The Georgia Bulldogs were painfully close to winning a national championship last season. But in the end, they came up a little short. The Dawgs suffered just one loss during the regular season, a loss to Auburn that they avenged in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia then survived a double-overtime shootout against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semi-final. But the Bulldogs let a 13-point lead against Alabama in the title game slip away, ultimately losing to their SEC rivals in overtime.
However, the Bulldogs expect to bounce right back this season. Kirby Smart and company have every intention of making another championship run in 2018. Despite losing several key players on both sides of the ball, Georgia could be a team that’s poised to return to the College Football Playoff for a second straight season.
The oddsmakers are big fans of the Bulldogs this year. At +875, they have the fourth-best odds of winning a national championship. The Bulldogs are also projected to win 10.5 games this season. The SEC East is typically one of the more manageable divisions in college football. That should put Georgia in the driver’s seat with regard to returning to the SEC Championship. While nothing is guaranteed in the SEC, the Bulldogs are a sound bet to eclipse 10.5 wins and compete for a national championship.
Georgia is led by a quarterback in Jake Fromm who led them to the title game last year as a true freshman. Fromm has good accuracy and is underrated as a deep-ball thrower, so he should be set for a strong sophomore campaign. The Bulldogs also have dual-threat freshman Justin Fields waiting in the wings in case Smart wants to switch things up.
Even with Fromm as the returning starter, Georgia figures to lean on its running game this season. The Bulldogs have lost both parts of the dynamic duo that was Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. However, D’Andre Swift may be just as talented as both Michel and Chubb. The Bulldogs also bring back a veteran offensive line that should make it easy for any of Georgia’s running backs to move the wall.
Defensively, there are some concerns, as the Bulldogs lost eight of the 11 who started against Alabama. All four starting linebackers, most notably Roquan Smith, have to be replaced. There are also concerns about how much depth the Bulldogs have along the defensive line, which can be a problem in the SEC. However, with the way Georgia has recruited, there’s more than enough talent to fill all of those holes. It’s just a matter of the younger players on the roster gaining valuable experience.
Of course, with such a youthful roster, it’s hard to imagine the Bulldogs going undefeated. But if they can limit themselves to one loss, the Bulldogs should earn a return trip to the SEC Championship Game, and a win there would be more than enough to earn a CFP bid.
|Sep 1||Austin Peay State Governors||3:30 PM|
|Sep 8||@ South Carolina Gamecocks||3:30 PM|
|Sep 15||Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders||6:15 PM|
|Sep 22||@ Missouri Tigers||1:00 PM|
|Sep 29||Tennessee Volunteers||12:00 PM|
|Oct 6||Vanderbilt Commodores||12:00 PM|
|Oct 13||@ Louisiana State Tigers||1:00 PM|
|Oct 27||Florida Gators||3:30 PM|
|Nov 3||@ Kentucky Wildcats||12:00 PM|
|Nov 10||Auburn Tigers||12:00 PM|
|Nov 17||Massachusetts Minutemen||12:00 PM|
|Nov 24||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||12:00 PM|
Georgia’s schedule for the 2018 campaign is quite manageable. The Bulldogs have to go to South Carolina the second week of the season, which will be a difficult game. Road games against Missouri and LSU, as well as their neutral site game with Florida also present opportunities for the Bulldogs to suffer an upset loss. However, they get to play Auburn at home this year, which should work to their advantage.
At the end of the day, the SEC East runs through Athens. Even with a relatively young team, the Bulldogs are the most talented team in the SEC East. Nothing will come easy, but they should be favored in all 12 games. If they can hold serve, Georgia will once again play for an SEC championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff.