I’m a big fan of the phrase, “You’re as good as your record.”
I bring up that point almost as often as I quote “The Simpsons,” so needless to say, I take it pretty seriously.
That means that Georgia Southern was pretty much a .500 team in 2008. Sure, a play here and a play here and the Eagles could have gone 9-2, but they also could have gone 3-8 with a few plays going the other way, so 6-5 it is.
It also means that Chattanooga was 4-1 coming into Saturday’s game at Paulson Stadium, so GSU’s 30-20 win over the Mocs was legit.
I bring it up, because people have been asking my opinion of the GSU program ever since Mike Sewak and his staff were let go back in 2005, and I’ve kept my opinion mostly to myself. I like to see how things play out.
If the administration had fired Sewak and kept the rest of the coaching staff (and all those championship rings they collectively had accumulated) instead of sending all of them packing, and appointed one of them the interim coach - like I said they probably should have – until they found a suitable head man to keep the blue print going, the 20-20 record the Eagles have put together since would be unacceptable.
But they didn’t.
Two coaching staffs and two offensive philosophies later, and GSU entered 2009 with a bunch of sophomores and freshman, and the leading passer and rusher from the previous season (Antonio Henton, a transfer) quit the team.
That brings us to where we are now. Here we are, in Week 7, and the Eagles are still very much alive in the playoff hunt. They are in control of their own destiny.
Under the circumstances, I’d say that’s pretty much good enough – for now.
I say that because ever since that Week-2 blowout by South Dakota, there has been improvement in all phases of the game.
This coaching staff still has a lot to prove – Can it keep the players on the roster around until they graduate? Can it make the playoffs? Can it make Georgia Southern great again? Can it win the big one with the kids it recruited? – but the way this team has improved from the beginning of the season at the very least gives this coaching staff a couple of years to answer those questions.
To sum up –
Should it be this way? No.
Is there any way of going back to the option days? No.
Are things getting better? Yes.
Will the Eagles ever be the best in the FCS again? Nobody knows, but it’ll be worth the wait to find out.
Plus, if Georgia Southern can go up to Boone, N.C. on Saturday and put another Eagle crack in The Rock, those last three games on the schedule will end up looking a heck of a lot more winnable.
Can they win out?
When you look at the way they’ve played ASU the last three years, why not?
Honestly, it’s hard to see it playing out that way, (of course, I have been wrong before).
Either way, Chris Hatcher, his staff, and that young group of Eagles are heading into Week 8 with the goal of a SoCon title and a playoff bid still in tact.
So let’s all just sit back and see how this thing plays out.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.