Will anything less than a New Year’s Day bowl for Dogs be a ‘mega-disappointment’?

Justin Houston is seen as a big weapon for the Dogs' defense. (Georgiadogs.com)

Justin Houston is seen as a big weapon for the Dogs' defense. (Georgiadogs.com)

If you haven’t yet checked out CollegeFootballNews.com’s preview of the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs, by all means do so. It’s a remarkably optimistic and yet balanced look at the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Richt’s team.

Writes CFN’s Pete Fiutak: “Georgia can absolutely win the East and it can absolutely rise up at the right time to win the conference championship if everything breaks right. And lately, if you win the SEC Championship, big things tend to follow. No, this isn’t a national title team, but that’s not to say it can’t come back and rebound in a huge way.”

Fiutak correctly pegs the health of the veteran offensive line as a key to the season and says it might be “the best in America” if injuries are avoided. He thinks turning NFL prospect Justin Houston loose to harass quarterbacks will help ease the transition to a 3-4 defense.

And he notes that the team will be better than last year’s if “it wins the turnover battle and if it stops screwing up. Georgia, with enough talent and speed to hang around with anyone in the SEC, forced two fumbles and picked off 10 passes, while the offense gave it away 28 times. Alright, so takeaways aren’t necessarily indicative of success (Florida and Cincinnati only recovered three fumbles and Alabama came up with seven), but the knucklehead streak when it came to penalties didn’t help. The Bulldogs were flagged 105 times; only five teams got hit with more penalties.”

What about QB Aaron Murray? Fiutak says, “Murray isn’t all that big, but he has a next-level arm and has just enough talent to grow into the job over the next few years. If he’s outstanding right away, Georgia has a legitimate shot to win the SEC title. If he’s inconsistent, the ceiling is a Florida bowl on New Year’s Day.”

Another factor in the Dogs’ favor, Fiutak notes: “Georgia won’t be the best team in the SEC, but it has the schedule to look that way. Any SEC East team worth its salt would take this slate in a heartbeat. There’s no Alabama or LSU to deal with, Florida, as always, is at a neutral site, Tennessee is a home game, and the road games are at South Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Auburn. Throw in a home date against Vanderbilt and anything less than a New Year’s Day bowl appearance will be a mega-disappointment.”

Fiutak is setting the bar high for the 2010 Dogs, saying their season will be a success if “Georgia wins the SEC East. If you’re going to catch Florida, do it now. The Bulldogs might still be growing, too, but they have the schedule and just enough talent to win the division to get to the SEC title game. For a team with so many concerns, anything else would be gravy. If this isn’t a division-winning year, 10-2 with a January 1st bowl game would signal a big bounceback.”

Is Fiutak expecting too much of a team that’s rebuilding its defense and starting a completely inexperienced quarterback? I tend to agree with the Senator, who thinks 2011 looks much more like the year of the Dawg.

But the CFN assessment isn’t pie-in-the-sky. Bama and Florida both lost a lot of talent off last year’s teams. Georgia’s schedule is favorable. The Dogs return 10 starters on offense. Willie Martinez is no longer in Athens. The big “ifs” are staying healthy, fixing that turnover ratio, cutting way back on penalties, continuing last season’s surge in the running game, and getting at least a decently productive first season out of Murray.

Still, I think it’s going a bit far to say that success for Georgia this season will be defined by whether it wins the SEC East or not. How about you?

METTENBERGER UPDATE

Former Dog Kelin Johnson has launched a Web site/blog and reports Zach Mettenberger told him he has two scholarship offers on the table — Louisville and Cincinnati — and has had heavy interest and calls from other schools, including Tennessee, USC, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Troy, Memphis and Colorado. So even if Mett doesn’t wind up at Louisville, the Dogs still could face their former teammate. You know CBS and/or ESPN would love that storyline.

253 comments Add your comment

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:47 am

no …..just stick with what the SEC has in its rules for determining a division championship…or whine to the SEC comish not to me.

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
12:48 am

Hyberbole is claiming division championships when you didn’t represent your division in the seccg. Aren’t you the same group of nut cases that’s always disputing how many national championships the bammers have. I guarantee you that if I go and look it up they probably have 2-3 co division titles to go with their 7 legit division titles. But I don’t hear them braggin about division titles in years where they didn’t go to the seccg. You dawg fans are flat out delusional.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:48 am

not my reality…the SEC is the one setting these bricks…not me

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:49 am

ummmm the FACT is the SEC set the criteria for that determination…hyperbole is you setting your own criteria for that determination……

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:50 am

if you are a bama fan…why are you even here?…Richt is 3-1 against you. Thats embarrassing

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
12:51 am

yeah whatever,

You stick with your delusions and I’ll stick with how many times a team actually won the right to play in the seccg and for Georgia that number is a humiliating 3 times in 18 years. Just the facts sir.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:52 am

Lets recap

UGA has 5 SEC east championships.

