Can’t quite bring myself to bail on Mark Richt … just yet

Mark Richt is at a turning point in his coaching career. (University of Georgia)

Mark Richt is at a turning point in his coaching career. (University of Georgia)

Some of you are ready to write off the Mark Richt era in Athens.

I’m hearing this from fans who normally are not quick to call for a coaching change. They look at the downward trend in Georgia’s SEC results since the last conference title and figure the die is cast, even though most concede that Richt’s past record has earned him another season after this one, no matter how badly it ends.

And they’re not looking forward to watching that prolonged scenario play out.

Me, I’m not a big fan of change, as my wife frequently notes. I tend to stick with something way past when others would have bailed, whether we’re talking cars, VCRs, old shirts or football coaches.

I’ll admit, the precipitous decline of Georgia’s football program has me teetering when it comes to the Bulldogs’ prospects under Richt. The recruiting obviously has been subpar for several years, the development of talent has been less than impressive, and the players frequently look undisciplined, on and off the field, raising serious questions about the coaching.

It’s true, a couple of key blue-chip recruits can turn around a program nearly overnight, but as I’ve heard more than one fan say in the past couple of weeks, “Why would a five-star recruit want to come to Georgia right now?”

For me, the most disturbing aspect of it all is the seeming lack of urgency among the players and coaching staff. Facing the prospect of starting out “one and whatever the crap we are,” as Mike Bobo put it Saturday, they still were outhustled in Starkville, for crying out loud!

And yet … if Richt coaches his tail off and somehow turns this season around — which at this point would pretty much require winning out, including beating Florida — it will make for one of those feel-good stories that fans and sports media alike love.

Do I see it happening? Frankly, at this point, no.

Still, I can’t yet bring myself to say the words I heard an ardent and intelligent UGA fan utter Saturday night: “I’m done with Richt.”

A COUPLE MORE THOUGHTS ON THE GAME

I know, I know, it’s like picking at a scab, but I can’t let the Mississippi State game go just yet …

Like, for instance, what was going on with that Georgia drive in the fourth quarter where Bobo not only insisted on continuing to try to run up the middle, but was trying it with little Carlton Thomas, the Dogs’ third-string back. Had even Bobo given up on Washaun Ealey and Caleb  King?

It sounds like Richt was wondering a bit, too, as he said after the game, “At times we just called running plays blindly. We were going to run the play no matter what, and there were times where we had success and times where we got hit in the mouth.”

Maybe now Richt will bigfoot Bobo and insist on a change in direction. With the Dogs’ offensive line getting manhandled and the backs not breaking many tackles, it’s obvious that continuing to try running play-action out of the I-formation just isn’t working. Our main running threat is our quarterback!

Perhaps it’s time to go to the spread most of the time with Aaron Murray in the shotgun and let him just make plays, whether it’s slinging the ball around or running the QB draw. Spreading things out might make it a little less easy for opposing defenses to jam the line like they’ve been doing so successfully. And if we make opponents defend the pass first, maybe that increases the odds of occasionally breaking a long one on a misdirection counter play with our backs.

Couldn’t be any less effective than what the Dogs have been doing the past three games. …

As for the defense, I still think the linebackers and secondary will figure out the pass coverage one of these days. But Georgia is as soft up the middle as I’ve ever seen them. With our undersized line, everybody’s going to try to run up the gut against the Dogs. It’s well past time for Todd Grantham to figure out a way to bolster the middle.

The Dogs can’t wait for him to recruit the big bodies he needs up front. By the time that happens, this staff may not be in Athens any more. Time to earn those big bucks now.

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621 comments Add your comment

DawginCalhoun

September 27th, 2010
7:43 pm

Phil Fulmer – National Championship = Mark Richt

Ace

September 27th, 2010
7:53 pm

Support ends at $250,000. What’s he paid to do?

bill king

September 27th, 2010
8:00 pm

My name is Bill King. I bought this goofy looking UGA shirt at Wal-Mart.. It wasn’t even on sale!

Hey Dawg fans! Even though we stink, I’m still the biggest wanna-be UGA alum around. I’m pathetic. Like most all of you.

I kiss my sister.

