A loss is disappointing, regardless of the circumstances in which it occurs. However, the loss in the Georgia game is about as bearable as it comes. The truth is that Georgia is a fine program, complete with very talented players, lots of depth, and a fine coaching staff. Considering the manner in which we lost to the Dawgs, a loss here carries no shame.
Again, it's disappointing, but no one should make too much of the loss. Truth be told, if Florida State, Tennessee, and Auburn continue to play at their current level, Georgia is the toughest team on the entire schedule aside from LSU. And we took that team to overtime, so it bodes quite well for us. It's still very early, and we have to continue to develop, but even with the loss to Georgia, we can still very legitimately get nine or ten regular season wins.
And there are a lot of positives coming from the Georgia game, make no mistake about it. We didn't play very good football -- and honestly didn't play particularly well even in the second half -- but we still took a good football team to overtime, and almost pulled out the victory. Moreover, we again rallied late, and we seemingly got stronger as the game went along, which is something we never did under Shula and company.
Moreover, in the big picture, the loss to Georgia just really does not matter that much. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. At this point, it's all about improving as a team and about building the program, and from that perspective, we are currently experiencing a boom. Recruiting is going far better than anyone could have expected in the first year -- most likely to be the top class in the SEC and a top five class in the country -- and Saban and co. are obviously improving the current squad. Moreover, considering that we'll return somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 starters next year, plus the kicker and the punter, whatever happens in 2007 will be a mere preview of things to come in 2008. Anyone who can't see that this program is rising and on the return to national prominence is either ignorant or so filled with blind hatred for Alabama that they can irrationally ignore the obvious reality of the situation.
In the short term, we just have to continue to improve and play good football. If we play like we should, we could very well win three straight games over FSU, Houston, and Ole Miss, and that would put us at 6-1 going into the Tennessee game. No one expected us to win the national championship this year, and some losses are expected, particularly against better teams like Georgia.
And again, does the loss really matter in the big picture? Not really, the same way it really didn't matter in the big picture that Saban lost to UAB in 2000 in his first season at LSU. Some losses in the short-term are expected, and as long as you are building up the program, you'll be fine in the coming years.
Fortunately, we seem to be doing just that.