Richt: Winner to whiner?

Some UGA fans appear to think Mark Richt’s latest incarnation, following the Iceman/Nice Guy of the early days and “Evil” Richt of the end zone stomp, is Mr. Whiner. First there were his recent comments about the annual game in Jacksonville (he’s right that it’s not a neutral site, but complaining about the weather there favoring the Gators was a bit of a stretch), and now he’s griping about his Dogs’ nonconference schedule this coming season.

“I’m not that thrilled about it,” Richt told the Athens Banner-Herald concerning facing what College Football News called “the toughest nonconference slate of any SEC team by far,” with games against Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Georgia Tech in 2009. 

As the ABH points out, of the 65 teams in the six Bowl Championship Series conferences, only two besides Georgia will play three nonconference games this season against teams from BCS conferences. And neither one of them has as tough a schedule as Georgia’s: Syracuse will go up against Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State while Georgia Tech faces Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Georgia.

“One would be plenty,” Richt said. “The plan was never to have Oklahoma State and Arizona State and Georgia Tech [in the same season]. That was never the plan.” Richt said the plan was supposed to be playing one other BCS team plus Tech in a season … and he’s not in love with even that idea. 

The upgrading of the nonconference schedule was “for the fans and to get out of the Southeast region” for recruiting purposes, he said. But Richt believes traveling 1,900 miles each way to Arizona last season impacted the Dawgs adversely the next week when Alabama jumped out to a big halftime lead in Athens. 

Again, with the whining: “That’s a tough trip,” Richt said. “It’s a tough trip to go all the way over there and then come back, fly back through the night and then just get ready to keep grinding, because it is a grind. You need rest. Not only your players, but your coaches need rest, too.”

Richt’s boss, athletics director Damon Evans, doesn’t sound convinced by the head coach’s arguments about the detrimental effect of traveling out west. Said Evans: “That’s his opinion and I’ll listen to his opinion, and I’m sure he has some valid points. … I do know this: That there are teams around the country that do it week in and week out. Sometimes you’ve got to get up and go. … This year we’ll probably be playing a night game at Arkansas. We’ll probably get in later from Arkansas than we will from Oklahoma State.”

Examining Richt’s stance on this, he has a point and he doesn’t. Yes, playing three BCS nonconference teams in one season on top of an SEC schedule is excessive. It’s certainly not the norm. Tennessee has the reputation for scheduling big-name nonconference opponents, but generally only one per year (California, UCLA in recent years), with the rest less than imposing. This year, they face Western Kentucky, UCLA, Ohio and Memphis. LSU’s nonconference schedule is Washington, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane and Louisiana Tech. Alabama does open with Virginia Tech, but its other nonconference games are against Florida International, North Texas and Chattanooga. 

Ole Miss has Memphis, Southeast Louisiana, Alabama-Birmingham and Northern Arizona.

And then there’s Florida’s embarrassingly light nonconference schedule, which has Charleston Southern, Troy, Florida International and not-what-it-used-to-be Florida State.

Evans gives Florida a pass on that schedule. “Certain schools have built up reputations because of what they’ve accomplished,” he told the ABH. “Florida gets a lot of credit. They’ve won two national championships. Let’s not forget that. You’ve got to work your way up and Florida has done that.”

Well, yes. But during their 2006 national championship season, the Gators’ nonconference oppoents were Southern Mississippi, UCF, Western Carolina and FSU. Last year’s nonconference schedule was slightly more respectable, with Miami and Hawaii joining FSU and the Citadel.  

So Richt does face a tougher schedule this year than the rest of the conference. But Evans says three nonconference BCS opponents in one season is not going to be the rule. More often, Georgia will play one BCS nonconference game besides Tech in a season. And that’s something fans, tired of all those yawner home games against schools with directional names, have wanted. There’s also the advantage of a tough schedule impressing the folks who vote in the human polls and bolstering the Dogs in the computer polls.

As for the trip to Arizona being a factor in last year’s showing against the Tide, Georgia didn’t look tired in the first half of the Bama game; they looked unprepared. As the game went on, the Dogs actually played better. Maybe it was the players getting too caught up in the whole “Blackout” thing or just the coaches not getting them ready or a combination, but tired from the previous week’s travel? I don’t buy it.

