Da' Dream Makin' Cold Blooded Sausage


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Complexity of the Richt Dilemma Part I - The Tip of the Tipping Point, Mississippi State

Despite the pleas of his co-consul as dawn broke over the field of Cannae, Italy on August 2, 216 BC---
Gaius Terentius Varro, ordered the charge.  The order itself was the tipping point that would lead to the greatest slaughter of Roman Soliders that the most powerful army of the ancient world would endure.  Varro foolishly assumed that Carthaginian General Hannibal Barcca was out of position.  He was not, and deployed the first successful double-envelopment in Military History.

The tipping point is the moment in time when it is do or die, put up or shut up, pee or get off the pot.  The beginning of the tipping point for the Richt regime will be this Saturday in Athens.  Like war itself no single battle will determine the results of this tipping point.  The fate of those involved may not be known until October 29th, or November 12th, or as late as November 26th in Atlanta.   Mississippi State is a tough call.  They are very well coached.  They are on the low end in terms of talent in the SEC.  They run an offense that will be a headache for the 3-4.  They lost to Auburn who lost to Clampsun, which tells us nothing really.  They gave LSU, the best team in the land, all they wanted.  In July I would have said this is a solid lock for a loss.  Now I am not so sure.

I picked the Wednesday before this game to lay this post out for a reason.  I thought we would be 2-2 at this point and I thought this would be at the tipping point.  If you listened to the Podcast I did with the Leather Helmet Blog you heard some of what I am going to say here.  I don't do too many Podcasts because I sound somewhat reasonable in them and no one wants a world without an over the top CCRider in it.  There would be no Skeletor to He-Man, no Joker to Batman, no Tammy 1 and Tammy 2 to Ron Swanson....there must be a villain, right?

I am going to step out of character for this series of posts that I am calling "The Complexity of the Richt Dilemma".  I will put on hold the calling that has been laid before my feet.  I shall for this series of posts cease to be the dashing, debonair, square jawed, leader of the Cold Blooded Sausage Making Movement.  I will allow just a glimpse at the hem of the robe of the Mighty Oz.  I will be serious and I will speak not as The Rider but as a life long fan of the Red and Black Attack.  I shall speak as one who can still remember looking at the scoreboard and seeing:
 Georgia-59  William &Mary- 24. 
At eight years old I knew not of who this William and Mary was but I did know this:  The Georgia Bulldogs are the greatest football team in the world and they can beat anyone.  Later I would come to realize what a win over William and Mary was really worth, but on that October day all was right with the world and the Georgia Bulldogs were unstoppable.  Of course I would go on to endure Ray Goff during my formative years and the disappointment of Jim Donnan.  It all seemed different with Richt.  We won the games we usually lost (except for Florida) not just the games we were supposed to win.  I could smell a National Title.  We got so close only to be so very far away. 
It is that different feel that so many people can't let go of.  It is that smell of a National Title that we got from 05-the beginning of 08.  It is that closeness.  Many fear that we will never see that closeness again should we go in a different direction.  In their minds falling short is better than falling at a great distance.  So what are the options for a fanbase that wants success so badly, has all the tools to gain that success, but is holding on to some warm feelings of times now forever gone? 

We are 2-2 at the 1/3 point of Richt's 11th season.  We have four types of games left:
1. Sure Fire Wins: New Mexico State and Kentucky
2. Games We Should Win: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and GT
3. Games We Could Win: Mississippi State, and Auburn
4. Games In Which There is No Evidence To Show We Have a Chance to Win: Florida
If the sure fire wins are wins then we are 4-2.
If the should win games are wins then we are 7-2
If the could win games are loses we are 7-4
If we lose to Florida again we are 7-5
Of course things could always take a hard turn right or left.  We could win 6 of 8 to finish 8-4.  We could beat Florida but lose to Vandy.  We are in what experts call a "fluid situation".
All summer long people wanted a number.  What is the magic number for Richt to stay?  What is the magic number for Richt to go?  Well here are the possible options:
a) Georgia runs the table- 10-2 (a spot in the SEC title game): Likelihood- 0.00%
b) Georgia wins 7 of 8 the lone loss is to Florida: Likelihood- 1%
c) Georgia wins 7 of 8 but beats Florida: Likelihood- 1%
d) Georgia loses two more one of those is to Florida- Likelihood- 25%
e) Georgia loses two more one of those is not to Florida- Likelihood- 5%
f) Georgia loses three or more-Likelihood- 68%

Option a) and f) are easy.  Option a) nothing changes, option f) everyone gets fired.  Options b) through e) are much harder and place us in a type of limbo.  If we fall into that limbo McGarity will have four options:

Likely under scenario b) or c).  Richt stays but McGarity forces Richt to fire Bobo, and VH, and demote Joe T.  Richt is charged with hiring a new OC, and S&C coach.  Richt may chose but McGarity must approve.
Likely under scenario b) or e).  Richt stays but he must fire Bobo, and VH, and demote Joe T. McGarity selects the next OC and S&C coach giving Richt no say in the matter.
 Likely under scenario d), e), and f). Richt stays but he must fire the entire staff and replace them pending McGarity's approval.
Likely unde scenario d) or f).  Richt stays but he must fire entire staff.  McGarity selects replacements giving Richt no say.

