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Penn State Coaching Search: Mark Richt

Had enough of these profiles, yet? Tough crap, because there's still several more where this came from. With Georgia facing LSU in the SEC Championship on the slate for today (4:00 PM ET CBS), we figured it would be highly appropriate to examine the non-Dan Mullen SEC coach who has been rumored to be a candidate for the Penn State gig.

Head Coaching Record

Year Overall Record Conference Record
2001 8-4 5-3
2002 13-1 7-1 (SEC Champions)
2003 11-3 6-2 (SEC East Champions)
2004 10-2 6-2
2005 10-3 6-2 (SEC Champions)
2006 9-4 4-4
2007 11-2 6-2 (SEC East Champions)
2008 10-3 6-2
2009 8-5 4-4
2010 6-7 3-5
2011 10-2 7-1 (SEC East Champions)
Total 106-36 60-28

As you can see, the overall track record during Richt's decade-long tenure in Athens is pretty good. A pair of SEC championships out of four total appearances in the SEC Championship Game (the fifth coming today), is certainly an accomplishment, as his is 68% conference winning percentage which given how top-heavy the SEC can be, is also worthy of praise. There is one red flag from Richt's coaching resume however, and that is his record against bitter rival Florida is not so hot: 3-8 which includes a paltry 1-5 against Urban Meyer. This is something for Richt to think carefully about if we were offered the PSU job, given that PSU and OSU play every year as intra-division rivals. Does he want to go up against a coach who thoroughly owned him the last time they coached in the same division in the same conference?

Coaching Experience

Looking for an experienced coach who's grinded his teeth against some of the best programs in Division 1 football? Well, look no further! Richt began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida State under Bobby Bowden and except for a one-year stint as East Carolina's offensive coordinator, had been a lifelong Seminoles assistant (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach) before taking the vacant Georgia job in 2001. During his time at FSU, Richt worked with several successful quarterbacks including Heisman winners Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke. And lest we forget of course, Matthew Stafford was his QB at Georgia. Given PSU's historic inability to develop QB's, this ought to make Richt suddenly seem like a more attractive pseudo-candidate.

Fit - Cultural, Personnel, Etc.

Well, for starters, he's a total outsider. This means of course, that if you're one of those who believes the program needs a complete break from the past, Richt is a very attractive candidate. Whether he would embrace all the ideals, history, and tradition that have been established in Happy Valley over the past several decades is a question everyone should ponder. I can't see him coming to PSU with the same kind of arrogance and self-righteousness that Howard Schnellenberger and Bill Callahan did at Oklahoma and Nebraska respectively, when they pretty much took on an "F tradition" and gave the cold shoulder to former players. My greatest concern would be his complete lack of coaching experience up North, and whether he would be able to establish recruiting ties in the Pennsylvania and Northeast regions.

As far as what he would bring to the table personnel wise, he could end up bringing along Mike Bobo along as his offensive coordinator, especially considering he was one of the first personnel hires Richt made when he took over as Georgia's head coach. Bobo was one of Georgia' most prolific quarterbacks and has mind you, worked with and developed Matthew can wipe the drool off your keyboard (or phone/tablet), now.

There's no official word on whether Richt is even being considered a candidate for the PSU job. At this point, it's mere rumors on the Internets, and Richt in all likelihood, is off the hot seat after winning ten straight to overcome a rough 0-2 start to the season and has made no indication that he's unhappy at Georgia and wants out. However, consider the possibility that Richt, much like Urban Meyer, may be sick of the pressure-cooker that is the SEC, with numerous schools who oversign, rabid fan bases who are ready to kick you to the curb after a couple losses, and just the sheer competitive balance the conference provides. Perhaps Richt may be looking for a complete change in scenery at another storied program where the spotlight isn't quite as huge. Penn State just might be that storied program Mark Richt would jump towards.