The Richt uproar: What to make of UGA’s coach?

"Take it from me, Mark. Nice guys lose to Auburn." (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

“Take it from me, Mark. Nice guys lose to Auburn.” (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

"Take it from me, Mark. Nice guys lose to Auburn." (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

“Take it from me, Mark. Nice guys lose to Auburn.” (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

Such has been the post-Florida uproar that a guy (meaning me) who wrote for Sunday that Mark Richt had been outcoached — by Will Muschamp, believe it or not — was chastised for daring to suggest in Monday’s offering that, if Richt were to leave, Georgia might not do any better. (“What about Auburn and Malzahn?” went one chorus. And because nothing can happen in college football without the Magic Name being invoked, “What about Saban?”)

At this point, I don’t know that I’m a Richt defender (I concede that he has liabilities) as much as I am a Richt realist. (I also concede that he has strengths.) But this week’s debate has become an either/or proposition: Richt should be fired because he can’t win it all, or Richt deserves to stay at Georgia as long as he wants because he has won so much and is a nice guy to boot.

(That line of thinking has prompted the usual rebuttal: “He can’t win it all because he’s TOO nice a guy! Saban’s not a nice guy!”)

All of which has set me to thinking, and for 14 years I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Mark Richt. I covered the first Georgia game he coached, and I was in Jacksonville on Saturday for one of his worst losses. I see both sides of the debate — though I’ll confess that I don’t much rate the too-nice-a-guy argument — and I’ve heard from folks who feel passionately that Richt needs to stay, same as those in the Richt-must-go camp believe what they’re saying.

I’ve also heard from a fairly dispassionate football man who notes that there are five quarterbacks from Georgia starting for other SEC teams — Auburn’s Nick Marshall signed with and played for Georgia, though not as a quarterback — and suggests that Richt’s chief failure is his insistence on sticking with a dropback passer in the era of running quarterbacks. That’s food for real thought, I must say.

All of which is to say: I’ve spent 14 years thinking about Richt, and I’m still trying to reconcile what I’m hearing with what I’ve come to believe. There was a time when I’d have considered him one of the nation’s 10 best coaches. I’m not sure I do today. At the same time, he’d probably fit into my top 15.

Meaning: Even after a terrible loss, I still think he’s a good coach. Which might not make sense to you, but that’s OK: In a week like this, I’m not sure it makes sense to me. But there it is.

Reader Comments 0

1166 comments
Undelusional
Undelusional

Mark - The book on you is that you have not been critical enough of Richt.  I believe you know that Richt is not a SEC caliber coach but you cowtow to the delusional Bulldog Nation that likes Richt because he is a "nice guy".  UGA has had more arrests, suspensions, and terminations than any other SEC school.  Discipline has been a problem for years.  With the talent pool UGA draws from, we should be perennial NC contenders - like Alabama.  The inconsistency of play, evidenced in the Florida game, is strictly a coaching problem.  And yet, you won't call for Richt to go.  When Richt signed his last contract, I said the UGA Athletic Director had guaranteed that UGA would not win a NC and probably not win another SEC Championship.  I am sorry to say I was correct. 

Marguerite48
Marguerite48

I have no idea if Mark Richt will ever see this but I'm speaking to him and for all those of you out there chanting the line that Mark is too nice of a guy, eat it.  There is no such thing.  Here is a man of integrity and someone who is willing to make his players better men by holding them accountable for their actions.  He recognizes that football is fleeting and whether or not these boys make it to a career in football they will always be in need of morals and a good work ethic.  I'm sick of the fair weather reporters, "fans", idiotic callers and boosters.  You get out there and do the job but until then, shut up and be thankful you don't have someone like Steve Spurrier or Malzahn.  They are complete thugs.

LamontSanford
LamontSanford

Bradley--over those 14 years you have been thinking about Mark Richt you have also been roundly critical of the man, often with no real cause.  As such you have zero credibility when it comes to articles about UGA or Mark Richt.  You pander to Tech fans with 90% of your trolling articles.  I read this one--snuck by the goalie.  Generally though--before reading any article about UGA football, I make sure that you didn't write it.  This article--like the rest of yours, was not worth my time. 

