Victim of his own success

Andy Staples ranks the head coaching job at Georgia as the fifth most attractive in all of college football, citing facilities, revenue and recruiting base (coupled with a subtle jab at Georgia Tech).

Now, I’m a Georgia partisan – shocking to discover, I know – but I’m not blind.  That hasn’t always been the case.  A school which boasts the hires of an assistant running backs coach and a 1-AA head coach (after Georgia was unceremoniously dumped by the not-so-special Glen Mason, remember) as Richt’s immediate predecessors wasn’t exactly siphoning off the cream of the coaching crop, so to speak.  Even if you categorize some of the decision making which went into those hires as inept (and that’s a kind way of describing the process that led to Ray Goff becoming the head honcho), there’s no way before this last decade that a neutral observer would call Athens an élite destination.

So if it is now, ironically, I’d think you’d have to say that Mark Richt has had a hand in making it so.  A significant hand.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

45 responses to “Victim of his own success

  1. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    I would argue college and professional sports in the state of Georgia have chronically underperformed, based upon a combination of relatively poor management and the learned helplessness of fans.

  2. HK

    I’m sure if the team stinks it up again, Richt’s gone and thats ok with me, but I really hope he can start winning big games again this year. And stick around for a while. I enjoy not having to defend an ass hole coach just because he wins a lot of games.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    With one of the most profitable athletic departments in the country, a wealth of in-state recruits, a huge fanbase, one of the largest stadiums in the country and a “money is no object” ability to pay; Georgia should be a top 3 job in the country along with Texas and Florida. If it isn’t then someone is f*cking up.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Also a terrific school and locale, and the recruiting backyard includes the largest TV market in the southeast.

  4. Nate Dawg

    Is it just another example of no good deed goes unpunished? Look at where Richt’s brought us, not by hisself but he’s the figure head, and now maybe he’s 2-3 particular losses away from loosing his job. Just doesn’t feel right.

    • Are you crazy?

      He’s already used up like 10-15 or so brutally bad losses.

      Its a testament to the UGA athletic department’s faith and patience that he was even given this extra year.

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    Not sure I agree with CMR “making it so”. I think it’s more accurate to say he’s capitalized (to a point) on the inherent opportunity that exists for any coach UGA hires.

    • JG Shellnutt

      That’s the point…he DID make it so. Goff didn’t do it. Donnan didn’t do it (and maybe with arguably better talent at times).

      What’s the difference in saying Richt made it so and saying he capitalized on the inherent opportunity (after his 2 predecessors did not)? I don’t think anyone is implying that Richt and only Richt could have helped get Georgia back to prominence; but, give credit where credit is due…Richt has had a LARGE hand in getting Georgia back on track. Make no mistake about it.

      • Go Dawgs!

        Add to that the fact that Dooley didn’t do it as often as he’d have to in order to keep some of the Dawg Vent’s louder voices happy here in the 21st century.

    • Really? Then maybe you can explain why the program didn’t attract a top-flight candidate with a national reputation when the head coaching slot opened up the two times prior to Richt’s hire.

      • mdr

        Ineptness of the “search committee” perhaps? I don’t know. The resources were here before CMR, but he has definitely taken advantage of them.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        Not sure exactly who qualifies as “top-flight candidates”. Donnan had substantial success before UGA, as did CMR – so I’d say we did attract what many would consider top candidates. I think Dawgs wanted somebody young too. Who else would we have considered at the time? – guys like Tuberville, Davis, O’Leary, Hawkins, Neuheisel, etc. – never would have been considered for an interview, nor would we want them. Can you name anyone you would’ve considered a top flight candidate that we should have considered at the time?

        Maybe we’re snakebit. All the pieces are here to maintain a top program. I don’t know if we’re easily distracted, unlucky or lazy, but we keep stumbling whenever we get close to realizing our potential.

        • Georgia’s first choice at the time was Glen Mason. Remember him? He went on to a fantastically mediocre career at Minnesota. Not exactly A-team material.

