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I’m Being Bombarded With “Why Do You Hate Mark Richt” Emails

Man, am I getting roasted from some of you because of my “hot seat evaluation” column from yesterday.  The ol’ emailbox is dang near full.

In yesterday’s piece, I wrote that LSU’s Les Miles and Georgia’s Mark Richt are the two coaches in the SEC — in my opinion — who can least afford a “bad, bad year” this year.

I wrote that with a 5-7 season (the same record that got Phillip Fulmer and Tommy Tuberville KO’d last year), Miles and Richt would hear the loudest cat calls.

Miles, in my view, could actually be fired at year’s end if LSU comes off the rails agian.  Richt, I believe, would survive a horrible year to face a critical 2010 season.

This, of course, has brought out the pro-Richt Georgia fans who believe that their coach will be in Athens forever and ever.  Amen.

(Interestingly, I’m not hearing many LSU fans who are willing to say that Miles could survive a horrible season.  Hmmm.)



Let me make a couple of things clear:

1)  I have nothing against Richt.  In fact, I think he’s easily the most likeable coach in the SEC.  I’m not saying that I would put him on the hot seat… I’m giving my view of how SEC fanbases would react to terrible seasons.  Personally, I think it’s absurd that Richt is currently hearing gripes about “not winning the big one” or his “whining” about Georgia’s schedule. 

2)  That said, there IS more griping now than at any time during the Richt’s tenure.  From the Georgia media and from the fanbase.  It’s part of the reality of college football in the SEC.  Expectations are high and they only get higher over time.

3)  Richt has been at his school longer than any other SEC coach.  Former Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin recently half-joked that a coach loses 10% of his fanbase every year.  The numbers are clearly off, but the idea isn’t.

4)  Last year at this time, I would have been called an idiot for suggesting that Tuberville was on the hot seat.  He’d never had a single bad year at Auburn.  He’d beaten Alabama six straight times.

Similarly, I personally wrote that David Climer of The Tennessean was off-base for suggesting last summer that Fulmer was on the hot seat.  He’d just won the SEC East the previous fall.

Sorry, David.  You were right.



For all of those reasons, I stand by my position.  If Richt has a terrible year this year (and I don’t see one on the horizon, but I also didn’t see 5-7 campaigns in UT or AU’s futures last year), he’ll be in serious hot water when the 2010 season begins.

You might not like it, but it’s a fact.  Just ask Fulmer and Tuberville how much can change between June and December.

To finish this up, the excellent Junkyard Blawger for The AJC writes that Georgia fans are “disappointed, but we’re not deluded.”

Now, what do you think an Auburn blogger or a Tennessee blogger might have written last year had I suggested that their fellow fans and boosters would rise up with closed wallets to oust their coaches?

Probably something to the effect of, “we’re disappointed, but we’re not deluded.”

 


1 comments
Whopper Dawg
Whopper Dawg

I think you have something depending on why Richt would go 5 - 7 (let's assume he does). If the defense shows no improvement, and if they go 5 - 7, they probably get worse, then I think Coach Richt could be really hot water if he does not make a move on his Dcoordinator Willie Martinez. Martinez has no support in the fan base, none. The defense has gotten worse every year since Von Gorder (currently Atlanta Falcons Dcoordinator) left.

If it if other factors, Richt is probably OK.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] John Pennington finds himself lamely defending his lame “hot seat” post. [...]

  2. [...] John Pennington defends his Mark Richt “hot seat” piece at MrSEC.com that I wrote about yesterday. Georgia fans apparently have been bombarding him with e-mails. … [...]

  3. [...] Just a few updates and notes from across the conference before we get into the team-specific news:Are basketball schools like Tennessee (an adidas school) at a disadvantage when they try to recruit against Nike schools like Kentucky?  That seemed to have played a role in the Josh Selby decommitment.  (Maybe adidas should capitalize their name.)Elements of “the spread” have been around for a long time… but the offense is still growing.  (Folks need to differentiate between “the spread” and “the spread option,” however… because what Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators runs is very different from what his buddy Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots runs.)Chris Low of ESPN.com writes (correctly so) that Anthony Dixon’s arrest for a DUI just days before the start of fall practice puts Mississippi State and Dan Mullen behind the eight ball.  (Dixon is also the fifth Bulldog arrested since Mullen took over in December.)Mullen commented on the situation via Twitter.  Man, I’m sick of Twitter.  (But did I mention you can follow us on Twitter?)Mr. Low is also planning another series of lists (as are all the ESPN bloggers)… this one breaking down the new faces expected to contribute for each team in the SEC (in Low’s case) this fall.  Here’s his Vandy report.UPDATE — Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News wonders if Urban Meyer will live up to his “I’m not leaving” promise.UPDATE — It’s rare that I can provide advice to Paul Finebaum of The Mobile Press-Register.  But after I was pilloried for saying that Mark Richt would find himself on the hot seat in Athens if the Bulldogs flop this year, I know what Mr. Finebaum is in for.  Like me, has now written that Georgia fans can fall out of love with Richt just as quickly as Auburn and Tennessee boosters turned on Tommy Tuberville and Phillip Fulmer last year.Here’s what I wrote about the SEC’s hottest seats in a column last month.And here was my follow-up on Richt. [...]

  4. [...] (and Les Miles) would be sitting on the SEC’s hottest seats if they had bad seasons in 2009. June 23, 2009 — A day later, after being hammered with “Why do you hate Richt?” emails, I [...]

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