End of an Era:  Not Going to Say I Told You So

RichtMcGarity
Mark Richt and UGA AD Greg McGarity

Well I am sure by now you have heard the news.  Mark Richt is no longer the coach at the University of Georgia. Well technically he still is, but he won’t be after the bowl game.  Early yesterday afternoon it was announced that Mark Richt and Greg McGarity had mutually decided that Richt would resign. I know this is an unpopular decision for many Dawg fans.  I fully understand why so many Georgia fans would feel this way.  When a man like Mark Richt is asked to leave it is painful.   But folks it was always going to be painful, and just like the Bruce Hornsby song, “That’s Just the Way It Is”.  Mark Richt has a lot of class, and he has represented our state, our school, and our team in a fashion that few men could replicate.  He is a man that you want to see win it all, but I think too many began to feel he was not going to win it all.   The day after the Florida game I posted a blog called, “The End of an Era: Thanks for Memories Coach Richt.”  It may have seemed a little premature to write such a post, but my opinion had finally changed about Richt after that game.  Quite frankly, I was mad as hell after that game.  It’s sort of embarrassing that I care that much, but I do.  And many of you do as well, and that’s why this had to happen.

My change of heart was not created by one bad game.  But the Florida game further proved what I would not admit for years.  That the program was trending down and not up.  And Georgia’s talent was either poorly evaluated or under developed for years.  Ultimately after 15 years, I realized that Georgia had 2015-uga-football-schedulealready peaked under Richt.  It was a painful realization.  I love Mark Richt, and I really believe he is the best head coach UGA has ever had.  But he missed his window to reach the top.  That window was open from 2001 to 2008.  It was cracked open in 2012, but quickly shut again.  He is still a great coach, and if wants to keep coaching he will get that opportunity.  I would love to see him around UGA for years to come, but I am just not sure what he will decide.  I said it before and will say it again.  Thank you Coach Richt for all the things you did on and off the field for UGA, the city of Athens, and the young men you coached.

But like it or not Dawg fans there will be a new coach here in Athens very soon.  No matter how you feel about this it is already done.  So I suggest you get on board.  I for one am excited about the future.  Georgia football needs a new message and new leader.  The fans need a breath of fresh air and a renewed enthusiasm for the program.  I believe the next coach will find the program in good shape and positioned to succeed. Therefore, it is time to get excited.  So who will it be?  Let’s take a look at some candidates and examine some of their pros and cons.

KIRBY SMART- The rumors about Kirby have been swirling for at least a week.

981128 Athens, GA -- Georgia Tech vs Georgia at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, November 28, 1998. GT #14 QB Joe Hamilton tries to get by UGA 316 SS Kirby smart in the 4th quarter. Hamilton scrambled for about 15 yards to get a 1st down and keep Tech's game-winning drive alive. (AJC Staff/KEVIN KEISTER)
Kirby Smart in Uniform Back in the Day

He seems to be an obvious choice considering he is an alumnus and considered one of the top coordinators in the country.

Pros- He is from Georgia and recruits the south very well.  He should still have tons of love for his alma mater and a desire to see UGA win.  He has learned from one of the best in Nick Saban, and one would think that UGA would get better on the line of scrimmage with Kirby.

Cons- He is unproven.  Plain and simple it would be his first head coaching job.  Is he truly ready to be the head dawg so to speak?  Overall, there is just some uncertainty in his ability to handle the job.

herman-tom-houston
Tom Herman Head Coach at Houston

TOM HERMAN – Many of you may not really know this guy.  I have to admit I don’t know much either.  He is the current head coach at Houston and coached with Urban Meyer.  He is an offensive guy and seems to be a top of the line candidate for any job.

Pros- I think this guy would be a good hire.  He has already been the top guy at Houston so he knows the job.  He would bring a different offense to Athens and maybe that would be a good thing.  This guy is going to get a top level coaching gig somewhere.  Might as well be UGA.

Cons- He doesn’t know Georgia or the overall recruiting territory. And bringing a new offense to Athens could be a con instead of a pro.  Overall, he may not be the best fit, but you really don’t’ know until you try something on.

jimbo-fisher-cfp-rankings
Jimbo Fisher Head Coach at FSU

JIMBO FISHER– Seems hard to believe he would leave FSU, and I personally don’t think he would.  But some people seem to think he isn’t real happy.  Not sure about that, but I know Georgia has the money to hire him away.

