That might seem a little low considering Georgia has only won fewer than ten games once in the last five years (2013). But consider these five things things when looking at that number:
1. UGA has a first-year head coach, Kirby Smart. No UGA coach has ever won more than eight games in his first season as head coach. Mark Richt (2001) and Herman Stegeman (1920) won eight each their first season, but neither won more than eight. Stegeman 8-0-1 had a scoreless tie on the road at Virginia to prevent that from being a perfect season.
2. When will Nick Chubb return? Georgia could eat a loss to start the season against North Carolina if Chubb doesn’t return. And for all of the speculation of how well Chubb is doing this off season (and there is much speculation) any little setback could keep him out of the start of the 2016 season - and make winning nine games that much more difficult.
3. Who is going to start at quarterback? Consider that question before placing any money on this wager. I mean, really, does anyone truly know what’s going on at signal caller? It doesn’t seem like there are any concrete answers there.
But if you do think UGA will win nine regular season games (again, this bet is for the regular season only - no post-season games count in the number) here are a couple of things in your favor:
1. UGA has won at least ten games total in four of the last five seasons. Meaning, that the Bulldogs have entered the post season with at least nine wins every year from 2011 until now except the injury-plagued 2013 season.
2. The schedule is difficult at first, but favorable quickly. We already know that UGA is listed as a 3.5-point favorite over North Carolina to open the season. That’s one “losable” game the Dawgs are considered favorites for already. The road contest in Oxford could be one place where UGA is an underdog. The home date with Tennessee is another. But beyond the Florida game, there’s not many other places UGA is going to be an underdog this season. Games with Georgia Tech and Auburn are in Athens. Trips to Missouri and South Carolina should have the Bulldogs listed as favorites. The schedule is challenging as all SEC slates are, but it is manageable for UGA.