Your Perfect Summer
The GEORGIA (3-0, 2-0) annihilation of South Carolina solidified an undefeated summer for the program, as the calendar shifts autumnal on 9/23 this year. Ah, fall. My favorite time of year.
Southern visits the Classic City this week (12p SEC) as UGA continues to enjoy easily the softest early season schedule in our recent history. BAMA – at UT – Mizzou will be a tough three-week test for the Dawgs, but I am liking the momentum the team has going and how we are executing.
Got me thinking: How often have we started strong? A great start, the hallmark of the Jim Donnan era, does not necessarily dictate a good final record, as evidenced by Donnan getting fired after five seasons. That said, I would rather be 4-0. And we clearly will when Bama comes back to town.
Never undefeated, here are Georgia’s first losses of each year in the Richt era:
1. 2001 (8-4) – Carolina on 9/11
2. 2002 (13-1) – Florida (Jax) 11/2* ~Cost UGA a probable National Championship.
3. 2003 (11-3) – at LSU 9/20
4. 2004 (10-2) – Tennessee 11/9*
5. 2005 (10-3) – Florida (Jax) 10/29*
6. 2006 (9-4) – Tennessee 11/7*
7. 2007 (11-2) – Carolina 9/8 ~That program appears most on this dubious list.
–So, for the first seven years of the Richt era, Georgia swept the summer games 4-of-7 times. Also noteworthy that only once was the first loss of the year a (true) road loss during that stretch.
8. 2008 (10-3) – Bama 9/27* ~Down 31-0, Dawgs lost by 11 behind Stafford passing to AJ.
9. 2009 (8-5) – at Okie State 9/5
10. 2010 (6-7) – at Carolina 9/11
11. 2011 (10-4) – Boise State (ATL) 9/3
12. 2012 (12-2) – at Carolina 11/6* ~Game moved back, but then 4-0 Dawgs blown out.
13. 2013 (8-5) – at Clemson 8/31
14. 2014 (10-3) – at Carolina 9/13
–So, we learned how to protect our house better early in the year it appears. We lost all three season openers when playing quality comp away from home. We had a Carolina problem and went just 2-of-7 on perfect summers. That simply is not good enough at UGA.
Richt has now been the head coach of an undefeated football team seven times as the calendar turned. All but one of the previous teams (2006) had double digit wins.
What can he do with this year’s hot start?