2018 schedule sets up for another Georgia playoff run

If you didn’t win the national championship, it’s never too early to start looking toward next season. In case you’ve been asleep the last week, Georgia didn’t win the championship.

The Bulldogs, those remaining anyway, will be eager to get back on the field and start hunting for their revenge on Alabama in next season’s SEC Championship game. The schedule certainly stacks in their favor.

Note that there’s a reason the games are played. Schedules rarely shake out as they appear in August, better yet in January.

But Georgia should be favored in every contest. The SEC East appears weak again, with South Carolina the most formidable challenger on paper. The Gamecocks return quarterback Jake Bentley and have been trending upward in the Will Muschamp era.

Florida and Tennessee will be implementing new systems, so their futures are yet to be determined. The Volunteers will be a project, but Florida could surprise if Dan Mullen can extract production from whoever is under center.

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Missouri, Kentucky nor Vanderbilt seems to have enough firepower to hold serve with Georgia, though a one-game upset could ruin everything. Given how many new players Georgia will be working in, it’ll probably be easier to catch the Bulldogs next season than last.

After traveling to South Bend last season, Georgia’s out-of-conference schedule is a bit easier: Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee, Massachusetts and Georgia Tech. Perhaps that’s somewhat balanced out by having to face LSU and Auburn from the SEC West.

Overall, the timing is in Georgia’s favor to make another playoff run. An injury here or there, or one underwhelming performance could change that, but at first glance, a softer schedule should provide Bulldogs fans hope that last season wasn’t a flash in the pan.

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