During his tenure as the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, Mark Richt has had some outstanding teams. Richt took a program that had not lived up to expectations before his arrival, and placed it firmly back in Southeastern Conference contention in just two short years.
In fact, his 2002 Bulldogs went 13-1 and won the SEC championship. The Bulldogs’ only loss that season was to its SEC East rival, the Florida Gators.
Last season, Richt and the Bulldogs were at it again as they headed into the SEC Championship game with just one loss (a 35-7 pounding in Columbia against the South Carolina Gamecocks). Facing the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, the Bulldogs ran out of time at the end of the game, threatening to score and advance to the BCS National Championship Game.
The 2012 season was as close as Georgia has been to the title game since Richt’s arrival in Athens. And while his 118-40 record in 12 seasons is fantastic, Bulldog fans would love to play for another national championship.
If Richt is going to take Georgia to the promised land, this season could be his best shot. Georgia returns a senior quarterback with a ton of experience in Aaron Murray. The Bulldogs also have a pair of outstanding running backs in sophomores Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. And there’s enough talent on defense to hold the opposition in check while the offense does its damage.
The path to the BCS Championship will be tough. Georgia opens its season on the road at the Clemson Tigers. The following week, the Bulldogs host South Carolina. Georgia also hosts the LSU Tigers and plays a neutral site game against Florida.
Running the table against those opponents will be tough, but an early loss might not hurt Georgia’s chances at the BCS title game. It will depend on what else happens around the conference and the country. But if Georgia can win the SEC East and the SEC Championship Game, they will almost assuredly be playing for the crystal trophy in January. This is Richt’s best chance yet to get there.