If you scroll deep enough into the Football Outsiders’ Almanac 2016 — it’s available for $15 as a download, and I recommend it without reservation — you’ll find a college preview, which is the work of Brian Fremeau. As is the case with everything FO produces and Mr. Fremeau writes, it’s fascinating stuff.
The first thing that jumps out is that Fremeau has Georgia ranked No. 8 nationally. (Spoiler alert: That’s higher than I have the Bulldogs in my Top 25, which should be available soon.) He has them ahead of Tennessee, his No. 10 team. Fremeau’s numbers give the Bulldogs a 73 percent chance or better in 10 of their 12 games. The exceptions: 61 percent against Tennessee and 30 percent at Ole Miss.
I’m on record as picking Georgia to go 10-2 –that’s what FOA picks, too — and I say again: I had a harder time finding two losses than 10 wins. I see only four lose-able games: North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Florida. There’s a chance the Bulldogs will be an underdog only in Oxford. (They’re favored over Carolina in the Dome.)
As for Georgia Tech, which FOA ranks No. 41: Fremeau’s figures give the Jackets at least a 54 percent chance in seven games. He has no Coastal team among his Top 25. He has four — North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Miami — rated above the Jackets, which the Almanac picks to finish 6-6. (I went with 7-5 but thought hard about 6-6.)
FOA assigns Georgia Tech no chance of going 12-0 or 11-1 and a one percent chance of finishing 10-2; the most likely outcome (28 percent) is 6-6. Fremeau’s numbers make Georgia’s most likely outcome (32 percent) as 10-2 and — pause for effect — assign the Bulldogs a six percent chance of finishing 12-0.
Among Power Five teams, only five — Clemson, Michigan, Oklahoma, Alabama and LSU — are given better odds of running Ye Olde Table. Whoa, Nellie.