The Georgia Bulldogs squeaked by their intrastate rival on Saturday night to finish 6-6 and most importantly, became bowl eligible. Their reward – a trip to the Liberty Bowl in tropical Memphis, TN with the Conference USA Champion (most likely the University of Central Florida). Not exactly what Mark Richt and the boys envisioned when the season started. Georgia was ranked #23 in the pre-season and was picked to finish second in the SEC East.
So who was the most disappointing team in the SEC? Not Georgia, but actually the Florida Gators. The Gators were picked #4 nationally in the pre-season as many college football analysts and Gator fans felt QB John Brantley would not be much of a drop-off from former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow – well, we know how that went. The Gators had other problems on and off the field, too.
At least the Gators are bowl eligible. The most disappointing team by far this season in college football were the Texas Longhorns as they finished 5-7 and are not bowl eligible. It’s hard to imagine that the Longhorns just played for the National Championship last year.
The Mark Richt leaving Georgia rumors still will not go away. With Miami Hurricanes letting go head coach Randy Shannon over the weekend, Richt was put on the ole candidate list to become the U’s next head coach. The thinking was that Richt might be tempted to coach his alma mater where he was a backup QB in the early 1980s. Earlier this month, Colorado had him on their unofficial list as well when their head coaching job became open. Richt has stated on Monday that he has no desire to leave UGA as him and his family love Athens. On top of that, Georgia’s AD Greg McGarity has officially endorsed Richt for 2011 season. So Richt will coach the Dawgs next season.
Georgia will be happy to use the Liberty Bowl to help tweak their new 3-4 defense scheme that has been the root of their disappointing season. But it is most likely will be the last game for juniors WR A.J. Green and OLB Justin Henry as both are expected to declare for the NFL draft.
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Written by Bob Ballard