Should Dogs be ranked as a Top 20 team?

We won’t know until August whether Mark Richt’s 2011 Dogs will crack the AP and coaches preseason rankings, but Georgia moved up in the post-spring practice edition of the Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 poll from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Schlabach, who used to cover Georgia for the AJC and knows the SEC well, had seven conference teams ranked (more than any other conference), with Alabama at No. 2, LSU at 5, Arkansas at 11, UGA at 17, South Carolina at 19, Florida at 24 and Mississippi State at 25. South Carolina slipped from 15th place in Schlabach’s post-signing day ranking and Florida fell from 20th. Auburn had been ranked in the earlier listing but didn’t make the cut this time. Boise State, UGA’s opening opponent, ranked 7th.

Georgia’s placement was up one notch from 18th in the earlier ranking. Said Schlabach: “Bulldogs coach Mark Richt probably isn’t on the hot seat, but his program definitely needs to regain momentum in 2011. Georgia lost star receiver A.J. Green to the NFL draft, and then starting left tackle Trinton Sturdivant suffered a season-ending knee injury during spring practice. Quarterback Aaron Murray returns for his second season as a starter, but the Bulldogs left spring practice still searching for a No. 1 tailback. Incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell will have a chance to win the job during preseason camp. The Bulldogs should be better in Year 2 of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme, especially if JUCO nose tackle Jonathan Jenkins is as a good as advertised. Tackle Kwame Geathers’ improvement during the spring was a big surprise. Georgia plays only four true road games (at Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech) and plays Boise State in Atlanta and Florida in Jacksonville.”

So what do you think? Does Schlabach have the Dogs too high? About right? There might even be a few folks who think they’re not ranked high enough (and if so please share the reasons for your unbounded optimism).

PAYOFF FOR COACHING OR RECRUITING?

A lot of eyebrows were raised when our Chip Towers reported that Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon had his salary more than doubled in the offseason, despite the Dogs ranking 10th in the conference in rushing in a losing season last year. But as Dawgs 247 pointed out, the raise for McClendon, which UGA says was a counter-offer to a bid for the coach from another school, came shortly after National Signing Day in February, and McClendon was the lead recruiter in Georgia signing Crowell.

Anyway, the news of the hefty raise certainly explains Richt’s heated response last week in Macon to a fan who harshly criticized McClendon.

“Bryan McClendon is a hell of a coach, he’s a hell of a recruiter,” Richt said.

Maybe the order of importance there should have been reversed.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

266 comments Add your comment

Shields Watkins

May 4th, 2011
3:10 pm

Put Auburn in Arkansas’ #11 slot and move Arkansas to the #17 slot.

Then Mark Schlabach’s preseason rankings would make sense.

Deja Vu Delusional Dawg

May 4th, 2011
3:21 pm

Does UGA deserve to be ranked? You mean like last year when they were pre-season #5? No.

FB Fan

May 4th, 2011
3:23 pm

So we are ranked 17th by a homer. Schlabach is an UGA grad! I will be surprised if any objective poll has UGA ranked in the top 25.I am afraid the team has a couple more lean years.

My prediction…….by Aaron’s junior or senior year we will be a top ten team with a new coach. Currently we are only in the top ten when in comes to player arrests.

Win P.

May 4th, 2011
3:23 pm

Starting with 2008, we have gone through pre season hype. We had Stafford and Moreno, then we had take charge quarterback, a coach on the field, then we had the best offensive line in college football along with two “great running backs” and a great receiver. Each season has been more disappointing than the prior. No, I don’t think UGA deserves a top 20 ranking, not if performance is taken into account.

adam

May 4th, 2011
3:25 pm

with our outstanding performance in the liberty bowl,
heck no do i think we should be ranked at the
beginning of the season, the way our offensive line
got dominated by central florida’s dline was
embarassing to say the least.

D A DoubleU G

May 4th, 2011
3:25 pm

I am the expert of all that is D A DoubleU G and Techie. That is GA fan & GT fan to all you ignoramuses!

GT Fan ...

May 4th, 2011
3:28 pm

Let’s see ….. Mr. Schlabach, A UGA GRAD, has the dawgs in the top 25!?

GA fans hate AU, and vice versa.
AU goes 14-0, wins NC in 2010, plays in the might SEC, and can’t crack Mr. S’s top 25!?
Yet he’s got “his” dawgs in the top 25 …

HOG-WARSCH!!

Hey, but he’s got 150+ (myself included) of us dumbarses commenting on it. Mr. S should be slapped for two reasons:
1. He’s got a PRE-season poll
2. It’s got UGA in it.

Dawgs Roll

May 4th, 2011
3:28 pm

This Dawg team may be the best in athens in 20 years—the roster is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Mark this down: the Dawgs will win the SEC east with an upset over USC and a blowout win over florida, which doesn’t have anything!!! The Dawgs are back!

GT Fan ...