So what do you think? Is Richt justified in complaining about the schedule? Or does he need to quit with the whining and concentrate on winning?

287 comments Add your comment

Otto

June 8th, 2009
2:47 pm

How many years did it take Dooley to get his title?

Gator Growl

June 8th, 2009
2:52 pm

There’s no doubt that Georgia has the most difficult schedule but as a head coach you can NEVER even make it sound like you are complaining about it. You can say things like “we know it’s going to be a monumental challenge but we’re going to try to take one at a time and win every one of them”. You CAN”T say things like “I’m not thrilled about it” and then start complaining about the travel. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence within your team and fans and almost sounds like a built in excuse. A little surprising coming from Richt, who other than that stupid end zone stunt, I have a huge amount of respect for.

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
2:54 pm

Independent thinker needs a reality check…good job bush league…Thanks for the spelling lesson…I have to admit though, I am not brilliant, just smarter than you….you are the pathetic one for that sorry performance against the Ute’s…LOL..

what-ever

June 8th, 2009
2:57 pm

Oh Come-on, Mark – UGA has had (for many years) a cream-puff schedule when it comes to non-conference games. In 2007 UGA played Western Carolina and Troy. In 2006 they played the mighty Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, UAB, and Colorado (in a year that the Buffs went 2-10, which UGA had to score 2 touchdowns in the 4th qtr to win by 1 point). Year before that UGA played Marshall and Georgia Southern. And for the rest of the fans that cry about the schedule which includes GT every year, all I’ve got to say is that you are all always talking Tech down – as if playing Tech doesn’t mean that much.
So, Mark – have a little cheese with that whine. You have really become quite the cry-baby.

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
2:59 pm

Sorry the comment about the ute’s should have been directed to fishtales…Hey independent thinker could you spell check my post for me…And correct any of my misspelled words…thanks for your help…

what-ever

June 8th, 2009
3:01 pm

One more thing – As many of you in the SEC like to say “we are the toughest and best conference in the land” then why worry about a non-conference team??? Afraid you can’t handle it?

Georgia Bulldog News - June 8, 2009

June 8th, 2009
3:01 pm

[...] Richt: Winner to Whiner? – Junkyard Blawg [...]

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
3:01 pm

What-ever….wwwwhhhhaaaattteeevvveeerrrrr!!!!!your hate is showing through….thanks for wasting your bosses time…

UGA_has_the worst_FANS

June 8th, 2009
3:04 pm

That’s bad when the head coach is already making excuses and the season hasn’t started… This time last year UGA had already won the National title without even playing a game.

pigskinfan

June 8th, 2009
3:05 pm

I’m a Hurricane fan and follow UGA because I have a sister who goes there, but I am mainly here because I love college pigskin period. I don’t think Richt has much to complain about it that’s what some want to call it.

Deep down the canes down in Miami would gladly switch with UGA for the 1st 4 games this season. FSU, GT, VT and Oaklahoma. Even with all the freshmen and sophomores, I haven’t heard a peep from south florida about how hard their schedule is or what were they thinking putting together that schedule. Those kids know they’re going to take some lumps to get back to the top. Nobody expects the Canes to win those 1st 4 games, but UGA has a good thing going for them, they’ve got people who believe they can win those out of conf. games.

Get out there and hit them in the mouth and play your game and you’ll win. Go Dawgs

TUPAC EARNHART JR.

June 8th, 2009
3:06 pm

THE BIG DAWG WILL EAT THIS YR……….ONE LOSS! A FLUKE LOSS, THEY WILL WHIP EVERYONE PROBABLY, DAWGS HAVE A GOOD YR!

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
3:10 pm

Okay what-ever i’ll play your silly game. Say the SEC went out and scheduled 4 out of conference games with the other BCS conferences each and every year. And say the SEC keeps the same winning percentage from the bowl games. Then the SEC teams would win 3 out of 4 if not all of them. Do you think those same conferences would continue to schedule those games and we would be right back where we started. We are just trying save the other conferences some embarassment..

