Why is Georgia Loved and Nebraska Dismissed?

Over the next few weeks we'll see a number of the major prognosticators and college football publications making their predictions for the 2014 season.  Already, you can see that Nebraska might sit outside of a lot of people's top 25 while Georgia is often ranked among the top 10 or 15 teams in the country.  Considering that the last live college football action that took place for these schools saw the Huskers defeat the Bulldogs, you have to wonder why is that the case?

 

Both schools must replace three starters on the offensive line, both bring back standout running backs, and both return quarterbacks that got some playing time after a starter was lost to injury.  Defensively, things look a bit brighter for Georgia as they replace just three starters to NU's five.  But then, the Bulldogs also replace their defensive coordinator while the Huskers will at least have the benefit of continuity.

In terms of impact players lost from 2013, the list for Nebraska is Quincy Enunwa, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Ciante Evans, Jason Ankrah and perhaps Avery Moss.  For Georgia, the list is tight end Arthur Lynch, flanker Rantavious Wooten, defensive end Garrison Smith, safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, and corner Shaq Wiggins.  Not wildly different in terms of what was lost.

And yet, Georgia is something of a darling while NU is largely dismissed.  Certainly, the schedule plays a factor.  Many of the bigger games are at home for Georgia including Clemson, Auburn, and Georgia Tech.  South Carolina looks like the only real tough true road game, though perhaps Missouri deserves some credit.  The Huskers face their three toughest opponents on the road in Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  Fresno State may not be easy either.  Miami could provide a tough test in Lincoln as well.  Still, for a team that consistently wins 9 or 10 games, it's not clear why Nebraska fell so far behind a team they beat so recently.

It may come down to the quarterbacks.  Hutson Mason has clearly been a better passer than Nebraska's Tommy Armstrong.  But Armstrong has been clearly the better runner.  Mason went 1-1 as a starter while Armstrong went 7-1 in his starts.  Mason may have the greater pro potential but as college quarterbacks go, they don't seem all that far apart.  

Of course, there's also the conference factor.  SEC teams have been getting a lot of respect in recent years while Big Ten teams really haven't. 

Still, there's an argument to be made that the Huskers belong in the same vicinity rankings-wise as Georgia.  They beat the Bulldogs when both teams were substantially similar to how they'll look in 2014.  There will be time for Nebraska to prove they can still win at least 9 or 10 games and the Bulldogs may show they aren't quite ready to win 11 again either.

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Comments 27 comments so far

Steve - I thought the exact same thing about Georgia when I saw ESPN’s projected top 16.  Thing is, I don’t think Georgia or Neb belong in that top 16 contender group.

Scott, you may be right!

If NU loses 4 games again this year during regular season, will the team be rated in the Top - 25 at end of season?

If 10-2 or 11-1, NU will be ranked in Top-15, it seems.

Ebb and flow of reputation. Back in the 80’s the Huskers often started out highly ranked and now with a history of choking we have no reputation. It has to be earned. The media (and all humans) are biased. Pre-season polls are useless and meaningless anyways. Media fodder. Why pay any attention to them? Wait till October.

Gerorgia is in the SEC.  Schools in the SEC are just better by virtue of being in the SEC.  Their players - even if they come from B1G country - get better, stronger, and faster the moment they sign to play in the SEC.  Their farts no longer stink and they become better looking.  For now, no one is claiming they are smarter students, but give Slive time, and that will get added to the profile of SEC football teams.

Just play ball.  Recruit better, work harder, and beat these guys.  That’s the only thing that is going to get the SEC burr out of our bloomers.

GageCo…. you are right.  Who cares what the Polls say until the final few games of the year.  They are pretty much meaningless right now and early in the season.  I just want to see Nebraska improve from year to year.  SEC does have one of the hardest schedules, seeings how the last how many years has one of the SEC teams winning the National Championship? (I can’t bear to say how many) So… Nebraska is just an after thought, for NOW.

Look i’m a huge georgia fan but both these schools are overrated.
Nebraska is just the B1g version of UGA. Big expectations always missing results.  As for this year..  Getting rid of grantham and picking up the D cor from the national champion is the best thing that happened to us all offseason.  Funny how this dude wrote that as not really being a good thing. 
anyway, I have no problem with NU.  Good luck this season.
p.s.  give the whole SEC thing a rest already

Some good points made.  What you may be missing is that although both schools lost similar amounts of talent, UGA will return multiple proven players from injury.  When the teams played last year, the three fastest players on UGA’s team, Keith Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell, and Justin Scott-Wesley were all sidelined with torn ACLs.  Further, Gurley was less than 100%.  While injuries are part of football, I suspect that most prognosticators assume that UGA will have better luck on the injury front than last year.  Our most athletic tight end was also out for the year.

The only other thing I can point to would be a discounting of the game based on weather conditions.  Against most teams from the midwest, UGA will compare much more favorably in warm, dry conditions than in wet, cool, or cold conditions.  Nearly all of UGA’s schedule will be played in warm, dry conditions, and, if not in those conditions, will likely be against a team that will struggle against the conditions just as much as UGA.  Just like there’s a reason Big Ten teams don’t want to play a deep south team on the road in September, SEC teams probably don’t want to play a Big Ten team on the road in November.

Hey guys, huge Dawgs fan, but a realistic one. I’ve also been a follower of Nebraska over the years. The Tommy Frasier, Scott Frost, Eric Crouch teams were classic teams that I loved to watch. Cory Schelsinger was my favorite football player when I was a young man watching the Huskers run that beloved option!

Anyway, just to add a couple of things. The difference in the two teams probably won’t be the defenses as much as the offenses. The Dawg’s offense was decimated at the skill positions last year. Gurley was never quite healthy after the first couple of games, and we lost 4 or 5 Starters including 3 of our best receivers for the year to ACL or other injuries. Forced to play 2 true freshman RB, one of whom (Green) a converted DB, and the other (Douglas) an afterthought in the 2013 recruiting class. We were 3-1 through 4 games with wins over LSU, Carolina, who finished in the top 15. During the LSU and Tennessee games we suffered major attrition as stated above. Our offense no long was able to overcome the defenses issues of poor coaching and inexperience in the secondary and pass rush. I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m making excuses, what I’m implying is that when healthy UGA was a vastly better team than the one in the bowl game. I’m not putting down the Huskers seeing as we were handily beaten by your boys.

What I am saying is that UGA finished with a top 6 recruiting class, gets everyone back from injury, has quality depth at the RB position with a pair of 5 star backs in Nick Chubb (look him up, the guy is a physical freak) and Sony Michel. I don’t think the addition of Jeremy Pruitt replacing Todd Grantham at DC should be waved off. Both their scheme and terminology are similar, but the major differences are their styles of coaching and philosophy. Pruitt is a true Saban type coach who demands maximum effort every day and values equal reps and intense competition during practice. Not only do I see those as positives, but being a coach myself, I am more excited about his passion and ability for teaching the fundamentals of the game. Grantham’s scheme and gameplans were notoriously complex. So much so that several UGA players now in the NFL claim that the NFL schemes they run have not been as complex as the one at UGA. Pruitt has been quoted as saying that we will only run formations and sets that the defense is proficient in no matter what.  What I see is that Pruitt understands that players play and win games, whereas Grantham felt his gameplan would win or lose despite if the players could execute it or not.

The fact that UGA is in the SEC and a perceived contender for the SEC East title obviously figures into their inflated projection as a top 10 team. We all know the SEC is the big moneymaker for many outlets so it’s clearly part of the equation. I’d be much happier if we were 15-20, but I do appreciate the respect from those who put out the list. I’m not sure UGA has fully earned it, but the conference probably puts it on the top. Plus most think, if he can stay healthy, that Gurley will be a Heisman nominee when its all said and done. 

So it’s essentially the same story as every year for the Dawgs, high expectations and a lot of hype. Hopefully this year it will all be realized, but I’ve heard the “next year” excuse for a long time in Athens.

Best of luck to your team this fall!

I would say that the biggest issue at hand is that UGA majorly under performed on defense the past few seasons, but now have what most believe is a much better defensive coordinator for the program. Not to mention that Todd Gurley, the best football player in the nation when he is healthy, played most of the season injured last year. This year, I’m sure he is determined to prove why he may be the #1 pick of the 2015 draft.

Hey Dawgs, thanks for jumping on the board!
Regarding pulling the injury card, Please review the Nebraska season, and consider how many yards A.A. would have gained with a healthy line.  Actually to our benefit this year, as this year’s starters all got lots of playing time last year!  also returning a starting receiver who was injured much of last season.

Touche!

Thats the longest post EVER from the Dawg guy.

P.S., we had alot of attrition too, that dawg dont hunt.

Naw, the reason dem Dawgs lost to us is cuz they can’t defend a 99.9 yd pass, muahahaha!

