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Temperature Of Richt’s Seat Still A Hot Topic

Two summers ago, we listed Mark Richt as sitting atop the hottest seat in the SEC East.  Our logic was simple: Richt had just become the “dean of SEC coaches” and that’s just about the time fans start to turn on coaches.  After a decade or so at one school — regardless of how good that decade has been — collective losses begin to pile up in supporter’s minds.

In addition, Richt hadn’t won “the big one.”  A national title can provide some protection once years pass and losses mount.  Richt didn’t have any such armor.

We were obliterated by Georgia backers who claimed they would never turn on their coach.  Writers at other sites suggested we were either nuts or anti-Richt (something we’ve made abundantly clear that we’re not).

Well, here we are.  Just a couple of years and one losing season later.  Richt’s job status is the hottest topic in the state of Georgia and even some of the writers who took us to task for suggesting that Richt might soon wear out his welcome are saying that… uh… Richt has worn out his welcome.

Below is a sample of what’s being said about Georgia’s coach following Saturday’s heartbreaking 45-42 loss to South Carolina:


Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“‘We’re going to shake off the mistakes and become a very good football team,’ Richt said, and maybe Georgia will.  But I’m more skeptical after South Carolina than after Boise State.  More and more, Richt bears the look of one of those coaches who can take his’n and lose to your’n and vice versa.”


Hays Carlton of The Florida Times-Union:


“Mark Richt looks done at Georgia.  There’s just little hope he survives a 0-2 start.  He’d have to beat Florida.  Of Georgia’s other nine games, he’d have to go 8-1.  That combo just seems nearly impossible at this point for a coach that’s 14-14 in his last 28 games.  More alarming is Richt’s horrid 6-9 mark in his last 15 contests.  Two of those wins were over Louisiana-Lafayette and Idaho State.  So, really, Richt is 4-9 in his last 13 games against teams with a pulse.  That’s pathetic.”


Chris Low of ESPN.com:

“The one thing the Bulldogs couldn’t do to start this season was go 0-2.  At least that was the thinking coming in.  Well, they’re 0-2 and banged up at linebacker.  The schedule is really pretty manageable the rest of the way, and what’s going to be critical for Richt is winning some games that count.  In other words, he doesn’t need to lose to Florida, doesn’t need to lose to Tennessee and doesn’t need to lose to Auburn.”


Stewart Mandel of SI.com:


“No question, Richt is down to his ninth life.  His kind demeanor, respect in the community and .727 winning percentage have already helped him last longer than the typical SEC coach in this same situation, but fans can only take ‘we’re getting better’ for so long.  Provided the players don’t get discouraged, the Dawgs are fully capable of rallying to a nine-win season and possible division title, which is probably what it would take at this point to save Richt’ job.”


Roger Clarkson of The Athens Banner-Herald:

“The Bulldogs played well in stretches in Saturday’s 45-42 loss to South Carolina at Sanford Stadium.  The running gme showed some signs of life.  The passing game found ways to hurt the Gamecocks.  More of the fanbase remains behind head coach Mark Richt than doesn’t.  But game-changing mistakes continue to hamper Georgia’s progress. … Georgia has an opportunity to correct its miscues, or at least learn how to minimize the damage.  If the Bulldogs don’t find traction soon, the anti-Richt movement will.”


UGA athletic director Greg McGarity:

“We played two games this season.  We played two excellent teams.  I don’t think there’s anybody in our program that has any comfort level of moral victories.  We’re past that as a program.  We should be past that as a program.  I think people, like any other event, the general public, whether they know much about football or not, everybody can recognize effort, everyone recognize whether the team is prepared to play by an absence of mistakes.  I don’t mean fumbles or things caused by the team.  But there weren’t many penalties in (Saturday’s) game.  Having a crisp game from that standpoint.”

 




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