You know, it’s funny. Advanced stats still respect the hell out of Georgia — for example, Bill Connelly has the Dawgs 5th in both his base S&P+ rankings and in his resume S&P+ rankings — but to hear a chunk of the fan base and the pundit class tell it, this team is shaping up as a serious disappointment with lots of question marks.
I do think Georgia has suffered from one serious flaw this season and it bit the Dawgs in the arse in their last game. Matt Hayes describes it nicely this way:
We’re a week from the release of the first College Football Playoff poll, and we still have no idea what Georgia is all about.
Here’s the cold, ugly reality: neither does Georgia.
I spent the past week talking to SEC coaches and NFL scouts about the Dawgs, and how – after an ugly road loss to LSU where nothing went right – a team with as much talent as anyone in the nation not named Alabama can be staring at failing to win its division, much less return to the CFP?
There were a handful of reasons, and while each separately wasn’t enough to derail a season, combined they’re debilitating.
“The look on the faces of that team – coaches and players – after the LSU game was remarkable,” one NFL scout said. “It’s like they didn’t think they could lose, and when they did, suddenly, it’s, ‘What the hell is the problem?’ It’s not players or schemes, that’s surface stuff.”
This team has spent 2018 in cruise control. It managed to out-talent its way through the first six games and floundered when it hit the first crisis where talent by itself wasn’t enough to win. If the team isn’t mentally prepared this week, Jacksonville could turn into the second crisis.