Mike Bobo is at his leverage point

semerson@macon.comDecember 4, 2012 

ATHENS - Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is in Arkansas today - presumably not to interview for the head coaching job in that state. Bobo was one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant.

The award went to Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.

At some point in the future, Bobo will have to get a new contract: Like every Georgia assistant not named Todd Grantham, Bobo is on a one-year contract that expires next June.

But with Georgia having such a good offensive season, and Bobo getting national recognition for it, could he be in line for a raise and/or a longer-term contract, a la Grantham?

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity is noncommittal.

"We'll deal with all that stuff once the season is over," McGarity said.

That could always change if events force it: Bobo could become a candidate for a head coaching job somewhere, though his name hasn't been prominently mentioned yet. Another possibility is if Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart gets a head coaching job: Smart and Bobo are close friends and former teammates, and you'd have to think one of the first calls Smart would make is to Bobo to see if he wants to run his offense.

Bobo was asked a couple times over the last month about the next step in his career, and always sidestepped the answer, saying he wanted to focus on the chance to win an SEC and national championship. Junior quarterback Aaron Murray opined that Bobo is in his "dream job," coaching the offense at his alma mater.

Bobo has had his many critics among the Georgia fan base, but the performance of this year's offense speaks for itself. And if Bobo did leave it has the potential for a domino effect among the quarterbacks: Murray, a redshirt junior, is mulling the NFL draft and is very close with Bobo. And Bobo was the main recruiter for Brice Ramsey, the team's quarterback recruit this year who plans to enroll in January.

Georgia set program records this year for points and touchdowns, and still has the Capital One Bowl to pad that total. The Bulldogs did that despite an offensive line that was average at best, but Bobo properly utilized his skill players, including freshman tailback Todd Gurley, who went from fourth-string in the preseason to a first-team All-SEC selection.

Last year Grantham got a brand new three-year contract, that pays him $825,000 annually. Bobo's current deal pays him $300,000. Of course, Grantham had leverage last year, after the Georgia defense finished fifth in the nation and was the big reason behind the SEC East Division title. This year, it's Bobo who may have the leverage.

It's just not clear whether he has the inclination to use it.

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