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

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
3:55 pm

I don’t think you had to take much of a poll of outside fans to call 6-7 a slide.

JB

June 7th, 2011
3:59 pm

Amen AltamahaDawg

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
4:01 pm

What I meant is that they see our record. That’s a slide. They don’t know much about how that happened. They couldn’t care less about JoeT, or who a Ken Malcome is, why that even matters. They couldn’t really tell you about our LB’s, or how the experience in the DB compares to Xyz year. They Rightfully think we stink. But I don’t think I’d be basing my expectation on what outside fans thought about our last season on the beaches of lower Alabama. Doesn’t take much of an analyst to say that 6-7 wasn’t good.

MattMD

June 7th, 2011
4:26 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but the only sure things on offense seem to be the QB and the TE, right? Who is the go-to receiver? Who is going to be the featured back? What about the unimpressive OL? (sponsored by St. Mary’s!) Murray is a tough QB but there is a greater than average chance for injury if the friggin’ OL doesn’t BLOCK SOMEBODY! UGA is toast if that scrub backup goes in.

The defensive secondary is just terrible. The front should be more than decent.

Sorry, I just see way to many questions to win the East. USCe is going to be good.

ugakev

June 7th, 2011
4:26 pm

As bad as you all get on Mike BoBo and mark richt about not being good coaches, there is one coach that I believe is really good and is key to our team and thats Todd Grantham and he is going to have a defense this year that will be crushing opponents. Georgia’s defense will be back to what its suppose to be and that will be what carries us to a great season! GO DAWGS!!!

Gary

June 7th, 2011
4:43 pm

Too young, not deep enough. These kids do not know how to win. 3rd in the east is fair. Loose to USC and Florida. There is just no way we can improve considering the talent that left the team last year. The optimism is so unwaranted. This is not about being down on the dawgs but being realistic about our performance. Let me go on record saying we also loose to Boise & Mississippi St. All of these teams are better than us and should win. We will probably loose one game to a weaker team like Tenn, Ketucky, or Tech. We will loose five games. Anyone that watched us play last year could not possibly expect more. You can hope, but hope is not results. We did not score one touchdown against UCF and we had AJ.

Zertie

June 7th, 2011
4:46 pm

In 2010, UGA was:

10th in SEC in Scoring Offense, against winning teams
6th in Scoring defense against winning teams

Offense is pathetic, defense is average.

Zertie

June 7th, 2011
4:51 pm

UGA was ranked in scoring against winning teams:

Offense- #84
Defense- #45

Who cares how many points you score against La Lafayette, it’s South Carolina, Miss St, Bowl game, etc.

As you can see, the offense simply is among the worst in the nation uner Murray’s leadership, that was with 2 future NFL WR’s.

The defense at #45, is pretty great for a 1st year coach.

The offenses inability to put up points is anemic.

ARdawg

June 7th, 2011
5:09 pm

Bullkaka. Georgia has talent. We haven’t got talent to match recent years past but we have talent. The question isn’t the talent as much as it is, is the talent going to step up? I’m not referring to the incoming freshmen either. Also, the bigger question is does Richt have the nads and fortitude to coach them up?

Kick a field goal on 4th and inches inside the UCF 5 in the Liberty Bowl

June 7th, 2011
5:14 pm

Nothing else needs to be said.

ga gator

June 7th, 2011
5:17 pm

Who knows but it will be set in stone after the first 2 games. Unsure of my prediction; either 2-0 or 0-2. Murray needs to step up in a big games this year.

Carl Spackler

June 7th, 2011
5:40 pm

The offense, as a whole, should be vastly improved. If Murray can put some of that film work to good use, then he’ll take what the D is offering up. Last year Murray was on a tight leash, and wasn’t given free rein to use all the plays. CMB would probably send out two plays and Murray would have to use on of them no matter what the D was showing. I really believe this is why CMR got involved when he did last year. Some of Murray’s best plays came after he was forced to scramble and makes plays, while some of his worst beatings were when he hung in and got abused. CMB’s play calling may have been why the experienced offensive line had such troubles. If Murray was unable to audible because of the ball and chain CMB put on the play calling, then this would explain a lot. Watch some of last years games and look how helpless the entire offensive line looked at times. CMB is still green and CMR should have stepped in earlier and CMB should have trusted Murray to read the defense and audible to what he was seeing and not a choose between two plays. I may be wrong, but it sure looked like a OC who didn’t trust his QB.

