It seems like only yesterday your football season was made with a victory over EITHER the vicious Florida Gators or the dominating Tennessee Volunteers. My, oh my, how times have changed for the Georgia Bulldog Nation.
Who could have predicted the last decade of Gator football, or the last two for the Volunteers?
Just play along, especially for those say younger than 35. Imagine you climb into a DeLorean and hit that 88 mph mark that sends you back in time to June 2000. Here you have a conversation with yourself about the state of college football.
While talking to your younger, less “bellied”, less gray and a few pounds lighter self you realize that the Dawgs hadn’t seen a victory over Tennessee in a decade. Oh yeah, and you’ve only beaten the Gators once in that same time span. Then there’s Auburn, winning only 5 times since Herchel left and Bo came though.
On the bright spot, we still owned Tech! Well sorta. Coming off the “fumble” in 99 and the fact that Tech claimed (I’ll forever say Colorado), a national championship that decade.
But c’mon, just offer congratulations for the Vandy, UK, and USCjr series. Man, you’re OWNING Vandy, Kentucky, and South Carolina in the year 2000. Up TO 2000, anyway. Hold that thought.
That’s the state of our program 21 years ago. In the toilet with every single important rivalry. Yet STILL we managed to get excited every dang summer. It’s hard to remember being more thrilled about Georgia football than I was in summer 2000. Quincy was going to make a run at the Heisman, right? Jim Donnan recruited like a mad man and our roster was starting to complete… kinda
But we shouldn’t forget how far we’ve come; it’s happened in increments. The period I just described, awful as it looks, was an UPGRADE from the mess its head coach, Jim Donnan, actually inherited. Then Mark Richt upgraded it again. Never quite that final boost we really wanted. But we played in the Dome for a while there, and we had some pretty good teams that made a lot of noise. Just don’t spoil the 2002 season… It was fun… minus Jacksonville (thanks Terrance Edwards).
We began to own most of our rivals. All the ones north of the Okefenokee.
This is why it’s infantile to say “now or never.” “Never” refers to what’s behind a curtain no one can peek through. But I suggest this. Help your Y2K self into the time machine, if there’s an extra seat, and bring him to the present for a visit.
Show him what our roster looks like in 2021. We have more 5*s than a church does sinners. Point out we’re basically a pick’em with one of the two most dominant programs, to start the season, and a double-digit favorite the rest of the way. Never mind that other program is Clemson, which would cause old You to vomit. Describe the quality of defense we have now, compared to the wall of jello we had in 1999. Show him we’re basically a shoe-in to play for the SEC championship. That should impress your old self, who hasn’t seen a trophy in 18 years.
Point out the running back renaissance we’ve enjoyed for nearly ten years. The quarterbacks stacking up like cordwood.
Then cruelly send your younger version back to 1999. Tough luck, kid, you can’t stay. You still have some frustrating football to live through. Hey, you’ll be twenty years younger, thinner, and more attractive. At least until you get to that 2000 game over in Columbia, with the five interceptions and the loss to a Lou Holtz team that had just dropped 21 out of its last 22. Oh, leave out that Vandy homecoming game, Kentucky, the almost Georgia Southern, five yards short in the down, 2nd and 26… ect ect.. sigh.
Yeah, I’ll take the present. Now isn’t the worst place to be. Just remember: Objects in rear-view mirror are closer than they appear.