Mike Bobo may not be the hire Georgia fans wanted, but is the one that’s needed

Georgia football analyst Mike Bobo on the sideline during the G-Day spring football gameNews Joshua L Jones
Georgia football analyst Mike Bobo on the sideline during the G-Day spring football gameNews Joshua L Jones /

The news that many Georgia football fans were dreading became true today with confirmation that offensive coordinator Todd Monken has moved to the NFL and that Mike Bobo would take over the Bulldogs’ offense.

Rumour was rife for weeks that Monken would move back to the NFL, having been the offensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016-2018 and the Cleveland Browns in 2019.

Shortly after the Georgia Bulldogs’ repeat of the National Championship Monken was hotly tipped to return to Tampa with the Buccaneers. The shift to Florida did not transpire albeit the move to Baltimore and the Ravens surprised many today.

However, the speculation surrounding Monken gave head coach Kirby Smart an early heads-up and advanced notice that a replacement could be required. Meaning today, shortly after the news of Monken broke that Georgia confirmed the promotion of offensive analyst and former offensive coordinator Mike Bobo into Monken’s role.

In doing so the Kirby Smart masterplan entered into a new chapter. And the clear benefit of this new chapter? It is a familiar one. While Bobo was currently on the Georgia staff as an analyst, this is not his first rodeo as the offensive coordinator in Athens. Mike Bobo was previously offensive coordinator under Mark Richt from 2007 to 2014 so knows Athens and the Bulldogs well.

So what can Georgia fans expect from Bobo 2.0?

Mike Bobo is a proven winner and will bring an important factor to the role

Kirby Smart preaches three things – eliteness, recruitment, and consistency. In Bobo, Georgia retains consistency. As much as Kirby will have been all too aware that his staff would be targeted after back-to-back National Championships, too much upheaval is a bad thing.

Bringing Bobo back to be the Dawgs’ offensive coordinator preaches consistency. Which is hardly surprising. After yet another successful signing class changing the offensive coordinator has the potential to be disastrous.

Filling the position from within with someone who has such a deep relationship with Georgia and who has done the job successfully before makes Monken’s departure a non-issue for recruits. For what it’s worth Bobo’s recruiting record in his first stint in Athens was excellent.

For those critics out there hollering that familiarity breeds contempt, let’s dwell on this fascinating fact. Per the Athletic’s Seth Emerson this past season Monken’s offense averaged 41.1 points per game. This is the second most successful offensive season in Georgia’s record.

The first?

Mike Bobo’s 2014 offense, which averaged 41.3 points per game. Bazinga! Better still Mike Bobo’s 2012 offense was the highest-ranked in the nation that season — a statistic that Monken’s offense never achieved despite winning back-to-back National Championships.

Given the vastly different makeup of the rosters, it’s hard to compare apples with apples looking at Bobo’s schemes then versus now. But the previous Bobo offense was rightly tagged as run-heavy.

That should come as no shock when he had Knowshon Moreno, Isaiah Crowell, Keith Marshall, Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, and Sony Michel at his disposal. Senior running back Kendall Milton will hope that Bobo can develop him into a next-tier elite running back.

But perhaps the area that Bobo will be judged most on is the decision to be made at quarterback. Prior to being promoted to offensive coordinator under Mark Richt, Bobo was the quarterbacks coach in Athens, and he worked with and developed Matthew Stafford, Aaron Murray, and David Greene.

As a recruiter Bobo built a relationship with and secured the signature of Jacob Eason. So Bobo knows a good quarterback when he sees one.

Meaning the work Bobo will undertake with Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff, and Gunner Stockton will ultimately decide how his time in the Athens second time around will fare.

There may be the compulsion for fans to say that Bobo is not the hip, sexy hire. But as Alabama has just demonstrated filling the offensive coordinator position isn’t as easy as first thought. So maintaining consistency on the offense is actually a very smart move by well, Smart.

The future is bright Dawgs fans. The future is Bobo.

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