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

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

May 5th, 2010
8:12 pm

I’ll tell you why we went 9-4 in 2007. We got BEAT ON THE FIELD OF PLAY 4 TIMES. Period. No excuses. If Tebow didn’t have the phenomeanl year that he did we might have lost a couple more. The D was not too good that year and it got taken advantage of. Had to try and outscore everyone we played because we could only stop the weak teams. Turned it around quite well the next year, though. Got the trophy to prove it. I’m not trying anger the Dawg Nation. Just sick of listening to excuses and certainly would think ya’ll are, as well.

college is forever

May 5th, 2010
8:13 pm

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com Got brain freeze on a present for Mom? You do know that it is this Sunday, check out the UGA classic tin lunchbox and then blame it on us for not sending it out fast enough for it not be there by Mothers Day. It will be our secret. Go Dawgs!!!

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:14 pm

Kim…ligaments dont strengthen…the crystal came into being in 1998……and a co champion of the SEC is still co champions of the SEC regardless of head to head…..the H2H merely determines which champ plays in the SEC title game.

Game..Set…Match

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:15 pm

Excuses? No one makes excuses for winning ten games, a bowl and a top ten finish. Why would they?

Dawg in Bremen

May 5th, 2010
8:16 pm

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:16 pm

how can a top ten finish show a decline when Fla only has 3 in 9 years and UGA has 6? Is Fla in more of a decline?

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

May 5th, 2010
8:16 pm

I rest my case.

Me

May 5th, 2010
8:17 pm

Wow 1926 and 1946! Man, those were some great years, everybody remember those? And who voted them national champs? Better Homes and Gardens? Looked up the OFFICIAL University of Georgia website and it recognizes 1942 and 1980. Also looked at the NCAA OFFICIAL website which recognizes the 1980 crown. But shoot, what the hell do THEY know.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:19 pm

Again

UGA top ten finshes 6 of 9 years to Fla’s 3

90 wins apiece (UGA lost 5 games last year allowing Fla to catch up)

2 SEC titles apiece

UGA 7 bowl wins to Fla’s 5 (or 4) in 9 years

Clearly Fla is better than UGA…yep how stupid of me.

Gillislee

May 5th, 2010
8:20 pm

Yeah we went 9-4 in 2007, next year we beat Oklahoma for the National Title. Dawg were what 8-5 in 2009, well I got a sure bet for you….The Dawgs, their coaches, and the fans will all be in front of the TV on January 10th for the 31st straight year. Mark that one down!

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:20 pm

You rest your case? I would to if I had such a weak one as yours

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:21 pm

YEAH: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. ASK Bill K he will tell you the same Crystal Football they handed out this year is the same one sitting in the Edge Center from 1990. You need to learn before you speak.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:22 pm

Official UGA website? Umm the NCAA is the official record keeper of NCAA sports…what do they say on page 79 and 80? Ok then

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:23 pm

Kim…..the crystal is from the BCS. The BCS started in 1998. Seriously you are getting spanked and yet you can man up and take it?

UGADAWGZ

May 5th, 2010
8:24 pm

First for all those saying Schlabach is a homer well, he is and he does like UGA but he is fair if you remember he pickd us to lose to Arkansas last year.
Second, It will be great to have Ealey and Green on the field at the same time

Kim z- You must be an idiot to actually believe a acc schedule is tougher than an sec one

Lord of The Lizards

May 5th, 2010
8:26 pm

Hey, let this guy patrick keep on tooting Richt’s horn! The worst thing that could happen as far as being a Gator fan is for Richt to get fired and then they bring in a real coach like that guy from Boise State, Utah or TCU. Remember how sad we were the day they sacked Ray Goof?? So be careful what you say, WE LOVE MARK RICHT! LIFETIME CONTRACT!!

Dawg Days

May 5th, 2010
8:26 pm

Take a look at the class that is coming to Florida and then the one that is coming to UGA…..yep Dawgs are in decline. When 9/12 Under Armour All Americans leave the state to play that is a sign of decline….by the way Tech has 1 of those 3 players.

