Odd fact of the day

Per Weiszer:

Georgia hasn’t been ranked in The Associated Press preseason top 10 in back-to-back years since 1981-82.

Honestly, I never would have guessed it had been that long.

What surprises me at this point is that Georgia’s chances are so highly regarded for this season, despite the losses on the defensive side of the ball.  It makes you wonder what the talk might be like if the Dawgs actually emerged from this September unscathed.

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49 Comments

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49 responses to “Odd fact of the day

  1. Uglydawg

    I too, find it hard to believe it’s been that long…but remember there was a long period (not too long ago) where Georgia would be ranked in the high teens or low twenties and slowly work their way up into the top ten by seasons end…or at least that’s the impression (I have no facts here) that is in my old memory. If there are a few defensive jewels that have been hidden or undiscoverd, 2013 may be something to woof about.

    • Rick

      That would seem to be the case. Richt finished in the AP top 10 in 5 out of 6 years from 2002-2007. Not bad for teams that were never consecutively top 10 in the preseason.

      • Juan

        What was our preseason ranking in 03 and 04?

        I think Weiszer missed something.

        • Rick

          I remember one of those years expectations were very low because of a decimated O-line, maybe 04?

        • Juan

          I just checked. Somehow we were 11 in the 03 preseason poll. Wtf.

          • D.N. Nation

            Can’t blame that prognostication. Between departures, injuries, the ring-selling, etc., there (from the outside) seemed to be a negative aura about the program that summer.

            And then we went to Clemson and that was that.

  2. Mike Cooley

    I think the general consensus is that the D underperformed this year and while we almost surely regress in pass defense without Jarvis’ rush and INT leader Rambo, we will almost definitely get better against the run. And being good against the run is enough. I wish Kwame would have stayed for experience reasons but I personally don’t think we will miss him all that much from a production standpoint. I think what we had seen was all we were going to get out of him.

    • Rick

      The only guy why we’re getting back on the line is Garrison Smith. Everyone else is gone. Why do you think we will get better against the run? Regression to mean?

      • Hackerdog

        We’re losing Geathers and Jenkins. But neither of those guys, amazingly enough, were particularly stout against the run. Nebraska’s 270lb center was blowing Geathers back consistently during the bowl game. They didn’t even have to double team him. I think we can find another nose guard to get blown backwards easily enough.

        Now Ogletree is another matter. He was a true asset on defense. But I think we have some good players at LB for next year.

      • Will (the other one)

        I’d say better teaching/coaching. We returned everyone on the line from 2011 and gave up 1,000 more yards. Bama+Southern alone doesn’t account for that. Giving up 400 rushing yards to UT and UK combined though? Yeah, even with losses, we should be better than that in 2013.

    • Heathbar09

      Jordan Jenkins had 5 sacks with limited play the first half of the season. I wouldn’t put him in Jarvis’ category, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes 2013 with 10+ sacks. We may still have a strong pass rush.

    • Dawgfan Will

      “I think the general consensus is that the D underperformed this year and while we almost surely regress in pass defense without Jarvis’ rush and INT leader Rambo, we will almost definitely get better against the run.”

      This is why I can’t get too worked up over the losses we have on defense. Our D underperformed to such a degree this year that I just can’t see us getting worse (or at least, not much worse).

  3. Mike Cooley

    Because I we’ve recuited well and I don’t see us getting worse. Take a look at the numbers teams like Buffalo and FA etc. put up on the ground. I just think there is no way Grantham lets that happen again.

  4. Mike Cooley

    And I realize we play a tougher schedule. I’m just saying I think a big part of our trouble against the run this year was a combination of eraly over confidence and laziness/complaceny.

    • gastr1

      It was also having LBs that were better at lateral run-stopping and pass rushing than gap-filling. Teams figured out that running straight up the gut was effective because our LBs were not consistently stout enough. The line is a concern, yes, but the LBs and their style of play is a concern as well; we need guys who do what Ogletree could do but we also need guys who can stick their nose in the correct gap on every play, not just every other play.

      • This. Ogletree tended to show up in flashes, then disappear for chunks of the game as we got gashed up the middle.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Was it Tree the whiffed on the open field tackle on that Florida TE ?The TE that Jones jarred loose from the fb?

