No time to stop and smell the roses.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say somebody’s trying to make me feel bad about how much I enjoyed last season.

“People ask me every day, ‘Are you guys going back [to the playoff]? Are you guys going back?’ defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter said. “Of course, the answer would be, ‘Yes.’ … We [aren’t] going anywhere, just cleaning some things up in the office and in the shop. We’re going to get this thing clicking on all cylinders.”

But as good as the Dawgs were last season, an SEC championship wasn’t enough. Not when it came in only Smart’s second season. Not when the natty was Georgia’s to have and to hold … until it wasn’t. Not when the Dawgs were playing 70 miles from campus in their home state.

Sweeping the East, crushing Georgia Tech, an SEC title in a game that avenged the only regular season loss, an unforgettable road win at Notre Dame, a Rose Bowl win for the ages… and it wasn’t enough?  Pardon me for smiling as I recall all of it.

Try reminding any Georgia fan of this: Alabama in 2017 won its fourth title since 2009. Georgia still hasn’t won one since 1980.

We’ll get ’em next time?

“It’s definitely a lot easier for players than fans,” Reed said. “I feel like fans get too hung up.”

No offense to J.R., but I’m not the guy who said this:

“The ultimate goal is to win the natty, and the SEC Championship doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the national championship,” Reed said Tuesday morning at the Omni Hotel, moments before attending SEC Football Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame. “So that’s where we are right now.”

I get that there’s a danger to resting on your laurels and Kirby wants to guard against complacency.  It’s good that it’s trickled down to the team.  I just don’t get the mindset that encourages sucking all the joy out of Georgia’s greatest season in decades. (It’s only fair to note, though, that Reid said that after flashing his SEC championship ring, so I’m not sure he really meant everything the way it came out.)

Also, this is what you get when you raise the college football playoffs über alles.

I guess that’s where I am right now.

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41 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

41 responses to “No time to stop and smell the roses.

  1. I loved 2017 as much as I loved 1976 (the 1st I can remember), 1980 (was a little sweeter), 1981, 1982, 2001 and 2005. Winning an SEC championship is hard, and it should be celebrated.

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    • Chopdawg

      Absolutely. 2017 was a special year. Possibly my favorite Dawg season of all, because of the Rose Bowl win. The only way we can improve on 2017 is to win a Natty in 2018…but SEC Championships, wins over Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Notre Dame are always meaningful.

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    • Russ

      1980 has faded, but it was certainly a blast. 2017 was at least as fun as 1980 to me. Winning at Notre Dame and the Rose Bowl will be very hard to top for me. That includes a playoff championship.

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    • 209

      SEC champs every year and the rest will take care of itself..

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  2. Mayor

    I still believe the SEC is the toughest conference in college football and winning an SEC Championship is akin to winning the national championship.

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    • Call it ‘resting on my laurels’ if you will, but I kind of agree. Plus, Bama didn’t have to play that game…they were resting up for the playoffs, so yea, that’s one thing we got that they don’t. Should be celebrated.

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  3. Derek

    I think the way the last game went is both part of the problem you mention but is also a big part of the hope that we won’t regress and rest on our laurels.

    It was stolen by the refs. We proved we could win on the biggest stage. We blew it when it was in grasp.

    The biggest thing that I worry about is that I think Alabama did not have one of it better teams, especially offensively. ST’s weren’t very good either.

    But I agree. We’re the defending SEC Champions. That’s a big deal. We should be focused primarily on defending that. The rest will take care of itself.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Their offense was limited by a QB who couldn’t throw the ball very well. They could play around that for the most part until the Auburn game, when their defensive injuries caught up to them. Against Georgia they had to alter the plan, because they were getting beat even with a fully lethal defense.

      The thing is that last year might be one of Georgia’s worst teams for the next five or so years in terms of overall talent. The secondary especially had some holes, and the offensive line, despite its massive improvement from 2016, was still not as talented on the whole as future lines are likely to be. If we see very little falloff or even some improvement this year, the train is probably rolling, and they will get a national title sooner rather than later.

