Preseason rankings and greatest Dogs of the modern era

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

254 comments Add your comment

Lastgrad

May 17th, 2011
10:30 am

Scott Woerner

Dawg Gone

May 17th, 2011
10:34 am

Thomas Davis..

LC Dawg

May 17th, 2011
10:41 am

It is going to be hard to replace David Greene as my favorite UGA quarterback, but I feel Murray is on track to rival my sentiments for Greene.

The kid really seems to have his stuff together. Follow him on twitter, and you will see how dedicated he truly is to the UGA program.

Murray is bound to have memorable moments like those of Greene as well. I cannot wait til the 2012 and 2013 schedules begin to play out. There are some SERIOUS big-time games in those years.

GO DAWGS!!!!
108 days!!

Mitchell

May 17th, 2011
10:42 am

Buckshot

May 17th, 2011
10:43 am

Greg Blue? No!!! Had terrible coverage skills. Cost us the Auburn game. No mention of Richard Tardits? Boss bailey? Godfrey? Muddy Waters?

dawg man

May 17th, 2011
10:44 am

Get the National Championship trophies ready, next 5 years !!!!!

Dennis Felton

May 17th, 2011
10:45 am

Tripp Chandler…

Dan

May 17th, 2011
10:46 am

Where’s DJ Shockley? he has an SEC title…as far as ranking, I just don’t see a top 20 team

Dennis Felton

May 17th, 2011
10:46 am

Zach Mettenburr….Caleb King?

Yoda

May 17th, 2011
10:47 am

gotta put reggie ball on the list

sogadog

May 17th, 2011
10:50 am

Hines Ward has to be on that list. Am I correct he is the only Dawg to gain a thousand yards passing, a thousand yards rushing and a thousand yards receiving?

Dawg Gone

May 17th, 2011
10:50 am

Can I change my vote to Reggie Ball?

DawginLex

May 17th, 2011
10:51 am

Bill,

since it is the summer and the topics don’t just land in your lap, it would be interesting to look at preseason rankings versus final results for Richt, Donnan, Goff and Dooley.

I know until recent woes, Richt was doing well at being rated higher at the end of the year versus preseason.

Just a thought.

WinderDawg

May 17th, 2011
10:55 am

Richard Tardits

DawginLex

May 17th, 2011
10:55 am

just posted my list and it didn’t make it through the filters???

Go Dawgs!

May 17th, 2011
10:55 am

I’d replace Hearst with Hines Ward, both were great, but Hines’ contributions were more outstanding. He played WR, RB, & QB, and ended up with more all-purpose yds than Hearst NOT including his passing yds as QB.

Some other honoraable mentions:
Rodney Hampton
“Meat Cleaver” Weaver
Tim Worley
Lars Tate
Terrance Edwards

Bryan G.

May 17th, 2011
10:56 am

Greg Blue isn’t even in the discussion. He had the cover skills of Bryan Evans.

It’s hard to leave Moreno off the list with two 1400 yard seasons. It’s not his fault he was redshirted in 2006. Woerner and Ward have to be considered too

Dawg Consultant

May 17th, 2011
10:56 am

Honestly, there have been some many great dawgs over the years, its really impossible to list a “top ten” without leaving off at least another half a dozen deserving DGDs. But then again, that is why top ten lists are so fun to discuss and argue about.

That being said Hines Ward is #2 on my list. He threw it, ran it and caught it…..could have played safey if we needed him to. One of the greatest all around players I have ever seen at the college level.

O'Leary

May 17th, 2011
10:58 am

Quincy Carter! Corey Phillips! Jasper Sanks!

UGA Insider

May 17th, 2011
10:59 am

UGA should not be ranked on any pre-season top 25. Did anyone see the spring game? Or the UCF game by chance? Those were two pathetic performances. 2011 is a total rebuilding job for our offensive line, running backs, full backs, receivers and safeties. 7-5 is best case scenario.

LC Dawg

May 17th, 2011
10:59 am

HAHA!!

Reggie Ball!!!!

funny...

May 17th, 2011
11:00 am

Reggie Ball, LOL

russ

May 17th, 2011
11:01 am

@ Dan. Although I favored Shockley over Greene as well, Greene, at the end of his career was the winningest QB in NCAA history (passed P Manning only to be surpassed by Colt McCoy). 108 days!. How many arrests will it be this year. It really does help out with the arrests things that one of UGAs recruiting staff members (aka Richts get-back coach) owns a bail bonds company.

DawginLex

May 17th, 2011
11:02 am

Guy McIntyre instead of Stinchcomb

Insider, please stop predicting doom and gloom for THIS YEAR based on a bowl game from LAST YEAR.

Different team
Different year

tide roll

May 17th, 2011
11:02 am

Bill, With A.J. Harmon probably gone, the Dawgs are forced to move Chris Burnette to rught guard. Would you now please name me your 2nd team offensive line. Keep in mind Brent Benedict seriously injured his knee in High School, and is stiill rehabbing. It’s ludicrous that with all the talent available in the state and the JUCO ranks throughout the country, for Uga to be in this position. And to further aggravate the problem, they go out and recruit the 9th rated offensive line class in the conference(per rivals). Go ahead, name your 2nd team.

DawginLex

May 17th, 2011
11:04 am

russ,

Auburn needs the bail bondsman. 80 Fulmer Cup points! Any arrests lately out of Athens? No. The whole arrests line is old and weak and is history as it relates to UGA.

