I’m not ready to write this guy off. A kid he benched who he turned to with his career on the line who came through. A kid we offered a scholly to about 5 days before signing day in late January 2014. A kid that was too short for everyone else. A kid that has gotten in trouble a few times and was suspended for the bowl game. An embattled coach.
We have seen him go from young innovator to grandfather. He was once old enough to be their fun uncle. Now he is plenty old to be their dad.
But more than anything, no one, and I mean no one, can keep a team from falling apart like Mark Richt. We don’t fold. In 2006 when we should have struggled to get to a bowl after losing 4 of 5, we rallied to beat our rivals at the end of the season, both of them ranked. In 2009 when Cox was a mess and we headed to play the triple option against top 10 Tech at their house (the only time in Richt’s tenure I was just going because I go, but thinking we’d probably lose to them)...he set his jaw and we won the state. In 2010, when we lost 4 straight!!! We somehow, somehow made a bowl with a freshmen QB. In 2014, when our star was suspended, we rallied the troops and won AT Mizzou and AT Arkansas. In 2015, when we can’t do much of nothing right and this team has all the makings of a 6-6 or 7-5 team, we won’t go either of those.
We made horrific hire in Schotty, but we made a darn fine one in Pruitt. We also groomed a cocky, young ex-QB into one of the finest OCs in the nation. Mike Bobo was 30 when he was handed the reins. And I’m just not ready to write him off. I’m not sure David Shaw can do better. I’m not sure that Justin Fuente can do better. I’m not sure Kirby Smart, Art Briles or Gary Patterson can do better. I’m not sure Mark Dantonio can do better. I’m not sure anyone can do better. There comes a time in programs when you are sure that someone else could do better. I’m not sure we know that. I’m as disappointed as heck about October, but that month should have done us in. It should have done Richt in, and he’s rallied the troops in a pretty incredible way.
And he’s done it with Nick Chubb on the sidelines…and his QB in Seattle. If I had told you before the season these things:
· Bama will be Chubb’s last game.
· Our QBs are way worse that you think.
· Schotty is the worst hire Richt’s ever made.
· JSW will not play a down.
How do you feel about the season? Do you see 9-3 with those realities? He deserves blame for the schotty hire, but I also think he gets a chance to fix it. You can fix an offense real fast in college football.
It is ridiculous of Christian UGA fans to think we shouldn’t fire Richt because ‘there’s more the winning.’ He gets paid to develop men and win. There are great Christian coaches all across the landscape winning and molding young men. For me, that’s not an issue when thinking about whether he should stay. I’m just not sure he’s done, by a longshot. I’m not sure that he can’t win a championship. I’m not sure that we don’t have Tom Osborne, Vince Dooley or Bobby Bowden on our hands.
Charlie Ward changed FSU. 1 player. They went from good to great.
I was less certain than ever walking out of Everbank, but this team has no business being 7-3 with two winnable games to go…and here we are. And I’m not sure if the head coach isn’t the reason that we actually won the 7 we won.