More hot seat talk

Matt Hinton posted a thoughtful exploration of the “Mark Richt is on the hot seat” line of thinking that’s out there (wherever there is, anyway).  Here’s his conclusion:

… Richt is widely perceived as the most decent guy in the business, like Fulmer, a far cry from the burgeoning mercenary model that’s paid such dividends for Florida and Alabama. If the defensive overhaul under new DC Todd Grantham doesn’t take, or if new quarterback Aaron Murray struggles as a redshirt freshman, this could be the year we find out if nice guys can still afford back-to-back five-loss seasons at places with a bottom line like Georgia’s. Either way, I think this will be a more interesting conversation at this time next year.

Skipping past the “decent guy, like Fulmer” comparison, I think what really gets me about this meme is the idea that Georgia could be preparing to can a coach who’s never led his team to a losing season – a team that’s played in the most competitive conference in the nation over the past decade.  Fulmer had two losing seasons in his last three; Auburn’s 5-7 implosion in 2008 is what led to Tuberville’s dismissal.  Richt doesn’t have anything remotely close to either on his resumé.


UPDATE: FWIW, Mark Schlabach’s not buying the meme.

Jeremy (Athens, GA)

What coach in the SEC do you think is in the most trouble if they have a rough yr? Miles, Richt, or someone else?

Mark Schlabach

(4:41 PM)

I don’t think Richt is going to be fired anytime soon. Miles is catching heat, but are you going to fire a guy who won a national championship for only winning eight or nine games? Doubtful.


UPDATE #2: On the other hand

(h/t Marc Weiszer)

UPDATE #3: Bill Shanks is upset that the state legislature doesn’t recognize that Richt’s seating has warmed.


Filed under Georgia Football

52 responses to “More hot seat talk

  1. RusDawg

    “Yeah, but Richt can’t recruit in South Georgia!” — anon FSU fan


  2. Ron Zook

    I didn’t have a losing season, either. PLUS, I was 2-1 against UGa!


    • UFTimmy

      ^ This!

      I’m not suggesting Richt is the level of Zook, but at programs like UF and Georgia, 8-5 is not acceptable. Every once in a while, sure, but if it starts to become the norm..


      • The Realist

        Zook was disliked from the moment he took the reins… mostly because he was a terrible hire. Plus he was replacing the most successful coach in Florida history at the time.

        Richt is the winningest coach UGA has ever had. It’s a slightly different situation.


      • Russ

        Agreed, Timmy. However, Richt has made the changes that most people thought necessary on the defensive side of the ball. I think it will work out for him, but we shall see.

        Personally, I hope we give Richt plenty of time, but you’re right. 8-5 won’t cut it.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The guys who are saying negative things like that about Richt WANT Richt gone from UGA because they are enemies of our program or promoters of our rivals, or both.


    • ugamatt

      You also once ran out of the tunnel to the wrong sideline and threaten to run a frat off campus after your thugs got in a fight there. Actually coach, they got YOU run off campus.


  3. I'm Georgia

    now we’re willing to accept the occasional losing season?? Hope you didn’t really mean that. Not with all of our talent and resources. This season is the low point. not a losing season.


    • Did you even bother to read my post? It’s not that long. Please show me where I suggested that we accept an occasional losing season.

      My point isn’t that we accept losing. It’s that the conventional wisdom suggests that back-to-back 8-5 seasons would validate canning the most successful coach Georgia’s had. I’m not saying whether that’ll be right or wrong – how can anyone know until we see how the season plays out? But as Matt says, it sure is interesting.


      • Rum-Dawg Millionaire

        There is a difference between accepting an 8 or 9 win season and being smart enough to know that there is no better coach out there for us right now than Mark Richt. I always like to ask the person who says he’s on the hot seat: “Name a better coach than Richt who isn’t coaching at a Texas or a Alabama.” We’re not the unrealistic bunch that fire a coach expecting better and end up with less.


  4. kckd

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but the coach before Richt had these seasons for his last four: 10-2, 9-3, 8-4, 8-4. I’m sure the SEC titles will give Richt more time than just next year, possibly another after. But I think he knows he must at least get to Atlanta in the next three or well….. he’s not stupid, he knows why the job was open for his acceptance in the first place.


    • NCT

      It was at least as much where those 3, 4, and 4 losses came that led to Richt’s predecessor’s firing as it was the fact that there were 3, 4, and 4 losses. Three consecutive losses to Tennessee *and* Florida *and* Tech plus 0-2 against AU the last two of those years will rankle the big-dollar sources at least as much as failing to get to Atlanta. Of course, you can’t lose to TN and UF and AU and expect to get to Atlanta, but I believe the combined failures against rivals in the same seasons was more meaningful in light of recent history at the time.


