Despite having some of the best talent in the country over the past decade, including several future outstanding NFL players, Georgia hasn't won the SEC title since the 2005 season. Will the Dawgs win 2015? Here are Georgia's 2015 odds from 5Dimes.
Lambert Changes QB Picture
I think it's fair to say that Georgia slightly underachieved last season despite finishing 10-3 -- UGA didn't win the East and lost its two most important games in the division, to South Carolina and Florida. The Dawgs were a preseason Top-10 team and had a top Heisman contender in running back Todd Gurley. He was a beast when on the field but he wasn't too often due to injury and suspension. On the bright side, the Dawgs found their future Heisman contender in Nick Chubb. He was brilliant as a freshman, rushing 215 times for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns. It's his team now, and Chubb is the third-favorite to win the Heisman at +1200 betting odds.
Chubb is one of seven starters back on offense, which welcomes a new coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer (ironically, a former Florida QB). He replaced Mike Bobo, who was named the Colorado State head coach. Coach Mark Richt was not happy that the Georgia administration didn't try harder to keep Bobo. Schottenheimer coached for 14 years in the NFL but never at college.
The big question on offense is at quarterback in replacing Hutson Mason. During the spring, there was a three-way competition between sophomore Brice Ramsey, Mason's backup last season, junior Faton Bauta and redshirt freshman Jacob Park. It was thought the former two had pulled ahead. Richt was hoping to land Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson but couldn't.
Yet help may have arrived this week in Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert. He starred in Georgia in high school and decided to transfer to UGA over Florida. He will be eligible right away as a graduate and will have two years left. Last year, Lambert started nine of Virginia’s 12 games, missing three because of an ankle injury, and passed for 1,972 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a sophomore. He was No. 2 this spring, so that's why he wanted to leave. I could see him winning this job because he clearly has the most experience. Ramsey, by comparison, has thrown 39 collegiate passes. Won't matter much: just hand off to Chubb.
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Georgia 2015 Schedule Analysis
Other than the annual regular-season finale with Georgia Tech, this year in Atlanta, the Dawgs' non-conference schedule is a joke. And they will start 4-0.
The opener is at home against Louisiana Monroe, which was a bad team in the Sun Belt Conference last season. No opening line there yet. Week 2 the Dawgs visit Vanderbilt, which probably will be the worst team in the SEC again. Georgia crushed the Commodores 44-17 last season and will be a huge favorite again.
The first test is Sept. 19 in Athens against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks underachieved last season and lost a bunch off that squad. USC's best win in 2014 was a 38-35 home win over Georgia in Week 2. Fairly late in the fourth quarter, Georgia had first-and-goal at the South Carolina 4. The Dawgs couldn't punch it in on the first three downs and then kicker Marshall Morgan, who had made 20 straight field goals, missed right from 28 yards. UGA has covered only one of its past five at home in this series.
Presuming Georgia beats South Carolina, an easy win over Southern is next on Sept. 26. Richt will likely play his keys guys briefly because the nest week Georgia hosts SEC favorite Alabama in a potential conference title game preview. The Tide have opened as 1-point favorites. Georgia is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings during the regular season.
Things aren't much easier on Oct. 10 as Georgia visits rising Tennessee, which might be the Dawgs' top competition in the East Division. Last year in Athens, Georgia escaped the Vols 35-32 behind a huge game from Gurley. The Dawgs have won two straight in Knoxville but have covered just one of the past four there.
If the Dawgs are still unbeaten there, they are winning the SEC East. Their next three are at home vs. Missouri, Florida (well, Jacksonville) and Kentucky, and they will be favored in those. On Nov. 14 Georgia is at Auburn, and if Alabama doesn't win the West then the Tigers probably will. Georgia stomped Auburn 34-7 in Athens a season ago. The schedule concludes with Georgia Southern and then at the Yellow Jackets.
At 5Dimes, Georgia is +2900 to win the national title, +600 to win the SEC title and has an 'over/under' wins total of 9.
NCAA Free Picks: Hard to predict this team not knowing who the quarterback will be. But Chubb is a star. It's unfortunate that the Dawgs have to play both SEC West powers in Alabama and Auburn. For now, take UGA 'over' 9 wins and it will play in the conference title game.