          Donnan was Dooley’s fallback.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I’m not a Glen Mason fan (actually I sorta hate the bastard) but if he had taken the UGA job he would have done a lot better than he did at Minnesota simply because of the recruiting situation at the respective schools.

  6. HVL Dawg

    UGA is a great place to coach because of the bevy of babes on campus. Richt had nothing to do with that.

  7. Normaltown Mike

    Where UGA is today has a lot to do with great leadership, demographics and migration. Remember that Atlanta was smaller than Birmingham as recently as 1960. If not for Mayors Ivan Allen & Bill Hartsfield and industry visionaries like Robert Woodruff & Ted Turner, Atlanta might still be bridesmaid to the ‘Ham. These leaders put Atlanta in a position to reap the huge dividends of sun belt migration that began in the 60’s and continues to now. As the engine for the south, Atlanta has enriched our state and its institutions far better than our neighbors.

    While the Atlanta Mayoral position has faded in significance, we still get better leadership at the state level than many of our peers (obvious exceptions abound). The Lottery is the best recent example where Zell used funds as an incentive for secondary education instead of a replacement for state appropriations (as is done in most states).

    As to football, desegregation of college football in the deep south is the most significant event since the forward pass was developed. In the old days, Wally Butts spent his off season scouring Pennsylvania for tough white guys to bring south. This was necessary because Georgia only allowed half of the state population to participate in sports. Think about that. What would we look like if we were fielding whites only teams? Think about how bad the Big 10 and PAC 10 would destroy us.

    • SO, since Atlanta is now an absolute shithole, and possibly the most horrible city in the United States, will UGA follow?

      I sure hope not.

    • Travelin' Dawg

      The reason Butts recruited up north was because Tech was the powerhouse most of the time he was coach. They were want Georgia is today. Frankly, back in those days, even the Big Ten teams only had a token handful of black players, so no one really had an advantage there.

  8. The Original Cynical in Athens

    Apparently Staples does not take into consideration the racist police force in Athens. The fact that players get popped for absolutely insignificant offenses in Athens while players can run wild with impunity in Gainesville, Auburn, Knoxville, Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge should drop the UGA job down a peg.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Calling you out on that one. Show me how the police in Athens are racist. Sorry, I think it sucks that football players have gotten popped on some of these seemingly ticky-tack things, but I’m a supporter of law enforcement in general and I won’t stand for someone lobbing around accusations of racism without presenting facts to back it up beyond “many of the football players arrested were black”.

      • Macallanlover

        Why bother? Anyone that continues to blame race in this society is pretty much an idiot, and usually more likely to make decisions, or see the world, in terms of race themselves. UGA and the local police do not seem to work well together, but the reasons for the arrests are pretty much because immature, young adults often don’t behave well. I cannot recall a single incident where an arrest wasn’t the result of a law being broken. What exactly do people expect law enforcement to do when laws are violated?

        • MT

          Jordan Love being arrested for not giving his middle name is the only real stretch arrest that I can recall

          • Ausdawg85

            Emerging from an alley on a scooter is not exactly a threat to the well-being of our society either.

            • Macallanlover

              Neither is driving without a seat belt, or drinking a beer at age 20, but they are many silly laws on the books…..none of which were written by the officers. Many times a minor issue results in a citation because the offender handles the situation poorly, or challenges the authority of the officer. I see no valid reason for the OP’s comments. (I always wondered, is emerging from an alley the same as failure to stop at an intersection? Hard to believe there is actually a law that deals with how to exit any pathway.)

    • SCDawg

      Athens police are, for the most part, equal opportunity harrassers. They’ve bothered a lot of my white friends. Not buying that one.

      • GreenDawg

        Seriously, I couldn’t even begin to count the number of upper-middle class white frat boys that I’ve seen arrested in Athens. Really not buying the “cops are racist” argument.

    • mdr

      That has NOTHING to do with race. Kids of all races, creeds, and religion get popped by the ACC cops regularly. Are they overzealous? For sure. Are they sometimes down right ridiculous? Yes sir. But race doesn’t enter the equation.

