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

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:43 am

Damn, while I was typing I spilled my Jack & Ice. Do you think there is a UGA Staff or Faclty member to get me a new drink?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:44 am

Bad play calling? Ummm the worse QB UGA has had in years (Cox) had 24 TDs last year…..second highest in UGA history…was that Bobo or Cox. hmmmm

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:44 am

Do you actually go to the games? You have run your mouth about TECH fans attendance to games. Do you attend games without a friend giving you a ticket or buying them off the street?

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:45 am

HOW many INTs to go with that TD #?

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:46 am

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:47 am

I live in southern California…I have not been to a game in years…and?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:49 am

ummm the INTs are ….BECAUSE he was the worse QB in UGA history…Bobo maximized his talent with his play calling but had nothing to do with his over or under throws…that is not play calling that is execution

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:49 am

Man the TD passes against Kentucky were game winners. Wait, can I add LSU and Okie State to that list? The Shoot Out against Arkansas was not a real good indecator, but coun’t thoes too. How Mant COX TD passes against the Gators, GT, and the VOLS?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:51 am

you are not too bright or you cant read…….I SAID HE WAS THE WORSE QB UGA HAS HAD IN YEARS.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:51 am

…….and yet Bob’s play calling got him 24 TDs

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:52 am

Bobo could not go out there and make him execute…now could he?

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:54 am

You just keep SELLING that and the rest of the SEC will buy! HAHAHAHHAHHA. What do you reall think UGA will end the season with? 8,9,10,11, or 12 wins. The SEC Ship Game and a Bowl game. REALLY wht do you think UGA should be?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:54 am

the 19 INTs are due to him being THE WORSE QB IN UGA history…..and Bobo got 24 TDs out of that loser. Not bad at all

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:55 am

Kim…I aint selling nothing…I am stating fact…you are the seller….let me know when you find a fact I post that is not correct….the pizza is almost here.

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
1:56 am

If Richt is so GREAT abd BOBO is so Great then Why didn’t the play Mett or Grey?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:56 am

I have yet to see any facts (other than “19″) that you have posted

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:57 am

Mett? He was not ready…Grey sucks…Murray had a bad shoulder…any other questions?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
1:59 am

UGAs D was the culprit MOST of last year…not Bobo or Cox

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
2:01 am

If Richt and Bobo were/ are so smart, then why did they wanted to have HEISMAN Talent sitting on the Bench? I guess watching COX kill the program was just the joke they only got.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:02 am

I already answered that…how drunk are you?:

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:02 am

Mett? He was not ready…Grey sucks…Murray had a bad shoulder…any other questions?

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
2:03 am

So, MURRAY is ready NOW and Grey can be a good back-up?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:05 am

Ok Kim….nothing and I mean nothing is getting accomplished by your mindless non sense. You are clueless and merely a hater. Nothing you say is worth responding to again as I have shut you down hard on each of your points yet you continue, in a drunken stupor, to comment randomly

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:06 am

I just said Grey sucks…Hutson will back up Murray and Yeah I would say a 5 star QB that was rated 2nd in the nation by ESPN is ready

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
2:07 am

Hutson is reading a Playbook that Bobo sent him to learn over the Summer? AHHAH. No, Hutson is watching Tape and trying to learn the UGA LANGUAGR from a silent film! Don’t worry LeMay is coming. He can be better than the best UGA Black QB( H. Ward). AHHAHA WARD ain’t a NFL QB either.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:09 am

Hines Ward was a dual player at UGA….. he won a super bowl MVP in the NFL. You are clueless

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
2:10 am

Yes, GREY sux but he is your oldest most experience player. He has actually been on the PLAYING FIELD getting HIT.

KimZ's Package

May 7th, 2010
2:11 am

WARD was an MVP doing what? Playing QB? SOunds alot like GREY.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:12 am

..and he did nothing on the field while getting hit

by the way…high school players do play on a field …you do know that…right?

they also get HIT in high school as well…you do know that…right?

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:13 am

So I guess Murray playing on a 5A high school and winning 2 championships on a field he didnt get hit.

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:14 am

ur clueless…there is no doubt

yeah whatever!

May 7th, 2010
2:15 am

yeah they play on the internet or XBOX and never got hit in high school…oh OK I get it now…jesus you are an idiot…no doubt

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
8:36 am

UGA football at its finest…… Fans still talking about a kids prowess from High School ball…. This is so FUNNY…. I will submit this to yeah whatever, your QB situation is because of your coaches inability to recruit and keep the pipeline filled. He dismissed your best option for winning. Right or wrong those are the facts. Just because a QB is GREAT in high school doesn’t make him great in college. The odds are that you will have a long tough year, because the QB position is so important…. Good luck, I pick you to be .500, however you could have a break through year depending on how your QB plays… Don’t count on it…… I can see all you clueless dawg fans asking for Richts job next year, it’s going to be so funny…..

