It Only Matters When You Lose

Our favorite whipping boy Bill Shanks had a long article in the Macon Telegraph Monday that went through how crappy Georgia is, namely the fact that Georgia hasn’t beaten a good team since 2006.  Even here on The Grit Tree, Kensingtondawg came out of the woodwork and made the same comment.   

I agree 100% with our friend Vineyarddawg over at Dawgsports that these type of arguments are just not valid. 

“YEAH BUT WE CAN’T WIN THE BIG GAMES, PPAAAWWWWWLLLLL,” I can hear someone already replying. Well, look. You ain’t gonna win every game you play. And unless you have a talent for losing to teams that are worse than you on a regular basis, like Florida State, your losses are almost always going to be to teams that are as good or better than you are.

The only reason these type of numbers and posts are popping up right now is that we lost on Saturday.  If we had won, our record against the previous ranked teams would be 1-8 or whatever the graphic ESPN threw up instead of the current 0-9. 

Bill goes on to say that in 2008, the teams we beat had a combined record of 67-58; 2009 the combined record of victories was 52-49; in 2010 the combined record of teams we beat was an awful 24-50; and last year, our 10 victories were against teams whose records were 59-66. 

Well, one thing that must be pointed out that in 2010, our team was bad.  Very bad.  The first losing season in 15 years bad.  Losing to Central Florida bad. 

The thing about these stats and numbers is they have no relevence.  It is like the streak against Florida; what happened in the 1990s have no bearing on what happens in 18 days.  The fact that Georgia lost to ranked teams back in 2009 or 2010 has no bearing on the team today.  Different players, different defensive coordinators, different circumstances, etc.   What happened way back in 2008 and 2009, when a lot of Georgia’s current players were not playing or still in high school, doesn’t affect what happened on Saturday night.  The fact that Georgia hasn’t beaten a ranked team since the Bush Administration doesn’t really matter.

The only reason these sort of post and figures are thrown out now is that we are losing, and for a two year stretch, Georgia couldn’t beat anyone hardly.  Now, the team is winning, and yet there are still people out there who want to talk bad about our winning ways, saying things like we haven’t beaten anyone of consequence.

It is a moot point if Georgia had continued its high level of play from the early to mid 2000s.  See, back in 2003, if you want to look at who we have beaten as a measure of success, that team had 10 victories over opponents whose record was 65-71.   In 2004, the team had 10 victories over teams whose combined record was 52-51.  And in 2005, the team had 10 victories over teams whose record was a combined 59-57.  No one, at least those who are in my circle of friends, complained about not beating anyone.  We were too busy celebrating SEC Championships and other victories.  In 2005, Georgia only beat two teams who had 9 or more wins-Boise State (who at that time isn’t Boise State of today) and LSU.  

These numbers I shared don’t invalidate the great run of success from 2002-2007.  But things like this are what fans complain about when the team loses, not when they are winning consistently.  And at the time, Georgia was still regarded as one of the best teams in college football year in and year out, by everyone.

Saturday night was tough.  But take this in solace:  Georgia’s last 5 losses came to teams who combined record is 53-7, or a .883 winning percentage.  So while we have lost some big games recently, we aren’t losing to the Colorados of the world, which is what we did in 2010. 

Yes, the last time Georgia beat an SEC team that had double digit wins was back in 2006.  Since then, we have lost to Tennesseee (2007), Florida and Alabama (2008), Florida (2009), Arkansas and Auburn (2010) and South Carolina and LSU (2011).    That is 0-8.  But 4 of those teams won a National Title, and Alabama went undefeated in the 2008 regular season.  Georgia didn’t beat them, but nobody else did either.   So, the top 10 teams we have lost to haven’t exactly been pushovers.  And, come on, the 2010 was terrible, again.  It is really easy to just say, “Georgia hasn’t beaten a double digit win SEC team since 2006.”  But it takes a little brain power to look at it closer.

Despite losing 35-7, it doesn’t take away the fact this Georgia team is still improved, is improving, and still working on getting back to where we were.  Discussing these matters are what you do when you lose; if you win you discuss happier items.

I am not making apologies for Georgia’s performance Saturday night.  It was dreadful. I am also not making apologies for the fact we have wet the bed against good teams lately. 