Yours,

Bill

Boca Baby

September 27th, 2010
8:18 pm

Tough year so far, obviously. But let us not be too quick to throw out the baby with the bath. Does anyone remember UGA’s record in 1979? If I am not mistaken I believe the record was 5-6-1 the final game being a pasting at the hands of Nebraska in a bowl game. I do not have to remind anyone what happened the next three years at UGA.

Terry

September 27th, 2010
8:35 pm

At least we have a lock on the Fulmer/Richt Cup. That’s something. :-(

dawg gone

September 27th, 2010
8:38 pm

sub par recruiting the last several years? You’ve got to be kidding? Georgia gets great recruits every year and does nothing with them. What a waste of talent!

vanillagorilla

September 27th, 2010
8:40 pm

When your married to Vince Dooley’s neice, you can screw up all you like.

SEC Fan

September 27th, 2010
8:40 pm

Just curious, I haven’t heard anything about Marlon Brown. Wasn’t he a stud for UGA last year as a true frosh? Is he getting any live reps?

Reality!

September 27th, 2010
8:49 pm

ITS TIME FOR RICHT TO GO. REBUILD NOW!

THE VOICE OF WISDOM

September 27th, 2010
8:53 pm

Michael

September 27th, 2010
9:04 pm

I want Richt fired because U of Maryland could use a great coach and Richt would fill that role handily.

Joe

September 27th, 2010
9:20 pm

You find out true colors under pressure.

True for coaches, players, fans, who’s loyal, regardless? Not many.

Minnesota Dawg

September 27th, 2010
9:26 pm

Boy, the bandwagon is empty! Just wait, the same guys who cry and complain on this blog and say it’s over will be back on with the rest of us when Georgia starts winning again! Go DAWGS and turn it around and prove these nay sayers wrong again!

Rod

September 27th, 2010
9:32 pm

“Why would a five-star recruit want to come to Georgia right now?” That is the question the 5 star recruits have been asking themselves the last few year because the AJC, Mark Bradley, TMoore and Jeff have made these recruits think CMR is on the Hot Seat over the last few years. These kids want to play for CMR but the will not come to UGA knowing the local media like Chuck and Hernoff and the AJC are saying CMR is on the hot seat over the years. It has hurt recruiting.

screwdriver

September 27th, 2010
9:37 pm

i remember back in 2008 dawgs vs gators i was the dd for my boss and his freinds i was sittin in the parking lot 3rd quarter and it was like Moses was leadin Ga fans out of the staudum like an exdous….if you ask me bobo should have been booted after that day..who the hell calls an onside kick in the 2nd quarter when ya gettin pounded sorry bobo ya gotta go and take richt with ya we need a coach that will light a fire under some butts….nuff said

The Most Interesting Man Alive

September 27th, 2010
9:54 pm

screwdriver who the hell calls an onside kick in the 2nd quarter when ya gettin pounded sorry bobo ya gotta go YOU MUST BE A DUMBA$$ to think BOBO called the onsides kick.

Cornelius Washington

September 27th, 2010
10:04 pm

Unfortunately, I have to admit that Techies are right….UGA fans are dumb….you people calling for Richt to be fired are idiots…I bet most of you never played football, much less coached it…….In case you forgot, UGA was in the top three schools in wins for a ten year period under Richt….UGA will be back…..On the other hand, Bobo??????? Not so much…..

Rich

September 27th, 2010
10:14 pm

I don’t get the whole southern football thing. Thank God I went to school up North.

Yuck

September 27th, 2010
10:29 pm

ugaclassof2004

September 27th, 2010
10:44 pm

OK

1. I can’t believe that ANY Tech fan would be commenting on our blog after this past weekend. NC State hung 45 points on ya’ll! Kansas, freakin KANSAS, put 28 on you! And you’re on here talking trash? Wow… ya’ll are idiots!
2. MSU is a lot better than people think, especially in the trenches. They gave Auburn a tough out and Auburn looks like they are going to be pretty decent this year. I think Dan Mullen is a good coach and will get that team to a bowl game this year.
3. We get AJ back this week. I think we’re going to see what a difference he makes for this offense. AJ Green is like Larry Fitzgerald or Steve Smith in that he truly has the ability to put an offense on his back. Without him, this team finishes 5-7. With him we have a shot at going 7-5. Kris Durham has done an admirable job thus far, but he’s a 2# receiver. But pair him with AJ, and I think that passing game is going to really open up in addition to the running game being better.
4. This defense is just not that talented or good, but I’m going to make a prediction right now: If our offense ever jumps out on top of an opponent 14-0 or 21-0, I think this defense is GOOD ENOUGH to play hard when they have a lead.
4. The next 4 games( Colorado, Tenn, Vandy, and Kentucky) are very winnable, especially with AJ back in the lineup.
5. Even if this team goes 5-7, I bet one of those wins will be against Tech.

