It’s all in our heads.

Matt Zemek explains that Mark Richt’s hot seat problems were all just a matter of “psychology”.

… The thing to realize about a coach’s tenure is that when the mood in and around a campus becomes so negative that trust is lost on a wide scale, the coach’s political leverage and real-world authority are eroded beyond rescuing. It seemed that Richt was at that point following his team’s loss to South Carolina. The bad vibe that swirled through the air, the black feeling that pervaded the Georgia program, was so pronounced that even if Richt deserved to stay, (and he DID, given all the accomplishments he’s registered as Georgia’s coach, restoring glory to the program that drifted through misery and pain in the 1990s…) the politics of the situation were making his position untenable. The loss of a fan base’s trust was on the verge of happening, but because Georgia won 10 out of 10 regular-season games, that threshold was never crossed.

That strikes me as a touch too glib.  The truth is that Richt had built up an enormous amount of good will based on his accomplishments and then proceeded to burn through his account at an alarming rate because there was a clear sense in the fan base that he allowed the program to drift and seemed unwilling to take even the most obvious steps to right the ship (I’m looking at you, Willie Martinez).

It’s to Richt’s credit, of course, that he finally woke up and made the hard decisions he’d seemed reluctant to take.  And that’s why he finds himself on far less shaky ground today than he did after the ’10 season ended.  The loss of trust Zemek mentions wasn’t a whim on our part.  It’s something Richt brought on himself.  If Zemek wants to indulge his inner Freud, it might be a more useful exercise to point his psychological interests in that direction.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

25 responses to “It’s all in our heads.

  1. TennesseeDawg

    Richt did much in the way of righting the ship and made some decisions that needed to be made but the fact remains that those 10 wins all came against teams that were average at best. The program still has a lot to prove in terms of beating good football teams.

  2. Steve

    The best thing that happened to CMR is a pair of red panties. CMR was performing athletic director duties as well as head coachind duties. Thank God for Greg!!!

  3. As much as those North AvenueTraders made the Red Panties their rallying cry, it actually allowed Coach Richt eventually to work more for the game. He just have to produce a team that can challenge and dominate at all times not just some of the time. Playing not to lose should not even be in the process. For him to gain respect nationally in terms of being a top coach, he cannot allow collapses and big losses on any team.

  4. As a lot of casual fans will say, Rict cannot allow teams like LSU or Alabama to dominate games, as much as lose to Boise, Sc, UCF or MIchigan State. To do it again this year will really establish him as a great person but a mediocre head coach.
    I do not know if he has a certain mantra to really have a true competition on all positions, but if he has more embarrassing losses the mediocre label will stick permanently. Fans just will not readily accept overused excuses like weak OL nor inexperience DB or secondaries, nor players not executing. In all the above excuses there is coach that need to coach. The bottom line is most fans prefer championships and trophies after 11 seasons.

    • Cojones

      In your last sentence; change “most” to “some” and you could make a point, but you just lost many of us by using an unvalidated superlative. Kinda negates the rest of your words.

  5. Verillion

    I think it’s more due to the momentum of the last couple years.

    Only 4 of the 16 wins, were against teams with a winning record.

    Only 2 of the 16 wins were against ranked teams.

    I think the record against ranked teams last couple years is like 2-10.

  6. william

    The way i recall it CMR was forced to get rid of Willie. The AD at the time told him make a change or I’ll make a change. If not for that I think we would still have aids. If you want proof behind that statement we would still have aids look at our oc. Willie stuck to his game plan no matter what just like our oc and got out coached in the big games just like our oc. Neither one knows how to adjust on the fly so why have we only corrected half the problem. I think blowbo will remain until CMR is threatened again. On a slightly different note were is blowbos contract extension? Haven’t heard anything on that subject ever.

    • “The way you recall it”? What, you were like hanging out in the hallway when they had their discussion?

      • william

        Sorry for the delay been at a b-party but i took a few minutes to look up a couple of examples for you . Dec 14 2008 David Hale from dawg post had an article where Damon Evens said “I think(Richt) will work through what he needs to work through, and my only thing is we need to make sure to him it is that we hold people accountable,”

        • william

          Then there is an article on Nov 10, 2008 by Chip Towers of AJC about an interview with CMR were he is defending Martinez throughout the entire q&a . So for him to supporting him one month then firing him shortly after the statement by Damon you tell me what happend

          • Verillion

            Willie Martinez’s defense averaged @30 points a game against the ranked guys 2007-2009.
            Grantham’s been worse than Willie Martinez, @32 points a game against ranked teams 2010-2011.

            Willie’s d finished #2, #2, and #5 in SEC in total yards against ranked opponents in 2007-2009.
            Grantham’s d finished #3 and #6 in SEC in total yards against ranked opponents 2010-2011.

            Careful what you wish for.

            Against the stronger teams, Willie was better in both areas.

            • william

              The offense usually stayed on the feild longer then too until they got bobos number. I like Richt but bobos gotta change or be demoted to QB coach where he is more suited

          • 2008 was a year before Martinez was let go, not a month. In any event, do you really expect Richt to telegraph his intent before canning Martinez? Seriously?

            Do you remember what Richt said in response to Martinez’ future a year later when Georgia beat Tech? It wasn’t supportive.

            Coaches with Richt’s resume don’t let ADs dictate staff decisions to them. They quit instead. I think you can assume that since Richt is still here, Damon never pushed things that far.

    • Verillion

      Willie’s defense hit 79, 80, and 83% in red zone conversion percentage 2007-2009.

      Grantham’s defense hit 82, and 91% in red zone conversion percentage in 2010-2011.

      Grantham gets outcoached, worse than Willie ever did, in big games. Hard to win giving up 91% red zone numbers.

  7. AusDawg85


    (there…you all feel better now?)


  8. Bevo

    Great post. I totally agree.

  9. Chadwick

    What puzzled me was a significant number of fans actually seemed to think Richt had let things slide. The number of rational folks touting have a God guy as coach, or loyalty to assistants, or mission trips and hospital visits as a reson to keep Richt wholly baffles me. Those are great qualities, but not essential traits for the head ball coach. There is still much work to be done. They lost to all the quality tems in 2011, laid a turd in the wecond half of the SECCG anf pissed away a bowl win. Positives in 2011, yes, but Richt better not separate his shoulders patting himself on the back. That said, I do believe he has gotten his fire back. Always forward.

    • Chadwick

      Meant to say that I was surprised that people thought Richt had not let things slide. I am too old to type and talk.

  10. W Cobb Dawg

    The story isn’t over yet. The sec was tough when CMR came to UGA. He won double digits yearly and challenged for sec championships. A watered down schedule is a coaches best friend this year, but sooner or later CMR is going to have to re-prove he can beat top teams. Good coaches win lots of games at schools which have a base of abundant talent. Great coaches take those teams to championships. Once upon a time challenging for the sec champiosnhip (and winning a couple) was enough. But now that sec coaches have won 6 mnc’s in a row, CMR is expected to take the next step up.

  11. Uglydawg

    There have been some great points made on this thread, but I’ve gotta tell you, I’m floored to see negative critcism of Grantham.

  12. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Don’t believe everything you read here, Ug. We’ve got Tech moles and Gator boosters who post here just to cause trouble.