Georgia’s finish, Eason status shouldn’t tilt Richt decision

Will recruit Jacob Eason change commitment to Georgia if Mark Richt isn’t back as Georgia’s coach? (Rob Saye/Special to the AJC)

Regardless of what side of the Mark Richt debate you fall on, there are two issues getting a lot of attention that I don’t believe should be factors in the decision.

1. The last four games.

2. The impending arrival of recruit Jacob Eason.

Let’s start with the first. I referenced it in this column, in which I suggest Richt should take over play-calling from struggling offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Georgia is 5-3 and has four winnable games remaining against Kentucky (4-4),  Auburn (4-4), Georgia Southern (6-2) and Georgia Tech (3-6). A sweep obviously would leave them at 9-3 going into a second-tier bowl, which doesn’t look bad, and thinking is, “How could you fire a coach after a 9-3 (potentially 10-3) season?

Here’s my thought: Georgia’s season already has been defined. It came in the four-game stretch against Alabama (lopsided loss), Tennessee (loss), Missouri (9-6 win) and Florida (lopsided loss). The Dogs’ SEC East Division hopes were smothered and those games illustrated how wide-spread the problems were (beyond just quarterback). Now we may know why. Seth Emerson and Chip Towers have a terrific piece on Dawgnation.com about internal problems in the program, stemming in part from dissension in the coaching staff.

Will recruit Jacob Eason change commitment to Georgia if Mark Richt isn't back as Georgia's coach? (Rob Saye/Special to the AJC)

Will Jacob Eason change his commitment to Georgia if Mark Richt isn’t back as coach? (Rob Saye / Special)

Four wins over mediocre teams shouldn’t determine Richt’s future. Do you really make a decision based on wins over two SEC teams (Kentucky and Auburn) with a combined conference record of 3-8 and the worst Georgia Tech team ever under Paul Johnson? The administration — primarily athletic director Greg McGarity and university president Jere Morehead — should have its mind made up one way or the other, regardless of how the team finishes.

Now to the Eason thing. I know. He’s a great high school quarterback and the reported gem of Georgia’s next recruiting class. He is projected as the starting quarterback next season, at least in part because there are no obvious candidates on the roster.

Don’t take this as a reflection of Eason, who may or may not live up to his billing: But the Richt decision is about the big picture. It’s about the direction and identity of the program. Eason is short-term, for as long as he is starting and/or enrolled at Georgia. Whether the program gets or loses one player — even a quarterback — should not determine whether or not it keeps or parts with a head coach.

Those are my views. I welcome yours.

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Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs
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Reader Comments 0

614 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

OH:IO...... Other than OSU, MSU, and Mi. the rest of the teams in the Big 9.5 Conference must be in their 5th year of rebuilding. You gotta admire Urban Meyer. The guy never gets tired of beating cupcakes. A couple of 9-3 seasons and he will have to open up his book of clichés "I need to spend more time with my family"....."I need time off for my health". Those words still resonate throughout the State of Florida.



TideDawg
TideDawg

Dawgnation.....Stagnation!! Are they the same?

ShootinTheHooch
ShootinTheHooch

So Eason is expected to move from playing against 180 pound defensive linemen and 5' 7" 150 pound DBs to competing against SEC defenses with no offensive line in one of the nation's most complex offensive schemes for a program whose coach will be under a microscope IF he makes it to next season? Coach Sale will have virtually no experience to work with since Richt's resident butt kisser, Will Friend, left the cupboard totally bare. Wake up people! This time next year, this year will seem like a cakewalk!

Drp0287
Drp0287

@ShootinTheHooch  even if you are right changing the head coach will only make matters worse.. remember Tenn did the same thing..

FlatTire
FlatTire

I guess we will have to post on Dawgnation until they charge for that

OH:IO
OH:IO

Just like the dogs, the comments are over. See predictions - but only if you have a cc at the ready or have only read four articles. 

Wreck13
Wreck13

Where is the PREDICTION blog?


Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO @Wreck13

I just mortgaged the farm Bucky, Steve Hummer's job is safe for another day. Just doing my part to help the struggling economy.

39Concepts
39Concepts

If they fire pruitt he will sue uga for big money in damages!

OH:IO
OH:IO

"We call it 'Bama'." Meyer said they have a return in for a long field goal.

OH:IO
OH:IO

The beginning of the end, fellas

Digital Access $.99 for two months then $8.99/mo.  



Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

I feel sorry  for Steve Hummer ,he is likely the first to go when the first wave of staffing cuts are made.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

Will the AJC throw in DawgNation for Free or will it be a Premium site.Maybe Bernie or Hillary can give us the AJC for free, it seems like they want to give away everything for free,

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Buschleaguer @OH:IO


Well, as we speak, Bradley is pay and dog local interest is free - not that I read anything. It was simply a testy. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

AJC  is just trying to ca$h in on the Richt controversy , saw all of those comments on the recent UGA free sites and decided to make the unwashed pay for it.Good ole Capitalism.

