ESPN explains why Georgia can very much three-peat, even after several key departures
When taking a 10,000-foot view, it would be easy to say that Georgia won’t win a third-straight national title. Aside from the fact that Georgia lost 10 players to the NFL draft and has a new offensive coordinator, no program has three-peated since Minnesota did so back in the 1930′s.
But you can’t win three without winning the first two and that is what the Bulldogs have done. Last season’s team replaced 15 NFL draft picks, along with defensive coordinator Dan Lanning. The Bulldogs went 15-0 and throttled TCU in the national championship game.
So while some are betting against Georgia, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach made the case for why ruling out Georgia would be an overreaction.
“Until someone knocks off Georgia in the SEC, it will be among the favorites to win a national championship every season,” Schlabach said. “Smart and his staff have stockpiled that much talent in Athens, Georgia. Safety Malaki Starks and end Mykel Williams were starters as freshmen last season. Georgia’s linebacker corps -- Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Smael Mondon Jr. and Jalon Walker -- is as good as any in the FBS.
“Carson Beck will probably end up winning the quarterback job, and he’ll have All-America tight end Brock Bowers and a deep receiver corps to work with. Georgia’s offensive line should have won the Joe Moore Award last season, and it’s going to be good again.”
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Georgia’s schedule also works in its favor, with the Bulldogs having a soft non-conference schedule after the SEC canceled Georgia’s game against Oklahoma. The Bulldogs open against UT-Martin and Ball State before hosting South Carolina.
The toughest game for Georgia at this point looks to be the Nov. 18 game at Tennessee. But no one saw Missouri putting a scare into Georgia last season and the Tigers came closer than anyone in the regular season to beating Georgia. The Bulldogs needed a perfect fourth quarter to beat the Tigers.
That’s why Kirby Smart made it clear that the opponent doesn’t determine Georgia’s mindset. It’s something that is done every day internally.
“What sets it is when we put that ball down in Sanford Stadium, those scrimmages you had in fall camp, we’re going against the best team that we play and your standard had better be right,” Smart said after G-Day.
“You go out there in practice and you’re not playing your best, you’re playing against as good a team as you’ll play. So, it’s not about the team we play, guys. It’s about what we do. So, I’m not going to allow anybody else to make an excuse for the opponent we play.”
Georgia does still have some position battles to sort out, chiefly at the quarterback position. But unlike Alabama, which brought in transfer Tyler Buchner from Notre Dame, Georgia feels very confident in its quarterback room. Left tackle and cornerback are two other positions the Bulldogs will have to sort out.
The Bulldogs wrapped up spring practice on April 15. Summer workouts will begin later this month as the Bulldogs continue to prepare for what should be another difficult season.
But as Georgia has shown the past two seasons, it is as good a bet as any to win the national title.
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