Should Mark Richt’s job ride on winning the SEC East?

Predictions about what it will take to save Mark Richt's job are all over the place. (AJC file)

Predictions about what it will take to save Mark Richt's job are all over the place. (AJC file)

While we brace ourselves for the inevitable new round of Mark-Richt-on-the-hot-seat talk with the arrival of the SEC’s annual media days, it’s interesting to see the way expectations of what Richt needs to do to keep his job vary.

Recently we discussed here how many wins we thought Richt needed to get this season to keep his job, and the consensus appears to be that 10 wins was a sure thing, nine probably would save him and if it was eight, it would depend on whether that number included a victory over Florida.

But while South Carolina appears still to be most prognosticators’ favorite to win the SEC East, Georgia has popped up in quite a few predictions as the dark horse to take the division, and CollegeFootball News even goes so far as to posit that if the Dogs don’t win the East, Richt won’t be back.

Their all-or-nothing reasoning goes like this: “The timing couldn’t be better to come out of the blue and be a major player in the SEC. Florida probably has one more year before it becomes a monster again, Tennessee is still sleeping, and South Carolina, as good as it is, is still South Carolina; there’s going to be a gaffe or two along the way. Georgia might have a ton of flaws, and it might be relying on a slew of unknowns to carry the way, but the East is never going to get easier than it is right now, and Richt has to take advantage. … No, Georgia won’t be 2010 Auburn, but it could rise up and be good enough to win the East and play for the SEC title. And if not, next year will be all about a new era in Georgia football.”

Summing up its preview of Georgia, CFN says, “The season will be a success if … the Dawgs win the East. When you miss the three best teams from the West — Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas — and get South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Auburn at home, you have to take advantage of it. There are major holes on the offensive line, receiver, and linebacker, but the schedule is favorable, the influx of new talent should be a boost, and the desperation is there to win the East. Winning the SEC title is a stretch considering how good the West champion will be, but getting to the title game will be enough for Richt to stick around.”

At the other extreme, the Macon Telegraph asks whether Richt’s recruiting prowess and the commitments he keeps snagging might not be enough for him to keep his job even if the Dogs have another subpar year on the field, simply because a coaching change might send some of those recruits elsewhere.

I’m not buying either of those scenarios.

While winning the SEC East would surely boost Richt’s stock quite a bit, I don’t believe his job is riding on it. At the same time, if the wheels come off and Georgia has a disaster of a season, I don’t think nonbinding verbal commitments from some blue-chip recruits who may or may not pan out down the road are going to be enough to save Richt. That will still come down to wins and losses.

What do you think?

SILVER LINING

While I’m dismayed yet another Georgia running back has gotten himself in trouble, I have to admit the first thought I had when I heard Carlton Thomas likely won’t be playing against Boise State was that at least Mike Bobo won’t be tempted to run him up the middle on third-and-long.

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397 comments Add your comment

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
10:40 am

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
10:40 am

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
10:40 am

I have no life!

Beach Dawg

July 20th, 2011
10:41 am

It’s a shame that there is so little to write about and so much space to fill that all we get is “hot seat” articles!!!

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
10:41 am

DCJohn

July 20th, 2011
10:42 am

I don’t think it rides on wins/losses or winning the East. Would a 7-5 record that won the East keep Coach Richt’s job? Would an 11-1 record without playing in the Dome for the second time this season keep his job?

If we GATA, see much improvement in the defense, and promise on offense, Coach Richt will keep his job.

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
10:43 am

CMR is a fine coach. He has had some bad luck. We never get blown out. Hopefully, the changes in the S&C program will turn the close game tide in our advantage.

kevin

July 20th, 2011
10:47 am

He needs to win the east have have at least a 9 win season to keep his job.

LTown

July 20th, 2011
10:53 am

Richt needs to finish in the top 25 in the national rankings. That means 9 or 10 wins. Be nice to beat South Carolina to win the East, since Florida has that brutal October schedule of Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia.

