Athlon Sports has jumped on the Florida bandwagon. Yes, the publication that gives it's predictions each year has picked the Gators to knock Georgia off of their now three-year running perch in the SEC East.
My question is though, where is the evidence for this?
Kyle Trask is an experienced quarterback sure. However, is his experience enough to overcome a Georgia defense that was historically great just a season ago and has lost very little? In fact, Kirby Smart, Dan Lanning, and the Georgia defensive staff reloaded in epic fashion, hauling in the number one ranked recruiting class for the 2nd time in three seasons.
Seven members of that class were defenders with a rating of 4-Stars or higher and Kelee Ringo and Jalen Carter may prove to be impact players, potentially even starters, from day one in position groups that are already saturated with depth and talent.
Unless Kyle Trask turns into Joe Burrow, which let's be honest people, Burrow was a turnaround the likes of which the game of football has quite literally never seen, then I do not see Florida ending Georgia's reign as King of the East.
People are also acting like Florida and Trask did not lose two of their top three receivers this past year to the NFL Draft in Van Jefferson (49 rec., 657 yards, 6 TDs) and Freddie Swain (38 rec., 517 yards, 7 TDs). Oh, and not that Dan Mullen will even attempt to run the ball against Georgia, but they lost their top rusher Lamical Perine to the pros as well. No member of the Florida team had even half the number of carries that Perine did a year ago.
I understand that overall there is 'more continuity' on the Gators offense and that Georgia is replacing a 3-year starting quarterback and is in search of a new presence at running back as well with D'Andre Swift gone. I really do get it. However, as of the last time I checked, Kirby Smart and Dan Mullen are still the head coaches of the respective programs. Kirby Smart is 3 - 0 vs. Mullen's squad with a combined score of 91 to 37.
Oh, by the way, the presumed "new" quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs is trained by Quincy Avery. You know, the same guy that trains Deshaun Watson and Justin Fields. Recently on the Paul Finebaum Show, Quincy Avery described Jamie Newman by saying, "I would put him as a blend between Jalen Hurts and Cam Newton, right? Great runner, really physical, he’s going to be able to do some things in the throw game. I think right now, he’s a little bit more polished going into his senior season than where Jalen was [his senior season at Oklahoma] but he’s gonna be able to do a lot of different things and put a lot of stress on defenses."
There you have it folks. I'm not saying the Georgia offense is going to look like Kurt Warner's Greatest Show on Turf or Patrick Mahomes's quick-strike Kansas City Chiefs, but it sure isn't going to be any worse than last year and the defense has everything needed to be as good, if not better. Give me Georgia in the East and it's not close.
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