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Georgia Southern fans and media need to tone down expectations

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Georgia Southern fans and media need to tone down expectations

I’m all here for college football fans having optimism, but at some point you’ve got to hold off on the Kool-Aid.
    In the weeks leading up to this game, I found myself perplexed with Georgia Southern fans I ran across in person and online about their attitudes regarding the matchup with Auburn. Granted, Twitter may not be a great way to gauge rational reaction but it is where I observe a lot of Georgia Southern football discussion.
    Like I said, I can get around being optimistic but what I saw was taking things a little too far. Not just fans, but media members who are supposed to be objective about covering the team as well were out here planting their flag in the idea of Georgia Southern beating Auburn.
    Wait, what?
    I can get if you’re talking about Southern keeping it close with Auburn, as the Eagles have a decently rich history of giving power-five teams a tough game. But this is not your father or even your older brother’s Georgia Southern team. This is a Sun Belt team in the midst of a rebuild going into the house of a top-15 team.
    I mean, was it really that hard to see what was going to happen?
    Georgia Southern had the talent last season to possibly make a game with Auburn interesting, but it was wasted on a 5-7 season. Now the Eagles are down an NFL running back, two senior quarterbacks, two outside receivers, seven defensive lineman and two-fringe NFL linebackers.
    How anyone who covers Georgia Southern on a day-to-day basis would look at that and say, “Yeah, Georgia Southern’s totally going to go into Jordan-Hare Stadium and beat an Auburn team who was in the Sugar Bowl last season” is one of two things:
    One, they’re clinically insane or two they’re being homers and doing a major disservice to the fans who listen to them as informed voices around the team. I’m not calling out anyone at this paper, nor will I name any specific names in the GS media but it needs to be know homerism doesn’t do anyone any favors.
    Maybe some of you out there like the homer media guy. Maybe you like living in a fantasy land with rainbows and unicorns where everything is right in the Georgia Southern program. You have every right to like that kind of coverage, but you also have the right to sound incredibly stupid when you run out there with incredibly ill-informed opinions.
    It’s not fair to Tyson Summers or his team for anyone — media or fan — to hold those kind of expectations over their head. They may not come out and admit it, but his team is equipped to win five games — eight if absolutely everything goes right and GS gets all the breaks they need.
    But Auburn was never going to be one of those wins. Auburn is a very good, SEC football team. Sure, Jarrett Stidham was still clearly getting his sea legs under him and Auburn’s offense slept walk through the first half of the game. I don’t think that was anything Georgia Southern was doing to disrupt the Tigers, it was more Auburn coming out lackadaisical and not taking the Eagles seriously.
    However Auburn’s defense was never asleep. They held Georgia Southern to one yard a play.
    One. Yard. A. Play.
    Georgia Southern clearly has a lot of kinks to work out in this offense and to be fair this is the best defense they will face all season. But I feel like I’m writing in circles at this point.
    The point is you could look under every rock and inside every cave to find something that would make you believe Georgia Southern had a chance to win Saturday night. You could grab thin air and say it was a gold nugget, but you’d be lying to yourself. Which unfortunately I saw a lot of Georgia Southern fans and media doing the past couple of weeks.
    So if you’re drinking the Kool-Aid, does it taste good? What’s it made out of? Is it the liquid runoff of what comes out from underneath a Los Amigos dumpster following a heavy rain? Put the glass down fans and homer media. All you’re going to do is make yourself sick and take out your anger on coaches and players who don’t deserve it.
    Simply put, tone down your expectations Eagle fans. It’s okay if you’re not the Georgia Southern of old right now, you can get back there one day — but that day wasn’t Saturday.

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