Georgia Football: The Question is Always “Who is Better Than?”

Where Mark Richt is concerned, the retort to any who dare question why the Georgia Bulldogs keep him around—while other coaches come into the SEC and win championships—has always been, if not him, then who?

First, let me clarify that I’m a Richt supporter. I’ve supported him at 12-1 as well as at 6-7; and while it was certainly harder to do when the record was the latter than when it was the former, I still did…and I do now.

Second, on that same line, let me say that the very reason I lend this support—aside from the fact that he is the guy the program I love and pledge my undying allegiance to has chosen for the job—is because I still haven’t seen a better option.

Rivals college football analyst Mike Farrell sums this thought process up very well in the statement below:

“I think Richt is a great fit at Georgia,” Farrell said. “Sometimes the discussion has to be had about whether the next guy would actually be better than the current guy and I don’t know who is out there that could be better for Georgia[emphasis added]

“The program recruits so well that it always seems like they are underperforming and that almost always goes on the head coach, but the expectations there are national championship or perceived failure. He has won the conference title, he has been in the SEC title game and BCS games and now the next step is all that is left and that corner just hasn’t been turned.”

Being a passionate SEC fan is tough because, whether you want to admit it or not, you’re always looking at the SEC school that’s doing better than yours, and wondering why yours isn’t doing the same.

As a Georgia fan, you don’t want Florida, South Carolina, or Tennessee to do well because that likely means Georgia isn’t. And, if there is a tiebreaker to be had, you want it to be one that doesn’t make Georgia the odd team out. And if there has to be a road block for Alabama getting into the BCS Championship again this season, you sure as hell didn’t intend to see it going through Missouri!

As the rapper Future would say…I’m just being honest.

My support for Richt is nothing new, but as the proverbial hot seat chatter ramps up yet again—funny how that wasn’t even part of the conversation after Georgia beat LSU—I thought it important to inject a little perspective into the discussion or, rather, I felt it best that I at least let my stance be known, just in case anyone might take it upon themselves to wonder.

For the record, I am not saying changes aren’t needed; clearly something has to be done about the defense’s propensity towards under-achieving, despite the talent level, and someone may need to have a talk with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on how to better roll with the punches where play calling is concerned (craft a playbook that works just as well without the marquis guys as it does when said guys can play; I’m not saying the results will be the same, but at least you don’t end up making your All-American QB look like a lost puppy on the football field), but those things can be fixed and you have to figure if there is one guy who wants them fixed, it’s Richt.

I understand the frustration from the fan base. Trust me when I tell you I’m still seething over the Mizzou loss, wanted heads to roll after Vanderbilt, and have found myself questioning if this team, as currently configured, has enough to beat Auburn or Florida. But…and it’s a “but” I have to mention, that’s the irrational, loose cannon, wildly passionate, Knob Creek on a Saturday night fan in me talking.

The rational, cooler headed, “Lady Sportswriter” in me asks more pointed questions: Would we have won those games if there weren’t so many injuries? Is the success, or lack thereof, of this defense really about the youth or could it be about the scheme? Are we recruiting better depth at the positions we’ve seen the hardest hit so that the drop-off doesn’t continue to be so substantial in the future?

No matter what you think of  Richt, the bottom-line is he’ll likely retire before he’s fired. He may not be hoisting a crystal football at the end of this season, but I’d be damned if he isn’t keeping Georgia in the conversation for one nearly every season he’s at the helm. And, aside from Les Miles and Nick Saban, name me another SEC coach who has been able to do that as consistently as he has over the last decade plus?

Does saying as much make me sound like just another Mark Richt apologist? Perhaps. But, in my opinion…I’m just being honest.

 

 

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I am not a 'journalist' by trade, nor do I present myself as such. I am just a wife, mother, and Georgia Bulldog fan who likes to write about two of her favorite things: the Georgia Bulldogs and college football. I write. You read...it's a give and take experience.

8 comments for “Georgia Football: The Question is Always “Who is Better Than?”

  1. BLACK&RED
    10/28/2013 at 2:26 PM

    I like Mark but I where to hire some “better” it would be Charlie Strong

  2. jeffery jones
    10/26/2013 at 3:41 PM

    Ga is hurt not to mention them being young. Coach Richt is the best coach that UGA

    has every had, (well okay, Coach Vince Dooley too!). All he needs is a National Title

    and it is coming. Before we jump the gun again remember Tennessee when they

    fired their coach. They use to be one of the SEC Power House! Now tell me can

    you name a coach that has won more games in the SEC than UGA since the hiring

    of coach Mark Richt? Remember the 7 long (losing) years we had with coach Ray

    Golff! Bottom line the man is a good coach and if we don’t want him then…… well

    you know!! By the way “Lady Kim” that was a good “write” Go DAWGS/FALCONS

  3. Steve
    10/26/2013 at 3:04 PM

    Mark Richt has no control on his players getting hurt. That is something you can’t help. If not for all the injuries Georgia has had this year Georgia would right there in the NC race. So to blame Mark Richt for this season is ridiculous. Mark Richt is one of the best if not the best coach Georgia as ever had.

  4. Blake
    10/25/2013 at 8:54 PM

    I’ve supported Richt thtough thick and thin as well, but must admit that our recent downfalls starting back in ’06 have slowly began to erode some of my otherwise seemingly undying faith in the man. Have we had a rash of unfortunate injuries? Yes. Did we get two of the worst calls I have ever seen last weekend against Vandy? Yes, but niether of those are the reason we lost the last two games. Yes we have youth on the defense, as we have many times before, but we are absolutely awful on defense. Giving up thirty points a game is unheard of. Youth nor injuries can be an excuse for that. Another thing is special teams. We have given up points or cost ourselves points due to special teams blunders in every single game this year. Folks, we are seven games into the season. This is ridiculous. My hopes are that we win out, finish 9-3, Mizzou loses three, and we go on to win the SEC Championship and follow it up next year with a National Title with almost the entire team coming back and a seasoned Hutson Mason taking over at QB. Realistically I cannot say I see that happening. I love Richt, but it’s getting harder and harder to come up with excuses as to why we always fall short.

  5. Moe Pritchett
    10/25/2013 at 3:43 PM

    Nope. I think you are dead on Miss Kimberly. As a matter of fact, that is the best article I have seen on the whole subject.

  6. Marti Lee
    10/25/2013 at 2:43 PM

    I could not agree more! I am a huge Right fan for many reasons, not the least of which is that he has character and insists on it from players as well. He cares about them as students and people, not just athletes. As a college professor, I especially appreciate that. For the naysayers who are going to (inevitably) start hollering about the disciplinary action… well, that’s it: he DOES discipline them! No student is perfect and most of these guys have been taught that they are “special” for so long, that yes, some are going to get in trouble, but he doesn’t sweep it under the rug or downplay it, he addresses it head on (just ask Zach Mettenberger). I would rather lose a few games (much as it pains me to say that) than win every game with a sleazy coach (naming no names…). Having said all that, I also happen to believe that he is a heck of a coach and that we WILL win many more SEC titles and NC with him!

    • 10/25/2013 at 5:01 PM

      I’d love to see him win a NC before he exits on his Georgia coaching career and I absolutely agree with you, and I think it’d be hard for others not to as well, that he’s a the kind of coach any program would be proud to have—just a humble, classy, and all-around nice guy.

      Thanks for the great comments!

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