Da' Dream Makin' Cold Blooded Sausage

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Wasn't Donna Fired for Exactly What Richt is Doing?

I have seen the dozens of blog posting that read the following:
"Richt is not going anywhere"
"Richt is the right man for the job"
"We can't fire Richt because who would we get, and we would have to rebuild"

Well boys in case you didn't notice we are re-building. That's right after 10 years at the helm Richt is having to re-build. How is that possible you ask, well we have no idea.


After the 2000 season Jim Donnan was dismissed as the head football coach at the University of Georgia. He was dismissed for posting back-to-back 8 win seasons and struggling against Georgia's traditional rivals. However, the firing was based on a little more than just 8 win seasons. In fact the reasons for Donnan's dismissal has grown into the stuff of urban legend in Georgia. Some say their was a racial divide in the locker room, others say players were dealing drugs, and still others say half the team was high in half the games they played. While I am sure someone knows for sure-the majority of us will never know what truly transpired in Athens in those five years. What we do know is that Donnan did an excellent job of recruiting players. Of the NFL-Dawgs still in the league most of the best ones were Donnan recruits: Champ, Seymour, Strout, Stinchcomb, and Grant to name a few.
Now let me be clear: I AM NOT SAYING I WANT DONNAN BACK, NOR AM I SAYING HE DID NOT NEED TO GO BACK IN 2000!!!

All I am saying is for those of you that hung Dime-Bag Donnan in effigy you need to make a real assessment of Richt at this point.
-Donnan beat Florida once in five years.
-Richt has beaten them 2 times in nine years with little hope of beating the Gators in Jacksonville this year.

-Donnan never lost to Vandy.
-Richt has lost to Vandy.

-Donnan lost to Kentucky once
-Richt has lost to Kentucky twice.

-Donnan lost to South Carolina twice (but was never dominated by them)
-Richt has lost to South Carolina three times (the last was a game in which the Dawgs were physically dominated by the Gamecocks)

We all like to think that Georgia is a program of National significance under Richt, but are we really? Teams of National importance beat ranked opponents here is Richt's record against ranked teams:
27-22
Teams of National importance beat top ten teams here is Richt's record against top ten teams:
7-8. The problem here is that Richt gets credit for beating a #10 Hawaii team and lets be honest that is total BS- if Hawaii was ranked they should have been no higher than #25.

Jim Donnan was 4-0 in bowl games in five years.
Richt is 7-2 in bowl games. The B.C loss came in Richt's first year because he mis-managed the clock. The West Virginia loss was an embarrassment to Georgia, the SEC, and the South. Mark Richt and Willie Martinez are the only reason the Big East still gets an automatic BCS bid. If Georgia had shown up and played to the best of their ability they would have run West "By God" Virginia, an inferior program off the field.

Richt's biggest wins are against #16 FSU in the 02' Sugar, #22 Arkansas in the 02' SEC championship, and his crowning jewel is the 05' win over #3 LSU in the SEC Championship.

In nine and 3/4 seasons only one major win of significant importance over a top ten team that actually deserved their ranking at the time.

Richt allowed an 07' loss to a far far far inferior South Carolina team keep Georgia out of the National Title Game.

In 08' with the future #1 pick in the draft at QB and #12 pick at running back Richt managed to end a season, which saw the Dawgs #1 in pre-season polls, with 3 losses.
Richt allowed Saban to take the third best team he has had since coming to Alabama and beat the best team Richt has ever had at home by a double-digit margin.

What about all that off the field stuff that contributed to Donnan's dismissal? How many players have been arrested in the Richt era? I don't know because I lost count back in 08'.

What about A.J. Green first being named in agent-gate and later the jersey debacle that has cost him four games and cost an anemic Georgia offense its best player.

