Category Archives: Mark Richt

It’s so Easy, Georgia Tech Edition

Perusing the interwebs today, I caught this little diddy at the Georgia Tech SB Nation website.  It focused on each coach in the SEC and what it would take for each coach to be removed from his current position ultimately leading to the downfall of the SEC stranglehold on college football.  Here’s what the author had to say about Mark Richt:

Mark Richt, georgie – In my honest, completely unbiased college football fan opinion, I think it’s only a matter of time before Richt is out in Athens. The amount of talent that they pull in is really not far from that of Alabama, and the inconsistent success they’ve had there, to me, is a reflection of very poor coaching. Last year most georgie fans would tell you that we were the best team they beat, which is less than impressive considering I will readily admit that they’re at a solid talent advantage. All it will take to unseat Mark Richt will be one or two “down” recruiting years, a couple losses to Tech (emphasis added), and a few 2nd- and 3rd-place finishes in the division before he will be out of Athens.

Grammar issues aside, which one of those potential downfalls do you see as as least likely to happen?  I swear, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

The BCS, Crystal Footballs, and Mark Richt

Earlier today, I responded to this comment by commenter PuffDawg over at the esteemed Senator’s blog about how I’ve grown to hate my own fanbase more and more as each day passes.  Whether it’s the inability to experience any semblance of joy in being a Dawg fan or the sense of entitlement regarding the overall status of our program that many Dawg fans seem to hold (considering our trophy case ain’t exactly Bama’s, this amuses me to no end) I’ve really begun to loathe a portion of the fanbase.

After my original comment, I was going to respond to commenter Charles, but quickly realized that my response was growing so lengthy that it would take away from the legitimate conversation at the Senator’s site.  As such, I’ve decided to post my response to Charles below so I don’t take up too much window space over there.  Apologies ahead for some of the language I use as this is something I feel strongly about and feel that it is necessary to get my point across.  I’d also like to clarify that while the tone of this post will take a defensive stance of Mark Richt as the UGA head coach, it is not an endorsement in any sense.  It’s merely my perspective that those who use the lack of a crystal football as an argument to run him out-of-town are evaluating the situation incorrectly and how the BCS has caused this problem.  Without further ado, here goes:

In my opinion, the total obsession with the national title these days is one of the unfortunate consequences of the BCS.  The BCS took what was a highly regional sport and made a national success.  In doing so, it has brought many millions of dollars to its members schools as well as the non-AQ schools that otherwise they never would have accessed.  For that reason, the BCS has been a highly successful endeavor for the conferences.  Unfortunately, along with the many millions of dollars, the sport has now become a national phenomenon and as such attracted the casual fan that couldn’t give two shits about the things that attracted most of us to college football in the beginning.  All they care about is whether their adopted school is competing for national titles or not and see the two team playoff currently held in the BCS as an atrocity because it only allows those two teams to have a post-season chance at the ultimate glory.

It’s the fans like these that want Mark Richt run out on a rail because he hasn’t delivered a crystal football to Athens during his tenure.  I honestly can say that I sympathize with these folks to an extent as I have a nagging feeling deep down that as long as Mark Richt is the head coach in Athens, Georgia football will always be a just above average program with an occasional 2002 or 2007 sprinkled in.  I just don’t believe he’s on the level of  a Nick Saban as a head coach (honestly, who is?) nor will he use the same tactics (you can argue the ethics of Saban’s tactics however you want, that’s not the point of this post) regarding roster management and whatnot that is required to keep up with him.

My main question to these types of fans is this: Why does the God-damned crystal football have to matter so much?  There are 120+ fucking teams in the highest division of college football and only one can win it every year.  The BCS has caused us to place so much importance on that crystal football that requires many moving parts to achieve, many of which are out of the control of the head coach of the football program.  Here’s my list of things that are most important to ME when evaluating the head football  coach at my alma mater:

  1. Don’t cheapen my degrees in any shape, manner, or form.
  2. Consistently contend for the division, and inherently, the conference championship.
  3. Consistently defeat our biggest rivals.
  4. Seriously, you better fucking not cheapen my degrees.

On numbers 1 and 4, there can be no doubt.  We know what the man is all about and he’s never going to do anything that will bring tarnish to my alma mater’s academic reputation (This is where the obligatory “Jim Harrick can go fuck himself” comment goes).

