Story Poster
Georgia Football

A Different Path, Same Destination - Georgia is Right Where We Thought They Would Be

November 3, 2018

LEXINGTON - The last time I went skiing, I accidentally took a wrong route going down the mountain. What I thought was a blue hill turned out to be a black diamond.


Now I’m not very good at skiing (snowboarding, actually), so a black diamond was a horrific experience for me. Still, with some serious soreness in my body, I made it to where I was going anyways - the bottom of the slope.


Georgia isn’t skiing (or snowboarding), but the situation has been the same.



In a much tougher way than originally imagined, Georgia has landed right where we expected them to—champions of the East.


Three months ago, it seemed like it would be a cakewalk to get to this point. We thought Florida would be about as good as they were last year, same with Kentucky. LSU was going to pose a threat, but not too much to the likes of this Georgia team.


But as the season progressed, the slope turned from green, to blue, to a black diamond then finally to a double black diamond.


Preseason it seemed possible that Georgia might only play one ranked team (LSU) before making it to Atlanta. To go from that to playing what was almost three top-10 matchups in four weeks is quite a leap. Even though the achievement is the same either way, it makes the players feel more validated, like they truly earned it and weren’t just handed the crown.


“I mean I feel like I’m a winner,” said Jonathan Ledbetter, who had a sack and two tackles-for-loss on the day. “I’m on fire inside right now… Our backs against the wall and we’re gonna answer the call every time.”


It was a surprise for most everyone, probably even some of the players, that the schedule ended up being as tough as it was. Kirby Smart though saw it from the start. He knew of the difficulties that were throughout Georgia’s schedule from the start.


“It hasn’t been easy and it’s never easy,” Smart said. “Sometimes I think people get spoiled when you win and these are good programs and teams. I give our kids a lot of credit because their backs were against the wall two weeks in a row and they came out fighting, scratching and crawling.”


That scratching and crawling leaves Georgia with more bruises than maybe it expected which is a major downside of this gruesome schedule. The pain is worth it, though. With a date likely looming with either Alabama or LSU, these games will stick with Georgia. We’ve seen them grow astronomically as they’ve played through them. They have helped Georgia become more aware of their weaknesses and how to build on them.


We may not have seen it playing out in this fashion before the season, but regardless of how it went, Georgia is in the seat we expected them to be in - just with a few more bruises and a lot more experience.



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