Fire Mark Richt: Now that's laughable

The Bulldog Nation isn't happy right now.

Two SEC defeats have sent many fans dressed in red and black into a near meltdown.

Georgia Bulldogs message boards have gone as far to suggest head coach Mark Richt is not the right man for the job.

You got to be kidding me.

To believe Richt should be fired is crazy. Are there problems at Georgia? Indeed. Georgia has suffered through enough off-the-field arrests to keep the Clarke County District Attorney's office busy for the next year.

Those character issues make you scratch your head, but at least Richt has dealt with them and not swept them under the table.

The Bulldogs have also been forced to start the season without suspended wide receiver A.J. Green for the first four games. Green might just have the best hands of any wide receiver outside the NFL. Without him, Georgia starts every contest with its back-to-the wall.

His lack of judgment to sell his Independence Bowl jersey to a "shady character" didn't just cost himself, it cost his team. It was a shelfish act by a college kid who, at least in the short term, wasn't thinking or weighing the consequences. It doesn't seem like the punishment fit the crime, but rules are rules, and the Bulldogs are paying the price.

Richt certainly made the right decision when he kicked potential starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger off the team team in April after he plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery .

But the bottom line is Richt, or any college coach, can't be a 24-hour-a-day babysitter. We put college football players on a pedestal and treat them like "football gods", but it has to be a two-way street. There has to be some accountablity and a growing up process with these young men who often show lapes in judgement.

When you wear the red and black in this state and run out of the locker room at Sanford Stadium, your every waking move will be scrutizined by the public, and certainly the media. That's the price for playing football at Georgia.

On the field the Bulldogs have made their share of mistakes. Freshman quarterback Aaron Murray was thrown to the wolves, and has shown signs of growing pains in his first two SEC contests. But maybe the best advice Georgia fans can heed is to sit back and take a deep breath.

Murray is going to be fine. Yes, he was sacked four times last week, but he nearly led Georgia on a comeback with a 14-point fourth-quarter rally. Murray has a strong arm and could be one of the best to ever play the position in Athens.

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has to shoulder some of the blame, and stop calling out his quarterback like he did after the contest last Saturday when he said: "I have to look at the tape. I don't think all of the sacks were on him, but he's got to get rid of the football. On the last one, he's got to get the ball out."

Bobo's evaluation might be right on the money, but the last thing he wants is to shake his young quarterback's confidence.

Defensively, Georgia has been plagued by too many missed tackles. Missed tackles in the SEC are the blueprint for trouble.

But adjusting to new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense will take time, but like the Bulldogs seem to always do, they will get it right.

Is Georgia in for a losing season? Doubtful. The Bulldogs are going to win their share of games, but maybe Georgia fans need to quit seeing things with blinders on. The Bulldogs aren't going to win the SEC every year. The league is just too darn tough.

But things could be worse. Since Richt arrived on campus 10 years ago, he has brought two SEC titles back to Athens and is 91-29 (7-2 in bowl games). That is a 75.8 percent winning percentage.

Pretty darn good in the world of big-time college football.

To fire Mark Richt with those numbers would be simply laughable, dumb and not going to happen.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at dgorman@news-daily.com)