Looking ahead to 2015

I know, I know.  They haven’t even crowned the 2014 champ yet, and there are already folks trying to figure out who’s coming to the next semi-finals.

Ed Aschoff has one such team in mind.

When I look at Georgia, I see a team that appears to be a quarterback away from making a deep run through the SEC and hopping into the second-ever College Football Playoff. And really, the Bulldogs could be the best-equipped team in the SEC for such a season.

I like the way his piece is written.  Yes, he sees lots of positives, but not in a sunshine-pumping way.  It’s got more of a “it’s time to live up to expectations, Dawgs” tone to it.

It’s time for Georgia to get out of its own way and go win the SEC title before “Georgiaing” replaces “Clemsoning.”

That may be an even bigger coaching challenge than finding the next starting quarterback.

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56 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

56 responses to “Looking ahead to 2015

  1. “It’s time to live up to expections” I’ll second that! I feel the biggest legitement knock against Richt is he does not get the maximum performance out of his team on a consistent basis. The great coaches are able to do this. Saban is able to do this. When Bama gets beat it is usually by a better team like OSU. For example in 2012 we were every bit as good as Bama and proved it in the SEC title game. Yet we played very poorly against USCe and were crushed earlier that season. That same year Bama lost a close shoot out with A&M. And WTF about this year when we crushed MU and Auburn yet were crushed by FU and lost to SC and the nerds? I have no explanation for that kind of inconsistent play. Pruit seems like the kind of coach that gets the max out of his players every game. I hope it spreads to the whole team.

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    • Cosmic Dawg

      I somewhat agree with your premise that CMR doesn’t get the max performance every single game, although I think coaches that do are in the extreme minority, and I do think CMR does a lot of other things really, really well.

      But I thought the 2012 SECCG was a situation where we had just a bit less talent than Bama but played with a lot of heart, and CMR and co. at least coached Saban to a draw that day.

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    • Irwin R Fletcher

      “When Bama gets beat it is usually by a better team like OSU.”

      I think what you meant was

      “When Bama gets beat, Saban gets the benefit of the doubt that it was by a better team”

      95% of people would have told you that Bama was the better team before that game and 75% of folks probably still would. Bama got outcoached, yet the narrative will be not Saban losing another big game but how OSU is better.

      I’m not saying that as a defense of Richt, but it is a criticism of how we paint narratives sometimes.

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      • Cojones

        Make that 97.7% of sports writers for ESPN picking Bama and you won’t be estimating. Out of 43 writers, one picked tOSU.

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      • I thought Bama had the better team before the game and I was wrong. I have said on this site before that Meyer out coached Saban in that game. But that wasn’t some great upset based on Meyer brilliantly out coaching Saban. OSU just lined up and whipped Bama’s ass. Saban certainly loses games but rarely because his team doesn’t show up, which was my original point.

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      • JCDAWG83

        Without a doubt, Meyer did a better job preparing the team for what Alabama might do than Saban did. Ohio State also showed what had been suspected all season about Alabama’s offense. They were a one trick pony at receiver and the qb was not great. Ohio State took away the run and forced Alabama to beat them through the air and they weren’t able to.

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      • Bazooka Joe

        not to mention the beatdown at the hands of Oklahoma, or loss to Utah…UTAH

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    • godawg

      “Pruit seems like the kind of coach that gets the max out of his players every game.”

      I have to disagree. I believe he will be, but he didn’t this past year. The games lost in 2014 were a direct result of the defense not getting the job done. Pruitt, to his credit, admitted it after the USCe game. The Florida games was a complete train wreck defensively and we couldn’t stop Tech but would have won in spite of the defensive breakdowns if not for a boneheaded call on ST at the end of the game.

      I give Pruitt a pass on the season because it was his first and the serious holes in the lineup he was forced to contend with. That said, I still think we are two years away from a serious run.

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  2. While I agree UGA has a lot of pieces, he overrates the WRs by a good bit and he glosses over the QB issue too much. UGA also needs to replace one helluva Center, and the one game he was out was the UF disaster. I do think Tenn and UGA are the two favorites in the East with Miz and UF close behind. I disagree on UGA being primed for a run at the CFB playoff, though. I think 2016 is the next year that could happen.

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    • Agree with you about the WRs – pending seeing what the 2015 class has in it – and the QB situation.

      But I think you read too much into a center missing part of a game, when they’ll have several months to prepare Andrews’ replacement for the position. (Who won’t be Hunter Long, anyway.)

