Welcome to a world of fast food, information at our fingertips, and instant gratification. In such a world, every sporting event is the biggest, most important, most career-defining game ever played.
Until, of course, the next one.
Coming off a 6-7 season, Mark Richt needs to rebound at Georgia or he could be out of a job come December. Some fans are pointing to the Dawgs’ first two games — Boise State and South Carolina — as the ultimate test of Richt’s ability to lead the Georgia program.
“Well is it as big of a buildup for an opening game as we’ve had, because of who we’re playing and where we’re playing and maybe a little bit of the uniform issue and all that kind of thing. There is an awful lot of hype going into this ballgame compared to maybe some other opening games.
I don’t personally think the season is riding on this one game. It’s really not. It’s a game that we absolutely want to win. It’s a game that we expect to win. We talk a lot about winning the Eastern Division because that is the one thing we can control. This really doesn’t have a bearing on the Southeastern Conference race, so it really doesn’t get in the way of that goal. But what I do think it’s going to do is give us a pretty good feel of what we’re made of right away. I think it’s also going to be a great teacher of what it’s going to take to win in our league down the road. So I think it’s very positive that we’re playing the game. I certainly want to win it. I think it could create some really good momentum from that. But I don’t think everything is riding in the balance.”
Obviously, Richt is correct. If the Dawgs beat Boise State and then lose to South Carolina next Saturday, no Georgia fan will be talking about what went on in the Georgia Dome against the Broncos. Likewise, if UGA loses Saturday night but rebounds with a win over Carolina, the folks in red and black will be woofing about SEC championship possibilities.
We all want instant answers these days. Wondering about a coach’s overall ability? Let’s judge him on his next game. But that’s all just hype and nonsense. Richt should and will be judged by AD Greg McGarity and the most-powerful Georgia boosters at the end of his season.
After all, for all the talk of UGA’s toughest games being one and two on this year’s schedule, I seem to recall Auburn and Florida giving the Dawgs some trouble down through the years. And even if Georgia loses its first two games, running the table and reaching Atlanta would silence a whole lot of September critics.
So the season is most certainly not riding on the Georgia-Boise State game. It only seems like it is.