Next Step

So close we could taste it, we didn’t get there and had to watch BAMA go from could-have-been dynasty diverted by the Dawgs, to an undeniable champion having won 3-of-4 National Championships. Auburn won the only other in a full term of college matriculation, so our neighboring state to the west has now won four consecutive, while the rest of the forty-nine states only watched. We were too close for comfort, with the SEC Championship Game played annually in the Georgia Dome, where we have lost three straight under the enclosed lights over two seasons.

The tip, the tip, the tip, was one of the biggest plays in Tide history and simultaneously one of the worst moments, if not the single worst moment in UGA football history. Sure, the Penn State loss in Herschel’s last game was for a title and was a loss in a close game – but not as close. The UGA-BAMA game was a coin toss game, and it came up tails Tide. We were where we’d been with Richt twice before, close to a national championship game berth which never came.

In twelve years, Mark Richt has been quite near the top of the NCAA pyramid three times, while doing that 25% of the time is as good as it gets outside of Saban-land, mid-nineties Nebraska, Miami The U type runs. Richt has the best career winning percentage of any head coach in the SEC at an average of nearly ten wins per season. He is back near where he was, top five in that category nationally, after ten-win and twelve-win seasons followed his only career dip. It too should be noted that the ten-winner I mentioned started at 0-2, as the funk which began with AJ Green’s suspension Murray’s redshirt freshman year continued into the beginning of what would eventually become the first of back-to-back SEC East title runs in 2011.

How ya feelin’? GEORGIA is a very good football program and has been for a dozen years, save one campaign when we still made a bowl game (we were 6-7 only three years ago). Add up the short Donnan Era, which really was the donning of a new era after Ray Goff’s goofy head coaching career, and we have been strong for over fifteen years. It is time to take the next step.

Can GEORGIA whip the Gators again for three straight at the Cocktail Party? Will Spurrier and Carolina be a career thorn in Murray’s side (0-3) and win back-to-back Between the Hedges? Can Murray outshine Mettenberger in Athens? Is Clemson top dog in the old cats and Dawgs rivalry? Can GEORGIA get back to the Dome and win?

Will our new tooled, new personnel defense in the Classic City hold up in 2013? BAMA had an almost all-new D on the Capstone last year and won it all. Aaron Murray will be the SEC’s all-time statistically greatest, GURSHALL will boom big, and it won’t matter a lick unless we get at least an SEC ring in this campaign, something Richt has not done since DJ Shockley left campus. Realize this: the DAWGS have not won the title outside of our initial five-year run under Coach Mark Richt, and he is past due. Playoffs next year. This year would be a good one to get the vote: the final year of the BCS voting era, where we’ve felt snubbed before.