is not a non-premium defensive position. It’s roughly on par with center field and second base.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/re-examining-wars-defensive-spectrum/

    Finding a guy who doesn’t suck at third base is pretty hard, as evidenced by the fact that the Braves gave $20 million to Chris Johnson and traded Alex Wood and Jose Peraza to lock in long-term contracts with players who couldn’t even manage to start there.

  15. It was either DOB or Peanut just a few days ago who said the Braves “closer to $20M than $30M” to spend this offseason, so I’m sure there’s a few more things to do between now and Opening Day. $20M is a pretty good little chunk of change, especially if the Braves don’t want to commit $7m of it to just a reliever. Let’s see the rest of the painting.

  16. I thought we were at $30 before the Simmons and Maybin trades. Seems like we should be closer to $35-40 than $20m at this point

  17. @26, That sounds accurate to me, and yet while I in turn don’t value our pitching prospects nearly as much as the Braves do, the Braves will also say that every 3B who hits better than league average isn’t available or will cost too much in free agency.

    Or in other words, @31.

    So what are we doing, here? Waiting for Austin Riley, I guess…which is exactly what Plouffe would still allow us to do, while making somewhat more credible the “competitive in 2017” timeline. If the Braves were to then follow up on acquiring Plouffe, I’d say that’s worth Mauricio Cabrera and some other live arm.

  18. Whether it’s $20,30, or 40M available to spend, one has to just trust that the Braves are going to put that money into player personnel, whether that’s the MLB payroll, international signings, or the draft. And if you don’t trust the team, then why be a fan of them?

    Which brings me to my next point. With what’s going on with Les Miles, Mark Richt, and my Braves and Gators, it’s caused me to wonder about overall fan expectations. It would suggest to me that it’s downright lunacy to fire Les Miles after he’s averaged about 10 wins a season since he started. About the same deal with Mark Richt. Are fan expectations so high that consistently being a very good team is not enough? Are fan expectations for these programs centered around beating Nick Saban more often than not? Well, sheesh, get in line.

    Which brings me back to the Braves. For the sake of argument, let’s assume the Braves win about 70-75 games next year, and they win 89 games in 2017. Just go with it. If I told you in 2009, after the Braves went 86-76, that the Braves would win 89+ games 5 of the next 8 years, how would you feel? They’d win their division once and finish second in their division 4 times, and in all but 3 seasons, they’d be playing meaningful baseball in September. How would you feel? I’m not completely sure how I’d feel, but does the “tanking” aspect change how I feel? Yeah, I think so. It’s because you know we’re going to suck. We knew we were going to suck in 2015. We designed to suck. We’re probably still designed to suck in 2016, though maybe a little less.

    What are fan expectations? When my Gators won 12 games in 2012, I was feeling good. Then we were mediocre, then terrible, fired our coach, and now we’re back to a 10+ win team. They didn’t “tank”; they just sucked. They weren’t designed to suck; they just did. How does tanking fall into the fan psychology? Does it even matter, because Les Miles and Mark Richt have consistently had their teams in contention every season. Never tanked (which obviously you can’t really do in CFB, but whatever), but the fan expectations aren’t met. Why?

  19. I think the problem rabid fans have with Les Miles is the same that rabid fans have with Mark Richt; not only have they not build a Dynasty, but during their tenures their #1 most hated rival DID build dynasties. Miles wouldn’t be on such the hot seat if Saban weren’t running that semi-professional system at Bama, and Richt would be generally beloved if he didn’t have to live in the still-looming shadow of Urban Meyer’s Gators.

  20. I’ll buy that. Being really good but never getting over the final hump is tough to deal with over a long period of time. Richt will leave UGA as the best coach in school history. But on the flip-side, he’s had 15-years and we’re nowhere close to competing with the upper tier. Familiarity breeds contempt?

  21. Braves bring in a bunch of scrubs, and David Carpenter:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/11/braves-sign-david-carpenter-nine-others-to-minors-deals.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

    Call me when they sign someone who might actually be on the big league roster.

    Also, for guys like Uribe and Plouffe, could the uncertainty at 3B be causing hesitation? I seem to read conflicting reports about whether or not Olivera will actually be in LF. They also seem to think they have something with Garcia. Apparently Garcia is hitting .326/.377/.522 in the AFL. Gosh, just trade Markakis and sign a power-hitting RF, trade for a second baseman who can hit, put Peterson in a super utility role, sign some reliever scrubs, and just be done with the thing. We don’t need to trade Freeman/Miller/Teheran to have an eventful offseason. Might even have a productive one too.

