Calibrating Mark Richt’s future

There’s a part of Seth Emerson’s premise about Richt’s situation with which I wholeheartedly agree:

… When Richt walks to the podium Thursday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., the Georgia head football coach will know what awaits. There may be a thousand credentialed media members at the SEC Media Days, and a lot of them will be thinking of nice ways to ask the hard-hitting question: Is he on the hot seat?

The short answer is yes. But anyone looking at a certain number of wins Richt needs to get this year is being too simplistic…

Obvious scenarios aside (10+ wins or less than six, it’ll be obvious what will happen) there’s a lot more that’ll go into the calculation of Richt’s survival than merely counting the number of wins it would take to get him over the threshold.  But I hope this isn’t part of the math, at least not in the way that Emerson describes:

… If Georgia changes coaches, Richt will argue — and his bosses will be very well aware — then commitments become de-commitments. Theus would in all likelihood re-open his recruitment, with Florida and Texas ready to pounce. Other highly rated commitments, such as defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor and defensive end Leonard Floyd, will be preyed on by rival schools while Georgia looks for a new coach.

By itself, is that enough to convince Georgia’s administration not to change coaches? Of course not, if the school’s leaders feel strongly enough about the on-field product.

But let’s say it’s a tough call: If Georgia starts 0-2 — a very real possibility — the obituaries on Richt’s tenure at Georgia will be written like no one has ever seen. But it will in all probability still be way too premature.

This Georgia administration is going to give Richt all the rope he needs. And his success on the recruiting trail, adding to his goodwill within the Bulldogs fan base, is providing Richt with a lot of rope. He’ll be able to withstand a couple of early losses. At least that’s the smart bet.

Now if the Bulldogs are sitting later at something like 2-6, with losses to say, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and the like, yes, a change will in all likelihood come.

But athletics director Greg McGarity and president Michael Adams will weigh everything, including recruiting. And they will know that if they oust Richt, they’ll in all likelihood lose Theus and Henry and perhaps Ramsey and others.

Coaching transitions are never easy. Sometimes they’re necessary. Richt and his defenders will argue that the risks in this case would outweigh any benefits.

That’s awfully shortsighted.  You can’t keep chasing your tail.  Using possible recruiting defections as a crutch to justify the retention of a coaching staff that isn’t succeeding on the field is a fool’s mission, especially if you’re going to use recruits from two classes out as part of that justification.

Certainly recruiting is the lifeblood of any successful college football program.  And what’s reassuring about the results from Dawg Night is that Coach Richt hasn’t lost his credibility in the eyes of recruits and their families.  But at some point, success on the recruiting trail has to translate into success on the field if a head coach expects to be retained over the long haul.  As much as I want him to do well and run the show as long as he wants, I hardly think Richt is the only man who can consistently recruit top ten classes to Athens.  Worrying about a one year dip in recruiting shouldn’t be a reason to refuse to make a change if the program’s performance otherwise requires it.

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94 Comments

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94 responses to “Calibrating Mark Richt’s future

  1. zdub

    If you continually recruit top 5-10 classes and under perform on the field that should say a lot right there.

    I want Richt to have a good year and return. Because I like him as a person and he represents UGA well. And I know, because I have seen with my own eyes, that he can coach UGA to a SEC Championship. But at the same time he has to produce with the talent at his disposal, which he has not done in 6 years. The fact that we didn’t win a SEC Championship with Stafford, Knowshon, and some great defensive guys says a lot. Richt had all the talent in the world but could not deliver anything substantial in terms of championships. The Sugar Bowl was great, but we beat Hawaii…Hawaii.

    Richt’s reluctance to can his friends when they should have been gone long before their firing may yet prove to be his undoing. The 3-4 has to work (and very well) this year. Bobo has to call the plays that his players can execute to justify him not being demoted/fired from OC duties.

    A recruiting dip, like you said Senator, should not be a cause for concern. As stocked as the state is with players we should have no trouble rebounding the following years as long as we don’t end up with a coaching carousel.

    • Jeff Sanchez

      If Kentucky scores from first and goal on the one against Tennessee in 2007, we, in all likelihood, don’t just win an SECC with Stafford et al, but win a MNC too.

      • zdub

        And if we don’t get obliterated by Tennessee and stifled by an inferior SCe team in 2007 then that UT-UK game wouldn’t have mattered. Do you see my point? The team came out unprepared for those games and lost them both. To me that falls on the coaches more than the players. Knowshon didn’t get the ball enough against SCe and the whole team came out flat against Tenn. That reflects poor coaching for those games and leaves us all thinking about “what might have been” 4 years later.

        • Jeff Sanchez

          The SECC and MNC, LSU, both had two losses.

          Ours were just the “wrong” ones.

        • Dawgfan Will

          As Jeff points out, LSU came out unprepared against two opponents as well, but it turned out pretty well for them. And I daresay nobody was calling Les Miles a good coach back then.

      • Otto

        If Bobo calls something other than a play action call in the 4th against SCar. that had been called multiple times before, Stafford does not get sacked and UGA may ahve won. You can’t go on what ifs for a MNC when you have not 1 but 2 losses. Bobo also issued an apology for sticking with the running game so loang against UT.

        • Dawgfan Will

          Ordinarily, I would agree with you about what ifs. But when the champ that year also had 2 losses, I’m pretty sure that ordinarily doesn’t apply.

    • In the SEC, coaching is relative. Look at Tubberville at Auburn – he was a fine coach against Bama pre-Saban, but once Nick arrived at Ttown, Tubs couldn’t compete and had to go. With Richt, he stands to do a lot better in a Meyer-less SEC-East. Sure, Carolina’s hot now, but does ANYONE really think that’s gonna last? I expect these next two seasons will turn out quite well for the Dawgs.

  2. Texas Baller

    Why assume there would be a recruiting dip should Richt get whacked…I think just the opposite. Maybe a different perspective on recruiting, a statement firing by McGarity and stellar replacement would enhance and entice BIG recruits….immediately!

    • Honestly, that’s wishful thinking. There’s almost always a short-term dip in the wake of a change, mainly because there’s usually little time between when that occurs and the next NSD and it takes time for the new guy to get up to speed with recruits and their families.

      • Texas Baller

        Saban #10 in year one at Alabama….#1 & #1 year two and three recruiting classes…per Rivals. I’d take it Senator.

        • Zdawg

          So, we hire a coach with the recruiting ability of Saban and no dip at all. Certainly no wishful thinking there Texas! ;)

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Not saying he would take the job or that we would want him but does anyone think for even a minute that there would be a recruiting dip if CMR was out and we hired, for example, Urban Meyer. It depends on who the coach would be.

            • AthensHomerDawg

              Only if his heart holds out…..
              “Urban burnt up but he lasted long enough to run his string. When the super stars graduated and coordinators cashed in …… he also took to the sports network.”

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                Meyer was just an example. If we got a first rate HC there would be no decline in recruiting, IMO.

                • Ausdawg85

                  First rate HC’s ready for action list: Saba…errr…no. Mey…uh, no. Tress…whoa. Kiff….Carro….Kel….uh, ok, let’s just omit the west coast. Rodri….uh, uh. Beam…wait,.. What was the question again?

                  Oh, yeah. Kirby Smart comes home. Yep, big recruiting boost there year 1 as I’m sure as he’ll steal all of ‘Bama’s top picks.

                  Hell, why even keep Richt now when there are such “Spurrier” choices out there to get immediately! (see what I did there?)

                  • AthensHomerDawg

                    Shame on you. ;-)

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    Let’s see: Bo Pellini…sure. Bob Stoops…yeah. Chip Kelly…yup. Jimbo Fisher…10 wins his first season last year, why not? Mark Dantonio…undefeated most of last season, you betcha. (There are a lot more out there than you seem to acknowledge—glad you won’t be the “decider” to borrow a term from W).

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      Don’t misunderstand me. I want CMR to succeed and not leave. but anyone who thinks UGA couldn’t get someone who is a big time coach to come to Athens isn’t dealing in reality. Money talks and UGA has plenty of it plus this is one of the top jobs in the country.

                    • Ausdawg85

                      I’m sure you don’t want to go through a thorough name-by-name debate here and now (I sure don’t). I think you’ve missed my point. Certainly UGA has the money, prestige and ability to bring in an established “name” HC. Problem is, right now in all of CFB, I really question who would be available/wanted/interested. It’s a very damn small list, and then compared to Richt, highly questionable as to whether you are upgrading. Just look at your examples….Kelly?! He’s going on probation in all likelyhood. Pellini and Stoops? Why leave comparable programs and $$$. Fisher?…Really? We already have a Bowden protege, and I’d argue a better one. Dantonio reminds me of Glen Mason, but fine…put him on your list. I think I’d take Mullen over him.

