Shorter Russ Mitchell: Because Mark Richt had the unmitigated gall to suck me in to picking his team to beat South Carolina, he’s got to go.
Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles
Well, of course, as I have wailed about many times, there is nothing more dangerous than a sports expert who rolled the dice and lost.
Trust me when I tell you I have some experience in that arena, and can testify.
It is one thing to make a mistake; it is another thing to keep making it. Special teams play, offense line development, undersigning, and the number of suspensions that rob our roster of players on game day. It is
disappointing. Not the disappointment of an undergrad when you finally hook up with that sexy lady in your class, who turns out to be not all that. It is alluring though… that thought of another SEC East spot and what that might bring. Now that is kinda sexy. As it turns out last Saturday night our Dawgs were not all that. A faux SEC East championship team. And if we somehow manage to back into that game in Atlanta. How many of us would look at it as kind of a charity f*ck from that sexy lady in our class?
Hey, I have nothing against charity…we’ve backed into Atlanta before, didn’t bother me a bit. The point is to be there, right? I have never been in a position to question a lady’s motives in making an intelligent choice.
Yeah. I’m sure Tenessee felt terrible about it in ’97 when we wet the bed at home against Auburn. Can’t believe they even went to Atlanta to play. Shameless.
Weeeeeeeellllllll, Tennessee did beat us that year, so I don’t think they really felt *completely* undeserving of what might have been our spot in the SECCG.
I look at the SECCG like I do golf. There’s no room on the scorecard for pictures.
Do you really think 10 years from now anyone other than diehards will remember how we got to the 2011 SECCG? Or will they just remember we were in the game?
No, they’ll remember we got blown out of the SECC game then wet the bed against a so-so Big Ten team in mid-tier bowl.
I’m falling off the Mark Richt bandwagon little by little…
I am hanging on the badwagon one handed while being drug across a dirt road. Sort of like Nicolas Cage when he was being drug across the road by the Apocalyptic biker in Raising Arizona.
Ok, a bit of a cryptic reference there….
That night I had a dream. I dreamt I was as light as the ether- a floating spirit visiting things to come. The shades and shadows of the people in my life rassled their way their way into my slumber. I dreamed of Mark Richt’s future. If not at Georgia, then a land not too far away. Where all players are strong and wise and capable and all coaches are happy and beloved. I don’t know. Maybe it was Utah.
Well, you don’t have to worry about your cojones getting hurt.
Very good article with some great points.
Which points were those? That we lost to all 3 (sic) ranked teams we played in 2008? (When we actually played 6 ranked teams and went 3-3) Or that we lost this weekend when he picked us to win?
I’m just having trouble finding these ‘points’ you speak of.
There certainly is plenty of broad generalization and pure crap, which is ironic in a column that is complaining about mediocrity, but alas, I digress.
Here is my question…who would have Russ Mitchell hired in 2009 that would have taken us to the top?
Or maybe in 2010?
(Kiffin would’ve been on the market again)
Maybe I’m missing something…but I’m having trouble figuring out who we would’ve hired that was in the market for a new job that would have been sure-fire better than Richt over that time period.
I want excellence as much as the next person, but the grass isn’t always greener. How many Goff’s, Donnan’s, Glenn Mason’s, Zook’s, Dooley’s, Kiffin’s etc. are we willing to go through and is that a more likely path to excellence than keeping Richt? Tennessee should be a case study for us right now. I’m not saying they should’ve kept Fulmer…but they completely destroyed a culture of hiring Tennessee men and severed all ties with their most recent success and it hasn’t gone well.
I couldn’t care less who Mitchell thinks we should hire now, much less in 2009. Last time I checked, he wasn’t Georgia Athletics Director.
You really think a hiring decision is Greg McGarity’s alone?
Ok…that’s fine, but that is also the point of the article. (not ‘points’ b/c as we both know…those points don’t really exist in that hack job). It is a “I told you so” article that says we should have fired Richt back in 2009.
So if you are going to pile on the article and say “he made some good points”….how can you back off the entire premise of the article that basically we should have fired Richt in 2009 with a “I could care less”? That’s not an attack…it’s a real question.
Just between you and me Chevy, it’s Irwin M Fletcher.
I know…I screwed it up the first time I commented (actually used to have Fletcher spelled wrong, too) and haven’t changed it. Always good to see someone paying attention.
+1. Which program missed the SECCG, made it to the National Championship game with one loss, and has a crystal trophy to show for it last year? There’s a lot of football left this year… Could we watch it all play out before we go hiring a “Jimbo. Fisher?”
How about :
“2008 began with great promise as a consensus preseason #1, but ended with losses to all three regular season top 25 opponents the Dawgs faced…” (Note: This is a correct statement. UGA lost to Bama, FL and GT, the only regular season opponents who finished the year ranked. We did beat #24 Mich. St. in a bowl game)
“2009, again, no signature SEC wins. 2010 was even worse.”
“Last season… again with no signature SEC wins and 0-4 against the better teams on their schedule…”
“Georgia is one of our conference’s richest athletic departments, both in terms of revenue and brand awareness. It deserves better than mediocrity.”
It’s not a fact….we faced 5 Top 25 teams in the 2008 regular season, 6 overall. We faced 3 teams that finished in the top 25. That’s not what the article says. (and if that’s his point, he sure did a mediocre job of writing that out). You can’t just say ‘where did they finish’? That’s stupid. LSu finished “28th”….if we hadn’t beat them, they would have been a top 25 team. Signature wins is a matter of opinion. So is ‘better’ teams. So is the definition of mediocrity.
Now having gotten out of the way that the writer is mediocre at putting out facts. Can I go on record as stating that Scout is one of college football’s richest independent news outlets in terms of revenue and brand awareness. It deserves better than mediocrity.
Here is something with a bit more meat to it…and it helps your argument. Sagarin’s rankings have UGA in the predictor model as basically a top 20-35 team every year except 2007….going back to 2004! And in 2007, UGA wasn’t 2nd…it was 9th. Now the argument can be made that Richt’s style (get a lead and hold on) hurts him in a formula that includes margin of victory, but the counter to that is that Richt’s style also hurts him in winning games against elite teams. It’s possible that the team has always been solid, but not great and that the 1 loss season is the outlier. Sagarin’s models certainly back that up. Does that mean fire him? That’s a bigger question. But what it does mean is that there is real data out there that would make a stronger case for mediocrity than some DB upset about picking the Dawgs to win last week.
