When it comes to running up scores, Mark Richt is kind of the anti-Spurrier. Sure, Georgia’s won its share of games by lopsided scores, but if Richt is rolling into the fourth quarter leading by a wide margin, usually that’s the time the offense ratchets down, as opposed to, say, throwing for a seventh touchdown with about a minute to go in a 35-point rout.
But in the first week of October, Georgia finds itself the highest ranked one-loss team in the country, with legitimate national title aspirations. I doubt that’s escaped Richt’s attention. With regard to that, though, Georgia isn’t in a control-its-destiny position like Alabama is. Some things are going to have to happen down the road to make that a reality, and with a loss on the resume, that’s going to mean pollsters are going to be making subjective comparisons between the teams under consideration for the national title game.
Which leads me to a certain yardstick: Oregon 59, Tennessee 14. It may not be right, it may not be fair, but, let’s face it, if we reach a point when comparisons have to be made – by humans, of course, since the BCS computers can’t look at margin of victory – there are going to be those who will look at common opponents and draw a conclusion from the results of the two games. Again, I doubt that’s something Richt doesn’t expect.
So here’s an idle thought for idle minds. If Georgia enters the fourth quarter tomorrow with a comfortable lead (let’s say 48-28 for argument’s sake), does Richt tell Bobo to call off the dogs and run the ball for the rest of the game, or is Bobo left alone to allow Mason to run the regular offense and try to get another couple of scores?
Of course, it would be nice if the defense showed up and made this all a moot point, but if Georgia’s still working the kinks out on that side of the ball, that’s not likely. Does Richt consider impressing the poll voters a necessary thing to do? I don’t know, but I think at this point in his career, Mark Richt’s got an appreciation of how things go if you want to make a national title game appearance.