Mark Richt is by any measure the Anti-Gator: a former Miami quarterback, former FSU offensive coordinator, and now Georgia head coach. All he’s missing is some sort of grad assistant tenure at Tennessee.
He also is by any measure the best head coach in Athens since Vince Dooley. Not that surpassing Ray “Goof” was going that difficult, and on close inspection Jim Donnan’s record isn’t quite as good as it looks. By the time he’s done, Richt may end up surpassing Dooley himself.
Since Richt arrived in 2001, it’s hard for any Bulldog fans to complain about his record there. Except, of course, that he hasn’t won a national title. And he’s 2-5 against Florida. And he lost to Vanderbilt. You know what? Let’s just move on to his record as a whole.
Here is the tale of the tape by venue for Mark Richt:
If you’re counting along at home, he actually has a better road record percentage-wise than his home record. He’s been good in bowls, with the West Virginia blitzkrieg and a loss to Boston College in his first year as his only blemishes. That neutral site record includes his 2-5 record against Florida and his 2-1 record in SEC title games.
That home record could stand to be shored up some, but two of the losses did come in 2001 with Jim Donnan’s players. The away record loses some of its sparkle if you include his record in Jacksonville, but with the crowd there being split 50-50, it truly is a neutral site game.
Here is his his record based on quality of opponent. As with before, first tier is any team that finished the year .750 and up, second tier is .500 to .749, third tier is .250 to .499, and fourth tier is .249 and below.
|Tier||Wins||Losses||Pct.||Avg. Scored||Avg. Allowed|
Richt’s record against the first tier is pretty good, though nowhere near Bob Stoops’s 17-10 mark. The second tier record is good, showing that he wins four of every five against the group directly below him as Georgia has been a first tier team five of his seven years. The one loss to a third tier team was to Vanderbilt in 2006.
It is somewhat puzzling to see that his teams don’t average 30 points a game until you get to fourth tier opponents, considering how explosive his offenses at FSU were. It goes to show that as a head coach he’s been a bit more conservative on offense.
It’s also interesting to note that he averages a 24-21 win against the first tier if you look at points while he’s just 9-10 against it. Part of that is due to the fact that he has some large blowouts over first tier teams (Hawaii in 2007, Auburn in 2006, Tennessee in 2003 to name a few) and part is due to the fact that he generally doesn’t get blown out himself.
For you pattern watchers out there, he’s 0-2 against eventual national champions but 2-0 against defending national champions. That makes for two interesting weeks in a row when Georgia plays at LSU on October 25 and Florida on November 1, given what LSU did last year and the preseason magazines’ fawning all over the Gators this year.
Mark Richt has been good. He’s not been Bowden/Spurrier in the ’90s good or Bob Stoops at Oklahoma good, but not many are. He has two SEC championships, a 13-1 season (which wins a national title nearly every year except 2002 when he posted it), and for the most part he beats everyone he’s supposed to beat.
He’s also an all-around good guy and will have the Georgia job as long as he wants it. Putting partisanship aside, it’s good for college football to have him at a high-profile program like Georgia, and he likely will continue to be one of the game’s top coaches.