We’re just two weeks into the 2023 college football season, yet there is no shortage of drama. For the first time since 2003, Alabama and Clemson have both dropped one of their first two games. Historical powerhouse programs such as USC, Texas, Notre Dame, and FSU have all emerged as premier title contenders once again. The BIG 10 has three legitimate teams sitting at the top of their division in Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan, and Georgia still remains supreme holding onto their number one position in the AP Poll.
Despite the pandemonium, there is plenty of football remaining. A single loss does not eliminate any team from playoff contention, and even the teams who remain untouched have shown vulnerability. Judging from a limited sample size, the 2023 college football season has the potential to be the most chaotic it’s been in years, and because Bulldawg Illustrated exists to provide the Bulldog faithful with news and intel regarding the program, let’s break down the college football landscape that lies ahead, and the challenges that are presented to the back-to-back champs.
Within Georgia’s program, as we all know, there is no lack of talent. Judging by Georgia’s schedule, they will be massive favorites in most every game they play. Regardless, as shown by the multitude of upsets having already occurred in just two weeks, anything can happen in college football. Going undefeated in college football is nearly impossible, and despite the Bulldogs completing the challenge just last season, it is only a more difficult task to replicate that in back-to-back seasons. As Coach Kirby Smart mentions nearly every press conference, avoiding complacency is key.
As for what the Bulldogs face ahead, first, they have to deal with a South Carolina team that has two of the best receivers in the SEC as well as a quarterback that is capable of being a first round draft selection. Then, in the first away game of the year, the Dawgs have to face a new look Auburn team in a hectic away environment. Missouri and Kentucky are two teams being slept on who both gave Georgia problems in 2022, Ole Miss has a dynamic offense with one of the top playcallers in football, and Tennessee awaits a late season battle in arguably the loudest stadium in the country. Georgia’s “weak” schedule is far tougher than given credit for.
If Georgia were to advance to another SEC Championship, the two preseason favorites from the West Division have both picked up a loss. If either LSU or Alabama find themselves in that position, both will not only be seeking revenge for championship losses to UGA, but also will have everything to play for with playoff implications on the line.
Following the SEC gauntlet, there is absolutely no telling what can occur. Texas, FSU, USC, and Notre Dame are all capable of keeping their current form, yet they could also fall into some traps. The BIG 10 will be a bare knuckle brawl between Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan. Oregon has a veteran quarterback and talented roster while Clemson and Oklahoma offer plenty of playoff experience.
The point is, we have a lot left to learn from the 2023 college football season, and we have a lot left to learn about the 2023 Georgia Bulldogs. If Georgia expects to find themselves back in Atlanta and eventually back in the College Football Playoff, there are certain aspects of Georgia’s team that they will need to clean up, such as their pass rush and rushing attack. Regardless, that’s okay, because the Bulldogs want to play their best football come November, December, and hopefully January.
For the time being, Georgia looks to make a statement against a tricky Gamecock squad this Saturday in Athens. The Dawgs look to avoid the CFB ruckus with a strong performance between the hedges.