2013 Georgia Bulldogs Season Preview

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

2013 Georgia Bulldogs Season Preview

The 5th biggest favorite to win the BCS National Championship this season at 14 to 1, the Georgia Bulldogs have big expectations coming off a breakout 2012 campaign. They nearly had it–a possible spot in the BCS title game, before collapsing to eventual-champion Alabama after building a 21-10 3rd quarter lead. They ended up losing 32-28. Still, Georgia was 12-2, including a Capital One Bowl win over Nebraska.

In 2012, they lost their 6th game to South Carolina, a startling 28-point loss, before reeling off 6 straight wins. They carried an 11-1 record into the SEC title game against Alabama. QB Aaron Murray returns and will be starting for the 4th season, already having compiled over 10000 yards passing and 95 touchdowns in the previous 3 seasons. He went from 6-7, to 10-4, to 12-2 last season. Does the progression continue or does Murray and the Bulldogs hit a wall?

They seem to have an inside track to once again get to the SEC title game in 2013. The schedule isn’t that tough, except for a few patches. They open the season with a toughie on the road at Clemson. Then they have a chance to avenge last year’s bad defeat at the hands of the Gamecocks. A gimme against North Texas leads to a home game against LSU. There’s a few tough tests early in the season and is Georgia is able to come through, the rest of the season should be less of an uphill battle.

After going to Tennessee and a home game against Missouri, they take to the road against Vanderbilt and then a toughie against Florida. Then they should win out, with games against Appalachian State, Auburn, Kentucky, and Georgia Tech. The schedule is doable, with a handful of tests and a few iffy ones at the beginning of the season. Head coach Mark Richt and Aaron Murray should conceivably be the hungriest coach-QB combo in the conference. Both have a lot to prove and you wouldn’t think they would slip up mentally against teams they should beat. If that’s the case, this comes down to games with Clemson, South Carolina and LSU. When you look at the treacherous road others must take to have a shot to get into the big game–Georgia doesn’t have it so bad.


That start is brutal, however, make no mistake. It’s not often that such a big-time team’s whole season is so front-heavy, but Georgia needs to hit the ground running in a big way. Clemson is just outside the top ten of this year’s favorites to win it all. LSU and South Carolina are in the top ten. So 3 of their first 4 games are against real contenders. At least they get LSU and South Carolina at home. But that’s a lot of tough football played in a very short time. Even if they get through that patch somehow, will they be prime pickings for an upset against upcoming opponents?

If a team is up for it, it might be Georgia. The QB is a battle-tested quarterback with his sense of urgency as high as it gets. He works behind an intact offensive line that made big strides in Georgia’s breakout season last year. As matter of fact, most of their offense is back. Defensively is where the question marks loom.

Georgia lost 3/4 of their secondary and some other top contributors from 2012. But that doesn’t mean we should expect the Bulldogs “D” to slip into the ranks of mediocrity. There are still some key contributors in place, including ends Garrison Smith and Jordan Jenkins, LB Amarlo Herrera, and their lone remaining member of the secondary–the formidable Damian Swann. Look for these vets to help bring along youngsters and play with a chip on their shoulder with so many people predicting a defensive letup this season.

Winning the BCS National Championship is a tall order of epic proportions for the Bulldogs. They’re going to have to brave a stormy early passage then win the SEC title game. They also need to hope teams like Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M don’t go undefeated while the Bulldogs go into the SEC title game with one loss. That could create a weird BCS ranking snafu. They might just need to run the table. Their placement as the 5th biggest-favorite to win it all seems about right. They’re not a frontrunner, but other than Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State, and maybe A&M–they have as good a chance as anybody.

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