Overreaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt

Georgia head coach Mark Richt walks the sidelines in a downpour during the second half of a 38-10 loss to Alabama. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Georgia head coach Mark Richt walks the sidelines in a downpour during the second half of a 38-10 loss to Alabama. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Georgia head coach Mark Richt walks the sidelines in a downpour during the second half of a 38-10 loss to Alabama. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

It’s overreaction Monday. Let’s see, where do we start?

GEORGIA (4-1)

Overreaction narrative: “I’m tired of this Georgia act. We need to fire Mark Richt NOW!”

Reality check: I don’t disagree with any of the criticisms and frustrations expressed about Georgia’s penchant of folding in big games, the most recent example coming in Saturday’s 38-10 loss at home to Alabama. I’ve written about it enough times. There’s no excuse for the Bulldogs to have that kind of performance, especially when it has happened so many times before. But the “fire now” part makes no sense. Here’s why: As much as Richt and this year’s team has lost the benefit of the doubt for probably the rest of the season, it’s still possible this team can go on to win the SEC East, and therefore play for the conference championship, and therefore – in miracle of miracles – actually win the game. Do I think that’s going to happen? No. Problems at quarterback derail any optimism. But Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity is likely to let the season play out before determining if a change is needed. If Georgia loses this week at Tennessee and/or the following game against Florida – and looks awful doing so – it’s possible the equation will change. But as of now, I expect the administration to sit back and see what happens, and that’s the right thing to do. As for Richt’s future beyond this season, I’ll address that later.

FALCONS (4-0)

Overreaction narrative: “We’re 4-0. Ain’t no stopping us now!”

Reality check: The last two times the Falcons started the season at least 4-0, they went to the NFC championship game (losing to Philadelphia in 2004 and San Francisco in 2012). And there’s no reason to believe that won’t happen again. The Houston Texas are an awful team but the Falcons did what great teams do and put them away early (leading 28-0 at halftime, 42-0 in the third quarter and winning 48-21). There have been two key developments in the last two weeks: 1) After one year and two games of looking kind of mediocre, Devonta Freeman is playing like a legitimate starting running back and has been effective as both a runner and receiver; 2) The offensive line, while still suffering occasional hiccups, is making significant improvement and coming together nicely, despite a late-pre-season scramble to just find five starters. If Jake Long can get/stay healthy, he provides depth at tackle and conceivably could end up starting, but there’s no reason to make a change right now. Dan Quinn will tell you the defense still needs to improve the pass rush and find way to affect the opposing quarterback, but the schedule suggests the Falcons’ winning ways aren’t going to end.

GEORGIA TECH (2-3)

Overreaction narrative: “I hate Paul Johnson and his offense”

Reality check: The Jackets have managed to get swept by Duke and North Carolina in consecutive years. That’s football, not basketball. Who does that? The Jackets’ shortage of skill players has been a bigger problem this season than expected. But again, the biggest problem isn’t Johnson’s offense, it’s defense. Tech led North Carolina 21-0 until the final 1:29 of the first half Saturday at home. Then the Ted Roof-coordinated defense allowed 38 points in roughly two quarters. The drives: 75 yards, 44, 55 (field goal), 75, 37 (following a Justin Thomas fumble) and 59. Regardless of what you think of the option, the fact is that Tech has allowed 30, 34 and 38 points in its three losses and a team isn’t going to win a lot of games that way. But, yes, that is on Johnson because he is the head coach and he needs to recruit better defensive players and make it a greater point of emphasis in his program.

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1011 comments
Chris_H
Chris_H

I'd rather have a sore winner of a coach like the retiring Steve Spurrier than a nice-guy mediocrity like Mark Richt any day - hey UGA do you think the Evil Genius would consider taking over? (NAWWWWWWWWWWW.....)

DMac57
DMac57

Let's look at the reality of this situation. If Richt were capable of leading the Dogs to a national title, it would have already happened by now. He's had more than enough time to produce and he didn't. If the Dogs are serious about contending for the national title, Richt MUST GO!!!

TideDawg
TideDawg

Paul Johnson will tell you real quick: We gained more yard, we made more first downs, and we controlled the clock. Well coach did you win? Welllll no! But my offense was unstoppable.


If I was a 4 or 5 star recruit I don't think I would want to play PJ's brand of football.


Look what a coaching change did for Duke. A perennial doormat for Ga. Tech., Duke has turned it around.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Next year I am not going to fall into that "Great talent, should win the East division, possibly NC) syndrome. Ga. always has the talent. Good recruiting. I just don't believe you can win Big Boy football with a "good guy...passive attitude". I like the fact that coach Richt is a wonderful Christian man, a good coach, and model family man. You can be all of that and still be a tough, hard nosed, in your face coach when players don't perform up to capabilities(This, Richt IS NOT)


After watching the Ga. defense underperform Sat. I'm beginning to wonder about the DC Pruitt. He came to Ga. highly recognized as  a great defensive coach. What happened?? Did Richt's mild manner change him? Is less than near perfection no longer expected.


You may not like Saban but he doesn't take any crap off of anybody(except maybe his wife) When his team is pressured he attacks anything and anybody without fear. Spurrier(you may not like him either) but he is the same way. Spurrier diverts pressure off his players with his verbal attacks and nagging remarks. All Richt does is say "We're not going to talk about that". Different styles of coaching, no doubt, but effective to motivate their teams.


In life....in sports....much has been accomplished with less!


Pressure is a privilege. If you're not very good there is no pressure. If you are talented, have a talented team and that team, or individual, is not pressured to be their best.......then they won't be their best......they won't even be very good.

CallMeStupid
CallMeStupid

Overreaction Monday: NOW is the time to make decision on Richt

sprouse27
sprouse27

I'm waiting on the Mark Richt  "we still have a lot to play for" speech but the fact of the matter is that UGA's season is pretty much toast.  HIGHLY unlikely they will win even the East and this after another year when they were predicted to do so. It's the same OLD song in Athens.   High expectations and mediocre performance.   Ton's of talent and no cohesive team.   This is more of the same and I laugh when I see all the 'have in in Richt' comments.   Give me a break.  Guy hasn't won the SEC in ten years and there is no team in CFB that does less with 10 win seasons than UGA.   Getting to ten wins this year will be an uphill battle and you can already see another Weedeater Bowl on the horizon.   But the AD loves Richt and he's not going any where any time soon.   It will be more of the same into perpetuity until Richt finally decides to retire in another 10 years or so.   Georgia has a program loaded with talent and going NO WHERE.  

vegas_dollars
vegas_dollars

Looking like an 8 and 4 season, maybe at best.

Long Memories
Long Memories

How about now.  Is it time yet.  Been saying they need to fire the special teams coach 7 years ago.  Only fear will keep Georgia from this continuance of misery.  Those will come on here and say "we could be Tennessee"  Oh wait, we already are Tennessee.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Long Memories  I'm more worried about Georgia becoming Georgia Tech where they only expect to win 8 or 9 games each year to consider it a great season.

vegas_dollars
vegas_dollars

If SEC East implodes GA has a chance.  Starting tonight if FL can beat Mizzou, and then GA and beat Mizzou and FL.  Each year for GA now comes down to If, If, If. 

Chris Smith5389
Chris Smith5389

Like Vegas dollars said, GA is done for the year. May get another toilet bowl game if they're lucky. I agree, their coaches are garbage. Enough is enough. Please make changes before you start losing fans that have cheered for you 30yrs straight.

vegas_dollars
vegas_dollars

Ga season over.  Chubb is out.  Ga coaches so stupid.  I need to move to FL or somewhere.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Overreaction???? Yeah! We saw it at Ala. when they lost to Ole Miss. Georgia needs to do what Bama did......Get Mad and get Motivated, then kick the crap out of Tennessee. Georgia has the talent. Their talent is as good as Bama's. It was just one of those days. You seldom go undefeated in the SEC. Better to lose early than late. You've heard it all, time and again, but it's true. Georgia holds the reins to a gallop through the East Division and a trip to the SEC Championship. Ala. is not in as good a position as Ga. When you're on top every team you play is keyed up and you have to beat the best that every team has to offer. No question in my mind that Georgia will beat Florida. The question is, will they letdown against someone that they should beat. It won't be Tennessee.....his assistants will make sure of that.


