Failure Will Make Mark Richt Better

We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing.

            -Robert E. Lee

I alluded to this back last fall.   I truly think that the failures of the 2009 season are going to pay huge dividends, if not this season then certainly in the upcoming years.

Mark Richt is one of the greatest head coaches in UGA history, and one of the best coaches in the country.  I thought last fall that Mark Richt would learn from the failures and improve.  A 10-3 season and talented players like Stafford, Knowshon and Massaquoi can hide a lot of ugliness-the slowness to respond to the failures of 2008 are on Coach Richt.  I think it’s fair to say he got a bit complacent.  2009 was like a slap in the face.  A wake up call, if you will. 

It seems like the problems that have plagued this team the last few seasons have been addressed.  I know this past weekend’s game was a tune up for bigger tests the next two weeks, but I was thrilled with what I saw Saturday Between the Hedges.

As General Lee said, failure can prove a blessing.  I am sure if General Lee could redo Gettysburg, he would.  Mistakes are there for us to learn from and get better. 

Let’s look at the best coach in college football today, Nick Saban. 

Let me say this:  Nick Saban is the best coach on any level in sports today.  He is remarkable, and a proven winner.  He has won two BCS Championships at two different schools in the SEC.  Winning a single title at one stop would be difficult enough, much less one at two different stops. Coach Saban has been dominant since 2008, having two back to back perfect regular SEC seasons, and a perfect season in 2009.

There was a time when Nick Saban and Mark Richt were on the same level of coaching. 

Prior to the 2008 season, here are Coach Richt’s notable statistics:  73-19 (.793), 2 SEC Championships. 

Prior to 2008, here are Nick Saban’s notable coaching statistics (SEC only):  55-22 (.714), 2 SEC Championships, 1 National Championship. 

For all intents a purposes, Nick Saban and Ricth were equal.  Yes, there was the National Championship in 2003, but remember this: UGA 2002: 13-1 (7-1); only loss a 7 point loss to Zook-coached Florida on a neutral field.  LSU 2003:  13-1 (7-1), only loss a 7 point loss to Zook-coached Florida at home.  No real difference from UGA vs. LSU those two years, only the outside influences-and that is one reason why the BCS needs to be abolished, but that is a different story for a different day.

I give you all that to show that Saban and Richt were both very good coaches.  But in 2008, Saban took the next step into a whole different, historic level.  Why? 

I think it has to do with Saban’s  failures.  Remember, Saban had never had back to back 10 win seasons until 2008-2009.  He left the college ranks to go “home” to the NFL and, like Spurrier before him, saw failure, finishing 15-17 in two years.  He publically said he would not leave the Dolphins, only to do an about face.  He returns to the SEC (West) amid great fanfare and money. 

Alabama proceeded to go 7-6 in his first year.  Now, coaches do get a pass in their first year on the job, but Saban’s Alabama squad in 2007 lost to Louisiana Monroe and Mississippi State at the house the Bear built-two offenses that should NEVER be done!  In a three year span of coaching, Saban had gone 22-23. 

The great and mighty Nick Saban became a .500 coach over three seasons.  Do you think that sat well with him? I am sure it did not.  So Saban was able to get better.  He took these failures, and even the best need to learn a lesson.  His failure motivated him, drove him.  An already great, motivated coach became even better.  His failure led to the greatest run in the Southeastern Conference in over a decade.

Will UGA soon have the same success that Nick Saban and Alabama had over the last two years?  I sure hope so, but it is doubtful. 

But can we expect Coach Richt and UGA to get better as a result of the previous failures?

Ask Bacarri Rambo-I think that was answered Saturday afternoon by Coach Grantham. 


2 Responses to “Failure Will Make Mark Richt Better”

  1. 1 barndawg September 8, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I think Bama beating us in the 08 Blackout game was what first announced to the world that Saban was back. The first drive of the game, they came out and absolutely dominated the line…and you could tell right then that it was going to be a long night.

    You’re welcome SEC. You’re welcome.

    ps- That reminds me…I hate GameDay.

  2. 2 Mr. Georgia Football Returns September 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Failure Will Make Mark Richt Better and wild monkeys will make you think they’re flying out of you ass!

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