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.