spent about 15 minutes with Georgia football coach Mark Richt on Monday afternoon prior to the Savannah Bulldog Club meeting at Savannah Golf Club. Here is a transcript of part of our conversation:
Q: Savannah is your first stop of several around the state this summer, and as usual, expectations are high. What do you expect from fans?
Richt: I know expectations are as high or higher than they’ve been since I’ve been here. Expectations were pretty high going into 2004 — David Pollack and David Green’s senior year — but not quite as high as they are now. A few people were mentioning us in a very high regard back then, and the state of Georgia was on fire, but nationally it seems more of the thing to say this year that Georgia has a chance.
The fans are excited. The fact that we’re doing (the coach’s road trip) a little bit later in the spring, almost the summer, might affect it. I’m doing three here in the near future and then five or six real close to the season which we haven’t done in the past. By virtue of the fact that we’re closer to the season, we’ll probably feel a little more excitement then.
Q: Do you try and temper those high fan expectations during these club meetings?
Richt: Those expectations are out there, so we might as well have fun with it. I’m not going to try and bum anybody out. The fact is we’re in a great league and we’re going to play great teams. I say it every year: Regardless of how good we might be in any given year there are at least six or seven teams who could line up toe to toe and whip us. We have to be prepared for that.
Q: Do you sense fans appreciate how difficult it is to win championships?