Six wins is the benchmark for a football team to become bowl-eligible.
Ten wins is the benchmark for a truly successful season.
You could argue anytime a team wins a bowl game, it is a successful finish, but given what Georgia went through in the past season, a 10-win finish is perfectly acceptable.
Georgia opened the season as the No. 12 team in the nation, a generous ranking given the Bulldogs’ struggles to reach eight wins in 2013 despite injuries. The team jumped out to a 6-1 start but suffered through two bouts of adversity involving running back Todd Gurley.
Gurley was suspended for four games for violating a rule that prevents athletes from profiting off their signatures, and once he came back a torn ACL immediately ended his season. It turned out the Bulldogs didn’t need Gurley during the Belk Bowl, as freshman running back Nick Chubb ground out 269 yards and scored two touchdowns.
You will hear this name a lot in 2015, so get used to Chubb’s presence.
Everything went right for the Bulldogs during this game. Georgia’s defense picked off Louisville three times in the 37-14 victory. The passing game, while serviceable, got the job done.
It was a classic case of a team overcoming more injuries and adversity to reach 10 wins for the first time since the back-to-back 2011 and 2012 seasons. The year before Georgia finished under .500. It is hard to imagine a Georgia team not making the .500 mark, but that team did.
Mark Richt has a solid foundation for the 2015 campaign. If Chubb comes back and has a blockbuster season, the Bulldogs should breeze to 10 wins once again. They looked very impressive against a Louisville squad that was also in the top 25.
The countdown to spring football begins in Athens. And there is plenty of optimism.