Georgia Bulldogs: Gators Get Swept And Fox On The Hot Seat

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12: Steve Tchiengang
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 12: Steve Tchiengang /

The Georgia Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team (14-11) bested the Florida Gators at their place on Valentine’s Day. Will that gift be enough to keep Mark Fox employed?

Generally speaking, if you offer me a situation where the Men’s Basketball team for the Georgia Bulldogs sweeps the Florida Basketball team in a given year, I’d wager that the Head Coach is sitting pretty. Because, generally speaking, those years have been good years for the team. This year I’d be wrong. The Dawgs did just that last night, winning an improbable overtime game at Florida. Yet, questions around Head Coach Mark Fox continue to swirl.

(10-3) seems like a long time ago. In basketball terms, it was along time ago. The reason for that is that, before last night’s win, the Georgia Bulldogs went (2-8) in their previous 10 games. In 4 of those losses, they blew double-digit leads. Epic collapse.

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The blowout home loss to Auburn on Saturday brought a lot of the Mark Fox “chatter” to a loud grumble. We wrote about it here. The AJC even tackled the issue. It’s no secret. After nine years, the program should be further than this. And even if not, this year should have been better than this.

That said, there are three mitigating factors and bulwarks against Fox’s possible departure from Athens, and none should be discounted.

Sweeping Florida is nothing to sneeze at. Most Dawg fans, away from Florida fans, mind you, will admit that, after losing to UF in both football and basketball for almost 15 years regularly, it means something to reverse that ignominious trend. There is a lot of grace earned for doing that. If not, outright mercy.

In addition, one of the knocks on Fox has been recruiting. Every year some 5 star recruit leaves the state and helps another school win. A quick look at the next two recruiting classes, if they hold, and it could be that Fox has reversed that ignominious trend.

Finally, and this might be most important, everyone I speak with who has any knowledge whatsoever of the “inner-workings” and machinations of Georgia’s Athletic Department tell me that Mark Fox wouldn’t be there today if a bunch folks in important places didn’t really, really like him.

And by that, they don’t mean his personality. From what I gather, they appreciate the fact that he wins (though, not enough), but that he never causes any trouble.

That last part means more and more when one considers the hammer the FBI, and Department of Justice, are about to drop on NCAA Basketball. According to this, close to THREE DOZEN (36) Division-1 Basketball programs could get hit with penalties and sanctions. Georgia won’t be one of them.

There is no way to really know if or when Mark Fox will be let go or retained and extended. UGA has five games left in the regular season. Three are against ranked teams. UGA will probably only be favored in one of those 5. It doesn’t look good based on recent performance.

So, where does that put us? Where we always are, seemingly, with the Georgia Bulldogs under Mark Fox. Needing to make a late season run. Needing to win 2-3 games in the SEC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament, and with Fox on a very warm seat.

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They swept Florida, though. And the FBI isn’t digging around. Both are extremely positive. Will that be enough? We’ll see.