Friday morning, I firmly and swiftly threw my flag down and said no mas. I did so on the basis of reasoned thought, a day of deep introspection (I wrote the post Wednesday night and shelved it to make sure I still felt the same way) and an abiding sense of this is it, this is where we make our stand. Georgia would win Saturday and will do so decisively.
The symbolism of doing so against Tennessee isn't lost on me. Some would say Georgia's slide into the abyss started on October 14, 2006 with the loss to Vandy. I would say it started the week before in the 51-33 loss to Tennessee in Athens. I am not saying all will be well after this win against Tennessee. No. I am saying that three of four years from now, when we look back at Coach Richt's darkest time at Georgia, we'll point to the 2010 Tennessee game as the one that Georgia started figuring how to blow the lid off the program, instead of worrying about how to take the lid off politely so as not to hurt anything.
You can dismiss this performance, you can dismiss this team, you can dismiss these coaches, but you cannot dismiss the effort we saw on Saturday. As always, I am willing to admit it when I am wrong. Obviously, we are a long way from saying we have turned the corner. I believe we need to have several more games of this type of performance and effort to make such a bold statement.
For now, I am happy in the performance of Saturday's win. It is good to talk about how things went well, instead of what didn't. For those that have been on the "Richt ain't gettin' it done" train, you have to at least step back, be objective and see Saturday's win for what it was: a convincing win by a team that showed up to play 60 minutes of football, coached by men who put their team in a position to do so. We can debate the level of competition, but that same competition nearly beat LSU (the current number 9 team) in Baton Rouge last week. Stood toe to toe with them. Of course, that same team nearly lost to UAB the week before.
Hey, I am not 100% convinced this is the turning point. Georgia is still deeply flawed in the running game execution. Georgia's secondary is still searching for the level of consistent performance needed to face great QBs. The defensive front is seeking enough strenth to slow down premier rushing backs. The offensive line's play is still maddeningly inconsistent. There are still issues with formations and stupid drive killing penalties.
Yet there is enough positive to see this as a possible, rather than something that is unlikely. For now, that is good enough for me.