Stoking the fires of offseason optimism among Dogs fans

Mark Richt's new slogan is to the point. (Associated Press)

Mark Richt's new slogan is to the point. (Associated Press)

It’s that time of year when Georgia fans examine every comment Mark Richt makes for clues to what we can expect on the field this fall. So far this spring, Richt has pretty much stayed on an even keel, as he usually does, although he has sounded optimistic enough to have stoked expectations up a notch or so among many in the Bulldog Nation.

Despite all the questions about an inexperienced quarterback and revamped defense, I’m hearing more and more fans saying they expect the Dogs to achieve 10 wins this season, at the very least.

How realistic that is, we can’t really say until we see the team perform.

So we look for clues from Richt. So far I like what I’m hearing for the most part, including some comments he made in a recent interview with Fox Sports South.

Asked whether tight end Orson Charles can take pressure off A.J. Green on the outside just as well as any secondary receiver, Richt said flatly, “He can. In our base set — two receivers and a tight end — he is basically on the same side of the field as A.J. So if they choose to double A.J., there’s no way they can also double the tight end right next to him, so Orson — and Aron White for that matter — really benefited from the double teams that A.J. was getting. Now that Orson has established himself in our TE position, people are going to have to think twice about leaving a linebacker on these guys.”

On the subject of which defensive players are most likely to thrive in the new 3-4 scheme, Richt said Justin Houston is “going to benefit from it. I think he’s going to be put into a position to make a lot of plays for us. On the other side, opposite him is Cornelius Washington. Cornelius is a guy who is tailor-made for this defense as it will allow him to become more of a playmaker.  Quite frankly, he’s matured to the point physically and mentally where this should be a big year for him whether we had changed our defensive scheme or not.”

When asked whether there’s a new slogan like “Finish the drill” to sum up 2010 Georgia football, Richt put the emphasis in the right place by answering, “Win the turnover margin.”

Not as colorful perhaps, but very much to the point.

And for us old-school fans there was this summation of how the players are approaching the season: “I would just say that our guys are looking forward to playing hard and getting after people, really going back to the Vince Dooley and Erk Russell days, we just want to get after people. I think that’s going to be an attitude that this team is really going to embrace.”

GATA, in other words.

Some might portray this as just offseason pandering to what the fans want to hear, but everything we know about Todd Grantham points toward a more aggressive style of play on defense. And aside from Aaron Murray, the Dogs will have a veteran offense.

I think the optimism is well-founded. What about you?

134 comments Add your comment


June 3rd, 2010
3:44 am

10 wins is Optimistic Bill King ?

14-game seasons nowadays and you say it is Optimistic for UGA to achieve 10 wins.


Or, did you expect us to go to The SEC Championship Game and end up 10-4.

That is what 10 wins is Optimistic for 2010, means Bill King.

You say Bill King that 10 wins is Optimistic.

That means then at least 3 losses from this group : South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia tek.

1. Louisiana is a win.

2. Mississippi State is a win.

3. Colorado is a win.

4. Tennessee is a win.

5. Vandie is a win.

6. Kentucky is a win.

7. Idaho State is a win.

8. Bowl Game is surely a win against a lesser team if we only have 10 wins.

South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia tek.

You are saying Bill King that it is Optimistic that UGA will win 2 of these 5 games.

Pick your 3 losses from these 5 teams, and tell me this is a great year ?

This assumes we do not lose to a non Top 25 Final AP Poll team, as well, since we have lost 8 such in the 9 years so far.

If South Carolina is one of the 3 losses you are stating Bill King, then UGA will not be ranked in the Top 25, since we are holding onto to a thread now to be in the Top 25 to start with.

It also gives us a losing record vs The SEC East over then the last 5 years at 10-11.

Arkansas plays UGA and Alabama in weeks 3 and 4, so Arkansas is likely not going to be ranked after those 2 either.

South Carolina really isn’t ranked in the Top 25 now.

Auburn is not ranked.

Georgia tek is ranked, but they are expected to do poorly, losing more this season than last season.

