In 2012, Georgia came up just a few yards short of an SEC title and a shot at the Bulldogs' first national championship since 1980. Instead, they had to settle for a Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska and a 12-2 final record. Can Georgia play for a BCS trophy this year, or will a tough early-season schedule get in the way?
2013 Georgia schedule
Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.
If the Bulldogs are going to compete for a national championship in 2013, we'll know it by the end of September. Georgia's first two games are at Clemson and home against South Carolina, and the Dawgs host LSU in Week 5. Well, whatever doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger, right? If that's truly the case, Georgia should be one of the strongest teams in the country by the time October rolls around. Or the Bulldogs will be dead.
If Mark Richt's team manages to get through that early gauntlet unscathed, there's a good chance only one road block will stand between it and an undefeated regular season. The annual matchup against Florida in Jacksonville falls on Nov. 2, and the Gators are the only elite team to fall on the second half of the Bulldogs' schedule. Rivalry games against Auburn and Georgia Tech and a contest against a Vandy team on the rise could provide some challenges, but Georgia will probably be favored in all three games.
The offense should be great, but the defense may take some time to gel. Considering the Bulldogs' five-game slate to open the season, it needs to come together quickly.