Bulldawg

June 8th, 2009
3:14 pm

I think Richt is a great recruiter and an okay gameday coach. I don’t like this whining about tough non-conference games. Guys, we should own the SEC and be willing to play anybody, anywhere. Look at USC!! They travel across the country to play ACC and SEC teams all the time and never whine. They just win!
In all honesty, there are really only a couple teams who are good in the SEC year in and year out. FL, LSU and maybe AL. Everyone else in our conference is mediocre at best and very beatable every year. I still don’t understand why we cannot dominate like we used to. Lets man up and play anyone, anywhere!! Dawg Nation Unite!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!

mcdaviddawg

June 8th, 2009
3:17 pm

If they don’t want to play a full slate of real teams, less shorten the season and pay the coaches less. Otherwise he needs to shut up and do some coaching. Something we’ve been a little short of the last couple of seasons.

#1 BULLDOG FAN

June 8th, 2009
3:22 pm

This schedule is weak as muddy creek water

BAMA STAN

June 8th, 2009
3:24 pm

12 NATIONAL TITLES – 21 SEC TITLES!!!

WTF? = Big Smoke – Little TeePee!!

I like to throw in a dig just to get you and other rabid UGA fans going!

I do feel that UGA lost out on what could have been a decade of dominance. UGA should have been reloading after 2005. Richt had been to 3 SEC Title games – appeared to have the machine rolling. But it seems that each year – something is missing and UGA is a bridesmaid……….something is out of sync.

I guess what I am saying is that pieces are not falling into place each year. Of course, this is the challange for all teams.

Since Van Gorder left – UGA Defense is just not an intimidating unit.

Not sold on Bobo play calling.

DID the Richt era peak in 2005 and is in danger of being back in the Donnan days? If UGA wins 8 games in 2009 – you will have half of your answer – they win only 8 again in 2010 – you will know that the program is on a plateau and the natives will become restless.

Florida is the ALPHA Male in the SEC EAST. Tennessee views UGA as a stepping stone to get to Florida – and GT is no longer afraid of UGA

According to my Vol friends, Tennessee / Florida will soon be the premier game of the SEC east again – much like is was in the 90’s. Boy, these schools hate each other. Florida toys with UGA – but hates Tennessee. Tennessee thinks of UGA about like UGA thinks of South Carolina or KY – but it’s real East rivalry is Florida.

So WTF?? Care to predict UGA win/loss record in 2009?

Aubie

June 8th, 2009
3:24 pm

Georgia where the bulldogs are bulldogs and so are the women.

KaliDogg

June 8th, 2009
3:24 pm

What’s the top program in the country? Could argue that point but let’s say USC (not South Carolina, sorry) is at least in the running for that position.

They open as San Jose, okay, give them that one.

Their other non-conference opponents? Ohio State and Notre Dame.

Put Ohio State and Notre Dame (using the Notre Dame of prior years, assuming they can get over the Charlie Weiss hump) on the UGA schedule, and who would complain?

Too hard?

UGA – USC
UGA – Notre Dame
UGA – Penn State
UGA – Miami
UGA – North Carolina
UGA – Florida State
UGA – Michigan
UGA – Pitt
UGA – Virginia Tech

Who doesn’t want to see those games?

Would playing those games help or hurt UGA’s image (and, thus, recruiting) in the football world?

In what sport does a coach complain that they’re not matched up against enough patsies?

Otto

June 8th, 2009
3:24 pm

what-ever, UGA did play Okie St in ‘07 which you did not mention.

Iceman

June 8th, 2009
3:26 pm

The media whines if we don’t play OOC foes, and fans whine we DO.

Ya just can’t win.

Iceman

June 8th, 2009
3:27 pm

The media whines if we don’t play OOC foes, and fans whine when we DO.

Ya just can’t win.

RealDawg

June 8th, 2009
3:32 pm

Bulldawg-Why do you dimish our accomplishment by putting UA ahead of us?

UGA has the highest winning percentage in the last 10 years of any SEC school (7th nationally)followed next by UF and LSU. UA is 36th of major I-A teams over that period. Don’t drink the UA cherry kool-aid. They are just now turning around.

BTW who is ahead of UGA and the SEC-Boise, Texas, OU, USC, OSU and VT.

We are in pretty good company-whining and winning.

JenniferGO Dawgs

June 8th, 2009
3:32 pm

Let me make one thing clear, Coach Richt is, will and never be a whiner! He has legitimate points! Are you a fan of the Bulldogs or not? With negative comments and criticisms, on again, off again so called fans, let me spell it out for you …..YOU ARE NOT, and if you can do it better then get out there and put your money where your mouth is! I am so sick of announcers, so called fans and sport writers who think they know it all and can do it better! Then do it! I am so sure Coach Richt would not mind watching a bit! I totally support him and his decisions whether they turn out good or bad, because I know he’s not perfect, I am not perfect and I could not do his job. So Go Coach Rich and Go Dawgs!

