What does UGA need to win a national championship?

 

BCS trophy.

BCS trophy.

Someone on the DawgPost Forum (free but registration required) asked a question this morning that I hear a lot whenever UGA fans start discussing Mark Richt’s program: What pieces do the Dogs need in order to win a national championship? 

With Mark Bradley looking at the chances of Richt ever winning a BCS title today, I thought this would be a good time to discuss what exactly Georgia is lacking in that regard. 

The first step, of course, is to win the SEC championship; without that, as the Dogs discovered in 2007, you don’t get to be part of the BCS championship conversation.

But beyond that? Among the early suggestions over at DawgPost were: luck, a more favorable schedule, media buzz that goes deeper than last year’s somewhat tentative preseason infatuation with the Stafford-Moreno team, and a dominant defense. As in the old maxim, “defense wins championships.”

All of those are valid parts of the formula, especially the last one. A breakout star offensive player definitely helps with the media buzz but is no guarantee of success unless the other factors are in place — as we saw with last year’s Dogs. There’s not much you can do about luck. Some teams are lucky (like the 2002 Dogs) and some aren’t (as in last year’s unusual run of injuries). This year, the Dogs face another brutal schedule, but the schedules for the next couple of years appear a lot more favorable. 

As for the defense, Richt and company seem to be addressing some needs with the 2010 recruiting class (especially defensive end), though they could still use some likely replacements for seniors Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens. 

So what do you think Georgia needs to contend for a national championship in, say, the next three years?

121 comments Add your comment

braveswin

July 30th, 2009
2:07 pm

Consistency through all 14 games is all that has been lacking. Ga has the talent to win every game they play. No, you can’t win them all, but you can win them all in one year

GatorAlum

July 30th, 2009
2:15 pm

I think UGA has not been getting the breaks other Schools (LSU, UF, OU) get. But defense wins championshiops. The last 5 BCS champions from the SEC (UT ‘98, LSU ‘03, UF ‘96, LSU ‘07, UF’ 08) all had KILLER defenses. That’s the first step.

B. Scott

July 30th, 2009
2:20 pm

Lucky in 2002? I hardly think so. 13-1 and can’t play for the National Championship? What’s lucky about that? A dropped pass cost us the Florida game or we would have been 14-0. You could say a dropped pass has nothing to do with luck, but again, I don’t think of the 2002 Dawgs as lucky.

GTDhoo

July 30th, 2009
2:23 pm

a triple option offense

Mikey

July 30th, 2009
2:23 pm

We need the killer defense as mentioned above.
We need killer special teams play.
We need to be able to score 6 in the red zone, not settle for 3.
We need turnover margin to be on the plus side.
We need lucky breaks.
We need little to no injuries.

Did I miss anything?

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
2:30 pm

We MUST have a CREATIVE DC.We got an OC that has LEARNED “on the job training”….maybe he is ready this season.We have GOT to hold our coaches and players accountable for POOR performances…LEADERSHIP!!!

BIGBOY

July 30th, 2009
2:30 pm

We are close right now..the only thing we need to do is continue to win ball games.We need a WHOLE team what I mean is we need great players on both Offense and Defense.For a while there has been a bit of a gap between our offensive and defensive talent.People like to talk about our recruiting classes by rankings and say “we have all these top rated classes” blah.blah but when you look at theses classes going back 4-5 years most of the studs are offensive guys.I have no problem with the coaching staff.. people can get on here all day and talk about Willie this..Willie that but UGA is 30-4 on the road with the BVG/WM defense as well.the only difference between the two is the quality of the players.You are right Bill…look at that 2010 class…somebody has finally got the message that we had better step up our recruiting on the defensive side of the ball!

mcdawg

July 30th, 2009
2:35 pm

in the richt era i think we had 3 teams that were good enough to win a National Championship but didn’t play consistient enough throughout season-in 2002 at the end of the season we were the best team in the country-Defense simply dominated and took over games but its a long season and every game counts

whatfor

July 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

UGA needs a “a more favorable schedule”? In most years they have had one – it’s funny how many dawgs are moaning about their “hard” schedule this year – and no doubt – this year is a tough one. But come-on, most years the schedule is mostly soft. UGA usually only has to “worry” (as in a tough game)about Florida and Auburn (Tennessee about 1 in every 4 years). And the way you DAWG fans berate GT (and I’m no fan either) and make fun of them – you can’t really hold them as “tough” (in your small dawg-like brains). In a typical season you may play Western Carolina, and a Troy (or MTSU, or UAB, Northern Mich, etc), and then the Vandy’s, Kenturkies, Sissy Carolina, UT (never a great team), Old Missy, and the occasional LSU. With that schedule – UGA should win at least 9/10 games a year; which is what should be expected of a “good” UGA team (though not elite – except in your minds). And then you can pat yourselves on the back for having a “good” season – “well, at least we won 9 games and went to a good bowl.” So – there you have it – if you really want to consider yourselves one of the “elites” (once again, in your minds) you need to play a “tough” schedule year end and year out – not once in 10 (or 20) years.

Dorsey Hill

July 30th, 2009
2:39 pm

To be at the level that we’ve been at and to get there we just need some breaks. There were a lot of close if’s 2002. Not only the dropped pass, but wasn’t that the year that Pollack picked a ball and handed it to Sean Jones and the TD was called back due to a non-existent lateral? Bogus call. Also VT gave UM a good game in the season finale and a VT win would have gotten us there. OSU also had to win a couple of games in the last minute to stay undefeated. In 2007, if UK could kick a FG vs. UT OR if Vandy can hold a big second half lead vs. UT we are favorites vs. LSU in the dome and I think we win. When UF and LSU have gotten there, they haven’t arrived undefeated and needed some breaks to get there. We just haven’t gotten those breaks.

The next question is, what do we have to do to run the table so luck doesn’t factor in? While it did happen to Auburn, generally speaking winning them all will get you in the game. What that would take is for us to seperate ourselves from the rest of the pack in terms of talent which is very, very hard to do in this conference. If the Kiffen experiment fails at UT and Spurrier still can’t sign a big time QB and if UF either loses Meyer or fails to effectively transition into a more of a pro-style offense, the East could become ours soon. I strongly feel that Aaron Murray will be a special type of player and I think we’ll get it done before he joins the NFL.

Robert

July 30th, 2009
2:40 pm

Firstly, fire our incompetent defensive coordinator.
Secondly, hire Sylvester Croom as our defensive coordinator.
Third, quit losing recruits like Mack Brown to other programs.

Tom

July 30th, 2009
2:40 pm

Hey, I’ve seen one of those crystal footballs in person. Now, where was that?……

ricardo

July 30th, 2009
2:48 pm

A Coach with football passion.

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
2:51 pm

Big Boy,
You are not watching the SAME games as everyone.How long have you been watching football?? If you THINK our DC is okay….what is your thoughts on ER &BVG?? A DC keeps his players FOCUSED…..If you told me we would score 42 points on GT and LOSE!! Give me a break!!

Monroe

July 30th, 2009
2:51 pm

saint simons must be slow today.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 30th, 2009
2:54 pm

Stop the finesse style of offense and defense. We need line play on both sides of the ball that can lineup and knock someone in the jaw. This is what happens when we get in the Red Zone. We are to cute for our on good.

Mean Machine in Red and Black

July 30th, 2009
2:57 pm

Saint Simons was grounded for staying up late watching the Battlestar Galactica marathon. He is in his mother’s basement finishing up his Clay Aiken 500 piece puzzle.

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
3:01 pm

Big Boy,
By the way WE had 2 WEEKS to prepare for GT!! And CMR takes the HEAT for not practicing tackling because of injuries. How does a football player FORGET to tackle??? Rennie Curren didn’t……

Anonymous

July 30th, 2009
3:03 pm

Bill,

In order to win the National Championship, UGA needs to beat Florida and win more games. Sheesh. Like you didn’t already know that.

rdawg

July 30th, 2009
3:05 pm

I agree B. Scott, if we go back to 2002 with the current persona of the SEC, I think the Dawgs win a national title. Case could be made for the 2005 team about being unlucky, with Shock going down. With Shockley in we beat UF and get into the title game in my opinion.

