I feel like we have seen this before. Georgia comes into the season ranked too high. Because of that I can already sense the pressure building.
Preseason exuberance seems like a prerequisite for Georgia fans. But this season the usual excitement seems tabled. So if Georgia fans can't over exaggerate how good this team will be at the beginning of the season, the media will.
Preseason expectations, depth charts, and returning starters are all an AP voter needs to rank a team.
Expertise is not necessarily a requirement.
I agree with Mark Richt. It seems that starting Georgia as the number eight team in the country is a little much. Richt told Dawgpost's Charles Odum that he hoped that the writers knew what they were doing when they started the Dawgs out so high in the rankings.
That is doubtful.
All of this is not to say that this Georgia team is a bad one; that is not the case at all. Instead, they are simply over ranked. With back to back games against Clemson and South Carolina, the Dawgs could very well be unranked come early September. However, with wins over the Palmetto teams, perhaps a top eight ranking would be justified.
Georgia should start the season at or around number 15.
When I spoke with several members of the media in Birmingham, they agreed. Which begs the question, "who is voting in these polls?"
Its not that Richt can't lead this team to the conference title, or beyond; He can. But what did Georgia do in 2001 that makes them deserve to start the season at number eight in 2002?
Georgia can finish the season in the top eight, but only after wins over powerful SEC schools. And considering that South Carolina has had the Dawgs number the last two years, the approach should be "wait and see" before anyone buys into the preseason media hype.
Dean Legge can be reached here: email@example.com
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