Where do the Dawgs belong in the preseason rankings? (Updated)

oval G logoThe players are back in Athens, students are preparing to move into the dorms next week, and the AP and coaches’ preseason rankings are just around the corner.

In the meantime, a couple of fresh rankings are out: CBSsports.com is sticking to what most have predicted by having UGA in its Top 10, ranked No. 6. However, the Sporting News differs a bit, putting Georgia at No. 14, noting that while there’s “a lot to like about the Bulldogs,” Mark Richt’s program still needs to “put it together for a whole season … easier said than done in the SEC,” and establish “some consistency at the tailback position.”

Update: The USA Today coaches’ poll came out Thursday, with Georgia ranked No. 6.

So, what do you think? Richt’s program returns a loaded defense and an experienced quarterback and receivers and generally is favored to win the SEC East again, but is rebuilding its offensive line, continues with the backfield turmoil and still has that early-season suspension question to answer.

We’ve discussed this before, but let’s take a fresh look in the wake of the summer’s events. Are the Bulldogs a legitimate Top 10 team, or is the Sporting News closer to the mark?

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257 comments Add your comment

Desert Fox

August 1st, 2012
12:51 pm

My heart says top 10 but my gut says TSN has more realistic view at 14. With all the turmoil over the off season, player attrition for whatever reason, a depleated roster, new key position players and awful special teams play that has not been properly addressed, all valid reasons for not being a top 10 team this early in the season. Can’t rely on the passing game if you don’t have established running game. In order to be a top 10 team you have to have both. Dawgs not there at this time.

Jinx

August 1st, 2012
12:53 pm

Offense, Murray needs to see if he can set records for number of passes without an interception. If in doubt, throw it out, to the short safe outlet and make a small positive gain.

Defense, Grantham needs to hunker down in the red zone as his number 1 focus. Limit to field goals.

Special teams, kick punts high with hang time and no return or if you can’t do that, punt them out of bounds. No more big punt returns.

DawginLex

August 1st, 2012
12:56 pm

should not be any polls until 10/1

chazzo

August 1st, 2012
12:56 pm

I think about #12 is the ideal spot for a dark horse contender. To high in the top ten and there is a good chance of egos getting inflated. Objectively speaking, with an easy schedule that may be harder than many are thinking, a questionable O line, more or less unproven RBs, and new kicking specialists, I would have a hard time putting the Dawgs any higher than #10. The D definitely keeps our guys in the top 15. Love the game and the game will you, Dawgs!

bubba4dawgs

August 1st, 2012
12:57 pm

@ Jinx: I agree with you regarding last season! We never should have lost the SC game nor Mich. St. The Murray fumble caused it in the 4th qtr. when the DAWGS were leading and the “no block” on Clowney leaving him an open walk to Murray, shaking him like a rag doll which caused a touchdown for SC. I mean to say that Clowney wasn’t even touched! He was totally ignored! It was like giving SC the game! Oh, and the player in front of Clowney was all-SEC! Clint Boling.

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
1:00 pm

Dawg258 -

SSI – I understand the article was about UGA
_____________________________

Well, I guess that settles it then. When and if Bill King writes an article about UF I will be sure to comment on it. Meanwhile, since you seem to have a keen interest in UF, go to gatorzone.com and you can read all about them.

82DAWG

August 1st, 2012
1:00 pm

No, UGA is not a top 10 team. Top 20, maybe. I expect no better than 10-3 or 9-4 this year as this team has not shown any ability to beat top teams. And losing to Michigan State was an epic embarassment.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
1:01 pm

@GTBob 10 out of 11 and counting…fall far Bug..

Yes. 10 out of 11. UGA has lost 10 out of their last 11 games against ranked teams. Thanks for pointing that out.

North Georgia Dawg

August 1st, 2012
1:03 pm

Honestly, I’d say that sounds about right. Our issues on the o-line should keep us out of the top 10 for now. Our defense and passing game should carry us early on and I’d say 14 is a good ranking. If the line starts to gel, and Marshall starts to get in a groove, maybe we can sneak into the top 10.Go Dawgs! Beat Florida again!

Jinx

August 1st, 2012
1:08 pm

Last year, we had to play four top 10 teams (Boise, South Carolina, LSU, Mich St), lost 2 nail-biters by a field goal, got beat pretty soundly in the other 2, this year we only play one top 20 team (South Carolina), so that be a big difference. We did beat Auburn and Georgia Tech, when both were ranked in the top 25 atht the time, so we should be ok with #25 Florida, and Sporting News has Georgia Tech #21.