Pro-He’s a proven winner and this would be a big SPLASH if he came to UGA.

Con-Let’s be honest this isn’t happening.

gary-patterson-tcu-coach
Gary Patterson Head Coach at TCU

GARY PATTERSON– This is probably the best coach not named Nick Saban in my opinion.  I really like him, and the job he has done at TCU.

Pro- Proven winner and could really do great things with the resources here in Athens.  This guy is my dream coach for UGA.

Con- The time to hire him was years ago.  He would probably come, but not sure it is the best fit now. May have been in 2009.

MIKE BOBO– This one may be a bit of stretch.  He has only been a head coach 1 16632487-mmmainyear, and he worked hard to reach a 7-5 record.  Personally, I like Mike Bobo and think he is great coach.

Pro- He knows the job, knows the area, and knows how to recruit.

Con-If you hire Bobo than why did you fire Richt?  Besides, if I was Mike Bobo I would tell everyone that hated me and my play calls to kiss my    A-S-S!

DOC HOLLIDAY– No I am not referring to the famous gunslinger and gambler.Doc-Holliday  This guy is a good coach at Marshall.

Pro- Mainly his name.  I would love a coach named Doc Holliday. Honestly, he is a great coach.

Con- He is almost 60 and probably not a good fit.  A bit of stretch to get this job

ANYBODY ELSE– This refers to people we aren’t talking about or would think want the job.  This is also what will make the next several days or weeks very fun.

Overall, part of me is sad to see the end of the Mark Richt era.  But I know that this was the right decision, and I know Mark Richt is going to be just fine.  I am excited to see what the future holds for my beloved Dawgs, and you should be too.  My gut tells me that Kirby Smart is going to be the next coach.  I have nothing to base this on other than my own opinion.  Yes, I have heard some rumors claiming it to be true.  But this is more of a gut feeling.  I think he will be offered the job, and he will accept.  Regardless, Georgia has an opportunity to get this right.  I just hope they do, but only time will tell.  Go Dawgs!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

-Scott
(706) 850-4636
5 Market Realty

College Football Week 12: Are You Happy Dawg Fans? What Say You?

Last weekend was very entertaining for college football fans.  There were many great games, and some unexpected upsets.  Baylor, Stanford, LSU, and Utah were all in the Top 10 heading into the weekend, but by Sunday morning all 4 had suffered defeat.  On the other hand, a couple of teams made statements and held off upsets.  Alabama continued to impress with a decisive victory over Mississippi State which was probably the only statement of the weekend.  Meanwhile, Clemson, Iowa, and Oklahoma State were able to remain undefeated despite scares from their opponents.  But here is the deal folks.  I am sick of complimenting Bama and Clemson on this blog.  I don’t care about Iowa, and I am not wanting to talk about Ohio State.  I want to talk Georgia football.  So if you don’t like that than STOP reading.

Sadly, the Georgia/Auburn game which usually has SEC and national implications was barely a blip on the football radar.  The game was relegated to the lowly 12pm slot as the opening act for the Miss State/Bama game.  That’s right the Miss State game was bigger than Georgia/Auburn.  I truly hope this was an anomaly.

mckinsy
Isaiah Mckenzie Scores Saturday

You may recall that last week I discussed the apathy around Athens for the game.  While that was true, there was certainly no apathy at my house around game time on Saturday.  I just can’t help but care, and I expect many of you are the same way.   I have to admit that Georgia beating Auburn made my day.  I smiled the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.  But later that night I had to ask myself a question.  Am I all of the sudden happy with Georgia Football?  Do I still want changes?  Have you asked yourself any of these questions?  So let’s review the game, the pros, and the cons to see how to answer these questions

5647ae8614ed6.image
Sony Michel

THE GAME– The game was not real pretty but so what.  I was glad to see Georgia win a game the way they did.   It wasn’t easy and they faced adversity.  In the end, they played well in the areas they needed too.  They played soundly on defense, and probably won the game due to special teams which has been an area of weakness. The offense is not good, but they haven’t quit.  They are still playing hard.  As a side note, I think Sony Michel is one of my favorite Bulldogs ever.  They are asking him to do an awful lot especially with a broken hand.  But he just keeps playing hard and making plays.  Georgia seemed to want it a little more Saturday and in the end they earned it.  This is a good thing to see because the team hasn’t quit on themselves or the coaches.  You have to admit that is an implication of good coaching and good kids.