Of course under scenario b), c), d), e), and f) there always exists the Nuclear Option and McGarity fires everyone.  I personally feel like Option 2 is the most likely.  However, in taking the ability to select his staff from Richt you run the great risk of having him step down.  In fact under Option 2 I think there is a 90% chance Richt just walks away.  The reason is because under Option 2 McGarity will hire the unofficial "Head Coach in waiting" and Richt would be subject to dismissal at any point even mid-season from that moment on.  If Richt is fired after Georgia Tech it is what it is.  If he steps down after GT then chances are he was offered the option to stay but not his staff and he would only be able to stay if he relinquished his ability to select that staff. 

We do not know the end game but what we do know is that we are on the brink of  four games in 5 weeks that may very well decide the fate of Mark Richt.

TOMORROW- The Complexity of the Richt Dilemma Part II- Richt Stays but Bobo Goes and New S&C is Brought In.  We break down the top candidates to replace Bobo and save Richt's job.  We break down the top candidates to bring a real S&C program to UGA.


  1. great analysis!I've thought all along that Richt needs at least 8-4 and/or win the East to stay on the payroll.It would be hard for Adams/McGarity and the Athletic Board to let him go at 9-3...a Florida win sure would buy a little love but that game has become a long-shot for the Dogs.

    later,old dawg

  2. Georgia-21 Wake Forest-22

    My first game wasn't nearly the event that yours was apparently, but it was in 1979 and the very next year I got my first season tickets and witnessed arguably the greatest time in our history. I was also in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 1981 and that is another amazing memory.

    While I appreciate your analysis and agree with much of it, there is a scenario that you have not included. OPTION 5 - Richt walks away. Regardless of record at this point or at season end, regardless of what he may have wanted to accomplish before his departure, he may not have it in him to go on. I believe this was about a 25% consideration before the season, but after our poor performance against BSU and subsequent heartbreaker to SC, I truly believe the man is just trying to get through the season with the best record he can muster so he can leave on a somewhat high note. I hope Coach Richt realizes that he has brought us a long way and I am proud that we got past being only 3rd best in the East (Well at least for most years). But there are times in life when you have to ask yourself if you are the answer or if that lies with someone else. I believe Coach Richt has asked that question of himself and determined the answer. But, the worst part for him will not be walking away, but not having cultivated that person to fill his shoes. Just a feeling I get by watching and listening to the man. I could be wrong.

    Another reason I feel this is the case is that little birds have told me you might get your wish with a certain coach in Texas who wears a lot of purple. And, Coach Richt's eminent departure was the impetus for the contact by our AA. I have not confirmed anything substantial, however, so that is another discussion for another time.

    Keep doing your thing as I enjoy your perspective.


  3. -H.Randolph Walker

    I have had that "He just walks" discussion a few times and I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

    I don't know who your source is but it would be the greatest thing to happen to Georgia since #34 hit the campus. Most of my Patterson talk has been wishful thinking and I have mentally prepared myself for the chance that we hire someone like K.Smart that is not an imporvement over Richt at all.

  4. -H. Randolph Holder

    Sorry about the Walker thing I had #34 on the brain.

    I let this thing sit since 2pm today. I did not want to seem like a fat girl rushing the door at the Golden Corral but...if you have details on the dream becoming reality do tell, sir.

    If you dont want it out yet then throw the Ol' Boys a an email at ccrider.sportsandgrits@gmail.com
    Detail man details!

  5. Best post I have read on this site. I have a question though. If at the end of the year we are in the same basic positon in the SEC's offensive Statistics do you still want to fire Bobo. I mean maybe he has learned from some of his past mistakes. Most of us do.

  6. I don't think Coach Dodo can learn from anything. He needs to go IMHO!

  7. I have said for some time that Richt will retire after this season. if you look in his eyes he just doesn't seem to be having any fun and the grind os getting to him. Call me crazy but is there any scenario where McGarity would take a look at Gruden? I used to think he was a clown until i started watching him break down tape on ESPN with QB's and the guy really knows his stuff and has the fire and credibility we need. Any thoughts?

  8. Gruden is an NFL coach, always has been, always will be. I see him as the modern Vermeil, a good coach who sits in the booth for a decade or two making stress free bank, before the internal fire burns again and he goes back to coaching. But he's an NFL coach, why would he not go back to the NFL if he wants to coach again? More money for fewer duties. Maybe not fewer hours, but that's on him, in the NFL you just coach, not be a politician with alumni, a salesman with recruits, a PR man with the media, and a coach on the field.