Check out the advanced-stats glossary here. Below, a unique review of last year's team, a unit-by-unit breakdown of this year's roster, the full 2016 schedule with win projections for each game, and more.
1. You better win
Ambition is fine. Aiming high can pay off. But if you aim high and miss, it can set your program back years.
The idea of Glen Mason Territory is based around that idea. Minnesota won more consistently under Mason than under any coach since the 1940s, but he struggled to clear the bar he'd set. He went 18-8 in 2002-03 but followed with 20 wins in the next three years; good for Minnesota, but not good enough. After a 6-7 2006, capped with a huge blown lead in the Insight Bowl, the Gophers dumped Mason in favor of Tim Brewster ... and went 17-33 over the next four seasons. Minnesota didn't win more than seven games until the eighth season after his ouster.
GMT™ is established when fans get frustrated with merely being successful. Once you raise the bar, you have to keep raising it. Perhaps it should be called Mark Richt Territory.
In 15 years, Richt engineered seven top-10 finishes; the Dawgs had only pulled that off 10 times in the 51 years before him. Georgia won 50 games in his final five years, complete with four S&P+ top-15 rankings and two AP top-10 finishes. The Dawgs came within an eyelash of the BCS Championship in 2012.
After the next hint of a true (and brief) drop-off -- UGA won 10 games in 2015 but fell to 32nd in S&P+ -- the school sent Richt packing. I wasn't particularly impressed.
This poor 2015 performance comes on the heels of four consecutive F/+ top-15 finishes (13th in 2011, seventh in 2012, 14th in 2013, fourth in 2014).
Here are the other programs that pulled that off in that same span: Alabama. That's it. Florida State didn't do it. Oregon didn't. Ohio State didn't. But Richt even pulled it off in 2013, with a brutally young defense and receivers exploding like Spinal Tap drummers.
This reminds you of how randomness plays a role in this sport. And while we can say Georgia is a sleeping giant, and that the program should expect better results, here's a dirty little secret: almost no team gets to constantly win at the level we think it should achieve.
Everybody has setbacks and down years and disappointments and random losses and frustration against rivals. But Nick Saban does it far less frequently than anybody else, and that makes people -- especially SEC rivals -- lose their damn minds.
Saban's impossible consistency has driven fanbases and administrations throughout the SEC insane. Richt was fired for not being as successful as him, and LSU's Les Miles nearly suffered the same fate.
Following this line of thinking, it makes sense that Georgia would replace Richt with what they hope is the Next Saban: longtime Alabama defensive coordinator (and UGA grad) Smart.
The 40-year-old product of Bainbridge has an impeccable résumé. He was a defensive coordinator at Valdosta State at age 25, spent two years under Bobby Bowden at Florida State, briefly worked in the NFL, and spent the last nine seasons with Saban. He knows how Saban works, breathes, eats, and operates. He will operate in one of the most fertile recruiting areas of the country, and he will get complete, desperate support from the athletic department and the state government.
And he better win. Immediately.
He inherits a squad that returns two experienced quarterbacks and a blue-chip freshman, one of the best running backs in the country (and one of the better backups), five of last year's top six receiving targets, four offensive linemen with starting experience (plus a three-year FCS starter), an exciting secondary, an athletic defensive front seven, and a schedule that is one of the more manageable in the SEC.
|Record: 10-3 | Adj. Record: 10-3 | Final F/+ Rk: 30 | Final S&P+ Rk: 32|
|Date||Opponent||Opp. F/+ Rk||Score||W-L||Percentile
|28-Nov||at Georgia Tech||64||13-7||W||77%||96%||-0.4||+1.0|
|2-Jan||vs. Penn State||47||24-17||W||62%||70%||+8.2||0.0|
|Points Per Game||26.3||85||16.9||8|
2. Funk and recovery
We can say Richt was fired after a disappointing 2015, but really, he was fired for a disappointing October.
- First 4 games:
Record: 4-0 | Average percentile performance: 88% (~top 15) | Yards per play: UGA 8.3, Opp 4.2 (+4.1) | Performance vs. S&P+ projection: +1.3 PPG
- Next 4 games:
Record: 1-3 | Average percentile performance: 34% (~top 85) | Yards per play: Opp 5.5, UGA 4.8 (-0.7) | Performance vs. S&P+ projection: -12.9 PPG
- Last 5 games:
Record: 5-0 | Average percentile performance: 77% (~top 30) | Yards per play: UGA 5.4, Opp 4.6 (+0.8) | Performance vs. S&P+ projection: +4.3 PPG
October was one of the worst months of Richt's career. It began with a home embarrassment at the hands of (who else?) Alabama, then continued when Chubb, averaging 149 rushing yards per game, suffered a season-ending injury early in a seven-point loss at Tennessee. Georgia scored 12 points the next two weeks against Missouri and Florida, barely eking out a win over the Tigers and getting smoked by the Gators.
Richt's fate was sealed. Georgia couldn't hit the same high notes that it did with Chubb, but was fine in November. The Dawgs beat Kentucky and Auburn, and while they were unlucky to play in close games against Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech (win expectancy, per each game's key stats: 96 percent), they still won. And with a set of interim coaches, they beat Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl to finish with 10 wins. In a rebuilding season with a monthlong funk.
October got Richt fired, but September and (to a lesser extent) November reminded us of how sturdy the program was.
|FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||42.3%||62||Succ. Rt. +||111.2||29|
|FIELD POSITION||Def. Avg. FP||28.0||35||Def. FP+||27.4||24|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Scoring Opportunity||3.9||109||Redzone S&P+||114.2||24|
|Q1 Rk||36||1st Down Rk||22|
|Q2 Rk||23||2nd Down Rk||8|
|Q3 Rk||9||3rd Down Rk||12|
3. A Jim Chaney offense
As I've written before, new Georgia coordinator Chaney is one of my personal favorites.
He was Joe Tiller's coordinator during Purdue's renaissance (1997-05), and he spent three years as an NFL assistant (2006-08). He helped to blur the lines between pro-style and spread in four years as Tennessee's O.C., and he has solid results; he improved the Vols from 108th in Off. S&P+ to 27th in 2009, and with an experienced line and two solid receivers, his last Tennessee offense ranked 10th.
Bret Bielema hired him at Arkansas, and after some first-year struggles, he was pulling the strings for a devastating Hog offense that ranked 15th in Off. S&P+.
Chaney does what his personnel dictates. He has succeeded with average quarterbacks (he had a top-30 offense with Jonathan Crompton and a top-15 offense with Brandon Allen), he runs the ball when he's got good backs, and he gets receivers open, even in power sets.
I wrote that before Pitt's 2015, and despite losing star running back James Conner before the season and being forced to lean on freshman running backs and basically a one-man receiving corps, the Panthers ranked 38th in Off. S&P+.
Georgia ranked 71st in Brian Schottenheimer's lone season. It would have ranked much higher if Chubb hadn't gone down (UGA was averaging 8.3 yards per play through the first month), but with limited quarterbacks and only one experienced option in the receiving corps, Schottenheimer couldn't figure out how to move the ball without Chubb.
Limited QBs and thin receiving corps are kind of in Chaney's wheelhouse.
Note: players in bold below are 2016 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.
