Are we witnessing the birth of a new meme?

Athlon joins Steele in predicting that Georgia wins the SEC East this season, although the call sounds like it’s based more on a weak division than a strong team.

The Bulldogs dipped last year, then they lost their best players on both sides of the ball, among other starters. The optimism rests with the influx of recruits, the return of Murray, the second year in the 3-4 defense, and a favorable league schedule that does not include Alabama or LSU — the two top teams in the West. This might not be a vintage Georgia team that is capable of competing for a national title, but the Bulldogs should be in the hunt to win the relatively mediocre SEC East.

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57 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

57 responses to “Are we witnessing the birth of a new meme?

  1. AthensHomerDawg

    They have us starting 0-2 winning the remainder of our schedule and losing to Bama in the dome for the SEC championship? Seems unlikely to start out in the hole and win our way into the dome.

    • Gary

      If that scenario had played out last year – but with regards to starting 0-2 in the SEC and then winning the rest of our games – then we would have easily been in the dome. It can happen.

  2. baltimore dawg

    “although the call sounds like it’s based more on a weak division than a strong team.”

    which is why if it doesn’t happen it will be all the more devastating (rhetorically speaking). but, then, if the weakness of the division is the primary reason these folks keeping picking uga, i can’t understand why they overlook sc. honestly, i’d the say division is the gamecocks’ to lose.

    • BCDawg97

      Agreed that SC should be the pick. I wonder that given comparitive histories, people are gun shy about SC. That and given that SC should be the favorite, I wonder if people are picking someone else thinking that things never play out the way we all think they should.

    • kckd

      Logically speaking, here’s why it’s not SC’s to lose. If you look at both UF and UGA the past ten years, last years records and SC games are the exception and not the rule. SC only had a 9 win season last year as opposed to their normal seven win one because they beat those two teams. If you give UGA and UF the SC win like normal, then they still have awful years by their standards. If you take the UGA and UF wins away from SC they have their normal season. SC won the East last year because it was weak, not because they were strong.

      • Lehman Brothers

        Past performance is not a predictor of future results…

      • SemperFiDawg

        I don’t know brother. Lattimore looked pretty strong last year. I still have visions of him running through our defense like a hot knife through butter. He looked REAL strong that day. Hope he doesn’t repeat that this year.

        • Gary

          Yep….looked real strong until the defense held him in check in the 2nd half. The adjustment slowed him down and gave the offense a chance to make a comeback. Remember, we were an Ealey fumble away from a chance at tying that game in the 4th Qtr.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      The sec east sucked last year. We had 10 returnees on O and it still didn’t do us much good. Have to agree with Baltimore Dawg. SCu is on top til somebody knocks them off or Lattimore leaves.

  3. kckd

    The Athlon pick was out before Steele’s.

    • Not on the web… and I don’t buy the magazine.

      • kckd

        There was an article out a month or so back where all their writers gave their pick of the East. Five of Six picked UGA. I’d say that’s a pretty much given that the mag’s pick was gonna be UGA.

        • And Steele’s put out stuff on the radio and on his Facebook page for a while now, too. Why is this important?

          • kckd

            It’s not important. Technically in the grand scheme of things, neither is Steele’s or Athlon’s mags or this blog for that matter.

            • But you… oh, never mind. ;)

            • AthensHomerDawg

              “or this blog” whoa! This blog is very important in terms of what goes well with my first cup of coffee in the morning and the useful dialog about the state of the Dog Nation which I share with my youngest son …thank you very much.

    • If Athlon makes a pick and no one but kckd reads it, then does the Pope take a shit on a bear in the woods?

      • kckd

        The Athlon pick has been out and well known by readers on both of the most well known Dawg message boards on the net. Been discussing it for weeks now with many dawg fans. Just saying. A little surprised because Senator is usually pretty good at finding the stuff on the internet. And it wasn’t just the mag being discussed but a link from a website article about the pick.

  4. Bad M

    Good for them. I pick the Dawgs, too.
    /of course I pick them every year.
    //one year I’m going to be right and I’m going to say “I told you so!”
    ///what? That’s the way “journalists” do it.

  5. Marmot

    People should be wary about expecting big things from SC just because they survived a mediocre East Division in 2010. In hindsight, the Bama win is the only win that really stands out on their schedule, and the losses to Auburn and Arkansas are very telling as to their normal level of play. Maybe the put it together in 2011, but they weren’t really that close to putting it together last year. All Georgia has to do is squeak out that 2nd game, and I’m convinced we’ll be looking at Spurrier’s final year in Columbia.

    • Spence

      But isn’t the east down this year too? And spurrier will be allowed to stay as long as he likes.