Monticello Dawg

May 5th, 2010
8:27 pm

Gator Jive, you are the exception and didn’t blame injuries. Have seen many Gator fans trot out the injury excuse, and also use the excuse Tebow was not at full speed in the UGA game.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:27 pm

Kim Ga Tech was voted number one by UPI…UP freakin I…they have a wooden trophy not a crystal

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:28 pm

the AP picked someone else in 1990. LOL

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:29 pm

I think the UPI trophy was carved out of old pieces of a wooden pallet

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:29 pm

YEAH youo don’t know crap. TECH has a Crystal Ball and you are stupid if you don’t think so. I know it has been a long time for you but the Crystal ball was around long before 98 and the BCS didn’t start it being Used. READ MORE and learn. I am looking at it right now in the TECH guide. grrits/Pepsi-Cola Foundation presents UPI Coaches Trophy Honoring The National Football Champion Georgia Tech 1990.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:30 pm

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

May 5th, 2010
8:31 pm

He wasn’t at full speed. Didn’t matter though. We never stopped your offense. He was good but he had no chance of playing both sides of the ball. The better team won that day.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:32 pm

I know you butt has more color on it than RUSS after that spanking I just gave you.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:33 pm

Go to Ramblin werck and check for yourself. You are too dumb.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:34 pm

Kim…I believe that you are right it is made of some sort of glass. But my grandmother could start a poll and award a glass ball but its not the same as the BCS crystal…now is it

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:35 pm

When someone asks about the crystal…do they think UPI or BCS?

Nothing but The Facts

May 5th, 2010
8:36 pm

Per the NCAA…http://www.collegefootballpoll.com/champions_national.html

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:38 pm

Kim….you are technically right about the composition of the trophy…but it aint THE crystal. Its just pretty. But even if you were right…its one out of three. Hardly a spanking LOL

you still cant strengthen a ligament and co champs are co champs. So GT has a glass looking trophy…it aint THE crystal.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:39 pm

Nothing but the facts.

page 79,,,80 of the official NCAA record book.

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

Small Johnson

May 5th, 2010
8:42 pm

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

No excuses from me

We have been out coached by FL 7 of the 9 yrs.

What is sad is UGA has had the same caliber player as FL yet we get blown away.

Thats coaching fellow UGA fans

Nothing but The Facts

May 5th, 2010
8:42 pm

NCAA only recognizes the 1980 UGA Championship. 1942 listed as Ohio State. i was surprised at how storied the Georgia Tech program is. I always thought they were just B.S.ing on a Georgia blog. I’m a SEC guy through and through, but after seeing that I have a whole new respect for the history of GT.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:42 pm

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:45 pm

It is the EXACT same design and it is made by Tiffany’s. Igt is EXACTALLY the same.

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
8:48 pm

Brent Musburger is really boring to listen to. Unfortunately, when he passes there will still be Bob Davie. I could go on and on posting drivel like this.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:48 pm

Nothing but the facts….I just linked to the official record book and gave the page number.

LOOK IT UP

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:49 pm

Delbert…tell us again how winning games make for a good year…I fell out of my chair when you said that

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:51 pm

here is EXACTLY how the NCAA record books lists UGAs NC.

this is from THEIR webpage and THEIR record book

1927 – Record: 9-1
Boand System
Poling System

1942 – Record: 11-1
Berryman
DeVold
Houlgate System
Litkenhous
Poling System
Williamson System

1946 – Record: 11-0
Williamson System

1966 – Record: 10-1
Massey Ratings

1968 – Record: 8-1-2
Litkenhous

Nothing but The Facts

May 5th, 2010
8:52 pm

yeah, whatever…I was only looking at the official NCAA list of National Champs. I didn’t look all the way to the footnotes and asteriks and stuff but when I did seems like alot of polls in those were not really that officially recognized. I had never heard of most of them following football almost 50 years. I also went to the official UGA site and they say 1942 and 1980 so I’m gonna go by that . But dang, how about Georgia Tech!! I was really surprised since they hadn’t really won one in a long time and have only gotten good again the last couple years.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:54 pm

The NCAA still lists what it lists…so I guess you are not…”nothing but the facts” are you.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:55 pm

footnotes? No “recognized polls”. you dont like the facts but I cant make them any clearer

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
8:55 pm

patrick – Yes, that discussion went on for awhile, and that was your summation. What I began with was saying that after Georgia’s 3rd game in 2010, one could have a pretty good idea of whether or not the season would be judged a success. However, during your lengthy series of cross examinations, you drove the discussion in circles, and yes, I finally said to myself, “Enough”, and I withdrew.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:57 pm

Not officially recognized? Umm they would not list them unless they are recognized…how do you list something you dont recognize? Foolishness

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
8:57 pm

Like the 1990 Tiffany Crystal Football at Tech is not the Same as the BSC hands out every year. JUST THE FACTS.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:58 pm

I didnt drive it in circles…I took you to task for a foolish statement

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

May 5th, 2010
8:59 pm

Pat, you are some piece of work. If you aren’t sinlge then your wife must be a SAINT!

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:59 pm

I am thinking that losing games make for a bad season…LOL. You would agree?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:00 pm

If by “piece of work” you mean deliverer of facts…then I agree.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:01 pm

the NCAA does not recognize any poll as legit…we have been over this.