Best thing about Georgia?  They gave us the amazing Herschel Walker and “Run Lindsay Run”. 

As for giving the SEC a hard time, that will stop when your conference stops dominating CFB and the media stops kissing your… well, you know.

Georgia has more talent and we have a tougher schedule.  Saying TA’s rushing offsets Mason’s passing is a bit misleading (67 carries for 202 yards, 3 yards per carry).  While it is true that he’s better, his rushing was basically a non-factor last year.  TA needs to improve in both areas for Beck’s offense to work well and for us to be successful.  I imagine pollsters are thinking the same thing.  Only time will tell.

‘Contenders most likely to flop’ ESPN,  had some love for Bo Pelini, and his ‘best team so far’. Not so much for wissy or oklahomo. But, yeah they say georgia for real.

The only reason Nebraska beat UGA last year is because our TB was not 100 percent, our top two WRs were nursing torn knee ligaments along with our no. 2 back.

Our defense will be much better this year due to the change at DC, not worse.

Last year we lost our no. 1 WR, no. 2 RB, no. 2 WR for the season.

We lost our no. 1 RB, no. 3 and no. 4 WRs and a TE for significant amounts of the season. I respect that every team has injuries. I’ve been following football a long time. I have never, ever seen one side of the ball get hit with so many at the skill positions. Of course Murray went down also.

We lost last year, but despite the fact that the SEC has generally performed better in bowl games over the years than the Big 10, I don’t put much stock in them. Many teams just are not motivated to play them. We had big expectations last year and we watched them go up in flames. You guys had the revenge factor going on. The weather, injuries, and general feel of the game had upset written all over it. If you look at history, bowl game outcomes are not good predictors for the next season.

“We lost our no. 1 RB, no. 3 and no. 4 WRs and a TE for significant amounts of the season. I respect that every team has injuries. I’ve been following football a long time. I have never, ever seen one side of the ball get hit with so many at the skill positions. Of course Murray went down also.”

Again the injury card.  See my previous post.
The QB that beat you guys was our #2, a RS Freshman.  Our Oline was playing second stringers who had also been injured.
And with that, Ameer Abdullah, who had recently had an ankle injury, still gained 130 yards.

I hope both teams do well this year.  Go Dawgs.  Go SEC

I find the news of Armstrong training with Bret Favre. B.F. Not in NU’s best interest at all. 

B.F. Had almost as many career interceptions as touchdowns. He is also famous for making absolutely stupid throws into triple coverage. Making low percentage throws with hardly any time left if forgivable, but making same throws with time to spare…unforgivable.

A QB should not be in the position to lose a game for the other 21 players, and Brett Favre is pretty much the NFL’s ‘poster boy’ for that.

Does this mean NU coaches are in sinc with TA’s move to consult with B.F?  Or does this mean NU doesn’t know how to add value to TA’s QB developmental path, so the kid takes matters into his own hands?

To OU7times ~ Are the Sooners expected to compete for National Title this year or not?  Obviously, I can’t suggest the same conversation for NU.

I told my son to leave his bike at home and walk to campus.

NU,
We ALWAYS compete for national championships! Haa haa.

Not sure if NU is supporting this, but guessing so.

Seriously, this looks like a ‘sleeper’ class that WILL compete. Ranked higher in the pre-season polls than their championship sleeper season in 2000.

I forget exactly, but I believe Oklahoma (note the correct spelling of the state) were either ranked 15th or not ranked at all that year.

NU,

Nebraska will get their 6th natty. Just not with this coach or his staff. I am guessing 4 years or sooner AFTER Pelini is gone.

during the 90’s sooner punks spread MUDBUTT on their BURNT TOAST. 80’s were’nt so hot, and they’ve been embarassed several times. Boise St. was’nt the 1st nor the last, to make bobo look stooopid. How else do you spell oklahomo? yuk yuk ou7turds

Haha, all dem dawg fans is whining like a buncha sissies.  We beat ya, fair and square, so stop your crying.  Did you see us going around whining like sissies after ‘12, ‘oh, if only Abdu wouldnt fumbled, we had that thang…’ blah blah blah.  No, well maybe some.  If you gotta problem with Skerz beating up on Dawgs maybe take it up with your HC Von Richt.  Other than that,  maybe learn to cover a 99.9 yd instant classic play for the ages beat dem dawgs pass play next time.  Here, have a bone and get back in yer dadgum dawg house…

Because Willie Nelson hasn’t sung a song about Nebraska yet.  That’s why.

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