Georgia brings back a ton of talent this season. Head coach Mark Richt is perennially on the hot seat, but a 10-4 season and 10-game winning streak last year saved his job. Georgia started 0-2 last year, but rode a 10-game winning streak to finish the regular season 10-2 and win the SEC East. Richt had to make a tough decision during the spring. He dismissed former five-star recruit, Isaiah Crowell, after being charged with felony gun possession charges. Crowell was in and out of trouble during his freshman season. Georgia could no longer deal with his off-field issues and decided to dismiss him in June.
The Bulldogs will depend heavily on their defense this season. Georgia brings back nine starters from last season's team and they ranked third in total defense. Redshirt junior, Jarvis Jones, is one of the best defensive players in the country. Jones had 70 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks (tied for second most in the country), two forced fumbles, two blocked punts, and had 49 quarterback pressures last season. Plain and simple, the guy has more meetings with the quarterback than the offensive coordinator. USC is probably wishing Jones didn't transfer after his freshman season.
Junior, Aaron Murray, will be the focal point of the offense. He is coming off a very good sophomore season. He threw for 3,149 yards and 35 touchdowns and only needs 14 more passing touchdowns to break David Greene's school record of 72 Touchdowns.
Murray has a given ton of talented receivers to get the rock too next season. Senior, Tavarres King, leads the receiving corp. He had 47 receptions for 705 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. Senior, Marlon Brown, proved to be a deep threat last season as a junior averaging over 15 yards a catch.
Malcolm Mitchell should be the next Brandon Boykin as he will see action on both sides of the ball. During his freshman season, Mitchell had 45 catches for 665 yards and four touchdowns. The Bulldogs will use him at defensive back to help replace the void of Brandon Boykin, who was selected in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Running back could be an issue for the Bulldogs heading into 2012. Luckily, Georgia has a good enough defense to allow their two freshmen recruits to get comfortable. Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley were two of the hottest running back prospects this season. Georgia landed them both, and this was when they figured Isaiah Crowell would be the main cog in the backfield.
Marshall was the number one running back recruit this season. Expect him to be a big piece of the offense next season, and help make the departure of Crowell that much easier. Gurley was the 11th rated running back coming out of high-school. Expect these two freshmen to make an impact for the Bulldogs.
The main reason why the Bulldogs will have a good chance to compete for an SEC Championship and a National Championship is because they have an easier schedule than any other team in the SEC. They avoid Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama this year, at least during the regular season they could meet one of these teams in the SEC Championship game. Georgia will bring in one of the best defenses in the nation next season, and if they can handle their off the field issues they will be a team to pay attention to in 2012.