Matter A. Fact

May 17th, 2011
11:07 am

Tide Roll,

Instead of obsessing over UGA lineman, take a look at your head coach.

How on earth do you lose 3 games with the talent he had on that Tide team last season? Returning Heisman Trophy winning RB, returning BCS Championship game winning QB, 2nd best WR in CFB, stacked defense……..

But Saban manages to CHOKE (24-0 ring a bell?) the season away.

If you didn;t win last year, you sure as heck won’t compete in the West this year.

Move along, troll.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 17th, 2011
11:08 am

jon lastinger

May 17th, 2011
11:09 am

uuuuuuuuummmmmm.

You’re forgetting me-my name is Jon Lastinger & I could ball!

tide roll

May 17th, 2011
11:10 am

Also, have you seen tape on the older Nkemdiche kid ?. There’s your running back. Holy Cow! I think Micky Conn, a former Alabama football player, is his coach at Grayson, and will hopefully advise him to go with a winner. Roll Tide.

59bulldawg

May 17th, 2011
11:10 am

Definitely Hines Ward should be on the list. Would also strongly consider Jimmy Payne and/or Ray Goff. The haters will not agree with Goff but he was a pretty darn good QB back in the day! Jimmy Payne was simply one of the best of Erk’s Junkyard Dawgs!

Russ GASTA

May 17th, 2011
11:10 am

overlyoptimistic?

May 17th, 2011
11:11 am

Last year Athlon predicted the dogs would finish 10-2 and place second in the SEC behind Florida. They also thought UGA would have the best O Line in the SEC.

It Ain't Rocket Science

May 17th, 2011
11:11 am

I am not so sure that a nbr 14 ranking is realistic. It seems they are placing a lot of their expectations on a kid who has yet to play in a college game. No doubt he can probably be great but I am not so sure, he can just step right in and be that much of an advantage to the offense. A lot of pressure to put on a young kid. For sure the Defense will be a lot better, but the offense has to have a few more things clicking in order to merit a top 25 spot. We need to have our O line solidify, our running game solidify, a couple of folks step up at WR, and our QB, though a good one, will have to exhibit a little more patience and not make bad decisions. His job will be easier if he can stay in the pocket and not run for his life. The O line I guess is the real key for the offense though.
I have no vote in the top 10 for UGA all time. Every fan probably has their own favorites and I think it is nearly impossible to narrow it down to 10 folks, given each one played for the most part, on a different team with too many variables to stand head to head with each other. All the folks mentioned were all outstanding players.

Class of '98

May 17th, 2011
11:13 am

Hines Ward was almost the first player in D-1 history with 1,000 yards passing, receiving and rushing. I believe he was 4 rushing yards short.

The feat has since been accomplished, I’m not sure by whom.

Dawg Gone

May 17th, 2011
11:14 am

It Ain’t Rocket Science I agree after the last couple of years we don’t rate a top 25 ranking…until we prove it on the field.

jon lastinger

May 17th, 2011
11:14 am

JONATHAN SULLIVAN

Scambled Dog

May 17th, 2011
11:15 am

Pulpwood Smith…………

jon lastinger

May 17th, 2011
11:15 am

ODELL THURMAN

tide roll

May 17th, 2011
11:15 am

You can’t do it, can you Dawg Fans ? All your in state talent is providing depth for your competition! It’s like Cam Newton all over again, excapt this time it’s offensive linemen. Thanks again for Cedar Grove’s BRANDON GREENE, a 6′6″ 310 lb. offensive tackle. The sky’s the limit for the kid. Another James Carpenter. You guys go ahead and go out of state to get Theus. Important enought to sign his brother, who, according to Uga, is the Top Long Snapper in the Country!!! Ya’ll go out of state. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of your in-state talent. Roll Tide.

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jon lastinger

May 17th, 2011
11:17 am

BRIAN BOHANON

Dawglasville

May 17th, 2011
11:19 am

I would have loved to see a healthy Robert Edwards playing tailback for four years. That could have been very special. The glimpse we got was amazing.

It is hard to understand how two guys who I believe will be in Canton one day, Hines and Seymour, not making that list.

Remarkable

May 17th, 2011
11:19 am

No Hines Ward or Kevin Butler in the Top ten? They were much better than David Green.

Delbert D.

May 17th, 2011
11:20 am

Looks like Athlon got a bit mesmerized while looking back at the list of Georgia greats. If they were all on the team, I’d pick Georgia to finish #1 in the East with no hesitation.

As it really is (or rather may be), I think Georgia battles it out with South Carolina for the top spot.

Athens= God's Country

May 17th, 2011
11:20 am

Knowshon and Stafford didn’t do squat. Good football players, not really “Bulldogs.”

schmeckdawg

May 17th, 2011
11:23 am

jon lastinger

I would have agreed that you needed to be on the list; however, you misspelled your first name so I can’t vote for you…sorry!

Dawg Gone

May 17th, 2011
11:23 am

tide roll you did a great job last year 4th in the West…thanks

Spike

May 17th, 2011
11:23 am

No doubt about it. Scott Woerner.

booboo

May 17th, 2011
11:24 am

Agree about Edwards-he was special. Personally, he’s the best running back UGA outside of Walker.