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

Nothing but The Facts

May 5th, 2010
9:02 pm

Hey Yeah,whatever…Hey I guess if those Bama folks want to claim 12 or 14 or how many they like to claim, you sure can claim 5 or 2 or whatever floats your boat. Think I’m gonna go by what the University of Georgia says right on their website. I figure that if anybody knows the real number, it would be them. But thanks for the info, at least it was interesting. Still can’t get over Tech, I knew they had one in the early nineties. Guess that’s something the whole state of Georgia can be proud of, right?

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
9:03 pm

It wasn’t foolish. By the end of the 3rd game, we should have a pretty good idea of whether or not Georgia’s season will be judged a success or not. My conjecture is that if Georgia beats South Carolina and Arkansas, they are likely to go on and have a good season.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:04 pm

ok gotta go…still waiting for the other team or teams that lost 18 scholly players and won 10 games a bowl and a top ten finish…i tell you what…I will check back in in 4 hours…have it by then?

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:05 pm

Just the facts (snicker snicker) am not claiming anything…The NCAA is.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:06 pm

“I am not claiming anything the NCAA is”

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:06 pm

Have a problem with the NCAA call em.

KimZ's Package

May 5th, 2010
9:07 pm

Yeah and what did that get the DAWGS? 10 wins and a T-shirt.

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:08 pm

by the way..the official site of the state of Georgia (who owns UGA) claims them to.

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1994

Shreveport Sam

May 5th, 2010
9:08 pm

yeah whatever, Florida will never be in decline as long as they have UGA to play….

yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
9:09 pm

the same T shirt GT has gotten for 20 years?

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
9:11 pm

“yeah whatever!

May 5th, 2010
8:59 pm

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

Does anyone infer from this statement by patrick that Georgia has no good seasons since 1980?

patrick

May 5th, 2010
9:18 pm

By the way….paying tiffany to make u a trophy is not the saMe as getting it awarded

The college football historian

May 5th, 2010
9:20 pm

If you go by the idea that any poll declaring someone a national champion then Georgia does indeed have 5 ncs and Tech also 5. Alabama would actually have 16, Tennessee something like 8, Auburn around 5.

If you go by consensus polls meaning the majority of the polls picked your team as national champion then I think Bama has something like 8-9, Georgia 2 (1980 and 1942), UT 2 I think, AU one, LSU 3, Florida 3, The consensus would be a more meaningful way of looking at things since the majority of folks think you were the best and it cuts down on the number of all these different national titles people claim.

Overall, I think the generally accepted number as far as true legitimate national championships among teams is Bama and ND tied at 8, OU at 7, USC may have 6 or 7. All the other big traditional names like Nebraska have 5 or less. Surprisingly some huge names like Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Penn state only have like 2 or 3 each.

Patrick's Bully

May 5th, 2010
9:26 pm

Patrick,

Git off these dang blogs and get back over to my newly expanded 102,000 seat stadium. I got your sorry butt on loan from the gators to polish my bcs trophy. They lended you out to me cause they said you did such a fine job polishing their bcs trophies. When I’m done with you I’ll send you over to polish Tennessee and bcs LSU’s trophies. You are my beyotch and don’t you forget it!

patrick

May 5th, 2010
9:38 pm

There are no legitamate NCs

patrick

May 5th, 2010
9:41 pm

Oops…I didn’t spella word correctly…where is Delbert?

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
9:58 pm

patrick – I’m back. I was reading the 2009 NCAA Records PDF. Page 77 is confusing to me, since it lists several organizations under the heading “Consensus National Champions – Since 1950.” It is obvious from the annual results that there was not universal agreement, and a grouping of similar conclusions does not fit the definition of concensus. I wonder why the NCAA chose that word.

patrick

May 5th, 2010
10:11 pm

They choose many words carefully. Notice they don’t call any team ‘national champion’ but rather ‘national POLL champion’ or BSC champion. They do call every other NCAA sports champ a ‘national champion’. I wonder why.

patrick

May 5th, 2010
10:13 pm

Could it be a playoff sanctioned by them determines a true champ and opinions don’t?

patrick

May 5th, 2010
10:15 pm

Why the need for the word ‘consensus’ anyway? Oh because its a consensus of OPINIONS

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
10:28 pm

patrick – Apparently so. In pages 73 to 81, all selectors are listed for each year. 1980 shows 5 “National Poll Champions”, and 1981 shows 6. The list of selectors ” Since 1950″ on page 85 of the publication (p. 77 of the PDF) appears to me that a consensus was reached by the NCAA members, board, secretaries or whoever that the listed organizations would result in a simplified list. Almost certainly is is not a consensus of the organizations – their are several disagreements, the most recent being 2003. Consensus implies collaboration in reaching general or group agreement, stating it simply (indeed, oversimplified).

