Seth Emerson ($$):
But the way seems clear again for the Bulldogs to make it back to Atlanta in 2021:
Florida loses quarterback Kyle Trask, tight end Kyle Pitts and other non-Kyles who were key parts of this team. Nobody else in the SEC East seems an immediate threat, unless Jeremy Pruitt does a 180 with Tennessee.
Georgia, meanwhile, is poised to keep improving on offense, as long as it can hold on to most of its key pieces. JT Daniels is at the top of the list, as is offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The last thing the team needs right now is another new starting quarterback or a fourth offensive coordinator in as many years. The safe assumption is both stick around for another year, but the implications of either leaving are dire enough that Georgia fans are forgiven their angst.
This past season, for what I think are obvious reasons, is a poor one for drawing large conclusions, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I took the advantage of offensive continuity at the beginning of it far too lightly. In all likelihood, Georgia was behind the eight ball going into 2020 even if Jamie Newman had elected to stay and play. That was indeed one gap Florida had over the Dawgs and took full advantage of.
And that will be the story of 2021 if Monken and Daniels are still around to make it. If the two are back, Georgia and Missouri will be the only teams in the East that have their starting quarterback and offensive coordinator return. (Unless Luke Doty qualifies as a returning starting quarterback, that is.) The story is similar in the West, where the Mississippi schools are the only two.
That’s a big advantage, I’d have to say, even if there is a semblance of an actual spring practice season this year. I don’t know what kind of buy in Smart has to sell right now, but I can only hope he makes a convincing case for it.