The Monday morning press conference to formally announce the resignation of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt was as beautiful as such an event could be. There was praise, mutual admiration, and even mentions of scripture sprinkled about.
It was representative of a very good man’s 15-year tenure at the university. He’s the kind of guy you’d want to run your program, and he’s the man you pray answers the door when you pick up his daughter for the first time.
He just wasn’t the guy to lead the Georgia Bulldogs any longer.
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From an outsider, UGA had to do it. They were forced to get rid of Richt, and if I were a fan of the Dawgs, I wouldn’t even be all that upset at this point that he hasn’t won a national title. There were far bigger failures happening in Athens.
Forget the College Football Playoff; Mark Richt couldn’t even win the SEC East anymore.
When you consider how putrid their division has been the last few years, that’s as damning as anything. There’s a decent chance the SEC East is the worst Power 5 division in the nation this season, yet the Dawgs are sitting home and watching the SEC Championship for the third year in a row.
This is a division with a Missouri team that averaged six – six! – points per game. Give them credit, though – they somehow managed to win five games this year (although they lost to Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and were taken down to the wire by Connecticut and Arkansas State).
Missouri wasn’t the only SEC East team to post a 1-7 conference record this year; South Carolina did it as well. The Gamecocks, a team that averaged fewer than 14 points per game, lost to the Citadel just two weeks ago.
Vanderbilt and Kentucky combined to win nine games this season, and neither are likely bowl-bound. That’s more than half of the division, a total joke.
Georgia lost to the other two SEC East teams, Florida and Tennessee, who have also been less than stellar. But both of those teams are showing potential, so this is the perfect time for UGA to make a move and nudge their own program in the right direction before they fall too far behind.
Yes, Richt is a great guy, and there’s no doubt he’ll land on his feet somewhere good real soon. But at the end of the day, Georgia fans have hopes of a national championship, and it just wasn’t going to happen with a coach who couldn’t even win the sorry SEC East.
Photo: AP/John BazemoreFollow @Sean_Breslin