Bulldogs Beat

Georgia's Bobo once again the focus of intrigue

ATHENS - Two years and two weeks ago it was written in this space that Mike Bobo "may have the leverage (for a new contract), it's just not clear whether he has the inclination to use it."

In the months that followed Virginia Tech sent a plane to Athens to try to hire Bobo away, Southern Miss quietly pursued him for the head job, and the result was a raise and a long-term contract for Bobo ... at Georgia.

Now here we are, two years and two weeks later, and once again it's fair to say that Bobo should have leverage.

Bobo, 40, has only burnished his credentials over the past two seasons. Georgia ranks eighth in the nation and first in the SEC in scoring offense this year. Georgia's offense, a pro-style system, has nonetheless put up big numbers the past few years. Two years ago the team set school records for total yards in a season (6,547) and touchdowns (72), and last year a new school record was set in average yards per game (484.2.)

Last year he was named the offensive coordinator of the year by 247Sports.com, and two years ago he was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach.

Bobo is also one of the Bulldogs' top recruiters, credited this year with being the main recruiter for defensive lineman Trent Thompson, one of the nation's top prospects.

So will Bobo use all this to improve his place in life, whether it's a raise from Georgia, or a better job? Again, that's not clear.

The most realistic open head coaching job right now is Colorado State, which opened earlier this month when Jim McElwain was hired away by Florida. Colorado State did well hiring an SEC offensive coordinator the last time, so it wouldn't be surprising if it went that way again - and for someone who runs essentially the same pro-style offense.

The Rams are reportedly interested in a number of candidates; Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford is also expected to interview, according to Orangebloods.com.

Bobo has not been available for comment this month. Last year when he was linked to the Georgia Southern job he said he did want to be a head coach some day.

"I think we all aspire, well I know I aspire to be a head coach, one day, and where at I don't know," Bobo said. "But I also aspire to win a championship, here at the University of Georgia. We've been close so many times. And I do feel like the ingredients are there."

He said that after last season ended, and probably feels that way now. Georgia will lose plenty of talent off a team that's 9-3 entering the Belk Bowl, but Bobo's offense is also set to bring back Nick Chubb, Malcolm Mitchell and four offensive line starters.

Bobo, 40, received a three-year contract after the 2012 season, which was extended after last season. He's earning $575,000 per year, which ranked 40th among college assistants this season, per the USA Today database. It's also $275,000 less than what Jeremy Pruitt earns as Georgia's defensive coordinator, the same salary that Todd Grantham earned in 2012 and 2013.

Asked last week whether Bobo could be in for a raise, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity deferred to head coach Mark Richt, who has a pool of money to pay his assistants.

Well, if Colorado State or another school comes calling, the pool may have to open up. Unless Bobo feels now is the time to make the jump.

"I'm not trying to actively pick up the phone and call up people," Bobo said after last year's Gator Bowl. "If things happen, they happen. I've got a great job, I work for a great man, I've got great kids to coach, and we're always gonna get great players. Whatever happens, happens, I don't get too caught up in where I am, or what's everybody's situation is. I try to make sure my guys are ready to play, my unit on that side of the ball."