  9. Irishdawg

    After seeing that new weight room, I can’t imagine that UGA is inferior to any other program (with the possible exception of Oregon’s facilities, but their stuff is ridiculous). Not Florida, not LSU, not Texas. UGA has tradition, plays in the country’s marquee conference, has outstanding facilities, great weather, beautiful women, and is an hour’s drive from a major city.

    • Ausdawg85

      Not a fan of the local farm team, but the boys in burnt orange have very impressive facilities, bigger town/city than Athens but with a cool bohemian-vibe , cuties, etc.

      I still hate Texas, but you’ve got to include them in the conversation.

      • mdr

        I think Texas is #1, Florida is #2, and the rest of the top 10 can be listed any number of ways. If it wasn’t for the NCAA, USC would be right up there too.

        • Travelin' Dawg

          Have you ever been to the real USC’s campus? It’s right in the middle of one of the most dangerous slums known to mankind. Same with the Coliseum. Kinda like a tick on a dog in reverse.

  10. Joe

    A Few years ago this question was asked of other reporters, here is one answer of interest:

    Richard Cirminiello
    Q: Assume you’re a coach and every D-I job in America is currently available. Every school is prepared to offer you their head coaching position, and every place offers you an identical salary with the same three-year, “no matter how bad I do, I can’t get fired as coach” contract.
    If you could coach only one program, which would it be and why? Which would be the last job you’d take?

    A: I once knew a dude, who stayed at his job because the cafeteria made some kickin’ onion rings.
    Suffice it to say, everyone has very different gauges for employment satisfaction. With an opportunity to take the reigns of any DI program, my criteria would be just a tad more stringent:
    1. Unless it’s a few pounds after the holidays, I hate losing. And I don’t plan to channel Dennis Franchione, and rebuild a sliding program. I want an opportunity to win conference championships now and be in the national title discussion every two or three years.
    2. Beyond wins and losses, the program needs to be healthy. This means limited off-field headaches and deep coiffures, so if the stadium needs a facelift or a new training facility will help in recruiting, I won’t be asked to do excessive glad-handing.
    3. If I’m going to be the face of a program, I want to do it at a football school that has a rabid, yet educated fan base. There’s nothing worse than having to beg for support or coaching at a school that’s more stoked about Midnight Madness than this Saturday’s game. Even more, I want to be the sports attraction in an area that pro sports is the undercard.
    4. Recruiting 17 and 18-year olds sucks, especially in this age of information overload. The process becomes a whole lot more palatable, however, if the recruiting base is robust and local prep All-Americans grew up dreaming of wearing our colors.
    5. Location would be a huge factor. I love this country, but 90% of it is either too damn hot, too damn cold, too damn rural or landlocked, none of which appeals to me. Arizona is a great place to vacation, but 365 days of heat and sunshine makes me feel like a Truman Show extra. Give me a college town along the Atlantic seaboard that’s close to beaches and city life, and I’ll be ready to sign today.

    There are about a half-dozen good choices, but for me, all roads lead to Athens. Georgia appeals to the three little bears in me; not too hot and not too cold. And built by Mark Richt to compete for championships every year, but not so spoiled that an 8-3 season forces the locals out on to a ledge.
    Georgia has a rich tradition, terrific facilities, a beautiful campus and a loyal fan base. Athens is a great college town to raise a family, 70 miles from Atlanta and still within driving distance of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re going to coach college basketball, do it in the ACC. If you’re going to coach
    college football, everywhere else falls short of the SEC. And the top job at Georgia would be the next entry on my resume.

    On the opposite spectrum, it’s way too easy to select one of the dregs of the Sun Belt, MAC or WAC, so I limited the choices for least desirable job to just the BCS conferences. I’ve been to Waco and I
    know how far the school is from its heyday under Grant Teaff, so I’d rather look for an assistant’s job
    or down some rings with that old slacker friend than butt heads with the rest of the state’s schools
    and try to resurrect Baylor from the dead.