      • hassan

        For Donnan and Goff, it wasn’t the losses per se. It was the teams they lost to. You have to beat 2 out of 3 orange teams and tech consistently. Fail to do that and you’ll get fired. Richt has a better record against those teams that he predecessors.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          In Donnan’s case I also think there was a public relations problem. Folks just didn’t like the guy.


          • Kevin Ramsey

            I think people liked Coach Donnan fine. His problems were only in two areas:

            1. His spotty record on hiring assistants, and
            2. His extremely low tolerance for bull from those who had never been in the Arena Football League.


      • kckd

        For the record

        Donnan beat UTK his last year.

        Richt has definitely got the Tech problem solved.

        But not much difference with UF.

        UTK is getting back to what it was before he got here.

        I love Richt, but he’s got to get things back to the way they were before. he knows that. And unlike his first few years when the Zooker was running things in Gainesville, it’s imperative that he start winning in Jax if he wants to win SEC titles.


  5. Max

    I keep saying: CMR plays in a conference where we have had 5 of the last 8 National Champions and one undefeated conference champ who didn’t get to play for it all.

    The other 2 years, guess who won the SEC?

    1. That’s pretty stiff competition and no shame if you aren’t on top every year in that type of environment.

    2. Only a few odd escapes in Columbus or meltdowns by UT opponents in 07 prevented CMR from playing for it all those two years he did win the toughest conference in America.

    If he lays an egg this year, then there is reason to be concerned, but I doubt that will occur. He made most of the changes needed. (We’ll see if the directional kick rears its ugly head!)


  6. sUGArdaddy

    You can’t even put hard and fast numbers on the preseason wins and losses total. What if Murray gets hurt early? Is it Richt’s fault that Mett was a stupid and Logan (an elite 11 QB) never panned out?

    He’s not on the hot seat. He avoided that on the Flats to the tune of 30-24. Donnan got ran because we lost to Tech 3 straight years (2 of them in Athens, to boot) and he was horrible with the media and sold his soul to Q. Carter. Richt understands the importance of beating Tech, is great w/ the media and decided to not sell his soul to W. Martinez. There’s a clear distinction there.

    I’m convinced the media has to have something the talk about and Richt’s simply been there the longest, so why not him. Do the math and it’s simple:

    -Saban & Meyer are, of course, safe
    -Petrino, Mullen,Chizk & Nutt are just too new at their gigs and had a little success last year
    -The seat in Nashville never gets hot, they just decide to let another coach lose every now and then (and Johnson took them to their first bowl in forever)
    -Dooley & Phillips are 1st year guys
    -Because of his success at UF, reporters still can’t fathom that Spurrier would be fired from any where
    -Miles is a goof ball and the seats a little warm, but he has that crystal football
    -They’ve got to talk about somebody, so Richt’s all that’s left.

    They’re just bored sports writers and can’t come up w/ original columns. That’s really it. They can’t fathom that someone wouldn’t be on the hotseat in the conference. Miles will be the first to go, by the way. He makes remarkably poor decisions.


  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    It’s the dead season and they can’t put sex on their websites, so they try stoking drama.


  8. The Realist

    Part of the fans’ overreactions & hot seat talk is the overblown expectations of 2008. Fans forget that it was a 10-win season. When you take that disappointment and add on an 8-5 season with all of the turmoil surrounding personnel (both players & coaches) and fans feel like UGA has been just horrible for the last couple of years. That’s not really the case.

    And, to echo the sentiments of others, who else is there?


  9. gernblanski

    I said it in an earlier post and I will say it again. Richt is much closer to the hot seat than I think we all care to believe.

    I think the coaching staff believes that we have an opportunity to be really good in 2010. They thought the same thing in 2007 – justifiably. Hopefully they will be right again this year.

    HOWEVER, if they are wrong and we have another mediocre record, we could see Richt enveloped by the hot seat.


  10. Cojones

    Wise bloggers on here. One more item that should be factored is bad luck. Richt won 10 in spite of terrible losses that accounted for lost time training and coaching for so many who were injured in 2008. Cross-training to new positions factored into 2009 due to loss of player time during games at their primary position. Although Martinez took it in the chops for much of this bad luck (plus the perception of poor coaching with what he had left to work with), at no time did the program and Richt slip in our eyes until last year’s recruitment. That was exascerbated by Roger’s defection to Tenn with help. Bad luck and assholes don’t happen that often in tandom. Our program has never suffered from the actions of Mark Richt. The Georgia Legislature’s vote of appreciative conduct and body of work should seal the deal that neither Adams or the Bd of regents can put asunder between Richt, UGA, the fans and the people of Georgia. Richt and “Go Dawgs!” forever. Naysayers can take a flyin’ leap.


