It’s a long way to go until bowl season, but ESPN has put out their bowl projections for the 2023 season. And both Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura have Georgia heading back to the College Football Playoff for a third-straight season.
The two ESPN writers each have Georgia playing in the Sugar Bowl, which along with the Rose Bowl will host the College Football Playoff semifinals this year. Schlabach has Georgia facing Ohio State in a rematch of last year’s Peach Bowl, while Bonagura sees Georgia facing Florida State.
“The Seminoles get LSU in their opener, which will be either (A) a good résumé-building win or (B) an early-enough loss to overcome late,” Bonagura wrote. “Then they have as easy a conference path as there is for any Power 5 contender.”
Bonagura has Michigan playing Alabama in the other College Football Playoff semifinal, while Schlabach sees Michigan facing USC.
Both writers have Georgia advancing to the national championship game in their bowl picks.
Georgia has made the College Football Playoff three times in program history, including in each of the past two seasons. The Bulldogs have a number of key players to replace off of last season’s championship team, including 10 NFL draft picks.
The Bulldogs do bring back plenty of talent. No team had more players on the Preseason All-SEC Coaches First Team than Georgia, with 10.
Expectations are also high for new quarterback Carson Beck, who Kirby Smart officially named the starter last week. Beck will take over for Bennett, who led Georgia to back-to-back national championships.
Beck has had to wait his time to start but he’s eager to show he’s more than capable of leading the Georgia football program.
“This whole entire year I’ve been working for it, grinding for it, and I kind of expected that for myself. But to actually hear it go live, it meant a lot to me,” Beck said when speaking to reporters on Wednesday. “It’s something to see all the hard work pay off. Like I’ve been saying this whole time, sometimes its hard to be patient in a world where everything’s so immediate with social media and the internet. Everybody wants stuff now, but seeing that patience pay off hit home for me.”
Georgia last played in the Sugar Bowl in 2020, when the Bulldogs beat Baylor. This year’s College Football Playoff games are set for Jan. 1, with the national championship game being played in Houston on Jan. 8.
The Bulldogs open the 2023 season on Sept. 2 when they take on UT-Martin.