It’s now the end of May which means all the college football preview magazine are starting to hit the newsstands.
Lindy’s Sports believes that the Georgia Bulldogs will be back in the fold for the SEC championship. However, Sporting News thinks that they will make an appearance at the Georgia Dome…but it will be for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
There is no telling what is going to happen with the Bulldogs this season, but if there is one thing that is certain, the 2013 season will be the most intriguing one yet for them as well as the rest of the teams in the SEC.
Here are three reasons why the Bulldogs could overachieve and three reasons why the Bulldogs could underachieve this season.
Based on the preview magazines that are currently out on newsstands, Todd Gurley could be the best running back in the country.
He proved that he was the best running back in the SEC last year as he rushed for over 1,300 yards and scored 17 touchdowns.
Gurley has a combination of size and speed that all college coaches love to have. He should only be better this season because he will be more seasoned, he is working in front of an experienced offensive line and he has a senior quarterback to put him in the right place to succeed.
Speaking of the senior quarterback, he is not a preseason All-American like Gurley, but can get the job done as he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2012.
He has improved each year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Aaron Murray’s combination of arm strength and decision-making has made him one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
The one thing he needs to do this season is get that signature win. If he can find a way to carry the Bulldogs in the big games, they will have a successful 2013 campaign.
If the Bulldogs do overachieve, it will be because of the play of the defense.
Due to the inexperience, there are more questions than answers in terms of how will the defense produce this upcoming season.
But talent is not one of the questions because players like linebacker James DeLoach, safety Tray Matthews and defensive end Sterling Bailey all have the potential to be good players.
If the new players and the ones returning can gel in a hurry, then the defense will be a strength for the Bulldogs instead of a weakness.
Even if the offense is elite and the defense does improve, the Bulldogs will have to come out of the gate on fire because the schedule does not do them any favors.
The fact they have to start the season at Clemson is bad enough. But after the Bulldogs face the Tigers, they have to face South Carolina the following week and LSU three weeks later.
And let’s not forget, the Bulldogs have to face the rest of its SEC schedule including Florida.
The Bulldogs could be a better team in 2013, but their record may not prove it because of the schedule.
One of the reasons the Bulldogs have won 22 games the last two seasons is the play of Murray.
But one of the reasons the Bulldogs have not won the SEC the last two years is the play of Murray.
The one knock on the senior quarterback is that he does not perform well in big games, and even if he does perform well, the team does not win.
Murray has one last shot to prove that he can lead the Bulldogs to an SEC championship. If he fails, then it would be a disappointing end to a good career.
The reason Sporting News has the Bulldogs ranked outside the top 10 in their preview magazine is the questions on defense.
The talent is there, but inexperience will come into play, and with the Bulldogs starting the season against a high-powered offense like Clemson, the defense will be tested right away.
Even with the talent the defense had last year, they struggled to stop teams like South Carolina, Alabama and even Tennessee.
It’s hard to say the defense will be improved from last season, especially when there will be one senior who is slated to be in the starting lineup.