Fellow blogger Ben Dukes commented on a post earlier in the week and shared a pet peeve he has with our fanbase. A big pet peeve I have is that UGA fan’s don’t make excuses downplaying the Bulldogs’ failures, but rather the successes.
I made the same point two years ago in one of the first articles I wrote. I still think it rings true.
I had to wake up extra early this morning and turned the radio on. The unprofessional, ignorant, head in the sand ignoramoose (h/t Cracker Barrell golf tee puzzles) Bill Shanks had some replays of a previous show playing. In it, he was saying that Coach Richt didn’t neeed a contract extension or pay raise for winning 8 games and not beating anyone.
The truth is, even if Georgia beats LSU for the SEC Championship, there are going to be a large number of detractors (even with in our “fanbase”) that are going to say things like “You didn’t beat anyone”, “You got lucky not to have LSU, Alabama and Arkansas on the schedule”, “You only got in because South Carolina sucks and lost Lattimore”, “Florida is down”. These are the kind of excuses for success that Bill Shanks and the like are going to make.
What about in 2008? Georiga was preseason #1 and drew LSU and Alabama out of the West and in 2009, drew LSU and Arkansas. In the old 12 team schedule, 4 times in a 10 year stretch the Dawgs have a more difficult draw from the West. Teams are up and down at different times, and the schedule is what it is. You can only play the teams on your schedule.
Let’s go back to 2008 for a moment, shall we? That year, UGA was near consensus preseason #1. But Phil Steele didn’ place them number one. Why? Well, in his 2009 preview magazine, he explains why (pg. 34):
Of the 14 sources from football.stassen.com, 10 had GA either #1 or #2 and thier lowest rating was #5 but I had the Bulldogs #9 and 2nd in the SEC East. Most of my analysis was due to a killer schedule including a brutal 4 game road trip.
No UGA fan will complain about the difficult schedule playing a factor in the failures of the 2008 season. Undisciplined play, costly turnovers, bad defense, and no leadership are the reasons I list before I get to the difficult schedule (which it was difficult with Alabama, defending champ LSU on the road and Florida). But Phil Steele, the expert, lists the schedule as the reason for his reason why he was bearish on the Dawgs.
So to these folks who are going to make up excuses for the success of UGA becuase of the easy schedule: make excuses for the failures of UGA due to the difficult schedule.
I mean, the only reason the team has improved is because of the piss poor schedule. Forget UGA played similar teams a year ago, forget that crappy teams a year ago beat Georgia. Forget that the defense has gotten better, the running game is more consistent, forget Aaron Murray is re-writing the UGA record book. Forget that Mark Richt did a helluva job recruiting and has infused the program with elite talent again. Forget that Coach Richt and the assistants have done a great job this offseason and this season. Forget the improvment of the offensive line due to Will Friend. Nah, forget all of that. The only reason UGA has been improved is the schedule.
If you make excuses-for success or failure-be consistent.