I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say it, and I don't expect everyone to agree with me - but that UGA team last night showed about as much intensity and focus in that bowl game as I had for it.
Our season ended with the SEC Championship game and that's the game I was pissed off about. I didn't give a damn about the Sugar Bowl. Yeah I get the pride thing and you're playing for that, but I don't put stock in a game that when you really boil it down, means absolutely nothing. It certainly doesn't color my view of this program or where it's going under Kirby. Would I prefer to see a "W" in the overall record? Sure. Does a "L" haunt me? Absolutely not.
I'll be critical when it's time to be critical and I was certainly critical after the December 1st loss. Last night's loss, to say the least, was not Georgia's best performance. It was a game where they were everything Kirby said they were - out played, out coached, out physical-ed, out schemed, etc. Texas wanted it more. Good for Texas. If we had won that game, my enthusiasm for the win would be about as much as my disappointment for the loss. And no, I'm not making excuses. I've just never been one to hold my head high with a bowl game win or hang my head low over a bowl game loss.
The real football was played on December 29 and the real football will be played January 7. In all my years of watching college football, I've just never been one that has gotten excited about the not-good-enough games played from mid December to early January.
I don't fault our guys for not being 100% amped up to go out and give a leave-it-all-on-the-field performance for a meaningless game. I don't fault our coach for not treating this like the last game of the season sitting at 11-0 and trying to protect that perfect record going into Atlanta.
It is what it is. And it's not much.
Feel free to disagree.
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I came from a different place than you all did and was at Indiana during Bob Knight's early years. The first game of the undefeated season (1975-1976) we played UCLA in their first post-Wooden game and beat them by 20. When we met them again in the tournament one of their better players said, "They won the first one, we'll win the one that counts." We beat them again, this time by 14. Knight said at his post-game presser, "Tell Richard Washington they all count."
A Bowl like this, against an opponent like this, is a statement game imo. Also, this year, a chance to really prove that the selection process got it wrong. Do I still think the program is moving in the right direction and headed toward Top 5 finishes as often as not? Heck yes. Also, these flat, uninspired performances are far less frequent than they were pre-Smart. It is still a really disappointing loss with the optics of the CFP chatter making it worse.
If I felt that the game was meaningless, I would have had my wife pick out a movie or I would have read a book.
On another note, I was shocked at Fromm's performance, but maybe credit Texas's D a little bit for that.
Looking forward to 2019, especially the Eye-rash rolling into Athens.
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