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February 11, 2008

Here's hoping we're not Preseason #1

I personally don't think that being a front-runner is Mark Richt's strongest suit. However, he plays the disrespect card extremely well. When the media hypes an opponent to exceptional heights, we inevitably clobber them. See UF '07, Auburn '06, Ok State, Boise State, Clemson '03, etc for beat downs that came after the naysayers and pundits counted us completely out.

As a heavy favorite his results are more dicey. We've shown a tendency under Richt to have a great predisposition to reading our own press clippings with disastrous results. To quote Dawgnoxious, "It don't take nothing for us to put on airs and get uppity." See examples like:
    SC '07
    UT '07
    WVU '05
    UT '04
    UF '02
    Boston College '01
So when I see the AJC's article about UGA possibly being the Preseason #1, I'm not giddy. I'm hoping for a #2 or #3 ranking when we kickoff on August. 30th. That gives us something "extra" to strive for without being ranked so low as to keep us out of the national title conversation later in the season.

That said...if we're being honest...I don't see this team playing in the title game. Not with this schedule, and not with an offensive line featuring no senior leaders (and possibly no juniors starters). But all the fun is in the dreaming right?

201 Days til Kickoff.



blackertai said...

I remain under the firm belief that if we go 11-1 or 10-2 with that regular season schedule, we will be the best team in the country.

Anonymous said...

There's no way another two loss team makes it to the title game.

Brian Dale said...

You are crazy if you really do not believe that UGA will end up in the title game. They bring back 17 starters! Who do you think will do it? USC, who lost half their starters last year? The OL, with as little experience as it had last year was good enough to get to the National Title with 60% of the lineup back, why can't they do just as good/better this year?

Unknown said...

I didn't say "can't." I said, I didn't think they would.

BESIDES -- UGA is better off if I said they had no shot whatsoever and were the most overrated team on earth. The more negative stuff written about the Dawgs the better they do.

(caveat: I don't think we're overrated at all. So no one would believe a word of that from me)

Anonymous said...

it's an interesting, and fairly well made point that Richt-led UGA football teams do a lot better when not respected than they do when heavily favored.

I'm hoping that trend changes next year for a few reasons.

First, CMR himself. He's shown that, despite his success in winning SEC titles, he's still willing to admit he doesnt know it all, and he's willing to keep learning. Thus, Bobo becomes an OC. Evil Richt lets his players dance on the sidelines, show some enthusiasm, play a little looser. Seems like he'll be aware of the past trend and figure out how to address it.

Likewise, the seniors this year were here when W Va jumped us in the Sugar Bowl. Most of team was here last year, when we stumbled against S Carolina and flat didnt show up against UT. They seemed to learn as the season went on. Seems like they should be able to remember the bad and the good from last year, and not lull themselves into thinking they can go half speed.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, no matter how this season's rankings start out, I don't think Georgia will be #1 after the USC-OSU game.

Anonymous said...

Great post, PWD. I am always amazed at the blog's ability to come up with a great topic when absolutely nothing of interest is going on in UGA athletics. I say that because I can not stand to watch the train wreck that is our basketball program. If the program were not absolutely hopeless, I would feel differently right now.

Anyway, if being ranked lower causes our team to be motivated due to perceived slight, great. If being ranked #1 gives our guys huge-ass balls and we go around stomping asses, great.

Personally, I'd love a wire-to-wire #1, but we can't control that.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we are cave when the team/game hyped, especially when ESPN College Gameday shows up. We don't have a good track record there. Let's hope that doesn't happen much this year.

I see a very likely loss at Auburn this year. Based on the history of that series going back-and-forth, and the fact the we beat the crap out of them the past two years, and they no longer have Muschamp. We had his number when he was at LSU and Auburn. The only thing we have going for us is the visiting team in this series was the winner for a long stretch through the 90's. That hasn't held true for the past few years.

Anonymous said...

While I'd prefer the lesser pressure of being #2, being either #1 or #2 would be ideal. Having one of those slots is a HUGE advantage to getting to the MNC game. Going back to 2002, every year at least one (sometimes two) of the preseason #1 or #2 teams made it to the MNC game:

LSU #2 '07, OSU #1 '06, USC & Texas #1 & #2 '05, USC & Oklahoma #1 & #2 '04, Oklahoma #1 '03, Miami #1 '02.

That being said, I also don't see UGA in the MNC game this year. I have no faith at all in UGA being able to reproduce the ridiculous amount breaks LSU and UF needed to get to the game. UGA's schedule is every but as hard (or more so) than those teams', so we're probably likewise looking at a loss or two. At the same time, UGA'd need at most one BCS school (all with easier schedules) with a better record than them. It's just a real tall order.

Anonymous said...

it's good to see your head is back in the right place. 11-10 will do that to you.



Smitty said...

I just hope they get into the title game. It's a BS system and getting locked out would suck. I think we will be in a BCS bowl. This team loses 2 at the most.

Anonymous said...

This has crossed my mind as well and I appreciate the analysis. That said, we saw CMR take tremendous strides as a coach last year and I believe this is another arena where he can grow as a coach leading the team. Also, this is a completely different team (albeit very young) from those previous teams that underachieved.

Unknown said...

How many returning starters did we have in 2004?? That's right 18! That didn't turn out the way many expected (i.e. Auburn). That being said, I think CMR is a changed man and finally grasps how the system works and what is required to get into the big show. This past season can not be used as a guide for how to make the MNC. Like many have said, a 2 loss team will not make it this year no matter how good the SOS. I hope we can take care of business when we need to so there won't be any campaigning at the end of the season. We just need Ole Lady Luck on our side for this one.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I like Ole Man Touchdown.

Anonymous said...

Paul...about the tough schedule. Point taken, however I remember saying before the 2006 season that there was absolutely zero chance of Florida being in the championship game, as some in the media were predicting. "Their schedule is too tough," I said. Well, somehow, they got through that murderers row with only 1 loss, and won the national championship. I believe we can do the same.

Anonymous said...

You can either embrace the expectations or run from them, and I'm glad CMR and the Dawgs have appeared to embrace them. GATA.

ugadawgfan said...

I have to disagree.

Cheers... Down the hatch, Salute...

Here's to Georgia preseason NO. 1!

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