Wednesday, September 9, 2009

From the Cornfield - Bulldog Dystopia Edition

So, are we living in a world where coaches aren't very good?  Are we living in a world where Joe Cox isn't who we hoped he was? Was the defense merely ok, needing more turnovers to be good?

Not by a long shot.  I don't subscribe to Clay Travis' notion that all is lost after one game.  I also don't subscribe to the notion that suddenly CMR has become a bumbling fool.  I am willing to concede that I thought there would be more to like about Joe Cox than his handoff ability.  I do believe it will take more than one game to convince me that his handoff ability is his strong suit.  These coaches have been there every day with this team.  I have seen them play nearly one whole game (I did miss a few plays at the beginning of the third quarter, thanks to a wonder policy of allowing pass outs during half time at T. Boone Pickens Stadium).

Furthermore, we aren't in the situation where we can just merely substitute in another QB and see what will happen.  How do we recruit players to Georgia when a fifth year senior, someone that gave up what is likely to be four of the final five years of his football career just to wear the 'G', gets benched after one game in which he was likely sick and playing on the road against a a tough opponent. Yeah, Joe Cox has to play better, no doubt, if Georgia is to win more than seven games.  However,  I believe we will see Logan Gray, Aaron Murray and/or Zack Mettenberg only when the coaches think Joe Cox cannot lead the team, something that means way more than going 24-36 for 325 yards and three TDs.  I know we don't like it much, but that is the decision Mark Richt has made.  He has way more expertise than I do.

I am not saying we as fans, bloggers and forum posters alike, should stop criticizing, analyzing or proselytizing.  It is ok, however, if we too have faith in the coaches and their assessment of the players.  I didn't like the play calling from Bobo.  I don't like that Tony Ball had no idea two freshman receivers never got closer than the 'get back' coach to the field.  I don't like that I weigh 255 pounds.  I only have control over one of those things and frankly I suck at doing anything about it.

A month ago we were derisive at the idea that Mark Richt would be on the hot seat.  Now we are hinting that we want to put him on the hot seat, absent something more, better, faster and with plenty of TD drives, oh, and throw a couple of long runs in there, if you don't mind.  I believe we will see at the end of the season that Oklahoma State is a better team than last year (and they were good in 2008), maybe better than all others but Texas in the Big 12.

So are we looters or strikers?
I get it.  I really do.  I felt pretty low walking up Hall of Fame Blvd towards my car after the game.  I felt worse watching the game on TV.  In the cold light of day, my rational side tells me two things.  First, it is too early for people to send in their season tickets (Ms. Bulldog in Exile was offered someone's season tickets after the game, to which she replied "Hey now, we aren't that kind of fan").  Second, I would rather have a solid defense and a suspect offense than the other way around.    
Finally, this leads me to my poll question.  Almost everyone (89%) felt that 11-1 and undefeated in the SEC is better than winning all OOC games with an SEC loss.  I am not delusional and agree that the offensive play has to get better for that to be a remote possibility.  However, as I said the other day, this loss didn't feel nearly as bad as any of the three losses last year.  I still don't think it is in the same class as last year's losses. 

One thing I know: A win Saturday night, by any means, will allay many of these concerns (at least for me).

PS.  If you think Okie State and NC State are similar in quality, either from a player ability or coaching stand point, you are fooling yourself.  If you put Oklahoma State on the field against NC State, NC State doesn't score any points.  The Cowboys score many, many more than 24.  I am not saying that automatically translates into a good game against South Carolina for the Dawgs.  It does mean anyone thinking the Gamecocks faced a tougher offense last week than they will this week didn't watch the same two games I did.  Ditto for anyone thinking South Carolina's defense is substantially better than Oklahoma State's.

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