It’s January. The shape of this year’s recruiting classes hasn’t been finalized, let alone has the first snap of spring practice occurred, but a pundit’s work is never-ending. If you’re looking for early hints on the Georgia narrative, the most optimistic one I’ve seen so far is that of CFN’s Pete Fiutak, who’s got the Dawgs going 11-1, 7-1 in the regular season and coasting to an easy divisional title (he predicts no other SEC East team will post a winning conference record).
On the flip side, SI.com’s Chris Johnson identifies Georgia as one of five teams likely to backslide in 2018. Why? Well, because Georgia:
Georgia is clearly trending upward under Kirby Smart, but unlike Alabama, it needs to string together multiple seasons like the one it had in 2017 before it can be trusted to reload and compete at the sport’s highest level no matter how extensive its personnel turnover.
We’ve already talked about roster turnover. Yes, there’s a lot of leadership that just left town and Roquan Smith is a rare talent who will be next to impossible to replace. But roster change is a fact of life in college football, not just at Georgia. The complementary issue is how well a program continues to stock the talent pantry on the recruiting front and it would appear based on Smart’s three classes (or at least what’s been reeled in so far) that Georgia is in better shape to withstand its losses than most teams in the SEC.
There’s also the matter of a schedule that on its face appears friendlier than 2017’s was.
What’s your head/heart telling you about Georgia’s outlook for 2018?