Picked 3rd in East: Dawgs - "So what?"

HOOVER - Mark Richt was right on Thursday when he predicted his team would be picked in the middle of the pack in its own division.

The Bulldogs, who haven't finished the season ranked lower than No. 7 in the country since 2001, were picked by conference media members to finish behind Tennessee and Florida in the SEC East this year. The polling was released here Friday on the final day of SEC Media Days. The day before the rankings were tabulated, Richt seemed to relish the underdog role.

"I think the greatest danger to success is complacency, and usually you become complacent when everyone tells you how great you are," he said. "We haven't had a lot of people say how great we are."

The Bulldogs lost five players who were selected in the NFL Draft, including quarterback David Greene, defensive end David Pollack and safety Thomas Davis.

"We want people to think we aren't as good as last year," defensive tackle Gerald Anderson said. "That way we can come out and show them who we really are."

Tennessee, which has seven offensive and eight defensive starters returning, was picked to win the East and the overall conference title.

"We lost the winningest quarterback in college football, just about every bit of receiving yards from the receiver position and a lot of sacks and a lot of tackles and guys who have been doing it for a while," Richt said. "People look at, ‘What did they lose? What do they have returning?' Spin it around, and it looks like Tennessee's the team this year."

Georgia had two first-team All-SEC selections in the media poll, tight end Leonard Pope and offensive guard Max Jean-Gilles. Safety Greg Blue was a second-team selection. He was a first-team pick by the league's coaches.


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