Preseason picks for Richt’s Dawgs all over the place

Phil Steele is picking Georgia to win the SEC East.

Phil Steele is picking Georgia to win the SEC East.

Seems like we get another preseason prediction or poll every couple of days, and so far there’s absolutely no consensus at all when it comes to Mark Richt’s 2011 Georgia Bulldogs.

Just in the past few days we’ve had the SEC’s sports information directors picking the Dogs to finish third in the SEC East behind South Carolina and Florida and Sporting News doing likewise. Georgia didn’t even crack the SN preseason Top 25.

And then there’s Phil Steele, one of the most respected college football analysts, who has Georgia as his upset pick to win the SEC East and ranks the Dogs No. 9 nationally.

On paper, considering the favorable conference schedule Georgia has, Steele’s prediction doesn’t look that unrealistic. But then you think back to the way Richt’s teams have underperformed the past couple of years and ponder all the question marks still hanging over this team and you can’t really fault the SIDs and Sporting News for their view, either.

I haven’t made my mind up yet how optimistic or pessimistic I’m going to be about this season. How about you?

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS

Early in the season I didn’t think there was much likelihood that David Perno’s 2011 team would still be playing baseball come June, but the baseball Dogs persevered through arguably the nation’s toughest schedule and the loss of a key player to make the final four in the conference tournament and then last all the way to the finals of their NCAA regional before being eliminated by Oregon State. A tip of the cap to Diamond Dave.

Likewise to Chris Haack’s UGA men’s golf team, which made it to the NCAA final, only to lose to defending champion Augusta State, which was led by a former Bulldogs player.

And a big woof to UGA’s Marta Silva Zamora, the consensus national player of the year in women’s golf.

Not a bad finish to the spring sports scene. Go Dogs!

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

204 comments Add your comment

SBC Pastor

June 7th, 2011
10:27 am

jbts30228

June 7th, 2011
10:40 am

I have to think they will be better then 3rd in the east this year. Seems the kids are staying out of trouble and their focus is on the season. 1st in the east loose to LSU in the SEC Championship

ARdawg

June 7th, 2011
10:41 am

My optimism left town when we kicked a field goal from the 3 in the Liberty Bowl against UCF and I realized Richt would be around for at least another year. So, while I like Phile Steele and know he’s good at what he does and I respect that. 2nd in the East and a top 20 finish would be about what I’d expect. We will beat Boise St though. It’s hard to believe that beating Boise is even a question.

boise is well coached

June 7th, 2011
10:47 am

and BSU is still hungry for respect. A win on the road against an SEC team is just what they want for their BCS argument… lose lose game for the dawgs. Win and you were supposed to. Lose and the doubters come out of the woodwork

Paul H

June 7th, 2011
10:47 am

It will all work out on the field. The lower the expectations, the better the team typically performs.

DCJohn

June 7th, 2011
10:50 am

I’m hoping the new attitude in the weight room will help more than anything else. Kwame Geathers’ spring certainly made it look like things are on the up. He was supposed to be a beast that was not in shape. He certainly looked in shape this spring.

Boise State will reveal a lot.

NC Dawg

June 7th, 2011
10:50 am

It’s always a crap shoot. Even if it looks like a lock, injuries happen, discipline happens, other teams do much better than expected — it never ends. It’s a waste of time IMO.

jp

June 7th, 2011
10:56 am

I think UF is gonna stutter implementing a new system and USC will have many problems especially on defense

Jeremiah Masoli

June 7th, 2011
10:57 am

East:
1. Georgia
2. South Carolina
3. Florida
4. Tennessee
5. Vanderbilt
6. Kentucky

West:
1. TSUN
2. Alabama
3. LSU
4. Arkansas
5. Auburn (2010’s USC)
6. Cow College

TSUN: 35
UGA: 28

beanster

June 7th, 2011
11:04 am

Optimistic here. There have been several interesting changes that are, in the very least, affecting the teams’ attitude and discipline, from what I have read so far. That alone makes me very happy to see. It’s hard to pull for a team that is constantly getting in trouble for boneheaded behavior. I am very glad we haven’t had to read any embarrassing headlines yet. Knock on wood. Can’t wait to see Jenkins and Geathers up front. I think Aaron will impress us much more this year…hopefully Bobo let’s him play.

Yep, just like every year, nothing but optimism here. Go Dawgs!

UGA Insider

June 7th, 2011
11:07 am

jp,

USC has no problems on defense… they have all SEC talent on DLine and the best secondary perhaps in the country. Their lb’s are always tough and talented. There are NO holes and UGA will struggle to score……especially how conservative Bobo usually plays against them.

Ca dawg

June 7th, 2011
11:07 am

gotta earn #9. Weve lost the benefit of the doubt. Here’s hoping we can start to get it back in 2011. Go dawgs!!!!!

DawginLex

June 7th, 2011
11:10 am

The opener is a must win.

The biggest game in Richt’s 11 years.

Period.

Sets the tone for the next week and the entire year.

Inspector G

June 7th, 2011
11:10 am

If they would have left the rebuilding of the Georgia Theatre up to Matthew Stafford, it would have been rebuilt in mere days, not years. Although, it was partly his fault from setting coeds hair on fire from his witty charm and cannon of an arm. After they went screaming into the Theatre, he called the fire dept and sauntered into Amicis to enjoy some delicious wings and buffalo chicken Garcheemar (he tried the ‘honey hot’ flavor this time) with his long time friend and confidant, Shaun Chapas. By all accounts it was delicious.
-Inspector G

Sam

June 7th, 2011
11:11 am

I am so torn on this. The good news is that these predictions are pretty meaningless. How often are any of the magazines correct on their predictions? Are the predictions where they think they will end the season?

UGADawg83

June 7th, 2011
11:11 am

My prediction for 2011–more lame blogs from Bill King about games he watched on television.

McDawg

June 7th, 2011
11:12 am

we will certainly be underdawgs against Boise St

DIT

June 7th, 2011
11:12 am

Gotta show me 1st! It all starts with Boise State. Should not even be thinking about any other team. Right now, 3rd sounds about right. I hope they prove me wrong!

waitnsee

June 7th, 2011
11:15 am

It’ll be a shocker if a 6-7 team, a team that lost a lot of good players, has essentially the same position coaches as last season, has already lost 2 OL and leading rusher before the season even starts, can turn it around in one season and win the east. Much as we’d like to see this happen it’s unlikely and unrealistic.

A veritable voice of reason

June 7th, 2011
11:16 am

My hat’s off to you, waitnsee. That’s the most level-headed post I’ve read today.

Time for a CHANGE!!

June 7th, 2011
11:16 am

I like it! The days of entitlement are over for these DAWGS!

A veritable voice of bone-headedness

June 7th, 2011
11:18 am

And you, Alt-Dawg are a bone-head. I suppose coaching is all of a sudden going to be different this year. That was pretty-much the problem last year. It wasn’t talent and it wasn’t injuries. And it sure as hell wasn’t the schedule.

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
11:20 am

Of 7 losses last season, 6 of them were basically decided by a single possession. Anybody looking objectively at Georgia (less the emotion and bravado) can very easily identify 3 or 4 factors that “should” point to a much better season. A couple of them are absolutes. There is no logical reason not to expect them to be right there to challenge for the East.

Otto

June 7th, 2011
11:26 am

The logical reason for not expecting improvement is the coaching staff. Before last season CMR said he would sit in meetings for the offense. I saw conservative play calling and no major changes on the offense.

BSU is not a given and it is the must win game of next season.

Perno showed improvement and the SEC east was VERY strong. I hope the he is around next year and his team in the race for the SEC East and more.

A veritable voice of bone-headedness

June 7th, 2011
11:27 am

I seem to know when and what’s going to be posted before it even happens. Gotta listen to someone with that kind of ability !

italian_29

June 7th, 2011
11:39 am

I think until this team shows some heart and doesn’t throw in the towel when times are tough, 3 in the East is about right.

