AP poll dance: Gators 1, Dogs 13, Jackets 15 (and closing)

Here Mark Richt, just slightly ahead of Paul Johnson. Looks just like the pre-season rankings.

Here's Georgia coach Mark Richt, just slightly ahead of Tech's Paul Johnson. Funny. It looks just like the AP's pre-season rankings. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

The AP’s pre-season poll released Saturday confirmed what we already knew: Georgia is not number one. Georgia Tech is not number none. And the perceptions of the two programs have gone in opposite directions.

As for which team is better going into the season, I’ll let you guys fight it out. But there is not a strong consensus among voters. AP pollsters placed Georgia 13th overall and Georgia Tech 15th, the same as the coaches’ poll (although the AP has them separated by Boise State; the coaches by Oregon). But it’s somewhat of an historic poll because it’s the first time Tech has cracked the AP top-25 pre-season rankings since 2001. It’s also the first time both schools are in the pre-season poll since 1999.

Biggest non-shock of all: Florida is No. 1, getting 58 of a possible 60 first-place votes. (The other two went to second ranked Texas, and I’m guessing both voters work in Amarillo.)

As you’ll see in the chart below — yes, I did research this morning — the Bulldogs have ranked ahead of the Jackets 26 out of 30 times to start the season since 1960, when at least one of the schools has been in the poll. That includes last season, when the Dogs were No. 1 (only to tumble after losses to Alabama, Florida and Tech) and the Jackets were unranked (only to climb).

But after the first-year turnaround at Tech by Paul Johnson and Georgia’s loss of Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to the NFL, it might be time for a reversal of fortunes. The Jackets won in Athens last year. (Update: I’ve added a video bonus for you at the bottom. Well, more of a bonus for Tech fans than Georgia fans.)

(Update II: OK, Georgia fans: I’ve heard your well-placed complaints about the slanted video. So here’s a second more balanced video take on the game. I was looking for an all-Georgia highlights compilation for equal time but couldn’t find a decent one.)

Georgia starts the season at Oklahoma State, which will open the season with its highest ever pre-season ranking: 9. Tech opens with Jacksonville State. So if you’re wondering when the two might swap spots in the poll, there you go.

This actually could be fun to watch all season. There haven’t been a lot of years when Georgia and Tech both were competitive on a national scale.  Both finished in the top 25 last year, but it was mostly the result of Georgia falling (1 to 13) and Tech rising (unranked to 22). In 1999, Tech (11) and Georgia (14) had solid pre-season rankings but finished 20th and 16th, respectively with 8-4 seasons.

At least we know that Georgia coach Mark Richt won’t have to deal with the distractions of a No. 1 ranking anymore. And nobody will be taking Tech lightly — least of all Georgia.

(Here’s where Georgia and Georgia Tech have ranked in past Associated Press pre-season polls. Years not listed means neither school was ranked. For those who would like to navigate through history, there’s a great database at appollarchive.com.)

Year   UGA  Tech
1952   --    3
1953   --    3
1954   --    7
1955   --    10
1956   --    4
1957   --    11
1960   13    --
1967   6     --
1969   8     --
1971   18    17
1972   17    --
1976   16    --
1977   19    --
1979   11    --
1980   16    --
1981   10    --
1982   7     --
1983   15    --
1986   16    --
1987   20    --
1988   12    --
1991   --    8
1992   14    23
1993   13    --
1998   19    --
1999   14    11
2000   10    --
2001   --    10
2002   8     --
2003   11    --
2004   3     --
2005   13    --
2006   15    --
2007   13    --
2008   1     --
2009   13    15

(Video via YouTube courtesy of GeorgiaTechSportstod)

(Here’s a more balanced video via YouTube posted by ugamummra)

416 comments Add your comment

Tide Rising

August 22nd, 2009
11:15 am

Let the UGA-TECH arguments begin. BTW, am I first?

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 22nd, 2009
11:17 am

Pre-season polls become irrelevant after the first game is played, if they are ever relevant at all.

Whiny Dan Magill

August 22nd, 2009
11:18 am


K-Town Dawg

August 22nd, 2009
11:21 am

I guess I’ve got the “honor” of being first.

