Man, what a game. I mean, really, there are parts of this game that just made you sick with rage, and other parts that really made you confident that everything was okay.
I agree with JW, there are a lot of naysayers out there that want to fire everybody on the entire team, I don't think that's the answer. But, what is it going to take to push us over the top? Is it good luck, cushy schedule, various stars coming into alignment?
The reality is that we have had a really good season, albeit a disappointment based on what our expectations were at the beginning of the year. The frustrations that I think any of us express as fans comes from our fear that even with a great team, we were unable to reach a championship level. It's not so much that we're out of the running for the SEC and the national championship, it's that we didn't even look like contenders this year. Right now, the whole does not appear to be greater than the sum of its parts.
I sure won't claim to have any of the answers, I think that we really have to put all of this in context. We're 9-2, assured of a bowl game. There are a lot of teams out there (Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan) that aren't even anywhere close to that. If this is a down year for us, I'll take it. If fans feel like this, don't you think the team feels it that much more? Without question. But, don't you get the sense that the team and the coaches and even the fans are just worn out? I think the injuries have taken a much greater toll on this team than we can ever know. There has been a lack of cohesiveness that's hard to put a finger on, but there are a lot of players with great skill who sometimes look a little bit lost out there.
We have struggled all year with gaining the upper hand in momentum and keeping it. We're fortunate that we have skilled enough players to overcome that to an extent, but it's not easy to do. The Florida and Alabama games were lost in avalanche fashion, one in the first half, the other in the second. It's a big reason that South Carolina, Kentucky, Auburn, Georgia Southern, Vanderbilt, and even LSU have played us as close as they have.
Frankly, we need to quit whining like we have all year (rankings, coaches, players) and enjoy what we have. Hopefully, we'll see something in the next couple of games to get our hopes up again and increase our expectations for next season.
BTW, do Caleb King and Southerland still play on our team?