You never can tell.

I always admire anybody who will go back and dredge up a prediction list – let’s face it, those things are out of sight, out of mind a day after they’re posted – so kudos to Seth Emerson for his look back at his preseason list of the ten most important Georgia players of 2012.  And honestly, other than substituting John Jenkins for Corey Moore, there’s not much I would quibble with off his original list when it was produced.  But it differs considerably from his 20-20 hindsight list, which isn’t unexpected.

Seth notes the chaotic conditions surrounding the team last summer, and sure, that had an impact on the differences in his lists, but to me, it’s also a good illustration of how hard it is to anticipate how a college football season plays out.  Some kids you’re counting on get hurt.  Georgia’s wide receiving corps sure had a different look at the end of the season from where it started.  Some kids never get untracked to become contributors.  (You could say Marshall Morgan’s biggest contribution last year was weaning Richt off his addiction to settling for field goals.)

So as you read his list for this year and compile your own, just remember that even the slam dunks aren’t always that.  And that the bigger deal is whether the team has the quality depth to fill in the holes if that happens.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “You never can tell.

  1. mdcgtp

    My early guess

    1)aaron murray
    2)todd gurley

    and then the drop off is large
    3)jenkins
    4)theus
    5)swann
    6)hererra/wilson
    7)matthews
    8)bennett
    9)JHC
    10)andrews

    a few notes, by definition i combined hererra and wilson, as they essentially perform pretty similar functions together. for purposes of the intellectual exercise, I suppose I should predict who I think will prove more valuable, but I don’t really know. Hererra has played well at times and seems like a great physical run stuffer. I think he is a liability in pass coverage. Wilson has not played a ton. Plain and simple. I think the coaches are reasonably confident that he will perform, and its possible he emerges as the more valuable of the two.

    there are no DL on the list because quite frankly none of them (even Smith) strike me as INDIVIDUALLY likely to prove that valuable. My guess is they all have different (hopefully complementary) skills that will result in a more effective overall mix of talent.

    Andrews could arguably be higher. JHC and Matthews are clearly speculative, but if Matthews can be a Sean Jones/kentrell curry/phillips-like two way safety and JHC can be an athletic freak like thomas davis, it will have a MEANINGFUL impact on our overall defensive identity.

  2. mdcgtp

    brain fart…I had mitchell at 3 in my mind, and between the dropoff (which is perhaps not that significant as Mitchell is perhaps the most effective WR in school history (catch rate and yards per catch). then I thought i had to have defense….somehow he slipped my mind

    he would be 3/4 and everyone else moves down a notch

    • Cojones

      Seth started this thing with Theus in 11th place, heading towards Murray. Seth’s discussion last year was revealing of different ways to look at needs when rating your most valuable players. He included Morgan in it last year, before he had ever contributed. He is great reading if you want to see a few tidbits that are a little out of the box and are thought provoking. Seth has cojones and doesn’t fear being wrong in my assessment while backing up his picks with rational info. He is an excellent UGA writer who has surpassed Hale in his own style.

      ‘Course he’s not comparable to the great Senator who only flirts with incorrectness.

  3. A journalists publicly self evaluating? To steal a line from Stephen Colbert, that’s the craziest fu$%ing thing I’ve ever heard. Imagine if some guys from the AJC spent the off-season grading their performance and evaluating last years pre season fluffer lists?

    My list this year would begin with the D line starting 5, then Murray afterward (especially his performance during the FLA game), then followed by any starter who may be tempted to eat a funny looking brownie this summer.

    • Dog in Fla

      “evaluating last years pre season fluffer lists?”

      Doesn’t Bark Madley do that or maybe I was just dreaming

      • Perhaps, but alas, I do not take part in the Bark Madness…

        • Dog in Fla

          Your valor is better than my discretion. I hope I shan’t forget today’s lesson, but alas, I probably will. I am somehow drawn to Bark Madly alliteration whence the usual and customary Bark Madness proved beyond peradventure thereafter makes me feel sedated and dead as a doornail.

    • The AJC needs more “truthiness.”

  4. Mg4life0331

    We seem to have a Murphy’s law or something during the preseason.

    The prior year, we’ll be successful in say something like special teams. Then flat out lay eggs the next year.

    We worry about a freshman quarterback, and the defense ends up blowing coverage’s.

    We return a pretty good defense with lots of starters, and end up mediocre. We have no oline and cant block, then set records in scoring.

    Anyways I’m not a big Seth fan anyways. He was always bagging on CMR when he had a chance to remain “objective” in his eyes, and then replied he didn’t like the “CMR is losing control meme” when it got shoved back in his face. Tits on a boar hog imo.

  5. Hobnail_Boot

    1. Murray
    2. Swann
    3. Jenkins
    4. Gurley
    5. Andrews
    6. Mitchell
    7. Matthews
    8. Gates
    9. Herrera
    10. Bennett

  6. Murray
    Theus
    Jenkins
    S. Dawson
    Matthews
    JHC
    Mitchell
    Herrera
    Bennett
    DeLoach

    I have the list the way it is because Murray/Theus are hand-in-hand in that the LT (presumed) needs to protect the franchise. Not a coincidence that 3-6 are all defensive players who need to step up. Swan is omitted because I think he’ll be fine, but a second corner (Dawson) must play well. Mitchell needs to finally be the complete guy; stay healthy, be a star.