|Greyson Lambert||6'5, 234||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.9112||162||256||1959||12||2||63.3%||11||4.1%||7.0|
|Brice Ramsey||6'3, 210||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9518||21||35||249||1||2||60.0%||0||0.0%||7.1|
|Jacob Eason||6'5, 235||Fr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9973|
|Sony Michel||TB||5'11, 222||Jr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9902||220||1161||8||5.3||7.2||31.8%||5||1|
|Nick Chubb||TB||5'10, 228||Jr.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9835||93||747||7||8.0||8.7||47.3%||1||0|
|Brendan Douglas||TB||5'11, 213||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.7988||36||140||0||3.9||3.8||27.8%||0||0|
|Greyson Lambert||QB||6'5, 234||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.9112||18||44||1||2.4||2.8||33.3%||5||1|
|Isaiah McKenzie||WR||5'8, 175||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8917||11||117||2||10.6||8.0||72.7%||5||3|
|Terry Godwin||WR||5'11, 185||So.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9871||7||37||1||5.3||6.8||57.1%||1||0|
|Christian Payne||FB||6'1, 242||Jr.||NR||NR|
|Elijah Holyfield||RB||5'11, 215||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9266|
4. Hey, Nick :)
College football has been blessed with running back depth over the last couple of seasons. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon rushed for nearly 2,600 yards in 2014, and the 2015 national roster was so loaded that Florida State's Dalvin Cook averaged 7.4 yards per carry and didn't even end up a Heisman finalist.
Cook ... LSU's Leonard Fournette ... Stanford's Christian McCaffrey ... Oklahoma's Samaje Perine ... Oregon's Royce Freeman ... San Diego State's Donnel Pumphrey ... college football is stocked with incredible backs.
Before he got hurt, Chubb might have been the best of the bunch.
Let's put it this way: 189 FBS backs rushed at least 90 times in 2015. Nine had an opportunity rate of at least 47 percent, 11 averaged at least 8.5 highlight yards per opportunity, and only Chubb did both. Granted, he did a lot of damage against ULM and Southern (combined: 31 carries, 251 yards), but he did even more damage against top-20 Vanderbilt and Alabama defenses (39 carries, 335 yards).
Chubb's return would have made this a viable offense even with Schottenheimer still in charge. He's that good. And it appears he will be pretty close to 100 percent when the season begins.
He will need to be. Georgia's schedule features North Carolina, Missouri, Ole Miss, and Tennessee among the first five games, and quarterback is still unsettled. The options are either last year's iffy duo (Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey, who did average a tolerable 7 yards per attempt) or this year's new toy, five-star freshman Jacob Eason. Eason appears to have the upper hand and boasts every tool imaginable. But true freshmen tend to look like true freshmen, and that's one hell of an early slate.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||Targets||Catches||Yards||Catch Rate||Target
|Terry Godwin||SLOT||5'11, 185||So.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9871||57||35||379||61.4%||18.4%||6.6||45.6%||38.6%||1.54|
|Sony Michel||TB||5'11, 222||Jr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9902||34||26||270||76.5%||11.0%||7.9||58.8%||55.9%||1.26|
|Jeb Blazevich||TE||6'5, 242||Jr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9381||26||15||144||57.7%||8.4%||5.5||46.2%||42.3%||1.13|
|Reggie Davis||WR-Z||6'0, 170||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8778||23||12||187||52.2%||7.4%||8.1||65.2%||43.5%||1.71|
|Isaiah McKenzie||WR-Z||5'8, 175||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8917||17||10||123||58.8%||5.5%||7.2||23.5%||47.1%||1.50|
|Jackson Harris||TE||6'6, 247||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9187||7||4||50||57.1%||2.3%||7.1||42.9%||57.1%||0.96|
|Michael Chigbu||WR-X||6'2, 213||So.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8838||4||4||28||100.0%||1.3%||7.0||75.0%||75.0%||0.76|
|Jayson Stanley||WR||6'2, 207||So.||3 stars (5.7)||0.9055||4||2||23||50.0%||1.3%||5.8||100.0%||50.0%||1.02|
|Jordan Davis||TE||6'4, 240||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8675||2||1||24||50.0%||0.6%||12.0||100.0%||50.0%||1.77|
|Aulden Bynum||TE||6'5, 292||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8640|
