NFL Playoffs begin next week. Saints are in. Falcons are in. Patriots and Ravens await at the end of any road to the Superbowl. Playoffs rarely get better than this.
A host of college teams have yet to play. Even with TCU's epic Rose Bowl win, Auburn & Oregon are still on tap to light up a scoreboard down in the desert. The Bayou Bengals and the Aggies are still on stage in Dallas, and there is a game still to be played in the Superdome.
But football season ended in sackcloth and ashes for my beloved Georgia Bulldawgs. As DADvocate mentioned in an earlier comment, both of the previously elite SEC programs that each of us hold dear have finished this season with more losses than wins.
And if you had told me any time since 1997 that Georgia AND Tennessee would have losing seasons AT THE SAME TIME, I'd have told you how much oceanfront real estate I could sell you in Oconee County, Georgia.
At least DADv gets to enter the new season knowing his team was legitimately robbed of a winning effort by a rule loophole. His team was overmatched in Nashville and still had enough in the tank to notch a win, barring the official buffoonery. His team has a solid coach that got more effort out of that group of players all year long than could reasonably be expected, considering recent events at the flagship university of the Volunteer state. Those players wanted to win that game.
Contrast that to the Georgia Bulldawgs, who obviously had something else on their minds, as they have seemed to so often in recent history. In the past, I have called the 2009 and 2010 seasons of UGA football "rebuilding years," meaning 2010 is the rebuilding year we should have undergone in 2009. But that doesn't seem to be the case. "Rebuilding" at least suggests that there is a blueprint, or a plan of some type; perhaps the laying of a foundation for later success. I'm not sure if our current architects actually have such a plan, or are just winging it as they go along.
This is a significant change from all my earlier opinions, save one. Though he WILL be coach of the Georgia Bulldawgs in 2011, I wonder if Mark Richt WANTS to be coach of the Georgia Bulldawgs in 2011. The new season will answer that question, finally.
And it will do so rather swiftly. Georgia's next opponent is Boise State, in Atlanta, for the Chick-fil-a College Football Kickoff Game.
Not only will we know the answer, swiftly, so will the rest of the college football watching public.