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Opinion Week Rewind: Mediocrity is a Vice

Our final look back at Opinion Week welcomes back Nate, to look at his original article on levels of expectations.

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Back in May, I wrote about the need for the fan base to get more energetic if we wanted to see the program go anywhere and my personal struggle with maintaining such energy.

Well folks, it turned out to be one hell of season. But you don’t need me, the guy who thought Justin Thomas "isn’t that fast," to tell you that.

I’ve got nothing. I don’t know what to say to a team that went 11-3 after I told them, everybody told them, that they’d be 7-6 with a loss in the bowl game again. I don’t know what to say to the folks who said this would be Paul Johnson’s last season in Atlanta (or those who YELLED it would be the last). I’m honestly just stunned more than anything. All the way up until the last seconds of the Orange Bowl, I couldn’t believe this was Georgia Tech that I was watching play football. The defense was mean and tackled like they were the picture in the textbook that has a caption that reads Step 7: Blow opponent’s head off. The offense was the 2009-ish steam engine that rolled over everything in front of it, including those 700 lb. SRC defensive tackles that we were all told would surely stop this offense. I don’t think there’ll be any snarky national narratives about this offense in the offseason. Which is yet another surprise…Georgia Tech and Paul Johnson may have won over the national media, which I didn’t think would happen in my lifetime. All I can really say is that I’m sorry that I expected nothing, and I was wrong. Much of the time when you’re wrong, that’s all you should say and then shut up (as anyone who knows me can tell you, I have learned this lesson the hard way).

But this season is not enough. They’ve got to keep doing it. The level of comfort we all experience with mediocrity I wrote about isn’t going to go away until we experience consistent success. I don’t know if that means a return to the football culture at Georgia Tech of the 1950’s or not, but I do know that’s a pretty absurd expectation. I also don’t know if any team ever gets rid of that comfort. In our position, where there’s little invigoration from the bandwagon and less money, there’s always seems to be an undercurrent in the fan base that things will regress to the mean soon. However, seeing what Paul Johnson did with this year’s team makes me think that may not be the case until he retires. That was truly an impressive job by every coach, player, and person associated with the program. The judgement of history is yet to be written, so for now all we can do is slice up the oranges, put them in our champagne, and wait till next year.