ATHENS — Peter Burns has correctly predicted two of the past three national champions by selecting Georgia, and the SEC Network star is leaning toward picking the Bulldogs again.

“I would have gone three for three if, in Atlanta had maybe one of two possessions changed in that game,” Burns said, referring to the 27-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC title game that derailed Georgia’s three-peat hopes.

“I still go back and get pissed off Georgia played so good all season long and didn’t get that opportunity to play (in the playoffs).”

Burns suggested that could serve as added incentive for the 2024 version of the Bulldogs, and that might be why he has Georgia among the top two teams in the SEC.

“I’m sure it fires up Kirby to a certain extent, because it gives him something to work toward, and see if they can start another run,” Burns said. “You look at where Carson (Beck) is at right now, he’s right as the odds-on favorite or close to it, along with (Texas QB) Quinn Ewers.

“That’s the one-two match-up.”

Georgia plays at Texas on Oct. 19 in a game many project to carry great impact on the College Football Playoffs.

Burns had the opportunity to call the Longhorns’ spring game, and he came away impressed.

“I was just down in Austin and I handled their sprig football game, and it looks every bit like the way Georgia looked in 2021 and 2022 and 2023,” Burns said.

“They get off the bus, they’re monstrous people, they’re deep in every position, and now they’ve got a quarterback in Quinn Ewers coming back, and they have a pretty damn good backup in Arch (Maning) that wowed in the spring game.”

Georgia, of course, also recruited Manning and at one point was considered the leader for the services of the legacy player.

It’s hard to know exactly how things might have turned out had Manning chosen Georgia, but the Bulldogs have a strong quarterback room with Beck, Gunner Stockton, incoming transfer Jaden Rashada and incoming freshman Ryan Puglisi.

“I think the pecking order is Georgia, Texas,” Burns said, “and then you have that secondary tier that’s going to be filled with Alabama, Ole Miss, and perhaps even Missouri at that point.”

Burns notes first-year Tide coach Kalen DeBoer could have some challenges after losing key pieces in the NCAA transfer portal.

“What’s Kalen DeBoer going to bring in Year One, and how much did they lose?” Burns said. “Especially in the wide receiver room with (Amari) Niblack and Isaiah Bond both going to Texas.

“(And), how much did Jalen Milroe grow? Those are the question marks I have for Alabama, which means to me that the top two teams to beat are going to be Georgia and Texas.”

Burns also shared insight into Ole Miss football along with breaking down the upcoming SEC baseball tournament during his “On the Beat” Show appearance with DawgNation on Monday night (below).