34 years a fan. It's none of the above for me. I think the program needs change, but I don't think just changing the head coach is going to be enough. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I think our institutional values are inconsistent and not conducive to winning.
We know that to be competitive we have to admit student-athletes that would not qualify as just students. Therefore, we have to provide them tutors, class attendance takers, and driver license checkers. We've already compromised our principles. Yet we get bent out of shape when they drink underage, smoke weed, pee ouside, or play music too loud. Other programs handle it behind the scenes, while we hold players out of games (and we are the ones that get tarnished in the media).
God only knows what our policies are doing to recruiting.....and I know our recruiting classes are highly ranked but look at how Alabama can sign star after star after star. When their starters leave, there is an upperclassman waiting to step in. We are starting freshmen. Last week against Tech, it would have been nice for Georgia to bring in the 2nd string defensive line when the 1st string was worn out, but I suspect the coaches know the talent dropoff was too much. I'm not in favor of cutting players a la Saban, but I would bet our policies are costing us some recruits who know they won't get a break in Athens.
The indoor practice facility is another thing. I don't think an extra couple of practices are going to make a difference, but if our competition is successfully recruiting against us because we don't have one then we need to put one in. At least, we do if we want to compete, which is an open question right now.
Richt might be able to win it all....who knows. We just haven't forced the issue. If we do everything in our power to win, and Richt is still stuck on 9-10 wins, then we know he can't do it. The way things are now, I can't pin it on him. It's as if our administration doesn't care enough to push the issue. Sure they pay it lip service, but actions?
I almost don't care either; I even forgot last weekend to turn on the TV until halftime of our game, and I was home chillling the whole time. I never set Tivo. I used to plan my schedule around our games, even if it was just to listen to the audio online. I have now surprised myself with my apathy.
Anyway as long as the stadium is sold out, I don't think anything will change. The powers that be are OK with 9-10 wins as long as the stadium sells out and the TV contracts keep rolling in.
Two losses attributable to coaching faux pas. Totally. One loss to being emotionally flat............against your most hated conference rival? How does that happen?
The coaching mistakes are, once again, the infinitesimal difference between conference championship, and possibly, national championship participation and living life as an also ran. Bobo and Mark seem to outthink themselves at the worst possible moments, with devastating results.
Until they find new DNA in this decision making process, UGA will continue to do what they do. Underachieve as to results compared to talent.
Mark is a great man, and a great coach, but he may not have it in him to find his way to that difference. I believe he is competitive. I believe he hates to lose. I believe he is demanding. I don't believe he is consumed with his career and results like Darth Saban, and frankly, from my perspective, I am glad. There is more to life for these young men than football, and I don't know of any coach of a top 25 program that has a more correct focus on that aspect than Mark.
Accordingly, I will cheer them on, and hope that last gear, that last distinctive bit of thinking, that last intuitive call will come his way and vault us into the next level again, where we are so rightly expected to be, given the history of this program, the talent that continues to come our way and the resources the university provides to the football effort.
baitstand sums up my feelings very nicely. After 37 years as a season ticket holder, I am on the verge of giving up my seats for the very reasons noted above.
There was a time where I would never miss a home game save for emergencies, etc. This year, I sold my tickets for about half of the home games and surprisingly felt little anguish as I watched from home. Sadly, this is what it has come to for me.
Making a 3hr drive up and back, only to experience the uncertain preparation and inevitable disappointment, is no longer my idea of fun.
The program has reached a plateau and has demonstrated no reason to expect anything more. I think that is why so many are finally reaching their breaking point with Richt. I know it contributes mightily to my level of enthusiasm.
There use to be days in the Dawg World when "Dump Dooley" was popular. Now they have a statue to the guy. A National Championship will do that for you. Given his winning percentage, current coaching staff, player talent, and upcoming recruits, I'd say Mark Richt will have a bronze equivalent for his NC before too long.
25 years as fan. Somehow, I believe both that Richt should stay and that we need new blood. I think his success over 14 years means he should stay - he hasn't earned less than that. Yet I believe he may have hit ceiling with program and new blood is needed to go further (assuming B-M opens up the purse a bit more and reexamines its priorities). If business as usual continues at B-M, I don't see another coach going further than Richt's success. It will just be a different name and face for fans to inevitably turn against.
My current expectations for every Richt-coached team: a loss in one of our first two games; a nine-win season shaped by injuries, dismissals, transfers and coaching mistakes at pivotal moments; an occasional trip to the SEC championship game where we get beaten by a team that's more prepared, motivated and engaged than we are; a trip to a second-tier bowl game where we get beaten by a Big 10 team that's more prepared, motivated and engaged than we are; an outstanding recruiting class, a large percentage of which never make it to the field, at least for very long; unbridled optimism for the next season; the cycle begins again.
I suppose if I can ever come to terms with that, as many seem to have done, I would be happy with Mark Richt as head coach for life. I don't think Richt is going anywhere, so, it's on me. I just need to change my status from "rabid fan" to "casual observer."
I only started following closely at the tail end of the Goff era. Donnan was not my favorite, but he was ok by me. Richt has been coach for the entirity of my "dedicated" following, so I don't pine for the good ol' days of Dooley. I like the job Coach Richt has done. I would much rather my team always be on the cusp, than not competing at all. The fact that he is the type of man he is only makes it easier to root for him and my team.
Richt's first year was my freshman year at UGA and so I've only known the success of the past 14 years. I recognize, however, that it is a level of success over a period of time that is unique in Georgia's history. I look around the SEC and I can honestly say there is no other program I'd rather be not named Alabama.