Vince Dooley: Georgia has 'best opportunity' to win SEC East

Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley isn't interested in the politics nor drama of the obvious conflict presented before him when Tennessee plays the Bulldogs in Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

But breaking down the game and the SEC Eastern Division is different; it's strictly an analysis, with no split feelings, no emotions.

Vince Dooley said that he believes Georgia is the favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division, and the Vols face a mighty challenge against the Bulldogs.

"Georgia, right now, if you had to pick a team with the best opportunity to win the East, it would be them,'' said Dooley, who coached Georgia for 25 years and led the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship. "I've seen their talent; they have a freshman running back that is blossoming, a quarterback with all-around ability that might be the best in the league, and a defensive coordinator that's proven.

"The last two games, I don't think they have given up more than 2 yards average (per rushing attempt). They have the two best kickers on one team in the country.''

As for his thoughts on Georgia winning the SEC Eastern Division, Dooley indicated that is a byproduct of scheduling, as well as talent.

"They don't play Alabama, and they don't play LSU,'' he said. "Their biggest threat is Florida, and Florida all the sudden isn't Florida with that quarterback (injured).''

Dooley said he believes Tennessee will need to play it's best game of this season to beat Georgia.

"They'll have to play a clean game, and not make any mistakes in any phase of the game,'' he said. "It will have to be a complete game, their best game.''

Dooley, like his son, UT coach Derek, believes the loss of receiver Justin Hunter goes beyond UT being one man down.

"Losing that receiver ... he would have given them a better chance to win games like this, and maybe even surprise a few people,'' Vince Dooley said. "Having two (receivers) like that, and having that quarterback (Tyler Bray), it changes things.''

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Comments » 42

DooleyWagon22 writes:

He's saying that to not let his Dawgs down.

DalTexVol writes:

That's just good old fashioned SEC "poor-mouthing." Bear Bryant used to be a master of it. By the time he was done you would think that maybe Vandy really did have a chance to beat the Tide. Then came Spurrier and it was about ridiculing the other team.

voloffaith writes:

Really think he is "poor-mouthing"? Not so ...they do have the best shot ,as alluded to, since no bama/tiggers. Correct assessment of Vols playing clean,complete game to get a W here.

69vol08 writes:

I think Vince summarized the situation very well. I just wish the Vol fans understood like him what UT's true status is compared to UGA's and will not panic if we loose this game. Of course I hope we win and it doesn't matter! Go Vols!

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Really think he is "poor-mouthing"? Not so ...they do have the best shot ,as alluded to, since no bama/tiggers. Correct assessment of Vols playing clean,complete game to get a W here.

Ya but he was also saying they was the most talented team in the east as well,which isnt true cause South Carolina has alot of talent this year.
Back to my point I understand hes a Bulldog and will always be but with his son coaching TN he should just fade in the background for just 1 game.

CCLC writes:

Just because Tennessee is not as good as they used to be is no reason to promote the Vols any less.
just sayin'

VolGrad writes:

Vols beat Georgia, 27-24.

And that's an order.

Go Vols!!!

utfutbolfan writes:

The Vols win in OT.

just sayin'

woodwr#217203 writes:

With LSU and Alabama and Arkansas and South Carolina coming up UT really NEEDS this one.

Georgia only needs to beat Florida or Auburn to be in the driver's seat.

BigBadVol writes:

He was being honest. What the heck is wrong with you people? GA has more depth and overall talent. We have a good chance to win but the reality is TN needs to play a near perfect game. VFL!

seadaddy writes:

in response to CCLC:

Just because Tennessee is not as good as they used to be is no reason to promote the Vols any less.
just sayin'

Yawn!

voloffaith writes:

in response to VOLFAN4LIFEgovols:

Ya but he was also saying they was the most talented team in the east as well,which isnt true cause South Carolina has alot of talent this year.
Back to my point I understand hes a Bulldog and will always be but with his son coaching TN he should just fade in the background for just 1 game.

Go back and read it again as I did to verify my point. Did not say "most talented" ,but one of the talented. Toss in remaining schedule and you have a better opportunity to be east champ. Vince read it the way he said it....

Bigger_Al writes:

Easiest schedule. They have Auburn, UK, Vandy, Florida, and UT. If Brantley can't play, UGA is a big favorite. Maybe "Professional Handicapper" can weigh in and give us his odds with and without Brantley...

CCLC writes:

in response to seadaddy:

Yawn!

