It’s a strange feeling for Georgia fans, and it has to feel a bit odd to Mark Richt. According to Rivals.com, Georgia’s recruiting class of 2010 ranks 15th nationally and sixth in the SEC. (The ratings — updated as of 10:48 a.m. Wednesday — are subject to change.) That would be the Bulldogs’ lowest national rating since 2001, when Mark Richt had been on the job barely two months.
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.
About here, you might be saying, “So what if Georgia’s not in the Top 10 this time? All those highly rated classes really only resulted in one SEC title.” (That being in 2005; the 2002 conference championship was achieved largely with Jim Donnan’s recruits.) Not to be a Gloomy Gus, but here’s what:
When you get used to a school lighting up the recruiting board, it’s significant when it doesn’t. It’s significant when Georgia doesn’t land a single 5-star recruit. (That last happened in 2007.) It’s significant when an Auburn program in Year 2 under Gene Chizik lands 13 spots ahead of Georgia in Year 10 under Richt. And from this we can draw only one conclusion:
Mark Richt needs to rent some white limos.