      • Marmot

        The East probably will be down again, I’m just not convinced that SC will be the team to benefit from that. And if they don’t I predict Spurrier will call it a career.

        • Dog in Fla

          “Spurrier will call it a career.” That will be only if he can no longer bear to the HBC without having Garcia around. It is rumored that Garcia may be leaving the program after only his seventh year there and returning to Tampa to hang at Mons Venus and Berns Steakhouse while negotiating with the Vikings or Bengals.

          • Puffdawg

            My sources are telling me Garcia is near the top of Ohio State’s draft board.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              He could transfer and play immediately. Does tOSU have a Masters program in Alcohol Counseling?

          • mwo

            I can’t think of two better places in Tampa to hang. The best steak you will ever eat and a $60 lap dance with a money back guarantee..

            • Dog in Fla

              Absolutely the best steak place I’ve ever been complete with a three hour tour of the galley, the wine cellar, and the upstairs desert bar in a big ass barrel with Tony, the middle-aged for the West coast of Florida 90 year old piano player, if he’s still around. Of course, if there’s a downside to a Mons lap dance, it’s the Tampa PD stopping every other car leaving the Mons parking lot a/k/a the Hillsborough County DUI lawyer Relief Act.

              • mwo

                We went to Bern’s one of the years UGA played in the outback bowl. We were there New Year’s Eve along with George Steinbrenner, Bob Seger, and every MD in Florida. We roll up to the valet and look at the Bentleys, Porsches, and Benzes in the parking lot, then we roll out of a 4 door super duty diesel 4 wheel drive with UGA flags and magnets all over it. I hand the key to the valet, tell him to have it detailed, and I know how many miles are on it, so no joy rides. Every person there got a big laugh out of that. We have driven to Tampa 3 times since then JUST to eat at Berns.

                • Dog in Fla

                  That’s a great line on the valet. The weird thing about the Bern’s lobby and upstairs bar from there is it looks like what I imagine a whorehouse in Spain would look like. The biggest celeb I’ve seen there is Hulk Hogan but I see him all over Tampa and I’m only there a couple of times a year. We were thinking Hulk should have eaten a whole side of beef.

      • Gary

        It is down from it’s usual perch, but won’t be as bad as last year. Florida, Tennessee, and UGA were all three breaking in new QBs and all three were breaking in new coaches at some aspect of the game. SC was the veteran team in 2010 as far as the SEC East was concerned (coaching, QB, and upperclassmen) and took advantage of the down years that the top three(historically) teams were having at the same time. UGA and UT will be the more stable of those three with Florida breaking in a new coaching staff and offensive identity altogether. However, they are still Florida and now they have a coach that presumably will be paying attention this year and will probably have his heart in it.

        I just don’t buy SC being the favorites. That’s like saying Arkansas was the favorite to repeat as SEC West champs in 2003 because they took advantage of a down SEC West in 2002. Not saying the Dawgs are the favorites, but SC being the favorite simply because they managed not to suck as bad as the other teams last year is simply dumbfounding.

        • BCDawg97

          In the end, it doesn’t have anything to do with last year. In the east, they have arguably the top RB and WR and a top 5 QB plus a defense that is always very servicable….

          I sound like an SC homer, but what more is there to knock against them? Other than our schedule, how can you “reasonably” pick anyone else? I’m not saying UGA can’t win it, but if you are looking at “proven” teams, UGA isn’t it compared to SC. You know exactly what you are getting with them. You can’t say that with too many other eastern division teams.

          • Gary

            It has everything to do with last year. Why else would anything think SC would be better than say……Florida? The only reason people are picking them as the favorite is because they are returning most of the team that won it last year. Won it because the division was down considerably.

  6. Normaltown Mike

    The “year 2″ meme is the one that concerns me. I didn’t see anything last year that makes me think some light will switch on and our D will play like gang busters. Of course I’m hopeful that a big butt in the middle will make a difference but I’m not sure I saw any “schematic advantage” last year.

    • Macallanlover

      I share your concern about the D, that will be the deciding factor for a SECCG appearance, imo. We should have a high level of confidence about the big butt in the middle with both Kwame and Big John on board; the bigger concern to me is the 2 MLBs on each cheek. There is some cause for hope there but nothing proven as yet. The weakness of the 3-4 in CFB from what I have seen is the ability to jam the middle. Stud LBs behind an effective NG is the only way for it to work against a straight-ahead running attack like Bama and SC have.

      When, and if, that is solved I will then move to my second major concern on the D, our ability to cover the pass. It has been a long time since we were even average in that area of responsibility. Pressure on the QB is our best pass defense so let’s hope that is addressed for 2011. A skilled QB like Moore will be a huge test in our opener, probably the most dangerous passing attack we will see all season.