The thing I notice most about the rankings is that this seems to be familiar territory for UGA but not for Tech. Take that for what its worth.

K-Town Dawg

August 22nd, 2009
11:22 am

Typed to slow and ended up fourth

K-Town Dawg

August 22nd, 2009
11:24 am

After about 4 or 5 games these rankings will look totally different, so what does that say about the initial rankinks?

My guess is that they don’t mean much.

Just win the games on your schedule!


August 22nd, 2009
11:26 am

Chase Daniel, Jason White, Grahm Harrel, Josh Heupel are all famous QBs from the same pack. They are either undrafted or drafted very low, none of them have a NFL career.


August 22nd, 2009
11:34 am

Well, I see that the Georgia defensive coordinator, Martiniz(?) is out there saying that if Georgia hadn’t missed so many tackles, “We would have won that game” last year. And I am thinking: roughly 17 weeks, give or take, into the season, and Georgia doesn’t know how to tackle? Like, they forgot how in a week? The fact is they looked lousy tackling because that’s what an option offense does to you: gets you to turn the wrong way, take one step the wrong way, and before you can spot the ball, turn the right way, it is too late to get into the hole with your shoulders squared for the tackle. The result is you look like you are arm tackling. Martiniz has to know this as a DC. If not, he really should be replaced. Shoot, way back in high school we knew what the option tried to do. That Tech is so good at it is amazing, given they have had all of a year to do it. What took them so long?


August 22nd, 2009
11:46 am

This is always the best time of the year to be a dawg. Preseason.


August 22nd, 2009
11:54 am

Pre-season polls: Well they have to start somewhere, sometime.

Polls on Monday 9/7:
GT 12th or better
VT 13th
UGA 18th or worse

Ramblin Rick

August 22nd, 2009
11:55 am

The mutts might be ahead for now..but wait til OKLAHOMA STATE kicks their sorry butts up and down the field in 2 weeks!

45-42 more to come!

Ramblin Rick

August 22nd, 2009
11:56 am

AMEN Ramble on! Its the only time of the year they can run their mouths and get away with it!

45-42 redneck mutts

Dance | All Days Long

August 22nd, 2009
11:57 am

[...] AP poll dance: Gators 1, Dogs 13, Jackets 15 (and closing) Atlanta Journal Constitution The AP's pre-season poll released Saturday confirmed what we already knew: Georgia is not number one. Georgia Tech is not number none. … See all stories on this topic [...]

[...] Tip to Jeff Shultz for this video, sure to get you fired up for the [...]

hey ktowndawg

August 22nd, 2009
12:01 pm

do you see the irony in your two posts?

in your first post you THOUGHT you were no1. just like the doggies last year.

in your second post you admit to being too slow. just like your dawg D against the jackets last year.

look for the jackets to roll this year and dawg nation will start to whine about rev richt.

Dog Days

August 22nd, 2009
12:11 pm

Ramblin Rick: We’ve noticed Tech losers run their mouths year round, year in and year out, win or lose. Georgia fans have tons of respect for you guys-and it just keeps growing. Shouldn’t you be getting back to the call center?

Football Expert

August 22nd, 2009
12:12 pm

Nice highlight show! To be repeated in late November 2009. Preseason ratings are just for fun and don’t mean much. A very good sleeper team might not now be ranked. Which would make it hard for them to end up top 10. However, start in the top 10 and you can lose a few and still climb back in. Hey UGA how did Water Melon “cuttin’ Day go for you guys on Aug 14?

Jeff Schultz

August 22nd, 2009
12:18 pm

Tide Rising – you are indeed. You’re certificate will be arriving in the mail.

Hillbilly – Not completely irrelevant because otherwise I’d have nothing to post this morning. Seriously, I get your point but part of the fun of college football is debating rankings, so this is when it starts.

K-Town – sorry, you’re fourth. Out of the money.

Sharecropper – I think I know what he was trying to say but, yeah, point taken. I’m sure he knows the heat’s on him.

Ramble On — Ouch. But a good line. (A good time for me to re-state: I have no allegiances Tech/Georgia fans. It was just funny.)

