Georgia Football Notebook - 10/5

ATHENS - The No. 1 vote that Georgia added in this week's coaches poll didn't come from Mark Richt.

The Bulldogs' head coach revealed the top five on his ballot Tuesday, and he is voting his own team at No. 3, right where it stands in both the coaches' and Associated Press polls.

There was no temptation for Richt to jump his team to No. 1 despite its impressive 45-16 win over LSU on Saturday, Mark Richt said.

"I wouldn't do that," he said. "I'm not sure we are No. 1. Southern Cal is a heck of a football team, so is Oklahoma, so are a lot of teams."

Georgia safety Thomas Davis said he wishes Richt would vote the Bulldogs No. 1 every week, but he isn't surprised Richt doesn't.

"He's going to be honest about what the situation is," Davis said.

The top five teams on Richt's ballot are Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Georgia, Miami and Texas in that order, he said. Richt is one of 61 coaches around the country with a vote in the poll. Seven of those coaches are in the SEC.

He does most of the research for his vote on Saturdays after the Bulldogs play.

"I sleep well before games, but I don't sleep well after a game and I'll watch TV until 1 in the morning," he said.

After he turns off the television, he gets on the Internet, searching for scores. Each week he lists his Top 25 and then another five or six teams which could be candidates in the future. And, as his demeanor would suggest, he's a very deliberate voter. Not many teams make a dramatic rise or fall in Richt's poll.

"Like, say, Georgia is playing Marshall and it won 13-3, they may drop a spot but not very often," he said. "Usually, as the year goes on, it kind of works out."

Georgia, by the way, did not drop a spot in Richt's poll after it beat Marshall 13-3 on Sept. 18.

While he doesn't have a bias toward his own team, Richt admits he probably does for the other teams in the Southeastern Conference.

"I know firsthand how good they are," he said. "I think I have South Carolina in the Top 25."

THE BIG DIFFERENCE: The Bulldogs have turned a nine-game losing streak against Tennessee into a four-game winning streak, and Davis thinks he knows why.

"From watching film from before Coach Richt and Coach (Brian) VanGorder got here, I feel like Georgia is just playing a whole lot harder than they were back in those days. We're really just finishing games right now. That has really proven to be the difference between Georgia and Tennessee and all of the other teams that Georgia couldn't beat on a consistent basis."

PRACTICE REPORT: Offensive lineman Max Jean-Gilles wore a green, no-contact jersey Tuesday while resting his sprained right knee. Linebacker Arnold Harrison (shoulder) also appeared to be limited. Tailback Michael Cooper has recovered enough from a shoulder injury that he was out of his green jersey.

JENNINGS' JOB: Tim Jennings is expected to continue to return punts for the Bulldogs despite a shaky debut in that spot against LSU, Coach Mark Richt said. Jennings returned just two of the Tigers' nine punts and fumbled one that was recovered by teammate Thomas Flowers.

"He handled it pretty well," Richt said. "I would have liked to have seen him return one or two more of them."

Jennings took over for Tyson Browning, who was benched after repeated problems with fumbles.

LOCAL NEWS: Mary Persons graduate Tra Battle has been named one of the Bulldogs' four captains for the Tennessee game. It is the first time Battle has been selected as a captain. He will join Reggie Brown (offense), David Greene (offense) and David Pollack (defense) at midfield before Saturday's game.

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