I think they've got as a good a shot at the East as anybody (perhaps a greater reflection on the rest of the division than on them). I also think they could go 10-2 without having to beat a really good team.
I think the SEC East has just been ripe for the picking the last several years, and UT has missed what should have been easy chances to make it to Atlanta. I think UGA will take advantage of the continued mediocrity in the East and get to Atlanta. I haven't completed my annual helmet schedule picks for all the SEC teams, so I do not know who plays when and where, but I would probably give UGA ten wins just based on the mediocrity of the other East teams and their returning defensive players, running backs, and QB.
No. They're talented enough, and the East is bad enough, that a decent coaching performance should have them in the conference championship... but then they had talent last year and still finished with a middling record (and looked much worse than even their so-so record would indicate). Kirby and crew need to show something, anything, before I'll pick them to do anything notable.
Georgia seems to always to be on the brink. Maybe Kirby can get them over the hump, but since that involves at least winning the SEC champ game, I doubt it. And I don't think he can hang around until Saban retires without having won it at least once.
Once Saban retires, the other SEC coaches will have an easier time keeping their jobs and doing some real winning.
I think if Notre Dame was in the SEC East, they'd probably be battling Vandy to be the 6th best team. I think UGa beats them rather easily and sees their ranking shoot up due to the annual national over-valuing of Notre Dame.
They are loaded with talent if you believe recruiting reports, etc. Can they win the close game in the clutch? Can Kirby play the chess game as good as Nick Saban and Jim McElwain? We will see....I'm not buying that stock just yet...