Richt: Dogs’ lack of effort at times last year ‘embarrassing’

ga flaMark Richt continued his spring speaking tour Thursday night in the town that’s been the site of his greatest frustrations, addressing a couple of hundred of the Bulldog faithful at the Marriott in Jacksonville.

The Florida Times-Union was on hand and reports the UGA head coach didn’t mince words in talking about his team’s lack of effort at times last season. The Dogs lost some games, he said, because the other team played harder. “That’s embarrassing,” Richt said. “It’s our shame and it’s my fault. We’re not going to let that happen again.”

While Richt told Dogs fans in Savannah earlier this week that “I don’t feel any pressure” coming off a losing season, he at least admitted in Jacksonville that the pressure is there. “There’s always going to be pressure in this type of job. There’s pressure every year.”

Talking about opening the season with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Richt seemed to embrace the challenge he faces with the idea that the bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff.

“Boise State is a not a conference game,” he said, “but it’s a big game for the University of Georgia. To have a season like we just did that was so far below what we are used to and what’s expected, we needed this game. Boise State is the winningest team over the past 10 years. If we can battle with them, we can make Georgia very relevant again nationally.”

Of course, the subject came up of whether the transition from Urban Meyer to Will Muschamp at Florida means this might be the year to get the rivalry with the Gators back on an even keel.

“Any year would be a great year for us to do that,” Richt said. “It’s always a huge game and a game that’s talked about a lot, especially in this town. You hope to perform well as you get to that game, so that it’s extremely meaningful.”

Indeed. When it comes to assessing how well Georgia needs to do this season for Richt to keep his job, you hear a lot of folks say nine wins … or eight if one of them includes Florida.

What do you think? If Richt manages to start out on a winning note against Muschamp, does that buy him another loss elsewhere? Is the Florida game in a class all its own in terms of importance to Richt’s future, or should it be viewed as just another SEC game?

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

346 comments Add your comment

Pat

April 22nd, 2011
10:44 am

ATLnative

April 22nd, 2011
10:44 am

Must beat FLA! nuff said

Dean Tate

April 22nd, 2011
10:45 am

I’ve always said I’d be happy with 1-11 if the one was Florida. But seriously, 8-4 is not going to make me or, I suspect, very many other fans happy even if we beat the Gators. But I suspect Richt does survive under that scenario.

Bryan

April 22nd, 2011
10:45 am

DS

April 22nd, 2011
10:45 am

Ok, so while its only an ADMISSION, theres the accountability some of you were wanting from Richt. he pointed the finger AT HIMSELF, and said it WONT happen again. So you can cross that one off the list of things you dont like about him…. he said “Its our shame, and Its MY fault”…

So he SEES the problem, and hes focusing to fix it.

Bryan

April 22nd, 2011
10:45 am

Just kidding.

GeoffDawg

April 22nd, 2011
10:49 am

There’s no one win number that’s going to convince the masses that CMR is back on track. It’s going to be more of a perception that the players are exhibiting more effort and the playcalling is more strategic. Of course, if those things happen, then the wins will come. Regarding perceptions though, if you beat Florida, that helps the perception game a whole lot.

Kevin

April 22nd, 2011
10:49 am

We have to get the UF series turned around. I can understand losing to Florida, but losing to them EVERY STINKIN’ YEAR is just unacceptable. I think Dawgnation deserves championships. Why not UGA? We have great facilities, great fan base, great academics, a ton of money, and reside in one of the most fertile recruiting states in the nation. In my opinion, CMR needs to get this team back to being a contender to keep his job.

schmeckdawg

April 22nd, 2011
10:51 am

IMHO, CMR has got win 9 games this year and one them needs to be the gaytors!

Dean Tate

April 22nd, 2011
10:52 am

The problem with the scenario of 8 wins, with one of them Florida is, who are your 4 losses going to be against. I’d assume Boise and S.C., which means we start 0-2, then maybe Miss. State, at home. That means we’d lose to either Ole Miss/UT/Auburn/Tech — all teams we should beat. We’re going to have some disappointing losses under that scenario, and it’s going to be hard to feel good about the season even with a win over UF.