col fot

September 27th, 2010
10:52 pm

I don’t blame the players as much as i do the coachs. It’s the coachs responsibility to prepare and to be able to make adjustments during the game. These mental errors, fumbles, flags, out of position on plays is poor coaching. It’s one thing to get beat and completely another to beat yourself. I know Georgia has played some good teams already, and Miss St. is no bad team, but they could have won the Arkansas and Miss St. games and possibly the South Carolina…fumble at the goal line in the 4th quarter to gain momentum. They have talent all around, probably the best set of tight ends in the country and never use them. Look at what that guy Peterson has done at Boise St., they certainly don’t have better talent than Georgia. It’s all about coaching and discipline.

dawgs01

September 27th, 2010
11:00 pm

It is not just Bobo our Strength and Conditioning program is horrible not only have we had so many injuries the past couple of yrs that we had to quit tackling in practice but our guys are smaller even the linemen compare their bodies to Bama or Fl line they are the same size but i am talking about where that weight is. Our line looks like big guys you see at a biker bar. Bama and Fl lines look like football players. There is no problem with being small but you have to counter that weakness with speed but our guys are small and slow. I dont get it. Injuries are part of the game but the past couple of yrs we have had way to many guys injured in the preseason. A couple will happen to every team no matter what precautions you take but some can be prevented with a balanced Strength and conditioning program. I know players on Bama, Au, and SC and they will all tell you that UGA is the softest team they play. They say it seems like they dont know what they are doing and when they watch film on them their coaches are just drooling bc we are predictable and poorly coached. All the guys said the same thing. We are soft, weak, and they said a lot of guys seem scared to tackle i was like no shhhh

dawgs01

September 27th, 2010
11:04 pm

Murray is better than i though he would be and the receivers have looked good but why are we not bootlegging murray with a tight end dragging across the middle. We should call at least 7-10 bootleggs a game he had two options Bozo run or pass. I cant even say what i think about Bozo. I am beginning to think someone is paying for him to be there like some big time Alum and things like that happen people why do you think Joe Cox was playing the players know why

G DOG

September 27th, 2010
11:16 pm

From the time BOBO took over as OC the program has been decling. If CMR can’t see this then he needs to go. Hire Mike Leach as OC an see what happen. Go BOBO take Rodney Garner with U

CHANGE

September 27th, 2010
11:35 pm

Richt is the worlds nicest guy and he is showing us he is not the coach we thought he was going to be. Get a coach that isnt soft and demands wins!!!! LIKE GRUDEN OR PETERSON!!!!

Richard Dawson

September 27th, 2010
11:57 pm

You’re a tool, Bill. As I have said since our pathetic 2006 season, FIRE MARK RICHT.

Richard Dawson

September 28th, 2010
12:01 am

John Boy, you are a fool and no student of history. What does the past have to do with the future? Florida NEVER won the SEC until Spurrier arrived. NEVER. EVER. Zip. Nada. None. By your logic, they should have just set their sights lower and accepted medoicrity. That is STUPID.

monty

September 28th, 2010
12:13 am

Tired of our team always looking like the less physical team. Football is a physical game and GA tries to win by being “cute”. I’ll garauntee you if we had 1st down and goal on the 2 yard line we would resort to a pass to our fullback or a fade to AJ in the endzone. What would Bama, Auburn,Tennessee, or Fla do? I think we all know the answer to that one. They would run it in, we couldn’t do it.Not a physical team. Have we had any big defensive plays this year that stand out in anyone’s mind? David Pollack used to make one or two a game just by himself.

monty

September 28th, 2010
12:18 am

Think we could hire that Chizik guy away from Auburn? A program on the rise.

TidePrideGA

September 28th, 2010
12:50 am

Hey Joe, Coach Bryant had three National Championships at the end of his eighth season, 1961, 1964, 1965. How many does Richt have?

