Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making The Case For (And Against) UGA's Mark Richt Being On The Hot Seat

The AJC's Jeff Schultz raises the question today regarding the warmth under the seat of the head coach at the University of Georgia.

The fact that the question is being asked is a far cry from where Mark Richt sat this time two years ago.

Coming off an 11-2 season where the finished #2 in the AP Poll, the Bulldogs were ranked number one in the preseason rankings heading into 2008. But after two seasons of not meeting expectations, some are questioning whether the longest tenured coach in the SEC can get UGA back to the top of the SEC.

I'll attempt to break down the case on both sides.

Why Mark Richt Should Be On The Hot Seat:
  • 8-5 record in 2009
  • 2-7 against Florida in nine seasons including losses of 49-10 and 41-17 the last two seasons
  • Losing 2 of the last 3 to a down Tennessee program including a 45-19 loss last year
  • Three other SEC schools were less tenured coaches have won BCS titles in the Richt era.
  • UGA has not played in the SEC Championship Game since 2005
Why Mark Richt Should Not Be On The Hot Seat:
  • 90 wins in 9 seasons, average of 10 wins per season
  • Two SEC titles in nine seasons when UGA had not won a title in 20 seasons previously
  • 8-1 vs Georgia Tech
  • Georgia has never finished below 3rd in the SEC East
  • He made necessary changes on the defensive staff after last season
It is pretty clear that Richt is under pressure to win this season, but just how much? I think his fate will be determined by how well he does this season in competing for an SEC title and to a lesser extent how he fares against three key opponents: Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia Tech.

So if Richt is on the hot seat what does he need to do to get off it? And if he's safe what could turn the heat up in Athens?

Jeff Schultz's Article
Dr. Saturday of Rivals chimes in on the subject

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