Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Curious Case of Mark Richt

Here we go again.

"Fire Mark Richt - he can't win."
"Fire Mark Richt - he can't beat top opponents."
"Fire Mark Richt - my wife thinks he's sexier than hell, and he makes 4 million a year, and I feel like my penis is smaller everytime I see him on TV."

(Try to pretend that last one isn't the case for just a FEW of the commenters on the Run)

Some people just plain don't like Mark Richt.  They think he's too placid.  They say he can't beat Top competition.  They say the game has passed him by.

"He was only good with Donnan's recruits" (except for that whole 2005,2007,2011,2012 thing)
"He can't hire a good coach" (then there's that whole Bobo thing... hated by our fanbase, just kept beating his own records)
"He can't coach players to their potential" (Somehow seemingly every other year there's some walk-on kid who comes out of nowhere and then ends up being an NFL player)
"He doesn't care about winning." (I'm guessing these people have never seen a presser after a loss)

Mark Richt's Accomplishments:

141-50 record in 14.5 seasons.
2 SEC Titles
5 Appearances in the SEC Championship Game
2 Sugar Bowl Victories
9-5 Overall Bowl Record

Mark Richt's Deficiencies

0 National Titles

No seriously, that's it.

And that's why people hate him.  They hate Mark Richt because he hasn't won a national title, and they believe that there's no way in hell he ever could.  I mean, he can't even beat top-25 teams, right?

Of course, as recently as 2014 (that's Two Thousand and FRIKKIN FOURTEEN), his team went 4-1 against teams that finished in the top 25.  But that doesn't matter, because it doesn't match narrative.  CMR's team lost a game it shouldn't have (South Carolina) and then got trounced in Jax, and missed the SEC Title Game.  So, an indictment on Richt, then.

I mean, it's probably the most Mark Richt thing ever... to have your best year against the top-25 since 2007... and then fail to reach the SEC Title Game because you lost to South Carolina.  The weirdest part?  When UGA beat top-25 teams last year, they straight murdered them.  Average margin of victory over top 25 opponents was 25.5 points.  Yet somehow, we lost to Florida by 18.

And that one game is why people will say Richt is a bad coach.  They'll say that he didn't have the boys prepared.  They'll say he didn't impart on them the importance of the game.  They'll try to come up with any excuse to explain away a game in which we were absolutely curb-stomped.  Can't be on the kids...gotta be on the Head Coach.

People still, after so many years of living in the SEC, just don't understand that this is life in the SEC.  The unexplainable happens.

In 2011, Richt's Dawgs went 0-4 against teams finishing in the top 25 (actually, all 4 finished in the top 10).  Two games were lost by 3 points each.  That's right.  3 points.  Those Dawgs were a score away from being 2-2 against Top 10 competition, and a likely top 10 finish themselves.  They held LSU (#2 finish) without a first down in the first half of the SECCG...and then got their doors blown off in the second half.

How do the "Richt can't coach" folks explain that one?  Did he suddenly forget how to coach at halftime?

And then how do they explain a 3-2 mark against top 25 the very next season, including a 4-pt loss to eventual National Champion Alabama in the SECCG?

In 2013, an injury-riddled Dawgs team went 2-4 against Top 25 finishers, with "The Miracle on the Plains" and "The Music City Disaster" as two of the four.  Richt's boys lost to #7 finisher Clemson by 3, and #2 finisher Auburn by 5.  Again, a score away from beating 2 top-ten teams.  A play away....yet somehow, this is all representative of the fact that Mark Richt is a bad football coach.

Mark Richt is not a bad football coach.
He's not an average football coach.
Mark Richt is a Good football coach.
He lacks one accomplishment that will make him Great, and I hope to God he gets it.

As 2015 unfolds, we'll hold our breaths to see what becomes of it.  Richt is 0-1 against teams that will finish in the Top 25.  After this weekend, we'll find out if he's able to level that record.  If he does, he'll probably get 2 more shots at Top 25 teams... the SECCG, and our Bowl.  3-1 this year would put Richt at 7-2 over the past two years against the Top 25.

Guess he'd officially "lose control" of that Meme as well.

But hey, all of that is conjecture and this blog is fairly pointless.

Then again, so is screaming "Fire Mark Richt!"

 Go Dawgs