That's what bothers me. I just can't comprehend why in 2007, 2009 and 2010 this program's coaches and players waited until the biggest prizes were off the table to decide to play their hardest and smartest football*. It's maddening.
Georgia is not a program with 4-5 talent. Georgia is not a program with 4-5 facilities, recruiting base, financial backing or any other infrastructural element. There's no Jan Kemp, Ronny Contrell or Lane Kiffin-sized legitimate excuse for where we are. We are here because Coach Richt has consistently waited too long to address the glaring problems surrounding the program, and that is why we are where we are.
It's a systemic issue of urgency that we've discussed frequently over the years. A coach with "hair on fire urgency" doesn't do the following:
- Tolerate Neil Callaway's recruiting for 6 seasons
- Tolerate John Jancek's epic fail linebacker coaching for 5 seasons
- Tolerate John Fabris' idiotic kickoff "strategies" for 9 seasons
- Redshirt Knowshon Moreno
- Promote a kid like McClendon when *obviously* more qualified candidates were available
- Wait to terminate Martinez and post-pone an inevitable rebuilding process
- Blow off two a day practices in favor of pool parties
- Let the strength program fall to where we're getting mauled up front
It's all so avoidable, and that's what frustrates me the most.
To clarify, I'm not calling for Mark Richt's job or his head. I want him to be successful because he's a good person...but more importantly because the process of replacing him is TERRIFYING when you consider the realistic pool of potential candidates.
I'm simply asking that our coach manage our program in the proactive manner that is commensurate with his compensation package. To date, we've paid Coach Richt almost $20 million. The bulk of that money was not paid as a reward for past performances. It was paid to ensure we got consistently excellent results on a go forward basis. Once you win the SEC, you're not Coach for Life. You still have to drive the program forward.
We've now lost 10 games in the past two seasons, and appear very likely to lose 11 in two seasons. As a point of comparison, Jim Donnan lost 11 games in his final THREE seasons in Athens. Regardless of Richt's excellent achievements in his first five years, he absolutely cannot take the program to a level lower than he found it. That's simply not acceptable.
He's being paid to make the tough decisions BEFORE those decisions become obvious to those of us who've never been in the arena. Waiting for years after we can figure it out is far too long. And that's my frustration.
*Ht to "Whyso" via DawgPost.com's message board for helping me articulate that sentence more concisely than my original draft. He articulated what I was trying to say in a similar manner. Not the whole post...just that sentence.