  22. The Braves spent 2015 ridding themselves of major leaguers and acquiring prospects. I’m OK with that. Let’s hope that the prospects develop and can contribute in 1 – 3 years. In 2016 we’ve got great draft position, big budgets for draft picks and international signings. Hopefully this will be used wisely to add to the minor league talent pool.
    The time has come to begin focussing on major league quality players. Guys that start forming a core to build around. I’ m not sure Plouffe is a core guy, but he can contribute in the major leagues. Considering the current roster, he would be a step in the right direction.

  23. Rob Cope on UGA,

    The problem with Richt is that Georgia every year loses a game it should have won (2015, Tennessee) and gets blown out in a game it should have been competitive in (Florida). AND SEVERAL contributing factors ARE within the capability of a coach to correct.

    Clock management is horrible. As we are looking at going into overtime Saturday, we only need a field goal to win. First down pass in the field of play puts us around the 37 yard line with about 37 seconds. Next play is short to Blazevich who gets out of bounds for a 5 yard gain. Then a sack (right?) which uses the last timeout (2 time outs gone, is bad clock management). Then, a short pass to Sony Michel, time for a timeout, but time expires. If you want to take it to overtime, you put down a knee. If you are going to try throwing, a short pass can turn into a disaster in your own end, often. Why not sling it long – long ish one time at around 12 seconds. Then, you have a well above average kicker who might just win the game.

    Special teams are horrible. That is a coaching thing.

    The failure to put the mediocre teams away (a Richt specialty, like against Georgia Southern) costs you the next year. We have 4 of the top 8 offensive linemen with no eligibility left. We have a junior that may go to the draft. Basically, nobody below number 8 has played. Also, you get more first team players injured in situations where they had no business being in the game.

    I figure if we change coaches and miss a little, we have an 8 win team. Georgia can recruit enough talent with a mediocre coach to do that thing. So, why hold on to a slightly above mediocre coach?

    Also, the Richt era peaked on January 1, 2008. We almost got back to that level at 2013 SEC championship. Richt’s win percentages don’t take that into account. That percentage has dropped. And that does not account for Tennessee and Florida being generally far weaker since then than before then. Also, from 2010 until 2015, we did not play Alabama.

  24. The problem with Richt is that Georgia every year loses a game it should have won (2015, Tennessee) and gets blown out in a game it should have been competitive in (Florida).

    Neither of those had anything to do with losing his best player to a horrific leg injury in the first quarter of said Tennessee game. When you have scrubs at QB and your all-world running back goes down, you’re hosed.

  25. @31 – I can get behind valuing 3B as a premium defensive position if that’s what the numbers say.

    But that’s the least of the reasons the Braves won’t be interested in Plouffe.

    The fact of the matter is, they just aren’t going to be interested in guys with only 2 years of control left. Not when 2016 is going to be a non-competitive season, meaning that only one season of control with overlap with what they optimistically hope will be their window of competitive opportunity.

    At this stage of the rebuild, the plan is still to trade assets with established value and dwindling control for multiple, riskier assets with more control.

    They won’t trade 12 years of control on 2 risky assets for 2 years of established value when they aren’t close to competing yet. They’re still the team on the other side of that type of trade.

  26. @45, The way you articulate a rebuild strategy is basically sound, but I would add that teams can expedite their timeline by staying on the lookout for deals.

    The Astros didn’t seem close when they traded Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles for Dexter Fowler in 2013. But it was a trade they could win at a position of need, so they did the deal. Like Plouffe, Fowler isn’t great shakes, but he’s more than replacement level, which is more than can be said for Barnes/Lyles. Then they flipped Fowler in his walk year for Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily. Also not bad.

    These are the kinds of smart moves a rebuilding team makes to fill out their roster. The Astros didn’t contend this year because of Valbuena, but they sure needed the extra win or so that he provided.

    The Braves very well could be doing their due diligence here and we just don’t know it. The thing that scares me is that their idea of a “add some complementary pieces to the next great Braves team” move is signing Markakis/trading for Olivera, and not looking for a player like Plouffe that the Twins are essentially forcing themselves to trade.

  27. If you can trade excess assets at a position of strength for an asset that might garner more on the market this trade deadline (not sure if Plouffe is that, but just as an example here), the smart move is to trade for that guy and see what he gets you at the deadline.