May 4th, 2011
3:32 pm

Sorry FB Fan … I posted b4 seeing you had filled-in all the Rose-colored goggle wearing GA fans that Schlabach is a GA grad.

He should be censored by the ESPN (geniuses) b/c he [MS] makes himself, and his ESPN bosses, look stupid when he writes something like this.

Dr. Phil

May 4th, 2011
3:37 pm

UGA should be in the top 10 with the “Dream Team” and Richt’s “state of the art” football study. No doubt about it.

GT Fan ...

May 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

And GA fans … stop already trying to build Boise St up to be some mighty opponent. Your dawgs are not playing the B St Broncos of the past couple of seasons … they lost A LOT of talent after 2010.

GA will beat, a decent but NOT great, Boise St … WITH EASE!

Just Sayin'

May 4th, 2011
3:38 pm

Isn’t the glass football the flea bag’s birth right? Bwa bwa bwa

Russ the spotted bulldog

May 4th, 2011
3:42 pm

Richt brings ‘em in, and coaches ‘em down. Too bad the Dream Team actually has to play football games. This pre season dream is the highest ranking these puppies are going to get.

Meth Dawg

May 4th, 2011
3:44 pm

Of course! Delusions never sway a real dawg fan!

The Ghost of Wally Butts

May 4th, 2011
3:47 pm

This Just In…..Boise State has just scored on our defense….it’s Boise 7 and ThugDawgs 0….and kickoff is still months away…yeesh

Delbert D.

May 4th, 2011
3:49 pm

Schlabach’s analysis of Texas is that he can’t imagine them having 2 losing seasons in a row. What does the Ouija board say?

UGA FRIEND

May 4th, 2011
3:51 pm

How can anyone rank (with any accuracy at all) teams at this time of the year. Spring practices always bring positive comments or outlooks for all coaches. The media only sees the traditional game concluding the spring practice. They do not get access to most all of the practices so its mostly guess work on their part as to how good the team will be.

CrackDaddy

May 4th, 2011
3:54 pm

This issue reminds me of Kentucky and UNC. Ky fans are obsessed with the fact that UNC is picked to be no. 1 in basketball going into next season. (Ky is 12-21 vs UNC lifetime). Ky and UGa fans need the stroking that they get by being ranked in advance of upcoming season.

Kerryb

May 4th, 2011
3:59 pm

I was watching College Football Live on ESPN the other day and they already had their rankings and had a 5-7 Texas team #20. I don’t think they even have UGA in their top 25. I laughed when Urban Meyer suggested that Texas was soft on the Offensive Line last year so they brought in Stacy Searles from Georgia. They don’t know what soft is until they see the results he’s going to give them.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

May 4th, 2011
4:00 pm

Dawgs Roll

Do the UGA nation a favor and shut your whisky breath, red pant loving mouth

UGA hasnt done nothing in 25 yrs to even be making a statement like that

When UGA can beat FL two yrs in a row and go to the SEC championship while beating FL in that same year

Then come on hear and run your mouth otherwise stop embarrassing the program with stupid rants

GTBob

May 4th, 2011
4:02 pm

GA will beat, a decent but NOT great, Boise St … WITH EASE!

I don’t know about that. They did lose some talent but they also will return Kellen Moore and Doug Martin and some talented young receivers. It wouldn’t surprise me if UGA won but nobody in the nation can beat them with ease.

7576DAWG

May 4th, 2011
4:06 pm

I don’t think we will be near a 17th ranking at the end of the year .Either we will finish in the top 7 or completely out of the polls. My money is we will finish no worst than 10-2 or 7th in the polls. I think that CMR is focused for the first time in at least the last 3 years. McGarity has made it very clear serious improvement has to be made in 2011.
If Georgia can’t get it done in 2011 , 2012 and 2013 will need a complete overhaul with the schedule getting considerably harder.

prime time

May 4th, 2011
4:08 pm

First? HE double hockey sticks to the NO UGA shouldn’t be ranked in the top 25. UGA can’t beat buford high school. They aren’t even the best team in the state of GA, much less the nation.

Ceasar

May 4th, 2011
4:08 pm

With a cupcake schedule, NO excuses for even one loss!!!

Dawg Tell

May 4th, 2011
4:09 pm

Who cares about rankings this early.Just WIN BABY and the rankings will take care of themselves!Go Dawgs and turn it around in 2011.Let’s get Respect in 2011.I want to see the physical and hard nose football again at UGA.I want the teams that play the DAWGS know they will be playing a new revised JUNK YARD DAWGS!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

May 4th, 2011
4:10 pm

Ceasar

I agree

prime time

May 4th, 2011
4:16 pm

UGA won’t win enough games to make a bowl game this year.

D A DoubleU G G Y Breath

May 4th, 2011
4:20 pm

Depends on the number of arrests and if Richt can keep his eyes open.