Unfortunately, I can’t disagree with much that was said.
I disagree greatly with some dufus writing about our program in it’s first defeat this year and using us for grist in his woe-begotten pome ‘d rue. As IRF said, “What point(s)?”. If you can’t spot downer- dung, you should at least be able to smell it.
If Richt is really a genuinely contrite and honest individual, he should know by now if he can make it done or not. If deep inside him he no longer can do it as there more important things in life than the game, then he should allow an orderly transition to another regime so as not to hurt UGA team and recruits and of course the University any further.
That’s really cheery, eric. You were writing a lot more positive stuff for the last several weeks. Now is not the time to stop.
We are top 5 in every category required to have a great program, there are more D1 athletes in Gwinnett County than there is in the entire state of SC. Top talent base, money, support, & conference. Somebody can build a winner here…
I agree with everything this article said.
To quote Chris Dimino: “That ain’t hatin, that’s just factin”.
Upon hearing the great malcontent of Russ, CMR sends diagram to Russ showing that the path to backing into the Arena is not as easy as Russ thinks it is
C’mon Senator. The getting tricked into picking UGA statement isn’t the main point of this article. You skipped over the whole failing to win a game when the stakes are high since 2007. But it’s sweet that you are trying to discredit this article to defend Richt from injury in the whole debate about Richt’s future employment.
Mitchell is the guy who predicted Georgia would fire Richt last season immediately after the Mississippi State game. Obviously that didn’t happen. So he jumped back on the bandwagon, only to be embarrassed again. If the Dawgs beat Florida – that’s not a prediction, by the way – and run the table, who’s say he won’t get right back on again?
Just because you like the message doesn’t mean he’s not an imperfect messenger.
And just because you don’t like the message,that doesn’t mean he is an imperfect messenger. Regardless of his bandwagon jumping, he raises some excellent points about the state of the program under CMR.
Correct – he’s an imperfect messenger because he’s a reactionary simpleton. That’s why he writes for scout.com as a freaking profession.
Based on what? Have you been reading what he’s written about Georgia football for the last five years or are you just taking someone else’s word for it?
Yeah, only morons can make a living writing about sports–I’m sure most college fans would hate that job.
No, they are not all complete morons, but a little moronic tendency sho don’t hurt, and college fans are generally miserable as sportswriters.
He’s a bandwagon jumper, but he’s not an imperfect messenger. Got it.
It seems to me that Russ Mitchell and others were just waiting to jump out of the bushes and say what Mitchell said here. They are predisposed because of past opinion. What Mitchell said is hocum. This “I’m right-see” kind of finger pointing comes from people who can’t admit they are ever wrong. Is he also advocating that Nebraska fire Bo Pellini because the Huskers lost to Oklahoma by 24 last weekend? The guy is FOS.
Excuse me–lost to Ohio State.
“if the Dawgs beat Florida – that’s not a prediction, by the way – and run the table, who’s say he won’t get right back on again?”
Gosh, that almost sounds like, yep, EVERYBODY on here bitching right now about this time last year. One in particular comes to mind, who had an epiphany after we beat Florida only to jump ship again after the LSU loss.
Don’t remind them, Puff. They just get angrier at themselves and take it out on the Dawgs. Putting a mirror before them causes many to reach behind it slowly and try to capture the image.
Dang it Cojo, it is plumb em bare assing when I agree so completely with you, especially the mirror allusion…. Nothing is more infuriating than finding out your own delusions are illusions.
Seriously? You are going to bring up something that the guy said more than 5 minutes ago? You really don’t get this whole sports journalism thing.
I know, I know. ;)
A broken clock is right twice a day
Please. Mitchell has consistently been saying the same thing that he said in this article for the last few years (including this whole season). I’ve read his weekly articles pointing Georgia out as a paper bulldog and heard radio interviews essentially saying the same thing. To be fair, he said that this year’s Gamecocks were in the same category (we shall see). Last week, he picked Georgia not because he “jumped back on the bandwagon,” but because he thought both were equally over-rated and because he thought Murray would be better than Shaw. In a radio interview on Friday, he made his reluctance in picking Georgia very clear.
I don’t like reading about how our Dawgs are over-rated and underachieving–and when it comes from an “outsider,” I must admit I personally sour toward the guy. But, frankly, it stings more because it’s true. Just like Spurrier’s little jabs and quips make Georgia fans touchy. OK, of course, the guy’s not perfect. So he was wrong in predicting that Mississippi State would beat Georgia last year (Richt might have been fired if he had–although probably not during the season), just like he was wrong in picking Georgia this year. It doesn’t mean that the message still resonates–that Georgia, with all it’s advantages, geographic and financial resources, and prestige should be a first-tier program, but isn’t. This article, especially the last sentence, certainly accords with my view of Georgia football.
Just for the messenger part, Andy Staples brought up many of the same points in the preamble for his college power rankings on SI.com: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/andy_staples/10/09/college-football-power-rankings-week-6/index.html?sct=cf_t11_a0
I’m not saying he’s anymore wrong or right but there’s more people talking about these ideas than just Mitchell. TBH, I think Mitchell often comes off as an a-hole.
You skipped the factual inaccuracies in his article. Facts are stubborn things. Guy is a hack…hitch your wagon to him at your own peril.
Nice to know some of us can actually read.
To further your points, Metro Atlanta was ~2M in 1990 and ~5M in 2010. That’s a lot of people. I’m no expert in demographics, but I’m guessing that translates to a good amount of HS talent.
No offense to him, but no self-respecting top-tier program has McGowan returning punts. They have guys like Mathieu and Ace Sanders. The inability to find and coach an athletic return man falls Ailey on the coaching staff. This is just one example.
I think that it may be some time for a little perspective. The issue isn’t whether it is theoretically possible that the next guy would bring you all the wins you know you deserve, the issue is one of risk vs. reward. For every Meyer or Saban there are literally hundreds of John l. Smith’s, rich rods, mike prices, Jim Donnan’s, Ron zooks, etc…, etc… The idea that next guy cant be worse is just plain stupid. I have walked through the desert from 1983-2001. I know what it is like to be largely irrelevant and/or disappointing and but for 3 out 12 seasons under CMR that has not been our place. I’m not looking to go backwards and that’s where you whiny entitled know it all little bitches will take us. Shut the fuck up and let’s win the last 6. If you don’t like adversity, just pick up the ap poll every Sunday see whose number one and buy the hat and go around will your chest poked out. All of us will be much happier.