                      We would be better off investing…again…in an up-and-coming coordinator. I’m not the “decider”, didn’t claim to be (and don’t have an alias that claims to be such either), and am pretty sure McGarity will do a fine job of managing this situation. But I am sure that I can spot a lost grasp of reality when the argument is “By God we’re UGA and can command the heavens for any damn person we please to grace our sidelines at any time, for any amount.”

                • Oh, recruiting, so important that folks will base their opinions on the theoretical future reactions of teenagers to a theoretical future employment decision of the UGA Athletic Department.

                  We’ll all see on the field this fall if CMR can keep his job, or if UGA has to look for a new head coach. I don’t want to see the program go down that road because A) it will mean living through at least one more terrible year of football and B) because that will then open the Dawgs up to a tremendous level of uncertainty.

                  Could Georgia land a top flight, established head coach to replace an underachieving (in the last few years) Mark Richt? Maybe. Maybe even probably. But the answer is not “definitely.” No matter who comes next, there will be just as many, if not more, complaints unless they start winning championships almost immediately.

                  What I do know is that some program who never had a chance to land a first-rate HC will have that chance if Georgia ends its relationship with Mark Richt.

                • Cojones

                  Bad example. Tebow made Meyer, not the other way around.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    If Tebow comes to UGA he’s not even the starter at QB ’cause he doesn’t fit in the UGA system. Honestly, do you have Tebow beating out Staff in CMR’s offense? He’s probably moved to tight end.

      • Mike

        Yep. A recruiting dip happened with both Meyer and Muschamp in their first year. Although in both cases it was not too bad.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Texas Baller is right. I’d say CMR’s best recruiting year was his first – Pollack, Davis, Shockley, Thurman, Gibson – just to name a few. A new coach could spark some optimism in the program. McGarity has breathed some much needed new life into UGA in a short time. Life will go on whether CMR is retained or booted.

  3. AthensHomerDawg

    Mark Richt sits at number 5 on the Coaches Hot Seat….right next to Mack Brown at #6. Hard to believe CMB has been at Texas 14 years and 5 years removed from a NC and the recent 2009 conf championship there he sits. Player/Coach and Tennessee native: Phil Fulmer was the HC for the Vols for 18 years. The memory of a decade old NC and the recent Eastern Division titles were not enough to sustain him. Vols paid him well and he will never coach again. Rich Rod never gelled with the power brokers and was not a Michigan Man. He took his 5 million and now is an analyst. You have to be able to get along with the local power brokers if you want to coach at their University. Tubberville won 80% of his games yet it was only a matter of time before he was gone. He never learned to gee-haw! Tuberville is still driven to coach. Urban burnt up but he lasted long enough to run his string. When the super stars graduated and coordinators cashed in …… he also took to the sports network. Tressel’s demise was self inflicted or he would have made it longer. Like Fulmer I don’t believe he will coach again. Nebraska may win the Big 10(+2) this year-h/t to Tressel. Nick Saban is entering his 6th year at Alabama. His two previous college HC stints lasted 5 years each. It’s been 5 years since Les Miles won the NC and it’s been that long since the last conference title as well. If Les Miles is the luckiest coach in the SEC then Mark Richt has to be the most snake bit. I hope Coach Richt can turn it around. It’s hard to maintain excellence in a division like the SEC. If he can’t, and history is not with him on this, I’m sure the 6.8 million dollar buyout will be well spent. I hope we don’t end up on that coaching merry-go-round that was Alabama’s fate before Satan!
    “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

    • JaxDawg

      Honestly, I believe McGarity will ensure our absence on the merry-go-round.

      To not make a change at the top b/c you may lose recruits is the most ridiculous, myopic suggestion I’ve ever heard.

    • HK

      “number 5 on the Coaches Hot Seat”

      Spare me, please. Just because some jerk offs at CFN or wherever ranked some coaches and their “seats” doesn’t mean we have to give their stupid list any credence. Please don’t encourage them.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Well alrighty….Please don’t get those whitey tightys in a wad. Oh well, allow me to retort….
        Coaches Hot Seat is a blog (I know of no affiliation with CFN) . I have visited it maybe a half dozen times. I don’t know if it is any more or less credible than the one we are on now. I don’t necessarily support it ….because I have yet to post to it. My point was and is that both CMB and CMR are both considered “on the hot seat”. Hot Seat-”Being in the hot seat”, an expression for a high-pressure situation in which a great deal of attention and scrutiny is focused on a person or organization” WIKI. Regardless, of “who” states it or ranks it….. I think we both can concur that they are both there……”on the hot seat“. My second point which I must not have made (a little slack here because I seldom made it to that side of campus that may have polished my writing skills- poor excuse maybe , but I must stick with it)….. Both have been successful coaches with long tenures and their futures are being weighed.
        There…now we can be friends again.

