Sounds familiar.

Hey, remember those dark days of 2009 and 2010 when a considerable part of the fan base wanted Mark Richt’s head on a platter?  Yeah, me, too.  One of the names we saw bandied about quite often as a replacement was Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.  Check out Bill Connelly’s ringing endorsement of Mullen:

It happens to every successful coach at some point. Hell, it probably happened to Nick Saban when Alabama was only going 10-3 in 2010. You raise the bar for a given program higher than it has been for a while, but people get a little bit impatient when you fail to continue raising it. You could be a couple of 7-6 seasons away from full-fledged Glen Mason Territory.

Back in my blogger infancy, i coined a term called Glen Mason Territory to describe when a coach achieves at a higher-than-normal level at a given school (probably a second-tier BCS program that hadn’t won in a while before he showed up) but cannot ever break through to the next level; he keeps making bowl games and winning, say, 6-8 games a year, but fans begin to get impatient. The crazies begin to start yelling things like “settling for mediocrity!” on talk radio and message boards, season ticket sales begin to fade, and even the rational fans in the base (the SB Nation readers, naturally) begin to start wondering if a change is needed.

Now, Dan Mullen is not there yet, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, that’s a relief.  But it sure doesn’t sound like it would have been much of an upgrade, either.

Just another be careful what you wish for reminder, folks.

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

41 responses to “Sounds familiar.

  1. I’ve always thought that the only reason Richt’s seat got warm was his record against Florida. We found ways to lose close games, and then the 2008/9 games looked like we had regressed (and we had). People thought we were heading back to the early 90s where it felt we were never going to beat them again. I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t beaten them in ’11.
    Senator, be ready to repost this if we happen to start 0-2 in September.

    • Cojones

      I thought the “hot seat” meme was started by Paul Finebaum. That’s one reason it really pissed me off because it was as classless as the “Fire Zook” site that the FU rednecks started in previous years.

      • Really? I thought you thought it was started by characters on this fine blog that you have railed against ad nauseum, literally to this very day.

        • Cojones

          Nope. Knew you had picked it up from Finebaum when you kept the meme going ad nauseum. Nice to know that you are still prickly about it though.

  2. To be fair, I read that quote as more a condemnation of the yahoos in the fanbases at many second-tier programs who run off successful coaches, rather than as a condemnation of Mullen’s coaching record at MSU. Mullen would likely exceed his performance at MSU if he were the coach at UGA, not that UGA wouldn’t be crazy to consider firing Richt. It’s hard to win big at the MSU’s of the world. It took Steve Spurrier, widely considered one of the best coaches of his generation, several years to finish a season ranked at South Carolina.

  3. uglydawg

    This is what’s going to happen at Vandy.

    • Very likely. There’s no way they keep up their current pace on a year-to-year basis until Franklin has had time to put several recruiting classes in place.

    • Derek

      I disagree. First I don’t think vandy fans will ever have dreams of sec titles in their heads. Second, as long as there are 3 to 4 teams behind them, the commodores will be content. Third Franklin will leave we’ll before they want him to.

  4. AthensHomerDawg

    Boo-Birds have been rather quiet and some of the anti-Richt blogs have just about shut down. Wonder if uT regrets firing the Pumpkin King and running Chavis off? At least my neighbor has stopped dressing his hound dog in that ridiculous orange sweater and parading it through the neighborhood!

  5. charlottedawg

    Even in the dark days of 2010, I really wanted to see Richt continue to succeed given that he elevated the program to a level we hadn’t sniffed for a long time. Hell, we hadn’t even been to an SECCG until Richt. However, if you didn’t have serious concerns about the long term state of the program following a 6-7 season in which we had a cream puff schedule in 2010, preceded by underachievement in the 2 years prior, you weren’t being objective. At the time I thought that Richt would be unable to get the program out of the ditch and that a change was needed at the top. I’m extremely happy that I was 100% wrong, but let’s not pretend there weren’t serious reasons for concern after the Boise State game.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Boise handled Oregon in the ’08 and ’09 opener. Put VT in a tailspin in 2010 in that opener. They all finished in the top ten at the end of the season. I think Boise finished in the top 5 in 2011. They were good — I was expecting a battle. Losing to LSU like we did really stung and of course M State was downright painful. Those last two loses concerned me the most. The domination by uSC last season was as bad as I have ever seen. Worse than that loss to uT following the game that LSU stole per the taunt no taunt AJ game.

    • You’re missing the point. I wasn’t making a case about Richt staying or going, just that you’re never really sure that who you wind up with will be an improvement.

    • Cojones

      Maybe, but when we lost the SC game next, many stood up and said they saw the capability of the team and that SC was lucky to win. Other fans simply threw up their hands and could find nothing good. Richt demonstrated that the positive fans were correct about the team and proceeded to prove it.

      The fact that many self-proclaimed prognosticators of doom were wrong is what’s still eating at some of you. You were wrong about Richt and the team. Get over it! It’s not about your or my ego. Now pull out your wallets and restart your contributions. I have to leave you and mail a contribution to the Franklin School of Arts and Sciences.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Forget 2011 Huevos,you need only go back to LAST season to find the crazies. UGA lost ONE game (to USCe by a lot of points, I know, I know) but it was just ONE game for crying out loud and nutballs came out of the woodwork screaming for CMR’s scalp on this very blog! Then when the Dawgs won the UK game unconvincingly it got even worse! People on this very site were calling for CMR to be fired the week before the Dawgs were playing for the lead in the SEC East in JAX! They are still out there, too. Just wait–if UGA loses to Clemson……….

        • harry your hands are freezing

          It wasnt’ the loss to SC that brought out the negativity, it was the way they lost. First big game of the season (everyone agrees with that) and the way SC just hauled off and beat the hell out of them was very disheartening. On top of that, Florida beat LSU that day (which sucked bc I always pull hard for LSU in that game) and it looked like the trend was starting again. The negativity was warranted after that SC game and if you don’t believe that then you’re kidding yourself.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Sorry Harry but that’s a load of BS. That level of vitriol after one loss even if it was a bad loss is inexcusible and demonstrates a mindset that is, to put it as delicately as possible, unstable.

        • Cojones

          I have a personal better opinion of our fan base than back then when we were eating our own. Think they will honestly approach the game expecting to win, but harbor respect enough for Clemson to see that it’s possible for them to win. I expect that we would laud both teams’ O talent and villify our D in a loss. That doesn’t get stretched into anti-Richt or Bobo memes like last and the previous season. Most fans are thinking differently than back then.

          Anyone read Seth’s column on the 7th most needed player this morning? Seth just can’t help sipping a little Koolaid with his assessment. Good Dawg (pat, pat).

  6. MGW

    I’m glad Richt survived and I hope he sticks around.

    But UGA ain’t Mississippi State. And the state of Georgia does seem to crank out plenty of QB’s that a guy like Mullen could do some good work with. State may be a 7-6ish team under Mullen, but I’m still completely confident Mullen would have been kicking some tail at UGA (just like Richt has been since then, so I’m not saying it was a bad choice to keep Richt or that we’d have been better of with Mullen).

    Remember that Teddy Bridgewater fellow out of Miami that was begging to come to UGA? You have to imagine UGA would be doing a little better than Mississippi State has the last couple years if Mullen was here coaching that guy.

    The point is I’m glad the decision to keep Richt has turned out well, but it would be a little off base to presume Mullen’s record at State is any indication of what he could have done at UGA.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Mullen’s winning percentage at MSU is .569. That’s the highest winning percentage for any HC at MSU since Darrell Royal in the 1950s. If those idiots in StarkVegas want to run off the best coach they’ve had in 60 years they’ll get what they deserve in return. Karma can be a real bitch.

  7. mdcgtp

    While I could be TOTALLY misguided in my optimism, I am really excited about the direction of our program. That said, lets not all forget the abject failure that was the South Carolina game and where we were prior to Shawn Williams comments. The reality is that Richt’s seat got warm for good reason. The direction of the program was UNQUESTIONABLY down, and as leader of the program, he bore the brunt of that blame (NOT Damon Evans, NOT Van halanger, NOT our OL coach, not Martinez, not Jancek). Almost every one of our flaws rolled up to Richt. Further, college football is such a dynamic place where results are obvious, and the SEC so competitive that those trends seem move even faster than other conferences. Thus, you are either moving forward or backward. We were moving backward without any tangible signs that things were getting better. Kudos to our coaching staff for doing the things needed to get us going in the right direction. I think it is reasonable to have expected more from Richt and be excited about where we appear to be headed now.

    To think Mullen was a good coach was not misguided. He seemingly took an awful Miss State program and made them competitive again. that said, the biggest issue was that their record overstated how good a job he had done in 2010. They were not a 9 win team headed up. To Connelly’s point, Miss St seems to have plateued. That said, Mullen seems to think he has built a good bit more quality depth at all positions for the first time in his tenure, which bodes well for their season. I am not defending Mullen here NOR saying he should have been our next coach.

    I am saying that it was NOT AT ALL unreasonable for Richt to be on the hot seat and Mullen to be on a list of candidates that one might interview. Of course, Charlie Strong might have been the better candidate all along, but he would also probably would have been on McGarity’s list.

    • I’m not saying Mullen’s a bad coach. Quite the contrary; he’s done a good job at MSU. But would he have been a clear step up from Richt in Athens?

    • TomReagan

      One major difference in Richt and Mullen is that Richt has done it before, and Mullen hasn’t. Not every coach can handle coaching at a major program like Georgia. Some coaches just don’t seem to have the temperament needed to deal with the fans and with the media at major programs. College coaching involves way too many off the field responsibilities to assume that just because a coach has been relatively successful at a mid-tier program that he would be more successful, or even equally as successful, at a top-tier program.

  8. D.N. Nation

    Shoot, there were trolls on this very blog this PAST SEASON who were arguing that Mullen was a better choice.

  9. HVL Dawg

    It’s just poetic that Mark Richt was Dooley’s second choice, the first being Glen Mason.

    • I think Mason was offered the job before Donnan, accepted and then changed his mind a day or two later.

      Richt’s initial competition, if I recall, was Terry Donahue and Chan Gailey.

      • Cojones

        All that I read back then chronicled Dooley’s upbeat when Richt inquired with Bobby’s blessing. He quickly was at the head of the list and was promptly offered, accepted and gleefully brought on board by Dooley. All the rest of recollections are just peanut butter that some prefer to wade through.

        • Dog in Fla

          Balls, Balls, Balls. This is simple. It’s true because I saw it on the internets and AthensHomerDawg said it was a great story: At Bubba ‘n Earls’ step-brother’s wedding in Norcross, Bubba ‘n Earls’ step-brother’s fiancé’s father. a Southern Miss booster, told something to Bubba ‘n Earls’ father who then had Bubba ‘n Earl and his brother-in-law take a meeting with Jeff Bower at the wedding and Jeff said

          “Dooley stressed to Bower that decision to go ahead and make the offer to Richt was made by the University President (Adams) and he was very sorry to break the bad news.”

          http://bubbanearl.blogspot.com/2013/01/former-southern-miss-coach-jeff-bower.html

          Later, Southern Miss dissappeared Jeff and replaced him with a smaller Hat, Larry, who then split for North Carolina

        • The other two gentlemen were on Adams’ wish list. I’m not sure if Dooley even met with Donohue, but I believe he did interview Chan.

  10. Cojones

    There have been some great posts on here today that should give us a good feeling about the healed fan base. At one time that fan base looked like it was imploding and it was scary concerning the future of UGA football. Much of the problem was self-inflicted and serves elicit a more patient view of our program in the future. Yeah, we can raise hell yelling and screaming for the team’s success, but we don’t have to repeat yelling and screaming for the team’s demise.

  11. W Cobb Dawg

    Nothing but speculation whether Mullen would do well or poorly at UGA, so pondering it serves no useful purpose.

    There’s no denying CMR had a couple pretty rough seasons and was essentially forced to make changes. Since CMR isn’t the type to make drastic moves, you’d have to consider those changes as major events. To his credit CMR has bounced back pretty well. I believe the program has higher standards today than we had a few years ago.

  12. TomReagan

    David Cutcliffe Territory would be the regionally appropriate term.

  13. Bright Idea

    Complacency set in following the Hawaii game. The whole team was returning and had rebounded from 06. Everybody from Richt on down thought all we had to do was show up. Add in Willie and the soft S&C and we were lucky not to have gone further south. If Mullen is the best we can do at UGA it is time to drop football.