|Javon Wims||WR||6'4, 215||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9025|
|Isaac Nauta||TE||6'4, 246||Fr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9903|
|Charlie Woerner||TE||6'5, 251||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9369|
|Riley Ridley||WR-X||6'2, 197||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9108|
|Tyler Simmons||WR||6'0, 206||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8822|
|Rivals||247 Comp.||2015 Starts||Career Starts||Honors/Notes|
|John Theus||RT||13||48||2015 1st All-SEC|
|Brandon Kublanow||C||6'3, 293||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9204||13||26||2015 2nd All-SEC|
|Greg Pyke||RT||6'6, 325||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8818||10||23||2014 2nd All-SEC|
|Isaiah Wynn||LT||6'2, 280||Jr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9456||13||13|
|Dyshon Sims||LG||6'4, 309||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9084||1||1|
|Kendall Baker||RT||6'6, 305||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8997||0||0|
|Lamont Gaillard||RG||6'2, 301||So.||3 stars (5.6)||0.9358||0||0|
|Pat Allen||RT||6'4, 298||RSFr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9131|
|Ben Cleveland||OL||6'6, 341||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9528|
|Chris Barnes||OL||6'3, 301||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8696|
|Solomon Kindley||OL||6'4, 336||Fr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8408|
5. Nobody get hurt
Whoever wins the QB job will have a receiving corps that is both experienced and unproven. Including backup running back Sony Michel -- a nice and oft-used weapon out of the backfield -- five of last year's top six targets return, but they only averaged 7 yards per target with a 45 percent success rate. The athleticism is off the charts, but for now the corps has barely proven more than its freshman quarterback.
Perhaps the biggest concern is what the heck happens if someone gets hurt up front. In Brandon Kublanow and Greg Pyke, UGA boasts two linemen who have earned all-conference honors, and left tackle Isaiah Wynn is solid and experienced. Rhode Island transfer Tyler Catalina adds depth, but if any of the top six players goes down, Georgia will have almost no choice but to throw a youngster into the fire.
Georgia's line was decent but frustrating last year. It helped to create opportunities, especially for Chubb (which isn't the hardest thing in the world), but even with Chubb there was no short-yardage push. And it seemed for many UGA fans that the hire of Bret Bielema's well-regarded line coach, Sam Pittman, was as important as Chaney.
|FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||32.3%||3||Succ. Rt. +||114.6||23|
|FIELD POSITION||Off. Avg. FP||32.5||20||Off. FP+||32.7||16|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Scoring Opportunity||3.4||9||Redzone S&P+||104.2||48|
|Q1 Rk||15||1st Down Rk||24|
|Q2 Rk||82||2nd Down Rk||13|
|Q3 Rk||5||3rd Down Rk||64|
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Trenton Thompson||DT||6'4, 309||So.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9991||12||16.5||2.4%||2.5||0.5||0||0||0||0|
|John Atkins||NT||6'4, 315||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8804||10||7.0||1.0%||1.0||0.0||0||1||0||0|
|Jonathan Ledbetter||DE||6'4, 269||So.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9670||7||3.0||0.4%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Michael Barnett||DE||6'4, 292||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9049||7||2.5||0.4%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle||NT||6'4, 320||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8570||10||2.0||0.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Julian Rochester||DT||6'5, 316||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9648|
|Michail Carter||DL||6'3, 293||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9430|
|Tyler Clark||DL||6'4, 305||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9066|
6. Nobody get hurt, part 2
The state of Georgia's post-Chubb offense was poor enough that it distracted us from one hell of a defense. It didn't appear coordinator Jeremy Pruitt got along particularly well with Richt, but after improving UGA's ratings from 36th to 17th in Def. S&P+, he pulled the Dawgs up to 11th. Georgia was efficient, particularly against the run, and basically the only weakness was an iffy early-downs pass rush.