RL

June 7th, 2011
5:46 pm

I think Steele has the Bulldogs rated a little low. He has them at #9, I think they should be #1. They are that good! GO Dogs!

Blenders

June 7th, 2011
5:48 pm

1st 2 games, win 2-0, who knows where you go?

Of course, I say that every year, and the Dogs never do.

powerhouse?

June 7th, 2011
6:09 pm

Your first one is a biggy…win that (doubtful to me) and SC better be scared! Lose the first AND SC-dogs will be sick. I’m wondering if the new AD did Rickt a favor of set a trap….

Still@theBAR

June 7th, 2011
6:13 pm

maybe UGA will play All teams with Losing records at the time of the game. Murray might have a chance to will ALL the games then.

Still@theBAR

June 7th, 2011
6:16 pm

What is the Over and Under on how many weeks until the Dawg fans start screaming for Richt’s, Bobo’s, or Grantham’s head on a stick? Maybe the Over and Under on how many weeks until the cry of “WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR” will be ringing in Athens and on the Blogs?

Bob

June 7th, 2011
6:24 pm

With our schedule and coaching, I’m thinking 7-5. And with our talent, facilities, money, and tradition, this should precipitate a new head coach for 2012.

chazzo

June 7th, 2011
6:55 pm

UGA is always going to be fair to good on O. They have some playmakers there (even if not as impressive as AJ), but the line is suspect. Searles never got a line together until mid-season. We’ll see how it goes with a new guy. The O won’t suck. D and special teams are key.

I am interested to see what the new D will look like in its second year. Another first year coach on that side of the ball. Safety could be an issue. Interested to see what the Big big man does.

Overall, i will look forward to seeing a bigger, stronger team that is not winded half way through the third quarter.

Who knows about the ranking? They are moving in the right direction.

The Mark Richt Farewell Tour

June 7th, 2011
6:56 pm

Third place in the SEC east and 0 – 2 at the start of the season. Goodbye Mark Richt!

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 7th, 2011
7:02 pm

Everybody keeps referring back to last year. Folks this is 2011, not 2010. None of us have a clue as to how this team will play and we will not know until the season is over. I guess a lot of people have a crystal ball and this must make you an expert, but remember, the games are played on the field. How many of you people on here, even know any of these kids personally? Do you honestly think that they want to lose and will lay down? Don’t underestimate heart, desire and pride for a team and in yourself. A lot of you need to quit shooting off your mouths, or in this case your fingers, until the games are played. Until then, you are mostly amusing yourselves since you know very little about the product UGA will field this year.

Still@theBAR

June 7th, 2011
7:07 pm

It Ain’t Rocket Science
June 7th, 2011
7:02 pm

Everybody keeps referring back to last year. Folks this is 2011, not 2010.

But it ALWAYS the same.

“Wait Until Next Year.” The question is how long until it will be all over the blogs and in dawg nation?

NoGaGator

June 7th, 2011
7:18 pm

Congrats to UGA on their overall sports program for the year – some real accomplishments.

BTW, here’s UF’s for the year.

http://www.gatorzone.com/story.php?id=20741

Foley is the best AD in the country. Hope he rubbed off on McGarity.

Go Gators!

Still@theBAR

June 7th, 2011
7:21 pm

NoGaGator
As long as McGarity doesn’t try to rub-off like Damon Evans did on his RECRUITING trip in Atlanta last Year.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 7th, 2011
7:30 pm

Still@the Bar,

I thought you were going to lay off of the ripple. At least go to 10 high so you can say you paid more than a buck a bottle, for that booze that makes you think you know what you are talking about.

Paul in RDU

June 7th, 2011
7:44 pm

Phil Steele picked UGA to win the SEC East?
Seems to me he said pretty much the same last year.

http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2010/05/31/phil-steele-georgia-bulldogs-could-very-well-run-the-table-this-year/

Bulbs, why is it always the bulbs that get them?

June 7th, 2011
8:16 pm

Q: How many UGA athletes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: One, but he gets 5 credit hours for it.

Fait Accompli

June 7th, 2011
8:21 pm

“Congrats to UGA on their overall sports program for the year – some real accomplishments.”

