Differing views of Dogs’ 2010 prospects

Will Dogs be better this season than in 2009? (University of Georgia)

Will Dogs be better this season than in 2009? (University of Georgia)

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?

BULLDOG BITES

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.

Become a fan of the Junkyard Blawg on Facebook.

Follow my updates on Twitter.

191 comments Add your comment

L-Dawg

January 26th, 2010
11:50 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

I GUARANTEE YOU THE NERDS ON NORTH AVE WILL BE THE ONES WITH THE 7-5 SEASON.

AARON MURRAY SURPRISES THIS YEAR, AND WE WIN 9, INCLUDING A 24 POINT VICTORY MARGIN OVER THE BUGS.

Steen

January 26th, 2010
11:50 am

Clay Travis is a Clown

UGA Dawgs

January 26th, 2010
11:52 am

I don’t see how you can take a look at the talent in Athens and make that kind of assumption. Only one way to shut him up!

Uptown Lounge

January 26th, 2010
11:57 am

Duh George

January 26th, 2010
12:00 pm

Didn’t the Bulldogs finish 8-5? Did I miss something? Where did this guy get 7-5 from? Didn’t we play a Bowl game somewhere and win that?

The only 2 games Georgia won’t be favored to win are Florida and Auburn.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
12:01 pm

Typical shock post by somebody looking for page hits. His rationale is specious at best.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
12:02 pm

Not only does our SEC slate get easier next season, so does our OOC matchups with only two teams from BCS leagues. Even if we stayed exactly the same in terms of team quality (which is something that practically no one thinks would happen) then we’re still bound to have a better record due to the easier strength of schedule.

Dayman

January 26th, 2010
12:04 pm

8-4 at the worst. Depending heavily on QB play and the effectiveness of CTG’s 3-4.

GatorNation

January 26th, 2010
12:05 pm

8-4 for the Dawgs in ‘10. They will beat Tennessee this year.

dawg26

January 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

hahaha wow… we return 10/11 starters on Offense, and it’s supposed to be WEAKER?! Is he INSANE?! Or just STUPID?!

ga gator

January 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

I think the offense and defense will be better even with a new QB and DC. Running game and offensive line are improved and defensive attitude will be much improved. I predict 10-3 with a bowl win and close loss in Jax.

Joe Cox "The Leader"

January 26th, 2010
12:08 pm

Sat, Sep 04 University of Louisiana-Lafayette Athens, Ga.
Sat, Sep 11 South Carolina * at Columbia, S.C.
Sat, Sep 18 Arkansas * Athens, Ga.
Sat, Sep 25 Mississippi State * at Starkville, Miss.
Sat, Oct 02 Colorado at Boulder, Colo.
Sat, Oct 09 Tennessee * Athens, Ga.
Sat, Oct 16 Vanderbilt * Athens, Ga.
Sat, Oct 23 Kentucky * at Lexington, Ky.
Sat, Oct 30 Florida * at Jacksonville, Fla.
Sat, Nov 06 Idaho State Athens, Ga.
Sat, Nov 13 Auburn * at Auburn, Ala.
Sat, Nov 27 Georgia Tech Athens, Ga.

Compare that schedule to last year’s… If UGA can get competent play from the QB position they could easily be 7-1 going into the Florida game.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
12:09 pm

Wow, it goes from bad to worse for USC’s trouble with the NCAA. Already facing severe scrutiny and they go and hire Mr. Secondary Violation, Lane Kiffin himself, who apparently is picking up right where he left off. The Trojans need to worry that they’re going to get the dreaded “lack of institutional control” label and suffer some serious repercussions.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
12:11 pm

Joe Cox “The Leader” – who do you have as Georgia’s loss in that 7-1 scenario?

Matt

January 26th, 2010
12:12 pm

Offense will be worse this year? Fat chance. Our backs got better as the year went on, our line should be at least as good as last year, we’ll have a talented young QB, and our receiving corps could be better as well (especially if Da’Rick Rogers actually signs with us). I see our offense getting better this year. And our defense? The switch to a 3-4 takes some of the sting off of losing so many linemen, and I believe our new DC will have the guys playing much smarter, more disciplined football, and with a better scheme and gameplan. We get 8 wins at LEAST.

richtfan

January 26th, 2010
12:15 pm

this clay guy is obviously a moron

Dawg Nation

January 26th, 2010
12:16 pm

Starting QB will be Mettenberger!!

Not Joe Cox The Leader, but...

January 26th, 2010
12:17 pm

…I’d say Carolina, maybe Arkansas.

Duh George

January 26th, 2010
12:22 pm

If you look at the wins the last 8 years, it looks like this:
2002 13
2003 11
2004 10
2005 10
2006 9
2007 11
2008 10
2009 8

Coach Richt has never had a season with less than 8 wins, and there’s only one 8 win season on my list here in the last 8 seasons. I’d say we’re looking at 11-2 if if our defense gives up too many points against Florida and Auburn, National Champions if the defense holds Florida and Auburn to 14 points.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
12:22 pm

I’d agree that Arkansas following what’s usually a tough, physical USC matchup or Tennessee after a long road trip to Colorado could be classic trap games but realistically, we should be favored each week heading into Florida. That’s assuming our we get at least decent QB play from the new starter.

Paddy

January 26th, 2010
12:23 pm

Dawgs are loaded with talent and will win big this season. That guy is a Maroon!

GW

January 26th, 2010
12:37 pm

The truth is UGA has to play a LOT better than last season to go 8-4 in the regular season regardless of the schedule. I see only 3 automatic wins. That does not mean that they can’t go 10-2. We just can’t count on raw talent alone to improve.

Duh George

January 26th, 2010
12:37 pm

Florida and Alabama both had great defenses in 2009 that held opponents to less than 13 points a game average, and around 250 yards a game. That’s how you win in the SEC. Georgia gave up 28 points a game and 355 yards a game in 2009 on defense. Georgia score plenty, 28-32 points a game over the last 3 years. Georgia just has was not good on defense in 2009. Bur Coach Richt fired 3 defensive coaches, and has hired 2 so far that look terrific, and 1 more to go.

The 2010 Georgia Defense will look TOTALLY DIFFERENT with the 3-4, 7 new starters, and the 3 new coaches. It can’t get worse.

Denver Dog

January 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

Ga Gator, good call. I think the dogs might slip by the Gators this year, but it will be a slip by. I think the D gives everyone problems, but QB is the key to the season. I look for good ground game, and good pass defense, passing game, and run d are suspect right now. Same as UF! I’d hope that the UGA d is what we expect.

64 dawg fan

January 26th, 2010
12:40 pm

No mexican defence;That should count for at least four more wins.

Dorsey Hill

January 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

Said it before and I’ll say it again: The University of Georgia will be the 2010 SEC East Champs.

Lance

January 26th, 2010
12:44 pm

UGA should have no more than 1 loss going into the Gaytor game. You pick – Arkansas or Tennessee. Good news both at home so could be 8-0.

hate to tell you

January 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

I believe it is spelled…….blog

Vince Dooley

January 26th, 2010
12:48 pm

wish we had 4 National Championships…….dead gum Techies !!!

Dave H.

January 26th, 2010
12:51 pm

Geez. Show me one bandwagon that a sports writer has failed to jump on. Georgia had a poor-by-standards year, but Richt made changes and our talent is in tact. There’s no reason to assume the worst.

If anything, I’ve learned – on a daily basis and especially in football – to expect the unexpected, because more times than not, that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

hammerhead

January 26th, 2010
12:52 pm

I love it – I hope more people like Clay Travis dismiss us… For some reason it’s the best way to motivate our players and the UGA program. The last thing we need is the national media singing our praises.

HOUDAWG

January 26th, 2010
12:56 pm

Think being 7 – 1 going into FLA is a possibility , but the realistic part keeps telling me an 8 – 4 or 9 – 3 season is about the best. Considering the new QB ; first year adjustments to the 3-4 …. just seems it’ll be a transition. Would love to be proven wrong ….. would take my chances on a great season if we’re 7 – 1 or 8 – 0 going into Jax.

Joe Cox "The Leader"

January 26th, 2010
12:57 pm

I think they will probable be favorites in every game until FL, maybe a slight dog to SC b/c they are on the road. The one loss would probably be to either SC/ARK/TENN.
Then again it would be almost impossible to give up more points to those teams then we did in 2009.

1eyedJack

January 26th, 2010
12:57 pm

What is sad is we’re gonna have eight months that we have to listen to this kind of crap before we can make them eat crow.

Wha's with UGA and the Falcons...

