Can 2011 Dogs pull a ‘Junkyard Dogs’ rebound?

Can the 2011 team emulate Erk Russell's Junkyard Dogs? (University of Georgia)

Can the 2011 team emulate Erk Russell's Junkyard Dogs? (University of Georgia)

We all know Georgia looked pretty bad against Central Florida in last week’s Liberty Bowl, giving the Dogs their first losing season in 14 years. But was it a loss of historic proportions?

My friend Mike thinks so. He e-mailed me the day after the game. Said Mike:

“My worst 4 losses:

Wake Forest ’79

33-0 to Kentucky in ’77

’78 Bluebonnet

This one.”

Admittedly, all those games were stinkers. But I told Mike I thought the 1974 Bulldogs’ 21-10 loss to Miami of Ohio in the Tangerine Bowl was worse than this year’s Liberty Bowl. The Dogs were coming off an absolutely humiliating 34-14 loss to Tech on a miserable cold, rainy day in Sanford Stadium when Georgia seemed helpless against Pepper Rodgers’ wishbone attack. At 6-5 most observers felt UGA really didn’t belong in a bowl game. (This was back in the days when you didn’t have more than half the teams in the country participating in bowls.)

And the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando — long before it morphed into the Citrus Bowl and then the Capitol One Bowl — was about as low as you could get and still be a bowl team. Originally reserved for small colleges like East Texas State and Kent State, it had only the year before started matching the second-tier Mid-American Conference Champion against an SEC also-ran.

But Georgia accepted the bid and before a crowd of about 20,000 proceeded to give the Redskins two easy scoring opportunities with fumbles (including one on the first play from scrimmage). Miami led 21-3 at the half and I couldn’t take any more, so my future wife and I spent the second half drowning our sorrows at T.K. Harty’s Saloon in Athens. The Dogs actually played better in that half, shutting out Miami and scoring a Ray Goff touchdown for a 21-10 final. But losing to Miami of Ohio in the low-rent Tangerine Bowl was a pretty sorry way to cap off a mediocre 6-6 season.

Of course, things got better after that, as Vince Dooley re-emphasized fundamentals, put the Dogs through a punishing spring practice, and Erk Russell recast his defense as the “Junkyard Dogs” and got the Redcoat Band on board, playing the Jim Croce song “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” from which the phrase came.

Georgia turned things around in 1975 with a 9-3 season, as Loran Smith pointed out in a column this week drawing a comparison with the losing season just completed.

“Sometimes it is difficult to ferret out the issues with a team that finds a way to lose,” Smith wrote. “This current Georgia team had that in common with the 1974 Bulldogs. Teams lose their edge, their killer instincts, but they can regain those intangibles.”

Dooley’s Dogs were able to do that by embracing hard-nosed football; it remains to be seen whether Mark Richt can pull off a similar feat.

So, anyway, while we’re wallowing in our misery, feel free to share your own nominees for Georgia’s worst games.

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254 comments Add your comment

San Francisco Dawg

January 10th, 2011
12:15 pm

How depressing! I’m thinking about all of the great wins we have had…ten times more than those bad losses…time to put it into high gear and get at it..Richt knows that he is on the hot seat, the players who come back next year have heard the boos and true Dawg fans need to become the “12th Man” next year!!!

Rest of the SEC

January 10th, 2011
12:25 pm

Dawgs are irrelevant. Plain and simple. And they will remain irrelevant through 2011.


January 10th, 2011
1:11 pm

Let’s be realistic. Let’s go game by game and talk about what our chances are.

Boise state-I can see this going either way but if the defense improves, the offense should be able to score points.

South Carolina-The toughest and most important game of the season. Again, defensive imporvement, especially against the run will determine the outcome.

Coastal Carolina-Come on

Ole Miss-Georgia should win this game but it is on the road.

Miss State-a physical team with a lot of confidence. The offense needs to make some big plays. Their DC just left for Texas.

