CBR's "Way Too Early" Top 10
No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs
After coming so close against Alabama in the SEC Championship, Georgia has to think 2013 is its year to be holding the crystal ball at the end of the season. Getting out of the SEC won’t be easy, but the Bulldogs should have the pieces in place to get past South Carolina and Florida in the East.
Georgia is expecting 13 early enrollees and don’t be shocked if some of those guys have an impact next season.
The Good: Aaron Murray’s decision to come back for his senior season is a huge boost for the Bulldogs. He is a Heisman-caliber quarterback and could have been the top QB drafted this season. If Murray had chosen to leave early, Georgia would have been just fine with Hutson Mason, who might be tiring of sitting the bench.
Murray also likes the running game the Bulldogs get from Todd Gurley, who will be a sophomore in the fall. He finished the season with 125 yards on the ground in a Georgia’s win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
The Bad: It was expected, but still the losses of DT Kwame Geathers, LB Jarvis Jones and LB Alec Ogletree are going to be felt. Of course, Georgia has some depth on defense and Mark Richt will get a boost from a coaching standpoint with the addition of former defensive coordinator Chris Wilson taking over the line.
The Bulldogs must also figure out a way to beat Steve Spurrier and South Carolina to ever be considered a legitimate national title contender.
The Uncertain: With a tough SEC schedule and a season-opener against Clemson, the Bulldogs could lose two or three games and quickly be out of the SEC race.
While the defense must rebuild, the Bulldogs have a great centerpiece to the defense and that’s LB Jordan Jenkins. He flew under the radar because of the other stars on defense, but it’s now time for Jenkins to be the leader.
Verdict: Mark Richt is a much better coach than his critics like to admit, but he has not been able to get Georgia to the BCS Championship, and you start to wonder if he can actually do it. With the talent that returns for the Bulldogs and the confidence this team must have after nearly knocking off Alabama, I like Georgia’s chances of winning the SEC and getting a shot at the title.
Be sure to check out the rest of CBR’s "Way Too Early" Top 10:
10. Florida Gators
9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
8. Clemson Tigers