With another hot summer bearing down between the hedges, Bulldog Nation has a renewed sense of optimism as the 2012 college football season approaches. A lot of the excitement in Athens stems from the fact that Georgia is expected to be among the top ten teams in the country when preseason rankings officially come out. Looking at the here and now, one of the top priorities for the Bulldogs the next three months must be to stay out of trouble. The issues that have plagued the Georgia secondary in particular this off-season have been well documented. Regardless, the Dawgs will have no excuses once the regular season gets underway.
Georgia’s window to compete for a national championship is wide open. However, as is the case with every college football program there is no way to gauge how long the window will stay ajar. Todd Grantham has been instrumental in putting the “D” back in the Bulldog defense over the past two years, and he recently signed an extension to stay in Athens until at least 2014. Jarvis Jones is Georgia’s defensive leader on the field while Mark Richt and company stay busy on the recruiting trail.
As for the other side of the ball, the Bulldogs return six starters on an offense that averaged 32 points per game in 2011. Aaron Murray is a junior, and back-up quarterbacks Hutson Mason and Christian Lemay are quickly developing. Georgia continues to acquire an impressive stable of highly touted running backs to carry the football with each recruiting class, along with a number of promising receivers as well If Georgia can plug some holes on the offensive line, and find a way to win against highly ranked opponents, the Bulldogs have the potential to become a full fledged college football powerhouse.
No matter how bright the future may look for Georgia football, potential will not buy the groceries forever. It is not enough just to play for the SEC Championship, Georgia fans everywhere are hungry to watch the confetti fall from the sky. A national championship trophy would turn downtown Athens, (along with much of the state of Georgia), upside down.
So when should Bulldog Nation plan for a national championship celebration? An exact date is difficult to figure, but one would certainly think that at the very latest Georgia will win a national championship before Mark Richt’s new contract is up in 2016. Oh, you think I’m gutless for not prognosticating a sooner date with destiny? Winning a title this coming season will be an uphill climb, and I will not set myself up for disappointment three months before the season starts. The Georgia Bulldogs will win a national title in the Mark Richt era.