Overreaction Monday: Richt’s status, Ryan’s fall, and does Tech have a chance?

Georgia coach Mark Richt has won three straight win the loss to Florida. What does it mean? (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

So what about Mark Richt’s future?

Again.

Welcome back to Overreaction Monday . . .

GEORGIA

Skinny: 8-3 overall, 5-3 in the SEC. Last game: Defeated Georgia Southern 23-17 in overtime. Next game: Saturday at Georgia Tech.

Overreaction narrative: “Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity hasn’t said anything publicly about Mark Richt’s future. That must mean something!”

Reality check: I don’t know. I sent an email to Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity Monday morning, asking two questions: 1) Can you at this point guarantee that Mark will be back as head coach next season? 2) If you choose not to answer: Do you understand that it leaves open speculation that you’re considering making a change, or have already decided to make a change, and does that matter to you?

McGarity responded as he has to all recent inquiries on this subject. He wrote back, “Jeff, as I have said throughout the season, all of our efforts are focused on the next game, which is the Tech game this Saturday.”

So speculate away. As a general rule, a coach with an 8-3 record with a good chance to finishing 9-3 going into a bowl game does not get fired. The odds likely favor the norm right now. But the administration has been difficult to read on this topic. Georgia has won three straight since losing to Florida, when it lost all hope of going to the SEC title game and its season was pretty much defined. But beating Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia Southern doesn’t count for much this season, and that wasn’t going to sway the fire-Richt masses — especially with the Bulldogs nearly losing to Georgia Southern at home before winning in overtime.

The Georgia Tech game this week could provide some clarity. I’d expect Georgia to make Richt’s status clear after Saturday and before the bowl game. This much is certain: The fan base is split on this issue, so whether Richt is back or not there are going to be a lot of upset people.

FALCONS

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sits on the bench with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan during the fourth quarter of the 24-21 to Indianapolis. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sits on the bench with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan during the fourth quarter of the 24-21 to Indianapolis. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Skinny: 6-4 (second in NFC South). Last game: Lost to Indianapolis 24-21. Next week: Home against Minnesota.

Overreaction narrative: “Matt Ryan is the worst quarterback in the NFC South.”

Reality check: I don’t believe that. However, if I had to take one quarterback to win a game today, I would certainly take Drew Brees (20 touchdowns, 9 interceptions) and Cam Newton (20 touchdowns, 9 interceptions plus six rushing TDs) over Ryan (15, 10) — and the competition between Ryan and Tampa Bay rookie Jameis Winston is closer than I ever would have guessed. Ryan has 13 turnovers: 10 interceptions and three fumbles lost (six fumbles overall). He still makes a number of great throws and commands respect in the huddle and in the locker room. But he seems to have regressed in his decision-making and he makes too many bad throws. His three interceptions in Sunday’s 24-21 loss to Indianapolis (and 40-year-old backup Matt Hasselbeck) brings his total to 10 this season. He has four multi-interception games. The Colts loss to the Colts was squarely on his shoulders: One interception killed a red zone drive in the first quarter. Another interception from the Falcons’ one-yard line went for a pick-six. That’s a 10- to 14-point swing. That’s the game. The Falcons’ defense held the Colts to 17 points and 276 yards in offense and forced three turnovers. That should be enough to win most games. Ryan told me recently, “It comes down to me being better.” He claims he is not struggling to adjust to the new offense and says he likes offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. If he was being honest on both counts, then this is all on him.

GEORGIA TECH

Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas is questionable for the Georgia game. (AP photo)

The status of Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas is uncertain for the Georgia game. (AP photo)

Skinny: 3-8 overall, 1-7 in the ACC. Last game: Lost at Miami 38-21. Next game: Saturday at home against Georgia Tech.

Overreaction narrative: “Whether Justin Thomas plays or not, we have no chance.”

Reality check: Disagree. The Jackets have a real chance at an upset. Certainly, oddsmakers think so. The Bulldogs are favored by only 4½ points, and that’s without any certainty that quarterback Justin Thomas (who left the Miami game with what appeared to be a neck/shoulder injury) will be available. Thomas can make plays to win games. But if he’s out, I don’t see Tech pulling it off. Redshirt freshman backup quarterback Matthew Jordan struggled for most of the Miami game and was charged with six of Tech’s nine fumbles (losing one). This is the Jackets’ final game because they won’t be going to a bowl for the first time since 1996. So emotion shouldn’t be an issue. But Tech has given away games all season so to assume those problems are going to go away now seems like a mistake.

BRAVES

Skinny: Traded  centerfielder Cameron Maybin for two pitching prospects.

Overreaction narrative: “We’re going 0-162.”

Reality check: Oh, come on. They’ll go no worse than 12-150.

