I spent the weekend thinking over Friday night's game. Okay, that's a lie. I spent Saturday trying to forget it had ever happened. When I woke up Sunday and still had not forgotten, I spent some time really thinking about it.
My biggest problem with the game -- really the last TWO games -- is the fierce case of cognitive dissonance they created with respect to this season.
Last year, by this point, I was basically numb. The loss to Auburn was worst for the thought of another year of taunting from fans of a school with which even trailer parks don't want to be associated. This year, however, it all came crashing down in the span of a few weeks.
By every objective measure, this season is markedly better than last. Every single aspect of the game has improved by leaps and bounds. We expected improvement and for the first time in a long time, we got far more than we expected. If you had told me, before the season started, that we would go unscathed through the regular season, play Florida close in the title game and go to the Sugar Bowl, I'd have called you a moron.
In my mind I know that this year was better. Much better. In my mind I know that it's not the same, but it feels the same. Hell, it feels worse.