whatfor

July 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

To B. Scott and all you other Delusional Dawgs – B. Scott said “A dropped pass cost us the Florida game or we would have been 14-0.” Yea – you could also say – what if the kicker for Clemson had made that field goal (which was only a couple feet short). Also in that same game – what if the officials had called 2 block in the backs on Gibson’s 91-yard TD run in that game.
Also – in the South Carolina game the next week – what if the running back had not fumbled going into the end zone – Dawgs loss if he doesn’t.
What if in the Alabama game – the corner doesn’t slip – allowing UGA to be in a position for Bennitt to kick at 32 yard FG with seconds remaining? Or what – in that same game – would have been the difference if Brodie Croyle had not fumbled on the Dawgs 20 yard line?
How about the Auburn game – if Johnson doesn’t make that remarkable (yes – even I will admit that) 4th down catch from that desperation throw in the end-zone with one minute left in the game – it’s game over and Auburn wins.
In that same season (2002) against Tennessee – what if Milton doesn’t make that first down (if Tennessee had not called the time-out Richt would have punted) late in the game?? Tennessee would have still had to go down the field and score – but who knows.
MY POINT IN THIS IS – I am sick and tired of you Dawg fans blaming ONE play (a dropped pass by Patrick Pass) for your lost chance at a national title. ONE Play – as you can see from 3 of the games I mention above – does not make the season. If that is the case – you need to take your 1980 National Champ season away – after all – you could say it was “one play” that beat Florida – of which you would not have won the title.

Doggoneit

July 30th, 2009
3:15 pm

The only thing we NEED is a great game plan to beat the Gators…Enough said!

MiltonDawg

July 30th, 2009
3:15 pm

Defense, not making stupid penalties on a regular basis (i forgot what our avg was last year, esp the 15yd ones, those hurt), and keeping a healthy team!! WE NEED SOME SWAGGER. GATA!! GO DAWGS!!!

Dorsey Hill

July 30th, 2009
3:18 pm

Whatfor,
it was Terrence Edwards not Patrick.

Nick

July 30th, 2009
3:25 pm

whatfor – be careful, you’re making too much sense and using logic. they don’t take kindly to folks like you in Athens.

Saint Simons

July 30th, 2009
3:25 pm

uga can’t beat TECH!!!!!!!!

Drew-G-A

July 30th, 2009
3:27 pm

Special Teams and Defense, mostly just really scary Defense, and we will get one.

Nick

July 30th, 2009
3:28 pm

“UF either loses Meyer or fails to effectively transition into a more of a pro-style offense, the East could become ours soon”

wow. not sure where to start. Don’t hold your breath on any of those things happening.

Dorsey Hill

July 30th, 2009
3:31 pm

Nick, ask the people at bowling green and Utah if they believe meyer.

Bill E. Goat

July 30th, 2009
3:40 pm

Bowling Green and Utah—–enough said.

I bet you turn down promotions to the best job in the company with million dollar raises don’t you.

Hal

July 30th, 2009
3:46 pm

they need to get mean… nuff said. they just need to get mean

Dorsey Hill

July 30th, 2009
3:51 pm

Bill E. Goat,

The point is that he denied he was leaving and then left. He deliberatly lied. Does that mean he’s lying now? Can’t say but you can’t say it can’t happen.

real deal

July 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

The problem is that too much is expected out of UGA. Georgia is not a state like Texas or California. I am NOT saying we aren’t a big state for recruiting, I am just saying it is more appropriate to expect a USC or a Texas or a UF to be in the NC hunt every year. UGA has a solid program, but until fans and boosters realize UGA is not a school like those, they will continually crack under the pressure.

Bill E. Goat

July 30th, 2009
3:58 pm

Dorsey if your boss ask you if your interested in a job somewhere else are you going to tell him you are leaving before you ever secure that job?

I understand your point but using the Utah and Bowling Green example is not an accurate representation of if someone is a liar or not. It happens EVERYDAY in the business world and the sports world and I’m sure even by you at some point in your life. Doesn’t mean you can’t be trusted.

Ron Mexico

July 30th, 2009
4:00 pm

Robert–

Yeah get Sylvester Croom as your DC. He did great against Tech’s offense last year. 38 points. Of course that is better than Willie.

G8RB8

July 30th, 2009
4:03 pm

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

July 30th, 2009
4:05 pm

What does UGA need to win a championship? *Note: I am not saying UGA doesn’t have the things on my list, I’m just saying their needed to win the big one*

- Vocal Leadership from your players (which Joe Cox seems to have in spades, as does Jeff Owens)
- Discipline (There were moments in the Bama and UF games last year where turnovers were negated by senseless penalties)
- Attitude (You need attitude to win as long as it doesn’t become arrogance)
- Confidence (which we’ll get when we beat the ‘Pokes to start the year)
- Talent (which he have loads of)
- Coaching (another thing we have in spades)
- Luck (let’s face it, there were 3 UGA teams that could have competed for and won the BCS if given a chance)

And, last but not least:

-Patience (Richt is too good a coach who gets too much talent to go without a BCS trophy. The fans, boosters and PRESS need to give Richt the leeway to do his job).

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

July 30th, 2009
4:07 pm

Correction: “…THEY’RE…”

BBR5

July 30th, 2009
4:13 pm

UGA needs to beat Tech?? Ummmm, I think that’s EXACTLY what has happened 7 out of the last 8 years… and not by three measley points, doofus.

Long Dawg

July 30th, 2009
4:17 pm

Well, you need A level talent particularly at the skill positions (Aaron Murray, AJ Green, Marlon Brown, Orson Charles and the Samuels/King/Ealy combo on offense (we lose no starters off this year’s offensive line) and Branden Smith, Brandon Boykin, Rennie Curren, Garrison Smith, DeAngelo Tyson, TJ Stripling, Alex Ogletree, et.al on defense.
You need everyone to stay healthy, you need the coaches to get’em ready, you need a championship attitude and you need some luck.

Wouldn’t suprise me a bit if the Dawgs made a serious go of it in 2010 or 2011.

BurningRedBleedingBlack

July 30th, 2009
4:20 pm

We are heading in the right direction just chillax people! GOING FOR THE LONG HAUL!
GATA GO DAWGS!!

Ron Mexico

July 30th, 2009
4:22 pm

BBR5–
Yes UGA has won the last 7/8. But with the exception of the 51-7 debacle…the scores were mostly close. 3pts in 2006. 6pts in 2004. 7 pts in 2005.
And yes, to be Natl Champs UGA has to beat GT.
Careful with the doofus stuff.

GSUEAGLE98

July 30th, 2009
4:32 pm

I wish that fans would stop hoping that Meyer would leave Florida. That sounds like the kid who kept getting picked last. If you want to be the best, beat the best. I do not think that the players for Georgia or any other football team are hoping that Meyer leaves Florida. If that is taking place, then they need to get off the team. Dawg fans, have some pride in the program and the team. Remember they beat Florida the year before last and they will do it again. Please stop this “I hope Meyer leaves” nonsense.

Go Eagles!!!!!! Go Dawgs!!!!!!!!!!

Chuck Carswell

July 30th, 2009
4:32 pm

Consistency throughout every game… a take no prisoners attitude. If we could only bottle what we had in that Sugar Bowl vs. Hawaii… that game was an exercise in commitment and passion that could win any game we play.

BIGBOY

July 30th, 2009
4:33 pm

Jeff I have been a dawg fan since the 70’s probably longer than you have been on earth.As for BVG/CWM I’d say the only real difference between the two is the quality of the players they coached.

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
4:43 pm

The message is…..CMR HAS to hold his coaches accountable. When Coach Dooley called Coach Bowden about CMR he gave him the BEST in blessings but said he was too nice. Loyalty is a GOOD attribute, but you’ve got to
correct the problems on your staff. We are in the TOP 10 in recruiting,
every year….sooo we must not be coaching them UP????By the way GEORGIA is a HOTBED in recruting area……#5 in the country!

chiefdawg

July 30th, 2009
4:51 pm

For Florida to fall off the map.UGA will never beat UF.

49-10

July 30th, 2009
4:57 pm

a coach….the talent is there….just need a better coach

49-10

July 30th, 2009
5:00 pm

Jeff, I agree that the talent is there, but I have noticed a lot of GA guys leaving the state in this class! Do you think that will continue for the years to come or is it just because UGA is limited on what they can offer this year?

Jeff

July 30th, 2009
5:10 pm

49-10,
With these recruits,they want to play TODAY. Other BIG factor is who is in front of them. I think they know wherever they go the competion is there.So the Mack Brown deal, I can see him going to FLA. I hate it but that’s the way it is….we can’t get everyone in the state.Last year,there were over 250 DIVISION 1 recruits.