Our Other Losses
So first, let's look at the big picture. We've lost 3 games. The first game was terrible for everyone because we lost our opener, something many of us have never seen. It's always hard to lose an opener because it's obviously the most hyped and built up game of the season (as you have the entire offseason to look forward to it). We had a lot of new faces on offense, including a sick quarterback who had only started 1 college game, and we put up a relatively good fight for most of the game. We lost by 14 points on the road to a still top 25 team.
Our second loss (to LSU) was unfortunate, due to the fact that no one expected our offense to stall like it did, and we all were so happy and relieved when we were up with a minute to go. A controversial penalty and bad kick coverage later, and we lost the game. It was heartbreaking, but at least we could all take solace in the fact that against a top-5 team, we were one bad call and a kick return away from winning. We all know we could have won that game easily, so it didn't hurt quite as bad.
The Big Loss
And then Tennessee. We got manhandled and destroyed by a new coach and his ragtag team of Volunteers. It was unexpected (by most) and pathetic. Our coaches and team appeared to give up in the 3rd quarter and let it slip out of hand.
And now the program is "in shambles" and the sky is falling.
Not so fast, my friend.
Yes, it's clear to everyone that we have some major problems. Our coaches seem confused and defensive. Our players are likely doing their best just to figure out what's going on. And on Saturday, our entire team gave up.
Last year we saw similar blowouts, but that Georgia Bulldog squad didn't give up. Against Alabama, after trailing 31-0 at halftime, we sent out our guys and struggled desperately to fight back in it, and we came relatively close, but never gave up. In Jacksonville, even when the game was way out of hand and the Florida players were dancing and taunting, our team kept fighting, and Joe Cox came in to throw our only touchdown with minutes remaining.
But Saturday at Tennessee? We took out AJ Green, put in Logan Gray and ran the ball repeatedly as our coaches stood on the sidelines smirking uneasily. We didn't take shots downfield, we didn't try to score for our dignity, we just ran the ball and wanted the game to end. They gave up.
Surely, our Georgia team is better than what we saw on Saturday. But there's an overwhelming sense that they're being held back by something, and everyone has their own opinions on what that is. We know there need to be changes, but we don't know what will be changed or what effect it will actually have.
The Bright Side
Wondering where the optimism is? What's the bright side?
The bright side is, this season is not yet over. No one will want to even think about it, but we're still technically in the SEC race.
As impossible as it sounds, we need 4 things right now to win the East.
1. We need to win the rest of our SEC games (@Vanderbilt, Florida, Auburn, Kentucky).
2. We need Florida to lose at least one other SEC game (Arkansas, @Miss. State, Vanderbilt, @South Carolina)
3. We need South Carolina to lose one more SEC game (@Alabama, Vanderbilt, @Tennessee, @Arkansas, Florida)
4. We need Tennessee to lose one more SEC game (@Alabama, South Carolina, @Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, @Kentucky)
#'s 3 and 4 seem almost guaranteed, as it's highly unlikely that either South Carolina or Tennessee will win the rest of their SEC games (especially against Alabama).
The miracle part would be #1 and #2, specifically Georgia beating Florida.
But is it possible? Anything's possible, and I'm not ready to give up and say we're losing ahead of schedule.
And like I said before, even if (or when) the SEC East goal is out of reach, our team still has each game to play. Each opponent matters. Although many will say, "Well, our season is done anyway, might as well lose the rest of our games," I'm sure if you're a real fan, you'll want to win any game we can.
And we've got 6 left.
We have half a season to see what happens.
It could be a bumpy ride, so real Dawg fans, buckle your seatbelts and just enjoy the ride. To you fair-weather types, you might just want to get out right now before the trip continues. I believe there's a school in Atlanta that will give you free hotdogs if you go to their games.