Should the Georgia Bulldogs Fire Mark Richt?

NC Nighthawk@NC Nighthawk (my Xbox gamertag)Analyst INovember 22, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Should Georgia fire March Richt?


Have you visited ?  Any notion of firing Georgia Bulldogs Coach Mark Rich is foolish. 

Yes, Willie Martinez, defensive coordinator, should be replaced. Yes, Richt needs to return to play calling duties for Mike Bobo.

And Richt needs to recruit more physical, hard hitting types of players instead of finesse ones.

But even Vince Dooley had his share of down, mediocre, and disappointing seasons. Go research Georgia’s win-loss record in 1979. We know what those Bulldogs did in 1980.

Now I do not expect 2010 to be like 1980. But the point is that every coach in college football should be allowed to have an occasional mediocre season, in the context of having mostly successful seasons -  especially when most of those seasons land the team in a coveted BCS Bowl.

Remember that Georgia lost three critical offensive skills players (quarterback, running back, and wide receiver) to the NFL. Often the best coaching—especially during practices—come during a mediocre, struggling season that are followed by a solid, if not great season.

Time will tell us about 2010. As a Georgia Bulldogs fan, this 2009 season has hurt, but I also know I have been spoiled by success over the past few decades.

Yes, the Kentucky Wildcats winning in Athens was difficult to swallow. They're a team that hasn't won in 42 years (since 1967 I believe). However, Richt has had enough success at Georgia in which he has earned the opportunity to adjust, make changes, and improve.

Richt inherited and did not recruit David Greene, David Pollack, Boss Bailey, etc. While he did draft Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, etc, it bears repeating: Richt should recruit more physical, hard hitting types of players, and less finesse ones.

If Georgia foolishly fires Richt (which would surprise me), than more than likely his replacement won’t do a better job.

But that is really not the reason why Georgia should keep Richt.

Georgia should keep Mark Richt because it is the right thing to do in the NCAA world of  "win now" and instant gratification. A look at his career coaching statistics should bring any logical fan to this reasonable conclusion.

Mark Richt didn’t suddenly become a bad coach after winning two SEC championships (2002, 2005) and playing for another (2003). When football teams have a disappointing season like this, the head coach has to be willing to analyze everything and everybody in the offseason.

In my humble opinion, team discipline is a significant issue at UGA due to numerous careless penalties, turnovers, lack of practicing fundamentals (like tackling), and frequent sloppy play.

The coach needs to elevate his game. Georgia’s offseason conditioning program should be evaluated, in terms of keeping players in their best shape in order to avoid injuries and to play in peak condition.

Also, assess the quality of the players and recruits from high schools. Evaluate each assistant coach.  Are the players being set up for success?  Are the players being coached to their highest potential?

If Georgia has one or even a couple more disappointing seasons in 2010 and 2011, then this issue will need to be revisited, and perhaps a coaching change will then be what’s best for the football team.

But not now. Not today. And even not at the end of the 2009 season after a meaningless exhibition called a bowl game. 

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Mark Richt,GeorgiaBulldogs,college football

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