The difference between Georgia and Florida is simple, and I can reduce it down to one word: heart.
After the loss to Ole Miss, Tim Tebow made a promise to the Florida fans:
I promise you one thing: a lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season and you’ll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season, and you’ll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season.
Since that loss, Florida has been nothing but perfect as a football team. They have outscored their opponents, 445 to 117. The most points that an opponent has scored on Florida was 20, and that was by Alabama. During every game since the Ole Miss loss, you can find highlight after highlight of Tebow challenging his fellow teammates to do more, and to take the attack to their opponents. During the same period, UGA outscored their opponents, 213 to 211. A whopping two-point difference and they lost two games, as well.
As discussed here, this Georgia team has made giving up into an art form. Even after the wretched play in both the Alabama or Florida games, no UGA player stepped up to the microphone (or camera) and called the team out to their wretched play. Instead, we had “team meetings” and laments that we were not having “fun” on the field.
As a child, I loved playing football with my friends from school or my relatives at family gatherings. Yet, there was no doubt about what I wanted when I played football: I wanted to win. Granted, I did not have the talents or physical size to play football on the high school level or on a college level. Yet, the desire to win should be more apparent in those individuals that have the God-given talents to play college football. In addition, I would think that the mere thought of losing should be hateful to those that college football, especially those that play for the University of Georgia.
Somewhere in the recess of my mind, I remembered that when Mark Richt came to Georgia in 2001, he asked his players what it was going to take them to break through to the next level, and win the SEC. The very next year, UGA broke on through the barrier and won the SEC. I am curious as to what it will take for UGA to break through this funk, and find the heart to not just show up, not just make it competitive, but to win games, the SEC East, the SEC and the national title.