Preseason polls might not be accurate, but they do establish pole position for the race to the national title. If that’s the case, Georgia should be happy to start the season at #5 in the USA Today coaches’ poll. They won’t have far to climb in order to contend for the national title if the season unfolds favorably.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Georgia must face four top 13 opponents during the regular season – three of them in September. Georgia’s first two opponents, South Carolina (7th) and Clemson (8th) are also in the top ten.
The SEC placed six teams in the poll, and none was lower than 13th. (Alabama-1, Georgia-5, A&M-6, South Carolina-7, Florida-10, LSU-13) The conference has half of the initial top 10. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee also received votes but did not crack the top 25. Only Missouri, Kentucky, and Auburn received no votes.
We’ll see some shakeout among the top 10 right away. Georgia faces two top 10 teams and adds Florida at the beginning of November. Alabama and Texas A&M are set to meet as well. Later Oregon will play Stanford, and Clemson will close with South Carolina. Ohio State and Louisville are the only preseason top 10 teams not to face another top 10 team during the regular season.