ATHENS- Take a deep breathe Dawg fans, because Saturday is behind us and it is time to look ahead to Mississippi State. Not only do I want to look at Mississippi State, but take a look at the rest of the schedule to see how the 2010 Georgia football team might end up. After I was talked down from the ledge and reminded their were still nine games left on the schedule, I began to wonder if there was a season to be salvaged in 2010?
Even though Mississippi State is favored by one point, I still believe the Bulldogs from Athens are the better team. Mississippi States defense looked solid against Auburn but looked much less impressive against LSU. Aaron Murray should have more time to find receivers down field against the Bulldogs. This week could be the week that Georgia’s offensive line shines against the opposing Bulldogs defensive line. Another big plus for the Dawgs is reports say Caleb King will be back in action this week in Starkville. Caleb King could prove to be the more physical rusher that the Dawgs have been looking for in the first three games of this season. On the opposite side of the ball, I believe Georgia’s defense will play better this weekend. Chris Relf and Tyler Russel are not Ryan Mallet. Mississippi State has struggled to find consistency at the quarterback position and I think Granthem’s boys will be able to exploit this weakness.
The only possible trap that could catch Georgia off guard is the dreaded cowbell’s of Mississippi States 12th man. How will Aaron Murray play on the road this go round? He struggled against South Carolina, how will he do this Saturday? Whether Georgia fans like it or not Murray is the leader of the Bulldog offense. If he is successful, Georgia’s offense is successful.
For a broader view of Georgia’s schedule, the Bulldogs are better athletically then every team they face until they make the trip to Jacksonville in late October. The schedule is divided into three sections. The first three games on the schedule challenged Georgia with two tough tests. South Carolina and Arkansas got the best of the Dawgs but they are entering into the portion of their schedule that they can do some damage. There is a possibility that Georgia is 6-2 when they play the Gators on October 30th. This is the best case scenario for Mark Richt and company.
My gut feeling is that will not happen.. Georgia will more than likely be favored against Colorado, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. But, I believe somewhere along that journey the Bulldogs will get hit with a loss. Georgia has not played consistently good football over the past few years and I don’t expect that to change with a new defense and quarterback. It would not surprise me for Vanderbilt or Kentucky to sneaky up and cause the Dawgs trouble.
If Georgia survives the next five games on the schedule with a 4-1 record, they will be 5-3 heading into the game against Florida. The schedule then gets much tougher because three of the last four games will be extremely difficult for Georgia. Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech await the Dawgs in the later portion of their season. While the Gators are beatable this season, I don’t think it is Georgia’s year to knock them off.
Cam Newton does not make the trip to Auburn an enjoyable trip either. Auburn is going to be a true test for Georgia. By then, we will know exactly who the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs are. If the defense does not improve its tackling, which I don’t think will happen over night and fans probably will not see major improvement until next year, Georgia will struggle to tackle Newton. My heart wants to believe, but my gut says the Bulldogs return home with another tally in the loss column.
After a late season cupcake matchup with Idaho State, the Dawgs play host to in state rival Georgia Tech. I stand by my prediction that Georgia Tech will never maximize their offenses potential with Josh Nesbitt as their quarterback. Therefore, I think Georgia will have the same success they had last year against the Jackets and close their season with a victory.
In my opinion, 7-5 is where Georgia will end up when the dust settles. Is it a great year? No. Is it what I want to happen? No. But, there is a lot to build on from this season. The Dawgs defenders will be a year into their new system and Aaron Murray will have a year under his belt. A 7-5 season will more then likely ensure that Mark Richt will keep his job and will get another season to get the program headed in the right direction.
Assuming Georgia gets past Mississippi State and I am wrong about their being a land mine in our following four games, Georgia will enter their match up with Florida 6-2. By then fans will know whether or not South Carolina has survived tough games against Alabama and Auburn. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party just got a whole lot more interesting.
While being 6-2 into the game with the Gators is not extremely unlikely, beating Florida is going to be a whole different story. I think the game with Florida will be a lot like the game against Arkansas, but by this point in the season Bobo will have more confidence in Aaron Murray. With my head in the clouds, Georgia will beat Florida in Jacksonville and go into a three way tie at the top of the SEC east.
Georgia will finish the rest of the season 10-2 winning the tie breaker in the SEC east with their head to head victory over the Gators. South Carolina lost against Alabama, Auburn and Florida which moved them to third place in the east. I wont predict an SEC championship victory over Alabama, but if this scenario plays out, heck anything can happen.
Realistically, I do not believe this will happen. But my point is the season is not over yet. South Carolina is going to stumble along the way and Florida is very beatable this year. Georgia has a lot of football left to play and anything can happen in college football. The SEC east is wide open this year and I still think there is a shot for every team to make a run for Atlanta.