Richt’s two main rivals are Urban Meyer and himself

Mark Richt must deal with the what-have-you-done-lately attitude prevalent in college football today. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Mark Richt must deal with the what-have-you-done-lately attitude prevalent in college football today. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

We don’t need to get into any of that silly “hot seat” talk about Mark Richt, a man who has averaged 10 wins a year in his nine years at UGA. I think it’s instructive that those stories usually emanate from writers in Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. Some of these folks cite “widespread” concern about the state of the program within the Bulldog Nation, but from what I’ve observed more often than not the talk about the need for a new coach at Georgia is mainly confined to a handful of anonymous Internet trolls.

It is a fair statement, though, that just about nobody at UGA or in Dogs fandom found last year’s 8-5 record satisfying, and that includes Richt himself. In fact, he was so unsatisfied that he fired three of his staff members, including one of his closest friends.

But what faces Richt is more than just coming back from one relatively disappointing season. As the Chattanooga Times-Free Press pointed out recently, while Richt got off to a very fast start in Athens, his two SEC championship trophies “are beginning to gather dust in a league now dominated by Alabama and Florida.”

It’s particularly the situation with Florida, our main SEC East rival, that rankles. A couple of particularly disheartening losses in the past couple of years dramatically increased the frustration already there from the Gators’ domination of the series over the past two decades and Urban Meyer bringing two BCS national championship trophies to Gainesville.

But Richt is competing not just with Meyer, but also with the Mark Richt of 2001-2005.

Vince Dooley summed it up nicely in the Times-Free Press when he said Richt set a high standard of success for himself. “Once the bar is set that high, then the expectations go right along with that, and anything less than that is judged by what happened last year or the year before. It’s about expectations, and expectations are built on success.”

Back in Dooley’s day, a couple of conference championships was more than enough to tide a coach over through a down cycle. Nowadays, you go four years without winning the conference or underachieve compared with expectations, even if you have winning seasons, and media types start speculating about how warm your seat is.

I don’t think most UGA supporters believe Richt needs to be on the hot seat. As for those folks who would entertain the idea of dumping the third-most-successful active coach among major programs at the prospect of maybe getting the latest fast-rising assistant to have created a buzz, well, they are talking about taking a big gamble.

Richt has been a consistent winner at Georgia, and he’s done it with class.

It’s all about perception, though, and the toughest challenge facing Richt is matching that guy in Gainesville and the younger version of himself.

I don’t have any doubt he’s up to the task.

262 comments Add your comment

JRod

May 18th, 2010
11:31 am

Wow.. first..

And no he shouldn’t be on the hot seat.. DUMB

Dbalcer

May 18th, 2010
11:31 am

SoCal Dawg

May 18th, 2010
11:41 am

I wouldn’t say that I have NO doubts but I’m sure pulling for CMR.

Billy T.

May 18th, 2010
11:42 am

This one time At band Camp…

11Dawg

May 18th, 2010
11:42 am

One thing I’ve never heard in all this hot seat bullcrap is who they would get to replace him. Is there some magical coach out there that could do better?

txdawg

May 18th, 2010
11:42 am

Defense wins championships!! Hopefully with the way we are recruiting we can pull in the #1 class this year and take all the top prospects in the state of Georgia!!

knoxdawg

May 18th, 2010
11:43 am

He will get it done. The Dawgs will get back to the SECCG and win it. CMR is the man for the job. I was not happy with him last season because I felt he should have gotten rid of some assistants earlier. However, he did what needed to be done after 09 and now we will see. Offense better live up to the expectations, especially in the running game or some other assistants might be looking for new positions.

Billy T.

May 18th, 2010
11:47 am

Richt would be on the hot seat if doofus (Martinez) and company were still running the clown show (defense). But with the new DC, that should be settled by now. Personally, i hope Richt will be our Joe Pa.

