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NCAA Football Georgia BulldogsSEC Football

SEC Football: An Open Letter to Mark Richt from Georgia Bulldog Nation

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Georgia Fans to Mark Richt... "It's Time to Go..."

open
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

The time may be of the essence for the Georgia Bulldogs and its Head Coach Mark Richt…

Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it…

Richt has been the face of Georgia Football for 12 seasons which is the longest tenure of any coach in the crown jewel of College Football that is the SEC.

He has collected 112 wins against 39 losses overall and 65-31 in SEC games along with a pair of SEC Titles.

No SEC Coach has put more players in the NFL than Richt.

But there is one thing missing…

Something that Georgia Has not had since 1982…

And it is driving Dawg Nation absolutely over the edge…

The first four games of the 2012 campaign, Athens, Georgia was barking loudly about its chances finally at a shot at the Alabama Crimson Tide and a BCS Title.

Since, though, has been a much different story…

The horrendous loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina and the less than stellar performance on the road again this Saturday against the Kentucky Wildcats has every Georgia fan ready for a change.

And the fact the Florida Gators smoked the Gamecocks and one would think Georgia and Richt are having a season like the Auburn Tigers and Gene Chizik instead of being in 2nd-place in the SEC East.

Absurd on so many levels…

But the ramblings and views here obviously do not reflect the pulse of those who love the Bulldogs…

So what are those feelings you ask?

Over the next few pages you will see the heartfelt plea as written to Macon Telegraph Georgia Beat Writer Seth Emerson and was posted on Facebook this past week but by a fan who wanted to remain nameless.

Some of you will agree…

Some of you will be outraged…

All of you will see the misguided and unfortunate feelings of Georgia fans in reference to the man who is second only to the Legendary Vince Dooley.

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Open Letter to Mark Richt - "The Elephant in the Room..."

letter 1
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Seth, love your coverage of the Dawgs but you are still avoiding the elephant in the room, which is that this is not the first time we have seen this movie before. Going back 5 years, this team is consistently unprepared for big games against teams of similar talent levels. When was the last time Georgia beat a team in the top 10? It was 2009 when they defeated an overrated Tech team with less talent. Outside of that, Georgia is 1-8 vs top 10 teams going back to the Stafford-Knowshon years and most of the losses have been lopsided. Given that UGA has more current players on NFL rosters than all but one other school, is it difficult to understand why this continues to happen?

Sure you can break down phases of the game and look at what can be corrected, and sure these things probably will be corrected to some extent against the likes of 1-5 Kentucky, 1-4 Auburn and 3-3 Ole Miss. But in year 12 of the Richt Experiment, after all the heralded recruiting classes, NFL draftees and the glimpses of potential, what should be the measuring stick for Georgia?

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Open Letter to Mark Richt - "It is just not Spurrier..."

Letter 2
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

The difference between South Carolina in the first few Spurrier years and now is talent. Before they simply didn¹t have the same talent levels as UGA but they still battled and often made things interesting. Now that the talent gap has started to even out, it¹s become a complete mismatch, just like it was when Spurrier was at Florida. His game preparation is so much better than Richt¹s that the team is at a competitive disadvantage before they even step on the field.

But it isn’t just Spurrier. This was a replay of the Boise State and LSU games of 2011. Florida in 2008 and 2009. Alabama in 2008. Time and time again, when Georgia faces a talented, highly ranked opponent in a nationally hyped game, it folds like a polyester suit. But we aren¹t talking about tough losses. We are talking blowouts. Blowouts where the problems are numerous and obvious in all phases of the game. Poor game planning, slow starts, self-inflicted mistakes, complete lack of in-game adjustments (other than Grantham a few times last year), poor offensive play calling, bad clock management, penalties, etc.

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Open Letter to Mark Richt - "10 Wins is Not Enough..."

