Coaches' Poll About Right for Dawgs

Dean Legge rambles about the first college football poll of the season.

ATHENS - So Georgia’s preseason ranking came out today, and it was about what I had expected.

Georgia was ranked No. 9 in the country, and that seems about the right spot for Georgia to land at the start a season that has challenges, but opportunities, too. This is the first time Georgia has started the season ranked No. 9 since 2003.

This program is doing well for sure, but this 2015 team certainly has concerns. I should pause and point out that in any season a “team” can emerge from anywhere - see Mississippi State in 2014. But programs are year-in-year-out machines.

That’s where Georgia is right now.

The program is better than this team.

But in terms of the rankings - I think Georgia is just about right… maybe a little low. The Dawgs should be in front of a dangerously sophomoric Florida State team that can’t be depended on to save its players from themselves. One could certainly make the case Georgia should be in front of Auburn. The Tigers are the only non-ten-win team from last year in this year’s top ten.

Georgia’s schedule now features games vs. No. 3 Alabama, at No. 7 Auburn, at No. 17 Georgia Tech, vs. No. 23 Missouri and at No. 25 Tennessee. That’s a pretty challenging schedule. The Dawgs could very well be underdogs in three of those games - vs. Bama, at Auburn and at Tennessee.

Georgia is the highest ranked ten-win team from last season. Only eight-win Auburn placed in front of Georgia.

And the Bulldogs could climb the rankings pretty fast. Consider that Georgia won’t play a team ranked in the pre-season poll until Alabama travels to town the first week of October.

In that time several big games take place including: No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 18 Wisconsin; No. 3 Alabama vs. No. 15 Ole Miss; No. 5 Oregon at No. 6 Michigan State; No. 7 Auburn vs. Louisville and No. 7 Auburn at No. 13 LSU.

Other things that caught my eye:

- The Gators got as many votes (2) as Georgia Southern did. South Carolina is going to have to get jumpstarted again - at least according to the coaches. The Cocks placed out of the Top 25 and behind Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Louisville, Kansas State and Utah. Carolina’s enemies are at it again - keeping them out of the Top 25.

- That Texas, Miami, Florida and Michigan are not ranked, but TCU, Baylor and Michigan State are in the top five is difficult to wrap your brain around.

- Tennessee, which is ranked to start the season for the first time in some time, seems to be spiking the football for being ranked at No. 25. The Vols narrowly beat out State for the last spot in the rankings. Maybe Ol’ Brick by Brick should pump the breaks on the enthusiasm.

- Someone’s quarterback is going to have to be adequate to win the SEC. Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, LSU and Ole Miss all have highly-ranked teams with uncertainty or a new starter (which is always an uncertainty) at quarterback. Only Arkansas and Missouri return starters in 2015. And let’s be honest: if you have seen Maty Mauk play there’s nothing certain but uncertainty with that guy.

?- I guess I don’t know a ton about Notre Dame, but why are they ranked No. 11? The Irish play Texas, Georgia Tech, Clemson, USC and Stanford and are coming off an unimpressive 8-5 season. They, to me, are the team ranked too high. ?

- The only team in the SEC to fail to get a single vote? Vanderbilt. Better luck next time Ghost of James Franklin.

?- Ohio State is ranked No. 1 - and teams that won it all and started the following season ranked No. 1 have never repeated at national champions since the Coaches’ Poll started in 1991.

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