Wreck13
Wreck13

@Buschleaguer @OH:IO but the owners of the AJC and most of the writers are Communists, Socialist or Liberals that are against Capitalism. Everybody should get FREE STUFF is their political view. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@Wreck13@OH:IO

You almost have the definition correct ,liberals especially the ones in the media think their stuff is the only thing that is worth paying for. Everything else should be free as long as it does not come out of Schultzie or Bradley's pocket.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Steakie says Pruitt going down today. Fistacuffs involved.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO 

Just as long as no CO-EDS were involved. Pruitt just probably roughed up Schotty a little bit ,no worse than the Gators roughed up the Dogs offense last week.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO 

Chip just reported and CMR tweeted,yeah tweeted Coach Pruitt is still our DC and he is working dilligently on the game plan for Kentucky. Somebody should punch that fat Steak in his lying yapper. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Buschleaguer


Tail wagging the (no pun intended) dog.


Sandra claimed an earlier Tweet from Pruit (that was deleted) about doors opening and closing and was hearing from "credible" sources in the Butt.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

I think the earlier Pruitt tweet was a hoax. Not so sure about the credibility of anything coming out of the Butt.

victoria83
victoria83

Hey, here's an idea. Why don't all the sports media folk (newspaper, radio, twitter, etc) try supporting this team and its head coach instead of bashing them? I will be in the stands on Saturday cheering on the team and the head coach. I hope 92,746 fans will be there with me doing the same. GO DAWGS and GO COACH RICHT!!

Jason Lee
Jason Lee

There is nobody better available and Richt is clearly a man of integrity that does so much for the student athletes outside of what happens between the lines.  I understand that he has some internal issues that need to be addressed, but his current team lacks depth and now lacks stellar talent with the string of injuries.  He doesn't have a QB that can help much less manage the game and play calling has been terrible.  He certainly has earned the right to leave on his own terms and to attempt to right the direction of the program.

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

@Jason Lee How long are you willing to wait to let him leave on his own terms? How many more years of mid-level SEC performances and blowout losses to the top SEC teams should we tolerate so he can leave on his own terms? 


QB's are getting the blame but we only have 1 WR that can get open. Plus our line doesn't appear to be able to block a division 1 opponent. We have more issues other than QB.

ShootinTheHooch
ShootinTheHooch

@Jason Lee What exactly does Richt "...do for the student athletes outside of what happens between the lines." that is different than every other HC in America? You are just perpetuating the myth.

39Concepts
39Concepts

With this 5 star QB lighting it up and Chubb back at RB next year, the Dogs offense will put up big points! Florida will be down next year with a bunch of losses on D--the dogs can beat them and win the east!

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@39Concepts

Sounds like the expectations for 2016 will be the same as they were in 2015, take advantage of a weak SEC East.

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

@Buschleaguer @39Concepts Aren't expectations always the same? Plus, freshmen QB's in pro style offenses are always so impressive their 1st year. 


In addition to that, GA has missed their window in a weak SEC East. FL appears to have a good coach and TN is improving. I think we're heading back into the 90's. Maybe we can beat SC and MZ to grab that 3rd place East finish every year and the 10 win trophy. I can't wait!!!!



OH:IO
OH:IO

New Bradley blog - not dog local interest


Pay


I've reached my 5 article limit. 


Anyone spot me a $20?

Mewslim
Mewslim

@OH:IO


As usual, I will pay you the $20 tonight.  $25 if you swallow.

Judd Green
Judd Green

Maybe Ritch could recruit some Georgia qbs if he did not try to turn them into tight ends and dbs. There is a hint of position racism there. So many good black qbs from Ga and none are good enough for Saint Ritch and look what we have now.

Dawggie
Dawggie

My thoughts exactly, JS.  But, I believe if Richt and Co somehow finish 9-4 or 10-3, Richt will get a pat on the back and contract extension. 

15 Years ago, Mark Richt brought UGA football out of the wilderness, a combination of a (then) great DC, talented O-Lines and D-Lines, winning QBs, and good timing on his part.

I acknowledge that he put the Dawgs back on the national football map.

However, Richt has come full circle now, and made UGA football a national embarrassment.  A punch line.  Maybe he will realize it and retire.  If that happens, I think Jeremy Pruitt should be the first, and only interviewee (?) for the HC job.

But, I believe if Richt and Co somehow finish 9-4 or 10-3, Richt will get a pat on the back and contract extension.

Its the "Georgia way" . . .

DawginLex
DawginLex

Welp, apparently Jeremy Pruitt has messed up big time and is in jeopardy of losing his job TODAY


96JB
96JB

Looks like all this is going to pay site. Tough call for AJC. Newspapers are dying and need cash. Digital is their  only hope. I watch for a while a see how it goes. I hate paying for this, but I do enjoy it.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@96JB I love how they let us know a change is coming, NOT