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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Richt wants to "minimize" trips out west

Mark Richt’s new boss said he had some ideas about nonconference scheduling, but wanted to wait to talk to Richt. Well, the Georgia head coach gave us an idea of what he’ll say to new athletics director Greg McGarity.

Richt clearly isn’t in favor of beefing up the schedule. That doesn’t necessarily mean he would weaken it, but the western trips – such as to Colorado this year – are probably on the way out.

“I’ve learned it first-hand that flying back through the night from Arizona is not good for your team,” Richt said. “I think in the future we’re gonna try and minimize that as much as we can.”

The Bulldogs are still scheduled to go to Oregon in a few years. The trips to Colorado, Arizona and Oklahoma State were spearheaded by former A.D. Damon Evans, who wanted to build the brand of Georgia nationally.

The subject came up Wednesday on the SEC teleconference, after a report in The Birmingham News that said the SEC tended to have the weakest nonconference schedules.

Richt answered a quick “no” when asked if he felt other league teams needed to beef up their schedules.

“Lemme ask you this: Who’s won the last four national championships,” he said. “And I don’t think those teams have gone overboard on who they’re scheduling out of conference.”

A few more tidbits from Richt’s appearance on the teleconference:

- Branden Smith is the No.l punt return man, and Carlton Thomas is No. 2. As for A.J. Green, Richt isn’t necessarily adverse to using him, but granted that with changes to punt return rules there’s risk that a return man could be “splattered.” And he also worried that someone could decide they want to get a bit hit on Green because he’s a star player.

Still, you get the feeling that if at some point they decide Green is their best returner, he’ll be back there.

“Punt return’s a pretty big play too. Kick return’s a pretty big play,” Richt said.

- Richt had kind words for starting quarterback Aaron Murray, who gets his first college start on Saturday.
“He has got everything that it takes. He’s just gotta experience it now,” Richt said.

- Richt repeated that because of the offensive line injuries “offensively we’re not as far as along as I would’ve hoped.”


Anonymous said...

I don't mind games out west every so often. Just schedule them before a bye week if at all possible so that our guys can recover from the trip.

PTC DAWG said...

Texas/OK are about as far west as we need to go. How about Miami for a home/home?

TrboDawg said...

As an '85 UGA graduate and a California resident since '95, I really hate to see the west coast trips end. I understand why, but...

ASU two years ago was my first UGA game I attended since I can't remember when and it's really re-kindled my love of attending games. The atmosphere in Tempe was incredible, all that red & black, and barking - it was inspiring. I ended up flying back to Athens for the Tech game (Yuck) that year. Also went to ASU game in Athens last year. Have had tickets for Boulder for at least a year and have plans to go to Oregon AND take "DUCK" friends to Athens for the return trip.

So, at least for this Dawg fan, the west coast trips have been a major influence in getting me to buy more stuff and physically attend more games....

Bill said...

I second that opinion. How many kids are you really going to be able to pry away from SC or UCLA just by playing one single game in the state of California? If you had the opportunity to play a top-ranked program out there and they were willing to come to Athens the following year and I can almost understand that but playing an average to midlevel teams like Arizona State on a regular basis is counterproductive for a southern school that doesn't need to go out of its region for recruiting.

Russ for UGA VIII in '010 said...

Miami? I hope you're hoping for Miami of Ohio, because that seems how this new AD (and Richt) feel about out of conference scheduling.

Anonymous said...

I think that it should be "Richt is not AVERSE" (instead of adverse) to using AJ as in he does not have and aversion to it.

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

I know you guys don't travel west too often. Do you guys ever go north of the Mason Dixon Line?

Big Muddy Dawg said...

Hey, Dawgs lost to Miami of Ohio back in the '74 Tangerine Bowl. It's bad enough losing to some Yankees but to lose to some Yankees I didn't even know I didn't know? Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Those trips out west has not helped recruiting in the west to date. That was a flawed theory of Damon Evans.

BullyMack said...

Anon, Damon was trying to "spread the Georgia brand" ie sell more swag and flair to bring in revenue. Recruiting was secondary at best. Honestly now looking back, it may have been more for his ego than anything since Richt has stated again and again his aversion to these type games. Personally I love it. I was at ASU, will be in Boulder and Eugene. I think it's kind of a cop-out for Richt to blame the travel. The Pac-Whatever# teams travel a lot more than we do all the time. These are young guys, they should be excited about the challenge, play, then bounce back and not mope around...unless the moping and complaining about it is coming from the top.

Anonymous said...

? How is that everyone interprets "building our brand" as being 100% all about recruiting?

As has been pointed out we don't even need to go outside of the region for recruiting. The point of building our brand is to become one of the nationally prominent programs and to do that you have to play in big games or at least interesting games.

Alabama has taken a similar approach with Clemson, VaTech and Penn St.

Anonymous said...

Pac-10 teams traveling east is different than traveling west. Remember, there's a 3 hour time difference. When UGA goes back home they lose 3 hours, whereas teams from the west gain 3 hours. You may say it's not a big deal, but it is. My family and I live in Colorado and when we travel east, losing 2 hours sucks. Coming back is a lot better. I agree with scheduling these games before a bye week.

Also, I hope everyone doesn't think the Colorado game will be a cake walk. Boulder is about 6000' higher than Athens. That's a huge adjustment.

BullyMack said...

Anon, I lived in CO too. The travel part isn't THAT big of a deal. I did it all the time. Inconvenient yes, a big deal no. Plus, the flight back is almost an hour shortly and a little smoother with the wind. I looked forward to the eastern leg of my trips compared to returning to CO. We are taking about college kids too, not middle aged men. Like I said, to me it's just an excuse. But what do I know?

Yes the altitude will be a factor but CU nor their fans will be. Hawkins is on the way out after that RB leaving and the QB quandry with his son the last 2 years or so pissing everyone off along with their record. This is a hail mary game for them.

Anonymous said...

This blog is not completely accurate about the dodging of good teams that Coach Richt ACTUALLY SAID.

“Richt on Wednesday voiced his preference: that the Bulldogs play only one nonconference game a season against a team from a BCS conference.”

“We’ve been doing it, but I don’t think we need to do it anymore, quite frankly,” Richt said. “I don’t think anybody in the league needs to do it. I think if we win our out of conference games and win the league, we’ll be in really great position.”

“This league is strong enough and if you go overboard on that it may hurt your chances on being able to win the league title,” Richt said. “Even though it’s an out of conference game, it still takes emotion and energy and travel time and everything else.”

Anonymous said...

Until recently UGA has been in the top five when it comes to selling swag. Again those trips out west did not help that.

I love how crazy UGA fans get upset with Coach Richt concerning how disruptive it is to travel out west. I don't see Florida fans demanding the Myers go play teams out west so that they can get the opportunity to leave the state. They are perfectly happy playing all of the OOC games in their own state. If you guys want to go to Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado plan a vacation there but don't begrudge the program for doing what they feel is in in IT'S best interest. . For me the traveling I want to do is to the National Championship game.

Anonymous said...

As a season ticket holder and one who travels to almost all games, the BCS type games are what I want to see. I do not want to see all the games be big and tough, but I also don't want to pay for tickets against 3 cream-puffs. Our home schedule sucks this year. Tennessee is down so our best home game may be the Arkansas. The trade school doesn't count.