Meyer did not make USC lose in 2006 or 2008.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:53 am

the facts sir..is what the SEC determines…not you

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:54 am

…and the SEC says UGA has 5 SEC east championship (two are co championships but championships none the less)

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
12:56 am

Who cares about Bama? I guess you would have figured out when I called him the Urban Legend where my allegiances lie. As for the Bammers I guess Richt is 3-1 against Shula back in the early 2000s when we were all whipping Bama. Now if we talk about alltime or from the inception of the 2 division format I’m certain the bammers own you guys but that’s another story. What is funny about that is that you guys act like football has only been played since Mark Richt came to Georgia. Afraid not sonny. And if you do want to live in the Richt era I got news for you. 4-1 the Urban legend rules and 2-1 the Zooker owns Richt. The zooker owns richt for crying out loud.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
12:58 am

well at least you stopped posting incorrect facts and records…thats a start

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
12:59 am

yeah whatever,

If that’s the case then Florida must have 12 then because UF has 10 outright and at least twice where we were cochamps along with UGA and UT and UT ended up going. So I guess we could claim 12 divisions but I just assume be a man and claim 10 since that’s the number of times we actually went to the seccg.

savannadawg

May 7th, 2010
12:59 am

We better be in a New Years bowl. Tired of the excuses, injuries excluded. Offense. The O-line should be addequate to protect Murray and make holes for the backs. Biggest plus here is of coarse A.J. but besides him, we have the best four (4) TEds in the country. All will see the field. As far as the D goes. I think we actually have a few gentlemen whom know how to coach D and know what an offense is trying to do during the game. The D will be just fine. Specifically the safety position. Remember the words out of coach Belins mouth this spring? Where did you guys learn to takle the last five years? That about sums that end of the spectrum up. Go Dawgs!

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
1:00 am

Incorrect facts. Nope. I believe I am correct when I state that Georgia has only made 3 seccg appearances. If I’m in error then please enlighten me.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:02 am

Since Mark Richt came to town? Sorry Sonny…lets go back farther

UGA 12 SEC titles…Fla 8

UGA has the 6th best winning percentage in Bowls…Fla has a losing record

UGA is 11th all time in wins..Fla not top 25

UGA is 11th alltime in rankings…Fla not so much

UGA has won almost as many Bowls as Fla has been to

No trust me we know the history before Richt

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:03 am

Did I mention that before Richt UGA leads head to head by 8 games? Yeah we know UGA history before Richt LOL

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:05 am

3 SECCG’s? Thats not what we were discussing nor was it what you were discussing with the other poster.

It was SEC east championships…so no you have not been posting facts.

Not at all.

Now you try to change the debate but one need only look at the comments to see what we were discussing

savannadawg

May 7th, 2010
1:05 am

Oh, and as far as the gator fans are concerned. Please answer this one for me. What if anything happened to Hernandez when he tested positive for marijuana? Duh. and for that matter “The Great” Percy too? I smell a rat at Floida. The NCAA is going to be snooping around there pretty soon I think.

Me

May 7th, 2010
1:06 am

Recordkeeper……He’ll find a Better Homes and Gardens poll or a stat from 7 years ago to support his feeble arguements. So what if he constantly touts a coach that can’t win the big one as the head coach of a program? Let him have his fantasy. Head to head, straight up Richt vs Meyer…on the field… now if you ask him about that…you’ll just get another long list of excuses and/or stats from the last 9 years. So save yourself the trouble unless you’re just in it for entertainment purposes. Besides, think about it….would you rather Richt NOT be there?? Then they might hire a REAL coach just when UF has clear sailing in the EAST for the third straight year. I’m very happy with the way it is and even happier with the way it’s going (direction wise). I can still remember how sad I was when they kicked ‘ol Ray Goof to the curb. So just be happy!

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:06 am

Actually…I have yet to see any accurate “records” from the “record keeper”

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
1:07 am

Patrick,

Great stats. Now let me tell you what counts and that is hardware. 3 national championships to 1 for the dawgs. End of story.

And if you want to talk about alltime then Georgia has certainly done better alltime than Florida if you want to live in the past. But since 1990 the Florida numbers for wins, sec titles, etc. blows away the dawgs.

So go live in the past and while you’re at it why don’t you go grab a bama fan. I’m sure the bammers will look at your alltime stats and probably fall down on the floor laughing themselves to death. You better hope there’s no bama fans on here this late. If they see you braggin about your alltime stats they’re gonna really let you know what a pizz ant program you are alltime.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:07 am

“me”…..name a single error. Dont generalize…name one

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
1:10 am

Hey everyone, Since Patrick now wants to talk about how great his program is alltime are there any Bama fans out there that want to compare Bama’s all time records to the dawgs alltime records. Can’t speak for the bammers but from what I know comparing the bama tradition to the dawg tradition is like comparing a Picasso to a child’s fingerpainting.