        • gastr1

          He was generally an excellent player. But there were misreads on occasion, and on top of that, a lack of leverage when taking on big runners like Lacy. No player can do everything at the highest level. Our defense this year was a better fit to stop spread offenses than power running ones. Just so happens we faced power running offenses in the last three games.

  5. tbia

    Does this kill the “most overrated, under-achieving team in America” talking point? Evidently, we’ve never been that highly regarded.

    • Uglydawg

      I think ND has that title now.

    • Macallanlover

      This is another “internet legend” that has been exposed. I recall a website that tracked every team’s performance in all the AP polls since it’s inception. They compared the pre-season rank to the final poll, UGA had a favorable performance, especially when compared to many of the :flavor of the day” teams that get the WWL’s favortism. We haven’t done anything to hurt that ranking recently. Pure BS by the UGA doomers and the competitors looking for a recruiting edge (and don’t forget the FBomb mensa group). We are all disappointed when we lose any game but the facts just don’t support the claims. I am sure you can still find that site somewhere, it was updated every year when I was checking it for info.

      I understand the cloud of uncertainty about the defense but feel it is just worrisome because we all need to do that during the off seasons. I feel we have a pretty good nucleus to build around, have some quality players waiting in the wings, and frankly can’t do much worse than this season. Remember how we some said we couldn’t get much worse on the OL in 2012 than we were in 21011 with 2 starters lost to the NFL? We were right, this past year’s OL was as every bit as good, if not better than the experienced guys. We had some big play talent on defense but we ended up ranked #32 (I think I heard that) and I never felt confident in our ability to stop passes or runs. We may be young on defense next year, but I ma not conceding that side of the ball yet, and our offense should be as good as 2012 if we keep everyone healthy.

    • gastr1

      I think Va Tech and Clemson have shared that mantle for a while, IMO.

      • Will (the other one)

        USC, which was a perennial candidate for it before Carrol, is back there again, thanks to Kiffykins.

  6. Go Dawgs!

    We’re going to be under the radar the whole year. Even if we do get out of September without a loss (tough task), everyone outside of Athens will just have a loss penciled in for Jacksonville. If we get past that, people will expect the inexplicable loss in Auburn. And through it all, every writer will expect Georgia to lose in the Dome to Alabama/Texas A&M regardless.

    It’s a great position to be in. We’re going to be filthy on offense, hopefully good enough on defense, and have absolutely nobody paying attention to us despite the fact that we’re a top ten team.

    • Uglydawg

      I’m not so sure Georgia’s “under the radar”. The Bleacher Report has Georgia listed as one of three teams that are a threat to unseat ‘Bama as the MNC. The other two are A&M and L’ville. Murray’s return is turning a lot of heads and there’s a concensus that the offense should be super. Given the nature of the sports media to admire teams with high powered offenses, Georgia is going to get a lot of attention. I’m hanging on to this..CMR knows that you have to be able to play defense to win in the SEC and I can’t believe the cupboard is as bare as some apparantly do.
      I agree with your last paragraph…”flithy on offense, hopefully good enough on defense”….but we’re not sneaking up on anybody.

      • Will (the other one)

        I think they’re going to regret that TAMU pick…losing their top 3 WRs, plus best olinemen, best passrusher and a few others on D…plus no element of surprise.

        • Cojones

          They beat Bama fair and square. They got better as the season progressed and Manziel is Martinez on steroids. They validated who they are now in their bowl game. The pole of recruit attraction in Texas is swinging from Austin to College Station. 4-Star recruit WRs from the SEC are joining up to share the national limelight with “Johnny Football” by catching his passes on all the TV games that will be shown to a national audience. Things are good for TAMU and they don’t need no stinkin’ surprises to win games again this year.

          TAMU got better as the year progressed last year and they will duplicate that this year. We don’t want to play them at the end of the year; sorta like what Hawaii learned in the Sugar Bowl and Vandy learned last year about how the Dawgs CAN show up. But we have a good chance of that happening and it should be one humdinger of a game again. You never know.

  7. TomReagan

    81-82 is the only time we’ve ever been top ten in the AP in cosecutive seasons in the history of the program.

    We’ve only been preseason top ten in the AP poll 9 times in the history of the program–4 of those under Richt, and also the only time Georgia’s ever been preseason #1.

    • Bobby

      Which is ridiculous considering that UGA had top-ten finishes in 4 consecutive seasons at one point (2002-2005). Of those seasons, I think we only had a preseason top-ten ranking in 2002 (#8 I think). Preseason rankings are a joke.