Whopper Dawg

May 18th, 2010
11:49 am

I don’t think he deserves to be on the hot seat, but I think the program got a little comfortable with where they were. We can’t keep getting pounded by FLA, getting beat is one thing, not being competitive is another. A real tough call was made on the D staff and it should have been. Hopefully better days are a head

da man

May 18th, 2010
11:49 am

yeah whatever

May 18th, 2010
11:50 am

internet trolls like buLLdawg, “me” and Gagator?

ugafan

May 18th, 2010
11:51 am

Coach Richt is the man! He is a class act that wins with grace (and occasionally blunders, but who doesnt?) and now has hired a new defensive staff to put that fire back into the defense. I am super confident that he is going to get it done. And another great point, Bill, who exactly would UGA reach out to to replace Richt? I don’t think there is anyone out there, currently, who could do the same job with as much dignity. Richt is a God send for UGA and I hope he remains here for another ten years. All these red herring “hot seat” stories are baiting from out of state journalists. Haters…

GO DAWGS!

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
11:52 am

Bill….you nailed it.
.
gatorbait should be added to the list of internet trolls

Elliot Garcia

May 18th, 2010
11:53 am

Please have Mark Richt stay at Georgia at least another 20 years. He is so nice!

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
11:54 am

OK this topic is on Richt and his not being on a hot seat?
.
No he is not and why should he be?
.
his record against the mighty SEC
.
Alabama: 3-1
Auburn: 6-3
Arkansas: 5-0
Florida: 2-7
South Carolina: 7-2
Tennessee: 5-4
Kentucky: 7-2
Vanderbilt: 8-1
Ole Miss: 4-0
Mississippi St: 2-0
LSU: 3-3

Billy T.

May 18th, 2010
11:55 am

ugafan,

i disagree about who is out there to replace Richt. Statistically, Lane Kiffin will be available between late October and January. Apparently he is a great coach because he keeps getting top jobs with pay raises.

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
11:56 am

hot seat?
.
6 times finished in the top 10
2 times finished in the top 3
3 SEC Championship Appearances
2 SEC Titles
3 BCS Bowls
2 Sugar Bowl wins
90-27 record over 8 seasons – 79% winning percentage (one of only 7 in the history of college ball to have ever accomplished this)
4 str8 bowl wins
7-2 in bowls (big games)
Mark Richt coached QB coach for Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke = 2 Heismans; Head Coach for David Greene = all time winningest college QB until Colt McCoy this year); and coached Matthew Stafford = very rich #1 draft pick)
No Probations
He has my respect.
Period.
.
nope no hot seat

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
11:57 am

Hot seat?
.
He is 24-7 against the SEC West.

He is 28-16 against the SEC East.

He is 38-4 against nonconference opponents.

He is 8-1 against Georgia Tech.

He won four of his first five games against Tennessee, but has lost three of the last four against the Vols since then.

He was born the same year as Chuck D of Public Enemy.

Ranks third in winning percentage among active college coaches that have coached for at least five years, now that Pete Carroll left USC for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

He is 90-27, trailing only Urban Meyer (96-18) and Bob Stoops (117-29).\\yeah he is pretty damn good

Mark Richt is one of only six coaches to win two SEC football championships in their first five years coaching. He is also one of only five head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons

Coach Richt’s Red and Black outfits have never posted a losing record in conference play and six of his last eight squads have finished 6-2 or better in regular-season SEC contests.

Mark Richt’s overall success in Southeastern Conference action—including two SEC titles, three conference championship game appearances, and four finishes of no worse than tied for first place in the East, with no losing records in the process—is without parallel in Georgia football history.

Dawg Rule

May 18th, 2010
11:57 am

Rich has more class than Meyer–that’s all that matters!

[...] This Georgia writer believes it’s “instructive” that most Richt hot seat stories emanate from Florida, Tennessee and Alabama.  Of course, I did a Macon radio show two weeks ago where I had to defend Richt’s record to the [...]

