It's not often that an SEC team with an established coach goes 6-6 with a sub-.500 conference record and a loss to a wretched Colorado team winds up standing pat in the coaching department, but most SEC teams aren't as patient as Georgia and we've long since known that no coach in the league is as averse to change as Mark Richt . So it's not that much of a surprise that the moving vans may skip Athens entirely this offseason, at least if Richt has his way :
“Am I considering changes on the staff?” Richt said [Sunday]. “No" ...Richt has a point about Bobo, and you can make another one by making note of Bobo's quarterbacking-coaching duties and the wild success he had with redshirt freshman Aaron Murray , who wrapped up his regular season with a 15-of-19, 271-yard, 3 touchdown, zero interception masterpiece against Georgia Tech . Right now, Murray and the Bulldog passing game is the best thing the Dawgs have going; would replacing the quarterbacks' position coach and the architect of that passing game really be the best move?
Georgia has scored 30 or more points in seven straight games, something that Richt referred to when asked about fans’ criticism of offensive coordinator and play-caller Mike Bobo .
“All I can say, if I’m not mistaken, we broke some kind of school record of consecutive games of over 30 points and a lot of really good things happened offensively,” Richt said. “The bottom line is whoever calls plays is going to get critiqued, they’re going to get criticized. It’s just the nature of the beast.”
We doubt it. Georgia's biggest problems this year were a nasty tendency to fumble at the worst possible time -- what coach do you blame for that? -- and a young defense that played lights-out against weaker competition but gave up 31 points to Arkansas , 34 to Florida , 49 to Auburn , etc. First-year coordinator Todd Grantham was installing a new 3-4 defense and wasn't given the prototypical defensive linemen needed for the scheme; firing him after a single season would be stunningly harsh and probably counter-productive.
With several other Georgia position coaches having been replaced just last offseason, Richt's best move probably is to stand pat. Given how perilously close he came to getting replaced himself after the Dawgs' 1-4 start (and how little margin for error he has entering 2011), that seems like a substantially larger gamble than looking for answers elsewhere in the coaching pool. But after a strange and often unlucky season, that's where Georgia stands.