After a “down” 8-5 year in his first season with the program, Kirby Smart has come *this* close to besting Alabama the past two years. Smart came an overtime period away from a national title in 2017 and then blew a big halftime lead in the SEC Title game in 2018, which denied his Dawgs a College Football Playoff.
This is one of the most talented teams in the country and my preseason #2, but being in the same conference as Alabama makes the climb to the playoff that much more difficult, as the committee does not like putting multiple teams from the same conference in the playoff, can the Bulldogs pull it off again like they did in 2017?
This team is stacked. D’Andre Swift is back in the backfield after rushing for ten touchdowns and over 1,000 yards on a 6.4 yard per carry average. Under center is veteran Jake Fromm, who threw for five times as many touchdowns as interceptions last year on a 67.4% completion rate and an incredible 9.0 yard per throw average.
On the line pretty much everybody returns in what is an extremely talented but still young group. The one hole on this offense is the receiving corps. Just one wideout that caught four or more passes last year returns, Tyler Simmons, who had just nine. The Dawgs do return Charlie Woerner at the tight end spot and have recruited extremely well so the drop-off shouldn’t be too big, this will still be one of the top offenses in the country nonetheless.
The defense loses coordinator Mel Tucker, but outside of that it is stacked with a nice mix of veteran leadership and young, exciting talent like the #1 overall JUCO player of the 2019 class, Jermaine Johnson.
The line returns six guys with starting experience and the linebacking corps is absurdly stacked even outside of Johnson, so much so that I’m not sure how they’ll have enough time to play all the talent they’ve got. The secondary returns three of four starters, including all-conference safety JR Reed.
Georgia played a very deep rotation last year because of all the talent they had, meaning a lot of the guys replacing last year’s departures actually have significant experience. I’m expecting great things from this defense and it could be one of the best in the country again.
Georgia will be double-digit favorites in every regular-season game this year, begging the question of if they run the table and then lose to Alabama in the conference title game, will they still get a playoff berth? I hope so, but I’m sure Kirby Smart would say he’d prefer just to beat Alabama. The Dawgs are not only an SEC Title contender but a national one as well.
|Date||Opponent||OPp. rank||Proj. Margin|
|2-Nov||vs. florida (JACKSONVILLE, FL)||8||12.3|
|30-Nov||at georgia tech||69||23.6|
Average Projected Record: 10.6 wins, 1.4 losses (6.9 wins, 1.1 losses)