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

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

May 4th, 2011
6:01 pm

10th in the SEC running game
6-7 season

Why werent these coaches given more money. Those raises were to low. Bobo needs more too

Dr. Dave

May 4th, 2011
6:05 pm

GT Fan: Auburn is not ranked because they lost over half of their starters, including a Heisman QB and a top D Tackle in Fairley. UGA does return several key starters, and will now have 2 nose tackles who each are 6′5″ and 350 lbs, and can play. Additionally, the word is out that UGA’s strength and conditioning program is renovated and cranked up. Their players are now bigger and stronger than before. They also have a favorable schedule. Being ranked near number 20 is not unreasonable.

Dawg4ever

May 4th, 2011
6:06 pm

Would love to know what team came after McClendon and Tony Ball. What a joke. UGA rewards mediocrity, Richt makes close to 3 million to finish in 4th in SEC East, and McClendon who coaches running backs gets a 110,000 raise when UGA ranks 11th in the SEC in rushing. Guess his backs really improved from the Liberty Bowl to spring practice. OOPS, forgot King averaged about 2 yards per carry in spring game. Even Richt the coach that knows what the helllll he is doing after winning 8, and 6 games the last 2 seasons, and after finishing with a .500 winning record in SEC the past 3 years, said the running game in the spring game wasn’t very good. Yet this clown gets a 110,000.00 reward. If some other school wants this clown please let them have him. And if any school wants the pathetic Richt, please let them have him. I bet there will be alot of teams knocking the doors down after Preacher boy Richt finishes in 4th in the SEC east again this year. UGA=Mediocrity, and it is a shame the President, the A.D., the fans, and the big contributors don’t demand more.

CamdenMark

May 4th, 2011
6:11 pm

After last season?Are you joking?UGA should not sniff a ranking till coach Richt shows he can coach and we win a few games.

Dave

May 4th, 2011
6:15 pm

This is not the ESPN pre-season poll, this is a poll by 1 guy who is very pro-Georgia.

In ESPN’s pre-season poll, Georgia is unranked.

Scout ranks Richt 7th in the SEC.

SI ranks Georgia pre-season at #18, which considering no experience at WR or on front 7 on defense, seems high.

SEC1

May 4th, 2011
6:21 pm

who cares? I guess you have to have something to talk about this time of year.

Bottom line:

Win all games in the SEC >>> play for NC

Next

eddawg

May 4th, 2011
6:23 pm

first,rate your coaches,then talk about winning the sec,just a suggestion,think,think,think.i remember all the talent we’ve had the past few years,

old time dog

May 4th, 2011
6:29 pm

D A Double U G… Lots of folks have seen dogs bark at parked cars! Where have you been son? Over at Bobby Dodd pulling for the Jackets? Keep flipping toe burgers and frying those potatoes with your engineering degree.

King Saban

May 4th, 2011
6:42 pm

Schlabach is showing his bias for Georgia since he used to cover the dogs. Clearly you have to put Carolina ahead of Georgia as well as Florida- a team which has beaten the dawgs 18 of 21. Why they are ranked ahead of both these teams is a mystery.

Bama at no. 2 and LSU no. 5? Well, at least he got something right.

Mark Schlabach is a real homer with no facts

May 4th, 2011
6:53 pm

Schlabach is a graduate of UGA and spent nine AJC years covering the dawgs.

TCU ranked #22 ?
……………………….. come on man.

DMR

May 4th, 2011
7:24 pm

I commented earlier Georgia should not be in the Top 20 or Top 25. Their first two games are against Boise State, a sure to be Top 10 – 15 team and then South Carolina. Georgia can earn their way into the Top 20 by beating Boise in their first game. Like I said before…Let them earn it.

doggoneit

May 4th, 2011
7:48 pm

Not right At ALL! If and only if we beat Boise and South Carolina should we be ranked. We need to earn this!!

funny...

May 4th, 2011
7:50 pm

Georgia will be ranked for ratings purposes against Boise State.

Marshall

May 4th, 2011
7:52 pm

I got UGA finishing better than last year’s #63 ranking, I see a big improvement, going 7-5 and finishing ranked #51 in Richt’s final year (thank goodness) as a major college football head coach.

Marshall

May 4th, 2011
7:59 pm

Athlon has UGA at #20 in pre-season mag. Scout puts UGA at #25. ESPN’s analyst did not put UGA in top 20.

nub

May 4th, 2011
8:02 pm

nothing less than winnning the east will do…..

needums

May 4th, 2011
8:04 pm

Let’s win the first two games before we even break the top 25.

The Painful Truth

May 4th, 2011
8:09 pm

It’s kind of sad to see all the Dawg fans getting so excited this year (just like the year before, the year before that, etc.). How long is it going to take for UGA fans to realize that UGA is simply no longer relevant in the SEC? In the national picture, UGA isn’t even a blip on the radar, and hasn’t been since the preseason #1 ranking two years ago.

Sit back and be grateful for the six or seven wins you’ll get every year. Coaching genius Mark Richt may take you to 8-4 or even 9-3 occasionally, but Florida, Alabama, or other schools will still win the SEC, meaning no BCS bowls and no top 10 final ranking. Most years, UGA will be very lucky to finish in the top 50, and only after a big bowl win over a nobody opponent.

It’s a different world now, and Dawg fans need to adjust their expectations downward to reflect reality.

Unfortunately nothing is going to change until UGA changes its mediocre coaching. That’s where the difference is, and that’s why everyone outside Dawgtard Nation just laughs at Dawg fans getting so excited year after year about what a great recruiting class UGA gets. It doesn’t matter how many blue chip high school players go to UGA, they simply don’t get the coaching they would get at Florida or Alabama, to name two schools whose programs are far ahead of UGA. And that’s not going to change as long as Mark Richt is in Athens.

Get your heads out of the sand and face reality. And mediocrity and total irrelevance. 

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2011
9:08 pm

Was not aware that sportwriters used the past record in head to head as a guage of how to rank teams in the spring. That woud substantially complicate the matter of ranking team in the preseason woudnt it? UGA can never be ranked ahead of FL before they even up the recent most 20 yr in the series? Not saying they should or shouldnt be, but that’s a pretty simplistic thing to say. I noticed you took no issue with having Auburn so low, despite them having a pretty big advantage in the series with Alabama in the past decade.

Snake Doc

May 4th, 2011
9:20 pm

I can answer this in two words – H E double hockey sticks NO!

Lucky if they are in top 125!

Fire Twit Towers and FIRE the CEO!

Boneheaded morons!

AltamahaDawg

May 4th, 2011
9:23 pm

Preseason ranking have nothing to do with who “earns” something. This was not the “lets get the fans back feeling good about themselves again before we say anything” poll. It’s a poll about who is returning, and what strengths and weaknesses writers see after spring practice season.

Being mad about last year is completely different than actually disagreeing with the points that Schlabach made.

And you trolls calling him a Homer may as well just admit that you have no idea who this guy is. He is the anti-Homer when it comes to Georgia. Go ask the guy in your dorm who actually keeps up with sports. No idea if his meaningless ranking is about right, but it is a hoot seing you all worry, once again, about anything Georgia.

boss game

May 4th, 2011
9:46 pm

first of all… win or lose its still UGA ALL DAY!!! now, the ranking is a pre s-p-r-i-n-g ranking… doesnt mean nothing. once we play Boise St, then we can talk. we have the best qb in the conference, and our line is improving, even with the loss of Trenton. also, with a pay raise for McClendon, we have to expect that our running game will improve. and… we are still in the SEC, which gives us more consideration as a contender than not… let’s wait until September to judge whether or not the Dawgs are relevant… let the past sit in the past. this is a new season… GO DAWGS!!!

