Was 2010 Richt’s most disappointing season?

I certainly didn’t enjoy it at the time, and Bill Connelly’s return to that season doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

It’s not particularly unusual for a team with a mediocre record to rank pretty highly in S&P+, just as it’s not unusual for a team with a great record to grade out as a mediocre team.

That said, Georgia and Miami went a combined 13-13 … and ranked 12th and 13th, respectively. That’s a bit much. So let’s walk through their seasons and try to understand why they ended up where they ended up.

Georgia (6-7, 12th)

(Opponents’ rankings below are their S&P+ rankings, in case it wasn’t clear.)

  • Sept. 4: beat No. 118 UL-Lafayette, 55-7 (post-game win expectancy: 98%)
  • Sept. 11: lost to No. 16 South Carolina, 17-6 (4%)
  • Sept. 18: lost to No. 5 Arkansas, 31-24 (32%)
  • Sept. 25: lost to No. 35 Mississippi State, 24-12 (35%)
  • Oct. 2: lost to No. 67 Colorado, 29-27 (89%)
  • Oct. 9: beat No. 43 Tennessee, 41-14 (100%)
  • Oct. 16: beat No. 88 Vanderbilt, 43-0 (100%)
  • Oct. 23: beat No. 50 Kentucky, 44-31 (94%)
  • Oct. 30: lost to No. 26 Florida, 34-31 (57%)
  • Nov. 6: beat FCS Idaho State, 55-7 (100%)
  • Nov. 13: lost to No. 6 Auburn, 49-31 (32%)
  • Nov. 27: beat No. 61 Georgia Tech, 42-34 (86%)
  • Dec. 31: lost to No. 53 UCF, 10-6 (33%)

So they went 0-5 against top-40 teams, which certainly doesn’t belie top-15 status. And to be sure, the fact that I keep priors in the ratings all the way through the end of the season now (a recent change) props the Dawgs up a bit, since they were awesome for most of the run-up to 2010.

That said, a) when the Dawgs won, they dominated (average winning margin: 31.2 points), and b) postgame win expectancy says they were really unlucky to lose to Colorado and probably should have gone at least 1-4 or 2-3 against Arkansas, MSU, Florida, Auburn, and UCF.

Their second-order win total (which simply adds up the post-game win probabilities) was 8.6, which suggests they were closer to a 9-4 team than 6-7. And obviously a 9-4 Georgia team with a top-30 strength of schedule is going to be right at home in the S&P+ top 15. So it’s semi-justifiable, at least.

So many bad memories… awful loss at Colorado capping an ugly four-game losing streak, embarrassing no show in the bowl game, etc.  There was also the painful loss in Jacksonville when it looked like Georgia might beat Corch, only to blow it in overtime.

But, yeah, this shouldn’t have been anywhere close to a seven-loss team and when you combine that with the lack of a single thrilling win over a quality opponent, that’s how you wind up at the low point of Georgia football during Richt’s term in Athens.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

34 responses to “Was 2010 Richt’s most disappointing season?

  1. It was a super frustrating season with so many awful moments.

    One that sticks out: Richt getting completely caught off guard by the onside kick in Auburn that literally my entire watch party predicted.

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  2. CEPH

    Who cares what Richts most disappointing season was, my most disappointing season was every season he was here. As lame as McGarity is he did do one thing right when he got rid of Richts lazy ass!!!!!

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  3. Mayor

    I was saying this at the time just not with numbers. That team wasn’t championship caliber but should have won 9 games. The reason for several of the losses was end of game brain cramps by CMR flipping wins into losses. That year was when CMR lost me.

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    • Me too. When we lost at Colorado I was done with CMR. Of course we held onto him for almost half a decade afterwards is a true testament to the Georgia Way. No wonder our opponents cried when CMR was finally cut loose. Too little, much too late.