Numbers 2 and 3 are the only two variables that a head coach can control in the grand scheme of whether he is or isn’t competing for a national championship.  I’d say Coach Richt is doing a pretty bang-up job on #2.  The 4 trips to Atlanta in his tenure speaks for itself and he’s won 2 of those times.  While undoubtedly it was a low period with zero trips from 2006-2010, Coach Richt has finished no worse than second in the East Division 7 of his 11 years on campus.  Asides from the series with Florida (look at the rest of the East Division against Florida during his tenure and you’ll see a similar record), his record against anybody that could be considered a major rival (yes, that even includes those silly Gamecock fans) is pretty immaculate.  He has a winning record against every school in the SEC sans Florida and LSU (3-4).

I’m actually okay with arguing that the series record against Florida is a fireable offense, but you also have to acknowledge that his 7-4, 11-1, 7-4, 7-4 records against Auburn, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and South Carolina are also arguments that he’s getting it done against the major rivals.

My perspective is that the lack of crystal football is a warped way to evaluate Mark Richt’s tenure in Athens and whether it should continue.  I’ve laid out some legitimate metrics which I think his tenure should be measured on and one could argue that he’s done pretty well based on those.  However, I also realize that there are some that are just tired of the guy and after 11 years it’s unrealistic to expect everybody to still be in love with the guy.

Ultimately, I think Joe Bulldog would make a stronger argument about why Mark Richt  should be let go by focusing on things like letting fixable problems like defense and special teams lapse to the point where they began to cost games before fixes were implemented rather than the lack of crystal footballs in Butts-Mehre.  The more I see the “lack of crystal football” argument levied against Mark Richt, the more I echo the sentiments of the Wake Forest blogger (h/t: Senator) and how the aspects of college football that we all originally loved about it are being killed because of this laser focus on the crystal football instead of things like conference championships and the records against rivals.  We’re seeing it everyday in Athens as the University and the Athletic Department go out of their way to shit on season ticket holders with crap-tastic home schedules such as this year just because there’s a better chance of getting in the eventual playoff with that model.  Anyways, that’s just me $0.02.  YMMV, of course.

It’s been awhile

First time that Georgia has defeated Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Tech since 1981.  Great job this year by Mark Richt, despite the early misgivings.

Talking With the Enemy: Q&A with Gamecocks Blogger Gamecock Man

For my first post (I know it’s already Thursday, so sue me) that is Gamecock preview related, earlier this week I exchanged a Q&A with Gamecock Man who runs the South Carolina oriented SB Nation website, Garnet and Black Attack.  Check them out as they do good work over there.  Here are my answers to his questions (note that the questions between us were exchanged prior to the AJ Green news from today):

1. This was the esteemed Senator’s pre-game analysis for last year’s game.  Removing the obvious references to Jon Fabris and Norwood, is there any reason to expect this year’s version to be different, last year’s results notwithstanding?

Yes and no–I don’t expect a high-scoring game, but I also don’t necessarily expect another 13-9 or 14-7-type of game, either. I definitely expect this year’s bout to return to the mean and not look like last year’s Twilight Zone game. That said, from my perspective as a Gamecocks fans, our team appears to have the best offense we’ve had in many years. I don’t doubt that UGA is going to be bringing a stout defense to Columbia, but I also expect that we’re going to find ways to move the ball fairly effectively. On the other hand, the jury is still out on our defense. Although we only gave up 13 points because we were great inside the 30, our defense gave up a whopping 400 yards last week. Granted, a lot of that came on USM’s last couple of drives, while the third-stringers were in, and word is we’ll get a potential All-SEC guy back in Chris Culliver. I also think too much has been made of our inability to hastle USM’s QB; the Golden Eagles were running a lot of quick screens and the like that made it difficult for us to rack up the sacks. Still, we didn’t exactly dominate their offense, and that makes me worry a bit about UGA moving the ball. The one good thing I saw was that we did well defending the run, and slowing down King and Ealey will be really important for us against your team.

Whatever happens, I expect this to be another close one.

2. This may have been my biggest criticism from last week’s USC/Southern Miss game, but was Garcia really that impressive?  If you’d been listening to the Palmer/James train, you’d think he was a front line Heisman contender.  What I saw were a bunch of WR screens coupled with short dump offs to the flats and short crossing routes.  He wasn’t really needed to make a difficult throw down the field, which I assume he will at some point against UGA.  Are South Carolina fans genuinely excited that this could be a big time year for Garcia or is the excitement more along the lines of amazement that he didn’t make any plays that would be considered “dumb” for a change?

