After Alabama’s domination, when do Dogs get turn at BCS?

Nick Saban led Alabama to its second BCS title in last three years. When is Georiga's turn?

Nick Saban led Alabama to its second BCS title in last three years. So when is Georgia's turn?

NEW ORLEANS – If Georgia played in the ACC, or the Big Ten, or some safe little sandbox like the Sun Belt, what happened Monday night – and actually over the past six BCS championship games – wouldn’t sting nearly as much. Another season would have ended with a national title being won by some school off in the distance, far from campus — not one that the Bulldogs could see by looking out their backdoor.

But there was Alabama late Monday in New Orleans, extending the SEC’s streak of national championships. It’s like a conga line that just keeps growing: Florida-LSU-Florida-Alabama-Auburn-Alabama. Next?

The Crimson Tide buried LSU 21-0, and it will be a wonder if one of those two don’t win it again next season.

Which leads to this question: Can Georgia get there?

This is a mental stretch that Dogs fans, who can be as blinded by faith, loyalty and recruiting rankings as anybody, haven’t subjected themselves to for a while. It’s difficult enough to envision Mark Richt holding up a Waterford crystal football at a school whose last national championship came three decades ago, let alone when the nation’s dominant programs compete in the same conference.

But what Nick Saban has done in a short amount of time at Alabama actually should offer some encouragement.

Granted, we are talking about the consensus best coach in college football. But Saban inherited a mess in Tuscaloosa. He struggled to a 7-6 record in his first season, including a loss to Louisiana-Monroe (a source of great amusement to everybody outside of Tuscaloosa). Since then, he has taken the Tide on an implausible 48-6 run with two BCS titles in four years.

When I asked Saban in the late hours following the win over LSU whether he had ever imagined back in 2007 that such a run was possible, he answered quickly.

“No. Not at all,” he said.

“Honestly, I’m such a process-oriented guy that I don’t really think that way. I go day-to-day. I was so disappointed in the season we had last year. But this team exceeded my expectations.”

The scary thing from Georgia’s standpoint is Saban already knows how he’ll motivate his players next season. He wouldn’t disclose it, but this comment from his news conference likely provides a hint: “The only thing I’m disappointed about is we didn’t win the SEC championship.”

So the coach from the No. 1 team will harp on his players next season that they need to make amends for losing the SEC West Division and a chance at the conference title to LSU.

Les Miles, the coach from the No. 2 team, is motivated because his previously unbeaten bunch was body slammed in the Superdome. (“This was as painful as anything we’ve been through,” he said.)

Does Georgia have any hope for a title any time soon? Maybe. Among those in the Superdome was Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who said what Saban has accomplished, while extreme, is attainable elsewhere.

“This game is so cyclical,” he said. “Teams make runs and things change. There was the domination that Florida State had under coach [Bobby] Bowden. You can look at some of the other teams that were thought to be dynasties, like Miami. It can be done. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. The first question out of everybody’s mouth now is going to be, ‘What’s the top five rankings going to be in 2012?’”

Based on its 10-win season — notwithstanding the Outback Bowl collapse against Michigan State — Georgia may be an AP preseason top-10 team. The Dogs have most of their key players returning, and Richt has received commitments from two of the nation’s top recruits, running back Keith Marshall and defensive end Jordan Jenkins.

After picking Georgia over Alabama on Monday, Jenkins said, “A few years ago I thought I was going to end up at Alabama. I never would’ve thought I was going to Georgia. I said [in an interview] ‘I didn’t like Georgia.’ [The reporter] tried to save me. He said ‘Did you mean Georgia State or Georgia College[sic]?’ I was 14 years old, so [I said] ‘Oh, I meant Georgia College.”

Georgia, it seems, is back on the radar. But that doesn’t nearly put the Dogs on the BCS level yet.

They’ll have to wait for the down cycle in Tuscaloosa.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSchultzAJC). Friend me on Facebook (Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC).

521 comments Add your comment

chilidawg

January 10th, 2012
2:22 pm

Gotta earn it first.

GTBob

January 10th, 2012
2:24 pm

It really depends. When is Richt retiring?

King of Southern Football

January 10th, 2012
2:29 pm

Gotta agree…..Georgia cant beat Bama as long as Saban resides in T-Town.

Scott

January 10th, 2012
2:30 pm

UGA will get one…. I just hope it is in my lifetime!

no dog

January 10th, 2012
2:30 pm

LeMay might do it. Not murry.

Trevinb

January 10th, 2012
2:31 pm

Georgia has every opportunity next year – favorable schedule, lots of returning players, strong recruiting class.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 10th, 2012
2:31 pm

Never say never.

Newman

January 10th, 2012
2:32 pm

Hard-ass, old school coaches win the big ones…

me

January 10th, 2012
2:32 pm

Michael Carvell is worthless.

