December 14, 2010. Your own words, Mr. Import:
Maybe this is realistic, maybe not, but here's what I'd like to see:
Season one: more than two wins.
Season two: not less than 5 wins (including, by definition, at least one conference win)
Season three: not less than 6 wins (which would assume a bowl since they hand those out like candy now)
Season four: not less than 7 wins AND a bowl bid outside the 615 area code.
Season five: all of season four PLUS at least one big-ticket win over the Penitentiary of Tennessee, or some big-ticket foe like Florida or Alabama that we haven’t beaten in years.
I don’t think this is unreasonable at all – in fact I would consider this the bare minimum necessary to keep your job, things being how they are. If you have to throttle down the non-conf schedule to help out, fine, but steady progress is mandatory and backsliding unacceptable.
Well, in the cold light of morning, it looks as if we would have wrapped up Year Five if we could have run the table in these last two games. As it is, we're going to finish Year Two for sure and possibly Year Three if we can get over on Wake Forest.
What we needed from the third head coach in seven months was twofold:
1) Stop the bleeding.
This has been the baptism by fire. Every are-you-kidding-me stupid penalty, every missed field goal, every inexplicable turnover at the worst possible moment, every bleep of the SEC Referee Random Event Generator - this team has taken a pile of adversity and turned it into a record that is five key plays away from 9-2 going into the final game.
Do you think a healthy Warren Norman is worth one play a game? How about Brian Kimbrow? How about Jordan Rodgers for a full season with a healthy and experience line behind him (that cuts out the bullshit)? How about one reliable placekicker inside the red zone?
We've gone from being the Cubs to the Red Sox. From utterly hapless to oh-so-close-and-hopes-dashed-in-the-worst-way. And in some ways, it hurts worse knowing that we're not SOV but still not to the promised land. But look at where we've gotten to in eleven months.
Take it, Sam:
Anchor Down. Beat Wake.