There are vast differences between the two. But in terms of discomfort, the loss to Boise reminds me of the 2009 loss to Okie State. For one, it was the first game of the season against a powerful offense. You never know what you can really expect in the first game. And that goes for whether you are a fan or a coach.
Given the results of the two seasons since that trip to Stillwater, I'm probably even more disappointed in Saturday night. It doesn't help that we can't really fathom how bad a loss it was until the end of the season most likely. Boise State should run the table and eventually meet another formidable opponent in a bowl. As a matter of comparison, the Cowboys went on to a 9-4 season in '09.
And while we're comparing, I think I can draw some positive from the loss Saturday. After returning from Stillwater we were faced with our SEC opener in South Carolina. It was an epic battle that we were able to pull out at the end with Garcia and Co. knocking on the door. As opposed to last season when we opened with a breather against ULL and then never matched the intensity/physicality of Carolina.
More on this later in the week, but I believe there are yards to be gained in the gamecock secondary. Can we patch together a unit that can protect Murray enough for him to get through his progressions? Can they get physical with a tough defensive line in a way they never really were able to against Boise?
Did losing a game against a ranked opponent prepare us for the greater task at hand Saturday in Athens? Regardless, somebody get Jarvis Jones a helmet with a chin strap.