ESPN.com’s SEC writer/blogger Chris Low, a big fan of orange and no fan of Georgia, breaks down the Auburn game like this:
At Auburn, there’s hope, a sense that a new day is coming under first-year coach Gene Chizik. An eight-win season would be greeted with a bunch of approving nods. Even a seven-win season would be tolerable. It’s still the honeymoon phase.
At Georgia, there’s despair. There’s anger. There’s real concern that this program is on a slippery slope to mediocrity in the SEC, a program that’s been the hallmark of consistency under Mark Richt. A seven-win season would go over about as well as a 10-year-old getting socks for Christmas.
Fair and balanced thus far.
Low then goes on to write one more sentence about Auburn, saving the rest of his space for “indictments” against Richt. I guess he still hasn’t gotten over that hob-nailed boot thing.
The biggest indictment against Richt is the way Georgia has continued to rack up the penalties the last two years. The Bulldogs have an SEC-high 85 penalties, which is 17 more than the next closest team. They’re averaging 77.3 penalty yards per game, which is nearly 20 yards more than the next most penalized team.
Georgia is last in the SEC in turnover margin at minus-16, which ranks the Bulldogs 119th out of 120 teams nationally. Nobody else in the SEC is even close to being that low. Ole Miss is 11th at minus-7.
Throw in the fact that the Bulldogs are 11th in the SEC in pass defense and tied for 10th in scoring defense, and it’s pretty easy to see what all the fuss is about in Athens.
Richt and the Bulldogs can’t solve all of their problems over these next few weeks.
I am not saying that these are bogus issues, they are quite real.
I wonder if Auburn fans feel as “peachy” about their program as Low’s lack of critique indicates he does.