We just witnessed the fifth unbeaten/untied regular season in Georgia annals. The first was in 1946 – Wally Butts coached, Charley Trippi played. The next two were Years 1 and 3 of Herschel. Nos. 4 and 5 have arrived in succession. Not since Nov. 7, 2020, has Georgia lost a regular-season game. That was against Florida, which – at least on that day – seemed to have caught and passed the Bulldogs.

Look now. Since winning in Jacksonville in the COVID year, Florida is 16-16. Georgia is 30-1. UGA has won one national championship, finally beating Alabama, and is favored to take another, and this time it probably won’t see the Crimson Tide. (Though, when it comes to Bama, never say never.)

All questions have been answered. Could Kirby Smart win it all? Could Smart win it all with Stetson Bennett at quarterback? Could Georgia scheme around the loss of five Round 1 NFL draftees? Could these slightly-less-talented Bulldogs win on a lesser day? They’ve had a few, but only once did they trail in the fourth quarter, and that game saw them outgain Missouri 481 yards to 294.

On Sept. 3, they led Oregon 28-3 at the half. On Nov. 5, they led Tennessee 24-6 at the half. The 2022 Bulldogs have met every challenge, even the greatest challenge of all – complacency. They’re 12-0. Not once have they been flustered. They remind us, dare we say, of Alabama in their confidence-bordering-on-arrogance. They know they can stop you when it matters, not that it often has. They know you can’t stop them.

If you hadn’t known that the 2022 Bulldogs were without Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean and James Cook and Zamir White and George Pickens and Travon Walker, you wouldn’t have guessed. Last year’s Bulldogs averaged 442.8 yards; this year’s average 488.8. Opponents averaged 268.9 yards in 2021; a year later, opponents average 270.7. Georgia’s average margin of victory in 2021 was 28.2; it’s 26.9 this season.

This doesn’t mean Georgia can’t lose. Of Nick Saban’s six national titles with Bama, his Tide went back-to-back only in 2011 and 2012. Only the 2009 and 2020 editions finished unbeaten. It only takes one bad day against a good team. The beauty of Georgia is that it makes good teams have bad days.

No appraisal of the Bulldogs is complete with a Bennett nit-pick. Here’s the latest: After passing for at least 200 yards in the season’s first 10 games, he threw for 116 against Kentucky and 140 against Georgia Tech. He had one interception over the first seven games; he has five over the past five. Eighty-three of Georgia’s passing yards Saturday came on a completion to running back Kenny McIntosh. Of Bennett’s 10 completions, two were to wide receivers – for a total of 13 yards.

Georgia has modified its passing game to fit available talent. (Maybe you see that as a weakness. Smart would call it coaching.) The Bulldogs throw to their backs and especially to their tight ends, who are without peer. That they’re 12-0 tells us how well those modifications have worked. Still, you wonder about a semifinal date with USC and Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison, all of whom were elsewhere last season.

At a time when every footballer with a pair of cleats avails himself of the transfer portal – to the surprise of no one, Tech’s Jeff Sims declared his free agency – Georgia took no transfers after its championship season. Smart believed his unrelenting recruiting left him with all he needed to win again, and nobody has beaten his men yet.

Might the Bulldogs lose a shootout? Sure. But who’s going to score 40 on them? Tennessee’s No. 1 offense managed 13 points, more than half coming with 4:13 remaining in a game the Vols trailed by 21.

If memory serves, another Georgia team met a Riley-coached bunch with a Heisman-winning quarterback. That game, set in the Rose Bowl, went California-crazy. The losing team had 48 points. Georgia didn’t lose.

Only Tua Tagovailoa kept those Bulldogs from a national title. Nobody barred their path last year. Nobody should this time. Georgia’s excellence is a function of numbers: It has more good players who win more snaps and more drives and more quarters – and therefore more games – than anybody else.

The regular season was for positioning. The championship season begins now. Georgia is again where it belongs.

The above is part of a regular exercise, written and collated by yours truly, available to all who register on AJC.com for our free Sports Daily newsletter. The full Bradley’s Buzz, which includes more opinions and extras like a weekly poll, arrives via email around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We’d be obliged if you’d give it a try.

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