Florida is not supposed to be worse than Top 5 in the nation, but reading the Glory Glory posts, 1 would think anyone could beat Florida. I doubt that. Really, Florida is the only real team on the schedule. Outside chance Georgia tek might be considered reasonable with their usual ACC junk schedule of nobody teams. If we lose to either one of those 2 teams, we have NOT had a great season, no matter what else we do accomplish.

If he is not injured by then, I expect Aaron Murray to be ready to play by the Georgia tek game. Florida is another matter all together.

The weird point is that I agree with you here Bill King that 10-3 is Optimistic and 9-4 worst case.

South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia tek – LOSE 3 OF THESE.

You are going to be hard-pressed to find anyone who says UGA is great if we lose 3 of those. 10 wins is not in 2010 considered great. 10 wins is what we have been doing. # 19 in the nation for the last 4 years at 38-14.

10 wins will get us back to # 19 in the nation for 2010. That presupposes we are not in the SEC Championship Game (or lose our 4th game in it.)

10 wins presupposes we lose 3 of these South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia tek.

I’d sure like to get that Running Back from Plant HS in Tampa Florida James Wilder, Senior, whose dad was All-Pro Running Back with Tampa Bay Bucs.

Our season could boil down to Caleb King. If Caleb King can play every game and run for nearly a 100 yards, especially in these 5 games : South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia tek.


June 3rd, 2010
4:07 am

Bryan G

You cannot make those comments in here. If you do, you are a Georgia tek fan.

It is their only mantra.

Like if you say we haven’t had good coaching staff on Coach Richt’s offense, defense and special teams in the 9 years so far. Say that, and you are a Georgia tek fan.

Question what has Logan Gray done. And, you are Georgia tek fan.

Question Vance Cuff’s speed and list all the players who burned his butt, and the list is long. And, you are a Georgia tek fan.

Question how good we are before we beat South Carolina, and you got it, you are a Georgia tek fan.

There is the little clique of fans who believe you can only say positive stuff.


(Then, they tell you want is Optimistic and it is 10 wins is Optimistic they say, which means 3 losses out of South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Auburn and Georgia tek.)

There hasn’t been any poster in here to have the guts to go out and say what our record will be when the season is over, except for Bill King. And, he says 10 wins is Optimistic. That is 10-3 in a 14-game season with NO SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCE for the 5th consecutive season and counting.

This season will NOT complete the best 10-year run in UGA history, since already I have shown you 21 losses nine years from 1940-1948 and 21 losses nine years from 1980-1988.

We already have 27 losses 2001-2009. We have 6 more losses than both of those already and both of those have a consensus national championship too.

hi there

June 3rd, 2010
5:58 am

Hey BuLLdawg. Here is an accurate WHOLE record. Nothing like the pick and choose stats you use..

under Richt

He is 24-7 against the SEC West.

He is 28-16 against the SEC East.

He is 38-4 against nonconference opponents.

He is 8-1 against Georgia Tech.

He won four of his first five games against Tennessee, but has lost three of the last four against the Vols since then.

He was born the same year as Chuck D of Public Enemy.

Ranks third in winning percentage among active college coaches that have coached for at least five years, now that Pete Carroll left USC for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

He is 90-27, trailing only Urban Meyer (96-18) and Bob Stoops (117-29).\\yeah he is pretty damn good

Mark Richt is one of only six coaches to win two SEC football championships in their first five years coaching. He is also one of only five head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons

Coach Richt’s Red and Black outfits have never posted a losing record in conference play and six of his last eight squads have finished 6-2 or better in regular-season SEC contests.

Mark Richt’s overall success in Southeastern Conference action—including two SEC titles, three conference championship game appearances, and four finishes of no worse than tied for first place in the East, with no losing records in the process—is without parallel in Georgia football history.