  8. oscardagrch

    Who cares about preseason top ten?!? I would much rather finish consecutive years in the top ten. That is where the cheddar is at!

  9. Depends on how many scooters emerge from dark alleys in August, right? Unfortunately, I believe the off-season shenanigans have become a major player and it took the D more than 4 games to recover from the suspensions this past season.

    • King Jericho

      I think this is an advantage that we have from last year. Since so many older, seasoned and well respected guys were coming back on the defense, I think they were more lax and made some dumb decisions. Hopefully with a lot to prove this season, we won’t see the same attitude. Knocking on wood as we speak.

      • Cojones

        Instead of knocking on wood, I would prefer that student athlete punishments be codified in the SEC and the NCAA. That’s where the inequities and fairness to all teams resides. That’s where we and Ken set the std for the SEC that only applies to us.

        Doesn’t anyone else think that this and several past years would be different if we had equitable punishments throughout the conference? Think Saban and Spurrier. Certainly Tenn for several years. LSU anyone? FU stands higher with discipline than those four.

  10. Are you really surprised that college football writers and fans would focus on offensive skill position players when doing preseason rankings? Did you miss the summer discussion about USC being the obvious opponent for Alabama in the title game?

    • A little. I remember Georgia’s ranking going into 2008, but I’m also looking at a team losing a ton of defensive starters, as well as a key backup in Geathers. I sort of figured the pundits would split the baby.

      • Macallanlover

        I get the concern about lost starters, we all have to factor that into our analysis, but it isn’t as if we are going to be up against a bar that was set so high that we shouldn’t be surprised if we reach. or beat, that standard. This defense was disappointing the majority of the games, imo. Sure, there were brilliant plays on defense, some that appeared to save Ws, but had the defense been lights out, what game, other than SC, would we not have won with ease given the offensive production we enjoyed? I am not expecting a major falloff on the offensive side if we can avoid several key injuries, so how great does this defense have to be to make us a team that can compete with anyone we will face? And what if they are actually better as a unit? I am not counting on that, but it certainly seems possible because we dominated no one defensively but Vandy, GSU, and GT this past season.

        • gastr1

          This is what I think, too. It would be hard for our defense to be worse than it was this year, in my opinion. In other words, we had an average-level defense– in pretty much all metrics– that had pronounced strengths and weaknesses. I expect that we’d shift some strengths and weaknesses and essentially be about the same.

  11. Debby Balcer

    LSU is losing as many if not more than us and is highly ranked. Clemson is also highly ranked as well as Florida. The logic of preseason rankings is mystical.

    • Dawgfan Will

      Well, Florida’s got to get better on offense, right? Right?

      • Will (the other one)

        That was Phil Steele’s logic before this season. It didn’t work out. And now the Gators lose Gilislee (who was very good.)

        • The backup QB Brissett transferred. They don’t have a QB at present that can throw the ball which makes them one-dimensional on offense. Everyone I know around the Gaytor program says Driskel is athletic but doesn’t have what it takes upstairs. Maybe they will surprise me, but I don’t see that offense getting much better next year. They lose their starting RB and their TE Reed declared for the NFL draft. Several OL and WR are gone too. I have been shocked how much they have underutilized Trey Burton.

          On D they are losing a ton of talent. They do recruit well and look to have another top class this year FWIW, but when you look at the exodus of talent this year from seniors, juniors declaring early, and transfers… Things may not be so great in Gainesville.

  12. Cojones

    First, we have the troops to do the job. Second, the summer conditioning and practice by players is most important, especally as followup to Spring Practice and Game (where the player rumors start). There we find the problems that we have to work on in order to have a good Fall Practice prior to the game with Clemson (who will be working hard all summer to beat our ass). When that order gets discombobulated, ripplesflow downhill toward Sept.

    Although I have criticized Grantham for the D ground game defense, that doesn’t mean that I’m not a fan of his expecting (each time) that he will get it corrected (see Buffalo onward). He hasn’t, but other ripples affected that from going full bloom. I also roped him into the unfair shots taken at Bobo to show that some fans were on the wrong trail for some losses, Grantham had gotten a raise based upon his sideline demeanor while other coaches were criticized and I felt it was splitting the team. Now that Bobo’s Grand Plan has settled into an O dynasty for the future (as I told you that he had sneakily put together without anyone knowing or seeing), the weight shifts mightily onto the D’s head for any future championships.