On the other hand, Auburn is not well coached.  Do you realize that Gus Malzahn’s entire reputation is built on 2 miracle plays over Georgia and Alabama?  Their offense is not real inventive and it never really was to begin with.  MalzahnBasically, run left, run right, QB draw, & throw deep every so often.  It’s not exactly rocket science.  Furthermore, they should have never taken Jeremy Johnson out in favor of White Saturday.  They don’t seem to have many good players either.  Their situation at quarterback is way worse that Georgia’s.  Way worse.  I know many of us Bulldogs are frustrated but you know what?  At least we are not Auburn.

THE PROGRAM & STAFF:  PROS and CONS

In trying to answer the questions above, I figure the best thing to do is to break it down into Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Class and Dignity-I don’t think anyone can argue that Mark Richt runs the program with class. You never have to worry about how he will run the program in this respect.
  • Recruiting- It seems that the coaches and program are in the process of another great recruiting class. This has often been the case in the Richt era.
  • Wins- Overall, the program has won about 70% of their games under Richt
  • Auburn- Mark Richt has won 8 of the last 10 against Auburn. That’s getting it done.
  • Georgia Tech-Richt has only lost to Georgia Tech twice. That is another example of him dominating a rival
  • Indoor Practice Facility- Georgia is finally showing some commitment to winning and is constructing an IPF.
  • Defense-You have to admit that overall this side of the ball is doing better now and seems ready to become dominant in the future.

CONS:

  • Florida-It seems that once again Florida is surpassing Georgia in the East. Here is a wakeup call folks.  This is Georgia’s BIGGEST rival.  They absolutely have to beat Florida to accomplish anything major in the SEC.  Georgia has not done it enough under Richt.
  • Bad Losses- There are just too many of these especially recently. Bama, Tennesse, Tech, Florida, Nebraska, Colorado, Central Florida, and the list goes on.  Georgia seldom beats good teams or pulls an upset.
  • Offense- Where did it go? Did it leave with Bobo?
  • Recruiting- This is a pro and a con. Georgia seems to recruit well, but they have too many misses.  For example, QB this year and a total lack of depth especially on the O-line.
  • Staff Rumors- You can’t be sure what is true and what is not. But these rumors true or not are a good sign.
  • Lack of Titles: 2 SEC Championships since 1982.  That is not good folks.  I know Richt brought the last 2, but now it has been 10 years since the last one.  A sure sign that something isn’t working.
  • Quarterbacks-An 18 year old from Washington is NOT going to fix it in 1 year. If you think so you are delusional.

I can do this all day with Pros and Cons, and I think it will come out about even.  If any side may end up longer it would likely be cons.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Richt, and I am not calling for his head.  But if I am honest with myself, and whoever reads this blog.   Well than I have to admit that I no longer believe Georgia will win it all or even another SEC with him in charge.  I really hope I am wrong, and it wouldn’t be the first time.  If only I could see my team win it just once.  I would love for Richt to be the guy to make that happen, but I just don’t think he will.  So I guess that I am not happy and I want change.  Thankfully, I am not in charge.  I do think Richt will be here next year, and I am going to be pulling for him and the team.  But at some point, Georgia is going to have to decide if they like being pretty good or do they want to be GREAT!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

-Scott
(706) 850-4636
5 Market Realty

Georgia-Auburn Game: Apathy for Auburn in Athens

The use of alliteration with “apathy” seems appropriate for this week’s match up. Because that is exactly what it feels like here in town.  Everyone just seems apathetic.  This is not the first time either.  Earlier this year, Athens felt the same way leading up to the Tennessee game, and we all know how that turned out. auburn-vs_-georgiabypaulKrouse In reality, there is still a lot for Georgia to accomplish.  The problem is too many fans just don’t seem to care that much.  Georgia can still win out and go to a good bowl. And they can still beat two of their hated rivals in Auburn and Tech.  I think the biggest issue for the fans is not that Georgia lost three games.  It is how they lost them.  They weren’t even competitive against Florida and Alabama, and the Tennessee loss was just ridiculous.  While all this frustration is understandable, it is time to get over it.  Well at least for the time being.  Granted, both fan bases are already disappointed, but how disappointed will you be if Georgia losses?  I for one will be inconsolable.  I can’t stand Auburn, and I hate to watch UGA lose.  Besides, 3 times is enough already.  Therefore, I am starting to get fired up because this game always matters.  I know that neither team is ranked but trust me this game matters.  So once again, I feel the need to remind Dawg fans of some history to get them fired up.

