Over the last couple of seasons I have found myself defending a numb rod head coaches when the topic of job security pops up. Trying not to force coaches out of a job unless they have done something so egregious with the program, I tend to preach the importance of patience at some programs. Turning things around is not always as easy as flipping a light switch, and there is something to be said about a sustained period of success over the years even if it does not bring the ultimate goal to the program. This seems to be the case for Charlie Strong at Texas and Mark Richt at Georgia.
These are two coach sI have commonly defended, and likely still will moving forward, but this weekend does not help strengthen many arguments. Strong had his Longhorns shutout and flat-out embarrassed by Iowa State, of all teams, 24-0. In Jacksonville, Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs were trumped by Florida, 27-3. The loss sunk Georgia in the SEC East race and likely handed the division to the Gators. Another year, another season in which Richt couldn’t win the big one is what they will say in Georgia. They are not wrong.
Richt has long been a coach many felt had reached his peak at Georgia, which includes far too many SEC titles than Georgia fans expect. Is he now the best coaching candidate for Miami? Is a change of scenery something that will bode well for him ? That talk will continue to grow louder this week around the SEC, and in the ACC perhaps as well. There is no doubt Richt is a good coach, but after so many years at one institution, it appears we truly have seen Georgia hit its ceiling under Richt on the football field. If the name of the game is to win, can Georgia do any better than Richt? That is the question Georgia officials need to answer.
At Texas, Strong undertook a massive rebelling project that many struggle to comprehend just because it’s Texas. Coaching at Texas is a lucrative job, but with that comes great expectations and a shortage of patience to meet them. Texas can afford any coach it wants, but Strong still needs time to put his plan in motion through solid recruiting efforts and finding players that suit his mentality. However, losing 24-0 to Iowa State is hardly a good look and not going to buy much extra time. Texas can afford any coach it wants, and it can afford to cut ties with any coach it wants at any time.
How much time will Strong get? Will it be enough?