Well said Derek, seems like there are alot of short memories on the board; look, no one is happy with the loss or the way we lost. What I want to see is how we perform against Florida’s defense. I want to see if we learn from our mistakes and improve. We have the chance to bring in 35 new dawgs in this recruiting class; how many of those recruits will come in if you fire the head coach? I don’t think Mark Richt is a quitter, but alot of the whiney voices on here do impress me as just that.
Whew! For a little time there, I thought everyone had gone insane. Derek and Rebar, my thanks for writing those points and lambasting those that need it.
I don’t know what reference sums up your logic better: The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results OR “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is never try”
Thank you. This type of fan-base fear that we might make a mistake accords very nicely with our playing scared tendencies in a number of close game, 4th quarter chokes.
Why should we aim higher when above average is on the table? Why should we risk the possibility of failure when mediocrity is guaranteed? Says a lot about why we haven’t gotten a whiff of a national championship game in 30 years. I guess I underestimate how much regular wins over Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and equally bad teams mean to our fans (at the expense of getting regularly pantsed against Florida and every other big-game). Is that what you’re afraid of risking?
What does that say for how high you aim? If you make it all look like shit, you don’t have much higher to go, do you?
The point is that it is higher, which is more than I can say for your apparent aspirations, whether you want to characterize them as “shit” or not.
Have you watched the actual game yet or have you been too busy blogging about what a “true” fan means (which doesn’t actually include watching the team’s games, apparently).
Boy! That statement really got to you in the past. Was it the part where I asked you to look up the word “fan” in the dictionary?
That’s twice you have that reference since I stated that I knew early from the D that the game would be a nightmare. Would I have been better to close my eyes and cut off the sound to keep from suffering thru the angst you profess? We attempt to avoid self-flagellation on here and this is one game I’m proud not to have watched each game-plucking, mind-numbing moment. You seem to revel in it.
I think the good Senator asked nicely to refrain from such language and attacks. This is no place for such behavior. Seems the folks above we’re just expressing displeasure and noting some examples of failures, i.e. no threat of a punt return.
Rather than calling these folks bitches, why don’t you articulate exactly why you think Richt has demonstrated the program is moving forward in a positive direction, which I think is all a reasonable fan can ask for.
Ok. Two years ago we were 1-4 through five games. This year we were 5-0 and #5 in the country. I’d say that’s progress.
I also know that in 2001 the height of our expectations was to just to one time win the east. We’d lost to UF and UT every year but one in divisional play. Our sights are higher now and it is because of finishing #3 in 2002, #2 in 2007 and winning 4 sec east titles and 2 sec titles. All done by CMR.
I watched and was very disappointed in Saturdays game but the fault for us being beat down and never being able to get up was the offensive line. I said before the season that we only had 2 sec quality lineman and that’s still true. I’m willing to wait for the o-line to get rebuilt before I’m ready to consider starting over. I think we are heading in the correct direction but there are ways bumps along the way.
+1. Well said.
I agree…and Derek what did you really think when nice folks everwhere started basking in the sunlight of our high ranking and whispers of national championships?
I know what I thought.
I appreciate your thoughts and I think you bring some fair/solid points about the upward trend. But as far as the #5 ranking, it was a sham. We shouldn’t be proud as a program of starting the season ultra-hyped, maintaining our lofty ranking by beating cupcakes and non-top 25 caliber programs, and then being humiliated in our first big test. This would be like having an “A” in school after doing well on homework grades and quizzes and then getting a 30% on the midterm, and then thinking “Well, I was doing pretty well for a while”. We’re constantly getting beaten badly on national stages against elite teams, and that’s one thing that isn’t trending better.
I would say the verdict is in on whether we’ve progressed. Whether we’ve gotten to an acceptable level in 2012 is to be seen. I’d really have a hard time complaining about 12-1 or 11-2. 10-3 is borderline but you can’t fire the guy there either.
Ultra-hype has been around since before the beginningof the season, as in U So Cal, OK, OkSt, FSU, LSU, Clem, Ark….etc, etc. Things are settling into place and we are part of the settling. We are no diff from those other teams that have been resettled.
I agree with some of what you say though denigrating others who don’t agree with your opinions by calling or implying that they are fair weather fans is in my opinion not the best way to make a point.
As far as the O-line sucking: it has for years while there has been some bad luck involved, it’s also the coaches’ fault if haven’t brought in enough or or the right players. How many years does this team NOT have offensive line problems?
For 6 of the last 7 seasons we’ve been just as irrelevant as any of those desert years of 83-2001. We had a nice run in 02-05 and again in 07 (which you could argue was questionable as well.) But we’re back smack dab in the same position as Goff or Donnan had us in. Last season and this one have allowed us to grab a few more wins, but we’re a 7-8 win team getting by on a weak schedule.
Which goff/Donnan team was ranked #5 ever much less after five games? We are not close to the same place. If you want to see where we were then look in Knoxville.
Give the next guy 3 years and if he sucks fire him too.
Since 2000, do you know the average number of years it takes a new head coach to win a national title?
Since 2000, do you know how many new coaches do not win any national title? Me neither, but it’s probably several hundred.
I also love how you just sort of arbitrarily pick a starting year that suits you, too. How many years did it take Coach Dooley? I’m pretty sure you would have fired his ass long before 1980.
I used to be in the camp of the devil you know being better than the one you dont. However, I think that the chances of UGA making a bad hire are extremely low as long they dont try and hit trifecta. Dont go after a hot shot OC or DC, or anything like that. Dont go grab a LB coach from the NFL, just get a head coach on the come up who wants to win.
ADGM still hasnt asked me my opinion on what to do with CMR, so until then…He is my coach, I believe UGA can win every game and I am going to enjoy the hell out of the ones we win and move on from ones we dont.
Haha – extremely low? Really? Richt is better than any coach we’ve ever had, and better than the last two by a mile. I would say the odds are decent that we can get a better coach than Richt in our next 5 tries, but the next couple decades might not be so fun.
Tell it like it is, brother.
