On the outside, looking in

I recommend reading this debate at SBNation on Richt’s future, which does a pretty good job of cataloguing the pros and cons of firing Richt at season’s end.

A couple of examples:

Bud: Does a new coach fix that? Is Georgia really committed to winning at all costs like the SEC schools that actually win titles? Can the next coach get the weed policy loosened up to match Florida’s? Can he get the Athens police to chill with some of the nonsense arrests? Can he get recruiting staff and film analysts out the wazoo like Alabama has? Those are things behind the scenes that people might not see, but that lead to wins.

Godfrey: The short answer is yes, because they have to. Richt’s adherence to by-the-book discipline on all things minor (read: marijuana possession) is detrimental to both a program’s success and a player’s development. Georgia’s policy is so far out of step with some competitors it’s jarring. I think the right coach can change the perception of Georgia much in the same way Saban did to LSU.

If there’s a coach out there who believes he can do that, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he interviews with McGarity and Morehead.

No matter what we think the UGA job should be, Richt has gotten the Bulldogs six top-10 finishes in 13 years, and they’d had six in the 32 years before he arrived.

You should only fire a coach if you know for a fact that the guy in charge can’t meet your goals. When you’ve come this close this recently, and when you’re recruiting like Richt is recruiting (and to be sure, the current mess with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt could wreck that), you just can’t say it’s impossible for him to reach whatever goals Georgia has set. He’s completely botched just about everything in 2015, but that doesn’t mean he always has or always will.

Maybe.  But it doesn’t mean that he won’t, either.  After all, it’s not like he doesn’t have plenty of experience.

I think I’m about at the point when I should just expect the worst, no matter how things go.  I suspect we’re going to be spending a few years in the wilderness, peeps.

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50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

50 responses to “On the outside, looking in

  1. Rick

    If they actually can Richt, I would take ‘a few years’ in the wilderness in a heartbeat. Better than the decade Bama and UT got (and UT’s clock is still rolling).

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      That’s easy to say. Ask Bryant Denney how he felt as he lived through the Mikes in Tuscaloosa. Or the nearest Tennessee fan you can grab.

      A few years? is that less than a decade?

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    • Jeff

      What if the end of “a few years” simply means we get back to 9-10 wins a year? There is little guarantee that we can slip back to 7-5 or 6-6 for half a decade, then come roaring up to an undefeated season. It’s pretty hard to recruit from your Shreveport hotel room on the eve of the Weedeater Bowl every year. Or worse, no bowl at all. I’m tellin you guys, firing him now is NOT the answer.

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    • Rick

      I should say that I absolutely do not advocate firing Richt. His median season is 10 wins and top 10 finish for his career, that’s also his median for the last 5 years. With a solid DC, a top recruiting class, and a terrible HC market this winter, no way in hell it makes sense to make a change right now.

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  2. DawgPhan

    I think Bud has a pretty good grasp on the difficulties. Not sure that Godfrey does. Connely does a good job of wrapping up the positives and has a good mizzou perspective.

    I dont think that people understand how far behind we are right now in all areas of the program. If a new coach comes in and there isnt a huge investment in the program, then it wont be much different. Even with the best head coach.

    UGA needs to spend a lot of money to catch up with everyone. Much less get ahead.

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    • Raleigh St. Claire

      We actually have invested heavily in the support staff. I don’t why that’s being ignored. We’re trying to catch up in that regard. We have one of the largest in the conference now.

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      • DawgPhan

        It isnt being ignored. I just think that most fail to understand exactly how far behind we are and what it will take to catch up. Bama has spent nearly $100 million over the last 3 year MORE than UGA has on athletics. Not total, MORE than UGA. If you think hiring a few analyst makes up for that, you are mistaken.

        UGA could spend $100million this year and not get caught up with Bama.

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  3. Bulldog Joe

    It’s time for leadership to swallow their pride and actually LISTEN to Pruitt.

    It would benefit the Athletic Department and in turn, the University.

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  4. Jared S.

    You know, maybe Richt is right…. Maybe football SHOULD be about more than simply winning at any cost. Maybe it should include trying to build men of character, even if that comes at the cost of being a national champ. Just a thought.

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  5. Mayor

    This is actually pretty simple. Pruitt is committed to winning. Others on the staff, including our AD and quite possibly our HC, are not. At least not really. If there is friction among the staff members that is the reason.

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  6. anon

    why, as Georgia Fans, are we concerned about whether we keep a head coach that would not even rank in the top half in the SEC. “Malaise” is the word I keep hearing and I couldn’t agree more that this word aptly describes Richt in particular and the program in general the last 5 + years.

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  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    It is not only the AD, head coach etc, etc whose job may depend on what happens the next four weeks on the football field.

    The current president of the university of Georgia, that would be Jere Moorehead, is quite obviously heavily involved in the football program, if you think Jere’s bosses on the Board of Regents don’t take a dim view of that, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Dumpster fire, my ass, if even half of the rumors are true, the smoke you are seeing is one of those California woods fires that burn down people’s houses. Lots of people’s houses.