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      • Derek

        True on talent but not experience, plus R who isn’t getting replaced.

        I think we’ll be a machine in November and beyond. We just have to make sure we don’t mess it up before we start rolling.

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  4. paul

    In recent years, winning the SEC required beating Alabama. That we were able to get to the National Championship without playing Alabama was an opportunity that won’t likely present itself again soon. Winning the SEC and the Rose Bowl was incredible. Losing to Alabama the way we did makes those memories difficult to enjoy. I suspect it will get better over time. But I’m old and I remember how long it took us to get back to the National Championship. If it takes that long again, I will have been dead quite some time.

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    • ilini84

      “makes those memories difficult to enjoy.” For you maybe.

      Liked by 2 people

      • paul

        For me, yes. I hope this isn’t true for everyone and it shouldn’t be. Like I said, I think even I’ll get better over time. Once we start winning games again this year that will help tremendously.

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        • Russ

          My wife asked me why the championship game didn’t bug me like most losses do, and I told her the overall season was so much fun (and somewhat unexpected) that there was no way I could let one play ruin my season. Plus, I was still in my post-Rose Bowl glow. I think I still am.

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          • ilini84

            I am too. I just can’t fall into the “Natty or Nuthin” camp. It’s a long trail and we never know what’s coming. Wasn’t there a post here right before the Robe Bowl to the effect that “It will never be better than this”? Then it was.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Got Cowdog

              Beat sc, ut, uf, auburn, and gt convincingly. Win the East. The rest is gravy.

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            • paul

              Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not a “Natty or Nuthin” guy. Last season was totally unexpected from my perspective. I enjoyed the ride immensely. It’s just that we were so close, it was in our grasp. My senior year at UGA was 1980. It took us most of my adult lifetime to get back there. I can’t wait that long again. I literally don’t have that much life left in me.

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              • RangerRuss

                Paul, I understand. As a result of .mil obligations my first quarter on campus was January 1980. 12-0 that first year,43-4-1 total. i felt entitled. I was spoiled. It’s been great fun as a Dog fan in the ensuing years. But that last NC game was a bitter disappointment. My older brother died of bone cancer New Year’s morning 2005. One of the last things he said to me was, “I hate that I’m not gonna live to see all these National Championships the Dogs are gonna win.” I understand.

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              • Brother I’m 68 years old and but have only been a Dawg for 35 years so I get worrying about time.

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  5. ApalachDawg

    At least we are talking about championships again and being somewhat pissed about unfinished business instead of wandering in the wilderness in the last years of Richt.

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  6. Uglydawg

    Georgia did everything necessary to win the natty last season, right down to blocking a punt to seal the win. We got there. We prevailed.
    When it was time to present the trophy, however, an asshole handed our’s to ‘Bama.
    This alone should drive these Dawgs to beat down every foe they face and hope and pray they get ‘Bama in the NCG again.

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    • I want Bama in Atlanta. I want us to be the ones that keep them from making the CFP by laying the wood to them in the SECCG.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Derek

        The west is such a grind I agree that it’s a bit easier to get them a week after Auburn. For a championship caliber team, our November isn’t too difficult. They’ve got LSU, MSU and Auburn in November and we have UK, Auburn and Tech.

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      • Uglydawg

        That would do nicely.

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      • FisheriesDawg

        Unfortunately, they’re likely to still get in the playoff unless we absolutely blow their doors off. They’re going to get a benefit of the doubt that no other team in the country (including us) will. They’ve got two relatively recent national titles in years where they couldn’t win the conference. Nobody who matters will bat an eyelash at the potential for a third.

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      • Russ

        Absolutely. I want Georgia to take down Bama with Saban still there and at his peak. I want us to drive him from the field just like we did the Ol’ Ball Sack.

