A&M Coaching Search: Panning For Fool’s Gold
How often in sports do you see teams led to championships by guys who’ve proven they’re unable to win titles with more resources than you can offer? If you answered – NEVER, you are correct!
I’ve often said I think that Texas A&M could be a perennial Top 10-15 type college football program. Because they’re not, I consider the Aggie football team among the Top 5 under-achieving programs in Division 1A (or Football Bowl Subdivision). After hearing rumors of the Aggies interest in current Georgia coach Mark Richt, I’m beginning to understand why.
Mark Richt is a proven coach. Proven that he cannot win in the SEC. Perhaps I should clarify for those in the Aggie Nation that will trot out his five SEC East division titles and two SEC Championship titles. Mark Richt has proven he cannot compete against the best teams in the SEC.
In Richt’s best years at Georgia, 2002 – 2005, the SEC was a different animal. While (as an unabashed SEC homer) the conference was still the best in college football, it wasn’t what it is today. Richt won his two titles in ’02 and ’05, with the ’02 team clearly being his best. Yet he still managed to lose to Florida – the Bulldogs chief rival, and that was ten seasons ago. The annual loss to the Gators kept Richt and the Dawgs from playing for the Title (Georgia is just 3-8 against UF under Richt). Since the SEC started its annual parade of BCS Title winners in ’06, Richt’s UGA team is just 30-18 in conference play. Admirable record until you consider Georgia’s only winning record against the BCS Title teams is versus Auburn. Yes the Bulldogs played for the SEC title last Saturday, but they were clearly overmatched, and got to Atlanta because they didn’t have to face the league’s top three teams (LSU, Alabama, Arkansas) in regular season play.
Mark Richt has proven to be a great recruiter at Georgia, but everyone is a great recruiter at Georgia (that’s why UGA is also a Top 5 underperforming football program). The state of Georgia is fourth in production of NFL talent, (IN ORDER: California 745, Texas 642, Florida 583, Georgia 306 – drafted NFL players since 1988 per USA Today) and UGA is clearly the “alpha male” program in the state, much more so than UT is here in Texas. Jim Donnan couldn’t win more than eight games a year in Athens either, but in his five years the Ponzi schemer brought in 13 players that were drafted first or second-round of the NFL draft. Richt has recruited 10 in ten seasons.
Richt’s Georgia program also has a huge problem in keeping his players in UGA silver, red and black uniforms as opposed correctional facility orange jump suites. 26 Bulldog players have been arrested in the past three seasons. 26. Good news for defense attorney’s in College Station if Richt is hired.
Bottom Line: Mark Richt is a tremendous human being, and a man of high character and moral fiber. But he’s a horrible choice to replace Mike Sherman. His program is undisciplined on and off the field. He cannot beat the quality teams in the conference, is too loyal to poor coaches on his staff, (Which is a double whammy – makes poor hires in the first place, then places loyalty above winning football games, a bad combination.) and finally I believe lacks the necessary fire and energy to lead the Aggie program. Answer me this Aggie fan, why would you want the leftovers from a competitor? Face it, Richt seat was among the hottest in the nation following Georgia’s 0-2 start, only to be cooled by an SEC East title, only to get warm after the Bulldogs were torched by LSU.
Richt is fools’ gold Aggie Nation. Aim higher.