Big XII

April 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

That’s what you get for thinking you have a great team and a great coach.

Kevin

April 22nd, 2011
10:58 am

And who do you pull for, Big XII?

The Truth

April 22nd, 2011
11:00 am

It’s a shame that something like this had to happen for Richt to “check back in” as the head coach at UGA. For the past few years, it’s become glaringly obvious that coaching football is not in the top of Richt’s priorities. His apathy and disconnected attitude have driven this program into the ground. If he doesn’t bring UGA back to the top of the SEC East this year, they should boot is arse out of the state, IMO.

DCJohn

April 22nd, 2011
11:01 am

Wins and losses mean nothing to me this season. GATA and not playing soft is all I care about. I want to see our opponents actually say, feel, and mean what Todd Grantham said he wants our opponents to say, “I’m glad we don’t have to play that defense again.” If we do that, there will be many more wins than losses, and this quota fans are fabricating will not matter.

JohnnyCanada

April 22nd, 2011
11:03 am

This is the “No Duh” article of the day. Their effort sucked in most of their games last year. Richt can say he feeno pressure if he wants to, but we all know that he has to win at least 9 games this year or it should be curtains for him.

The Truth

April 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

DCJohn – That’s all well and good, but if it leads to a 2-10 season, you’re going to be the only one on the bandwagon you’re trying to build.

rocketfuel

April 22nd, 2011
11:05 am

“The Truth” pretty much summed it up in his comment.That’s the way ALOT of the Dawgnation feel about CMR.

Texas Baller

April 22nd, 2011
11:05 am

Richtophiles…..read it one more time….”it’s my fault”

DIT

April 22nd, 2011
11:06 am

I have never had such a sense of the “Unkown” going into the next season as this one. Could be a great year or it could be a terrible year. The talent is there, but over the past couple of years the talent has not stood up and said enough, I’m going to lead this team. Conditioning and leadership need to take over. Leadership, not only from the coaches, but from the Seniors perspective. After last years mess they, of all players, should be so hungry to win 10 this year!
Again, I’m not sure what to expect this coming season. All those in coming freshmen will NOT be able to add much to the effort this year. The vetran players have to step up. We have to win the games in the 4th quarter…. conditioning. Still, I will be watching every game and pulling for our Dawgs!

Me

April 22nd, 2011
11:06 am

Why is Caleb Queen still on the team?

Walter Sobchak

April 22nd, 2011
11:10 am

Let’s put 2 and 2 together.

Mark Richt feels no pressure. The team displays embarrassing effort on the field.

Sometimes too much comfort in life is a terrible thing, especially professionally.

kerryb

April 22nd, 2011
11:12 am

I just hope he wins at least 10 games so we don’t have to hear any of this Mark Richt losing his job nonsense anymore. Mark Richt is not losing his job after the recruiting class he has just brought in. This class has given him at least 3 years to see how it does.

GeoffDawg

April 22nd, 2011
11:12 am

With Crowell not in school yet and Washaun and Malcome hobbled, Caleb is the only back we’ve got that can carry the rock for all three downs.

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

The horse is out of the barn ( Georgia has not be Georgia for the last three seasons) He kept Martinez a year to long. S&C hopefully will recover this year after being run poorly. Discipline, although better, has been a BIG problem, which tells me Richt had a respect problem( although I think police in towns of out foes wink and nod and take the kids to the coach rather than the pokey). He has refused to change up anything in his offense or staff, Although I thought we have scored enough to win, save the UCF bowl game last year. Mark has not been able to beat elite, ranked teams the last 2-3 years. … All that said, I like what I’m hearing about this 2011 team, but we’ll just have to see if he can deliver. I think Mark is a better MAN than a Coach. It might be time for new blood. Let’s play ball and see.

G8R GRAD

April 22nd, 2011
11:18 am

If this isn’t the year the Dawgs beat us, I don’t know which is:

In our Spring game Brantley completed only 4 of 14 passes for a whopping 45 yards!
God help us.

