If you believe the message boards, Mark Richt should have had his red and black taken from him and made to find his own damn way back to Athens Saturday. At least that is my take away from reading the titles of a majority of the posts I saw. So I posit this question:
What were your expectations going into this season?
I've been pretty clear that I thought we'd be 8-4 or so. I based that on a few things: new defensive schemes and the youth on that side of the ball; QB play; and offensive line depth. As a bonus, I was worried about injuries in the running back corp that would limit how we used them in close games. By my view, all three weaknesses were on display Saturday, with the added bonus of us being down to two backs.
Before we go all fire [FILL IN THE BLANK WITH EVERYONE BUT PRUITT] mode over losing to a bad Florida team, I think we should see how they finish the year with Harris at QB. It is clear that they found something to spark their offense. If they sustain that for the rest of the season, this loss won't look the same in December. Their defense was and remains very stout. We saw that on display, especially in the second and third quarters.
I hate losing to Florida more than I hate losing to any other team. I firmly believe that we have something, somewhere that contributes to, but isn't the only cause of, head scratching losses each year. But truth be told, every program but one or two a year has those losses. Does that change how maddening it is for us that we have one each year? No.
I suspect some of those in the fire Richt camp would feel the same way if we went to the National Championship, only to lose by one point to another undefeated team. Some of those in the Richt shouldn't be ever held accountable camp would feel that way if we were 0-12, because he is a good man. In reality, there is a middle ground occupied by most of us that want championships, but see that there is more to excellence than just championships.
The problem lies in where that point is, and those decision makers that view excellence more by dollars and perception than wins and graduation rates.