“There’s no beating the South for college football.”

Ian Boyd takes a look at how some of the teams in our neck of the woods are likely to fare making the CFP field this season.  I like the way he frames his analysis.

Infrastructure check

Does this team have offensive tackles and an overall line that won’t limit them when they face teams with NFL players on the DL? If you can’t win battles in isolation in the trenches, either protecting your QB or blocking for your RB, then that’s going to be trouble.

How is the defense up the middle? Are there proven veterans at the nose, linebacker, and safety that will allow the team to have flexible gameplans and match up against great offenses without getting blown away?

Championship gear

Does this team have elite facets or game changing players that can allow them to overpower even the best opponents? For instance, the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide were impossible to handle up the middle of their defense. The 2019 Clemson Tigers ended up being able to fling the ball around on anyone with Trevor Lawrence and had an all-NFL DL.


Even good or great teams can be derailed by an unfavorable scheduling draw. Schedule is a regular reason that top 25 caliber SEC teams go 8-5.

As you might imagine, Georgia manages to check all his boxes.


Infrastructure check

The loss of infrastructure on defense is why I had the Dawgs pegged for a step back in 2018. They lost CB/Ni/Di swiss army knife DB Dom Davis, Roquan Smith, their nose tackle, a starting safety and the other ILB, both OLBs, it was a lot. They also lost the Sonny Michel/Nick Chubb tandem although that never seemed as dire given the way they’ve recruited at RB.

For 2019 their OL is insanely massive and well blooded by actual games and not just the physical practice culture that Kirby Smart encourages. Fromm is also back and although all their WRs are green it’s a good bet that whoever has received the 1st team offseason reps will be ready to go with their junior QB.

The offense was good last year too though, defense is the question. The middle of the defense looks more solid for 2019 with some older vets now established at ILB after taking some lumps in 2018 and the DL now restocked with blue chips that have had some seasoning.

Championship gear?

The Dawgs will run on teams this year and it’ll be hard for most squads to do much about it. Granted, Texas shut down their rushing attack in the Sugar Bowl, but Georgia will have taken some lessons from that experience and most teams got railroaded up front.

The real fear will be from a revitalized defense that has too much speed, physicality, and want to for teams to find openings. A secret about Georgia that has been revealed a few times is that their anti-spread strategies aren’t astounding. They have good sub-packages, they use the tite front and some other fronts that help them, but their schemes aren’t really the secret. What they do well is matchup to your personnel and then play hard and fast with great athletes that play hard. When they have it going at every level they can make things hard.


Florida has problems with Georgia because they’ve lacked the size and ability up front on defense to withstand the Dawgs’ downhill run game. The rest of the east still hasn’t caught up. They draw Notre Dame at home after playing Arkansas State and before a bye week and then from the SEC West they draw @Auburn and Texas A&M at home in back to back weeks. This is probably the easiest schedule in the SEC.

Gut call

The Dawgs will out-talent and out-physical their competition, Notre Dame will make them look good with a solid season after taking it on the chin in Athens, and they’ll advance to the SEC title game. There, even if they lose, they may still have a resume that puts them in. Or they could beat a non-Alabama squad and create a path for a double SEC entrance mirroring the 2017 season. At any rate, I think they’ll get in.

I might quibble with his overly broad assessment of Georgia’s schedule, but the rest is solid.

His other Southern picks to make the playoffs are Alabama (duh) and Clemson (duh, duh).  His picks to miss include Florida (not enough dominant players to overcome the schedule), Auburn (“boosters may send some flowers to Bob Stoops…”) and TAMU, all of whom appear on Georgia’s schedule.  I can live with that.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football

23 responses to ““There’s no beating the South for college football.”

  1. tbia

    Honestly, to be less nice than you….how the hell is ours the easiest schedule in the SEC?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jared S.

      Ha, doesn’t it seem like every year they tell us Georgia has one of the easiest schedules? Then by the time the end of the year rolls around, by any objective measure our SOS ends up in the Top 25? or Top 15? or Top 10?



