Monday, October 18, 2010

What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a Going On Here

The Dawgs pitched a beautiful shutout against Vanderbilt in a 43-0 shellacking of the most hapless team I have seen in the SEC in a long time. As usual, Murray played a fine game, earning him SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the second time this season. Kris Durham and AJ Green made big catches while Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas sparked the running game behind improving offensive line play. The defense swarmed the ball, pressured the QB, forced turnovers and generally played a highly spirited ball game. But... what does it all mean?

As you know... The Mighty Gator lost their third straight SEC game to Mississippi State 10-7. This slide means that UGA and UF have the same number of losses in the East and some Dawgs fans are giddy about what could happen in Jacksonville at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in two weeks. There is hope that the Dawgs could climb back into the race for the SEC East.

In addition, Sackerlina lost their second SEC game and only hold a one game lead over the Dawgs with Arkansas and Florida remaining on their schedule. Yes things are looking up for the Dawgs and the new pup on the block, UGA VIII.

[Cue sound of a phonograph record scratching to a stop]

Have you all gone mad? Are you insane? Have you lost your minds? Don't take the bait. Stop looking forward to a game two weeks away! Let me inject a few nuggets of reality here...

- We have to play Kentucky, in Lexington, at night. Two weeks ago, Auburn needed a last second field goal to win in Lexington, at night. Last Saturday, South Carolina lost in a late rally by the Wildcats in Lexington, at night. In short, we have to play a good Kentucky team, that just beat the team that beat us and Alabama this season. This is the same Kentucky team that beat us 2 of the past 4 years - and would have been 3 if not for a late game heroic redemption by Mo Massaquoi. The Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we will get to that game in Jacksonville. But first, there is some extremely serious business to attend to this week. We can beat Kentucky but it will require the best game we have played on defense all season and our offense must continue the momentum it has gained in the past two weeks against significantly lesser competition.

- Even if we are able to win out, we need South Carolina to lose twice and we are counting on the Gators, who have looked anemic on offense most of the time, to give them one of those losses. Presumably, Arkansas would provide the other opportunity - but at Columbia. Yes, Marcus Lattimore hurt his ankle and missed most of the second half against Kentucky and this assuredly contributed to the comeback by the Wildcats. But SC plays Vanderbilt and Tennessee in the next two weeks, so I would imagine that Lattimore will be back in business in time for Arkansas on November 6.

- In addition, we would have to beat the best Auburn team since 2004 with this year's likely Heisman winner making all kinds of Herschel Walkerish, Bo Jacksonish, Tim Tebowish plays. For us to win at Auburn this year, we would have to win our 5th straight over the WarTigers which we haven't done since Harry S. Truman was in the White House.

Now, I am generally optimistic about things but I am also realistic. And while there is still a chance that we could win the SEC East, nothing really matters except the next game. And this week, the next game is against a Kentucky team that plans on making it extremely hard on us this Saturday night.

After our loss to MSU, I stated that it is time to literally take this season one game at a time and enjoy any wins in the singularity of that event. The win over Tennessee was satisfying for me because I don't think I will ever grow tired of seeing a Dawgs victory over any team in orange. The win of Vanderbilt was enjoyable because the team looked great in every phase of the game and there were some beautiful plays that will be on highlight films for the next number of years. And, I will submit, that a win over Kentucky this Saturday night will be a wonderful thing no matter what happens in the other convoluted precarious scenarios that we hope will come to pass.

And now... despite all that I have just said... I must admit, I am a little excited about the glimmer of hope and how uplifting it is to know that there just MIGHT be a chance...


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