High expectations, in one sentence

After reviewing Georgia’s 2012 schedule,

Georgia – with a loaded defense that will be as good as any in the SEC and a tremendous quarterback in Aaron Murray who’ll make up for most issues on offense – is better than Buffalo. It’s better than Missouri. It’s better than Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. It’s better than Kentucky, Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn and Georgia Tech. It’s probably not better than South Carolina and probably won’t win in Columbia, but considering the Gamecocks have to go to LSU and Florida and have to play Arkansas, an 11-1 Georgia will almost certainly get back to the SEC championship game…

CFN‘s Pete Fiutak delivers the punchline.

Unfortunately, at this point going 11-1 and playing for the SEC title still wouldn’t be enough for a program that’s way overdue to go 13-1 and win the national title.

That’s a pretty good distillation of how many people feel about Mark Richt’s program these days.

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51 Comments

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51 responses to “High expectations, in one sentence

  1. Sanford222view

    I’ll take my chances with 11-1.

  2. charlottedawg

    The only team that can beat georgia in the regular season is georgia. Unfortunately we can be pretty good at that.

    • Charles

      We’re better than South Carolina. We pushed them around the field last year, but beat ourselves with poorly timed mistakes. We’re stronger, meaner, and more talented. Let’s get it done in Columbia.

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    Crazy fact of the year: the last three SEC teams that sent high-profile transfers to play for him (Alabama State HC) — Florida, Auburn and Alabama — went on to win national championships the following season.

    I do not see a national title in the cards for the Dawgs this year. The list of issues is far too long. The two most explosive offensive player will not play offense (Hi-C and Mitchell), the suspensions in the secondary, the O-line, freshman punt and kicker on top of cruddy special teams play, and Murray’s ability to turn the ball over at any moment. However, if the Dawgs do run the table and bring home the crystal football will McGarity get the credit for creating an easy slate or will the credit go to Richt?

    • DawgPhan

      Either way I am sure you will find something wrong. Maybe you could work it out so you could blame them both and credit a down Bama for leaving the door open…something like that.

    • The two most explosive offensive players on last year’s team will not play offense this year. We have yet to see Marshall suit up. He may be more “explosive” than even Crowell was at times last year.

      Our receiving corps is fine, so long as they avoid the injury bug. TK is back, and he led the team in receptions, yards, and TD’s. Mitchell is obviously a big play threat, but you don’t think they’ll sneak him in there to run go routes a few times per game?

      The secondary suspensions worry me about the early part of the season, and I don’t have confidence that the plug-n-play on the offensive line will create suitable chemistry in the early going. Blair Walsh and Drew Butler did okay as freshmen, so I’m not that concerned about those positions. If they at least address the last two concerns you mentioned, then the team will do fine. If they haven’t, then, well, it may be a long season.

  4. I re-watched the Sakerlina game last night… #20 on ESPNU’s top 25 games of 2011. I think Georgia had the better offense and the better defense last year. Sakerlina may have been the better “team,” but considering the losses that each team had during the offseason, I’m not sure it is cut-and-dry to say Sakerlina is better in 2012 than Georgia.

    Georgia gave up three turnovers that led directly to TD’s, a fake punt for a TD, and lost by three points. Georgia outgained them in the boxscore by 41 yards, which takes into account the 68-yard fake punt. Without the special teams blunder, Georgia held SCe under 150 yards passing and under 200 yards rushing on 4.6 ypc compared to UGA’s 4.9.

    The takeaway (ha) that I had from the game was the same that I had when I walked out of the stadium. Georgia should have won the game by a wide margin if they could have only gotten out of their own way. That’s not to say the same will be true in Columbia, but LSU reminds us that extrapolating future results from the outcome of fluky past results is not the trade of winning bets.

    • Macallanlover

      No question we were the better team last year, and that night in particular we were superior, I have never understood the argument that SOS and the delusional fan base has been whining about. That game looked more like a 21 point UGA win than it did a 3 point loss. Sometimes it is the other way, we win some games where we were not the better team. Happens every week in CFB to someone,

      I can understand that from fans who are emotional aabout their program but a seasoned coach of Spurrier’s ilk should know better. I have known Steve for over 20 years, he should get out of the game because he has lost what he once was and it is sad to see what he is becoming….a bitter old man. When he was at Florida he may have been an ass to every opponent’s fan base but he was on top of his game and I respected him for it. He disciplined his players, didn’t whine about schedules, calls, rulings, etc., and admitted when another team kicked his team’s butt. Hang it up Steve, time for the Senior tees.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Steve did say that Georgia was the better team after his victory.

        • Macallanlover

          Yes, which has gotten lost in all the UGA schedule commentary for both 2011 and 2012. I think he was admitting they got whipped that night, but I think we were better all year long than SC and the better representative for the East in Atlanta. The better team doesn’t always win but that night required a total collapse, not just a blown play or two. Always wondered what would happened if the minutia penalty on the onside kickoff had not been called. A call that close for offsides is rarely flagged but it kept the Cocks in range and probably saved them from being routed. Not blaming that call at all, because we had to do numerous other stupid things to lose that game.

