The difference between wanting to look smarter and wanting to win

Dan Mullen showed some cojones in last night’s Egg Bowl.

Then, in overtime, came the boldest decision of all: on fourth down with the ball on his own 3-yard line, Dan Mullen decided to go for it. Everything in college football overtime conventional wisdom says to kick the field goal and avoid allowing the other team to win with its own kick. But Mississippi State defied the wisdom, and the once-injured Prescott plunged into the end zone for the go ahead touchdown.

Of course, all he’s got to show for that is an upset win over the in state rival.  That hardly compares to this:

Tech people walked away from that game feeling good about themselves, which never happens when Tech loses to Georgia in any sport. But it happened this time. It happened because Techies, who pride themselves on brainpower, were tickled at having outsmarted Big Brother.

OK, I know what you Bulldogs are saying. I’ve read the responses to this little missive from late last night. To paraphrase the stance of (some) Georgia folks: “If Paul Johnson is such a genius, how come he lost to Mark Richt again? Isn’t the name of the game to win?”

Well, yes. But there can be honor in defeat, especially when the defeat is so hard-fought and cleverly wrought.

Whatever gets you through the night, I guess.  I still think I’d rather have the W, but then maybe I ain’t that smart.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

25 responses to “The difference between wanting to look smarter and wanting to win

  1. gastr1

    I love how things have gone since then, too. A 2008 high-water mark followed by a shining moment of outcoaching in a loss. Oh, Tech, such children.


    • Dawgfan Will

      Ironically, the commenters on that blogpost are convinced Mark Bradley is a UGA homer.


      • Babyfarts McGeezax

        That post really checked all the boxes of Tech’s delusions of self grandeur. You’ve got everything from the “you work for us” bit to the revisionist history of how the series was apparently closer before 2001 (which is frankly hysterical). The best part though is when he talks about how no one likes a sore loser. Take time to read that part again and remind yourselves which fan base has destroyed the hedges when they win once per decade or so.


        • Noonan

          I am still waiting for someone to explain why Tech has “academic issues” but Stanford doesn’t.


          • Dawgwalker07

            I said that to a tech friend of mine and his response was Stanford has only been good for about 5 years. As if that ended the argument because Stanford hasn’t had success for decades or something?


    • But the sentiment still remains — if the records over the last 20 years were flipped, the hatred wouldn’t be nearly as bad.

      Then you’re not doing it right.


    • Spence

      “We can’t look at anything related to uga without being reminded of that inferiority.” I’d say that about sums it up, and it’s nice to hear them say it.


  2. AusDawg85

    Tech motto: It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you lose!


  3. Bulldawg165

    I still cannot comprehend why we didn’t go for two after the Washaun Ealey TD. If we converted then we’re up by 9 and Paul Johnson looks like a complete and utter moron.


    • With a minute twenty nine left on the clock and that passing attack, an eight-point lead was as close to insurmountable as it gets. Which is why Johnson’s move wasn’t nearly as clever as Bradley thought it was.


      • Spence

        For argument’s sake, then going for two is more sound since there’s little risk they’ll score and maybe you can take the whole enchilada away from them right there.


      • Bulldog Joe


        No where near as clever as letting Rajion Neal score with a minute fifty-four left.


    • Minnesota Dawg

      Seriously? Because if we don’t get the 2 point conversion, we’re only up by 7 and Tech doesn’t even need a 2 point conversion to tie. Like two wrongs, two stupids don’t make a right.

      Glad we won, and that’s the bottom line, but the end of the 2010 game was poorly managed by our coaches. By scoring that last TD, we went from 99.9% chance of winning to 90% chance of winning. Never a good trade-off despite the unlikelihood of Tech scoring.


  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Yep, CPJ was at the top of his smartiness back then. After losing to UGA he went out and hired Al Groh to coach the D.


  5. uglydawg

    The truth about CPJ is this…he has to run an odd ball offense that will get him a marginal amount of wins.But little or nothing else.
    If he were really smart..he’d be more flexable…he could coach his team to do more things…but he isn’t and he doesn’t.
    And if the nerdyturdys had any brains at all, they’d realize they’ve been sold a compromise that will never reward them with much.
    But they can always look forward to beating Duke to become bowl eligable most years.


    • adam

      That weird meme that “no one knows X’s and O’s better than him” drives me crazy. Why? Because he can call a 70 year old offense without a play sheet? Who cares? He’s far from a genius.