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I Do Believe I’ve Been Called Out Over Richt

Bill King — the fine Georgia fan behind The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Junkyard Blawg — apparently isn’t a real big fan of

Yesterday he wrote the following:

“It’s a given that Mark Richt’s program lost a little momentum last season, which in the knee-jerk world of college football ‘analysis’ prompted the ‘hot seat’ talk that reached a crescendo during the prolonged search for a defensive coordinator.  After Kirby Smart decided to stay at Alabama, declared flatly that Richt was ‘in trouble’ and ‘his days are running out.’”

Mr. King then went on to say how “refreshing” it was that ESPN’s Chris Low wrote that Richt might be at Georgia for “the long haul.”

The suggestion seems to be that I am anti-Richt while Low is pro-Richt.

Here’s the problem with that… the quotes Mr. King used make it appear as though I was attacking Richt in fact came from a piece in which I was DEFENDING Richt, as you’ll see below.

I find it interesting that Mr. King took on when this site (in the piece he quoted) was taking on the negativity of The AJC’s own Mark Bradley.

(For the record, I’m a fan of Mr. Bradley, but I believe he and Jeff Schultz both have overplayed Georgia’s perceived decline.  Difference of opinion.)

So why would Mr. King take to task rather than his fellow AJC writer?  Hmmm.

Let’s provide you with a little history on this site’s many battles over Richt:

June 22, 2009 — I wrote that Richt (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 explained that my ranking of Richt was based solely on his long tenure and the growing grumbles that were coming out of Georgia last spring.  (I also referenced Mr. King’s first discussion of MrSEC in which he said of my “hot seat” prediction, Georgia fans are “disappointed, but we’re not deluded.”)

October 13, 2009 — I responded to two Southeastern writers who compared Richt to former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer.  I made it pretty clear that I believed any comparisons between those men’s tenures to be ridiculous.  I also pointed out that on that same day, Paul Finebaum had written a column welcoming Richt “to the hot seat.”  And later that same day, Richt himself wound up having to defend the state of his program during his weekly media conference.

October 13, 2009 — Later that evening I posted a by-the-numbers comparison of Fulmer and Richt in the 2000s… to further prove the point that Richt has NOT overseen a decline at UGA.

October 16, 2009 — Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News (whose writings I also enjoy) compared Richt to Tommy Tuberville.  As I posted in my story, I agreed with his take in that both Tuberville and Richt had gotten in trouble over one bad year.  Mr. Scarbinsky — apparently part of that “knee-jerk” crowd Mr. King wrote of — made the comparison for a different reason.  He didn’t care about Richt’s resume, he only cared that he wasn’t getting the job done against Urban Meyer, just as Tuberville would have failed to do so against Nick Saban.

November 6, 2009 — By this time, our old buddy, Mr. King had grown tired of everyone in the South claiming that Richt had landed on the proverbial “hot seat.”  I referenced his post and wrote that it was basically wishful thinking on his part.

January 4, 2010 — Fast forward to Georgia’s long search for a defensive coordinator.  Mr. Bradley of The AJC had written that Richt needed to hire Kirby Smart from Alabama or else he would “have some explaining to do.”  I wrote that getting the right man was more important than beating the clock.  Again, I was defending Richt against something in The AJC.

January 12, 2010 — Finally, we come back to the post that Mr. King wrote of yesterday.  Following Smart’s decision to stay at Alabama, I wrote that Richt IS in trouble at Georgia, though in my opinion his only mistake in his coordinator search was going after the biggest names in the business.

In the time between June of 2009 and now, I have gone from receiving emails from Richt-backers (for saying he was on the hot seat) to receiving emails from Richt-attackers (for being an “apologist” for the coach).

Read my writings and you’ll see that my take on the man has never changed.

I think he is the third best coach in the SEC behind only Saban and Meyer — as I wrote on January 18th.

But I also believe coaches have short shelf-lives in the SEC.  And there have been more complaints about Richt in the past year — for “whining” about his schedule, to not hiring the right coaches, to not fielding a top-flight program — than in any previous year of his tenure.

There will be even more complaints if Richt finishes behind Tennessee in terms of recruiting this year.  And God help the man if Derek Dooley lures away Da’Rick Rogers’ from the Bulldogs’ camp.

Next fall will come an extremely important campaign for UGA’s coach… one in which Richt will once again have to break in a new quarterback.

If he has a bad year, yes, there will be howls for his job.  Mark that down.  If Richt loses four or more games next year, you will hear cries for his head.

That doesn’t mean I believe that’s what SHOULD happen.  That’s what I believe WILL happen.

There’s a big difference there.

So keep that in mind when you see other sites try to spin our position on Georgia’s head coach.



  1. [...] When memes collide Jump to Comments I know it’s a little inside-ballish, but in light of my earlier post about Mark Bradley’s Chicken Little post concerning Mark Richt, this is a fun read. [...]

  2. [...] It all can only help.  Whether any of it actually delivers any real results, we shall have to wait and see.  It’s not really the point.  The point of this whole post was despite some obvious concerns about the upcoming Georgia football season, the Sky is not falling.  I would prefer to wait and see how it all plays out before I start making crazy/batshit declarative sounding statements like “If Coach Richt doesn’t win this many games, he is gone”. I just think that this … [...]

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