Ere anyone attempts to argue that Coach Richt’s superb out-of-conference ledger is the product of schedules stacked with the likes of

Northwestern State,

Western Kentucky,

Tennessee Tech, and

Hawaii in the 2008 Sugar Bowl,

I should hasten to point out that he is 21-4 against

Arizona State,

Boise State,

Boston College,



Florida State,

Georgia Tech,

Michigan State,

Oklahoma State,


Texas A&M,

Virginia Tech,

West Virginia, and


Even if we factor out Division I-AA teams, Sun Belt squads, and similar schedule fodder, Coach Richt is .840 against teams from automatic BCS-qualifying conferences other than the SEC. (Yes, I’m going ahead and counting the Broncos in that category because the Mountain West will get a guaranteed bid as soon as Boise State is invited to join.)

There are those in Bulldog Nation who would like to see Mark Richt run out of town on a rail. Such people should be turned over to the custody of Mike Leach, in the hope that he will treat their obvious head trauma the way he treated Adam James’s
The Georgia Bulldogs; The 15th
Most Prestigious College Football Program in the Nation

The University of Georgia began their football history 116 years ago in 1892. Since that time, the Bulldogs have played 1,174 games and have compiled an overall record of 731-389-54; the third best Southeastern Conference (SEC) record behind Alabama and Tennessee.

The Dogs have won twelve SEC titles and two national championships in their storied history: a shared title in 1942 and a consensus national championship in 1980. The football program has produced two Heisman Trophy winners (Frank Sinkwich, 1942, and Herschel Walker, 1982) and is the only college football program in the nation to hold the distinction of having three graduates become Super Bowl MVPs (Jake Scott, 1972, Terrell Davis, 1998, and Hines Ward, 2005).

Georgia holds the all-time series lead against the following teams from the SEC: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.

The Dogs also own the all-time series lead against non-conference and former SEC rival Georgia Tech winning 15 of the last 20 contests.

Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee each own the all-time series lead against the Dogs. However, the Dogs have closed the gap on Alabama and LSU by winning 3 of the last 4. And the Dogs have owned Auburn as of late winning 4 out of the last 5! On the flip side, the Bulldogs have not faired well against Tennessee winning only 2 of the last 5.

Under the leadership of current head coach Mark Richt, the Bulldogs have finished #3 and #2 in the nation (2002, 2007), have recruited a top ten class (according to Rivals) 8 out of Richt’s 9 seasons at Georgia (the nation’s longest active streak until this year), won two SEC Championships (2002, 2005), three SEC Eastern Division titles, and tied for another. Coach Richt’s 90-27 record is sixth best in the country in winning percentage among active coaches (.769). He was named SEC Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2005. His record against non-conference teams is 39-4 and his teams are 33-6 when playing in an opponent’s home stadium. He is one of only nine head coaches in Division I-A history to record 60 or more wins in his first six season and 70 or more wins in his first seven seasons. He’s one of only six coaches in history to win two SEC championships in his first five years, and one of only five head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons (2002-05). In bowl games during his tenure, he has gone 7-2, with three Sugar Bowl appearances and two Sugar Bowl victories. Fifty-four of Richt’s players have been chosen in the NFL draft over the last nine years, including eight chosen in the 2002 NFL draft–the most Georgia players ever selected in a single year. He also produced two 1st round picks in the 2009 draft in which Matthew Stafford was selected #1 overall.

“Be worthy as you run upon this hallowed sod,
For you have dared to tread where champions have trod.”
number 2 USC lost to unranked UCLA Dec 2nd 2006
number 4 Fla won the SECCG on Dec 2nd 2006
number 2 OSU didnt lose to Penn St in 2002
Number 3 UGA won the SEC title game in 2002
Fla advanced based on USC losing…UGA didnt based on OSU not losing
remind me again how Meyer made USC loss.
without USC losing Fla would have played in the Sugar same as UGA in 2002

hi there

June 3rd, 2010
6:01 am

UGA last 200 recruits (most still playing)
5 Star = 9 or 04.5 %
4 Star = 105 or 52.5 %
3 Star = 79 or 39.5 %
2 Star = 7 or 03.5 %
1 Star = 3 or 01.5 %

hi there

June 3rd, 2010
6:02 am

Over Rich’s first nine years, Georgia finished outside Rivals’ Top 10 only once. A year-by-year look:

• 2001: Sixteenth nationally, third in the SEC.
• 2002: Third in the nation, second in the SEC.
• 2003: Sixth in the nation, third in the SEC.
• 2004: Sixth in the nation, second in the SEC.
• 2005: Tenth in the nation, second in the SEC.
• 2006: Fourth in the nation, second in the SEC.
• 2007: Ninth in the nation, sixth in the SEC.
• 2008: Seventh in the nation, third in the SEC.
• 2009: Sixth in the nation, third in the SEC.

hi there

June 3rd, 2010
6:03 am

BuLLdawg is and always will be a moron


June 3rd, 2010
6:26 am

10-10 vs SEC East last 4 years

LOSING record over 5 yrs East if loss South Carolina game 2

no appearance in SEC Championship Game since 2005

2-7 vs Florida

# 19 nation the last 4 yrs won / loss at 38-14

no offensive recruits signed state of Georgia 2010

39 arrested / suspended of 160 since Feb 2007, 3 yrs

Mobile Press-Register, AJC, David Hale, Orlando Sentinel

CBS Sports, Paul Finebaum, AD UGA say NOT SATISFACTORY.

14 losses last 4 years

21 fumbles per yr avg last 4 yrs

14 interceptions per yr avg last 4 yrs

# 96 NCAA Penalties avg last 4 yrs

# 9 SEC Football Graduation Rate

no national championship

beat no Top 10 Final AP Poll team in any bowl game 9 yrs

lost to 8 teams not ranked Top 25 Final AP Poll 9 yrs

beat 3 teams Top 10 Final AP Poll 9 yrs

lost to 8 teams Top 10 Final AP Poll 9 yrs

Then there is YOU who says we have been GREAT, instead.

Let me think. Which is true ?

Everything in this post is true.


June 3rd, 2010
6:30 am

Lindy’s ranks UGA #22, has little positive to say other than a veteran line, kickers, and AJ, and says it will be an 8 game season. I think a lot of folks are underestimating some of the other players on the team. If I were a UGA player, I would be highly insulted. I guess we will find out if they are man enough.


June 3rd, 2010
6:35 am

BTW BuLLfrawg,

Lindy’s also list the winningest active coaches with a minimum of five years in (including lower level 4 years schools). Richt is #3 on that list. So unless you want to hire Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops, I think we should keep what we got.


June 3rd, 2010
6:40 am

I guess we will

I have only seen UGA ranked at # 22 by any poll.

Lose game 2, not only are we LOSING RECORD over last 5 years vs SEC East

but, we also are NOT RANKED in any Top 25.

It will also be loss # 9 in Coach Richt Era to not Top 25 team, unless South Carolina goes on to be ranked in the Top 25 Final AP Poll.

They might.

Florida might be ranked.

Georgia tek might be ranked.

Hard-pressed to say we have ANY OPPORTUNITY to BEAT a Top 25 Final AP Poll team.

We have beat 4-loss Florida as Top 25 Final AP Poll team.

It is the ONLY win over Top 25 Final AP Poll SEC East team in last 4 years.

1-5 vs Top 25 Final AP Poll SEC East the last 4 years

5 more losses to SEC East teams NOT RANKED Top 25 Final AP Poll last 4 years

How much respect do we deserve ?


June 3rd, 2010
6:41 am

I want Coach Richt.

What I don’t want are ANY and ALL of his horrible coaching staff all 9 years


June 3rd, 2010
6:51 am

Hi there,

I am actually going to side with BuLLfrawg in that we don’t want our team to be number three in the SEC in anything. While I am a Richt fan, no one should settle for mediocrity. Everyone should only be happy with the best and never content. If you read quotes from the Bama players, that is what you will hear. Cuff running a second 40 to get a better time, the best time, that is the right attitude.


June 3rd, 2010
6:55 am

We are 3rd best in The SEC East the last 4 years

How can we be 3rd best in The SEC the last 4 years ?

Old Dawg

June 3rd, 2010
9:03 am

I’m guardedly optimistic. If Murray performs well so will the Dawgs. Bill, thanks for continuing to develop creative ways to stoke our passion throughout the off-season.


