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Ceiling, floor for Georgia in 2024: What do experts believe about the Bulldogs?

Palmber-Thombsby:Palmer Thombs05/15/24


Georgia is widely regarded as one of the top teams in the country for 2024, if not the nation’s No. 1 squad. The Bulldogs enter the fall with high expectations, and everybody knows that. If all goes according to plan, the season will end with Kirby Smart and company bringing home a third National Championship trophy in four seasons. If not though, what might things look like?

That’s the type of things that get discussed this time of year – talking season. On a recent episode of Andy Staples On3, Andy and Cody Bellaire went through the situations of what the ceiling and floor for the Bulldogs would like this season.

“Obviously the ceiling is a National Championship. The ceiling is three national championships in four years,” Staples said. “You look at what they brought in from the transfer portal at receiver, I think they got better. Benjamin Yurosek, the tight end from Stanford, if you were to look for somebody in the country who most physically and skillset wise resembles Brock Bowers, that’s him. You’re going to try to do a lot of the same things with him, plus Oscar Delp maybe comes up and ascends … They’re offensive line is still going to be great. Tate Ratledge holding it down. Best podcaster in college football. I think they’re going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see them in these games. I can’t wait to see them really get challenged pretty frequently.”

As for UGA’s floor, it’s a scenario neither Staples nor Bellaire sees happening. Georgia’s got tough games against Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss on the road and plays the likes of Clemson, Auburn and Tennessee too. Dropping one or two of those is entirely possible – maybe even probable – but falling flat and winning none of those toughest tests isn’t likely.

“They are the bar at this point. We talk about worst case, what does this Georgia team looking like, I think it’s even tough to imagine it happening,” Bellaire said. “You look at the guys they lose in terms of skill on offense, you have to replace Brock Bowers, you lose both your leading rushers and maybe Carson Beck isn’t someone that’s dynamic enough to carry the offense on his back for the entire season. Maybe they slip up and lose to Alabama week four, maybe they go into Austin and face new SEC foe Texas in week seven and that could go either way, they go on the road to Ole Miss two games later … I still think Andy, we’re sitting here at worst, and I don’t even know if this is entirely likely, but at worst Georgia wins nine games.”

Georgia enters the 2024 season as the favorite according to oddsmakers in Las Vegas to bring home a third title in four seasons. Quarterback Carson Beck is a big part of the reason why, being listed by the same oddsmakers as the top candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He’ll have weapons to work with – both new and old – in his second year as the starter including Dominic Lovett, Rara Thomas, Dillon Bell, Oscar Delp, Colbie Young, Benjamin Yurosek, Trevor Etienne and others. Putt all that behind an offensive line that returns four players with starting experience, and it’s easy to see why hopes are high for the Georgia offense.

Of course though, as long as Kirby Smart is the head coach, the Bulldog defense is going to be strong, and that remains the case in 2024. Safety Malaki Starks was an All-American last season while EDGE Mykel Williams and inside linebacker Smael Mondon are certainly capable of playing at the kind of elite level. CJ Allen and Raylen Wilson played valuable snaps as true freshmen and should take steps forward – as should sack leader Jalon Walker, now a junior – while the secondary must replace three NFL Draft picks including one each at cornerback, safety and STAR.

Georgia opens the season in the Aflac Kickoff Game against ACC favorite Clemson on August 31st. Kickoff time was recently announced as 12:00 p.m. ET, airing on ABC.

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