        • AlphaDawg

          That only lasted up till we went to the SECCG lil-USC didn’t, he then slowly changed his tune to the Division records nonsense. As much as I’d hate to see it, i’d like to know what his spin on his opinion would be if we beat lil-USC this year then lose 2 games(UA and god forbid Ole Miss/Miss St), while lil-USC’s only loss was to us.

  5. Toom

    Oh Lawd! Here it is July and I already sense irrational optimism seeping into my system. Heck yeah we can beat SC in Columbia. We sure play them better there than in Athens.

  6. HobnailedBoots

    So basically, short of going 14-0, we can’t win huh?

    • Skeptic Dawg

      B-I-N-G-O! With this schedule, any slip up will only point to Richt’s inablility to get the job done and/or his poor roster management. Other than Mizzou, USC, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and Vandy, there really is no one capable of beating Georgia on this schedule.

      • HobnailedBoots

        You just named five teams capable of beating Georgia. So how can you say that any slip up would point to Richt’s inability to get the job done?

        • Puffdawg

          Six acutally, or as I like to say, “six of one, half the schedule of another.”

          • DawgPhan

            exactly…UGA will be a preseason top 10 team. there are 5-6 teams on our schedule capable of beating us. From which you draw the obvious conclusion that our schedule is crazy easy and is an embarrassment for all who wear the red and black.

            • Puffdawg

              “From which you he draws the obvious conclusion…”

              There, I fixed it for ya. I think you got us confused, although I could see the confusion based on Skeptic’s history of sockpuppetry. I was furthering your point by pointing out your oversight, if that makes sense. And don’t forget I stood up for you yesterday.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Skeptic, I’m curious if you actually meant to defend CMR here. I know you are usually critical of CMR, but are you suggesting that he and the Dawgs are in a no-win situation here as regards their critics?

        Are we seeing a kinder, gentler Skeptic Dawg here …:)

        Boot, Skeptic didn’t write “ought to” or “favored”, he just wrote “capable”, Even with attrition and suspensions, with the talent we have returning, the schedule, and the down year for SEC east competition in general, I kind of feel like any regular season loss will be an upset this year. A loss to Sakerlina or Mizzouri won’t have me burning CMR in effigy, but those are still teams I think we ought to beat.

        A loss to TN, FL, or anybody else on the schedule would be very frustrating, though. We need to start making some of our own luck around here…

        • Skeptic Dawg

          If, IF, the stat about “sending” players to Alabama State holds true, many will point to the easy schedule. So, I was looking to see what others thought. Will people point to McGarity’s scheduling as the reason? Or will Richt receive credit? When you boil the schedule down, it really is a 3 game season (Mizzou, USC and Florida). Win those 3 game the table is set. What happens from there is anyone’s guess.

          • Puffdawg

            Some may point to ESPN’s preseason #25 GT as an obstacle, although that would require you to get past our complete dominance over the Yellow Jackets, something which you might point to as being a result of something other than McGarity’s scheduling philosophy.

            • Macallanlover

              But if you beat GT and they fall out of the Top 25 you will not be credited with having beaten a ranked team. Same if you beat a team that ends the season 6-6, they now don’t have a “winning record”. Wonder why?

  7. Uglydawg

    The loss to SC last year was a fluke. I just hope Murray doesn’t feel “snake bit” and let it get in his head. Georgia has the players to make Steve throw his visor early and often.
    I think Malcome Mitchell will play some on offense. Georgia’s running backs may be a mystery but that gives SS something else to think about. How good are they? CMR is playing it very close to the vest and I like that.
    It’s next to impossible to win them all, but I think we can be optimistic that UGA is on the upswing,

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I don’t think The Visor will spend too much time worrying about our RB or our offense. I think he will spend all his time focusing on our Defense and Coach Todd “Damn” Grantham.

  8. Dog in Fla

    Fiutak keeps mentioning Keith Marshall. That can only mean good things for Todd Gurley.

  9. stoopnagle

    As we think about Aaron Murray, I think it’s worth considering that players very often turn a corner in the third year playing. Given his gaudy numbers over the past two years, the only place he has to improve is in protecting the ball. If he can do that – and I’d actually like to see more purposeful running with AM – then he’s a possible Heisman-type player (numbers-wise). He already gets good pub with the INT/fumbles, so take those away and he’s tremendous statistically (and we’ll win the close games).

    • W Cobb Dawg

      I agree with AM scrambling occaisionally. I believe that’s a little used asset he has – no doubt because Coaches discourage it.

  10. DavetheDawg

    If we don’t spot Carolina 28 points again, I like our chances. Bold…I know.

  11. Bulldog Joe

    There is nothing wrong with having high expectations.