But seriously: I don’t have a big problem with the Maybin trade. He had a good season but never was viewed as a part of this team’s future, nor was he considered a major component of the trade that sent closer Craig Kimbrel and center fielder Melvin (B.J.) Upton Jr. to San Diego. Any fan who believed that was merely trying to look for another way to declare that trade a slam dunk in the Braves’ favor. That trade was about getting rid of Upton’s contract, and ONLY getting rid of Upton’s contract. President of baseball operations John Hart openly admitted that. He was willing to give away the best closer in baseball to dump relatively dead payroll. Maybin was an afterthought and he was going into his free agency season so it made sense to get something for him now because the Braves had no designs on re-signing him.

The overriding issue with the Braves right now is: Who’s going to play in the field? Or maybe with the team seemingly being in full-tank mode, despite general manager John Coppolella’s denials, management doesn’t care about that. So how much ground can you cover, Freddie Freeman?

Recent ramblings
Georgia Tech loses Justin Thomas, ball and all hope
Short takes: Jackets lose Thomas, fumble nine times (yes, nine)
• Weekend Predictions: It’s marshmallow opponent week
• Coppolella tired of being roasted, says, ‘We are not tanking’
Roddy White has survived far worse things than reduced role in offense: tragedy
• Why are those Freeman T-shirts included in Braves’ clearance sale?
• Overreaction Monday: Richt’s ploy, Falcons’ bye, Braves’ salary dump
Jeremy Pruitt’s defense is salvaging Georgia’s season
Short takes on Georgia’s win over Auburn
• Simmons gone, and Braves’ offseason already looking like last one
Weekend Predictions: It’s not a good time to invest in Georgia
Former Georgia player Faloughi at center of Missouri protests
• Overreaction Monday: Kyle Shanahan, have you met Roddy White?
Latest Falcons’ embarrassment is on Dan Quinn
• Short takes: This Falcons’ loss is on Dan Quinn
Weekend Predictions: Dogs in middle of Dysfunction Junction
Georgia’s finish, Eason status shouldn’t tilt Richt decision
• Richt should take over Georgia’s struggling offense
• Overreaction Monday: Loss-loss-loss means chaos all around
Mark Richt has failed too many big moments — it’s time for a change at Georgia
Falcons may be 6-2 but they don’t look the part
Short takes: Sloppy Falcons gift-wrap game for mediocre Bucs
Matt Ryan: ‘It comes down to me being better’
Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs
Georgia’s quarterback problems fall at Mark Richt’s feet
Budenholzer can coach but can he build a champion?
Overreaction Monday: Ryan’s off, Tech’s alive and Georgia…
Georgia Tech has unforgettable moment in otherwise forgettable season
• Short takes on Georgia Tech’s miracle win over Florida State
Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, ACC miserable
(Full column) Rick Pitino should lose job, culpable for Louisville mess
Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits
Overreaction Monday: Would Richt give Ramsey another look?
Misery like this shouldn’t happen at Georgia Tech
Short takes: Tech’s run of bowls, non-losing ACC seasons will end
Falcons flash some of their ugly past in loss to Saints
• Short takes: Falcons still plagued by poor pass rush, turnovers
Weekend Predictions: Spurrier, Cubs, Playboy…and Georgia can still win SEC East!
• Spurrier changed face of SEC, and then he walked out the back door
Health would be Spurrier’s only good excuse for retiring in middle of season
• Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs — and claims of, ‘I didn’t know’ ring hollow
Overreaction Monday: Chubb’s loss isn’t Georgia’s only problem
• There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia’s season

Reader Comments 0

376 comments
ruffdawg
ruffdawg

I'm a Uga fan......but there needs to be a reality check.... Uga is not  elite nor championship caliber in  football, basketball  and baseball....if you count Golf ,Tennis,Swimming Gymnastics etc. Sure....Right know it would foolish to fire CMR..... Outside if a few glory years under Wally Butts in the 40s and Dooley in the early 80s....so who is UGA? Goff help bring in the forward pass....Donnan the first to gain control of instate players and bring in elite NFL talent across the board..... CMR has done all except bring in N.Championship.

All can be rectified ...... It's bigger than CMR it's the culture of Georgia sports period outside of prep.

TOJacket
TOJacket

TideDawg and Big Wally..........Pull and Pud.

TideDawg
TideDawg

OH:IO But-eye.......Time to compare winning streaks.

Big Wally
Big Wally

ESPN reporting that Urban Meyer was experiencing mysterious chest pains again.  When a reporter reminded him he was already in the weak Big Mac Conference instead of the SEC, he got better immediately.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Ohypocrite is now riding Iowa's coattails.  Which is interesting because he has been accusing UGA of riding the SEC's coattails.

OH:IO
OH:IO

dogs are having a hard time they can no longer chant SEC!SEC! anymore so they have to resort, yet again, to personal attacks. 


Go to a gym dog meet at The Schmeg and woof woof woof. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


You like to make up idiotic words, don't you Lil wally?

OH:IO
OH:IO

Driving to Birmingham, Lil wally?