Dog hater since 1993

September 28th, 2010
12:56 am

Utterly histerical. You Georgia people deserve this after so many years of your obnoxiousness. I’m not a Tech fan or of anyone else, just a football fan. Bill, how can you fit ardent, smart, and UGA grad into one sentence and talk about the same person? No such thing. Enjoy last place for a while chiwawaz.

Dog hater since 1993

September 28th, 2010
12:59 am

and I love how you go on about firing boo boo, err Bobo. Your players are awful. No body fears going into Athens, anymore.

macrotech

September 28th, 2010
2:04 am

I’m a Tech fan, and we have our own issues. However, I’ve been watching this uga team and I don’t think that the Dawgs are lacking the talent. There coaches are solid, though Bobo COULD get a little less predictable with his calls. UGA has always done well when they’ve had that OBVIOUS leader on the field. Stafford led with his tenacity, David Pollack led with his passion, etc….last season AND this season….there seems to be a void in these type of players. Sadly, CMR can’t teach this…it has to rise from within the ranks….Perhaps, these two teams in Georgia can find the answers and respond accordingly…by winning some games. Best of luck!!!
(I posted this on another blog…interested in your thoughts)

Ole Dawg

September 28th, 2010
6:34 am

Can’t stop the other team running the ball if you don’t take the legs out…holding on to the shoulders is just going to take you for a ride down the field! Course you have to get to them first!!! Come on Dawgs…lets play with some passion….this can’t all be the coaching!

FORTY ONE POINTS to your seventeen points

September 28th, 2010
7:19 am

Just a reminder

((((((((((((((41-17)))))))))))))))))

Joe

September 28th, 2010
8:10 am

Bobo got this team to a #2 ranking in 2007. I didin’t hear the critics complaining that season about Richt or Bobo’s incompetency. Did they forget how to coach? No.

Gator Man

September 28th, 2010
8:21 am

You people are stupid here in Georgia, In Florida this man and his crew would be gone.

Mark Richt is Done

September 28th, 2010
8:34 am

http://pricezack.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/can-georgia-win-a-championship-with-mark-richt/ this article was written two weeks ago. still pretty accurate for uga fans

I called for the game to be exactly like it was

September 28th, 2010
9:45 am

Last week, I commented here that over history, MSU had big, physicall, tough minded, hard charging country boy linemen. That was obvious on saturday night too. I recall the 1974 MSU/UGA game in which their triple option QB just handed it to a lazy, slow, indifferent UGA squad that game. This game was very similar, in that UGA just did not care.

I also said that they rarely had the big skill players and QB …………and they did not have them saturday night. We do have them but they did not bother to play.

MSU also had the mindset that UGA is in our house and we are gonna run them out. They did just that. We laid down and let them abuse us.

UGA lacks a tough, physical, nasty mindset and demenor, because Mark Richt does. You can look into the new D Co ordinator’s face and see the frustration ……….he has been reigned in by Richt. He can no longer curse or yell or get in their baby faces and so the D players play small ball.

UGA will not win more than 4 games and that wil be the end of the richt era and within 3 years, UGA will be back with tough, Georgia BORN linemen and fast backs. Staples of UGA football.

Go Dogs.

matt dawg

September 28th, 2010
9:52 am

THE FOLLOWING MUST GO>>the OD BOBO and Strength Coach who ever he is(old school) and finally the Running Back Coach(no improvement with the backs and they fall after contact and trip over there own feet). And yes we risk a chance of losing Lee May if certain coaches are let go but why BLOW TRADITION for ONE…GO DAWGS…GIVE EARLY NOTICE PLEASE DON’T WAIT .SHOW RESPECT TO INCOMING DAWGS AND THERE FAMILIES.

simplythetruth

September 28th, 2010
11:36 am

Richt should put his money where his mouth is as far as discipline is concerned. Ben Jones should be suspended for his cheap shot(from behind) on the MSU defensive lineman. That just proved that Jones was getting his butt kicked all night long. If he doesn’t, it just makes UGA to be hypocritical when it comes to complaining about cheap shots from other teams.

gt

September 28th, 2010
11:45 am

IT IS NOT COACHING TO KNOW ONE SYSTEM AND BE INFLEXIBLE. WINNERS ADJUST. DON SHULA, THE BEAR, AND A HOST OF OTHERS HAVE WON WITH THE RUN AND WITH THE PASS. EVERYONE IS SKIPPING COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NEW DC.
SMART COACHES UTILIZE TALENT. AND WJHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTINUED DEFENSIVE PENALTIES OVER TOO MANY OR NOT ENOUGH PLAYERS ON THE FIELD WHILE WE ARE ON D?

