The South Carolina Gamecocks are a popular pick to win the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title in 2014.
On Thursday at SEC Media Days, it was announced that South Carolina was the pick of the media in attendance to win the SEC East. And there was one prominent person who disagreed with the pick – Mark Richt, head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs.
“My pick is Georgia, and I think we have a shot at it,” Richt said to the media. And while he is certainly not taking anything away from South Carolina, he does like the team he has returning.
The biggest question mark for the Dawgs will be whether Hutson Mason, a fifth-year senior, can excel as the full-time starting quarterback. After backing up Aaron Murray, Mason will now have his shot to be the main man behind center in Athens.
Mason will be helped by the fact that Georgia will have several offensive weapons around him. Running back Todd Gurley may be the best back in the SEC and is expected to have a big season in 2014. His running mate in the backfield, Keith Marshall, is coming off of a severe knee injury, but has looked great, according to Richt.
Georgia will need to improve defensively this season if the Dawgs are to make a run at the SEC East crown. The Bulldogs were eighth in the SEC in total defense last season and 10th in scoring defense. The addition of Jeremy Pruitt, former defensive coordinator for the Florida State Seminoles, should help in that area.
Richt is confident in his team, and, at least on paper, he has every right to be.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.