Reader poll: hey, everybody else is doing it.

Is it just me, or does anyone else cringe a little at all the (ridiculously early) preseason love being thrown Georgia’s way?  Maybe I’m just a little too close, but I look at the offensive line and special teams and wonder what some of these pundits are smoking when they project the Dawgs as a top-five team in 2012.  Even the level-headed Bruce Feldman manages to rank Georgia seventh – without mentioning the iffy offensive line situation at all.

(If I can’t see Georgia deserving that lofty a perch, you know who else I can’t see?  Arkansas.  At least the Dawgs have a proven defense returning and a soft schedule to point to.)

Anyway, here’s a mid-January reader poll.  You can be ridiculously early, too!

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46 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

46 responses to “Reader poll: hey, everybody else is doing it.

  1. In a way, I’m almost kind of relieved that this is happening now, rather than right before the season starts. The preseason #1 ranking in 2008 was the kiss of death, but hopefully cooler heads will prevail between now and September and not burden us with such high expectations.

    Not that I don’t think we can be a good team this year — perhaps even on the level of what Alabama or LSU are likely to put together — but I’m gonna need a lot of convincing with respect to our offensive line play before I’m prepared to buy into that.

    • gastr1

      I’ve long been bothered by Richt’s statements about that 2008 #1 ranking. Can you imagine Saban or the Hat using that as an excuse? It’s small -time. Seems to me if you want to be big boys who play big boy football you have to be prepared to take what comes with being highly-tanked.

  2. Spike

    It all depends on the O-line.

  3. dean

    I put top 10 although I think they should be right around 10. I feel like this team has the potential, which is what preseason polls are about anyway, to be a top 10 team.
    Our o-line is the biggest question but does anybody know who we’ll have kicking FG/PAT’s and punting?

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      Two freshmen are coming in to handle those jobs.

      Collin Barber from Cartersville will punt and Marshall Morgan from FL will PK. Morgan, Austin Harden from Marist (Florida) and Adam Griffith from Calhoun (Bama) are 1A-1B-1C in terms of the three best HS K recruits this year. There is that little difference between the three.

      • Cojones

        Thanks for the info. An aside here; the star system always gives two for specialty players. That’s why you shouldn’t put too much flavor in that system because it really doesn’ reflect what you are getting, even when it is averaged. If they wanted to make their star systems more applicable they should drop the rankings of these types of players or devote time to rating them on the same basis that they rate other positions. Giving stars to these players conveys nothing of how they will benefit our team as a group.

        • The Lone Stranger

          Though that Morgan kid has managed to elicit a few 3* ratings (rare I’m told for the specialist positions).

  4. JasonC

    4 SEC teams in the top 10, 3 Big12 teams and not a Big10+2 to be seen?
    I definitely put UGA in the top 15, but sure, I will say top 10 as a SEC team with 2 losses could be top 10.

  5. TennesseeDawg

    I believe 2012 will look about the same as 2011 with maybe one more win because of the schedule. The Missouri game on the road will not be as easy as everyone thinks, the chickens are still very good and even if the Dawgs make it to another SECCG there will most likely be Alabama there to administer a reality check.

    • Jim

      This is spot on. Add to it the usual games against our weak SEC schedule that tend to end up closer than they should be (and in some recent years have turned into horriffic losses) and I will need to be convinced by our preparation and actions on the field.

    • Cojones

      I think giving Bama the uber respect before the season is ridiculous. It means that you think just because they are Bama, they will field a better team than we will next year and because we are UGA, we won’t. Doesn’t compute here.

      I think that some fans have really swallowed last year’s midseason ESPN hype to the hilt. They were just selling air time to their advertisers, folks. There was no reason to take their hype literally. Some were so enamored with LSU from that hype that they couldn’t see the stronger Bama team, especially after LSU ended up with the first W. But it was there. It ain’t there for next year. This year you will see UGA hyped up there as well, but some of you already are concentrating on the weaknesses we perceive that could be there on the O line and special teams. You should get to know the LSU and Bama players and possible team performance in the same manner before projecting last year’s ESPN hype into next year’s teams.

      The Dawgs can get on the field and hold their own with anyone, but caution towards Mizzou and SC (and FU) is warranted. Giving Bama or LSU the nod over next year’s Dawgs is not warranted.

      • CantStandYa

        “Some were so enamored with LSU from that hype that they couldn’t see the stronger Bama team, especially after LSU ended up with the first W”

        Yeah, I don’t know why I thought LSU was better than Bama aside from the fact that they, ya know, beat them. On the field. The perception of both LSU and Bama as being great teams had nothing to do with any sort of “hype machine”. All you had to do was look at them play to know they were great.