    I think that our D responsibility now sits squarely on Grantham’s head. Most of my rummaging around concerning D was to deflect the excuses being used to protect him from close scrutiny , both from game planning and scheme of plays during opponent’s possession. He now has two, going on three, years recruiting to get what he wants. Let’s leave it up to him to put them together for performance as a team. Watching it succeed will be fun. Hearing “tired” excuses for players will not.

    Do I expect that a D will occur that cannot sustain damage when playing the spread and other offenses? No, but I do expect that early on in the season we won’t give away so much real estate on weaker opponents. If that’s fixed, I’m game for cheering blindly, loyally and lustily for their efforts, W or L. But if it is the same ole, same ole, then I will be first in line pointing to where the problem lies. I also expect Grantham to be using a cudgel of past Georgia history to drive his players beyond their comfort level in performing. I want to hear more “We are Georgia” coming from the hearts and minds of these players in their performances. I expect Grantham to instill and install a new hell-for-leather junkyard guard Dawg Defense that will intimidate like the O now can.

    • Macallanlover

      I agree, Grantham has to be embarrassed about the level the defense performed at. Had they been better against the run, we probably win the SECCG without the need for last minute heroics. I also think having a tough September will result in a focus we haven’t seen in a long time. I like having a tough opener, the defense in particular knows it has a big task in stopping Boyd and the Clemson offense. That focus should carry over into SC should we beat that first Top 10 team of the month. It will be tough but getting through the first two games could set up a very special season for the Dawgs in 2013, an opportunity to face either Bama or A&M in Atlanta, and a rare shot at a Rose Bowl.

  13. Joe Schmoe

    I think one thing that is getting underplayed about this year’s defensive performance is the time-of-possession / number of plays against analysis. Our offense was built to score points quickly which resulted in very few long sustained drives. While resulting in a lot of points, it also meant that our defense was on the field for an inordinate amount of time which exposed our lack of depth on the defensive line. In no game was this more evident than the SECCG. I feel like that if our offense was able to convert a couple of the 3rd and shorts in the 3rd and 4th quarter and sustain a couple of drives, the defense may not have been so gassed at the end of the game.

    I haven’t analyzed the numbers, so this is all my perception but I would like to see someone runs the numbers.

    • gastr1

      Executing the grind-out game is something the offense definitely needs to improve on, yes.

    • Macallanlover

      I understand your point fully but the defense can have 3 big effort plays and get their butts back to the bench for rest. I feel they have a chance to get off the field quicker than the offense if they are in control. Much of the time they spent on the field was because they allowed extended drives. Make it a contest, who can get off the field the quickest (while accomplishing the objective)?

    • Cojones

      Mac, I looked at those numbers several weeks ago after hearing the “tired players” excuse. The gist of it was larger chunks of running yards carved out in the 2nd and 3rd qtrs with the 1st and 4th exibiting half the yardage (I remember 58 yds on the ground in the 4th qtr). To me that meant that the players weren’t tired at the end of the game and were tired by the end of the 1st qtr and beginning again as “tired ” after halftime break. That leaves the D scheme utilized by Grantham as suspect. Players in that scheme appeared to play well and play badly each possession. Rather than indict TG, we accused the players of underperforming from time to time and game to game. I don’t think so. I think the subbing into the D scheme is what hurt us with some confusion occurring from time to time due to player unfamiliarity with that particular D scheme. It would create havoc on D when that particular play was underdefended. We will see, won’t we?

      • Macallanlover

        Good info. I am really not blaming CTG, but I am questioning how the 3-4 defense can be tweaked when your personnel is in a bad matchup with a specific team. It seems the 3-4 is particularly effective as a pass rushing and perimeter defense, which we demonstrated virtually all year. But while we had an effective NG, we did not seem to have that “stone wall” ILB that could stuff the run. We have had that type of “Mike” before, and Bama runs the 3-4 effectively because they always had that big guy, run-stopper in the middle, so I know the 3-4 can be effective against the power run. But how do you “fix” it in the games when you face a Bama/LSU power running game and you don’t have the front group you need?

        Not overreacting to this but we did some things well this year on defense but we could not stop a stright dive play from anyone. We will face that agin next year against LSU and, maybe, Bama in the SECCG. We seem better geared this year to stop TAMU than Bama, yet they had the more explosive offense.