That’s probably because they have.
No, not the ice-ridden roads of North Georgia – the Bulldogs were forced to scrap plans to fly to Nashville in order to bus to the game. Another travel-related note: Mark Fox tweeted on Monday that covered wagons had been “ruled out” for the trip north to ever-difficult Memorial Coliseum.
Winning on the road for Mark Fox and company in SEC play has become a near-impossible chore. The Bulldogs fell on the road again Wednesday night. Ranked for the first time since 2003, the Dawgs haven’t won on the road in conference play since 2009.
That means Pete Herrmann, he of Young Harris lore, has more SEC road wins (1) than Mark Fox.
Not good. This is going to be a problem if the Bulldogs plan on making good on my prediction that they will win the SEC – after all it is all about me, right?
These Dawgs have been very, very good at home. But they struggle in a big way on the road. There is no need for me to reset the three-point win over might Mercer two days before Christmas, or the one-point win over what looks like a helpless Paul Hewitt and Tech, or the two-point win over St. Louis back in November. They didn’t play well in those games, but at least they won.
Winning on the road is difficult. Winning in conference play (any conference play) is difficult. Winning on the road in conference… you get the point.
“You are going to have to saddle up in SEC play,” Fox said after the win over Kentucky.
He’s right, and that’s what he needs to nail home to his talented bunch. This team is too good not to play better on the road. They are plenty experienced enough at this stage to win.
Maybe they ran into a team tonight, Vanderbilt, which was not without advantages of their own – a one-of-a-kind set up; a young base of talent; and a crafty, crafty coach.
But if winning in Nashville is going to be so difficult what does that mean for the Dawgs when they travel to Knoxville, Gainesville or even what will be a bloodthirsty Lexington?
On any given night in SEC play Georgia will have at least three of the best four players on the floor – most nights they will have the three best players… that means they should win more often than not. And more often than not this season they have won… but they still haven’t won on the road in the SEC.
Perhaps tonight is the night to give this group a pass. The wacky configuration of Memorial with the travel woes adds up for a built in excuse. But at some point Georgia is going to have to win on the road to accomplish its goals. The longer they wait to get their first win on the road the more difficult it will be to get.