  6. UGLYDAWG

    The pundits are probably looking at the defense, Murray’s arm and (presumed) maturing, (presumed) improvement in special teams, as well as intangeables such as team unity, positive attitude, and supposed weakness of traditional SEC East rivals TN and UF.
    They may see the Oline as the only question mark. With a drawer full of running backs coming on, there may be some improvement in the running game. If it improves just a little bit, the passing game will become even better that it was in 11.
    I see the prospect of a highly ranked Georgia causing a determination in Gainesville, Auburn and Colombia to rise up and squash the rising decade of Dawg dominance. Georgia will be circled on everyone’s schedule, and Mizzou will be ready. It’s going to take some coaching…but still, I look at the defense and think “anything’s possible”. I do believe you win first with D.

  7. Dave

    Schedule and Defense, Senator – As of right now, if lines in Vegas were posted, I would imagine we would be favored in every regular season game.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. Dawgs are an easy pick for a pundit. We’ll surely win 10 games again with our D and schedule. It would be a fiasco if we didn’t win 10+.

  8. charlottedawg

    Can we get the option of “Don’t care”? A) where my team starts in the polls is irrelevant, I care where they finish and along those lines B) this team will show us over the course of the season whether or not they’re ready for primetime. I don’t care how easy the schedule is if Georgia starts dominating teams we will know they’re for real. If they don’t, they’re not. it’s that simple. Not to mention win the SEC in today’s day and age and you’re an elite team, period. Lastly, I really hope this team nor its fanbase runs from high expectations. We should expect, embrace, and strive to live up to perrenial top 5 preseason and post season rankings not seek to fly under the radar. Yes 2012 will have its challenges but you will have challenges every year and becoming a champion is all about overcoming said challenges.

    • Cojones

      You bet. Spoken like a Dawg fan.

    • Sanford222View

      Unfortunately the pre-season ranking does matter. Just ask the 2004 Auburn team. If you start out the season ranked too low or not at all it can really hinder your ability to finish in the Top 2 teams in the final BCS rankings.

      • that was the undefeated team that didn’t even get to play for the BCS bc they started out too low? If so your absolutly right that you may not have to be top 5 but it does help to not have to jump teams in the polls. In retropect doesn’t that make the pundits look like idiots because every national champ has been SEC since than but that year SEC didn’t even get to tee it up

  9. DCDawg

    I think O-Line depth will start to build, and the talent there is probably a year away from “Championship” caliber…but if we can rotate linemen into each game and adopt a “foot on the gas for 60 minutes” offensive gameplan… I think our playmakers can rule the second half and these close games won’t seem so close. Our defense is definitely deep enough now to play 4 quarters (I think we wore down at the end of games due to depth) and that will help eliminate end-of-game scares.

  10. Nate Dawg

    I say they should be top 20 but the way the four-letter is (which I’m starting to really detest) they’ll probably be top 10. And, agreeing with lots of the comments above, they’ll probably finish much like they did this year. Better watch out for Mizzou’s 1st ever home SEC game – kinda like a stadium dedication in Stillwater. USCe won’t kid around either and then there’s flaurda…can it be two in a row?!?

  11. Macallanlover

    I still think everyone should use a tiered ranking system without assigning a specific number until the end of September. That isn’t going to happen, but I would say UGA deserves a Tier 1 ranking based on what we have coming back, and the fact we should be able to play with anyone. That could place us anywhere from the best, to somewhere around #12.

    If we don’t fix the OL, we will not end up in the Top 10. If we do, running the table is very doable. SC and Mizzou look to be the biggest hurdles (in that order), but given the “on any Saturday” theory, 11-1 is as good as I would ever predict. I have no concerns about these polls showing us to be among the best, regardless of the number assigned but feel any poll assigning specific numerical slots should be taken lightly.

  12. MinnesotaDawg

    “Maybe I’m just a little too close”…

    More like, they are just a little too far away. Based on the overall numbers of returning players (and a returning QB), one would think that seems that we should be better and deserving of a higher rank. And that’s probably how the early prognosticators are judging us (along with a soft schedule). But when a large number of those losses are from your trenches, and in our case, from the interior offensive line–those general assumptions don’t necessarily apply.

  13. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Question…and maybe this deserves some research and follow up if anyone has the info…

    Does # of starts on the O-line really correlate to success on the O-Line? No offense to the guys leaving, but I’ll take talent over experience any day.

    Speaking of which…anyone hear any updates about Houston?

  14. AusDawg85

    Top 20 at best until we see the running game roll-up 200+ yards per game through week 4 or so.

    Which makes Murray better.

    I blame Bobo.