The Truth

April 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

Kerryb – Seriously? Have you paid attention to the talented recruiting classes that Richt has squandered during the past few years? Do you actually have faith that the same thing won’t happen to this class without a change in leadership? I certainly hope the trend changes, but the fact remains that Richt’s track record as of late doesn’t exactly add up to the inflated optimism some folks are feeling about this year. Spurrier is right up there on my list of most hated people, but dang if he isn’t right when he says “UGA gets all these top recruits, but no one knows what happens to them”.

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

kerryb………………….I’m afraid you’re wrong. Yes, 10 wins saves him. A poor season won’t.

gbal

April 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

If UGA beats FLA and then has 3-4 losses, that says we probably had some major letdowns somewhere else and inconsistent play. Not saying MR should be let go unless has a certain record… Not saying he should be let go if we loose to FLA again. Am saying that if we beat FLA, we should have no more than 1… maybe 2 losses on our schedule or else the team was not well prepared.

SSIgator

April 22nd, 2011
11:20 am

“Dogs’ lack of effort at times last year ‘embarrassing”

Really? You Think So Coach? – The multi-million dollar man is just now coming to that realization? UGA fans may be in more trouble than they think.

Devil's Advocate

April 22nd, 2011
11:21 am

You people who say UGA “deserves” a championship crack me up. How can anyone deserve a championship if they don’t win it? You spout off material reasons for winning a championship but at the end of the day what happens on the field for at least 11 days in the season determines if you get to play a 12th non-bowl and potentially a 13th for all the marbles. UGA doesn’t deserve anything anymore than Florida or Boise State. Only one team can win any given championship. Win or go home.

If you’re really all about bought championships, Major League Baseball might be your cup of tea and even then the big money doesn’t always win.

GATA!

From Where I Sit

April 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

Want happen!!! The Gators have out recruited, coached, and played the lack luster crowd from Athens! Ever since the little on the field in your face move that GA tried as motivation, it as slapped them in the face of reality every year as they can’t HANG with FL!

Gators/SC win the East, but not GA!!!!

Enough Said!!!1

Tom

April 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

The problem with the scenario of 8 wins, with one of them Florida is, who are your 4 losses going to be against. I’d assume Boise and S.C., which means we start 0-2, then maybe Miss. State, at home. That means we’d lose to either Ole Miss/UT/Auburn/Tech — all teams we should beat. We’re going to have some disappointing losses under that scenario, and it’s going to be hard to feel good about the season even with a win over UF.
————————————–

Ding ding ding we have a winner! Ladies and gentlemen this right here is exactly why Georgia isn’t big time. Why in the world would UGA feel they have the right to start counting wins? You guys do this every single year, just start writing off teams. Have you looked at your SEC record the past three years? Get a clue dude. TN is going to be much better and what makes you think that AUB is going to forget how to play football? They lose a good bit but have way more talent than UGA, sorry. UGA schedule is set up nicely and will likely win 9 games this year simply because they don’t play LSU, BAMA, or ARK, but this idea that you can just start assuming wins is why you are the only programs to not win the national title in the BCS era. TN, LSU, FL, BAMA, and AUB….who is left out? Congratulations, you are in last place because you have fairweathered fans who are spoiled and expect wins. Right now, with current players, UGA is the 7th best team in the SEC. If you do anything next year, it will only be because the East is so weak.

From Where I Sit

April 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

I did say WANT instead of Won’t!!!! LOL

SSIgator

April 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

Enter your comments here

kerryb

April 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

You all can stop your wishing that Mark Richt gets fired. Not just the recruiting class but contract buy outs and paying for a new coach will keep that from happening too. I don’t think that UGA wants to be flushing about 15 million dollars.

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

G8R Grad……………And I know you guys don’t have a stable of proven tailbacks to run a pro type offense. You guys are at a cross road. You’ve still got our number. You guys lost 5 games last year…………..but not us.

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:24 am

Kerryb………………You have bad info…..To fire Mark LAST year was going to be about 8 mil. Him coaching this year takes almost 3 mil off that number. I hope you can do math.

DollarDawg43

April 22nd, 2011
11:26 am

kerryb is dead on. A long time, high dollar booster told me face to face that CMR had bought himself 2-3 years with this recruiting class alone and this booster is not totally thrilled with him at the present time. If even he says it…

There is not a magic win number for 2011 but it needs to be a good one. DCJohn mentioned the effort that needs to be spent this year and the feeling that teams don’t want to deal with us any longer. If we return to the UGA-effort we are accustomed to and execute peoperly the wins will come.