I wonder why The Sporting News and The NY Times are not in that list.

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
10:35 pm

Yes, certainly opinions. Sagarin’s method applies only results compared against numerical-based strength of schedule calculations. I think that exhibits (grossly) the current scientific thinking that artificial intelligence systems will not be able to duplicate human neural functioning.

Delbert D.

May 5th, 2010
10:53 pm

One thing for sure is that I will be using “National Poll Champion” from now until the FBS is replaced by a playoff system.

patrick

May 5th, 2010
10:56 pm

I prefer ANDERSON over SAGARIN

patrick

May 5th, 2010
10:59 pm

U have little choice

patrick

May 5th, 2010
11:04 pm

Oh….which poll? There are many and each name a champ.

DWM

May 5th, 2010
11:55 pm

Official UGA website list 2 official championships. You would think they would be the authorities. I think all the rest were some individual polls, many not even nationally recognized or sanctioned or whatever. Looks like the University’s Athletic Dept doesn’t even acknowledge them. If they don’t, I wouldn’t either. http://www.georgiadogs.com

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
12:28 am

DWM…the NCAA is the official record keepers of all NCAA sports…Not UGA

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
12:30 am

Oh and DWM…the state of Georgia….you know the OWNERS of UGA…claim 5.

You would think THEY would have the last say….being owners and all

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1994

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
12:31 am

All polls listed on a NCAA web site is “recognized polls” only. Thanks for playing tho

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
12:36 am

Oh sorry I used the wrong word…the AUTHORITY would be the OWNERS of UGA…you know …the STATE OF GEORGIA. They list them as having 5. I think an OWNER has more authority than the OWNED. Whatcha think?

not so fast my friend

May 6th, 2010
1:36 am

Hey Reality-blow it out your arse. Pre season rankings are just that-opinion. So what if only 3 teams from SEC are in pre season poll. What is fact is the last 4 National Champs have been from the SEC and all were blow outs. Kinda sound like a Tech fan er, um Loser I mean. Boo Hoo Hoo.

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
6:33 am

I am a baby sitting troll that plays with my pdf gathering facts between truck stops.

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
6:34 am

The Dawgs will go 14-0 the next 2 years in a row and Richt will retire as the Greatest Coach in the history of College Ball.

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
6:35 am

My wife left me because I couldnt get off the computer.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158327737&ref=name

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
6:37 am

Here is some more drivel that is in my mind:

BE KIND TO NURSES. We keep doctors from accidentally killing you., “Yes I’m from the South. And, no, you’re the one with the funny accent.”, I bet GEORGIA can get 1 million fans before any other state!!!, I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!, Wishing you can sometimes punch someone in the face with no consequences., Conservative, NitroPlanes, The Georgia Red Legs, Being Conservative, College Football, Southeastern Conference, Glenn Beck, Atlanta Falcons Ultimate Fan, Sarah Palin, Georgiadogs.com / GXtra, Arizona, AOL

yeah whatever!

May 6th, 2010
6:38 am

Uh oh!!! the white coats are coming after me…..I am out of here.

The most interesting man in the world

May 6th, 2010
7:17 am

yeah whatever! get a life dude. The Dawgs will end up in the top 25 at around 17 and go to the outback bowl.

SEC FANATIC

May 6th, 2010
7:27 am

Man, if THE University of Georgia’s own athletic dept doesn’t even really know how many national championships they have (according to some of these previous posters) then no wonder they are in such a sad state! But I would suspect the real story is that this “yeah,whatever” is just trying to pull a few more out of his arse. Nice try. I think Ga Tech’s are real though, not something on page 76 with a footnote next to it.

Sweet Home...

May 6th, 2010
7:32 am

Dude, His hero is Sarah Palin, ’nuff said.

Ray Goff

May 6th, 2010
7:50 am

I’m 10-1 with this schedule. Easy.

Stinger

May 6th, 2010
8:17 am

Where are you ranked? Didn’t think so !!! Want to see what a ranked team looks like? See Georgia Tech.

15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
2009 Record: 11-3
Returning Starters: 15 (seven offense, eight defense)

Key returnees: QB Josh Nesbitt, C Sean Bedford, RB Roddy Jones, LB Brad Jefferson.

Spring star: RB Anthony Allen.

Spring recap: Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has never had trouble replacing a B-back (fullback), so don’t expect a ton of dropoff from Jonathan Dwyer to Allen. Nesbitt remains at the helm, and Tevin Washington proved this spring that the offense is in capable hands if Nesbitt gets hurt. On defense, the Yellow Jackets have switched to a 3-4 under new coordinator Al Groh. One player who should return to the first-team defense is safety Cooper Taylor, who missed 11 games last year after he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition, which has since been treated

TommyJack

May 6th, 2010
8:50 am

Hard as it is, I can take SOME dawg homers. Schlaybach is not one of them. King tool.