Richt is a good coach but he annoys the crap out of me watching him stand on the sideline and look amused while they are getting their head handed to them. For gosh sakes, "Get in somebody's face when they mess up." A little of Saban wouldn't hurt Richt's reputation. Saban gets in his coach's faces, he's in the player's faces, he's in the official's faces when they mess up, he's even in the media's faces. He fears no one and he knows he is not in a popularity contest. And when they are good he let's them know that they did good.


It is difficult for me when Ga. and Bama meet in the regular season. I support both teams. It was not difficult when Ga. and Bama met in the SEC Championship game because I felt that the winner was going to be the National Champion.


The SEC is not for the weak. Get angry, get fired up and don't be afraid to show it.

Aztec
Aztec

The media does the Bulldog nation a disservice by raising their expectations beyond what they really have.  It begins with an annual over rating of the recruiting class, followed by an overrating of the team, followed by early swooning over victories against weak teams.  Actually they are a good team.  Better than most but highly over rated.  Richt has done a very good job.  Check his winning percentage against Dooley's.  Ten and two, nine and three, eight and four are damned respectable records.  Forget about national championships and be happy with what you have.  


SmyrnaGuy
SmyrnaGuy

@Aztec The recruiting classes are not overrated in February 201X, but that same class is much lower when it's time to contribute two years later since usually several of the top signees have been kicked off for various misdemeanors that barely raise an eyebrow at other schools.

Undelusional
Undelusional

Schultz  - Analyze this - With the exception of LSU, UGA has more NFL draftees over the past 10 years than any other SEC team.  Over those 10 years the breakdown in SEC Championships and National Championships is as follows:

SEC Champions:  UGA - 1; UF - 2; LSU - 2; UA - 3; AU - 2.  National Championships: 

UF - 2; LSU-1; UA-3; AU-1.  Assuming that NFL analysts and coaches are the best judge of football talent, then UGA should be in the SEC and NC hunt all of those 10 years.  Why haven't they?  Even sportswriters should be able to deduce that it is coaching or lack thereof..  And you AJC sportswriters do the Dawg Nation a disservice by NOT calling for Mark Richt to be fired.  As in this article and most other times, you and AD McGarity play the wait until next year game because you are afraid to make the tough calls.  McGarity's tenure at UGA has been marked by a precipitous decline in all sports Championships compared to Dooley.  I guess you sports writers and McGarity have a bromance going and in the meantime UGA fans suffer. Why?  Please explain. 

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

CMR will be here another 5 years book it... I'm saying thats' a good thing.... If you don't like it....Tech is looking for a few good fans.

Monteg
Monteg

Chadd Morris to UGA book it

Monteg
Monteg

Or Kelly or other that have mention the dude Memphis

Monteg
Monteg

Chadd Morris to UGA

Monteg
Monteg

Richt be butch the battle of who gets fired lord dear Jewish lord fire Richt I know your tupher than that Jessues dude so do it.

Monteg
Monteg

If we lose out what will happen. I think chip Kelly or Chadd Morris or a anthor spread guy comes in on Monday hits the recruits houses and wins

Monteg
Monteg

Mark Richt is gone we won't turn into tennsse phar phill sucked at recruiting Pruitt turns around our recruiting don't get me started on Texas Mack brown sucked as a recruiter Chadd Morris and chip Kelliy are hell of recruiters the replacements would be hell of a recruiters

Monteg
Monteg

We ain't going to tern into tennsse or Texas got it both schools hired idiots

CallMeStupid
CallMeStupid

This in nothing but a Buttsmear campaign against Richt.

