Is Georgia a contender to make this season’s CFP field? Heather Dinich boils it down:
Statement game: Sept. 4 vs. Clemson. This is the kind of win that can help Georgia finish in the top four even if it doesn’t win the SEC. If Georgia can manage to win the East, but loses in the SEC championship game, a win against the ACC champs could go a long way in the committee meeting room.
Reason for optimism: Continuity on offense. One of the biggest differences for Georgia in the second half of the season was the offensive progress with JT Daniels at quarterback in the final four games. He completed 67% of his passes for 1,231 yards with 10 touchdowns and two picks during that span, and Daniels will have eight projected starters returning around him.
Cause for concern: A loss to Clemson. No, the Bulldogs won’t be eliminated from the CFP with a season-opening loss to what should be a top-five team, but it would change the picture and put enormous pressure on Georgia to win the SEC.
Storyline to watch: Can Kirby Smart put it all together to win it all? He has won the SEC. He has made it to the national championship, only to lose to Alabama in overtime on Jan. 8, 2018. Georgia has a schedule conducive to returning to the SEC championship game. On paper, Georgia is in a better position than Florida, and the Bulldogs don’t have to worry about a regular-season trip to Tuscaloosa. It seems inevitable, though, that the path to winning a national title will go through Alabama. If they meet in the SEC championship game, can Smart find a way to beat his old boss?
I hate to say it, but that’s pretty much it. It’s quite likely Georgia is going to face Clemson and Alabama along the way, and if the Dawgs want a shot at the playoffs, it’s at least going to have to split those two games.
Which of the two seems more feasible to you?