  4. Worrying about recruiting instead of worrying about competency is how we ended up with Ray Goff. And how UF ended up with Zook. You gotta work the process.

    Bama didn’t panic when RichRod walked. They hired Saban because they didn’t panic.

    If Richt doesn’t turn it around, I really think we’re ending up with Mullen or Smart.

    I lack any confidence in our ability to manage this process well.

    Until McGarity makes a hire on his own, he’s just a former assistant AD riding Foley’s legacy.

  5. BulldogBen

    Senator, I pretty much said the same sort of thing on Emerson’s blog.

    It’s very short sighted to even put stock in these recruits with regards to the future of the program. We have no idea what is going to happen to them before they step foot on campus.

    There is an ebb and flow to football programs and perception in the eyes of not just other teams and fans, but the players themselves. In Jim Donnan’s last season, you just felt that we were already beaten before we even played the likes of UT or Florida. I feel that starting to slowly creep in. The only way you can fix that sort of thing is change.

    I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Yet CJD was the first to beat either of them in a while.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Donnan got a bad rap. Under Goff the Dawgs had a series of years where they won only 6 games and were mired in mediocrity. UGA had become Kentucky. Donnan resurrected the program and set the table for what CMR did his first few years, predominately with Donnan’s players.

        • James Stephenson

          Don’t forget he won the SEC in 2005 with all of his players. So let’s not give Donnan all of the credit.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Plus CMR had the #2 team in the country in ’07 (I think it was really the #1 team) and that was with only players recruited on his watch.

      • BulldogBen

        Doesn’t mean that there still wasn’t a “hope for the best, expect the worst” mentality that pervaded the entire program.

        That was the best thing Richt brought to the program; the idea that we were going to be in every game.

  6. vincent

    There’s always a risk when u change hc. but if a guy consistently underachieves sticking with him is settling for mediocrity. i wanna see richt win again but my head tells me that we will be irrelevant for the next few years in a best case scenario. 1 or 2 years for richt to get fired then 2 yrs for the new guy to get us established again, that’s IF we hire the right guy to replace richt. Screw up the search and you can change the time line from 3-4 to 5-10 yrs. sadly i believe the long term fate of our program is at stake the first two games of our season.

    • DawgPhan

      Now the long term fate of the program hangs in the balance in 2 september football games? we dont even wait till november to declare the program dead…

  7. Good points/good post. Couldn’t agree more. At some point you have to cut your losses and make a change when you aren’t getting competent performance.

    Richt earned patience, and that’s what he’s gotten for the last couple of go arounds. Now we’ll see what he’s got left.

  8. Dog in Fla

    Possible two-game calibration scenarios for Mark:

    1. Win first two convincingly, Bob Bishop tells Michael Adams to put McGarity in a chokehold making him give Mark a Contract for Life extension agreement and immediately hire Kirby as a HCIW thereby running off Todd who will be hired by Nick in a mid-season trade of DC’s that will also involve lesser assistant coach to be named later and cash using BCSCG (Auburn and Oregon) techniques via WalMart giftcards using real WalMart shoppers as couriers and report minor secondary violations using vague and amorphous terms along the lines that somebody dialed a cell phone with their fat ass to avoid tampering charges

    2. Win first two unconvincingly in old-style 16-13 UAB fashion, Bob Bishop tells Adams to tell McGarity that he might want to think about giving Mark a 10 year contract extension, firing Bobo because Carlton Thomas was held to -57 yards rushing by Jadeveon of SC, hiring the DC Manny who Mack Brown stole from Mullen thereby running off Todd whose defense gives up too many field goals who will in turn be hired by Jeremy as UF coach after the hoped-for Fukishima meltdown of Will and Charlie in Hogtown; Todd will then hire Bobo as OC thereby restoring UF to Spurrieresque 1990’s dominance;

    3. Loss to Boise and win over Spurrier, see #2, above;

    4. Win over Boise and loss to Spurrier, decry oversigning and Whitney Hotel, citing potential loss of super-star recruits, we can’t get anyone better plus he’s a nice guy yada yada, concede SEC-E to reigning champ Spurrier, bitch and moan about Jacksonville and wind-down season’s remaining 10 or 11 games and, if it’s 11, make all possible efforts to avoid bowl rematch with Timothy O’Leary and make Mark sweat it out by not giving him a contract extension letting him dangle through the end of the 2013 season until we give him a multi-year extension;

    5. Loss to Boise and loss to Spurrier, see # 4, above, adding that even a Glen Mason won’t take the job.

    • Ausdawg85

      +1 Damn, you finally pulled-off a funny one, although the whole Walmart thing is a little out there as usual.

