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2011 5 Thoughts - It's Over For Mark Richt
Georgia head coach Mark Richt
Georgia head coach Mark Richt
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 5, 2011


2011 5 Thoughts - Week 1. The Mark Richt era is about to end

CFN Analysis 

5 Thoughts, Sept. 5

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Week 1 Thoughts  2010 5 Thoughts 
- Fiutak: The Game The Pac-12 Couldn't Lose
- Cirminiello: Clemson & Virginia Tech's Big Wins 
- Zemek: In Defense Of Mark Richt
- Sallee: It's Over For Richt
- Mitchell: The Top Heavy SEC   
 
By Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

Throughout the entire offseason, every preseason magazine, television preview and column mentioned Georgia head coach Mark Richt being on the hot seat at least once. Saturday night in Georgia’s listless and predictable performance at the Georgia Dome against Boise State, Richt proved everyone right.

This Bulldog team isn’t different than its predecessors. It’s the same mentally fragile group that has been in Athens the last three years, only some of the names have changed. In the past, the Georgia football program has been known for “hunkering down,” and a smash-mouth brand of football that became synonymous with the SEC. Nowadays though, the program is known for being stagnant, unmotivated and undisciplined - three traits that are a direct reflection on the coaching staff, and head coach Mark Richt in particular.

The 35-21 loss to Boise State in front of a crowd at the Georgia Dome that was about 90/10 UGA to Boise State fans was the last straw for some. This “Dream Team” of recruits was supposed to come in and make an immediate impact on the program, and change it from SEC also-ran to SEC power. But what we learned Saturday night is that these are the “same old Bulldogs,” and that doesn’t bode well for the coaching staff.

The result of Saturday night’s debacle at the Dome is the realization that Georgia’s game at home this weekend against South Carolina is the biggest game of Mark Richt’s coaching career. If Georgia wins, it will vault the Bulldogs into the SEC East front-runner spot, especially considering the easy schedule moving forward. But if the Bulldogs lose, Richt may have a hard time getting out of October still employed. The natives are restless in the Peach State, and if another mediocre season is in the making, there’s no reason to keep Richt around, especially since it would give the Bulldogs a head start on an offseason coaching search.

But it’s not just Mark Richt that should take the blame. Ever since offensive coordinator Mike Bobo took over the play-calling duties from Richt following the 2006 season, the Bulldog offense has been incredibly uncreative and predictable - two traits that don’t work in the SEC.

Case in point: On Brandon Boykin’s first career offensive touch Saturday night, he took a first-quarter end around 80-yards for a touchdown. It was his only offensive touch of the night. Freshman Malcolm Mitchell impressed coaches during fall camp, but was basically invisible until the fourth quarter when Georgia was in desperation mode. The inability to adjust on offense is a problem that falls not just on Richt, but on Bobo. If Richt does get desperate - and at this point, he should be - a strong indicator will be if he takes over play-calling duties.

That may be too little, too late though. A loss to South Carolina this weekend could send the Georgia football program spinning out of control, and send Mark Richt to the unemployment line.

2011 Thoughts From The Weekend Archive
Week 1: It’s Over For Mark Richt

Click Here for the 2011 offseason column archive
Click Here for the 2011 Three & Out archive