Snoop Dawg

May 4th, 2011
10:23 pm

With the amateurish coaching at UGA, being ranked in the Top 25 is preposterous. The raw talent is Top 10, however…

Dawg Squeeze

May 4th, 2011
10:26 pm

UGA Football………31 years and counting.

Josh Smoak

May 4th, 2011
11:21 pm

Solid info! I wonder if this’ll show up on CoachWatcher. CW is the place to go for all the latest coaching info, news, & rumors. http://www.CoachWatcher.com

#14

May 4th, 2011
11:30 pm

Alabama–going for title #14 in 2011. The SEC title should be easy—no one matches up with all the talent that Saban has recruited. auburn will be way down after all the cheaters have left the program. Bet the house–bama blows out usc for the SEC title then beats OU for the BCS title.

Ga Alum 79

May 4th, 2011
11:55 pm

In what way should they be ranked? Their best players have gone on to the NFL. They have a good recruiting class on paper but that in no way should make someone ranked….

Dawg48

May 5th, 2011
12:51 am

They should cut out preseason rankings all together! If you happen to not be ranked or ranked high and have a great season it still hurts your team in the bcd cause it’s hard to jump all those teams. Unless your Ohio state Texas notre dame or any team the media loves theta should not have rankings till at least week five.

Auburn Fans are horrible.

May 5th, 2011
12:53 am

McClendon should make $200k when:
–We don’t lose games on RB fumbles.
–We don’t lose games on missed blocks by RBs.
–As soon as our top to RBs stop acting like damned idiots!
—–If he is the new bagman, I withdraw all of my previous points. If this is hush money, it is totally worth it–Thank you Bryan McClendon. Job well done!

RED DOG 77

May 5th, 2011
1:59 am

@ Bill King……….Bill, Bill, Bill………Come on fella ! And to think I just congratulated you on a great story, and now you’re back to this garbage………….Bill, when in tarnation are you gonna learn? People don’t want this stuff……..mabe it’s all about “hits” to you, but for me? a true Georgia football fan?………Time to turn this space over to someone that can write an intelligent story for a change…………just dadgummitt, go away Bill…………RED

Ball Licking Dawgs

May 5th, 2011
2:30 am

ranked? bahahahahahahahahahaha.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 5th, 2011
4:04 am

Pre-season rankings are about as worthless as the paper that they are written on. UGA will be better this year for sure, but to rank them nbr. 17 in a meaningless poll, doesn’t do justice to the school or college football. Polls are meaningless until a few games have been played and then you have an idea where your team should be. I think UGA will earn the nbr 17 or higher after the first four games, and the proof will be on the field.

GO DAWGS

Columbus Dawg

May 5th, 2011
5:59 am

Hey #14, Do you have a house? You could not have had a straight face when you typed that post about the inbreds blowing something. The Alabama Crimson Tide WILL drop three games again, and more than likely will not represent the West at all. Can’t wait to see that scrawny QB get his bones rattled. That little sawed off pos coach of yours is in his last year at Bama.

I also saw a post where some Auburn moron said that Auburn should be ranked at #11. Three words, Auburn will suck. Can’t wait for cheesedick and the Opelika Tiggers to come to Sanford. The Dawgs will pick up where they left off, will improve to 5-1 over last six with Aubies.

Just cannot believe how stupid most Alabama residents are.

Dallasdawg

May 5th, 2011
6:53 am

JUST WIN BABY !!!!!

savannadawg

May 5th, 2011
7:29 am

Absolutely Not!!!! The school, the players or the coaches have not proved that they can crawl out of that place they are at, at this moment. If they want a ranking they must deserve and earn it IMO.

old time dog

May 5th, 2011
7:34 am

?Hello is there anyone with a brain out there? Dogs have a top 5 budget, top 5 recruiting class every year and are in a top conference. If they are not in the top 25 they need to fire everyone and start over. Any idiot who can;t end up in the top 25 with that edge is totally useless. Ask that question about a La. -Lafayette, Colorado, Idaho State or those type schools and you have a real question.

Eric Holder

May 5th, 2011
7:47 am

Hold on there, sports fans! Let’s get a gubement investeegation started and get to the bottom of this!!!

What?

May 5th, 2011
7:49 am

FLA DAWG

May 5th, 2011
8:34 am

Preseason rankings take into account coaching and therein lies the error of this one.
The Dawgs have just enough talent to be ranked but will again prove they are mishandled by our coaching staff.

Bottomline answer: No

Joey

May 5th, 2011
8:38 am

Too high. Beat a team with a winning record for the first time since ‘09, and I’ll maybe start poll-watching.

Oh, and to my fellow fans who think Crowell is the answer to our running woes, does anybody recall what happened to our last 5-Star RB.

Joey

May 5th, 2011
8:51 am

Richt’s pastor is gonna have to have a talk with him if he keeps on saying “hell” . . .

“I know what the hell I’m doing”

McLendon is a hell of a coach”

“He is a hell of a recruiter”

just a fan

May 5th, 2011
9:29 am

IMHO I do not believe the Dawgs warrant a preseason top 25 ranking we still need to prove it on the field and we have a great opportunity to do that the first 2 games of the season but until we start beating good and great teams on the field again leave us out of the top 25

AltamahaDawg

May 5th, 2011
9:35 am

“Preseason rankings take into account coaching and therein lies the error of this one.”

That doesn’t even make sence. Are you saying they do (not) take that into account.

Either way, I am pretty sure that Mark Schlabach is familiar with the names of the Georgia coaches, has prababaly even met them a time or two. More reasonable to say that he has taken all thier issues well into account, thus ranking the team startiung out lower than probably what the pure talent would say.

FLA DAWG

May 5th, 2011
9:48 am

Okay Everyone,

AltamahaDawg has just entered his Lofty Words so there’s no need to comment any further.
He knows a former Dawg Coach (Martinez perhaps?) so whatever he says must be true!

Home Town Hero

May 5th, 2011
9:49 am

schlabach is a longtime uga homer — his beloved dawgs should be ranked because he says so.

Go Dawgs!

May 5th, 2011
10:14 am

Because of the way we start the season this year, it really doesn’t matter if we have a preseason ranking or not.

Boise St is a definite top 8 opponent, while SC should wind up with a ranking somewhere in the top 12.

My point is regardless of how we start, by week 3 we should be ranked right where we deserve.

2-0 should vault us into the top 10, top 15 at least
1-1 with the one being the higher ranked of the two will probably have us somewhere between 19-25
0-2 Will keep us unranked as we would deserve to be.

That’s the risk vs reward of opening the season against ranked opponents back to back.

I’m hoping both Boise and SC make it into the top 10 respectfully.

Go Dawgs!

Go Dawgs!

May 5th, 2011
10:15 am

*the one WIN…

A moment of silence, please...

May 5th, 2011
10:28 am

Attention, everyone, especially dawgtards. We will now observe a moment of silence in memory of Saint Jan Kemp, who exposed the shameful practices at UGA that were initiated and carried out by slimeball Vince Dooley. Dooley’s image as a coach and a nice guy were forever shattered during the trial, not to mention the one million dollars that dawgtards had to pay Saint Jan. These practices of recruiting morons and coddling them for four years, them tossing them out like garbage, are still going on, but at least the world knows what’s happening in Athens now.

And now, the moment of silence…
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Thank you, you may resume your normal activities now.

Mr Moment of silence Sucks

May 5th, 2011
10:37 am

Just sayin’……………………….

DawginLex

May 5th, 2011
10:40 am

If you are going to have a poll before anyone plays a game, then UGA should not be in the top 25.

I personally think there should be no polls until October 1st.

By then, you have played your opening out of conference games(some good, some blowouts) and you have opened your conference season. You are 4 or 5 games in and you can tell if a team deserves to be ranked.

My $.02