Blog ... Georgia's Richt Wants To Quell Hype
Hype, Hype and more Hype. Preseason hype is at an all time high in the land of UGA.
By: BE Coleman
Georgia head Coach Mark Richt has quickly give notice that he has a slight concern with the 2008 starting gate in Athens. Hype, Hype and more Hype. Preseason hype is at an all time high in the land of UGA.
The hype comes with good reason, as the expectance of a lofty poll position hovering in the top spot at number one to start the season is no secret. So what's all the noise about?
For the first time in school history finds that Georgia is ranked 1st in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The other poll that has not been released is the Harris Interactive that combined make up 2/3rds of the BCS.
The Top Dog
It starts with the head coach, and Georgia has one of the best to ever enter the hallowed doors of the university. No Bulldog predecessor before him has ever won as many games as he has delivered in seven seasons. Not in the first seven, nor in any seven consecutive seasons all time.
The legendary Vince Dooley comes close with seven seasons from 1980 to 86, having won 65 games while losing 15 and tying 4. Dooley guided the program to its 2nd national title in 80, is Richt's forthcoming step to claim the programs next.
Richt has taken Georgia from a consistent 8-4 annual program to a lofty 10 plus win program during his time at the helm. Before Richt entered, the Bulldogs had only experienced three 10-win seasons dating back to 1983 before Richt etched his name on the campus steps.
The former FSU O-Coordinator is entering his eight season as top dog in the heart of Bulldog country. He has posted five double-digit win seasons out of his first seven as a head coach, and "that aint bad."
There is zero doubt that Richt is the right coach to lead the Georgia contingency to the promise land. The coach with a 72-19 record has been involved with the heavy hype situations that come from lofty expectations before.
Guarding Number One
Richt spoke last week in remembrance of his coaching days at Florida State. "In 1998 we were preseason number one; the Seminoles were blanked 31-0 in the season opener against Miami."
For the next 30 plus days of preseason will find the Bulldog nation wearing the media bull's-eye on their jerseys.
Georgia should have no problems enjoying the lofty ranking the first two weeks of the season before a date in Columbia against upset minded Carolina comes to play.
The Steve Spurrier led Gamecocks bested the Bulldogs last season in Athens 16-12.
The next week will see the Bulldogs hitting the road again to Arizona State, currently ranked at 16th after finishing up at 10-3 in 2007. The very next week sees Alabama come calling after Georgia slipped out in last years contest with a 26-23 OT victory.
An open date comes before Tennessee invades Athens, a team that has beaten the Bulldogs 86 to 47 the last two seasons of play. The Dogs have an edge in the fact that the Volunteers will have no open dates for nine consecutive games in 08.
While the first two games should be of little or no stress, the next four will set a stage for a season run guarding the top spot. Revenge games against both the Gamecocks and Volunteers are a top priority in 08 in the competitive east.
Halting The Love For Me Factor
Both Moreno and Stafford simply cannot turn up on fan based web sites in photos this season dancing on counter tops like the Dixie Dawg vividly displays. Both of these players have to keep their game play at the forefront of their priorities.
Keeping It Between The Hedges
It is going to be interesting seeing if Georgia can maintain between the hedges this season. Handling the predestined success is certainly a hard act to maintain and sell from week to week in college football and is great pressure.
There is always a team ready to move up - if and when a mistake or a flaw is found.
Georgia has the head coach, the coaching staff and the talent to make a run in 08 if they can stay focused over the next 120 days. The program is quite deserving and has been one of the very best in the conference year in and year out since 2001.
Mark Richt was a good hire, he has proven his tenure will be the most noted in the history of the Georgia program. There is little question that the Dog's Day will come. Is it 2008? Are The Coaches Right?
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