Now that the regular season and SECCG are over what should be some of the immediate goals for Mark Richt and the football program overall? To me the biggest thing is that an extension get worked out for Mark Richt and Todd Grantham. For Richt the main reason to get his worked out ASAP is that despite the fact that everyone knows his job is safe for now it is still better for recruiting if he has a contract that lasts long enough to assure recruits that the school is committed to Richt. As for Grantham if he continues to do the job he has done with the defense it is only a matter of time before he gets a defensive coordinator job in the NFL or colleges start putting him high on the list of potential head coaches. Chances are he is not going to be at Georgia for a long stretch. So why a new longer, bigger contract? Every dollar and extra year on his contract help to keep him around as long as possible. If a new contract keeps him at Georgia an extra year then it is worth every penny.
The second most important thing is something that is important year round every year, recruiting. Today one of the top running backs in the country will announce where he is going to school, hopefully it will be Georgia. There is still a lot of work to be done on the 2012 recruiting class. Needs must be met to continue to improve talent and depth. Work must be done on the class of 2013. Watch the SECCG and you will not see a lack of talent on Georgia's part, you will not see Georgia getting out coached, but what you will see is that LSU had a deeper team at several positions. The depth at running back and the amount of talent they are able to use on special teams is what makes their team great.
Another issue that must be handled is Isaiah Crowell. Some fans have given up on him. I have not. I think he has the talent to be a top flight SEC running back. He won freshman of the year honors and finished with over 800 yards rushing despite missing a lot of snaps due to injury and suspensions. Of course those injuries, suspensions, as well as conditioning are a big reason why some people want to write him off. I do not see him or practices so I cannot comment on how serious the issues are but the grumblings are enough to show that there is a maturity issue with Crowell. Richt, the players and most importantly Crowell himself need to figure out what the problems are and work toward fixing them. With Thomas, Samuel, and Malcome all coming back and possibly two top ten recruits at running back on the team next year Crowell is not someone they absolutely have to have. With that said having a more mature and better conditioned Crowell would be a huge boost for the team. Running back would go from a question mark this year with little depth to a very deep group that could make the offense balanced and extremely hard for any team to defend.
Finally Georgia needs to truly focus on winning its bowl game. The team came a long way from last year and from the 0-2 start to win ten games in a row and make the SECCG. Normally I don't think that bowl games mean a ton for the next season other than getting the extra weeks of practice time. This year however I feel different. The SECCG will be in the minds of the coaches and players to show how far they still have to go but I also think that the winning attitude that developed this season needs to continue. If Georgia were to beat Michigan State it would be the best team we have beat all season. Going into the off season with a positive instead of two straight losses I think is important. Instead of spending an off season like last year answering questions about the direction of the program the coaches can focus on continuing to improve.