A Complacent Mark Richt

Todd CarltonContributor IOctober 13, 2009

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Mark Richt of the Georgia Bulldogs looks toward the scoreboard late in the game while taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2008 in Athens, Georgia. Alabama defeated Georgia 41-30.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

It's January 1, 2008 and Mark Richt is celebrating a huge win over an undefeated Hawaii team in the Sugar Bowl.  He has a sophomore Quarterback in Matthew Stafford that will be a Heisman Trophy preseason candidate for the 2008 season.  He has a redshirt freshman running back in Knowshon Moreno that is drawing comparisons to former Auburn running back and top 5 pick Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.  The number one high school senior wide receiver in A.J. Green ready to sign on the dotted line in less than a month.  A defense that looks like it would be able to stop several NFL teams.  Things are good.

Fast forward twenty months.  Mark Richt is fighting for his job.  Georgia is 3-3 at the half-way mark and still has to play Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.  As it currently stands Georgia will be underdogs in all three of those games.  Although I find it highly unlikely that Georgia will lose all three of those games it is possible.  Would a 7-5 record and two straight seasons of underachieving (some might argue more) be enough for the powers in Athens to make a move?  Personally I doubt it. 

Mark Richt embodies a lot of positive things for college football.  First and foremost he will always represent the University in the up-most fashion.  You could write an article on his charitable donations and humanitarian events alone.  But in the world of the SEC where a coach's stature is measured in wins and losses, just being a nice guy won't cut it.

Georgia needs to find the old Mark Richt.  Mark Richt needs to find the old Mark Richt.  The one that dared you to invite his teams to play on the road.  The one that basically didn't seem to care what was going on, on the other side of the field...he was going to do his thing and he dared you stop him.

That Mark Richt doesn't roam the sidelines anymore.

Maybe it's the people that he surrounds himself with these days.  Maybe it's Willie Martinez.  Maybe it's Mike Bobo.  You could most certainly throw some blame at this death trap of a schedule.  The old Mark Richt wouldn't.  Maybe he isn't now, I don't know.  I do know that something isn't right in Athens these days and the buck stops with Mark Richt.