Smart and new coordinator Mel Tucker inherit a lineup that is stocked in the back but potentially thin up front. Five of last year's top seven tacklers on the line are gone, and while the two returnees (Trenton Thompson, John Atkins) are enormous and talented, no other lineman recorded more than 3 tackles in 2015. It's possible that the rotation will feature only one upperclassman (Atkins, a junior), and while there are plenty of blue-chippers, experience is a good thing.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Davin Bellamy||JACK||6'5, 240||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8937||10||23.5||3.5%||5.5||3.0||0||1||2||0|
|MIKE||6'1, 230||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8968||12||23.0||3.1%||0.5||0.0||0||1||0||0|
|Natrez Patrick||WILL||6'3, 238||So.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9566||11||17.0||2.5%||2.5||1.0||0||0||0||0|
|Lorenzo Carter||SAM||6'6, 242||Jr.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9911||13||15.0||2.2%||0.0||0.0||0||1||2||0|
|Roquan Smith||MIKE||6'1, 225||So.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9764||12||14.5||2.2%||1.5||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|D'Andre Walker||SAM||6'3, 223||So.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9427||13||8.0||1.2%||0.5||0.5||0||0||0||0|
|Ryne Rankin||WILL||6'1, 215||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8778||12||6.5||1.0%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Juwan Taylor||LB||6'1, 214||So.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8575||9||5.0||0.7%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Chuks Amaechi||JACK||6'3, 250||Sr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8574||13||3.5||0.5%||0.5||0.5||0||0||0||0|
|Johnny O'Neal||JACK||6'2, 238||Sr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9023||5||2.0||0.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Keyon Brown||OLB||6'3, 257||So.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9333|
|Chauncey Manac||OLB||6'3, 243||Fr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9439|
|Jaleel Laguins||OLB||6'2, 220||Fr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9106|
|David Marshall||OLB||6'3, 273||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8712|
7. All you need is a pass rush
If the line holds up, the rest of the defense should thrive. UGA must also replace three of last year's top four tacklers at linebacker, but that's a little bit misleading. Davin Bellamy, Natrez Patrick, Lorenzo Carter, and Roquan Smith all recorded at least 14.5 tackles in 2015, and Reggie Carter returns to the rotation after missing the fall with injury. Last year's freshmen and sophomores are this year's sophomores and juniors; this unit should be fine.
The pass rush could stand to improve, though. Georgia's pass rush was pretty good on passing downs, but there was very little invasiveness otherwise.
The Saban-Smart defense at Alabama didn't always boast a top-level pass rush; the Crimson Tide were so good at pursuit and gang tackling that they didn't need to take many chances. But that changed in 2015; Bama attacked a bit more and ended up ranked No. 2 in Adj. Sack Rate. Extra aggressiveness seems to have been part of the adjustment Saban and Smart made to the no-huddle attacks that had given them random fits.
We'll see if Smart thinks he has the pieces at linebacker to attack. As long as the line isn't a major liability, I bet he will.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Quincy Mauger||SS||6'0, 206||Sr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8500||13||49.0||7.3%||3.5||0.5||0||5||0||0|
|Aaron Davis||CB||6'1, 189||Jr.||NR||NR||13||38.5||5.7%||3.5||1||1||3||0||0|
|Dominick Sanders||FS||6'0, 193||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8492||13||36.5||5.4%||5||1||6||6||0||0|
|Malkom Parrish||CB||5'10, 185||Jr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.9659||13||36.0||5.3%||6.5||1||2||2||0||0|
|Rico McGraw||STAR||6'0, 194||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9333||9||17.5||2.6%||0.5||0||0||4||0||0|
|Reggie Wilkerson||STAR||5'11, 173||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9087||13||9.0||1.3%||2||0||1||0||0||0|
|Juwuan Briscoe||CB||5'11, 192||So.||4 stars (5.8)||0.8777||9||5.5||0.8%||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|Rashad Roundtree||SS||6'1, 204||So.||4 stars (6.0)||0.9393||12||5.5||0.8%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Kirby Choates||DB||6'0, 194||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0.8307||11||1.5||0.2%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jarvis Wilson||FS||6'2, 199||So.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8514||11||1.5||0.2%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Shattle Fenteng||CB||6'2, 193||Sr.||4 stars (5.9)||0.8864|
|Mecole Hardman||DB||5'11, 183||Fr.||5 stars (6.1)||0.9902|
8. The SEC has a lot of exciting safeties
Already in this year's SEC previews, I've written about Mizzou's Anthony Sherrils, Vanderbilt's Oren Burks, Auburn's Johnathan Ford, and Texas A&M's Armany Watts, Justin Evans, and Donovan Wilson. The SEC is loaded at safety, and Georgia's make that even more true.