  12. Todd

    I don’t see ateam on the schedule with a better defense than Georgia(on paper). Murray can’t cost Georgia games with turnovers. 3 and outs kill Georgia. Insisting on running play action with no running game and the “hurry up” won’t cut it. Maybe it is me, but watching Olineman run to the line and wait in a stance for seemingly an eternity, kills me. Surprise is not part of Georgia’s offense. The defense has time to see the formation and make adjustments and calls, and pretty much takes away any huury up advantage. Plus the OL in a stance doesn’t help. Georgia’s offense just doesn’t look methodical at anything. Way way too conservative play calling for me.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      And please start throwing it again to a RB out of the backfield. DIckSam was money when we did that!

      • Bulldog Bry

        Remember how involved our fullbacks were for awhile? Sutherland was really dependable for a few yards running or catching out of the backfield. I miss those days. Our O-line wasn’t that much worse then, so what gives?

    • Skeptic Dawg

      Amen on the Dawg’s version of the “Hurry Up” offense. I am not a fan of watching the OL sit in their stance for 20+ seconds prior to the snap. Yes, we ran a ton of plays last season. But to what end? The offense looked just as lost and cluelss at times as it has the previous 4-5 years. A running game will help, but you must first have an O-line that can open holes AND pass protect. This offense will go as the O-line goes.

      • Yes, we ran a ton of plays last season. But to what end?

        How about 3rd in the SEC in total offense for the season?

        Not good enough? How about 3rd in the SEC in total offense in conference games?

        Still not good enough? How about first in the SEC in total offense in games against ranked opponents? (Previous seasons’ rankings: 8th, 5th, 3rd and 7th.)

        • Cosmic Dawg

          I’m not overly critical of our offense, but it’s hard to show if all those good statistics are the result of the hurry up (or in spite of it?).

          Our previous seasons’ rankings is interesting but a whole lot of variables in there. And though we might ought to give Bobo some props for improvement, it still would not necessarily show a correlation with the hurry up, right?

          I still feel like the efficiency metrics (ypp, for instance) are a lot more meaningful than how many snaps you got off. I also wonder, if we’re getting off more snaps and hurrying up the clock, are we simply giving both ourselves *and* our opponents another set of downs each game? I’d like to see a stats-minded person tell us how if the ypp improve with the hurry up – that would be a useful number!

        • Skeptic Dawg

          Yet we did not see an increase in points per game. From 2007-2011 this team has scored roughly 30 points per game. The primary objective of any offense is to score points and keep scoring, not total more plays than your opponent. I understand the thought process behind running more plays. However, the results are not there.

          • That’s what happens when you combine mediocre red zone conversion play (60th nationally) with a field goal kicker having a meltdown season.

            • todd

              Conservative play calling in the red zone. The biggest stat for me is the scholarship playrs. Quality depth is a big factor. Not just somebody that can fog up a mirror, but quality. The other is the eye test. Georgia’s athletes don’t look like LSU or Bama. Jarvis Jones is as close to an Ingram that we have.
              Again, there is all these stats but the scoreboard says it all. Also the piss the bed stat. When folks throw stats other than the scoreboard to justify their point and make statements about freshman that haven’t played a down…..they sound like Carolina fans. Might as well get a “wait til next year” bumper sticker. Alabama attitude with a Vanderbilt record.

              Every year fans see problems with their beloved programs and around July they drink the kool aid. They put the goggles on and dismiss the obvious. At the end of the year, the problems they dismisses end up being real problems after all.
              Right now, the O-line is questionable, the qb has yet to prove he can not piss his pants, leading rusher dismissed, top wr is moved to db because of depth issues, the D has multiple suspensions that aren’t yet finalized, and Georgia is at 69 true scholarship players. Am I a bad fan or “skeptic dawg” for pointing this out? Is this stuff not true? Am I wrong to question play calling or use of personnel? I still have visions of “The Hit” man and Rambo scared to hit Lattimore, and watching Greg Reid(the biggest recruiting loss in a long time) lay his ass out cold. You won’t see this kind of stuff captured in stats,but that is what wins football games.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        “A word… Skeptic….” How many times have I heard that? Applied to me of course. SO….. I want to share my life experiences with you. I am not an attorney but found them to be invaluable at times. Thomas Brown/ gone from several blogs because of the meme he pushed. Hell you might be Thomas dba Skeptic. You might be concerned here sir. Cause you might be pushing an envelope. That’s just me. I just get the feeling that you are gonna reach here and well…. blow yourself up. SO back off , lose the tude and don’t mess with the Senator when he gets to C in his example set. OR go for it. I’ll just sit back and rubberneck.

  13. Rebar

    I think, with the improved defense, we are back in Richt’s wheelhouse with an offense that can move the ball and the defense playing like their hair is on fire. Looking at the schedule, I don’t see the losses people are expecting. The only teams that I see having a defense that is as good as ours are Florida and South Carolina; but I still say we beat them.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Florida’s D might be as good as ours (not better though) but not South Carolina. All South Carolina has on D are the 2 DEs. Every body else on the USCe D is only slightly better than average. What we have to worry about with the Dicks..er..Cocks is their O particularly the running game.