Richt’s Folly Could Still Net Crown
Mark Richt fell to 3-3 versus the University of Alabama Saturday amidst torrentially soggy conditions in the Classic City of Athens, Georgia. 4-1 Bama surged to #10/#8 in the (meaningless post-BCS) polls with UGA tumbling to #19/#16 after a humiliating 38-10 loss. Richt still has a .500 or better record versus every SEC school not from Gainesville. Speaking of reptilians, Florida darted to 5-0 with an identical score Swamp smashing of (previous #3) Ole Miss, the team who beat the Tide (now for consecutive seasons).
Here’s how I projected GEORGIA in the preseason after week six: 5-1.
Bama would have been undefeated, riding high into Athens for an afternoon of perfect sunshine and classic fall football. Georgia would upset the overconfident straight ahead running one-dimensional #1 or #2 team in the country, with a controlled passing attack and superior stable of running backs led by Nick Chubb. Malcolm Mitchell – still stung from the ill-fated last second ATL tip defeat in a razor close SEC title tilt – would make a game-winning grab.
Then, #GEORGIA would be riding so high we’d stumble at a strong Tennessee and lose by around ten in what would be Greyson Lambert’s first big game SEC road environment (Vandy Rocky Top ain’t). Instead, Ole Miss and the weather did us no favors. We had terrible QB play against a wounded and prepared Tide team out to save their season. Now, we get to whip a not-that-close to really over the hump Vols team…or else.
Speaking of the rocky flop, UT just cannot close games. They start hot and lose, week-after-week losses. Tennessee is the last program to win back-to-back SEC championships, all the way back when Peyton Manning got his lone SEC ring, as the Gators finally stumbled one year, after going 4-0 against him. The next year Tee Martin and UT won it all. Wouldn’t pencil Bama in yet, as no team has repeated in this league since. Would we have the mentality to get past Alabama? We all have to say: No!
They are a half game back of Ole Miss. A game back of Texas A&M and LSU. Could we still be tough enough to beat those other SEC West team? Yes. I still honestly don’t see why not. Even our very best teams have been crushed once a year of late, as I will get to a little later in this column.
So, I had us at 5-1 and I still have us at 5-1 and perhaps winning the SEC, because Bama is going to drop another football game this year, probably, and that may mean someone other than the Tide will get through. The East and the rest of our games look way more winnable than they did at the start of the season – with the exception of the Cocktail Party, where (bad coach?) Will Muschamp no longer coaches.
We play (and lately own at 7-2) Auburn every year. While we are just 2-3 in SEC championship games, let’s look at how Georgia has done in the lone rotational regular season cross-divisional games over a decade:
2015 L Bama
2014 W at Arkansas
2013 W LSU
2012 W Ole Miss
2011 W at Ole Miss
2010 L Arkansas
2009 W at Arkansas
2008 L Bama
2007 W at Bama
2006 W Ole Miss
While Bama has a 2-1 edge (we go for three-in-a-row on the Capstone in 2020), Richt has our program winning these games 7-of-10 times. Throw in what we do to Auburn, and we are going to go to 8-2 (or else) over them, and the West simply has no claim of dominance over us. Richt is 4-4 versus LSU, by the way.
I’m more likely to give Greyson Lambert a wait-and-see hall pass, because some players just aren’t mudders. I really don’t want to see Brice Ramsey touch the field ever again at UGA, though. Sorry, son, but you should sit the pine or transfer to a lesser program. He has a great arm but the decision making isn’t there, and he has worked with Richt since childhood passing camps. It would have sunk in if it was going to.
Statuesque touch pocket passers playing poorly in the sog but otherwise passing well. Troy Aikman was the same. The great NFL champ was damn near winless in the wet. He couldn’t do it.
If it rains or Greyson can’t get it back, UGA should play Faton. Faton should have come on Saturday. Wouldn’t have mattered much with the whole team that mentally poorly prepared, coach. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. Fixer. Salvage yard of every single season, savior. Means what? No championships, coach.
You are an old broken record now babbling about reevaluations EVERY YEAR!!! Then, you do it; you fix us up just enough somehow to give a fading glimmer of hope to the faithful Dawg Nation. We deserve more than a flame that flickers out and has us saying next year or what if. Here, I say why. WHY???
We put as much or more top-to-bottom talent on the field. We are as good or better than anyone, and we don’t just (cuss word deleted)-ing lose like other good programs – we get blown out, once a year.
Let’s run them down, a week before what better be our redemption at Rocky Top:
2011 – 35-21 loss to Boise in the ATL opener wasn’t that close. We later won 10 straight.
2012 – 35-7 loss at Carolina, by a strong team a play away from the national championship game.
2013 – 41-26 home loss to Mizzou in their only SEC win versus Georgia.
2014 – 38-20 loss to Florida. It was 31-7 at one point. Murray isn’t walking through the door.
2015 – You saw what happened.
Want Some More…
2007 – 35-14 at UT wasn’t that close at halftime. We won a BCS bowl. Finished #2.
2008 – 41-30. Bama. They led 31-0 at half. We won ten and had AJ, Stafford, Moreno.
2009 – 45-19 at UT and 41-17 in Jacksonville (take your pick, Joe Cox).
2010 – 49-31 at Auburn. We had Cam in a hole early.
So, as you can see, Richt is well schooled in bringing teams back from bad losses.