But what is the metric for a “big game”?  To me, the Tennessee game was a big game.  CBS, National TV SEC game of the week.  The Auburn game last year was a “big win” becuase it was against Auburn, on CBS and the National SEC.  Hell, the Missouri game was a big game for what it meant.   Even though their record was poor, the LSU game in 2008 was a big game becuase it was against the defending national champions on the road.  Again, CBS National game of the week. 

I would rather complain about the offensive line not doing well, the defense pass rush being non-existent, and the secondary getting burned by the play action zone read plays. 

It is really easy to harp on this kind of stuff.  But this is the stuff that you only harp on when you lose, and it doesn’ t have much merit outside of that. 

The only thing that matters now, from this point forward, is the World’s Largest Outdoor Cockatil Party in 18 days.  A victory there will erase a lot of the bad juju from Shanks’ post, and erase the bad juju from the “streak”.  Only time will tell.  I might be wrong about all this, but in the meantime, we have 18 days to prepare for Florida.  And in 19 days, I hope we are all singing a different tune.

But in the meantime, let’s drop all this other nonsense and focus on what is the most important thing:  beating Florida.



28 Responses to “It Only Matters When You Lose”

  1. 1 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    How can you sit here & actually write what I just read especially after the post earlier this season that you posted about Crowell! You were 100% correct on the Crowell post but it came off so insensitive & cruel that its content got lost in the process! But here you are echoing the attitude of CMR! Ga consistently gets quality talent on signing day & should’ve able to compete w any team in country but past yrs have shown against Quality teams we just can’t seem to get it done. How are we considered one of the best teams yr in & yr out when we had a losing record in 2010. That’s retarded & to ignore the rep Ga has adopted in not beating ranked teams is wishful thinking! Do you actually want to get to Nat Champ Game & have team perform like we did Sat bc I don’t! In the CMR era Georgia is #2 in college football w # of players getting drafted in the NFL…the other 4 teams that are in the top 5 of that category have all won at least 1 National Title in the same time period! Overlooking that is just as bad as you trying to show or downplay the record of teams we beat in CMR’s 1st 5 yrs. CMR has taken our program as far as he is capable of doing & if u don’t think so tell me how you feel in 5 yrs from now when at best we might make it to SEC Champ Game but lose to West team bc of attitude that has been adopted in recent yrs that losing is ok! Did you not hear the quote CMR gave in post-game interview…”they were smart enough to know they didn’t have to bring bunch of guys to create pressure. They just let them Cats sic ’em.”
    I don’t know about you but to say that using the term sic’em, to describe what another team did to Ga, is a poor choice of words is one hell of an understatement! How come CMR didn’t come out & take the heat off of his players by blaming himself for team laying down Sat night! Then maybe AM & CR’s house wouldn’t have been vandalized. Instead he is coming up w excuses & trying to put a positive spin on it! It should never be acceptable to put on performance like Ga did Sat & by not taking responsibility for it that is exactly what CMR is doing!

    • 2 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Go Dawgs!

    • 3 Corbindawg October 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Ok, so it is Coach Richt’s fault that Robinson/Murray’s house got vandalized? Now that is rich.

      • 4 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        I you are more on Crowell’s level than I thought bc if you could read I said maybe that wouldn’t have happened! Just a thought but I tell you this if I was a top-ranked recruit I would be hesitant to go to UGA after Sat night debacle bc IMO CMR left his player hung out to dry!

      • 5 Corbindawg October 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        If you think that then you are on Crowell’s level becuase you are either high, or you are an idiot.

      • 6 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm

        If I was an idiot or high I wouldn’t have been able to reply to your post in the first place & especially not w any intelligences anyway! Just wondering why the only part of my reply you responded to was the players house being vandalized! Nothing else to say bc there was a lot more said that you could have responded to so was there some truth to what I said or you just chose not to come back w complete response!

      • 7 Corbindawg October 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm

        Hold your taters there, I didn’t say you responded with an intelligent comment.

      • 8 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        You didn’t have to tell me that! Do you think that I have to have your validation for me to think I have some intelligence bc I don’t! I just know that if there was a bunch of BS in my 1st response then you would have had more to come back w then what you did!

      • 9 Corbindawg October 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        I think the post speaks for itself! If you don’t understand the point I tried to make initally, then oh well!

      • 10 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        So I take it that you are ok w CMR down playing the entire debacle in Columbia then! I would feel a lot better about it all if Coach was admitting he got outcoached or was showing some anger about the whole thing but just saying we got whipped doesnt cut it bc that shouldn’t happen w all of the talent on our roster unless the players were not prepared by the coaches!

