So far, and yet so far.

I came across this 2014 preview assessment and thought I’d share:

What to make of Georgia these days? It’s been years since the Dawgs could be called a legitimately elite program—you have to go all the way back to the early days of the Mark Richt Era for that—and last season’s 8-5 record didn’t exactly hint at great things to come, either. I mean, really, Georgia? Losing to Nebraska in your bowl game? While it’s true that there is talent here (there always is) and while it’s true that many experts have this team pegged for a big jump forward in 2014, I remain dubious. Richt isn’t what he once was and this program is miles away from competing with the true SEC elites. (And, no, Bulldogs fans, I don’t want to hear the ‘injuries’ excuse.)

I get the “isn’t what he once was” bit, but “miles away”?  Did I miss something sitting in Sanford Stadium last September?  Isn’t the reason most of us have been frustrated with the program is because we perceive it as an underachiever?

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43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

43 responses to “So far, and yet so far.

  1. Nate Dawg

    Just forever, no matter what I suppose, the Rodney Dangerfield crown is ours.

  2. DawgPhan

    They are obviously not miles away. Kentucky is miles away from competing. UGA has competed with or beaten the elite teams in the SEC over the last 2 season.

    I think that we are about to enter a really good period for UGA football. The numbers are straightened out and we have some new optimism on defense. You have to feel good about the offense and we have some great recruiters on staff. No reason to not feel good about it.

  3. Noonan

    We beat his number 10 and 11 last September. Sheesh.

  4. Isn’t the reason most of us have been frustrated with the program is because we perceive it as an underachiever?

    That’s certainly the case with me and the people I talk to. It’s not the lack of a NC or even SEC Titles, for that matter. We all understand that if we play to our potential, to our talent level, all that will come, as it did in the early Richt years.

    “Richt isn’t what he once was and this program is miles away from competing with the true SEC elites.”

    I can see how thinks that, but I’d say he doesn’t know the Georgia program well enough to see how much different Georgia is right now as opposed to the first week in January.

    As critical as I’ve been of the program in the last 8 years, and justifiably so IMO, I’ve never believed for a minute that Richt wasn’t “what he once was”. He’s the same guy now that he was then. Just a little wiser.

    We do have a ways to go to compete with the “true SEC elites”. We need to restock the defensive talent. We need to get better in signing the right OL, and so on. And most of all, Richt has to figure out how to train his team not to beat themselves.

    But the good news is, most of that is coaching. While the offensive coaching, broadly speaking, has been a problem over this 7 year period, it has steadily improved, until now it is close to where we need it to be. There are still challenges, for instance putting a well-oiled unit on the field in an opening game vs. a good opponent.

    But most of the problems have come from the other side. IMHO, Richt thought he had solved the most of them when he hired Grantham. That turned out not to be the case, and we were headed back into the toilet when he resigned. Pruitt has a different feel, a different smell to him altogether. And it seems to be all good. And that has the potential to change everything, the whole team.

    Yeah, we might be a ways from competing with the elite. But not anywhere near as far as this guy thinks. I’d say, with a good offseason, we’ll be a very dangerous team in 2014.
    ~~~

  5. durrtydogg

    Opinions are like aholes. And if dig long and deep enough you’ll find a few dks and pu***s in their with them.

  6. Chuck

    Ordinarily, I would agree that injuries are not an excuse. This last year might really be an exception, though.

  7. Timphd

    Got’em right where we want ‘em. That’s my opinion. Underestimate at your own risk. Haven’t been this positive in years. Pass that damn kool aid.

    • Dawgaholic

      Does he consider TX A&M to be the only true SEC elite team? In the last two years we’ve beaten every other decent SEC team at least once and lost to the eventual champion in very, very, close fashion.

      The article says more about the writer’s football knowledge than it does about UGA football.

      • Timphd

        Looked him up and he’s a Penn St and Ohio State fan. That explains all I need to know. Any Big 10/12 fan knows nothing about grown man football.

      • uglydawg

        Absolutely Dawgaholic…I was going to say the same things.

      • Dawgfan Will

        A&M with Manziel is going to straight up suck unless they get a LOT better on defense.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        This. We beat LSU and SC last year, had the national champ runner up (Auburn) beat until the very end of the game, went toe to toe with the most “elite” program in the SEC in our last game of 2012, and played Clemson to a draw, too. That sure feels elite to me.

        And as others have noted, discounting the injuries this year is just idiotic.

        I personally don’t feel like word “underachieving” is quite applicable. In the CMR era, the Dawgs have generally entered even the toughest games on their schedule with a reasonable chance to win, and we haven’t seen the 2, 3, 4, 5 year droughts some of the other teams have, either.

        I’m not saying next year is going to be the year, but with CTG gone I’m more excited about the team than I was at any point last year. It is weird not seeing #11 under center, however.

        • Skeptic Dawg

          Apparently you were not around for the 2006-2010 years. Either that or we have different definitions of “down years”.

          And much like yourself, I am very excited about 2014. This could be a very good year for the Dawgs.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            Yeah, we probably do have different definitions, but that’s okay, too…I may lack ambition. :)

            I didn’t say we haven’t had “down years”, I was just pointing out that even though we haven’t reached some of the highs of a handful of other programs, we also haven’t had the kind of extended droughts or deep fall-offs that afflict a lot of other teams, including some of those same programs.

