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.