I work in operations management and I have to constantly deal with quality failures. One can usually lump these quality failures into two categories: legitimate intermittent escapes, or lack of attention to detail. I have learned to be less upset with intermittent escapes. When intermittancies occur, we can identify the hole in the process and work towards a resolution. However, when a mistake is made because an inspector is simply not paying attention or rushing through their work, it's a different issue altogether. Attention to detail sounds simple to teach and to demand. But when applied in a practical sense, it's incredibly more difficult.
If you recall, I said the September schedule was like easing on into a bathtub. We ran the water with Western Carolina, stuck our toe in ever so slightly against Middle Tennessee State, and climbed on in against Kansas and North Carolina. The suddenly, as we slid entirely into the water, we realized the temperature was scalding hot and we burned ourselves. The burn is the month of October, when the schedule took its turn into reality. Reality says that we're better than our 2010 versions of ourselves but not by as much as we initially thought. We created an SEC-like schedule and gained hype as we moved into the conference schedule.But now, we're being challenged and we aren't sure what to do.
Virginia finally solved what the rest of our ACC opponents could not put totally together. The Jackets played like they finally had the right mix of experience, continuous lack of attention to detail and a good dose of overmatched positioning. Georgia Tech could not synch up and piece the small but crucial pieces together.
Paralleling work to football, I can live with intermittent, legitimate failures. We can work through them. Virginia's lines acted like rock, they ripped through the respective Tech lines like paper. Disruption came and the consistent, long, drawn out Paul Johnson death march could not be had. In fact, Virginia had control of the ball for half the ballgame. Games like this will happen when GT is smaller and out manned and we can work towards improving those deficiencies through recruiting, coaching etc. In these type of situations, it is even more important to increase the attention to detail. Instead, penalties were committed, passes were dropped, assignment were missed, and shoulder bumps were cooler than form tackling. These issues scream personal issues. It was the mental mistakes that set the Yellow Jackets back.
The football life of a Tech fan is a unique one. We expect our hearts to be broken but at the first sight of success we build incredibly lofty expectations which, when not reached, our hearts are broken just as we predicted. The rest of October and November will not give Georgia Tech much time to breathe. Attention to detail must be expected of the program or else even our initial expectations of 7-8 wins this season will be in jeopardy.