I do think you’re right that Palmer and James, and probably some of our fans, overplayed Garcia’s performance last week. He was a little off on two or three throws that could have made the game an even bigger blowout than it was; there was one post route that sticks out in my head where Alshon Jeffery had a huge lead on a mismatched corner but where Garcia threw it behind the route. That said, he did make a couple of really nice downfield throws, so you have to give him credit for those, too. I do think you’re right that some of the reaction may just be people making too much of the fact that they’re just relieved that he didn’t do anything that seemed particularly stupid–he protected the ball and, perhaps even more stunningly, never got sacked despite feeling a bit of pressure at times. That’s progress for him, though, and if he can continue to do that as well as be an excellent passer at least most of the time, I think he can have a pretty good year.

3. I have to ask it, but this whole “hot seat” discussion.  Is this a creation of a zealous media looking for ad revenues and page hits during the off season (I’m looking at you Paul Finebaum), an increasingly vocal minority of UGA fans, or is there some reality to this? (before answering this question, I’d direct you to this blog post by former Gamecock beat writer and current Bulldog beat writer Seth Emerson when posed the same question)

I’m not exactly sure how to approach this question, as I’m not privy to the UGA admin’s feelings about Richt or even your own, although you’re certainly suggesting that he’s not on the hotseat. Here goes, though–as far as guys like Finebaum goes, I think we all know they’re just trying to stir up controversy, draw readers, and increase ad revenue. And certainly, saying Richt is on the hotseat is a little extreme–I couldn’t imagine UGA would fire him unless he completely tanks this year. At the same time, though, isn’t it possible that Richt is starting to feel a little pressure? Don’t get me wrong; I think he’s a great coach who has had a lot of success at UGA. But what happens if he goes 7-5 again? His last few seasons, with the exception of 2007, have looked a lot more like the Goff / Donnan years than Richt’s heyday from 2002-2005. I’m assuming that he’s got to do better than that at least most of the time to keep his job totally secure. All that said, I expect a nine- or ten-win season for the Dawgs this year, which should clear things up nicely for him. But if he struggles, I would think that “vocal minority” might get a lot more listeners than it has right now.

4. Is there really a perpetual Chicago Cub type “next year is our year” mentality around the Gamecock program or is this a myth perpetuated by fans of opposing schools as something to rib our neighbors to the East?

Yes and no. (I think I’ve answered like this to all of your questions, but there it is.) We don’t really believe that every year is the year. Only the most optimistic (some might say insane) Gamecocks fans, for example, believed that we would compete for an SEC Title in either of the past two years. We didn’t have a QB in 2008 and were very young last year, and the reasonable ones out of us were just hoping for winning seasons, maybe eight or nine wins if we got lucky. It’s the vocal minority thing you mentioned, though–the ones expecting SEC Titles are oftentimes the loudest and most obnoxious, and they get taken to be representative of the whole fanbase.

That said, I won’t deny that we’re generally a very hopeful bunch. When trying to figure out why we seem to feel more optimism than our history would allow, you have to remember that, at least in the last decade or so, we haven’t been an awful team. We’ve had a few pretty good years–2000, 2001, and 2005, in particular–and in the others we’ve generally been competitive. Each year seems to have a win or two that could reasonably make one believe that big things are on the way–think UGA in 2007, or Ole Miss last year. And a lot of our losses tend to have this “if only we could have made that one play” kind of quality. There’s a way in which the Gamecocks are constantly dangling the prospect of success right ahead of us, and the fact that it always seems so close makes us believe that eventually it’ll happen.

5. Since both our alma maters have dealt with some level of hand wringing from the NCAA and its apparent lack of commitment to timely responses regarding the eligibility of some players in question (South Carolina didn’t hear until a few hours before kickoff and UGA had to sit out AJ Green for the season opener due to no confirmation from the NCAA on a ruling), what is your thought on the whole process? Hypothetically speaking, let’s say AJ Green is held out this Saturday because no decision has come down and UGA loses by 3 points, but Monday the NCAA determines he was eligible.  If something like that happened, there’s no way the NCAA can win the court of public opinion.  Is there something the NCAA can do to expedite this process or is the NCAA so lacking on credibility at this point anyways, does it even matter if it tries to save face?

(Note–this answer is coming after the Green decision came down.) I think the NCAA really needs to figure out how to make its decisions quickly and equitably. While I don’t want to suggest that it’s played favorites, it has appeared to be inconsistent when it comes to how long it takes to wrap up each investigation, and that–whether malicious or not–is not equitable treatment. In that sense, it’s undermining it’s very purpose in carrying out these investigations, which is presumably to make sure that no one gets an unfair advantage. In that sense, it’s really important for these guys to get on the same page. Unfortunately, almost nothing about their procedure suggests that’s what they want to do; their bylaws and rulings are filled with vague, open-to-interpretation language, and that makes it seem as if they want to be able to hand down rulings in a completely arbitrary manner. At any rate, I think it’s going to be hard for them to come back from the PR hit they’ve taken this offseason. But the writing may be on the wall for them–if a serious conference reorganization was ever to come to pass, don’t be surprised if the conferences try to get together and create a new governing body that works in their interests.

Again, I’d like to thank Gamecock Man for being a good sport and taking some time to answer my questions.

Florida Gators – 41, Team wearing Grambling unis – 17

My title for this post is pretty much how I feel about this Georgia team this year.  This isn’t the Georgia team that I’ve come to know under Mark Richt so they may have well as been Grambling on Saturday.  Seeing as how it’s Monday, I don’t know what I can add to the discussion that hasn’t already been said by other Georgia or Florida bloggers.  However, leave it to T. Kyle King to perfectly sum up the current state of affairs a lot better than I did a few weeks ago:

During Steve Spurrier’s tenure in Gainesville, Georgia simply was outclassed by Florida, and the results showed up in the record book: 38-7, 45-13, 52-14, 52-17, 47-7, 38-7. Between 2002 and 2007, though, the ‘Dawgs claimed a pair of victories in Jacksonville and never lost to the Sunshine State Saurians by more than a touchdown. There was reason to believe the two programs were on more or less equal footing.

 After back-to-back blowouts by 49-10 and 41-17 scores, though, no such cause for confidence exists. Every gain the Georgia program has made since 2001 has been lost. We are now where we were in the 1990s. The glory run is over and we are back to square one.

It hurts, but that is the harsh reality of the disparity between the Gators and the Dawgs respective programs right now.  I don’t get this coaching staff anymore.  I realize that motivation is a huge part of the job as a college coach, but maybe we can motivate ourselves during the two weeks by studying Florida film and convincing ourselves that we have a solid defensive plan to stop them rather than making wardrobe decisions.  Paul Westerdawg puts it perfectly in perspective with this quote:

Therefore my question is simply this….

If the entire defensive coaching staff had gone to Bermuda for two weeks and simply met the team at the stadium, what would have been different about our game plan or execution? Seriously.

I can’t argue with his logic.

I don’t know what has to be done to right this ship or even give myself hope for the foreseeable future.  All I know is that Georgia has now been outcoached in every game it’s played this season.  I don’t think that could be made any clearer than by this quote from Florida LB Brandon Spikes (more on him in a post to come):

Having said that, here’s what Brandon Spikes had to say about his fourth-quarter interception that effectively ended the game: “I knew what that play was before the ball was snapped, so I was able to make the play. The coaching staff put us in great position to make plays, so I was able to step in front of the ball.”

Vanderbilt only got ugly because of the talent disparity.  I’m frankly starting to believe that this current coaching staff is Jim Tressel of the South.  He basically dominates the Big 10 because only Michigan and Penn State typically have comparable talent.  However, when he gets on the big stage against other schools with similar talent he is being outcoached.

Obviously, there are changes that are likely to happen this year.  It does no good to make a fire sale right now.  I know many people want Willie Martinez’s head on a stick, but what good does firing him now?  It’s not like the defense is going to turn into a bunch of world-beaters overnight.  I do believe that this prediction made by some guy is going to turn out very untrue now:

Willie Martinez will still be the defensive coordinator come opening day in 2010 .

One disturbing thought has crossed my mind about this today.  I fear that if that prediction does come true, it may be time to make another prediction:

Mark Richt will not be the head coach at the University of Georgia come opening day in 2011.

