“I think Georgia is the enigma in the East…”

Here’s a really nice piece from Ed Aschoff that illustrates why it’s so hard to get a handle on what Kirby Smart’s program should be capable of this season.

Here’s the thing:

We think Georgia should be really good this year. Maybe not really good, but SEC East champion good.

Soon, a large contingent of media will likely pick the Bulldogs, who return 10 starters from a pretty solid defense and have a young superstar in the making at quarterback, to win an SEC East that’s still a mess.

You have the Nick Saban clone in Kirby Smart entering his second year as head coach after signing the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class.

Honestly, we (that’s media and your average consumer of college football) keep wanting to believe that when Georgia should win the division it should, well, win the division.

So 2017 leaves us with a red-and-back conundrum. Are we ready to confidently anoint Georgia as the SEC East favorites?

Confidently?  Are you nuts?

Actually, no.

The truth is we really don’t know and we won’t know for months. Those 10 returning defensive starters to a unit that ranked in the top five of the SEC in scoring, rushing, passing and total defense sounds so enticing. The fact that the sensational running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returned to help uber-talented quarterback Jacob Eason kinda makes us want to pencil Georgia into Atlanta … twice.

But we have to show some restraint and patience.

Restraint and patience are warranted because we’ve been there before without the expected results plenty of times.  At some point, you’ve got to cross the finish line if you want to change the perspective.

Make sure you read the quotes from anonymous SEC coaches Aschoff cites.  There are plenty of logical reasons to expect a contender this year, but logic by itself doesn’t win titles.

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52 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

52 responses to ““I think Georgia is the enigma in the East…”

  1. Normaltown Mike

    Like

  2. diving duck

    “The truth is we really don’t know and we won’t know for months.”

    Like

  3. jt (the other one)

    Two things.

    -If Kirbo doesn’t win the east….

    -I have no confidence that we will win the east. I feel like Charlie Brown getting the football pulled out by Lucy every time he goes to kick it. To be a Georgia fan…

    Like

  4. The other Doug

    Richt was sacked and Kirby was brought in to change the perception of UGA always finding a way to not win. He better step up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AO

    The year(s) that Mizzou won the east when it was UGA’s to lose =’s attitude adjustment for me. I ain’t buyin….. Yet.

    Like

  6. He didn’t say anything about the offense really. Why didn’t he say much about the offense? That Cheney boy, he makes me more nervous than a long tailed cat in a rocking chair factory.

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  7. Dave

    i don’t understand articles like these. Make the damn prediction or don’t. It’s been discussed ad nauseum why Georgia might be better this year (2nd yr QB, 2nd yr coach, etc). Georgia didn’t really disappoint last year in terms of overall record (obviously didn’t surpass expectations, either), but even that doesn’t matter.

    You break down the league team by team, and you say, “Given this team’s schedule and personnel versus others, this team would be the odds-on favorite to win the East.”

    The fact that Georgia was picked to win and didn’t many times is non sequitir. Different coaching staff, different players, but most of all, they didn’t under perform. We were just wrong in our predictions.

    To quote George Washington, “You are what your record says you are.”

    Georgia should be predicted to win the East. All the other crap about them failing to do so in previous years is irrelevant, in my arrogant opinion.

    Like

  8. CVegas Dawg

    As a life long Atlanta/UGA sports fan I will believe it when I see it. “We” always find a way to lose what should be a given.

    Like

  9. MrKnowitAllSec Spradlin

    Enigma is too polite. We’re under performers until proven otherwise.

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    • Otto

      Yes and as such Florida is the favorite, they are returning enough starters and have the track record to be the favorite. If I were an unbiased sports reporter UGA gets picked 2nd. Florida can run their SEC schedule to go into Jax with an undefeated SEC record. Granted UGA can as well.

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      • Mayor

        The reason FU wins the SEC East so much is they beat their 2 biggest rivals for the East–UGA and UT, with regularity. Other than a one time win by USCe and Mizzou, the East has only been won with any regularity by FU, Georgia and UT. Job one for the Dawgs is to beat FU. Job two is beat UT. What is so disappointing is all those years in a row when we did beat UT and didn’t beat FU. I have long contended that if Georgia beat FU regularly, Georgia would have all the titles that FU garnered instead of the Gators.

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  10. O Line, O Line, O Line,: OC, OC, OC.
    Those 2 things improve drastically & the Dawgs Win.
    They should win in Atlanta also.
    I consider Kirby to already be on the Hot Seat.

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    • Otto

      I don’t see him is on the hot seat, last season’s record was 1 loss under my expectation (GT). If he drops 2 in a row to GT then he is on the hot seat. W’s over GT will not keep you employed in Athens but Losses will get you fired.

      Like

    • MikeinDunwoody

      Problem is, we lost 3 guys on our line, and they’ll be a little weaker, hard to imagine. Which means Chubb & Michel will be stifled again (both underperformed last season to put it mildly), and Eason will struggle to find time to hit the receivers. BTW, who the hell will Eason be throwing to now that IMck is gone, we got no deep threat, so they’ll be stacking that box again. And we’ve all read about how Eason crumble under pressure (26% completion when pressured) so he’ll get tons of it from the Gators & Vols since he can’t beat it. I expect Ky & SC & Vandy to bring loads of pressure too. Gonna be a long season. We seem a little better than KY & SC & Vandy, a little worse than the Vols and a lot worse than the Gators.

      Like

  11. Macallanlover

    Come on guys, unless we have 2013-like, massive injuries we should almost be a unanimous pick this year. Last season we did not have the best talent, and we had a 1st year staff, this season we have overwhelmingly better talent, and a staff that has had time to work out the kinks. Of course we should accept that role of favorite and stop acting like Dooley and Munson with all the poor-mouthing.

    In CFB there is always the chance you lose one for inexplicable reasons but even with that happening we should be good enough to coast into Atlanta….and compete. I agree with Dave, act like a champion and be confident…it is right there before us. Doesn’t mean you bet your first-born or mortgage on it, just admit that UGA will be the East winner in 2017 or something is terribly wrong.

    Like

    • dawgtired

      You can’t help but feel good about our chances for winning the East. 9 wins last year with OL issues, frosh QB, new staff etc…
      We were close in all but two games and we don’t play one of those. We have out recruited our opponents and bring more players back.
      We’ve recruited 4 OTs and 2 OGs, highly sought after and that fit the Kirby bill. Our QB has a year under the belt with spring, summer and fall workouts before real games start. And I believe he is the real deal. Our staff in-tact, save one Tracy Rocker, with a year of learning behind them and a verbal commitment to open up the offense. …and I’m a pessimist!

      Like

  12. Puffdawg

    “TWICE” ??

    Whoa.

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  13. 69Dawg

    If I’m a pundit I would have gotten tired of picking a team like UGA that consistently underperforms. I know new coach and all but going all the way back to Donnan UGA has always made the pundits look bad. Remember, until Richt won the SEC UGA had not won it in 20 years. Even if we win it this year the 20 year span will still be longer. I wouldn’t pick us against Vanderbilt until this coaching staff demonstrates on the field, that they are not just throwing away another year on their OJT. My pick in the East is UF, SOB’s will walk into it again.

    Like

    • Otto

      Go back to Goff ’92

      Like

    • Macallanlover

      There isn’t much pressure 69, this group never gets it right anyway. UGA was the pick in 2014 and 2015, TN was the pick in 2016….what’s to lose? I believe their batting average is below the Mendoza line for this century. Might swell pick along with everyone else than try to pick a team that you cannot defend, who else but UGA is even in the running this season? Going to bet on TN after they lost their playmakers on both sides of the ball? Or Florida who has ridden their defense the past two years but lost the top producers from that defense? You could try a Hail Mary and trendy pick of KY or Mizzou but you would be pretty exposed on those limbs all by yourself.

      Heck. they have to get it right one year, so pick UGA and have the easy cover of logic to hide behind. UGA will have 70+% of the picks to win the East. Now those guys picking UGA as a Top 10 team, they appear to be smoking something stronger than is legal.

      Like

  14. PTC DAWG

    I think it’s UGA or UF….comes down to Jax…

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    • MikeinDunwoody

      hope so, but it’s been between Gators & Vols for last 2 seasons, we havn’t even been in the conversation.

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    • Got Cowdog

      I’m not being snarky, PTC, but it seems like UF or UT v UGA every year, and I cant remember the last time we didn’t shit the bed in one or both of those games. Since 2012 we suck. And as much as I like to be a glass half full, pie in the sky, Kool-Aid addled Disney Dawg we will still suck until we compete and win against quality conference opponents. I think this is what got Richt fired, whether it was his fault or not.
      Man, I hate suckitude.

      Like

      • Mayor

        CMR had a winning record against every SEC opponent over his career at Georgia except FU and Bama and Bama was actually pretty close until near the end of CMR’s tenure.

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  15. MikeinDunwoody

    I don’t know what to expect from our team this year. What I do know is we have lost to the Gators & the Vols 2 years in a row, so no way we are better than 3rd in our division. Until we start beating these 2, we’re 3rd, just being objective and honest. Now the Vols could slip a little this season without Dobbs. But until we beat these 2, we don’t deserve any hype. We lost to VANDERBILT!!!

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    • Rocket Dawg

      Because this is the EXACT same team that lost the last 2 years to UT and UF and they are EXACTLY the same teams that beat us right? No chance at all we might have improved a little and they have regressed? Nah

      Obviously because we have a G on our helmet we must automatically stay the same from season to season.

      God i hate some of you assholes. Some of you are worse than opposing fans. Get behind the team or get the hell out.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        True, pretty laughable. Anyone who looks at the East this century and puts UGA at 3rd must have blinders on. Oh, I forgot, those four games over the last two years make for a total analysis. How could he leave Mizzou out,?Guess we are 4th. Jeez, those two Hail Mary losses to TN must have sent a portion of our fan base over the edge. Can you say “negatrons”?

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  16. Russ

    Richt was replaced by Kirby to change this narrative. Now’s the time.

    Like

  17. UGA85

    You know when it’s a safe bet to pick UGA to win the East? After they beat Florida in Jax, preferably by 20.

    Like

    • MikeinDunwoody

      Yep, we will suck on offense and don’t forget about special teams (Beamer Jr is one of worst spec teams coaches I’ve ever witnessed AND we lost I Mckenzie on spec teams), we will go as far as our defense can take us, unless they’re like top 5 quality nationally, the Gators or Vols will win the East. Remember, the defense seemed clueless in the red zone, so I don’t know how that will be fixed since the same coaches and players return on defense. Our coaches can recruit, but they don’t seem to be able to coach em up.

      Like

      • Otto

        I think the Vols will be in a fight for 3rd with SC, and Mizzou.

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        • MikeinDunwoody

          Butch has outcoached both CMR & CKS. I won’t overlook him anymore. We have barely lost to UT, so it wouldn’t take a lot to swing it, but, I don’t see how the 2017 is better than the 2016 at any position group. If you’ve seen 2016 dawgs, there’s no enigma, it’s pretty much same story. O line personel should be better but couple that with less experience and you got a similar situation to 2016. Look for us to battle KY/SC & Vandy for 3rd again for the 3rd straight year.

          Like

          • Otto

            I’m not counting on UGA being better in the UT game, it is UT being worse. If I remember correctly they lost a ton of players and get a new OC. You do have a point with Butch out coaching CMR and possibly CKS.

            Like

            • MikeinDunwoody

              Don’t kid yourself, Butch has recruited 4 top 15 teams (2 were top 5) the last 4 seasons (via ESPN’s team rankings), tons of talent, and he has shown he can coach them up. They likely won’t miss a beat. They are LOADED and could be better on defense and special teams and with the hire of Conales to work with the Qb’s, they got better.

              Like

              • Brandon

                #*#&$&A%$^ Sorry, just threw up. You can badmouth UGA all you want to but PLEASE take your Booch kissing elsewhere.

                Like

          • Whiskeydawg

            Dawgs won’t just win the East this year, they will rule the East.

            Like

            • MikeinDunwoody

              I’d be thrilled if we just progressed, finished in the top 25 for the first time in 3 years like the Vols & Gators have. Then again, I’m more of a realist than the Disney dawgs.Right now, we are not in their league. Hope that change someday.

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              • Macallanlover

                Very impressed by the incredible range of your perspective, all of two years….congrats. Almost as impressive as your analysis of Sgt Carter’s amazing ability to coach ’em up. Now, as a fan, how do you really feel about those smokey gray unis, you can speak freely here, we don’t care if you don’t mind being a laughing stock for adding that new, strange hue to your school’s color scheme. Nothing like changing your traditions with every coach. First Junior, now Bootch. “You got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

                Like

  18. MikeinDunwoody

    Eason worries me, like a lot. The first 5 games, he looked really good, I think his passer rating was over 130.

    But some people get worse with experience, they can’t learn. Eason is one of those. His passer rating in the next 7 games was an 80, a 50 point drop.

    So, no, Eason will not be better with more experience, some guys don’t know how to learn from their mistakes.

    If Jake Fromm takes over, now we have a different ballgame, but that would take balls.

    Like