Saturday, June 1, 2013

"The only consolation is we didn't lay down and die."

I've been doing some research on the SEC, and particularly Georgia in the BCS era. Since this chapter of college football is coming to a close it is only fitting to reflect back on our part in it.

I'll save my views for the highlight for later. The last couple days I've been pondering what the lowlight is for Georgia during this time. I'll admit, the first thing that comes to mind is the 2006 Sugar Bowl. There's nothing quite like getting spanked by a Big East team to earn a little self reflection. Hurricane Katrina helped move this game to the Georgia Dome and most players, media and fans alike just viewed the game as a perfunctory exercise.

But Rich Rodriguez and specifically Steve Slaton had a different design. The freshman running back made our defense look silly on the way to a Sugar Bowl record 204 yards, and DJ Shockley and company couldn't keep pace on the scoreboard. Just when we thought we'd scrapped our way back for a win we were caught with our pants down on a fake punt.

Regrettable. Embarrassing. And as the title (a quote from Coach Richt post-game) suggests, grasping for silver linings.

But is it the lowest of lows for Georgia since 1998? Or getting a consolatory game against Hawaii after the 2007 season when we should've been in the big game? How about only getting three berths into the spotlight in 15 years? The same spotlight that's been dominated by SEC teams.

Then again, try this question as a means of self reflection: would you rather be Tennessee, have the first ever BCS title and not much to show for it since? All in all the Vols went to one less BCS bowl than the Dawgs. But my oh my, the fall has been epic.