Is the Florida series Richt’s ultimate test?

Asked to name Georgia’s biggest SEC rivals, most fans quickly will say Florida first and Auburn second. Then maybe Tennessee, followed by South Carolina. Or should LSU rank above those two? What about Alabama? 

As rivalries go, the usual weak sisters of the SEC East (Kentucky and Vandy) and the SEC West teams we don’t play that often (Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State) probably wouldn’t be anyone’s pick.

But the fact is that as tight as the battle for the SEC East title is most years, every conference game is important. Not equally important, because if, say, Georgia and Florida wind up with the same record in the East but Florida beats Georgia head to head, they take the division. Still, it’s safe to say that even games against Vandy and Mississippi State are more important in terms of the Dogs’ SEC goals than the annual nonconference game against Georgia Tech. 

Does Mark Richt have to have a winning record against Florida to be considered UGA's greatest coach?

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So considering that, the fact that Mark Richt has a winning record in his eight years against every SEC team except the Gators is pretty impressive. He’s undefeated against Arkansas (4-0), Ole Miss (4-0) and Mississippi State (2-0). He’s 7-1 against Vandy and Kentucky, with the only losses coming during that 2006 midseason slump. Richt is 6-2 against South Carolina, 3-1 against Alabama, 5-3 against Tennessee and Auburn and 3-2 against LSU (with both losses to the Bengal Tigers coming during the 2003 season, the second being in the SEC Championship game). Only with the 2-6 record against Florida is the dean of SEC coaches on the negative side. And two of those losses came to national championship teams. 

Overall, Richt is 48-19 in SEC games, with a 27-13 record against SEC East teams and 21-6 against the SEC West. (His nonconference record, of course, is a superlative 34-3).

So here’s today’s question: If Richt were to stay at UGA for many years and continue to have a winning record against every SEC team except Florida, would you rank him as the Dogs’ greatest coach? Or is a winning record against the Gators a prerequisite for achieving that distinction? Feel free to comment, vote in the poll or both.

143 comments Add your comment

Jimmy in Gainesville

July 27th, 2009
7:09 am

I’d be willing to lose them all to beat the gators. I am truly a Gator HATER. It’s time to whip up on Florida. I think in my mind the overall success with the Dawgs is to win at Florida. I still feel Jacksonville has a lot to do with this record. It’s become a Florida home game and it’s time to do something about it. It would be a different game in Athens every other year. You can’t run without the horses and Florida always seems to have the horses. CMR needs to do whatever necessary to beat Florida. I’d let it all hang out in the Florida game … go for it every time. Yep, Florida is the way I judge a season … the KY, Vanderbilts and SC’s are good … but beating Florida is the top.

Dawgingermany

July 27th, 2009
7:16 am

Gotta beat the gators to win a nc. Gotta win a nc or two to be the best ever. So, yeah gotta beat Florida.

saint simons

July 27th, 2009
7:22 am

((((( 45 42 ))))) hahahahahahahaha

god and greyhound

July 27th, 2009
7:25 am

Rickt gone after 3iar to tech in 2010

DawgsWin

July 27th, 2009
7:32 am

I hate florida more than any other school and their obnoxious fans drive me to drink! Richt needs to get better players and coaches and figure a way to beat them more. Getting blown out by florida is embarrassing. They need to move the game to Athens every other year to give Ga a better chance to win!

Peephole 2009 World Tour

July 27th, 2009
7:41 am

careful where you do your butt crunches bill king

Hungry Dawg

July 27th, 2009
7:44 am

Beating UF is critical and the game being in Jacksonville is a non-issue. Before Spurrier took over at UF and UGA suffered through the Goff and Donnan years we owned the Gators in Jacksonville. Richt is doing a great job of recruiting with top 10 classes each year which means that we are on par with UF talent wise. Up until last years blow out against the Dawgs in Jax every losing game during the Richt years has been a close one with the Dawgs losing by a touch down or less. If it hadn’t been for Shockly being hurt for the UF game his one year as starter we would have won that game and probably played for the NC.

Also Saint Simpleton should remember that the Jackets are 1-7 against Richt, so enjoy it while you can as the Dawgs are about to run off another 7 wins against GT and Paul Johnson will soon be moving on to greener pastures. hahahahahahahaha!!!!

EverGator

July 27th, 2009
7:58 am

Hey, “Dawgswin”…Florida did beat Georgia in Athens, so it really doesnt matter where the game is played, but how it is played…

Ali Akbar Allah

July 27th, 2009
8:05 am

Don’t forget that in 7 years he will have a losing record against Tech.

Ali Akbar Allah

July 27th, 2009
8:05 am

Enter your comments here

Top Dawg

July 27th, 2009
8:17 am

While Coach Dooley was coaching UGA, Florida was nowhere as near as good as they are now. That needs to be taken into account when comparing the relative coaching skills of these two UGA greats.

who is asher allen?

July 27th, 2009
8:23 am

Doolie was a fraud. without hershal he was basically jim donnan

FloridaAlum

July 27th, 2009
8:24 am

Florida wins mainly because of Florida High School talent and superior recruiting. Georgia (Dooley) dominated Florida when I went there (77 – 81) so it stands to reason that in order to compare with Vince one must perform like Vince (beat Florida). Not all Florida fans are obnoxious.

David

July 27th, 2009
8:25 am

Richt’s resume is impressive on its face. You can make numbers say what you want in a lot of cases. Some of the greatest coaching names in College Football…Paterno, Bowden, etc. have coached over 30 years in the same place to have one or maybe two National Titles.

Having a winning record overall against the Gators isn’t what its about. It’s beating them when you have the overall talent and it is capturing the elusive National Crown.

Regardless, I wouldn’t trade Richt for anyone else. He has built Georgia’s brand the right way and given the opportunity, he is in it for the LONG HAUL.

Jim morrison

July 27th, 2009
8:26 am

Talk about obnoxious fans, try looking in your own backyard.

Yes, dawg fans I’m calling you out. Bunch of moaners about the good ole days (1980). Give me a break! Until UGA wins a NC, shut it up!

Florida will continue to own GA.

Enough Said!

bigdawg01

July 27th, 2009
8:27 am

He has to beat FL, period. Tech is second. Agree with the earlier post. We could lose every game but beat FL.

FloridaAlum

July 27th, 2009
8:28 am

I agree with David but would like to add that you can’t win the NC without winning in Jax.

coach joe

July 27th, 2009
8:29 am

no one can touch the gators

GatorMan

July 27th, 2009
8:31 am

Hey Jimmy; It has become a home game every year because of your whining team.

DawginLex

July 27th, 2009
8:32 am

1.) don’t move the game from Jville
2.) richt is already the best coach UGA has ever had
3.) things go in cycles, we owned florida and they had zero football tradition until SOS came along

BG

July 27th, 2009
8:33 am

This years schedule is a beast. I just hope we can win a majority of our games this year. I hope UF falls into the W column.

Cuz

July 27th, 2009
8:33 am

To be the best you have to beat the best. Right now the best is Florida. Coach Richt has to beat them consistently or like an Auburn series before it swung our way, every other year. And for God’s sake quit whining about the game in JAX helping the other team cause it is in their state. With that line of thinking we should be undefeated in the GA Dome. I think we are close to fifty-fifty.

What do you mean UF was know where near as good back then. They had Charley Pell and Galen Hall as head coaches. When we played the games most of the time we were ranked closely. This is what helped make it a big sell on TV along with the off campus site and hot drunk bleached blondes.

god

July 27th, 2009
8:34 am

Vince dooley is so overrated. take out the herschel years and he was a 7/8 win type coach

Cuz

July 27th, 2009
8:35 am

Jim Morrison, go soak in a tub.

GatorMan

July 27th, 2009
8:36 am

Vince was over rated and it was because of Hershel and he did own Florida. If Richt keeps his losing record against the Gators with continuted top 5 recruiting classes he will be another Ray Goff. There are only 2 games that can keep or loose a UGA coaches job; Tech and the Gators.

Hal

July 27th, 2009
8:37 am

some of you idiot turn so juvenile on here behind the veil of anonymity. UGA ‘er Mark RIcht having a winning record against UF is going to be a tall order to fill at this point and yes of the 6 losses I could count 4 that easily could have gone our way so now what? We have to “Finish the Drill” with Florida the same way we have all other 10 SEC teams. Get over the brain cramp and play ball. You can’t say we just need to be competitive, we have been. Its time to start winning and beating the better UF teams. Ric Flair used to say, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man!” We just have to win.