Tennessee-I see this one as being very tough. 50/50 on this one

Vandy-Come on

florida-2nd most important game of the year but could be THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF MARK RICHT’S COACHING CAREER

New Mexico state-Come on

Kentucky-UGA should win at home

Auburn-UGA should be back to winning this again and it is at home

Tech-At Tech but UGA should win

With a good football team, this is an 11 win schedule. I’m not convinced that we have a good football team in Athens anymore.

wishful thinking is 10-2 with losses to SC and UT

Good would be 9-3 with losses to SC, Florida and UT

Mediocre would be 8-4 which would mean losing another SEC game to MSU

Sorry would be 7-5 or 6-6 which would mean losing to Boise and/or Tech.

Anything less than 9 wins and I am advocating a coaching change.

My $.02


January 10th, 2011
1:17 pm

I have endured watching the Dawgs lose some tough games.

There have been a lot of wins that I have enjoyed.

None more so than the two 41-14 beatdowns of the rednecks from Knoxville in 2003 and 2010 that I witnessed in person.

The 2003 game was especially delightful watching that many orange clad hicks leave Neyland in their canoes on the river.


January 10th, 2011
1:46 pm

UGA will beat Mississippi State in 2011. Mullins will find out that how his coordinators run the defense and offense will define him as a coach . Mullins could fall in the category of a few rare coaches like Spurrier or Saban who runs everything but will probably find out like CMR did that he needs to delegate some of his responsibilities. Trying to obtain a balance will negatively affect the team like it has for CMR when he went too far the other way and let unqualified coordinators go unchecked for too long.


January 10th, 2011
2:07 pm

Vince & Erk could and did creat a great turnaround. Don’t think MR can unless he gets less plastic & more human.


January 10th, 2011
2:17 pm


I am not wallowing in this anymore.And real dawg fans should move on to reality.

1) Does not matter if you like it our not Richt and team are the coaches for 2011. Whining and wallowing or not supporting the team will not change that in 2011.
2) Recruiting…we have lost a few, and won a few, and there are a few more still to wait on , but we will be in the top 15 and we will get what we need. Hopefully players that really want to be at UGA and as Swann said ” Help turn it around”
3) Green is gone to the NFL…thanks for your past contributions…best of luck in NFL. Remember in 1982 when Wilkins left early for the NBA. The next year, rather than the team standing around and waiting for Wilkins to dunk, they played team ball and ended up in the final four. Lets look forward to the same from the 2011 football team.
4) Better schedule
5) A proven QB
6) One more year playing the new 3-4.

I am moving on from 2010. My advice, folks do the same.



January 10th, 2011
2:42 pm

Richt and staff are a joke and a high-priced group as well for ruining UGA football to a new LOW….it ain’t gonna get better, maybe just worst — after all, “it is what it is”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it don’t pass the stiff test!!!!!

Buck Blew

January 10th, 2011
2:42 pm

this is what UGA has become…..hoping for 9-3 seasons and no trips to Atlanta.

Coach Mark Rick

January 10th, 2011
3:03 pm

Coach Rick Here.
Just wanted to check in with all my buddies out there. I’m glad most of you believe in me. I want you all to do what I have instructed the coaches and players to do. Just keep telling yourself, Everything is going to be O.K., Everything is fine. We are all doing a great job. I hope you all know how powerful visualization can be. Be encouraged dawg fans, next year is going to be one you’ll never forget.


January 10th, 2011
4:11 pm

Oh those wonderful memories.
- Wake Forest in 79
- 33-0 loss to KY in 77
- 78 Bluebonnet Bowl
- Years in inadequacy in Jacksonville
- 12 arrests in 2010 and a losing season

Oh how I love the memories. Keep making those memories UGA. Looks like the cancer of the fball program has made it to UGA the mascot too! Thanks for the memories


January 10th, 2011
4:13 pm

BJohnDawg – enjoy the wallowing in 2011! Just move on to 2012!


January 10th, 2011
4:15 pm

Dawginlex – you were looking in the mirror when you wrote redneck, right! Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.


January 10th, 2011
4:18 pm

Dawginlex – I’d like to have seen your game by game analysis for 2010’s season. Your 2011 analysis should be saved under the term “Fantasy Football”. Dream On.

