Should anything less than 10 wins save Mark Richt’s job?

How many wins in 2011 should be enough to save Mark Richt's job? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

How many wins in 2011 should be enough to save Mark Richt's job? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

We all know Georgia needs to show marked improvement next season to save Mark Richt’s job.

The question is how much improvement will be enough?

If Georgia wins the SEC East, the fire-Richt talk will quiet down, no doubt about it. And such a turnaround from this year’s disappointing results certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Short of a trip to the SEC championship, though, what would be considered acceptable progress? What would constitute being back “on track” in the eyes of Greg McGarity and the bulk of the Bulldog Nation?

Ten wins? That’s generally considered a benchmark of a successful season these days and probably would satisfy most UGA supporters. Even nine wins might do it, depending in part, I think, on who Georgia beats. If wins over Florida and Georgia Tech are included in that number, it might be judged good enough to buy Richt more time.

But what if Georgia only wins eight games? That would be an improvement over this year, but would it be enough to say Richt had righted the ship? Eight wins wasn’t enough to save Jim Donnan; should it save Richt?

I’ve heard more than one fan who’s lost faith in Richt call it the “nightmare” scenario: He wins just enough games next year to keep his job but doesn’t really make enough changes to get the Dogs back into the SEC elite.

The program’s been drifting now for several seasons as others have passed us. Would keeping Richt after an eight- or nine-win season in 2011 be accepting more of the same and just be putting off the inevitable?

What do you think?

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

481 comments Add your comment

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:42 pm

ARDawg: two down years (and both still bowl years) is not a trend. We won double digits the two years before and the last two are teh first two Richt has won fewer than 9 since his first year.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:42 pm

Lawdawg

Any one of those teams are better than UGA. The team I saw in the Liberty Bowl couldn’t carry Michigans or USC water jugs

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:42 pm

Paterno had a much worse run before the 1982 and 1986 NCs.

Mean Machine

January 4th, 2011
4:43 pm

Attention SSI Fan and Law Dawg: I am 39, and unfortunateIy I remember the Goff years. Just because UGA has not been a perennial top 10 program in the past, is not a reason to justify mediocrity now. Yes, Richt won 2 SEC titles in his first 5 years. That is the level the program should be. What we have seen his last 5 years is not acceptable. What is the difference between UGA and SEC powers like Alabama, Florida, and LSU? UGA has all the resources those schools do. If anything, UGA should be a better job than those places due to the population boom of Metro Atlanta, and the expansion of the recruiting base due to that boom. There is no excuse for UGA to not be a perennial top 10 program. It’s a matter of having the right leadership, just like Florida wallowed in mediocrity until they finally hired the right coach. If you ask any coach in the country about UGA football, they start drooling, because every one of them will tell you it’s a top 5 job. This program has underachieved throughout its history, and it’s time for Georgia to fulfill its potential!

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:44 pm

Someone clearly did not watch MSU/UM…as I recall, MSU did not put up 52 on us. But that is just a common opponent, so… Also, have you seen UM’s record under Rich Rod? Richt is not even in the same ballpark of terribleness.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:45 pm

Lawdawg

Look back, it’s more than 2 years. All the way back is 5 years. The 11-2 year with the Hawaii Sugar Bowl win wasn’t an exception. It was a weak SEC year and a favorable UGA schedule except of course the reaming by TN and Bama

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:46 pm

Mean Machine: agreed, and if we have another 6-8 win year, that will be telling, but you are putting too much stock in this year. This is and always was going to be a rebuilding year. Even God himself Nick Saban had a weak defense in the first year of the 3-4. That is how it goes, the 4-3 to 3-4 switch takes a year minimum to perfect (and get appropriate personnel). Anyone who thought the D was going to be great this year does not understand the difference between, say, a 3-4 NT and a 4-3 DT, or a 3-4 Mike and a 4-3 Mike, or a 3-4 DE and a 4-3 DE.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:47 pm

Goff wasn’t allowed a 5 year skid. Donnan wasn’t allowed a skid at all…. why is Richt?

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:47 pm

ARDawg: that is revisionist history. We were the best team in the country at the close of 2007 and we won 10 in 2008 (which was disappointing, but only because we started #1).

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:48 pm

It is a 2-2.5 year skid tops adn Goff and Donnan did not have two SEC titles under their belts.

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:49 pm

This is part of a post from earlier.

