Since our first FULL calendar year of running this website, I think it’s fair to say we have grown tremendously. We added another writer, Optimist Prime, who has brought some wonderful insight to blend in with the other four outspoken minds we have on the site. I think he has made our arguments and debates better. I noticed this as I was looking back over some of our debates from this calendar year. One debate sticks out to this Georgia native, however, and that’s a debate we had back in late September regarding the status of UGA football coach Mark Richt. It also ended up being one of our more popular debates of the year, judging from the hits it received and continues to receive even now!
At the time we had the debate UGA was coming off a road loss to Mississippi State, who actually went on to have a solid season and win eight games. At the time, however, it appeared to be a bad loss, and it was the absolute perfect time to have the debate. The heat had been turned up in Athens and much of that fire was directed at Richt.
Optimist Prime and Bleacher Fan both presented outstanding cases. Bleacher Fan was, and still is, of the opinion that Richt should have been fired. The program had noticeably slipped (this is true) and Bleacher Fan brought on the interesting point that guys like Urban Meyer, Les Miles, and Nick Saban had flown past Richt in terms of winning championships. Optimist Prime believed that it was too soon to panic and that Richt had earned the right to turn things around.
I ultimately sided with Optimist Prime. I felt that Richt had done enough in his tenure to keep his job. There were some circumstances, such as the whole A.J. Green fiasco, that caused the Dawgs problems early.
Looking back, do I think I made the right decision? Granted, the Dawgs finished with a 6-6 overall record, with the outcome of Friday’s Liberty Bowl matchup against Central Florida still pending. Included in those six losses was a terrible loss at Colorado. But, to answer my own question, yes I still think I made the right decision. Richt definitely goes into the 2011 campaign needing a big season out of his team. I think he needs at least eight wins.
Being a Georgia resident, this debate often went on at sports bars, dinner tables, and office break rooms around the state. The Bulldogs bring out a lot of passion in the Peach State. I’ve heard the pros and cons of keeping Richt around ad nausea. But the fact that it was such a high profile coach in a high profile conference made this debate exciting and extremely relevant at the time. I sure hope you enjoyed it!