This is the year, right? This is the year Mark Richt, embarking on his 14th season as Georgia's head coach, finally wins that elusive national championship.
Oh, this is not Richt's most talented team. But this might be Richt's best shot at winning a national championship. Everything is set up in the Bulldogs' favor.
Schedule toughness: There are no easy schedules when you have to play eight SEC games. But the Dogs' schedule is much more lenient than it was last year, when they played four teams that finished in the top 10. It's just tough enough to make it credible without being overbearing.
The Bulldogs play only two teams ranked ahead of them in the preseason Associated Press poll -- Auburn (No. 6) and South Carolina (No. 9). Only two other opponents are ranked -- Clemson (No. 16) and Missouri (No. 24).
Never miss a local story.
The Vegas oddsmakers have taken notice. Bovado, Odds Shark and VegasInsider.com all give Georgia the sixth-best odds to win the national championship.
Schedule timing: With the exception of opening against Clemson with some key players hurt or suspended, their biggest games are set up perfectly. They have a week off before South Carolina and Florida. They play Vanderbilt and Kentucky before the Missouri and Auburn games, respectively. And even the timing of the Clemson game is favorable because the Tigers have to replace quarterback Tajh Boyd, receivers Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant and running back Roderick McDowell.
Lack of a dominant team nationally: Florida
State? Maybe. No question the Seminoles are loaded. But let's see how they manage the pressure of being No. 1 week in and week out. After FSU, every team has serious questions. I still think Alabama has the most complete roster. Oklahoma and Oregon are trendy picks. But aren't they always?
The depth of the Pac 12 means that it's less likely that any team will get through undefeated. Michigan State could be a darkhorse.
The new four-team playoff: The new system gives every team a little margin for error. The Bulldogs finished third in the final regular season BCS standings in 2002. They were one game away from being in the top four in at least two other seasons -- 2005 when they were fourth before getting jumped by Oklahoma in the final rankings and 2012 when they were one play away from beating Alabama and playing in the championship game.
So everything is in place. But do the Dogs have the talent to navigate through it all?
They should have the offense and the special teams seem to be improved. By no means are either of those givens. But they will have to be strong in those areas to even have a chance. So it comes down to defense. How much of an impact will Jeremy Pruitt make in his first season as defensive coordinator?
Players play the game, but it's clear, especially in retrospect, that Georgia's defense was dysfunctional under Todd Grantham. They don't have to be great, just good enough. They could have one of the best pass rushes in the country with Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins on the edges. Freshman Lorenzo Carter has been impressive. There could be packages with all three on the field.
A great pass rush will allow Pruitt to play without blitzing. The pass rush will need to be dominant to help the inexperienced secondary. Again, the schedule is advantageous. As it stands, the Bulldogs don't face a prolific passer.
Of course, that could change.
Missouri's Maty Mauk played well in four starts last season. Auburn's Nick Marshall will have nearly two full seasons as an SEC starter by the time they meet in November. And you never know what Steve Spurrier will scheme up at South Carolina, especially against the school he loves to beat.
We saw with Auburn last year how much a team can grow over the course of a season. The Bulldogs might not be a top four team now, but they could be when it matters the most.
One cliche that does not fit is "it's now or never." If they don't win it all this year, there's always next year. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
-- Guerry Clegg is an independent correspondent. You can write to him at email@example.com