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Saturday, September 25, 2010

How big a game? And what then?

Some links, and thoughts, as we arrive on the day of a rather big game for Georgia. But how big is the question.

My advance from today's papers delves into whether this game can be a turning point for Georgia's season - or sink the team deeper into the morass.

A loss, and the team would officially be reeling, with more state-of-the-program questions awaiting Richt upon his return to Athens.

But a win could be the start of a turnaround, especially with an easier stretch of games ahead.

“It definitely has to be a turning point,” cornerback Vance Cuff said. “We definitely have to take this and build off it. We’re in a position where we’ve gotta win.”

Macon Telegraph sports editor Daniel Shirley, in his column, believes things could get worse for Richt, which would be unfair, but is the reality.

It’s amazing how quickly fans can forget what a head coach has been able to accomplish with a program, and it’s interesting how they can overreact to situations. But it happens, and it happens with every team, so it really should not be a surprise. After all, most fans are a little unreasonable about their favorite teams and don’t understand when they’re not winning games in bunches.

That makes Saturday’s game at Mississippi State even more important than usual for Georgia. Reasonable fans will remember what Richt has done with the program and see a team this year that may be going through a growing season.

And my breakdown of the Georgia-Mississippi State matchup.

So what do you think? Is this game really "huge" for the program and Richt? Or is that overstating it?


Palmer said...

Every game is huge now.

Todd said...

Yes, this is a big game, in terms of the 2010 season. However, Mark Richt is a great coach and all great coaches will go through rough times. But we need to be patient and give him a chance. The season is far from over.

Georgia just lost to 2 experienced teams that happen to be among the top teams in the SEC. UGA is young and has made some major changes - changes we knew would be tough - yet it's not like they were blown out in those games.

Coaches have a difficult job these days that demands more out of them than we think. The days are long and there are no more off-seasons. If Richt isn't coaching, then he's off to alumni and booster club meetings. If he's not doing that he's visiting recruits for the 2011 and 2012 classes, which I still think is ridiculous. How many times does he get to watch his own son play football? How often does he get good quality time with his wife (who is in remission from cancer) and children? We need to cut Richt a little slack. The stresses of this job are probably beyond what many of us fans could tolerate. Look at what happened to Coach Dantonio at Michigan State - he had a heart attack... over football! I think all of us need to settle down and support Richt. If we do that then we fans will be "paid" back ten-fold. Patience.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Richt has been rebuilding for three years, and with very little to show for it. As I recall, last year was Saban's third year and he won a national championship.

Anonymous said...

I called 104.5 in Nashville yesterday to talk with the sports crew about this issue. My point was that the days when coaches were hired until they quit are probably over... are we going to see another JoePa? And I recalled Vince Dooley's early years and how long it took him to produce the 80's Dawgs. I then asked the guys if Richt was on 'the hot seat'. The answer was surprising... A former college coach (sorry I'm blanking on his name) said that Georgia, for the recent past, has been unable to play to it's talent level and that they were not a 'tough' football team. He thought Richt was on 'the warm seat'. Then, George Plaster, the host, said that with a loss to MSU that the 'bunsen burner gets turned up on Richt'. I see their points, I even agree that we have failed to play to our talent level, but I hope Richt stays, because I think he is doing it the right way and will get it figured out and bring a championship to Athens. Go Dawgs!

UGA69Dawg said...

The problem this team has now is the build up of pressure on a team that has areas that are shaky. Will AM begin to press more and if so to what result. Will the D go pure vanilla because of the blown assignments. A win would take some of this pressure off. A lose and this team could just forget how to win.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry the Mark Richt Apologists will find a "clever" way to defend this five year downturn.

Senator Huckaby should change the name of his website to "GET THE APOLOGY".

BulldogBen said...

I understand that some years you have more experience than others but if I have to hear about a "growing season" or "rebuilding year" one more time I'm going to lose it. Growing in to what? Next year when we lose AJ, some of our O-line, Durham, Houston, etc, etc? When does it end? Isn't this what recruiting if for?

A program with a head coach in place for a decade shouldn't be having growing years. Down years can happen but 2 in a row (yes, the year is TBD) would be an indictment on bad management of talent, bad recruiting, or just bad coaching.

That may be a little over the top but PLEASE, spare me the "growing season" argument.

Anonymous said...

We don't have the players or coaches to win a National Title. Until we admit that there is a problem, we will forever be mired in the mediocrity that is Georgia football.
Georgia has a problem with it's football program. It's time we admit that.

GaDawg7781 said...

I agree 100% with what Todd has said. Most of the yahoo's that post comments about win or else don't have a clue at what injuries and luck play in a team's success over a season. While there are area's we need to improve on, I think being negative towards the Coaches and players is not what we need to do. You know what they say about opinions, everybody has got one! I for one will continue to support my team and let the season play out.

Willb said...

It's a very very important game for this season! But in now way do I think a loss should put mark richt on the "hot seat"! I know all you unrealistic dawg fans will say what has mark richt done for us lately. Well this has been the best ten years a ga team has ever had. We haven't won a nat title but I think most dawg fans would agree that we had the beat team in the nation on two different occasions. One of which was only a couple of years ago when we went 11-2.
Do you guys who want richt gone really think that Kirby smart or will muschamp would make ha any better than what richt has done. The hit that would have on recruiting would be huge for years to come. That's not like fla bringing in urban Meyer or ala bringing in Nick Sabah. I think that would be a downgrade and a step back for us as a program.

Some of you ga fans need to look at our history also. Ga is not one of the few college programs who are always supposed to be great. Like Ohio state, Florida, ok, and Texas. The closest we have came to being a team like that was under richt though. Outside of A few years with Hershel walker ga has not been that great.

Mark richt has taken this ga program to places it has never been before but he loses to two ranked sec teams and he doesn't know how to coach anymore? The only problem I see with richt is his allegiance to his coordinators. I think he builds a friendship with them and wants to see them succeed so bad that he hurts himself in the long run by doing so.

AppleDawg said...

People can say what they want about Richt earning "time" but lose this game and that "time" will become less and less

Anonymous said...

At least no gay "The Who" music to kick-off tonights game....uninspiring!!!

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Shirley's comments that fans are being irrational. Georgia has lost to two good SEC teams, but Georgia has not held a lead for one second in any of those games. Unlike what Shirley claims, we were not really close. You can't be close if you are constantly behind.

I agree that Mark Richt has been a great coach. However, it is clear there is a performance problem on this team that must start somewhere from the top. Even in 2007, "irrational" posters were observing that the team seemed to play flat echoing the personality of their head coach. Not much as changed. Even as our program becomes PhilFulmerized, I am for Richt staying more time. But he's going to have to change himself (and his coaching style) from within if he wants to stay in this league. I wish him the best, but I don't know how much time he's got left to do it.