Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why UGA Would Be Foolish To Fire Mark Richt

Mark Richt came into this season on the hot seat with just two years remaining on his contract. Despite a beatdown in the Georgia Dome at the beginning and end of the 2011 season, Mark Richt deserves an extension at UGA.

Critics of the Richt regime point to the record against Florida, the lack of a national championship, the disciplinary issues. However, when you look at his entire tenure it truly is the best in UGA history.

Solving the Gators
Mark Richt is just 3-8 against rival Florida and this record causes much against in the Dawg Nation. However, this was the first year Richt won the SEC East when beating UF.

Richt's struggles against Florida isn't a blemish on coaching abilities, it is more a testament to how good the Gator program has been the last 11 years (really 21 years). Go look at Tennessee's or South Carolina's record against Florida over the last 11 years. It isn't very good either.

Richt certainly falls short of Vince Dooley when it comes to beating Florida, but the Gators were nowhere near the program they are today.

Falling Short to Vince Dooley?
The 25 year head coach and later Athletic Director is revered in Athens for delivering a national championship in 1980.

Although Dooley has a slightly higher SEC winning percentage (71% vs 68%), he and Bear Bryant were notorious for ducking each other. UGA didn't even play Tennessee every year. The Bulldogs and Volunteers matched up seven times in Dooley's 25 seasons.

The lows of the Richt era don't even compare to Dooley's. In 25 seasons, Dooley's teams finished out of the top 25 a whopping 13 times. Richt will very likely finish in the top 25 for the 10th time in his 11 seasons. Additionally, Richt has four top 10 finishes in his time in Athens.

Clear understanding of why he was hired
UGA wasn't really competing for SEC Championships under Jim Donnan. That pain was amplified 10 fold when UGA lost three in a row to in state rival Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs had not lost three in a row to the Yellow Jackets since the 1960s.

Richt got off to the right foot winning the rivalry in his first season as an underdog in Atlanta. He then reeled off seven straight wins and has 10 of the 11 matchups.

Richt has more wins in Clean, Old Fashioned Hate in Atlanta than the last seven Tech coaches combined. Beating Tech has almost become a foregone conclusion.

Richt knows you can lose to Florida and hold onto your job.  You cannot lose to Tech and keep drawing a paycheck.  

4 SEC East Championships
2 SEC Championships
9 Top 25 Finishes
4 Top 10 Finishes
7 Seasons of 10+ wins

If you want Mark Richt fired, be careful what you wish for UGA fans.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.