I look at football a little differently than most, which is to say that my unrealistic expectations are different than the unrealistic expectations of many college football fans.
For example, I don't want Mike Bobo to overhaul his play-calling / be fired. I want Orson Charles to make that difficult catch on the 3 yard line during our first drive of the day, then fall forward for a touchdown. The guy's a stud, and studs make those catches, or else they should be playing outside linebacker.
I can't be mad at Coach Richt for not opening up the playbook for Aaron Murray, because I've wanted him to take it easy with the kid for the last six months. That's a hard thing to change in the second quarter in Columbia, though it probably would have cost us fewer time outs than whatever silliness we burned three on during the first 8 minutes of the third quarter.
And as good as Murray looked yesterday, and as exciting as that is for the rest of this season and beyond, you can't say the he didn't have chances to bring us back in the 4th quarter Saturday, specifically during a pair of drives that quickly ended with 3-and-outs.
I can't be mad about Washaun's fumble, because it was a real good strip, and a tough football play that just happened to come at a soul-crushing moment. I can wonder whether running into a parked car and missing the warm-up game is the best preparation for an SEC schedule.
For that matter, perhaps AJ Green should re-examine his decision-making matrix.
But I digress, because all of this isn't particularly relevant for me. You see, I like defense. I like safeties that make wide receivers wet themselves and defensive linemen with the thousand-yard crazy stare. I like referring to an opposing quarterback's mistake as "Touchdown, Georgia."
I like mashing people on special teams, running over personal protectors to block punts and guys named Brandon or Branden cracking the sound barrier on their way to endzones.
I like focus and performance in general, and that was lacking.
I think the more reasonable among us will agree that South Carolina has a better football team than Georgia. We probably have more speed, but we looked small yesterday. And I think we tricked ourselves into thinking Coach Grantham had a way to run the 3-4 with our current personnel without too many growing pains.
That hasn't happened, and clearly depth is a concern, because we did not substitute as expected. And for some reason we still can't tackle, which is disturbing despite an overall sense of optimism about this team. Like a rat gnawing on your subconscious, whispering "Maybe you didn't cut out all the cancer. Maybe it's growing again."
There is still a long season to go, and we've all seen a South Carolina loss end up as a missed opportunity in an otherwise very good season, as opposed to the first missed step that causes you to fall down the stairs and end up in the cellar.
But, boy, the way we lost that game Saturday.
Sure, we cleaned up the penalties, committing only four for 25 yards. That is progress. There are other things to be excited about, especially as Aaron Murray matures and throws on the money, instead of one step off it.
But the special teams were mediocre, and not because of directional kicking. And the defense. Good grief, the defense. Next Sunday it may be time to wonder whether we have the horses we need, particularly in the front seven other than Justin Houston, though the safeties didn't exactly acquit themselves well in Columbia.
Or we could just learn to tackle. Really, I don't care about anything else until we do that.