Quincy Mauger and Dominick Sanders combined for 8.5 tackles for loss, six INTs, and 11 break-ups last season, and if nickel back Rico McGraw builds off of a promising freshman campaign, Georgia will have one of the best safety units in a great safety conference.
If you've got an improved pass rush and a great set of safeties, your cornerbacks have a reasonably easy job. And in theory, juniors Aaron Davis and Malkom Parrish should be up to this less-than-impossible task. They made a lot of plays near the line themselves, and sophomore Juwuan Briscoe should provide a little bit of depth.
[Update: Alabama defensive back Maurice Smith has transferred to Georgia for his senior season, and is eligible immediately.]
Plus, there's a wildcard in Mecole Hardman, a blue-chip freshman who has yet to occupy a defined position but could be used in the secondary, in the receiving corps, and as a kick-blocking weapon on special teams.
This defense's only concern is youth up front. The back eight could be dynamite.
|Brice Ramsey||6'3, 210||Jr.||25||41.9||1||9||6||60.0%|
|Reggie Davis||KR||6'0, 170||Sr.||17||23.2||0|
|Isaiah McKenzie||KR||5'8, 175||Jr.||4||10.5||0|
|Isaiah McKenzie||PR||5'8, 175||Jr.||17||12.8||2|
|Reggie Davis||PR||6'0, 170||Sr.||8||13.8||1|
|Special Teams S&P+||104|
|Field Goal Efficiency||99|
|Punt Return Success Rate||24|
|Kick Return Success Rate||22|
|Punt Success Rate||115|
|Kickoff Success Rate||62|
9. Can Brice kick field goals too?
The return game is a strength, especially on punts, where Isaiah McKenzie and Reggie Davis combined for three scores.
But the legs are a total mystery. Quarterback Brice Ramsey is uniquely strong in the punting department, but Marshall Morgan's departure leaves a void in both place-kicking and kickoffs. He struggled a bit in 2015, but he was at least a replacement-level guy at his positions. There's no guarantee UGA will be any better this fall.
|Date||Opponent||Proj. S&P+ Rk||Proj. Margin||Win Probability|
|3-Sep||vs. North Carolina||27||4.9||61%|
|24-Sep||at Ole Miss||7||-6.3||36%|
|8-Oct||at South Carolina||63||9.9||72%|
|Projected wins: 8.5|
|Five-Year F/+ Rk||38.8% (8)|
|2- and 5-Year Recruiting Rk||7 / 6|
|2015 TO Margin / Adj. TO Margin*||4 / -3.4|
|2015 TO Luck/Game||+2.8|
|Returning Production (Off. / Def.)||76% (75%, 76%)|
|2015 Second-order wins (difference)||9.5 (0.5)|
10. Plenty of late wins to be found
Look at Georgia's schedule from a couple of angles.
First, the opening stretch is ruthless. Four of the Dawgs' first five games are projected within one possession, and while UGA is projected to win three of those four, any early struggle at quarterback or in the trenches could lead to a 3-2 or 2-3 start.
After that, Georgia has an exceedingly manageable slate. The Dawgs are given at least a 66 percent chance of winning in six of their last seven games and are slightly favored against Florida as well.
Tennessee is the clear betting favorite to win the SEC East, but if Georgia knocks off the Vols in Athens on October 1, the Dawgs could steal Butch Jones' thunder. And if Richt were still the head coach, I think he would be under pressure to do just that.