      • Dog in Fla

        Thanks. Unlike most of my other stuff in which

        “You will notice that it lacks definiteness; that it lacks purpose; that it lacks coherence; that it lacks a subject to talk about; that it is loose and wobbly; that it wanders around;
        that it loses itself early and does not find itself anymore,”*

        Mark’s job security has evolved into something that is impenetrable, kind of like a Miss USA contestant

        *Mark Twain

        http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2011/07/the_miss_usa_contestants_on_ev.php

        • AthensHomerDawg

          “Mark’s job security has evolved into something that is impenetrable, kind of like a Miss USA contestant”
          I must question you choice of words or your experience in such matters or both concerning the word .”impenetrable”.
          Long day sports fans…. I missed my flight but I have been evaluated and no longer considered a terrorist suspect….. yes I carry an American passport. I shall inform my physician that all is well..
          (sigh)

        • Cojones

          Miss Ca was closest on evolution with her “Big Bang” Theory.

          A shortened version of her Big Bang theory goes like this:
          Here’s this whole bunch of lizards sittin’ around flickin’ their tongues. One of the younger lizards has had a random mutation and rolls out this eyebrow-lickin tongue that has a small sandpaper patch on it.
          The long tongue catches the eye of a few females and they rush right over to admire it…and to be fulfilled by it. One thing leads to another and the next generation of lizards all have long tongues . This changes things and all the females are amply taken care of thereby insuring the long tongue lizards keep occurring. They become complacent and end up just lounging around. This is the advent of the lounge lizard.
          One of the lounge lizards has another of those random mutations and ends up with a long tongue with a football-shaped growth on it. When he flicks it toward a female, she runs, but the males like it and before long all the males want to play with the football-tongued male and ignore the females. Until one of the females mutates these big gills with pom-poms on the side. She runs around the group of football-tongue crazed males waving her pom-poms and flaring her big gills. A Big gang bang ensues and the result is a world populated with a bunch of long-tongued lounge lizards crazy about football-shaped objects who chase after sashaying females with pom-poms and big gills below their heads.

          Miss Ca ought to get a bang out of this shortened version of the Big Bang Theory of Evolution.

  9. Will Trane

    “Using possible recruiting defections as a crutch to justify the retention of a coaching staff that isn’t succeeding on the field is a fool’s mission” is a well said remark to many bloggers and commentators that remain mindless focused on recruiting as the lynch-pin of football success.
    In the past few days there have been a few comments about the coaching philosophy of the departed Searels to Texas and the arrival of Friend from UAB. Friend employees the “drive-blocking” scheme whereas Searels used the “zone” scheme. I think Auburn and Oregon State are used as examples for the zone. Spead offenses run the zone.
    Now what has this got to do with recruits and retention of a HC and staff. Well, I am still trying to navigate that field. And it brings me to CMR’s ability to recruit top 10 classes, and many have asked where are the dividends on the field.
    In light of the fact that the Dawgs have shed RB on the “roster” like rain on a tin roof lately let’s look back a few years to a top recruit the Dawgs had in fold. Goff was the head coach, but not much was seen and heard of the RB, at least not as far as wins and losses [granted other factors are in play]. Goff was a pro style offensive HC and used the I. The RB went pro and was signed by Denver. Fortunately, the Broncos had one of the best line coaches in the NFL named Alex Gibbs. Do you know what kind of blocking scheme the Broncos used to win the Super Bowl and make Davis the MVP. Yes, that is right, zone blocking. In fact most teams in the NFL used it today.
    FSU started the I. CMR coached an offense using “man-blocking” while at FSU. That is what he knows and that is what he is comfortable with. That is where Bobo is, but he was a QB with a HC that used the zone. Now why did Searels leave and go to Texas during the heat of the recruiting season?
    For the past 2 season, the Dawgs had the line recruits to a degree. In fact the time last season I distinctly recall CMR making the comment “he would be surprised if the Dawgs did not run the ball well”. Also, remember what CMR said about Friend coming on board. Words to the effect there will be minor changes in line blocking. Not sure about that.
    Now this is where I have my issue with CMR. Searels is a very good line coach. But did he and the recruits match. Do not think so. Remember how Searels was given the title “running game coordinator”. You almost think by all those titles the Dawgs were “bankers”.
    I think the Dawgs had players. But I think the coaching staff was not aligned with them. For me the staff seemed divided in schemes. plays, and sets. Searels sits out of the CMR / Bobo philosophy. And so do highly regarded and recruited players. Friend matches CMR / Bobo. Why did CMR hire him? Friend is a OL coach who use the “man-blocking”. CMR used that alot at FSU.
    Now the recruits. Look back at those recent line recruits and the high school programs they came out of with regard to the offenses they were drilled in. Will there be issues in these kids changing to man blocking. The Dawgs are thin on the O line now.
    What I am saying do not get wrapped up in recruiting classes and coaches retention. Let’s see how CMR and an offensive staff built more to his style work. Do not hang your hat on the first two games.
    My preference is zone blocking and the spread offense. It took me until 2007 to get on board, but now I am there.
    One more comment on zone vs drive blocking. Back to the bloggers and their comment about “gaps” and getting an RB in there. The zone came into play because DL became noted for “penetrating” that gap and creating huge negative plays in the running game. That puts huge pressure on D1 QBs, especially if young and inexperienced. With the zone , as bloggers like to say, put 7 or 8 in the box to stop the running game. Yeah, the zone blocking is designed for that. It is looking for a “zone” lane to run in rather than a “gap”. Now look across the LOS and see why CMR went to the 3-4. You have to kids in that scheme who do not let zone blockers get into the second level of the zone.
    It is about recruiting, but more importantly is matching your recruits to your system. Not defending CMR, but lets chill out and see how this current staff works with this roster, schedule, and each other.

    • DawgPhan

      All that to say “zone blocking r00lz and man blocking dr00lz”?

    • Cojones

      Damn! That’s good! And logical and well written. Kudos.
      Sorry about the crap just before this, but as you can see it’s logical also.

  10. Mike

    The possiblity of recruiting defections did not help Pelphrey much

  11. The Life of Reilly

    No reason to worry about getting the right ingredients, if the cook keeps screwing up the dish.
    Also, it is exciting to have these commits for 2012, 2013, and 2014 but we all know that high rated recruit does not always equal great college player. So, the fact that they could decommit after canning Richt doesn’t meant that UGA just lost 4 future All-SEC players.

  12. OrlDawg

    The game is won/lost at the line of scrimmage; and the Dawgs have been pushed around for the past three years (on both sides of the ball) Maybe the S&C program is to blame and that will be rectified this year….I sure hope it’s better. Stafford, Moreno, and MoMass made the Oline look much better than they actually were. If the two lines get tougher and stronger, the Dawgs will be just fine and CMR won’t have to worry about his job. However, if that doesn’t happen and we see the same as the past three years, I’m afraid a change at the top is needed. You can’t worry about losing recruits either. It’s Georgia and the SEC; they’ll keep coming.

    I’m hopeful that we’ll see a different team in 46 days. GO DAWGS!!!!

  13. Just Curious

    Add me to the list of people who want to see Coach Richt turn it around and lead us for many years to come. However…, playing the hypothetical game, is there any chance that Van Gorder could be the man? I’ve never really heard his name mentioned in that context, but I’ve definitely never been in the arena and I’m nowhere near as knowledgeable as most GTP readers seem to be, just a lifelong dawg fan. Heck, I also would probably consider giving CTG a crack at it, although if Richt goes than CTG will probably be largely responsible for that. One more question then I’ll hang up an listen. Any chance Richt stays but Bobo leaves?

    • I have no inside info either, but given the disaster that was Van Gorder’s 1 season as a head coach (Ga Southern), it would be a stretch to give him the reigns as a D-1 head coach. He managed to alienate just about everyone in Statesboro, and they were thrilled to see him leave.

      Your last question though, about Richt staying but Bobo leaving is an interesting one. But I gotta think that if the offense is bad enough that Richt would actually decide to replace him, then that would mean that our record ends up being bad enough this year that Richt will be gone anyway. But, stranger things have happened!

      • Just Curious

        Good point, Reverend. I honestly completely forgot about BVG’s brief tenure there. I think I just pine for the way things were when he was still here and I know he knows his Xs and Os–just goes to show there’s more to being a head coach that that. Thanks for the response, and yeah, I think you’re right about Bobo and the offense; I think Richt has hitched his wagon to Bobo for better or worse.

  14. Biggus Rickus

    I think Emerson’s point is more subtle than your response to it. He doesn’t appear to be saying that if a coaching change is clearly warranted recruiting defections should be a consideration. However, if it’s a close thing, say Richt goes 8-4 with losses to Florida and Tech, it should be factored into the overall assessment.

    • That’s exactly how I took what he wrote.

      Look, I don’t think recruiting defections should ever be a deciding factor, because the question you have to get to before considering that possibility is whether you believe the current coach can raise the competitive level of the program to the desired point. Once you decide that in the negative, short-term recruiting prospects shouldn’t be a consideration.

      • Biggus Rickus

        But if you’re undecided on whether or not he can raise the competitive level, other factors have to be considered. Also, I think recruiting is a factor in raising the competitive level. It’s not the only one, but it’s a factor.

        • If you’re undecided about whether he can raise the level of the program after eleven years of running it, you probably have no business being a decision maker.

          Under Richt, how many times has Georgia finished with a recruiting class that wasn’t ranked in the top ten nationally? Unless he suddenly starts pulling in the top one or two classes regularly, you’ve already seen how much of a factor his recruiting is in the program’s level of performance.

          • OKDawg

            “you’ve already seen how much of a factor his recruiting is in the program’s level of performance”

            Are you referencing recruiting and the “level of the program” with:

            a. Richt ’01-’05
            b. Richt ’06-present
            c. Richt ’01-present

          • Biggus Rickus

            Fair enough. I just want the season to start already so all these hypotheticals become moot.

  15. Joe Moore

    Bottom line, is what direction is the program headed? Three seasons ago the Dawgs were preseason #1 and coming off a Sugar bowl win and a #2 ranking. From that point till today is the measuring stick unfortunately. 24-14 overall and 13-11 in the SEC 2-1 in bowls with zero wins against the Gatas. When you win early and often in you’re coaching tenure, expectations go thru the roof every year. See the trailer capital of America in Gville. Ive been a Dawg fan since 79 and will continue to be all in for them however living in Jville and seeing the success of the Gatas sickens me daily. If and thats a really big “IF” there is a coaching change look for the school to go to Ttown and break the bank for Kirby. Then the SEC will really be Sabans world. One more thing the last Def that Willie M was in charge of 2 seasons ago has no less than 7 or 8 players in the league today. Curran, Jones, Owens, Miller, Atkins, Huston, Dent. Weston.Talent is def not the issue. Over/Under on CMR? Good question, Ive watched both Benedict and Theus in high school and Theus is better not by much, his footwork is incredible for a high school player. The Henry kid is also the real deal. I have watched him against Theus’s school Bolles and he def held his own, you can check it out on YouTube. Recruiting is just one spoke of the wheel and the wheel is def about wins and losses. Beat UF and win 7-8 games and he gets a 5 yr deal. Lose to UF and finish at .500 then the Brinks truck is headed to Dreamland In Ttown. Go Dawgs!

  16. The 5 from Dawg Night are all offensive players who want to play for Richt, for Bobo, & in the pro style Offense. With Grantham & the 3 – 4, Defensive players will also come on board. I hope that all 3 coaches mentioned will be around for a long time. I believe that they will be back in 2012.

  17. IveyLeaguer

    In my mind the criteria for Richt is simple. It’s not a matter of so many wins, not at all. Georgia could win 9 games and make very little progress from last year.

    The question should be, How will Georgia play? If it’s more of the sloppy football we’ve seen the last 5 years, then it’s time for a change. But if this team is well-prepared for every game, doesn’t beat itself, and plays to its potential, then it will be clear Richt has turned it around.

    Put another way, if Richt gets the most out of what he has, we can be sure the program is on the right track. Under that scenario, anywhere from 8 to 14 wins seems possible.
    ~~~

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Well said. A well-coached team would be wonderful to see. No more screw-ups with time-outs. No flea-sized RB’s up the middle on 3rd & long. No directional kick-offs. No backup QB’s returning punts. No out-of-shape players. Former LB coach Warren Belin’s question “Who’s been teaching you people to tackle?” said more about the program than simple tackling technique.

      • IveyLeaguer

        Yeah, I agree. All those things contribute to beating yourself. We could add stupid penalties and poor offensive game plans.

        And we may have tackled a little better last year but it was still atrocious. I feel good about what Grantham has achieved in a year and a half, but we’ll know after these first two games if we’ve learned how to tackle (and are willing to do it). Lattimore being the ultimate test.

        I believe Richt has made the right moves to correct the core problems and turn the program around. If he does, it’ll be a tremendous accomplishment, something rarely ever done.

        The one thing that remains for me is the offensive coaching staff, I’m not comfortable with several of them. But Richt has hung his hat with them. So we’ll see if it’s enough. If he’s really more involved with the offense we may be OK.

        So now, all he has to do is make the thing work. Richt turned it around and won a championship in 2002 by doing the things we are talking about. That was a SOLID football team.

        We’ll see if he can do it again.
        ~~~

      • Dog in Fla

        “well-coached team… No more screw-ups with time-outs. No flea-sized RB’s up the middle on 3rd & long. No directional kick-offs. No backup QB’s returning punts. No out-of-shape players.”

        Simon says, “How setting unrealistic goals can serve the greater good…”

  18. Robert K Burnham

    Also a commenter replied to Seth’s article that UGA didn’t want to fire Ray Goff because they were afraid to lose Patrick Pass and Mike Usry !

  19. Todd

    I will keep saying it. How many games has Richt won when he had lesser talent than the other team? Honestly, who is better COACHED, Bama or Georgia? If Richt knew how to fix it, he would have already done it. FSU dominated the ACC with Superior talent. Richt can’t beat the teams that are better than him. Good teams lose games, but they don’t get blown out. Reuben Foster kid should never be allowed to leave the state. He is a beast. It will also be really interesting to see how many scholarships are awarded to walk-ons. Over signing works, and Georgia not only does it, they give away precious scholarships to guys that are not going to win games for you. (Exception being kicker, but they get full rides off the bat). The comparisons to Tommy Bowden are incredible. Stupid scholarships and loyalty to coordinators that will get you fired. Spence = Bobo, Herrin = Martinez

    • On the one hand, you’re complaining that Richt’s not winning even though Georgia has equal or better talent than its opponents and on the other you’re complaining that he doesn’t have as much talent as schools like Alabama which oversign. Which is it?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Respectfully, I do not think those things are mutually exclusive. Our recruiting classes have been pretty much as good as Bama’s. But when you throw in the extra class every 4 years that one gets by oversigning, plus the ability to look at what your needs are and run off those players you don’t need and replace them with exactly the players that you DO need, that is a tremendous advantage over a school that doesn’t oversign. That is why Bama always has a full roster and plenty of players at every position whereas UGA almost always is thin somewhere.

      • Todd

        I am saying, as of late, Georgia doesn’t have equal talent. He has recruited very well, but the difference makers 2 to 3 a class are tremendous. Watch Georgia’s secondary against Lattimore, an then notice how Greg Reid sent him to the oral surgeon. Reuben Foster is a perfect example of coming in Georgia and getting ball players. Dillon Lee, how does that happen? Dawgnight was great, but Theus is the only player for 2012. He could have a Benedict injury and where are you? You would have two scholahips tied up in a bum knee. Honestly, I don’t give a shit about stars. Sometimes they pan out sometime they don’t. Georgia not only makes poor decisions about about where to play players, but their talent evaluations have been off. Dillon Lee would be a great example of the Georgia coaching staff creating a sense of entitlement. They seem to think players want to be at Georgia because they are “Georgia”. Once the players get to Athens, it is like they have nothing to prove, because they are “Georgia”. Meanwhile Saban doesn’t take time off or feel entitled. His players know if they don’t perform, they are gone. Richard “run straight up with no cut” Samuels is back at running back. Why? Take a look at the depthe Alabama has at rb, and they are still getting rbs. Where are the o-line recruits? They should be lining up because of the oppurtunity of playing time. The JUCO route is risky path( Jackie Sherril and Lou Holtz@ USCe)

        H

    • Dawgfan Will

      So did we become a good team last year because we lost games but didn’t get blown out?

  20. Todd

    No, because the SEC East sucked last year and Georgia lost to two west teams that weren’t in the top two of the west. Bowl game was close too. Yeah, I’m feeling good about that. I am saying losing close games every once in awhile to top teams.