Yesterday, I wrote a long post on why the Georgia-Auburn rivalry matters.
Today, here is another reason why it matters.
Mark Richt has owned Auburn.
Before Coach Richt’s arrival to Athens, Georgia had lost 4/6 to the Tigers/War Eagles/Plainsmen.
After a crushing defeat his first year, Georgia has gone on to win 8/11 contests with Auburn. The series record was 46-50-8 beofre Richt’s arrival. The series record is all knotted up now at 54-54-8.
As Mark Richt has said, he undersands the importance of the rivalry with Auburn. For all of the failures in Jacksonville, you cannot fault Richt for being able to handle Tech and Auburn.
Two of the four losses to Auburn can be somewhat excused. In 2004 and 2010, the Tigers crushed Georgia. But those seasons were undefeated seasons for Auburn, and no one else was able to beat them that season either. Really, I think the you can give him somewhat of a pass on the first loss…it was his first year and he messed up with clock management. The only truly damning loss to Auburn was in 2005 when the Bulldogs let a long 4th down conversion lead to Auburn milking the clock down to set up a last second field goal to win by 1 point in an exciting, back and forth game. A game which Georgia should have easily won.
There have been some close, epic games, but 5 of the 8 victories have been by double digits. Of the 5 double digit victories, the closes margin of victory has been 19 points. The last two years the combined score has been 83-7 (and could have been worse if Richt hadn’t called off the offense in the 4th Quarter last year).
Yes, Georgia has struggled against Florida, only going 4-8, although Georiga has gone 3-3 the last six contests and finally are in a 2 game winning streak. A blemish on Coach Richt’s resume is the inability to beat the Gators consistently, especially in the Zook years. But the dominance over Auburn in our closest, most historic rivalry can’t be ignored.