Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How 'bout them dogs

For many, many years, fans of the Georgia Bulldogs have cried "How 'Bout Them Dawgs!"

No so much this year. And, when it's said, it'd be more appropriate to say "How 'bout them dogs" instead.

The difference is that "Dawgs" is an affectionate way to refer to the Georgia Bulldogs. But, in this instance, "dogs" refers to the performance of this year's team.

Georgia's problems this year are a delight to many who don't care for UGA. And, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran the most obvious headline of the season: "Fans upset about Bulldogs' losses." Well, duh.

This year has been a rough one. And, it began before the season started, when they had so many players arrested for ... well, you name it. Misdemeanors, sure, but crimes nonetheless. And, it hasn't stopped. This week, another player was arrested. That's 10 this year. One more, and they can film "Longest Yard II" in Athens.

Why have so many UGA players been arrested? Because that's a place that's out of control.

Who is to blame?
  • The players, for being old enough to know better, but not doing better.
  • And they players' parents, for not raising them better.
  • And the coaches, for not making the players have to face consequences all along.
  • And the UGA administration, for making some really stupid decisions in hiring. 
  • And the fans, for putting up with it ... as long as UGA won.
Just so you know, I was not in favor of UGA hiring Mark Richt to begin with. I would have preferred that Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech's current coach, been hired instead. But, that was a pipe dream.

Think back. It was after the 2000 season, and Jim Donnan was the UGA coach, and Vince Dooley was the Athletic Director. UGA president Michael Adams wanted Donnan gone, and Dooley didn't. So, Adams fired Donnan.

If Donnan had stayed, as Dooley had wished, would Donnan have reached the levels of success that UGA fans wanted? Maybe not. But, while Donnan's Bulldogs teams never reached the success of Richt's, his never reached the lows that Richt's are experiencing right now.

Anyway, after Donnan's Division 1-AA background, there's no way they'd replace him with another 1-AA coach, as was Johnson at the time (he was Georgia Southern's coach).

But, hiring Richt? Whose coaching career of 14 of 15 years as an assistant was at Florida State? Or Tallahassee State Prison, as it might more properly be known. FSU has been out of control for years, but the fans there didn't care, because they won.

Sounds a lot like what I was worried about with Richt coming to UGA.

And, much like FSU, UGA's football team has no discipline.

Now, as a person, I suspect that Mark Richt is a fine man. I've heard nothing bad about him. But, learning how to coach college by learning at FSU isn't how you learn to run a disciplined program. And now UGA is an undisciplined program.

But, this last arrest has led to a dismissal from the team. Of course, that player had never played a down for UGA. So, the net impact to the team is zero. It's not like Richt stepped up and kicked a star player off the team. And I'm not sure he would.

And that's the problem.

If you are a star at UGA, you can do whatever you want and nothing bad will happen. And, when the team is winning, the whole team is a star. When you're 0-3 in the SEC, players that don't start will get kicked off the team.

Should UGA fire Richt? No. Not right now, anyway.

UGA isn't a very good football team right now. If, by the end of the season, they are a good team, then perhaps that means that Richt finally has things under control. After 10 years.

If not, though, I fully expect to see the state's unemployment rate go up more -- by an amount that's equal to the UGA coaching staff -- at the end of this season.


  1. Didn't Richt ditch the whole D side of the ball at the end of last year? Isn't Richt on the way to becoming the winningest corch in UGA history? Isn't Richt the longest serving head corch in the SEC? Dunno, Basil, they are going to have to suck for another couple of years in my opinion.

    And remember the Tennessee problem. Ditch Philmert Phulmer and wait another one hundred years for a quality win.

  2. To maintain his current UGA career winning percentage (.752, counting this year so far), Richt would have to go 8-5 this year. And, to maintain that, he'd have to go either 10-3 or 9-4 each year thereafter.

    If he did that, he'd become UGA's 2nd-winningest coach (victories) in 2015. And he'd pass Dooley in 2025, which would be Richt's 25th season. Dooley coached 25 years, having 2 10-game seasons (no bowl), 8 11-game seasons (5 bowls), and 15 12-game seasons (12 bowls).

    Even with 1.48 more games per year, Richt won't be around long enough to catch Dooley. He might not be around long enough to Butts (140 wins in 22 years).

    I'm not calling for Richt to be fired. But a lot of people are.

    Not that they are right. Firing a bunch of Republicans in political office wasn't very smart, either.


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