Seasons can change on a dime, stick with your team

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

It doesn’t matter whether your favorite football team’s season got off to a great start, or a rocky one. There is still so much important football left to be played, it’s impossible to tell what the landscape of high school, college or professional football will look like by the end of next month.

Bainbridge is 2-4 after a huge 31-6 win against Veterans last Friday. The reason it’s huge is because it was the first game on the region schedule. This next stretch of games is what determines if Bainbridge will host a playoff game, travel to a playoff game or go to the playoffs at all.

With Thomas County Central next on the schedule, followed by Harris County and then Warner Robins, Bainbridge will need to beat all three teams to claim first place in the region and be guaranteed to host round one of the playoffs at Centennial Field. Second place also gets to host a playoff game, but why shoot for that?

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My point is, Bainbridge’s rocky start is in the rearview mirror. They have three games that the team is fully capable of winning, which could launch them into the playoffs from the comfort of their own field. Look what happened last year. Three playoff wins, all at Centennial Field. Just try and tell me home field advantaged didn’t make a difference in those games. The same thing could happen this year.

College football is similar. Take my Georgia Bulldogs, for instance. The team is 4-2, and a little iffy after the 28-14 win over South Carolina last week. I would prefer the Dawgs not to be up by only 7 points with two minutes left in the game and the Gamecocks lining up for an onside kick, but hey, I’ll take the win.

And despite a horrid loss to Ole Miss (don’t need to repeat that score) and a gut-wrenching loss to Tennessee at Sanford Stadium, Georgia might still be able to pull out an SEC East win. They of course need to take care of business on their side of the schedule. That means beating Eastern Division opponents Florida, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and beating up on Auburn and Georgia Tech too, just for good measure and a morale booster.

But with a little luck, Tennessee might lose to Missouri, South Carolina, Kentucky and/or Vandy. That would sling the Dawgs to the top of the East and earn them a trip to Atlanta. An SEC Championship appearance for coach Kirby Smart isn’t a bad look for the Bainbridge boy, is it? Again, anything can happen, and the fight is far from over.

And then there is the Atlanta Falcons. Sitting comfortably at 4-1, the Dirty Birds are leading the division and are looking like a playoff team. But where Bainbridge and Georgia are fighting up a hill, the Falcons could easily trip and fall down it.

Looking at their schedule, the one game that really concerns me is Green Bay. Everyone else looks beatable right now, including the Seahawks next Sunday, the Eagles and the 49ers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Falcons win a few more games and get into the playoffs.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the team fall apart. I already feel like I’m walking on ice when Matt Ryan gets into the red zone. Flashbacks of the last couple seasons still haunt me.

Anything can happen. The only thing you can do is stick with your team through the lows. It makes the highs even better.