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

Dawgman89

August 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

Mid teens seems about right. Unproven on the O-line, unproven kickers, unproven running backs, and suspensions early in the year on the defensive side. You’ve got to earn the ranking and if we start 4-0, we’ll find ourselves situated nicely in the polls.

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
4:11 pm

WDE -

Sorry. I fogot. All of the UGA fans are still in their Pre-Season National Champions mode. Enjoy it for another month.

tide roll

August 1st, 2012
4:29 pm

The better question is : How in the hell are we in this predicament!? 68 on scholly and of those probably TWO are SEC caliber offensive linemen, A true FRESHMAN punter and place kicker, and NO SPECIAL TEAMS COACH. No Crowell and suspensions out the Wazoo. The next best question is: Forget preseason rankings, How will strength of schedule factor in if the DAWGS, and this will be a miracle, are in a position to qualify for a four team playoff? Because your schedule is a joke! Let’s go out on a limb and say 32 years and counting. Sheesh,what a program!

Big Dawg

August 1st, 2012
4:33 pm

With the schedule before us…we should be ranked #1. Who is more likely to run through the whole schedule? Only USCe and UF truly stand in our way and we will be favored in both. Likely 2 to 3 points against USCe and 4 to 5 against UF. Everyone’s picking LSU #1 but they likely lose one of several tough games they play. I guess you could argue USCw as another team with a soft schedule that will be favored in every game and should run the table. I can see why Mark Bradley picked those two for NC game…favorable schedule, top tier talent. Losing three should end Richt’s career here but we need to change our name to the felines since Richt keeps hanging around (dying) even with no reason to keep him. Best program in America with a mediocre coach. Most top programs fire these types of guys in search of someone that can lead them to elite status but we’re happy with such performance. Go figure!

ARdawg

August 1st, 2012
4:36 pm

Probably somewhere in the middle Bill but, I don’t see a top 10 team as yet. #6 is quite over the top and I would prefer to be ranked 10-1. Thats striking distance enough if the Dawgs are for real

Big Crimson 75

August 1st, 2012
4:37 pm

Ga has all the makings of a Top 10 Team.
Talent, Coaching & schedule.
This is the Year the Country finds out what A. Murray is all about.
Replacing Crow is no problem. The D should be solid. Special Teams could cost ga a game or 2 this yr.
Nationally, this should be a top 10 Team. Problem for the dogs, they still are looking up at 2 better teams in the SEC.
SEC power rankings :
1. Bama
2. LSU
3. Ga
4. Arky
5. SC
6. Fla
7. Aubie
8. A & M
9. UT
10. Mizzu
11. Missy St
12. Vandy
13. Ole Miss
14. Ky

tide roll

August 1st, 2012
4:39 pm

I will say the same thing day in and day out because I’m not inteligent enough to think of anything else!

Dawg Tired

August 1st, 2012
4:39 pm

I would put us somewhere between 20 to 25 given the o-line and running back situation. One injury among this extremely thin bunch could be devastating. IF defense is gutted by suspension early on that also may spell trouble big time.

amen big dawg

August 1st, 2012
4:39 pm

well said. i see 9-3 (missouri,usc,florida) and don’t forget that Auburn has Van Gorder who has been in the NFL while CMR is working on “cutting edge football” (aka, seven step drop on every pass play and tailback sprint draw on 3 and long.) CMR couldn’t bring home the hardware with Greene, Pollack, Smith, Shockley, Moreno,or, Stafford.

DIT

August 1st, 2012
4:44 pm

“This is the Year the Country finds out what A. Murray is all about.”

I could not agree with you more on that. His maturity level will dictate the kind of season UGA will have. As long as he is not playing chuck and duck.

Old Dog Class of 80

August 1st, 2012
5:07 pm

I’ll get back to you after seeing them play a couple of games. Or should I rate the Dawgs based on the last game I saw (Michigan State).

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
5:16 pm

I rank us at number 10 since Richt is assured to lose 2 ballgames that he should win every year

ARdawg

August 1st, 2012
5:23 pm

DIT

If Murray isn’t running for his life, that shouldn’t be a problem

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
5:35 pm

1. The offensive line had 4 NFL draft picks on it blocking for Murray including Charles, so the 30+ sacks wern’t the o-line’s fault, Murray has to get rid of the ball and have that clock in his head.
2. Murray needs to know before every play starts where his last resort receiver is, and hit him quick if he senses too much pressure. Don’t be greedy and throw it up for grabs downfield when you’re under pressure.

If Bobo isnt working on this, and fixing this, which bobo did not fix in 2011, then expect more of the same from Murray.

Big Crimson 75

August 1st, 2012
5:50 pm

DIT — Murray certainly had some impressive stats last yr.
What’d he toss — 37 TDs??…maybe more.
One issue I constantly see with the dogs, 3rd down execution.
There is nothing wrong with punting the football!!
If the D is as good as advertised, punt & live to play another down.
Cut down on the turn-overs!
Ga should run thru the East, but their not as good as Bama or LSU.
No shame there.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
5:50 pm

Ga has all the makings of a Top 10 Team.
Talent, Coaching & schedule.

You got two of the three right. If UGA had coaching then they wouldn’t have left the top 10 at any point in the last 10 years and would have some crystal football to look at.

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
5:56 pm

At a career .74% winning %, Richt is still better than Sbana, Miles or Spurrier when it comes to wining percentage, so, I’d say ranking UGA pre-seaosn #6 is a little low, since Richt wins a better % than Saban or Miles.
http://www.coacheshotseat.com/WinningestActiveCoachesIA.htm

KJ

August 1st, 2012
5:56 pm

Yes Bob, because any team with a decent coach never leaves the top 10, ever.

Did your mother have any children that lived?

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
5:59 pm

DIT — Murray certainly had some impressive stats last yr.
What’d he toss — 37 TDs??…maybe more.

35. Along with 14 INTs. He was ranked 26th in passer rating, 46th in yards per game, and 73rd in completion percentage. Yeah, impressive.

Big Crimson 75

August 1st, 2012
6:01 pm

Bob — as I said, nothing wrong with punting & playing D!!!

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
6:02 pm

Yes Bob, because any team with a decent coach never leaves the top 10, ever.

If a good coach has the overwhelming amount of talent that UGA gets just because they are UGA then they would always be in the top 10. Imagine if Nick Saban were at UGA.

GTBob

August 1st, 2012
6:07 pm

Bob — as I said, nothing wrong with punting & playing D!!!

True, there isnt. The SEC strategy of having the best defenses and the worst offenses in the country has paid off with championships. It makes for extremely boring TV though.

Big Crimson 75

August 1st, 2012
6:16 pm

Bobby — Speak for yourself on what’s entertaining Football!!
Some of us enjoy preventing other Teams from crossing mid-field, for almost an entire game!!!!

As for Saban at ga — that’s blasphemy!
Reality is Bob, you’d kill to have Saban on the Flats. Gone would be the exile into mediocrity your current Coach has taken y’all to.
Their is only 1 Saban, we’ve got him & y’all can’t have him!!
Tech couldn’t afford him anyway, Bob.

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
7:16 pm

Among coaches who have been head coaches for at least 10 seasons, Mark Richt ranks No. 4, ahead of Miles, Saban, and Spurrier.

I’d say Richt should be pre-seaosn #4 because his win % is No. 4, he did it all in the smashmouth SEC, and he won a better percentage than any other active SEC coach.

Note:
Urban Meyer’s win % was starting to dramtically nosedive when he left Florida, had he stayed on for 4 more years, Richt might be ahead of him, Urban knew it, and headed for and easier conference where he could dominate and stay for 4 or 5 years and keep his win % up.

UGA preseason national champs?

August 1st, 2012
7:32 pm

My guess is over 90% of the posters on any particular blog proclaiming Georgia preseason NC are not Georgia fans.

Check for yourself, and see if my number is close. They are easy to pick out by their anti-UGA rants.

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
7:32 pm

Urban Meyer went 8-5 at Florida in 2010, as he started to get past that 5 year mark, his win % dropped to 62% in 2010. And with Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Georgia on his schedule in 2011, and John Brantley instead of Tebow without Percy, Urban wanted no part and quit.

Richt, to his credit, has stayed at one school for 11 years, when you do that, you’re going to have some down years due to scheduling, injuries, transfers, suspensions, and the like.

Richt’s win % in his first 11 years as Head Coach, is probably higher than all but maybe 10 coaches in NCAA history. And Richt did it in the HARDEST conference.

Saban’s record after 11 years, 91-42, won 68%.
Richt’s record after 11 years, 106, 38, won 74%.

