One of the three least successful football seasons of the 13-year Mark Richt coaching era came to a bitter end on the banks of Florida’s St. John’s River on New Year’s Day. 1/1/14 saw only one SEC team getting an “L” this bowl season so far, with three SEC teams yet to play.
Alabama, who edged Georgia for its only SEC championship with A.J. McCarron as starting QB last year, while winning a second consecutive national championship and third in four seasons. UGA by contrast has won two national championships ever and no SEC rings since 2005. In Atlanta, the Georgia Bulldogs finally got up for a big game when challenged and made it interesting but then didn’t finish the drill.
Vandy, who beat a flat UGA team in Nashville. Injured and utterly predictable on offense without a dominant running game, Georgia gave a game away to an inferior opponent on a dreary day.
Auburn, a team of destiny at least as far as SEC rings go and maybe more if they can outscore an FSU team looking on paper to be the best college football team since Nebraska mid-1990s. Georgia showed heart and made a comeback at Aubie, then found a way to lose a game we had.
Most of this crap happened again in one game. Georgia appeared more talented overall than Nebraska, on an unusually dreary Sunshine State day. We were predictable on offense without our once-dominant running game working. We made a comeback and showed some heart when challenged. And we found a way to lose a game we had.
This small senior class goes out on a low. Murray on the shelf and watching as his classmates Wooten and Lynch drop four consecutive passes, the final costing us a third bowl loss in four ultimately unfulfilling seasons.
RANKING RICHT’S BOTTOM TEAMS:
1. Year 10 -Dawgs started 1-4 and finished 6-7 losing a bowl to UCF
2. Year 9 -Dawgs fell to 8-5 and lost at home to Kentucky
3. Year 13 -Single play from glory one year and the next year 8-5
*Three of Mark Richt’s past five teams have been his worst performing. Each had a worse final record than any UGA team since Jim Donnan’s first year team failed to reach a bowl game, 18 years ago. While 12-2 was good in 2012, this is relatively speaking the dark ages, with no SEC rings since 2005 and UGA falling from winning an average of eleven games from 2002-2008. Next year is big for Richt.