Mark Richt and Les Miles on the SEC hot seats?
That’s the remarkable proposition blogger John Pennington offers at MrSEC.com. He says he came to that conclusion by asking which coaches can least afford a “bad, bad” year, are battling perception problems and face the highest expectations from fans and boosters.
I won’t get into his thoughts on Miles, but using a 5-7 record as the benchmark for a bad, bad year, he thinks such a season in 2009 would result in fans beginning to call for Richt’s head because the perception is “Richt can win a lot of games, but he can’t win ‘the big one’” and the expectations for this season are high “despite the loss of three key playmakers on offense.”
OK, there certainly are elements of UGA fandom that gripe about Richt not yet having won a national championship. And, granted, expectations always run high in the Bulldog Nation. I doubt Richt would want it any other way.
But only the most unrealistic followers of Bulldogs football would even think about calling for Richt to be fired if he were to suffer a losing season in what quite obviously is a major rebuilding year for his offense. (And I think that’s highly unlikely anyway.)
Most Georgia fans remember all too well the feeling of hopelessness during the lost years under Ray Goff and the grinding frustration of mediocre winning seasons and middling bowls under Jim Donnan.
Yes, perhaps we’ve been spoiled a bit under Richt and so can look at last year’s 10-3 season (the sixth time in the past seven years Richt’s Dogs have won 10 or more games and been a year-end Top 10 team) as a disappointment. But that’s what happens when you’re preseason No. 1 and subsequently falter (in no small part because of a ridiculous string of injuries).
We’re disappointed, but we’re not deluded. Georgia fans know we have a good thing going with Mark Richt and that it’s only a matter of time before he brings the Bulldog Nation another national championship. Richt’s golden touch at recruiting shows no signs of slowing down and if he can get a bit of luck with injuries, the schedules after this season look more favorable for Georgia (as does Tim Tebow’s graduation).
Richt on the hot seat? Only in some strange alternative universe SEC.