Georgia football: 5 dream/disaster scenarios for the Bulldogs in 2018
These are high times in Athens for Georgia fans and players alike. The Bulldogs’ 2017 season was the best in years, which was great, but it’s the loftier dreams of what lies ahead that has everyone so giddy.
With the 2018 season getting closer and closer by the day, here are five dream scenarios for Georgia … but also five potential disasters.
1. The Bulldogs are favored in every regular-season game, and they win them all: The first part, barring injuries, is probably going to happen. Even in the biggest games on a very light schedule, Georgia will be favored against South Carolina, LSU, Florida and Auburn. Is it odd that 12-0 could be expected?
2. When the SEC Championship Game rolls around, the Bulldogs have figured out Alabama’s weaknesses: Seeing how the title game played out a year ago, Georgia and Alabama seem fairly equal. Both have had the annual talent losses, but have reloaded as well with great recruiting classes, with the edge there — for a change — going to the Bulldogs. This go-round, it’s the Bulldogs who make the big plays late that matters.
3. The Playoff comes and goes with two victories, all easier than beating Bama: An unbeaten SEC champ is the obvious first seed, so the semifinal win — probably in the Orange Bowl in South Florida on Dec. 29 — would be against another postseason Big Ten blowhard this time. It won’t matter who, the Bulldogs win easily. Then a title game romp over, say, Clemson, gives the Bulldogs their first national title since 1980.
4. After going 15-0 and winning a national title, Kirby Smart gets a new 10-year, $80 million deal: This might be just Kirby’s dream, but it’s a good one nonetheless. Jumbo Fisher’s deal at Texas A&M (10 years, $75 million) has raised the ante, and a national title might mean locking up Smart for a decade. Cha-ching.
5. Since one parade in Athens isn’t enough, the Bulldogs have a victory parade in every county in Georgia: If you’re going to celebrate, you might as well celebrate with everyone. The Bulldogs, after all, are Georgia’s team. There are 159 counties, so do three or four a day for a couple months and make it a big party. It’s everyone’s best dream, after all.
1. Jake Bentley and South Carolina expose the rebuilt linebackers in SEC opener: Opening the SEC schedule on the road early on Sept. 8, an experienced quarterback like Bentley takes advantage of the Bulldogs’ rebuilt linebacking crew, running on passing downs and throwing on running downs. The confused Bulldogs falter, and fall to 0-1 in the league.
2. Drew Lock and Missouri torch the Georgia secondary: Studying film like crazy, Lock throws for 350 yards and four touchdowns against an overrated Bulldogs secondary, winning 45-40. Fans gnash their teeth that nothing has been learned in the offseason and big plays are still a problem. Lock later becomes the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
3. Like last year, the Bulldogs lose a quarterback early, then lose a second one: There’s no doubt that Jake Fromm and Justin Fields are uber-talented, but injuries happen. Stetson Bennett is listed as the third quarterback, but if he has to play, it’s going to be an issue. Depth is a very major concern if something crazy happens with Fromm and Fields. It’s far-fetched, but it can happen.
4. The SEC East stays crazy and Georgia loses a tiebreaker: Those two early losses come back to haunt the Bulldogs and they fail to qualify for the SEC Championship Game. Unlike Alabama a year earlier, the Bulldogs do not get invited to the College Football Playoff. An invitation to the Outback Bowl in Tampa is a huge letdown.
5. Wake up! Wake up! None of these disaster scenarios can really happen, right? It’s just a bad dream.