THEY TURNED THE HOSES ON US!– In 1986, Georgia won a hard fought game 20 to 16. Losing is never fun. So I understand Auburn’s frustration, but come on man.

 

TOO MANY GREAT GAMES– This rivalry has seen some of the most entertaining games in college football history.  Both teams have won and lost their share.  Here are a few examples

1994 Tied On Plains- Auburn was on probation (Go figure) and had not lost a game in almost 2 years.  Georgia was unranked, but shocked everyone when they played Auburn to 23-23 tie.

1996 Overtimes- Auburn was again the favorite to an overmatched Georgia team.  This was the first year that overtime was used in College Football.  Georgia completed an amazing 2nd half comeback and went on to win in 4 overtimes.  This game was the longest game in college football for several years.

2001- Auburn stopped Jasper Sanks at the goal line with time running out.  Georgia couldn’t stop the clock and time ran out.  Auburn won..

2002- David Greene hit Michael Johnson in the corner of the end zone on 4th and 15 to win the game and the SEC East.  In my personal Top 10 of life moments. Marriage and kids are at the top of course.

2013- “The Prayer in Jordan-Hare”.  We all know what happened, and I’m not going to discuss it further.

These are just a few of the many great Georgia-Auburn games.  And please note that I did not post any videos of Auburn victories nor will I.

CAM NEWTON & NIC FAIRLEY– This rivalry was starting to become some what classy until 2010 when Fairley and Cam Newton played their one year at Auburn.  Georgia fans have little respect for either of these players.   Honestly, this video is all any Georgia fan needs to get fired up.

In case you haven’t noticed, I recently learned how to embed video on the blog. HA!  Now you have no excuse to feel apathetic about the game.  Because Saturday could be yet another classic.  I am just glad Newton and Fairley are gone.  To hell with those boys.  Go Dawgs!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

-Scott
(706) 850-4636
5 Market Realty

Athens, GA Real Estate: Where to Spend Money in Your Home

Here in Athens, real estate seems to be doing very well. Another area that is currently thriving is construction.  Builders are back building new homes, and contractors are booked up for months.  It seems that there are renovations going on all over town, and it is definitely a good time to be a contractor.  As we all know, supply and demand are tied together. under-renovation Therefore, if the demand for contractors is higher than you should probably expect the cost to be higher as well.  Conversely, if you look back to 2010 the cost was lower due to the lack of demand.  As I mentioned before, the 5 Points and Normaltown areas are seeing a lot of renovations and remodels.  Depending on your taste, you may or may not like the trend.  But trust me when I tell you that it is a good thing for our community.  When people invest in their home it is a sign of confidence in the market.  It also a good sign when builders invest in properties.  However, the one thing to watch out for is supply.  You never want to see the supply greatly exceed the demand.  All that aside, many homeowners are taking advantage of the low interest rates and investing in their homes.  This is great to see, but it is an area that many homeowners need advice because they often make mistakes.

HGTV-showchip-property-brothers
Property Brothers on HGTV

Thanks to the wonders of HGTV, many of us watch remodeling shows all the time.  The problem with these TV shows is that they are just that…TV shows.  For instance, Bill Cosby made raising kids seem fairly easy and often humorous.   Well it is often funny, but it may be one of the hardiest things a person will do in their life.  TV shows are not always based in reality.  This is especially true with so called “Reality TV Shows”.  If you pay attention to the credits in some reality shows they give credit to “writers”.  How in the world can a “Reality TV Show” have a writer?  My point is that these shows are fun and entertaining.  They are good for giving us ideas, but keep in mind that what works in California may not work here in Georgia.  HGTV-showchip-flip-or-flop Too often homeowners get excited and spend money in the wrong areas.  So where should homeowners spend money in their house? In my opinion, homeowners should focus on three main areas when upgrading or investing in their property.

