How much patience will the Bulldog Nation show this season?

How hot will Mark Richt's seat get if the Dogs open with two losses? (Associated Press)

How hot will Mark Richt's seat get if the Dogs open with two losses? (Associated Press)

Much of the preseason talk about the Georgia Bulldogs has centered on the high-stakes nature of the first two games against Boise State and South Carolina and how much this ratchets up the temperature under Mark Richt’s seat.

Winning both games would be huge and would probably make the Dogs the early-season Cinderella of the national polls and media pundits, but not too many folks are predicting that.

Most fans I’ve talked to would be pretty satisfied to come out of those opening two games with a split, especially if the win was over the Gamecocks, giving Georgia an edge in the SEC East.

But what if the Dogs lose to both highly ranked opponents?

I’ve lost track of how many observers from outside the Bulldog Nation have put forth the idea that if Georgia starts out the season 0-2 that Richt’s fate will be sealed. I’ve even seen predictions that losing the two opening games would mean he wouldn’t last out the season.

I don’t think that’s the case, however.

Starting out 0-2 would not make fans and alumni happy (especially if the games are not close), but I don’t believe it would be cause for writing off the season. After all, as Richt pointed out Monday night at the Bulldog Club gathering at the Cobb Galleria, Georgia opens with what appears likely to be “the two best teams we play all year.”

Oh, I’m sure the “fire Richt now” crowd would be much in evidence on the blogs and discussion boards, but I think the majority of UGA’s supporters would recognize the high difficulty factor in those two opening games and the fact that, at 0-2, Georgia still could have a pretty terrific season.

But if Richt’s Dogs go 1-4 again, like last year, that would be another matter entirely.

That would mean losses to both Mississippi schools, including Ole Miss, which is expected to be the SEC West’s celllar dweller. At that point, the wheels might well come off the bandwagon and Greg McGarity would be under a lot of pressure to do something about it.

I really don’t think it’s likely to come to that, though. I will be surprised if the Dogs don’t go to Knoxville with a winning record.

How about you? Would 0-2 have you on the ledge, or do you think Richt can “withstand all the stuff that will come,” as he put it, if the Dogs lose to both the Broncos and the Gamecocks?

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433 comments Add your comment

topdawg

July 26th, 2011
10:27 am

Dean Tate

July 26th, 2011
10:33 am

The fate of this season doesn’t rest on the first two games. It rests on the health of the offensive line.

AltamahaDawg

July 26th, 2011
10:37 am

Bill, I’ll hand it to you. You did actually find a new way to pose this same question a 4th different way. Understandable. It is THE big question. (and a well worded article).

Mtn Dawg

July 26th, 2011
10:39 am

The focus of this season is on winning, winning championships. Not on the fate of CMR. I wish this discussion could just go away. The more attention it gets, the more likely the DAWG Nation will blame him if the ‘wheels come off the bandwagon’, whether it’s his fault or not. Come on Bill. Is this all you got?

BigDawg

July 26th, 2011
10:40 am

Dawgs Surprise All!

DCJohn

July 26th, 2011
10:41 am

Dean Tate might have said the most intelligent thing I’ve ever read on an AJC blog. We’re going to need defensive points to win close games this season.

topdawg

July 26th, 2011
10:41 am

If we do go 0-2, its a must that the games are close. If not, every “fire-Richt” supporter will likely keep that mindset throughout the rest of the season regardless of how the team fares in the remaining ten games. I think a split would be ideal considering these are the two best teams we will face all year. Plus, with the suspension of Thomas on Sept 3 a win in one of these two opening games would go a long way in boosting both the team and fans confidence (even though Thomas isnt a game changing back)because we would control our fate from that point on. I, for one, have confidence that Richt will be just fine throughout this entire season. People seem to forget the difficulty of finding a new coach that will have an immediate impact in contending for a national championship. it takes time to build a championship team. (unless you pay a player over $200,000 to come do it for you…)Yes, Richt had had two(ok 3) sub-par seasons, but the demands for his head that early in the season aren’t going to do this team or him any good. Go Dawgs!

Chris

July 26th, 2011
10:42 am

If we start off 0-2, the season and Rich’t job can still be salvaged. However, if we go on to lose to Florida, and one or two other teams, then something will need to be done.

It will all boil down to what happens in those losses. If we loose games because of Bobo’s ingnorant play calling like we did last year, maybe we send him packing. If there’s more to it, and the players play with no passion as they did all of last year, then Richt has to go.

General Ledger

July 26th, 2011
10:43 am

If he loses the first two games and then the young players mature and we win 9 of the next 10 and have good momentum, I think he will be ok.

