Who shapes the hot seat, anyway?

Yes, folks, you now have a working definition, via MrSEC.com’s John Pennington:

How do we at MrSEC define “the hot seat?”  When a coach has a growing number of displeased or impatient fans (and big boosters) which could — within 12 to 24 months — lead to his dismissal or force his resignation.

That’s not bad… except that’s not exactly what he had to say about the warmth of Mark Richt’s support a few months ago.

Let me make this very clear — Richt is in trouble at Georgia.  In fact, I believe his days are running out.

I said last summer that I believed he and Les Miles would occupy the hottest seats in the SEC after the 2009 season.  I was emailed to death by UGA fans who said they wouldn’t turn on their head coach.

Well, they’re turning.  And there’s no question that Richt and Miles sit in the SEC’s hottest chairs going forward.

Here’s how things work: First the media goes, then the fans follow.  It’s already clear that many writers across the state of Georgia are anti-Richt at this point…

That was written before the Grantham hire, of course, so I can’t say for sure that’s still Pennington’s assessment of Richt’s situation.  I do find it interesting how much weight he assigns to the media’s role in this.  How much of the Georgia fan base actually follows the lead of somebody like Mark Bradley or – even better – Paul Finebaum?


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

47 responses to “Who shapes the hot seat, anyway?

  1. Go Dawgs!

    This garbage angers me everytime I read it. I realize that Pennington isn’t a journalist, he’s a blogger. And Mr.SEC or whatever the hell the site’s called isn’t a bonafide news outlet. Still, this is just LAZY. He read a few posts on message boards (home of crazy people, lest we forget, he probably trolled through one thread of AJC commenters) and then read a few columns critical of the last season, and poof! “Writers across the state are anti-Richt”?! That’s a statement that is demonstrably untrue, lazy, and damaging to the program. It is LAZY to just write whatever you dream up and attempt to pass it off as fact. You can’t just write down generalizations and pass them as fact without citing evidence.

    His definition of “hot seat” is fine, but Richt ain’t on one. The internet’s a fantastic thing, and blogs like this one are one of the reasons it’s such a fantastic time, but the fact that people like Mr. SEC can just write whatever the hell they want and then get sourced by legitimate outlets is beyond ridiculous. It’s sad. And the worst part is that people outside the program take it to be the gospel. I have Auburn fan friends and Tennessee fan friends who are asking me who we’re going to get after we fire Richt. They actually think it’s happening, because all they read is this hogwash that’s based not in fact but fiction.

    Keep in mind that people have fabricated fictional recruits out of thin air, managed to get them put on recruiting websites as a goof, and “mainstream” media members have written about them… and this is PRECISELY the same phenomenon.

    • ClassicCityDawg

      Living in Oxford, MS, I get so tired of all the Ole Miss fans saying crap like, “We’ve got a great coach, and we’re going to hold onto him. We’re not going to run Coach Nutt out of town like you folks in Georgia are trying to do with Richt.” There are so many things wrong with that statement that I rarely even offer a reply, but it makes my head spin to think that every SEC fanbase feels that Mark Richt is on the hot seat except the one that matters.

      • Doug

        Wait, Ole Miss people are giving you crap about this? Ole Miss?!?!?!

        These are the people who traded David Cutcliffe for Ed Orgeron, for shit’s sake, one of the all-time boneheaded itchy-trigger-finger moves. Maybe their point is they’ve learned their lesson, but . . . well, if the Rebs go 6-6 this season, I’ll believe it if/when I see it.

  2. AthensHomerDawg

    When is it okay to say enough with the “hot seat”? I’m sure there isn’t a competitive rival that wouldn’t like to see Richt coach somewhere else other than UGa/SEC. Does this issue qualify as “competitor controlled media bias”?
    just sayin’

  3. hassan

    What media? Oh, you mean that Tech rag AJC?

  4. anon

    The thing is, there are just so many opinions and blogs and comments, people resort to this just for hits and traffic, whether it is a sound opinion or not.

    See ajc.com for Example I . . .

  5. JaxDawg

    IF our record this year ends up at 8-5, will losses to USc, Ark, AU, FL, and someone else, then you can say Richt is under serious pressure.

