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ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said he was set to pick Georgia to win the SEC East Division until Jamie Newman left the program.

Kirk Herbstreit flips pick against Georgia with JT Daniels projected at quarterback

ATHENS — ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit dropped the hammer on former USC quarterback and 5-star recruit JT Daniels in a roundabout way on Saturday, even if it that likely wasn’t his intent.

Herbstreit, starring on the first College GameDay show of the season, explained the Georgia football quarterback situation has led him to pick Florida to win the SEC East.

RELATED: What people are missing on JT Daniels, growth in stages

“I really felt Georgia all along, but I think with (Jamie) Newman being out, and opting out, and JT Daniels stepping in, I’m going to go with Kyle Trask,” Herbstreit said.

“The reason I looked at Florida as a team that maybe can’t get through that schedule is because of what they picked up in the West.

It’s going to be a daunting task for them. But I’m going to go with the Florida Gators over Georgia in the SEC East.”

RELATED: Dan Mullen ‘rant’ implicates Georgia in rules embroilment

Herbstreit might be getting his Bulldogs’ QB read from former UGA star and pending College Football Hall of Famer David Pollack.

Pollack also dropped his Georgia expectations when Newman left, taking to Twitter and saying:

“With Jamie Newman as Georgia’s QB, I was going to pick them to win the Natty. Now? Back to Bama/Clemson.”

 

Former UGA quarterback Aaron Murray, who earlier this summer was critical of Newman’s intermediate pass skills, also expressed disappointment in Newman’s business decision to leave Athens.

“I was looking forward to seeing him run Monken’s offense,” Murray said. “Would have been a perfect fit.”

Except Newman wasn’t the perfect fit;  Monken made it clear that even after seven months, the competition remained “open.”

RELATED: How Jamie Newman went from Heisman candidate to opt out

Of course, actions speak louder than words.

That’s why the first sign Georgia’s new OC might be look for something different was when Daniels chose UGA as his transfer destination in May.

Daniels could have gone to Michigan (Pre-COVID season cancellation) or Tennessee and taken over the No. 1 quarterback slot upon getting game clearance.

But at Georgia, Daniels knew he’d have to win the job against Newman while recovering from ACL surgery and wearing a protective knee brace in scrimmages.

WATCH: Todd Monken shares Air Raid concepts with Georgia fans 

Daniels still isn’t cleared, something Smart made it a point to reference when asked to assess the quarterbacks prior to Newman’s sudden departure.

That meant Newman was technically leading the drills when he left — as the only healthy quarterback with FBS experience — even as Daniels was more adept in the offense.

Lee Corso picked Georgia in the East Division, but Desmond Howard said he went with Florida because of Kyle Trask, and the Gators’ schedule.

Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss are the only three teams in the SEC not to play back-to-back road games this season, and Howard pointed out the Gators play Georgia and LSU in the state of Florida.

Indeed, and the Bayou Bengals are down to just six returning starters after Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase has opted out.

Georgia only has four home games on the 10-game schedule as its  administration said it intends to keep its designated home game with Florida in Jacksonville this season.

This, even as other other teams — Wake Forest-Notre Dame, and Arkansas-Texas A&M — moved previously arranged games at NFL stadiums to campuses amid COVID-19 logistical concerns.

It leaves the Bulldogs without a home game between Oct. 10 and Nov. 21.

Georgia has won three straight against Florida entering this season’s game in Jacksonville on Nov. 7.

The Georgia quarterback scramble

Jamie Newman’s parting words from Georgia and background interview

How Newman went from Heisman hype to opt out 

Georgia QB success hinges on OC Todd Monken

3 things to know about new Georgia quarterback situation

Kirby Smart official statement on Newman leaving 

Closer look: Jamie Newman’s shocking decision to leave UGA

Social media reacts to Jamie Newman leaving Georgia 

 

 

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