As long as we don’t get beat physically and improve as the year progresses, it will be a good year and a lot of on-line carping from the “experts” will become strangely silent.

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:27 am

We ALL have opinions. Scout.com did a storyline for all SEC coach’s for 2011 yesterday. They say Mark is toast.

mcgdawg

April 22nd, 2011
11:29 am

EVERYTHING starts with the FIRST GAME….and the DAWGS are ready to beat the Boise State like a rented mule….SELAH

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:29 am

I don’t buy any of that ” he saved himself with this class”. If this team flounders this year and loses 4 or 5 games, He gone. I don’t want that mind you. I want to go 12-0.

Old Dawg

April 22nd, 2011
11:33 am

From Where I Sit: It’s won’t, not want. Word usage like that makes Bobo’s play selection genius!

realitycheck

April 22nd, 2011
11:33 am

There is a certain “IT” that a few of the top “A” list college coaches just seem to be born with like Pete Carroll, Nick Saban, or Urban Meyer for example. Mark Richt hasn’t shown me that he has that “IT”. Richt may be able to get UGA back to their 2002 level, but don’t count on it. History shows that once things start dropping off after almost immediate success and the same coach has been there for a decade, that rarely is that coach able to reach the previous levels of success he once enjoyed. I just don’t see Mark Richt being able to put UGA on the same level with lets say an Alabama year in and year out. That’s not to say that UGA couldn’t upset Alabama on a given day,but if the two played every year for the next ten, one couldn’t feel too optimistic that UGA would do well at all considering where the two schools are at this point. Can UGA be where Alabama is right now? If the Dogs want to seriously be a player year in and year out in the title game picture, then they must elevate their status to “powerhouse”. Those answers will be forthcoming starting with Boise State in September.

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:36 am

Now if Crowell is the real D and Geathers, Jenkins,Jarvis and a couple of these freshman are the real deal, We might surprise. I think the effort alone this year will increase 100%

JB

April 22nd, 2011
11:39 am

Three best teams in the SEC this year will be LSU, Bama and Carolina. Not brain surgery. Florida, Georgia,Miss St and Auburn will fight for that second layer.

GatorDave

April 22nd, 2011
11:40 am

With the schedule UGA has, that should build a ton of their unrealistic championship aspirations.

doggit

April 22nd, 2011
11:42 am

Lets stay positive and see what happens…that is all

kevin

April 22nd, 2011
11:46 am

Richt says, “Boise State is the winningest team over the past 10 years. If we can battle with them, we can make Georgia very relevant again nationally.”

Notice he says “battle with them” vs. “beat them” — seems to imply that he’d view a close game as a victory instead of a win. Lame.

Athens= God's Country

April 22nd, 2011
11:47 am

A win over Forduh goes a long way- even this year. Its the body of work that will be measured. Not one play, one quarter, or one game. All the people calling for Richt’s head are MORONS!!!!!!!!!!! This is the man for the job. What were all of yall doing for the past decade? And he still doesn’t have your respect and confidence? Do you remember the 1990s? Please do the Dawg Nation a favor and go root for any other team. I hear Bama loves fairweather fans.

Go Dawgs! THROUGH THICK AND THIN!!!!!

Mel

April 22nd, 2011
11:49 am

Good to hear Richt admit the obvious, his team was being outworked by other teams. As if no one knew that. Offense went AWOL in several games. Defense underpeformed against the run, and on 3rd down. Special teams was a non-factor.

I think loses to South Carolina & Florida would be it for Richt, even if he goes 8-5 or 9-4.

6-6 in 2010 wasn’t much worse than 7-5 in 2009, so not like there was a big drop off, wasn’t far under the recent standard, only 1 game off. It was surprising to have a 6-7 season with such a soft schedule (Richt didn’t face Saban or Miles in 2010).

Bottom line, 8-5 with a win against Florida would keep his job.

Top 25 finish (would mean a 9-4 or better season) would get him a contract extension.