Bulldawg

June 8th, 2009
3:33 pm

I state again, we should be the best in the SEC year in and year out based on the quality of players Richt is bringing in. For some reason we are just on the second tier… Behind FL, LSU and sometimes AL and TN… As a TRUE DAWG, I will not settle for second tier much longer!!! DAWG FANS UNITE!!! Let’s get this train back on the track and not whine about playing tough teams, lets just beat them!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF.
PS-The yellow nerds will not beat us again any time soon. You can bet on that for real!!!

Atlanta_Tiger_Fan

June 8th, 2009
3:35 pm

Yes, he’s a big whiner!!

Last Word

June 8th, 2009
3:37 pm

The BCS computer penalizes weak schedules, or, if you wish, rewards tougher ones.
Hence, its purpose.

RealDawg

June 8th, 2009
3:39 pm

BAMA STAN- Dig all you want. You are so wrong. I tailgating with hundreds of LSU fans last year listening to them talk about how we were going to beat them (and we did). UT fans do not feel at all like they own us. They were happy to beat anybody the last couple of years. AU always worries about that the game against us. Tech is bloated over one victory in upteen years because one guy decided to not tackle on three plays. UF-Ok, they do own us.

wpeebles

June 8th, 2009
3:39 pm

This is possibly the worst piece of “journalism” I have ever read. Bill King is obviously an implant from a rival SEC state and only came to Georgia because his wife has the better job. He would be more productive as a Kroger bag-boy.

Otto

June 8th, 2009
3:40 pm

Bulldawg Look at USC!! They travel across the country to play ACC and SEC teams all the time and never whine. They just win!

No they aren’t

What’s also disappointing is the Trojans’ future nonconference schedules don’t feature a marquee matchup similar to the series with Ohio State, which concludes Sept. 12 in Columbus.

2010: at Hawaii, Virginia, at Minnesota

2011: Minnesota, Syracuse

2012: Hawaii, at Syracuse

2013: at Hawaii, Boston College

Of course, the Trojans do play Notre Dame every year.

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/pac10/0-9-69/USC-vs–SEC–Not-happening-anytime-soon.html

Mike

June 8th, 2009
3:41 pm

Whiner. All 3 are pretty good teams, but none are powerhouses. UGA should be favored in all 3 games. I understand the conference schedule is tough, but just play the schedule your university agreed to and quit talking about it in the press. It’s as if he’s already planting the “well, if we go 9-3 it’s a good season” seed.

Bulldawg

June 8th, 2009
3:42 pm

Did I mention the following in my previou post?:
Gators are rednecks
LSU Tigers are homo’s
Bama is full of dumb country folks
Ga Tech is a bunch of nerds.

Case closed. WOOF WOOF WOOF

Golden Dawg 84

June 8th, 2009
3:42 pm

Too bad they didn’t use that 4 hr flight from Phoenix to work on the Bama gameplan. Remember that Richt and staff decided to fly back late at night after the game. That is their problem.

Getting tired of all the excuses: Last year it was the schedule, then injuries (still looks like if the uninjured players actually tackled alst year would have been fine). This year, all we are hearing about is our tough schedule and injuries.

JenniferGO Dawgs

June 8th, 2009
3:43 pm

Wpeebles…….LOL

H_jones

June 8th, 2009
3:47 pm

It’s a deep schedule but not tough. NONE of these teams are top 10
Teams. When did BCS team become equivalent to “good” team?
When UGA schedules a top 10 OC game, then they can complain.
Other big SEC boys in recent years scheduled OU, Va Tech, USC, etc.
UGA never does. Ever.

JenniferGO Dawgs

June 8th, 2009
3:47 pm

RealDawg If UF owned us they would be ahead in the series and they are not. I have never thought Jacksonville was neutral territory, if that is how it is going to be , then we alternate the dome one year and Jacksonville one year or go to a different state , Alabama.

