A fine season?

My friend Kyle at Dawg Sports one of the biggest reasons I blog.  He had the first email list sending out his thoughts and ruminations on Georgia athletics, and the first blog that I ever saw on Georgia sports.  He is as meticulous as he is verbose and he is the only sports blogger that I know of that has been published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.  His blog is one of my staples, much in the way fried food and bourbon is.

Having said that, I have to take issue with his recent posting “Grading the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2008 Football Season.” Without paraphrasing too much, Kyle disagrees with Matt Hinton and Holly Anderson’s assertion that Georgia has had a fine football season.

I disagree with him.

I would say that this was a fine season.  Not great, but fine.  I guess it is a good look into the collective psyche of the Bulldog Nation that we would compare what we think with what the fans of Ohio State or Florida think.  By any objective standard, a ten win season and a win in a New Year’s Day Bowl game is a fine season.  Fine being above the standard.  Only 15 or so teams in the nation can say they are at the ten win level.  Only three in the SEC are at that level.

Look, no one in the Bulldog nation is happy with the way the season turned out.  Not one coach is thinking the team was at the level it needed to be.  However, the collective grousing about the season actually reminds me of other teams’ fan bases.  I like our program being at the level that people are disappointed in a 10 win season, but to think the season was a failure actually reflects a similarity to other teams’ fan bases that I just don’t like.

This isn’t 2000, where the coach promised great things and delivered a 7-4 egg.  This was a team that everyone else expected great things and lost games to Florida, a team playing for the national championship; Alabama, a team that was undefeated in the regular season; and Georgia Tech, one that we should be mad at.  I am not saying the season was great.  I am saying it was fine, especially considering the talent level we actually had on the defensive side of the ball.

Since Kyle included a poll, I felt compelled to do the same, but with fewer pejoratives.

In closing, Kyle is much smarter than I.  His knowledge, understanding and grasp of all things football far eclipses anything I know, understand or grasp.  However, I just disagree with him on this point.  Georgia did have a fine season.  We just don’t think so because someone told us we should think otherwise.

He is right on one point: 2009 is a watershed year in the Richt regime.  We as fans expect it, but more importantly, the team and the institution need it to regain the edge in the collective mind of the college football firmament.


8 Responses to “A fine season?”

  1. January 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    In what possible world does a “fine” season include a loss to Georgia Tech?

    If it was “fine,” does that means it was “OK?”

    So is it “OK” to lose to Georgia Tech? Please tell me you don’t think it’s OK to lose to Georgia Tech.

  2. 2 bulldoginexile
    January 7, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    No, it isn’t ok to lose to Tech. Hell, no. Also, it isn’t ok to lose to Florida. It isn’t ok to lose to Alabama. However, I don’t judge the whole season on any one game. It is perfectly valid for someone to do so, I just don’t. My point about Kyle’s post and with discussions I have had with others is that while it is ok to be disappointed, I feel we have had a fine or OK season, regardless of who we won against or lost to. Not great, not terrific, but ok.

    Did the season turn out to be as good as we thought it would be? No, we all thought we would be in Miami right now. Did the season turn out to be a failure? No, a 10 win season can’t be a failure. So we are somewhere in between. Ok or fine, in my mind, is in between.

    No one game makes or breaks a season.

    So 13-1, a Sugar Bowl championship (or possibly 12-1 and a game to play tomorrow night) with a loss to Tech would make this season not fine? Sorry, I just can’t see that.

  3. 3 cousinwalter
    January 8, 2009 at 12:35 am

    This season will always be remembered for what could have been. I will always wonder what it would have been like to see them play as a healthy football team.

    They may have only lost 3 games(Bama, Florida, Tech) but it felt like much more. The Auburn and Kentucky games might as well of have been losses. The Tennessee and Vandy games were decent victories but clearly had moments of sloppiness. The Georgia Tech game was a flat out embarrasment. You never got to see them play at full blast until the second half of the Capital One Bowl.

    The weight of the preseason hype, whether you believed it or not, was definitely a heavy cross to bare.

    It was not fair to the team (players and coaches) and the fan base knowing that if the Dawgs had not sustained a whopping 18 season ending injuries, 11 arrests, 2 players dismissed(Walter Hill and Donovan Baldwin, and 2 players(Chris Little and that offensive line man from Kansas deciding to leave), and 1 All-SEC CB ruled academically ineligible(Paul Oliver)

    This is easily the most disappointing and depressing Georgia football season in recent memory. Not because of the record 10-3 but the way the team came to that record. To be perfectly honest with you, I AM GLAD IT IS OVER.

  4. January 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Every season begins with a lot of goals. But I think the two primary ones should be:

    Win the SEC.

    Beat Georgia Tech.

    They’ll be in a different order for some, and some may consider Auburn or Florida more important than Tech.

    I guess I grade on a pass/fail scale. I don’t consider this season “unacceptable” or anything. As my buddy Dan says, “How do you plan on not accepting it?” I just consider it a season in which we failed to achieve any of our primary goals.

    And the plaque for the alternates is in the ladies room.

  5. 5 bulldoginexile
    January 8, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I see your point about pass/fail and fully admit it may be just rationalization on my part by clinging to 10 wins as some arbitrary benchmark.

    Nice Top Gun reference, by the way.

  6. 6 cousinwalter
    January 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I think beating Florida is still the most important game. I still think beating Auburn is important. However, instead of just expecting to beat Tech they should actually make it a higher priority as opposed to pretending that it is the most important game of the season when it clearly isn’t.

  7. January 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    All of life’s issues can be compared to Top Gun.

  8. 8 cousinwalter
    January 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    It was on HBO last night

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A Georgia Dawg in the Mid-West alone with his thoughts.

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