Teams & Conferences

College Football Rankings: No. 19 Georgia Bulldogs


The Georgia Bulldogs are at No. 19 in the college football rankings. Here are five things that matter heading into Georgia’s 2016 season.


2016 Georgia Preview
2016 Georgia Game-by-Game Preview

Kirby Smart could be the right tweak

No one was interested in losing Mark Richt. He’s a good guy, a great coach, and he’s what you want for your big-time football program. With that said, it was time to make a change. The pressure is immediately on Kirby Smart to not only be great from Day 1, but to take what Richt created and do even more. The defense should still be outstanding, but can the offense be consistent enough to somehow take the SEC East? That’s the big concern considering …

The offensive backfield isn’t a mess, but …

It’s going to be a big issue early on. The best quarterback – Jacob Eason – is only a true freshman, but there are veteran options to throw into the mix right away considering the running back situation is a massive problem.

Nick Chubb is still trying to get back to 100% after suffering a midseason knee injury, while talented No. 2 man Sony Michel is trying to healthy after breaking his arm off-the-field this offseason. There will be a time this year when everything is humming, but it might take a little while to get there. Until the offense comes around …

The defense could get the job done

It all starts with having one of the best defensive minds in the business as the head man, and the rest of the talent is in place to be fantastic from the start. The secondary should be among the best in the country, and the front seven should be okay once the line finds the right combination. No one’s going to throw on the Dawgs – it’s all up to how quickly the run defense can come together.

Okay, yeah, the defense will be great, but …

Again, that defensive line. And again, this coaching staff – helped by defensive coordinator Mel Tucker – knows how to make big things happen, but losing the key pass rushers and relying on several new players could be a problem against North Carolina right away. There really won’t be a problem up front, if there’s one area of concern – besides the running backs – this is it.

What’s going to happen?

A 10-2 record. It might sound familiar to Georgia fans for the team to be really good, but not good enough, but this will be a terrific first season under Smart. The one key loss to Tennessee will mean everything in the SEC East race – the winner will go on to take the division – but the foundation will be set for terrific next several years. Everything is in place for the program to become a national title-level superpower in the near future. Again, though, sound familiar?