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


If I am a hypocrite, you are admitting dogs ride coattails. 


Ha ha and hardy ha ha

7576DAWG
7576DAWG

Just read that Kyle Davis decided to commit to Auburn . His father

stated the reasons but every reason proves that Georgia is a much better fit for Kyle. The best reason is because we have the top Pro style Quarterback coming to Georgia and we need as many top Receivers and Tight Ends as we can Recruit. Eason really does like to throw the ball. Then there is the fact that he is from Georgia not Alabama and how many times have we beaten Auburn in the last 10 years? The only thing that makes sense is the stipend that Auburn is giving was just tripled or even higher.

GTBob
GTBob

@7576DAWG Have you ever considered the possibility that not everyone else worships Eason like UGA fans do and that there is a possibility that Eason might not even end up being any good? You guys talk about him like he is a sure fire NFL hall of famer. He's just a high school kid at this point. I almost feel bad for him. He will have little chance of living up to the hype that is on him.

NorwegianBlue
NorwegianBlue

@GTBob @7576DAWG I'm a UGA guy, but I tend to agree with you Bob. It's hard to imagine Eason being something more than Stafford, and those years were mostly underwhelming. I think he'll be very good, but not a savior. More importantly, what's your take on the game this Saturday?

7576DAWG
7576DAWG

@GTBob @7576DAWG Nobody said that there wasn't some big questions  with Eason. I worry about the fact that 90% of the time Eason is playing out of the Shotgun and if nobody is open he runs. In the SEC the Linebackers are too fast for him to run without a big possibility of being hurt. The reason we are so optimistic about Eason is because essentially we have not had a Quarterback in the last 2 yeas. No way Eason will not be better. 

Eason has been the Big Man on Campus for so long he will have no trouble expecting greatness our of himself but he is smart enough to known he needs players who can get open and catch the ball.  

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

There is still the possibility that even better SEC Head Coaching Positions may be Available by this Sunday. No knock on the Gamecocks ,but their job is likely only the 3rd or 4th best position as of today, by this weekend it may be 7th or 8th.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO keep talking hypocrite, keep riding Iowa's coattails.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally It's ok to admit you are a hypocrite, that's the first step to your maturity process. Ride those coattails.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


I'll root for MSU over Iowa if that's what it is. I'll root for Iowa if they get in. 


Coattails?  Na,


But nice try! 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO @Big Wally

Coattails? YA!!!!!!

That's exactly what it is, lying hypocrite. Leaning on your conference now that your own twerps have been exposed again.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Lil wally,


It was Herman's fault, speaking of obsessed. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO At least I'm not obsessed with an 18 year old boy like you are.


BOOM!

Big Wally
Big Wally

OHypocrIte goes on and on about not riding the Big 10's coattails, now (when he is not obsessed with Eason), he is raving about how many Big 10 teams are ranked.  


Don't you hate it when you get exposed there hypocrite?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO @Big Wally

You didn't answer his question, dimbulb!

Don't you hate it when you get exposed?

Or are you too busy exposing yourself to photos of Eason?

Big Wally
Big Wally

I guess ole Ezekiel is going to take his ball and go home.  Poor little baby!   Whayyyy,   boo hoo, boo hoo,  

I didn't get the ball enough, boo hoo, boo hoo,

Coaches are stupid, boo hoo, boo hoo,

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO @Big Wally

He didn't deserve to get it any more, jerk.

Are you ignoring his pis*poor performance when he did have the opportunities?

Stop defending the whiny thug.

OH:IO
OH:IO

tampa,


The Committee not impressed: 


USA Today


One-loss Florida, meanwhile, was ranked No. 8 last week. But after needing overtime at home to escape Florida Atlantic (which dropped to 2-9), the Gators dropped to No. 12 — behind two-loss teams Stanford and Michigan State. It’s clear the committee has not been impressed. It’s very possible the Gators could beat Florida State, win the SEC championship (beating Alabama) — understand, we’re not saying it’s probable, only that it’s possible — and still conceivably get left out of the Playoff field

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

You better hope the Buckeyes have their minds right, or Big Blue will send the Buckeyes to a 2nd loss and a 2nd tier bowl. Whether you are ranked 8 or 12 this week is not the point, it is where you are ranked on December the 6th that counts. Still cannot figure out what Meyer and the Buckeye OC were doing against Sparty, it looked as if Schotty was calling your plays last Saturday.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Only Bama is ahead of #8 Buckeyes. So much for the oh so vaunted SEC! SEC! 


dogs in Birmingham!


HA

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Ha ha ha irrelevant once again big fraud suckeyes. Imagine that?

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO We all can't play in the powder puff Big Mac Conference.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO @twelveofthirteen

No. 8 gets you the same chance at a NC as the Dawgs have.

Better hope you're not facing an SEC or ACC team again come bowl season. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Only Bama???

Hardly.

Six other teams join Bama in being ahead of your fruity nuts.

Duh!