January 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

…both hiring secondary coaches? Seems to me they would be better off hiring primary coaches who can coach! Besides, what’s the difference between a “secondary” coach and a graduate assistant?

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
12:59 pm

Fake Vince Dooley – Georgia would recognize five national titles instead of two if it used the same criteria as tech.

HardTruthSoldier...

January 26th, 2010
1:01 pm

Realistically DAWG nation, Who the hell is Clay Travis? Why do you always here from these guys who never coached, played(at the highest level) or could run a forty in 5 sec flat! I mean for people to say that a coach who in 9 seasons hasn’t had ONE losing season, and his one 9 win season in 2006 was followed up by 11, and 10 win seasons, can’t get it right, you must be smoking the best weed that’s grown in the tropical islands.

how2fish

January 26th, 2010
1:02 pm

Duh George anyone thinking we are going to be NC with having to replace the entire D line,learn a new D..and replace your starting QB..in the SEC is well intentioned but just wrong..could this be the beginning of a great run for UGA yes but a NC this year…I’m not sure we will be much better than last year but I see potential..and try to stay grounded in reality ..at least until kickoff of the 1st game …lol

ugaaccountant

January 26th, 2010
1:06 pm

Just begging for page hits, both “clay travis” and this blog. Can’t be taken seriously because he’s obviously unaware of how much easier our schedule is than last year.

DawginLex

January 26th, 2010
1:06 pm

There are many land mines in the 1st 8 games. Even if we win at the chicken coop, Arkansas returns Mallett and can score a lot. They need to improve the D more than UGA. Next trap is at MSU.

Win at Columbia and i believe UGA will be undefeated until jacksonville.

TROTTINGHOME

January 26th, 2010
1:07 pm

Clay Travis must be related to M. Bradley. His perspective on whats going to happen is as bad as his knowledge of what did happen. The last time I looked a bowl win/lose counts on the overall record. 8 and 5 is what we went

BILLY JACK

January 26th, 2010
1:08 pm

The fact of the matter- Georgia will probably favored next year in every game but the Fla game.

Calhoundawg

January 26th, 2010
1:08 pm

I hate the off-season. Thank God for David Hale, T. Kyle King, and the Lady Sportswriter.
Go Dawgs !!!!

HardTruthSoldier...

January 26th, 2010
1:09 pm

Tennesee? You hand the keys of a lamborgini from a coach that walked out, to one who didn’t win in the WAC! Please stop having dillusions of grandere!

JaxDawg

January 26th, 2010
1:09 pm

The SEC will be wide open next year, I think besides some minor growing pains with a new style defense, UGA can go 10-2 easy as long as the penalties are shored up. A new QB regardless of who it is will be fine due to an experienced O-line (please sturdivant stay healthy this year) and a strong running game to keep pressure off of him. As stated above, I hope everyone does write off UGA… it will make talking trash to the doubters even better. GO DAWGS!!! GATA!!

JB

January 26th, 2010
1:13 pm

10 -2, same as Florida, and hopefully in the SEC title game……………. Seven wins with that schedule and top ten classes, we need a new coach

Bright Idea

January 26th, 2010
1:13 pm

If the new DC is as smart as we hope he is the plan will be very simple thru the first 3-4 games. The defense will have to be fundamentally sound until the wrinkles of the new scheme are ironed out. Hopefully even with a new QB the offense won’t turn the ball over like the Vikings and the 09 Dogs. That should be enough to win 8 or 9.

FLA DAWG

January 26th, 2010
1:14 pm

Considering our schedule and the absence of Martinez & Fabris (but with the presence of Bobo) I think we could win 10 games next season.

Richt should have played one of the freshmen QBs last season to prep for next and we’ve lost alot of talent (Curran, etc.) but I still think 10 wins is a realistic number.

gadawgs

January 26th, 2010
1:14 pm

Taking on water? Give me a break Mr. Travis. You my friend are an idiot. Our QB play will be better even with a redshirt freshman playing. Our running game with Ealey and King has come around and our defense will be better than last year even changing schemes. CTG will teach fundamentals like tackling, being disciplined and actually putting pressure on the QB. Our schedule is easier this year than it was last. I for one see a 10-2 or 11-1 record. If that’s taking on water I hope we take it on every year moron.

FLA DAWG

January 26th, 2010
1:17 pm

JB,

I agree.
But Evans would give Richt one more year.