            Interestingly, GA has the same number of wins over the last five years as over the 2006 – 2010 period you point out.

            Over a 13 year span, there’s only one year where the wheels truly came off(2010), and as Dawg fans we can pretty much count on an 8-12 win season under CMR every single year, and can usually be in the game with pretty much anyone in the country.

            I’d like to see a return to CMR “the early years”, and I think we will once CJP gets his legs under him, but so long as we’re trying to improve and showing fight, I can live with that average in the meantime.

  8. Mark

    Since most folks including most pundits, said that the MNC game two years ago was the SECC game, I think that would qualify as “elite”. Looks like a troll article to me.

  9. I don’t have a single problem with his ‘classification’ of our program. There are those who can take the argument that we are better than he says we are, but I’d have to agree, we’re not in the upper echelon of top college programs right now. But I think the rest of his comments are just evidence of not doing his research and/or not paying attention. The 2011 and 2012 seasons tell a different story of where this team is. It’s hard to say if 2013 would have been a rebuilding lull without the injuries, which were severe and insurmountable. To me, 2012 was the year we learned Mark Richt got his mojo back, and we’ll see if it’ll be maintained over this speed bump. I think it will. I guess my point is… his failure to acknowledge that uptick ruins his credibility, IMO. Not because it destroys his opinion.. but to act like that turnaround either was a fluke or not the result in major corrective action on Richt’s part just shows he hasn’t done his homework or he just hates UGA.. either way, all we really need to let this team do is prove him wrong.

  10. Rick

    I’m curious who the ‘true SEC elites’ are. Is it the Florida program coming off a three win season? The Auburn program that has gone 2-6 against UGA in the last 8 years? The Tennessee program that has been terrible for 7 years? The South Carolina program that is the South Carolina program?

    It’s Alabama, then 6 or 7 other teams that can fight for scraps when they have a down year. Until recruiting rules start to eat at Saban’s bag of tricks, that’s how it’s going to be.

    • uglydawg

      When the Asshole said “I don’t want to hear any of the injury excuses” he was trying to disarm the truth…because he KNOWS it’s the reason and the truth. This was written by a jerkoff that is very, very nervous about what UGA is about to be…which is “Awesome”.

  11. Merk

    Considering that everyone of our starting skill players on O were out at least 1 game+ due to injury I think we did pretty good.

    The real reason why people might think injuries were not an excuse was because the O was so good that we still kept putting up points even when we were replacing all-SEC players with freshmen mid-season.

  12. South FL Dawg

    I think it’s fair to say we were a defensive secondary + offensive line away. The first one has a fix in already. The second one …..maybe one day, if dreams come true.

  13. and richt’s last team that overachieved was when?

  14. Atheist Dawg

    I think that little bit of analysis was dead on..

  15. Irishdawg

    It’s been years, huh, asshole? I guess 2012 was some sort of rip in the space time continuum?

  16. Athens Townie

    Myopic to overlook our slugfest with the Tide…being just 5 yards from the BCS game against the Notre Dame Pushovers. That’s how long it’s been. Before that — I would agree, it had been a while.

    That said, it seems like there’s always one or two things really missing with Richt’s teams. Whether it’s o-line, depth, a hiccup game in Knoxville, a hiccup game in Jacksonville, a bunch of untimely suspensions or injuries.

    It seems like there’s just always something.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Considering we lined up a 70 player roster versus a well orchestrated 85 player roster, I’d say we did alright.

      I’m hoping CMR is improving on his roster management skills cuz I don’t think undersigned rosters compete well year over year in the SEC.

  17. Scorpio Jones, III

    I am supposed to concern myself with a website that calls its 2014 previews the 2013 previews?

  18. Hackerdog

    What even constitutes being a columnist these days? Do they just pick out random commenters from blogs and articles and give them a platform? Does Mark Bradley have a pseudonym?

    I mean, I don’t expect a columnist to know the UGA program as well as we do. But, couldn’t he look at the 2012 rankings, where we finished in the top 5, before he declared that UGA hasn’t been elite since Richt’s early days?

    I absolutely loathe the ubiquitous attitude of wins=analysis that infects sports reporting and commentary these days. Trent Dilfer was a better QB than Dan Marino. He won a championship, derp!

    Did UGA fall off the cliff last year? Absolutely. Did losing most of the offensive skill positions, including best QB/RB tandem in the country, during the year have something to do with it? Only an idiot would argue that it didn’t. But hey, that kind of nuanced thinking would take 5 or 10 minutes to reason out. Tim Hyland, like Saban, doesn’t have time for that shit. So, he’ll just look at last year’s record, troll the fan base, and make up whatever he doesn’t have time to research, and bang out a list. WWL, here he comes!

  19. 81Dog

    Shorter version of the article: Non-SEC dude with an agenda cherry picks facts supporting his agenda that the SEC isnt really that great.

    Ho hum. You know who REALLY is not elite/old news/second tier? Ohio State and the rest of the Big Integer (except for the members who are third tier)

  20. Charles

    Yes – let’s make sure to put scare quotes around injuries.

  21. Joe

    Well I guess he missed the 2011 and 2012 seasons and the plethora of injuries in one game…which ended up being the turning point in our season…