An innocent question

Check out the top part of the list that Joe has compiled over at Coaches Hot Seat Blog ranking college football head coaches based on winning percentage:

Rank Coach School Yrs. W L T WIN%
1 Chris Petersen Boise State 4 49 4 0 .925
2 Urban Meyer Florida 9 96 18 0 .842
3 Pete Carroll USC 9 97 19 0 .836
4 Bob Stoops Oklahoma 11 117 28 0 .807
5 Chip Kelly Oregon 1 10 3 0 .769
6 Mark Richt Georgia 9 90 27 0 .769
7 Bronco Mendenhall BYU 5 49 15 0 .766
8 Gary Patterson TCU 10 85 28 0 .752
9 Joe Paterno Penn State 44 394 129 3 .749
10 Bobby Bowden FSU 44 389 129 4 .745

Seriously, those of you who assert that Mark Richt is on some sort of a hot seat in 2010, what do you base that on exactly?

Bonus questions: if you were in Damon Evans’ shoes and fired Richt, who would you hire to replace him? And how much would you expect the new guy to improve Richt’s winning percentage?

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UPDATE: And while I’m at it, I think this writer’s list “of coaches whose departure would catch anyone by surprise” is short a name.

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UPDATE #2: Mr. Elkon adds some perspective about Richt’s career to date.

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33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

33 responses to “An innocent question

  1. BenG

    I’m so sick of this “hot seat” crap. The man is a great coach and a great representative for the university. He has hit a bump in the road. Name a great one who hasn’t. I hate watching the Dawgs lose as much as anybody, but any fan who would have Richt on a hot seat right now needs to get some new Dawg-colored glasses to correct their myopia.

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  2. Irishdawg

    Double down on what BenG said. Richt is an excellent coach and an outstanding representative of my alma mater. Have Meyer and Saban won NCs and Richt hasn’t? Yes, but they also make my skin crawl.

    I’m going to crib from EDSBS on Richt and Meyer: Richt adopted two orphans from the Ukraine out of the goodness of his heart, Meyer would eat two orphans live on CBS if it would win him the SEC.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Saban would roast the kids alive on CBS then eat them if it would win him the SEC. I shudder to think of the things he would do to win the MNC.

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  3. Normaltown Mike

    Les Miles?

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  4. Max

    And to think he did this in 9 years where his own conference put up FIVE National Champions and one other year with an UNDEFEATEAD unable to play for the championship team (and his team one the conference 2 other years) is truly staggering.

    So basically when CMR didn’t win the conference, another team either won the NC or could easily have (AU 04)

    Add in playing against three other Coaches who had won NCs, including Holtzie, SOS and another team (UT) IN his own conference with a coach (Fulmer) just a couple years removed from his own NC, and I am sorry, but BSU, TCU and even Oklahoma have not had that challenge the last decade. Even Bowden’s wins were in a very weak conference.

    NO one has won as much in such a tough conference year in and year out than CMR. I’ll bet his % vs Strength of Schedule, on the road etc. is unparrallelled.

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  5. Will Q

    I also get tired of those who say that Richt is as good as his winning percentage shows because Tennessee and Florida were down when he first arrived. By that logic, the only reason Spurrier and Fulmer were successful in the 90s is because the Bulldogs were down.

    Mark Richt is a great coach. I hope he will be our coach until he retires in about 15-20 years.

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  6. Bonus Bonus Question: How in the Hell much money would you be willing to pay this phantom future coach? ‘Cause, Heaven knows, you’d have to break open the piggy bank for that. Number one: anyone perceived as better than CMR would command an obscene rate. Number two: you’d have to almost bribe someone to come into a job at the university that was foolish enough to run off CMR. Number three: facing considerably lesser constraints (i.e. Lane Kiffin’s legacy), UT ended up with a coach from the Sun Belt carrying a career losing record. (No disrespect intended. Those are simply facts).

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  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    There were some pretty impressive victories over some teams with pretty impressive resumes during the 2002-2005 era. Not 100% true to say Richt took advantage of a down period.

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      The so-called down period for those schools came at least in part because of UGA under Richt beating them on a regular basis.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        P.S. Having Chip Kelly on the list is wrong–he’s only coached 1 year. I really think having Petersen on the list is not right either because he’s only coached 4 years. 5 ought to be the minimum to be included.

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  8. Will Trane

    It is important in today’s sports world to support and to respect a university’s coaches. Most coaches have a sincere concern for the growth and the maturation of their athletes in the arena and the classroom. The won / loss records, conference championships, all conference and all Americans, and other achievements of coaches and teams are important to them, alums like myself, and supporters of the programs and the University. But let’s not get to the point where we try to destroy them because of a one year record or our own expectations. We have a great University and great coaches, they like the students and players always deserve our support, respect, and loyalty. Criticism should be guarded and well thought out for all.

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    • One must also consider that, generally speaking, alumni of a particular school tend to have greater support and appreciation for a good ambassador for the university at large; whereas the casual, academically unaffiliated fan is only concerned with the record of the football team and/or whichever other sports programs for which he or she cheers.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1. The bloggers who have been griping the loudest fall into the latter category I believe.

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        • masivatack

          I certainly wouldn’t draw a line in the sand here between alumni and “sidewalk fans” Heck, just because UGA was not the choice/option for someone, doesn’t mean they are any less rational when it comes to their fandom. A lot of the most delusional fans I have ever met, were alumni. One could even argue that alumni have a sense of entitlement from the program. I think a good portion of the fanbase, alumni or not, were just embarrassed with the way our team has performed during the course of the last two seasons.

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  9. Dog in Fla

    In thinking about the questions posed, in trying to remember what Georgia’s record v. Florida with Richt as head coach is (because i’ve mentally blocked it and can’t recall without some kind of prompt) but found this July 2008 article instead, the last paragraph of which is still true today despite the last two seasons in which some, including me, think that Georgia should have done better.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/33968-mark-richts-record-at-georgia

    While the ‘great’, ‘excellent’ and ‘best-ever’ adjectives for Mark at least as to wins and losses seem at first to be a little over the top for me, I think that even taking into account the chokes v. Florida of which there are many and his past reluctance to part with underperforming assistants, the latter of which has been cured, Richt is still a better coach than Vince Dooley. After all, if you take Herschel out of the equation, Vince’s early ’80’s record could likely be similar to his late ’70’s record, which would get a Georgia football coach fired today.

    Were Mark to voluntarily leave, because he is not going to be fired, and Damon decided not to hire away a celebrity of the day big-name coach from another school or the NFL, my short-list in descending order would be a head coach from Mississippi State (depending of course on how much involvement, if any, Mullins has with recruits at the Pony strip bar), UConn, Boise State, TCU or Utah, and i do not think that any of them could improve on Richt’s winning %-age.

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  10. BeerMoney

    From what I have seen, the only ones putting Richt on the hot seat are pot-stirring sports writers like Finebaum and Bradley. Most true Georgia fans (not the front-running crowd whose knowledge goes back to the age-old days of Knowshon Moreno) understand that Richt is a great coach and has now made moves in the right direction to put the defense back on the map. If these new coaches turn out to be poor choices in the long run, then there might be an argument there on down the road. But I think Richt really did his homework on these hires and did not take the Tennessee “first to raise their hand” approach. He could have had the job filled before the SEC Championship game if he were going to do that, but only Mark Bradley would have applauded that move.

    People who have been around and watched football enough realize that the run that coaches like Meyer and Saban have been on recently are once-in-a-lifetime time periods (and even more so today than ever before). Even the sane Florida fans realize this. It simply cannot be this “easy” because it isn’t. The SEC continues to get stronger and tougher each year. It’s almost like if one guy brings a bat, then the next guy brings a knife, if he brings a knife then the next guy brings a six shooter, if he brings a six-shooter the next guy brings a 30-alt-6. In the SEC, teams are now coming with nuclear missles to the fight. At some point somebody has got to be the biggest and best because there is simply nothing out there not only locally in the SEC, but in the entire world (or in this case the college football landscape) that is better.

