published Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Georgia coach Mark Richt could reach milestone win at Tennessee

ATHENS, Ga. — Two weeks after his Bulldogs defeated Houston Nutt's Ole Miss Rebels in what was dubbed the "Hot Seat Bowl," Georgia football coach Mark Richt has an opportunity at a milestone that could enhance an already lengthy regime.

With a win at Tennessee this Saturday night, Richt would attain his 100th victory with the Bulldogs.

"I never thought I would get to 100," said Richt, who tallied No. 99 last Saturday with a 24-10 win over Mississippi State. "I didn't know if I would get to 100 games period, but to get to 100 victories would be sweet, no doubt. The sweetest part of it would be if it happened this week."

The 51-year-old is 99-36 nearing the midpoint of his 11th season, and he is on the doorstep of joining Vince Dooley (201-77-10 from 1964-88) and Wally Butts (140-86-9 from 1939-60) as Georgia's only coaches to eclipse the century mark. He also could become the third in the SEC to assemble 100 wins since the league expanded in 1992, joining former Florida and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier (170-61-1 combined record) and former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer (152-52 from 1992-2008).

Fulmer replaced Johnny Majors, who went 115-62-8 with the Vols from 1977 to '92.

"You look at the people who have that many wins and the company of coaches that he's in, and it just lets you know what kind of great coach Mark Richt is," said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who along with defensive line coach Rodney Garner has been with Richt from the start. "To do it in one place, too, nowadays is just a phenomenal feat. He's a consistent person who believes in what he's doing, and he doesn't get rattled easy to where he thinks he has to make wholesale changes."

Richt's early years were defined by SEC titles in 2002 and '05, the first two for the program since Herschel Walker's dominance. The nagging negative was coming up short against Florida, a trend that has continued with two victories over the Gators in 10 tries.

VICTORY CHART

Current SEC coaches and their number of wins in the league:

Steve Spurrier 170-61-1

Mark Richt 99-36

Houston Nutt 99-67

Nick Saban 96-27

Les Miles 67-17

Bobby Petrino 27-16

Gene Chizik 26-6

Dan Mullen 16-14

Derek Dooley 9-8

Joker Phillips 8-10

Will Muschamp 4-1

James Franklin 3-1

He amassed 90 wins in nine seasons, becoming one of just seven in Bowl Subdivision history to accomplish that feat, but the last year and a half has yielded nine wins and nine losses.

"What doesn't kill you will only make you better and stronger," Garner said. "With what we've gone through just in the early part of this season, I think the kids have shown resilience in how they've come out and fought every week. A season is not one or two games. It's going through a process."

A win this week would catapult Georgia to a 3-1 league record and into the favorite role for its first SEC East title since '05. Florida and South Carolina have problems at quarterback, and the Bulldogs don't have to play LSU, Alabama or Arkansas.

Though Georgia got off on the wrong foot in league play, losing 45-42 at home to the Gamecocks, that game increasingly feels like a moral victory that has given the Richt tenure a needed jolt.

"I think the way we played in the South Carolina game really helped everybody believe that we are a pretty good team and that we've got a chance to compete and win the Eastern Division," he said. "We know we didn't win the game, and that hurts. It's hard to start 0-1, and it's hard to lose control of your destiny after the first game of the year in league play.

"But I think everybody left that game feeling like, 'You know, we've got a chance to be a really good football team, so let's keep getting better and keep fighting.'"

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs practiced for two hours Wednesday. ... Bobo said he has talked with Cincinnati co-defensive coordinator and former Bulldogs linebackers coach John Jancek about the Vols. ... Georgia's helmets this week will have "KDF" stickers to recognize Kim Figgins, the mother of tight end Bruce Figgins who is battling breast cancer.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

Richt may well get that win but he'll always wish he had gotten the Georgia WR (Da'Rick Rogers) instead of the Tennessee kid (Marlon Brown) who turned out to be a bust.

A Tale of Two Cross State Recruitments http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/2011-articles/october/a-tale-of-two-cross-state-recruitments.html

October 6, 2011 at 9:44 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Hey checkerboard chatter, do you really think that Richt was unhappy not getting Da'Rick when the Knoxville TV station had video of DaRick running to a car after being released from jail, following his arrest last year. . . .

October 6, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Your chart of coaches SEC records, remember that ALL 9 of Dooley's wins were against Teams that finished their seasons with losing records

October 6, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

We all know that Gene Chizik's record will change by at least 13, maybe more. And if history continues to repeat itself, then Nick Saban's record will change, as well.

Mark Richt will reach 100... but not this weekend.

October 6, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
Blueoval said...

Wow jomo, do that research yourself or did you read the 5 at 10? I hope Richt does get his 100th, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy but I just hope it's not this week.

October 6, 2011 at 11:53 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Blue oval, I guess you also know that at La Tech Dooley also never beat anyone with a winning record in 3 years there.....

October 6, 2011 at 12:59 p.m.
Livn4life said...

I hope Richt gets to 100 wins in his career, just not this Saturday.

October 6, 2011 at 2:46 p.m.
Livn4life said...

I truly wish you classless people on here being so negative about Coaches and players would go to the other websites. Let's be respectful. Not a one of us will lose a job or take a demotion if "our team" loses on Saturday. It looks so childish to read some of the so called smack people put out there. We should all learn to win with class and lose with class and believe me no one HATES losing more than I do.

October 6, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.
jabark1982 said...

"Hey checkerboard chatter, do you really think that Richt was unhappy not getting Da'Rick when the Knoxville TV station had video of DaRick running to a car after being released from jail, following his arrest last year. . . ." - jomo11

That's absolutely hilarious! Have you considered UGA's arrest record over the last year? Even funnier, go back over 5 years and come back with that stuff.

October 6, 2011 at 3:05 p.m.
jomo11 said...

I'm not a UGA fan...... Both UGA and UTK have alot of guys that have gotten arrested. Both schools should be embarressed that nationally people look at UGA and UTK as thug schools. . . . Just a hard fact

October 6, 2011 at 8:19 p.m.
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