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        • Otto

          Agreed I want UGA with 1 loss or less facing Bama with 1 loss in the SECCG playing for a spot in the big dance. I also want no chance of a 2 loss Bama getting in the playoff even if that means pulling for Ohio State and Meyer to win.

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  7. TXBaller

    Ahhh, a breath of fresh air. Focus on a Natty. Not so long ago, our players would echo their coaches desire to “win the east”. Low targets, low goals, low accomplishments. I love that we are now focused on the mountaintop!!

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  8. willypmd

    Bama was lucky to get in to the playoffs and lucky to win the final game.

    I both supremely enjoyed last season and expect great things going forward.

    I haven’t been this excited for football since 2002 and I believe Kirby has laid the foundation for last season to be typical.

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  9. Go Dawgs!

    The loss at the end hurts, and it will forever. But the 2017 season is a completely happy memory for me. Always will be. It was a success. Any time you’re wearing an SEC Championship ring at the end of the year, it’s been a successful season.

    Now, with that said, if Georgia is standing in San Jose at the end of the National Championship Game in January 2019 watching someone else lift the trophy, I don’t think I’ll feel as satisfied this time as I did walking out of the Benz on January 8th this year.

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  10. PTC DAWG

    Last year was a hell of a ride, SEC Titles are nothing to sneeze at, IMHO….

    I want another.

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  11. Anonymous

    Alabama has won the NC twice in this decade in seasons they did not win the SEC Championship. There have also only been two seasons where they won the SEC Championship but not the NC. I would actually argue that winning the SEC Championship is just as hard as winning the NC.

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  12. Chickasaw

    Any season in which our Dawgs beat the sh-t out of FU, NATS, ‘Billies and the Cheaters (esp in a revenge match champ game) and win the SEC is one helluva season. We hadn’t done that since ’82, and had beaten all 4 in the same season only twice since then (’11 and ’12). Then add the ND and Rose Bowl gravy? Damn, man, the whiskey practically pours itself.

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  13. W Cobb Dawg

    At least our players and coaches aren’t quoting from the ‘Parable of the Farmer’ anymore.

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  14. Raleigh St. Claire

    Nothing like parsing the words of some young kids who are in the process of trying to get their minds in the right place for the grind.

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  15. JCDAWG83

    Win the SEC and the national championship will come. My first goal every season is to win the East so we have a chance to win the SEC and get into the playoff. If we start playing for the SEC championship most every season it won’t be long before we start winning national championships.

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  16. 1smartdude

    Winning the East means something to me. Winning the SEC means a little more. Winning a NC is the summit. It’s a good year anytime any of those things happen. I don’t take any of those accomplishments for granted. Anyone who does must not be as old as I am or have suffered through as much. It’s damn hard to do any of those things, which is why the NC stings so much. That pain doesn’t lessen the SEC title accomplishment at all, but believing that everything just falls into place, like it has at Alabama, to get there on a regular basis, is a dangerous game plan too. You better enjoy those titles and take advantage of the opportunities when you play for them. Not sure who made the quote, but it’s actually 5 NC’s for Alabama since 2009, not four. If you go back and look at those seasons, the amount of luck and good fortune that fell their way and allowed them to be in a position to play for a title is unbelievable. With as much talent and coaching as they had, there is probably only one year where they created their championship destiny. All the rest required circumstances and luck to go their way. People look at Alabama and say, look how easy it is to be there all the time. Just get the talent and coaching. That’s a complete lie. I say this to anyone who doesn’t enjoy the accomplishment and give a little reminder, when was the last time we won the SEC? A National Championship? If you don’t enjoy those when they happen, you’re nuts.

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    • Agree on many of your points. I am as high on Kirby as anyone…hell, I wanted him at UGA years before it actually happened, but to think he can replicate what Saban has done…even by half, is a tall order. That is why I am a bit upset we could not close last year. Chances like that might not come often even if you are a perennial power.

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