I want Mark Richt to be the head coach at the University of Georgia for as long as he wants to be there.  I want Mark Richt to be the man to lead us to the promised land.  I want  Mark Richt’s grandchildren to grow up in Athens and for him and the water girl to remain staples of the Athens community like Vince and Barbara Dooley.  Right now this program is at a crossroads without any easy answers.  Richt has announced today that Joe Cox will remain the starter because the overwhelming consensus on the coaching staff is that he gives the Dawgs the best chance to win.  What if it’s the current coaching staff that gives the Dawgs the best chance to lose, though?  But hey, what do I know?  I’ve never been in the arena.

Where we are and where we’re going

After a three day cooldown period I think I’m finally able to discuss the current state of Bulldog affairs without being childish and irrational, so here goes.  Unlike many unfortunate souls in the Bulldog nation I did not see any of the game on Saturday other than the first offensive series’ for both teams before I went with the family to Taste of Atlanta.  I was able to keep up by checking the updates on my iPhone, but other than that I don’t have a perspective on how the game ebbed and flowed other than reading others comments.  These are the basic ideas I’ve come away with about what went wrong with the game:

  • Jonathan Crompton morphed into a competent passer
  • Willie Martinez is incapable of adjusting to what the offense is doing
  • Joe Cox made some poor decisions
  • We can’t run the football
  • Mike Bobo’s playcalling is suspect
  • Directional kicking still sucks

Does that pretty much cover them?

Right now, this program is facing a situation it hasn’t experienced in more than a decade.  The team is sitting at 3-3 with realistically two games that should be Georgia W’s in Vanderbilt and Tennessee Tech.  The rest of the games certainly look losable.  Should we acquiesce to the vocal fringe part of the fanbase (which is gradually becoming inclusive of the rational fans) and start cutting head count now ?  I don’t think so.  First off, what would that accomplish?  The defense is not going to magically start producing at the level that the fanbase expects because Willie goes away.  For the last time let me channel my inner Rick Pitino and put this in caps so hopefully people will quit making the comparison: BRIAN VAN GORDER AIN’T WALKING THROUGH THAT DOOR FOLKS!! 

People are frustrated with Coach Richt’s comments regarding looking forward, but what else can he do?  He and his staff can’t dwell on what’s happened the past two weeks.  They’ve got to prepare the team for Vanderbilt this weekend.  I will give credit to Richt though.  He did come out on his radio show and certainly sounded like a man that isn’t afraid to fire somebody with this doozy:

“I think a lot of people expect blood,” Richt said of the reaction following a 45-19 loss Saturday to Tennessee that dropped Georgia to 3-3 for the first time since 1996. “They want somebody to be let go or fired or that kind of thing, and maybe that’s what needs to be done, but at this point right now, we’re going to do what we know is the best thing to do and that’s to focus on this game this week.”

He also added this in response to another caller which makes me glad to see:

Richt assured another caller who asked if he would look at the program from top to bottom that “I promise you I will do that. I will promise you this, too. We are not bailing out on the season. I think a lot of the fans want this season to end. I don’t think that’s the way we need to function at Georgia.

Everything is not good in Athens, but it’s not the end of the world folks.  College football and particularly Georgia football is very important to me and has been a part of my family’s tradition for a long time (My grandparents are both from Athens and my great grandfather helped build the foundation for what is now Stegeman Coliseum).  It sucks to lose and it sucks to see the program, players, and coaches you love struggle.  This team still has six games remaining and these seniors don’t want to go out on a sour note so you know they’re going to fight like hell to prevent that.

Right now I trust Mark Richt to do what is necessary to correct things, but the knee-jerk reactions that people want aren’t going to happen.  I think some fans would be well-served to follow Richt’s even-keel approach to the season.  I trust that Coach Richt will assess things at year end and make the changes he sees fit no matter if we go 0-6 or 6-0 the rest of the season.  I agree with Mark Schlabach that every coach should be allowed at least one bad season before running him out of town.  Gene Chizik may turn out to be a pretty good coach, but I still think the people at Auburn were dumb as hell for basically running off the best coach they’ve ever had because of one dysfunctional season.

If at the end of the season, Coach Richt decides its time to make a change at DC or OC I will support him fully.  If at the end of the season, he decides that no change is necessary I will also support him fully.  The man has earned at least that much from us.  As fans we all need to just step back from the ledge and let the man that we’ve given the keys to our program drive the damn thing and quit being backseat drivers.