    • Martinez, luck or not, is not a good defensive coordinator. Good coach? Maybe, I’d have to spend a few weeks watching him in practice to judge that.

      I agree with Richt getting snakebit a little. He is my top choice to lead this program, hands down! NC or no NC!


  11. 69Dawg

    Face it the worst hire of his career was Jancek the LB’s were lost for years and wonderboy would have red shirted Curran if CMR had not stepped in. When the LB’s went south the D followed. The lack of a DE rush hurt but not like the short passes in the no where to be found LB coverage zones. Curran as good as he was could not cover anyone with even good speed, he just didn’t have the coaching.


  12. JC in Powder Springs

    Somebody remind Hinton CMR has 90 wins in 9 years. I know most ‘journalists’ don’t do much research, but even the shortest-term memory should stretch back more than one 8-5 season.


    • The first paragraph of Matt’s piece reads as follows:

      Mark Richt is almost certainly not on any kind of real hot seat at Georgia, and doesn’t deserve to be: Since 2000, he’s ended the Bulldogs’ 20-year SEC championship drought in 2002, added another conference title in 2005, led a struggling team out of a midseason slump to a No. 2 finish in the final polls in 2007 and won at least 10 games six times. The Bulldogs finished in the top 10 four years in a row from 2002-2005, the longest streak of the decade in the SEC and matching the Herschel Walker years from 1980-83 as the best run in school history. He’s well on his way to becoming the most successful coach Georgia’s ever had, and is already the longest-tenured boss in a trigger-happy league.

      I think he knows.


  13. Sen,

    I have basically had to start treating the whole “Richt on the hot seat” thing like I have politics over the past year. Ignore the idiots or it will drive you bonkers!


  14. Cojones

    69Dawg says it correctly. Jancek could be seen on the sidelines arguing and screwing Martinez to the wall with demands for players substituted at times when he looked completely rattled. A great deal of last year’s debacle should have been on his head!


    • Dawg93

      Jancek sucked but I’m not sure where you come up with the sideline thing – he worked in the box his entire time at UGA.


      • CMR

        That was me, not the linebackers’ coach, arguing with WM. After I made the command decision to make Bobo be on the sidelines someone had to be left in the coaches’ box upstairs to keep track of the refreshments and make sure we were not getting overcharged for them. By process of elimination, that someone just so happened to the linebackers’ coach. Inventory control was not his specialty.


  15. D.N. Nation

    I’d take the “Richt is GONE!!!” storyline more seriously if its supporters didn’t follow it with Really Dumb Ideas For Head Coaching Replacements (e.x., Kirby Smart to Georgia, Brian VanFreakingGorder to Georgia).


  16. Irishdawg

    “Name a better coach than Richt who isn’t coaching at a Texas or a Alabama.”

    I’m not ready to concede that Mack Brown is a better coach than Richt. Brown has the most fertile talent bed in the country, unlimited resources, the natural recruiting advantage that is the UT campus and history, and plays in a softer conference with cupcake OOC opponents. He’s a great coach, sure, but switch the sets of circumstances between he and Richt and I think the last 4 years plays out quite differently.


    • Mack Brown

      Richt has as many conference championships as I do.


    • Rum-Dawg Millionaire

      I didn’t mean to say that Mack Brown is better than Richt… I don’t think he is at all. My point was that if there is a better coach out there than Mark Richt… he’s already coaching at a powerhouse school. People might take note of Tennessee or Notre Dame’s coaching search, and remark upon just how few decent candidates there actually were for those jobs. Notre Dame hired an “OK” coach in Brian Kelly. Tennessee hired literally a bottom-of-the-barrel candidate with little success in the WAC conference who only got the job because his last name was “Dooley.” How about Auburn? They fired a great coach in Tuberville, who was having no trouble recruiting great talent to the plains, and had gone undefeated 3 years prior to his firing. Does anybody actually think Chizik is better? What has hiring Chizik done for Auburn, except for them to start from scratch with recruiting and finding an identity?


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I am not willing to concede that Saban is a better coach than Richt, either. Give it time.


  17. Vious

    Richt has not been to an SEC Title game in 5+ years

    Richt has a terrible record against UF

    Richt has been going downhill the last 2 years

    Richt being on the hot-seat is not a shock. We deserve results and are not getting them

    Win the SEC East within the next 2 years or lose your job


    • Rum-Dawg Millionaire

      Hear that, coach Richt? Somebody has just issued you an ultimatum from the old gateway in their mother’s basement. Shit just got serious.

      On a side note, I didn’t know that Damon Evans posts on blogs? I mean, Vious is Damon Evans, right?