Let’s face it: the Georgia Bulldogs were embarrassed by the Texas Longhorns in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl. A team that was on the cusp of an SEC Championship and College Football Playoff berth watched their season implode as the Longhorns controlled the entire game.
There’s no shame in an 11-3 season, which is still impressive no matter how you dice it, but one former Bulldog great isn’t so thrilled. Tim Worley, the former No. 7 overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, absolutely blasted Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, the players on the team, and the program as a whole for their showing to end the season, and he did not hold back.
Former Georgia running back Tim Worley first played for the Bulldogs in 1985 and 1986. He was forced to leave the Georgia football program in 1987 for a junior college after becoming academically ineligible while rehabbing an ACL tear, then he returned for a breakout junior year. Worley rushed for 1,216 yards and 17 touchdowns during the 1988 season when the Dawgs finished 9-3 and won the Gator Bowl.
Despite playing less than three full seasons of NCAA football, then leaving for the NFL Draft one year early, Worley used his Georgia connection to pen a scathing op-ed on the football program after their bowl game, which was published by UGAWire of the USA Today.
There’s a lot to digest in the full letter, but here are a few excerpts.
“[A]t the risk of sounding arrogant and entitled again, I submit this: I get to say whatever I want. I played the game. As a ‘Dawg… ‘Tween the Hedges.’ There’s something to be said for the perspective of someone who has actually lived in those trenches, and I’m in no mood for pleasantries.”
For starters, does Worley REALLY get to say whatever he wants? Does two seasons and four games in Athens almost 30 years ago make him the foremost authority on the current state Bulldogs football? I digress, but Worley certainly did not.
“Coach Smart said Texas ‘wanted it more’ and he said, ‘I hope they learn you better show up to play every game because the teams you’re playing at the end of the year are all capable of topping you.’
“With all due respect, Coach, ‘hope’ isn’t gonna get it done. You can’t ‘hope’ they get it. You have to make them get it. That only happens with a no-exceptions culture that is either bought into, or players play somewhere else. You’ve seen it done. As Alabama’s defensive coordinator, you have championship rings proving it can be done….with this generation of athletes. I mean no disrespect, but later for all that ‘hope’ stuff, bruh.”
Just a few paragraphs before this, Worley griped that members of the media should respectfully address all football coaches as ‘Coach,’ and not by their first name. So, he’s going to climax this rant by calling out Georgia’s head coach with a ‘bruh?’
Don’t worry, there’s more.
“UGA’s players (and possibly its coaches?) clearly didn’t want to be at the New Orleans last night, and it’s not because they don’t like gumbo. I’m a North Carolina native – and a country boy – so I’m going to say what happened the way we say it in Lumberton: they ‘threw their suckers in the dirt.'”
Worley continued from here by saying how University of Georgia football players, just a few nights before, were commenting on the College Football Playoff committee for leaving them out in favor of the Clemson-Notre Dame matchup. He said of the unnamed players, “They were brash. Arrogant. Haughty. Loud.”
So much for respect, huh?
“Here’s the truth. UGA players being comfortable with publicly blasting the Playoff Committee is, without question, a leadership failure. Mic. Drop.”
Think Worley makes a legitimate point here? Does the Georgia Bulldogs football program, which has won 24 games over the last two seasons and reached the No. 2 spot in the AP Poll each year, lack leadership throughout the program?
“January 2, 2019 hurt recruiting. It hurt the futures of those who will declare for the draft. It may not seem like it right away, but the long-term effects could be irreparable. The performance last night sent the wrong message. It encourages the pervasive sentiment that college ball is just a stepping stone to the NFL.”
If not having All-American cornerback DeAndre Baker, who sat out in preparation for the NFL Draft, has “irreparably” damaged the Georgia football program, then Tim Worley is just griping at this point. He made sure to remind everyone that he played in his final bowl game against Michigan State’s Tony Mandarich and Andre Rison, both of whom were first round picks the same year as Worley.
For someone on the outside looking in, Tim Worley has no business ripping Georgia to shreds like this. Texas is a high-quality program that will be contending on the national stage for the next few years, and they were the better team on Tuesday night. Plain and simple.
Anything else is just empty chatter, and that’s exactly what Worley decided he was going to set out and do.