|Although winning, barely escaping—|
like last year in Jacksonville—is the
recent trend for the Bulldogs after a bye.
In the same interview I mentioned in my last post, I was asked what possible advantages, besides the obvious, Georgia had over Florida a week from tomorrow. Among other things, I mentioned the Bulldogs had an extra week to prepare; they would be coming off a bye.
It dawned on me later Florida too has a bye this Saturday. Also, Georgia had an open week prior to this season's South Carolina game, and we all know what resulted in Columbia. So much for the Bulldogs' "advantage" in Jacksonville.
Finally, I recalled a piece I posted two years ago prior to the Bulldogs' mid-season bye against Kentucky regarding a historical view of "what to expect" from Georgia following an open date.
I've done some updating, including Coach Richt's bye results since my original post, while discovering Coach Dooley's results following an open date for his entire tenure. Listed by winning percentage of head coach, the following are Georgia's records off a bye week over the last 50 years:
.786- DOOLEY (27-7-1)
.762- RICHT (16-5)
.667- DONNAN (8-4)
.464- GOFF (6-7-1)
.583- DONNAN (7-5)
.500- GOFF (7-7)
.457- DOOLEY (16-19)
.452- RICHT (9-11-1)
Although ranking last among the four coaches, Richt actually had success at first against the number following a bye, covering 7 of his first 9 games. However, beginning in 2008—and this is near staggering—although 6-3 straight up, Georgia is 1-8 against the spread after an open week.
If the recent past is any indication for the future, like eight days from now, the Bulldogs will likely "underachieve" after their bye, although probably escaping Jacksonville with a victory. And, if I was to make an early guess, I'd say Georgia will be around a 9- to 13-point favorite next week. That's a lot of points in a series decided by 8 or fewer points in 9 of the last 12 games, and a rivalry where the Bulldogs have defeated the Gators by more than 12 points just once during the last quarter-century. Nevertheless, a win is a win over the Gators—I don't care if it's by 1 or 100 points—to improve to an admirable 7-1 on the season.
Although, now that I think about it—and I just thought of my replacement "possible advantage" Georgia has over Florida for next week—the current edition of Richt's Dogs, a squad which should continue to have a no-one-man-team and chip-on-shoulder attitude, appear to be unlike his teams beginning in 2008. Seemingly, the underachieving Georgia program of the past several seasons (on the whole), fielding teams falling below expectations even almost everytime after having an extra week to practice and prepare, might continue to strain their potential continuing through this week's bye to the Florida game, and beyond.