Mark Richt Hot Seat: 10 Possible Replacements for the Georgia Football Coach

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer INovember 10, 2010

Mark Richt Hot Seat: 10 Possible Replacements for the Georgia Football Coach

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    Marc Richt, outside of Rich Rodriguez, could be sitting on the hottest college football seat in the country.

    His Georgia team has under performed and been in a slow, downward spiral for the last few years.

    Since Georgia finished 11-2 in 2007 and won the Sugar Bowl, the Bulldogs have begun to lose wins in each of the last three seasons.

    Georgia finished 10-3 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009, and they're 5-5 so far this season. I would say that's a decline, wouldn't you?

    He could be on the chopping block at the end of this season if things don't turn around. If that does in fact happen, the university will begin looking for replacements, someone that can get them back to where they were three years ago.

    Here are 10 possible replacements to take over at the University of Georgia.

10. Bill Cowher

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    Bill Cowher's name will come up on just about every job opening whether it's in college or the pros. He's a guy a lot of people want, but only the perfect job is going to lure him out of retirement.

    While Georgia may not have a shot at him, you can bet that his name is going to be mentioned in conversations. He's not going to be on their short list because they're not going to be on his.

9. Les Miles

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    There's been talk of Les Miles being out at LSU for the past few seasons but not as much as there has been this season.

    I would have said his job was in serious jeopardy had LSU lost to Alabama. However, they did not and he's safe for another week. Sounds like an episode of Survivor doesn't it?

    If that does indeed happen, he won't need to make that big of a jump going to Georgia. While we don't know how things will work out until the end of the season, he's still a candidate in my book.

8. Kevin Sumlin

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    Kevin Sumlin might not be on too many radars, especially since he's not exactly a big name out of the University of Houston.

    But, neither was Derek Dooley before he was hired by Tennessee.

    Sumlin is in his third season with Houston and has led them to winning records in at least his first two years including a 10-4 record and a division title in 2009.

    Say what you want about him being unknown, but even the most unknown guys can turn into the ones that turn your team around.

7. Jon Gruden

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    Jon Gruden is going to be on a lot of people's short list and that includes NFL jobs that will come open and those that already are.

    There are more teams than Georgia that might look for a new head coach or are already looking—Minnesota and Colorado are already there.

    Gruden has a Super Bowl ring and might be someone the university would at least call to gauge his interest.

6. Jason Garrett

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    While Jason Garrett is the interim head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he won't be after this season is over and he won't have a job either.

    Jerry Jones is going to bring another head coach into Dallas, one that can bring the championship years back to Cowboys Stadium and that coach is going to want his own guys.

    Garrett is going to be available and he's going to get opportunities. Georgia may think about him, but he won't be on the short list.

5. Brady Hoke

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    The head coach at San Diego State has the Aztecs in a better position than they've been in a long time. He took the team from 4-8 his first season to a much improved 7-2 this season.

    He's someone that's going to garner some interest around college football after this season is over. San Diego State doesn't want him to leave but don't think for a second that he won't consider a higher paying gig at a big time school.

4. Kyle Whittingham

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    Kyle Whittingham is a guy that will be on a lot of team's short list. The University of Utah head coach has already garnished interest from schools in the past even though he signed a five-year contract extension in December of 2008.

    If Georgia cans Mark Richt, they're going to have a guy like Whittingham on their short list and for good reason.

    Sure he's turned down other jobs in the past, but Urban Meyer left Utah for an SEC team. Could Whittingham be next?

3. Gary Patterson

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    Next to Kyle Whittingham, TCU's Gary Patterson will also be someone that Georgia could be looked at as a candidate and might be on their short list of candidates.

    Patterson is in his 10th season as the head coach of the Horned Frogs and has compiled a 95-28 record including a 59-18 record in conference.

    This season, the Horned Frogs are ranked third in the nation and are coming off a dominate win over conference rival, Utah, on the road.

    He's been someone that teams have been interested in before but says he's committed to TCU. We'll see if Georgia comes calling to gauge his interest.

2. Will Muschamp

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    Will Muschamp has been on a lot of short lists over the last few years including getting a call about the USC opening before Lane Kiffin was hired as well as the Tennessee opening before Derek Dooley was hired.

    Muschamp is supposedly the "coach in waiting" for the University of Texas once Mack Brown retires, but there's no indication that Brown will retire any time soon.

    I have to wonder how long he's going to wait before he's going to want his own coaching gig. Though he wants the Texas gig, if he's thrown enough money and it's the right fit, he could think long and hard about it.

    Though, if he turned Tennessee down, why would he accept the Georgia gig?

1. Chris Petersen

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    This is going to be one of the most sought after coaches in the college football when this season is over.

    Minnesota is already looking for a coach and so is the University of Colorado but there will be more when this season comes to a close.

    Petersen has seen nothing but success at Boise State but there are some that wonder if he's going to be another Dan Hawkins—a success at Boise State but can't have the same kind of success at the next level of college football.

    Though he says he's committed to Boise State, if the right job comes calling, he may find it hard to turn it down.