“It’s worse than you think.”
That was the subject of an email I received on Sunday, following the game story I wrote after this past Saturday’s 38-10 loss to Alabama. I wrote that this is the latest in double-digit losses for Georgia, with at least one going back to 2012.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer sports editor Kevin Price pointed out it goes deeper than that. The trend goes all the way back to Mark Richt’s sixth season at Georgia, in 2006. From there, each season has featured one game where the Bulldogs weren’t too competitive.
The case was evident this past Saturday as Alabama dominated the line of scrimmage from start to finish. But the fact that this does seem to happen year in and year out, at least once, does point to an unsettling trend.
Here’s a reminder of how those double-digit losses played out:
2006 — 18-point loss to Tennessee
2007 — 21-point loss to Tennessee
2008 — 11-point loss to Alabama
2008 — 39-point loss to Florida
2009 — 14-point loss to Oklahoma State
2009 — 26-point loss to Tennessee
2009 — 24-point loss to Florida
2010 — 11-point loss to South Carolina
2010 — 18-point loss to Auburn
2011 — 14-point loss to Boise State
2011 — 32-point loss to LSU
2012 — 28-point loss to S. Carolina
2013 — 15-point loss to Missouri
2014 — 18-point loss to Florida
2015 — 28-point loss to Alabama
This isn’t meant to be read as a pointed criticism of Richt and the coaching staff. It's extremely hard to finish a season undefeated. For example, Urban Meyer, as great of a coach as he is, has never won a national championship with an undefeated record. But it is important to point out that over the last 10 years, one of Georgia's games per year, at minimum, has been thrown to the wolves.
It’s tough at this level to be in dominant form week in and week out. Obviously, Georgia learned that this past weekend. So did Mississippi. Alabama got that lesson two weeks ago.
Richt has won 140 games since 2001, which ties him for second-most in program history. Georgia has always been to a bowl game under his leadership. The Bulldogs have won two SEC titles under Richt, although it's been 10 years since the last one. He holds a .741 winning percentage overall.
But it's games like this that anger the fan base. Why is it that every year Georgia has that one game where it looks like an inferior mid-major opponent? That's the question that will linger until it ceases to persist. In a season where it sure seemed the Bulldogs could compete with anyone on any given day, Georgia looked outmatched and unprepared against Alabama.
Of course, a loss is a loss at the end of the day. Losing by 28 to Alabama counts the same as if Georgia would have lost by one. If the Bulldogs regroup and win out, they’ll be in Atlanta for the SEC Championship.
Winning the Alabama game would have given the Bulldogs a leg up and could have afforded them a mishap later on. Now that the mishap has happened, there won't be much room for error moving forward.
Hitting the links
Georgia to go with Greyson Lambert as its starting quarterback against Tennessee.
Reggie Carter is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Isaiah McKenzie and Brandon Kublanow are dealing with injuries following the Alabama loss.
Georgia receives failing grades following its blowout loss to Alabama.
The Telegraph's Daniel Shirley writes about the top story lines in the SEC entering Week 6 of the season.
The AJC's Bill King writes that the Alabama loss makes this week's game against Tennessee a must-win.
The Athens Banner-Herald's Chris Starrs writes that Alabama didn't take too kindly to being billed as underdogs against Georgia.
Dawgs247's Jake Rowe writes that while Georgia was ready to play against Alabama, it had no response when it needed one.
My top 25
1. Ohio State (5-0) (Last week: No. 1)
2. Baylor (4-0) (Last week: No. 2)
3. Clemson (4-0) (Last week: No. 12)
4. LSU (4-0) (Last week: No. 7)
5. Utah (4-0) (Last week: No. 9)
6. Michigan State (5-0) (Last week: No. 4)
7. Texas A&M (5-0) (Last week: No. 14)
8. Alabama (4-1) (Last week: No. 11)
9. Florida (5-0) (Last week: No. 22)
10. Florida State (4-0) (Last week: No. 8)
11. Oklahoma (4-0) (Last week: No. 13)
12. TCU (5-0) (Last week: No. 15)
13. Northwestern (5-0) (Last week: No. 16)
14. Mississippi (4-1) (Last week: No. 2)
15. Notre Dame (4-1) (Last week: No. 6)
16. Michigan (4-1) (Last week: No. 23)
17. Georgia (4-1) (Last week: No. 5)
18. Stanford (4-1) (Last week: No. 19)
19. USC (3-1) (Last week: No. 20)
20. Iowa (5-0) (Last week: NR)
21. Oklahoma State (5-0) (Last week: No. 21)
22. Toledo (4-0) (Last week: No. 25)
23. California (5-0) (Last week: NR)
24. UCLA (4-1) (Last week: No. 10)
25. Duke (4-1) (Last week: NR)
Dropped out: Wisconsin (3-2), Mississippi State (3-2), West Virginia (3-1)
Georgia running back Nick Chubb following the Alabama loss: “We aren’t just going to tuck our tails because we lost the game. The (SEC) East is still open and we have plenty to play for. We have to keep our heads up and keep going.”
Song of the day
"Say it Ain't So" by Weezer