MAY WM NEEDED TO GO. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THIS GUY WAS A GOOD HIRE. 8TH GRADE TEAMS PLAYERS KNOW WHEN THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE FIELD BY GAME 4.

AS FOR THE BIG CONTROVERSY, RICHT HAS EARNED THE RIGHT TO FIX THIS, IF HE CAN. DOOLEY RAN INTO PROBLEMS AT ABOUT THIS TIME IN HIS CAREER, AND HE FIXED IT BUT GOOD. MR DESERVES THAT OPPORTUNITY- HIS RECORD IS ACTUALLY BETTER THAN VD AT THIS POINT IN HIS CAREER.

EVERONE HAS A RIGHT TO OPINION, BUT TOO MANY OF THESE SHOW NO CLASS OR COMMON SENSE.YOU WANT THE COACHES TO RIP THEIR PLAYERS IN PUBLIC, OR MR TO RIP HIS ASSISTNATS? AND WHO WOULD THIS INSPIRE? WHAT RECRUIT WANTS TO HEAR THIS?HE WANT TO WIN AS BAD AS ANYONE.

embarrassing dawgs

September 28th, 2010
12:22 pm

lAST PLACE DAWGS IN THE SEC.I THINK WE SHOULD GIVE MARK RICHT ANOTHER MILLION RISE!

Steven Flinter

September 28th, 2010
12:53 pm

You will not give up on whoever is in the HC job because jock sniffers’ sniff. That is what you do.

Karen Fitch

September 28th, 2010
1:50 pm

Mark Richt, whether you want to admit it or not is a class-act, great Christian man. I know I am not seeing things the way everyone does, but, in life that will go much farther than any football win will ever take anyone! In eternity how many wins one had as a coach won’t make a difference; being a Christian will.
I do agree that they need to make some changes, but, the coaches can only do part of that.
I hope the program will make a turn for the better, and that Mark Richt will continue there. He is the best example of a coach with “character” than any coach in the SEC. What a great man!

gt

September 28th, 2010
3:09 pm

ANYONE WHO HAS EVER COACHED OR CLOSELY FOLLWED S TEAM OF ANY SPORT CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS TEAM HAS BAD DISSENSION.

drzlstrangelovejr

September 28th, 2010
4:07 pm

I applaude your passion for Mark Richt. I even agree with part of your statement. Here is the problem!
This is not about Mark Richt, this is about UGA. UGA is what matters, not CMR. UGA and its alumni and fans deserve the best coach available. Thank goodness CMR is a good person. Problem is, he is a woefully inadequate coach who should resign or be terminated now.

RakkasanDAWG

September 28th, 2010
4:08 pm

I get that these guys are sucking right now but get off these men thugs and your borderline racist comments. Its people like you who degrade this great game, Frustrated? Great. Disappointed and upset? Fine write about it and post it on here but leave off the veiled racist comments. That’s what is so frustrating about sites like these. Last I checked white boys play on this team too and they also get in trouble. Idiots.

bug

September 28th, 2010
4:19 pm

Don’t blame you for not bailing, Bill.

still a dawg fan

September 28th, 2010
4:58 pm

Hey col fot

Boise St has alot better talent than Ga. It’s not even close.Boise has the best QB in the country & they have something we don’t have “HEART”. Can you imagine how bad Boise would beat us–it wouldn’t be close.

The only way we can get better is to recruit a whole lot better then we have been doing the last 3-4 years.Coach MR needs to stop signing all these so called ath who don’t know how to play football & start signing FOOTBALL PLAYERS.

It appears that our OF line needs to stop reading all the pre season press clippings telling them how good they are because they have not blocked for our qb-rb-wr this year.

I read in a Col newspaper that Buf’s off line & def line can’t wait to play against our overrated line.
They plan to just run it down thoat since we have such a weak & undersized def line & on def they plan to loadup the box. The only hope we have is that AJ will be back.

The bottom line is that CMR needs to start recruiting better football players & that is all I have to say about that