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:04 pm

No way he is on a hot seat…………NO WAY.
.
The only difference in richt and meyer?
.
USC lost in 2006 and 2008 allowing a 12-1 fla team to get invited to the BCSNC and OSU in 2002 (while richt was 12-1)didnt

TuckDAWG

May 18th, 2010
12:07 pm

How can any coach that is averaging 10 wins a year be on the hot seat? I mean come on we have underachieved a lil in a few seasons but thats what his other coaches are supposed to help him with, now that he has a Defensive coach worth his salt HERE WE COME GATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

swimdawg68

May 18th, 2010
12:10 pm

Mark made the right move on the defensive changes for this season. If our offense struggles this year with the talent we posess on offense, some changes will need to be made. Much too often last year I knew the play Bobo was going to call in a certation situation before he actually called it, that is not good.

I would take Mark Richt over Meyer and Saben any day, in spite of the lack of National Championships. Mark personifies “Class”, something the others lack. Just review how Meyer treated that reporter at spring training, talk about a lack of class WOW!

DCJohn

May 18th, 2010
12:10 pm

Urban Meyer nor Nick Saban raised the bar in the SEC. We, UT, LSWho?, Auburn, and the rest have lowered it. 2004 was Auburn’s year, and then they started grasping at straws. 1005/2006 was the last time we had a defense that could win a game with less than 14 points from our offense. LSU and UT have been trending downwards by their own accord as well.

And I would take Mark Richt over Les Miles any time. I would rather have Mark Richt and no National Title, than to fire Richt, bring in an idiot that wins a Title and then we run him out of town in three years time. Stay the course. Long term stability is worth much more than flash in the pan brilliance (see our 2005/2006 defense (2005 Auburn still drives me insane(a secondary coach leaves the middle wide open on fourth and a mile!))).

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:13 pm

Nick Saban went 6-5, 6-6, 6-6, 7-5 at Mich St.

He went 8-5 at LSU 2x

He went 7-6 at Alabama.

Saban has gone 5-3 or worse in conference 8 times.

Richt has only gone 5-3 or worse in conference 3 times in his first 9 years.

Compare that to Saban’s record and consistency in his 1st 9 years.

Richt has NEVER had a 7-6 or 6-6 season, Saban’s done it 5 times, including once at Alabama

Joey

May 18th, 2010
12:17 pm

Bill, in light of our troubles with the better (and average) defenses on our schedule the past few seasons, do you think a Bobo led offense will ever get UGA back to Atlanta?

The D

May 18th, 2010
12:17 pm

He is the best coach for the job, he needed to get some new guys on defense and he did. I personally have never met a more endearing person in my life. CMR met me for two minutes and I will never forget it. He does more than coach, and we should never forget that. He changes lives through every recruiting class he brings in. People like to let a few bad eggs spoil what is really happening in Athens. He is building ideals that most of the youth today need in their life. He is the best coach for UGA and will be here for many more years to come. YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!!! GO DAWGS

guy

May 18th, 2010
12:18 pm

did patrick pay you to put up this post bill? and patrick, why do you keep ignoring the 2008 UF title? no backing in needed, beating two #1 teams to win it all. wasnt that the year that uga started #1 and then got obliterated by bama and florida? seems like that could be another difference between richt and meyer, aside from the 2006 season that you seem fixated on.

guy

May 18th, 2010
12:21 pm

another difference between richt and meyer pat: 63 points in the last two years.

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:23 pm

There are those in Bulldog Nation who would like to see Mark Richt run out of town on a rail. Such people should be turned over to the custody of Mike Leach, in the hope that he will treat their obvious head trauma the way he treated Adam James’s
.

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:26 pm

oh and add to the list of internet trolls…”guy”
.
and “guy”….USC needed to lose in 2008 as well. USC was ranked higher han FLA and lost. meyer has never gone undefeated at florida and has ALWAYS needed help to get in

Clay

May 18th, 2010
12:26 pm

Joey, you didn’t ask me, but I don’t think he can. After the elder Kiffin last season basically made fun of UGA’s offense before the UT game, then stopped it cold, I lost all confidence in Bobo. Several other teams shut down our offense the past few seasons (SC, UT in ‘07, SC, Bama, UF, Vandy, UK in ‘08, OS, LSU, UT, UF, UK in ‘09).

Coach has got to go back to the NFL for an OC.

BAMA STAN

May 18th, 2010
12:27 pm

13 NATIONAL TITLES – 22 SEC TITLES!!!

UGA is in great shape – will have a very good this year – wait and see. Richt has been consistent – but UGA needs to respond to last years season. And quite honest with you – 2008 – although ranked preseason #1 – UGA underachieved and got outplayed by Kentucky and Auburn – which UGA found a way to win – which is what good programs do.

I think UGA is in great shape – will win 9 minimal this year – could win 10 or 11 if ball bounces their way. This will also help out with recruiting – stock at UGA is starting to rise.

Who is ready for some football?

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:28 pm

by “help”…i mean had someone AHEAD of him not lost (NOT IN HIS CONTROL)he would merely have a decent win/loss record and nothing more.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

May 18th, 2010
12:30 pm

Good to see that the artist formally known as “patrick” is now posting under “yeah whatever!”

And Patty, how many NC’s does your boy have compared to Saban or Meyer?

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:34 pm

Today we look at you “Guy” and “Diamond Dog’s Parole Officer” instead of Richt:

Strengths:
.
Excessive confidence in his own powers of intellect and self importance. This narcissitic personality enables him to feel superior enough to everyone else which allows him to arrogantly sit in judgement on other bloggers and do so in such a way as to make people actually think he was asked for his opinion.
.
Weakness:
.
Essentially the same thing. As a narcissitic individual he natually thinks his opinion is superior then everyone elses and he should therefore sit in judgement over his peers. This leads to the ultimate fallaciy that he is totally unaware that no one really cares what he thinks of our fellow bloggers or UGA. This is to be expected because being lost in ones own little world, like his obviously is, and surviving on the idea that he has some magical intellectual superiority over the general CFB bloggers is a hallmark of a true Narcissitic Personality Disorder.

Joey

May 18th, 2010
12:36 pm

Mark Richt is a good head coach, and even better man. I hope he stays many more years. I hope he goes ahead and makes another coaching staff change. I don’t want him to fire Bobo, just make him QB coach again and bring in a true Xs and Os man for the offense.

If Coach Richt does that, with the talent at UGA, we will be competing year in, year out. Until he does, our offense will get shut down by good DCs in the SEC.

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

May 18th, 2010
12:45 pm

What does “fallaciy” mean???

Diamond Dog's Parole Officer

May 18th, 2010
12:47 pm

Please Patty… enlighten us!

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:48 pm

Its called typing fast….but you get the picture…how about narcissistic? How did you miss me leaving the “s” out in the post?

Dbalcer

May 18th, 2010
12:48 pm

“yeah whatever” posts as kborden8746 on the espn sec blog. His latest comment about Guy and Diamond Dog is posted word for word about another blogger he disagrees with there. I guess he needs to talk down other teams instead of supporting his GATORS. I am sure he will now change his moniker so he can troll again under the radar.

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:48 pm

How did your awesome powers miss “narcissitic”…enlighten me.

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:50 pm

actually krborden was who I was directing it to………..learn to read

Dbalcer

May 18th, 2010
12:50 pm

Sorry just checked the profile and he is a Bama fan.

whoever "yeah whatever" is

May 18th, 2010
12:51 pm

Enter your comments here

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:54 pm

and actually I have no disagreement with KRborden…I was merely pointing out his strength and weaknesses. A narcissist is a narcissist. Most behave the same and can be lumped together…hence the “guy and Diamond dog”

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:55 pm

and since when is using my own words “word for word” a problem anyway?

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:56 pm

now if I use words “word for word” then THAT is a problem.

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:58 pm

Dbalcer…having commented on me unsolicited also fits into that category

yeah whatever!

May 18th, 2010
12:59 pm

I merely mocked Krborden for doing his “strength and weaknesses” comments on others.