  • Maintenance
  • Livable Space
  • Up Dates

First, you must spend money on maintenance.  This is commonly overlooked by a majority of property owners.  You absolutely have to maintain your property. Maintenance comes first no matter what.  It makes no sense to put in cultured marble if you have rotten windows.  The issue here is that most people don’t see the deferred maintenance.  But they can easily see a new bathroom.  If you do not maintain and upkeep your property it will definitely cost you money in the long run.  The next area that owners should focus their money is in the main living area or even adding more livable space.  Everybody seems to focus on bathrooms and the owner’s suite.  And these can be good areas to put money if you have it to spend.  But be warned that you may not get it back.  You need to be careful with how much you spend in areas like a master bedroom or bathroom.  In some cases, it is smart to upgrade them or make them larger but you can overdo it quickly.  You need to understand that people don’t live in their bathroom or bedroom.  They sleep and shower there, but they live in the rest of the house.  Buyers want large and functional kitchens with open living space.  Any outdoor living space is always a huge plus as well.  Storage can be a big plus, and if you want to expand a master it would be wise to make sure the closets are spacious.  Lastly, it is important to keep your house up to date or least keep it from becoming too dated.  Some older houses have fantastic space, but they have not been touched in 30 + years.  Therefore, they eventually sell at lower price because the entire house needs updating.  Which creates a good opportunity for a buyer to purchase the property low.  I am not suggesting that you remodel your kitchen and redecorate every 5 years.  However, if you are in your property for 15 years you may need to update a few things.

In closing, you will need to spend money on your home no matter what.  At the bare minimum, you need to maintain the property.  But if you take it a step further and renovate.  Be sure to do it wisely.  In the end, your home belongs to you, and you can decorate or upgrade it any way that you see fit.  But if you ever plan to sell it would be smart to consider future buyers.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

College Football Week 11: Needing Some Sunshine in Athens

wet
Georgia Fans Soaked In Sanford

It feels like it is has rained on Georgia’s football season all year, and last week was no different.  Frankly, it was just dreadful here in Athens.  It all started with the horrific GA/FL game on Halloween.  Towards the end of that debacle, clouds and rain staring to roll into Athens and didn’t leave all week.  In fact, the clouds are still here 9 days later.  We really need the sun to come out today.  Badly!  As a result of the game, our fan base became angry, disgruntled, and divided.  If the weather and the season weren’t already bad enough we added some coaching rumors to the mix.  Unless you were in a cave last week, you heard a lot of rumors about the Georgia coaching staff, and in particular the Defensive Coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt.  I cannot verify any of these rumors, and even if I could I still would not.  Whether they are true or not they are still upsetting to me, and a sign that the program is not in good shape.  That being said, Georgia fans needed a lot of sunshine Saturday to improve their spirits.  Sadly, Saturday morning brought some of the worst weather all week.

As I mentioned before, I organize a large tailgate on South Campus. Overall it has been really fun, and I have enjoyed it despite the extra work it creates for myself.  But this year we just can’t catch a break with the weather.  The rain poured so heavily on our tailgate during setup that I actually looked around and asked, “what the hell are we doing?”  Which is a statement I have yelled many times this year in regards to Georgia football.   I think I yelled it 6 times during the Florida game.  Despite the weather, Georgia did get the win. I must admit it feels good to see my team win again, but that was a terrible Kentucky team that past Georgia teams would of beat by 50 points.  Therefore, the win over Kentucky didn’t bring enough sunshine to change my opinion of the season, the staff, or the direction of the program.  Alright that’s enough griping for now. Let’s take a look at last week and see what happened with some other teams.

clemson vs fsu
Dabo Getting Doused

CLEMSON– Well good for you Clemson.  You did it.  You beat FSU when it really mattered.  Clemson didn’t look as good in this game as they have in others, but they won the game.  Granted, FSU may not be as good this year as they were 2 years ago, but that’s not Clemson’s fault.  Clemson fans will find out tonight what the playoff committee thinks of their team.  Maybe the Tigers will end up #1 but then again maybe not.  Whatever the result, soak it in Clemson fans.  Don’t gripe and don’t complain if you are not #1.  #1 only matters in January.  If your team takes care of business they will get the chance to prove themselves.  But please, please don’t get the big head just yet.  Still a lot of football left.

