Georgia had a difficult choice, but I think it made the right one

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Georgia Bulldog nation is split right now.

With Coach Mark Richt officially fired from the head coach job at Georgia, fans and alumni seem to be either shaking their fists in anger or bumping them in celebration. From what I’ve read and spoken to others about, there’s not a whole lot in between.

What can you say, though? More than a third of Richt’s win are from non-Power 5 schools. Since 2010, he is 5-15 against ranked opponents. For the past three seasons, in an SEC East Division that has been historically weak, the Bulldogs couldn’t pull away with it. His last SEC title was a decade ago.

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With all of the five-star talent, top 10 recruiting classes and a plethora of resources and facilities that rival anyone else’s in the country, Georgia football has come up short year after year.

This season, the Dawg’s marquee win was a beat down at home against a 3-9 South Carolina team. They got embarrassed at home against Alabama. They lost to Tennessee with a massive lead. They couldn’t score a touchdown against Florida.

Yes, Georgia is 9-3, but it has been an ugly 9-3 season. These players have not been coached up to their potential. And that doesn’t just go for this year. It applies to every season for the past decade. Richt has coached the second highest amount of active players in the NFL. With all that talent, he wasn’t able to get as far as other teams with equal or less talent have gotten. I don’t know about you, but it makes me scratch my head.

A lot of it has to do with the culture in the Georgia football program, too. It was a culture of average—settling with just not being quite good enough. With Richt moving on from coaching the Bulldogs, it appears Georgia finally is ready to take it to the next level and seriously compete with the top schools in the nation instead of repeatedly coming up short.

Richt is an amazing mentor, a man of faith and has done more than we’ll ever know for young men making the transition into adulthood. But his work for the football team has come to an end. Moving on is the only right answer right now.

Georgia fans will always remember him as the man who brought a sense of national relevancy to the Dawgs football program again after a decade-long slump. Now it’s time for someone who can coach players to the top of their game and compete against this country’s powerhouse programs.

That’d be a Smart choice.