As both MaconDawg and I predicted, and as ought to have been expected, Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide and Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs played each other toe-to-toe in a classic Southeastern Conference showdown in which both teams demonstrated why they and their coaches are among the most successful in the league.
I tip my cap to the 'Bama coaches, players, and fans, who may be disappointed in this evening's outcome but who may look forward to many more years of success. Clearly, the Tide are rising back to their proper place in the college football firmament, and I salute Coach Saban, his squad, and their supporters on a well-played, hard-fought college football game.
Given the quality, character, and class of Saturday evening's opposition and the difficult venue from which the 'Dawgs emerged with a win, I am perhaps more pleased to update the Mark Richt Victory Watch than I have been at any time since the 2005 S.E.C. championship game.
The Mark Richt Victory Watch now stands at 64. Coach Richt needs just 137 more wins to tie Vince Dooley for the all-time school record of 201 career victories.
After 82 games as the Georgia head football coach, Mark Richt has a career ledger of 64-18. Although only a tiny handful of his predecessors even lasted that long on the Sanford Stadium sideline, no coach in Bulldog history has ever compiled such a stellar record of achievement at this stage of his career. Harry Mehre (50-29-3), Wally Butts (59-21-2), and Vince Dooley (55-23-4) all trailed Mark Richt after as many games guiding the Red and Black.
Our congratulations go out to Coach Richt. This was a big one. The program needed this win to keep its elite status from being called into question, and the coaches and players delivered.