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
8:42 am

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

This statement says it all! No experience at QB, a TERRIBLE defense, and you guys think your in a class to get to a BCS bowl……. What a bunch of CLUELESS idiots! LOL…

AltamahaDawg

May 7th, 2010
8:46 am

A mega-disappointment to me would be if the AJC doesn’t do something this year to restore thier online sections back to a forum where adults can have a discussion.

AltamahaDawg

May 7th, 2010
8:52 am

Oh and please consider starting a link with GT content. It’s not fair to thier fans that they have no choice but to discuss thier team in the UGA sections.

ATL XMAN

May 7th, 2010
9:05 am

gt4ever…the best qb on uga team is murry who red shirted last year. gray will be a good enough back up as a jr to run the offense if murry should get hurt,,,either way UGA qb situation is way better than techs…your lame offense doesnt do anything for your qb other than get him hit and hit hard every play and your back up will have no experience whats so ever..tech is one that will finish .500 or less and uga will have at least 10 wins. david green was a red shirt freshmen with jr and srs on the offline ,much like murry will have this year, except he will have two really good running backs back there. plus murry is more mobile than green so don’t think murry wont be able to do anything, as good as he is at throwing and running. also uga defense will be pretty darn good with the talent they have coming in and team speed. uga will have some experience this year aswell at the corner position…uga is actaully a better team this year than last year and last year was a 10-3 team if not for 2 big plays…

ATL XMAN

May 7th, 2010
9:09 am

also richt recruits just fine at the qb position..he had 3 top 10 qb in the nation on this years team until metts got kicked off. greay was rated number 8 in the nation when he came out. cox and stafford were 4 and 1 when they came out and now uga is looking to get another top 2 qb next year..he cant help that they leave early for the richs of the NFL

Patricks tormentor

May 7th, 2010
9:14 am

Patrick is a moran as usual.

Patricks tormentor

May 7th, 2010
9:17 am

As usual his facts are wrong. Murray was the starter on only 1 championship team. After G day you were throwing him under the bus because of his stats. Pat if you had ever done anything in sports you would know that STATS ARE FOR LOSERS. You are such a weenie you never even had jock itch.

italian_29

May 7th, 2010
10:00 am

Patricks tormentor, Moron is Spelled moron you moron. You must be a GT grad.

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
10:01 am

ATL XMAN

You keep drinking that Koolaid….. Your best QB was just dismissed from the team. Period. I’m not saying that your backups can’t be special, but don’t delude yourself…. If Murray had the skill he would have never been redshirted…

Shreveport Sam

May 7th, 2010
10:05 am

Ummm, yeah whatever, our most fervent hope here on this thread is that your mom and dad start limiting your computer time……

italian_29

May 7th, 2010
10:13 am

Gt4ever, not saying you are wrong, maybe, maybe not, but the main reason that the redshirt wasn’t ripped off Murry was he had a shoulder injury. I am not saying that Richt or Bobo would have burned the redshirt if he had been healthy, but I think it would have a least an option.

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
10:16 am

Possibly, but make NO mistake. Richt plays the best QB…… Good Luck to you next year….. Except for ONE game…. LOL

Dawg Rule

May 7th, 2010
10:27 am

Georgia upsets florida and goes to the BCS—take it to the bank! Florida’s way down, Murray’s better than Brantley and the Georgia D, with Grantham’s 3-4, may be the best in the SEC, since bama lost all their D stars. 2010–the year of the DAWG!!!

italian_29

May 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

Gt4ever, you are a classy fan, I wish you could teach kimszpackage, m, saint simons and a few others how to be a classy fan. I LOVE GA sports, and will always wish the best for our in state rivals, except in the Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you guys will be able to get Nesbitt healthy before the season starts, you have a ROUGH schedule and are going to need him.

italian_29

May 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

Dawg Rule, That is a very optimistic prediction, but I think we should always have our goal for the season, to be SEC Champs, and see where the chips fall, most years it means a shot at the NC.

italian_29

May 7th, 2010
12:18 pm

At least it has for the last 4 in a row.

AceDawg

May 7th, 2010
4:07 pm

To the people complaining about non-Dawg fans coming on the board – Isn’t it more entertaining to joust with non-fans than only theorize with one another. You just have to stand up and enjoy the jabs.