“I’ll say anything less than nine wins would be disappointing.”

Bruce Feldman has done an excellent job of summarizing about how I see this year’s Georgia team at the moment.

I suspect Jacob Eason, the touted true freshman quarterback, will be the Dawgs starter sooner than later even if it’s not in the opener against UNC. He’s talented, but keep in mind that unlike some other also hyped true freshman QBs, Eason didn’t quite face the same level of competition in high school these other guys did. Adjusting to the speed of the SEC could take more than many expect.

If Nick Chubb is back to 100 percent, the offense should still be formidable, although they do have to fill some holes on the O-line and there is pressure for a new No. 1 WR (Terry Godwin?) to emerge. Maybe 6-5 JC transfer Javon Wims can be that guy.

Losing to any ACC team that isn’t Clemson or Florida State in Atlanta won’t look good to UGA fans, but UNC is underrated. I still think the Dawgs win, but the double of at Ole Miss and then Tennessee is much trickier. My hunch is Georgia opens 3-2, but after that things ease up a bunch. They get Auburn and Georgia Tech in Athens and Florida is a fringe top-25 team this year.

Eason and Chubb are the wild cards.  The schedule is Georgia’s friend.  The talent should suffice to get the program to at least nine wins, if the coaching is able to overcome the lapses in focus that tripped up Richt on occasion.  Which I why I agree with Feldman that, barring a catastrophic injury run such as we saw in 2013, less than nine wins is going to be a disappointment.  Should that happen, it’s going to be a reflection on the coaching staff more than the roster.

56 Comments

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56 responses to ““I’ll say anything less than nine wins would be disappointing.”

  1. Athens Dog

    It’s not like the cupboards were bare when Kirby got here…….I have high expectations, something I didn’t have in the latter stages of CMR. The schedule is a real, real friend.

    • DawgByte

      The cupboard wasn’t bare when Kirby took over, but it was sparse. When Kirby came on board he said Georgia can field around 22 players, who can play with just about anyone. To be a championship program you need to have 5 stars playing on Special Teams and backing up starters. In short – depth, high quality depth. That we don’t have!
      I believe this staff is an upgrade, so I expect to see 9 wins. The biggest game of the year for me is Tenn. I want major payback!!!

      • The other doug

        We don’t have to be Bama to win the East.

      • 69Dawg

        You only get quality players to agree to play Special Teams when you have won championships. Success begets success and great recruiting. Mark could get a quality starting 22 but depth was always an issue.

      • papa dawg

        This isn’t a Playstation. No school, even Bama, gets all the 5 stars and puts them as backups. Let’s be realistic.

  2. PTC DAWG

    No way our schedule is as marshmellow soft as last year…still, I think we could have a good year, assuming we start a QB in the UF game that has seen the field this fall.

    • They swap ULM for North Carolina and Alabama for Ole Miss. That’s a wash in my book.

      Rest of the schedule doesn’t look any more daunting than it did last year. And, again, Georgia dodges Alabama and LSU, unlike UF and UT.

      • Jared S.

        Yeah, but there’s a very real possibility that UT and Auburn will be better than last year. So not really a wash.

      • 3rdandGrantham

        In terms of the schedule on paper, I agree 100%. With that said, I think the schedule will, in the end, be a tougher one when its all said and done, as we played a lot of mediocre if not downright bad teams last year. Of our 10 wins, exactly zero were wins over a team from a P5 conf. with a winning record. Sure, I guess that could happen again this year, but I seriously doubt it.

        • It’s hard to see where any of the worst teams in the SEC East will be significantly better – two of them have new coaching staffs and the other two are Vandy and Kentucky.

          Auburn and GT should sport better records, but, again, the Tigers have struggled against Georgia when they don’t have a great QB and they’re breaking in yet another DC this year, while Tech should be healthier on offense, but worse on defense, especially in the secondary.

          In the end, the issue for me isn’t whether Georgia’s 2016 schedule is tougher than it was in 2015, but whether Georgia’s 2016 schedule is less formidable than UT’s or UF’s.

      • PTC DAWG

        I contend that Carolina/Ga Tech will be a good better than last year. UF maybe a wash…Playing UNC is a step up for sure. I’m think we will have to beat a team with a winning record in the conference to have as good a year as we had last year.

  3. Uglydawg

    Having the ability to make the long pass a threat would do wonders for the chances of winning 9 or better. When the defense can’t afford to stack up against Chubb and Sony, good things will happen. Getting the right QB under center will be huge and having receivers that will break open and have good hands will be the polish on the offense. Chubb will eventually be back, and until he is, Georgia is still going to have a good running game.
    I was taught that if you can’t say something good about someone, you shouldn’t say anything at all. Schotty is gone, Good.

    • Uglydawg

      Of course, I’m surmising “if”.. I’m not saying that the long air game will be there, just saying that if it is it will be a wonderful thing for the running game.

    • PTC DAWG

      YOUR LAST SENTENCE….

  4. Uglydawg

    If it turns out that Chubb is not going to be ready pretty early in the season, what are the chances that Elijah Holyfield gets to play as a true freshman?
    Can he handle that?

    • dawgtired

      I can see Holy getting some totes behind Sony and Tae…

    • Elijah will play some, the days of red shirting a quality running back are pretty much over. I think he might be a special teams star and a quality relief back for SM1 & NC27. RBs can contribute early at that position and the high quality guys leave for the NFL after 3 years because of the short career expectancy for a RB.
      Looking forward to Elijah getting in some quality plays this year, next year he will be a feature back IMO.

