We’ve already had a discussion of whether Mark Richt’s 2011 Dogs should be a preseason Top 20 team and, if so, how high, but it’s worth noting that magazine publisher Athlon Sports has tagged Georgia at No. 14 in its Top 25 countdown and sees the Bulldogs winning the SEC East.
Athlon’s optimism about the Dogs ” rests with the influx of recruits [as in Isaiah Crowell], the return of [Aaron] Murray, the second year in the 3-4 defense, and a favorable league schedule that does not include Alabama or LSU — the two top teams in the West. This might not be a vintage Georgia team that is capable of competing for a national title, but the Bulldogs should be in the hunt to win the relatively mediocre SEC East.”
Sounds like a pretty fair assessment, though I’m not sure I’m ready to predict the Dogs winning the division.
Meanwhile, Athlon also takes a shot at listing the Top 10 Georgia Bulldogs football players of the “Athlon era,” which goes back to 1967 (meaning no Frankie Sinkwich, Charley Trippi or Fran Tarkenton).
You know who’s No. 1, but beyond Herschel Walker the choices get interesting: Defensive end David Pollack is No. 2, followed by two-way iron man Champ Bailey, defensive back-rover Terry Hoage, quarterback David Greene, offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb, defensive tackle Bill Stanfill, defensive back Jake Scott, linebacker Ben Zambiasi and running back Garrison Hearst rounding out the top 10.
OK, hard to argue with most of the names on that list, but what about College Football Hall of Fame member Kevin Butler? Or All-America defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud?
Should defensive back Scott Woerner get a look? Then there’s receiver Lindsay Scott, a sentimental favorite in the Bulldog Nation; quarterback Eric Zeier, who perhaps doesn’t get the attention he deserves because he played on a couple of pretty mediocre teams; hard-hitting safeties Greg Blue and Thomas Davis; all-around offensive star Hines Ward; and running back Tim Worley. And maybe younger fans will want to make a case for Knowshon Moreno and/or Matt Stafford.
So, is there anyone on Athlon’s list you’d replace? And if so, who would you add?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg