So far, Mark Richt’s 2012 Dawgs are having a terrific silly season, that time of summer when all teams are undefeated and fans and prognosticators alike can go crazy with predictions.
Here’s a headline on the handicapping site Beyond the Bets sure to quicken a UGA fan’s pulse a beat or two: Who will win 2013 BCS national title? Our pick: the Georgia Bulldogs, currently a 19/1 long shot
At 19-to-1, Georgia has the seventh-best odds to win the national championship. Here are the reasons why BTB likes the Dawgs to do so: 1. They’re good. 2. Schedule 3. They can afford to lose a game.
Under the first reason, the site notes that quarterback Aaron Murray heads up a bunch of returning starters, the passing game should be among the nation’s best and “Georgia should finally have a running game to complement it.” Also, the defense, which returns 20 of 22 players on its depth chart, “will again be dominant and could be the best in the conference.”
They do note that “the offensive line will be the major concern, as the Bulldogs must replace both tackles and add depth along the interior. Nonetheless, they should have no trouble improving upon last year’s 10-win season.”
One of the main reasons why, BTB says, is the schedule, with Georgia again avoiding Alabama, LSU and Arkansas during the regular season. Says BTB: “Georgia will play seven games at home, four on the road and one — the annual matchup against Florida on Oct. 27 — at a neutral field. That’s as manageable a schedule as any you’ll find, particularly when you consider that they’ll be favored in three of the four road games — at Kentucky, Missouri and Auburn.”
BTB notes that the toughest game on Georgia’s schedule will come against South Carolina, which is the only game in which the Las Vegas oddsmakers haven’t installed the Dogs as a point-spread favorite. (The Gamecocks are favored by 3.)
But that brings us to their third reason: “Georgia is one of the few teams in the country that has the potential to lose a game and still appear in the national championship. Assuming the Bulldogs open the season in the top 10 as expected, they’ll likely rise as high as fifth or sixth prior to their big swing game against South Carolina on Oct. 6. If the Bulldogs lose, they’ll have two full months to climb back into the top 5 of the polls and should still have a chance to earn a second straight SEC East crown. With a win over LSU or Alabama in the SEC championship, Georgia will be in position to play for the national title.”
To bolster their case for the Dawgs, the BTB folks cite Saturday Down South, which has picked Georgia as “the safe bet” to again win the SEC East, with South Carolina and Florida as “sucker bets” to do so, noting that “The Bulldogs are one of the most talented teams in the country. I put them on the same talent level as LSU and even slightly ahead of Alabama.”
SDS also cites the talent level and the schedule, saying, “This is a huge year for Richt’s legacy, and I think Georgia puts it together and wins the East — and maybe more — in what could be a special year for Georgia football.”
Is that enough to get you pumped up for fall, or do you think the oddsmakers are underestimating Georgia’s task in rebuilding the offensive line and repairing its dismal special teams play? How do you feel about the upcoming season?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg