Dogs a Top 25 team? Depends on who’s picking

A.J. Green is just one reason for Dogs fans to be excited about the coming season. (Associated Press)

A.J. Green is just one reason for Dogs fans to be excited about the coming season. (Associated Press)

Spring summaries of the college football landscape are popping up all over the place this week, and there’s been a good bit of head-scratching in the Bulldog Nation over Sports Illustrated snubbing the Dogs by not even including them in the also-considered category for its early Top 25.

On the other hand, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, who follows the UGA program a lot more closely than anyone at SI, has Georgia at No. 20 in his post-spring To 25.

Here’s what Schlabach has to say about Mark Richt’s team: “Georgia’s recipe for 2010: keep quarterback Aaron Murray healthy and play better defense. Georgia might go into the season without a proven backup quarterback if junior Logan Gray decides to transfer. Murray beat out Gray and freshman Zach Mettenberger for the starting job before Mettenberger was dismissed from the team after his arrest during spring break. Georgia figures to rely on its running game to take the pressure off Murray, and it needs to find a consistent receiver to complement A.J. Green. The defense will be more aggressive in new coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme, but the Dawgs have to find more defensive linemen. Cornerback Vance Cuff was a pleasant surprise during spring practice, easing Grantham’s concerns about the secondary. With the SEC’s best punter and kicker coming back, Georgia could be a surprise depending on how quickly Murray gets comfortable at quarterback.”

A pretty fair assessment, I’d say.

Elsewhere, in a chat with readers, Schlabach offered this view of the coming season for the Dogs: “I think as long as they get something out of Murray, they could win nine or 10 games. Experienced OL. Best WR in the SEC. Two great TEs. Best kicker and punter in the league. Big ? mark is defense. Can they get pressure on the QB? Vance Cuff gives them optimism in the secondary.”

As for the nonsensical but persistent “hot seat” talk about Richt among bloggers and columnists, Schlabach says: “I don’t think Richt is going to be fired anytime soon.”

Meanwhile, Chris Low, who covers the SEC for ESPN.com, has posted his spring summary of the Dogs. On the offensive side, he mirrors the excitement a lot of Dogs fans have about a couple of the returning stars: “The idea of running back Washaun Ealey and receiver A.J. Green on the field together (and healthy) at the same time is an enticing one for Georgia fans, not to mention Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. When Ealey started to get it going last November, Green was struggling with injuries. And when Green was tearing it up at the beginning of the season, Ealey wasn’t playing. They should be dynamite together in 2010 and keep defenses from ganging up on one or the other.”

I like the sound of that.

Key questions facing the Dogs besides lack of depth at quarterback, Low notes, include who besides Justin Houston is likely to make some noise at outside linebacker, and how the retooled secondary does against the pass. Says Low: “Georgia lost most of its defensive backfield from a year ago, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing when you look at how poorly the Bulldogs defended the pass at times. Sophomore cornerback Branden Smith should be better the second time around, and the addition of junior college safety Jakar Hamilton was huge. He was one of the stars of the spring. Junior cornerback Brandon Boykin is adamant that the Bulldogs will be just fine in the secondary next season. One thing’s for sure: They can’t give up 25 touchdown passes again and expect to be better on defense.”

Speaking of which, there’s been considerable attention paid online to a quote from a Palm Beach Post story on former Georgia safety Reshad Jones, newly signed to the Miami Dolphins.

Explaining why he moved from free safety to strong safety his junior season at Georgia, Jones says: “We had an older guy on the team who was kind of struggling at the corner, but they wanted to keep him on the field, so they moved him to free safety and me to strong safety.”

That older guy who was struggling was, of course, Bryan Evans, who continued to struggle even after the switch. The obsession with keeping Evans on the field will remain one of the unfortunate legacies (and mysteries) of the Willie Martinez era.

264 comments Add your comment

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:31 pm

Kim..did I mention UGA finished number 2 in 2007….GT finished 121st?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:33 pm

Ok one beer down…still no list of teams…wait I know..I will settle for ONE TEAM not a whole list. I will grab another beer.

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:33 pm

yes, UGA will finish in the top 3 again like the last 2 times richt had a bad seasons.

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:34 pm

richt has fiished in the top 10 6 times in 9 years.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:34 pm

like I said…I will give you 2009. Be happy Richt had one bad year. Its not likely to happen again (if winning 8 games and a bowl is bad)

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:35 pm

richt owns every team 0n the schedule except florida record wise.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 5th, 2010
7:35 pm

UGA did NOT win thier division in 2007. UT did because they beat UGA head to head. Spin it however you want to, but that’s a FACT! Can’t be in a NC conversation if you can’t even win your own DIVISION in your own conference. CHECKMATE, BOY!

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:35 pm

richt has won 90 games in 9 seasons, 1 of 7 coaches in history, and he did it ALL IN THE SEC, the toughest conference.

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:36 pm

meyer called 4 plays for his rb’s in the sec champ game for 16 yards. not good.

