As the 2012 season approaches, college football fans are beginning to assess their team’s chances for glory. Georgia Bulldog fans should be excited coming into the year.
Last year’s team finished the regular season 10-2 and were SEC East champions.
The reason behind the renewed excitement is 16 starters and 54 lettermen return, along with their starting quarterback and a number of quality running backs.
The Bulldogs are a talented, experienced group, but do they have enough to win the SEC championship? Some media members and fans say no.
They point to the SEC championship game and the Outback Bowl last year, both games Georgia lost, and question if this team is talented or tough enough to win an SEC championship.
That question makes for good conversation. In my estimation, any team talented enough to make it to the championship game in the SEC is tough enough to win it. Just ask Tennessee.
In 2001, the Vols (10-2) were ranked No. 2 in the BCS and looking forward to a second appearance in the national championship game in the span of three years.
Georgia fans remember that team. It was only a we-just-stomped-their-face-with-a-hobnail-boot-and-broke-their-nose away from an 11-0 perfect regular season as the Vols headed to Atlanta.
All they had to do was beat No. 21 LSU (8-3)—a team they had already beaten once that year—in the SEC championship game.
Do the 'Dawgs have the talent to win the SEC?
At the half, the Vols led 17-7 and all was well. Then, a second-half horror story and a 31-20 loss later, and Tennessee fans left Atlanta with dreams of what could have been.
In the past four years, Georgia’s worst-recruiting class (2010) ranked No. 12, according to ESPN’s recruiting rankings. The other three were ranked sixth, fifth and sixth.
This team is loaded with talent. The defense is finally coming back into form and there are playmakers in both the passing and running game again.
Looking back to last year, only the most loyal Georgia fans are likely to remember the details more than that 42-10 final score in the loss to LSU.
Lost in that score is the fact that if not for a couple of dropped passes, Georgia could have likely led 21-0 at halftime. Even the actual halftime score (10-7) was deceptive, as Georgia held a 135-11 advantage in total yards gained.
There is no intent to take anything away from the LSU win and their fine athletes or staff. They are worthy and deserving champions.
However, this Georgia team has the talent and coaching to be just as good and win their first SEC title since 2005 and the giddy days of David (Greene and Pollack).