College Football Preseason Top 25: #14 Georgia
Why They’re Here: There’s another hot seat in the SEC and it belongs to Mark Richt. The fact that Les Miles (although, he deserves it for that monumental brain fart in the Ole Miss game) and Richt have questionable job security really shows you how outrageous people’s expectations are in college football. Richt is 90-27 all-time at Georgia and has a 7-2 bowl record. But that’s not what’s important to people in Athens. All they know is Richt hasn’t won an SEC title since 2005 or even an SEC East title since that year. They’ve been owned by fierce rivals Florida (excluding that little episode in 2007 that we won’t speak of) and Georgia Tech since 2005 as well. Having a number one draft pick guide the team, which was ranked number one to start the season, to a 10-3 record and an appearance in the Capitol One Bowl in 2008 didn’t help things. And last year’s starter Joe Cox and an 8-5 record weren’t much help for Richt’s cause either.
The Good: Georgia is still considered an elite SEC team and can legitimately make a run in the polls. The team returns its entire O-line, star-in-the-making RB Washaun Ealey, and WR AJ Green, who is probably the best receiver in the conference. This team has weapons on offense and if there’s a coach in the SEC, other than Urban Meyer, who knows how to use offensive weapons, it’s Mark Richt.
The Bad: Quarterback isn’t just a position in college football, it’s THE position in college football. Having a quarterback is 90 percent of the battle at this level and the knife cuts both ways. The Dawgs had a QB in waiting with Logan Gray and a top 25 recruiting class this year that included two potential QB starters, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. Unfortunately Mettenberger was dismissed from the team and Gray was converted to wide receiver and then almost transferred. With guys like Matt Stafford, DJ Shcokley, Quincy Carter and David Greene in recent memory, it’s hard for Dawgs fans to put up with sloppy quarterback play. Last year’s starter, Joe Cox, was probably the worst Georgia QB in 15 years. If no one shows up behind center for Georgia this year, it’s game over.
The Last Word: The big question for Georgia going into the season is what Richt will do at quarterback. With a stacked running attack (rhyme unintentional) and an offensive line like the one Georgia has returning this year, anyone worth a scholarship should be able to get out there and put some points on the board. The defense should be rebuilt as well, but may still have some problems getting to the quarterback. This team is flying under most people’s radar right now, which should help them. Their September 11 game against South Carolina will go a long way toward measuring both teams potential this season.
Final Record: 9-4