Richt ducks questions about BCS

semerson@macon.comNovember 18, 2012 

ATHENS - At a couple points, there was laughter. Mark Richt came to his Sunday media teleconference with a plan, and he stuck to it: He was not going to talk about it. The Georgia head football coach was not going to address the events of the past 24 hours, which have put Georgia in position for a national championship run.

First, Richt was asked his reaction to last night's games, and whether it makes Saturday's game against Georgia Tech the biggest in recent memory.

"Well you know what," Richt said, "Georgia Tech is scoring an awful lot of points lately, and is playing extremely well as a team. We know what this game means to our program on a year-to-year basis. And we're very excited about playing it."

He went on for a bit longer, never answering the part of last night's games. So another reporter followed up by asking what was going through his mind as he watched Oregon and Kansas State lose. He even pointed out Richt has to watch it for his coaches' top 25 ballot.

"Well, I was thinking we need to have a great week of preparation for Georgia Tech," Richt said.

And he left it at that.

You're not going to address that you control your own destiny for a national title, a reporter asked? And will you talk to your players about that?

"Right this minute all I can think about is Georgia Tech," Richt said.

And, again, left it at that.

There were a few seconds of awkward silence.

"Anybody want to talk about Georgia Tech?" Richt said, breaking the silence.

So a local writer did ask about the Yellow Jackets. And Richt said some nice stuff.

Then a USA Today writer spoke up.

"I'm gonna make another try here," George Schroeder said.

"Okay," Richt said.

"Any thoughts at all on sort of after of on the outside looking in, the SEC, whether it's you guys or Alabama or somebody else, being back in position for the BCS title, and what that might say about the state of college football?" Schroeder asked.

"Right now all I'm concerned about is playing Georgia Tech and trying to have a good gameplan throughout the week, and trying to slow down that offense, and getting some points on the board," Richt said.

A little bit later, ESPN's Mark Schlabach made his attempt, asking if Alabama's surprise loss a couple weeks ago could be a lesson for Georgia this week. For a second, it sounded like Richt might bite, but once again he turned it back to the rivalry with Georgia Tech, using words like "bitter" and such. And he talked about how the winning team gets the Governor's Cup, and a trophy, and a watch.

After taking a question about Derek Dooley's firing (Richt believes he'll land on his feet), and the durability of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall (the freshmen tailbacks are hanging in there), Schlabach came back to ask if Richt could even confirm he watched the games on Saturday.

"You know what I was thinking about Tech that night, all night, and what a big game that is," Richt said. "So that's really what I've been working on."

Richt did bite when a reporter started to ask about Georgia getting a first-place vote from one coach in the USA Today coaches' poll.

"I'm glad you asked me that," Richt said, interruption my query. "I am not the person that voted for us."

What does he think of it?

"Oh I don't know, I guess somebody thought we were No. 1, so I guess that's good," Richt said. "But it's just right this minute not all that important, really."

During all of this, the closest Richt came to addressing the situation that Georgia finds itself in was when he was asked about the player's mindset.

"I think our players understand how important this game is, regardless of what's going on outside of this game," Richt said. "So I think we'll all be able to focus on the right thing. We need to, that's for sure."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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