I don't come to gloat. I come to offer a word of encouragement.
Yes, I'm talking to you, Georgia Bulldog fans.
I don't really need to mention it, but my Vanderbilt Commodores upset your Dawgs last week 31-27.
You couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it either. It marked the fifth time Vandy has beaten Georgia IN MY LIFETIME.
But don't worry. Things will get better for you, and not just because things can't get any worse than losing to Vanderbilt.
Losing to Vanderbilt makes teams get better fast.
In 2006, after Vandy beat Georgia in Athens, Mark Richt suddenly realized he should bench Joe Tereshinski III and start a freshman named Matthew Stafford. The next season, the Dawgs won the Sugar Bowl and finished with a No. 2 national ranking.
Vandy has beaten Auburn twice in my lifetime.
The first time, in 2008, the Commodores stunned the Tigers in Nashville on ESPN prime time. Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was gone the next day, and head coach Tommy Tuberville was gone by the end of the season. Two years later, the Tigers won the national championship.
Last year, Vandy again beat Auburn, and head coach Gene Chizik was gone by the end of the season. Suddenly, the Tigers are back in national contention.
Sure, Vandy nearly beats a lot of teams, but close calls don't really help. A couple of years ago, the Commodores lost to Tennessee in overtime in Knoxville. Afterward, the Volunteers celebrated like they'd won the Super Bowl. We know this because a recruit caught the whole scene on his cellphone and then posted it on YouTube.
The team tossed coach Derek Dooley into the air so he could touch a giant orange "T" on the ceiling. Then he gathered everybody together for a speech and said this: "The one thing that Tennessee always does is kick the (you-know-what) out of Vandy."
I'm not sure if winning in overtime qualifies as kicking the you-know-what out of somebody, but I do know that the following season Vandy beat the Vols 41-18 and sent Dooley packing.
Believe me, now that he's joined Ray Goff as the only UGA coach in the modern era to lose twice to Vandy, Richt understands he needs to do something fast.
Dawg fans have plenty of suggestions, ranging from firing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to actually hiring a special teams coach. Oh, and finding a faith healer who specializes in running backs and wide receivers.
But one word of advice to Bulldog nation: Stop whining about the targeting calls.
Yes, it's a terrible rule, and the calls were bad. But if you had the same rule and the same calls during last year's Vandy game in Athens, you might have won 48-6 instead of 48-3. This year, you let an inferior Commodore team hang around long enough for a couple of bad calls to make the difference.
Face it: You have nobody to blame but yourselves. Answer the wake-up call, and it won't happen again for a very long time.
Contact Dimon Kendrick-Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.