Right, let’s take a look at those accomplishments…

1. A drunken, whoring athletic director with red panties in his lap.

2. Twelve players arrested. And 41% of UGA football players are arrested during their time at UGA.

3. A player suspended for violating NCAA rules.

4. Winning the Fulmer Cup for the most players arrested.

5. Winning the title of #1 party school (i.e., the most drunken student body in the USA).

6. A sleazy assistant coach who razzes opposing players, unethical coaching conduct in violation of NCAA rules.

7. A super sleazy head coach who thinks he’s a saint, but recruits thug wannabes, gangbangers, and illiterate morons.

8. A 6-7 record despite having a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits.

That’s really a lot to be proud of!

dawgfan

June 7th, 2011
8:38 pm

You forgot one Fait Accompli:

10. Made an absolute mockery out of the pizzant little football program on North Avenue for the 9th time in 10 years.

Let’s cut to the chase big guy.

Bawbie

June 7th, 2011
8:43 pm

The Coke Artist’s are in…… Mark Richt and Dave Perno. Time to say goodbye to these overpaid clowns!

OLD DAWG 60

June 7th, 2011
8:46 pm

BEEN A SEASON TICKET HOLDER FOR ALMOST 40 YEARS. GO TO ALL HOME AND AWAY GAMES. PLAYED COLLEGE SPORTS. SEEN A LOT OF SEC GAMES. MOST ALL SEC GAMES ARE DECIDED BY 5 PLAYS OR LESS. IT IS A MATTER OF WHICH TEAM MAKES THE PLAYS. BEEN THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME. THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE SEC A GREAT CONFERENCE.

JDawg1785

June 7th, 2011
8:50 pm

I see no reason why predictions shouldn’t be all over the place. The Dawgs are coming off an embarrassment of a season last year, but there are some impact players coming in and there does seem to be an improvement in attitude among the coaches and players. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Frank Lane

June 7th, 2011
9:18 pm

I am eternally hopeful. Now that I live in florida, we just have to come through. We have as legitimate as chance as anyone in the East.

kerryb

June 7th, 2011
9:22 pm

There’s no way they are finishing behind Florida this year. It wouldn’t surprise me if Florida lost 5 games this year. Georgia is returning a lot of the inexperienced team they had last year that has more experience and a better defense. That team lost to Carolina by only 11 points and it was close until the end. This team is very capable of beating Carolina and Florida this year.

kerryb

June 7th, 2011
9:25 pm

Why is it that when Bill King starts a blog all of the morons come out of the closet and turn it into a circus?

AltamahaDawg

June 7th, 2011
10:10 pm

Carl, I certainly agree that Murray had limited option but wouldnt you expect him too his first year. I don’t think its 2 options though. I believe he had 5 or 6 and a lot of variable in those. I think its a lot more complicated that just which option. It’s the timing, direction, reaction, all of that.

WAY too often you could see Bobo demonstatively showing Murray who he missed or what options were there. That was not the “you picked the wrong 1 of 2″ air chalkboard I saw going on out there. It was a , this, this and this.

No question that a very young OC working with a freshman isnt going to be the perfect situation on offence though. Bobo would probably handle a freshman better a few years from now. Fortunetely he has proven that with a more mature QB, he can get the job done very well.

Troll Power Ratings

June 7th, 2011
11:03 pm

Fait Accompli: You are a true troll – consistent, unoriginal, envious, a moron, etc., etc. But thank you so much for caring.

Phil Steele?

June 7th, 2011
11:22 pm

Yes. And Phil Steele also picked UGA as a national title contender last year and watched em go 6-7. He must just like Georgia. No other rational expectation as to why you would pick a team that’s already lost 2 O-lineman before the season starts, lost its best rb, has an average defense at best with the loss of Houston, no AJ Green. only half the D is back, and this is a team that is hoping and praying that a freaking freshman can resurrect the program. Its scary when you got to pin your hopes on a freshman turning out to be the real deal.

The heralded John Jenkins- Georgia’s poor man’s version of Terrance Cody, couldn’t even beat out the undersized Geathers for the nose guard spot. Seriously? How good can he really be? Geathers just isn’t big enough or massive enough to close down the middle for UGA. He just isn’t.