Yeah, but you missed the qualification of “wants to win.” Who knew is was that easy. Hell, just ask: given the choice between winning and losing which do you prefer? Or on a scale of 1-10 how would rate winning? Lets name dawg phan AD he has it all figured out.
eye roll. big difference between not hiring someone better than CMR and hiring someone who really sets the program back. I think that the later is probably not going to happen. That said, our performance is eroding my aversion to risk. Much more willing to roll the dice on a head coach today than I was last week.
Go ahead. Roll your “dice”. See if we give a crap.
damn tough crowd.
At least we are reasonably polite today….so far, anyway.
In addition to being a bandwagon-jumping nutsack, Mitchell can’t get past the second paragraph without parroting one of the most blatantly false conventional wisdom memes:
“His “relaxed” approach, an undisciplined one, that since the middle of the last decade has commonly resulted in more discipline issues and recruits leaving Athens than most – if not all – of his SEC opponents.”
It couldn’t possibly be attributed to Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, etc. having far more lenient policies, not reporting discipline issues, choosing not to hand out suspensions, or handing them out only when convenient, right?
Mark Richt did not make UGA’s discipline policies. Unlike his SEC peers, he does however, choose to enforce them.
a dawg bone fer you, too.
Yes, Saban’s program reeks of tolerating me-first behavior by the players.
Coach K handles his roster in much the same way Saban handles his (without all of the negative fanfare, I might add). Not going to class? See you later. Not giving your sport your best effort on and off the court? See you later. Got a me first attitude? You can think about it on the bench. Don’t like it? Sorry, it’s Duke – 100 kids would love to take your place. Fix it or take it elsewhere.
And when it comes to a coveted spot on the roster of a premier sports program, I absolutely do not see the problem with that.
I am not saying this proves anything about Richt, one way or the other. Just questioning the assumptions at work here.
All sorts of goodness.
I sometimes like to go back and read the comments on a post from a previous year’s loss, just to compare the tone to what we’re hearing now. I chose the infamous “Blackout Funeral” game from 2008 as that loss most closely mirrors the loss to USCe, plus it’s relatively recent. I can’t say I’m too surprised by what I found. Basically, opinions about Richt were the same then as they are now. That was 4 years ago.
Even then fans were getting frustrated with our lack of success against quality teams. Since then, we’ve lost to Kentucky, Mississippi State, Colorado and Central Florida. We’ve had our doors blown completely off by every good team we’ve played save for one game against Georgia Tech. We haven’t won a bowl game since 2009.
The 2011 season gave us a bit of hope, even after two wretched losses. Then comes the SEC Championship game. No need to rehash that one. Since the 2008 season, we’ve replaced nearly every facet of our staff including the Athletic Director. The only major holdovers being Richt and Bobo, and however satisfying it might be to some, you can’t hang all these losses on Bobo.
Based on nothing more than my observations as a fan and the facts before me it seems pretty obvious that something is wrong. Call it a culture problem or whatever, but there is virtually no evidence we’re headed in the right direction. There is, however, quite a bit of evidence to suggest otherwise and the box-score of last week’s game is just the latest example. Here are the links to the Senator’s posts from 2008 I was referencing in case anyone doesn’t want to fool with using the Archive feature:
And that really is the essential point; there has been improvement over the past 4 years. We still face the exact same issues week in and week out. If Richt were capable of fixing it, he would have done so by now.
Edit to say “…there has been NO improvement over the past 4 years.”
Georgia’s coaching situation reminds me of the guy who uses toothpaste to fix the cracks in his leaky basement. After three months of no rain, he believes his repairs worked because his basement is dry. After the first hard downfall in months, his basement is, of course, leaking as bad as ever.
He concludes that his fix has worked pretty well because his basement has only leaked once in three months. He buys more toothpaste.
I find this to be an apt metaphor.
“We haven’t won a bowl game since 2009. ”
Wait a minute – we have lost TWO bowl games in a ROW? We have a losing streak of TWO? I had no idea – we need to fire that guy. I mean fire him yesterday.
(By the way, Coach Dooley lost four bowl games in a row before winning the NC in 1980. You can look it up.)
Richt and his staff do appear to be in a comfort level but who will come to UGA until they are positive the next prez won’t be a MA clone?
That’s something I honestly haven’t thought of. How much control does Adams have over the AD? Would a new President make a difference?
total, complete control….he sets the rules, he monitors admissions through the appropriate administrative body, he insists on complete compliance with his own Draconian testing policy and sets behavioral standards for athletes.
Other than that, the president has a hands off attitude about sports in general and football in particular.
Oh…he also wants to control fan behavior and language…hence the WLOCP is not anymore (in his mind, anyway.)
And this is really just the tip of Institutional Will iceberg.
If that’s true, who’s to say how Richt would operate under a new administration? Maybe it’s been Adams all along. Hell, maybe he gets his rocks off reading all the #FIREMARKRICHT crap on the message boards.
Enough that he opened the Bd of Regent’s meeting doors to let the swill drift out last year before Richt showed him up by winning 10 games in a row.
I’d forgotten about that. Quite the dick move.
Oh Nate, it is most certainly true, in fact Mike Adams is the first president of Georgia to openly stick his nose in the football program, the others have certainly done this , much to their sorrow….I am looking at you, Fred, but Adams has been pretty open about it…
If you guys are happy with being the Virginia Tech of the SEC, than Richt is your man. Richt has been good for the program – grew up, raised expectations and built stability – but he’s been a victim of his own success. We’re no longer comfortable with 10-2 or 11-1 seasons and trips to the Sugar Bowl or Capital One Bowl. Would most programs kill for a season like that – yes – but most programs don’t have 6 potential first round draft picks patrolling on the defensive side of the ball. Remember 2008? That team had three first round picks on the offensive side of the ball at highly skilled positions including the #1 pick overall. How many teams have that kind of talent and yet consistently fail to meet expectations?
Richt has been great, but it’s time to move the program maturation along and Richt isn’t the man for that job. He’ll move on to another program and experience success, but he’ll never win a national championship either with Georgia or with someone else unless that capacity includes a stint as a assistant head coach.
… Richt has been good for the program – grew up, raised expectations and built stability – but he’s been a victim of his own success. We’re no longer comfortable with 10-2 or 11-1 seasons and trips to the Sugar Bowl or Capital One Bowl. Would most programs kill for a season like that – yes – but most programs don’t have 6 potential first round draft picks patrolling on the defensive side of the ball…
Exactly. And the thing people need to ask themselves is how many coaches are out there who can take the program up that next step.