You figure Richt gets 4 wins against these losing teams:
Coastal Carolina, New Mexico St, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss

Richt should win these 3 against unranked teams:
Georgia Tech, Kentucky, and Tennessee

Richt will just need to win 2 of these 5 against ranked teams:
Boise, South Carolina, Auburn, Florida, and Mississippi St.

Beat Florida, and go 8-4, Richt still should be fired.

Top 25 or Bust.

powerhouse?

July 20th, 2011
10:53 am

No.

Good coach!

bill

July 20th, 2011
10:53 am

He’d better beat the Gators this year — 2-8 against those guys doesn’t cut it.

jrmdvm1

July 20th, 2011
10:54 am

“Luck” really is just being prepared to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Let’s hope that the new strength and CONDITIONING program will make sure that we have “luck” in the 4th quarter.

blown out??

July 20th, 2011
10:56 am

we got blown out last year by Auburn. We got blown out twice the year before by UT and UF. Blown out by Bama and UF the year before that. MR is not a fine coach – he’s a great offensive coordinator who lucked out by having a crappy SEC in ‘02 and an oppossing coach who can be just as suspect in the ‘05 SECCG.

SSIgator

July 20th, 2011
10:56 am

“Richt’s recruiting prowess and the commitments he keeps snagging”

What good is it if you can’t develop the talent when they get there or, worse yet, do not even have the ability to hack it on the academic side.

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
10:59 am

How many total games is that he was blown out? How many games has he coached? Also, injuries are bad luck.

SouthSide Dawg

July 20th, 2011
10:59 am

LTown

July 20th, 2011
11:00 am

South Carolina’s schedule is easier than Georgia’s, they play 0 top 10 teams, Georgia plays 2 in Boise & South Carolina.

Georgia plays 5 ranked teams, South Carolina plays 4.

SP

July 20th, 2011
11:01 am

Why can’t UGA be the 2010 Auburn (without the cheaters) you never know when a team can get a couple players to step up and develop a great chemistry. BTW all Dawg fans should check out http://www.sweetpons.com !

DawginLex

July 20th, 2011
11:02 am

I am refusing to buy into the doom and gloom until the results warrant it. Richt refuses to play everybody else’s game of cheating, lying and making promises to kids and then backing out of the promise later.

Maybe it is the way of the world but it is interesting to me how quiet it is in Athens this summer. Word I get is that the players are working their butts off and staying out of trouble and not listening to the naysayers.

All of the Richt haters and UGA opponents better hope he flops again because if he ever gets the talent to be disciplined and gets results from the S&C program, God help all of you.

To your blog topic Bill:

8-4 and beat Florida will keep him around
9-3 will do the same
10-2 and win the East and we have him around for another 5 years

I think SC will beat us. I also think we will lose on the road to UT.

If he is 2-3 after we play the Mississippi schools, he is done.

UGA Insider

July 20th, 2011
11:03 am

Winning championships is NOT the goal of this administration. The only goal is to stay competitive and make $$$$$$$$$$$. And UGA is one of the best year in and year out doing it. Look for no major changes in anything until Adams retires in the next 5 years. I am also starting to hear rumors that Greg McGarity is all talk and is weak. No Jeremy Foley.

DawginLex

July 20th, 2011
11:08 am

Insider

How are we going to go from 75 scholarship football players to 60 in 6 weeks?

Bubonic plague
Boils?
Cancer?

I’m not buying it

SiddyBoy

July 20th, 2011
11:08 am

No-It shouldn’t be a requirement !!!

Mike

July 20th, 2011
11:10 am

Admin just wants to see improvement in the direction. 7 wins is an improvement.

McDawg

July 20th, 2011
11:13 am

If you don't like the Dawgs, move!

July 20th, 2011
11:18 am

Simple question, simple answer Mr. King….NO!

gbal

July 20th, 2011
11:19 am

No set number of W’s will decide if he stays.

