Georgia 2010 Prognosis: Bulldogs Will Be Better, but Expect Growing Pains

Kimberley NashSenior Writer IDecember 10, 2009

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Washaun Ealey #24 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

While we are still awaiting word on who will be the new defensive coordinator, and there is some indication that could be soon (pay site), it's important to begin looking ahead to what 2010 may bring for the Georgia Bulldogs. 

There are a vast majority of us who feel that fixing what ails the defense will put us on the right track, while others hold a slightly different opinion.

Whatever your thoughts are on Georgia football, one thing is certain: a change is coming. 

This season was marred by poor defensive play, inconsistencies at quarterback, a late-to-arrive running game, and disappointing offensive line play.

So, does next season spell relief?

Hate to say it, but not likely. 

As talented and potential-laden as Aaron Murray is, he will still take his lumps while learning to execute the offense and that will likely spell a few losses despite a somewhat more manageable schedule next season. 

Consider this:

David Greene was a redshirt freshman in 2001. He finished the season with an 8-4 record.

D.J. Shockley was successful in his lone season as a starter but he had taken significantly more snaps in his career to prepare him for the transition from back-up to starter. 

Matthew Stafford came in as a true freshman in 2006 and, although he had to fight off the competition with Joe Cox, he eventually was named starter and Georgia finished the regular season 8-4.

Joe Cox, for as long as he was on the bench, didn't truly get to do his thing until this year. He wasn't nearly as seasoned as Shockley or quite as talented as Stafford. His final record was 7-5.

The point here is this: Aaron Murray may be good but it's important to temper your expectations for 2010 since 1) he is still a freshman with zero game experience, and 2) the introduction of a new defensive coordinator could mean there are some growing pains on the defensive side of the ball as well.

Add to that the possibility of seeing both Rennie Curran and Reshad Jones bolt for the NFL and you have a team that will be looking for a new set of playmakers.

Is it possible that the Dawgs come out firing on all cylinders and light the world on fire? Sure! Absolutely! And if that happens, it will be a lovely season for those of us in Dawg Nation. 

However, the more realistic view is that we will be better than this year but not quite as good as we are likely to be in 2011.

So, as a fan, the question has to be: are you willing to accept another "average" (i.e. 8-4) season from the Dawgs if the product on the field looks like it's getting better?