UGA’s Richt isn’t atop the hot seat yet, but it’s getting warmer

"It's hot, but it's a dry heat." (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

"It's hot, but it's a dry heat." (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Some in the media — first the Orlando Sentinel, then the Mobile Press-Register — have suggested Mark Richt sits atop the ol’ hot seat. Esteemed colleague Tim Tucker quotes both Damon Evans and Michael Adams as saying it’s not true.

Very rarely, however, do such men say such a supposition is true. For one thing, it hurts recruiting, and as we know recruiting means more than actually winning games: How else to explain Lane Kiffin making $4 million to coach USC?

For another, admission of displeasure with a coach generally leads to a coaching change. See Vince Dooley’s call for “significant improvement” in 1995, which led him to fire Ray Goff that November and then led him to hire first Glen Mason and then Jim Donnan — on Christmas night! — as replacements.

The belief here is that Richt can remove himself from heated-seat speculation with a nice 2010 season, and the belief here is also that Georgia is capable of such, er, significant improvement. But we must also be ever mindful of what Evans said of his athletics program after it finished second — second! — in the SEC all-sports standings.

This has been an interesting year for Georgia athletics when it comes to a national perspective. We are not where we want to be nationally. I think our program should be much higher than it is. This is probably one of the toughest years from a competitive standpoint that we’ve faced in quite some time.

Let’s not be naive. If the equestrian program has a bad year — and the equestrian program tends to win national championships — the masses and the media aren’t going to be asking Messrs. Evans and Adams: “What do you plan on doing about this?” If Georgia football  goes 8-5 again, that question becomes a daily discussion on both a state and national scale.

Richt is a fine coach. He has earned the benefit of every doubt, and his willingness to change his defensive staff bought back most of the good will he’d lost. But his is a business predicated on results, not good will. Unless his team goes 1-11, there’s no way he gets fired within the next year. Another middling season, however, and the heated-seat talk will become more than just talk.

Put it this way: Evans and Adams aren’t paying a first-time collegiate defensive coordinator $750,000 just to make this program competitive. They’re paying big money because they want to win big. Georgia fans came to love Mark Richt because he won SEC championships. He would do well to win another soon.

For further review: What would it take for Paul Johnson to be on the hot seat at Georgia Tech?

223 comments Add your comment

Coons Fan

June 3rd, 2010
9:16 am

Ted M

June 3rd, 2010
9:16 am

no not even warm yet.

Sonny Clusters

June 3rd, 2010
9:16 am

Clusters can’t seem to get our timing down on being first.

Mark Bradley

June 3rd, 2010
9:17 am

Coons Fan

June 3rd, 2010
9:21 am

Good article, Mark. Agree with every thing said. IMHO however, if Dogs go 6-6, there may be more than heat. Little thing called a moving van. Certainly hope Grantham can work some magic on that side and give offense some time to get rolling.

Dawgboy

June 3rd, 2010
9:22 am

Believe the Gamecocks will put him squarely on the hot seat. Freshman QB, new D, hostile environment. USC has a lot returning and very improved OL. He will likely have to overcome this early loss.

EW

June 3rd, 2010
9:22 am

Hey I guess if we close our eyes and throw “on the hot seat darts” all over the college football coaching dartboard we will EVENTUALLY be right…right MB?

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

June 3rd, 2010
9:22 am

Hot seats are not all they are made out to be. I read yesterday that they plan on using me for awhile until a pure-white-a$$ed mascot is available. That could mean I am on the hot seat and it could mean they are on the hot seat depending on whether I will agree to another a$$ painting. Don’t count on it.

2nd?

June 3rd, 2010
9:23 am

UGA will do fine this year. Yes, we have an inexperienced QB, but CMR will keep the ball on the ground. Our veteran o-line and running backs should be strong enough to produce points and soak up the game clock. The only weak spot that I still see is our defense. Yes, changes have been made, but we haven’t proved anything on defense. I expect the 2010 season to be at least as good as the 2009 season. Anything better would be a blessing.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, WBONZ. WBONZ said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: UGA’s Richt isn’t atop the hot seat yet, but it’s getting warmer http://bit.ly/a4Haby [...]

Dawgboy

June 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

Believe the Gamecocks will put him squarely on the hot seat. USC has a nastty D, improved OL, hostile environment for a fresman QB. If USC stuffs the run, look out. Richt will likely have to overcome this early loss.

Denver Dawg

June 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

whatever “upgrade” they contemplate now wouldn’t have given us 90 wins in 9 years – give the man some space!

