Newsstand previews have Dogs in Top 20

First day back from Italy, I saw one of the sure signs of impending summer: preseason college football preview magazines on the newsstands. 

Not surprisingly, the Dawgs don’t have the lofty expectations of last year at this time, when they were the consensus preseason No. 1 team, but both Lindy’s Southeastern 2009 Preview ($6.99) and Sporting News College Football ‘09 ($7.99) see them in the Top 20. 

Lindy’s puts UGA at No. 17, right behind the Trade School. Florida is, of course, No. 1 and other SEC schools ranked include LSU (6), Alabama (7) and Ole Miss (9). The Dawgs’ opening opponent, Oklahoma State, is ranked No. 10. 

The magazine’s assessment of Georgia includes a cheap shot quote from an anonymous SEC coach (who sounds like he probably was one of those who lost to Mark Richt last year). He says last year’s UGA team might have been “kind of soft. They never knocked you off the ball or blocked that well.”

Lindy’s sums up the 2009 Dawgs by noting their “ambitious” schedule and saying: “The ‘wow’ factor [Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno] is gone, but eight or nine victories in the regular season seems reasonable for a stable program that never takes an off year in recruiting.”

Rennie Curran is UGA’s only preseason All-American in Lindy’s, making the second team defense. Lindy’s ranks A.J. Green (who’s on the cover for this region) at No. 6 among wide receivers (with Alabama’s Julio Jones at No. 3 and Okie State’s Dez Bryant at No. 1). Ben Jones is ranked No. 6 among centers, Clint Bolling is No. 5 at offensive guard, Geno Atkins is No. 8 among defensive tackles, Curran is the No. 4 outside linebacker and Reshad Jones is No. 12 among safeties. UGA has the second best offensive line, Lindy’s reckons, and its recruiting class is ranked No. 6.

The same rankings are used in a companion publication, Lindy’s Football 2009 College Preview ($7.99).

The Sporting News preview, which has Joe Cox and South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia on the cover of this region’s edition, ranks UGA at No. 15. They also have Florida at No. 1, with Ole Miss at No. 5, LSU at No. 8 and Alabama at No. 13. Oklahoma State is ranked No. 10 and Georgia Tech is No. 11. Curran is a third-team All-American.

SN’s “fearless forecast” trashes this year’s No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, saying “Georgia won’t miss Matthew Stafford. Good riddance to his 33 career interceptions in a Georgia uniform. New quarterback Joe Cox isn’t going to win games by himself, but he won’t hurt the Bulldogs like Stafford did.”

Sounds like Stafford ran over this guy’s dog. And like the writer never watched Georgia play over the past two seasons.

Overall, the Sporting News has UGA finishing second in the SEC East and projects the Dawgs in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, giving them a B+ grade and commenting that Georgia has “stacked defensive and offensive lines. … A.J. Green might be SEC’s best receiver. … Always better when not hyped in preseason.”

Can’t argue with that.

Anyone think preseason rankings of No. 17 or No. 15 for the Dawgs are way off the mark or are they about right?

149 comments Add your comment

BamaCLT

May 29th, 2009
2:40 pm

AJ Green was good with Stafford throwing to him. Without Stafford, Julio Jones is hands down the best SEC receiver, based on talent.

Bryan G.

May 29th, 2009
2:41 pm

I think mid-teens is pretty fair for a team with great lines but very little flash at the skill positions.

We will know an awful lot after week one in Stillwater. It isn’t make or break, but if we do go out west and win, it’s certainly reasonable to think UGA can win 10 regular season games. Get crushed out there, and it’s probably more like 8-4.

If UGA gets a pass rush and runs the ball, they’ll go 10-2. If not…8-4 city, baby.

P-Man

May 29th, 2009
2:42 pm

Probably about right to start the season, but I think the Dawgs will surprise some people. I keep waffling back and forth about how they will do against Oklahoma State, I guess channeling my inner Larry Munson. You know, hope for the best and expect the worst.

J Dub

May 29th, 2009
2:42 pm

come on….first

J Dub

May 29th, 2009
2:43 pm

dang took too long to read the column. I think that the assessments in the preseason rankings are fair. Okie State at #10 seems a bit lofty but I guess we’ll find out pretty early….

Columbus Dawg

May 29th, 2009
2:44 pm

I think the NATS are going to struggle on both of their lines this year…we all know the battle is won in the trenches!!!

I truly believe if you squeeze 9 wins out of this years schedule that will be tremendous

J Dub

May 29th, 2009
2:44 pm

BamaCLT, I guess you are saying you aren’t gonna skip a beat without pretty boy three name John Parker Wilson?

Saint Simons.

May 29th, 2009
2:45 pm

The O-line should really help Cox and the running backs. The season will depend on the play of the defensive ends and corners. Overall, the rankings are probably fair

Good luck to the Dawgs!

Saint Simons

May 29th, 2009
2:50 pm

45-42!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahah

Native Atlantan

May 29th, 2009
2:51 pm

Isn’t it amazing the so called experts never figure out most games are won by the team with the better line play. Last year, the overpaid and overhyped brilliant ones of the media had UGA #1 with 18 and 19 year old guys on the O-Line.

Now, the O-line play will have a ton of experience and should really help. Yes, we lose a talented QB and the third best tailback I’ve ever seen at UGA, but the more experienced line play will make up for it. Also the WR bunch is probably an improvement. Yet the “know it all” media clowns just can’t see it.

I like how this is playing out for us….especially being behind Tech. This should keep them good and motivated.

dap01

May 29th, 2009
2:51 pm

BAMA CLT: Nice contribution. Go to a Tide blog.

Huh?

May 29th, 2009
2:53 pm

Huh?’s official 2009 prediction:

Okie State W
South Carolina L
Arkansas W
Arizona State W
LSU L
Tennessee W
Vandy W
Florida L
Tennessee Tech W
Auburn W
Kentucky W
Georgia Tech W

Cap One Bowl vs. fat ankled Big 10 team W

Final record: 10-3

Final ranking: 14

Thanks.

Dave In Tampa

May 29th, 2009
2:53 pm

Don’t think it was a cheap shot at all. I love the Dawgs, but it’s the truth. We were very soft and the line did not block as well because of the injuries and moving around people. That happens to everyone. Oklahoma State will set the tone for the year. If we can pull one out up there it will give us a ton of momentum. If not, it could be a 8 win season. That’s why we play them! Go Dawgs!

Ben

May 29th, 2009
2:55 pm

Maybe I have lofty expectations, but I think UGA could be ranked a bit higher. With all those starters on the line plus AJ the only thing really missing is a proven running game. But Richt has always found some sort of balance with the run, no matter who is getting the rock.

With our internal D-line and LB corps I think we’ll have the hardest defense to consistently run on in the SEC. So while there are question marks out there, I’m anticipating a season like 10-3 again with a finish around #10.

Georgia Blue

May 29th, 2009
2:55 pm

I thought you were going to talk more about the UGA Dive Dogs this year.
What gives?
Get in the pool, Bill!

PTC Jacket

May 29th, 2009
2:55 pm

Saint Simons: You’re a retard that gives us Techies a bad image. Post something other than 45-42.

Columbus Dawg: We were already struggling on our lines last year, and still had a good season. It was obvious that we had no lines when LSU played against with their 300-pounders that lived off of Campbells beefy soup.

timthebrave

May 29th, 2009
2:55 pm

It seems about fair even though if the skill positions step up the sky is the limit for this team. A lot of ifs for this team to say top 10 in preseason, but don’t be surprised if we are at the end. Go Dawgs!

Maddog

May 29th, 2009
2:56 pm

Bama CLT. If Green was only good because of Stafford (who is now gone), what can you expect out of Jones now that Parker is gone. Your argument is lost on me.

Mr. Grinch

May 29th, 2009
2:58 pm

To PTC Jacket

Saint Simons DOES post something other than 45-42. He then puts HAHAHAHAHAHAHA after it. I guess he took calculus at tech.

Maddog

May 29th, 2009
2:59 pm

Oops. Got sidetracked about the receiver comments.

I don’t see how any objective UGA fan could complain about this ranking. We lost probably 90% of our scoring punch and our defense has HUGE question marks behind it.

Ben

May 29th, 2009
3:00 pm

BamaCLT, you have all made us more stupid for having read your comment. Thanks.

nerdhater

May 29th, 2009
3:01 pm

Two deep on O-line and D-line enough said, games are won and lost in the trenches and no other position. If Joe Cox has time to throw he will pick apart any defense.

SC Dawg

May 29th, 2009
3:02 pm

Being called soft is not a cheap shot. It is a fact. The 2008 team was very soft in every phase of the game.

PMC

May 29th, 2009
3:04 pm

Georgia’s team was kind of soft last year. They lost their best offensive Tackle and one of the best Defensive Tackles in the country.

If those two stay healthy this year, no one will call them soft.

Oledawg

May 29th, 2009
3:07 pm

Didn’t I read that Green was the #1 receiver in the SEC followed by MoMass? I keep seeing Julio forced above him in rankings. What’s going on? Am I reading from bad publications?

UGA’s rankings are fine, but where the heck does this Gnat and Okie St set of rankings come from? Seems like we have deluded ourselves about what happened last year. No one seems to think that the Dawgs will be strong even with the returning injured players. While we don’t expect Cox or any other QB putting up Staff numbers, we still expect the defensive points to lessen on the boards so that our QBs don’t have to overcome high scores. Is the return of a possibly most game-experienced set of players not worth spit? Some folks are in for a rude awakening and it ain’t gonna be Dawg Fans nor the Team. This may be one of the best fun-filled years on record for the Dawgs.

Mike

May 29th, 2009
3:16 pm

Georgia, barring injuries which killed us last year, will be improved this year. Cox will be just fine, maybe better behind a much improved offensive line. Knowshon will be missed (mostly his hustle), but a good stable of backs will run well behind this line. Defense, a few questions, but solid. Tough schedule and no respect, as usual. UGA wins the first game away, they should be in everone’s top ten. Too bad we have to play in the East. Florida will be incredible. Barring injuries, Georgia will have a shot at the Sugar since Florida, barring some major collapse, will be playing, again, for the National. We’ve got to do something about those guys …

Dumb Dog Fan

May 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

UGA rules baby! Anybody no the ga baseball score?
Sickem!!

The Grinch

May 29th, 2009
3:25 pm

Come on guys, the comment about us being soft was obviously from Steve Superior. He’s done such a tremendous job at SC (weren’t they supposed to “be in the hunt” one or two years ago) that he’s resorting to his usual taunting of better teams.

Maddog

May 29th, 2009
3:27 pm

Dumb Dog Fan, last I heard UGA was up 10-2. Rain delay.

Otto

May 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

Why is “kind of soft. They never knocked you off the ball or blocked that well.” a cheap shot. The team didn’t but with all the injuries on both lines who expected them to blow people off the ball.

I agree with SN bring on Cox or Logan. The offense will be much more consistant and methodical in ‘09.

uga_b

May 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

Call we when Julio Jones A) gains more yards than AJ or B) catches more touchdowns. Heck, that may be a little much. Tell me when he averages more yards per catch.

Here are the stats:
AJ: 56 rec; 963 yds; 8 TDs
JJ: 58 rec; 924 yds; 4 TDs

Maybe he catches more 3rd downs or something but as it stands now, he has been great but slightly less productive than AJ. Of course, you can use your homer forecast as gospel. Btw, the West is better than the East so good luck. Thank god you have some cake walks.

uga_b

May 29th, 2009
3:30 pm

Oh, and AJ outrushed him by another 61 yds.

However, Julio Jones did have the longest catch at 64 vs. 54. So you will always have that.

uga_b

May 29th, 2009
3:32 pm

oops! **Call me** not call we [sic]

Dumb Dog Fan

May 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

Hey uga-b … You need to shut up man. You embarasing the whole dawg nation. Just shut up!
Sickem!!

Voice of Reason

May 29th, 2009
3:46 pm

I find it odd that GT got blown out by LSU in the final game yet because they beat UGA (the only decent team they beat) they get talked up and ranked high while UGA gets trashed in the rankings because they lost to lowly Tech. Seems like a double standard. If UGA sucks that bad, why are Tech fans so proud of beating them? They use running all over our defense, which they all talk so much crap about, to make the case that their ancient offense is unstoppable. How then, did LSU and Gardner Webb do such a great job of stopping it. Techies keep saying it will only get better with time. Why, then, did you guys only score 3 in YOUR FINAL GAME. And seriously Bama, do you really think that we care about your opinion on Julio Jones v. AJ Green. just like us, you are biased. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you think Julio is more talented. Especially since you watched AJ in maybe two games yet Julio in all.

