First, let me apologize for the extended radio silence. Not that it matters much, but I have been in SE Georgia for the past couple of weeks, where the Internets get delivered by FedEx Ground. That, combined with the craptasticular performance in the Liberty Bowl, has given me the excuse to take a bit of time away to get my thoughts together on football, basketball and the general state of mind in the Bulldawg Nation.
Next, let me say this: I am at a loss. Unlike others, I am not so quick to take the steps that have longer term repercussions that simply figuring out how much payout is due Mark Richt and Todd Grantham. If that gets me labeled whatever the gents at S&G want to label me, then that is just about right from folks that take their cues from the DawgVent. I will say this about the decision, whatever it is: I don't currently feel, barring some great change in philosophy and approach from what has been done by Coach Richt the past four years, things will change for the better.
That is the source of my confusion. Has Mark Richt earned a lot of cred from his run from 01-05 and 2007 (h/t BuLLdog)? Yes, absolutely. Thank goodness the people at the helm in other schools aren't at the helm in Athens. Has Mark Richt burned through all of that cred? Yes, absolutely. He is now living paycheck to paycheck, the first of which will be cashed in during recruiting and spring practice. Have a lackluster recruiting/spring practice and start the season 1-3? Well, let's just say the payday loan people won't talk to him.
So, where does that leave us? I don't know. On one hand, we have a coach that has proven he knows how to win, knows how to do so convincingly and knows what it takes to GATA. In that regard, patience is a virtue for the long term good of the program. On the other, we also have that same coach deciding that softer and gentler is better, even if the results aren't as good. In that regard, that patience has been exhausted and it is now to the point of win or else. Much has been made about Richt being a good man and too nice to fire, ect. I don't see it as such. It is now win or else. I do have one thing in common with the Richt haters: The mantra that we cannot settle for mediocrity. Strangely enough, we are much closer together in what we want than they think. We both want a sustained period of long term success, something we tasted in the early '00s. We just disagree on what is the best approach for that to happen. I guess that puts me with The Senator.
It does baffle me (I guess as much as my approach baffles the 'Richt must go at all cost' people) that they'd rather Georgia go 1-11 next year just to have Richt gone than have Georgia go 11-1 and have him stay.
Under no circumstance do I think he'll stay with another 6-8 win season in 2011. So, what do you think? Comments and poll (at the top right) are open.