Lock of the year

Man, this is confident.

Georgia is one of only seven college football programs with a 2018 regular-season win total of at least 10 at the South Point sports book, which posted numbers Monday on 129 teams.

Clemson leads the way with 11, followed by the Bulldogs, Alabama, Ohio State and Washington at 10½. Oklahoma and Boise State are at 10.

Despite the great expectations for Georgia, handicapper Brian Edwards expects South Carolina to easily cover the spread as a 14-point home underdog to the Bulldogs in Week 2. He also loves the Gamecocks to go over their win total of 7.

When the South Point posted lines on its college football games of the year Friday, it opened Georgia as an 11-point favorite in the Sept. 8 matchup at South Carolina.

“I thought Georgia would be 7, but my line is 4½. When I saw it at 11, I would be all over that if I was in line at the South Point in Vegas,” said Edwards, who is based in Florida. “Then it moved to 14. Are you kidding me? I think South Carolina has got a great chance to win that game. I’m calling for an upset.”

He goes on to say that the ‘Cocks only have one guaranteed loss on their schedule, at Clemson, and could be looking at a 10-2 regular season record.

For context, here’s a reminder of what some of the advanced stats gurus are projecting:

FPI also projects that Georgia has a 79.1% chance of winning in Columbia, which is slightly more favorable than the odds the Dawgs face against Missouri.

None of this is to say that South Carolina can’t win that game — hell, even FPI says there’s a one-in-five chance of that happening — but I simply don’t get Edwards’ level of confidence there.  The only things he cites in support are Jake Bentley being back, a big wide receiver and the usual “Muschamp is always going to have a solid defense and a great plan every Saturday”.  It’s funny, but those are all things Kirby Smart can match, in spades.

From where I sit months before the start of the season, Muschamp had better hope that going hurry up is going to pump some real life into an offense that managed only 24.5 points per game in conference play last season (not to mention only managed 43 rushing yards in Athens last year) and that his team wins the turnover margin battle.

Maybe all that happens, but maybe is a long way from “are you kidding me?”.

38 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

38 responses to “Lock of the year

  1. Chris Cousins

    One of the local radio shows features Brian Edwards once a week. He’s a gator alum and homer and tends to consistently pick against the bulldogs.

    Like

  2. I just don’t see it being even close. Jake Bentley is not that good. He isn’t bad…just not good enough to carry that team as much as they want him too. He had damn near as many passing attempts last year as Drew Locke but about 1000 less yards. (362 ATT for 2555 YDS vs 385 ATT for 3695 YDS). That pick 6 he threw against Clemson looked like something your 3rd string QB would do during mop up time.

    Like

  3. I would take SoCar +14, too, FWIW. But I think SoCar is going to be the victim of the media (and fans, too) wanting a second option in a down division. It’s boring to say, “Team X is so much better than the rest so that’s that.” The SEC East is bad, and UGA is quite good, which means there’s very little drama on paper. But if you pump up a second option you can get some back and forth and so it makes sense.

    Then you look at SoCar specifically and they get UGA at home where they’ve always played them well and it’s week 2 with UGA breaking in a lot of new defensive talent PLUS SoCar brings back an experienced QB and a nice set of WRs.

    So I get why SoCar is getting as much play as they are, though I do think their front 7 is going to struggle against UGA.

    Like

    • SlobberKnocker

      I get the spirit of your points “UGA breaking in a lot of new defensive talent plus SoCar brings back an experienced QB and a nice set of WRs” but, isn’t the opposite equally as true? USCe returns 4 defensive starters and the losses include 3 DB’s. Also, UGA returns Fromm, Hardman, Godwin, plus the TE group. Seems to me that we have the advantage in returning QB/WR’s and the defense is a push at best.

      Like

      • Absolutely. You have to sort of avoid (or downplay) UGAs immense talent advantage, both in what’s coming back and what’s coming in. Otherwise you end up with the most likely conclusion, which is UGA will run the East for at least another year.

        But that’s boring. And so here we are.

        Like

        • Cojones

          Agree with what you both say , but the cherries aren’t as red after reviewing last year’s video of UGA vs SC. During the game there was always the possibility that it could go the other way and my memory of that feeling didn’t go away until the last 5 mins.

          Like

          • Interesting. When I think back on that game (and I said this at the time, too) I never felt concerned. It was a bizarre game in that the score was consistently close, but the game never felt like it. It was a limited possession game (which is smart from Boom) and though it was never beyond a two score game, it felt like UGA could do what it wanted offensively whereas SoCar had to stress and strain to get points.

