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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Georgia the division favorite? One magazine says so

Last week I asked Mark Richt, while in upstate South Carolina, whether he felt the team in that state would be the favorite to win the SEC East. The Georgia head coach nodded.

“My guess is most people will preseason predict them to win the East," Richt said, then ticked off the list: "You’ve got some transition just happened at Tennessee, Florida’s got transition, and we had the season we had. And they (the Gamecocks) won it last year and they’ve got a lot of guys returning and their staff pretty much stayed intact. I would think most people would predict that. I think some people would have some votes for other teams. I’m sure we’ll probably get a couple."

If Richt sounded overly optimistic by saying "a couple" votes for his team, he wasn't.

Athlon has tapped Georgia as its preseason favorite to win the East. Here's a link to the magazine's preview of the Bulldogs, which also lists them No. 14 in their preseason national poll.

Now I know what you're saying: Whoa. That's crazy, that's nuts. Is too much faith being placed in Aaron Murray, Isaiah Crowell, a possibly improved defense, etc.?

I was about to write that too, until I remembered something. ... I wrote the Georgia preview for Athlon. ... Whoops.

Actually, in the interests of full disclosure, I only wrote the preview and didn't participate in the division and national rankings, other than giving my opinion once when asked. Otherwise, it was Athlon's call. And since they were good enough to offer me the chance to work for them, and can always put a stop payment on the check, I'll point out that they're very smart people with keen football minds.

Seriously, it's not too much of a stretch. The Gamecocks do have quarterback issues, even if (as seems likely) Stephen Garcia is eventually reinstated. And they have to come to Georgia; the Bulldogs' schedule is a big reason Athlon picked them.

Of course, that schedule still includes Florida, so ...

Anyway, back to Richt. After breaking down the rest of the division, he elaborated on what Georgia might have in its favor:

“Certain things we’ve got back for us I think that are positive are it’s the second year of our system defensively, I feel that's important," he said. "When you’ve got a second-year quarterback compared to a freshman quarterback, I think that bodes well.”

And he's not the only one thinks so.

8 comments:

SDawg said...

Seth, not to jack your link, and thanks for the post, but is there any new info on Caleb or any of the other academic possible casualties?

Seth Emerson said...

SDawg,

No academic news has been announced yet, but I'm reasonably sure that at least one player, who wasn't expected to start, will have a bit of adverse news.

As for Caleb King, he was never in any real trouble this semester, according to what I was told. There was never any "appeal" or anything. I'm not really sure where that was coming from.

SDawg said...

Thanks Seth. Keep up the good work!

Regular Guy said...

Seth,

From your post last week:

"When asked about junior A.J. Harmon, Richt said: : “We had him on our depth chart as the backup at both the left and right tackle.”

Am I reading too much into the past tense of that quote? Seems to me like he's the casualty we'll be hearing about soon.

Bulldawg said...

Seth-

Congrats on the Athlon gig.

Seth Emerson said...

Regular Guy,

Good catch. ... That's all I can say for now.

Peter said...

Would said person be able to correct his mistakes in a summer semester?

Seth Emerson said...

Peter,

That's possible. That's why I haven't reported the name yet. I know it's out there other places, but I'd prefer not to drag a kid's name out there on a subject like that until I'm 100 percent sure of it.