SEC Coach Rankings: Day 10

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comJune 16, 2014 


Georgia head coach Mark Richt gives fans a thumbs up while leaving the field following his team's win over Florida last year in Jacksonville.


Editor's note: Bryant. Vaught. Jordan. Dooley. Neyland. These are just a handful of the coaches (among many others) who have come to define the Southeastern Conference due to their dynamic personalities and remarkable success on the field. But who are the top coaches roaming the sidelines of SEC schools today? Ryan Black gives his take, counting down from 14-1. The series continues with the coach coming in at No. 5.

5. Mark Richt, Georgia

Record: 126-45 overall in 13 seasons at Georgia from 2001-13 (Went 8-5 overall last year and 5-3 in SEC play)

National championships: 0 (Was assistant at Florida State when Seminoles won national titles in 1993 and 1999)

SEC championships: 2 (Won title in 2002, 2005; lost in championship game in 2003, 2011 and 2012)

SEC division titles: 5 (Eastern Division champions in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012)

Richt has done everything one can do as a head coach ... other than win a national championship.

As noted above, he's won 73.7 percent of his games. He's captured two SEC titles and appeared in the conference championship game three other times. Perhaps most impressively — given the sky-high expectations placed on college football coaches today as well as the difficulty of the SEC — he's averaged nearly 10 wins a year. But fair or not, his legacy to this point is defined by his lack of a national title.

There are only three active FBS coaches who have won more games than Richt without a national championship: Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer (266), Kansas State's Bill Snyder (178) and Missouri's Gary Pinkel (175).

(We'll affix an asterisk next to Tommy Tuberville, who has 139 victories. The former Auburn coach went 14-0 in 2004 but was left out of the BCS title game in favor of Southern Cal and Oklahoma. Since the Trojans were later stripped of that title due to NCAA violations, one could make a good argument the Tigers deserve to be awarded at least a share of the BCS crown that year. But that's another topic for another day.)

There are countless great coaches who never won a national championship, with Bo Schembechler and Hayden Fry standing out as two of the most notable. In Richt's case, the lack of a national title is compounded by the conference he inhabits.

In terms of success in the SEC since the turn of the millenium, Georgia is among an elite group comprised of Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU. The Bulldogs are the only team in that group that hasn't won a national championship since 2000.

Will that change any time soon?

As long as Richt is there, Georgia should at least be in contention. He's proven that much already.

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