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    • Connor

      I think he also understates the losses in the middle of the defense, D-Line and middle linebacker. We weren’t exactly salty against the run as it was and asking true freshmen, no matter how talented, to shore that up is a tall order.
      If you could guarantee above average QB play and run D along with everything else coming back and coming in, I’d like our chances too.

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    • Cosmic Dawg

      Agree exactly with all of the above, plus the entire defensive line.

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      • diving duck

        That’s a good point. It seems we’ve had a few highly rated recruits on the d-line that took a few years before they were producing. Ray Drew, Garrison Smith, and Mike Thornton all come to mind.

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  3. Better than folks on this very site predicting the apocalypse of 2015 before 2014 is even complete. But, yeah, the Georgia Way(expecting the worst, getting in our own way, etc) has been around as long as I’ve been alive. It’s a mindset of many fans and apparently the entire program, too.

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  4. Bulldawg165

    “it’s time to live up to expectations, Dawgs”

    Ain’t that the truth.

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  5. W Cobb Dawg

    “There’s little room for excuses for the Dawgs.”

    That sounds like a challenge. Oh, we’ll find excuses! Whether there’s “little room” or lots of room. If there’s one area where we excel beyond all expectations, its got to be finding new and creative excuses. But if new excuses aren’t plausible, in a heartbeat we can drag out old excuses and re-use them. In fact, I have it from reliable insiders the new IPF will have a whole wing built for excuse storage.

    But it would be a refreshing change to win the sec.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Here are the standards; new qb, new OC, new offensive line coach, no proven wide receivers.

      Of course, the old favorites have to include; the NCAA hates us, the refs hate us, the SEC hates us, ESPN hates us and don’t forget Jan Kemp.

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      • AusDawg85

        So we have to go undefeated or else any loss is due to “excuses” , not that the other team was better that day. Your insight and analysis is like a concert pianist just hitting one note, over and over and over and over…

        Hey, why don’t you guys tell us what you think of Richt?!

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  6. JCDAWG83

    Georgia is the up and coming power in college football, and always will be.

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    • I started laughing and then I stopped. I began to worry that this was not a joke but simply a statement of fact.

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      • JCDAWG83

        It’s been the case for 20 years now, I see no reason for change. It’s sad really. I’ve accepted what we are.

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        • sUGArdaddy

          You do realize that Ohio St. went from 1968 to 2002 between National Championships? Auburn went from 1957 or 1958 to 2010. Florida St. didn’t win one until 1993, and probably didn’t deserve to be in that game in the first place. Florida won their first in 1996.

          We won our first in 1942. Won another one in 1980. We’ll get another one. There is no ‘this is who you are’ deal for teams with titles. Those things are hard to come buy. Oregon is going for their first, as in…ever. When’s the last time UCLA won one? Tennessee went a loooooong time before winning another in ’98. No one, really, besides Bama, is cranking those things out left and right. That they neighbor us makes it annoying.

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  7. paul

    The fact that he even says before “Georgiaing” replaces “Clemsoning” tells me we’ve already missed more opportunities than I’d like. Unfortunately, I think he’s right about that. I’d say more than a few people currently see us as the SEC version of Clemson.

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  8. Debby Balcer

    Setting expectations too high in a rebuilding year leads disappointment when the team does its best. We have several holes to fill. Let’s worry about the SEC east before looking ahead. As a Florida homer what better way to put our coach on the hot seat even with a great season by raising expectations to a level only one team can claim. I believe in our coach and the recruiting has been stellar but let’s wait until September before putting that pressure on the team.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Wow, Debby! Munson would be envious! ;->

      1) Setting expectations too high
      2) rebuilding year
      3) the team does its best
      4) We have several holes to fill
      5) Let’s worry about the SEC east before looking ahead
      6) raising expectations to a level only one team can claim
      7) the recruiting has been stellar but
      8) let’s wait until September before putting that pressure on the team.

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  9. A10Penny

    WR recruits by class:
    11 – Conley, JSW, Seay
    12 – Tibbs
    13 – Davis, Johnson, Lemay, Rumph (gone)
    14 – Johnson, S. Williams, I. McKenzie

    The only WRs returning that have done anything significant as receivers are Conley and JSW. The rest combined last year had:

    23 catches and 261 yards, 1 TD (including Towns’ 6/45 and one score)

    Perhaps Isaiah and others step up, and/or one of the ’15 recruits. But this is one position that is really troublesome, and the ’15 class doesn’t offer a lot of hope.

