Published August 25, 2011 - 7:35am
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Mark Richt is on the down slope of his career at Georgia. If you don’t believe me, just look at the last couple years of this Georgia program and the mediocrity that surrounds it. It’s everywhere – just ask a fan of the program how good of shape their current program is under Mark Richt, and they will simply shake their head.
The Dawgs have never had a problem recruiting, and they have more talent on campus than many other programs in the SEC, and the rest of the country for that matter. But it has merely been on the field and the translation from top-prospect to putting them on the field that has been terrible.
I do not think Mark Richt will survive another six- to seven-win season at Georgia, and I do believe six or seven wins could be in the cards for the Bulldogs, even with the weak schedule.
I’m just not sold, yet.
Obviously there have been many factors that have attributed to the fall of the program, so to speak. Here are three possible reasons Mark Richt is gone after 2011:
1. The reluctance of ridding his staff of Mike Bobo
Mike Bobo has been on Mark Richt’s Georgia staff now since 2001, and he took over the offensive play calling in 2006. Mark Richt reminds me of a Phillip Fulmer-type coach because when his tenure and best years were going south, Fulmer was very reluctant to change up his staff or any of his ways at Tennessee. I’m sure Bobo and Richt have had a few cocktails together and been on more than their share of recruiting trips. So, they’re good buddies. But when your program and career is on the line at a major university, and mediocrity is the norm, you have to make a change. Richt has been very reluctant to change any staff members except for former defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. I think Richt has held on to Bobo entirely too long.
2. No vital signs
This Georgia program is dead. It’s been dead since Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno have been gone. Richt shows no emotion on the sideline. The last emotion I’ve seen from this team was their rain dance against Florida in 2007 and the false-fire that was created because of it. Georgia went on to beat Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl, a game in which the Rainbows had no business being in that football game. There has to be some vital signs this year because the morale, or lack thereof, is killing and every Georgia fan.
3. Lack of a running game
Georgia’s attrition at running back has to have some type of effect on this team. With the losses of first Washaun Ealey and then Caleb King, Georgia will be relying primarily on a freshman and a converted tailback to linebacker to tailback. Caleb King turned out to be a bust, and that did not help any. It will take a year for freshman Isaiah Crowell, in all likelihood, to get the offense as a whole. He has been banged up in preseason camp, and he has missed reps and valuable learning experience during that time. I’m not convinced he will have a Marcus Lattimore-type season as a freshman. Also, converted linebacker Richard Samuel, who switched back to running back because of the lack of depth, has also been banged up in camp. This position in particular could spell disaster for this team and for the future of Mark Richt at Georgia. There has simply not been a playmaker here for several years in the Georgia backfield.
But let us not forget that in the SEC, we are continually forgiving and forgetting, and we tend to do so rather quickly. If the Bulldogs start strong against Boise State and continue throughout the season, all of the above will be nullified.