Monteg
Monteg

Your a idiot my sources say Richt has ticked off the money bosters he is out at the end of the year they want spread coach.

dawg fan
dawg fan

It looks like it's same ole same ole down at Butts-Mehre after yet another embarrassing loss.  "We've moved on" the players are saying.  We heard the same thing after the Florida game last year.  Yes, move along people.  Nothing to see here.  Just sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened.  That appears to be Mark Richt's strategy for dealing with these losses.  Nothing changes.  No speeches or profound words as Seth Emerson's article points out.  Why should there be?  We're still well on pace for another magical 10 win season so we can talk up "next year."  Everything is fine. 


We just move on until the next embarrassing loss and then we'll move on after that one too.  Rinse and repeat.  Rinse and repeat.  Round and round we go on the Mark Richt Carousel of Insanity thinking somehow things will magically be different in the future. 


Round and round we go . . .   



graphite
graphite

It's strange that I don't hear an uproar over the inner city thuggery conduct displayed at the BAMA team as they came on to the field.If Coach Richt lets that go by, then he has lost my respect. How can this university let these players? get away with this?

Monteg
Monteg

Happy days are here again we getting ride of Richt

Monteg
Monteg

I'm glad the money folks hate Richt we are going to get rid of his butt

Monteg
Monteg

We got Jessus my but

Monteg
Monteg

As for replacing CMR? I keep asking UGA fans to point me to a time in UGA history that suggests this program should be looking to do better than a coach that has 9 10+ win seasons in the last 14 years, 7 top 10 finishes, 5 SEC East titles, and 2 SEC Championships. All this has been done in an SEC conference that has completely dominated CFB in the past 10 years.....GO DAWGS!! Chad Morris

Undelusional
Undelusional

@Monteg You are one of the delusional fans that keeps us in mediocrity.  Look at my blog post today and answer it.

Monteg
Monteg

To all the we caint find some one better than Richt I say Morris chip Kelly Kyle dude from Utah Chris Paterson and others

Monteg
Monteg

So when lose out where will the mark Richt Jessus lovers will be defending him

AlwaysNextYear
AlwaysNextYear

How long will we let McGarity off the hook for having mediocre football, basketball, and baseball programs.  This is UGA, not Arkansas.

Dawgcatcher
Dawgcatcher

@AlwaysNextYear


That is the point. With Richt and the Dawgs, most years result in better than mediocre football. For most years since Richt arrived, it tilts towards "Good" football; certainly not "Great."  If we were talking a team that consistently posted a losing record, then without doubt, a coaching change is automatic. But truth is that isn't the case. Two points up for consideration: First, only one team wins a national championship each year with hundreds of teams out there.  Secondly, a coaching change could only improve Georgia's win total by a couple of games most years. Few teams go undefeated every year and for most years, Richt has given us 9 - 10 wins.. How can we be sure we are not establishing grief in selecting one, even two coaches that cannot improve the dawgs by such a small margin, or also fail to get us to the championship game?

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Dawgcatcher LOL.  Whose on first? 


I'll make this very easy for you:  We don't give a flying rat's arse in China about winning 10 games anymore.  Good holy grief I'm so sick of hearing that.  Shut up with the "He wins 9 or 10 games a year" crap.  Nobody cares.  You Disneys are the only freaking people on Earth who care about that.  Sure, a new coach could be a complete disaster.  We could lose 50 games in a row for all anyone knows.  Are you happy now?  It's a risk that we are willing to take.  What is so difficult about that for you Richt fans to understand? 


We are stuck in a perpetual cycle of "good but not great" and it is depressing and boring.  We want to try something new.  Please take Advil for headaches.       



DawgNole
DawgNole

@Dawgcatcher: "Secondly, a coaching change could only improve Georgia's win total by a couple of games most years."

______________________

By only a couple of games???!!!

Well, hell--wouldn't that give us 12 wins during all those 10-win seasons then?

How many teams with 12 wins have not been in the mix at season's end?