Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Richt deserves something better than finishing No. 2
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Sep 07, 2013 | 1632 views |  0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia head coach Mark Richt during Saturday's win over South Carolina. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Georgia head coach Mark Richt during Saturday's win over South Carolina. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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Five Southeastern Conference schools have won national football championships in the last 15 years, and Georgia isn’t one of them.

That’s a shame because the Bulldogs’ coach, Mark Richt, has managed such a consistent program and would deserve a championship, if he won one. The only SEC coach who has outdone him for continued excellence in that span is Nick Saban at Alabama.

Richt has represented his school well since he arrived there in 2001. He clearly is one of the “class” guys in college football.

He won SEC championships in 2002 and 2005. His 2002, 2007 and 2012 teams finished in the top five nationally.

But he hasn’t finished No. 1 in the country, and watching the Bulldogs’ game against South Carolina on Saturday, it seems clear why that’s so.

Defense. Georgia under Richt never does seem to play defense quite as well as a national champion needs to play. He has had great offenses, certainly, but the defense doesn’t always measure up. Georgia has had some great defensive players, but rarely a great unit.

Maybe the closest he has come is his 2002 squad. The Bulldogs went 13-1 and finished third nationally, allowing only 15.1 points a game. But Ohio State and Miami went unbeaten and played for the national title, with OSU winning.

That’s another reason Richt hasn’t won a crown: Luck. While Florida, Alabama and LSU have won titles recently despite having a loss, Richt hasn’t gotten the same break.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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