Dogs, Jackets take a beating in ESPN poll (no surprise)

To say Mark Richt and Paul Johnson both face challenges this offseason would be an understatement. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Mark Richt and Paul Johnson have seen their teams lose points with pollsters. (Brant Sanderlin)

A few weeks ago, we brought you “news” of the first 2011, way-too-early, preseason college football rankings, which appeared on the website NationalChamps.net. Georgia was ranked 21st. Georgia Tech didn’t even make the top 50.  Both proceeded to go splat in bottom tier bowl games.

ESPN has an advantage over NationalChamps.net (besides name recognition). The website waited until after the bowl games for a little more perspective. So this shouldn’t surprise you: After bowl losses to Central Florida and Air Force, respectively, neither the Bulldogs nor the Jackets made the top 25.

Former AJC staffer and pal Mark Schlabach just released his top 25, and I’m wagering it will be pretty close to the first Associated Press rankings (which generally don’t come out until August). Georgia and Tech fans: cover your eyes.

Schlabach’s top 25 lists Oklahoma as the No. 1 team, followed by Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Boise State (Georgia’s opening game opponent). He has seven SEC teams in the top 25, which means the Dogs are considered no better than the eighth best team in the 12-team conference. The SEC seven: Alabama, LSU, Arkansas (8), South Carolina (11), BCS champion Auburn (17), Florida (23) and Mississippi State (24).

The only two ACC teams in the rankings are Florida State (7) and Virginia Tech (20).

The list:

1. Oklahoma.
2. Alabama.
3. Oregon.
4. LSU.
5. Boise State.
6. Oklahoma State.
7. Florida State.
8. Arkansas.
9. Stanford.
10. Ohio State.
11. South Carolina.
12. Wisconsin.
13. Texas A&M.
14. Notre Dame.
15. Michigan State.
16. Missouri.
17. Auburn.
18. TCU.
19. Nebraska.
20. Virginia Tech.
21. Arizona State.
22. Texas
23. Florida.
24. Mississippi State.
25. West Virginia.

Stating the obvious: This is what you get when you go 6-7.

Agree? Disagree?

And because I’m doing all I can to pump up Schlabach’s multi-media career, here’s his video blog.

By Jeff Schultz

Posts on-demand (free with digital package):

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Falcons’ Abraham excelling, even with thoughts on mom

Digi-Blog goes to Falcons camp (no Flowery Branches)

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319 comments Add your comment

JB

January 12th, 2011
3:58 pm

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
4:00 pm

Beast from the East

January 12th, 2011
4:01 pm

Sounds about right based on this year, but looking back at the same time last year you really can’t take too much stock in the pre-season polls. About a third of the top 25 did not even end up ranked and the BCS champ barley made the top 25. Way too early for any predictions.

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
4:02 pm

Yep Beast right now it is like predicting the 2015 Kentucky Derby winner.

Beast from the East

January 12th, 2011
4:03 pm

Typo…..barely not barley. Guess I’m just getting thirsty!

Third

January 12th, 2011
4:03 pm

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
4:04 pm

Blame it on the snow!!!

JB

January 12th, 2011
4:04 pm

No surprise here. I’ve heard talk out of Athens for the reasons Adams/ McGarity are bringing Mark back. First all , Adams likes him, and feels, as with any employee, he’s grading his whole body of work. Money. The price goes way down with another year off the contract, plus the 1.5 mil they would owe Grantham if the house was cleared. Mark has convinced McGarity that this years class will be special. ( aren’t they all). Next years schedule. I wish we had a great team. It never gets easier than next year as far as the SEC West teams go. Selection. Lot’s of Activity this year in firings. The picking may be better next year,

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 12th, 2011
4:07 pm

So whats the early line on the boise st game are they going to be favored by at least three touchdowns ? that seems about right

Beast from the East

January 12th, 2011
4:08 pm

JB,
The pickings never get any better or worse. Seems to be about the same number of firings/resignations every year and about the same number of “hot names” out there every year. Different schools and different names but the numbers seem to be similar every year. Lots and lots of turnover in college football these days.