1)Win all the ones you are suppose to win;
2)Stay in the ones your not and win some of them;
3)No major breakdowns i.e. UCF, Colo, SC form 2010.
4)Play smart disciplined ball and with a ‘Junkg yard Dawg” attitude;
5)Show creativity, suprises, ability to adjust and game planning that keeps opponents off balance (100% coaching here; CMR better step in and show he can coach some coaches!)

If CMR raises the bar in all these areas, he will stay regardless of record.

I am expecting 9-11 W’s.

RabidDawgFan

July 20th, 2011
11:20 am

These boys better get it done or it’ll be a long season

DE: Abry Jones
NG: John Jenkins / Kwame Geathers
DE: DeAngelo Tyson

OLB: Jarvis Jones
ILB: Alec Ogletree
ILB: Christian Robinson
OLB: Cornelius Washington

CB: Sanders Commings
FS: Bacarri Rambo
SS: Shawn Williams
CB: Brandon Boykin

Mike

July 20th, 2011
11:25 am

Kellen Moore completes 65% of his passes of 15+ yards, which is better than Murray’s 5 yard completion rate. Gonna be a long opening night for Georgia, Kellen Moore is going to bomb the defense all night long, and he usually doesn’t miss. Boise scored 30+ in every game against ranked teams except 1 last year, where they got 26 points. Boise will win, and South Carolina will win, Coach Richt will start 0-2, and need to go on some kind of run, 9 out of 10, to finish 9-3.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 20th, 2011
11:25 am

No he does not have to win the East. I can see 9-3 and not winning the East. If we go 9-3, beat Florida, and win the bowl game to finish 10-3 he stays with an extension. 10-3 = a finish inside the Top 10.

SSIgator

July 20th, 2011
11:25 am

“$$$$ and UGA is one of the best year in and year out doing it”

It is called a fool and his money.

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
11:27 am

I am really curious about the BSU game. I can’t wait. I hope I am happy with the results!

David Granger

July 20th, 2011
11:28 am

Long-time Dawg fan here, and…to me…it’s not just a matter of how many games we win or whether we win the East of not.
I want to see Georgia:
1. Not embarrass the fan base by having a lot of legal or academic troubles splashed all over the media.
2. Actually look like they are prepared for the game.
3. Play tough defense.
4. Continue their good special teams play of last season. (First year in many that the kickoff coverage was decent.)
5. Play to WIN, not just play to keep from losing. (Running a draw play off-tackle on third and long is a good call occasionally…but not four third-and-long downs in a row.)
6. Play power football…”finesse” football does not do well in the SEC.
7. No more gimmicks, especially about what we wear. If we need to black out a stadium to get up for Alabama, or wear special-colored helmets to get up for Florida…we shouldn’t be in the conference.
8. Maintain discipline. I hope to NEVER see Georgia players dancing and boogeying on the sidelines in the late fourth quarter of a game we’re losing. We’re not that FSU scum, and I want us to stop acting like it.
9. Beat the teams that we’re clearly better than, and beat them handily. It’d be nice to give our second string offense (for example) a chance to play the entire fourth quarter…and our second string QB a chance to run the offense without looking over his shoulder expecting to get pulled if he makes a mistake.

If we can play like a serious football team again, the winning will take care of itself.

1953Dawg

July 20th, 2011
11:29 am

Bill haven’t you heard that Richt won 2 SEC championships in 10 years, and he is the greatest coach that UGA has ever had. He also has beaten Tech 9 out of 10years. He isn’t on the hot seat and he never will be in some of these Ga. fans eyes. They don’t care if he has a .500 record in the SEC the past 3 years, or that he is 2 and 8 against Florida, which was the team he was hired to beat, and not Ga.Tech.Nor does it matter that he is the worst game day coach in the SEC, and that he has hired the worst offensive and defensive coordinators in the SEC. Nor does it matter that he has been at UGA 10 years and yet he has the least amount of depth of any of the top 6 or 7 programs in the conference. What matters to these UGA fans is that he is a Saint, and good ole boy, and he is a good spokesman for the school, and as long as he is competitve against Fl. and loses by only 2 touchdowns and he beats Tech, he will be their hero. Because UGA fans are different from fans at other SEC schools, they only want to have a program that is mediocre, because that is what they became accustomed to when Dooley was there, and that is the person they measure Richt to. So going 6-7 is no big deal to them, hell Dooley had several 6-5 seasons and he lasted 25 years. The way i see it, Richt has about 15 MEDIOCRE seasons left.