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    • The ’15 class doesn’t offer much hope? They’ve got commitments from a five-star kid and three or four four-stars.

      I know nobody counts until they’re on the dotted line, but assuming they all make it to Athens, you don’t think any of them will contribute?

      BTW, Conley’s gone and you left off Malcolm Mitchell. 😉

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      • A10Penny

        Thanks for the correction, I meant Mitchell instead of Conley coming back. As far as ’15 goes, don’t pin too much on a 168# kid. He could be the next AJ or he could be the next Marlon Brown. (I’d take either). But, we need depth, too and the 12-14′ classes have hurt us in that department (so far).

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        • At least three of the incoming kids are 6-2, 185+, if I recall correctly.

          I’m not saying they’re all going to crack the two-deep from the get go, but I like the odds of at least one becoming an early contributor.

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    • pete

      If…and that’s IF Mitchell and JSW can stay healthy, I believe they are real threats, game changers. Towns, Tibbs and Davis can all be solid…Davis has potential to be a threat. As far as the newbies go, Godwin and/or Slayton could be early contributors…judging by other’s reviews of course. I’m hopeful anyway.

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      • A10Penny

        Towns, Tibbs and Davis combined for 14 catches, 133 yards and 1 TD last year. And I think that was with every WR missing time due to injury (except Conley?). Granted, we had Gurley, Chubb and company so their stats are going to suffer. But aside from one long catch from Reggie Davis against an over-matched opponent, has any of them impressed yet?

        I hope I’m wrong and it’s just that they have been blocked by Mitchell, Conley, Bennett, JSW, etc.

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  10. IndyDawg

    In 2014 Georgia finished where many of the pundits and many on this blog predicted we would–and most Dawg fans were disappointed. It’s the Georgia Way to inflate expectations the moment we have some success during the season. As for me, looking at the 2015 schedule and offering a waaaaay too early guess: I say 9-3 and 2nd in the SEC East again. The 2015 meme is this: “It’s time to live up to expections!”. That leaves room only for win it all or it’s a bust.

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    • PTC DAWG

      “Win it all or bust” fans are the most miserable fans….why even watch the sport if that is your thinking…

      Me, I would love to see another SEC title….but I won’t piss and moan if we don’t get it.

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      • IndyDawg

        Not misearble here. Far from it! The miserable, bitter fans hold inflated unmet expectations. I agree with you last sentence whole heartedly.

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      • Of course we want to win it all. It’s like spring training in baseball. All teams are tied and all the fans feel this might be the year they will win the World Series. I remember 1980 well. In Jan 1980 I was not predicting 12-0 but I was sure as hell was thinking about it and hoping for it. Ah, what the hell, we’re going 15 and 0 baby! You heard it here first.

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  11. Slaw Dawg

    Surprising myself, while I think he minimizes some of the gaps, I agree with Aschoff’s main points. We’ve been better than our records at least 3 of the last 5 years, probably at least 5 of our last 8. I get that there was damn good coaching on our side of the ball in the Clemson, MO and AU games, at least. But after resisting the “annual Richt face plant” meme in years past, I just haven’t been able to reconcile myself to this year’s losses. I always feel like we’re trading off–“yeah, maybe we lost X game we shoulda won, but don’t forget that we won Y game we shoulda lost.” I’m just tired of doing that.

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  12. BCDawg97

    I’m not drinking any Kool-Aid until about 8PM 12/5/2015…

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  13. Scorpio Jones, III

    If you are concerned about the Kool-Aid effect from Aschoff, don’t worry, the pre-season experts will Dawgrade Georgia because we will have a new and relatively inexperienced quarterback.

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  14. Macallanlover

    Everyone will have to wait, as we all know, but based on what we all are expected to have, making UGA a solid frontrunner in the East is very reasonable. We have a good chance to have the best talent with the best staff, doesn’t guarantee anything in January but it is enough to get us through the winter months and anticipating more info in the Spring.

    As for going further, we can win the SECCG and make it further if we get positive answers at ILB and DL, we have to be better at stopping the power running games of 3-4 teams on our schedule. I agree that we will be OK at center with time to prepare, the falloff in the FU game was not having someone capable of playing that position and making the blocking calls. We have QB options that will satisfy our needs on offense, don’t know which one will win out but it will not take an Aaron Murray level QB to get us a title. Lot of toys in that toy box, we will be good on offense We will still need a better Punter to help with a title run. Feel upbeat Dawg fans, the next 2+ years are going to be fun.

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  15. AusDawg85

    We have a chance to do well if we win every game.

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