Letter 3
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

As the Georgia beat writer, Seth, I would love to hear your defense (or lack thereof) of this trend. I realize you probably can¹t say what you really feel because that could jeopardize your relationship with the program, but honestly, do we need more evidence that the coaching staff is unable to compete at the highest level of the SEC? Are there people who understand the game deeply and have watched events of the past five seasons and who remain unconvinced of what I speak? Or is the standard simply to consistently win 9-10 games, go to a New Year¹s Day bowl and everyone is happy? I ask these questions in all sincerity.

Honestly, I would be ecstatic about consistent 9 win seasons if every once in a while we could actually play one of the top teams in the conference/country competitively. But 5 years is enough evidence for me to know that at this point, we simply cannot. In fact, after last night, I think it fair to say that Georgia has regressed recently in terms of its player development and continued growth as a program. Given that many have been touting 2011 and 2012 as resurgent years for Richt, seeing such a poor on-field product is an alarming sign. It is also clear that any resurgence is likely a reflection of scheduling and the current rebuilding periods facing Auburn and Tennessee

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Open Letter to Mark Richt - "The Cliches Are Not Acceptable..."

Letter 4
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Furthermore, is it just me or does the staff go back to the same platitudes and clichéd quotes after every big loss? No one takes any blame or vows to fix anything. No one admits that they were unprepared. No one acknowledges that they didn't make the right calls or adjustments. It’s always just a “we played a bad game and life goes on” type of thing. I looked up the recap of the Alabama loss from 2008 (which btw was an ominously similar face plant by Georgia). Mark Richt's response “we just got whipped.” Sounds like his comments from last night. (South Carolina Game)

There is no shame in losing on the road to South Carolina. None whatsoever. If Georgia had lost 35-28, I wouldn't be writing this comment. But to never even challenge the opponent or make the game interesting is an indictment of the coaching staff. The truth is it is well past time for the program to make a change. Last night was simply the straw that broke the camel's back.

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Open Letter to Mark Richt - "Thanks for 12 Seasons, but..."

Letter 5
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Yes, I understand the risks involved (see Tennessee and Fulmer), and yes I understand that this staff has done a lot of great things, runs a clean program and handles itself it a way that makes an alum like myself proud. Richt has an incredible resume just looking at the paper numbers. No doubt. But for the money he and his assistants are being paid (collectively about $5 million a year), they are not properly meeting expectations. It is simply time to take a new path into the future. There is no shame in saying this nor is this a sign that the fan base is out of control or has unrealistic expectations.

We gave Richt 12 years, enjoyed the ride and supported him throughout. He made a lot of money, built a great reputation and a foundation for winning at Georgia, and he will no doubt be set up well to do whatever he wants to do next, whether it be establishing a Christian mission or coaching again at another school. It is clear that Bobo will be a head coach some day but he needs to get some experience outside of Athens and with another staff. Grantham, too, has had a nice 3-year run and should be able to parlay it into a better opportunity.

As for Richt, he will always be a hero on campus and a worthy entry into the Georgia history books. He was a great coach for his time and era at the university. But times change, and the program, which Forbes lists as one of the top 10 most powerful/lucrative college franchises, is in sore need of new direction. We love you, Coach Richt, but it¹s time for the program to let you go and start looking to the future of Georgia football.

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Be Careful What You Wish For...

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John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

So…

How do you feel about this Georgia fans…

Do you agree it is Richt’s time to be done…

Do you think he deserves more time like some other legendary coaches in College Football to win the elusive National Title.

Remember folks, Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer is the current active coach with the most victories and still does not have a title.

Beamer had his shot in 1999 with that once in a lifetime player in Michael Vick and couldn’t get it done.

Winning crystal trophies these days is more about luck and timing than it is about how good of a coach you are.

That is a fact…

So Georgia Nation be careful what you wish for…

If you run Richt out of town you have to be ready to live with you actions…

The next man could be Urban Myer

But it also could be Gene Chizik

Mark Richt’s Career Record simply speaks for itself...

And can Georgia get someone better...

Probably not...

Maybe Georgia fans are afraid Richt will end up passing Dooley in wins...

Maybe...

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M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls.