This week, UGA fans have been left to ponder the latest losing streak in the middle of another football season that started with so much promise. There was every reason to believe they’d win the SEC East, which would put them in a position to win the whole darn thing.
But after losses to Alabama and Tennessee, the idea of the Bulldogs’ first national title since 1980 has been overturned and set ablaze. Again.
Atlanta sports radio has been filled with Georgia fans who don’t know what to think. Is it OK to call for the firing of Mark Richt, the most successful coach in program history not named Dooley? Should they keep putting up with 10-2 seasons because there’s a chance that putting a stop to them might actually lead to more losses, not more wins?
Here’s what I have to say to all Georgia fans: you should be mad, for one reason.
The SEC East is flat-out bad, and the last few years have really been Georgia’s best chance to win a title without having to worry about beating a handful of powerhouses. They should have been able to win their division with relative ease, and get a shot at the SEC West champ and, with a win, the national championship.
But every year, it starts with hope in Bulldog Nation, and seems to end with Missouri in the SEC Championship game.
Why wouldn’t that make you mad, Georgia fan?
Now, that window is closing. Florida will assuredly get better. Tennessee just might, too. Heck, even Kentucky is slowing climbing in the right direction. If UGA couldn’t win the division in the past few years, the road will only get bumpier from here.
Let me be clear about one thing. I’m not calling for Mark Richt’s head, though I can only assume thousands of UGA fans have taken that responsibility upon themselves in the last 48 hours. Getting rid of an extremely good coach and trying your hand with an up-and-comer is very, very risky, and could lead to a much bigger setback.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t be mad, Georgia fans. Your team hasn’t been to a major bowl since the Sugar Bowl in 2008 – eight seasons ago.
With all the talent this team has on a perennial basis, it’s OK to be mad that your team gets sent to Tampa or Orlando for bowl games, when you should be a whole lot closer to lifting the only trophy anyone really cares about.
Photo: AP/Wade Payne