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October 7, 2014

From "Impressive" to Inferior

What once was an impressive listing in the weekly  
game notes has been Goff-like of late.
It wasn't too long ago when it was recognized as Mark Richt's "most impressive stat"the head coach's success "in an opponent's stadium," and appropriately brought up because of this Saturday's game at 23rd-ranked Missouri.   

The results for such circumstances have been listed in the UGA media guide for years.  Attending the weekly press conference on Tuesdays, I've noticed all season the same results have been listed in the weekly game notes; assuredly, they will be listed in today's notes, as well.  I've noticed the mark is even cited in Richt's online bio amongst his other achievements.  And, at 43-14as indicated by UGAhis record in an opponent's stadium is certainly impressive.

On second glance, however, Richt's career away game record is actually 43-15 to begin withbut who's really counting...  Most telling, the away mark is more like a tale of two completely different eras: the first, when the Bulldogs even when underdogs, were a major threat to win at an opponent's home venue, no matter the opponent, or how good they were; the second era, not so muchnot really at all.

Simply based on Richt's overall winning percentage from 2001 to 2008 (.788) compared to the last six seasons (.667), one would figure there would also be some drop off in his winning percentage in opponents' stadiums, but certainly not like thisa drop off which is more like a deep plunge.

What was once an impressive stat through the 2008 season has essentially turned a complete 180, beginning with the loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater to start the 2009 campaign through the setback to South Carolina in Columbia four weeks ago.

Richt's away-game overall, versus ranked teams, and as an underdog winning pct./records from 2001-2008 compared to 2009-2014:       

.882- First 8 seasons (30-4)
.542- Last 6 seasons (13-11)

vs. Ranked
.833- First 8 seasons (10-2)
.222- Last 6 seasons (2-7)

as Underdog
.800- First 8 seasons (8-2)
.222- Last 6 seasons (2-7)

There was a time when facing a highly-ranked foe
as an underdog at their place was actually a prob-
able victory for Richt's Bulldogs. Not anymore. 
An absolute staggering difference between the two eras.  

For comparison, I figured the same three away-game winning percentages for the three preceding Bulldog head coachesVince Dooley (1964-1988), Ray Goff (1989-1995), and Jim Donnan (1996-2000)ranking the three head coaches from best to worst for each measurement:

.661- DOOLEY (59-29-5)
.650- DONNAN (13-7)
.500- GOFF (14-14-1)

vs. Ranked
.429- DONNAN (3-4)
.382- DOOLEY (6-10-1)
.188- GOFF (1-6-1)

as Underdog
.467- DOOLEY (13-15-2)
.429- DONNAN (3-4)
.375- GOFF (4-7-1)

Strikingly, Richt's Bulldogs through 2008 far exceeded the previous regimes in all situations playing in opponents' stadiums.  However, and perhaps even more notable (and, let me first say, I like Ray Goff, having thoroughly enjoyed him in interviews, but let's face it, his head-coaching tenure at UGA could be characterized as somewhat of a failure), when it comes to Richt's teams the last six seasons when playing away, they've been rather "Goff-like." In fact, they've been even more inferior in an underdog role than Goff's Dogs were in opposing stadiums.

Finally, if I could make a suggestion: like the forgotten 15th loss by Richt in opponents' stadiums that's omitted from UGA's records, I think the "impressive" perception of Georgia still being a major threat on the road should also be forgottenit's no longer the 2008 season or before.  

Maybe there'll come a more appropriate time to acknowledge Richt's away game prowess, like if the Bulldogs can actually and consistently defeat formidable opponents in their stadiums again.  And, there would be no time like the present season, when after Missouri, difficult away tests at Arkansas and at Kentucky soon follow. 


Anonymous said...

Garbin, afraid in about six hours your going to have to update Richt's record to 13-12 and 2-8 vs. ranked. Hey, hey, hey, ho, ho, ho, Mark Richt needs to go, but pansie ass McGarity won't show him the do'

Ryan said...

We have had good times and bad time, and we always bounce back every time. We will recover as we always have.