Having said that, anyone realize that if we win this year we’ve split the last 6? Also, if you wanna know where the real balance of power in this rivalry is… check the offweek for each team historically. UF had it 15 years off while we played.

Clay

July 27th, 2009
8:37 am

UF may be the most important game; but, to me, Auburn and Ga Tech are the games I really want to win the most for personal reasons. Also, Georgia and Florida started playing football before 1990. UGA still has a winning record in the series. Vince Dooley beat Florida 17 times. In the last 5 years, the series record is UF up 3-2. Recent history has not been as dominant as the 19 year record suggests.

tim

July 27th, 2009
8:37 am

I can’t believe someone called Vince Dooley a fraud…..just like a puppy fan who knows absolutely nothing about uga football….Dooley was a great coach and a great man…be ashamed for your crass statement–that being said I’m a Gator and I despise the sorry ass puppies. i can’t wait until holloween when the hational champions will once again show the football world that we own you ladies, and we will whip your weak butts by at least 24 maybe more. you’ll wish for a great coach like Vince because the milk toast guy that’s there now couldn’t carry Dooley’s clipboard.

Bill King

July 27th, 2009
8:42 am

Once again I think we need to point out to those folks who dismiss Dooley as an “eight win coach” that in most of those years the regular season was only 10 games.

Herschel Talker

July 27th, 2009
8:49 am

Ali Akbar Allah smells

Sid

July 27th, 2009
8:50 am

Hey:

Check other schools’records against UF since(Sub)urban Meyer has been at UF before we get too critical of CMR.

1eyedJack

July 27th, 2009
8:52 am

GA is so overrated, without Hershel GA is another South Carolina.

But CMR is is even more overrated. First he has no class, rushing the field after a touchdown and black jerseys majically appearing are about as high school as you get. He has no institutional control, his players consistently are getting arrested and he just makes excuses (makes sense because he learned from Bobby). And he is OK with finishing second or third every year. He doesn’t have that winning attitude. Sure it is great that he is a nice guy, but Meyer and Tebow are 2 of the nicest guys on earth but they are winners also. CMR and GA are a bunch of losers.

Okefenokee Dawg

July 27th, 2009
8:53 am

It is CMR’s biggest game, and if he doesn’t start winning that game he will be gone.

Brad in Jasper

July 27th, 2009
8:53 am

Hi all. It’s a shame UGA, UF, Bama, GT , etc. fans have such bad representation on these blogs. We could have some real football discussion if we could weed out the baloney. I am a realistic UGA alum who enjoys reading the posts of Atlanta Gator and a few others who have something substantive to say on here. Some of my fellow Dawg fans truly amaze me sometimes.

Back to the subject – Things do go in cycles. There was a time when GT owned the SEC and UF football was an afterthought. UF has had a tremendous run with its entire athletic program this decade, and I tip my hat to them for it. I think once Tebow’s leadership is gone, they will still be darned good but maybe a little more beatable on the gridiron. I think UGA will be better as a whole without the team’s reliance on star talent. I’ll take a blue-collar QB and a scrappy D anyday over some cover boys. It got Bama pretty far last year, maybe even farther in the near future.

As for CMR, I’ll take him any day of the week. Has he frustrated me in the past? Many times. Would I want his job, and could I do it better? Why hell no. I think his record that Bill mentioned in the article speaks for itself. The occasional SEC titles will come our way, and if the mythical NC (American Football Idol/ESPN Championship) never comes Richt’s way, I will still be grateful for the work he has done here. With that being said, I still want to beat those Gators!! Go Dawgs.

Neutral

July 27th, 2009
8:56 am

I haved lived in Atlanta and Tampa and can honestly say that Georgia fans are just as obnoxious as Florida fans. But what makes me laugh the most is the constant complaining about the Jax game. Really? The stadium is split 50/50. WHere is the advantage for Florida? Florida takes an hour and a half bus ride. Georgia flys 40 minutes directly from Athens. And they get there on Thursday. So there is no advantage. Stop crying and just call a spade a spade. Georgia dominated at one point. Florida dominated for the last 15 or so years. It seems to be balancing back out here over the last few years. Richt will win. But Georgia fans will never stop crying about something.

god and greyhound

July 27th, 2009
9:01 am

Only mutt fans would be delusional enough to think they could lose a #1 qb and a franchise rb and actually think theyd be better lol

GTDog

July 27th, 2009
9:03 am

I would say that right now, Richt and UGA are going to be measured against UF. As previously noted, UF is currently THE standard by which all programs are being measured. Today, the path to SEC and National titles runs through Gainesville (or JAX for us). That will change at some point, but for now the Gators have to be the most important game on the schedule, ASSUMING the the Dogs take care of business the rest of the season.

We’re fortunate to have UF in our division; what doesn’t kill ya only makes ya stronger…

gatorman770

July 27th, 2009
9:04 am

I hate the UGA curdawgs more than any other school and their obnoxious delusional fans drive me to drink. That said I’ve been around living for the fall and college football, you curs are lucky to have Richt. Vince is over rated due to the 1980 NC season. Take away Hershel Walker and Vince is just the “King of Whine” (I’d take Bobby Dodd over him anytime). Compare the first 10 season records of Richt and Dooley. When Richt soon leaves and goes to FSU or Miami you’ll wish you had been more appreciative!

mightyKC

July 27th, 2009
9:06 am

DawginLex
3.) things go in cycles, we owned florida and they had zero football tradition until SOS came along

i love how dawg fans don’t recognize the converse of this…since SOS came along, UGA has also been average. two SEC championships in 20 years? big deal…we’ll have more NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS in the same time. get in line w/ all of the other pretenders in this league. And nobody cares about how good you were in 1959. Ga Tech won more SEC titles from 1939 to 1952 then you losers did, and i don’t hear them talking about it (although maybe they should).

GTDog

July 27th, 2009
9:06 am

Oh, and it could be worse! Do you really want your program’s success judged by a game vs. UF, or a game vs., say…NC State or some other “good” program (I know, I know, I’ll hear from the NC State fans, but I had to pick somebody for a comaprison)?

Pago Flyer

July 27th, 2009
9:11 am

You DAWGS should give CMR two more years, then bring in the guy from U of MICH!

The2Davids

July 27th, 2009
9:12 am

Better not overlook the Gators this year.

Mac

July 27th, 2009
9:17 am

He’s got the personnel to match up with them, so yeah, he’s got to beat them half the time at least.

oldbird

July 27th, 2009
9:20 am

Remember that when Dooley was coaching the dawgs, Florida had exactly as many conference titles as Vandy. Zero. I am a huge fan of Dooley, but the conference overall is just better.

gbal

July 27th, 2009
9:21 am

VD vs. MR

Winning % –

VD overall 72%
VD w/out Hershel

superDawg

July 27th, 2009
9:24 am

Yes UGA needs to get a handle on UF.That one game has set the tone in the SEC race almost every year.Coach Richt has done a great job at UGA bringing in exceptional talant, it is time for the D to step up and be the hero’s.Championships are won that way.

Jason

July 27th, 2009
9:26 am

Someone mentioned the (((((45 42))))). Really? You won for the first time in how many years? I’ll give Tech credit–they owned us in the 3rd quarter. But really, 7 years in a row and you finally squeak one out. It’s about time–now, go fix the traffic situation in Atlanta.

Now–The UF-UGA should be a home-away series. Why not? What’s this nonsense of Jacksonville? A neutral site–please…play it in Alabama or something (a different state).

As far as the rivalry goes: Tech is #1, followed by #2 Forida.

Losing to an engineering school is an embarrassment. Losing to Florida stinks but is coming to predictable. Come on Willie…get your defense ready.

Ringleader

July 27th, 2009
9:27 am

Those of you who question Coach Dooley being a great coach, you were never there for a Bloody Tuesday practice. That is exactly what happened to the Dogs in 2008, no tough practice. You have to put the No 1 offense against the No 1 defense and let them have it out. Dooley also lost one game that the Dogs were supposed to win, to Virginia, I think in 76. You have to always win the games you are heavily favored in, and also upset some when you are an underdog to be a great coach. Richt has lost two he was supposed to win, Boston College and Vanderbilt.

And Saint Simons, go sit in the corner and write Reggie Ball and Charlie Dudish 1,000 times. Then you may come back and participate.

Go Dogs…..

Another Dawg

July 27th, 2009
9:27 am

Ugh since when is LSU’s mascot the “Bengal Tigers”? LSU Tigers, Fighting Tigers, or Bayou Bengals. Are there any standards left?

superDawg

July 27th, 2009
9:30 am

mightyKC tek brings up what ever they when ever they can because it’s not much.