Hint: not many.
Double hint: not many Georgia would hire because these people would want to operate with significantly more autonomy than doth Mark Richt.
I agree with that statement. My point is that the other pieces are there for the Dawgs. Recruiting, atmosphere, money. We play in the best conference in the country with a title game serving as a virtual guaranteed ticket to the big dance. Hiring a new coach after 11 seasons is a huge risk. It’s probably not worth it to a lot of people. Personally, I’d rather risk a few losing seasons for the chance at a big payoff than to get excited about the perpetual “Best Georgia Team EVAR” every year and then watch us shit ourselves on national television.
For me, I firmly believe Mark Richt is capable of winning 9 or 10 games a year without actually being competitive with the Alabamas and Floridas and now apparently the South Carolinas. Like you said, we’re a second tier SEC team. I think we can be better than that. For a few brief periods we were. We have the resources to attain that level of play and stay there.
I realize it’s not as easy as grabbing some hot assistant coach and plugging him into our program. But there ARE coaches who can get us to the next level. We CAN afford them. Is the administration willing to? I couldn’t say.
not many > 0
That’s not the big issue here.
The big issue is whether McGarity is good at identifying such a coach and hiring him. He has no track record to speak of in that department.
Do you keep your retirement money under your mattress?
Ah, so you are an investment expert are you? It sounds like the senator is skeptical of a new hire because both the expected quality of that coach would be lower AND the risk would be higher. Last I checked, being 0 for 2 on those two metrics is not characteristic of good investments.
Perhaps the better question is – do you keep all of your retirement money in scratch off lottery tickets?
Actually, thats not a better question.
I’m not saying yea or nay here on making a move. I’m just saying it’s not nearly as easy as some of you suggest.
How many schools can you think of over the last 20 or so years who’ve pulled off such a change successfully? Ohio State comes to mind, but that didn’t end so well. Ask the folks at Nebraska how that’s gone.
It’s a crapshoot. A high risk crapshoot, because we have no clue as to whether McGarity has the skill to identify the talent. If he swings and misses, you’re going to be bitching a lot more than you are now. And I doubt you’ll console yourself with the thought that Richt had to go, so it’s okay.
agreed. maybe he is dropping the hammer on all those “other” coaches to practice for the big one. kinda like going on job interviews for jobs you dont want to practice for the one you do want.
Hell, Senator. McGarity is the guy who was really responsible for hiring Urban Meyer at Florida. McGarity was the Asst AD in charge of football at FU and the real brains at the Athletic Department there.
I think they can be had. We certainly know the qualities that yield consistent success in college football: structure, process, discipline. Saban succeeds because he puts the kids in a position to be successful through learning technique as if it were a process to how you are a DB or a WR or OLB.
It’s difficult to say this as it’s purely my external perspective from 1100 miles away in Colorado, but to me it looks like the program is lacking in all three of those qualities.
Recruiting is easy for Georgia – you’re the most powerful program in-State and you need only keep winning.
So what’s left – the magic formula that turns raw talent into a highly disciplined team that functions as one unit for 60 minutes with only one goal – winning those 60 minutes.
I agree with your overall premise, but you are giving too much credit to Richt. We haven’t had a 1 loss regular season since 2001, and we haven’t gone to the Sugar Bowl since the 2007 season. If last year had been a 1 loss regular season and a trip to the Sugar, I’d be perfectly happy.
So your only problem with Richt’s track record is the order in which the seasons occurred?
Umm, isn’t your recent performance is an important aspect of your continued employment at your job? Do I really need to explain that comcept?
Damn I wish this site had an edit feature…
“Umm, isn’t your recent performance an important aspect of your continued employment at your job? Do I really need to explain that concept?”
Umm, you act like the man’s a complete failure. He’s had one losing season in 12 years. The program rakes in serious bucks. That’s why he’s continually employed.
Again, this isn’t a situation where Richt’s run the program into the ground. It’s plateaued at a somewhat high level, but not high enough for a good portion of the fan base. I don’t think it will be as easy to transition to a higher level as some of you do. That’s my point here.
I still believe we can make the transition(to a higher level) this season. call me crazy.
He’s averaged 8.5 wins per year for the previous 4 full seasons. I don’t think it would be that hard to find someone who could do better than that, and I think it would be hard to find someone who could do worse.
And he’s likely to have back-to-back 10-win seasons.
But maybe you’re right. There probably are lots of coaches who’ve won at least 20 games in the last two years.
Assuming you are talking about 2010 and 2011 in D-IA and not D-IAA, D-II, D-II or NAIA I’d say that the number would be less than the fingers of two hands. Do you know the actual number?
I know, right? Alabama once had a coach who averaged an even worse 7 wins over 4 years, and those polly annas somehow kept him around! I’m sure if they hadn’t fired Bear in 1970, they would have had a far better decade.
At last, somebody who actually knows something.
Bear is a poor comparison. If Bear was coaching today and won 7 games, he would be run out of town. The expectation for an elite program in the SEC is that they compete for the SEC championship every year and if you want to win that coveted championship, other teams known that beating you is the only way it will ever happen.
The SEC elites yawn when it comes to playing Georgia and for good reason. There was a time where Richt was 19-2 against Top 20 opponents but a certain Dennis Franchione coached Alabama, Les Miles was at Oklahoma State and Nick Saban was at LSU.
Actually, I think that’s what makes it an excellent comparison. The mindset being expressed here would have resulted in the termination of a coach set to embark on the most dominant decade in the history of college football (8 SEC titles and 3 MNCs).
Agreed Rick. Vince Dooley never would have made it out of the 70s if the standards being enunciated on this blog had been used against him. Seasons of 5-5 (1969), 5-5-1 (1970), 6-4-1 (1972), 6-4 (1973) and 5-6 (1977) would have done him in.
And 6-6 (1975).
Would you..really be happy? It seems you have extremely high expectations. Were you raised in the South?
I don’t think I’ve ever read an article making an argument to which I’m sympathetic that lost me so quickly. I mean, attributing kids being dismissed from the team to “laissez-faire” coaching? I don’t even care if he made a valid point the rest of the way.
Spurrier has a record. South Carolina does not. So Spurrier can not say Carolina onws Georgia.