June 3rd, 2010
9:41 am

clearly bulldawg’s agenda is for Derek Dooley to come to Athens to coach.

DD is coming to Athens but only to get whipped.

Richt ain’t going anywhere and bobo is going to prove you wrong and Grantham and Lakatos are actually going to coach these kids and teach them skills.

Dawg Whisperer

June 3rd, 2010
9:42 am

Lewis Grizzard was accoustomed to saying that “Delta is ready when you are” when he had enough of Yankee crticisms or more recommendations about how we should do things here in the South. Might I say the same applies to Gator fans. You are welcome (because we can’t stop you) to visit our Dawg blogs but all your criticisms and efforts to dampen Dawg enthusiasm/predictions is like peeing in the wind. You’re not going to change the way others think and we are not inviting you to do so. Don’t think for a minute that you are going to influence the way that a fan base thinks and we don’t care what your opinion is about UGA football. Some of you guys really need a hobby other than trolling UGA blogs. Honestly, I know writing this is a waste of my time but I feel better. I am not want to criticize so I do hope all you Gator fans will continue to visit our blogs.


June 3rd, 2010
9:49 am

uga pretty much dominated that okla st game from the defensive side of the game anyways. on offense the timing was off and if not for a really sick qb would have won that game as uga was the better team. most teams start off with a real cupcake and have time to work out the kinks but UGA couldnt over come the mistakes or get the timing down on offense to pull out the victory. okl st scored on a great catch by dez at the end of the half and dez started of the 2nd half on a great kickoff return that set up the 15 yard or less TD..that was pretty much it. UGA could of been 10-2 last year with the two losses against tenn and fla, if not for a blown call by a ref and a fumble by a trye freshman on the goalline of the ky game. so with the schedule being easier this year and UGA being the more experienced team most games this year, i say UGA will only lose 1 or maybe 2 tey could easly go undefeated aswell. they will be better than FLA as UGA will have the upperhand this year with more experience on both sides of the ball. i think UGA young talented players grew up a ton last year having to play early and now will reap the benefits as they should be better than most teams they play this year. much like David green first year with UGA. UGA has the talent and the coaching and now have the experience in which they have been lacking these past two years.


June 3rd, 2010
9:53 am

UGA has been 2nd best in the sec east behind fla. not 3rd..last year tied for 2nd with tenn record wise. look for UGA toi have another great year as the tide is turning once again like it does every 3 or so years in the SEC.


June 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

they cant do anything about anyones ranking when they beat them. so quit throwing that stupid stat up there. all i care about is that richt and company wins at a 80 percent clip and now on there way back up after 1 down year. ala was dowb forever and tenn is dropping each year. its going to be UGA and fla in the east again with UGA pulling it out. UGA should win the this year and the next 3 or so years against Fla. tebow is gone so they will have to run a somewhat normal offense as they dont have anyone near the same type player on that team. that match up will be in UGA favor for the next 3 or so years. ALA will be a great test for UGA in the SEC championship games the next 3 or so years.


June 3rd, 2010
10:01 am

also bulldawg,,what are the other coaches record the last 4 years in the sec east? worse than 10-10 im sure. urbans record is only better


June 3rd, 2010
10:12 am


You are right that Cox was ill, and the “O,” being new had a rough opener. I still give that game to the refs. There were a couple of chincey foul calls at crucial moments, one of which would have stopped a drive that ended in a TD and swung the momentum. I am not one to whine about refs, but that call and the celebration call against AJ in the LSU games were morale killers and game losers. Interesting… That team may well have been to calls away from a 10 win season. Cox, two calls away from being reembered more fondly. One also has to wonder what would have happend if the Dawgs were riding high after beating LSU. Oh well, not much point in that.

I will say, though, I think our team is underrated, and I like it that way. by the way the 3rd place and sixth place comments had to do with recruiting not standings.