LTown

July 20th, 2011
11:31 am

It’s likely Tennessee beats Georgia, after all, the home team is 4 & 0 in the last 4 meetings.

It’s likely Richt goes 1-4 against the 5 ranked teams (Auburn, Boise, SC, MSU, Florida). Since Richt is 2-9 vs. ranked teams since 2008. And 0-6 vs. winning teams last season.

That would bring the record to 1-5.

Richt would need to win all 6 of these games to finish 7-5:
New Mex, C Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss.

Win the Bowl, and finish 8-5. Richt’s Bowl record is solid, so he usually wins that game.

8-5.

?

July 20th, 2011
11:32 am

What happened to all our linemen? Wasn’t it only a few years ago Mark Richt was basically saying he will never again be caught with low numbers on the O-line? regardless of injuries or attrition?
Whatever happened to that?
This is such a disturbing trend in his coaching tenure of lack of capable O-linemen.
Oh, he’ll go a couple years here and there when we supposedly have one of the strongest. Or maybe the strongest 1st 5 (until they get hurt) and then their depth destroys them.
And the D-line isn’t exactly what it once was with Seymour or Pollack along with others, were there.
Jeez, do we need to take every other year and devote 20 out of 25 scholarships to linemen?
Of course, the evaluation level has seemed to be a problem also. But that’s a whole new can of worms.
What ya’ll say…..

BMDPD

July 20th, 2011
11:33 am

1953, What is his record vs Saban, Miles, Spurrier? Yep, he is a terrible coach.

AV

July 20th, 2011
11:39 am

Forget it. Richt goes 5-7 and gets the boot. Richt loses to every ranked team on the schedule, and Tenn pulls a shocker in Knoxville. Richt wins 5 out of 6 against the unranked teams. In other words, 2010 all over again.

Losses:
Boise State
South Carolina
Missisippi State
Florida
Auburn
Tenessee
Kentucky

Wins:
Vanderbilt
Ole Miss
Coastal Carolina
New Mexico State
Georgia Tech

Mean Machine

July 20th, 2011
11:42 am

If this team shows improvement, Richt will keep his job. I know this upsets many of the fans on the message boards who would say UGA needs to win at least the east, but they are not the ones who make the decisions. And the bottom line is that those people are still strongly in his corner. In reality, I think that an 8 win season and he is safe. Now on the message boards, he will be fired if he doesn’t win the east. I don’t know why UGA does not have the same high standards that Alabama, Florida, and LSU have, but mediocrity and underachieving are acceptable at UGA. And it’s a shame considering the potential this program has to be one of the dominant powers in college football.

DawginLex

July 20th, 2011
11:43 am

AV

I’ll take that bet

Richt loses to every ranked team??

Kentucky and Tennessee and auburn won’t be ranked.

1953Dawg

July 20th, 2011
11:43 am

BMDPD, how did he do against those coaches the last time he played all of them? What was his record against Meyer, and what is his record against Florida? I would say that is a terrible coach. Sugarcoat it all you want, but luckily for him he coaches at UGA, where 8 or 9 wins and he will be at UGA forever. UGA=Medicority period!!!

Alabama | MrSEC.com

July 20th, 2011
11:46 am

[...] here are some talking points as Media Days kicks off.3.  Should Mark Richt’s job depend upon him winning the SEC East this year?  (No.)4.  If you like blitzing, you’ll like Kentucky’s new defense.5.  [...]

JDawg1785

July 20th, 2011
11:47 am

I proudly support Coach Richt and want him to be the man who rights the ship and takes Georgia back to the top of the SEC. That being said, I think he’ll either have to win the East or come in a darn-close second this year to keep his seat at a reasonable temperature. If he goes 9-3, he should be fine, but one of those victories HAS to be in Jacksonville.

Beast from the East

July 20th, 2011
11:48 am

The truth is NO ONE knows what it will take for Richt to keep his job or lose it except for McGarity and Adams. If this constant bickering by the Dawg Nation keeps up, is it possible Richt decides to leave on his own? He would be a hot commodity at about 100 schools around the country.

1953Dawg

July 20th, 2011
11:48 am

MeanMachine, i salute you. Finally a uga fan that drinks the same kool-aid i do. You will find out, it takes alot of balls to come on this blog and not except UGA for what it is, and that is a mediocre program, with mediocre fans that don’t demand excellence, or at least an attempt to become excellent. If you expect nothing out of someone, that is probably what you will get. The nightmare in Athens continues!!

AV

July 20th, 2011
11:49 am

There five ranked teams, Boise, South Carolina, Aub, Miss State, and Florida according to ESPN. Richt will lose to all five. Tenn is unranked, but has home field advantage, which means the winner in last 4. Kent is unranked but will be that one Richt loses every year to a far inferior team, like Colorado last year or it could be Georgia Tech or Ole Miss, it will be either Kent, G Tech or Ole Miss to get that 7th loss.

Ca dawg

July 20th, 2011
11:50 am

How many times can you ask when Richt is going to get fired?

DawginLex

July 20th, 2011
11:51 am

Richt is a victim of his own success and now he has to pay the price with wins or leave.

The question facing McGarity is what does it take to warrant a change?

The ESPN folks like May and Herbstreit will be all over McGarity if Richt’s team shows improvement and wins 8 games or 9 and gets fired.

The bigger question is “Who do you hire and what guarantee do you have that UGA will win with a new coach?”

A lot of this stuff is timing. Dooley never had to face Spurrier at Florida. I can tell you, if Spurrier had been around in Dooley’s time, Dooley would have been run out of town. Dooley faced a series of idiots in charge down at Florida, not a HOF coach like Spurrier.

Why was Dooley’s bowl record so bad? Because the top coaches were in the bowl games and he wasn’t facing the stiffs from the SEC that were there during his time.

Richt faced Tebow. Meyer won titles because of Tebow and ran for the hills after Tim left. Florida won’t win another title without him. He is their Herschel.

ToccoaDawg

July 20th, 2011
11:52 am

If we dont see the “I quit” out of the players this year that we saw last year CMR will be fine. He is a great person,but, the team needs to play mean.

PMC

July 20th, 2011
11:53 am

No, Richt is a fine coach, but it’s his personnel decisions (players and coaches) that will simply lead to his down fall if they don’t rebound this year.

He doesn’t have the luxury of being a new coach anymore. Under his watch they went from average to very successful championship type of program back down to a below average team again.

I’m not sure he should be expected to win the east to keep his job, but maybe that is a good standard. It’s really been 5 years since they were a substantially good football team. That’s not acceptable.

I think he’s a fine coach, but he can’t continue to stay in charge of a program that loses to Colorado and UCF. Even though he’s a good guy, UGA isn’t a charity. His job is to win games as much as anything.

Hobnail Boot Salesman

July 20th, 2011
11:54 am

With all the setbacks recently in the OL and RB position we will
find out this year whether keeping CMR is the right path.
I say that because there is are enough ingredients on this
team like QB play and excellent special teams to offset a good bit
of the team’s weak areas. There are coaches out there that could
could could do this without question. If CMR is unable to do it
he is not the coach I nelieve him to be and not worthy to continue
in Athens. This season could be the perfect test to prove his worth
one way or another. I for one can hardly wait for the season to start
and like so many hope like heck that this good man can succeed this year.