When I read this kind of stuff, and we heard it going into the season and going into Columbia, I understand what they are saying. But do you hear them say that Carolina has never won a national title, a conference title, or has any football tradition. Richt has had some very good seasons as a coach.
My grip with Richt is a game like Saturday night. It bothers me to drop a game to anyone in the conference when you feel the Dawgs has some players that should play. Saturday night was a terrible performance even if they had lucked out. The play of the O line, the D line, the LB’s was simply substandard. But worst of all for me was the game plan and game preparation. Carolina has limitations, even on defense. The coaching staff did not even come close to making this team competitive, and they could have.
I watched and listened to Richt after the game. He was so “just a loss…we’ll get over it…we’ll be ok”. Then says they more physical than Georgia. I know I heard him say we got to get in the weight room. These players are suppose to have the state of the art S&G program and coaches. I will agree that Carolina played more physical. The coaches could motivate the players to play physical. When I saw the sidelines it was like “let us hurry up and get out of here” and “who cares, we can not beat these guys”. The attitude and spirit was dismal.
But the worst was the game plan. I thought it was poor. They had to see Carolina played fast and physical. You played those guys last year. They played within yards of you. You know their roster and have seen them up front and personal. Caolina played with speed and intensity. On defense it was like they were not sure of any play. They reacted too slow or not all.
And on offense we played to their strength. Inside the 3 on 4th down 1st half, trailing by 21, run Gurley in motion to the sideline. Why? Man coverage, and your O line tackles have not Clowney all night. They can cover any receiver we have in ten yards and that kind of rush and pressure.
Like that cliip on the center Andrews. You set Gurley to that side of the set and you send him in motion to the right side to block their end when you have a RG>RT>TE and essence you have them out numbered there. Plus the QB will roll to that side to pass. But you leave a LT and LG to protect the QB blind side, 2 LBs to work into the play and their DT comes through an opening vacated by the LG. Those plays, and throw in those two in the shotgun formation inside the 5. I would have pounded their D line from a strong run formation and a single receiver. I would have cut block that line for awhile in the first quarter. I would have rotated every linemen, FB, and RB even if we have no yards rushing for the first two quarters. Wear them down.
But just maybe CMR, the OC, and OL position coach were right. We could not do that because they were more physical. Coach Dye do you think “we were man enough”. Apparently not, let’s just go ahead and concede that to Spurrier. Your defense does not give up cheap yardage [and Mark Bradley can document they do all season], pound them keep them inside the 30s, and let your punter keep them there, shorten the game and go for big plays with max protection.
And why did the coaches not know about Murray’s father’s health issue.
I would burn Mason’s redshirt season. The QB position would get another look.
If I had to pick a HC, I’d look at the coach at Mississippie State or the OC at Florida.
DID WE GIVE UP WHEN THE CHINESE BOMBED PEARL HARBOR???!!!
Of course not, but the question is would we have given up if we had bombed Pearl ourselves? This is what’s goin on here.
Oh hell….Chinese? Talk about can’t read……
It’d be worth it to get rid of Richt if only to stop having these same arguments among the fanbase every damn year during the Annual Reassessment of Goals.
FWIW, our goals are still the same and are still on the table. Win the SEC East, win the SEC, and win a NC, beat Florida, beat GT, beat Auburn, beat Tennessee, win a BCS bowl game. Since 1999, there has been one East team get to Atlanta undefeated. There is still too much football to play to give up on the goals for 2012. Why can’t we finish 11-1? We win the rest of our SEC Games, who knows what happens?
I just keep thinking back to how good we were at the end of 2007 and how it’s possible this year ends up the same way (only possibly with one loss this time instead of 2). Sure we remembered the Tennessee game, but nobody truly remembered how painful the actual game was because we were too busy stating our case to be in the NCG.
I know you didn’t posit that as a prediction, but I sure as hell hope it happens!
Oh, that’s just precious.
I remember a friend telling me how much Richt sucked in 2001 because he a) didn’t identify the right person for tailback and b) running Sanks on the last play of the game vs AU with no TOs. HORRIBLE COACH!
He enjoyed his trip the next year to New Orleans.
Hire a new coach (because that’s going to happen with a new president coming in next year! Right!) and the Bashers will be in line ready to pull a “Bruins Nation” at the first loss to ____________.
For all the talk about what coach could do better… I think we forget about what a difference our resources can make. What could Dan Mullen do with Georgia’s resources instead of Mississippi State’s? He has done pretty well with what he has, but could he achieve more with the Atlanta/Gwinnett/Gainesville/Tucker pipeline within an hour of campus (and Statesboro to Valdosta within driving distance)? What about Charlie Strong? Sonny Dykes? Mario Cristobal? I’m not saying Richt should be canned, but to believe that it is more likely that Richt’s level of success will not be repeated by his successor is rooted in pessimism and fear as much as reality.
Too, as long as you stay away from the obviously bad hire (like Chizik), that is compounded by obviously bad coordinator hires (Roof), then I think you can have success.
Would there be a rough patch during the transition? Likely, yes. But, honestly, we are in a rough patch for the next few years anyway. Most of the starting defense is gone next year. The team already has depth issues that will take at least two recruiting classes to recover from. It is hard to envision this team being significantly better next year replacing so many pieces. The year after that (presumably), they will be breaking in a new QB, with all of the pain that goes with that. So, this team is at least three years (2015) from legitimately competing (with reasonable depth and experience under center) as an elite SEC team, again. Really, the next three-plus seasons will probably be spent as a second-tier SEC team that wins 10 games or so and goes to the Capital One, Outback, or Gator Bowls regardless of the head coach.
I agree with that. I’m not saying the task is an impossible one, just that it’s more difficult than some think.
For example, among the ones you name, I think Strong is a great coach, but it’s not like he’s turned Louisville into a powerhouse – which Petrino did in a fairly short time – even though the Big East is in serious decline. Sonny Dykes… you ready to bring his offensive coordinator to Athens? As for Christobal, FIU is currently 1-4.
All these guys are excellent coaches in my book, but are any of them the one who can take Georgia to the next level? Beats me.
The only way to do it reliably is offer the already proven guy more money than anyone else gets – so maybe $6.5 million? That’s how Alabama (finally) did it, and only after a period of irrelevance that puts ours to shame. Even then, what coach is it that we can guarantee would be superior to Richt? Even Saban and Spurrier (the two candidates that spring to my mind) are .500 against him head-to-head.
