The Glass Ceiling

ATHENS – Georgia has hit a blue and orange stained glassed ceiling.

While under Mark Richt the Bulldogs have had their way, for the most part, with every other program they have run into – except Florida. All of Georgia's other major rivals have taken a back seat to the Dawgs since Richt arrived.

Richt owns a 5-3 record against Tennessee.
Richt has a 4-3 record against Auburn.
He is a perfect 7-0 against Georgia Tech.
Combined, Richt is 19-4 against South Carolina, Kentucky and Vanderbilt since 2001.
If you are keeping score at home - as Florida is taking up too much space in most Georgia fans' heads right now - Richt is 2-6 against the mighty Gators.

But against Florida – oh against Florida – Richt (and any other coach not named Dooley) has not been able to figure out Florida. Consider that Ole Miss, OLE MISS, has more wins over Florida as these Bulldogs do since Richt arrived.

"I don't think anyone feels good about it. I think you kind of feel sick," Richt said Sunday looking back on Georgia's struggles against Florida.

"We always soul searching… You have to always critique what we do," he said. "Not only do all of our friends in the media and the fans do that, but we have to do that, too."

Rightfully so. There may be no explaining it, but until it stops Georgia fans and the media that covers the team will have nothing more to say other than: "Mark Richt is a great coach. There's not much more that you could ever ask from a coach than Mark Richt gives. But, like every coach, Richt has an Achilles heel, and his is Florida."

That's the standard line. Florida may have its own vices (like afternoon games against teams from the SEC West), but that's their problem.

Compounding matters is the disturbing lopsided way Georgia lost the last three times it left the field with an "L" – by a combined score of 125-55. All three losses were considered "big games" against three traditional powers of the SEC. All three were games in which fans left scratching their heads... "What is going on?"

Over time Georgia has developed a national reputation of being good but not great – nothing I saw Saturday refutes that stereotype. The Bulldogs are steady, but they are not spectacular.

Yes, Georgia solidly beat Tennessee, Arizona State and Vanderbilt. But this team has only played to what most thought was its potential once this season – at LSU.

Until Georgia plays for the national title this "good but not great" perception will remain. Georgia seems on course for yet another ten-win season, but this time with no rings, and that's what you play for... championships.

Still, that ten-win mark is no guarantee. Another team with orange and blue is sneaking around the corner in a game that's always a mystery – no matter the records of the teams.

Oh, and if I were Paul Johnson I'd try to figure out a way to make orange and blue my colors… if only for one week each year in November.

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