Colorado State knocked the ball out of the park by hiring Mike Bobo. The under-appreciated Georgia offensive coordinator has a distinguished resume and is just what the program needs to build upon the success of the Jim McElwain era.
Make no mistake about it: Bobo isn’t perfect. Anyone who’s spent five minutes on a college football site this fall has seen Georgia fans complain about some of his play calling. Just look at what the Dawg faithful had to say about his decision go with an empty backfield on third-and-short against South Carolina.
While these complaints about his situational tactics might have some merit (for the record, I have no problem with the aforementioned call), Bobo’s highly successful track record as offensive coordinator makes him the obvious choice to take over as the head coach at Colorado State.
Just look at what he accomplished at Georgia. With Dawg offense stuck in neutral at the end of the 2006 season, Richt opted to turn the play calling responsibilities to Bobo. The Dawgs responded by winning back-to-back games against No. 16 Georgia Tech and No. 14 Virginia Tech, vaulting UGA into the final poll at No. 23.
Although his critics will point out that the Bulldog offense didn’t exactly light the world on fire in these two contests, the mere fact that Richt – arguably one of the top offensive minds in college football history – entrusted him to right the ship speaks volumes about his ability as a play caller.
So do the results on the field. In his seven full seasons as the offensive coordinator, Georgia averaged 34.1 points and 420.5 yards per game. Under his leadership, the Dawg offense has been one of the most explosive in the country over the last three seasons, racking up 38.7 points and 468.9 yards per contest.
Those numbers look even more impressive considering they came against the physical defenses of the SEC.
In addition to his play-calling ability, Bobo is an expert at developing talent. During his tenure at Georgia, he helped mold David Greene, D.J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Murray into NFL-caliber signal callers.
And, as this season showed, he knows how to tailor his attack to the personnel he has available. Despite losing Murray to the pros and playing without Todd Gurley for parts of the season, the Georgia offense still managed to lead the conference in scoring (41.7 ppg). Bobo got the most out of true freshman Nick Chubb (first-team all-SEC) and first-year starter Hutson Mason, who finished second in the league in passing efficiency (154.81) with a very respectable 20/4 TD-to-INT ratio.
There’s no reason to think that this won’t continue in Fort Collins. After all, the Rams return a wealth of talent on offense next fall, including Rashard Higgins (96 catches, 1,750 yards receiving) and Dee Hart (1,275 yards rushing). Considering Bobo’s proven success developing triggermen, the Colorado State shouldn’t experience as much of a drop-off at quarterback as everyone’s expecting with the loss of Garrett Grayson.
In other words: with Bobo calling the shots, don’t be surprised to see the Rams have the same type of success they enjoyed during the early years of the Sonny Lubick era. All of the pieces are certainly in place.