Obviously it’s impossible to predict what the storylines will be after the season. Nowhere in last year’s preseason storyline did it mention the best player being suddenly suspended and the freshman replacement being just as good. But as we sit here on the eve of the season, here are the top three storylines for Georgia in 2015:
No matter who starts the opener, the story won’t go away. Until someone clearly cements the job, every pass will be a referendum, every series important.
And even when someone does grab the job — if they do — the debates won’t go away. Hutson Mason could tell you that from personal experience. The backup quarterback, perhaps even the third quarterback, will likely become the most popular guy on the team every time the starter throws an interception.
Beyond the intrigue, however, lies the fact that quarterback play could dictate how far the Bulldogs go this season. If everything else goes as expected — a great running game, an improved defense, solid special teams — then the passing game becomes the difference between a great and a disappointing season.
Oh, and by the way, there’s this: Jacob Eason, perhaps the nation’s top quarterback recruit, is due to join the team in January. So this year’s quarterbacks have that hanging over their future too. Good luck.
CHUBB’S HEISMAN CAMPAIGN
Well, not an overt campaign, as Georgia doesn’t do that, and Nick Chubb is overly modest. But if Chubb picks up where he left off, he could be right where Todd Gurley was before his suspension: a front-runner for the Heisman.
The main obstacle for Chubb could be his fellow tailbacks. Sony Michel and Keith Marshall, if healthy, are too good to sit on the bench and will cut into Chubb’s workload. They were hurt last year, and Gurley was suspended and then hurt, which allowed Chubb to pile up the carries and the yards.
Then again, if a deep backfield pushes Georgia back to the SEC Championship game, then that will aid the campaign as well.
WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP
Georgia fans don’t need to be reminded that their team hasn’t won the SEC in a decade, and hasn’t won the East since 2012. Never mind that Mark Richt has one of the better winning percentages in the country, and with five wins this season will pass Wally Butts for second on Georgia’s all-time list.
The fans are antsy for more, and finishing ranked No. 9 last season didn’t leave them with a great feeling.
This year the Bulldogs begin as the clear favorite in the East. That means anything but a trip to Atlanta likely will be seen as a disappointment, and even if that’s achieved, ending the SEC title drought will be considered a must by many.