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:37 pm

there is no difference between joh brantledy and where joe cox was in 2008.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:38 pm

UGA and Tenn won the east…the team that represented the east in the SEC title game is decided by head to head of SEC east co champions. You need to learn football then get back to me. There were co champions in several years since the split. You are not very knowledgeable.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 5th, 2010
7:38 pm

Keep grasping. Hope it helps with the gradual (or not so gradual) backslide. Richt did his damage in the SEC before Meyer arrived as UF and Saban at UA. Those days are OVER!!!!!!!!

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:38 pm

UGA gOt ripped by espn in 2007, was #3, #1 and #2 lost, should have been #1, espn campaigned against UGA.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
7:38 pm

And those UGA fans that say Tech Didn’t Win a National Championship in 90 are the same right?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:39 pm

UGA and Tenn won the east…the team that represented the east in the SEC title game is decided by head to head of SEC east co champions. You need to learn football then get back to me. There were co champions in several years since the split. You are not very knowledgeable…..

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:39 pm

DOGS TOP 25 EVERY YEAR UNDER RICIHT EXCEPT 2009. BEST AT SUSTAINING SUCCESS IN SEC. NATIONS’S LONGEST STRWAK OF 8 OR MORE WIN AT 13 SEASONS.

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:40 pm

SEC IS TOUGHEST DIVISON, LAST 5 CHAMPS HAVE COME FORM IT, SHOULD HAVE 6 SEC TEAMS IN TOP 25.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 5th, 2010
7:40 pm

Excuses, excuses. Boo hoo. Everybody hates me. Grow up and at least ACT like a man, will ya?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:40 pm

Tech won in 1990? I thought Colorado won in 1990.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:42 pm

The Dawgs also shared the Division title with Florida and Tennessee in two other years. The champion that represents the east in the SEC title game is decided by head to head…not if they were champions of the east or not. Do try and keep up

Small Johnson

May 5th, 2010
7:43 pm

yeah whatever!

Do me a favor and take those useless stats and shove them up your ???

Until Richt can beat the FL’s of the world frankly I could care less about those 10 win seasons

They dont mean crap and no one but UGA fans know that about him.

That out-of-conference list you posted is nothing to brag about, only 3 of those teams have been in the top 10 in the last decade and that has only been one time for them all.

Until Richt can earn his 3 million by beating FL on a consistent basis I could care less. Maybe if he does that, I will feel that I’m getting the value out of the $1700 a yr I spend on season tickets.

I like Richt as a person but I have lost respect for him as a coach for allowing Captain Nemo Martinez to stroll the sidelines for so long and:

To also have UGA rank 4th since 1999, to have the most NFL players out of the NCAA and yet cannot beat FL who ranks 9th in that category and has to hope FL loses out to have a shot at playing in the SEC championship game.

Now take that stat and soak on it!!!!!!!

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:43 pm

Excuses? We would someone make excuses for winning ten games, a bowl and a top ten finish? you are getting spun around way to easy. At least make it a challenge

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 5th, 2010
7:44 pm

Teach and Colorado were co-champions. Kinda like you’re claiming UGA was…..kinda, but not really because you’re just dreaming that up. THEY LOST THE HEAD TO HEAD SO THEY FINISHED SECOND!

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
7:44 pm

yeah just like the Vols not UGA did in 07. SEC East crown.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:45 pm

those OOC teams are nothing to brag about….LOL they are better than FIA and Charleston Southern.

as far as SOS goes…there is only one team in CFB history that has played a harder one…Mich.

http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/rankings/all_time_team_sched_rankings.php

Me

May 5th, 2010
7:45 pm

Kim, never argue the exact dimensions and specific angles of “reality” with the architect. You will never win with one who has constructed his own reality.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
7:46 pm

Richt the Dale Earnhardt Jr. of college football. Look good for the camera, sell some crap, and not really anything that matters.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:46 pm

no actually UGA and Tenn were co champs based on actual on field wins…co champions of CFB is based on opinion polls…nothing close to being the same

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 5th, 2010
7:47 pm

Thanks for being a voice of reason, Small Johnson. This guy is a real “fantasy league” player. I respect UGA as a team and an institution but cannot stand the lunatic fringe like this guy.
Good luck in 2010. I’ll be rooting for the Dawgs except for when they go down to J’vile.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:48 pm

no again…head to head determines which champ represents the East in the SEC title game…not in determining which is champion…like I said…go learn some football and get back to me

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:49 pm

lunatic fringe? I was the one posting facts and stats…you posted hyperbole and opinion…and you called me lunatic

duh yes

May 5th, 2010
7:49 pm

MEYER’S CHAMPIONSHPS WITHOUT PERCY HARVIN–HIS LUCKY CHARM: 0

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
7:50 pm

UGA lost to So. Carolina, the VOLS, and never came close to sniffing a shot at a National Championship. That is all that matters. Pre-season #1 and it showed when the games were played. The Dawgs were not working hard all summer and it showed with all the injuries.

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 5th, 2010
7:50 pm

OK,clown. They had the same record but BEAT YOU ON THE FIELD. They are the champions. UGA was second. Period. End of conversation. You must talk to yourself now. Good nite all!

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:51 pm

Fla has finished top ten 3 times.UGA 6 times in 9 years.

in 9 years UGA has 2 SEC titles…Fla has 2 SEC titles

in nine years UGA has a 7-2 bowl record…Fla 5-4

in last 9 years UGA has 90 wins…Fla has 90 wins…but needed UGA to collapse last year TO CATCH UP

THESE ARE FACTS

Gillislee

May 5th, 2010
7:52 pm

Still holding on the 07 Dawgs, all anybody is going to remember except you folks is……LSU 2007 National Champions

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:53 pm

AGAIN…its not me MORON that makes the SEC rules…when you are co champ you are co champ…if you dont like it call the SEC…..head to head merely determines which champ plays in the SEC title game….dayum are you that stupid?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:54 pm

Kim…a ligament has nothing to do with training…you cant strengthen a ligament only muscle..you are showing a total lack of knowledge

Dawg Days

May 5th, 2010
7:54 pm

Anybody got any 1942 season game tape? I’m getting tired of watching the 1980 tape over and over.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
7:55 pm

YEAH and in all those facts I didn’t see those 2 UGA National Championships right next to the 1 Bama, 1 LSU, and 2 Florida all have during the sametime.

Small Johnson

May 5th, 2010
7:58 pm

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don’t take no jive!

I love UGA

But I’m a realist

I realize unlike most UGA fans to take a step back and not let love for the team cloud better judgment.

Richt is a great guy but I have come to realize that Richt doesnt put the best players on the field nor does he prepare for the future as he should.

Ex Moreno sitting out his freshmen yr and he almost did it with Ely last year. He did do it with Marlon Brown. That guy will play on Sunday’s but the way its going he won’t on Saturdays.

Reshad Jones is turning heads for the Miami Dolphins. There are many other instances as well

We should have taken Cox out and let Gray, Murray and Mett play last yr. but no we don’t do that now we start all over again

I predict unless Murray just has a 180 we will barely lose to SC, then Arkansas, FL, and possibly Auburn

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
7:58 pm

Dawg days..try the tape of 1926, 1946 and 1968 as well.

See page 79 and 80 of the NCAA record book. It lists UGA as Co NC for those years…since GT claimed 1990.

Here is the link to the NCAA record book

http://collegefootball.procon.org/sourcefiles/2009FBSRecords.pdf

Monticello Dawg

May 5th, 2010
8:02 pm

Gators on here saying injuries are part of the game. Of course they are, but some years they are in unusual numbers, or hit certain positions hard.

My question is why did the Gators lose 4 games in 2007, coming off a NC and having Tebow running the show? You guys had fewer injuries than the 2008 Dogs, but many Florida fans run out the injury bug excuse.

So, my Gator friends, was the 9-4 record in 2007 not related to injuries?

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:02 pm

YEAH there is this pretty Crystal Football down on North Ave that says 1990 National Champions.

Me

May 5th, 2010
8:03 pm

Can you imagine being a player and going to a Nick Saban or a Urban Meyer and saying at fall pre-season practice, “Gee coach, I sure hope can get lucky somehow and have a championship season!” Wonder how often you’d see that field?? I don’t know, maybe things work just a little different up there in Athens and maybe Mark Richt says, “that’s ok son, let’s just pray that we do”.

Dawg Days

May 5th, 2010
8:03 pm

Too bad you aren’t seeing any of those wins all the way back in 1927, 1942…so on

1996, 2006, 2008 – I was at two of those Title Games…………you boys won’t be seeing your team win another title again. Now go pop in that 1980 VHS tape from 30 long…long years ago.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:03 pm

Kim…National champs? I dont see any National champs beside their name either. I see BCS champ.

The NCAA does not recognize it as a legit NC and says so on page 108 of their record book

The NCAA lists all “NCs” as either a “national POLL championship” or”BCS champ” not National champ. For all other NCAA sports they note them as National champs…

Again..see page 108 of the NCAA record book…you guys are not very knowledgeable

http://collegefootball.procon.org/sourcefiles/2009FBSRecords.pdf

“NOTE: The NCAA has not enacted, adopted or otherwise approved of the process described below. The NCAA has no role in the selection of the institutions that participate in postseason bowl games and does not sponsor an FBS championship.”

you do know what “does not approve” means…right?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:08 pm

actually there is no crystal at GT…the crystal started in 1998.

also, GT had its best year in 20 years last year and got beat by arguably UGAs worse team in 13 years.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:11 pm

Fla was not lucky USC lost to UCLA in 2006 opening the door to the BCSNC? Really? Hmmmm. So did Fla players go to UCLA and change Unis and beat USC? No. Had USC won Fla would not have gone….

and 2008? See 2006 only put Or St in the place of UCLA.

No Fla was not lucky at all….they earned it by praying to the football gods and getting those gods to have only one unbeaten team in 2006 and 2008. No luck had nothing to do with it…not at all.

Buffet Todd

May 5th, 2010
8:12 pm

Oh please let us in the top 25…..pretty please.