    And as much as I hate the prospect of Richt moving on, McGarity will not tolerate underachievement.

    And if you asked me who I would hire should Richt get hit by a bus this afternoon, I would answer with Jon Gruden.

    Defensive-minded leader than possesses the intensity and discipline to match Meyer and Saban.

    Plus I believe he would run a clean shop.

    • Jon Gruden? He’s hasn’t coached on the college level since the early 90’s, so you have no idea what kind of recruiter he might be. And his track record at Tampa Bay doesn’t lead me to think he can evaluate college talent worth a damn.

      • JaxDawg

        Well, I may be wrong but I believe he won a Super Bowl with a franchise that hadn’t won much of anything since their inception in 1976. Although John McKay did have 1979.

    • Prov

      First off, Gruden has ALWAYS been an offensive coach. Second, his career record is 100-85. He is not even in the same class as Richt.

      • JaxDawg

        So was Richt. Gruden may not be Buddy Ryan, but he can hire him. And I’d imagine he knows a couple of things about defense.

        • Prov

          So your point is that Gruden is the kind of coach that wants to hire a hell of a D-coordinator. Who isn’t?

          • JaxDawg

            you’re missing the point Prov. I believe Gruden would be a great damn coach with the intensity and knowledge to match both Meyer and Saban. As to recruiting, I believe he can appeal to the high school parents, coaches, and kids very well.

            • Prov

              Part of your argument was that he was “defense minded”. I was merely pointing out that he wasn’t. I also think his overall body of work is pretty average outside of one year with Tampa and a couple of years with the Raiders. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

              • JaxDawg

                so was Saban’s.

                • Prov

                  I wouldn’t trade Richt for Saban either.

                  • JaxDawg

                    nor would I. but I would trade for Saban’s last 2 years. Gruden gives me the impression that he is somewhere b/t Richt and Saban in terms of persona. Harder than Richt, not the uber-asshole that Saban and Meyer are.

                    • Prov

                      I guess I just don’t buy the whole “Richt isn’t tough enough/man enough to win it all” argument. But until one of us is hired as AD I don’t think it matters what we think. At this point, I am just excited to see how this year goes. We know Richt won’t go anywhere until the end of the season. Even then it isn’t very likely.

    • Dog in Fla

      “Plus I believe he would run a clean shop.”

      Go figure. http://espn.go.com/page2/s/hruby/030123.html

      I for one don’t think he’s homicidal enough and there is something remotely intriguing about having Jennifer Tilley as a watergirl…

  6. Derek

    Two things:

    1) One of the things that doesn’t seem to be taken into account is that the fan base seems have very low expectations this year. Lower than they ought to be IMHO. Based on what I’ve seen the average fan expectation is around 9 wins. It should be 11 given the schedule, but it isn’t.

    Given that we were awful last year and could have easily gotten to 10 wins but for the ball call vs. LSU and the implosion vs. KY exceeding those expectations should be relatively easy. 10 wins or more and everybody is pretty happy.

    2) I think the one thing that these sports pundits don’t get is the importance of the Tech series. It wasn’t Donnan’s overall record that got him canned. It was three straight losses to Tech. Had Donnan had the same exact record that he had, but beaten Tech 2 of those 3, he would have remained the coach. The point being there will only be a “hot seat” if we win less than 10 AND one of the losses is to Tech. Losing 2 straight at Sanford to Tech will be an issue. Of course, that isn’t going to happen. I would say that the biggest reason that the fan base is patient with CMR is the 8-1 record vs. Tech. His record vs. Tech is also what kept Dooley employed through any number of mediocre seasons when our record vs. UT and Auburn and Bama and LSU was less than optimal and certainly worse than CMR’s.

    It amazes me to hear Bama people like Finebaum rail against CMR when its obvious that he has seen the exact same dynamic play out there. Bill Curry won the SEC and was fired. Why? He lost 3 straight to Auburn. You can’t do that and remain the coach at Alabama. Now would Georgia fire an SEC Champ? No, but if you started losing to Tech on a regular basis you’d better have an SEC trophy as a shield or your gone.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Make no mistake, Paul Finebaum wants Georgia to get rid of Mark Richt because he’s an Alabama homer and he knows that getting rid of Richt will weaken UGA and benefit Saban and the Crimson Tide. He also knows it will benefit Auburn… BIG TIME.

