The Case For Firing Mark Richt

Michael CollinsAnalyst INovember 11, 2008

Has there been a more disappointing season to its fans than Georgia’s?  Rated preseason No. 1, the Bulldogs have arguably the best quarterback in the nation, who may be the No. 1 draft choice of the NFL, and a premier running back who is a Heisman candidate. 


Here are my reasons Richt has to go: 


  • Richt is personable, well-liked, good looking and successful.  He has been to two BCS bowls in the past three years.  But he cannot lead Georgia over the hump to the SEC conference game to have a chance at a conference title.  The SEC expects its coaches to lead their teams to the league championship.  Ask Tommy Tuberville, or Philip Fulmer whose Volunteers did last year, but he was fired. 


  • Richt has been a successful recruiter.  In the last three years, Rivals ranked Georgia’s recruiting classes seventh, ninth, and fourth.  With all that talent, coaching should have made Georgia at least a conference championship player.  Clearly, coaching has been deficient. 


  • The offensive line has performed poorly and been unable to dominate top competition.  Yes, they are talented freshmen and sophomores.  But that’s no excuse.  Look at what Saban has done at Alabama. 


  • Georgia has struggled against top competition.  The Bulldogs got blown out by Florida by an embarrassing 39 points.  That’s worse than Notre Dame’s loss to USC last year by 38 points.  The Irish were a pitiful 3-9. 


  • Georgia has feasted on losing teams.  Conference records of Arizona State (2-4), Tennessee (1-5), Vanderbilt (3-3) with four straight losses, and South Carolina (4-3) are mediocre to poor.  Richt apologists want to count FCS Georgia Southern and MAC Central Michigan.  Only South Carolina barely slipped into the Top 25 this week for the first time all year.  Richt’s Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks by only seven points. 


  • Georgia plays a weaker schedule this year with the SEC down, but will not improve over last year’s record with all that talent.  Bulldog talent deserves a better coach to develop their skills. 


  • Richt's expectations were two games more in the win column than the Bulldogs will probably achieve. 


  • Richt is living off past accomplishments:  SEC championships in 2005 and 2002, SEC East Champions in 2003. 


Clearly, Mark Richt should get the pink slip.  These are the same arguments leveled against Charlie Weis, which have put him on the media Hot Seat. 


Okay, Weis is not good looking.  Charlie did take his team to two BCS bowls in the past three years, his recruiting classes have ranked higher, and his accomplishments were in the NFL: four Super Bowl wins.  


Notre Dame faithful are not more demanding of their coach than Bulldog diehards, are they?