After way too many weekends during the offseason that produced bad news for the ‘Dawgs, Georgia got the best news of all this weekend (although Dr. Saturday put a bit of a damper on it with his take):
The Associated Press has the Red and Black ranked No. 1.
Paul Westerdawg has the balloting broken down by voter, but the highlight for me was Mark Richt’s reaction, which deviated slightly from the standard coachspeak:
I think it’s exciting for our program for people to feel that way about us. Fires me up. There’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with it, but let’s face it, the football world thinks we’ve got a shot, and they are holding us in high esteem right now, and we need to do everything in our power to keep it there.
If Mark Richt is fired up about the coming season and determined to keep the Bulldogs in the top spot, that sounds to me like nothing but a good thing. When I read the foregoing quotation, I was reminded of my favorite passage from Ben Brown’s Saint Bobby and the Barbarians: The Inside Story of a Tumultuous Season with the Florida State Seminoles:
Before the Florida game, when Bowden was having his Friday-night skull session with Mark Richt and Brad Scott, they had wondered at the line of thinking that held that Florida State couldn’t win the big game. All those games that placed them among the top-ranked teams in the nation, weren’t some of them big games?
"This is the way it’s going to be," said Richt. "If you beat Miami and lose to Florida, you can’t win the big one. If you beat both of them and lose the bowl game, you can’t win the big one."
"Boy, ain’t that the truth," said Bowden, shaking his head in amusement. But there was nothing about the logic that surprised him anymore. So the question he put to Richt was purely rhetorical.
"So what do you do?"
"Well, I guess," said the quarterbacks coach, "you can’t ever lose again."
That’s the spirit. Stay tuned for the BlogPoll later today to see if Georgia makes it a clean sweep.