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Shift in power or blip on radar? SEC Network star Chris Doering eager to see how Georgia responds

Georgia coach Kirby Smart celebrates winning the College Football Playoff Championship game against Alabama, getting a hug from outside linebacker Nolan Smith, on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Indianapolis. (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

ATLANTA — Georgia won’t truly be able to answer any questions until Sept. 3 when it opens the season against Oregon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

But the Bulldogs will get a chance this week to provide some indication of how they have been going about their work this offseason.

The Tide will most certainly be picked to win the SEC this season — as it has been the past six years (winning four of those titles).

Alabama’s status as the preseason No. 1 team in the eyes of many has taken some of the attention from Georgia.

“It makes sense because of all of the attrition, especially on the defensive side, that Georgia had from last season’s team,” Doering said, referencing UGA having an NFL-record 15 players drafted, including five first-rounders off the 2021 record-setting defense.

“Alabama is set to kind of have one of those generational-type defenses this year, so I do understand it, but I think that’ll be cool to see whether or not this is a shift in power in the league, or if this is just a blip on the radar from last year.”

Doering, who won three SEC championships at Florida, said he believes having to reload might actually work in Georgia’s favor.

“Sometimes it’s harder to deal with success than it is a failure,” Doering said. “When you fail, you can go back and look at what you did wrong, you can use that as motivation. When you succeed, you have to try to find some motivation from somewhere else. You have to avoid complacency.

“(But) there’s a lot of guys on this team that are going to have opportunities to play that didn’t have as big a role last year.

“So, I think they’ll find that motivation about them wanting to create their own championship, but at the same time, I think it’ll be interesting to see if these folks have that same fire and burn that they did last year trying to get that monkey off their back.”

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