I have wanted to say this since after the South Carolina game. But I haven’t had a chance to sit down and articulate it, and it is topical as we head into LSU.
Let me start off by saying this is not an anti-Richt post. I am as a big a fan or supporter of our head coach as anyone without the surname Richt.
But I can honestly say what our head coach ‘s biggest flaw is, and how that will help the Dawgs going forward.
Richt can’t motivate the team…without adversity. He is an excellent motivator when things are negative. He is great at lifting the team up and rallying. He fails, though, when he needs to bring them down a little.
Look back at 2007. After an up and down start of the season, the Dawgs were humiliated vs Tennessee before narrowly escaping an upset loss at Vanderbilt. The rest is history, and honestly no team in America could stay on the field with the Dawgs by the end of the year.
The success of 2007 parlayed to being ranked preseason #1 in 2008. Needless to say the Dawgs fell way short of expectations and did not live up to all their hype.
In 2011, the Dawgs infamously started off 0-2. After a horrendous year in 2010, and losing two high profile games to start off, Richt was squarely engulfed on the hot seat. The team then rattled off 10 straight wins en route to the first SEC East crown since 2005.
Last year the Dawgs went through September undefeated, though looked shaky at times. They then ran into a buzzsaw in Columbia, then looked awful against Kentucky. The Dawgs then beat #2 ranked Florida and came just short of winning a National Title.
Even go back a little further to 2006, which was in my opinion a very underrated season and one of Richt’s best coaching jobs. Not only did the team rally to finish a respectable 9-4, but Richt made two crucial decisions: he fired himself as play caller and decided to ride the lumps of a true freshman QB and help him develop. After struggling against Colorado and Ole Miss, Georgia was humiliated at home by Tennessee and Vanderbilt, narrowly beat Mississippi State, then lost to Florida and lowly Kentucky. The team rebounded to beat Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech, and in doing so, beat three teams ranked in the top 15 in consecutive games for the first time in school history.
Now, I’d prefer not to have to go through this drama or adversity. But, I think we just have to come to terms with the reality that Richt needs some adversity to get his team motivated.
It seems like when Richt has a good team, they fiddle fart around then put the foot on the gas after some troubles, then it’s Katy bar the door.
I had these thoughts walking back to the car after we defeated the Gamecocks.
After a loss to open season, the team and coaches put on a positive face. I wasn’t freaking out. But still, the team had to have a speed bump before getting some traction and blowing past the Gamecocks.
Now, LSU is on the horizon with yet another colossal showdown between top ten teams. Athens, Georgia will be the epicenter of the college football world. College Gameday will be in town. Athens is the place to be this weekend.
I am confident that the Dawgs will win. Why?
If for no other reason, they will be ready to play.
They have done had their adversity, and now they have momentum and wind in their sails.
This is where Coach Richt is at his best.