Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 12/1/11
This is not their first rodeo. When Les Miles and Mark Richt march their respective teams onto the sidelines of the Georgia Dome on Saturday afternoon, the two coaches will have a combined eight SEC Championship appearances between them. Richt will take the field with a record of 2-2 in the conference title game, while Miles is 1-1. Saturday will be the rubber match for both of them, a chance to get on the winning side of the SEC Championship ledger. It is also a chance for them to exorcise the last remnants of negativity that has swirled around them and their programs in recent years. In the wake of the current run, its hard to believe that Les Miles was on hot seat at LSU. But after winning a national championship in 2007, Miless Tigers went 8-5 in 2008 and 9-4 in 2009. That had many Cajuns raging. It was hard to walk through Baton Rouge without hearing chatter about Miles moving on. Twice it was reported that he was going to Michigan (once the day he played for the BCS Championship in 2007 and the other in 2010 after Rich Rodriguez was fired), and there were no cries of anguish from the LSU faithful either time. Now, Miles has put together one of the best regular seasons in college football history, beating seven ranked teams (three ranked in the top five) in route of a 12-0 record. Richts woes are a lot more recent. As early as September of this year there was talk that the longest tenured head coach in the conference might not make it to week six of the season. After going 8-5 in 2009 and 6-7 in 2010, the calls for Richts ouster grew to a fever pitch. When the Dawgs dropped their first two games this year to Boise State and South Carolina, the consensus was that Richt was only a loss or two away from going out before Thanksgiving. All that talk seems silly now. While Georgia only beat two ranked teams, and no team ranked higher than No.20, they did reel off ten wins in a row to capture the East and beat in-state rival Georgia Tech, and calls for Richts head have quieted. But for all the similarities of their circumstances, you would be hard pressed to find two more disparate head coaches than Miles and Richt. Miles is a riverboat gambler, back-slapping and gregarious: an excitable sort who looks like a happy fan on the sideline more than a head coach with a 74-17 record. Richt always looks and sounds like a priest who just came out of the confessional. Soft-spoken, dry, and placid, Richt is, at heart, a missionary who happens to work as a football coach. He has said on more than one occasion: Throughout all of life I try to live according to COLOSSIANS 3:23 And whatever you do, do heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Its hard to say whether LSU and Georgia mirror the personalities of their head coaches. Certainly the Tigers are more disciplined and less roll-of-the-dice risky than Miles, while the Dawgs are louder and meaner than Richt. But the coaches styles have remained unchanged through the good years and the bad, and that, in the end, is more impressive than their respective records. There's a real competitive energy, if you will, that really just starts early with my team, Miles said prior to the SEC Championship, getting revved up with each sentence like the engine of a racecar. It's one of those things that you can feel: a want and a desire. I think it's a mark of a very good football team. I think, when youre called upon to raise your level of performance - that's competition, and I think our football team does that. Then, when Richt was asked about the cooling tempers that came with winning ten in a row, he shrugged in his normal nonchalant way and said, Well, we didn't worry too much about it. I know that's kind of hard to believe, but weve just really got a lot of faith in the Lord, and we feel like, if He wanted me to be at Georgia, I'd be at Georgia. If He didn't, then we'd move on and do something else. Feeling that in our hearts, we wake up every morning with the idea of doing the very best we can and doing it in such a way that it would be pleasing to Him. It's just kind of how we operate. We're just thankful. We're thankful every day, win or lose. Win or lose, Richts expression and demeanor isnt likely to change. And Miles will be just as gregarious no matter of the outcome. That consistency is what has allowed them to survive in the cutthroat world of coaching. And it is what will sustain them through wins and losses for many years to come.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Report: Tyrod Taylor might not be released by Bills after all

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker