Tag Archives: Mark Richt

Readings from the Book of Steele, SEC Chapter

Stop me if you’ve heard this before:

HC Mark Richt has never finished lower than 3rd in his division in his 14 years here and no other SEC team has done that.

Of course, here’s comes the “but”.

UGA has never won a National Title under Richt and many fans believe he has underachieved because he raised expectations so high.

Mark Richt has lost control of fans’ expectations, damn it.  But that’s not all he’s lost.

Georgia has been favored in all but 1 game (at Auburn 2013) the last 2 years but have been upset 7 times.

None of which is to say that Steele doesn’t pick Georgia to win the East this season.  He does, and, citing talent and a schedule with only three conference road games, goes on to call the Dawgs “a legitimate SEC and National Title contender”.

All in all, I’d say Steele has a pretty good handle on the state of things.  What about you?

61 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

The quintessential Mark Richt

Georgia leads the charge for an unprecedented conference-wide ban on transfers related to certain behavior… and Mark Richt is out there urging some tapping of the brakes.

Richt said on Tuesday that there is “certainly wisdom” in the rule, which was passed at the SEC’s spring meetings on Friday in Destin, Florida. He said he believes there will be room in the rule to consider special circumstances.

“I think there’s some wisdom in that but you’ve also got to have some discretion to make sure we’re not keeping guys from having a chance that deserve a chance,” Richt said. “I think it’s set up to work that out.”

The quality of mercy is never strained with the man.  I gotta give him credit for that.  But I don’t think I’d really worry about the end to giving guys second chances.  Not in the SEC, anyway.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson scoffed when asked if the Atlantic Coast Conference should adopt a policy similar to the SEC’s new transfer rule.

“We don’t have that problem, I don’t think,” Johnson said. “We can’t get them in school anyway. I’ve never had that problem accepting kids with serious misconduct problems.”

10 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

Let’s give ’em something to gripe about.

You may have heard that the NFL has decided to move the extra point attempt to the fifteen-yard line, while leaving two-point conversions at the two.  As Chase Stuart nicely points out, given the current skill level for making 33-yard field goals, this move is a lot more form than substance.

But it should raise a real bumper crop for second guessing.

What we may see, though, is a missed extra point costing a team a game. Or, perhaps, causing a team to win a game. That could happen if say, a team is down 20-10, scores a touchdown and misses the extra point, and then gets the ball back down 4. No longer strained by conservatism, a team may wind up scoring the game-winning touchdown instead of settling for a field goal. So, what happens first: a team loses a game because it misses an extra point, or a team wins a game because of it? And yes, posing that question is a sign of how bored I am by this news.

Man, I can hear the pundits now.

Stuart points out the math that the coaches will ignore – “From an expected value standpoint, an extra point now drops from 1.00 points to 0.95 points; one could argue, therefore, that a 2-point conversion now needs to be successful only 48% of the time to make it the better proposition.” – but, again, that’s in the League, where kickers are far more consistent than they are at the college level.

Which leads me to ponder the obvious – what would happen if the same rule were adopted for the college game?  I don’t know what the overall success rate is (and I’m not going to take the time to do the math), but you can look here and see that while there are plenty of kickers sporting high percentages, unsurprisingly, the overall rate of success isn’t anywhere near the NFL’s 96%.  Which would mean the value of going for two would increase in collegiate football.

I just wonder how all of this would fit into Mark Richt’s world view.  Gee, how has that kind of stuff worked out in the past?

There’s a difference between coaching conservatively and coaching scared.  What happened on the ensuing kickoff reminded me so much of what happened in the overtime loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl after the 2011 season. Georgia ran out to an early lead, blew it, took the game into overtime and was on the verge of pulling out the win after a Rambo interception.  The conservative thing to do then was check Blair Walsh’s stats on the season, realize that he was money on kicks of 40 yards or less, a bad check on anything longer, and pound the ball three straight plays to improve the odds of his making a winning kick. Richt instead chose to run Aaron Murray around on second down for a loss, taking Walsh out of his comfort zone, and kick on third down. The end result:  a miss and a loss.

Let’s just say I’d rather not cross that bridge.

20 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Culture clash in Athens?