Update: Doug sums up everything I’ve been thinking with the Journalism degree to back him.

The Bobby Bowden saga and how it relates to Mark Richt

Most that come by here and comment are astute enough to keep up with the current goings on in college football, so I would assume you all are aware of the current Bobby Bowden situation at FSU.  The big news today is that the administration at FSU will not ask Bowden to step down this year.  The common belief is that there is too much uncertainty due to the pending Jimbo Fisher HC regime and who is really in charge.  Bowden has his guys such as Chuck Amato and Mickey Andrews that most believe won’t be employed at FSU once Fisher takes over.  From the last few days, it’s been pretty evident that FSU is not going to force Bowden out, but they are working on a deal with Fisher to ensure that he is going to be the coach and are going to give him the authority to make coaching personnel changes as soon as next year.  That likely would cause Bowden to become nothing more than an unofficial figurehead with no real authority should he elect to come back next year as the head coach.  Many believe Bowden already serves in this role currently, but the difference is that he still has a say over his coaching staff.

Most Dawg fans realize that the demise of the Florida State program began in 2001 when Mark Richt left and that was the first shakeup of Coach Bowden’s superb staff (Chuck Amato would soon leave for NC State as well).  I heard Colin Cowherd (who I normally despise) earlier this week on the radio this week say something to the effect of college football is the only sport where certain coaches can’t be forced out no matter how bad they are.  This linefrom Pat Forde earlier this week regarding coaches on the hot seat (granted this was in the “low heat” section) also gave me something to ponder:

Mark Richt, Georgia (3-2). Seems heretical to even mention this super-consistent winner — but Year 9 hasn’t started too splendidly, and there might be some mutual fatigue between coach and fans.

I am in no way advocating that a change regarding head coach at the University of Georgia should happen as I am on record as an adamant supporter of Coach Richt who believes he’ll leave the Georgia sideline as the winningest coach in school history.  The lack of change is inherently what has done Bowden in and made FSU an afterthought after dominating college football over a decade like we’ll probably never see again.  I just wonder where you reach the point that when change doesn’t happen, it’s bad for the program overall and your job security as head coach.  Whether TK Wetherell will admit it or not, I’d argue the main reason that Bowden is under fire is because as his program struggles, the donations coming into FSU begin dwindling.

I have always believed that Coach Richt was untouchable because he has raised Georgia football to the best run in school history and sustained it for a near full decade, the athletic association absolutely loves the guy, and donations have never been higher.  I wonder if Coach Richt can learn from this situation with Bowden and the own fire he’s been taking this year and realize that no matter how beloved you are at your school, rightfully or wrongfully so, wins and losses end up trumping all else.  Bobby Bowden went to a school that less than 30 years earlier had been an all-woman school and turned it into the model college football program winning two national titles during his tenure.  He built up so much goodwill in the state of Florida that he likely never has to pay for another meal and neither do his children (Jeff Bowden is probably the exception).  He has refused to do what Joe Paterno does and let someone else run his program that can be more involved in the day-to-day details.  You can see the difference between FSU and Penn State since around 2003/2004 when Paterno became the figurehead coach, but not the day-to-day coach.

I was in Athens last week for the LSU game, albeit I was unable to obtain a ticket.  I watched the game with a college friend of mine (former UGA kicker) and his friend (former UGA QB).  They both have made it evidently clear to me that despite the fact that everyone fires their ire at Willie Martinez, the team respects him and would run through a wall for him.  This cannot be said for Coach Fabris, however, who is despised by former players and I would assume current players.  There is something to be said for not losing your team despite some tough performances over the last 18 months.  There is also something to be said for losing your team and generally performing poorly over the same time span.  I realize that Coach Richt is a loyal man that promotes a family atmosphere.  I worry that if things don’t get better with the un-special teams play, he will be forced to make a decision that I don’t think he’s willing to make.  If the AD were to have to make that decision and supercede Coach Richt, that would be an ugly incident similar to what we’re seeing now with Coach Bowden and the AD essentially writing up the contract for Jimbo Fisher to give him complete control of the team even if Bowden comes back next year.  As I mentioned earlier, I hope this situation with Bobby Bowden will be a learning experience for Coach Richt should he have to make what is a painfully obvious decision to everyone else.