Football Expert

August 22nd, 2009
12:19 pm

George Burdell asked me to post this comment for him:

What to do on a fall Saturday in Georgia? If you live in Atlanta; way too many world class activities to list here. If you live in Athens; work the pig farm , go to Watermelon “cuttin” Days, get your friends together for some cool cow tippin or go to Sanford & Son for some football. No wonder they fill up their stadium. THWG!

Sonny Clusters

August 22nd, 2009
12:20 pm

We was hoping this would be a baseball blog because we want to know more about the deerskin gloves being used by some Braves players (third base, mostly). Still, any Schultz blog is a good blog and we was thinking this one is okay, too. We was never much impressed by pre-season polls and still aren’t because they still have to play the game and we was wondering why Georgia fans on here are afraid of Georgia Tech if they don’t think they’re any good. Nobody was afraid of us when we turned out to be state championship. Coach was always saying it didnt matter where we was picked it mattered where we ended up and we’d end up alright if everybody would play hard and stay focused and if you know who would take a pitch once in awhile. He never did take a pitch but we was still state championship. We was thinking of going to the game tonight and if we do we are going to say hello to Jeff up in the pressbox.

Not Disappointed

August 22nd, 2009
12:22 pm

Hey, it’s almost time for “COLLEGE FOOTBALL!” You have to love it! pup or jacket! Ramblin Wreck!

Sanford Drive

August 22nd, 2009
12:26 pm

Does Tech have a picture day?

Jeff Schultz

August 22nd, 2009
12:30 pm

Sonny — deerskin gloves? I missed that. Did Jeff have one of those. A BAMBI GLOVE!!!

Sanford Drive — Uh … good question. I’m guessing if they do, no line matches the won for little Uga in Athens. I still think it’s hilarious you have to wait longer to get a picture with a dog than a coach or a player. (And no — I’m not knocking the dog! I sensed an attack was coming.)

Folks — I’ve got to head out for a couple of hours but I’ll check back in. Play nice (or as nice as can be expected).


Jeff Schultz

August 22nd, 2009
12:30 pm

That should’ve been “matches the one” not “won” — oy.


August 22nd, 2009
12:34 pm

Please! Ga Tech had a worse record and played in a 10 times weaker conference. UGA should be ranked higher. If I remember correctly, Ga Tech’s defense must have forgot how to cover in that game too. They benefited only from having the ball last. My question is, once UGA stomps Ga Tech this year, is CPJ going to take back the rings? Tech fans and players both need to act like they have won a game before… 8-1 this century Terrorist Insects…


August 22nd, 2009
12:35 pm

Ramblin Rick.. It is evident you are one of the many North Ave Nerds that knows nothing about Football. UGA is a top 10 program every year and you guys are lucky to be be a top 40 program. Preseason polls mean nothing it is how you finish and I will promise you that UGA will finish above the nerds in the final rankings. Good luck to you guys you will need all the help you can get this year..


August 22nd, 2009
12:39 pm

Ramble on and others,
Sorry to burst your bubble with actual facts, but Georgia (last year not withstanding) is one of the more under-rated teams in preseason polls. More often than not (and more often than TECH), UGA finishes the year ranked HIGHER than they were in the pre-season.

See for yourself at http://preseason.stassen.com/over-under/all-teams.html

It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog in the pre-season.
It’s usually even better at the end of the season. Obviously not last year.

I’m just saying…

Ramblin Rick

August 22nd, 2009
12:45 pm

I think Noshow Moreno and Stafford will take UGA all the way this year. 2010 NATL CHAMPS BABY!

Not Disappointed

August 22nd, 2009
12:45 pm

Jeff, The ranking doesn’t many anything after a few weeks; furthemore it doesn’t bother me as an GT Alumni and supporter that the Jackets are ranked less than my brother’s ga pups. Makes it Oh so Sweet to win against the higher ranked pups.

I don’t recall what was you’re prediction for the Jackets and Dawgs this year; furthermore what’s you pick on the head to head match up in November on the Flats! Ramblin Wreck

Buckhead Dawg

August 22nd, 2009
12:50 pm

Enjoy that video nerds. We understand the dawgs are your only rival and beating us has got to get you pumped. You’re our 3rd, at best, rival. But losing last year will get UGA fired up. Expect another 7+ year losing streak.

yellow fuzz

August 22nd, 2009
12:53 pm

The video says it all. 2008 Georgia Bowl champs (and chumps)! 45-42. Life is outstanding!


August 22nd, 2009
12:54 pm

Preseason polls are a waste. The preseason polls should be compared the the final polls and everyone would see what a waste they are. The first poll should be done after week 3.

Just waiting until kickoff.

Dr. Dawg

August 22nd, 2009
12:55 pm

Pre-season ranking = stupid


August 22nd, 2009
12:55 pm

Glad you caught that “one” instead of “won” boo-boo, Jeffrey. How about the “your” instead of “you’re” in your response to Tide Rising?

You’re letting your grammar skills slip, buddy. Hopefully it won’t happen even one more time.

Oy is right.

David Granger

August 22nd, 2009
12:57 pm

No big surprises.
Preseason polls don’t mean a damn thing, and I would hope my fellow UGA fans learned that after last season. Was damn ashamed the way some of us were crowing and running our damn mouths…acted like that damn FSU scum.
Let’s play the games, and we’ll find out how everything shakes out.

Dr. Dawg

August 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

Enter your comments here

7-5 again

August 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

You hit the nail on the head. Tech fans act like they have never had a good season before. They consider 9-4 to be a success because most tech idiots can’t remember the last time they really had a good season. It has become common-place for UGA to win 10 games but I guess we need a NC soon or these nerds will never shut up. Tech fans are a sad and pathetic group.


August 22nd, 2009
1:03 pm


Where was that picture of Johnson and Richt taken?


August 22nd, 2009
1:07 pm

Um, why doesn’t everyone realize that it would be great if BOTH UGA and Tech were national contenders? We play eachother at the end of the year. Imagine the boost the winner of that game would get in every poll. Imagine the exposure for both programs on a national scale. Instead we resort to childish name calling, history lessons, and other nonsense. As for my allegiance… check my user name. It is fairly obvious :)

Mike Lum

August 22nd, 2009
1:12 pm

Sure are a lot of – - ’s on the Tech side, Ramblin Rick..

yellow fuzz

August 22nd, 2009
1:12 pm

Funny to hear all you dawg people talking about the insignificance of pre-season polls THIS year. LOL. LOLOLOLOLOL.

And what’s the difference in a “preseason poll” and a “pre-career recruiting class” again? LOL. LOLOLOLOL.

And what’s the difference in 45-42? THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE days of georgia people STFU!

Life is very good right now!

unweaned lil pup

August 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

But after the first-year turnaround at Tech by Paul Johnson and Georgia’s loss of Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to the NFL, it might be time for a reversal of fortunes.

errr … mights grow on birdasses

Ramblin Rick

August 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

You stupid mutts. You really think Joe Cox will win this year? Give me a break you drunken losers!

45 – 42


August 22nd, 2009
1:18 pm

You know preseason does mean a damn thing, it tells you where the hype is pointed. The poll I like to watch is the one in Las Vegas, where reality is only a bad bet away. What are they saying about the OSU, Georgia game. I have not looked but I am betting Georgia gives up at least 10 points which means they are favored. Number 15 in the polls vs. number 9 and they have not played a game yet Vegas favors Georgia. T. Boone Pickens is a billionaire but the great thing about this country is God created us and no human owns us.

yellow fuzz

August 22nd, 2009
1:18 pm


August 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

Where is the highlights from the bowl game against LSU?????? hahahahahaha what a JOKE


August 22nd, 2009
1:28 pm

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 38-3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

john S.

August 22nd, 2009
1:29 pm

even jeff schultz and the AJC dont respect UGA… they are ranked ahead of tech for a reason and you’ll see why on nov. 28

Jared Jones

August 22nd, 2009
1:30 pm


we all know how much you hate the Dawgs, so I guess its too much to ask to see our 7 other wins highlights. but better yet, where are the Georgia Tech highlights for the Chick-fil-a bowl?

You’re a joke.


August 22nd, 2009
1:32 pm


“But it’s somewhat of an historic poll because…”

You missed the REAL historical note here: Florida recieved the highest percentage of first place vote EVER. Yeah, I know preseason doesn’t count. That’s why you celebrate milestones when they appear. Thanks for (not) seeing history through those unbiased eyes.