|Mark Richt salutes UGA fans after a hard fought win against Louisiana Monroe.|
I took another week off, and our rivals from Tallahassee and Coral Gables gave us one of the most entertaining Gator bye weeks in recent memory. I’m not sure what was more enjoyable, watching Miami die a slow, painful death against Clemson in front of 1500 pissed off fans or FSU getting their hearts ripped out in Atlanta. Both games were magically delicious.
While most of the college football world has their collective eye on a couple national title elimination games NEXT weekend, one half of the SEC title game picture takes shape in Jacksonville this week.
Florida vs Georgia
Speaking of Atlanta, I want to give a shout out to Augusta, Georgia native and all-things Atlanta super fan, UCF Associate Womens’ Basketball Coach Ken Griffin. I’ve got to show Coach Ken some love because unlike most so-called Atlanta sports fans, he actually gives a shit about sports teams in the ATL. He’s also a prime candidate to become this blog's 28th follower.
Coach Ken is unlike any Atlanta sports fan I know. He doesn’t watch the Falcons play once every six years at the Georgia Dome, wearing a faded Andre Rison jersey, asking people around him why Michael Vick’s not playing. He doesn’t chant “MVP” at Hawks games when the other team’s best player shoots free throws. He knows the career statistics of Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame catcher Biff Pocoroba. He knows how to spell “Pocoroba” properly without doing a Google search. He lives and dies with his Atlanta sports teams, and that’s rare. I respect that.
Coach Ken is also a HUGE Georgia Bulldog fan, and like many UGA fans he’s over Mark Richt, wants him gone like Al Golden. I understand, but at the same time I don’t get it. In spite of everything UGA fans hate about Mark Richt, you can’t deny he’s the second best coach in the history of Georgia football…worst case. But sure, he’s never won a national title, hasn’t won an SEC title in a decade, and his teams routinely crap the bed when the stakes are high.
Meanwhile in Gainesville, Jim McElwain is making chicken salad out of Will Muschamp’s chicken shit. Nothing but blue skies, lollipops and puppy dog kisses in Gator Country these days.
So in a season that began with great uncertaintly surrounding UF and SEC title aspirations for UGA, over the past two months someone flipped the script.
How desperate is Mark Richt? UGA is starting someone named Faton Bauta at QB instead of Greyson Lambert. Faton Bauta sounds like a guy on the TSA's no-fly list...an explosive playmaker if you will. Apparently Bauta gives UGA more of a run threat at QB, and he can't be a worse passer than Lambert. What's the worst that could happen? Mark Richt loses another big game?
Florida played well enough to beat national title contender LSU a couple weeks ago, in spite of UF's all-world secondary getting torched repeatedly by a slightly above average QB. Treon Harris played well for most of the night, but struggled late. The Gators still can't run consistently against anyone. We placed ads in the Gainesville Sun for a kicker.
That said, the good guys are still 6-1 and ahead of schedule while Georgia is reeling.
Back to you Coach Ken, be careful what you wish for. Mark Richt may not be Urban Meyer or Nick Saban...he's not Ray Goff or Jim Donnan either. Tennessee fired Phil Fulmer seven years ago, and they still haven't recovered. Please keep this in mind after Florida beats Georgia in Jacksonville tomorrow.
The Gators are going back to Atlanta, and Mark Richt stays employed in Athens.
UF - 26
UGA - 17