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Post Muddy waters

Tuesday December 23, 2008

What to make of the 2008 football season continues to be a hot topic, and the Senator has a good roundup of much of the thinking out there. The Senator isn’t alone when he admits that he “(finds himself) in an awkward middle ground right now.” There was a lot of good that happened (when was the last time we won three straight over Auburn?), but when viewed through the lens of preseason expectations we can’t help but talk about degrees of disappointment.

The Senator’s subsequent post about the basketball program and the “mirage” of the SEC Tournament win actually has a lot to do with the football discussion.

9-3 muddies the waters when we talk about the football program just as the SEC Tournament title clouded the basketball discussion. Neither are anything we’d give back, and we can’t pretend (or would want to pretend) that they don’t exist. Fans love to live in the world of black-and-white, and these realities make big inconvenient globs of gray.

It’s more dramatic in the basketball case, but I can’t help thinking how differently we’d be looking at this football team but for three – just three – plays against South Carolina, Kentucky, and Auburn. Nobody is pretending that all is well with the football program, but the fact that we pulled out those three games and finished with 9 (and possibly 10) wins does make it possible to convince ourselves that what we need are tweaks and not massive changes. That, I believe, is the source of the “awkward middle ground” the Senator is talking about. The uncomfortably close distance between 9 or 10 wins and a New Year’s Day bowl and a 6-6 disaster isn’t fun to think about.

The seasons of Auburn and Tennessee are worth considering. We’d rather be 9-3 than 5-7, and if the occasional 3 or 4 loss season is as bad as it gets under Richt, I’ll take it. If we’re able to honestly assess and tweak the program within that framework, then fine. But the record can’t be a distraction. It’s great that we’re 9-3 (with a chance for 10), but the record can’t become a blind spot that keeps us from the moment of clarity that can come from a real disaster of a season.

One Response to 'Muddy waters'

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  • Dawgs are short a defensive staff position. Either Martinez returns to secondary full time with a new DC or Martinez is 100% DC with a new secondary coach is the question to be answered. The play of the secondary has been marginal at times. Injuries have hurt, but there are no shut down, physical players there. In the SEC you need at least 4 to 5. I think the players have been hurt by lack of coaching there. Why? Personally I lay a lot at the feet of the AD. Felton has been his hire. Where has that program been … neutral. MR is a great guy and a great head coach. Hopefully he will add another staff / coach. I trust MR.