            Having said that… we don’t have Sony or Chubb or Wims this year and it’s on the road, so I would expect the offense to not walk up and down the field as it did last season.

            Like

        • Argondawg

          I agree the talent advantage is huge. We will treat them like Bama treated us at home in 2015. Especially if everyone keeps talking about them beating us.

          Like

  4. TXBaller

    Georgia 1-3 SU last four in Columbia since 2010. Chew on that.

    Like

    • Kirby’s 2016 team was the one that covered, right?

      Like

    • Greg

      2-0 Kirby vs Muschamp, including 1-0 in Columbia. The fact that Richt lost his last 3 in Columbia is just another footnote as to why he isn’t coaching in Athens any longer.

      SC has lost 4 in a row to Kentucky…that’s not a comment you usually hear about a team that’s about to turn a corner and become relevant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Atticus

        Correct. New program new history. Past numbers are irrelevant.

        Like

      • PTC DAWG

        Nice footnote…..also true.

        Like

      • JCDAWG83

        Richt, Donnan and Goff all had the same winning percentage against SC. If Kirby isn’t better than those three we have some issues with his hire.

        Like

        • Otto

          This may all be true but on a hot humid Columbia afternoon at 3:30, I had rather have the fans and players pumped to play a team that is expected to compete for the East.

          Like

          • JCDAWG83

            I’m thinking all these “experts” picking the chickens to upset the Dawgs is actually going to help Kirby have the team super focused on that game. Last season; App State and Miss St were both fashionable picks to upset the Dawgs, we see how that worked out.

            Like

    • 79Dawg

      How many times have we scored more than 24.5 in Columbia recently? I can think of at least one in which we did (and lost), and some where we didn’t and still won. With a semi-new ground game and the “atmosphere”, 24.5 points may be a lot to ask from the offense…

      Like

  5. sectionzalum

    let’s not forget the Sandstorm! impact!

    Like

  6. Greg

    It’s amazing what a comeback bowl win over a big name school will do for a team’s perception heading into the following season. Michigan’s horrible QB play bit them in the ass again or they win that bowl game by a couple TD’s. If that had happened on top of SC’s annihilation at home vs Clemson (and a 4th straight loss to Kentucky…at home…earlier in the season), there would be a lot more “glass half empty” perspectives on SCar football this
    season.

    They need to win the turnover battle and outrush us to keep it close. 14 points is not an “are you kidding me?” type of spread. We beat them by 14 last year and that was by far the closest game vs any SEC East team all year.

    I guess my question to the guy would be “what has South Carolina done
    under Muschamp to indicate they are ready to take down a top 5 ranked
    team?”. Of their 5 SEC wins, all were over teams that finished at .500 or below overall (Mizzou was the only one to make a bowl…with a 6-6 record) and
    3 of those 5 SEC wins were by single
    digits.

    Like

    • Biggus Rickus

      They were outgained overall and on a per play basis in three of their wins. They did outgain Kentucky overall by a little and substantially on a per play basis in one of their losses. They were basically a 6-6 or 7-5 team who got a little lucky.

      Like

  7. Mad Mike

    You guys are forgetting that Sakerlina are the reigning, since time immemorial, preseason national champs. That’s why they’re getting the hype.

    Like

  8. ASEF

    It’s the potent off-season combination of a bowl bump + “How good would SC have been if Deebo had not been injured?” conjecture.

    Muschamp has a monster year 2 at UF, and then the wheels fell off. Has he learned that people can handle his intensity for only so long? There are signs he’s matured, but Will doesn’t strike me as a personal growth guy.

    Georgia comes early in the schedule, though, so could SC play above their level for a game and make things closer than they should be? Would Kirby rely on his defense to strangle SC’s offense while his new offensive linemen and backs get their feet wet in their first real college football game? Probably.

    It’s going to be the sort of game where a 9 or 10 point Georgia second half lead feels insurmountable.

    Like

  9. TomReagan

    The game last year was a grind, I’ll give them that. And I thought Hurst was one of the better players we saw all year from the east, but he’s gone now, and the bottom line is that they only put up 10 points.

    I think that the the hype on this is fueled by the kernel of truth that it really is likely our toughest game in the east but agree that it is more so by the need to create the narrative of a legitimate in division challenge to Georgia.

