Georgia's Richt and UCLA's Neuheisel are on the Hot Seat
Which coach is feeling the most pressure?
By: Patrick Snow | 9/7/11, 1:42 PM EDT
Georgia fans were not ready to see their Bulldogs manhandled by Boise State in Atlanta. UCLA fans are looking for any positive after the last few seasons, but the Bruins fell at Houston on Saturday. Both Mark Richt and Rick Neuheisel entered the college football season on the proverbial hot seat, and neither coach's team got it done against non-AQ competition in Week 1. Georgia hosts South Carolina this week, while UCLA gets a breather against San Jose State before facing Texas and Stanford in two of the three following weeks.
Hotter Seat: Rick Neuheisel or Mark Richt?
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
I think it has to be Rick Neuheisel. His record is 15-23 at his alma mater, and UCLA has finished eighth, eighth and ninth in league play during his tenure. That’s just plain old not getting it done. Many will argue that there is much more pressure at a passionate SEC school like Georgia, but the Bruins have quite the winning tradition as well. From “Red” Sanders to Tommy Prothro to Terry Donahue to Bob Toledo, UCLA has a long history of being a successful program. It’s an easy place to recruit talented kids, and Neuheisel seems to have quality players on the roster. However, the wins have not followed. Last year’s UCLA squad ranked 100th in total offense and 94th in total defense - that’s shockingly bad for a BCS school. Mark Richt is definitely feeling pressure at Georgia, but he is struggling against his own high standard. The likeable coach had 82 wins in his first eight seasons in Athens, including two SEC titles. He still has a chance to turn things around, but I believe Neuheisel must get to six wins and the postseason to remain at UCLA.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Both coaches will have a chance to save their job over the next couple of months, but after Saturday night's disappointment, I think Mark Richt's seat is hotter. Georgia had a lot of preseason hype, but looked flat and was thoroughly outplayed by Boise State. There's no shame in losing to the Broncos. However, the manner in which the Bulldogs lost has to be the biggest concern for Georgia fans. Losing a primetime, national audience opener is never a good thing for a coach on the hot seat. Neuheisel entered the year with low expectations, but still needs to show some improvement to return next year. After the disappointing showing against Boise State, it will be interesting to see how Georgia responds against South Carolina. All is not lost in the SEC East race, as the Bulldogs have an opportunity to win the division crown and make a trip to Atlanta for the conference title game. However, there's a lot of pressure on Richt to inject some much-needed energy and victories for Georgia - right now. A loss to the Gamecocks wouldn't seal Richt's fate, but it would take a dramatic turnaround over the next 10 games to return in Athens next season.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
The pressure is much heavier at Georgia. The schedule is much tougher at Georgia. But the winning has been much better at Georgia - Richt is four wins away from 100 and has one of the better winning percentages for a UGA and SEC coach in history. No team has a tougher start to its season than the Bulldogs and while an 0-2 record isn't what any fan base wants, Georgia could (and should) easily get to eight wins if not nine. The seat at UCLA was warmer to begin the season, and they lost to a Houston team that is, while good, not in the same category as Boise State. I see Rick Neuheisel’s seat as hotter at the current time.
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