  28. Not a Georgia fan or native here, but it seems to me that UGA football should enjoy a tremendous homefield advantage in recruiting. There is just more talent in Georgia than in Alabama. But a quick look at Saban’s roster shows many Georgia-grown players. Is it just a wasted recruiting opportunity?

    I have also always viewed Georgia in the same vein as Clemson and recent Oklahoma squads. Never seem to live up to their talent or ranking (Plenty of time left for Clemson to Clemson this year).

    I may have just inadvertently trolled heavily, but that’s how this outsider sees it.

  29. I think the bottom line is that Alabama wants to win at football *a lot* more than UGA. Whether that’s a bad or good thing is in the eye of the beholder.

    I find myself not caring nearly as much as I used to. That’s why I think it’s time for a change.

  30. Bama is where a lot of “too dumb for even UGA” football players land. It’s also where a lot of “questionable character” guys land. Because Mark Richt cares about people, for better or worse, and Nick Saban… Nick Saban is Nick Saban.

  31. @51 – Where did you get that information? ? I have had conversations with Georgia and Bama recruits and have a guy who used to work for me whose son is at Bama. None of them have told me that is the case. I’m not cutting down Georgia because I like Mark Richt and their program in general. I don’t see the necessity to make up stuff because you don’t like the team.

  32. @51, name 3 “questionable character” guys on ‘Bama’s team. Show your work.

    I’ll wait.

    @50, I think the fan bases, alums, donors, etc. want to win roughly equally. It’s just that there’s only one Nick Saban, and we currently have him, mostly because we were lucky enough to be bad just when he was available. When I was in school it was the early Richt years and a rotating cast of guys named Mike were our coach; the tables were turned, and Georgia was a program we were looking up to. Frankly, everyone was a program we were looking up to; I saw one bowl appearance in four years, and it got worse for a while before it got better.

    Everyone everywhere wants to fire their coach because they want to catch that lightning in a bottle and get their era’s Saban or Carroll or Meyer or Spurrier. The only flaw in the logic is those guys only come around every so often and more teams will strike out than not trying to find one.

  33. bonus @51, name me one guy on Bama’s roster who was headed to UGA but didn’t qualify academically for them.

    I’ll wait a really long time.

    If college football isn’t your thing, that’s cool, but don’t venture too far out of your depth. You’re just talking in hater cliches.

  34. Well, there was this UGA athlete named Jonathan Taylor, who got kicked off the football team for felony assault on his girlfriend. But, relatively quickly, Bama accepted him to its football team…

    Can’t speak to his academic record, but like Greg Hardy, he had a particular talent…

  35. True. It was a mistake for Bama to take him, but they thought he changed his ways. I can live with teams giving players a second chance as long as they give them a short leash. Nick Marshall at Auburn was kicked off Georgia’s team and seemed to come out okay. Taylor never played a down at Bama, so his leash was definitely short. Still it shouldn’t have happened.

  36. Sam @ 44,

    And exactly why did Georgia have scrubs at quarterback?

    Richt and Bobo created a preferred destination for pocket passing quarterbacks with an NFL future. After Aaron Murray, we recruited Christian Lemay, Hutson Mason, Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey. Ramsey was VERY raw, but with a great arm. They THOUGHT they could make him a great qb. No other school recruited Bauta as a quarterback. AND, the failure to put people away, meant they did not get playing time.

    After Chubb went out you had two running backs who will at least make an NFL roster. Not many schools have that.

    I get the “Saban is more focused. Saban is a better coach” argument. But, no matter how good he is, he is not the only person that can manage a clock in a game. With the number of grad assistants and assistant coaches they have there is NO excuse for the terrible time management and timeout management experienced under Mark Richt.

    Georgia fans want a program run a lot like Richt runs it. BUT, we want effort and attention to the details that should be within the capability of a upper D I school’s football staff to accomplish. And, if Richt is either too incompetent to do that or is that apathetic about accomplishing that, then he ought to have the good grace to resign.

    The loss to Tennessee came with a blocked punt AND a fumbled kickoff. 90% of blocked punts are poor special teams play. Yes a return man can fumble, but you can also mandate 2 hands on the ball before contact. The returner that doesn’t do that doesn’t play and / or runs stadium steps. Simple solution.

    I already know next year’s excuse for no offense. The offensive line is too inexperienced. Who was supposed to recruit them? Who is supposed to develop them?