MikeS777
MikeS777

Bottom line is Pruitt needs to get his guys in here.  These guys Grantham recruited are talented but just don't have the discipline and mentality it takes to perform at a high level every week.  They were lost most of the time last year, and here both losses are because they came in to both the SC and FL games like they could just coast to to a win.

Cry all you want about Richt.  Replace him with someone else.  If the D doesn't get fixed, this team will not win anything.  It may get worse than Richt since his offense has routinely bailed out the defense over the last 5 years.

58Supersports
58Supersports

The same people who set up Obamacare web must have also did AJC's. It sucks big time.

Mobile Dawg
Mobile Dawg

Said it on Bill's blog, don't like Jeff Schultz so I don't go to his blog, this new format needs to be revamped, i.e. the comments section.  I will come back a few times to see if it's changed, if not I'm gone.  I like being able to see multiple posts, threads, this is just user  unfriendly.


Got a feeling you are going to notice a lot less participation.

rim1one
rim1one

And the new format does suck!

rim1one
rim1one

Richt is a "Great" OC but just a Good head coach.  He obviously is not willing to make some of the really hard decisions regarding his staff.

SSI
SSI

Horrible. What was wrong with old?

Go to WSB.COM

ONLY PLACE TO BE USER FRINDLY !!

gt51
gt51

i agree.  new website is horrible.  can't find anything

SinceVince
SinceVince

Our  entire Athletics Dept needs a house cleaning...Basketball is gonna stink too

OH-IO
OH-IO

YOUR READERS DESERVE MORE THAN a 1/4 COLUMN! 

OH-IO
OH-IO

AND THE NEW  FORMAT SUCKS! 

OH-IO
OH-IO

And the lead photo is Upton. Basball's "ovah"

OH-IO
OH-IO

THE FORMAT STILL SUCKS! 

Dr. P.
Dr. P.

could you possibly have made a bigger screwed up mess out of this new format ???? GEEEEZ

I'm tired of bashing Richt because it does no good. A quiet period of detached thoughtfulness and re-evaluation searching for the root cause of UGa's periodic collapses is perplexing me. As much as I blame Richt, the players must motivate themselves and look within their ranks for leadership. Richt doesn't lacks that leadership capacity, so the players must overcome that themselves. A priority of "winning at all costs" does not exist. The attitude of winning is the hands of a higher power, must be supplanted by one that the players control the game's outcome and "We Will Not Lose This Game". 

wreckmaniac
wreckmaniac

This site does not suit my interest which is

poking UGA every day.  Give me the good old days. 

wreckmaniac
wreckmaniac

" 5 QBs from Georgia" starting for SEC teams ?

Bum Phillips said about Don Shula:  "He can take hisn and beat yourun and take yourun and beat hisn". That's the CMR story.  Proving every year that the nations best recruiting cannot beat the nations best coaching.

Lawdawg02
Lawdawg02

As for Richt & Co, every year they seem to find a way to lose at least one game they have no business losing (e.g., FLA 2014, Vandy 2013, etc.).  On the other hand, they never seem to find a way to win any games they have no business winning.  CMR's clock management in the FLA game was a total rookie move.  He did not look like a 14-year head coach at a major program.  I know there aren't a lot of choices out there, so I'm not beating the drum to fire CMR; but I certainly don't see $3 million per year worth of coaching value there.

Lawdawg02
Lawdawg02

I come to the site to see what Dawg fans and even that idiot OH-IO have to say about what's going on with the debacle that has become Georgia football.  If AJC editors don't get that in this age of social media, then they are doomed.  This new site does not facilitate that interchange of opinions and ideas at all.  Mark Bradley's lame -a$$ column starts the conversation, but it's clearly not what I come here for.  


AJC:  you all need to address the presentation of the Comments section so that it's not a microscopic side column that's a pain in the neck to read and cuts off the commentary thread.