June 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

Blah, blah, blah. Its the same old crap on these blogs every single day. What a bore. We get it haters. We’ll be 8-5 forever and are smoking crack of we think we can ever do any better. Your message is not that difficult to understand. Its not like we’re dense morons like Tech fans. We get it.


June 3rd, 2010
11:12 am

Richt is 0-1 in night games when the temperature is between 70-75 degrees and there is a wind from the east. The guy is clearly not championship material.

Thanks haters.


June 3rd, 2010
11:29 am

I say 8-4. If they go below that, it will be dissapointing. If they go above that it will be good. The fact they went 8-5 last season even with horrible defense and lousy QB play was a freakin miracle! That goes to show you that UGA won with talent last season because it sure wasn’t because of coaching. So if they can win 8 games even with the way they played last season, then they should at least be able to equal that this season.


June 3rd, 2010
12:23 pm

hey hunkerdown,
You dont have a life except sitting in your mommas basement hoping to god the dawgs win more than 6 games this year. Youre a turd.

hi there

June 3rd, 2010
12:26 pm

June 3rd, 2010
6:40 am

I guess we will

I have only seen UGA ranked at # 22 by any poll.
Phil Steele #19
Athlon sports #15 #20
accuracy rankings

hi there

June 3rd, 2010
12:28 pm

hmmmm……2008 UGA lost 18 scholly players to season ending injuries prior to game three….yet still managed 10 wins, a top ten finish and a bowl….the loss of that much talent shows great caoching to achieve that with those losses


June 3rd, 2010
12:30 pm

Roll Tide I think that I speak for the entire Bull Dog Nation that we ALL are glad that your not a dawg fan! Bulldawg I love to tweak the nerds and Gator and other fans from time to time for being the morons some so clearly are , some of them I agree with points they make, or chuckle when the make a joke even if its a UGA’s expense if its I just ignore your a long winded defeatist of the 1st water and living proof that all of the STATS in the world, can’t by themselves an argument make. Please seek help..I hear the place CUM did his rehab can do wonders for all types of mental problems….


June 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

UGA should win 8 games just by showing up with its talent. It always comes down to those other 3 or 4 games for all the top-tier teams in the SEC—and UGA is one of them. There’s no reason to believe UGA can’t go toe-to-toe with UF if the coaching steps up. Now, can Georgia avoid the stupid mistakes, turnovers, bad bounces, and plain dumb coaching that’s plagued them recently is another question. They should be mighty close to becoming a very good team, and then some suprising things could happen. Like many UGA fans, I’m optimistic, but guarded, about how much UGA can overcome its recent past and its inexperience at QB and with the 3-4.


June 4th, 2010
1:30 am

Zzzzzzzzzzz – that is the world of college football when ugag fans speak and when ugag plays. No one cares. You guys gotta at the very least come close to winning your division before you can brag about anything, okay?

James T. Kirk

June 4th, 2010
8:35 am

Another summer with the mutts proclaim themselves world beaters and national champions!!! Too bad you’ll all be stuck watching Sir Paul Johnson winning yet another National Championship for the only real foot ball team in town!!


June 4th, 2010
9:10 am

Truth=see 2002, 2003 and 2005 YOU DUMB MORON

James T Kirk-you need to beam yourself back up to nerd ville

You don’t see me hanging out on the nerd blog.

Tech obsession with UGA continues.

Father’s Day is coming soon.
Send your cards to Sanford Stadium nerds because you know who your daddy is.

Hunker Down One More Time!

June 4th, 2010
11:08 am

The Dawgs are loaded—Richt’s keeping it quiet, but this could be the best UGA team since the 1980s! Look for big wins over florida, auburn and tech! The Dawgs go 11-1, play Bama for the SEC title—2010–the year of the Dawg—book it!!!!


June 4th, 2010
3:03 pm

With a new defensive coaching staff and new QB in the SEC east, I’m afraid a 6-7 win season is the ceiling for the Dawgs this year. We were not close to beating an average UT team last year and got beat by UF by almost the same score? Lots of ground to make up with a completely new defensive staff!
Not drinking the cool aid yet! Just hoping to finish at least 2nd in the East.