Mark Richt's Seat Heat Rising as Georgia Coordinators Continue Obsolete Methods

Brian ScottContributor INovember 2, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 31:  Head coach Mark Richt (L) of the Georgia Bulldogs questions a call with side judge Michael Williams (R) during the game against the Florida Gators at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on October 31, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I've been making the same statement for a while now: Mark Richt is a quality individual and head coach who, at one time, was a great offensive mind, especially when he was the offensive coordinator at Florida State.

He still may be a great offensive mind, but Richt has allowed Big Bird (Mike Bobo) to call plays for the last two and a half years.

So, unless Richt has more play-calling authority than the public knows about, I do not know if Richt is still a great offensive mind or not because he is not calling the plays.

Being a successful head coach requires an individual to be elite in knowledge of the game and management of staff/players. I still think Richt's knowledge of the game is elite, but I severely question his management.

Prior to the 2008 season, after Georgia finished No. 2 in the AP Poll, it appeared that Mark Richt was certainly amongst the elite coaches in both knowledge of management.

Georgia went 10-3 during the 2008-2009 season. Thus, a 10-win season is a success, right? No, not necessarily in all circumstances.

Winning 10 games is certainly an impressive feat for most college football teams, but if someone broke down how Georgia lost three games last year, given their talent level, 10 wins seems far less impressive.

1. Georgia was massacred by Alabama 41-30, in UGA Funeral I (Georgia used black jerseys for the second time as a source of motivation to beat Alabama but failed miserably after Alabama put up 31 in the first half.)*

2. Georgia was destroyed by Florida 49-10, a year after the end zone celebration and defeat of Florida 42-30. Georgia was still an outside title contender before this loss.*

3. Georgia embarrassingly blew a 28-12 halftime lead over in-state rival Georgia Tech at home.*

* Georgia had two first round picks in their backfield in Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. In addition, they had two receivers with 900-plus yards receiving, one of which was a second round draft pick and starter in the NFL (Mohamed Massaquoi) and the other who led the SEC in receiving yards (Green). 

Does Georgia's 10-win season still seem as successful? I don't think so.

So, if UGA had all that talent and could only manage 10 wins (let's not forget about UGA surviving Kentucky and Auburn), does this imply that something is flawed with the coaching? Seems plausible.

Entering the 2009-2010 season, somehow, I convinced myself that Stafford and Moreno's egos hindered UGA's chemistry during the 2008-2009 season and believed that Richt would manage and lead a more cohesive "no-name" team to a surprisingly successful season.

I was wrong.

With the losses of Stafford at QB and Moreno at RB, the coaching flaws are becoming even more evident, as Georgia can't simply win on talent. The play-calling, even though good at times, few and far between, rivals that of an amateur playing EA's NCAA Football .

For example, how many freakin' times are people going to see Georgia's offense run HB draws on second or third and long? First off, UGA does not even seem to have the talent at RB this year to be consistently successful at running HB draws. Secondly, whereas other teams are aggressive in these situations, Georgia predictably concedes.

Let's take a minute to analyze Georgia's outdated, "MS-DOS" offense against Florida, or any other team, for the past eternity:

Scenario One

It's 2nd-and-16. Joe Cox lines up in shotgun formation with his feet even and shoulder width apart. This detail about his feet is crucial because when Cox puts one foot forward, he is going to throw, but when his feet are even and shoulder with apart, he almost always runs a HB draw.

Of course, if Bobo implemented different, unpredictable foot patterns, that would be "far too complex" for UGA's offense.

Bobo sends in Caleb King or Richard Samuel, who take forever to run the ball to the outside, to play HB and stand right beside Cox. The ball is snapped, and Cox runs a HB draw to one of these two, and they attempt to run to the outside, at most getting five yards if UGA is lucky.

It's now third down with 10 to 12 yards to go. Cox takes a five-step drop and is blitzed by good defenses, such as Florida or Alabama. Florida plays single coverage on A.J. Green on the outside, and Michael Moore is consistently open in the slot across the middle.

Big Bird (Bobo) calls for an Orson Charles (Tight End) deep out , and Cox throws into double or triple coverage.

...Do you want to continue y/n? y

Scenario Two

It's 3rd-and-9 on the Florida/opposing team's 20-yard line. Big Bird (Bobo) is gonna fool them this time! Georgia runs a HB draw, failing to get a first down.

Score: (in the fourth quarter) Florida/Other team (35), Georgia (17) —yippee!

...Do you want to continue y/n? n

Scenario Three

You have a senior QB who has paid his dues and waited behind Stafford for years now. So, he must be the best to start, right? No. He's only thrown 12 INT in eight games.

But Georgia has this highly talented freshman named Aaron Murray who is supposed to be the future of Georgia football. Can't he start or be given a chance?

Richt to media: We are going to start the QB who gives us the best chance of winning.

Murray hasn't even played, so how do we know that he doesn't give UGA the best chance of winning?

On the flip side, isn't it possible that some QBs give UGA the best chance of losing?

Get the picture now? In addition to the offensive coordination being basic and foolish, the defense has been allowing teams to score points relentlessly.

What's the Main Point?

Suppose you are the CEO of a large company (Mark Richt) and your company's stocks are falling because your top executives (Bobo and Willie Martinez) are possibly not competent or capable of doing their jobs. Would you continue to defend them or keep them at their current level of duties? No, I wouldn't think so.

So, if the company continues to fail and the CEO does not make changes, where would the Board place the blame? On the CEO. 

Thus, if UGA's coordination on either side continues to fail and boosters begin to decline in their support of UGA Athletics (falling stocks), and if Richt does not make coordination changes, don't be the least bit surprised when Damon Evans and others place the blame on Richt, not Bobo or Martinez.

And that's where the blame should go.


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