Ferndolin

May 29th, 2009
3:47 pm

An emerging pass rush is going to surprise everybody. 11-2, and Tech goes down big!

masivatack

May 29th, 2009
3:49 pm

AJ Green will have somewhere between 1000-1200 yards recieving with 10+ TD’s He will be the main focus of our offense. Still count on us running the ball quite a bit. But without Massaquoi & Durham, coun’t on AJ’s numbers to improve. Barring injury of course.

If Julio can beat those numbers, then I’ll believe he is better reciever. I just don’t see him adding a ton more production than he had last year.

austindog

May 29th, 2009
3:54 pm

Georgia was soft last year. All year long we waited for that team to really put on a football display and game after game all we got was “this is the SEC and every game is close.” No, when you’re #1 you beat the crap out of unranked opponents. You don’t lose to Tech.

Maddog

May 29th, 2009
3:56 pm

Baseball update.

UGA still in a rain delay, but expected to resume soon. Other SEC are faring poorly as LSU, Vandy, Bama, Arky and SCar are all losing at the moment

pensacola dawg

May 29th, 2009
4:00 pm

I agree, this position is much better than last years. As for Cox don’t be fooled into thinking he is another Joe T, he is so much better than people realize and if the line is healthy he will be exceptional. My biggest concern is Defensive End and the secondary and of course Willie Martinez. And just for the record Tech will get smashed by the Dogs at tiny Grant field.

Bill King

May 29th, 2009
4:02 pm

I don’t dispute that the 2008 Dawgs were soft in some areas. But I felt the quote was a cheap shot because it was anonymously delivered by a rival coach.

Maddog

May 29th, 2009
4:05 pm

I agree, Bill. Anonymous comments are the most cowardly of all.

Dawgmeister

May 29th, 2009
4:33 pm

In 2008 UGA had injuries on both sides of the line. The mid teen ranking is about right. 2009 reminds of 2005 in the fact that we have a fifth year senior at QB. The Offensive line should be a strong point while our defensive line needs to get more pressure on the pass rush. The DC needs to blitz more and not be so vanilla. I think a 10 win season is possible provided that we can avoid the injury bug that took up residence last season in Athens. Bama fans better watch out for Ole Miss. Houston Nutt has already made progress and will make them Arkansas fans regret the day they fired him. Florida is a given as #! but Gator fans remember this. The hunter will become the hunted.

DesertDawg

May 29th, 2009
4:37 pm

I wish the Dawgs had the Gators OC schedule this year then we might have a shot at the NC. I mean Really? Florida plays Charleston Southern, Troy, and Florida International. It should be illegal to schedule all three of those teams in the same year. If they dont’t win the NC this year then something is wrong.

SoCal Dawg

May 29th, 2009
4:39 pm

If UGA’s D plays ball this year like a Dawg D should we can afford to give up a few points on offense.

Huh?

May 29th, 2009
4:39 pm

I bet it was either Spurrier or Fulmer, probably Spurrier. It just sounds kind of like him.

SoCal Dawg

May 29th, 2009
4:42 pm

It’s not Spurrier. There’s no way he wouldn’t attach his name to that quote.

uga_b

May 29th, 2009
4:42 pm

I will happily embarass myself with facts at any given turn. You can keep your conjecture and name-calling.

Obama hates Cheney's bald head the most

May 29th, 2009
4:44 pm

Good to have you back Bill, middle teens is fine with me and the trade school being ahead is even ok. Who cares about coaches quotes in the offseason, sounds like bulletin board material to me. And i can’t wait for the nerds to have a undefeated season and we tap that a$$ late in November for another run of UGA victories. ENJOY YOUR HYPE NERDS!!

AltamahaDawg

May 29th, 2009
4:45 pm

What I don’t get is the relavance of an assessment of last year’s line play.