Sometime last season — probably between the 45-19 loss at Tennessee and the 41-17 loss to Florida — I lost track of the number of times I was asked on blogs, emails and radio shows if Georgia coach Mark Richt was in trouble.
My response now is the same as it was then: He’ll be in trouble if he has one more bad season. I’m not sure if that qualifies me as being among the “handful of anonymous Internet trolls,” that Bill “Junkyard Blawg” King referred to this morning.
Fact is, even most fans who wake up every morning in their Bulldog boxer shorts must understand that life in the SEC is different than any other conference in America.
This is a topic now because a few publications are compiling their coaches-under-the-gun lists. The latest came today: The Orlando Sentinel is running a five-part series on coaches on the hot seat.
Part I focused on Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez, and you can hear the laughter all over West Virginia from here.
Part II focuses on Richt.
Two words: National Championship. It’s been 30 years since the Bulldogs won their last title and Georgia fans are getting restless. Watching Florida, LSU, and Alabama win the past four BCS titles hasn’t probably helped either. Or the fact that Georgia has gone 2-6 against the Gators during Richt’s tenure.
But problems have dogged the Bulldogs program in recent years.
In the offseason, Richt decided to shake up his staff, firing defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and two other assistants. The Bulldogs went after several big-name coordinators eventually settling on Todd Grantham, an NFL coordinator [sic] with the Dallas Cowboys.
Then the program was hit with a string of arrests culminating with starting [sic] quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s arrest outside of a bar in Valdosta, Georgia.
In many ways, Richt is under more pressure now than ever before. While expectations certainly aren’t meteoric like two years ago, when the offense included Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, Richt knows going 4-4 in the SEC again won’t cut it in 2010.
Because if that happens, folks, the seat would be very hot in 2011.
Agree? Or do you think Richt is on the hot seat already?