    • Ian

      Alabama might be easier. But the SEC East doesn’t look very good in 2019. Kentucky will be bad again.


    • Russ

      Exactly this. Our November schedule is a killer. The Aggies worry me as they will be looking for a “statement” win. Easiest schedule in the SEC? Pshaw!


    • Go Dawgs!

      I came to the comments just to say the same thing.

      I’m sorry, but we start the season on the road against and SEC opponent (yes, I know it’s “just” Vanderbilt, but still). Pundits need to decide now whether they think Florida is good or not, because they can’t have it both ways. And we have to go back to Auburn and then take on A&M back to back weeks. We’ve got a stretch of six straight SEC games where five of those opponents get a week off before taking us on, and that includes Auburn.

      And, oh yeah, Notre Dame. I don’t think that’s a world beating team by any stretch, but they were a playoff team a year ago.

      This schedule isn’t easy. It worries me.


  2. j4k372

    Easiest schedule in the SEC? I guess he didn’t take a look at Mizzou.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Otto

      Kentucky, Tennessee, Vandy, and Mizzou all have easier schedules.

      Further considering UGA draws 2 of the teams from the West which are expected to be 2nd through 4th in the West. In my opinion UGA has a tougher schedule than much of the SEC West. Granted I am of the opinion the difference between East and West has closed greatly.


  3. 81Dog

    Who is Dom. DAVIS? Did he mean Dominique Sanders.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    “For instance, the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide were impossible to handle up the middle of their defense.”

    Of course, when I read something like that I’m immediately reminded of Chaney running Chubb straight at Payne 9 or so times.


  5. Mayor

    So Auburn is going after Big Game Bob? I hadn’t heard that.


  6. ugafidelis

    At first I thought “Championship Gear” meant like Michigan State’s new uniforms.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Clayton Davis

    There were some rumors last year about it, but obviously nothing came of it.

    Still, if the reasons Bob Stoops gave for leaving OU were accurate – that coaching is incredibly stressful and he wants to take some time to spend with his family and not die on the sidelines like his dad from all the stress – I can’t imagine the vipers den that is Auburn football would be a good spot for him.


    • Otto

      He would be closer to his beach properties in Crescent Beach, FL. Auburn is easy, you win or it isn’t your problem and get a nice to check. UGA is a pressure cooker they keep you around for years with a divided base making memes about crayons and lost control..


    • Jim

      That ain’t why Stoops suddenly retired. What i heard from people connected to the OU program is that there was a video floating around of one of his kids doing illicit drugs that he did not want to turn into a story.


  8. kckd

    I’m confused as to who we’d have the easiest schedule in the conference drawing what are two preseason ranked teams from the West and playing ND. Surely another East team draws some of the lesser teams from the West and has a weaker OOC schedule. I guess playing us negates some of that, but still. Does LSU make Bama’s schedule tougher than our own all by themselves?


  9. Biggus Rickus

    FPI lists Georgia’s as the sixth toughest schedule in the country. Only South Carolina and Florida rank higher in the SEC. While I think FPI is overvaluing some teams, Georgia’s schedule is still going to rate ahead of at least half the conference and probably more.


  10. Salty Dawg

    This guy must be high (no offense to those who are) to think the Dawgs have an easy schedule. Geez, Louise. That’s just nuts.


    • Biggus Rickus

      I may be in the minority, but I’ve never been particularly impressed by Boyd’s analysis. He was a proponent of spread offenses earlier than some, but his breakdowns of offensive/defensive matchups I’ve read have been kind of shallow and sometimes just flat out incorrect.


    • Cojones

      This guy was goin’ta write about the Dawgs chasin’ a Natty,

      But ended up talkin’ ’bout the sched’ ’cause he got chatty.

      As if that wasn’t enough, the Dawg fans got tough,

      ‘Cause he got catty smokin’ that fatty,

      ’cause he got high,
      he got high,
      he got high.
      Hey yey – he got high.