I don't want to overreact, but this is a thought that's been knocking around in my brain for a couple of weeks now: Why is G.A. Mangus still employed by South Carolina?
Anybody who's followed this blog or my writings over at Team Speed Kills knows that I am loathe to call for anyone to be fired. I might say that someone is likely to be fired, or that they're on the "hot seat," but I generally don't think that the solution to most problems is to fire someone.
Generally. But G.A. Mangus, who supposedly coaches quarterbacks for us (though the evidence that there are any quarterbacks or that they are receiving any coaching is scant), seems at this point to be doing more harm than good. On the field and off of it.
Remember, this is a guy who was arrested for an incident that was embarrassing for the university and has been named in an NCAA investigation. The way you fix that is by doing your job well, proving that none of this is distracting to you and hoping that at least the investigation breaks your way.
Instead, this is what we've gotten out of Mangus' most important charge, in terms of a four-game rolling average of passing efficiency before the Auburn game. (This is for Garcia's career -- Mangus has been QB coach the last three years.)
Through the very end of last year, he appeared to be helping. But that dip you see at the very end essentially begins with the second loss to Auburn and continues through the Georgia game. Garcia is not getting better. Instead, he's getting markedly worse. All the way up to the disaster tonight, when he was 9-for-22 for 160 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
The most important thing in evaluating a coach is not a game-by-game -- it's the trend line. The trend line is not G.A. Mangus' friend in this case. If he gets credit for the increased efficiency of Garcia last year, he also has to take the blame for the decline since then.
And it's not clear that this is just a Garcia problem. Connor Shaw's play when he got to take the snaps against ECU was underwhelming, to be kind.
I don't know that South Carolina needs to fire Mangus right now, but I'm also not sure it wouldn't be a good idea. I'm torn on the whole prospect, and I'm a little bit tired both of the season so far, and the play of Stephen Garcia in particular.
But I can't escape this sinking feeling that all of that is at least partially the fault of G.A. Mangus. And that it's only going to get worse until we part ways.