  7. AthensHomerDawg

    Since we can pull stuff out of our rears…….can I pick Spurrier …when he was “the Visor” or Osborne when….. ok you do get my point. I do NOT want on that circus coaching merry-go-round that has become Tennessee football..with CDD, or Alabama with Shula.. or ……….ok I am sure you all see my point!

  8. Brandon

    Is Bradley considered Anti-Richt? He’s a real dope to be sure and he definately trolls for page hits but he’s written numerous articles in support of Richt over the years, maybe I missed his “Richt is dead to me” article but I don’t recall it.

  9. whiskeydawg

    Gruden’s got his ring and he isn’t going to leave the comfort of the play by play booth. CMR is a fine coach. His record speaks for itself.

  10. The next Class recruited may calm this down.
    They will be coming in based on the Dawgs continuing to run a pro style offense & a 3 -4 defense. Also based on ALL of the staff including CMR & CMB remaining in Athens.
    Plus after the success the Dawgs will have this year, I see no reason for any the Dawg’s coaches to be on a Hot Seat. The new DC has a 3 year contract & therefore CMR has the same 3 years. Live with It.

  11. Mr. Georgia Football Returns

    The only person that can put Mark Richt on the Hot Seat is MARK RICHT! Not me , not you, not the spin monkeys! Duh! Mark Richt got himself into this situation.

  12. Dawgfan17

    I love that all the UGA fans have to be told that we are tired of Richt. With the exception of a few comments online, mostly from people who are not able to say anything rational, I have not heard any UGA fan calling for Richt to go. There were lots calling for Willie to go and most if not all of those are very happy with his replacement so far. Is it possible Richt gets fired after this season, sure if he goes 5-7 and misses a bowl game, but seeing as his worst record is 8 wins I seriously doubt that will happen. Most likely UGA will struggle a bit early on and lose to either Carolina OR Arkansas then win all but one of their remaining games and next year the talk will be about how well UGA finished and we will be hyped in the preseason as a top ten team again. With a little luck(no injuries and Murray playing above his level of being a freshman) I could see UGA going 11-1 or even 12-0 and playing for an SEC/national title.

  13. Objective Bama Fan

    “I wouldn’t trade Richt for Saban”. Oh please. Are you freaking kidding me. There isn’t a college that wouldn’t trade their coach for Saban. Well, maybe besides Florida.

  14. Objective Bama Fan

    There’s a fine line between a fan wearing his team’s colored glasses and delusional.
    Personally, I don’t think Richt should be on the hot seat.
    However, to compare Richt with Saban, is delusional.
    And for everyone that says Saban is leaving, you are really not
    paying close attention. Saban’s next stop is Lake Burton.

    • Prov

      Let me put it terms you understand: I don’t care if Saban wins 10 more NT and Richt doesn’t win one. The over signing alone makes Saban, in my eyes, a colossal piece of shit who I wouldn’t let pick up after my dog in my backyard. Keep him, love him, he is all yours.

  15. Dawgaholic

    Bama Fan,

    Richt will be winning SEC championships long after Saban has established his permanent home at Lake Burton. Oversigning is only rational if you don’t plan on needing relationships with high school coaches for very long. Saban is alot of things but irrational is not one of them.

    Enjoy the next couple of years and try not to hire the next Mike Price, …or Mike Shula, …or Dennis Franchione, …or Rich Rodriguez (dodged a bullet there).

    As for comparing Richt and Saban – they have played 5 times and Richt is 2-3. Two of the losses came in 2003. Saban is up a total of 6 points for the 5 games. So I guess Saban’s teams are on average 1.2 points better than Richt’s head to head. I guess that is such a difference that any comparisons are delusional in your mind.

  16. 12-2

    Let’s see how this season plays out with Mike Bobo

    Then, after the season when we have lost 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors

    Let’s see whose seat is hot and why