Recordkeeper

May 7th, 2010
1:12 am

No bama fans? guess not. Patrick you get a break tonight. Take your meds and go to bed now.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:12 am

1 NC? More “records” that are not accurate

According to the NCAA UGA has 5……see page 79 and 80 on the official record book of the NCAA.

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

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:13 am

The State of Georgia says 5

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

I am thinking 5 is more than 3…right?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:15 am

Nationalchamps.net lists 5

OTHER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SELECTIONS
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

1968 – Record: 8-1-2
Litkenhous

5 is more than 3 I think…You can change you name now if you like…

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:16 am

YEAH Whatevr: You name says it all! No matter the facts Whatever UGA is the GREATEST the SEC has ever had. AHHAHAHHAH. RICHT the Dale Earnhrdt Jr. of the SEC. Looks good for the cameras, sell crap (rugs/trucks), and still can’t get a shot at the TROPHY. DALE JR., DALE JR., DALE JR. Man I saw this 12 point Buck, but I just couldn’t get a shot at him to put him n my wall. Now I now how all my DAWG Fan Friends feel. We buy our hats at Wal-Mart to start the Season and just can’t ever TOUCH the Tiffany Crystal Football. Well, we can go to Florida and rub it and call the Gator fans Mullet Heads. Evdery 15 yrs. we can go to Bama and look at one right beside Bears 315 win Ring too.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:16 am

Live in the past? You were the one asking if UGA fans think that there are no records from before Richt…not me…you opened the door. I merely walked thru

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:17 am

Kim..no matter what the FACTS?…name one fact I posted that was wrong.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:19 am

every fact I put down was followed with a link supporting it. You and “record keeper” keeps posting hyperbole with out a single link to support your claim but you say to me “no matter the facts”? Thats funny

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:19 am

YeaH the STATE of Georgia thinks they are better than 48th in the US in education too. Just cause they think it don’t make it TRUE. 11 Staff, Faculty, and Students arrested on Cinco de MAYO. AHHAHAH NUFF SAID on that subject. UGA– where Drunks go to get a DIPLOMA to use as a HANDICAP plackard to PAREK closer to the WAL-MART. AHHAHAH

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:21 am

as far as your tiffany glass……. even the NCAA does not recognize it as legit. Well done

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:22 am

YEAH? why is there not a Heisman winning QB from UGA after all these years with RICHT coaching them?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:23 am

Kim…give it up…you were took to school yesterday…you really want to be embarrassed again today? Really?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:24 am

I dont know…he has 2 under his belt tho…oh did I mention that Stafford was picked number one and the heisman winner tearblow went where? Oh thats right BELOW HIM

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:24 am

the NCAA may not recognize it, but CBA, ABC, NBC, Raycom, and ESPN seem to pay a buttload of cash to act like it matters.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:25 am

Is ESPN or NCAA the ruling body of college sports?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:26 am

I wonder…would Tebow want Stafford contract or the Heisman?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:27 am

I wonder…will a Richt coached QB start in his rookie NFL year or a Meyer coached QB? Oh thats right we already know that.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:28 am

I believe a Richt coached QB is the highest paid Rookie in history. Not a Meyer QB…hmmmm

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:28 am

BOBO was STAFFORDS coach. Richt was mad after COX and decided to go to the QB meetings this year. RICHT did teach Ward how to be a GREAT NBA Point Guard. He developed Weinke’s Pro Baseball arm to be a QB at 26 yrs old? AHHAHAHA Richt really made them NFL ready. Starrod came ut of UGA just like he wenty in. He just played better teams, but learned NOTHING from RICHT or BOBO.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:29 am

Thats weird…you got OWNED again tonight…why do you even bother?

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:30 am

Highest paid is because of the elevated pay. you heard J Russell got cut and he was the Highest paid in 07.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:33 am

oh and Meyer was not Tebow’s QB coach Scot Loeffler was in his last year.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:35 am

Game, Set, Match…again tonight. I tell you what…when you see me posting…just run away as fast as you can and come back when its safe

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:37 am

Did I say a word about Meyer and Tebow all day? Did I say Meyer made Tebow a Heisman winner? Meyer and the play calling backed what limited talent Tebow has to make him a star. All Bobo had to do was not shoot Starrord in the foot with his bad play calling too.

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:39 am

Yeah Just tell me what your UGA season Ticket has printed on it? Sec, Row, Seat, and Gate to enter. Do you have season tickets?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:41 am

Kim…you lost…get over it. Oh I am still waiting for you to list all of the facts that I posted that was wrong…should I order pizza?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:43 am

Do I need to be a season ticket holder to know UGA facts? Hmm thats lame of you. What point could you possibly be making?