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Opinion: Hatcher's task is not an easy one
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    Chris Hatcher is dreamy.
    You know it, I know it, the fans, faculty, boosters, players and alumni know it. The man has blazed into Statesboro like a breath of fresh air into a program suffocating with negativity.
    I, for one, left Friday's press conference/celebration/lovefest smiling ear-to-ear. This guy was going to be fun to work with, and even more fun to cheer for (on those rare occassions I do drop my objective, professional approach to sports).
    Unfortunately, there is a realist side to my psyche that's hard to get rid of.
    The Georgia Southern football team last year was 3-8. No matter how you spin it, 3-8 is 3-8. Sure, a kick here, a play there, a bounce here — the Eagles would have been 8-3. So would 10s of other teams around the country.
    The Eagles are a squad with a serious kicking problem, the inability to stop the big play on defense, personnel struggling to adapt to a new offense and a team seemingly light years away from those dominant mountain boys to the north.
    That's a lot to correct in a coach's first year.
    While I don't doubt Coach Hatcher will be up to the task, taking the GSU Eagles from 3-8 to the playoffs in one year is a monumental task.
    There are still plenty of issues concerning both on-the-field and off-the-field activity. Will Coach find enough recruits in time for National Signing Day on Feb. 7? Will the players themselves adjust to their third coach in three years? What kind of academic and discipline standards will be set? Who will transfer in (or transfer out)? What will Coach wear on gameday?
    When the media and community filed listlessly into Bishop Field House Wednesday to hear the news of that former coach's departure, it was cold, rainy and dark. Friday, the sun was out, the six flags were flyin', and all seemed right again with Southern football as Eagle Nation shook hands, laughed and watched Hatcher's son, Ty, play with his grandpa in the endzone of Paulson Stadium. The scene was surreal.
    There's 230 days until kickoff. Coach and crew are no doubt already exhuasted from filing through recruits, current players, future and former staff, shaking hands, fielding telephone calls and nestling in next to Beautiful Eagle Creek.
    Fans are just waiting for the miracle to begin, and Hatch is no doubt ready to give it to 'em. The rest of college football and the SoCon, however, won't be as comprimising.
    Will Georgia Southern be successful next season? I can honestly say I think they will. Will they be hoisting flag No. 7? The eight-ball says "Ask again later."