Why the Georgia Bulldogs are overrated

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What do we know about the Georgia Bulldogs?

We know that they haven’t won the SEC East since 2012.

We know they have a first-time head coach, Kirby Smart, the former Alabama defensive coordinator.

We know that they have one of the best running backs in the nation, Nick Chubb.

We also know that they will likely play two quarterbacks — senior Greyson Lambert and true freshman Jacob Eason — in their season opener Saturday against North Carolina.

We know that the Dawgs will change up their defensive scheme this season — it’s not a drastic change, but a change nonetheless — but they’ll only return one starter from last year’s front seven.

In all, Georgia is 119th in the nation in returning lettermen and brings back only 54 percent of its tackles, mostly coming from the defensive secondary.

We know they also lost their top receiver from last year and will start the season without last season’s top rusher, Sony Michel.

And we know that they enter the season No. 18 in the Associated Press preseason poll.

That No. 18 ranking puts UGA right on the doorstep of the national elite, and heading into Saturday’s season opener at the Georgia Dome, the honor feels misplaced.

This could all look ridiculous in hindsight, but there are too many red flags for Georgia to enter the season with that kind of expectation, even if they were a 10-win team last season, and even if Chubb is back and healthy.

One elite running back, a good offensive line, and a strong secondary is a nice base, but you're going to need more than that to win double-digit games, especially in the SEC (even if you are in the East.).

There are tons of other overrated teams at the start of this season: Michigan State and Houston’s year-to-year attrition looks problematic, and Tennessee’s performance Thursday certainly puts them in the category, but Georgia’s problems are being glossed over.

The quarterback controversy looms large — even preternaturally talented teams, like last year's Ohio State squad, can be tripped up by alternating quarterbacks. The Bulldogs' offense is publicly announcing that it plans on being one-dimensional this season because the passing game will be disjointed until one quarterback benches the other outright. Georgia might spin the quarterback  competition as positive, but it was clearly a war of attrition — otherwise Eason would have won the job.

The defensive woes loom just as large. Georgia might be talented, but having to replace 85 percent of your front seven is just about the worst possible scenario.

Handling it all is a first-time head coach. Many believe that Smart will be a good head coach, and as of this moment, there's no reason to believe he won't be able to do well with Georgia in the future, but in the present, does he know this team well enough to patch the holes that he inherited and those that have arisen? Does he even know how to patch them? Don't forget, Smart was the defensive coordinator under arguably the greatest defensive mind of the last quarter century, Nick Saban, and he always had the best players to work with at Alabama.

The Georgia gig is excellent, and he inherited plenty of talent, but the level of difficulty has been shifted up significantly for Smart this season. Even for him, there needs to be a learning curve.

He won't get one though — Smart doesn't have a honeymoon period in Athens. Despite the fact that no one knows how he'll handle his new responsibilities, expectations are high. Smart has to win now. Do we know how he'll respond to that pressure?

From my vantage, there are too many questions about this Georgia team to feel good about them heading into the season, but here's the one question that reigns supreme:

No. 18 in last year’s final AP poll won 11 games. Do you really think this Georgia team is going to improve its record by a win this season?