After Georgia State completed its victory over Tennessee, here’s how I described the win in my Sunday #Nuggets column:
One hundred thirty programs play FBS football, and it’s not every Saturday you can watch a game and definitively say, “That was the biggest win in school history.”
But every once in a while we get Georgia State 38, Tennessee 30.
There is at least one person who disagrees with that assessment, and a pretty important person at that. It’s Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott.
“It’s second,” Elliott said after the game, via CFTalk. “I want you to understand, to win that first bowl game in school history, that’s very, very special. We hoisted a trophy. We played in the postseason. In my 23 years of coaching, that will probably be the No. 1, top of the list in victories.
“As far as a football program, this one (Tennessee) is a close second. But we don’t get anything from this game. Maybe a pat on the back and three weeks people will forget what we’ve done.”
Elliott raises a good point, obviously. Georgia State earned its way into that game, while Saturday’s trip to Tennessee was scheduled with the top priority being a $950,000 payday for the GSU athletics department and winning the game coming second. The win also does nothing for Georgia State’s pursuit of a Sun Belt championship.
But if I may offer a rebuttal to Elliott’s rebuttal: 20 years from now, when Georgia State fans are sitting around a proverbial campfire reminiscing about the good old days, what are they more likely to say? “Remember the time we won the 2017 AutoNation Cure Bowl” or “Remember that time we went to Neyland Stadium and beat Tennessee?”
Whatever the answer, pitting the wins against each other is missing the point entirely, like picking a favorite child. The point is that there’s two monumental wins on Georgia State’s ledger where there used to be one, and both can be celebrated on their own merits.
And Georgia State fans will certainly celebrate this one for a long, long time.
I imagine the market in Atlanta for this SEC-trolling shirt from Georgia State will be a complicated one. pic.twitter.com/xkgqcE6hf5
— David Ubben (@davidubben) September 1, 2019
— Georgia State Panthers (@GSUPanthers) September 2, 2019