      • I’m not sure I share your concern about MLB’s. I think Ogletree will be a big addition there. I think he has the potential to be Curran-like in his pursuit & tackling ability, but with the presence and finish of Thomas Davis. And Christian Robinson is solid, and, perhaps more importantly, a vocal leader as the QB of the defense. Now, as far as depth goes…

        The secondary is my big concern on defense.

        • Macallanlover

          I am not negative about the LBs, just taking the Missouri approach and want to see it done on the field. Between the talent we got from USC, the running back convert, Ogletree, and Robinson, we have potential, and some reason for optimism. Perhaps my real concern is the skepticsm I have for the 3-4’s ability to stop a pounding, straight-ahead running attack. A strong NG combined with an Odell-like LB in the middle would give me the necessary comfort I suppose. Until there is evidence of that, I will continue to nurse my single malt.

          • Puffdawg

            I feel like we had plenty of chances to make the play against Carolina/Lattimore last year, we just never finished. So, I don’t know if it’s schematic so much as we need to wrap up a little (or a lot) better.

            It’s like Grantham said when asked how to stop the run: “Tackle the runner.”

          • Fair enough. But, Alabama didn’t have much trouble stopping the run with Cody at Nose. We just have to see whether Jenkins and Kwame can play at that level.

            I agree with wanting to see it on the field. But, as far as pre-season hand-wringing goes, I have other concerns.

    • Biggus Rickus

      The defense was improved over 2009, but it was terrible against the run. Having a run stuffer in the middle should make a significant difference.

    • SCDawg

      Two things. One, we’re hoping we have a JUCO transfer nose tackle do what Mount Cody did for Bama two years ago. Two, we’re hoping we have a true freshman running back do what Lattimore did for USC last year. I hope they’re both first team All SEC, but that’s a lot of eggs in the basket.

      • Zdawg

        True dat. SCDawg…I can only hope that our surrounding pieces don’t need as much weight to be carried by two incoming players (one of which being a true freshman). But again, that’s just rearranging the eggs in the basket.

      • Spence

        1. Cody was a JUCO
        2. Lattimore was a frosh on a team with no Rb. Crowell is a frosh on a team with a senior Rb that should be starting absent Crowell being a phenom.
        3. Kwame

        We are not all in on the two new guys.

    • Zdawg

      Good point Mike…maybe this is just rose colored glasses, but the first year I saw VanGorder’s D I could tell that we lacked talent in some spots, but that we were not going to be out hustled or out-schemed anymore. I saw players where they were supposed to be. I still saw too much poor tackling and out of position players last year. Maybe its just the degree to which the scheme changed. Lets go with that…

  7. hailtogeorgia

    You know, the thing is that Georgia doesn’t have to be a “vintage Georgia” team to compete for a national championship. That’s the nice thing about this sort of schedule…with the schedule setup the way it is, if Georgia makes it out of those first two games unscathed, they’ve got a great chance at running the table, simply because the schedule is so weak. I don’t care who the team is, an undefeated (or even just one loss) SEC Champ (let’s face it, it’s not that unheard of…most of the teams in the West are rebuilding at some key positions too) is going to make the national title game 9 times out of 10, and then you’re one win away. A difficult schedule has scuttled some of the best teams’ chances to win the MNC. Not saying it will happen for UGA, but it’s certainly more likely than it would be in, say, 2013, when we play Clemson, LSU, and Alabama, on top of the usual suspects.

  8. Sean Emerson wrote the analysis for them (http://dawg-extra.blogspot.com/2011/05/georgia-division-favorite-one-magazine.html). Knowing that, it’s interesting reading the very noncommittal write-up from the beat writer vs. the predictions of national/regional writers.

  9. I know this is just the offseason talking, but one thing that worries me is the relative “weakness of schedule” kool aid that the media is selling. It is as if there is already an explanation and rationalization if the Dawgs do well. I guarantee you if Florida ends up going to Atlanta in December, the story will not be “weak SEC East,” it will be “Gators Reload!”

    This is still a tough SEC and OOC schedule, and a lot of unprovens are going to have to go right for the team to make it back to Atlanta in December. It ain’t like the Dawgs are feasting on cupcakes in the ACC or Big East of yore when FSU or Miami had one or two teams to get by and then cruise through the rest of the conference slate.

  10. Gen. Stoopnagle

    So UGA gets the schedule break,but we still have to play UF & SC has the best player on the east (at least). I’d put Carolina as fav.

  11. kckd

    I think we’ve got the best player in the East if not the SEC. I wouldn’t trade him for Lattimore. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t trade him for a Lattimore/Garcia combo.