  15. Richt’s UGA teams lately seem to do better when they are not as highly ranked. For some reason his teams of late are also unable to keep the pressure on the second half and even is the last play.

    • Irwin R. Fletcher

      Can we put that notion to rest, please?

      Everybody gets uber excited about Richt having ‘low expectations’ and scared about ‘high expectations.’

      Each year a good 5-7 teams feel they have national championship potential…only 1 team wins.

      Let’s look at the facts.
      2001- started unranked, finished 22
      2002- started ranked 12, finished 3
      2003- started ranked 9, finished 7
      2004- started ranked 4, finished 7
      2005- started 13, finished 10
      2006- started 13, finished 23
      2007- started 13, finished 2
      2008- started 1, finished 13
      2009- started 13, finished UR
      2010- started 23, finished UR
      2011- started 19, finished 18

      UGA has had 3 pre-season top 10 rankings…Richt finished top 10 in 2 of those seasons. The other two top 10 seasons were preseason rankings of 13 and 12. Not really low rankings. He has finished better than his preseason ranking 6 times and worse 5 times.

      I’m just trying to figure out where this line of thinking comes from. Is it all because of 2008?

      • Will (the other one)

        2008, but also 2004: all those seniors who were sophs on the 2002 team, and that horrible UT game causing them to miss out on a rematch against Auburn in the SECCG. People were expecting an improvement from 2003 and it was a step back. Just not as big a step back as the horrible losses in 2008.

  16. Dawgaholic

    Not sure why people have low expectations. It’s not like people are comparing this year’s UGA team to this year’s final top ten (or twenty). Next year’s team is being compared to what teams will have next year.

    Considering the fact that most teams that finished in the top twenty will lose a lot more than UGA will and our coaching staff returns intact, there’s even a logical argument that we should be projected to finish higher than Bama next year.

    Granted, there are some weaknesses; however, I find it very difficult to make sound arguments that ten teams are in better shape for 2012 than UGA and find it somewhat difficult to argue that 5 teams are in better shape for 2012. Still, you can’t right now account for injuries, attrition, unexpected development/lack of development, clearinghouse issues, etc.

    As someone stated above, there shouldn’t be any numerical rankings until October.

  17. Even IN the last play.

  18. Comin' Down The Track

    We notoriously do not do “prosperity.”

  19. BulldogBen

    Bottom line for me is that while we have LOTS of positives for next year and a favorable schedule but I just don’t see enough that says we’ll be able to take that (rather large) next step to compete at the elite level (read: LSU/Bama).

    I agree with whoever said we should be around 12-13 with a chance to move up if we navigate the first half of the season (Mizzou, Vandy, UT, USC). If that happens, I will become irrational and actually start to BELIEVE. I won’t be able to stop myself.

  20. Go Dawgs!

    2008. That is all.

  21. Slaw Dawg

    The last thing I ever am re: my Dawgs is a wild eyed optimist (too much Dooley and Munson hand wringing in my youth), and it’s too early to project with any certainty (always better to wait for G Day and practice reports). But if you’re going to play the guessing game this early, then, yes, UGA should be projected top 10. We won 10 games this year with woeful ST and Kicking game, shaky O Line, virtually no running game latter part of season, and very young receiving corps. Next year some of our weaknesses should improve: ST & Kicking (hard to be worse here), running game; 2 of our strengths will be even stronger: D and receivers (speed there may be best we’ve ever had); & the blend of experience and incoming talent on O line should keep it from dropping off much, if at all. To my mind, Murray is the wild card. He had too much pressure to win the close ones v ranked opponents due to undependable running game and kicker & his own bad judgement. If Marshall, Gurley or (finally) Crowell step up in a big way, and we have a basic SEC kicker, then that takes pressure off Murray, and we should (based on current evidence) be favored in every regular season game. If we must rely on Murray’s decision making inside our own 20 too often in close games, then it’ll be So Car in Atlanta. Whoever it is, again on current evidence, the West wins it all again, sorry to say.

  22. X-Dawg

    When we think something will be great, it turns out to suck. When we think something will suck, it turns out to be great. So – the O-Line, Special Teams & Running Game will be awesome. The Defense and WR corp will end up being our downfall. ;)

  23. Normaltown Mike

    If history is doomed to repeat itself, Auburn will go out and sign Tom Brady and Clay Matthews in route to a second title in 3 seasons.

    They just can’t sit still and abide by the “rules” any time Bama wins a Nattie.

  24. LSU, Ala., USCe, Ark., & the Dawgs are all potential top 10 teams. Aubarn & MSU & even UF looked prettygood in their bowl games.
    I still see USCe as the stumbling block for the Dawgs to win the SEC East.
    Spring Practice should tell us a lot more. Go Dawgs.