Swampdawg
Swampdawg

Folks.... It took Dooley 14 years to win a NC and the Bulldog Nation loved him his whole career. "The Bear" had a few bad years and UGA was able to slide in for the SEC Champs.

Love the new blog site!

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

@Swampdawg You are the ONLY Person that likes the new site. You can' see all the past posts.

keendaddy
keendaddy

One more thing. Who gets paid, to sit around and think up ways to screw up the AJC blog? They need to be sent to the mail room asap!

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

@keendaddy I know we go back and forth but I think ALL agree this is S..t and the AJC F...edup.


I hope you saw 48Dawg and his wife had a 2nd daughter last weekend.

There is another DWAG in this world. Be blessed and give Mustang a hug and kiss for me.


Samoan Redcoat
Samoan Redcoat

This new format is pretty awful, probably last time reading ajc.com!!!

OH-IO
OH-IO

dog Shockley is a panelist on the B1G Network!


dog gotta do what a dog gotta do



BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

dawg-tiredofit
dawg-tiredofit

I'm having a vision....last week Florida did something no one thought they could do...beat Georgia. This week, once again, they do something no one thought they could do....lose to Vandy. Wouldn't that make a mess of things?

dawg-tiredofit
dawg-tiredofit

This new look is so bad, I can't even focus to complain about Uga.

WhatExcuseNow
WhatExcuseNow

This format is H-I-D-E-O-U-S.  You only get a portion of the comments, as it stands now, comments back 3 hours ago.  Mercy, I AM FULLY BEHIND BUCKEYE AND ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL PROTESTING THIS FORMAT.  Heck I stopped reading SI.COM because of this style.  GLARINGLY CONFUSING  to try and read and make sense of at this moment.  Might have to call it a day and just read FOXNews along with their Sports section.  Good luck with this format and the readers that can decipher it.  Maybe you all can break it down for me and recall the hysterically funny comments where we all can enjoy it and not just the '3 hours ago' crowd.  Have a blessed evening and weekend.

ResidentGeorgiaFan
ResidentGeorgiaFan

AJC don't listen to those who fuss about the new look. They probably wear striped pants and plaid shirts and see nothing wrong with that.

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Mark Richt looks the same after a loss as he does after a win... which is key... means he has his emotions under control... do not get the word meek confused with the word weak just because they rhyme...


Meek; enduring injury with patience and without resentment: Mild, Moderate, Submissive and Gentle all characteristics one should look for in a strong under control leader.


Weak; lacking strength, deficient in physical vigor, Feeble, mentally or intellectually deficient, not firmly decided, not able to withstand temptation or persuasion all the characteristics of a person who constantly losing control of his emotions and it shows-out when he is under extreme pressure... watch the sidelines you'll see plenty of coaches with red faces teeth gashing and out of control.


Mark Richt vs Auburn 8-5

Nick Saban vs Auburn (overall) 6-6


Stick with Richt


"BELIEVE" in the G

ResidentGeorgiaFan
ResidentGeorgiaFan

New look is great. Old design was cluttered and filled with repeat info.

22Shamburger
22Shamburger

Being NICE in Life is different than being nice in the WAR that Football is. You want to follow Gen. Patton or Princess Di(Helen Hunt)?


OH-IO
OH-IO

Brads,


Tell the boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss's boss this format SUCKS. 


I may even quit. 


AHHHHHHHHH

OH-IO
OH-IO

FREE THE BLOG

OH-IO
OH-IO

Look at Richt


Look at Saban


Nuff said

OH-IO
OH-IO

But hey, we can still see the hideous shirt ands tie combo. 


Richt,  Hire a personal shopper! 

OH-IO
OH-IO

BLOG STRIKE! BLOG STRIKE!


WHO'S WITH ME?

OH-IO
OH-IO

THIS FORMAT SUCKS AJC PUBLISHER AND ADVERTISERS! 

Terry1961
Terry1961

Bradley, Saban is 4 - 3 against Auburn, Mark Richt is 8 - 5 against Auburn. I don’t think Coach Richt needs any advice on beating Auburn from Saban.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

FREE GURLEY!!!!!!!!.......and the new AJC!