There are a ton of open head coaching jobs in the college football ranks. South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Central Florida are just a few schools that will be looking for new men to lead their programs. The good bet is that it will either be Tom Herman, Kirby Smart or Justin Fuente that will get the position in Columbia.
How about we add a new name to the mix?
How about Mark Richt?
Yes, I know. I've lost it. And I know that it won't happen.
But hear me out for a second.
Let's say the boosters push Georgia AD Greg McGarity to give Richt the boot after a disappointing (in their eyes) 2015 campaign, one which will end with the Dawgs failing to win the SEC East for what will be the third straight season. (There's talk that they're pushing for that harder than ever.) That's even after Richt has won two SEC championships and six SEC East titles, and even with a contract through 2019 that will pay him $4 million a season. Which, of course, is two more SEC championships and five more division titles than the Gamecocks have right now. If, and only if, Richt is canned, he instantly becomes the best coach on the market. He's a class act, a man that, regardless of his coaching style, virtually no one can say a bad thing about character-wise. And, although he's 55, he checks all the boxes: a great recruiter that knows the lay of the land in the South, a track record of winning, and a good deal of experience (15 years). If there's a chance he's on the market, do you honestly think Ray Tanner's not blowing up his phone to see if he'd at least consider coming over? What's the worst he can say? "No, thanks?"
Of course, there are some downsides, chief among them the number of discipline issues Bulldogs players have had under Richt's tenure. ("Mark Richt has lost control of..." has become a social media punchline.) Many other jobs are open, with one job in particular, Nebraska (Richt is an Omaha native, though he moved to Florida and graduated high school from there), expected to be opened at the end of the season and just might be a dark horse for his services. Oh, by the way, Miami, his alma mater, is in the market as well. There's also the possibility that he has just peaked as a head coach, or that he might just want to step away for a year, or maybe permanently.
But it's likely this is just wishful thinking. In fact, I'd be downright shocked if it did occur. First and foremost, Mark Richt would have to be let go for anything like this to happen in the first place.
But it's so crazy, it just might work.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section.