Dean Tate

July 26th, 2011
10:45 am

Wow, 8 posts until somebody blamed Bobo.

Logan Walker

July 26th, 2011
10:46 am

I’m with Richt on this one. Those are definitely the two most difficult games of the whole season. 0-2 could very well end up being 10-2. And anyone who believe 10-2 is a failure of a season is just stupid.

Inlet Dawg

July 26th, 2011
10:46 am

Mth Dawg,the focus is on championships but if we lose the first two we will be focusing on Who Will Be Coaching for that next championship.

Paul H

July 26th, 2011
10:47 am

0-2 if both games were close would be greatly disappointing but not a write off on the season. With our schedule, we could still go 9-3.

smoore54

July 26th, 2011
10:47 am

Richt seemed to have a lot of support from the gathered crowd at the Galleria so I’m not sure if the rank and file Bulldog fans are calling for the lynching that the fringe of the fanbase may be. I think we just need to sit back and see what develops and leave the hotseat conversation to folks outside the DawgNation who just want to heat the seat with their own hot air.

jablonski

July 26th, 2011
10:48 am

If he loses the first two its over, sorry. He will have lost the fan base and the team because the REALITY is it will get worse from there. Still got to play in Knoxvegas and we all know how recent trips up there have gone. FL is FL and he cant beat them…could lose to AU. Lose the first two and it is OVER.

zzggyy

July 26th, 2011
10:49 am

I guess you have to write about something!

Vance Duly

July 26th, 2011
10:49 am

My patience level will be based on 3 factors:
1. How well is the team playing for 4 quarters (even if they lose to a GOOD team)?
2. Is the team being coached well during the games? (better play-calling on offense, for ex.)
3. Are we showing a relentless killer instinct when we have the other team under our paw, or do we let up and let them back into the game? (this 3rd factor is really just a by-product of the 1st 2 factors).

I am confident that the defense will look tougher and more tenacious for 4 quarters. I am not confident of our offensive approach. GO DAWGS….!!!

es54

July 26th, 2011
10:50 am

Even if we start out 0-6 it is never okay to fire him mid season. The recruiting and moral devastation would be immense. We might still be a year away from breaking through and being near the top of the SEC. I do fear however we may not really ever be a national contender again. If you can’t win with Staf and Know, when can you win?

mgdawg

July 26th, 2011
10:50 am

I think Richt deserves an entire regular season; however, if it goes horribly I think they should let him coach the bowl game, if there is one, but let him know he won’t be returning after the tech game and start the search. As horrible as the season goes, I think he deserves to finish it out, he has earned that, not to mention would getting rid of a coach midseason really help anything?

Having said that, an 0-2 start wouldn’t lose richt his job. Boise state is going to be a top ten team and south carolina will be up there too. Coming off a losing season you aren’t supposed to beat teams like that, although I believe they can. UGA will be an underdog against boise state and that plays to their advantage, Boise state isn’t used to being favored in these games especially against a team like UGA with much more talent. And USC is USC and as good as they could be, they have shown the ability to flop, and once again they aren’t used to being favored and UGA has just as much talent and maybe more then they do.

es54

July 26th, 2011
10:52 am

Having said this, I still love my dawgs and always will

HM

July 26th, 2011
10:52 am

NO games with the lack of effort, intensity, etc. displayed in the bowl game!

icallbs

July 26th, 2011
10:53 am

I’m probably in a small minority, but I had much rather lose to SC than Boise. I am so sick and tired of the affected, geographically correct hype about Boise State, especially from ESPN. They have had some surprising wins and they have dominated their second tier opponents. BUT, in particular last year’s win over Va Tech wasn’t anything special. They almost let Va Tech come back who then proceeds the next week to lose to James Madison and then gets blown out in their bowl game.

SC is legit and that will be a great game.

I do feel strongly it is critical to set the tenor for the remainder of the year that Georgia MUST win one of them.

I think that by game time GA will be favored over Boise by a couple of points. If they win that game SC will probably be a pick ‘em. Lose it and SC -3.

Dontsufferfools

July 26th, 2011
10:54 am

I don’t like this talk of a split in games 1 and 2. Let’s worry about Boise, beat them, then worry about SC and beat them. Sitting here in July hoping for a split is part of the reason the program has declined. Whoever heard of hoping for a loss. The same thing was said last year about SC and Arkansas games. With that said 0-2 does not mean the season is lost though most fans will say it is.

Snake Doc

July 26th, 2011
10:55 am

Patience? For the CEO? I will show NONE!

Pete

July 26th, 2011
10:56 am

Considering uga is predicted to be 2nd in SEC east, after Boise destroys them means Boise would win the SEC east and be in the SEC championship game. And everyone knows Boise would destroy any team in the SEC west = Boise SEC champs.

Boise already owns pac-12, WAC, MWC, ACC, and Big 12. Just a few more conference champs to beat. Only a matter of time until you’re all forced to play and lose to Boise. It’s our destiny.

DawginLex

July 26th, 2011
10:58 am

Pete is on drugs.

Pass the bong dude

UGA 21
Boise 17

go fight it out for the Vegas Bowl

ARdawg

July 26th, 2011
11:00 am

There is no excuse for losing to Boise and if that is the case Richt’s hotseat should be stoking immediately. Sure it means nothing to the conference championship but, so what? It is only representitive of the year ahead. I’ll repeat, no reason to lose to Boise.

Losing to SC might be forgivable if the Dawgs fire up and make a season out of it, at least stay in the hunt for the East title but, only if a win over Boise. To start 0-2 will likely cause a tumble in both the season and all around confidence

topdawg

July 26th, 2011
11:01 am

losing the first two doesnt mean its over by any means. Winning 9 or 10 of the remaining games would still give us a great chance to play in the dome again in December because we all know how shaky USC is year after year, especially with a QB that could be a regular star on Jerry Springer. Im just hoping the team plays every game with 10x more emotion than any game last year and that the O-line stays healthy.

Pete

July 26th, 2011
11:01 am

“Boise state isn’t used to being favored in these games especially against a team like UGA with much more talent.”

————————————
REally? Can you tell me the last time Boise wasn’t favored to win a game? I’ll give you some time to research that ignorant comment, doubtful i’ll hear back from you.

REally? Georgia has more talent? Would you care to tell me where? last I checked Boise has the most All-Americans of any team in the country. last I checked Boise’s better at every position except we field a new kicker which may or may not be better than uga’s.

Try to explain what you mean cause you sound like an ignorant delusional homer who doesn’t know anything about your team or Boise’s.

tide roll

July 26th, 2011
11:03 am

Dawg Fans. Have you seen the Offensive Line depth chart from the Rivals pre-season evaluation? Some kid named Hugh Wiliiams is backing up Cordy Glenn. Your back up center is Ben Reynolds(6′2″ 265.) Austin Long (missed spring, back injury), and Dallas Lee (missed spring, asthma like conditions), are backing up Burnette and Anderson. You’ve got to be the only school in America who’s 2nd team offensive line is worse off physically than your starters, and they haven’t even played a down of college football. Can you even scrimmage? One injury to a starter, and your looking at playing a walk on with no experience, a backup with pre-existing injuries and no experience, and/or a true freshman, obviously with no experience. Uga fans need to look at these facts, stop speaking in generalities about how much they ” love the dawgs”, and how “fired up they are”, and demand answers. Richt’s good at acknowledging how he was outcoached by others. how good is he acknowledging that he and Bobo basically neglected your football program?

funny...

July 26th, 2011
11:04 am

Patience, the alumni and fans have been patient since 2006.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Should have been fired hours after the Liberty Bowl.

VA DAWG

July 26th, 2011
11:05 am

He has to start out at a minimum of 3-2 through the first 5 or the heat may become too hot for even Richt to survive. If he starts out 4-1 or better he may likely will be back next year regardless of what happens the remainder of the season. With the schedule that lays ahead, 9-3 or better should be possible. I hope Richt can make it happen because there is not another person I want to lead and represent my former University. GO DAWGS!

dga

July 26th, 2011
11:05 am

I know everyone is treating the SC game as more important, but I actually think the Boise game is more important. I don’t see SC going through the East unscathed. I would be very surprised if they wind up with only 1 SEC loss (I see at least 2-3). If Georgia beats Boise, loses to SC, and somehow wins out, they would probably be SEC East champs and possibly in the hunt for the Nat’l Championship. Lose to Boise, winning the division is tarnished. You’re out of the national spotlight, and you have to hear everyone talk about Boise and how they beat the Eastern Division champs and could win the SEC. Am I the only one that is looking at these two games this way? No way SC is the powerhouse that everyone sees them as. We could very well lose to them, but do people really think SC is going to go undefeated or even finish with one loss? They won the SEC East last year with a 9-5 record people.

Jamaica Dawg

July 26th, 2011
11:06 am

Altahama – spot on! Beating this dead horse subject to a frazzle is getting really old. I guess it is a lot easier to rehash than to come up with fresh ideas, insight and investigation.

funny...

July 26th, 2011
11:06 am

10-6
Willie Martinez
Mike Bobo – he really thinks Mike Bobo is the best option at O.C. —- WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT.

If you’re job was on the line would you have kept MIKE BOBO?

John

July 26th, 2011
11:06 am

South Carolina is going to win the East if not the whole SEC this year. What will happen to Richt then? My guess is that Clemson will fire Dabo and hire Richt.

Michael

July 26th, 2011
11:08 am

Richt needs to finish in the top 25 or he’s fired. 3 seasons in a row out of the top 25, being irrelvant, means a changing of the gaurd.

Based on last year’s final poll, only 5 teams finished in the top 25 with 9 wins. The rest had 10 or more wins.

So, for Richt to secure his job, he needs to go 10-3.

AND, he needs to beat 2 ranked teams. 0-5 vs. ranked teams last year, 2-9 vs. ranked teams since 2009, isn’t acceptable.

Dawg Gone

July 26th, 2011
11:09 am

@Pete we are bigger on the offensive and defensive lines..team speed we are faster, get ready for a good old fashioned SEC rumble something your bunch has never done well in.

Mtn Dawg

July 26th, 2011
11:09 am

@Inlet Dawg – If we go 0 – 2 to start the season, don’t scrap the rest of the season. Like everyone’s been saying, those are the toughest games on our schedule.

If CMR will take more responsibility for play calling, Bobo’s miscues will be minimized, and he will be marginalized as he should be.

Michael

July 26th, 2011
11:10 am

Hard to imagine Richt securing his job without beating Florida, under almost any scenario, Florida coming off of Alabama–LSU–Auburn, with 2 new coaches both installing new systems without the player types to fit the scheme in Muschamp’s first year?

WDE

July 26th, 2011
11:12 am

@tide roll when are Bama fans going to demand answers on your 4th place finish in the West..WHEN!

SC ain't the game to watch. Ga wins that one.

July 26th, 2011
11:14 am

Mississippi State is the tuff game on the schedule. Dan Mullen is a machine. MS is the game to see how well the Ga team has progressed. It is all defense. If you can stop the other guy, games are always close. Alabama is defense. South Carolina talks defense. Boise State will not stop GA, SC will come close. MS is the key to the season.

Since Vince

July 26th, 2011
11:16 am

Patience will be out the window with a 0-2 start and another loss to the gators. Book it!

DawginLex

July 26th, 2011
11:16 am

tide roll

sign my shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jesus gave it all but mark richt cant give 4 quarters

July 26th, 2011
11:16 am

St. Mark sayeth to his disciples- thou shalt not lose faith, yeah verily our two toughest opponents will be in the first two games.

The disciples answer back- Oh St. Mark, thou art such a righteous builder of men and we will keep our faith in you even if it means that we shall not be considered worthy opponents for either South Carolina or the Blue Stallions. We shall be happy to feast upon the lower eschelon teams of the SEC and the cupcakes that you schedule. That shall build our record back to bowl worthyness and ensure that thine place in the halls of greatness be preserved. Thou knowest that your program cannot gain a place in Atlanta unless weakness is present in the SEC east. We shall be patient with you in the valley whilst you wait for the other programs to go down because you shall not beat them when they are strong. We art lucky to have thee leading our flock, and we understand that thy gameplans are supreme. For thou hast won 90 games in 9 years and art the greatest coach ever in the history of our program. We pray that the unbelieving masses who call for thine head are stricken down as you lead us to another great season of success. Yea verily.

Pete

July 26th, 2011
11:18 am

“@Pete we are bigger on the offensive and defensive lines..team speed we are faster, get ready for a good old fashioned SEC rumble something your bunch has never done well in.”
—————————-
Bigger, fatter, slower, but not stronger or faster or better. Kinda like the way you dominated Colorado and UCF right? Sure delusional homer, Boise will field one of the best D & O lines in the country ask anyone, read anything, just like last year, Boise will destroy anyone line, especially a team that couldn’t compete against Colorado & UCF and the other 4 team you lost to.

Athens= God's Country

July 26th, 2011
11:19 am

Just support your damn team and coaches for the ENTIRE season. I bleed Red & Black. Do you?

Pete

July 26th, 2011
11:20 am

Here’s the most recent, but you get the idea. Boise will be better at every position. All you got is hope uga will be better than last year.

http://www.neontommy.com/news/2011/07/college-football-preview-no-5-boise-state

WormDirt

July 26th, 2011
11:21 am

Beamer lost to Boise THEN James Madison but THEN went on to win their conference championship game. If Richt loses to Boise, he should be fired. THis is Georgia. This is the SEC. Enough is enough.

Back to Back the Garnet and Black

July 26th, 2011
11:21 am

Carolina will make it two in a row over the puppies. Carolina will get the trifecta against the Clemson Tigers. Get your Rolaids ready puppy fans!