Mark Richt slept soundly Sunday.
As a reward for making it through a rugged stretch of games in 10 straight weeks and for clinching the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division, Richt allowed himself the simple pleasure of joining his family's weekly ritual of a nap after church and Sunday dinner.
"I had a good nap," Richt reported. "I haven't been able to get a nap with everybody before (during the season)."
Richt encouraged his players and coaches to "have a nice, restful day" on Sunday, and the team has another day off today as it enjoys its first off week since the first week of September.
"It's important," Richt said. "I want them to recharge their batteries and enjoy the victory."
Richt said his assistants have not had a day off during the 10-week stretch.
"I tried to give them one (Sunday)," Richt said, "but I saw a few of them popping up around the office. I guess it's hard to get away."
Following his nap, Richt also was back in his office Sunday evening, as he reflected on the win over Auburn that was capped by Michael Johnson's dramatic 19-yard, fourth-down catch with 1:25 left to play. Johnson jumped over Auburn defensive back Horace Willis to make the catch.
"I'm just thankful we got it to the point of a jump ball," Richt said. The 10-week stretch was a grind, and it took a toll on Georgia's list of injured players, but Saturday's 24-21 victory at Auburn made this a successful season.
For the first time Georgia, which moved up one spot to No. 6 in both major polls Sunday, will play in the SEC championship game on Dec. 7.
Georgia (10-1 overall, 7-1 SEC) still is alive in the national championship picture, but for now the focus switches from the SEC East to its Nov. 30 home game with Georgia Tech and then the SEC championship game.
"I think we understand how important (winning the East) is, but then already you begin to think about Tech and beyond that, knowing we're going to play for the Southeastern Conference," Richt said.
Georgia had the advantage of maintaining a one-game lead over Florida despite a 20-13 loss to the Gators on Nov. 2. The bigger surprise is Georgia still is a factor in the national championship picture.
"It's very encouraging," Richt said. "It was encouraging to be able to not change those goals after the loss. It could have been the attitude of the same old Georgia." Added Richt: "It was very easy to keep them motivated because nothing was lost to that point."