Georgia has some things in common with the team that preceded it on our countdown. Like Clemson, the Bulldogs always have talent and almost always have high hopes entering a season, but they can’t quite get over the hump. Five times in Mark Richt’s 14 years as head coach, the team has been in the AP Pre-Season Top 10; six times, it has finished the season there. Not too shabby at all. But Georgia fans are haunted by the near-misses of 2002, 2007 and 2012, all times when a BCS berth seemed to be in reach but ultimately couldn’t be secured.
Even with all of that being said, the major reason the Bulldogs find themselves at No. 8 is the cries from within the fan ranks to dismiss Richt. Sure, he seems to have been the bridesmaid many times while never actually getting to be the bride, but he’s a fine recruiter and has turned Georgia into a perennial contender. That’s more than we can say for his predecessors Jim Donnan and Ray Goff. If Richt does get bounced, the Georgia opening would be an extremely attractive one, but Bulldog fans should be careful what they wish for, as there’s no guarantees Richt’s replacement would be the one to take the program higher than it’s been.