Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Georgia’s impressive 6-0 start and how much pressure is on the Bulldogs to bring home the national championship trophy this year.
DAN WETZEL: We're sort of halfway through. A lot of teams that have six games in, they got six to go. One of those teams is Georgia. Six wins. Six up, six down, no problem. They look, they are top-ranked, number one. They look like the most dominant team going. This is a really, really good team. I don't think there's anybody who would argue they're not the favorites to win the national title at this point, based on what you saw. Or whoever the hell is going to beat them has got to go through them.
Which brings me to my question for you two esteemed gentlemen. How much pressure at this point is on the Bulldogs and on Kirby Smart?
PAT FORDE: A ton, a mountain, all of it. Because for everything you just laid out, this is their year. I mean, you're sitting here today mid-October, they are the one team, I think, that you look at and have a hard time finding flaws in. Their performances have been excellent, the competition is vulnerable. They came really, really close to winning it all in 2017, and just Alabama was better. That was mostly what that came down to.
They've got an excellent stable of running backs. They've got two quarterbacks who can win big games. They've got guys. Their receiving corps has gotten better, which was supposed to be the big issue there. They're able to make plays in the passing game. Their defense, as you said, I think, straight filthy is probably the best description of it. It's the best defense in the country, maybe one of the best defenses we've seen in a while.
Schedule is not without challenges still remaining, but this is their year. It's their natty to win, or to screw up one way or the other. And people have felt like Kirby Smart finds ways to screw up. You know, they'll find a game that he will not manage well, or something will go wrong and things will snowball into an inexplicably bad performance. But if your program keeps growing, you should eventually get past that point. And this is the time for Georgia, I think, no doubt about it.
PETE THAMEL: So it's fascinating, right? Because Georgia has the best team. I don't know if there's been as open a field in college football in the last decade as has sort of the seas have parted for the Bulldogs right now. But the Bulldogs are also flawed. Like, this is not a perfect team.
There's questions about the first-string quarterback, there's questions about their second-string quarterback. There's a lot of questions at the skill positions, there's some questions at tight end. They have great tailbacks. Their offensive line is good, but it's not one of these elite mauling crews. So they are clearly the favorites, but they're also vulnerable.
Now, look, they have put up points. Stetson Bennett has figured out a way to put up points. They have one, your gnarly early-season game against Clemson in a neutral field, beat hot Arkansas. They've gone on the road, they've done what you need to do. But any notion that it's fait accompli that this crew is going to roll and win the national title, I just think there's drama left in all this. Kirby Smart has done a wonderful job building the program to this point. I think they're going to win the national title, but I'm not certain of it at this juncture. There's just enough vulnerabilities and questions there to keep things pretty interesting the rest of the way.
DAN WETZEL: Well, this being college football, I mean, I don't think there's ever-- it's very, very rarely is that team you just sit there and say, no shot. Even Alabama at this point last year, you don't say that. Most years, somebody loses a game and still wins the national title. Which is why Alabama losing last week, hey, if they do not lose again, they will hold the crystal ball or whatever I guess that new trophy is, they'll win the playoff, right?
This field is going to change. Alabama and Ohio State are both looming, and they have equal talent, if not better, at a lot of positions. I just feel like this team is blowing everybody out, other than the Clemson in the opener was a touchdown. Everyone else, that win at Auburn was really impressive. First massive road game, big, huge environment. And again, Stetson Bennett, this is a very valuable backup player. We talked about how much, it's like this is the year. The fact that he's gone this long without a title is pretty inexplicable. There's just so much talent, so much commitment, so much everything.