    Like

  10. Uglydawg

    A game always full of emotional fury.
    This is a game where SOS would have the Dawgs right where he wants them.
    Huge test for both teams.
    You can bet that Boom and Co. are already planning every play of their first offensive series. He will be telling his troops that if they can get up two scores on us, the crowd will keep us down, and they’ll win the East.
    South Carolina is going to try to come out and shock Georgia early with intensity and fast pace. This is one game where Georgia needs to take the ball first, grind out a long scoring drive and shut the crowd up.
    It’s going to be a long, hot, tough afternoon.

    I’m not sure this Georgia team his team has recently faced as hostile an environment as this will be, except maybe at Auburn last year…and look what happened.

    It might be scary. But Georgia is so laden with talent and depth. A big line and a stable of great backs..and a dual threat QB in the wings should be keeping Boom awake at night. And a d’back named Baker.

    This really is the biggest game of the year as far as winning the East goes.
    But I think the two touchdown spread is too much.
    But if Georgia comes out and dominates them early, the crowd will leave early and the Dawgs will roll and it will be a great step towards handling things in Baton Rouge.
    .

    Like

  11. PTC DAWG

    Have I missed where Carolina has been recruiting lights out? Could they beat UGA on any Saturday, sure…but that and winning 10 games is a different animal altogether, IMHO.

    Like

    • Not lights out, but I looked the other day and I think their last 3 recruiting classes had composite rankings of #25, #21, and #19 respectively. That’s not lights out but it does mean they should be approaching having a top 25 roster and with good coaching (in theory) should be a top 25 team. A top 25 team at home is always a threat, no matter how good you are.

      Like

  12. Greg

    Steve Spurrier B Gone…..SOS was 5 and 6 against Georgia, Dawgs are 50-18-2 overall against’em. Glad that SOB is gone. Sounds like a lazy writer to me.

    Like

  13. Uglydawg

    Some of you have forgotten everything Munson taught us. Sweat it out, ladies and gentlemen. We must always be concerned to the point of sweating it out.

    Like

  14. 3rdandGrantham

    SCU last year:

    –Needed 5 NCST TO’s to win, and were out-gained in yards 2 to 1
    –Trailed LaTech at home the entire game, threw a bomb late and kicked a FG with no time left to win by 1 point
    –Got beat at home rather handily by UK by double digits
    –Held on to beat Vandy at home by 7
    –Got utterly embarrassed by Clemson at home and trailed 34-0 in the 3rd Q

    Sure, SCU might end up being a surprise this year, and I’m nervous about the game, but I still see them losing at least 4 games; possibly 6.

    Like

    • Uglydawg

      “and I’m nervous about the game”. Bottom line.
      If you look back on Georgia’s record from ’16, you would never expect that, had the refs not screwed them, they would be NCs in ’17.
      A team can grow a lot in a year.
      I’m convinced Georgia will win this game, but I’m not admitting it.

      Like

  15. Russ

    First of all, I’m glad Sackerlina is getting the love over us. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirby was the writer’s anonymous source.

    Sackerlina played well against us last year, but if Godwin doesn’t fumble on the 5, we win by 21 points. I think Boom has them playing to their potential, but that’s 3 and 4 star potential. Unfortunately for them, Kirby has our guys playing to our 4 and 5 star potential. Yes, we lost some key players but we also played a lot of players, so we don’t really have that many untested players lining up this season.

    Our offense runs over them, the defense strangles them, and we cover the 14. Easily.

    Like

  16. We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

    The Carolina hype is getting out of hand. This Edwards guy is the second prognosticator (Barnhart being the other) in the last week I’ve seen call for the straight-up upset over the Dawgs.

    Historically, teams that dominate the turnover margin come crashing down to earth the following year, because that’s not a sustainable formula for success. And while I give Muschamp credit for making the ‘Cocks surprisingly competitive in his first two years, there’s little evidence to suggest he’s some great head coach.

    Could we lose in Columbia? Sure. “Any given Saturday” and all that. But I certainly wouldn’t predict it.

    Like

  17. JT

    Steve Spurrier made USCe, a problem for UGA, nothing else, I expect the Dawgs to widen the gap this year.

    Like

  18. ugafidelis

    Brian is a good buddy of mine. His was raised by die-hard Gators so he’s spent his whole life bathed in the orange and blue. He’ll get his shots in at UGA anytime he can. He lives for it. You posted a tweet of his last year flapping his gums about how we were favored by 14.5 against App St, and we hadn’t won a game by 14 points in 17 consecutive games. Screw him lol.

    Like

  19. Squatchdawg

    My only concern is that USCe has some big senior olinemen returning this year.

    Like

  20. 92 grad

    Kirby is on it. (Did I do it right PTC?)

    Like