I know some people didn't like me even posing the question, but I felt it was a topic worth exploring. It's easy to discount the criticisms of Richt if you're a supporter of his -- and largely I've discounted them, too. But my job is to be objective, and so I wanted to gauge just how prevalent the notion really is among fans that Richt won't be able to turn things around. The best way to disprove something isn't to ignore it, but to expose it.
Based on the comments I read from yesterday's post, I'd say the following is probably about accurate:
70 percent of fans are optimistic and some reasonable level of faith in Richt.
20 percent of fans either like Richt but don't think he can get the job done or wish he'd been fired years ago.
10 percent of fans decided halfway through the post that I was an a$$hole and stopped caring.
(*Note: Results not verified by any legitimate accounting firm.)
Anyway, I think the experiment was worthwhile, and both Richt and I should probably be pleased to still have a solid majority on our side. I'd like to think in the future we can have similar discussions about popular subject matter, too. In the meantime, I can assure that my only goal was to foster a discussion -- and ideally a sane, calm and healthy one -- and not to focus a negative spotlight on Richt.
And, as a final addendum, I should have offered this: I applaud Richt's willingness to admit his mistakes from past seasons, in particular the handling of Richard Samuel. It takes a good bit of character to tell a room full of fans that you were wrong, and he's done that more than once this offseason. Good for him.
On to a handful of links...
-- Further discussing the question I posed yesterday, The Senator looks at the causes for optimism and concern might be this year -- and it's a pretty solid list.
-- Sic 'Em Dawgs writes that there are some rumblings of a possible Georgia-Miami showdown in the Kickoff Classic in Atlanta for 2012.
-- Marc Weiszer writes that there likely isn't much to the UGA-Miami rumor though.
-- Matt Hinton comes up with a good list of old-school rivalries that need to be revived, and Georgia-Clemson is at the top.
-- Mark your calendars for June 19's Dawgs for Kids Party, where Mark Richt, Matt & Jon Stinchcomb, David Greene and other Bulldogs will be meeting with fans for a worthy cause.
-- Tim Tucker has some UGA notes including Hutson Mason, SEC expansion and the men's tennis team.
-- I had assumed when Lane Kiffin bolted Knoxville, we'd heard the end of the "It's all part of the plan" shtick. But good for Bulldog in Exile for finding another use for the phrase.
-- Sad news... Auburn put the clamps on the Justin Bieber write-in campaign.
-- Pitchfork has a good interview with The Hold Steady. Two things on that: 1.) The new album is fantastic, and by far their most accessible work to date. I highly recommend picking it up (that is, if anyone actually "picks up" music anymore). 2.) The Hold Steady is playing at the 40 Watt next week. If you're in Athens, it's a show worth catching.
-- Interesting article in Playboy about the late-night war between Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno written by perhaps the most informed journalist out there.
-- ABC Family has a sitcom scheduled for the fall starring... wait for it... Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart. (See... the job market really must be getting better if these two can find work!)
-- RealTVAddict offers 12 suggestions for possible replacements on "The Office" should Steve Carrell follow through on his promise to leave after next season.
-- And finally, with just two "Lost" episodes remaining, this article seems particularly timely. Boston.com looks at why series finales so often go awry.