  2. 11 Vineyarddawg October 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Very well said. Much better than I could do in my state of barely-contained (ok, not really contained at all) rage at people for calling for Richt’s firing after losing ONE. GAME.

    I’ve linked this over at Dawg Sports, so hopefully some more of our readers will see this.

  3. 12 Z-Dawg October 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I think you are missing the point that we have plateaued as a program and are stuck in the second tier of the SEC.

    Our years of success 2002-2007 came when Florida and Tennessee were regressing and USCe didn’t compete like they do now.

    4 years ago we had a highly ranked undefeated team loaded with NFL talent and did the exact same thing against Alabama as we did last weekend which is show up to a big game unprepared and get embarrassed.

    So we decided to give Richt an opportunity to make changes which he supposedly did with new D coaches, S&C coaches, dumping energy vampires, and recruiting the Dream Team.

    The result? Another embarrassing performance on a big stage with a highly ranked undefeated team loaded with NFL talent. We are not just losing these games. We are being outclassed from the opening kickoff on and are unable to even compete much less win. We don’t expect to win every big game or even a majority of them but we do expect for the folks in charge to use the ample resources available to them (great facilities, plenty of money from donors, top recruiting region) and make improvement when we provide them with the opportunity.

    We have been losing to good teams for 4 straight years and at some point you have to evaluate the past and determine if you are improving, regressing, or staying the same. Perhaps to some Mark Richt is such a good guy that he is immune to being held to such standards as “improving” or “competing against the best” as long as he can be the 2nd tier SEC bully and pad his record with easy wins(plenty of which he doesn’t make look too easy).

    I am not in this crowd and believe we as a fan base provide everything necessary to the program for it to compete against anyone. Not win every game or go to Atlanta every year but just compete.

    Don’t we deserve to simply have enough confidence in the program that we can go to an away game against a good team and not have the opposing fans almost feel sorry for us by halftime?

    Right now I think a lot of us do not have that confidence and our previous performances are the reason for this.

    • 13 Jeremy Rogers October 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      There you go…I couldn’t agree w you more Z Dawg! If you are supposed to be ok w the way Ga performed Sat to be considered a fan then I guess I am not a fan bc imo a fan is supposed to hold team accountable in bad times just as much as cheer them on in the good times! It’s the coaches responsibility to analyze, assess, & make changes if what you are doing is not working! You have to be able to see there is a problem in order to solve it & from what CMR has been saying he doesn’t think there is a problem w being embarrassed on Nat Stage & he doesn’t think we played flat on Sat! Well I don’t know which game he was watching bc Ga laid down! No other way to say it & trying to down play that is only insulting fans intelligence! You say that after initial 3 score by SC that our defense settled in & competed huh? Do you not think that Spurrier was being a little conservative on offense knowing he has a great defense & his offense drove the field on us at will! He had faith in his D & had we scored in 1st half could have gone back to what he was doing in 1st quarter on offense to put more points on the board! I think part of being a fan is not brushing off a performance like Sat & leaving the door open for it to happen again! There is no way the defense shouldn’t have been ready after getting torched by Tenn! If that wasn’t a wake up call then you don’t deserve to be playing! Why wasn’t Grantham upset on sideline Sat bc if that had occurred in past yrs there would have been a mad man running loose on our bench! I didn’t see one person on our side showing the type of emotion I wanted to see considering we were getting beat down but hey if you are cool w it then so be it but that doesn’t mean some fans expect more from a very talented team full of leaders!

  4. 14 Bill Bowers October 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    You make good points regarding context, but I would counter that its not just that you got beat, its that you didn’t even compete in most of these losses. Florida, Alabama, SCe, UT, Auburn and LSU blew you out. Sometimes, like with Auburn, you competed for a half, but many times the game was over in the first quarter. Teams and personnel come and go, you are right, but Richt’s penchant for the blowout loss to best teams is consistent throughout multiple years, classes and assistant coaches. You can’t spin that. He dosen’t just get beat, he gets beat bad, and his teams are not even prepared.

  5. 15 Will Trane October 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    It is one thing to pull the ponytail of the bully’s sister on the sidewalk. It is another to kick the butt of the bully in his own backyard when your peers are watching.
    Had a coach once say this. “If you keep making the same mistake, guess what? You get the same mistake”.
    I’ve been to Doak Campbell in the CMR days as the OC. He had Mickey Andrews with a defense. And they played one of the weakest conferences in D1. Plus, Bobby Bowden managed to keep players on the roster, and he had players that look liked South Carolina did Saturday night. Carolina has no football history. But their “old ball coach” has one hellavu history at Florida. They looked like Florida to me. And Flordia…well they look Florida has for a long time.
    Are Florida, Carolina, Bama, LSU, Auburn better than us. Current and very recent history says they are. We are not in the top 10, but Bama, Florida, and Carolina are.
    We were not even close to LSU, Boise State, and South Carolina the past two years. Those are programs. You can tell us if we are program, but the polls can document it.

  6. 16 Savannahdawg October 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Corbindawg, You are very refreshing. I have all but quit reading many of the other blogs because of their narrow minded perspective. I have been following the Dawgs for over 40 years. Dooley was a great coach, but he had his bad times as well, and let us not mention Goff and Donnan, painful times. If I am not mistaken Richt has a higher winning pct than Dooley at the at the same point in his career. I have never Booed the dawgs, an it is extremely disappointing at the lack of class our fans are beginning to show. I am a dawg and these young men are working as hard as they can to “represent”, Let’s pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and go get the gators.

    • 17 vandylawdawg October 10, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Was Dooley a great coach? Bear Bryant was a great coach. Vince Doolely was a good coach that had a once in a generation player that was able to carry the program literally to the heights of success. A radio host said something this week that made me shake my head but I found myself agreeing with…we as a football that lionizes medicrity…that venerates the good but not great. Coach Richt is a good guy and good coach but he will never lead us to the promised land especially in the SEC as it is where we have been surplanted by USC and a turbulent UT can match and play with us. If you only want to be a good program, the kind whose goal is the Outback or the Capital One Bowl, then keep Mark Richt…but don’t try to sell me National Championships under the current regime because if it was going to happen it would have happened.

      • 18 Corbindawg October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am

        Extremely difficult to judge a Coach’s success based on simply a NC…in 2003, LSU got in with exact same resume as UGA had year before; 2007, LSU had to get extremely lucky to back in, more lucky than UGA got to back into the SEC Championship game last year. So spare me this talk of if it was going to happen it would have happened. That is a trite, easy to spout off talking point that requires no more brain function that it does to pick your nose. Yes, UGA has wet the bed in big games, but at times they have also been extremely unlucky.

      • 19 Jeremy Rogers October 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

        You are delusional to put all of this on being unlucky! It should come as no surprise that Ga will have to be undefeated to play for a Nat Champ bc we definitely got passed over in 07 when it was said that you have play in Conf Champ to play for Nat Champ but then turn around & let Alabama play last year when they missed out bc of loss to LSU! That is exactly why imo there has to be a change at the top(coach). If its ok for you as a fan to win 10 gms a year & lose to the good teams you have to play then by all means go ahead & defend CMR but it doesn’t mean I have to be ok w it! I am 31 yrs old & was born 4 months after Ga won its only Champ! I have been waiting my entire life to see the team I love win the Champ & feel that feeling but I don’t think under Mark Richt we as a team a mentally tough enough to run the table which is what we will have to do bc of recent past! Mark Richt is a GREAT man but he is also only a GOOD coach!

  7. 20 Debby Balcer October 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Good read but the CMR haters don’t want facts they want a National Championship at all costs. I knew as soon as we lost they would be out in full force. They need to look at TN to see what happens when you throw out a loyal and proven coach for the flavor of the month. Our players and coach deserve us to be behind them When you have a loud and obnoxious group calling for heads to fly after one loss then you have a team that not only has to beat the opponent but also the fans. People really need to watch the Commit to the G video but live it.

  8. 21 Will Trane October 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    National titles in NCAA D1 Classification. Could be wrong, but the last six have come from the SEC. Do not recall the Dawgs being there.
    No one hates CMR. Hate is a very strong word.
    The matter in question is this current program performing to a championshipe level. Most think not. This a highly compensated coaching staff with state of the art facilities with one of the largest venues for a game. The state of Georgia is one of the best recruiting states in the nation. Personally I think it is the best. I doubt if many people who read this site has seen many high school games the past few years.
    Plus some of watch the other teams. Many thought Florida would not be much after there first two, but some of us so something different. We could see a program returning. Now we look over the Savannah River and the old ball coach has built a program again. Look north and you see Derek Dooley is going to change the Vols. If you do not think programs are moving, then go back, replay the last two opponents the Dawgs played. Some of us was not overwhelmed by two frosh RBs running like they. We saw issues with roster numbers, suspensions, lack of depth at O line, and a defense that has trouble stopping a SEC team…one passing and the other running the ball…both put 35 points on that D.
    Watch those sets and play calls in the Carolina game. Listen to a replay of Steve Spurrier going off the field at the end of the first half. He says in plain English we are going to run the ball with Lattimore and Shaw…they can not stop us, not going to let them back in the game, and I’m not letting up the hammer. Only a fumble by a very good QB at UT possibly keep the Dawgs from not losing that. Spurrier never let us back in. We did to UT. That is just some of the coaching issues we have.

  9. 22 GA Boy October 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if all of you could coach our team? It seems like you all have it figured out. I’ve got to quit reading this nonsense. It is like a car crash and I can’t look away even though I am repulsed by what I see. Get a grip folks..I really hope the Dawgs get a run going and you all have to admit you are fair weather fans. Pissed off at the performance? YES. Giving up on the team with 6 games left to play? NEVER.

    • 23 vandylawdawg October 10, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Not to be too glib but what has you seen from this team this season that makes you think we can stand toe-to-toe with a resurgent Florida team. We struggled against them last year when they looked to be worse than the Ron Zook era teams (note we were only 1-2 during that time period). Would you view a 10-2 season in which we lost to everyone of note a success? And I am not pissed off because of one performance…I am pissed off because it is more of the same and I am asked to accept it…I am giving up because Mark Richt led teams of late seem to give up (or not even show up) for the big games. If they don’t care…if they don’t aspire to be great…then don’t ask me to either.

  10. 24 Blind leading the blind October 10, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Did the person that wrote this atricle see the game last weekend?

  11. 25 Get A Clue October 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    You have to be kidding, This article had to be the stupidest defense for a reason to continue with the current state at UGA

  12. 26 Get A Clue October 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    To the person who wrote the article hello UGA’s record against the top 10 is terrible. With the amount of talent UGA has pumped into the NFL and you cant beat top 10 teams in years That is ridiculous

    You can twist and scew numbers all you want with how teams won X number of games that doesnt mean a hill of beans when you cant beat teams you need to beat then you are nothing more than a program on the level of Vandy or KY.

    Bottom line is you recruit the best you have the best players and you cant even compete against top 20 schools much less top 5 schools.

    You act like FL is going to change perceptions; really UGA hasnt beaten FL 2 years in a row since the 80’s.

    And you talk about different players different coordinators; hello! Last time I remembered same head coach; same tendencies to lose ballgames he shouldnt and lose big games

    And my favorite Missouri Auburn and Tennessee were big games cause they were nationaly televised; Um there wasnt any other interesting matchups to show.

    Wow talk about delusion

  13. 27 The Bruce October 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I can handle losing games.

    You can’t win them all.

    But what I can’t handle is not even being competitive. Looking utterly unprepared and unmotivated. Getting hit in the mouth and just giving up. Embarrassing ourselves time and time again, and to add insult to injury, making excuses for why we failed. THAT is the funk this program has been in for the last five years, and THAT is why I’m frustrated. With the talent we have and resources at our disposal, there is absolutely no reason we should not be able to at least COMPETE at the highest levels. None whatsoever.

    • 28 Jeremy Rogers October 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      I totally agree w you! If these so-called fans want to sit back & say we can’t fire Mark Richt. He wins 10 games a year & recruits want to come to Ga bc of him. That’s ridiculous! He wins 10 gms/yr bc of the talent on the field, which him or rest of staff make any better during their time at Ga, & he gets that talent bc the State of Ga is loaded w great high school football players & most of those players parent want them to come to Ga bc of CMR! He is a great man & that’s who they want to watch out for their son through college! Plenty of guys in recent history have still went to NFL after being avg at Ga but then becoming very productive on Pro Team! Isn’t that funny…how come they didn’t put these #’s up in college? Bc of the coaches! To have a REAL chance at Nat Champ the coach would have to get players to believe that he can make them GREAT players as well as GREAT men! I am so ready to be able to call my team, the Georgia Bulldogs, the National Champion of College Football it’s sick but this FAN doesn’t think we have the right man for the job!

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