Friday, October 8, 2010

If Mark Richt Goes, Where Does He End Up?

Is there a little similarity there?
I just got through reading a thought-provoking piece on SI.com by college football writer Andy Staples. He basically asks the question: Would you rather have Les Miles or Mark Richt? His stance is that they are polar opposites in that Richt is steady, stoic and likable. Kind of like a 1950's sit-com dad. And Miles is the coaching equivalent of a homeless man on a bus carrying on a conversation with the empty seat next him.

He then compares their resumes and basically says he'd take crazy and lucky and a national title over class and underachievement with the occasional conference championship.

That makes sense. I don't know if I agree, but it doesn't really matter what I think. Because the next logical question in this whole thought process is not whether Andy Staples or bunch of non-decision-makers would take Richt, but what football program would take him if he were available? Or to ask the question more generically, how hot of a commodity would Mark Richt be if he loses his job at Georgia?
I think maybe there is.

Of course, we're waaaaaay ahead of ourselves here. We don't even know for sure if Richt is out of a job. But if Georgia continues taking target practice at its feet every Saturday, the question raises an issue that will become very important in the Richt household sometime in February.

Frankly, I think he'd be very high on everyone's list. It's like the story we've heard over and over about the end of Bobby Cox's first go-round with the Braves. Ted Turner fired him then said he needed someone just like him.

I happen to think Georgia should seriously consider Jim Harbaugh. But if that happened where would Richt end up? Stanford? Have two schools ever swapped coaches? What other jobs are going to be available after this season? Well, let's take a look at one team from each BCS conference that A) could have an opening after the season and B) Richt would seriously consider based on a reasonable chance for success.

Here's the list:
• ACC – Clemson: They'd drop Dabo like bag of moldy tangerines if they could get Richt. It's in the south, so Richt wouldn't have to sever his recruiting ties. Makes some sense and it would certainly add some intrigue to the upcoming series between the Tigers and Georgia.

• Big 12 - Colorado: They just beat Georgia, but Dan Hawkins has been on the hot seat for the last two seasons. Plus they might want a big name to take them into the new Pac-12.

• Big 10 - Penn State: Just because Paterno could call it a career at any point and I don't see Richt trying to improve on Ron Zook's mess at Illinois.

• Big East - Pitt: Honestly I think he would have to take a hard look at a few schools in the Big East. As long as the conference is still an automatic qualifier for the BCS, a coach with Richt's resume might look at that league and see the clearest path to a national title. Dave Wannstedt has made the Pitt program relevant again, but we've been hearing whispers about his job security for awhile now.

•Pac 10 – Cal: Jeff Tedford has reached some peaks, but he's been inconsistent. They may start looking elsewhere and Richt seems like a California type of guy. He'd thrive just about anywhere on the west coast.

• SEC – None: The only job that might be open that would take him is at Ole Miss. But I have a hard time seeing him there.


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