Mark Richt’s Best Seasons, 1-5

5.  2003

Wins:  11  Losses:  3  

Notable Wins:  at Clemson, at Tennessee, Auburn Damning Losses:  at LSU, Florida

Best moment:  Odell Thurman’s Pick six against Auburn

Worst Moment:  Game winning FG in closing seconds against Florida

Why Ranked here:  Georgia made it to the SEC Championship game for the 2nd consecutive season, and 2/3 losses came to eventual National Champions LSU.  The first LSU game in Baton Rouge was a classic SEC slugfest, while the rematch in the Dome was a bloodbath by the white hot Tigers.  Georgia actually over achieved this season; the offensive line was horrible and David Greene had his worst season statistically as a Bulldog. 

4.  2011

Wins:  10  Losses:  4  

Notable Wins:  Florida, Auburn Damning Losses:  Boise State, Michigan State

Best moment:  Richard Samuel’s game winning TD against Florida.  A close second would be Aaron Murray’s pass completion to Chris Connley to basically get a first down and basically seal the deal against the Gators.

Worst Moment:  Aaron Murray’s fumble that was recovered for a Touchdown that cost Georgia the South Carolina game.

Why ranked here:  Before the season started, Senator Blutarsky said the 2011 season could be very similar to the 2003 season.  The parallels were there.  Both seasons UGA won the SEC East and were dismantled by LSU in the Championship game.  Both seasons saw a Georgia team that relied heavily on the defense to get them to Atlanta.  Even though the 2003 season was better by a game, I still have to put 2011 ahead.  One, the intangibles.  Georgia rebounded and won the East a season after posting a 6-7 record.  Georgia also rattled off 10 consecutive wins after starting 0-2.  That is impressive, even if the quality of competition is not stellar.  Two, in 2011 Georgia beat all of its major rivals for the first time since 1982.  Victories over Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Tennessee in the same season don’t happen as often as they should.   

3.  2007

Wins:  11  Losses:  2  

Notable Wins:  Florida, Auburn, Oklahoma State, at Alabama Damning Losses:  South Carolina, at Tennessee

Best moment:  Knowshon Moreno’s Worst Moment:  After Knowshon having runs of 10 and 11 yards, Georgia was unable to score a TD from the 11  yard line on 3 passes against South Carolina. 

Why Ranked here:  A #2 AP finish and victory in the Sugar Bowl, and convincing victories over Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech is, short of hold up the Crystal Football, is as good as it gets for Georgia fans.  One of the best seasons is school history is marred by the 0 TDs against South Carolina and the bed wetting in Knoxville.  Still, if Tennessee had not gotten lucky to beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky, Georgia would probably won the National Championship this season.  But I must give the nod to the 2005 season; as good as my last fall was in Athens, there still was no SEC Championship. 

2.  2005

Wins:  10  Losses:  3  

Notable Wins:  Boise State, at Tennessee, LSU (SEC Championship) Damning Losses:  Florida, West Virginia (Sugar Bowl)

Best moment:  D.J. Shockley’s two TD passes to Sean Bailey in the SEC Championship Game

Worst Moment:  First half against Florida

Why ranked here:  You could make a good argument that since Georgia lost to both Florida and Auburn, the merit of this season is diminished.  But a Championship is still a championship.  Though the final season rankings and win total is not as high as others on the list, a Georgia team that was picked to finish 3rd in the SEC was led by a Senior Quarterback, strong offensive line and a good defense.  The three losses came by a COMBINED 8 points.  If D.J. Shockley had played against Florida, Georgia would have won that game.  The 2007 season was magical, and might would have beaten the 2005 team, but the 2005 team took care of business when it had to and won a Championship.  No way around it.

1.  2002

Wins:  13  Losses:  1

Notable Wins:  Clemson, at Alabama, at Auburn, Arkansas, Florida State (Sugar Bowl) Damning Losses:  Florida

Best moment:  Michael Johnson’s game winning TD catch against Auburn to seal a trip to Atlanta and the SEC Championship game.

Worst Moment:  Terrance Edwards dropping a wide open pass that could have been a game tying TD against Florida. 

Why ranked here:  As an obvious choice for why 2010 was the worst, 2002 was clearly the best.  Though the Bulldogs needed luck to beat South Carolina and Auburn, they won a school record 13 games and won the SEC for the first time in 20 years.  The season was marred by the lone loss to a Gator team in Ron Zook’s first year, but Georgia still had a great season and the 2002 team set the stage for one of the most consistent runs in Georgia history.


6 Responses to “Mark Richt’s Best Seasons, 1-5”

  1. 1 WookieDawg April 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    this article made me realize how long it’s been since Mark Richt beat a top 10 team. It also made me realize how unsatisfying 2011 was, even though you won 10 games, we beat no teams of note: ex. teams that ended up top 25. Auburn & Florida were not good in 2011, GTech & Tenn wern’t either. Doesn’t take much to impress some people. So 10 wins, with this schedule, beating no ranked teams in 2012, would be one of Richt’s top 5 seasons? Not buying it.

    • 2 Corbindawg April 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      I ranked some other seasons with 10 wins-2008 and 2004-lower than 2011. 2011 UGA won the SEC East. The intangibles were there. The epic rebound and winning 10 straight. Plus, we beat schools like Auburn, Mississippi State, etc…comparable to what LSU and Alabama did.

      We played LSU and Arkansas in 2009 and LSU and Alabama in 2008. No one said “Oh Georgia sure did have a tough schedule then.” It is all how the cookie crumbles.

      • 3 WookieDawg April 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

        I don’t think wins have a bigger impact than quality of opponents. If that was it, Boise would be the National Champ every year. UGA has a very, very, very light schedule, and did in 2011. UGA will only face 1 top 25 team, South Carolina. The rest are unranked teams, most will end up with losing records, like last year’s teams did.

        How do feel about Richt winning just 4 games against winning teams since 2009? Or going 2-9 vs. ranked teams since 2009? Or going 0-9 vs. teams that finished ranked in the top 25? How do feel Mark Richt has done against quality of opponent since 2009?

        Do you count a win against LSU equal to a win over Coastal Carolina? If so, you are in a minority.

      • 4 Corbindawg April 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        I think wins do count for something. That is why in yesterdays post I put 2006 and 2009 ahead of the 2008 season.

        I said 2011 was ranked ahead of 2003. The two seasons, if you look at them, are comparable. But UGA beat the Gators in 2011 and didn’t in 2003. So there you go.

        These posts speak nothing to how UGA has struggled against ranked teams so Chewbacca I think you have an ulterior agenda for your comments.

  2. 5 WookieDawg April 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I look at “quality of competition” on the schedule, over wins and losses. Otherwise, UGA can become like Boise, with a weak schedule and no wins over top 10 teams. Don’t you have to schedule either LSU, Arkansas, or Alabama to be taken seriously in the SEC?

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