View from the outside, looking in

Always interesting to see the perspective of the Georgia program from the vantage point of other teams, so here’s an early look at the Dawgs’ 2018 prospects posted at the Kentucky Rivals site.

Previewing UGA’s 2018: Fromm is an excellent place for Georgia to start, because while UGA loses Michel, Chubb and leading receiver Javon Wims, a lot of talent returns on the outside and it looks like the Bulldogs should be able to do what they want on offense against most opponents once again. It should be another balanced, efficient attack.

Still, between players like defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter, linebacker D’Andre Walker and cornerback Deandre Baker, the defense still has an embarrassment of high-end talent that should again be one of the SEC’s better units.

Smart’s ability to elevate Georgia a notch or two up the national ladder in two years was impressive, but also a testament to the way his predecessor recruited. But as good as Mark Richt recruited, he never recruited the way Smart is recruiting now. This is a Georgia team with some big shoes to fill, but some big talents to fill them. And they are quickly building more and better quality depth at almost all positions than they have had in a very long time.

In short, they’re the easy favorites to win the East, a leading contender to reach the College Football Playoff for the second straight year, and they’re arguably set up to be one of college football’s two best programs for the foreseeable future.

Georgia might be able to get to 6-0 on cruise control next year. They play Austin Peay, South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in the first half of the season. Unless South Carolina or Missouri can pull a shocking upset, UGA should be a popular playoff pick by midseason.

The second half is a little more tricky with games LSU, Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, UMass and archrival Georgia Tech. But there’s no Alabama or Mississippi State, and the best team on their schedule (Auburn) has to play Between the Hedges. The schedule sets up well for Smart’s third team.

I can live with that.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “View from the outside, looking in

  1. I think that’s a fair assessment of my expectations. This team should be undefeated when the sociology majors from Greater Phenix City (they can’t even spell Phoenix) roll into Athens. Yes, this team should go into Baton Rouge and beat Corn Dog Nation. A win and this team should be undefeated when the Dawgs return to the Benz. Win or lose in Atlanta, that would be a hell of a season.

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    • Got Cowdog

      I think I’ll spend some cash and time off to watch them play in Red Stick. I’ll get to visit family, eat and drink great. Believe it or not, I’ve never seen a game in Tiger Stadium. Definitely time to cross that one off the bucket list.

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  2. ASEF

    Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State

    Pretty clear separation between those 4 and the rest of the pack in terms of talent and depth.

    Georgia probably has the easiest schedule of the 4 in the regular season.

    And the way 2017 shook out, the SEC is going to have some breathing room on the annual “two teams?” debate.

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  3. Dave

    One day, I/we will no longer pull from the Saban process, but until then…

    Aside from placing the utmost importance on recruiting, it seems from the small 2-season sample, that Kirby and staff have been successful in boiling down everything to the next play, be it in a game or in practice.

    Outside of Auburn, who we ended up dominating in the SECC, I don’t see any teams that have any realistic chance of beating us unless we lay an egg. But, the way we go about things, those days should happen with far less frequency than they did in the past.

    The mentality the players seem to have bought into is that the only thing that matters is executing on the next play. Don’t worry about the scoreboard or who your opponent is. Only focus on what your job is when the ball is snapped.

    With the talent, depth, and still a good bit of experience coming back, I have to think anything less than an 11-1 regular season would be considered underperforming (barring a rash of significant injuries anyway).

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    • ugafidelis

      “The mentality the players seem to have bought into is that the only thing that matters is executing on the next play.”

      Except on that one play. Sigh….

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  4. 69Dawg

    Lets face it we were lucky that Auburn beat Alabama and we got to see Auburn in the SECC. If we meet Alabama in the 2018 SECC and lose to them, we don’t have the perigee to be in the CFB Playoff four. Alabama got in last year because they were by God Alabama.

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    • 81Dog

      Not sure you’re right about UGA being lucky AU won the Iron Bowl. AU manhandled Alabama about as badly as they manhandled us, I’m pretty sure nobody felt like we got a break before the game began. It wasn’t a fluke that AU won, but even if Alabama had gotten past them, Alabama was still in pretty bad shape with injuries that had almost 5 weeks to heal before the playoff, and they would have been coming off a physical game the week before.

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    • Uglydawg

      You’re post leads me to think that you think we would have almost certainly lost to Alabama if we had faced them in the SECCG.
      Remember, 69… without the refs totally screwing Georgia in the NC game, we beat Alabama by double digits. I think we would have beaten them just like we did, *but were screwed out of it, in the NC game.
      (yes, the scoreboard said we lost and I accept it, but not without the asterisk)
      * (see video of blocked punt reversed by phony off sides call. see multiple Alabama facemask penalties ignored by refs…see greatbill block by Holyfield wrongly flagged as illegal)
      Hell no, I ain’t fergittin’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Macallanlover

        Actually Ugly, I think we would have beaten Bama straight up in the SECCG, they were still injured at LB, because we beat them straight up in the Benz (even with the 3 major league blown calls that changed the outcome) IF Kirby and Chaney had not taken the offense and put it in the deep freeze in the 2nd half. That was after several weeks of rest before the Clemson game. We will never know, but we would have won the SECCG against Bama on December 2nd and Auburn would not have made the playoffs with their 3 losses, imo. Probably been UGA Clemson, OU, and either ohio or USC in the playoffs.

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  5. Tony Barnfart

    y’all correct me if I’m wrong, but we have yet to play a night game in Tiger Stadium since before even nick saban was their coach.

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