In a season of “must-win” games, Georgia will make the trip to Jacksonville facing twin imperatives:
First, with South Carolina holding the tie-breaker over the Dogs in the SEC East, a loss to Florida might not finish off UGA’s chances of making it to the championship game in the Georgia Dome (the Gamecocks, after all, are missing Marcus Lattimore), but the odds surely would get a lot longer. Without a win over the Gators, Georgia would need South Carolina to lose at least twice more in the conference while the Dogs won over Auburn and Kentucky.
And secondly, if Mark Richt, who’s won only twice against Florida in his 10 previous seasons at Georgia, can’t get a victory against a first-year coach of a team that’s lost three in a row and is on thin ice when it comes to its quarterbacking corps, the heat under his seat is going to suddenly ramp back up to pretty near the level it was when the Dogs opened 0-2.
But is this really a must-win game for Richt to keep his job? I don’t think so. Sure, it’ll get awfully ugly in the Bulldog Nation if he loses again to the Gators, but if the Dogs then win out and finish 9-3, with a decent bowl likely in the offing, I doubt very much Greg McGarity and Michael Adams would be thinking coaching change at the end of the season.
Conversely, if Georgia collapses down the stretch and loses two or more games but somehow gets a win over hated rival Florida, it’s possible Richt still would survive to face another season of hot-seat speculation.
So, yes, Georgia-Florida is a very important game for both the Georgia team and its head coach.
But I don’t see it as a must win.
Agree or disagree? Feel free to share your views in the comments. Go Dogs!
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