    • 81Dog

      “Deep coiffures”? What do hairstyles have to do with the value of a coaching job???? 🙂

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I agree with just about everything in you well thought out post except for the fans being “not so spoiled that an 8-3 season forces the locals out on to a ledge.” Donnan got canned after an 8-4 season when he had a winning percentage for the last 4 years he was at UGA of about the same as Vince Dooley. BTW did you catch the howling for CMR’s scalp by some of the Bulldog faithful after an 8-5 season in 2009? The UGA fanbase is not as irrational as some but we certainly have our share.

  11. shane#1

    Richt has done what was necessary to revive the UGA program and will leave UGA in good condition for the next coach. When Richt took over the Dawgs had not won the SEC in twenty years. The graduation rate was the worst in the SEC, and the Dawgs were owned by UT and UF and lost regularly to Tech. Donations were down because Donan did not like the fat cats and they didn’t like him. Where are we now? Well UGA has won two SECCG and has played in another. UGA has held it’s own with UT and dominated Tech. The APR is second only to Vandy in the SEC and the program is loaded with money. I give much of the credit to CMR. I think Richt wants another SEC title and a possible shot at a BCSCG. If he can do that I look for CMR to retire and do mission work in the third world. He doesn’t want to leave the program after a down year.

  12. shane#1

    Change of subject- I meant to post this a while back. We lost a damn good Dawg the other day. “Bugar” Sealy, Albany’s greatest Bulldog fan and a fixture at Bulldog games for over sixty years has passed away. Bugar had made enough donations to have had lifetime season tickets, and he damn near did. He was the first fan I ever saw with the Bulldog painted on top of his bald head. So long Bugar, you damn good Dawg you! Some of you old timers[like me] may remember him.

  13. Cojones

    Last year I posted that 3 of the last 4 kicked out were white and admonished the Irish for adversely affecting their black team members . This was at the same time Mett hit the road. Some of you are not keeping a good racial score and you are overlooking the racial makeup of the Athens Police Dept as you throw more fuel 0n the fire . I have no idea what it is , but would be dumbfounded if it reflected other than the population racial makeup of the area. Haven’t we had one act of lunacy committed on the Athens Police due to unscrupulous racial comments on this and other blogs? Wasn’t the Dept targeted by some poor soul who took such racial comments about player arrest to heart? He thought he was doing something for the players. Folks, some people read what we say and act in their crazed state to vindicate others who they see by your words as oppressed by the cops. Tragedy is often the end result. I’m personally happy with the Police Dept doing their job and not giving favor to athletes or others as some police depts seem to do elsewhere in the SEC. UGA is a leader in many areas and has been a leader in race relations since I lived there in the 60s. We all should be proud to have them representing the area diversity and working with the Campus Police to keep order. Many cops are ex military. Did you like these same people when they faced bullets on foreign soils, but now that they face bullets here you don’t like the cut of their jib because they arrest players who deserve it? A few of you deserve a flaming cross where the sun don’t shine.

    • shane#1

      I don’t like the flaming cross statement, but I don’t see the CC-APD as racist. I was trying to remember the white players arrested in Athens and just off the top of my head I came up with Tripp Chandler, Blake Barnes, Muzzy, Zeb Mckenzie, the long snapper and the backup punter lasr year, I disremembers their names. Anyway, when you consider that that 90% of the team is black, I don’t see racism here. Anti student and anti athlete bias prehaps, but not racism.

  14. Cojones

    Senator, as it probably is with you toward me, my jury is still out on you. A “significant hand”, indeed. A simple supporting statement of Richt’s worth to us all. Many of the good affects of his presence in our Dawg Nation reach into other schools in the SEC as well. Seems like I read that Dooley was honored by more than one SEC school during his reign. I expect the same for Richt.

    Good for you, Senator.

  15. Hobnail_Boot

    Congrats on 7 million hits, Blutarsky.