Stay reasonable, I told myself. Temper your expectations, I told myself. And I did, for about 59 minutes. Then I absolutely lost my mind thinking ‘"My God! We’re going to do it again!’
Then it happened. Josh Dobbs ripped my heart out and stomped that sucker flat. It was my fault, really. I was foolish enough to allow hope to blossom in my heart like September ragweed next to a Tennessee highway. I’ll try to never let that happen again.
It did provide me with plenty of fodder for this column. I hate having fodder for this column. But I digress.
With no further preamble, the following are on notice this week.
Moral victories. Don't believe in them. Just going to carry this little white hot ember of hate around with me for the next 12 months waiting for revenge, instead. There were lots of positives to take from this one. Things that trended in the right direction. But let’s not pretend for a moment that there isn't a chance this team regresses going forward, at least in the short term.
Mental mistakes. You can't run out onto the field from the sideline (unless Mark Richt tells you to, or you believe he did). You damn sure can't do so without a helmet on. It’s a penalty. It’s not a new or obscure penalty. It’s a longstanding rule which players have been made aware of. It’s a dumb penalty springing from a very momentary lack of discipline.
I feel bad for Rico McGraw. But let’s not pretend that was anything but a self-inflicted wound by a team that came into this one with very little margin of error. It wasn't the only mental error on the day, but it was the one everyone will remember.
Kickers. College kickers, letting you down for 116 years running! On the bright side it's looking like Rosrigo Blankenship may have actually secured the job, which will get him on the field regularly. I can't imagine that will do anything but help him get more comfortable. That being said, we absolutely have to find a kicker who can kick it into the dang endzone regularly. You can't tell me there's not a high school soccer player in metro Atlanta who isn't considering going to UGA anyhow and has enough leg to handle that.
Nick Chubb’s ankle. The Fightin’ Muschamps aren't likely to outscore many teams. But it would be nice to get Nick Chubb back healthy just to have another threat. Also because I still believe this is the last season he’ll play in Athens and I selfishly want to see as much of him as possible. High ankle sprains are the most fickle injury known to man, however, so I’m not holding my breath. Until further notice I’m just assuming we can't have nice things and Chubb will be in a full body cast by Thursday.
Gimme Three Steps. Perhaps the most overrated of well-known Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. The most underrated? That's a tie between Simple Man and the Ballad of Curtis Loew.
SEC Officials. I’m just going to sit here watching this replay of a QB spiking the ball for seventeen minutes while you all go on reading the rest of the column and doing other more productive things.
Greg McGarity. Probably doesn't even know who Ronnie Van Zant was. Until later...