Fans Should Stop Blaming Mark Richt for Georgia’s Failures on the Field


Mark Richt is a lot of things, but a failure or a bad coach are not among the things you should list.

Ever since the Bulldogs lost in their pitiful performance against the Florida Gators on Saturday, the “FIRE MARK RICHT” brigade has once again begun to crawl out of their foxholes that they so conveniently slip into when Georgia is doing well.

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Hail Florida Hail

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  • Go back into bunker mode, would you? Mark Richt isn’t going anywhere and nor should he.

    The shortsightedness of this fringe group of fans never ceases to amaze me, not to mention the completely irrelevant comparisons made to coaches like Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – winning a college football championship is the hardest title to attain in sports, simply because a single regular season loss has the ability to completely wipe out a season’s worth of good work. There is a lot of luck involved in winning a national championship, as well as the timing of it all.

    Let me debunk some popular theories that Richt-haters like to point out as to why he should be fired or asked to step down.

    “Richt consistently has top recruiting classes, but they don’t translate into championships.”� – Let me tell you exactly what I think recruiting rankings mean (and practically every FBS coach in the nation would agree with this)…they mean nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    They’re a way to help lure more recruits and to give a false sense of accomplishment to fans. The percentage of top recruits who actually live up to their billing is small. Many don’t pan out at all.

    “Richt has no control over his players and program. Check the police blotter” – This is one of my favorites, and his been proven wrong time and time again. If anything, Richt has more control than most coaches. He’s transparent, and doesn’t allow the university, the boosters or the local authorities to cover-up misdeeds by members of his program.

    Not to mention, Georgia has some of the most strict policies regarding drug use in the entire conference. Richt and his coaching staff teach these kids what not to do from the day they step on campus. Nobody can “control” the actions of the players but the players themselves.

    “Richt wins in the regular season just enough to keep his job, but can’t win the big games” – Again, poppycock. Yes, the Bulldogs have had some disappointments in big games, but only because they have more opportunities to play in those big games than many programs.

    Do some coaches have a better record in such contests? Absolutely, and congrats to them on their success. Richt has a few feathers in his own cap.

    “Richt has 14 years as head coach and no national championship” – There was a guy who once coached at Georgia named Vince Dooley (perhaps you’ve heard of him?). Dooley began in 1964, and he didn’t even sniff a national championship shot until Herschel Walker arrived in 1980, when the Bulldogs went undefeated and won it all.

    Two more years of Herschel saw two years of contention (but losing in those “big games” as it happens), and then nothing close again until Richt arrived on the scene. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the timing of players, coaches, and luck all have to fall into place.

    So, getting back to this past weekend’s debacle against Florida, why is Richt to blame? If the players don’t execute, the coaches are handcuffed. Why not blame Hutson Mason for a number of bad passes? Why not blame Nick Chubb for fumbling the ball? Why not blame receivers for dropping easy passes that would have kept drives alive? Or how about blaming Todd Gurley for knowingly breaking the rules, and missing an important game.

    Nov 1, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt reacts prior to the game against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    All of these things are mistakes that the team hasn’t made all year long, but did against Florida. If they were ongoing problems, then I’d agree there might be a coaching issue.

    Georgia wasn’t supposed to be a national title contender this year. This was supposed to be a regrouping year, with a new defensive coordinator, a new quarterback for the first time in four years, and a number of defensive starters unexpectedly gone from the program.

    The fact that the Bulldogs were in the discussion 10 weeks into the season says a lot for the exceptional job that Mark Richt and his staff have done.

    Wait till next year? Who knows. But as long as Mark Richt is head coach next year, the chance of making the playoffs and winning the national championship are going to be there.