First, I am not a FIREMARKRICHT acolyte but I am wondering what the heck our expectations are as a fanbase and community. Richt really seems to think USCe is just better than UGA this year. He also seems to think this loss is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. A lot of people were SURPRISED at the outcome Saturday night but not all of us...and Richt is hoping USCe drops a couple so we can get another 'title.'
Meanwhile Chizik showed some guts by apologizing for doing what surprised few.
So I have a few questions for the DawgSports faithful. (and hopefully there will be some response here or to Dawg2011's excellent post: http://www.dawgsports.com/2012/10/7/3470784/state-of-the-program-or-just-sour-grapes-after-an-ugly-game?login=1349665830
I understand that y'all usually boo and hiss when anyone comes on 'your' site and trashes Richt or suggests he be unemployed and I can respect that many of you are longtime conservative fans, probably more 'mature' than the malcontents that blow this place up after every embarrassing big loss...but your responses to us noobs dragging poor CMR though the mud usually follow a particular pattern and I would like to present some honest feedback. NOT just when I am furious (like last night) and stuck in a hotel in one of the most depressing college towns in the SEC.
1) Why is 'name a better coach' such a popular sentiment when we criticize Richt? Isn't that Greg McGarity's job? I think Mr McGarity is paid pretty well to find coaches that can win National Championships. Instead of being paid to do that, I make my meager contributions to UGAAA every year and I think this entitles me to my expectation that UGA employs MNC-caliber coaches. Is Richt an MNC-caliber coach? Is he just waiting for his Herschel? It seems like that might be the case. Desperate for a magic bullet for the SEC...
2) "You guys only come around when we lose!" Sure, there is a greater outpouring of disgust when we lose. Why is that such a popular critique of those of us most vocal when we are freshly humiliated? It alienates those of us that aren't 'old timers' (although I have been on DawgSports weekly since 2006, I don't often post), and widens the gulf between new/old patient/impatient readers of the site. I love DawgSports and I'm even ok with SBNation being branded on everything (mostly) but I don't appreciate the insinuation that I only care when I can complain. It's counter-intuitive and disrespectful, and with the high value placed on polite discourse at DawgSports, it always surprises me when the "refrain from ad hominem attacks/only post relevant comments/consider this your warning/we will ban you" reply is so often bandied about. e.g. when RedCrake or hbtd are flippant and sarcastic, it's not cool to threaten any newcomer/manic/depressive that responds in kind, T. Kyle King.
3) Compare Richt to Dooley- "Victory Watch!" HERESY ALERT: in all honesty, Dooley should've been looking for a job in 1979, not recruiting #34. If y'all really want to compare the job done by a coach in the 60's-70's to a coach at a 21st century FBS school like UGA, that is the only conclusion you can reach. Otherwise let's not compare Richt to Dooley like he is the ideal. 'Bear' Bryant can be the 60-70's ideal. Dooley can be 80's ideal (but not all-century.) Hell, Spurrier might be the 90's ideal. Since then.... Corch? Saban? Mad Hatter? Peterson?
4) "Before Richt we were terrible for a decade, he has brought us immeasurable success." "He is the best coach UGA has (or will) ever have!" -admittedly UGA doesn't have the modern era tradition (except the early 1980's and #34) that justifies our fanbase's high expectations, but the expectations exist and they deserve satisfaction if only as a response to the historic revenue levels UGA is enjoying. Times change and teams either stagnate or improve. If our revenues and expectations have changed so dramatically, maybe our culture and demands should be altered as well. Has UGA improved over the last decade or plateaued?
5) "Richt is a good man." I agree that the character of a coach is important, but we did win the Fulmer Cup recently. Aaaaand there's that whole arrest thing with our RB (whatshisname) over the summer. Aaaand the suspensions for the first 3-4 games every year. I don't expect angels and I don't expect that any coach can recruit and win with angels, but if we are selling Richt as an incomparable 'molder of men,' then he needs to be molding men at a rate higher than other coaches and I don't see any evidence of that. It would be nice if a nice guy could finish first in the SEC but I don't see it, and worse than that I'm not even convinced that Richt's niceness is resulting in any extra-specially nice players graduating from UGA.
6) "Fire Coach? You nearsighted Dawgs are crazy!" Why do the editors and 'regulars' here pretend they've never heard the unwashed masses suggest that Richt/Bobo aren't an elite coaching tandem (chuckdawg excepted)? I hated when we backed into the SEC East Champ position last year, as it (temporarily) extended the honeymoon. Beating UT, AU, UF, and GT in the same season was nice...but it was more a reflection of their mediocrity than of our capability, imo. Please don't dismiss me as a fair-weather fan for this sentiment. I am here bc I am a fan. I am mad at our coach bc I am a fan. I spend thousands of dollars outfitting, traveling, ticketing, and tailgating annually bc I am a fan. Let's leave the ad hominem attacks aside and respond to any legitimate critiques of Richt and co. Please. (looking at you vineyarddawg, who i regularly find hilarious and insightful but occasionally just condescending and incite-ful.) Also, arguing that Richt has won against elite teams but the 'haters' don't consider them elite after Richt beats them... does Richt beat teams that win 10 games (excepting Tech, 2009?) Has Richt beaten any of the 4 teams in the SEC that have won BCS Championships in the year that they won? You can't count Mizzou in 2012 as your marquee ELITE team beatdown...unless you honestly think Vandy is Elite as well.
7) "Every team drops them like this occasionally" "It's just ONE FREAKING GAME!" -UGA is 1-12 (or 2-15?) vs. ranked teams since 2008. 'nuff said.
Firstly, I will never forget the 2005 Sugar Bowl (only Sugar in Atl, probably), the 2007 losses to unranked USCe/UT, the Funeral and JAX 2008, Stillwater 2009, or the Chick-fil-a Kickoff and Outback Bowl 2011. 2011 was just terrible, I don't care about the SEC-E ring at all, and neither does anyone else but USCe.
Secondly, ARE these the types of things that happen to every team? Regularly? Or do they only happen to my Dawgs so the opposing narrative every year is "UGA always thinks they gonna win a MNC till they fall down the stairs lol" Tell me another team that has as much recent history falling down the stairs on ESPN as UGA...
IMO, UGA does less with more than any other team in the FBS. :-(
Please refute that.
Am I the enemy for sharing my perspective on such a conservative UGA site? Why do the 'regulars' on DawgSports stick by Richt so faithfully? Can I critique your opinion and constant support of a coaching staff that I see failing in the most important aspect of their jobs without feeling like an outcast?
Thanks for the forum, I've been here since Kyle did this alone and I'm still here and appreciate the hard work all of you do (even vineyarddawg!) I hope we can discuss this and come to a consensus on what our expectations are for the Dawgs, our coaches, and our fellow fans. It seems like there is often internal strife after catastrophic losses...we need a common enemy and common goals so we are united in our pain instead of divided in our suffering. -Joe