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  4. Got Cowdog

    Dayum. I guess I handle UGAFBPTSD by blocking out. I had forgotten that one for the biggest part. Oh well, the archives from around that time should make for some entertaining reading on this rainy day…

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  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    One memorable highlight: A.J. Green, coming off injury and supposedly iffy, one handing a touchdown hanging sideways against Colorado.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HirsuteDawg

      My Colorado memory is watching the right side of our offensive line not block anybody – ANYBODY – resulting in the fumble. That was pitiful line play.

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  6. CEPH

    Me thinks maybe Kirby should stroll up to Clemson and take some lessons from Dabo (God it hurts to say this because I despise him). We get all these great players yet Kirby can’t figure out Saban after all the time he spent with him. Dabo has less stars and he has Sabans number, go figure. Kirby give ears a call, PLEASE!!!!!

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    • So Dabo “owns Saban”? Quite the hyperbole from you. Bama blew a 4th quarter lead to Clemson in the 2016 game on an illegal, last play of the game (and due to a broken leg to the Tide RB that impacted their ability to run the clock down). Bama won the rematch convincingly in 2017, and Clemson won convincingly this past year. I would also say, the better team won both the last two meetings and wouldn’t put the primary reason as who the HC was. Hardly a compelling case to justify sending Kirby to get advice from Dabo.

      So you “despise” Dabo, and can’t think anything positive about Richt’s “lazy ass” while in Athens. Seems you are the one with issues, few are quite that extreme in their position on either of these men. Might want to check the mirror if looking for someone who falls short.

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      • CEPH

        To start with I didn’t say Dabo owned Saban, but his track record against Saban is sure as hell better than Kirbys!! What is your secondary occupation psychiatrist or is that your primary occupation? Do you even have any mirrors in your home, if you do I would suggest you look in one of them yourself before you start meting out advice!!!!!!

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      • CEPH

        To Maccallan. To start with I didn’t say that Dabo owned Saban but his track record against Saban is sure as hell better than Kirbys!! He sure has been a better coach in the fourth quarter against Saban. Realistically with better fourth quarter coaching we would be 2-0 against Saban. What is your secondary occupation, psychiatrist, or is that your primary occupation. You need to go look in mirror yourself and take a swig of the Maccallan before you start meting out advice to someone you don’t even know.

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  7. 2008 is the season that takes the cake for me. That team was truly loaded. Yes, there were a couple of injuries, but that team had an enormous amount of returning talent including that year’s #1 overall NFL prospect.

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    • Theoretically, yes. But the book was out on Willie by then. Good OCs had figured out how to pull his pants down on the reg. Without a holy terror pass rusher a la Marcus Howard circa 2007, Willie was clueless.

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      • I thought Two Thumbs should have been sent packing after the WVU Sugar Bowl game.

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        • The way he deployed Greg Blue in that game was coaching malpractice.

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          • To me, it’s still The Game That Shall Not Be Named. Any time I think of it, my Bulldog scars burn. I still think players on that team practically threw that game because it was in Atlanta instead of New Orleans.

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            • stoopnagle

              DJ Shockley deserved better, for sure.

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              • DJ almost singlehandedly brought the team back. With his injury in the Arkansas game leading to the UF loss, Tra Battle’s concussion that led to the Auburn loss, and the defensive disaster of the WV game, he definitely deserved a better fate.

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            • I will partially agree with this. While I don’t think the players threw the game, doubt you do either, I do believe we would have dominated that game if it had been held in Nawlins. We play Tech regularly in Atlanta, and had just won the SECCG in the Dome, another game in Atlanta just didn’t seem like the reward you should get for winning the conference title.

              Add to that, the run up before it was UGA had gotten screwed by drawing WVU as an unworthy opponent. That was a pretty talented offense. I think the coaches did all they could do but the players didn’t take their warnings seriously enough. They obviously taught them what to do as evidenced by how they recovered once they got slapped in the face long enough to some out of their nap. That was a pretty amazing comeback, and almost worked. Think that would have been the largest comeback in UGA history.