Minnesota Dawg

January 10th, 2011
4:19 pm

Dawgs are only a couple of big plays each game from turning it around. We just need to beat Boise State and get our confidence back. We can do it!


January 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

Kiss my a$$ dawghater.

How’s that for being a redneck?

You happy a$$wipe?

Your only fantasy is seeing a girl who is not your mother naked.

Douglas Ga.

January 10th, 2011
4:43 pm

I’m tired of these Sunday School Teacher Preacher type coaches we need a mean SOB for a coach


January 10th, 2011
4:45 pm

to answer your question, NO we CAN NOT rebound! we are dead meat!!!

Chuck Carswell

January 10th, 2011
4:53 pm

1994 Home Coming to Vandy
2006 Sugar Bowl West ‘By G-d’ Virginia


January 10th, 2011
5:13 pm

Dawgs should never ever lose a football game. WE should win the National Championship EVERY year. WE make the most $$$$$ of any university and our players DRINK more than all the other teams players put together. WE pay our coaches well and our players make more than they deserve. I never ever went to uga but thats just how I feel.


January 10th, 2011
5:30 pm

Just heard speculation on sports talk show that if Les Miles goes to Michigan, Jimbo Fisher of Florida State might be the top choice to take over the Tigers. If that were to happen and Florida State needed a coach would they then turn to an old-time assistant named Mark Richt?

The way it is

January 10th, 2011
6:29 pm

The Dawgs can go 12-0 and of course win the East next year and there is no doubt about it, but they also can go 8-4 and be looking for a new coach. What will it be? I wish CMR all the best always.

John L Smith

January 10th, 2011
7:28 pm

I have to agree with the loss to Tech and the tangerine bowl. I am an alum and was a student at the time and sat through both of the above.


January 10th, 2011
7:37 pm

That 41-31 drubbing at the hands of Alabama, and the 49-7 wipeout administered by Florida put an end to my Bulldog enthrallment. Good teams don’t lose like that, especially when they’re SUPPOSED to be a good team. At least Dooley’s big losses came in years when they weren’t EXPECTED to be very good.


January 10th, 2011
9:52 pm

Its gonna be a LONG season next year.


January 10th, 2011
10:36 pm

In Richt ten year tenure:
Three other SEC coaches have been hired:

Nick Saban first at LSU: Result National Championship

Urban Meyer at Florida: Result two National Championships

Nick Saban second at Alabama: Result National Chamionship

Gene Chizik at Auburn: Result National Championship

The Great Richt at Georgia: Result ohfer, hasn’t even been to NC

Moral of story: UGA search committees suck in re football coach

Buh Bye

January 10th, 2011
10:40 pm

Boise State 69, UGA 13. The start of another long, very grim season under Richt.


January 10th, 2011
10:44 pm

“If that were to happen and Florida State needed a coach, would they then turn to an old-time assistant named Mark Richt?”

No, they’re not that stupid.


January 10th, 2011
11:03 pm

I remember that 1974 game against the Wishbone of Pepper Rodgers and Tech… Only game I have ever left at Halftime and thank goodness Hill Hall was close by…that was one cold/rainy nasty game…


January 10th, 2011
11:18 pm

I wonder if Richt is at home studying football so that he can become an expert. Clearly, he is not at the BCS game like Urban and Nick.


January 10th, 2011
11:20 pm

By the way, how many times has AU and Oregon gone for it on fourth down in the BCS game. Richt didn’t have the balls to do that in the Liberty bowl.

Coach Mark Rick

January 10th, 2011
11:37 pm

Rick here
Just want to respond to what Fran Tarkenton said about me needing to get freed of other responsibilities in order to put more focus on football. Well you all know how important missions are to me but I ‘m going to put that on the back burner until I retire next year,and yes I do love my hobby of bird watching. It helps me keep my peace, but this to will have to take a back seat for the greater good. I’ll admit it, the swimming has been getting to be a bit much although my backstroke has gotten strong, this to I will sacrifice. O.K.from now on it”s football,football,football! How bout that dawg fans, are you happy now.


