Amid all the speculation about Jim Tressel being toast and Will Muschamp’s Gators being toasted (giving new meaning to the “Florida Way”!), some college football observers have been paying a bit of attention to Mark Richt’s 2011 Dogs, who seem to have become something of a dark horse favorite in the SEC East.
As I wrote last week, Georgia has a high-risk start to its season that could pay off big, opening with Boise State and South Carolina. And while the game against the Broncos has the higher profile, the meeting in Athens with the Gamecocks could have more impact on UGA’s season, since a win there would put the Dogs in the driver’s seat in a division where Florida and Tennessee are rebuilding and Kentucky and Vandy are Kentucky and Vandy.
Barrett Sallee of College Football News says that with “the quarterback issues at South Carolina, the offensive ineptitude that Florida showed in its spring game, and the way Georgia’s schedule shapes up, the SEC East is there for Georgia’s taking. If the Bulldogs beat South Carolina the second week of the season, they absolutely have to get to Atlanta. They don’t play Arkansas, LSU and Alabama this season — the three primary contenders in the SEC West. Plus they get Auburn and Mississippi State, the next two in line on the other side of the division, at home. Sure, the Florida game in Jacksonville is always a tough matchup for the Bulldogs, but even if they lose that game, it’s hard to find two more losses on the schedule, provided that they get past the Gamecocks.”
That’s a fairly underwhelming assessment considering that as poorly as Georgia played overall last season the Dogs still managed to finish third in the SEC East.
We haven’t done a poll in a while here, so let’s see if Blawg readers are as pessimistic as those at the CBS site, or whether you’re thinking the CFN view is closer to the mark. Feel free to vote in the poll, comment, or do both.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg