I know y’all saw that the preseason Coaches Poll was released yesterday. It’s a worthless exercise, of course, but it does serve as an early picture of what the general group-thought shapes up as before a single ball is kicked in anger. Along those lines, it’s hardly a surprise to see Georgia ranked fifth, behind number one Alabama and number two Clemson.
What is a little surprising to me is to find some pushback bubbling up from the pundit ranks. Here, for example, is The Athletic’s Ari Wasserman, arguing that Georgia, at five, is underrated ($$).
• No. 5 Georgia: Perception is a major part of this poll. You could make the case that Georgia is one of the most underperforming programs in the sport given its recent results when compared to the amount of talent on its roster. Maybe thinking this is Georgia’s year is a trap — we’ve all heard the 1980 jokes — but it’s a natural one to step into. The Bulldogs have perhaps the most talented roster in the country. They have a quarterback with starting experience in former five-star prospect JT Daniels. And they added key transfers to their secondary in Tykee Smith from West Virginia and Derion Kendrick from Clemson. Also, Georgia has a very favorable schedule and won’t have to play Alabama until the SEC Championship Game if it works out that way. Georgia has all the pieces to be a team that should, at the very least, be ranked in the top three before the season starts.
Barrett Sallee expresses a similar sentiment here.
Underrated: No. 5 Georgia
Georgia hasn’t been able to break through that glass ceiling under Kirby Smart, but that should change this year as the Bulldogs are loaded from top to bottom. It starts with quarterback JT Daniels, who now has a full year operating in Todd Monken’s offense after working through issues and not seeing the field until the final month of the season. The running back room is loaded, the wide receiving corps in versatile and dangerous, the offensive line is stacked with talent and we don’t have to worry about Georgia’s defense at all. If you want to look at the most complete teams right now, Georgia and Oklahoma are the two that should come to mind. It seems like it’s just a knee-jerk reaction to rank Alabama and Clemson in the top two based on their history of replacing stars with stars. Georgia doesn’t even have to worry about that this year.
That’s all going to be overtaken the second Georgia’s opener finishes, of course, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt.