The Georgia Bulldogs look to be headed for their second straight double-digit win season, so there should be joy and celebration in Athens, right? Hardly.
It seems almost impossible that a team could have two seasons in a row with at least 10 wins and have even some of its fanbase bemoaning the squad, but that’s certainly shaping up to be the case at UGA.
Loyalty and standing by your team through adversity is all well and fine, but at some point enough is enough. I believe that time has come in Athens.
While 10-win seasons are certainly great accomplishments, the Bulldog Nation demands more. Fans want—no, they need this team to rise up and win big games, an occurrence that’s been basically nonexistent for far too long at Georgia.
In fact, in this author’s humble opinion, you have to go back to 2005 to find a win against a quality opponent that had any real significance, when the Bulldogs topped LSU in the SEC Championship Game. But even that win was promptly followed by a disappointing loss to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.
But let’s get back to the topic at hand. Last season the Bulldogs won 10 games, but that was a 10-game winning streak in the middle of the season, and none of those wins came against teams ranked in the final Top 25 in either poll.
And though I’m sure no Georgia fan needs reminding, I’ll say it anyway; that winning streak was sandwiched by four losses against the teams that did finish in the Top 25, a.k.a. the games that mattered.
Can a 10-win season still be considered a disappointment in Athens?
The marquee games last season were the season openers against Boise State and South Carolina, both losses. Then came an SEC Championship Game that the Bulldogs backed into and were subsequently embarrassed by LSU. Finally, with a chance to redeem themselves against Michigan State in the Outback Bowl, the Bulldogs gave away that game in the fourth quarter and overtime.
I literally sigh as I’m writing this, but it looks like 2012 is just going to be more of the same.
This season, South Carolina was the game Bulldog fans had circled on their calendars before the season started, and we saw how that turned out. Now, with Florida being probably the most improved team in the nation and sitting at No. 2 in the BCS, that game becomes relevant again, so the Dawgs probably don’t stand a chance.
The only consolation is it appears that Georgia will be spared another embarrassing loss in the SEC Championship Game this year. While it is possible that Georgia could beat the Gators in Jacksonville—which is the only way UGA gets a return trip to Atlanta—that doesn't seem likely at this point.
So, assuming Georgia does run the table against everyone besides Florida, the Dawgs are going to end up with 10 wins—maybe 11 depending on a bowl—in 2012, but the season will still be viewed as a disappointment by much of the Bulldog Nation.
And honestly, why shouldn’t it be? What do Georgia fans really have to be proud about this potential 10-win season? Squeaking by a still mediocre Tennessee squad? Beating an Auburn team—assuming they do—that looks simply awful this season? Continuing dominance of an average, at best, Georgia Tech?
No. That’s not enough. Georgia fans expect and deserve more.
Author’s note: I have loved the Bulldogs since I was a little kid and sincerely hope that this pessimistic piece gets thrown in my face in a couple of weeks.