Kudos to ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel, who manages to write an entire column on Georgia’s title aspirations without a single mention of the schedule. Bravo!
There are some great quotes from Stafford, but there’s a quote from Jeff Owens that raises a good point to contemplate.
“I’m going on my fourth season here,” defensive tackle Jeff Owens said. “I have seen the ups and downs. I have experience at both winning and losing.”
In 2006, the Bulldogs lost four of five games, then rallied to win their last three and finish 9-4. In 2007, after being routed at Tennessee 35-14, Georgia stood at only 2-2 in the SEC East. The Dawgs then won their final seven games, tied for the division championship and finished second in the AP rankings. Imaginations, at least those outside the locker room, took off from there.
Does going through the down times – and losing to Vandy at home would certainly qualify as that – give the team the perspective to manage the expectations they face at the start of the ’08 season? As Maisel notes, talk is cheap, but at least for now these guys sound like they know what they face and how they need to handle it.
By the way, if you’re interested, there are a couple of other pieces up at the WWL about Georgia and the SEC. Pat Forde makes five predictions (I hope he’s spot on about the first one) and Chris Low notes the dearth of experienced QBs in the conference (he predicts that 20 will see meaningful playing time this season, which sounds like a lot, until you realize that South Carolina alone may play three or four once Spurrier starts tossing visors).