Georgia heading into crucial stretch

Georgia has looked unimpressive so far, but it remains a legitimate contender to reach the Orange Bowl.

Updated: September 24, 2004, 2:46 PM ET
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
The trend among college analysts right now is to pile on Georgia after its unimpressive 3-0 start. The same preseason prognosticators who picked the Bulldogs to win the SEC and earn a trip to the Orange Bowl in January are criticizing the team following an ugly win over I-AA Southern Georgia, a last-minute win at South Carolina and an uninspiring victory over Marshall.

There's no question Mark Richt's team is struggling right now. The offense can't seem to find an identity. Starting running backs are dropping like flies, and Heisman hopeful QB David Greene can't seem to string together consecutive completions.

With all that in mind, I'm still not ready to write the Bulldogs off as legitimate SEC and national championship contenders.