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Being burned by high expectations hurts Georgia Southern fans, I can relate

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Being burned by high expectations hurts Georgia Southern fans, I can relate

Tyson Summers looks on during Saturday's 22-12 loss

High expectations are fine to have, but you should know the consequences that come with them.
    Last week I wrote a column about expectations, mainly how I thought Georgia Southern fans and some media members had them far too high for a rebuilding team.
    Lightly putting it, the response was mixed.
    It was made clear to me through fans on Twitter I simply don’t understand Georgia Southern culture. Your demand for excellence makes your football program great and settling for anything less unacceptable. I can understand that, to a degree.
    Having high expectations for your program is one thing, but being able to look at the on-field product and temper year-to-year expectations is something totally different.
    Anyone who had the patience to sit through that infuriatingly bad broadcast Watch ESPN put on Saturday should ask themselves one thing: Should I have high expectations for 2017 Georgia Southern?
    If they answer is still yes, there’s clearly no reasoning with you. You can’t lose to New Hampshire. I don’t care if they wind up winning the FCS title this season. FBS teams don’t lose to FCS teams. It’s a simple as that.
    For those Georgia Southern fans who have come back to earth with the rest of us: Welcome back. I’m sorry for your loss, I can relate.
    One of the most humiliating points of my football fandom was watching South Carolina lose to the Citadel in 2015 at a sports bar with my buddies. South Carolina had hit an 80-yard touchdown pass to go up 27-24 in the fourth quarter  I still can’t believe my buddy Gabe and I lept out of our barstools in jubilation for something so silly.
    However the score was called back on a penalty — keep in mind this bar is in Greenville, heavy Clemson territory. We proceeded walked back to our stools, tails tucked between our legs, as the Clemson fan-filled bar berated us as losers while South Carolina lost to the Citadel and finished that season 3-9.
    After Saturday's game I think Georgia Southern fans should be able to relate. It appears nothing has changed from last week for the Eagles: the offense still looked anemic and poor Shai Werts looked totally lost against an FCS defense in an eerily silent stadium.
    Blame it on a young team, blame it on a new offense, blame it on a location change or even blame it on the thought of an impending hurricane itself: there was no excuse for what happened against New Hampshire. I think most Georgia Southern fans should realize this by now, but just in case some don’t I felt the need to hammer home the point.
    If there are some of you out there who are still going to hold the 2017 team to the same high expectations of the Erk Russell and Paul Johnson teams, that’s fine. You should know if you’re still going to entrench yourself in those expectations, you’re going to be miserable this season. Have fun with that.
    From a two-game sample it’s painstakingly clear this team is on the road to nowhere. Worst case scenario, this is the worst loss in program history — even worse than the 2006 loss to Central Connecticut which occurred following the death of Russell.
    Best case scenario, New Hampshire is only the fifth-worst team on the schedule. According to the Sagarin ratings — a computer measurement that calculates the aptitude of FCS and FBS teams — Coastal Carolina, New Mexico State, UMass and Georgia State are all worse than New Hampshire.
    And for all of you out there posting the #FireTysonSummers on social media, do you think that’s going to fix anything? You think making Bryan Cook the head coach is going to magically fix things? Look at the roster and look at the schedule. That’s your current problem.
    Yes, the past two years fall on Summers and athletic director Tom Kleinlein. There’s no dancing around that anymore. I’m not going to comment on their collective futures, but they are for sure tied to each other and will have to own whatever comes out of the season. That whatever remains to be seen too.
    To be honest, I don’t know where you go from here. All I can tell Georgia Southern fans now is to please lower any expectations going forward. That way wins will come as pleasant surprises and losses won’t hurt so bad. 
    For those who still won’t listen, you’ve been warned plenty of times. Everything from this point forward is on you. Godspeed.

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