Why am I so high on a team that had a losing season last fall and lost their best players on both sides of the ball? Well, the Georgia Bulldogs have a lot more going for them in 2011 than they did last year. A.J. Green and Justin Houston are indeed gone, but they have a blue chip recruiting class coming in, stud transfers becoming eligible, and another year in the system at key positions.
Also, the Bulldogs off-season conditioning program will bring more speed to the personnel better suited for their attacking style on defense.
2010 was: pretty disastrous. Sub .500 both overall, and in conference shouldn’t happen a whole lot at Georgia. They started 1-4, coming apart at the seems early from the A.J. Green suspension/NCAA bullshit. (Seriously, what happened to Green is a perfect example of how broken the system is in college football. Of course, we’ll all still watch anyway)
BMOCs: Incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell, the top ranked running back in the nation, will be the feature back, since Caleb King was ruled academically ineligible, declared for the NFL Supplemental Draft, went un-picked then signed a FA deal with the Vikings. The Dawgs weren’t all that dangerous in the ground attack last year, and should reverse that fortune this fall. QB Aaron Murray set a Georgia freshman record with 3,216 passing yards. He was also the 14th rated passer in the nation. PK Blair Walsh, P Drew Butler and KR/CB Brandon Boykin. On defense, keep an eye on LBs Jarvis Jones Ray Drew and Alec Ogletreee
2011 will be fruitful if: the young offense comes together around their centerpiece in Murray. UGA only returns four starters on this side of the ball, with the receivers being especially raw. There is some returning experience in the OL; and that should help out a lot.
2011 will be awful if: the running game feels to re-establish itself, and the position switches on defense aren’t fluid. There are plenty of defenders in the new system, hopefully they’ll acclimate.
Bottom Line: Winning 8-9 games and taking the SEC East is the expectation. Other than UGA, SC and UF, the division isn’t all that strong. The schedule is certainly does them a huge favor as the top two cross-divisional teams (LSU and Alabama) are off the schedule.
UGA Rankings: #14 Athlon, #16 Lindy’s, #11 Phil Steele
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter
CHECK OUT ALL THE 77 IN 77sPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks