I moved to Georgia 12 years ago. College football was never really my thing, as the only team I rooted for was my alma mater, the mighty Fighting Blue Hens. So, when I came here — and realized that Saturday’s were religion — I had to choose between rooting for the Yellow Jackets or Bulldogs. My friend Sparky took me to a weekend in Athens… the choice became very easy.
I chose the Bulldogs, and while I never really became a die hard fan, I have continued to root for them as well as their alum in the NFL that I watched. Since I never bled red and black like some of these southerners do, I always thought the Fire Mark Richt jibber jabber was just angry fans venting, like I always do over any coaches and managers of my team after a season ends without a championship. Now, I kind of get it… and it has nothing to do with Mark Richt.
Are there plus sides to keeping Richt? Absolutely. He does have two SEC Championships in his 15 seasons at the helms — of course he has lost three. He only has one losing season in that span.
He also has put together one of the more highly touted 2016 incoming classes — ranked as high as No. 3 on some sites — and no matter what you think, losing Richt will cost some of those recruits. The second some of LSU’s incoming footballers caught wind of Les Miles, they started bailing. The same would happen at UGA. They came there with promises made by Richt, and no matter who comes in, even if it is Nick Saban, those promises won’t be guaranteed.
The Bulldogs are amid an awful season. They once again pooped the bed against Alabama, and reached new lows with an overtime victory over Georgia Southern last week. This week, they head into the annual Georgia Tech/UGA show down in what is sure to be one of the worst football games of all time.
But none of that matters. The reason that Richt has to go is because LSU — a team that was 7-0 four weeks ago — is about to let Les Miles go. If Miles gets fired, Richt has no chance.
In 12 seasons with the Tigers, Miles has more wins than Richt does in his 15-year tenure with the Dawgs. He also has been in more National Championship games than the Bulldogs (a whopping zero mind you) have been in, winning one and losing one. He has the same amount of SEC Championships over his tenure — which remember is four years less than Richt’s — as well.
If Miles can’t keep his job, how can Richt?
I like Richt. He’s a great guy and a very good coach. The bottom line is simple, however. The Bulldogs need a new voice. Richt won’t take this team any further than he already has.
I’m not a Negative Nancy towards Richt. I don’t want him fired because of some questionable decisions — like thinking Jeremy Pruitt was worthy — nor do I care about UGA’s recent shortcomings. It is simply time for change.
Andy Reid is arguably the best coach in the long history of the Philadelphia Eagles. He went to the NFC Championships for four years in a row, culminating in the Eagles first Superbowl appearance in two decades. But towards the end of the run, Reid lost his voice. He lost the team. He wasn’t any less of a coach than he ever was, it was just time for a change.
Reid went to Kansas City and turned a 2-14 team into an 11-5 playoff team overnight. He was 9-7 the following season, and looks like he righted the ship and is now in contention for the AFC West with the Broncos recent drama behind center. Reid is the same coach that he has always been… a good one.
The same will happen with Richt. Whether he lands in Miami as many suspect or heads somewhere else, he will be at the reigns of a winner. It just can’t be with the Dawgs after Saturday.