  37. @56, I said “on Bama’s roster.” Taylor didn’t even made it to A-Day before Saban short-leashed him off the team. But sure, that’s exactly the same as the Cowboys continuing to employ Greg Hardy.

    Man, people will come up with some funny narratives to try to backdoor a moral-superiority W over Bama.

  38. A lack of continuity has crept into the UGA program that is manifesting itself in a loss of attention to detail, I believe. If you watch with investment you can see it. And so the best way forward may be to bring in someone new who can assemble a cohesive staff and have everyone pointed in the same direction. Nothing against Richt — it happens.

  39. On the “in play” players, Mariners are trying to swap pitching for Marcell Ozuna. Marlins seem to be in on that. It would also be interested to see what the Mariners would offer to compare to what the Braves would or could.

  40. As apparently the only Clemson fan here, I know a little something about losing a game you should have won.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Clemsoning

    Clemson deserves their UD entry, no doubt about it. But I spent a fair amount of time pontificating the phenomenon of Clemsoning and realized that it could apply to a lot of programs that have seemed to lose a gimme each year for several years in a row.

    A large part of the problem is probabilities. If you are a 4:1 favorite (that is, you “should” win 80% of the time) in each game for a stretch of 5 games, there is a 67% chance you will lose at least one of the 5 games. So, in this crudely simple example, a team defies the odds by winning all 5 of those games.

    If a team had 4 tries at that 5 game schedule, they would lose at least one game in each set 20% of the time (that is, they would always lose at least one of the gimmes for that stretch). This is kind of like having a nationally ranked program for 4 straight years, which is about how long it takes to develop such a reputation. In other words, one in five teams who have a 4 year window of excellence would develop a reputation for “ALWAYS LOSING AT LEAST ONE GAME THEY SHOULDA WON EACH SEASON” that leads to disappointment among the fan base.

  41. Ozuna would seem to fit into the Braves’ plans, but what if you can’t trade Markakis for anything of value? When Markakis gets traded as a salary dump, people will lose their minds. It would seem counterproductive to further piss off the fanbase when it could easily be a lateral or backwards move to go from Markakis and pitching to Ozuna and salary relief.

  42. @59- I said at the time, reaffirmed later, and still think that Brice Ramsey should’ve started at QB for UGA after Gurley got suspended. Hutson Mason probably didn’t deserve all my loathing —he wasn’t necessarily a *bad* QB — but he was a total dead end.

    Those blowout wins over Missouri and Arkansas on back-to-back weeks were a double-edged sword. Sure, it was great that we kicked butt on the road, but it set this program on a pedestal that wasn’t necessarily reflective of its future. And here we are.

    I think Georgia would’ve been a lot better this year if we were rolling with the Bobo/Ramsey combo. Can’t really prove that one. What I do have definitive proof of, though, is that Brian Schottenheimer is the worst coordinator in the SEC and should be fired, oh, two months ago.

    Very much agree that Richt sucks on the margins and in the details. Ignorable when you can out-talent everyone. Less so when you can’t.

  43. Weren’t the Orioles interested in reuniting with Neck? Do they have anything – ANYTHING – the Braves need that could be obtained in such a deal?

    I’d love to get Ozuna. Or JayHey. Or Andrelton. Sigh.

  44. Ozuna faked it in CF for over 100 games last year. He shifts to a corner when Markakis inevitably goes to the bench, assuming no trade. Problem solved.

  45. @43

    “I figure if we change coaches and miss a little, we have an 8 win team. Georgia can recruit enough talent with a mediocre coach to do that thing. So, why hold on to a slightly above mediocre coach? ”

    Unfortunately, as a Vol fan, this is exactly what we thought as well. Maybe you just mean you have an 8 win team next year, and that’s probably true, I don’t know your roster that well. But Tennessee is a huge cautionary tale, here. Georgia has much more in-state talent, but it’s a big risk to fire a proven guy. Honestly I have wondered how much the Fulmer deal and TN’s dark period has weighed on a program like Georgia, and its willingness to part with Richt. Richt is basically Fulmer without the national title. You can look at Florida after Urban as well.

    OTOH, from a Vol fan’s perspective, something is wrong in Athens. Clearly Richt does not maximize the talent there. We could have easily beaten you guys the last couple years (and obviously did this year), which is inexcusable from your side, given what our roster looked like. Now, this year we are a pretty dang good team, despite the 4 losses, but Georgia should’ve won in a big way while TN and UF were down.

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