Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/29/12
When Mark Richt took over the Georgia Bulldogs in 2001, he needed to make a lot of improvements. Coach Mark Richt took the Dawgs to SEC Championship games, BCS Bowls, and won SEC titles.

I met coach Richt in 2004 for interviews with the staff and team. When our camera lost video on the Richt interview, coach Richt had his team start practice without him so he could do another interview. 

Coach Mark Richt showed me he was full of class. I believe this is the same reason Georgia fans are patient where Richt is concerned.

Although Richt is a nice man, he hasn't dealt with his players' actions like other NCAA football coaches would have. I believe this forgive the "Criminoles" mentality has been embedded in Richt from coach Bobby Bowden.

Let's talk about the highs and lows of Richts' Georgia coaching career. 

From 2001- 2004 coach Richts' average record was 11 wins and 3 losses. Then, from 2005-2011 the average was 9 wins and 4 losses. The biggest difference among these statistics is in 2004 Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder left for the NFL.

The bad news for Georgia football fans is that Van Gorder is now at Auburn University.

Defense wins ball games. From 2001 to 2005 the average points given up by the Georgia Bulldog defense was 15.5 points per game. Since that time, the average points given up per game has been 21 points per game. Coach Richt picked his friend over the team by promoting Willie Martinez to defensive coordinator - with no real resume. Richt let his personal friendship get in the way of his better judgment.          
 
Should we be satisfied with winning nine to ten games a season with a bowl appearance?  

I'm not. 

On the flip side, Alabama fans expect perfection every year. Nick Saban came to Alabama, not to be liked, but to win it all! Coach Saban brought a sense of discipline to Alabama from the very beginning. Saban kicked a very talented running back, Jimmie Johns, off the team for cocaine charges.

Saban said, "This type of behavior obviously will not be tolerated , and he's no longer a part of our program." Coach Richt also sent a message when he kicked Isaiah Crowell off the team.Too little, too late? While at Georgia, Coach Richt only suspended players who should've been kicked off the team. Expectations lead to disappointment. 

Les Miles and Urban Meyer both had an offensive minded football past. The Spurriers, Miles, and Meyers of the world also had great defenses that helped win championships. The coach that needs to be at Georgia is an ex-player for the university.

If Mark Richt slips up this year, don't be surprised if Alabama's defensive coordinator Kirby Smart takes over at UGA. Since Smart has been at Alabama, these are the average points per game that his defenses have given up: 07' (22 points), 08' (14.3), 09' (11.7), '10 (13.5) ,and '11 (8.2). 

The bottom line is that coach Mark Richt needs to take a page out of former coach Vince Dooleys' book. Richt needs to do this with defense while grinding it out with a great running back. Dooley and Saban have one thing in common, they like to bore you while winning big games and titles. I would accept that as a fan of Georgia.

Finally, due to the team's schedule, coach Richt should have an opportunity to win it all in 2012. Once again, no LSU, Alabama, or Arkansas will be on their schedule. The Georgia Bulldogs will have only two tough road games, Missouri and South Carolina.

If Richt puts more discipline in his coaching and was defensive minded, Georgia will win their most important game against South Carolina. I'm starting to believe in coach Pat Dyes' quote just before the 2002 Alabama/Georgia game. Dye said, "Georgia isn't man enough to beat Alabama."  Coach Richt will have to be man enough to do his job. When it's all over but the crying, the big joke will be; Knock! Knock! Who's there? Smart! Smart who? Georgia finally got Smart!


Sweetheart's Stuff

When we expect things, we set ourselves up for failure.

Looks like this is what I did by reading your article. You're all over the place, Stuart. Seems like, Georgia being your team and all, you sure are giving Marky Mark Richty Richt a hard time. Then, we're looking into vacuums? Kirby has a new line out called Kirby Smart? I might try that, I need a vacuum cleaner that really sucks!

Unlike you Stuart, Mark Richt has never graced me with his presence so I don't have a personal opinion of him. But I do have a professional one:

Nice doesn't win games!

I think you're very wishy washy Stuart, pick a team and stick with it. Maybe you can redo this article before it's published - or is it too little, too late?

Doesn't sound like there's a problem with the Dawgs. I think you have a personal satisfaction problem. Me, (I have been forced to watch a few of the Georgia games) I'm completely satisfied, and a little suprised, with nine or ten game wins. The bottom line is Stuart, accept things for what they are and let's move on.

Here's my joke: Knock, Knock! Who's there? D ! D who? D Fence baby let me in!

Later,
Sweetheart

 

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