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The college football world was stunned yesterday when Georgia announced they would be parting ways with head coach Mark Richt. Richt had been coaching in Athens since 2000 and compiled a 145-51 record with nine double-digit win seasons, just one losing season, two SEC Championships, and a bowl game appearance every single year.
That man is now available for hire, and it just so happens that Missouri is looking for a coach. My message to Athletic Director Mack Rhoades: Open the checkbook, and do what you have to do to make Richt the man in Columbia.
For me it makes too much sense. There is not a more accomplished coach that appears to be looking at other jobs, his previous employer forced him out the door and happens to play in the same division as Missouri, and Missouri has made a more conceded effort to recruit the Southeast, particularly Georgia, and Richt is obviously very well connected in that region.
Up until this news broke, I wasn’t particularly excited about the candidates for the job.
Matt Campbell would have been a good choice, but Iowa State moved quicker than Missouri and got their man. Ditto for Dino Babers and UCF.
Matt Rhule is someone that Rhoades was talking to, but an 18-18 overall record with zero ties to the Southeast region doesn’t scream a homerun SEC hire.
That left Barry Odom who is an absolute stud defensive coordinator. I think he’ll be a great head coach one day too, but he’s never been one before. To me, that’s a problem.
If Richt wasn’t available I would concede that Odom is the right man for the job. He’s a Mizzou Made player and coach and already has the support of the players.
Gary Pinkel did a fantastic job of building this program to where it’s at, and even though it’s coming off a 5-7 season (assuming no bowl game) it’s still in a position to be right back in the mix of an SEC Championship with the right coach. That coach is Richt.
I would let Odom walk, probably to Memphis, and let him become a head coach elsewhere before Missouri. If he was hired and turns out to be overwhelmed his first couple years, that would waste Missouri’s years of having Drew Lock.
Lock has all the tools to become the best quarterback Missouri has seen, despite coming off an uneasy freshman year to say the least. If surrounded by enough talent, there’s no doubt he can reach his potential.
There was no shortage of talent in Athens, and the Bulldogs currently have the No. 7 recruiting class according to ESPN. There’s a good chance that some members of that class waver and perhaps decommit, opening the door for Richt to re-recruit them to Missouri.
Gary Pinkel was a man of consistency and what he has done for the Missouri program has been nothing short of spectacular, but Richt can take this program to even bigger heights.