January 11th, 2011
12:39 am

Anything is possible, but returning to “Junkyard Dawg” status is not probable at this juncture. Too much residual lethargy and bad habits to overcome. It assumes that that kind of mentality can be fabricated or manufactured at will. Too many variables involved. You’ve got to have the right coach and the right players for it to happen. Don’t know that we have either or will have even next year.

James K. Polk

January 11th, 2011
12:42 am

George…..BINGO!!!! That is symptomatic of why we (and Richt) do not win big games…and never will. It says a lot about our half-hearted coach. In every game we play,we will have the worst head coach on the field.


January 11th, 2011
12:44 am

Dawgs next year? Around 500 again. At this time the 3-4 defensive scheme is not that great for college football and the players that we hope will improve us on that side of the ball will be too green. Offensive line is gutted, not that it was that good this year anyway. Around 500 would not be surprising.


January 11th, 2011
1:28 am

Nominees for worst defeats?…………Your buddy, Mikes worst memories ? …….Bill what in heavens name are you thinking ? At least Loran came up with a little positive, recalling the Junkyard Dawgs !………..Bill, you should be ashamed of yourself. This is college football, son , and you, of all people should know, the college athelete often times reflects his fanbase……….You should also be aware college footbal moves in cycles ! Think Bill !!! Texas, Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami, Southern Cal…………must I go on ? I support “MY” GEORGIA BULLDOGS !!!!! Always have, always will……………….GOOOOOOOO DOGS………GATA………SIC’ ‘EM WOOF…WOOF……WOOF!!!!…………….To HELL with Tech, and To Hell with Bill King !!!!


January 11th, 2011
2:05 am

You bunch of buttsniffin retards are hilarious!!! If you watched the national championship game tonight that should remind you how far away you are from being anything close to relevant any time soon!! KEEP ON DREAMING!!!


January 11th, 2011
5:25 am

With what players ?

With what coaches ?

Auburn won national championship, it’s first since 1957

Mark Richt lost 7 games this season, the most losses since 1957

9-4 has been good for # 32 in nation in won / lost 2010 and 2009, rebound would have to be better than 9-4


January 11th, 2011
5:48 am

UGA can certainly have an improved season next year even with the loss of some early entrees into the NFL. BUT, the UGA Nation must be patient, even if we do get the “Dream Team” in place, or at least some of them! It takes on the average 2 years to learn the systems, even though some recuits will starting next year as true freshmen. Do not look for a quick fix for a SEC champioship, it will take time. We (I am a die hard Dawg fan), have to understand that UGA has not done a good job in recruiting in the past couple of years; I do feel that we have done better this year! But recruiting has got to be a top priority every year to enable us to return to an SEC champioship team. I think you will see the coaching intensity step up, but if Richt and company don’t, heads need to roll! We must also take into consideration recuits; many of these kids are looking for a coach that is going to be there for their career. When we start calling for coaches jobs, we could be running major recruits off. I’m not a Bobo fan at all; I can call his plays before he does. He has his moments, then he goes brain dead! I would like to CMR get more envolved in the offense; that is what got him where he is today as a head coach. Bobo, does a pretty good job as a QB coach, coaching mechanics and improving on skills, but I’m not sold on his play calling ability! Let us put this season behind us, and do our part as UGA fans to see that we get back where we want to be. It will take time, but that is part of being a lifetime, die-hard Dawg fan! It was hard to be a positive fan, especially this year! But we must hang in there, we must do what it takes to help rebuild, not kick a dawg when he is down. I wore my UGA shirts and hats proudly the day after the bowl loss; if you are a TRUE fan, you will love them through the hard times as well as the good times day in and day out!
I’m done! Can’t wait until next year! True Dawg fan for 50 years!
Go Dawgs!


January 11th, 2011
6:04 am

Colorado 5-7 loss this season was as miserable as they get. They fired their coach and lost 7 consecutive games after beating us.

Central Florida Conference USA loss this season certainly a horrible loss. They had never won a bowl game, ever; and, are 2-13 vs SEC teams all-time after beating us.

Vandie loss in 2006 was horrid. A team who won 4 games all season long 2006, after they beat us.

2008, 2009, and 2010 Georgia is 2-11 vs Top 25 Final AP Poll teams.

2-11 Mark Richt vs Top 25 teams Final AP Poll Top 25 last 3 years.

Mark Richt beat a suspect 4-loss Michigan State ranked # 24 final poll team in 2008 worthless bowl game, who beat no Top 25 team themselves that year and had no business being ranked at all. Either team, therefore. Mark Richt lost all 3 games against ranked teams 2008, except for this highly suspect team who played a very soft schedule and beat no Top 25 team all season.

Mark Richt beat a suspect 3-loss Georgia tek in 2009 ranked # 13 final poll 2009. A Georgia tek team who played a weak schedule of all losing teams, who lost to Mark Richt’s worst team at the time, a year when Mark Richt lost 5 games.

2008 Mark Richt lost all the other 3 ranked teams he coached against.

2009 Mark Richt lost all the other 3 ranked teams he coached against.

2010 Mark Richt lost all 5 ranked teams he coached against.

2-11 Mark Richt vs Top 25 Final AP Poll teams he coached vs 2008 2009 & 2010.

What kind of a turn-around are we in here discussing,

What I would like to know is what the hell are Mark Richt’s great wins the last 3 years ?

The 6 “wins” he got this 2010 for example went 24-50 and all HAD LOSING RECORDS.


January 11th, 2011
6:18 am

Indeed, ever in the 10 year Mark Richt Era – what the hell are Mark Richt’s great wins 10 years now ?

2001 he beat # 4 vols but Mark Richt LOST four (4) games 2001

2005 he beat # 6 LSU but Mark Richt LOST three (3) games 2005

2006 – 5 yrs ago – beat # 9 Auburn but Mark Richt LOST four (4) 2006

10 years of 10 horrible losses vs NOT Top 25 final AP Poll teams

10 years of 9 LOSSES vs Top 10 final AP Poll teams with only these 3 wins

I hardly think you can say FLUSH this 2010 season and forget about it

It’s on-going all 10 years

So are the Arrests / Suspensions 1 a month for 10 years


January 11th, 2011
6:21 am

Mark Richt TOPS it off with 7-Loss 2010, the MOST LOSSES by UGA since 1957

1957 the last time Auburn won a national championship, 53 years ago

Mark Richt lost more games 2010 of any UGA team since 1957 with 7 losses.

Forget 14 years; it’s worst UGA team in 53 years

Forget ?


tennessee tom

January 11th, 2011
7:00 am

Since the BCS started ,the SEC has won 7 national titles,and Ga has not had a sniff,I think the dogs are whistling past the graveyard,with Fla. and TN, down (way down) Ga goes to the liberty bowl,that should tell you where Ga is as a program.Fla and TN are on there way back up and the dogs are stuck in 3 or 4th in the East,all the SEC teams that have won the BCS,have had great skill guys and NFL quality studs on the defensive line,Ga has a very good up and coming qb,but thats about all,you win Titles with defense,better start the coaching search now. Richt has proved he is not the answer,


January 11th, 2011
7:20 am

Correct, Mark Richt is not the answer.

Oregon dropped to # 3 in both the Coaches’ Poll and the Final AP Poll.

6 SEC Teams ranked in the Top 25 of both final Polls – in fact in Top 22 of both

Florida’s worst team and we played our worst game against them

Florida is not ranked in either poll.

Tennessee sucks – it will be years and years before vols are relevant


January 11th, 2011
8:37 am

It is not accident that a new coach comes in and two years later they are playing in a major bowl or the national championship. Take the basketball teams recent success. Mark Richt’s early success. It is a change of culture that turns these programs around. I understand that it is hard to maintain, but that is the key in college sports. Georgia needs a change of culture if we are going to contend for conference titles. The one thing CMR is not doing is making the changes that are going to change the habits and attitude of his team. We will have to suffer through another year before the administration can do the obvious. It is my opion that we cannot afford to fall any furthre behind. We are the only SEC major power that has not played in a BCS Championship game. We have only played in two BCS bowls in 10 yrs.

