If you would have told me we'd be 9-4 or 10-3 after the bowl game this year, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. I think most of us would have. Truthfully, the Kentucky collapse soured a lot of fans on what has essentially been a scratch and claw (no pun intended) 2009 campaign for the Dawgs this year. Every win was earned and fought hard for as our team struggled through repeated shots in its own foot.
Who can you credit for those things? Well, you have to start at the top and credit CMR and most of the staff for doing what we've all known him (and them) to do so well. He kept the fabric of the season from unraveling when everything (and subsequently everyone) was falling apart around him. You're eight games into a season, the roars of firings are coming down hard, another loss to a hated rival, and overall mediocre play could have permeated the locker room walls. However, the man at the top did his best to maintain focus.
Then you have to credit the true leaders of this team. You can hate on Cox for his talent as much as you want, but when you have a guy in the huddle who has the DESIRE to give it his all, those around him play harder. Guys like Owens, Atkins, Curran, Jones (both Ben and Reshad), and Green all refused to go quietly into the night. Refusing to leave a legacy of disappointment in what some of them would come to know as their final season in the red & black.
Offseason arrests were down. The talents such as B. Smith, Charles, and Ealey burst onto the scene. All of this in the face of a population that repeatedly called for heads of nearly every person on the sideline wearing a headset.
Gentlemen (and ladies), there's an opportunity here that I believe is within our grasp. Right now it appears that our leader has taken steps to improve the team with an "any means necessary" attitude. He wants to step up the discipline, step up the desire, and stoke the fire.
IF, and it's a big "IF," we can carry what we did right this year and improve our focus to eliminate the instances where things went horribly wrong, we have the chance to reclaim our spot at the top of the SEC in 2010. I don't believe there will be a "QB controversy." I don't believe there will be any "me first" attitudes going into camp. The best thing about coming off of 2009 instead of 2007 is that we haven't earned a damned thing yet. There will be no #1 (or hell, maybe even a #15) ranking going into this year.
The work begins now when it comes to earning our stripes, taking our respect, and having recruits say once again that "UGA is building something special and I want to be a part of it." We've never been a team of "Over Dawgs." We're a team of "Under Dawgs" and that's the way I like it.
Why? Because when it comes to football in the SEC, nothing is a given. We have the unique opportunity to do things the "Georgia Way."
Here's to 2010.
Until next time kids.
Labels: College Football, Damn Good Dawg, UGA Football