The Georgia Bulldogs came within five yards of scoring the game-winning touchdown against Alabama in the 2012 SEC championship game. As the team watched the final few seconds of the game tick off the clock and into college football history, they all knew the Tide was once again off to national championship glory while they would miss out on the BCS altogether.
Coach Mark Richt has had months upon months to agonize over those few seconds; how close he and his program came to the ultimate victory on the game’s ultimate stage.
The 13-year coaching veteran joined a live edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter on Monday and he did not shy away from the issue at hand.
“We want one. I want one. Our fans want one.”
That sounds simple enough, but as we all know, navigating the ever-treacherous SEC schedule is never quite so easy. Luckily, Richt has the benefit of a record-setting senior lining up under center for him on Saturdays.
Richt would go on to talk about how both he and Murray are chomping at the bit to finally start playing some football.
“Just flying to the SEC Media Days, he said, ‘Coach, I can’t wait until camp starts.’ I asked why. He said, ‘Because I’m tired of coaching.’ It’s tough to coach and play. And he’ll do so much for the community. Every single day, he’s doing something to help Georgia get better.”
Granted, all of that is well and good, but Murray probably would not be back in Athens had both coach and player reached their joint goal a year ago.
“If we had won that game and went on the National Championship, I’m not sure Aaron would have come back. He might have said, ‘I’ve accomplished what I wanted to get done in college, and I’m on my way,’ but because we didn’t get it done as a team, he wants to come back and become a championship quarterback at Georgia. That’s what he set out to do, so hopefully he’ll be rewarded for that.”
All Murray has to do now is lead Georgia to wins over the likes of Clemson, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and then potentially Alabama, Texas A&M or LSU again in the SEC title game. No big deal, right?
It’s going to be a fun year.
[H/T: Coaching Search]