DawginNash

August 1st, 2012
1:12 pm

SSI – I think Dawg258 is subtly asking you why you feel a need to come on to UGA blogs to stir the pot. Is it necessary? Fun? Please explain.

Same for you, GTBob. I do not understand the culture of anonymous web-bashing of those with whom you have no allegiance or connection.

Bama Man

August 1st, 2012
1:17 pm

Between 10 and 15 is where I see UGA for now. If they get their running game going and avoid injuries, they may go up to 6 or 7. Murray is a good quarterback and the defense should be deeper.

North Georgia Dawg

August 1st, 2012
1:18 pm

GTboob, how bad will Tech lose to Georgia this season? More or less than last year. And I’m sure their defense is in for yet another terrible season.

DawginLex

August 1st, 2012
1:22 pm

dawg258

You will never get a direct answer from SSI(aka elvira). She won’t put herself in a spot of having to defend what she writes.

Plus she will never admit that Will Muschamp would kill to have Aaron Murray as his QB.

This is also the only blog left on all the AJC blogs where she is allowed to post because she has been banned from all the others. She has also been banned and thrown under the bus on numerous gator sites. That’s why she tells you to go there and post because she can’t.

Shot by her own troops

Her next brilliant move will be to call me Nancy and to go change my tampon.

Best thing to do is ignore her. She gets a cheap thrill from being on a blog with men.

Oh yeah, she will call Richt a bartender too even though all that crap was done prior to Bobby Bowden leading him to the Lord.

Mobile Dawg

August 1st, 2012
1:23 pm

History may or may not repeat itself, the coaching staff is usually directly responsible for a couple of losses each year, not having the team prepared to play, roster mismanagement, game day coaching decisions.

I say they don’t belong in the top ten until they prove it. If we’re undefeated after USC we deserve the ranking, we looked nothing like a top ten team last year except the first half of the SECCG, “defensively”.

Mobile Dawg

August 1st, 2012
1:26 pm

Lex, maybe someone should hijack SSI and say only good things about the Dawgs, now that would drive her crazy.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
1:33 pm

SSI – I think Dawg258 is subtly asking you why you feel a need to come on to UGA blogs to stir the pot. Is it necessary? Fun? Please explain.

Since you asked me also, I will answer. Fun.

Fools Gold

August 1st, 2012
1:34 pm

Until we dont get clobbered in the Big games becuz we dont deserve a ranking in the top 25.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
1:35 pm

GTboob, how bad will Tech lose to Georgia this season? More or less than last year. And I’m sure their defense is in for yet another terrible season.

I don’t make any score predictions until at least mid season. Who knows how well GT will be playing or who will still be on UGA’s team at that point.

Gary

August 1st, 2012
1:35 pm

I think the ranking of 14 is fair if you just look at W&L’s. If you look at how it happened and the teams we will playing this year I have higher expectations. Boise was ready and better but we don’t face them this year. I think the SC loss was a fluke last year and not a mistake that will occur again. Lat is still recovering from his injury and we did pretty good against a heathy Lat last year. Couple of dumb plays cost us the game. We also have more time to prepare for SC. Mizzu will not be ready to face Georgia’s defense. I am not worried about them. We should be able to move the ball against them. Florida will be tough as always. We should be able to beat them on paper but that never seems to translate to the field. I think we will win all in the in conference we won last year. Auburn may seek revenge for last year but I am not sure they will be able to. Tech will loose again. We will face LSU again in the SEC. Bama, while loaded will fall again to LSU and will not get a second chance this year thanks to USC going undefeated (Trojans). We will loose to LSU again. We just don’t have four quarters against a team with that much depth. I expect one regular season loss, probably Florida. A loss in the SEC. Hopefully a bowl win, but you don’t know until you meet your opponent. Still upset by the Mich State tripple over time win. Should not have lost that game.

About the criticism of not beating a top ten team. I am pretty sure that if we had beaten any team in the top ten, they would not have been a top ten team except LSU. We lost four game to teams with a lowest ranking of 11. Two were very close. Two were not.

People keep harping on our schedules and yet that speaks volumes. Bama only played two top 25 teams and lost one of them and was gifted a second chance. Florida played 3 top 25 teams including Ga at 19 and FSU at 23. SC played 3 including GA, Ark 5, and Neraska 24. LSU had a tougher schedule playing Bama 1 twice, Oregon 4, Ark 5, GA, 19.

DawginNash

August 1st, 2012
1:39 pm

GTBob – Touche. To each his own.

AltamahaDawg

August 1st, 2012
1:41 pm

Sounds like he skirted it. Pun intended.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
1:49 pm

Lat is still recovering from his injury and we did pretty good against a heathy Lat last year.

Yeah, he only had 176 yards rushing against UGA last year. You guys really shut him down.

UGA Insider

August 1st, 2012
1:50 pm

Kolton Houston is OUT. Special teams are the worst in country. Until CMR can win a big game I am going to say #20 or #22 in country. Mainly I say this because we had LSU beat until CMR decided to start kicking it to Honey Badger. Any coach with that thinking cannot be taken too serious.

Gary

August 1st, 2012
1:57 pm

GTBob, is it really that sad on North Ave that bashing the failures of the dawgs is better that discussing any hope for your own team. As a Dawg fan I would never troll a Florida site. They own us. We have a lot of work to do until I will be ready to talk smack to a gator. Yet you seem to just be able to sit in a chair and role one insult after another at a team that kicks you in the nuts and steals your lunch money every year. I find it facinating. We never hear from Vandy, Ketucky, or Ole Miss and yet you keep coming back. Do you really thing you are better than Vandy? I mean I know Vandy is a better school, but as a football program they are simply a victim of their conference. I am sure they could have picked up an ACC title or two over the years if they did not have to face the SEC schedule. So what is it. What makes Tech fans so quick to attack a school that simply dominates them. I mean, at least with Bama they have only beaten us once recently. We won the previous 4, but they can hang those Crystals over us. What do you have? Auburn. We are damn near even recently except the Trophy (not sure the NCAA should have let the happen). At least SC one the last two games and can talk trash. What brings you here?

fishook dawg

August 1st, 2012
1:58 pm

Murray 23 turnovers in 27 games and he’s suppose to be our best QB.

Gary

August 1st, 2012
1:59 pm

Didn’t say we shut him down, but we were the only team that faced SC at full strength and really should have won.

TBDawg

August 1st, 2012
2:03 pm

I think #6 is about right and we should keep that ranking until we lose a game. Remember, it is hard to get to #4 even if we win 10 games. We need to be in top 4 in order to play in NC game.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
2:09 pm

Yet you seem to just be able to sit in a chair and role one insult after another at a team that kicks you in the nuts and steals your lunch money every year. I find it facinating.

The result of the UGA/GT football game is never going to influence the amount of posting I do on the AJC blogs. Your fascination will continue. And no I don’t think GT is better then Vandy. In my opinion Vandy is the class of the SEC and I would gladly trade several ACC teams for them. You guys want Florida St?

It is August El Leg Humperos!

August 1st, 2012
2:15 pm

#1 as usual because it is preseason.

Dawg pounders

August 1st, 2012
2:35 pm

Why tech fans & gator meat fans always jump on our site to c what’s goin on with us
All they do is hate like hell bc they don’t have anything else to do with there sites

evillurks

August 1st, 2012
2:38 pm

UGA….where the offseason and pre-season hype are the highlights of the year!!!!!

DawginLex

August 1st, 2012
2:38 pm

It is August El Leg Humperos!

****************

Another Tech TROLL with the IQ of a banana.

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
2:57 pm

What’s the matter Nancy? No lunch with the girls today? Or did you spill your pinot grigio in your salad and then pout about it when they wanted to charge you for a replacement? I do wish for just once that you could arrive here in a more civil mood. Why you feel compelled to hurl insults and call people names as soon as you begin posting is not very becoming of you. Poor darlin’ try and cheer up.

7576DAWG

August 1st, 2012
2:59 pm

Murray having 23 turnovers in 27 games is very bad but the most glaring deficiency would be the percentage of Screen Pass in-completions or if completed went for a lose. I don’t know what the percentage is but it has got to be less than 20%. That one offensive failure with Murray as the Quarterback tells a lot about Bobo and must change.
Murray has got to prove he deserves to LEAD our Offense this year or Mark Richt needs to prove that the best players will play and that means trying another Quarterback. I hope with all the camps that Murray went to he will show a tremendous improvement which will prove Georgia deserves a top 10 ranking. I think the Defense , kicking game and running game will be very good. The biggest question mark will be the Leadership we get from Murray and Bobo.

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
3:04 pm

Gary -

“As a Dawg fan I would never troll a Florida site. They own us.”
_____________________________

Uh, oh Gary. When AltamahaDawg and Nancy read that, it is all over for you bud. No more Kool-Aid and banished from St. Markus Rectumus Society.

DawginLex

August 1st, 2012
3:13 pm

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
2:57 pm
What’s the matter Nancy? No lunch with the girls today?
********************************************************

See what i mean?

So predictable.

She is so unimaginative that she posted Nancy even after I predicted that she would call me that.

Really sad.

dawggirl

August 1st, 2012
3:17 pm

I’d say they should be ranked about 12 to start the season. Of course, preseason polls are absolutely meaningless and aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

North Georgia Dawg

August 1st, 2012
3:19 pm

One way of the other, whoever is in charge needs to give UGA an answer of the status of Kolton Houston. A one year suspension is often related to steroids, is it not? Like the linebacker on Georgia Tech. So what is taking so long?

whatya got loren

August 1st, 2012
3:20 pm

Truth is our schedule really helps us.

Looking at last year the SEC is so close. For that matter each year. A play here a play there and much can change. We could have lost to Tenn, Vandy and Fla just off the top of my head to name a few.

A good to great year boils down to if we come together as a team. Our concerns with OL, DB and kicking are rather huge areas to say the least. If folks step up we will be fine and this could be a great year… again due to our schedule and proven and unproven talent.

Go DAWGS!

North Georgia Dawg

August 1st, 2012
3:22 pm

Having someone on the line like Kolton Houston could be the difference in winning or losing a game. The dude had a great spring and would have played last season if not for the NCAA violation.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

August 1st, 2012
3:40 pm

UGA hasn’t won a bowl game in years. UGA barely beat a bad Gator team.
So yes, another pre-season #1.

WDE

August 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

We beat hell out of the gators and the bugs last year…its time to rinse and repeat.

Texas DAWG

August 1st, 2012
3:49 pm

Last years SC game……

1st Half……we let a 290 pound run a fake punt what…65 yards for score…..and while he is a DGD boykin flops at an attempted tacke. him…

2nd Half

IC fumble…they run it back ti I think the 5 yard line….. next couple plays score
Muury int…they run it back close to the 10 yARD line…next couple plays score
Murry fumbles… they score…..

I watched the game last night on you tube…….we should have beat SC by 21 points!!!!!!!

I will belive in Murry if we go into the SC game undeated and he leads our team to a win!

DIT

August 1st, 2012
3:50 pm

I’m one that believes the polls should not even be mentioned until after week #8.
By that time everyone will know exactly how good/bad their team is. A 7-0 start means absolutley nothing if you go to lose the next 4 out of 5.
Right now I don’t if someone ranks the Dawgs at #2 or #20 or not at all. Let’s see how they are playing at week #8, then rank them or not.

The ones that get made at the trolls on here, just don’t respond to them. By responding to them you play right into their hands and the more they will get thier jollies posting crap on here. AT the same point the UGAers that post crap on the tech blog and then come back and complain have no room to do so.

Russell Hall

August 1st, 2012
3:51 pm

6 seems too high and 14 seems too low. Split the difference and call it 10.

Go Dawgs!

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
3:57 pm

WDE -

“We beat hell out of the gators”
__________________

Easy on the KoolAid. Don’t think that UGA coming from behind in the 4th quarter to win by four points against the worst UF team since the 80’s would qualifiy as “beating the he!!” out of the Gators, but it was a win. Bravo. If UGA manages to do it again this year and make it two years in a row, maybe someone outside of Athens will notice.

tulevol

August 1st, 2012
4:02 pm

UGA does as well at expectations as the Vols do, which ain’t good. That said, the schedule looks great for the Dawgs, no excuses for your coaches this year. I can’t wait for football to start, and I like reading Shultzie, Bradley and Bill’s material, sometimes it is pretty funny stuff! Good luck!

WDE

August 1st, 2012
4:05 pm

Funny SSI when you won in the 4th quarter against our freshman QB two years ago reptile nation crowed you beat hell out of us…and vs the worst team UGA fielded in a decade. Don’t like the bricks Nancy don’t toss them…and we own you reptiles and series record and you will never catch us.

WDE

August 1st, 2012
4:07 pm

@tulevol I think your bunch will be a lot better this year…I fear you will be our “trap” game this year. Anyway you should be better.