Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Texas, Southern Cal, and Florida all have a combined record of…38-34? By the way, in all-time wins, Michigan is #1, Texas is #2, Tennessee is #9, USC is #10 and UGA is #11. Pretty crazy and unbelievable season. That, alone, should tell us how crazy it all is. UGA is 3 years removed from a #2 ranking. UT is 3 years removed from an SEC East Title. Texas is 1 year removed from a 13-1, undefeated regular season, Big 12 title, and BCS champ. Game appearance. Southern Cal is 2 years removed from a string of about a million Rose Bowls in a row. Florida is a year (a year!) removed from a 13-1, undefeated regular season and 2 years removed from a National Championship. Michigan is 3 years removed from spanking Florida on New Year's Day.
In the meantime, in 2008 Auburn went 5-7. In 2009, Auburn went 7-5. In 2010, Auburn is 12-0. There are no promises, but it can change for the worse in a hurry and it can change for the better in a hurry. And we can talk about coaching all we want, but the answers are pretty clear to me. UGA no longer has Knowshon Moreno. Texas no longer has Colt McCoy. Florida no longer has Tim Tebow. Southern Cal no longer has all those studs…okay, I'll name a couple: Taylor Mays, Mark Sanchez, Clay Matthews, Brian Cushing. Michigan no longer has Mario Manningham and Chad Henne…or anyone on defense. Tennessee simply had the luckiest season in 2007 in the history of college football.
Auburn? Insert Cameron Newton and Nick Fairley = SEC championship.
We weren't that much different from 2006 to 2007. Matthew got better, but by the Auburn game in '06 he was pretty dang good. The difference was simple: Knowshon Rockwell Moreno. Yes, we need to coach better and make some better decisions. We need to play D better. But, dang, we need better players. For me, Richt has the 2 most important months of his career ahead of him. We need guys that can play now. It sure does make it easier to call plays when you can run a toss sweep on 3rd and 4 and it sure is easier to play defense when your offense can burn a little clock or you've got a safety you can trust if you choose to blitz or you have David Pollack wreaking havoc in offensive backfields. I don't know if Van Gorder made Pollack or vice versa, but I know Eric Berry made both Chavis and Kiffin look pretty smart. I think it's the players.
Kudos to Richt on landing Murray. Do you realize how big of a get he was 2 years ago? Whew, we'd be in a pickle if he'd have chosen Florida. But this is the biggest issue. For all the talk about Strength and Conditioning, it doesn't seem to affect Houston, Green and Ogletree because they are beasts. We need more beasts. Richt gets it, and I think HIS motivation for the Boise game was what I suspected. He said so on his show:
"We’re trying to recruit guys right now who, when we open in the Dome next year against Boise State .. can come right in and we can introduce them to college football .. when you talk about impact players, that’s why I've been talking about a recruiting “dream team” .. if we can get the best players in the state to stay home we can show how good the football is in this state."
Are you listening Isaiah Crowell?
It's crunch time for Richt. Win this crappy bowl and sign the best class we've ever had. Bama did that and signed some guys named Ingram, Jones, and Cody in winter of '08. That turned out alright in '09. Heck, it wasn't so bad in '08. Get to that Dome and find a way to beat the Broncos and a way to beat the Cocks and home and get this thing rolling. It's that simple. It doesn't matter how you win, just win. In 2002, we opened up with 2 ugly wins against Clemson and South Carolina. It didn't matter. We were 2-0. Just find a way to win them and let the momentum take #11 for a ride.
Is it August yet?
And let me just say that if we land Crowell, talk all August about how he's having trouble pass blocking, lose to Boise, and Crowell plays 5 snaps because we aren't sure he can pick up the blitz...I might just lose my mind right there. If he can't pass block, I think I've got the play for him. It's called "Toss Right." I'll bet they already run that one down in Columbus.