Naturally, we'll be looking at Georgia's 35-14 victory over Oklahoma State in greater detail tomorrow---er, later today, I mean---but, for now, we begin the season with my favorite part of every week . . . the Mark Richt Victory Watch.
Mark Richt was 40 years old when he was hired to coach the 'Dawgs and he studied under Bobby Bowden, who continues to coach well past the conventional retirement age. As soon as Coach Richt arrived in Athens, I did the math and realized that, if he averaged eight wins a year through age 65, he'd get to 200 wins . . . so I began counting down the victories en route to Coach Richt's eventual and inevitable overtaking of Vince Dooley on the all-time school wins list.
The Mark Richt Victory Watch now stands at 62. Coach Richt needs just 139 more victories to match Coach Dooley's school record of 201 wins.
At 62-17, Coach Richt has the best won-lost record of any coach in Georgia history after 79 games on the job. At the same point in their respective careers, Harry Mehre (49-27-3), Wally Butts (56-21-2), Vince Dooley (52-23-4), and Ray Goff (45-33-1) all had fewer wins and more losses.
Interestingly enough, Coach Butts's 79th game at the Bulldog helm also was a win over the Pokes between the hedges. At that time, Oklahoma State was known as Oklahoma A&M, but the Cowboys came to the Classic City on October 19, 1946, and the Red and Black sent them home to Stillwater smarting from a 33-13 setback.
For the record, the Bulldogs ended the 1946 season with an unbeaten record, an S.E.C. title, and a bowl win in New Orleans to claim a share of the national championship. I'm just saying.