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    • Don Leeburn is on the Board of Regents. He wouldn’t have Jere’s back? Leeburn was always an Adams loyalist though, do you think Adams is still wielding behind the scenes influence?

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        I am not sure of much, MD, but I am pretty sure nobody listens to anything Adams might have to say.

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        • AthensHomerDawg

          LOL. I think plans for Adams grand office were canned and he was sent to the library to conduct his “work”.

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  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    For those of you who are looking to Tuscaloosa as the model Georgia should use, you are going to continue to be, in my opinion, deeply disappointed.

    I have no idea what is happening, what is going to happen, but one thing I am confident of is that, as an institution, Georgia will never, ever allow a head football coach to have the blanket control Nick Saban has.

    Nor will the University of Georgia turn its institutional back on the way the football program is run as Florida did under Dickhead.

    Be very damn careful what you hope for.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Agree 100%. If we fire Richt we have to be careful with the hire. There is temptation to say, “Make Fisher an offer he can’t refuse” or someone like him, but someone who is used to a college and local police such as what Winston showed Fisher has now may not be able to succeed with his method in Athens.

      Whether you mock the “Georgia Way” or not thd head coach has to deal with it. Could Meyer be happy having no control on the scheduling of drug tests?

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    • CannonDawg

      I thought the Oct. 3 game with Bama would be a measuring stick to see our progress in closing the gap between us and them. After all, we’ve hired coaches and strength people away from Saban, so we should have begun to narrow the difference, right? Wrong. It was clear early on in the game that it would be little more than an alley mugging on wet grass. UGA won’t overtake Bama with its current levels of dysfunction no matter how many of Saban’s acolytes we hire, and it’s doubtful we’ll ever overtake them until Saban’s gone. I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is the sort of national snicker our football program now draws. This whole ugly predicament has been much like Hemingway’s description of bankruptcy: “Slowly, then suddenly.” And bankrupt seems an apt depiction. I stayed with CMR as long as I could, but it’s time to turn the entire program upside down and entrust it to someone else. All of it–everything and everybody. And if Jere Morehead has any reluctance about McG’s ability to manage such a change, then now would be the time to turn the AD’s office upside down, as well. Go Dawgs!

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    • sniffer

      And might I add to your comment, Scorp, that the ONLY reason we look enviously to Tuscaloosa today is because Rich Rod backed out of his agreement to be the Bama coach. No Saban……no Process, no MNCs (plural), no number one recruiting classes, etc., etc,.Coaching hires are a crapshoot, period and I’m out of popcorn. My biggest fear is that it WILL get worse but that ship is out of the barn and the horse has sailed.
      (OK to use metaphors, right?)

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    • Absolutely true, this is not Bama. No way would Saban have that much control at UGA. Come to think about it, no way would he have that much control at most schools.

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  9. truck

    The silver lining in all of this dysfunction for me is that my upcoming holiday obligations with the family won’t seem quite as freakish in comparison.

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  10. pumblechook014

    Honest question for the Senator or anyone else: is the Georgia Way more a function of Richt or McGarity? If McGarity is really the Foley disciple he seems to be, I have a hard time believing he is that involved in player discipline (high profile situations like Gurley excepted) or many of the other relatively mundane details that constitute the Georgia Way. There is obviously no Florida Way, and judging by Corch’s record in Gainesville, Foley could charitably be characterized as hands off.

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    • The Georgia Way isn’t about a person. It’s about a culture that goes all the way back to the Dooley era.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Metaphorically speaking, metaphors are useful. 🙂

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Bluto, in my mind, the current institutional thinking goes back futha than Vince…in fact, Vince almost, came within a dumb decision by Fred Davison, of changing the culture…oh well.

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      • pumblechook014

        So in your opinion, has McGarity been assimilated? Or is it a case of the right number of decision makers still in place who perpetuate it, and the relatively newer people like Morehead and McGarity don’t have enough incentive (or will) to fight against it?

        I’m wondering how much of an effect Richt’s potential exit could have on this culture. By all accounts Pruitt has become a casualty of it, and I’m having a hard time thinking of any head coach who could bring success under the current Georgia Way (or who would even want to be a part of it).

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Neither McGarity nor Morehead are newer people. McGarity went to UGA, worked for Dooley for years, Morehead has been in the university administration since 1986. They may be in new jobs, but they are not new to Georgia.

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          • pumblechook014

            Ahhh, didn’t realize that… So it seems the Georgia Way is here to stay, with or without Richt. Some dark times ahead…

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  11. The Truth

    I have been beating this drum for a few weeks now, but please allow me…

    For everybody who’s so convinced Pruitt is the answer at the macro level, why is his unit struggling so much at the micro level? THEY CAN’T TACKLE.

    IPF, takes on “the Georgia Way”, fire in the belly. At the end of the day blocking and tackling are the fundamental elements of football — and Pruitt’s crowd ain’t doing one of them very well (Shotty’s crowd ain’t doing the other very well).

    Before I give ‘ol Jeremy the keys to the kingdom, I might want to see him do his own damn job a little better. You know, the speck in another eye before the log in your own eye.

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    • UGA85

      By any objective measure, Pruitt is an improvement over Grantham or Matinez, especially given that those guys actually had offenses that helped with time of possession, field position, etc. As well, Pruitt has coached championship defenses in the past. Our problems this year have to do with offense and special teams almost completely. Given all of these factors, I don’t understand the vitriol directed at the one person who has actually demonstrated coaching competence for us.

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      • The Truth

        I really do appreciate the civil tone of your reply, but simply feel that our regression in tackling could call into question coaching competence at its very basic level.

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  12. sUGArdaddy

    Clemson’s kicker got a 3 game suspension this year for a DUI and possession of Cocaine. Cocaine, people. I like Dabo a lot, but he ain’t playing with the same deck that Richt is, and that is an institutional difference that we’re going to have to figure out. Can you even imagine a player staying on our team for a cocaine bust?

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    • sniffer

      Somebody handed out second chances when those players double dipped their per diem checks. Were those felony charges?

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      • AthensHomerDawg

        Georgia players per diem checks =“theft by deception,” a misdemeanor.
        In South Carolina DUI can be a misdemeanor or a felony if there is a bodily injury. Cocaine

        Possessing cocaine is a misdemeanor, and (for a first offense) incurs a fine of up to $5,000, up to three years in prison, or both. A second offense is a felony, and incurs a fine of up to $7,500, up to five years in prison, or both. Third and subsequent offenses incur a fine of up to $12,500, up to ten years in prison, or both.

        Gee I dunno Sniffer pick your poison. 😉 Which one is the most dangerous?

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  13. ugadawgguy

    The widespread misconception, illustrated in this piece, is that Georgia’s discipline policies are up to the head football coach — or that he can even influence them in any meaningful way.

    They’re not, and he can’t. Richt’s not fighting the Georgia Way, but it doesn’t matter who’s in the big football office. This is institutional — I think it extends even beyond Butts-Mehre.

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  14. Will Trane

    It is Saban’s, Butch’s, and McElwain’s fault. They simple kicked a second tier head coach and his offensive coordinator in the dirt.
    But so did Paul Johnson last year…remember that great kickoff call by CMR.
    Or inside the 10 in Jax this year trailing by twenty…bold to put a lifetime 3rd stringer it, but not bold enough to go for 6, after all you could get 3 and not be shut out. Has to make that salary and hire for Schotty count for something.
    What I would like to know now that Tarkenton has barked, is how much influence does he have over the hires of NFL coaches for CMR. Just never have figured how CMR reaches into that rank for a coach when so few if any do it in the SEC ranks.
    There is a difference in the Georgia way or culture. You know it is?
    Well listen to the programs and see if you hear UGA being mentioned in the SECCG or the national playoffs.
    If not careful UGA could be a GT. If GT was smart they would can their coach and his system now. Otherwise they are like UGA, let’s keep making the same mistake we have for decades. And if that is what alums and fans want good. Then shut up and live with being outside. Accept that as your fate.
    Pruitts, Sabans, Meyers, and other are not built that way. They like to win. If Georgia folks had their way it would be this “let’s not keep score”. Because in essence that is what you are hearing from the likes of the old guard and Tarkenton.

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    • Will Trane

      1-3 in October. 5-10 lifetime against UF.
      If you are interested in how the season ends. Well, let’s see where UT and UF finish out. And if Pruitt stays. And how the recruiting goes again. Because when NFL hire Grantham was on board it was not there. NFL coaches are not that good at looking into and getting into high school coaches and kids.
      My thouhgts October put a huge dent in the recruiting. After the winter cooling period, those other SEC schools are going to have a field day with CMR and Tarkenton.

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      • Will Trane

        The Schotteheimer way. Had a full deck in the Bama game…7 points. Then he was not match for Martinez at UT. No match against a MIzzou defense. Same at UF.
        Now come the weak defenses. Means these are teams with worse records and who are in the bottom of the fish bowl.

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        • UGA85

          Yes, I agree. What exactly is the ceiling with keeping CMR? What is he going to achieve if he stays? Will he attract top flight assistants so he can continue to be a CEO coach? Will the best recruits flock to UGA to be, what, third in the East? How can our future with CMR, now with resurrected UF and UT programs, be anything but bad?

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  15. Bobby Bowden Syndrome

    Pruitt will take the recruits with him to Bama, just like when he brought them to uga from fsu.

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  16. Aladawg

    Senator,
    I am with you if a coaching change has to be made; however my glass is “half full” if Richt and Pruitt stay abd the class stays together. I believe the adage, “when you are bad you are never that bad and when you are good you are never that good”. I believe this recruiting class is so critical to us that if it falls apart we are looking at Tn esque post Fulmer.

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