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No postseason? No problem for Eagles

No postseason? No problem for Eagles

No postseason? No problem for Eagles

    Ever since Georgia Southern announced its plans to move up to FBS — and thus eliminate itself from FCS playoff contention in 2013 — there have been some doubts coming from fans. While most are positive about the move and look forward to future bowl games and big names coming to Statesboro, some of the same questions keep springing up concerning this season.
    Among them:
    Why not redshirt the seniors so they can play in the FBS?
    Isn’t the playoff ineligibility unfair to this year’s team?
    Won’t all of these games just become more important to other teams than to the Eagles?
    And, the biggest question of all — Won’t the players care less about this season?
    Well, there are many answers and many levels to the answers to all of these questions. No matter the preference of fans, Georgia Southern is on its way up. For all that is uncertain in sports, it is set in stone that the 11 games on the Eagles’ schedule will be the only 11 that they play and that 2014 will put GSU at the highest level of collegiate football.
    But for those who continue to ask questions, let’s take a look at the Eagles’ first showing of the season – a 77-9 drubbing of Savannah State. Furthermore, let’s answer some of those questions with even more questions.
    Didn’t it look like departing senior Jerick McKinnon — limited because of an illness — was just dying to get in the game anytime he was left on the sideline?
    Didn’t the highs and lows of the game draw just as many cheers and groans from the crowd as a high-stakes Southern Conference tilt?
    For that matter, weren’t just as many rabid Eagle fans as usual perfectly willing to wait out a weather delay to fill Paulson Stadium to capacity?
    And — for those who could only tune in via radio — didn’t a sub-par first half performance draw just as much ire from coach Jeff Monken as a couple of bad quarters played against Appalachian State?
    Again, there is nothing but certainty in the Eagles’ current situation. Yes, Georgia Southern is moving forward.  No, this year’s team won’t be a part of the school’s illustrious postseason history. Yes, the contributions from the 2013 squad will be the first step in everything else that comes down the road for the Eagles in the future.
    This season’s games might mean less on a national scale than what will come in the future. But don’t tell that to the guys leaving it all out on the field.
    That 77-9 final score should be the first and last word on whether or not the Eagles are ready for another season of striving for greatness.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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