Well it’s been a while since I last made a post. Actually my last post was when we found out that Todd Gurley was being suspended. No, I didn’t quit because of that…I “quit” because I have a Job and this was a bit too time consuming. I thought about coming back at the beginning of the Football season but just kept putting it off. So now I’ve decided to make my Jordanesk comeback (More like Wizards not #45 Bulls) with my opinion on the state of UGA football.
This is going to be lengthy but bear with me. Let me start off by saying this is the FIRST TIME I’ve stated the words “Fire Mark Richt”. I’ve heard these rumblings for several years now. Usually they are knee jerk reactions to a tough loss or said in haste after a bourbon filled Saturday and an underwelming performance by the Dawgs. I completely understand where the Mark Richt hate has come from, but I’m usually a voice of reason and defender of CMR…at least once that bourbon wears off. Well this past Saturday vs Florida was my tipping point.
Now listen, I’ve heard all the arguments of “Who are you going to get that is better?” and “It’s the players on the field” and “Bobo’s play calling sucks” and “Willie Martinez” and “Todd Grantham” and “Joe Cox” and “Hutson Mason” and “Lambert” and “Bauta” and “injuries” and “young secondary”. Fuck I’ve heard them all. Year after year it’s some excuse. Year after year it’s “Next Year” or “Wait for enter star recruits name to come in”.
I don’t want this to sound like a Richt bashing write up. I think the man has done wonders for the program and school. I think he is one of the best MEN in college football. He is right up there with Vince Dooley as the best coach to walk the Sidelines at Sanford Stadium. In all reality his record is pretty damn good. Programs would love to have the W/L record Georgia has had during the Mark Richt era. But it’s time for a change.
Facts are Facts, UGA is a mediocre football team. Sure we average 9.71 wins per season under Richt…and that’s great for 90% of Colleges and Universities. That’s great for Georgia compared to where they were Pre-Richt. But if you look closer at the Winning Percentage, those numbers are skewed. To say Georgia struggles in “Big” games would be an understatement. Hell Georgia struggles in non “Big” games (losses to Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Colorado, unranked Florida, unranked Tennessee, unranked South Carolina, unranked Miss State). Mark Richt has struggled his entire career at UGA to get his team ready to play and Win “Big” Games. And in the world of College Football, where 1 or 2 losses will ruin your National Championship hopes, you need to win those games.
Here are a few “fun” facts:
- From 2001-2007 UGA was 24-14 vs Ranked opponents, Since then we are 16-23 (40-36 Overall)
- In Mark Richt’s 15 year tenure Georgia has finished in the Top 10 Seven times (Not bad)
- 3 times (going on 4) Georgia has finished Unranked
- 3 times UGA has played in a BCS bowl (02 Sugar, 05 Sugar, 07 Sugar)
- 9-5 is UGA’s bowl record under CMR (6-4 since 05)
- 5 times Georgia has played in the SEC Championship game (2-3 record)
- Last SEC Championship Win was in 2005
- Zero times has Georgia played in a National Championship game
- Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn have all played in or won multiple National Championships
Let’s break down the seasons under Mark Richt starting with our last SEC Championship in 2005:
- 2005 – The last year Georgia won a SEC Championship. The Dawgs started off the season ranked 13 and had fan favorite and DGD DJ Shockley taking over at QB after David Green finished his career as the winningest QB is D1 history. Georgia made it to the SEC Championship and beat LSU despite losing back to back games vs Rivals Florida and Auburn. So you could say we snuck into this one. Either way they made it to Atlanta and beat a #3 LSU team. BUT THEN we ended up losing to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl and finished the Season at #10.
- 2006 – Stafford’s Freshman Season. Everyone was excited to have the top NFL QB prospect on campus (Sounds familiar to Eason right now). UGA started the season at #14 in the preseason coaches Poll. Georgia started the season 5-0 with wins at South Carolina and at Ole Miss. Then Tennessee came into Sanford and drilled us 51-33. UGA followed that game up with a loss to VANDERBILT the very next week and became unranked for the first time under Richt. The fails didn’t stop there. Two weeks later they lost to Florida and then followed that game up with a loss at KENTUCKY. Georgia was able to “salvage” the season by beating #5 Auburn, #16 Georgia Tech, and finally #14 Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. Still finishing the Season unranked in the Coaches Poll.
- 2007 – Probably Georgia’s best season under Richt. Not his best record but best team and best finish. Georgia started the season off #13 and beat an unranked Oklahoma State in Athens. The next week was another early season loss to South Carolina at Sanford. Georgia rallied from that loss to beat #16 Alabama in OT at Bryant-Denny…Stafford to Mikey Henderson was AWESOME!! Two weeks later, another let down at an unranked Tennessee team. That would be the last loss of the season for the Dawgs. They came back to beat a ranked Florida, Auburn (Blackout game), and Kentucky. The Dawgs climbed the standings all the way up to #4 before dominating Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. UGA finished the season at #3 with nearly all our top talent returning. So close but the loss to UT killed them.
- 2008 – Preseason #1. This is our Year!! Stafford, Knowshon, AJ, Massaquoi, Geno Atkins, Dannell Ellerbe, Reshad Jones. NFL talent all over the field. Start the season off with wins at South Carolina and at Arizona State…then #8 Alabama comes to town. Get blown out. Turn around and beat Tennessee, Vandy, and LSU…Great now we just need to beat #5 Florida. Tough task I know but if you want to be the best you need to beat the best. Nope, Florida beats the breaks off us 49-10 and goes on to win their 2nd BCS Championship in 3 years. Throw in another loss to Tech that season and we finish 10-3 after a Citrus Bowl win over Michigan State. Another Disappointing year. Just another case of the Dawgs giving their fans a case of Blue Balls.
- 2009 – Post Stafford & Moreno. After such a high to begin the previous season to such a low starting this season. Georgia gets a gracious preseason rank of 13. That didn’t last long after we go into Stillwater and get beat by 2 touchdowns to Oklahoma State. After 3 wins vs South Carolina, Arkansas, and Arizona State, #14 Georgia loses a tough game vs a #4 LSU team…this was the last time UGA was ranked this season. Then the following week we go to Knoxville and get Donkey Punched by Joey Freshwater aka Lane Kiffin. Throw in a loss to #1 Florida and then an embarrassing loss to KENTUCKY and there goes another season down the shitter. Oh but we did beat Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl. Finish the season 8-5
- 2010 – As if things couldn’t get worse. On the bright side we finally got rid of CMR’s BFF Willie Martinez and bring in Todd Grantham. Awesome, it was a change that was much needed. No one knows much about Grantham but he someone other than Willie so we’ll take it. Somehow Georgia starts the season ranked at 23. That lasted 1 week. A loss to South Carolina in week 2 was the beginning of the end for the 2010 season. Georgia loss the next 3 games to Arkansas, Miss St, and Colorado. 1-4 to start the season. This is really when the “Fire Mark Richt” Campaign got serious. Add in losses to Florida, Auburn, and UCF in the Liberty Bowl and the Dawgs finish the season at 6-7.
- 2011 – Mark Richt barely saved his job. The hot seat started giving CMR a mean case of Swamp ass after starting the season off 0-2. A loss to #5 Boise State in Atlanta to start the season was disappointing. Follow that up with a loss to South Carolina in Athens and “here we go again”. Luckily Georgia went on a 10 game winning streak with wins at Ole Miss (unranked), at Tennessee (unranked), Florida (unranked), #20 Auburn, and #25 Georgia Tech. Great run after starting the season 0-2. One SEC loss gets them into the SEC Championship game vs #1 LSU. The final of that game…LSU 42 Georgia 10. Wamp fucking wamp. But hey after a terrible start, great finish…well maybe not. Georgia goes on to the Outback Bowl and loses to Michigan State.
- 2012 – High hopes heading in. Again we started the season in the top 10 at #6. 5 and 0 going into the South Carolina game only to get beat 35-7. Win out the rest of the regular season and go into the SEC Championship game ranked #3 vs #2 Alabama. This was probably the best SEC Championship game since it’s inception. Unfortunately the Dawgs fell 5 yards short and Alabama went on to beat Notre Dame in the National Championship game. UGA went on to beat Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl and finished the year ranked #4 with a 12-2 record. So close again.
- 2013 – Another Disappointing Season. After the way we played in 2012 Dawg fans we saying “This is our Season” AGAIN. Started the season at #5 only to lose the first game against a good Clemson team. Follow that up with a win over #6 South Carolina, #5 LSU, and an OT win at Tennessee. Come back home and lose to Missouri. “Bounce back” and LOSE at VANDERBILT. Beat Florida. Lose to Auburn. Gator Bowl bound and lose to an 8-4 Nebraska team. Granted our SEC Record setting QB Aaron Murray went down vs Kentucky. Even so it was another disappointing season finishing 8-5.
- 2014 – At least we have Gurley. Again Georgia starts the season in the top 15 at #12. A huge win vs Clemson to redeem ourselves from the previous season, only to lost the next week to South Carolina. Four weeks later reports start coming out that Todd Gurley signed autographs for money and was suspended for the next 4 games. During that time Nick Chubb busted on the scene like the Kool-aid man. Unfortunately we go into the Florida (Unranked) game and lose…Again. Gurley comes back vs Auburn only to tear his ACL to end his UGA career. Then we face Tech in Athens on the annual Thanksgiving weekend game. UGA completely blows this game by committing bone head plays and even worse coaching. End the season with a win vs Louisville in the Belk Bowl. Yippie!! 10-3 and finish the season #9.
- 2015 – QB? Who needs a QB when you have our Run Game. Well that didn’t last long. UGA starts the season with 4 easy games. Everyone knew the big test was going to be Alabama on October 3rd. Well we failed that test…AGAIN. Another disappointing loss in a big game. The better team won. Follow that up with a loss to Tennessee of monumental proportions. Not because of the final score was 38-31 UT, but because of the loss of our workhorse Nick Chubb the first play of the game. Also, because Tennessee was coming off some tough losses vs Oklahoma and Arkansas and Florida. UT was in need of that signature win BAD and guess what…they got it vs Georgia. Oh and by the way, that was the last time UGA scored a TD.
My answer to all the people out there who say “Who are you going to get that’s better” is I DON”T KNOW, but there are really good coaches out there that would love to coach at Georgia which has all the tools and resources to succeed. What I do know is that Mark Richt had all the opportunities a coach can ask for and he and UGA disappoint year after year.
Mark Richt has made UGA a top program and again I thank him for that. But it is time for a change. If you don’t believe so then you are saying it’s okay to be mediocre. I’m not okay with 8-4 and a second tier bowl appearance that we might win.
Like I said before, I’ve always been a Mark Richt guy. I still like the man. I wish he could continue to be our coach and lead us to a National Championship. But history shows that won’t be the case. I get it we have Eason coming in next year (the only reason to think about keeping him) but I’m tired of saying “Next Year” and making excuses to defend CMR. I thank him for what he has done for the program and for making us relevant but he’s had his chances. It’s time to part ways.