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  8. Uglydawg

    That was a year of bad offensive decisions. I think the loss against UCF was a microcosm of the season. On the first drive of the game, Georgia ran the ball down UCF’s throat only to settle for a FG from the one or two yard line.
    It was a freakin’ bowl game and right there, O’Leary knew he had us…After that, UCF played lights out to win and Georgia went totally flat. I still think it pissed off the offensive line that CMR didn’t show any more trust in them than that…in a meaningless bowl game. That was the year I started calling him “Field Goal Mark”, which was wrong of me and I regret it now..but it seemed all year that he was playing for the sure three points whenever the ball crossed the 40 or so. Some of the best offense CMR teams ever played was when an injury benched the kicker.

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  9. ilini84

    I’ll always remember Kris Durham crying as they walk off the field in the bowl game.

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  10. Bulldog Joe

    The season was over when Georgia’s new AD decided to not stand up for our best player getting an outrageous four game suspension the morning of the opener.

    It was the first of many spineless moves that continue to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Normaltown Mike

    My most vivid memories of 2010 are nearly all bad.

    Ealey missing a key block late against Arkansas
    Aaron Murray getting mugged at Awburn
    The f’ing bowl loss

    Of all these, that bowl loss was the worst part for me. What a wet fart of a game.

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  12. Go Dawgs!

    It was certainly one of Greg McGarity’s more disappointing seasons, but certainly not the most disappointing. If we’d bothered to fight the NCAA Auburn-style on the AJ Green thing, maybe that four game losing streak never happens.

    2010 is best forgotten.

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    • stoopnagle

      The only time our admin isn’t trying to be UNC is when it comes to protect our student-athletes’ eligibility. I guess you have to lay some of that on Jack Baurele, though, don’t you?

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  13. Hal Welch

    Depends on your definition of worst, or most disappointing I think. No doubt 2010 was awful, but I can’t help bu think much of it was due to the 4 game suspension announced for A.J. just hours before the first game. I know it deflated me and most of the fans, I’m sure it deflated the team as well. I’m not sure it worth making excuses over, but I think when looking at that season that’s definitely a factor.

    For me his worst season was also maybe his best… 2012. I have felt like that night ended Mark’s tenure at UGA. I’d never seen him so heartbroken, or defensive. He was hurt, and angry. He loved that team. LOVED them. Aaron Murray was in my opinion his favorite player he’d coached. He had had this team go from 6-7 to feet away from his 3rd SEC title and most likely a national title. He knew he couldn’t hang onto his assistants much longer and he was going to have to rebuild UGA again… damnit.

    He was deflated, defeated and I think in my heart he quit that night.

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  14. stoopnagle

    I’d vote for 2013 or 2014 before 2010.

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    • The Dawg abides

      I lean toward 2014 also. All three loses were inexcusable, and all due to coaching gaffes. Add in the Gurley situation and it was the most miserable season in recent memory.

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  15. Hobnail_Boot

    2004 was the biggest disappointment. That UT game still sticks in my craw.

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  16. Dawg19

    2015 was the most disappointing to me. We looked like world beaters against South Carolina and then got boat-raced by Bama at home.Then the Florida debacle. It’s the emptiest I’ve ever felt after a season and we won 10 games that year.

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  17. Don’t leave behind the hiring of the current water boy as an acceptable option as the director of UGA athletics…..it sent reverberations through the whole department !

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  18. Comin' Down The Track

    Except for the game, that trip to Colorado was excellent though. Let’s have more of that.

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  19. Doug

    2010 was definitely Richt’s worst season, but 2015 was the one I enjoyed the least, if that makes any sense. In 2010, the blowouts were enormous and even the losses, too frequent though they were, carried some suspense. Five years later, though, the offense became a chore to watch, to the point where even the wins weren’t that entertaining. The only time I was legit excited that year was sending Spurrier out with a 50-burger tattooed on his ass. The rest of the season just felt like the proverbial mules fighting over a turnip.

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