After a 4-0 start to the season and a top-10 national ranking, Georgia has completely fallen apart. The Bulldogs (5-3) have lost three of their last four games, including a 38-10 loss to Alabama and a 27-3 loss to Florida.
Are we nearing the end of the Mark Richt era in Athens?
Herschel Walker says no.
“He’s going to stay,” the Georgia legend and Heisman Trophy winner said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He’s not going anywhere right now. Right now, we got a lot of injures. We lost a great guy, (Nick) Chubb, who would have been in the running for the Heisman Trophy. No matter what, if you got injuries, you can’t blame that for not having a good season. You still got to get things together. The coach has done well over the years. You can’t get rid of him. So if right now he’s got a tough year, he’s got to see what he’s going to do to finish. It’s not how you start the race, but how you finish the race, and I think he’ll finish strong.”
Brandon Tierney isn’t quite as optimistic, especially since some of Georgia’s boosters are chirping for change.
“You have a couple of them not happy, but they’ll get happy at the end,” Walker said. “If we go out and win the rest of the season – and there’s no doubt, I want to get in the SEC Championship Game. I want to get into (the playoff). I’d love to be there, but right now, we don’t have the horses to get us there. We go to get the team that’s going to get us there.”
Looking ahead to this weekend, the biggest game, undeniably, is No. 2 LSU (7-0) at No. 4 Alabama (7-1).
“For me, that is huge, huge game because Leonard Fournette, he’s the leading Heisman candidate right now,” Walker said. “He’s above everybody. I think this is going to be the telling story. Because I don’t think LSU has played those tough teams at this time. I think this game here will be the game that says whether Leonard Fournette is that front-runner or not because there’s a lot of other guys that are playing well that should be up for it.”
Fournette, who has rushed for 1,352 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, has drawn comparisons to Walker, Bo Jackson and some of the other all-time great running backs.
“As of right now, he’s done more than myself or Bo Jackson or anyone (has done),” Walker said. “You look at the yards that he has right now, and he’s done more than we’ve done at this given time right now. But longevity does play a big part, just what he’s going to do over the long haul. . . . It’s so hard to say who’s going to get (the Heisman), but it is his Heisman to lose. If he does something crazy off the field, for me, he won’t get my vote, but I think this Alabama game will be a telling story. I don’t think LSU has gotten to the meat of their schedule. I don’t think they’ve played those powerful defenses yet. I think Alabama will be the defense that will tell you if he’s the guy.”