When you take a quick, superficial look at the upcoming football season for the DAWGS, you will either see a team riddled with holes and questions or you will see a team that should once again be considered a contender in the SEC Eastern division and therefore a contender for the SEC and national championships. We here at the BEAST can see both, depending on the day…the humidity in Dublin…the lake levels at Hartwell…and which way the wind is blowing in Toccoa. Point is no one knows how the season is going to play out…and that’s part of the fun of it…but today we encourage you to channel your inner Larry Munson as we point out just a few of the ill fates that could befall our beloved DAWGS in 2010.
How does a program like Georgia end up with no better option for a starter at quarterback than a freshman (RS)? We all know the twisting road that led the DAWGS to this point and I am not going to rehash it here, but this is the situation the Georgia program finds itself in and the tide of the upcoming season will probably rise and fall with how well Murray handles the rigors of his first Southeastern Conference campaign. Regardless of how talented Murray may be, we’ve seen what can happen when your team lacks experience at the most important position on the field. In 2006, true freshman Matthew Stafford…the same Matthew Stafford that would eventually lead the DAWGS to a #2 national ranking in 2007 and become the overall #1 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft…struggled mightily between the flashes of the brilliance that was to come and the DAWGS finished the regular season at 8-4. In 2009, Joe Cox…a fifth year senior that was a DAWG through and through and that had performed pretty well in spot duty while backing up Stafford…provided Georgia with serviceable play at the position, but failed to play up to the standards the coaches, the fans and even Cox himself expected and the DAWGS finished the regular season 7-5. Murray may be turn out to be great, he may even be great this season, but history says it will be a tall order.
Ding-Dong the witch is dead. Georgia finally has a new defensive coordinator and he has been wholly embraced by the DAWG Nation. Grantham comes with an NFL pedigree, the Nick Saban seal of approval and he’s promising a style of defense that will have both his players and the Georgia fans frothing at the mouth before the pre-game warm ups are done. Sounds great and I can’t wait to see it. But I haven’t seen it yet. None of us have. G-day served up the vanilla well enough to rival your closest Bruster’s and that just ain’t enough to make the DAWGS opponents cower in fear. Not to mention that along with this new defense come new positions, techniques and responsibilities for most every player on the unit. Heads will be spinning inside those red helmets early in the year to be sure. We’ve often wondered over the last few years how a team with as much talent as Georgia has on the defensive side of the ball can be gashed the way they have been recently…is it the fault of the coaches or have we seriously overestimated that “talent”? I guess we’ll all find out together. We’re all looking for big things from this new defensive brain trust, Mark Richt included, but until we see it on the field this will remain a much talked about question mark for the 2010 Georgia squad.
What? How can an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the league last season and returns all five starters…not to mention the possible return from injury of an All-American at tackle…be a downfall for the DAWGS? In this case, too many cooks could really spoil the DAWGS stew. Depth is a blessing in football, especially along the lines of scrimmage, but how long it takes the coaching staff to sort out exactly which combination of pieces allows them to put the best five players on the field could be the key to whether the 2010 season will be a success or something much less satisfying for everyone involved. You can’t win a championship in the first month of the season, but you can certainly lose one and two road trips in the first four games along with a home game against a team with a high-powered offense in Arkansas in week three will be quite the challenge. If there is still shuffling along the offensive line a month into the season, then it’s a safe bet that the very things that the DAWGS are counting on to buoy them in the early going…a productive running game and Murray not being put on the turf every time he drops back to pass…will not be there and Georgia will be lucky to get out of the first month at 2-2 with virtually all hopes of an appearance in the championship game having gone by the boards.
Wow. I know, right. What a bummer.
Good news is…that is only one side of the coin. We will be coming to you live and in color very soon with some of the reasons that this very same Georgia team could be lifting the SEC Championship trophy in early December in Atlanta so keep your eyes peeled. Or, you could always stay up to date with the BEAST by becoming a fan of the blog on Facebook or you can follow us on Twitter….with options even…HERE or HERE.