In the aftermath, Georgia’s national title odds—once at 15/1—have fallen to as low as 20/1 at some books, and the Bulldogs are now just 5.75/1 to win the SEC title after previously being +500.
The loss of Crowell, who Georgia had hoped to ride to the top of the SEC East for a second straight year, was believed to be a crushing blow. But former coach Vince Dooley thinks Crowell’s loss will actually have the opposite effect.
Dooley called Crowell a “bad apple” and said the Bulldogs will be better without him.
“I don’t want to put any pressure on them, but losing that guy may have been the best thing to happen to them,” Dooley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was a bad apple-type thing, if you ask me.”
Dooley knows a thing or two about what it takes to win. In his 25-year career at Georgia, he guided the program to a national title and six SEC championships.
“That kind of thing will unite a team many times,” Dooley told the AJC. “Historically, when things like this have happened in the past, they tend to have a unifying effect on teams. They go on to have an even better season than they were predicted to have.”
The best recent example we could come up with was Oregon, which kicked quarterback Jeremiah Masoli off the team and then made an appearance in the 2010 national title game.
Still, it’s a hard sell given what Crowell could have brought to Georgia’s offense, an offense that could struggle a bit behind a retooled line that must replace three starters.