Was the outcome really in doubt? Anyone who actually believed that the Georgia Bulldogs were going to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in Saturday’s SEC Championship game knows absolutely nothing about football.
I know that’s a pretty harsh assessment but truthfully, what has Mark Richt really accomplished during his tenure at UGA?
Sure he has a 106-38 record over his 11 years coaching at UGA but how many of those 106 wins were over championship caliber competition? I mean you’re expected to beat I-AA Georgia Southern every year.
They also loaded this year’s schedule with a few more cream-puffs like Buffalo and Florida Atlantic. That doesn’t include all of the programs that were going through down years this season like Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Florida and Auburn.
It would be easy for any coach to have an 11-2 season with the talent that Richt had at his disposal this season and the Bulldogs usually have a ton of talent on their team every season.
Frankly, teams should be scared when they see the Bulldogs on their schedule the same way teams fear seeing Alabama or LSU.
But who really fears the Bulldogs? No one. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time any team from Georgia had a team and coaching staff scary enough to invoke fear in its opponents.
Not the Atlanta Falcons nor the Atlanta Braves and definitely not the Atlanta Hawks. That’s especially sad when you consider that the Falcons are sporting an 11-1 record right now which is tough to do in the NFL.
I guarantee you though that there isn’t one team in the NFL that will even flinch if they wind up having to face the Falcons in the playoffs.
Now if it were the New York Giants, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears or the San Francisco 49ers sporting the league’s best record the way the Falcons currently are then we would be hearing on a daily basis about how dominant that team is. That team would be expected to reach the Super Bowl.
But the Falcons have the same reputation that the Bulldogs and just about any recent team from Georgia possess: they’re considered great regular-season teams but underachievers when it comes to post-season play.
Look at the Braves. They get booted out of the first round of the playoffs seemingly every year.
To their credit, the Hawks have been able to advance to the second round consistently over the past few years but that is the best they can do. It doesn’t matter who they play in the second round they always seem to come up short.
The Falcons have absolutely no postseason wins under their current coach Mike Smith. Smith is currently 53-22 since becoming head coach of the Falcons but most importantly, he is 0-3 in the playoffs.
The Bulldogs haven’t really won a meaningful game since 2005 when they last won the SEC Championship. So I ask again, why would anyone fear any of these Georgia teams?
The thing I will say about the Braves, Hawks and Falcons though is that these teams have actually over-achieved to an extent. The Falcons have a lot of talent at key positions but overall they aren’t really that talented by NFL standards. Same can be said of the Braves and Hawks.
But Georgia seems to have great talent every year. Georgia got whipped by a less-talented but better-coached South Carolina team earlier this year. Now just imagine what a coach like Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, or Les Miles could do with talents like Matthew Stafford, A.J. Green or Jarvis Jones coming through their programs.
I believe even some of the lesser coaches in the SEC could win with the type of talent that Richt sees on a yearly basis. But sadly, we’ll never know because UGA’s Athletic Director Greg McGarity and UGA’s top school officials believe that Richt is an elite coach.
And UGA’s competitive contest against Alabama on Saturday only serves to confirm their flawed thinking. I know I’m probably part of the minority of people who believe that Richt should have been fired years ago but that’s probably because it’s so hard for people to see how mediocre of a coach he is.
But mediocre works in the state of Georgia. God forbid that people should expect anything better than “average” from a Georgia team.
So while there were a few chants calling for Richt’s head before this season started, Georgia’s 11-1 regular season coupled with a narrow defeat at the hands of the defending National Champs means that Georgia fans will be stuck with the under-achieving Richt for years to come.
It’s really sad once you think about it. The Bulldogs should be preparing right now to play Notre Dame for the national title but once again lost a game they should have easily won.
It seems that Richt has come up a winner in spite of the fact that Georgia has once again fallen short.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.
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