Mark Richt: For and Against Georgia’s Coach
There’s no denying that Georgia coach Mark Richt is one of life’s good guys.
He’s a coach who is also just a really good guy.
But Georgia fans don’t want decent guys. If they did, they’d hire a pastor. They want him to get over the hump, and not only win football games, but win BIG football games. And by BIG FOOTBALL GAMES, we mean National Championships – and wins over big time schools. They’re fed up by losing at Clemson, losing SEC Championship Games, and getting trundled at home by Alabama. Oh, and they HATE losing against Steve Spurrier, too.
But wait a minute – Mark Richt’s achievements at Georgia have been admirable.
Here’s the list:
- He’s won two SEC Championships (2002 and 2005) – including Georgia’s first since 1982.
- He’s won six SEC East titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012).
- He’s 8-4 in bowl games.
- He had a 118-41 record.
- He hasn’t left for the NFL, or a bigger job – something that – despite his success- can’t be said for Nick Saban (he left LSU for the Miami Dolphins, where he was a disaster) or Steve Spurrier (he left Florida for the Washington Redskins, where he was a disaster). And despite all the crap he’s been given, he’s stayed in his job since 2001, making him the longest-serving SEC coach.
- Oh, and he sent EIGHT players to the NFL Draft last year. That’s on top of the tens that he’s sent over the years. Notable players include Matt Stafford, AJ Green, and Ben Watson. He can’t take credit for octagenarian Champ Bailey, who played before he came along.
But the biggest criticism at Mark Richt – and the reason why he’s constantly decried in Georgia, is his failure to take Georgia to the promised land – the National Championship Game. There’s no question the team has talent, but it’s becoming its new verb in terms of screwing things up. See Clemson 2013 for details.
- Recently with Aaron Murray as QB, Georgia is 3-11 against ranked opponents, and 1-6 against Top 10 teams, with the sole victory coming last year against Florida, which was more of a result of Jarvis Jones than Aaron Murray.
- He’s lost out-of-state season openers against Boise State, Oklahoma State, and now Clemson – all of them ‘inferior’ conferences.
- Georgia seems to lose games by their own mishaps more than anything else. Is that bad coaching or simply bad play?
- Under Richt, they have a 4-8 record against Florida and lost three straight times against South Carolina and Steve Spurrier. Oh, and he’s 2-4 against Nick Saban (in his Alabama and LSU days), including an embarrassment in black shirts at home in 2010.
- He’s lost against Georgia Tech. Once, but it’s still a loss.
- 21 Georgia players have been arrested under Mark Richt in the last FIVE years. That’s not exactly keeping control of your players, is it?
THE BOTTOM LINE: If you want to go to the NFL, Georgia’s a pretty good place to start. Mark Richt’s a decent guy, and he’s a winner who’s won the team bowl games and SEC titles – including their first since 1982. He’s made Georgia a perennial contender after some lean years, and he’s a great QB coach. If you doubt me, ask Matt Stafford. Sure, there’s pressure on him, but he’s not worth firing. Who better could you get, apart from the guy coaching at Alabama?
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