Pop you need to get yourself a nap.
just sayin'

abnermc writes:

I think S.C. has an easier schedule

ChattaVol1 writes:

I enjoy the Vols and this Site. I can't imagine spending my precious time, sweet time going onto Alabama, Florida, LSU, Etc, Sites and making ignorant posts just to show other team's fans how stupid I am. Surely these nuts can find something more meaningfull to do, you would think. That's just me, maybe I am missing something..

Vol43 writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pants, I think you're right. I certainly hope you're right. I'm gonna watch this one at home with all sorts of Orange ornaments in the yard just to impress the neighbors. If they don't know me by now...and I will be in Knoxville the next week to watch the mighty Volunteers take on the Bengal Tigers of LSU. Go VOLS!

VOL1972 writes:

Dooley is right on both counts. Even if UT wins, and they are clearly the underdogs even at home, Georgia can win out and still win the east. South Carolina also has to go to Fayetteville. The only way Florida wins the east is if they beat Georgia and South Carolina because the LSU game will not even be interesting.

volcycle writes:

UGA may have a lot of talent, can't debate that, but they have the X factor that will cause them to lose....Mark Richt. He's a nice guy, but his teams look a lot like Fulmer's latter teams. When you keep having great recruiting classes, but consistently achieve mediocrity, it's coaching.

UT 35
UGA 14

...or there about.

rockytopatl writes:

Dooley said he believes Tennessee will need to play it's best game of this season to beat Georgia.

Great grammar, Griff.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

in response to 69vol08:

I think Vince summarized the situation very well. I just wish the Vol fans understood like him what UT's true status is compared to UGA's and will not panic if we loose this game. Of course I hope we win and it doesn't matter! Go Vols!

Good post.

brokebackvol writes:

Dooley was just telling it like it is, don't believe he has any reason to do otherwise. GO VOLS!!

volsfannsc writes:

On paper, Vince is sure-footed in his prediction. GA has not had any major coaching changes, the playbook has stayed the same for his seniors, an incredible recruiting year, and a remaining schedule to die for. I also know that on any given Saturday, any team can beat another. If our Vols are fired up, stay fired up, and do not make mistakes that turn the ball over- my money is on TN. I disagree that GA has "one of the best QB's in the SEC" I'm just not seeing it. Their defense let SC run all over them and couldn't stop Lattimore. That's why we need Poole circa 2010. We also need a kicker who can get the ball into the end zone and FG's become automatic. We can beat GA but the tumblers are going to have to fall in place.

CCLC writes:

Grantham HAS improved the defense.. Dawgs have a better all around team...No Cutcliffe against Willie. No Daddy Kiffin against Bobo... this WILL be a game where the Dawgs are going to that orange jungle with 100,000 people and 35,000 teeth, and they won't bat an eye. Dawgs win...
34-17
just sayin'

CCLC writes:

in response to volsfannsc:

On paper, Vince is sure-footed in his prediction. GA has not had any major coaching changes, the playbook has stayed the same for his seniors, an incredible recruiting year, and a remaining schedule to die for. I also know that on any given Saturday, any team can beat another. If our Vols are fired up, stay fired up, and do not make mistakes that turn the ball over- my money is on TN. I disagree that GA has "one of the best QB's in the SEC" I'm just not seeing it. Their defense let SC run all over them and couldn't stop Lattimore. That's why we need Poole circa 2010. We also need a kicker who can get the ball into the end zone and FG's become automatic. We can beat GA but the tumblers are going to have to fall in place.

Poole ain't Lattimore and Dawgs held the passing rating of South Carolina, to 85.50 (a season low);
UT has had 14 fumbles this year. UT is one dimensional and Georgia loads up INT's today.

CCLC writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Spongebath.....the boys are gonna be nicked and scraped up today. I want you know that I am believing in your ability to insure proper shower technique post game to prevent any infections. You go boy....get her done.
just sayin'

shulessjo writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

He was being honest. What the heck is wrong with you people? GA has more depth and overall talent. We have a good chance to win but the reality is TN needs to play a near perfect game. VFL!

an informed and reational comment for a change...Ga has five solid recruiting classes to choose from...Vols...one.....two if you count the freshmen. It's just a steep hill...we'll get there

SIMSVOL writes:

Vince is right on the money with his analysis. Ignorant VOLS fans think we have a great shot against Georgia. We have a good shot, but a long shot. The VOLS are two years away from challenging for the SEC title. It takes time. And while I hope the VOLS find a way to win tonight, Georgia is the absolute favorite. Give Dooley time and he will deliver a championship team at Tennessee! Go VOLS!

