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In May 2008, Mark Richt and Tommy Tuberville were among five college football coaches who visited U.S. troops in Kuwait. They shared in that experience as well as eight seasons together in the Southeastern Conference. Richt's career at Georgia in many ways has mirrored what Tuberville did at Auburn before he stepped down after the 2008 season.


MARK RICHT

Seasons: In his 10th

At the start: Won big road games his first season against Tennessee and Georgia Tech and in his second season won the SEC, the program's first title in 20 years.

Best run: Went 44-9 from 2002-05, making three SEC title-game trips, claiming two league championships and winning 10 or more games in each of those seasons.

Within the state: Domination. The Bulldogs have defeated Georgia Tech eight times in nine tries, though the one defeat ('08) exposed mounting defensive concerns.

Biggest weakness: Richt is 2-7 against league rival Florida, which won national championships in '06 and '08. He only prevailed once in three tries against Ron Zook.

The shakeup: After a 7-5 regular season in '09, Richt fired defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and replaced him with Todd Grantham, who has yet to enjoy an SEC victory.

How it ended: Don't know yet. The Bulldogs are 1-3, and Richt will have time to rejuvenate things. If he doesn't, he has said that he doesn't plan on coaching forever.


TOMMY TUBERVILLE

Seasons: 10 (1999-2008)

At the start: Won big road games his first season against LSU and Georgia and in his second season won the SEC West, capping the title with a 9-0 win at Alabama.

Best run: Went 42-9 from 2004-07, which was highlighted by a 13-0 season in '04, a Cotton Bowl win in '06 and a 21-3 record in SEC games in the '04-06 seasons.

Within the state: Domination, until the end. Tuberville became the first Auburn coach to defeat Alabama six straight times until the rather harsh 36-0 setback in '08.

Biggest weakness: Tuberville failed to master Arkansas and LSU, sweeping the Hogs and Tigers only in 2000 and '04. Auburn won the West each of those years.

The shakeup: After an 8-4 regular season in '07, Tuberville fired offensive coordinator Al Borges and replaced him with Tony Franklin, who he canned midway through '08.

How it ended: Despite a 5-7 collapse in '08, Tuberville was asked to remain as Tigers coach but resigned. He took a year off and is now the head coach at Texas Tech.

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