Can Mark Richt Finally Win The Big One?

    Mark Richt has had a successful career at Georgia. There is still one thing he is missing: a national title.

    June 8, 2015

    In his 14 years in charge at Georgia, Mark Richt has led the
    Bulldogs to two SEC Championships, six SEC Eastern Division titles, three BCS
    bowl games and has a record of 136-48. 

    Why, then, are some Georgia fans calling for his job?

    To answer that, you have to look at what Richt hasn’t
    accomplished: a national title. 

    The Bulldogs have had close calls.  Their lone loss to Florida most likely kept
    Georgia out of the 2002 BCS Championship game. 
    In 2012, Georgia was driving for the winning touchdown against eventual
    national champion Alabama, but ran out of time after a player was tackled short
    of the goal line.

    Most fan bases would be ecstatic with a coach of this
    caliber, but Georgia fans expect more.

    The expectations are high again for the Dawgs entering 2015, with the media picking them to win the SEC East.  With a workhorse of a running back in Nick Chubb and a linebacking corps that will provide nightmares for SEC quarterbacks, Georgia has the talent to compete with any team in college football.  If Georgia finds a quarterback to lead their offense, a playoff spot would not be out of the question.

    The success of Georgia’s SEC rivals does not help Richt’s
    cause.  Since the Bowl Championship Series
    was formed in 1998, five – Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee – of the
    so-called “Power Six” programs of the SEC have won at least one national
    title. 

    Inexcusable losses have also been a problem for Richt,
    especially to Florida during a Gators’ down year.  Richt is 5-9 all-time against Florida, which,
    considering the Gators were a powerhouse under Urban Meyer for a few years,
    would be excusable. 

    However, losses like
    last year, in which an unranked Florida team threw just six passes on their way
    to an easy 38-20 win, has Georgia fans up in arms.

    At SEC Media Days on Thursday, Richt was asked about the criticism he receives despite all the success.

    “I didn’t know I got criticism,” Richt said.

    He might not listen to the negative things said about him, but Georgia, despite all their wins, is still considered underachieving by many.

    The talent is not a problem. 
    Georgia is always near the top of recruiting rankings, and keeping
    in-state talent – which the state of Georgia has a plethora of – has been
    crucial.  Richt has built solid
    relationships with high school coaches around the state, and has had some of
    the top recruiters working underneath him.

    So what will it take for Richt to get over the hump and
    capture that elusive national title?  It
    might just come down to the right circumstances.

    The SEC East should be winnable for the Bulldogs over the
    next two years.  The problem games for
    Georgia this year is not the East, but whom they play in the West: Auburn and
    Alabama, both of who will be ranked in the top 10 preseason. 

    Add in the annual rivalry game with Georgia
    Tech and a possible date in the SEC Championship and Georgia’s road to the BCS
    Playoff is clear. 

    Will Richt ever lead the Bulldogs to their first national
    championship since 1980?  The Georgia
    faithful are demanding it.

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