Time For Bulldogs To Rise To The Challenge

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They are out of the Top 25 after one game, but in all honesty, the Georgia Bulldogs should never have been ranked to begin with. (Who ranks a team 19th in the country following a 6-7 season when your top offensive weapon was the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft, the top returning running back was a linebacker a year ago and three of the top four tacklers on defense are gone?)

The Bulldog Nation is losing its patience, and after an eight-month off season where the Nation said, "we can't start the season 0-2," the 'Dogs are four quarters away from that happening.

Ever since the the 10-6 Liberty Bowl loss to UCF that locked up their first losing season since 1996, every fan, columnist, reporter, blogger and analyst said Mark Richt is on the "hot seat."

That seat became a few degrees warmer after a lackluster 14-point loss to Boise State to begin the season, and it seems the usually calm, cool and collected coach Richt is feeling the pressure.

On Tuesday when asked about the importance of the game, Richt said, "I view it as a very important game."

A few minutes later there was a follow-up: Is the home game against South Carolina a must-win game? "Didn't I just say it's a really important game?" countered Richt. But do you think it's a must-win? "I think it's a really important game," he said. "You want to ask me again? Because you can and I'll give you the same answer."

He's tired of answering the same questions, but there is only one way for those questions to go away: Win. When was the last time Georgia won a game and you said, "Wow, way to step it up!" November 28th, 2009 when they beat seventh ranked Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium?

The Bulldogs have lost three straight games at Sanford Stadium to ranked opponents and have lost nine of their last 11 overall to ranked opponents, but all of their goals are still in place: an SEC East title, a SEC Championship appearance, a date in a BCS Bowl.

It starts Saturday with 12th-ranked South Carolina at home and in this "what-have-you-done-for-me-today" (SEC) world we live in, nothing can cool the hot seat more than a victory over Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.