"Has Georgia shown in improvement? Clearly."
How "clear" is this improvement? The records of the AQ teams that UGA has beaten this season: 2-8, 4-6, 5-5, 5-5, 5-5 and 6-4. Further: Kentucky and Georgia Tech are 4-6 and 7-3.
That is not all. Georgia has not even been dominant in all those games. They beat Ole Miss and Mississippi State by 14 apiece. They beat Tennessee by 8. They beat Vandy by 5 and Florida by 4. Auburn was their only dominating performance this season, and that honestly told us more about Auburn than it did about UGA. Plus consider this: they caught Florida when Brantley and Rainey were hurt, Vandy before Jordan Rodgers was the starting QB, Tennessee when their WRs were hurt, and Mississippi State after they got battered in that brutal game against LSU. So not only did UGA play a bunch of mediocre teams this year, but they even played those mediocre teams when they weren't at their best. Not saying that UGA was without their issues, but still ... they didn't play the Tennessee team that beat Cincinnati, the Florida team that looked like a top 20 team against Tennessee, the Vandy team that nearly beat Arkansas, or even the Mississippi State team that got robbed of a victory against Auburn.
Honestly, there are some mid-major teams that would have the same record against UGA's schedule, and one of those is the TCU team that just beat the Boise squad that UGA fans are very familiar with. Granted, it is going to be impossible to fire Richt after a season where he was 10-2 and possibly ranked in the top 10 at some point. But here's the deal: UGA's schedule doesn't really get a lot tougher next year. They switch Alabama for Mississippi State on one hand, but Boise for Buffalo on the other. It is going to be 2013 - when UGA plays Clemson, Alabama and LSU plus you'd think that the SEC East will be stronger by then - and 2014 (Clemson, Arkansas, LSU) before Richt rotates back to the sort of schedules that got UGA fans dissatisfied with him the past few years. Till then, UGA will be able to keep putting up respectable looking seasons without having to actually beat a top 15 team just like this year, when UGA will very likely win 10 regular season games against teams that all lost 4 or more games.