G man

June 8th, 2009
3:49 pm

7-5 at best in 2009 …at best

Otto

June 8th, 2009
3:49 pm

H_jones the last time UF scheduled a BCS OOC game other than Miami which was only twice and FSU was Okie St all the way back in ‘91.

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
3:50 pm

I’m with JenniferGO Dawgs…..GO DAWGS!!Focus OSU!!!

Southern Eagle

June 8th, 2009
3:51 pm

Doesn’t Southern Cal come East and beat teams and then travel back home and beat teams? I’m sure UGA will back their way into a National Championship one day but only if Florida let’s them by being down that year.

Bored of the Go-Dawg Nation

June 8th, 2009
3:52 pm

You can’t complain about a difficult non-conference schedule if you want to have a shot at National Title contention. The only way to gain forgiveness for The annual dud you lay against Florida is to beat someone from out-of-conference besides Middle Tennessee St or WKU. However, If you couldn’t win with 2 Top 12 NFL players on your team last year, I wouldn’t really worry about your non-conference games making much of a difference.

Toates

June 8th, 2009
3:53 pm

I see you got your wish, attention. What is on the menu for July? Pathetic…..

BOOHOO KEEP CRYING UGA MUTTS

June 8th, 2009
3:53 pm

Who the crybaby now? Mark Richt and UGA fans…Wait UGAY fans always crying about something..Georgia why don’t you “buy” another win for a cool million.

TideRules

June 8th, 2009
3:53 pm

Richt whines more than Lane Kiffin—he needs to cut the complaining about his schedule, where they play, their facilities, etc. and start winning big games. Ga fans are getting tired of his act and all those chokes. Mark it down—Bama wins it all this year!

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
3:54 pm

The neutral site in jacksonville prevents us from scheduling another home and home….PERIOD…g-man needs a reality check….UGA will not lose five games this year…PERIOD

williebkind

June 8th, 2009
3:56 pm

I love the tough schedule each week. I am sick of seeing th dawgs beat a no body and lose to a rank team. CMR needs to coach or get someone who can! Oh is Martinez still there?

uuugh.

June 8th, 2009
3:57 pm

Otto…who cares if USC plays Notre Dame? Notre Dame is not good and USC should not get anymore credit for scheduling a powerhouse of yesteryear than a team that schedules Yale.

USC’s strength of schedule is weak because the Pac-10 features USC and….uh….uh….Oregon once every 4 years? They have to schedule strong OOC games because their conference is so weak. I am hoping Rick N can turn things around at UCLA so that I can stop hearing about USC’s “dominance.”

How far in advance are these games scheduled. 5-6 years? Somebody was discounting our game with Colorado–How often do they go 2-10? The ASU game last year was supposed to be better too. I think they have been trying to schedule tougher games but the timing has been a bit off.

Richt needs to shut up and Coach ‘em up. He needs to start cashing in on some of these great recruiting classes. He gets less out of a top 5 recruiting class than anyone else in the top 5!

JenniferGO Dawgs

June 8th, 2009
3:59 pm

BOOHOO KEEP CRYING UGA MUTTS I don’t see or hear anyone crying just stating the obvious facts, you are on the wrong blog, this is UGA we do not whine, you need to go to South Carolina or Tennessee, sorry you got lost! Plus you are interrupting our discussion.

Otto

June 8th, 2009
3:59 pm

Southern Eagle who is USC beating Cal, one of the Washington teams, Stanford those are real power houes like LSU, Bama, and UF.

Also as I stated above USC has cooled off on scheduling the big games, nothing planned after the Ohio St game this year. I guess they could take the schedule and beat Oregon St and Stanford in the same yesr.

Jeff

June 8th, 2009
4:00 pm

Geez…we have become like UT and the others complaining about everything. Thought we had great players that could win championships. What bothers me the most about this is the players hear this and they use it as an excuse to lose. Just like crying about JAX- we owned UF in the Dooley years…they drove, we flew…..it was hot then as now and it was the Gator Bowl. When players hear coaches making excuses that carries down to the team. Stafford was an expert at it in post game news conferences. Never thought we would end up a bunch of crybabies….Man Up dudes!

Reality Check...

June 8th, 2009
4:01 pm

Wait….All I heard last year that Moreno and Stafford was overrated…Now they ar 1st round NFL talent….make up your mind people…Love the Haters, now it’s we do less with more….LOL!!!!!