SDS Roundtable: Georgia's over/under is 10.5 wins. How many games will Dawgs win in 2020?
Each SDS roundtable discussion involves the SDS staff providing individual answers and comments to questions covering a wide range of sports and non-sports topics. In this discussion, we ask the question: Can Georgia win 10 games for the 4th consecutive season?
A bit of background …
Kirby Smart is trying to become the 3rd Georgia to win 10 games in 4 consecutive seasons. Mark Richt accomplished the feat from 2002-05. Legendary Vince Dooley was the first to do so, from 1980-1983.
Georgia also has won the SEC East the past 3 seasons, but change is in the air in Athens. A new offense, led by a new coordinator and quarterback, offers all sorts of intrigue. A schedule that includes a trip to Alabama offers all sorts of challenges.
So how many games will the Bulldogs win? Our friends at BetOnline.ag listed the regular-season over/under at 10.5 wins. Will the Bulldogs go over? That’s something we’ve been discussing for a while.
Jon Cooper, SDS co-founder
This is a tough over/under, but I would take the under. Yes, the Bulldogs are a heavy favorite to win the SEC East again with an elite defense. The nonconference slate of UVA, East Tennessee State, UL Monroe and Georgia Tech should all be wins. The Dawgs should take care of business in conference, too, against Vanderbilt, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. That leaves games at Alabama, vs. Auburn and vs. Florida (Jacksonville) as the biggest questions. Lose 2 of those, and you’ve hit the under.
With so many questions on offense this coming season — offensive line, quarterback, wide receivers, new coordinator, etc, I will take the under 10.5 wins for UGA in 2020.
Connor O’Gara, Senior national columnist
Under. I keep going back and forth between 10 and 11 wins, but as we near 2 months of quarantine, I wonder about Georgia’s new-look offense against the SEC’s elite. I have major questions about not just how Jamie Newman will perform against SEC competition — I’m still leaning more optimistic on his outlook — but also about that offensive line overhaul. Not having Sam Pittman to guide these 4 new starters is a question mark, though Matt Luke was a fantastic hire given what Georgia lost.
And if anyone is sleeping on this Georgia defense, that’d be dumb. The nation’s top scoring unit is No. 21 in returning production. There might not be many teams who hit 20 points against the Dawgs in 2020.
But I’ll take the under just because if you’re asking me to pick the schedule today, I’d give a slight edge to Alabama and Florida in those matchups. Could that change by mid-season? Yeah. Absolutely. We don’t know what Todd Monken’s offense looks like in early May when we didn’t even get a spring game. But as of today, I’ll take the under on Georgia’s regular season win total for the first time since Year 1 of the Kirby Smart era.
Neil Blackmon, Florida columnist
Before COVID, I would have picked the over. Give Todd Monken a whole spring to install his offense and get Jamie Newman comfortable, figure out what you’re going to do replacing four starters on the offensive line, continue to develop what I think is the most talented wide receiver room in the country.
The lack of spring football and questions about how much summer camp there will be changes Georgia’s ceiling, I think.
They’ll be junkyard Dawgs come November, no doubt. But I can’t see Newman weathering the Alabama defense early and Georgia will trip up against one of Auburn, Florida or Tennessee thereafter. That would put the Dawgs at 10 wins, just under the number.
Michael Bratton, News editor
This is potentially a dangerous bet to make because I could see Georgia going undefeated this season if the offense gets rolling early and Jamie Newman doesn’t have a steep learning curve playing with new teammates and in a tougher league. On the other hand, I could see the offense being a disaster — due in part to a lack of spring football and a quick installation of the new offensive system heading into the fall — and the Bulldogs failing to live up to the championship standard of Kirby Smart’s program.
Before Dawg Nation comes at me, keep in mind last offseason Georgia fans were happy to see Jim Chaney leave for Tennessee and were touting all the weapons James Coley had to work with heading into the 2019 season.
Kirby Smart made the right decision to change the offense, but unfortunately, the timing of a move to a new system could not have come at a worse time for Georgia.
I’ll lean toward the over but I’m not confident in this one.
Adam Spencer, Newsletter editor
I love that the Bulldogs added Jamie Newman this offseason and think he’ll be a great quarterback for them. However, I’m taking the under here. I think this is a 10-win team. I have them losing at Alabama in Week 3. There’s 1 loss. All they need is 1 more loss and they hit the under.
Here’s a look at other tough games on the Bulldogs’ schedule:
– vs. Auburn (Oct. 10)
– vs. Florida (Oct. 31 in Jacksonville)
– vs. Tennessee (Nov. 14)
Yes, it’s nice that Auburn and Tennessee have to travel to Athens, but if the Dawgs trip up against a team like South Carolina again, it could be a 9- or 10-win regular season for Kirby Smart’s crew. As long as they beat Florida, I still think they’ll win the SEC East, but that’s not a given this year by any means.
Chris Wright, Executive editor
I’ll be more surprised if Georgia beats Alabama than if Alabama beats Georgia by double digits.
Jamie Newman might be a terrific fit, but he won’t be by Week 3, when the Dawgs travel to Tuscaloosa. Fortunately, he’s a veteran, so even if he struggles, there shouldn’t be any long-term aftershocks. Last year, for instance, he had his worst day against Clemson (6-of-14, 41 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs) but bounced back the next week with 284 yards and a TD pass to beat Duke. Newman beat up the bad teams on Wake Forest’s schedule, and I expect that trend to not only continue but grow at Georgia.
After Alabama, the Dawgs face La. Monroe and Vanderbilt before hosting annual rival Auburn. It’s fair to expect the Tigers to see a more dangerous version of Newman than the Tide will.
Everybody has Florida circled for all of the obvious reasons. I’m interested in the Kentucky game, in Lexington, in late November. It follows the Tennessee game, which we know will be emotional.
Talent-wise, Georgia could win 11 regular-season games. But I think they slip up a couple of more times and finish no better than 10-2 and quite possibly 9-3.
- LSU’s over/under is 9.5 wins. How many games will Tigers win?
- Alabama’s over/under is 10.5 wins. How many games will Tide win?
- Auburn’s over/under is 8.5 wins. How many games will Tigers win?
- Texas A&M’s over/under is 9.5 wins. How many games will Aggies win?
- Who wins more games in 2020: Ole Miss or Mississippi State?
- Florida’s over/under is 9.5 wins. How many games will Gators win?