The University this afternoon confirmed an earlier report by Dawgpost.com that Brian Schottenheimer is the latest coach from the Mark Richt staff who won't be coaching in the TaxSlayer Bowl.
It's not really a surprise of course. But Schottenheimer's exit brings home the fact that Georgia finds itself in a bit of a coaching doughnut, with its head coach still helping his former employer, his recently-named offensive coordinator on the road recruiting but not coaching the bowl game, and no defensive coordinator in residence. Bryan McClendon will take the reins for the bowl game, but there's been a lot of speculation recently that he's likely to join Mark Richt in Miami. Thomas Brown will be back, but there's still no word on tight ends coach John Lilly, who served as offensive coordinator for last season's Belk Bowl appearance. Georgia scored 37 points in that game, by the way, about 11 more than their 2015 season average, for what that's worth.
It will be interesting to see what happens in this bowl game, as the contest now feels more like a perfunctory speed bump on the way to the Kirby Smart era than a matchup with a traditional power in a respectable, nationally-televised bowl game. It's hard to imagine that the players really show up in force for this one, especially the seniors who have been put through the emotional ringer over the last few days and are in the process of moving on to their own personal "what's next". Underclassmen at least have the spectra of Smart and his new assistants trying to figure out who to count on in 2016.
In retrospect, Brian Schottenheimer's hiring will go down as the move that spelled the end for Mark Richt. That may or may not be fair, as a lot of other offensive coordinators would have struggled with no clear-cut starter at QB and Nick Chubb going down with a knee injury. But Schottenheimer's the one who was at the helm of the post-Bobo offense when the ship actually hit the iceberg. And we'll always have that to share. His official departure brings a strange sense of relief for me. If only he'd left ten months ago, right? Until later . . .