Saban had never had back to back 10+ win seasons before his tenure in Tuscaloosa. Far from a guarantee, mind you.
Oh, certainly. I only said they ‘spring to mind’.
I ask myself the same thing. I just look at active coaches with national titles. Not sure how many of those I would take. Pete Carroll? USC had to vacate his only bcs title. Tressel is gone. Chizik, Meyer, Miles, Brown? Outside of Saban, I don’t think there is anyone you would take hands down over Richt.
“to believe that it is more likely that Richt’s level of success will not be repeated by his successor is rooted in pessimism and fear as much as reality.”
How exactly are you defining ‘more likely’? His performance his superior to any coach in over a century of UGA football, and superior to that of the vast majority of his peers (with obvious exceptions). How do you propose identifying those rare exceptions?
My point is that just a moderately competent coach should be able to produce 10-win seasons against the UGA schedules for 2010 and 2011.
For example, one of the worst hires of the decade in the SEC, Ron Zook, had a record of 5-11 versus ranked opposition in his three years where he tallied a 23-14 overall record, 16-8 SEC record, two Outback Bowls, and a Peach Bowl, but an 0-3 bowl record.
Mark Richt, the last three full seasons (2009-2011), has a record of 24-16, one SECCG appearance, a 1-2 bowl record at the Independence Bowl, Liberty Bowl, and Outback Bowl, and a 3-11 record versus ranked opposition. His SEC record was 14-10.
I’m not saying Mark Richt is Ron Zook, but Richt’s last three seasons produced very Zook-ish results. If Florida, with all of their resources, can put Ron freakin’ Zook in at coach and get the same results (against, arguably, a tougher schedule) as Mark Richt has the last three seasons, why is it so hard to believe that someone better than Ron Zook could do better than UGA’s last three seasons?
Again, I’m not arguing that Mark Richt should be fired. I’ve long since given up on caring one way or another. I just argue with the premise that Richt has this golden touch that we would be fools to part with. Part of the “golden touch” is institutional or systematic and completely new, rendering any comparison to UGA’s past successes and failures completely irrelevant. UGA didn’t have the conference prestige advantage, the money advantage, or the demographic advantage under Dooley, Goof, or Donnan that they have now under Mark Richt.
I like every one else feel frustrated. I would caution that we Dawgs have a rather over-blown opinion of our programs allure to coaches. Our track record for hiring coaches is that the first one or two offered turn us down, then we settle. Just think about the clusterF that got us Goff followed by another Fup that got us Donnan. I’m not sure we should just assume that we would be able to get top-notch talent in Athens.
Glen Mason likes this comment.
So does Dick Sheridan.
I would posit that Vince Dooley made both gaffes (also, see Harrick), and that is a representation of his particular skill in acquiring new head coaches and not necessarily Georgia’s allure or standing in the coaching profession. Although, you could be right as far as I know.
Meant as a reply to 69Dawg… sorry.
For about the seven hundred and twentieighth time, Dooley did NOT hire Ray Goff…Dooley was NOT AD at the time Goff was hired, not saying he had no input but a selection committee hired Ray.
That’s news to both Dooley and Goff.
“At that point, Goff decided to throw his hat in the ring, and, to the surprise of many, wound up with Dooley’s backing.”
“not saying he had no input but a selection committee hired Ray.”
He wound up with Dooley’s backing when it became obvious Ray was the only candidate with any cred at all.
I would hardly call that Dooley hiring Ray. The situation was so screwed up by that time we were lucky Ray was willing to throw himself on the fire.
Ray gets a lot of bad press, but one thing is for sure, Ray manned up when nobody else would, the hiring committee had already screwed up the other choices…which should be obvious.
That’s something about Ray that escapes most of the historians.
Not that that is exactly what we are talking about here.
I am not jumping on the bandwagon nor jumping off the bandwagon. I am a DAWG fan, not a CMR fan, anybody with half a football brain can see that something has went terrible wrong with CMR’s coaching in the last few years. As a DAWG fan, I’m not satisfied anymore with 10 wins over below average teams, I want to compete for a NC, but I don’t think that’s possible with CMR as our coach!
Something went wrong but now it’s turned around and is going in the right direction again. UGA was 6-7 in 2010. Since then UGA is 10-4 in ’11 and 5-1 thus far this season. The trend line looks good. Last Saturday was one bad game. It happens.
How about Jim Grobe?
Naw, man, Turner Gill is the man with the plan. How is 2008 treatin’ you btw?
Grobe is too old. Don’t think he would be a good fit. Plus, considering the current criticism of Richt, do you think people would be happy with someone from the ACC?
The Abraham Lincoln Approach
I am a local high school history teacher and I like the Lincoln approach. He had superior resources at every hand and yet for the first 3 and a half years of the Civil War, his side kept losing. He kept firing his generals until he found one who could use the resources at hand……..U.S. Grant. He didn’t accept excuses. He just wanted results and he could usually recognize a winner when he saw one.
We’ve had General Richt for 10 years now and it’s clear what we’ve become with all our superior resources——-a fairly good program. But fairly good ain’t good enough!
“He kept firing his generals until he found one who could use the resources at hand”
“he could usually recognize a winner when he saw one”
You gotta pick one. Can’t have both.
“he could usually recognize a winner when he saw one”
So you’re saying that has to apply immediately when hiring someone and not after you’ve had them on staff for a short while? I think you might be taking the statement too literally.
If “picking a winner when you see one” amounts to churning through a series of losers until you hit a winner, then I guess it works.
“Mal Moore kept striking out on guys named Mike until he finally made the switch to a guy named Nick. Mal could usually recognize a winner when he saw one.”
Maybe it just means that Lincoln could recognize a winner fairly quickly and didn’t need years and years and years of results to make the determination.
And maybe the same could be said for Mr. Moore. He certainly didn’t keep losers around too long.
Yeah and they had a lot of losers at Bama after Bear retired in 1982. If you take out the 7 Gene Stallings years Bama was basically roaming in the wilderness until Saban showed up in 2007. That’s a lot of years of mediocrity.
Sounds familiar, eh?
I’ve waited 3 days to cool off before posting, not that I say insightful things when I’m not throwing bricks through my stucco walls, but it helps to calm down a little.
