Recruiting patterns are likely the best way to "spy" on a program that is pretty good about keeping its business off the Internet and out of the pages of the papers.
So if Martinez is leaving to recruit Tuesday does that mean Richt will not make a change at defensive coordinator? Does it mean Martinez will step down, but remain as secondary coach? Does it mean anything?
What I have seen
Like everyone else I have saw the hug between Martinez and Richt after the Auburn game. What, if anything did it mean? I'm not sure. The thing, more than anything else, that makes me think a change is coming (or has already come) is that Martinez had his son with him after the win over Georgia Tech – not only on the field, but in the post-game locker room and in the media room after that. I have not seen his son with him by his side since the Bulldogs beat LSU in the 2005 SEC Championship Game. That is not to say that his son was not with him at other games – rather that I didn't see or notice him at the time.
I am still puzzled, however, that Martinez would go out recruiting if he's not going to be back at Georgia next year. Why send him, or any other coach for that matter, on the road recruiting for the 2010 class if they are not going to coach at Georgia next season? Perhaps they are simply being professional – working their contract, which actually runs from June of 2009 to June of 2010. I'm not sure of the answer to that one.
What I know
Not much. In fact, my head is hurting. What I know is that I have been told all sorts of things – none of them have yet come true. Then you also have the chatter: a radio station "reported" this; some "booster" is saying that. We just went through all of the chatter in the spring with the saga that was the coaching search in basketball. When the dust settled it wasn't future Alabama coach Anthony Grant or Missouri's Mike Anderson (who used Georgia to get himself a bigger raise) who was given the Georgia job – it was Mark Fox. My point is things move fast – very fast, and often things don't go the way they seem to be headed in the first place.
Mark Richt is not a very good liar
Mark Richt does not lie very well. He's pretty good at not giving you all of the information he wants to keep to himself, but if you ask him a question he's not going to lie to you – at least I have never seen him do that. He will simply side step the issue. When he was asked about possible coaching changes Saturday night he didn't say they were not going to happen. He also didn't say they would. He gave himself lots of options.
Reporter: "Mark, there has been some speculation with the coaching staff. Now is the time, at the end of the year, where you do have time to evaluate, do you anticipate any changes?"
Richt: "Here is the thing, I have been focusing so hard on the season – that's what I have been focusing on. I know we've got some areas to improve in, but right now I am just going to enjoy this victory."
Legge's Multiple Possible scenarios
Let me add this before laying all of these possibilities out – these are good guesses… these are not things I am reporting.
A. There will be no coaching changes – I find this one hard to believe. I have been around this thing a little too long and can feel something. Sure, there could be no changes at all, but it doesn't "feel" like that is going to happen. Was there a verbal agreement made that if the team beat Auburn and Georgia Tech that Martinez and company would be retained? A sort-of "here's how you keep your job?" I don't think that's the case, either.
B. Willie Martinez and others are dismissed before the bowl game – I'm not sure of the combination of coaches that would not be in Athens next season, but this seems more likely than anything else. Martinez, will take the bullet and blame for the program slipping to a 7-5 mark in 2009. But why are they out recruiting if that's the case? Is it only to keep recruiting going in the meantime? Are the Dawgs just trying to pull some non-committed recruits in knowing they have pretty well nailed down all of the other players committed to them in the 2010 class?
C. Martinez and only Martinez is dismissed – This would be complicated. This would mean that someone would have to come in and would have to inherit three coaches they may or may not know. It would also seem to indicate that the new incoming coordinator would not be able to pick his own staff. Then again, a new coordinator may not be interested in getting rid of certain coaches and may want them to stay on staff.
D. Martinez and company have already been dismissed – This is somewhat like "B", but gives Richt time to figure how just who he wants to take over the spot. It would also allow the alleged new coordinator to get his staff ready before coming to Athens. In other words one swift move – everything in one day, and in time to coach the bowl game. Then again, if you have already been dismissed why are you out recruiting/working?