2019 Georgia Bulldogs Football Predictions and Odds to Win National Championship
There are reasons for Georgia fans to be very excited. They have played Alabama very tight the last couple of years and are loaded again this year. This could finally be the year. From my perspective, though, I'm just most excited that the QB drama has finally been minimized. With Jacob Eason and now Justin Fields gone, this is finally and unquestionably Jake Fromm's team. He deserves that after the way he has played the last couple of years. And as long as he stays healthy, the team will be better off without the distraction. Of course, if Eason and Fields shine in their new spots and Fromm struggles, then we'll be in it worse than ever. But that's a problem for another day.
2018 in a Nutshell
Last year for Georgia was a mostly strong season that fell short at key times. After mostly rolling through six pretty easy games to start the year, they flopped at LSU and lost by 20. They got back on track next time out, beating Florida convincingly, and they won their division with just one loss. Then in the SEC Championship they gave Alabama a massive test but fell just short in the end. It's as if their interest in being the best they could be ended with that game, because they should have beaten Texas handily but essentially gave the bowl game win to the Longhorns.
Key Additions and Departures
The most noteworthy change with this team perhaps comes on the offensive staff. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney bolted to Tennessee in a move that feels like a step back - not even a lateral move. Taking over is James Coley, who was co-OC last year in title, though less so in role. He is an experienced OC, but he didn't call plays at Florida State and was largely underwhelming at Miami. He has a loaded unit with Fromm, RB D'Andre Swift, a solid group of receivers, and an experienced line to work with. But it is no lock that he will maximize the tools he has.
The team had some key losses. Most notably, all-world CB Deandre Baker is a Giant, and strong receiver Mecole Hardiman is with the Chiefs. In total, they lost seven players in the draft, including five on offense. Those offensive players included three receivers and a tight end, so there are going to be some new faces having to step up there. Isaac Nauta left early at tight end, and top recruit Luke Ford left after one year for Illinois, so tight end depth is a particular concern.
They have added yet another elite recruiting class, headlined by DE Nolan Smith, the consensus top recruit, and ILB Nakobe Dean, who is getting a tremendous amount of early buzz.
Biggest Area of Concern
Defensive depth is probably the biggest concern. Baker, who did not allow a TD in two years, is a huge loss, and the defensive backfield isn't as electric as would be ideal at this point. The defensive line is another area where there is young depth but not as much proven excellence as we might hope. The upside is here, and the chance for this team to be more than solid defensively. But the floor is a little lower than would be ideal.
Georgia Bulldogs Schedule Analysis
The Bulldogs don't have to play Alabama in the regular season, but it is still a long way from an easy schedule. After three easy games, they have the daunting task of playing Notre Dame. Their annual November game against Florida should be the toughest that it has been in quite a while. And visiting Auburn a week before hosting Texas A&M is a tough two-week stretch that will define their season.
2019-20 Georgia Bulldogs Betting Odds and Trends
At +700 to win the national title at BetOnline, Georgia is the third choice to win the title, behind only the co-favorites - Clemson and Alabama are both at +225. Fromm and Swift are both seen as equal Heisman contenders at +1400. That puts them behind five other players, including favored Tua Tagovailoa at +250.
2019-20 Georgia Bulldogs Predictions and College Football Picks
I'm not crazy about Coley being in charge of the offense, but the unit should still be strong. And the young talent on defense has real upside if they can find their way early on. This is going to be a solid team. The schedule is tough, though, and there are opportunities for this team to trip up - and this is a team that likes to trip up. Their game against Florida should define who plays Alabama for the SEC title. I lean towards the Bulldogs, but I ultimately don't view this team as a true threat to win it all this year.
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