Ceasar

June 7th, 2011
11:39 am

With the good teams having down years and the rest cupcake games, anything less tha 10 wins is a failure!

italian_29

June 7th, 2011
11:44 am

We lost our TOP producing Wideout and Tailback, I cannot understand why people would think that we have a chance to be much better than we were last season. Anything less than 10 wins in a Failure? I hope you are right, but I just don’t see it. We have a patchwork OL and no depth there, yes we have the TOP rated running back in the country, but he has YET to play a down of SEC ball and he isn’t even listed on the depth chart. I wish I could borrow some of these rose colored glasses.

TXDawg (The Real TXDawg)

June 7th, 2011
11:47 am

What the “hayle” is a TSUN??

RabidDawgFan

June 7th, 2011
11:53 am

Well I really don’t buy into what the prediction magazines and “experts” have to say about the upcoming football season. It seems to me that we have a more focused team that we did last year. At this time last year, we already had what? 2 or 3 maybe 4 arrests. We are staying out of the headlines and staying under the radar apparently. Just work hard in the weight room, stay out of trouble and stay healthy. The people who predict these records and standings probably have never played a down of college football in their lives. They don’t make the choice of where we finish. We do. Get it done. Go Dawgs!

gomdawg

June 7th, 2011
11:56 am

Lets remember the games are won on the field so with that said , I think our defense is got to be better
great QB recievers sre great Ends great running game is ? able. I see us with 10 win maybe 11.GO DAWGS

Bryan G.

June 7th, 2011
11:56 am

AltamahaDawg – I always respect your optimism.

It’s just hard for me to be optimistic after seeing the team that we ran out in 2009 and 2010. I hope they’re better, but it’s hard to get excited.

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
11:57 am

I disagree waitnsee. The factors you name, were not the main issues that lead to 6-7. Aside from that, the factor you name being are debatable.

I would say that you comments on the coaching unchanged is way off. There IS basically all the same coaches on defense, but that’s a positive thing this year, whereas all new was a negative last year. And the offense, there have been quite a few changes in the staffing, changes from some problems last year.

I don’t think we are worse off than last year in the backfield either.

cantondawg

June 7th, 2011
11:58 am

Waitnsee,

I understand your pessimism. However, Auburn went from i believe 8-5 to a national championship undefeated season. It can definitely happen. Also, in 1980 UGA went from a 6-5 record to an undefeated NC season.

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
12:01 pm

Otto, as I said, removing the emotions and bravado. Phil Steele and others do not think these are all terrible coaches.

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
12:02 pm

I understand the pessimism too. But that emotions, not analysis. Although Bill did pose the question subjectively the report he was making is what folks are saying OBjectively out in the media.

RabidDawgFan

June 7th, 2011
12:03 pm

Our defense is going to be top 3 in the SEC and top 10 in the nation. How can you run on basically 1,000 pounds worth of bodies in the front 4 when we switch to a 4-3 in some situations? Abry Jones who is about 310, Kwame Geathers who is 350, John Jenkins who is 360, and DeAngelo Tyson who is about 305-315. You can’t run on that. I bet Marcus Lattimore runs sub-100 against the Bulldogs this season. And that’s the truth. They BARELY beat us last season when our offense wasn’t hitting on anything, Ealey fumbles at the 1 yard line, our defense was in it’s first year OUT OF position, and we were at THEIR PLACE with a FRESHMAN QB. We’re going to beat South Carolina this season.

The Dirty Bird Dawgs

June 7th, 2011
12:08 pm

Dreadly

June 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

It’s not in the cards for Richt to coach at UGA any longer.

Richt has the program headed in the wrong direction, for 3 consecutive years now.

11 wins in 07, down to 10 in 08′, 8 wins in 09′, down to 6 wins in 10′ with a super easy schedule, losses to teams like Colorado, and conference USA UCF.

Richt does good against losing teams, just cant’ compete wiht winning teams because his strategy is completely wrong and he’s too arrogant to change it.

43-3 when he gets a 100 yard rusher, but finished 10th in SEC in rushing.

Boca Baby

June 7th, 2011
12:20 pm

Enter your comments here

Pago Pago Dawg

June 7th, 2011
12:22 pm

I don’t know……4th and 1 vs UCF inside the 10 yard line and we kick a field goal…Game over.
3rd or 4th place is about right.

DogFace Blues

June 7th, 2011
12:22 pm

Finishing the Drill would have put us in the SEC CG last year. Lackadaisical performance was the giant killer. Had the the National Champs 21-7. Fortunate schedule is our only hope. Lets dont screw that up again this year.

Peace Out. Go Dawgs!

Richt`s Hammer

June 7th, 2011
12:23 pm

We are in deep do do. Hope we beat Coastal Carolina.

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
12:28 pm

I don’t get the bets on SC. A Deafult position more than anything I guess. Normally, the talk about a 5 loss team would be how did they fix all those problems in the offseason. I read nothing of that for SC. Lower half of the SEC is just about every offensive category last year. Including rushing. I don’t see how they are going to be much better. Tn, Ga, UF arent going to be down long.

Dreadly

June 7th, 2011
12:29 pm

I got Georgia losing 6 games, AT LEAST, to Boise, South Carolina, Auburn, Florida, Miss St & Tenn. Could also lose to Kentucky & Georgia Tech, could go 4-8.

Somewhere between 4-8 & 6-6, largely due to horrific offensive strategy by Richt, and a terrible panic prone QB against winning teams in Murray, Murray is 0 & 6 against winning teams, and only threw 5 of his 24 td’s against ranked teams.

19 of Murray’s 24 td’s came against lousy unranked teams, only 5 against ranked teams.

Lindsey

June 7th, 2011
12:30 pm

I am being optimistic and excited to see what kind of results we get with some changes that CMR has made. I am nervous about the Boise State game, but if the Dawgs get a win I think a lot of good things will be happening in 2011…hopefully that will include a trip back to the Dome in December for the championship, GO DAWGS!!!

RabidDawgFan

June 7th, 2011
12:30 pm

I hate it when people say Richt can’t beat winning teams. Last season was ONE season and we had a bad season ONCE. Remember, 2009 was not a BAD season, it just wasn’t up to par with UGA standards. Now GT maybe, but not UGA. Richt can coach as he’s proven in his earlier years here at UGA and has won us 2 SEC titles, and has had us picked #1 in the country in 2008 after a Sugar Bowl win in 2007. He knows what he’s doing. He also has 2 national titles at FSU as Offensive Coordinator so the man knows how to coach. South Carolina has NO SEC titles, GT can’t beat us even in our worst seasons. So there you go.

DawginLex

June 7th, 2011
12:32 pm

where we rank in the SEC in rushing is an overrated statistic.

check 2002 and see where we ranked.

Defensive PPG allowed is the key to winning. Drop from 22 to 14 or 15=SEC East title

Boca Baby

June 7th, 2011
12:33 pm

Excuse me but I think its time for David Perno to find other employment. After last year’s dismal performance we are now giving him cudos for finishing fourth in the SEC East? Three names: Joshua Fields, Gordon Beckam and Rich Poythress. Without the presence of these three players Perno’s ineptitude would have been exposed long before now. We need a new face in Georgia Baseball. We need someone who doesn’t think he has to play the toughest schedule in the country.
Someone who would build confidence in his players by blowing out a few patsies. Someone like Ray Tanner at South Carolina. The strategy seems to be working for him. What Perno is doing is not working.

DogFace Blues

June 7th, 2011
12:36 pm

If Dawgs show strong performance and win in the dome, season will be successful. This will be the first time in a while they have a chance to win all their games. You gots to remember that Dawgs barely fell short of the big games last year with a less than mediocre team.