Couple quick things:
1. I assumed I could write my post from this morning without anyone saying I was pushing for Mark Richt to be fired, particularly since I actually wrote the words, "So for the second straight year, I discount much of the 'hot seat' talk about Richt."
But perhaps not. In any case, let me make it very clear: I'm in no way saying Richt should be in trouble. In fact, I don't think he IS in any trouble. While I used a quote from his meeting in Macon last week as the jumping-off point in that article, I also should have pointed out that Richt earned a standing ovation from everyone in the crowd. So despite Paul Finebaum's insistence, I just don't see a large-scale dissension among fans.
Richt addressed virtually EVERY problem fans had during this offseason -- which, I might add, included a three-year, $750k deal for a new DC that probably means no one was thinking about canning the head coach after just one of those years -- but I'm curious as to how much needs to improve in Year 1 of Richt 2.0 for fans to be content (if not happy).
On that front, The Senator offers his response, which seems like a pretty reasonable one.
2. Just an FYI... I'm having some email problems, so that could cause some response time delays on anything anyone sends me. Ideally, this one will be resolved a bit quicker than the last time I had email difficulties.
A handful of links for your Monday afternoon...
-- I have a story in today's Telegraph in which Mark Richt lauds the diverse leadership on this year's team.
I'm a bit torn on this. On one hand, I can't help but feel like the wide range of "leaders" cited by this year's squad stands in stark contrast to the handful of vocal, rah-rah guys from last year -- that were also praised heavily by the coaches. On the other hand, Richt makes some sense in his point that it's good to have a lot of leaders -- particularly at the positions that demand it. And on a third hand -- I'm not even so sure how important any of this is, other than for offseason stories.
I think I may lean toward believing that leadership does have some impact, but that impact is mostly felt when the other key components of a team are missing. No, "leadership" was not able to vault Georgia to the top of the East last year despite a lack of experience and, in some cases, talent. But while the 8-5 record was disappointing, it could have been much, much worse. There were so many games that could have gone either way in 2009, and particularly with all the public sentiment going against them late in the year, I do have to believe that some of that veteran leadership is what held the team together to beat Auburn and Georgia Tech and Texas A&M.
So perhaps what Georgia should be shooting for in 2010 is to win enough games by enough points that the "leadership" -- whether it's better or worse than last year -- doesn't really matter at all.
-- Despite falling early in the SEC tournament, Georgia's softball team will play host during the first round of the NCAA tournament.
-- The men's tennis team advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.
-- Mark Richt landed a speedy recruit this weekend when Justin Scott-Wesley committed after dominating the state track meet.
-- And Todd Grantham seems to have made a sterling impression on another defensive recruit who offered a commitment to Georgia last weekend.
-- For all the enthusiasm about Mark Fox, it'd still be awfully hard for him to compete with North Carolina on the recruiting trail. Luckily when it comes to Marcus Thornton, he might not have to.
-- USA Today profiles some dearly departed characters from "Lost."
-- I still haven't seen "Shutter Island," but I'd definitely be excited if this was Martin Scorsese's next project.
-- And finally, here's a good story on former Major League pitcher Willie Banks, whose love of baseball likely saved his life.