2002 13-1 8-1
2003 11-3 6-2
2004 10-2 6-2
2005 10-3 6-2
2006 9-4 4-4
2007 11-2 6-2
2008 10-3 6-2

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:49 pm

Lawdawg

Last year was the supposed rebuilding year after losing Stafford and Moreno. This year and with a seemingly weak schedule was supposed to be a rising year with veterans and a frosh QB. Last year a 6-7 record might have been more paleteable

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:49 pm

Show me something similar in GA history other than the early 80s.

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

ARDawg: only the crazy 20 year old message board fans thought this year was going to be a great year, not anyone who knows anything about Xs and Os.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:51 pm

Lawdawg

Started #1….yet got reamed in Knoxville and by Bama at home but, finished arguably the best team in the country. If that doesn’t point to a coaching problem for you, nothing will

Denver Dawg

January 4th, 2011
4:53 pm

anything less than winning the SEC and he should be gone ….which means he will be, because they won’t.

LawDawg

January 4th, 2011
4:54 pm

I’m not sure how you can use the terms “rising year” and “frosh QB” in the same sentence, but agree to disagree.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:54 pm

LawDawg

BS
Nobody I know was looking for a great year. 8,9 possibly 10 wins and beating Florida was very likely. Except out level of coaching had fallen even from last year. Personally, I didn’t think that was possible but, it was.

UGADawg83

January 4th, 2011
4:55 pm

I don’t know Bill what did the guy at Jiffy Lube tell you? Do they actually pay you for this column?

Made famous by Hershel

January 4th, 2011
4:55 pm

6 wins, 7 losses, 12 arrests, CMR should be gone now!

Hobnail Boot

January 4th, 2011
4:55 pm

In my line of work it is about what you have done for me lately. I can have a decent year and my review would be meets expectations. Is that good enough? It is if you are passionate about what you are doing and are willing to think out of the box in order to exceed expectations the next year. I see a pattern (wheels coming off) over the last four years with our program. Is that good enough or do we hold the one responsible accountable?

Newnan Outrage

January 4th, 2011
4:56 pm

So let’s shoot the messenger for asking the Q about what should/would it take to save Richt.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
4:56 pm

10 returning starters on offense and it is a rebuilding year? The new defense was questionable but, it wasn’t expected to be as bad as Willie’s. It wasn’t but just by a very slim margin

Tifton90

January 4th, 2011
4:57 pm

Dawgs won’t win 10, won’t win the SEC or the SEC East, so what’s the point here? Either UGA is/would be satisfied with mediocrity or be bold enough to say with 5 star receuits, top 10-15 recruit classes each year, 6 wins is unacceptable, period, end of story.

Hobnail Boot

January 4th, 2011
4:58 pm

I think he has to win 10 games and be able to sustain it. This is Ga the bible belt for recruits. We should be able to select and keep the prople we want and win every year.

Palmetto State Dawg

January 4th, 2011
4:59 pm

ARdawg: we beat Tenn in 08 and got spanked by Bama at home two weeks prior to that. The year we got hammered in Kville was 07 and 09. Both times we were a better team on paper, and those two unexplainable losses fall on Mark Richt.

Denver Dog

January 4th, 2011
4:59 pm

C’mon guys, stop picking on my dawgs, we’re like #57 in the the latest cbs sportsline poll of the top 120 schools in America LOL

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
5:00 pm

I wish I was wrong in my prognostication but, 10 wins ain’t happening for UGA next year. Nor can it be expected. Nine wins is fantasy. With Boise ST coming with half of the talent as this year, we don’t beat them either.

I hope I am wrong, pray I am wrong but I don’t see it happening

Hobnail Boot

January 4th, 2011
5:01 pm

ARdawg, if not he is gone or at least he should be.

jerry y

January 4th, 2011
5:03 pm

10 wins in wishful thinking. The Q here is IF UGA is allegedly suppose to be a football power, what are we waiting for. 6 wins and an uninspiring bowl game loss in Memphis of all places is bull crap. I see Michigan blew out Rodriguez for under performing at a big time school.

ARdawg

January 4th, 2011
5:03 pm

Palmetto

I stand corrected but, that wasn’t exactly my point. The fact that we could lose to a mediocre Vol team so convincingly and bounce back to be one of the best in the country is coaching and as you say, falls on Richt

Steakie

January 4th, 2011
5:04 pm

Winning 10? Laughable, better chance of 10 more arrests IMO

FootballFan

January 4th, 2011
5:10 pm

Tide roll

January 4th, 2011
5:13 pm

Richt wants to be bought out. He can go watch his kid play up in North Carolina and not do it on Georgia’s dime, which, by the way, based on his religious convictions,he should be ashamed of. Anyway, RICH ROD+NICK MARSHALL – the Tampa Hotdog = CHAMPIONSHIP!

Lagdawg

January 4th, 2011
5:13 pm

It depends on the quality of wins, but anything less than ten would be failure. There is still enough talent on the team with proper coaching to win ten games. Saban could probably win a NC with the returning players and the incoming players. It all comes down to coaching and if CMR put more passion into this team and the gameplan as he does his commercials, we would probably me more successful. All jokes aside, a team takes on the identity of the coach and we need more intensity out of the coaching staff and the players. More dedication in the offseason from the players in the strength and conditioning phase and more concentration. The OC needs to learn how to execute a game plan against team and I don’t feel comfortable with the OC that UGA has. This is college, not OJT for peewee football. The offense won’t change and be game ready until they replace Bobo, the RB coach and the WR coach.

dfr

January 4th, 2011
5:16 pm

SEC Title or else, in my opinion.

Hobnail Boot

January 4th, 2011
5:17 pm

Don’t we have a former RB coaching WR and a WR coaching RB?

Einsteindawg

January 4th, 2011
5:17 pm

It doesn’t matter…Richt won’t come close to 8 wins, so spare us the frustration and clean house now. As I’ve said before, what have you seen these past three seasons that makes you think CMR and his bunch of underachievers can turn it around? He’s just an overpaid, ordinary coach now.

Tide roll

January 4th, 2011
5:19 pm

Bill, Dig this formula: RICH ROD + NICK MARSHALL – BOBO – THE TAMPA HOT DOG = CHAMPIONSHIPS

DodgerDAWG

January 4th, 2011
5:21 pm

Driving to Columbia for South Carolina, 2 nights at the hotel, 50 yard line tickets: $800.00
Driving to Athens for Arkansas, 2 nights at a hotel, 45 yd line tickets: $750.00
Flying to Memphis for UCF, 2 nights at a hotel, 30 yd line tickets: $1250.00
Living with the results of this season without major changes: SICKENING
Amount of my donation to the “fund” next year: PRICELESS (as in ZERO)

Hobnail Boot

January 4th, 2011
5:21 pm

Tide Roll, what in the He$$ are you talking about?

Einsteindawg

January 4th, 2011
5:28 pm

Hey Tide, how ’bout this formula: Alabama -Saban = fourth in the SEC West.

Ken

January 4th, 2011
5:33 pm

All of this negatism, could hurt our recruiting effort. We have the best college football coach in the country. He will turn it around, there is no doubt about that, but a number of wins during a season is not good for any coach. No one needs that type of pressure. We need Coach Richt over a long haul and UGA will be back among the elite in a few years. If not this coming year.

Football Bat

January 4th, 2011
5:42 pm

REALITY: We’re likely 4-3 going into the Florida game and only if the attitude and play calling improve.

“Now when I say change I don’t necessarily mean personnel or anything like that. I don’t want to light a fire.”

And that is why we will not improve. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings on the staff or the opposing teams it seems. How about your team and your fans there, COACH JACK-WAGON??? Any call of duty to them?

Ken

January 4th, 2011
5:44 pm

This is not good for recruiting. Coach Richt is one of the best college football coaches in the country. We should keep him over the long haul and not put the pressure on him of having to win so many games. He will turn lthe program around but it may take longer than one more year. If we keep Caoch Richt, I see a National Championship in our future. Who is going to replace him that is a better recruiter? a better person? and more dedicated than he is? I hate the thought of starting over and rebuilding.

Xenophon

January 4th, 2011
5:45 pm

If Richt loses 4 games in the first half of the season, he will be fired before the beginning November.

Football Bat

January 4th, 2011
5:47 pm

@Ken: Dedicated??? Really?

Would a “better person” have held on to Willie Martinez -college roommate- that long and let the program suffer?

Yeah, he’s just swell.

Too little too late

January 4th, 2011
5:48 pm

Watch UGA’s recruiting. If it is fabulous, then make no change until next year and then, if he loses, 4 or 5 games, can him. Period. IF however, come February, he fails in recruiting the needed kids like at running back, D linemen and corners and a receiver or two and a great QB, then he should be fired then.

It has been 5 years since UGA made any noise. Time for him to move on, no hard feelings.

Go Dogs.

UGA class of 71 & 73

Hobnail Boot

January 4th, 2011
5:48 pm

6-7 not good for recruting either. We got beat by a team (Cent Fla) with maybe 3 star players. The long haul started back 4-5 years ago. I am over it. We have great players coming in every year and do nothing with them except let them run wild and get arrested.

wayxdog

January 4th, 2011
5:49 pm

Has he called Friedgen yet to see if he’s interested in doing a few years as OC. Bobo can be QB coach if he wants to stick around.