ALABAMA– Dammit! They are still good.  I kept thinking some kinks were starting to show in the program.  But today that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Alabama looked dominate against LSU.  The line of scrimmage tells the story in a game. And Bama won that battle all night long.  You are going to start to hear people say that Bama is the best team in the country.  And they looked pretty darn good Saturday night.  But just like Clemson, they have football left to play and you just never know.  Remember the Ole Miss game earlier this year?  Crazy things can happen.  But one thing seems to bother me about Alabama.  How are they so much stronger and physical than everyone else?  I mean do they lift different weights?  I just find it hard to believe they work harder than other big SEC programs.  Not accusing them of anything, but I just wonder how that happens. I wonder?

TCU GOES DOWN– I didn’t get to watch this game, but I heard about the result.  And no offense to TCU, but thanks Oklahoma State.  I have said before that I am just not comfortable in a world with TCU and Baylor as football powers.

THE SEC EAST– Did you see the Florida/Vanderbilt game?  Well I hope not because it was the worst college football game since UGA played Missouri earlier this year. Seriously, the score was 9 to 7. sec_eastThat’s all Florida could manage, and they are the Champion in the SEC East.  What an absolutely dreadful division.  What’s worse is that Georgia can’t win it.  A Florida team that can’t score 10 points against Vanderbilt is still superior to the Bulldogs.  That is disgusting to me.

A LOOK AHEAD– Well it’s time for the Georgia/Auburn game a.k.a. “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”.  I do not care for Auburn, and I have been pretty critical of Gus Malzahan a few times this year.  I also predicted that Auburn would lose at least 3 games if not more.  While that prediction may hold true it also proving accurate for my beloved Bulldogs.   In fact, both teams have had very similar years.   Each team has offensive problems and quarterback issues which of course go hand in hand.  Honestly, I don’t know what to think about this game.  I think Georgia’s defense can stop Auburn, but Georgia may not be able to score either.  History has shown us to expect the unexpected when it comes to rivalry games.  This one is a coin toss.  Anybody can win.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.

-Scott
(706) 850-4636
5 Market Realty

College Football Week 9: What Would Lewis Say?

I wish Lewis Grizzard was still around to make us all laugh. But I suspect he wouldn’t find much humor around Georgia football right now.  In his honor, I will have to pull one of his old maneuvers.  Because I just don’t have the enthusiasm to write anything this week. Maybe Next Week.

 Lewis Grizzard
The Great Lewis Grizzard

 

I

DON’T

WANT

TO

TALK

ABOUT

IT.

The End of an Era: Thanks for the Memories Coach Richt

Well the day has finally come.  I am going on record to say it is time for Richt to move on.   You will not find a more avid, dedicated, or passionate Georgia Bulldog than myself.  You may know fans that are my equal but none that are greater.  That being said, when someone like myself finally says. “it’s over”.  It is truly OVER!  Yesterday was an absolute embarrassment for Georgia.  Florida is not a good team.  They can’t kick a field goal, and they don’t even have a quarterback.

      Coach Mark RIcht
Coach Mark Richt

But they are 24 points better than the Georgia Bulldogs.  Can you even remember the last time Georgia scored a touchdown?  It seems Georgia doesn’t really do anything well, and what happened yesterday has been happening for almost 8 years.  What’s so sad is that we as fans have allowed this to happen.  I am as guilty as anyone.  I have been a staunch supporter of this program and Mark Richt.  But that is no longer true.  The ceiling has been met for this team and staff.  And it now appears that the 2012 season was just a happy accident.  What’s even sadder is that I look to 2012 as successful.  There was no title or championship won.  Just a gut wrenching loss in the Georgia dome.  But that is the current state of Georgia football.  No reason to expect anything more.   How in the world can the University of Georgia be this helpless and pitiful on offense?  Honestly, how?

