Sprints Thinks Mark Richt Is Probably on the Hot Seat Now // 09.27.10

GEORGIAPOCALYPSE

Two telling quotes
Sometimes, you can't add much to what the coaches say, in this case Georgia's coaches after the loss Saturday at Mississippi State.

"One and whatever the crap we are," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "What are we, 1-and-3?"

At least he got the number right. Richt:

"We just, at times, called a couple running plays just blindly and just said, ‘Hey we’re going to run this no matter what.'"

(HT: Blutarsky)

Hey Jenny Slater: Not calling for Mark Richt to be fired, but will be relieved if he is
Doug -- or Astronaut Mike Dexter, I'm not sure what the correct nomenclature is here -- issues one of the most stinging things that can ever, ever be said about a Georgia coach following the loss and the other accumulating baggage of the Richt Era.

All these things which, taken just one at a time, could be shrugged off as isolated incidents, mere frustrations, but all together they make you drop your coffee cup on the floor and stare slack-jawed at the inescapable conclusion: Mark Richt is Keyser Söze. Only in this case, Keyser Söze is Ray Goff.

Mark Richt is Ray Goff. Remember, Steve Spurrier was once asked if he would defeat Georgia in a given year -- and his answer was to ask whether Ray Goff was still the head coach in Athens. Spurrier was not exaggerating the lack of coaching talent at UGA at the time.

This is what happens when a long-serving SEC coach is fired: Fans finally get tired of all the things that were easy to overlook when the program was winning. I'm not saying that Richt is certainly going to be fired right now; there's no way to know that. But the signs are starting to appear.

Dawg Sports: Pessimistic as always, but not giving up on Richt
The Mayor starts by quoting Jeremiah, which is appropriate, as his defense of Mark Richt is largely an exercise in faith.

In his first nine years at the Georgia helm, Mark Richt captured two SEC championships, which ought to earn him patience through the present dry spell; that patience will pay off in the end.

The question is, at what point do you stop believing that "that patiences will pay off in the end"? Or do you keep believing it, with every season that passes just another one that has to be answered with patience, never stopping to wonder if what you're patiently waiting for might never come?

Georgia Sports Blog: The Sick Man of the SEC
That's their title. You could also go with: Faith isn't enough any more.

We, as fans, have kept our faith in Richt for the most part. He's built a large stack of chits during his career in Athens. Last night's game, however, may have exhausted Richt's supply.

And that's the high point of a post that describes Georgia as "withering" and having "a degenerative, sustained illness."

DawgsOnline: Reassessing
Groo doesn't call for the firing of Richt yet, but is worried about where things go from here, pointing to some eerie similarities between the Dawgs of 2010 and Auburn of 2008.

That’s a big reason why seasons like this are so easy to lose control of -- you can’t afford the time away from preparation to really address the doubts and lack of confidence that end up tearing apart what you had prepared.

So you triage. Stop the bleeding.

At this point, stopping the bleeding might not be enough to save Richt. But it's the only chance he's got.

Baker out
No danger of Georgia coaches unnecessarily burning Demetre Baker's redshirt because of problems in Athens -- he won't be there to play after Mark Richt dismissed the linebacker following a DUI early Sunday morning.

Asked Sunday evening if Baker's quick dismissal indicates a new zero tolerance for arrests, Richt paused before saying: "I think all of our guys understand that they need to behave. I'll put it that way."

In part because the Dawgs don't need any more problems and distractions than they already have.

FANS TURN ON THE TEAMS. ALL OF THEM

The only seat hotter than Mark Richt's? Gary Crowton's
There's really nothing disputable in Pittman's assessment of the LSU offense at this point.

If you're the offensive coordinator and the offense is one of the worst in the country despite having NFL calibre talent at a number of positions, you should probably be fired, right? Well, he wasn't, and the gamble to keep him has not paid off at all.

For a city that's seen a 4-0 start to the season, there sure is a lot of discontent in Baton Rouge.

A winless October for Tennessee? Sounds reasonable enough -- even to Vols fans
Rocky Top Talk sees little room for optimism in the changing of the months.

In The Quest for Six Wins (which is what they'd call the DVD of this season if they made one for six win teams), the Vols are now a third of the way there. Logic and Vegas will agree that we should get no closer in the month of October.

Six wins is still going to be a tall order for Tennessee this year, if for no other reason than it's hard to see the roster not getting even thinner between now and November due to injury-sparked attrition. But we'll see.

Meanwhile in Columbia ... Gamecock Man urges calm, patience
Like Baton Rouge, Columbia is being used here metaphorically, since I believe Gamecock Man is making his plea from points north. In any case, said plea is probably a reasonable request for the moment.

However, the only goal that's off the table now is an undefeated season and a national title, and if you thought we were going to do either of those things this season, you're crazy. You can hope, yes, but you can't expect those things at this point. All of the other, more reasonable goals are still within reach.

Losing to Auburn isn't a death knell for the Gamecocks. But it increases the importance of a win against Alabama in two weeks -- and that's not exactly the best thing for any team.

Haney says pretty much the same thing
Which is pretty much a sign of solid advice or the fan-base-wide delusion that is cheering for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina wasn't going undefeated this year. Still plenty of season to go. All the goals still on the table.

Again, none of them area easy, but they're still there. All you need is a strong showing by the Gamecocks in October and November. And when have you ever heard of the Gamecocks losing a late-season game they needed to win?

But he's still your best chance at winning
Count me among those who still don't understand why Steve Spurrier thinks one of the most difficult stretches in South Carolina's schedule is the right time to introduce Connor Shaw to the SEC. But the possibility of an injury to Stephen Garcia might be one of the reasons. (Coaches generally wait for the injury to happen first.)

"He could easily have a head and neck injury, the way he ducks his head. We tell him, 'See what you hit and keep your head up, to avoid serious, serious injury.' I'm concerned about his health as we progress through the season here."

Which is a laudable concern for Spurrier to have, but not necessarily a reason to put Shaw on the field more. I'm not saying that Shaw won't be an even better quarterback than Garcia at some point -- he might -- but Spurrier should know after the Blake Mitchell-Chris Smelley years that it's not assured and not a way of winning now. Not to mention, it might also be a way of losing the Quarterback of the Future before the future has arrived.

OTHER NEWS

Let the smack talk begin
This has already found its way to a billboard in Tuscaloosa, I'm sure.

UF defensive tackle Jaye Howard said on Saturday that Ingram is "no different than any other running back."

Except for the Heisman Trophy and the national championship and stuff.

It's all the media's fault
Mike Hamilton didn't exactly say that in talking about the investigation into the Tennessee football program, but he pretty much threw the media under the bus.

Hamilton believes that Kiffin was a target for the media from the start, and that Kiffin drew more attention to himself after some strong comments, most notably about other SEC teams.

No, Kiffin was a target because of the strong comments and being completely honest about not caring about the rules as long as they weren't "major." It's hard to say he was a target before he made the strong comments when those comments started at his introductory press conference.

John Calipari might not have a Kentucky season vacated -- yet
But the Eric Bledsoe situation certainly doesn't look good for anyone involved after the Birmingham City Schools released their report on the guard's fluctuating grades.

The report commissioned by the Birmingham City Schools and made public on Friday found that several grades were "conspicuously changed." The investigators found that a teacher's explanation for one questionable grade change was "not credible."

But the report seemed to stop short of a conclusion that could lead the NCAA to retroactively rule Bledsoe ineligible for college competition last season.

No fraud, but no justification for the grades he received. Doesn't that just make you feel so much better about college basketball?

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