With a little love and luck , You will get by
With a little love and luck , We’ll take the sky
In this mangled modern world , You’ve got to try
Try a little love and luck , And you’ll get by
Someone sent me a link the other day to a Rivals site that had the top 10 teams the last decaded based on recruiting rankings. Not surprisingly, Georgia was near the top of the list. The most troubling thing to show is that 6 of the 10 teams have won a National Championship during that time (and played in multiple BCS National Championship Games), and Georgia, the #2 ranked team on the list, obviously has not. Here is the top 10:
- Florida State
9 (t). Tennessee
Georgia has underachieved the past decade, but especially the last three years. The overall talent may not have been there in the last couple of seasons, but that 2008 team was built to win it all.
But look at Georgia’s resume compared to those teams on that list…it has the 10th best winning percentage during the decade, tied with Florida.
What this list does not account for is luck, and therefore, I contend that judging any school or coach based solely on National Championships in College Football is inherently not fair. Some years, like in 2009 when Alabama and Texas ran the table, luck does not factor in who plays for the BCS title. Some years it does. Ucheedawg does not believe in good luck or bad luck. But some of those years, Georgia has just not been lucky.
Look at the 2003 season…Oklahoma plays LSU for the BCS title. In 2003, LSU had a strong defense led by a quarterback who didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. The only blemish on their record was a7 point loss at home to a Ron Zook coached Florida Gator team. In 2002, Georgia had a strong defense led by an offense and quarterback who didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. Their only blemish was a 7 point neutral site loss to a Ron Zook coached Florida Gator team. And Oklahoma didn’t even win the Big 12 Title.
2004…you had three teams that went undefeated…Auburn, Oklahoma and USC. Yet Auburn was left out. Do you think Tommy Tuberville’s legacy at Auburn would be defined differently if the BCS had not screwed him?
2005…two undefeated teams so no complaint.
2006…A one loss Florida team plays Ohio State. You had Urban Meyer lobbying on ESPN on why he thought the Gators (deservedly) belonged in the BCS Title game. See above…what is the difference between a one loss team in 2006 and one loss team in 2002? The difference is what other teams do! The fate is determined by other schools.
2007 was a crazy season. LSU and Ohio State benefitted by not one but two schools losing the final weekend of the season. #1 ranked Missouri was upset by Oklahoma and #2 West Virginia was upset by Pittsburgh in the backyard brawl. Now, I was not one who thought Georgia deserved to play in 2007-we didn’t win the East.
But for LSU, who was ranked #7 at the beginning of the day Saturday needed a lot of breaks to go their way. First, they needed to take care of their own business against Tennessee, which they did. Then they needed other teams to lose. And lose those teams did. If just one team had lost, Ohio State was ranked higher and would have moved up. The 2007 BCS Title Game could have very easily been West Virginia vs. Missouri, Missouri vs. Ohio State, or West Virginia vs. Ohio State. LSU needed a lot of HELP FROM OTHER TEAMS to make it to the BCS title game.
And let’s look at LSU’s resume in 2007. They finished the season with 2 losses (both of which in overtime) and an SEC Championship. In 2005, the Georgia Bulldogs finished the regular season with 2 losses by a combined 5 points, and beat a higher ranked team in the SEC Championship more convincingly than LSU did in 2007. I would dare say the 2005 Georgia resume was just as impressive as the 2007 LSU team.
Why did Georgia not play for the BCS Championship in 2005 and LSU did in 2007?
Why did Georgia not play for the BCS Championship in 2002 and Florida did in 2006, and LSU did in 2003?
To be fair, why was Auburn left out in 2004, but in other years these other teams got to play for it all?
Recently, Alabama, Texas, Auburn and Oregon have made it pretty clear who the two deserving teams were. No questions. They have made it where they control their own destiny. But several years this decade, for a team to play in the BCS National Championship Game, they have had to get lucky and benefit from outside influences and play some scoreboard watching the first weekend of December.
Now, Georgia has grossly underachieved in recent years, there is no denying that. There is no excuse for turnovers, special team mistakes, and other mental problems that have caused Georgia to be 14-12 the last two seasons. Mark Richt has to turn the ship around, and if he doesn’t, he will be held accountable. If there is not significant progress made, even Richt homers like myself will find it hard to want him around.
But isn’t it unfair to just judge someone (Mark Richt or Tommy Tuberville) solely based on their lack of National Championships when the system that determines the National Champion is inconsistent?
I am not making excuses for Georgia’s troubles and recent shortcomings, however I feel it is overly simplistic to look at just National Championships in the great sport of College Football.