247Sports attempted to rank the top 10 games of the upcoming college football season and Georgia was mentioned in five of them, although only one of them made the top 30. Georgia’s October 8 home game against Auburn is ranked No. 82. The Nov. 5 home game against Tennessee is ranked No. 74. The annual Jacksonville matchup between Georgia and Florida, set for Oct. 29, is ranked No. 66. The Sept. 17 road game at South Carolina is ranked No. 39.
The Sept. 3 season opener against Oregon in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta is ranked No. 7. The non-conference matchup is the third-highest ranked SEC game behind Texas A&M at Alabama, which came in at No. 1, and Alabama at Texas, which came in at No. 2.
Dan Lanning‘s first game as a head coach comes against the very team he helped lead to a national championship in January. What a world. What a coincidence. The former Georgia defensive coordinator will try to do something his predecessors at Oregon have been unable to accomplish: beat a top-tier team from the SEC. The Ducks are a combined 0-6 against Auburn, Georgia and LSU — and the wins against Mississippi State and Tennessee during those SEC program’s lean years in the 2000s and 2010, respectively, are not hallmarks. Oregon might turn to a former SEC quarterback, Auburn transfer Bo Nix, against Georgia.
The Bulldogs will not be as deep on defense as the unit last season, which was the Bulldogs’ best of a generation, but the offense could be more explosive with quarterback Stetson Bennett returning alongside a loaded backfield. An Oregon victory would arguably be bigger than the road win at Ohio State last season, and it would elevate the Pac-12, which seems to finally be on the verge of becoming a relevant group among the Power Five again.
Kickoff for the game is set at 3:30 p.m. ET with ABC set to televise the matchup. Per Caesar’s Sportsbook, Georgia opened as a 15-point neutral-site favorite over the Ducks. Georgia, whose record was 14-1 with a nation-leading 28.4-point margin of victory, went 10-5 against the spread in 2021, with a +7.3 margin against the spread that was good for seventh-best in the country.
Georgia’s defensive coordinator for its title run last year, Dan Lanning, is now the head coach at Oregon, creating plenty of intrigue for the game as Kirby Smart faces off against one of his assistants for the fourth time. The Dawgs took down Sam Pittman and Arkansas in 2020 and 2021 and beat Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks last season as well. Lanning, having been cut off the Georgia staff text-chain for three months now, is preparing for the Ducks’ spring game this weekend, which could provide some insight into who the starting quarterback will be on Sept. 3. The transfer of signal-caller Bo Nix from Auburn to Oregon added another storyline to this game, but he has yet to win the job outright over Ty Thompson and Jay Butterfield.
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