Not shabby.

McBride

August 1st, 2012
7:39 pm

#55. At best.

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
7:40 pm

Urban Meyer’s record after his 1st 5 years was 48-11, 81% win percentage
Mark Richt’s record after his first 5 years was 52-13, 80% win percentage

Mark Richt is right there, over his first 5 years, with Urban Meyer, over his first 11 years, ahead of Nick Saban, Miles, and Spurrier.

ET Dog

August 1st, 2012
7:42 pm

with all this top dream team talent, the dogs should be ranked in the top 5 easy. With a couple of upsets, the dogs will win the SEC and play usc for the title—book it.

Top Dawg

August 1st, 2012
7:42 pm

Top 50 for sure

Big Crimson 75

August 1st, 2012
7:47 pm

Yoyo — I don’t care what numbers you find & throw out there, Richt isn’t a better Coach than Saban or Urban & reality is Miles has won the big one, Richt hasn’t.
Now, if I had to pick between Richt & The Hatter, I’d probably choose Richt.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
7:47 pm

Plastic Yoho

Take a look at Richts record against top 10 teams

Not that great

and his record against top 25 teams are just about 500

That is what really counts

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
8:04 pm

At this point, his 11th year, Richt is better than Saban was after 11 years. That’s all we can compare. Richt & Meyer were even after each’s first 5 years. You can’t compare Richt’s 11th year to Saban’s 22nd, Saban has a lot more experience than Richt and he has started to peak in his 19th-22nd seasons.

Saban had a bunch of bad seasons in a row in his formative years as a head Coach, like the 6-5, 6-6, 7-5, 6-6 4 year span early on in Saban’s career. Richt has never had a 4 year span anywhere near that one of Saban’s. Richt had a 4 year span of top 10 finishes at UGA, something very few coaches have done in their first few seasons.

Looks like UGA is set up for the next few years to go on one of those top 10 runs. Florida and South Carolina arn’t at Richt’s level right now. You got Murray for 2 more years, Marshall & Gurley for 4 years. Mitchell for 3 more years. Great QB’s in the wings in Mason, Lemay, and Ramsey. Another top 10 recruiting class. And that’s just the offense. The defense is loaded with 4 and 5 star talent all across the board and getting better every year.

LakeDawg

August 1st, 2012
8:11 pm

UGA has top 5 talent, but until CMR shows he can get one of his teams to play to their potential, they probably should be ranked from 10-12.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
8:24 pm

PlasticYoyo

Did you really just say this “At this point, his 11th year, Richt is better than Saban was after 11 years”

Richt hasnt even sniffed the National Title Game

Saban has won 3….3333333333333333333333333333333333333!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In that time span

Please dont post; you really make other fans who come on here laugh at UGA fans with comments like that

And FL isnt at the level UGA is um you need to do some better research Richt had a losing record against Ron Zook; he beat Zook after zook was fired; Meyers comes in year one and beats Richt; FL has been down several times in Richts tenure and Richt cant win against sorry FL teams;

And just to inform you

Under Richts 11 years; he has put more players in the NFL than any other school in the SEC during that time span and have we even appeared in a National Championship game nope

Lay off the kool-aid bud

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
8:25 pm

While Richt was on staff at FSU, they finished in the top 5, 14 seasons, IN A ROW.

Richt left after 2000, and FSU has never finished in the top 5 since Richt left the staff.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
8:30 pm

So with that statement Richt should go back being the offensive coordinator and lets find a coach right?

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
8:34 pm

Oh and while Richt ws on staff at FSU who did FSU play every year in the ACC that was any good; oh yea 2 teams FL and Miami who he hardly ever could beat and those 2 teams werent in the ACC

LOL

Keep them coming

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
8:34 pm

Florida isn’t ranked above UGA in any credible pre-season poll, they arn’t on Richt’s level right now. South Carolina isn’t either. Both UF & SC play LSU, UGA doesn’t, so no one really will honestly predict SC or UF to finish higher than UGA, unless they’re out of touch with SEC football.

At SEC Media days, the coaches and journalists BOTH picked UGA to finish No. 1 in the East. Like I said, UF & SC, in 2012, arn’t at UGA’s level.

SC plays 6 top 25 teams, there’s no way they’ll finish in the top 10, they have a schedule like UGA played in 2011, although not as tough, as UGA faced 4 top 10 teams in 2011.