Mark Bradley

June 3rd, 2010
9:24 am

Russ the Interim Mascot.

GT Alum

June 3rd, 2010
9:26 am

Richt is a great man and coach and isn’t going anywhere. He will win another SEC title sooner than later.

SimpleDawg

June 3rd, 2010
9:29 am

Dawgs should have a very good year in 2010…….but, success is in the eye of the beholder.

10-2 or 9-3, and a New Year’s Day Bowl victory would be success in my book, but lose to the wrong teams or barely win sloppily against inferior opponents, and the vultures will be out in mass.

It’s going to be a really interesting season.

nola dawg fan

June 3rd, 2010
9:31 am

Mark – as much as we love your articles/blogs please don’t pick the Dawgs to win the SEC east this year. Rumor mill is that Mike Woodson called Richt and told him the key to a successful season and staying off the hot seat is for Bradley NOT to pick you to win

Best of Atlanta

June 3rd, 2010
9:31 am

——————————————
….Joshua Nesbitt for Heisman….
——————————————

Mark Bradley

June 3rd, 2010
9:32 am

I won’t, nola.

GeoffDawg

June 3rd, 2010
9:33 am

DawginLex

June 3rd, 2010
9:34 am

Richt has created the expectations. He took us from an 8 win team to winning 2 SEC titles and playing for a 3rd after a 20 year drought.

He deserves the opportunity to continue.

Who would replace him?
Can you guarantee that the new coach can win?

SC won’t beat us. It will be close as usual but UGA will win. Arkansas at home is the toughest game until coming to Lexington the week before florida.

people are underestimating Murray based on the spring game.

folks are going to be surprised at how good he is and it is not like he is going to throw it 50 times a game.

nola dawg fan

June 3rd, 2010
9:35 am

ok whew, thanks mark. report out of clark county is all bridges on broad street and milledge ave are now clear of jumpers (wait, are their many bridges in athens?)

EW

June 3rd, 2010
9:36 am

For any and all interested. Zetas will be throwing a frat party this Friday at GT. Thermite Reactions display and Dungeons and Dragons tourney to follow the calculus review. BYOP, Bring your own protractor…

chank a long chong

June 3rd, 2010
9:39 am

what do u percieve as “significant improvement”? i’d b elated w/ a 9-3 regular season considering we have a few new coaches/systems being implemented this yr. also, todd should have time 2 get his personal in correct?

bruce mac

June 3rd, 2010
9:43 am

How would a USC loss put Richt on hot seat? You people are idiots. A 5 loss season would do it but one games does not a season make. He needs to win 10 and have a great recruiting class and all is forgiven. One bad season is all it is, Chit happens.

chank a long chong

June 3rd, 2010
9:44 am

excuse me, “perceive”

DirtyDawg

June 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

What is it with you people? Hot seat? Good God folks, he’s a class guy that’s running a class program and, for fans, if you need some kind of ‘bragging rights’ validation though a NC to have pride or to keep you form having to take any crap off anybody else, then you ain’t much…spit in their eye and know that what goes around, comes around.

As for the Media, all they’re interested in is ‘gettin’ the fight started’…I mean that’s their job and they’ll say anything that will get a rise out of whiny-ass Dawg fans like we seem to have around here…then they get to keep it.

kb

June 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

Mark, This may be Grantham’s first job as a coordinator on the collegiate level, but wasn’t he Def. coordinator for the Brown for 3 seasons?

RAMBLE ON!!!

June 3rd, 2010
9:47 am

I hope these fleabags chase him away. They won’t get anybody better.

JB

June 3rd, 2010
9:48 am

Bottom line………The athletic sugar tree ( money) is the football program. our problem is we have been looking at our Neighbors lawn and noticing how nice they look and wonder why ours doesn’t look as good. We have a good looking lawn, but still a few weeds and bare spots. We’re paying the yard guy 2.8 mil a year. Great mower, plenty of water and fertilizer…but is just doesn’t look as good as those lawns in Florida and Alabama…….Then the wife say’s, honey, maybe you ought to use their yard guy.
OK….bottom line……Is just being OK good enough ? I hoping the “melt downs” in big games the last two years have been on Willie and that the offense couldn’t work their game plan because we got in such a big hole early we HAD to start chunking the ball. If the D can hold this year and let the offense control the game ala Tech last year, we will win this year……… Beating Florida this year and 10 wins would hush this type blog….GATA….

Trey

June 3rd, 2010
9:51 am

Nothing like relying on a redshirt fresh qb to keep your job!

JB

June 3rd, 2010
9:51 am

Amen RAMBLE ON………..I’m telling you, I don’t know if Grantham is the answer, But Martinez certainly WAS NOT…………..

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
9:51 am

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Richt has done a fine job overall. The last 2 years they went the wrong way. If he has a repeat performance, then the seat will get hot. Let’s all hope not. After all, who would UGA be able to hire that would be any better?

Dawg Plan

June 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

The Dawgs are loaded from top to bottom this year—look for easy wins over Florida and Tech, and an SEC east title!!!! UGA—back on top—mark it down!

Ted M

June 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

I wish someone would get a statement from Bud Selig on that blown call.

JB

June 3rd, 2010
9:54 am

Bobo needs to reinvent himself also……..We are WAY to predictable based on down, yardage and field position.

AltamahaDawg

June 3rd, 2010
9:57 am

I have never seen a bigger story about something that doesn’t exist, but might in the future predicated on events yet to take place.

JB

June 3rd, 2010
9:57 am

The hire would be: Chris Peterson, Boise St. Urban Meyer minus being a prick.

Paul "ManBoobs" Johnson

June 3rd, 2010
9:57 am

Pointless article….care to indulge us with other ‘if’ scenarios?

If the Sun burns out, Earth will get dark and cold
If the Braves win their Division they will go to the playoffs
If one drops a quarter from a building, it will land on the ground
If the Lakers win 4 games, they will be NBA champs
If I stop pounding gas station hot dogs I will loose this smoking rack

[...] of hot seat calibration Jump to Comments Mark Bradley lets us in on a secret today – Mark Richt isn’t on a hot seat, but he could be fitted with a nice looking model if his program doesn’t perform well this [...]

Ted M

June 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

Dawgs need to win the turnover battle. If they do that they’ll have a great season.

Beast from the East

June 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

JB,
Why would you want an Urban Meyer type?
Dawg fans say he’s just lucky! LOL
Besides, who would lead the Sunday school class?

Sonny Clusters

June 3rd, 2010
10:01 am

We was disturbed when Chipper reported to camp with an ingrown toenail and had to sit out for a time and we was sad when all the other injuries occurred, too, but this ring finger injury is almost too much for us to take. When Tom Glavine had cold ring finger it was big news in New York and we was wondering if Chipper has cold ring finger or has anyone checked? A cold ring finger could mean one thing and a sore ring finger that is not cold and not hot either could be something entirely different. We have seen people with finger splints and with gauze wrapped around a finger and something oozing out of the gauze and we was wondering if wrapping the finger in gauze would speed up Chipper’s bat enough to avoid those early strikeouts. Mark, what do you think?

Ted M

June 3rd, 2010
10:03 am

just read “ManBoobs” post. I guess I added another “if”

Mark Bradley

June 3rd, 2010
10:04 am

I believe Tom Glavine’s finger malady was Reynaud’s Syndrome.

JB

June 3rd, 2010
10:04 am

Peterson is 49-4 at Boise St. with TWO BCS bowls WINS ( Johnson at Tech could learn something) and makes only 1.6 mil a year…… His teams are well coached and ready in every game. He won’t be at Boise long.

EW

June 3rd, 2010
10:04 am

I hope people realize that Richt, Bobo, and now Grantham are going to be the difference in getting the best talent to come to UGA ,esp from in state. Recruits who are serious about making it to the NFL (and intelligent) will see that running a pro style offense, defense (especially under a coach who’s been in the league and knows what it takes) are going to be the keys to having the best shot at making it to the league. Yeah Bobo could open up the playbook and yeah he gets in a rut playcalling but that can be improved and I think Richt is a great playcaller. The style is fine, we can tweak the rest.

Ted M

June 3rd, 2010
10:04 am

If you DO win the turnover battle you just as likely to win as that quarter hitting the ground.

Mark Bradley

June 3rd, 2010
10:05 am

He was indeed, kb. I need to insert the word “collegiate” in that sentence. And I’m about to do so.

AltamahaDawg

June 3rd, 2010
10:05 am

JB, Predictions are based on factual evidence usually. There is a reason that everybody knows what the next play is going to be. They know the likely outcome of all the options.

If you mean that a team that struggled most of the year picking up first downs and lead the league in TO, would run a conservative play on 3 and long, in bad field position, with the nation leading punter on the team, then yes most folks could predict that.

JB

June 3rd, 2010
10:05 am

Urban is a good coach beast from the east……I think Florida is well coached. Great athletes doesn’t hurt.