We all know Richt is a good man, and I do believe he is a good coach.  That’s right…he is a good coach.  But the message here at Georgia has gotten stale so to speak.  It just isn’t working anymore.  College football has changed a good deal over the last 15 years.  The days of Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, and Bear Bryant are no more.  I do not believe a coach can remain effective at a University for over 10 years now.  There may be a few exceptions but in general this seems to be the case.  Just look to Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech.  He is another great coach, but it is time for him to move on.  And that is where we are now in Athens. But don’t worry about Mark Richt or feel bad for him.  He is a good man, a good coach, and seemingly a great husband and father.  His life isn’t over and his future could still be bright.  He has options available.  If he still wants to coach, there will be opportunities for him to do so.  Maybe even at his alma mater, Miami.  If he is done with coaching, then he has made enough money to pursue any other endeavor he chooses.  My point is that this doesn’t have to be ugly. Sometimes it is just time to say good bye.

So that is what I am doing here today.  I am saying good bye to a great coach and a great Bulldog.  Mark Richt is the best Georgia coach I have had the chance to watch.  I actually believe he is the best “head coach” Georgia has ever had.  The best coach at Georgia was Erk Russell, but we never gave him the head job. You may disagree with me, but for my money, Richt is the best.  And the best memories of Georgia football in my life came under his watch.  So here’s a look back at some of the best ones.

2001- UGA-Tenn:  Hob Nailed Boot

I will never forget where I was when David Greene hit Veron Haynes in the end zone.  I was at Baxter Courtyard across from Clarke Central watching the game with friends.  I was literally on the floor praying, and when Haynes caught the ball I immediately when running out the door yelling and screaming.

100601 HaynesWinningTD_JB (nt sports/uga fb/2001/tenn.) Jeff Blake/staff UGA's Verron Haynes hauls in the game-winning TD in the fourth quarter of Georgia's 26-24 win in Knoxville October 6, 2001.

I ran through the parking lot on to Baxter Street and right into traffic.   I still remember the face of the man in the white Camry who honked his horn at me.  He honked and I yelled “Go Dawgs”. That was the day we realized Georgia’s future may be bright.

2002- UGA-Auburn: David Green to Michael Johnson

Georgia had not won a SEC title since the early 80s.  In fact, up until 2002 Georgia had not even been to the dome.  That team showed a lot fight coming back to win the game.  Sadly, that is not something our current teams have.  They aren’t tough, and they don’t have much fight.  But Richt’s earlier teams sure did.  That night in downtown Athens is one of my favorite memories as a Bulldog.  I will honestly never forget it.  Thank you Coach Richt.

2005- UGA-LSU: SEC Championship

2005 was a tough season in a lot of ways. That team could have accomplished more, but Shockley got hurt.  And then they lost tough games to Florida and Auburn.  No one expected Georgia to beat a top ranked and favored LSU team.  Boy were they wrong.  DJ Shockley found Sean Bailey twice for huge touchdowns and overall the team played great.  The Dawgs whipped LSU pretty good that night.  Sadly, it was Georgia’s last SEC Title

2007-Georgia Florida

Matt Stafford and Knowshown Moreno were on this team along with many other Georgia greats.  When the team ran onto the field you could tell they came to play that day.  It sure is fun to beat Florida. ncf_a_georgia_2_300

2007-Auburn Black Out Game

This was one was a lot of fun, but in hindsight it was the beginning of the end.  Still, it was one of the coolest atmospheres I have ever experienced , and one of the best nights ever in Sanford stadium.

2012-Georgia Beats Top Ranked Florida

Florida was undefeated and under the impression they were good.  The defense stood tall that day and won a hard fought game.  Jarvis Jones made the game winning play at the end when he knocked the ball lose.  Otherwise, they may have lost this one.  But they didn’t, and that night I went downtown to ring chapel the bell with my 90 year old “Grandmother in Law”.  This is not one I will forget anytime soon. Thanks Coach.

These are just few examples of what Richt did well while he was here.  I will be forever grateful to him for these wonderful memories.  You should be too.  Because there weren’t a lot of them from 1985 to 2000.  Mark Richt brought Georgia back, and we should never forget it.  But those days have past.  This break up will be painful, and the next coach we hire may not be great or the “one” so to speak. Regardless, Georgia has to move on.  It is just time for a change.  I don’t know who the next guy should be, and I don’t have many ideas either.  But I do know we better start looking.  Because right now, Tennessee and Florida are getting better while Georgia is getting worse.   It’s time to do something about it.