Carl Spackler

June 8th, 2011
6:55 am

@AltamahaDawg…the way CMB handled AM will no doubt pay off some where down the road in maturity and the like…but, think back to a few goal line plays, where you’d see AM go to the line and have a jump ball situation in an obvious mismatch in a man-on-man setup and they pound the ball into a brick wall…weren’t you screaming at the TV to throw it up for the receiver on the sideline, or corner in this man on man match up…UA did a similar thing with $cam, except they called the play from the sideline and the second option was for Newton to take off running…I guess what I’m saying is that AM was no $cam and actually knew plays to audible…hey, maybe the tight rein of last year will payoff big time this year…looking forward to a great offensive output this year…take care

Druid City

June 8th, 2011
7:03 am

Winning SEC teams are built from front to back.

Strong lines first, then linebackers and QB’s, then backs and receivers.

Georgia is the only SEC team not built this way.

Each season, the team that wins the possession plays (3rd & short, 4th & short) wins the game.

It will be painfully obvious to knowledgeable Georgia fans again this year.

AltamahaDawg

June 8th, 2011
7:04 am

I think the pass to AJ in the corner was used a lot and was always an option available for AM. I think the problem was recognition. Not thinking it was his coach saying, no matter what you see on the outside, run it up the middle.

Druid City

June 8th, 2011
7:23 am

Defensive coordinators know Richt’s checkdowns, which haven’t changed much over the last twenty years, and provide an initial formation favorable to the defense’s down and distance. Once the checkdown was achieved, the defense shifts again.

They know Richt has a poor running game, so forcing a checkdown to a run was an easy thing to do last year.

1962 DAWG

June 8th, 2011
7:50 am

Enough said about Murray being a poor performer is games against winning teams. He helped the Dawgs set a new UGA record for most games with over 30 points scored in a season. Not bad for a freshman. Several of those games were without his main reciever.
Anyone who watches the games closely could tell that our lost games could have been decided by one play going differently.
Ealey not picking up the blitz against Arkansas. Fumble against SC. Several games with those plays going the other way and we go 8-4.
Goal line fumble cost the Colorado game. maybe we go 9-3.
Defense has to step up this season and get a few 3rd down stops, and with this we have a better chance of winning the close games.
To say Murray and Bobo are the reasons for our losing is way off base.
Nobody on this blog recognizes our special teams play as one of the tops in the SEC last season, with it and our reduction of stupid penalties being a complete turnaround from the previous 2 seasons.
Everybody wants to hang on to the negatives, instead of looking at things that were much needed.
Phill Steel may be right with his prediction.

AltamahaDawg

June 8th, 2011
8:22 am

“Georgia is the only SEC team not built this way.”

Wow, the only one? Out of 12, 11 are built this way, but not Georgia. That some real cutting edge research there. Thanks. Hmm Built from front to back. That’s deep. You must really know your game. can you tell us more about “checkdowns and shifts”. I know we were all blown away by your command of football strategy.

Rick S

June 8th, 2011
8:29 am

I’m sorry but I do not believe there is a trophy for effort but not winning championships. This is a problem with UGA Athletics as the majority of the fan base is satisfied with doing “better than expected” while other SEC schools are winning championships. I realize no school can win championships every year but with the talent the state of Georgia has UGA should be competing for championships in every sport on a regular basis!

AltamahaDawg

June 8th, 2011
8:37 am

I think everybody likes trophies just as much as the fans of other schools, and Rick.

Jim

June 8th, 2011
8:58 am

Show me the carfax!

AltamahaDawg

June 8th, 2011
9:13 am

You forgot #9. As In 9. I think all tech fans know what I’m talking about.

Jim

June 8th, 2011
9:15 am

Is this the carfax?

Right, let’s take a look at those accomplishments…

1. A drunken, whoring athletic director with red panties in his lap.

2. Twelve players arrested. And 41% of UGA football players are arrested during their time at UGA.

3. A player suspended for violating NCAA rules.

4. Winning the Fulmer Cup for the most players arrested.

5. Winning the title of #1 party school (i.e., the most drunken student body in the USA).

6. A sleazy assistant coach who razzes opposing players, unethical coaching conduct in violation of NCAA rules.

7. A super sleazy head coach who thinks he’s a saint, but recruits thug wannabes, gangbangers, and illiterate morons.

8. A 6-7 record despite having a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits.

DawginLex

June 8th, 2011
9:37 am

Phil Steele?

Jenkins couldn’t beat out Geathers for nose guard spot?

Jenkins played JUCO last year.

It’s ok to be a hater but try and at least use your brain.