Here we are again. Same story, different year. We came into the beginning of the season with tons of hype and a stacked, talented team. Another signing class full of stars and an off-season with all the right things seeming to happen. And yet again, we dare to hope… Is this FINALLY our year???

This is where that annoying guy at the bar turns to you and says “you know Einstein said that the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”

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So first off, tell that guy to shut up and that Einstein didn’t say that (neither did Ben Franklin or Mark Twain, for the record). It’s amazing how meaningless platitudes never make a loss any easier. Especially to Tennessee.

After the loss has settled into that deep part of your soul, you start searching for the reason. Why? Every year. We always seem to drop at least one big game without fail. The trend on Twitter has turned to #FireMarkRicht. And the response is always either A. He’s such a good guy. Or B. Who else are we going to get?

I’m not going to address A. That goes without saying. You will be hard-pressed to find a classier guy than Richt, but B intrigues me. Who else is out there?

Here’s a short list, certainly not the only considerations, but some interesting prospects of coaches that may be poised to take the helm of a prestigious program, like Georgia, to the next level.

Kirby Smart

Smart seems to be the top candidate for the last couple of years. And rightfully so, with the indomitable monstrosity that has been the Alabama defense for the last several years. With Smart being a Georgia boy, having been raised in Georgia, donned the G from 95-98, and a brief stint as the RB coach in 05, it would certainly be great to bring him back home. He was considered for the DC position in 2010 but he decided to remain at Alabama and he is currently the highest paid defensive coordinator in NCAA football at a little over 1.2 million a year. While he does not have any experience at being a head coach, it seems to be just a matter of time before someone gives him the shot.

Phillip Montgomery

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Montgomery might be a better prospect in a few years once he has a couple of seasons at Tulsa under his belt. He is currently in his first season as head coach there. He had been been very successful as the OC at Baylor in the previous 8 seasons. You just don’t want to pull a coach up to the majors before he’s ready and before he’s proven himself (I.e. Derek Dooley at Tennessee).

Scott Frost

Frost is another interesting coach. He is the current OC at Oregon (which, despite their losses this season, is still a good offensive football team). He has only had that position for two years but has been at Oregon since ’09. He has seen plenty of success, both in playing (Nebraska NC’s in 95 & 97) as well as playing under Parcells, Belichick, and Jon Gruden during his stint in the NFL. He certainly has the pedigree you would like to see in a coach, but that doesn’t always translate into success on the field.

Doug Meacham

Meacham is a coach that certainly seems ready to make a big break. He has worked his way up the ranks as a coach, and having been an OC since ’91 at Georgia Military College (except for a 7 year gig as the WR/TE coach at his Alma mater, Oklahoma State, when he broke into D1 coaching). He is the current TCU OC (undefeated and #3 in the polls currently) and might be a great get as the “next big head coach”.

Brent Venables

Here is your other defensive minded prospect, if that is what you consider to be the Bulldog’s greatest need. And hey, it’s working out so far for the Falcons and their defensive minded coach. Venables is the current DC at Clemson, and in his four years there, he has turned Clemson’s defense into a well-oiled machine (they are undefeated currently and #5 in the polls). Add to that, the 11 years previous, he had been the DC at Oklahoma, it cannot be denied that Venables can put out a terrific defensive product on the field. Whether he can be the lead man remains to be seen, but he can certainly handle the stresses that go along with being in a big time winning program.

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Chip Kelly is also likely to be searching for a new coaching job at the end of this season, but it is doubtful at best that he would even be considered. Kelly runs a program that does not seem to be a good fit for UGA. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the lead candidate for the Southern Cal job, when that becomes open. It is time for UGA fans to stop saying who? and start saying we can do better than what we are currently doing.