Kyle Funderburk's Blog
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It wasn't until a hour after the SEC Championship Game that I saw the first "Fire Mark Richt" tweet. Which is completely understandable. I mean all the Georgia Bulldogs did all year was win eleven games and come within five yards of a trip to Miami. That was obvious sarcasm, however I can understand the criticism towards Coach Richt and his inability to win big games. Against top 15 teams, Georgia has only mustered a 2-11 record since 2008. And everyone thought 2012 was supposed to be the year of the Dawgs. Richt had a defense full of NFL talent and one of the nations most elite quarterbacks. Now the defense will be broken up and the rest of the SEC East is getting stronger. It looks as though Georgia has lost their shot at a National Championship. Or have they? Could Georgia possibly be closer to a National Championship now despite the devastating loss to Alabama? I say it's completely possible and my reasoning goes back to the beginning of the Bulldogs futility in the biggest games. In 2008 Georgia was on the back end of the Willie Martinez era and fielded a young injury prone team. In 2009, Georgia's top two players left and the season ended with the firing of Willie Martinez. 2010 saw a massive rebuilding year with new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. 2011 Georgia ended the SEC East drought, but was still an immature team. You're probably wondering what am I getting at. Simply put, from 2008-2011 Georgia just wasn't good enough as a team to win big games. It had nothing to do with Mark Richt or any one man. Sure a 1-2 record in the big games in 2012 might not be a great one. Unlike the past few years however, Georgia played great in the latter two games and the SEC Championship could have gone either way. This is a team that is becoming accustom to playing in big games. Even with a major overhaul coming up for the defense, Georgia has done a great job recruiting on defense and under Grantham, players you would least expect have stepped up and contributed. Then on offense all but two starters are returning and that includes the offensive line that was seen as a cause for concern back in August. The "Dream Team" and "Ring Team" are maturing and another big recruiting class is coming in. After coming up short in 2012, the Georgia Bulldogs will be hungry, but more importantly they will be ready to play on the big stage and that readiness has been the missing component for the past couple of years.

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