ATL XMAN

May 6th, 2010
10:26 am

Spring recap: Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has never had trouble replacing a B-back (fullback), so don’t expect a ton of dropoff from Jonathan Dwyer to Allen. Nesbitt remains at the helm, and Tevin Washington proved this spring that the offense is in capable hands if Nesbitt gets hurt. On defense, the Yellow Jackets have switched to a 3-4 under new coordinator Al Groh. One player who should return to the first-team defense is safety Cooper Taylor, who missed 11 games last year after he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition, which has since been treated

Link Report this comment

this is a bunck of BS…tevin washington didnt prove anything other than GA tech defense is in pretty bad shape…big difference in a spring game and an actual regular season game. tech will have big time trouble if nesbitt goes down because that will put a qb that should be playing running back ona div 1aa team calling plays and trying to go against div 1a defensive players. and as far as techs defense goes they have lost there best players the last two years from the D-line and it doesnt matter what defense they switch too they will still have less talent on field. big drop off there. Allen wont do jack from b-back positon as it takes him about 5 or so yards just to build up his speed. he runs better from deeper back in the backfield where he can use his speed. tech will be out of the top 25 6 games or less into the season. UGA on the other will be ranked top 15 or better by 6 games in with nio losses. UGA is better than any team they face until they get to that FLA game, as far as talent goes, and this year will have an expierenced off line to run the ball down fla throat. as far a murry goes he will be just fine as was david green was when played as a red shirt freshman. murry has the same expierence around him that david greene had and is better at eluding the rush than david which will put more pressure on the defense which in turn will have corner backs cheating up as UGA receiver run by them, and Murry can throw on the run as good or better than any qb in college football. very accurate on the run. at 6ft 1 and being mobile plus having a strong arm and having a whole year to learn Coach Bobo system, Murry is more than ready to lead UGA to an SEC title…i can see the bulldogs losing 2 but no more than that with the combo of very good talent and upperclassmen on the O-line, which they havent had since Greene i might add. can easily fininsh top 10 or better with a bowl victory.

people who say murry is too small is reaching a bit..its college not pros where it is harder to play at 6 ft or so. but the college level has plenty of 6 ft or so qbs that win at a high clip…flutie and even DJ shockley was 6ft. look what cox did last year as a UGA qb..he was number 3 in the SEC. threw for 25 tds and close to 2600 yards and he is a bit shorter than Murry. so you guys will have to find some other excuse for UGA to be a top 25 team this year.

ATL XMAN

May 6th, 2010
10:28 am

for UGA not to be a top 25 team..oops

ATL XMAN

May 6th, 2010
10:50 am

just look at the schedules…tech could be 2-4 or 3-3 after the first 6 games with wins aginst south carolina st and Kansas and losses against North Carolina , north carolina st ,wake forest and virgina where they have just as much talent or more at every position than you guys do and with only 1 good player on your high school offense back there and a very weak defense, tech is in deep trouble…the Next 6 games are even harder. tech could finish up the year going 2-4 or 1-5 if duke sneaks a win from you wich they easily could. so that would make your final record 4-8 or 5-7 at best. the reason for the big drop off is that gailys NFL players are gone and thus your team is left with nesbit and about 20 or so div 1aa players to run that high school offense up against some off the better div 1a defenses in the acc…look foward to reading you techies post of how bad you guys need another coach asap about half way into the season..

Mike

May 6th, 2010
11:06 am

UGA finished in the top 10 6 out of 9 years, and top 25, 8 out of 9, and some guy from SI doesn’t think UGA will finish top 25?

Staples from SI picked Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and USC last year, so consider the source. Also missed on Florida (had them #1), and Bama (had them #10).

Staples is the worst picker of top 25 finishers, except for Chris Low who missed out on the order of 11 out 12 SEC teams last year. I’m sure both guys are good writers, but should’nt be taken seriously as pickers for sure. Notre Dame? Notre Dame?

UGA will finish #1 in the nation in 2010 and go 14-0, Ricth has a great record against every team he plays except Fla. Against Bama and Auburn, if he gets to SEC Champ? 7-1 over last 8.

You Go Yeah Whatever!!!

May 6th, 2010
11:24 am

He out argued every single idiot hater out there. All they could do insult this very intelligent man. GO DAWG!!!!

how2fish

May 6th, 2010
11:47 am

Stinger I love it your best team in what 20 years gets beat by UGA’s worse in a decade and then you get double mudhole stomped by IOWA..and your in the Top 25 pre-season..congrats to you and the rest of the Bug Village…enjoy that while it lasts..by the time we go 9-1 on you it will be ancient history.

Mike

May 6th, 2010
3:43 pm

Yeah Whatever tries ti post 1999x a day. the more yu say, the less important what you have to say is.