Georgia fans may love/hate to hear this, but Paul Finebaum is backing the program’s odds to win it all this fall.

While Finebaum didn’t outright predict Georgia would win the upcoming national championship, the ESPN host did predict that Kirby Smart would lead Georgia to a national title before Lincoln Riley could do the same at Oklahoma or Ryan Day win a title at Ohio State.

Here is what Finebaum had to say when asked which of those three coaches would win a national title first during a recent appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM show “3 Man Front” on Monday.

“I think it’s Kirby Smart because I think of those three, he’s got the best chance this year – and by the way, not by much over Lincoln Riley,” Finebaum said on the show. “I think this is an Oklahoma team that finally is capable, but I see the same fate for Oklahoma as always.

“But Kirby Smart, to me, has a really good chance. I mean, if you look at this, if you take out the two meltdowns against Alabama. If you excise that out of the conversation and simply look at what Georgia has on its roster – and the schedule. Georgia should easily be considered among the two or three top favorites to win the national championship this year.”

Based on his next comments, Finebaum attempts to get out in front of the hype that’s likely coming Georgia’s way should they beat Clemson in the upcoming season opener.

“Especially when you look at that first game. I mean right now, you know, it’s easy to predict games 6, 7, 8 weeks out, but if I had to predict the game today, I would predict Georgia to beat Clemson,” Finebaum added. “And if that happens, we all know what’s going to be happening the next Monday — Georgia will be the talk of the country.”