Zach Mettenberger's Release Will Hurt, Not Hinder Georgia Bulldogs in 2010

Kimberley Nash@sambrooklynSenior Writer IApril 18, 2010

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been dismissed from the team . He’s not coming back at any point this year, or next as far as we know, and the exact nature of why he was dismissed is not known.

If you read the official statement from the University of Georgia, it states that he was let go for a “violation of team rules.” In other words, it could be anything and, quite honestly, it doesn’t matter at this point.

Speculation is a dangerous thing and it’s important to respect the individual’s right to his reputation. No matter what Mettenberger did to warrant his being let go, he is no longer a quarterback at Georgia and that has to hurt the young man and his family.

So, the reason is irrelevant. The fact is, he isn’t going to be a Bulldog, so where does that leave Georgia?

In truth, it leaves Georgia in precisely the same situation it was in before Mettenberger’s dismissal.

The Dawgs were heading into the first game of the season a man down due to Mettenberger’s mandatory one-game suspension and, presumably, the depth chart was going to consist of just Logan Gray and Aaron Murray—that will not change.

What could change is the direction that Hutson Mason, the incoming freshman quarterback, is pushed .

Mason was likely headed for a redshirt this season with three quarterbacks in the race for the starting gig but he will now find himself thrown into the ring of fire with both Murray and Gray.                              

If not, the Georgia Bulldogs will go into the season with two quarterbacks. Again, that’s not untraveled territory for Georgia. Last season they had only Joe Cox and Logan Gray, both Murray and Mettenberger redshirted for the season.

Is it worrisome to know that Georgia will head into the season with only two quarterbacks, neither of whom have taken any significant snaps?

A little, but prior to 2009, Joe Cox had played in a very limited capacity as well. He had one memorable game against Colorado in 2006, Matthew Stafford’s freshman year, but not much else.

This road isn’t new for Georgia. It’s recent and that may be the real concern amongst fans. They don’t want a repeat of 2009.

Murray was thought to be the man before his performance in the G-Day game but after it, a small chorus was building that was ready to concede Mettenberger as the guy. Was he? That’s hard to say, but he won’t be now, so it’s a moot point.

The more important thing to note is that the sky isn’t necessarily falling at Georgia—not yet.

They basically will enter 2010 in much the way they entered 2009: with an inexperienced quarterback and a questionable backup. The same is true for Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Georgia isn’t alone in their quandary.

Even more, no matter who was named to be the starter, it was likely the running game that would be leaned on heavily in the early going.

Either way, the position had question marks that weren’t going to be answered until the season began and now there is one less question to answer. The debates can end.

Is this a shocker for Dawg fans? Absolutely, no question. The prospect of having two stellar QB’s, both of whom were Elite 11 guys, to enter the season was something that most were looking forward to and felt comfortable with the idea of seeing.

Now, it will be Aaron Murray’s job to lose and, for the record, a team could have a lot worse for a backup plan.