What happened during Donna's stint is really not fully known nor has it been a significant black-eye to the program. Under Richt the lack of control of players has been very public: Odell and his drinking and driving, Ealy and his drinking and driving, Green and his involvement with an agent just to name a few. Where is all the control and discipline that Richt is supposed to bring where Donnan failed? Where exactly are all the glorious victories that eluded Donnan? We would love for the Dawgs to run the table and end the year 10-2 but that is not going to happen. That doesn't mean we are not fans it just means we are realists. At best Richt is looking at 8 wins this season. That is back to back eight win seasons and a team that is in the arrest column as much as the win column. So tell me why are we so accepting of Richt when we were so quick to condemn Donnan. Why is pretty good now good enough? Why was the decline of Donnan's program despised while Richt's continues to be accepted?

2 comments:

  1. Richt "let a loss to South Carolina keep us out of the BCS title game in 07?" You mean, Richt guided us to a BCS-title-caliber performance in 07? Our team was that good that year, right? And Richt was our coach? Okay. I'd rather be that good with a sad loss keeping out of the big game, though we clearly were one of the few programs nationally that had an argument for being there (which happened to USC several times under Carrol as well), than know that 5-3 in conference is our ceiling.

    Donnan didn't decline. He rose to a certain level and then simply stayed there. (His first two seasons were outliers, 5-6 and 10-2. Then he held serve at 8 wins for three years in a row, though maybe with the bowl win in 98 he got to 9 wins?) He lost 3 straight times to Ga Tech (Rich is 8-1 against Tech). He went 2-3 against Auburn (Richt is 6-3 against Auburn, an astonishing record given the history of that series). No Kentucky team that Donnan faced was remotely close to the Kentucky teams that Brooks put together (I live in the bluegrass now, for what it's worth). And, Donnan's teams almost crapped the bed against Kentucky 3 separate times (97, 98, 00).

    It's the same thing with South Carolina. Carolina was in an absolutely terrible state, even by their standards, in the late 90s. For crying out loud, they went 0-11 in 1999. Donna went 3-2 against them. Richt is 7-3. (Note the obvious superiority of Richt's winning percentage here, but you simplistically chose to only count the losses when you reported this number).

    You have focused in on things that make Richt look bad, or similar to Donnan, but you have simply ignored things that make Richt look superior. Nothing makes him look worse.

    Richt has continued against Florida as Donnan and Goff (more or less) performed against Florida. Other than that, Richt has, even in these last four seasons in which his overall record is "Donnanesque", not become the beeyotch of any of our traditional rivals. Tenessee has regained an upper hand on us in the last few years, but Richt is still 5-4 against the Vols, and in any case UT was 4-1 against us under Donnan. So, again, the teams that Richt has failed against consistently (UF, UT lately) were teams that Donnan failed against as well. But Richt has the clear upper hand against Tech and Auburn, even here in the "lean" years. It is a clear and undeniable qualitative difference in performance.

    Donnan never lost to Vandy in 5 years. Neither did Richt! Richt, in NINE years, is 8-1 against Vandy. From 05-08, Vandy threatened to be a bowl team every single year, and actually did make a bowl in 08. Those were very ahistorical Vandy teams. Richt still went 3-1 against them in those 4 years, with his loss coming during the 1-4 stretch in the middle of 06.

    Finally, in 06 and 07, frustrating stretches (the middle of 06 and the beginning of 07) were turned around into brilliant finishes. Donnan did nothing comparable. After the 97 season's pleasant surprise (that still involved a let down after beating Florida), his last three seasons were all optimistic starts that didn't quite pan out as well as we wanted.

    Having a .500 record (more or less) against top 10 teams IS a sign that you are a nationally-renowned program. Being a top 10 team in college football is like being one of the top 3 teams in the NFL. The only way to consistently win half of your games against the top 3 teams over a stretch of time is if you yourself are one of the top 3 teams.

    We are supposed to go 18-1 against top 10 teams? If we did that, then we would either have five crystal footballs in Butts-Mehre right now or else we would KNOW that Richt has Donnanesque drug problems on his teams.

    These are not excuses. They are observations of historical facts and of how basic statistical analysis works. Being shocked, shocked, that we lost a game and it sucked is not reasonable analysis.

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  2. Here's why:

    Richt-2 SEC Championships (3 title games)
    Donnan-0 SEC Championships (0 title games)

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