Most UGA fans I’ve talked with are expecting at least marginal improvement for Mark Richt’s Dogs in 2010.
Yes, Georgia will be breaking in an inexperienced quarterback (whoever it is) and rebuilding its defense with a new scheme. But the Dogs also will have a veteran offensive line, they’ve finally figured out who their running backs should be, and there’s an awful lot of young talent for new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to work with. Plus the schedule looks a whole lot more advantageous for the Dogs.
Not everyone sees it that way, though.
In addition to predicting that 2010 will be Les Miles’ last season at LSU, Clay Travis of NCAA Football Fanhouse thinks “Georgia’s continuing decline will be the story of the SEC east in 2010.” Travis predicts another 7-5 regular season for UGA, saying “The Bulldogs are taking on water and they can’t bail out fast enough. Both the offense and defense will be weaker. And even in a weakened SEC east, the Bulldogs will be in trouble.”
Whoa. Look, I’m not saying Georgia will win the SEC East this year, but that sounds way too dismissive of the talent assembled in Athens. What do you think?
The Red and Black has a good overview of the 3-4 defensive scheme, including why Grantham thinks it matches up better with the spread and option offenses Georgia is increasingly facing, and how it differs in personnel from the 4-3 the Dogs had been using. … SI.com reports Georgia’s Geno Atkins “elevated his game on the first day of Senior Bowl practice. Atkins was explosive and unstoppable for most of the afternoon session. He was constantly getting penetration behind the line of scrimmage and regularly beating bigger, stronger opponents.” … A lot of buzz about that quote in Chip Towers’ blog on recruit Nikell Robey where Frostproof High School athletics director Charles Loveless says of other schools going after the UGA-committed player: “He’s planning to visit Southern Cal next week. Monte Kiffin has been very persistent. He’s probably been in here more than is legal. Of course they don’t pay attention to the rules.” You’ve got to figure someone has forwarded that to the folks at the NCAA. … UGA’s sports information department points out that with ex-Bulldogs Tim Jennings (Indianapolis Colts) and Jon Stinchcomb and Charles Grant (New Orleans) on teams reaching this year’s Super Bowl, Georgia now has had at least one representative in the Super Bowl for nine straight seasons. That is the longest streak for former Dogs in the Super Bowl, breaking the tie of eight straight in 1985-92 and 1971-78. … Because of President Obama’s State of the Union address, the radio coverage of Wednesday night’s Georgia-Florida basketball game will be split between WSB-AM (pregame and first half) and sister station WSRV FM 97.1/The River (second half) so that WSB can carry the speech. All other affiliates of the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network will carry the game as usual. … Improved play definitely sells tickets when it comes to Georgia basketball, so it’s not surprising that nonstudent tickets for the men’s game against No. 1-ranked Kentucky on March 3 are now sold out. Reserved-seat tickets ($15) are still available for all the other home games. If you’d still like to catch the Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie and Co. in Athens and haven’t bought tickets yet, a good deal is the SEC Mini-Plan, which offers a reserved seat for the Arkansas, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Alabama games for $50 and also includes a $10 gift card for Raising Cane’s chicken. … So if you don’t follow college gymnastics and can’t understand how the Gym Dogs moved up two spots to No. 8 in the latest national rankings despite losing two straight matches, well, it’s basically because Georgia posted its highest point total of the season in its latest loss at Utah. The Gym Dogs had season highs in all four events and their overall average of 195.717 puts them in eighth place. My brother Jon, who follows college gymnastics, explains it is a “crazy system” where “nothing matters until the Regional Qualifying Score starts after so many meets. All that counts is being in the top 36 at the end of the season so that you will go to a Regional.” And if you do well enough there, you go to the Nationals. This is indeed a sport where the regular season takes a back seat to the postseason tournaments.
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