CrankE writes:

Dooley is correct. I've thought this since the season started. Even more so since South Carolina dropped one to Awbarn and Brantley went out.

Here's the big picture, IMHO:
Georgia doesn't make it to the Dome if they don't beat UT. If they don't make it to the Dome this year, will they ever? Get to the Dome and Richt's job is safe for a couple more years.

On the other hand, if UT scratches out a win, then it might be the last nail in the coffin for Richt's coaching career at UGA.

keviningeorgia writes:

Poor mouthing, old school SEC! Go Vince!

volholic#282380 writes:

IMO, This is the kind of comment you need to keep your trap shut about when the team you coached is playing the team your son coaches. Sounds like he thinks Barbara has been quoted a lot on this so he better come out with something, too. Wear your red tie, hug your framed pic of Herschel and watch in in your rocker, old man, while your wife is at the game cheering on her son. GO DEREK!!!

VolinVirginia writes:

There sure are a lot of games left to play to be calling your shot, Mr. Dooley.....

That being said, IMO he is right. HOWEVER, getting out of the SEC East is another story. They may not play Alabama in the regular season (as Mr. Dooley has noted above), but in all likelihood they will be playing them in December.

volholic#282380 writes:

Plus, you don't often see a father provide bulletin board material for his own son to hang on the wall! Make him eat his words, Derek!

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to volholic#282380:

IMO, This is the kind of comment you need to keep your trap shut about when the team you coached is playing the team your son coaches. Sounds like he thinks Barbara has been quoted a lot on this so he better come out with something, too. Wear your red tie, hug your framed pic of Herschel and watch in in your rocker, old man, while your wife is at the game cheering on her son. GO DEREK!!!

Wow bud, pretty tough on an old man. Ease up a little will ya? The guy is 79 years old.

I don't know the Dooleys personally. But, when a guy is 79, I doubt he worries too much about getting his opinions in print anymore. Or, fighting traffic, crowds, autograph seekers and reporters at a college ball game.

I will give a thumbs up on the hugging a pix of Herschal, though. Hell, if I was Vince Dooley, I would KISS one every day! During the 3 year Walker era, UGA and Dooley won 3 SEC titles (1 was tied but 18 - 0 sec record), a national championship and was 33 - 3.

And Dooley would be the first person to give the credit to Herschal and his teamates...

CCLC writes:

in response to keviningeorgia:

Wow bud, pretty tough on an old man. Ease up a little will ya? The guy is 79 years old.

I don't know the Dooleys personally. But, when a guy is 79, I doubt he worries too much about getting his opinions in print anymore. Or, fighting traffic, crowds, autograph seekers and reporters at a college ball game.

I will give a thumbs up on the hugging a pix of Herschal, though. Hell, if I was Vince Dooley, I would KISS one every day! During the 3 year Walker era, UGA and Dooley won 3 SEC titles (1 was tied but 18 - 0 sec record), a national championship and was 33 - 3.

And Dooley would be the first person to give the credit to Herschal and his teamates...

Well played sir.

volholic#282380 writes:

Still not the commentary you make when your old team is playing your son's team. A discrete "no comment" would be more appropriate. I read a little "rubbin it in" tone in what he is saying, which would make him typical of his "breed's" behavior. Go SMOKEY!

givehim6 writes:

Hate to tell you this Dereck but dad's not as sharp as he ues to be, may become one those old men setting on a bench talking to other old guys talking about the good old days. VOLS 28 UGA 13

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Vols beat Georgia, 27-24.

And that's an order.

Go Vols!!!

Grad.....i think we need to tack on one more for insurance.

VOLS 34
pups 24

GO BIG ORANGE!

CCLC writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And you my wittless, toothless hillbilly friend have named your self tartarsauce This popular accompaniment to fish contains a number of vegetables and herbs, which are blended together with mayonnaise and then refrigerated. Middle name Bubba?

CCLC writes:

in response to slaw_way:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tartarsauce..... we carry names that reflect on our ability and mentality.....yeah I'm feelin' impressed about now. Mustard....relish anyone. Gee whiz! I'd laugh only you are too sad.

keviningeorgia writes:

in response to volholic#282380:

Still not the commentary you make when your old team is playing your son's team. A discrete "no comment" would be more appropriate. I read a little "rubbin it in" tone in what he is saying, which would make him typical of his "breed's" behavior. Go SMOKEY!

I respect your opinion.

Go Vols!

pammyvol1000 writes:

He's not quite jumped that fence like Barbara!! She Rocks!! He's Not!

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