That said, I really don’t know what to say. You all have said everything that could be said and have said it 15 different ways. I will add that a collection of talent doesn’t come around all that often. This defense will go down as one of the most talented, if not the most talented, to ever play for Georgia. That includes the 2000 roster whereby every player started, yes started, in the NFL at some point during their career. Lot’s of talent on offense too, more than we thought at first, and we’re led by a very capable 3rd year starter that doesn’t know how to play well in big games. Not everyone can be David Greene or Stafford, but those two guys led Georgia to great seasons during the sophomore years, Greene as a RS soph, so Murray doesn’t lack the experience, just the poise.
I don’t know…I mean, I just don’t know. We’re in that weird place – not as good as we should be given our resources but well ahead of 90% of the rest of the teams in the country. I guess we should feel pretty lucky to be top 10% in terms of wins and top .05% in terms of revenue, but somehow it all feels hollow. Like we haven’t reached our potential, like a sprinter that sets world records during practice but falls short during the Olympic trials. Why is that? What is it about Georgia football and Mark Richt that seems to fail to qualify during the big events, the big games? Is it the management style, the approach, the demeanor? Because his teams weren’t always like this? What is it with his inability to coach and win big games now that differs from his first 6-7 years? It’s not talent. It’s certainly not resources. I don’t know, I just don’t know.
But what I do know is that we’ve changed nearly every damn thing about the guts of this program that can be changed. Defensive Coordinator, nutritionist, S&C coach, had Herschel work out and address the team, dozens of other stunts and motivational acts, etc, etc, etc. And yet here we are – still having the same frustrations and concerns after changing nearly everything. Maybe, just maybe, it could be the leader, the CEO, the head guy. It’s not Bobo, as much as some of you would argue. Maybe the ultimate responsibility of these poor showings and blowout losses falls upon the shoulders of our head coach. Is that a fair question?
We can all pontificate and argue about who would be a good replacement for Richt. What we all might want to agree upon is that upon Richt’s retirement or termination, we would like to see our President at that time and Greg McGarity carefully select a proven winner and pay him big time to win. Make a substantial investment in a serious winner and make sure that person understands the goals are to win championships, not division titles and not Outback Bowls. The resources are there, make the necessary investment and enjoy the return on that investment. Mal Moore was criticized for what he invested in Nick Saban – you think that ROI has been criticized? Hedge fund guys would give their right arm for that return.
One thing is for sure though – as long as the revenues are where the are and as long as 10 wins keeps them there, Richt isn’t going anywhere that’s not on his own accord. You can bank that. Change starts at the top – much like Machen and Foley. Will our new President and AD have that same congruency? I certainly hope so.
A double ration of puppy treats to Jax.
Good grief, I am exhausted.
The last thing I want to add is this – CMR gets no credit for beating Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, et al when they are having “down years” because their teams are not very good. But he gets no credit for his teams never being those teams – they are still our rivals, people, and why give them a pass for having down years without giving CMR praise for really never having those kinds of teams? A little bit of a stretch in 2009/2010 – one losing season in a decade of coaching, oh no! – but even those teams were not as horrible as TN or AU of the last couple of years.
But doesn’t that suggest that Georgia teams are generally pretty good, and don’t you at least appreciate that we don’t go through those kinds of truly horrible stretches? Yes, you can leave Florida out, but most of the other teams in our conference have gone through these long droughts of several years where they just can’t beat anybody.
And not just in our conference – look at some of the droughts Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, Miami and other “big time” programs have gone through. Can we give Richt some credit that if he doesn’t always field a NC contender, that at least every season the team is competitive against most of our rivals?
Cosmic – The SEC is about winning the big game against the top teams, and Richt is not doing it. In fact, we’re flat, uninspired, and we’re getting blown out with talent that would make the Jacksonville Jaguars envious.
Please don’t lose sight of the problem.
Dawgs are third in SEC East behind SC and UF. Next year when Tennessee finds a defense, Dawgs will be fourth. In two years when Missouri wakes up, Dawgs will be fifth. Either improve or keep falling behind.
Many years ago, the Dawgs played in a bowl game against Boston College. The Dawgs had vastly superior talent, but lost the game. Later, no one really commented upon how that had happened — not a major bowl — and merely brushed it off because the team had a good season in spite of the loss. Good season, bowl game, more talent, lose the game, no one cared. One could tell then and there that being accountable meant very little, and that leadership and the fan base would settle for being “good enough”. Nothing has changed since that day.
Many years ago, the Dawgs played in a bowl game against Boston College. The Dawgs had vastly superior talent, but lost the game. Later, no one really commented upon how that had happened — not a major bowl — and merely brushed it off because the team had a good season in spite of the loss. Good season, bowl game, more talent, lose the game, no one cared.
Yeah, it’s kind of sad that people let an epic win in Knoxville blind them to the Real Mark Richt. And the next year – a 12-win season, a comeback for the ages at Auburn, an SEC championship and a trip to their first BCS game – threw more sand in our eyes. That must have been hell for you, being the voice of reality then.
I swear, I’m having a harder and harder time trying to tell when some of you are serious. My sarcasm detector must be on the fritz.
I was counting the regular season. Sorry.
Maybe your sarcasm detector is set to monitor serious conversations, which would eliminate most of the last couple of days, including most of the pithy and educational stuff from me. (is there an emoticon for half-smiling?)
Actually 4th and 15 – we lost to BC in the Music City Bowl after Richt’s first season in 2001. We scored quickly on a pass to Fred Gibson but BC responded with their uber-back Green and we played like we really didn’t want to be there. But the fans didn’t seem to mind the loss that much b/c you could tell, just tell, that the team had no quit in them. Things looked different, sounded different, and were distinctly different from the Donnan years. Now it seems we’re back to where we (almost) started – potential 10 win seasons and a birth in the Outback Bowl against Purdue. As strange as it is to say – the measure of a program isn’t always quantified in wins and losses. I loss is a loss, but I would feel much differently if we would have fought back against USc, but we didn’t, it’s a recognizable pattern, and that’s what makes me frustrated. Why? Because we are capable of much more.
Jax would you really feel better if, say, we had come back, then lost at the end cause our freshman kicker missed a long field goal?
I have been through some a them, me and I am not at all sure one is better than the other.
If we are gonna get beat, I have found it is easier on me if the thing is over early.
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