Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mark Richt's Tenure May Have Just Passed the 'Event Horizon'

I like 'outer space' stuff. In recent years, I have read an amalgam of wikipedia articles about space things ranging from "Einstein-Rosen Bridges" (theoretical "wormholes" that can allow objects to travel through time) to "why the #$&% Pluto is no longer a planet"? But what space phenomenon is probably most interesting to me are black holes. I'll try to save you from many of the snooze-inducing scientific details, but black holes are dead stars whose gravity has caused it to collapse on itself. Basically, it has a gravitational pull so strong that light (or even time) cannot even escape (hence the "black" in black hole). One of the features of black holes is the "event horizon". This is the imaginary outer threshold at which no object can escape it's pull, no matter how much energy or force works in the opposite direction. In other words, a space shuttle that is in "full burn" in the opposite direction will still get sucked in.

All of this gets me to Mark Richt. At the beginning of his career at UGA, Richt was a nice red supergiant star. We had the 'Hobnail Boot' game in 2001, which set the stage for an SEC/Sugar Bowl run in '02. From '02 to '05, we appeared in three SEC Championships and two Sugar Bowls. Things were still looking bright and Richt was given a nice raise as I recall. Then...2006 happened. At quarterback, we were shuffling between an under-qualified senior (Joe T) and a raw, inexperienced freshman. Oh well, we ended the season on a positive note with a comeback win in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl. Then, 2007 -- Fluke Sugar Bowl appearance (yeah, I said it...it was a fluke); 2008 -- Preseason No. 1, wildly underperformed; 2009 -- sucked; 2010 -- really sucked. (note: Van Dawgin will have a more detailed "report" on Richt's career later)

After the embarrassing 2010 season, there was some new-found hope, with Richt's 2011 "dream team" recruiting class. But what has happened over the past two days has greatly diminished any momentum. Washaun Ealey -- who, anyone with a brain could tell was trouble, not to mention his lack of production on the field -- has apparently NOT "bought in" and decided to transfer. And yesterday -- as Van Dawgin pointed out -- rumors started flying around on twitter that Caleb King, A.J. Harmon, and possibly incoming defensive lineman, John Jenkins, may be academically ineligible this fall. Constant player turnover is a sign that a coach may be losing his team (Dennis Felton anyone?). Whether it's transfers, academic trouble, or arrests, it is a clear sign (to me anyway) that the players at UGA are starting to lose respect for Richt (whether they admit it or not).

When you add the fact that CMR is trying to blend new assistant coaches from about six different places, the fact that we have a lot...wait, ALLOT of unproven players on offense and defense (especially if the C. King rumors are true), AND two tough opening games, we could have a real mess in 2011.

But honestly, what SEC coach has lasted this long? It may not all be his fault. It's a stressful job, just ask Urban Meyer. Regardless, I think Richt's career at UGA is running on fumes. I hope with these departing players (if the rumors are true), we are just getting "rid of the problems". But my fear is that Richt has passed the 'event horizon'...and the ensuing spaghettification will not be pretty.

1 comment:

  1. lol that 2 kids flunking out in one season is any sign of anything. I'll bet the last five national champs have all had that many kids bust out early - was this entry written by someone who hasnt followed college football since the days of Herschel?