So, while I'm away we take the pulse of the tailgate. Happy Humpday! Freeport is in my rearview. And so is the 2012 season. Let's move forward and talk about where these guys see the Georgia program right now.
I can sense a shift in the foundational beliefs of Georgia fans. We once thought it impossible to beat mighty Bama. Coming so close proved that to be a falsehood. Or is it? Do you see Georgia as on par with the SEC elite, very close, or the SECCG as an aberration?
Joe Waterloo - While I was happy with how this season went and I was impressed with how we went toe-to-toe with Bama, I still don’t consider us in the SEC elite. Bama is still on a whole other level than everyone else and that’s proven by what they did in a rebuilding year. LSU is also a step aboveus . The leaves the Dawgs with Florida, A&M and SC right behind them. While we are certainly in striking distance it will take another strong year or 2 for me to think we deserve to be considered in Bama’s weight class. But we are a lot closer than we were in 2010 and 2011.
AthensHomerDawg - Alabama is run like a semi-pro team. Everyone at the Bama is focused on winning and that includes their prez and on down the line. They press every available advantage they can. We just don't do business that way here at the University of Georgia. But yeah .... we can play with them. It's like the hockey match in the Olympics USA vs. the Soviet Union. We will get ours.
Son of AHD - The great thing about college football is that it is completely unpredictable. I don’t really think anyone can hang with Saban on a weekly basis, but any team is beatable if you only have to play them once.
Smoke Wagon - Wow, there are a lot of different ways to look at this one. My perception is that the SEC elite programs right now are ALA and LSU with UGA being very close behind and I would put FL and SC very close behind UGA. TAM is obviously hot, but one year does not make them an elite program – although they are certainly poised to be in that company. For the record, I never thought it impossible to beat the “mighty Bama”. I give them credit for being the best team or more notably the most consistent team, but I think people get a little carried away by trying to act like they are untouchable. They lost to A&M at home and they were fortunate (not lucky) to beat us in the dome. They were clearly the best team, but I think it was only by a very slim margin (and I am not referring to the 5 yards). I truly think they were only a little bit better than UGA. Fortunately for them, a little bit better is all that was necessary to notch another NC under their belt. I feel the same about Saban. It is hard to argue that he is not the best coach in the land, but I don’t think he is in a league of his own like many would lead us to believe. If UGA had completed the touchdown pass and won the SECCG, would that mean coach Richt was a better coach than Saban? I don’t think so, but yet many will say that Saban is the reason Alabama wins. I felt like Richt and staff outcoached Saban and staff in that game. (Again this is not by a long shot, but I would give the coaching edge in that game to UGA). However, I don’t think Saban would have taken much blame if they had lost. I was already proud of our coaches and team, but I do think the SECCG made a difference to a lot of other fans’ mentality. And really, I don’t see how it couldn’t. Those people who believe that Alabama and Saban are head and shoulders better than us had to have realized how close we were to EARNING a hard fought win in and awesome football game. The difference between UGA and ALA might be more than 5 yards, but it is not nearly what most would have you believe. I am proud of where we are as a program. I would like to have a championship under our belt, but I wouldn’t trade our situation for Auburn’s. I really wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s. I love it when college football can still have loyalty. I am proud that we have one of the winning-est coaches in college football and in UGA history on our sideline. I would like to see more loyalty in coaching (from the coaches and the universities) across college football. We do need to improve on securing more of Georgia’s best HS players to wear the G so that we can get over the top.
Namaman - I do think we are close. I was surprised the our run defense did not do a better job in the SECCG, but I knew our offense could keep us close. Hopefully we will get back to the basics on the defensive side and continue to improve on offense to get us back there!