By Joe Vitale:
The top College Football Preview magazines are filled with loads of team and conference information and expert analysis. Each publication provides details that help fuel the spirited debate among college fans.
With the college football season less than 100 days away, preseason predictions are becoming more and more prevalent. Members of each fanbase will soon make their annual summer trip to the bookstore to purchase a preseason college football magazine.
Athlon Sports, one of the leading college football publications, recently released their top 25 teams for the upcoming season. The SEC saw six of its members in the preseason rankings, with UGA (15) beating out Florida (16) and Tennessee (19) for the top spot in the East. The Western division had three teams in the top 11, with LSU (11), Auburn (9) and Alabama (1).
Though Georgia fell to both Florida and Tennessee last year, Athlon Sports writers think highly enough of second year head coach Kirby Smart to give them the division’s top ranking. Anyone with a football betting background knows that all that talent returning to Athens does not hurt UGA’s 2017 chances either.
“With 11 returning starters on defense, and the continued development of Jacob Eason at quarterback, Georgia is Athlon’s pick to win the SEC East in 2017. Eason should benefit from a full offseason to work as the starter, and the backfield tandem of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel should ensure the ground game is among the best in the nation.”
Athlon’s writers also cite former five star defensive tackle Trent Thompson as a big reason for its high ranking.
“Former No. 1 recruit Trenton Thompson had a breakout performance in the Liberty Bowl but was away from the team in the spring. The junior lineman is expected to return, providing Smart with a talented anchor to build around in the trenches.”
Georgia has an oddly easy home schedule this year, with notable games coming only from Mississippi State and South Carolina. It would not be too far fetched to bet on UGA running the table in Athens. What Georgia does on the road in Notre Dame, Tennessee, Jacksonville and Auburn will decide UGA’s fate.