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
4:08 pm

Holtz and co. will favor them by about 31 points

nola dawg fan

January 12th, 2011
4:09 pm

i know jeff likes to stoke my fellow UGA alumni, but SI.com also has a poll.. and it does feature the dawgs. you going to comment on this one Jeff?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/01/12/early-2011-top-25/index.html?eref=sihp

Billy O

January 12th, 2011
4:09 pm

Hey, if we start off 2-0 with wins over #5 Boise State and #11 USCe, we will be in the the top 20……

JB

January 12th, 2011
4:10 pm

Beast, I honestly believe OUR next coach ( WAS) IS AT YOUR SCHOOL as head coach. I really do…..I think he would be #1 on McGarity’s list next year.

JB

January 12th, 2011
4:13 pm

nola Dawg…………………..Nice, but that guy is writing that on our Rep ( what’s left of it), not reality

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
4:13 pm

nola notice who was missing? Florida

Palm City Dawg

January 12th, 2011
4:14 pm

Let’s show all the naysayers be can kick some butt DAWGS. Give Richt and Grantham a chance and I am confident they will get it done winning 10 games next year and a top 10 finish.

Beast from the East

January 12th, 2011
4:14 pm

JB,
You really never know. Who would have suspected that Foley would have hired Muschamp? Certainly not anyone in the national media knew about it. Big surprise to us all.

JB

January 12th, 2011
4:15 pm

See. Who is that writer. No Gators, but has Dawgs in top 25. Do they drug test over there.

Bull

January 12th, 2011
4:15 pm

Always liked Schlabach, don’t always agree with him but at least he’s a fairly intelligent guy. No wonder he moved on from the ajc

DawginLex

January 12th, 2011
4:16 pm

Boise, FSU, Arkansas and South Carolina way overrated.

florida and auburn won’t end up in the top 25 next year.

Look for Georgia to beat florida along with Tennessee.

Georgia, SC and UT all go 6-2 in the conference and the higher ranked team goes to Atlanta to play Bama/LSU winner.

LSU opens with Oregon. Good luck Les.

Common sense reigns in Athens!

January 12th, 2011
4:19 pm

@ JB. Your post sounds very reasonable and it sounds like common sense is more in suppply in Athens than it is in the AJC sportswriting department. If they were going to fire Richt it had to happen in December (or earlier) and not in January. Recruiting would have been a disaster! It may not be that great anyway, but any players we get now are coming because they want to be there. To all the supposed fans of UGA who daily barrage criticism against UGA, stop! The decision has been made for this year. Any continued criticism is only designed to further damage the reputation of Richt and/or UGA. I can assure you that if next year is not really special for UGA Richt and a lot of other people will be looking for jobs. Now is the time to circle the wagons, cheer for the name on the front of the jersey, and encourage our coaches to close the deal on some recruits!!!

Beast from the East

January 12th, 2011
4:19 pm

DawginLex,
I would be willing to bet money right now that LSU handles Oregon pretty easily. The Tigers are going to be tough next year. Only problem is their schedule will probably be the toughest in the country.

JB

January 12th, 2011
4:19 pm

Beast, With Spurrier and Urban, The expectations have been laid out. Muschamp will have a short honeymoon IMO, especially being a Dawg, although the Administration and the press put a lot of window dressing on him growing up in Florida. ( till 9 I think). That spin works as long as he wins big. Trust me, he stumbles, He’s ALL DAWG…LOL

nola dawg fan

January 12th, 2011
4:19 pm

its just funny to me how AJC is LOVING this pound on Georgia theme. 2 pre-season top 25s announced on the same day, lets write on the one that doesn’t have the dawgs and use the word “beating” on the headline.

Pretty obvious what JS is trying to do here… see through it dawg fans. 2010 disaster… 2011 make or break year. we get it.. but you know AJC loves to pile on

Delbert D.

January 12th, 2011
4:20 pm

Read all of his comments. Anything between #5 and #25 could be significantly rearranged; a whole lot of “ifs” in there. I think Texas and Miss. State move up.

Sopwith Camel

January 12th, 2011
4:20 pm

I don’t believe Auburn should be ranked that far down. I assume it’s based on the belief that they will lose Newton and Fairley, but heck………they just won the #1 spot. Even though I am NOT an Auburn supporter, I would at least cut ‘em some slack and rank them quite a bit higher right now.

And since UGA is not in the top 25, the real question is……….do you think they’ll be ranked higher or lower than where they are now (wherever that is) at the end of next season??

D A DoubleU G

January 12th, 2011
4:22 pm

How in the world is this a story??

Again, Jeff is writing unnecessary, negative articles(sic) about the local sports teams to get blog hits in order to drive up the cost of advertising space.

TAKE BRADLEY AND MOVE NORTH…. WAY NORTH!!!!

Atl_Dawg

January 12th, 2011
4:22 pm

West Virginia in the top 25? Really? C’mon man! I think ESPN has been drinking too much Ohio State ball juice to provide an honest assessment of what the top 25 would be in the fall of 2011. Big Ten and Big East = high school ball.

JB

January 12th, 2011
4:25 pm

If….and I mean If Richt can win Boise and SC games, they could roll into Jacksonville unbeaten. Now, he better bring a different mindset and game plan than he brought to Memphis !

Tucker T

January 12th, 2011
4:25 pm

Neither UGA or Tech have any right to be upset about not being in the preseason top 25. Both were terrible this season. Have to earn it now.

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
4:29 pm

JB be nice to have the Cocktail Party be between two unbeatens again.

wxwax

January 12th, 2011
4:29 pm

Pointless.

The only value of such polls is to prejudice the rankings next season. You know, the ones that come out when they actually start playing some games.

Should the top 5 teams go undefeated stupid polls like this one will help determine the national champion finalists.

What a dumb system.

True Dawg

January 12th, 2011
4:30 pm

Polls dont mean squat. How many times has a team had a losing record and won the NC or a conference championship the following season? Many.

GTBob

January 12th, 2011
4:33 pm

I can’t think of any reason that GT or UGA should be ranked going into next season. Both teams have issues and need to prove they deserve any kind of national recognition.

Sportsrealist

January 12th, 2011
4:33 pm

Great!!! Boise State is preseason #5. That means we have to listen to another year of whining and complaining about the BCS not being fair to those poor little programs that play 1 or 2 good teams every year. We need a playoff system just so Boise and TCU (and any other one hit wonder team) can get eliminated early. I’ll be the first for 2011 to say. Stop crying and get in a conference that maters.

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 12th, 2011
4:34 pm

Maryland will be a top #10 team by week 5.
Tech will be in the top #25 by week 3.

5150 P.O.A.D.

January 12th, 2011
4:36 pm

Please stop with the polls until week 4. You know after the big boys play a few of their practice games.

wxwax

January 12th, 2011
4:37 pm

Um, while you weren’t looking, “Sportsrealist”, one of them did. If you consider the Big East a conference that “maters”, that is.

wxwax

January 12th, 2011
4:38 pm

ps Your attitude is why we’re going to end up with half a dozen ridiculously large super conferences in a few years.

wxwax

January 12th, 2011
4:39 pm

ps Your attitude is one reason why we’ll have half a dozen ridiculously large super conferences in a few years.

Jeff Schultz

January 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

Nola dawg fan — Actually hadn’t seen the SI poll. Thanks for posting link.

George Stein

January 12th, 2011
4:41 pm

Tech doesn’t deserve to be ranked. Until we beat a few teams of consequence and show some consistency on offense and defense, I’d say a mid 30’s team is fair.

Delbert D.

January 12th, 2011
4:43 pm

Andy Staples’ way too early poll is significantly different. Look who is #21, just ahead of Miss. St.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/01/12/early-2011-top-25/index.html

Done

January 12th, 2011
4:45 pm

Georgia will be on the cutting edge of football next season. Just wait and see the new and improved play action pass.

Herschel Talker

January 12th, 2011
4:47 pm

Andy Staples is delusional. As long as Mark Richt is there, we aren’t in the Top 50. He is far worse than Jim Donnan and worse than even Ray Goof.

Jeff Schultz

January 12th, 2011
4:48 pm

D A DoubleU G — It’s all part of a vast conspiracy, but you already knew that. Hey, aren’t you the guy who wasn’t going to read this stuff any more? Bored?

Jeff Schultz

January 12th, 2011
4:49 pm

Atl_Dawg — Everybody thinks West Virginia will get an emotional lift from seeing RichRod fall on his face in Ann Arbor. Well, that’s one theory any way.

UGASlobberknocker

January 12th, 2011
4:51 pm

Orlando Sentinel poll has Ga at 18

UGASlobberknocker

January 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

Herschel..come on now. worse than Ray Goff? no way