We’ve already established that Vegas oddsmakers like the 2012 Dawgs, but it turns out they’re so high on Mark Richt’s upcoming team that the folks who come up with point spreads have installed UGA as the early favorite in every game on the schedule.
At the Golden Nugget, Georgia is a 3-point favorite over Missouri, a 13.5-point favorite over Tennessee, a 2.5-point favorite over South Carolina, a 4.5-point favorite over Florida and a 6-point favorite over Auburn. And Pregame.com rates Georgia as the favorite in every game on its schedule.
Of course, as has been discussed here, Richt teams have had a disturbing tendency in the past to falter under high expectations, and playing as the favorite every week is going to be as big a challenge this season as rebuilding that offensive line and getting the special teams to quit rolling gutter balls.
The Athens Banner-Herald talked with a couple of the team leaders about Georgia playing as the favorite at the Pigskin Preview in Macon.
“It’s great that people say that, but I think it does put a lot of pressure on us to go out and just win games,” safety Shawn Williams said.
And quarterback Aaron Murray noted that, with a key difference, the Dawgs face a similar problem to last year, when they had to ignore all the media noise about their coach being on the “hot seat.”
“Our motto last year was, ‘We’re on the bus and we’re not listening to any outside noise,’” Murray said. “There was a lot of negative noise, and we wanted to ignore that. The hard thing now is to ignore all the positives and people wanting to pat you on the back and tell you that you’re great and this and that. We have to ignore that, too, and just do what we did last year.”
After last year’s 0-2 start, the Dogs reeled off 10 straight wins and took the SEC East, only to end the season with a couple of disappointing losses. But as a team loaded with returning talent and playing the favorite’s role every week this fall, just notching 10 regular season wins again probably won’t be viewed as an entirely satisfactory outcome by many in the Bulldog Nation.
But what would constitute a disappointing season in your eyes? Less than 10 wins? Or perhaps anything less than the SEC championship? Feel free to weigh in with a comment, vote in the poll or both.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg