The Georgia Bulldogs finished #2 in the nation for the 2017-2018 season. The heartbreaking loss in the National Championship, though, has Georgia Football fans clinging to a hopeful future.
This will not be an analysis. This also won’t be some sort of schematic exposition of what went wrong Monday night in Atlanta. In fact, it has taken 2 days to get to a place for this writer to even approach the subject. No, this will be a catharsis, of sorts. The type of thing that attempts to make one feel better, but fails to do so. In that nature, the fog of disappointment and disbelief, Georgia Football fans cling to a promising future to salve wounds and heal scars. They may not be wrong to do so.
There is no whitewashing the pain felt by Dawg Nation. It had been a long while since their team had a shot at a national title. Naturally, the cliff dive of blowing a lead, and then losing in overtime, takes a while to manage. The landing is rough.
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But what lies below, and ahead, is something positive. A funny narrative is circling the drain that is known as message boards. Apparently, it has become fodder for fools, in these shadow platforms of conspiracy theory and sunshine pumping, that UGA will lose 31 Seniors off of this team, and therefore, will “drop-off” in 2018.
There is no way to know if there will be a regression, in terms of play, and/or record, but it won’t be because Georgia is losing 31 contributors. That assertion is beyond silly. It’s stupid. It’s lazy thinking.
Reality is that Kirby Smart has already taken UGA to a place that Mark Richt never could. And that isn’t referencing a National Title game.
Georgia’s first two recruiting classes under Smart have been exceptional, with each year getting better and deeper. 2018 looks to be the best yet. 2019 looks even stronger.
Think of it this way, Georgia red-shirted more 4* and 5* on Offense in 2017 than Tennessee has on their entire roster. That’s a fact.
When you are red-shirting 5* talent on the O Line, something has changed. Things have definitely changed in Athens. The kind of change that bends the history of the future.
If Kirby Smart and staff continue this prodigious and prosperous recruiting pace for the next few years, the talent level in Athens, and depth of talent, will rival or supersede any other program in the country. UGA already features nothing but 4* and 5* Freshmen just on Special Teams.
But that is all conjecture for the future. The present reminds that the now old adage from Ric Flair of being the man and beating the man still rings true. Nick Saban is still the man.
The present hurts for Georgia Football fans, but the future holds promise. Just like “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes did back in the day, maybe next time they can get that belt from Flair. It was never easy for The Dream. It won’t be easy for UGA.
But Rhodes did win the NWA Title from Flair. UGA could find a way to beat the greatest of all time, as well.