SEC Football: Best and Worst-Case Scenario for Every Team in 2015

26 of 29

Nov 15, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Chris Conley (31) and center David Andrews (61) and offensive tackle Kolton Houston (75) celebrate the touchdown run by running back Nick Chubb (27) in the fourth quarter of their game against the Auburn Tigers at Sanford Stadium. Georgia won 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Could this finally be the year that Mark Richt gets Georgia over the hump and wins the national championship? There are certainly plenty of reasons to be optimistic about his chances.

Related: Mark Richt Played Georgia QB Situation Close to the Vest for a Reason

First and foremost, Georgia has one of the best offenses in the nation. Running back Nick Chubb looks like the second coming of Herschel Walker, and produced a Walker-like 1,547 rushing yards, 7.1 yards per carry, and 14 touchdowns as a true freshman last season despite spending half the year backing up Todd Gurley.

Chubb has the benefit of arguably the SEC’s best offensive line, led by senior left tackle John Theus, and the 228-pound sophomore should also be able to share the ball-carrying burden with Sony Michel and Keith Marshall.

On defense, the Bulldogs took a huge step forward in defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s first year on campus, ranking in the nation’s top 20 in scoring defense (20.7 points per game) and total defense (337.2 yards per game) and finishing in the top five in pass defense (170.4 yards per game). Six starters return from last year’s stingy group, including dynamic pass rushers Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Floyd and Lorenzo Carter, who had five, six, and 4.5 sacks last season, respectively.

Georgia should be 4-0 before hosting Alabama in a huge cross-divisional matchup that favors the Bulldogs. If they survive the Tide and a subsequent trip to Knoxville, the Georgia football program could have its first undefeated season since 1980. Even if the Dawgs stumble against Alabama or Tennessee, the odds look good for a spot in the SEC Championship Game, and if they win in Atlanta, a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Georgia’s Best-Case Scenario: A school-record 14 wins and the first national title in 35 years

Next: Worst-Case Scenario: Vanderbilt