Chi Town

January 10th, 2012
2:33 pm

Jawja is Bama’s lil brother.

Always have. Always will.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 10th, 2012
2:33 pm

“favorable schedule”

I think that may hurt them, be best if they played Bama, LSU, Ark during the season so they will tested come championship time.

Mark K.

January 10th, 2012
2:33 pm

You guys need to check out this list over at Coaches By The Numbers. This shows the level of talent teams have in regards to recruiting. When you customize the ranking to show coaches with 3 or more yrs experience, what do all the names above Mark Richt have in common? They all have a National Title. Given our talent, UGA should/needs to be next!

http://coachesbythenumbers.com/coach-rankings/?reportId=11&c2002=on&c2003=on&c2004=on&c2005=on&c2006=on&c2007=on&c2008=on&c2009=on&c2010=on&c2011=on&activeOnly=on&minimumExperience=3&conferenceSelect=All&onlyConferenceYears=on&customizeViewSubmitted=Update+Ranking

George Stein

January 10th, 2012
2:34 pm

I’m a Tech fan, but UGA has shown no real propensity for oversigning to the degree that Bama, Auburn, Arkansas, or LSU have. Florida and Vandy are the only other schools in that conference that don’t oversign.

Unless or until the rules change or UGA lowers their standards (they shouldn’t), they will continue to fight with one hand tied behind their back.

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:35 pm

“Honestly, I’m such a process-oriented guy that I don’t really think that way. I go day-to-day. I was so disappointed in the season we had last year. But this team exceeded my expectations.”

“The only thing I’m disappointed about is we didn’t win the SEC championship.”

This is the attitue shift that we need at UGA.

Ours is “we just try to win our division which will get us to the SECC game where we have a chance to get in the BCS maybe”.

We need to start NOW planning, scheming, and preparing a strategy to beat BAMA or LSU. Then all games in between next season will take care of themselves. We think the opposite. “Lets accept a level of play to take care of care of SC, Vandy, FLA, Tenn, GT … and then take our chances with those tough opponents when they come.

me

January 10th, 2012
2:36 pm

Can someone tell Carvell to wipe the crap off his chin. DOUCHEBAG

awful mc dougal

January 10th, 2012
2:36 pm

Not with Richt. The guy isn’t tough enough or ballsy enough to win a national championship. Will never happen.

NEVER SAY NEVER

January 10th, 2012
2:36 pm

I hate to say NEVER but……….as long as cmr is at uga i’m JUST SAYIN’………………….N-E-V-E-R!!!

old dog

January 10th, 2012
2:37 pm

When we decide to get an o-line that can run-block and does not get dominated by decent teams (Boise State/Michigan State for example) We may get a turn! The game starts at the line of scrimmage, folks! That is one rule that has not changed EVER! Having Marshall running hard will help,too. The lack of size (not heart) of some of our tailbacks as well as bad breaks for some of the others (and “Get-me-off-the-field-I-just-got-hit” for one of them) was not a help. In the SEC you have to run the ball to win! We cannot run-block and until we can we will be fighting on these blogs the same way next year!!!!!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 10th, 2012
2:38 pm

Jeff the better quote by Jenkins was how his family feared for his safety at Bama.

Also when will UGA win a MNC? Lets just try for this decade….

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:40 pm

example: Saban would have been absolutly livid after our loss to SC and performances in wins over Mississippi State and Vandy and Fla. Our coaches were satisfied with the progress and another step towards winning the EAST. Wont cut it.

BigTimeTECHFan

January 10th, 2012
2:40 pm

Got to work real hard in practice, so hard that those who want it more stand out.

Bama and UGA have same type of talent. But Saban’s culture is more of a you have to earn playing time, he works them hard and weeds out who for real and who’s not. Richt is a little different, he tell recruits if they come they will play regardless, then he’s such a nice guy he sticks to his word. Then when games are played he finds out who’s good or not

claytondawg

January 10th, 2012
2:40 pm

As long as Richt is at UGA, there will be NO National Title, nor wiill we be in the hunt for that covented honor.

Jerry

January 10th, 2012
2:41 pm

George, would you like some cheese with your whine? Alabama and Georgia and Tech all recruit from the same pool, only losers make excuses about their academics being more rigid. Alabama had 14 players already graduated as Saban has elevated that side as well. I guess Bama’s basketball team beating tech by 25 points was academic relate? Get a spine, son.

claytondawg

January 10th, 2012
2:41 pm

coveted…not “convented”

GTBob

January 10th, 2012
2:43 pm

Georgia has every opportunity next year – favorable schedule, lots of returning players, strong recruiting class.

Sounds just like this year.

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:43 pm

On the whole Jenkins announcement, that comment regarding safety was BS that just slipped out unintentionally. The real reason/comment was regarding the depth chart.

j

January 10th, 2012
2:44 pm

why don’t you work on beating a top 20 team first. It has been 2 years since that happened. Also, they don’t even play the 3 best teams in the SEC. They don’t deserve a shot becasue of that and a pathetic schedule.

The Braves, they...

January 10th, 2012
2:45 pm

Better question: When do the Jackets get turn at BCS?

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:45 pm

GT – Why dont you give us some tech insight?

Douglas

January 10th, 2012
2:45 pm

Agree with old dog 100%. We would have beaten Michigan State and possibly LSU if our Offensive line could block better.

Tide Rising

January 10th, 2012
2:46 pm

“They’ll have to wait for the down cycle in Tuscaloosa.”

Truer words were never spoken. As long as Saban is at Bama and Miles at LSU Georgia is going to stay 2nd tier status. They just aren’t in the heavyweight league. Really not even close. And if they are preseason top 10 its solely because their schedule is so pathetically weak. Just a paper bulldog really.

George Stein

January 10th, 2012
2:46 pm

Everyone does not recruit from the same pool, Jerry. Further, the issue with oversigning is that the margin of error in recruiting is greater for Bama. If it wasn’t, why would Saban – and other coaches – continue to do it?

BigTimeTECHFan

January 10th, 2012
2:47 pm

Better question: When do the Jackets get turn at BCS?

2012 I hope

Wally Butts

January 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

Since Saban entered the SEC UGA has finished #2, #3 and #4 in the final polls. With the luck that LSU and Fla had as far as getting into the BCS title game Richt could have easily already won a NC…

LOL

January 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

I honestly think college football lost a lot of credit this year and last. This title game was a joke, and anyone that thinks it wasn’t is a moron. LSU won the SEC, Bama didn’t and yet Bama is the champs? GTFO here. At the very least its a split. But whatever, just makes me less excited for next year, since I figure it will be some garbage that picks who the champ is anyway. I guess what I am saying is, who cares anymore? NFL or nothing for me now.

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

Would have beat MS, SC, and possibly LSU if we had not had 3 turnovers, 3 for pic 6’s, and terrible field position/points given up by special teams.

George Stein

January 10th, 2012
2:48 pm

Unlikely, BTTF.

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

In each of those games!

IL Jacket

January 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

BigTimeTECHFan, never rooted for the Chicago Cubs did you? Some teams just seem to have losing in their DNA.

LOL

January 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

I mean the arena league’s title is more respected than the BCS title now. How funny is that?

George Stein

January 10th, 2012
2:49 pm

The ratings were down 14% from last year, too, LOL. People knew this game was a farce.

dan q, no. 1 georgie fan

January 10th, 2012
2:50 pm

There’s georgie, thinking “I’m part of the ‘mighty’ SEC” (try that ‘mighty’ label on UF, UT, Vandy, Kentucky, brown bulldogs, old mississippi), “When’s it going to be ‘my turn?’, just like alabama?” Well, georgie… I knew alabama… alabama was friend of mine… georgie, you’re no alabama

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:50 pm

Big Time … ??

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:52 pm

Jeff would wouldnt put that post up for discussion because he wouldnt get the hits on such a GT blog. Post it on a UGA blog and he gets UGA hits plus all the GT fans come over for comments.

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

Hate it worked out this way but the best two teams played in the NC game. To bad they had to play in the regular season and someone had to loose.

Stinger2

January 10th, 2012
2:54 pm

jEFF: Being ranked in the top 10 (or anywhere) in preseason polls does not meany anything. What matters
is where UGA finishes after the games are played. I am a GT fan and I wish UGA wins every game they play except the Sat. after Thanksgiving. I believe they will win the SEC East and play Alabama, LSU or Arkansas for the SEC Championship. Then you can say its their turn for the NC.
Could happen this year but take it week by week and see what happens.

gbal

January 10th, 2012
2:55 pm

Thats the way it should work out in a 2 team playoff.. the best two teams play for it all. Best of a bad situation. Need to go to the 8 best in a playoff, but then no ACC team would have made it and we whould have whining there.

schmeckdawg

January 10th, 2012
2:56 pm

Douglas

January 10th, 2012
2:45 pm
Agree with old dog 100%. We would have beaten Michigan State and possibly LSU if our Offensive line could block better.

**************************************************************************************************************

No offense, but, you can’t put two dropped touchdown passes and a missed field goal in the FIRST QUARTER on the offensive line (SEC Championship Game). And you can’t put a missed 42 yard field goal in OT that would have won the bowl game for us on the offensive line. I get exactly what you are saying, but, in those two games, there was a little more to it.

Keep Hunkerin’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trojan

January 10th, 2012
2:57 pm

UGA’s time is coming soon. CMR may start oversigning every year, eventually it will pay off. Oversigning is good.

The Bear

January 10th, 2012
2:57 pm