Mark Richt has one more game to coach at the University of Georgia. Going into this year's bowl game, Richt has a 145-51 overall record as head man at UGA, with an 83-37 SEC record. He won two SEC championships, but none since 2005. His teams claimed the SEC East crown six times, but his last division title came in 2012.
And with UGA falling short of high expectations in recent seasons, speculation about his job security grew as this year's edition of the Bulldogs lost three SEC games, after going into the year as the preseason favorite in the SEC East.
Richt's tenure as UGA football coach began 15 years ago, around Christmas of 2000. Richt came to UGA as a highly-regarded offensive coordinator from Florida State University. And he found immediate success with the Bulldogs.
Richt and UGA defeated Tennessee in Knoxville in 2001, thanks to the famous "hobnail boot" play. The next year, Georgia again faced a tough SEC matchup on the road. The 2002 victory at Auburn sent UGA to the SEC Championship game for the first time. Their victory over Arkansas gave Georgia the school's first SEC title in 20 years.
In 2005, Richt claimed his second SEC title, with a victory over LSU in the Georgia Dome. But Richt would not win another SEC crown, and fell short of a national championship.
Richt's best shot at the national title came in 2007, when UGA won the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii, and ended the season ranked #2 in the nation. But losses that year to Tennessee and Florida were too much for that squad to overcome.
Georgia returned to the national championship conversation in 2012. The Dawgs faced Alabama in the SEC title game, with the winner expected to play for the national title. But the Crimson Tide held on to win as Georgia came up yards short of the end zone on their final drive.
Expectations were high again this season. Georgia started the year ranked ninth, and got off to a 4-0 start. Alabama came to Sanford Stadium for a highly-anticipated showdown, but Georgia was never in the game, going down to defeat 38-10.
The next week, Georgia blew a 21 point lead at Tennessee, losing back-to-back SEC games. After a lackluster 9-6 win against Missouri, Richt changed starting quarterbacks for the Florida game. That didn't turn around a stagnant offense, as Florida won 27-3. That defeat essentially ended UGA's hopes of returning to the SEC title game.
Georgia won its final four regular season games following the Florida loss, but it was too little, too late to save Richt's job.