LakeDawg

August 1st, 2012
8:40 pm

I think one of the problems Richt has had is that football doesn’t consume him. He has other interests. As a man, that is commendable. However, in the cuthtroat SEC that leaves him down a notch. I get the feeling Richt has done some soul searching the past couple of years and has committed himself to taking the next step in his career. Normally, Richt relaxes when he has a good year. I don’t get that feeling from him this year. He’s acting like he has unfinished business. He has gained some maturity, also. We might be in store for a big year. I’m cautiously optimistic, even though I’ve been very critical of Richt in the past.

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
8:41 pm

UGA got 132 votes to win the East at SEC Media days, SC got 72 votes, UF got 12
LSU got 139 to win the West, Bama got 72.

Like I said, it’s UGA in 2012, by a WIDE MARGIN with people who know SEC football.

Nationally writers, might think SC and UF are on UGA’s level, but the folks who follow the SEC the most closely, say UGA is LEAPS better than SC & MILES beyond UF.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
8:45 pm

Plastic Yoyo

Wow you must have drinked from the kool-aid fountain at work today

Richt has never beat FL 2 yrs in a row even when UGA was the better team for example in 2002 and 2003
UGA has been the better team agains SC the last 2 years and we have lost those last 2 games

You do know Richt has never won the SEC outright ever; he has had to have the help of other teams to get beat to get into the SEC championship game

Please stop drinking from that water fountain

UGA Never Handles High Expectations

August 1st, 2012
8:50 pm

Kick’em to the curb! Disrespect’em. Then, they’ll win it all!

PlasticYoyo

August 1st, 2012
8:50 pm

UF garnered 12 votes at SEC Media days, UGA got 11x more votes. I don’t think UF will win the East in 2012.

FLA DAWG

August 1st, 2012
8:51 pm

Over the past couple of years I’ve not followed as much college ball as I normally do. This is because of the nauseating losses to teams like Michigan State, UCF and absolute slaughters by Bama and LSU as well as poor execution, dismal playcalling / gameday team preparation by coaches / fan acceptance of Richt and Bobo / etc.

From what little I have read it appears The Dawgs have the possibility of a fine Defense this season with a seasoned QB (whom I believe is much better than many give him credit for), a vacuum in the backfield and a younger, less experienced O Line than we had the last couple of years that played so poorly. Throw in the (Nothing) Special Team and it becomes obvious the only reason we are picked to win the SEC East is our weak schedule.

Will this be another year of beating the patsies and getting pounded by the good teams?

If so, will Richt finally unload Bobo?

I guess it’s too late to remove Richt with the new contract.

What about McGarity? Has he proven himself successful by any measure of UGA Football Program improvement?

Alot of questions. My humble opinion is that Richt staved off his departure last season by a weak schedule and may do so again.

Dawg Nation has become wiser and a 10 – 0 win streak against patsies sandwiched between double bookend losses against good and great teams won’t cut it this season.

SSIgator

August 1st, 2012
8:55 pm

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville -

Two observations:

1) PlasticYoyo is the second coming of Patrick

or

2) PlasticYoyo is Patrick’s son or daughter

I can’t decide which, but keep digging. Maybe you will find out.

claytondawg

August 1st, 2012
9:02 pm

Wish I could say something better here. But, being realistic: We are NOT a top ten team, YET. Do we have the talent? YES. Is the talent used correctly? Sadly, no. However, really looking forward to the season, and will hopefully change my attitude. Go ‘Dogs!!!

LakeDawg

August 1st, 2012
9:03 pm

There is no doubt that this is the year for Richt to accomplish something. If he has another year like last year, then it will be obvious that he has reached his plateau and it will be time to look elsewhere for a head coach..

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
9:04 pm

FLA DAWG

Please read Plastic Yoyo’s comments; that will cheer you up because UGA is picked to win the east by sports writers

Since the all knowing media has picked UGA to win it is safe to say that you can buy your SEC championship tickets with no worries that UGA wont be there

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 1st, 2012
9:08 pm

Lake Dawg

Be prepared for 2 losses against either FL, SC, Tenn; yep I said Tenn and a possible Missouri or Aub; but I lean more toward Aub than Missouri

Im going with FL as a loss since Richt goes down there and leaves the field when the 1st QTr begins
And SC since Spurrier is the superior coach and has not equal talent as UGA but enough talent to coach out a win