    It’s an arms race and will continue to be that way as long as programs are willing to commit to snakes like Saban who will leave at the drop of a hat for a few more nickels down the road, or slimeballs like Kiffin who will also leave at the drop of a hat, but will also cut any corners necessary and drag the school through the mud only to leave them in ruins in the process.

    All-in-all, I could really see Richt being the next Bowden-type coach who sticks around and endures many sunny and stormy times in the SEC and is still standing years down the road…if he wants to, that is.

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  11. LawDawg

    the answer is that he has failed to win a NC. All the other BCS coaches on that list have shown that they can win one with the exception of Chip Kelly who has been on the job for one year

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    • Petersen, Mendenhall and Patterson don’t have MNC rings on their fingers either.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I don’t want to sound like a broken record (having posted on this issue before) but UGA under Mark Richt has been screwed out of at least one, if not two, BCSNCs. FLA under Meyer has been awarded two that FLA didn’t deserve and LSU under Miles got one in one of the years UGA got screwed out of playing for it.

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      • LawDawg

        do you really think BYU, TCU or Boise would ever be invited to the BCS national championship game? they aren’t from a major bcs conference like our beloved dawgs.

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  12. Dan

    Take Pete Carroll off the list.

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  13. Nolan

    Can’t wait for Finebaum to eat his words. “I’ve said this for the past couple of years, Georgia and Mark Richt are a sinking ship.”

    We’ve been a little down lately, but there’s no doubt that Mark Richt is as competitive as any of these other coaches on this list. He WILL do what it takes to right the ship.

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  14. Scooter

    Richt has done a good job before this past year, no doubt. However, if his team shows the same lack of discipline as it showed this past season, then Richt should be packing his bags.

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  15. OT: Senator or others–What do you expect from Carlton Thomas in the future? I know he is small, but in theory he seems like a potential weapon. Thanks.

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  16. Munson's Call

    People also rarely acknowledge that getting into the BCSCG takes a lot of luck unless you go undefeated. Even then you can be left out (Aub ’04). Saban got his first MNC with a one loss team. Meyer got both of his rings with one loss teams. Then LSU gets a title with 2 losses. Georgia had the same record as LSU and was ranked higher after the regular season to be jumped by LSU after they beat UT in the SECCG. While I do agree they deserved it over UGA for winning the SEC there was precedent for getting in the BCSCG without winning your conference in 2001 with Nebraska. Also, UGA goes 12-1 with an SEC Title in 2002 and doesn’t get to play for the title with 2 undefeateds that year. That is the same record both Meyer (’06) and Saban (’03) had when they earned their titles. You mean to tell me they are much better coaches because they were lucky enough to not have an undefeated OSU and Miami the seasons they won their titles? Is Les Miles a better coach because he won the Nat’l Title in 2007 with the same record in the same conference as Richt?

    I agree that Miles, Meyer, and Saban deserve credit for getting it done but don’t tell me Richt is a failure because he hasn’t won a Nat’l Title yet. Hell, Saban just had his first ever back to back 10 win seasons of his career.

    Look how long it took Bobby Bowden and JoePa. If Richt keeps averaging 10 win seasons and winning SEC titles he will get a National Title. Luck will finally fall on his side.

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  17. bullydawgy

    Scooter,
    Save your opinion on bag-packing for your own coach. A lot of fans of other SEC teams like you wish you did not have to deal with Mark Richt.

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  18. My only concern about Richt was a growing fear that he was not running a meritocracy. It seemed that personal friendships were holding sway over job performance. The firing of Martinez pretty much resolved that problem for me.

    I don’t buy the “he isn’t intense/mean/dickish enough” crap. There is more than one style of effective coaching. That is true both in the NFL and in college.

    Mark Richt is an amazing coach and (unless something major changes) I hope we have him for another 10-20 years.

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