Frustrated Stockholder!

red hill

January 11th, 2011
8:43 am

This ship is sunk. 2010 Colorado, 2006 UK, 2007 SC. This ship is sunk and Mark Richt has got to go. The bad losses are piling up. $3 million a year for this junk. Too bad McGarity/Adams are just going to postpone the inevitable for a year. 4-8 next year, great.


January 11th, 2011
8:59 am

With Richt and his coaching staff and attendant ineptness and inability of both, with Richt well underperforming in his ten years against Miles, Saban, Meyer and now Chizik, and getting hosed this year in recruiting, can one homer out there tell anyone why this joke has any hope of doing better next year? Everyone by now knows the name of that song. This clown only comes back another year to extend the misery until, if ever, a championship competitive coach can be acquired, to further embarass, and make fans that deserve better only hate him more for being a sorry excuse for a coach


January 11th, 2011
9:36 am

2 BCS Bowls in 10 years

- played 5-Loss Florida State who was # 23 in 2002 # 23 Final AP Poll

- played # 19 Hawaii in 2007 # 19 Final AP Poll

-also played in Sugar Bowl in Atlanta 2005 (6 years ago) losing 28 to nothing before I sat down, almost

Mark Richt has not won a bowl game against any Top 10 Final AP Poll team on the national stage like Auburn did last night, or like TCU did a week and half ago.

-what Mark Richt does instead is to lose to 10 teams these entire 10 years he has been here now who are not even in the Top 25 of the Final AP Poll.

-besides of course, having all of his recruits Arrested / Suspended – he does that better than every other school’s Coach

-Ben Dukes once said to me that it is LAUGHABLE that Gene Chizik is a BETTER COACH at Auburn than Mark Richt here, comparing Mark Richt’s entire 10-year won / lost percentage to Gene Chizik’s entire won / lost percentage at Auburn.

Ben Dukes is an IDIOT of the highest order with Gene Chizik’s NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP and his 7 WINS over Top 22 ranked teams this year alone.

Mark Richt has 2 wins 11 losses the LAST THREE (3) YEAR vs Top 25 even ranked teams in the Final AP Poll Top 25.

Gene Chizik has 7 wins this year alone to Mark Richt’s 2 the entire last three (3) years. to give him another year of this B.S.


January 11th, 2011
9:46 am

What really makes Ben Dukes so great when he, Buck Belue and Senator Bluto support Mark Richt ?

They are BETTER fans than we, they say, because they support their coach.

I don’t, so I am a WORSE fan than they, they tell me.

Really ?

They are MARK RICHT APOLOGISTS the 3 of them of the HIGHEST ORDER.

I am not.

I am a Georgia Bulldogs’ Football FAN, and remain one.

I could care less who we bring in to replace Mark Richt, for it is Mark Richt who should be worried about what he and his entire staff get as their next job – because it sure as hell will not be as good as this job they have screwed up here.


January 11th, 2011
9:52 am

AP Rankings
Rankings as of 1/11/2011
*1 Auburn (14-0) 1472 (56) 1
2 TCU (13-0) 1392 (3) 3
3 Oregon (12-1) 1379 2
4 Stanford (12-1) 1300 5
5 Ohio State (12-1) 1220 6
6 Oklahoma (12-2) 1108 9
7 Wisconsin (11-2) 1055 4
*8 LSU (11-2) 1051 11
9 Boise State (12-1) 1031 10
*10 Alabama (10-3) 961 15
11 Nevada (13-1) 866 13
*12 Arkansas (10-3) 863 8
13 Oklahoma State (11-2) 833 16
14 Michigan State (11-2) 696 7
*15 Mississippi State (9-4) 578 21
16 Virginia Tech (11-3) 577 12
17 Florida State (10-4) 502 23
18 Missouri (10-3) 477 14
19 Texas A&M (9-4) 359 18
20 Nebraska (10-4) 334 17
21 UCF (11-3) 225 NR
*22 South Carolina (9-5) 169 19
23 Maryland (9-4) 144 NR
24 Tulsa (10-3) 128 NR
25 North Carolina State (9-4) 119 NR

Others: Utah (98) , Iowa (54) , San Diego State (52) , Northern Illinois (47) , Miami (OH) (21) , Florida (19)