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It's one kind of satisfaction for Bulldog fans to watch an embattled lineup come together; it's...

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It's one kind of satisfaction for Bulldog fans to watch an embattled lineup come together; it's another when that lineup is so young. UGA has far too much at stake next Saturday — an SEC championship, a BCS bowl, an 11 or 12-win season — to start looking ahead to 2012. But you can practically hear the preseason hype over the returning stars from here. That includes the best quarterback in the conference, sophomore Aaron Murray. It includes the most productive freshman rusher (Isaiah Crowell) and receiver (Malcolm Mitchell) in the league, and the most productive tight end (Orson Charles). It includes nine returning starters from a top-five defense, at least one of whom (Jarvis Jones) will dominate All-America teams and mock drafts. Where everyone had been fearing a depressing end, reality delivered a promising beginning. Of course, it's a bit presumptive to skip ahead nine months, or even to describe the streak as "finished" when Georgia has a perfectly valid upset bid on deck against the undisputed overlord of every ballot in every poll, LSU. The Bulldogs aren't pulling into Atlanta thinking, "Well, at least our moral victory is secure." But really, it is: In the same way that next weekend is redundant in terms of reinforcing the Tigers' season-long dominance, Georgia doesn't need an inspired, down-to-the-wire effort to open anyone's eyes to how far it's come since September, or how close it is to a breakthrough. Anyone who hasn't noticed by now just hasn't been paying attention.

Thank you, Matt Hinton! Go 'Dawgs!
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