Bama Mike

May 4th, 2011
4:21 pm

Defense improvement will be the key the Dawgs year in my opinion. Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky and Auburn losses due to defensive lapses but in each game offense more than adequate.. If Georgia can correct those defensive mistakes major improvement could be in store for 2011.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

May 4th, 2011
4:22 pm

Has Vegas come out with the over and under on UGA player arrests this yr?

Im ready to place a bet

MailBag Drag

May 4th, 2011
4:28 pm

UGA is definitely ranked too high in this pre-preseason ranking. They haven’t proven that they did anything, of significance, during the offseason but have a nationally ranked recruiting class. I think they do that every year. Not many freshman play, anyway. But the “sports gods” at ESPN have done their job well. They got us talking about college football in may…

Beast from the East

May 4th, 2011
4:36 pm

“This Dawg team may be the best in athens in 20 years—the roster is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Mark this down: the Dawgs will win the SEC east with an upset over USC and a blowout win over florida, which doesn’t have anything!!! The Dawgs are back!”

@Dawgs Roll,
Are you the guy Justin was getting his stuff from? Don’t you know you aren’t supposed to use your own stash?

T-Dawg

May 4th, 2011
4:39 pm

What? No Tide loaves?

Joshua Barlowe

May 4th, 2011
4:46 pm

what a joke. The SEC gets way too much love, and UGA will finish about 7-6 again. They will have more arrests than wins.

LilburnDawg

May 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

Georgia not being ranked preseason #1 is simply outrageous. The writers at ESPN just don’t get it. We ruin this state. Go Dawgs!

truedawg

May 4th, 2011
4:50 pm

Ranked too high, hate to say it, but they have to prove it to me. It will help if they win big against the bronco’s easier to move up to the top ten from 17 than 28th… I love the Dawgs and love CMR. I think they will bounce back strong this year and have 10 wins, maybe more….but that’s why we play the games.
Give the raises, give all they ask..in return expect what we ask..win the games! beat UF, beat AU, beat USC, beat UT, and the gnats..all in the same season!
If that doesn’t happen..ask why? coaches? players? all the above?
I think we’ll see the wins..and the Dome twice! GO DAWGS!!!

cantondawg

May 4th, 2011
4:52 pm

Alabama at #2….Are u kidding me? They lost their two best offensive players, starting quarterback and best defensive player. They will lose 3 games again this year. I also don’t think Arkansas should be at #11 either…

gtfanfrom1951

May 4th, 2011
4:52 pm

After the first two games Uga fan can come back to the understanding that they are a 6-6 team. Smoking that funny weed does not help you see how good a football team is going to be after all 6 players in the NFL draft and only a 6-7 season come on. How can you say UGA is top twenty team?

gtfanfrom1951

May 4th, 2011
4:58 pm

one more thing DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!!!

beebee

May 4th, 2011
5:00 pm

17th? You dogs fans are excited about being 17th?

LOLOLOLOLOLMAO!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

May 4th, 2011
5:05 pm

gtfanfrom1951

Once your mind is at rest after spending long hours installing a toilet, using the skills of your Janitorial Engineering Degree

You will also come to the realization that Tech still will not beat a poorly coached UGA team and also your next BCS bowl appearance will be in 2054.

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2011
5:07 pm

Interesting how some folks said UGA had way too much talent to have such a poor year, but now not enough talent to even be ranked.

What?

May 4th, 2011
5:11 pm

Bulldogs. Top 20? Ha! Mark Ritch. Great coach? Ha! Bulldog fans. Delusional? Always and it looks like that’s not changing anytime soon.

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2011
5:19 pm

So Slabaugh is a UGA homer now? You know what is a good idea before you comment on a sports related topic and look stupid in front of everybody? Read or watch something related to sports from the past 5 years beforehand.

NOBODYYOUKNOW

May 4th, 2011
5:27 pm

NO! NO! A thousands times NO. No preseason high pick. Thats a death sentence. Let them prove it on the feild. I hope they whip everybody. But don’t ruin the season before they play the first game.

Joe Bob

May 4th, 2011
5:36 pm

UGA was 6-7 and had six players drafted, including their best WR of all time. Yeh, that seems like the recipe for a top 20 team. If you listen to Mark S. in interviews, he sounds high, this confirms it.

Shields Watkins

May 4th, 2011
5:50 pm

I see now Schlabach has caught the same Dawgsheimers disease the rest of the Georgia fans have.

And the cycle begins again.

Lucy, tee up that football.

powerhouse?

May 4th, 2011
5:50 pm

Is this a trick question?

Dogs need to bite some team with a winning record before they are ranked.

Ask that same question after the barking has calmed in Atlanta.

Sven Ottke

May 4th, 2011
5:53 pm

Bryan McClendon is working under the tuteledge Rodney “The Bagman” Garner. Why not learn from the best?

DawgByte

May 4th, 2011
6:01 pm

I love Mark, but he’s a homer. There’s no way this UGA team should be ranked that high. I have them ranked #26 going into the season. To enter the top 25 they have to beat Boise St.