    • Holyfield plays no doubt whether he’s the Real Deal is in doubt. I want to see him because it looks like he’s going to be a good back.

  5. lakedawg

    Less than 9 wins would bea disaster with this years schedule. Will be favored in every gameexceptmaybe one. You gotta remember we won 10 last year with a QB who could not run or throw a pass over 15 yards and Chubb out most of year. OL returns4 guys who started most of year and entire DBs back.

  6. SouthernYank

    UGA will not be favored against Ole Miss and possibly not favored against UT, UF and AUB.

    9 or 10. I don’t see less than 9, I don’t see more than 10.

    • Georgia won’t be favored at home against Auburn? Based on what?

      • Jared S.

        I don’t want to speak for SouthernYank, but when I read “possibly not favored” against Auburn I assume he meant that it’s possible by that point in the season that Auburn could look better and Georgia look worse than anyone had expected and Auburn could be favored in the game.

      • PTC DAWG

        I’ll be shocked if we aren’t a favorite vs AU….the season isn’t going well if that happens.

      • SouthernYank

        Based on what they’ve both done up to that time.

        • SouthernYank

          A deep observation is the blanket comment they’ll be favored. Said in June.

          • I wasn’t predicting a favorite, just asking for your reasoning.

            That being said, the early lines would appear to favor Georgia over Auburn. Compare the lines for Georgia at Ole Miss and Auburn at Ole Miss.

            • 1smartdude

              Georgia’s had Auburn’s number with the exception of the miracle but lets not forget Kirby’s vaulted Bama’s defenses performances against those HUNH teams. He still didn’t seem to have solved that problem when he left. Pruitt done well but he left with the rest of the coaching staff. Those games now worry me if you have to score 40 to beat them. This offence isn’t going to be at that point, IMO. So there’s that worry if Gus finds a QB to run his system.

  7. Brandon

    I think the schedule would be much much friendlier if it weren’t so front-loaded. I’d rather have UNC, Ole Miss, and UT later in the year with some tasty cup cakes up front to help the new line gel, Eason get his feet wet, and Chubb more time to heal up.

    • Uglydawg

      UNC is important, but nothing like OMS and UT….If we split with them we’ve still got a shot at the East because UF and TN will have to play each other, both have to play UGA, and they get LSU and Bama respectively. We can’t afford any slip-ups if we split. If we beat OMS and TN, then we’re driving…If we lose to OM and beat TN…we’re driving. If we lose them both, it’s going to be bad and this board will be alive with the “we should have kept CMR platoon”.
      I say we win 9 or 10. Having Tennessee in Athens is going to be great and if we win it will be “Katy, bar the door”.

      • PTC DAWG

        Well said, having UNC as a warm up OOC is possibly a blessing in disguise.

      • stoopnagle

        OM really isn’t that big of a deal if we win out against the east. I’ll concede the UNC game right now – and OM for that matter – if we win the others. Easy choice for me.

  8. Chickasaw

    I’ll be disappointed if we’re not in Atlanta, but “under-performance” to me means fewer than 9 wins. Personally, I’ll be very interested in seeing whether the crap-the-bed-lose-to-someone-you-shouldn’t syndrome was a Richt thing or just a modern Dawg thing (tho I realize last year arguably did not feature such a loss).

    • Jared S.

      Last year might not have featured such a loss, but it nearly did…. against not one but three different teams: Mizzou, Georgia Southern and GT.

    • AO

      Florida pretty much covers that for me. South Carolina was worse than advertised. So the big win there wasnt a foreshadowing of greatness, but Florida had a less than stellar offensive leader and we shat royally in my opinion defensively and a poor plan for that guy we sent out to QB. So there’s that…

    • Mayor

      Why would you say 9 wins is acceptable when UGA fired the HC with a ten win season average after a ten win season last year? So now nine wins is OK? Sheesh!

  9. 69Dawg

    I still find it amusing to hear people talk about Richt’s teams face planting. Richt did not invent UGA face planting. He merely carried on a long standing tradition. Dooley’s teams could face plant with the best of them. Richmond, Miami Of Fing Ohio in a bowl game and others over the years. Goff, well he perfected the face plant. Donnan, beats UF one time in a long time but the next week we face plant to Auburn. Your not much of a long time UGA fan if you don’t remember all the great face plant games thru the ages. I hope Kirby has the secret but it seems that Alabama has always managed a loss, of course no one has the balls to call a Bama loss a face plant.

    • doiknowu

      Dooley didn’t lose to Richmond; he just nearly did. If you define that as a face-plant, then we definitely have to include last year’s Georgia Southern game.

  10. Uglydawg

    But all the other history aside…he did faceplant. He got good at it. He was great for UGA, I wish him the best at Mayame , and may he continue to kick ass on North Ave. for years to come.

  11. PB

    The Eason competition argument is old news. If the G Day game proved nothing else it proved it is not overwhelmed by the speed of the game. While I understand it’s not game speed I also take note that the UGA 2nd team D has similar to more speed than anything he will face.
    All that said he will struggle some but it will be more a lack of understanding of the game and defenses not because he just melts down at the game speed. That argument died in April.