So here’s an observation from Seth Emerson in today’s Mailbag:

I am a huge believer in the “culture” of football programs shaping success. That is largely led by coaching staffs and coordinators, and sometimes strong player-leaders. Have you noticed a big culture shift from the Bobo/Grantham era to Pruitt/Schottenheimer? If yes, in what ways are the inner workings of the program different than years past?
– Scott C. Davis

Well, the culture of the offense was just fine under Bobo, as the results show, and he and Pruitt were in sync on a lot of things. So thing can’t be quite grouped together like that.

But there was definitely a cultural change, along with big changes in how things were done behind the scenes, after Pruitt’s arrival. I think Bobo had wanted to do things a certain way – more the Alabama way, for lack of a better term – and Pruitt was able to reinforce that and push Richt that way. That meant some changes in the way practice was structured, the addition of more quality-control and recruiting staffers, and recruiting in general.

The bigger question going forward is how much Schottenheimer could change things, if at all. It’s still hard to get a read on him, as it’s early, plus he hasn’t been made available to the press since January. He comes from the NFL, as many years as Grantham. But unlike Grantham, Schottenheimer enters a situation where the emphasis is on him fitting in, rather than him changing the way things are done.

So far I’ve just seen small, subtle changes from Schottenheimer – such as double-repping quarterbacks at practice – while otherwise he’s doing his best to fit in, and Pruitt remains the bigger power behind the scenes.

We’ve all given Mark Richt his fair share of grief over the years for being slow to change things that obviously weren’t working right, and deservedly so.  But if he’s earned crap for not being nimble enough when things are crumbling, he also deserves credit for the times when he does finally adjust.  Firing Willie Martinez may have been the hardest thing Richt ever had to do as head coach, and he waited a year too long to pull the plug, but in the end, he did it.

And so now we seem to be in the middle of another key period in flux for the program, and Seth’s right that it’s not really about Schottenheimer, who’s not expected to be an agent of change.  Instead, it’s about consolidating the way the program started going about its business after the arrival of Jeremy Pruitt.  It’s noteworthy that Seth sees Pruitt as someone who was able to validate what Bobo wanted to do and that both were able to convince Richt (and Richt, in turn, to convince B-M) that it was worthwhile to chart a new course.

I get the feeling after reading Emerson’s observations that Bobo’s gonna do alright in his new gig.  But I wonder if Pruitt will be as convincing on his own as he was when he was part of a tag team act with someone who clearly had Richt’s confidence after being a part of the program for so many years.  My guess is that if this season goes well, when Pruitt talks, Mark Richt will have no problem listening.

In any event, it should make for an interesting program dynamic to watch play out this season.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“The 55-year old Richt is one of the most respected coaches in the game.”

When it comes to being named to the new NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee, it sounds like that plus five bucks will get you a mocha latte at Starbucks.

Bowlsby previously told CBSSports.com that the new oversight committees are expected to lessen coaches’ influence on the process.

“The NFL, they don’t ask coaches what they think about the rules,” Bowlsby said earlier this month. “The owners make the rules.”

Seems like just the kind of shit Nick Saban doesn’t have time for.

8 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Upset ability is upsetting.

Matt Melton looks at coaches who beat the spread and coaches who fail to cover over the last ten seasons and finds Mark Richt wanting.

Mark Richt is perhaps one of the best coaches to have never won a national title, but his last SEC championship was in 2005 and like Stoops and Beamer, his seat is becoming a little warmer.

At least with those betting on Georgia.

63 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Doesn’t stink as much as you think.

CBSSports‘ Jerry Hinnen, Chip Patterson, Adam Silverstein and Tom Fornelli rank the 66 Power Five head coaches and Mark Richt comes out seventh on the list.

When it comes to Richt, people spend too much time focusing on what he hasn’t done rather than what he has accomplished. The man has coached 184 games with the Bulldogs and he’s won 136 (74 percent) of them. He’s won two SEC titles (the only two Georgia has won in the last 32 years) and six SEC East crowns. The only thing he’s been guilty of has been coaching in a conference that’s been the home of some of the best coaches and teams in the country the last 20 years.  [Emphasis added.]

I’ve said this before:  the biggest problem with people finding fault with Richt is the perception that Georgia is a better program than it has been, historically speaking.

Look at that list and tell me who you think could be drawn to Georgia to improve the program to a level it’s never previously occupied. And why.  Because that’s really what you’re looking for.

71 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football