Could the Bulldogs repeat? Way-too-early 2022 preseason polls say it’s possible

ATHENS, Ga. — How early is too early to look ahead to the next college football season? Sure, the 2021 National Championship ended sometime around midnight Monday, while the celebration, lasted late into Tuesday morning.

But it is never too soon to look ahead to next season, right?

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Several national publications are already projecting their predictions for the beginning of next season, even with it being nearly eight months away. ESPN.com said the Bulldogs will start the season ranked third. So did Bleacher Report. Sports Illustrated also believes Georgia will start off 2022 ranked third.

The top two teams before the 2022 season kicks off according to most publications? Alabama and Ohio State.

Six SEC teams are currently ranked in each publication’s preseason top-25.

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There are 10 seniors on the defensive side of the ball who are finishing their football careers in Athens. All of them logged playing time during the 2021 season, including Outland Trophy winning nose tackle Jordan Davis, linebacker Quay Walker and cornerback Derion Kendrick.

Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is gone, he’s now the head coach for the University of Oregon. Linebacker coach Glenn Schumann and former Florida and South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp will be co-defensive coordinators for 2022.

On offense, Stetson Bennett IV technically has another season of eligibility if he chooses. The quarterback room is full of four-and-five star recruits at present, J.T. Daniels will be back along with heralded recruits Brock Vandergriff and Gunner Stockton.

Running back James Cook is a senior and has a very good chance of being picked in the NFL Draft.

Receiver George Pickens could declare for the NFL draft otherwise, most of the wide receiver room returns. Breakout star Brock Bowers was just a freshman this past season, Bowers will likely going to be a big part of the Bulldogs offense going forward.

Offensive line stalwart Jamaree Salyer graduates and has an NFL career ahead of him. The majority of 2021′s offensive line will return for 2022.

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The 2022 outlook for the Bulldogs is good; unlike some teams, they have the depth to overcome the loss of so many players. They started out ranked 5th heading into this most recent season and look where they finished.