And now begins Mark Richt’s 2012 challenge: Managing high expectations for his team.
ESPN’s “College Football Live” has released its preseason poll, and five SEC teams are in the Top 10, including Georgia at No. 6. USC is tops, with LSU No. 2 and Alabama No. 3, Oregon No. 4 and Oklahoma No. 5. Behind Georgia in the Top 10 are Florida State, South Carolina, Arkansas (the voting took place before the fall of Bobby Petrino) and Michigan.
ESPN SEC blogger Chris Low thinks “Georgia seems a little high at No. 6. I think the Bulldogs will be very good, and they’re my pick to win the Eastern Division this season. But I don’t know that they’re the sixth best team in the country. To me, Georgia and South Carolina are just about dead even. Both teams should be nasty on defense again, and both teams have experienced go-to players on offense. At the end of the day, the Bulldogs have the best chance to get to Atlanta because they have the easier schedule and don’t have to play Alabama, Arkansas or LSU.”
I tend to agree with Low. Taking into account that all preseason polls are basically guessing games and nothing more, I think Georgia certainly has the potential to repeat as SEC East champ and be a Top 10 team but I’m not sure they should be ranked that high at this point.
What do you think? Do you see the 2012 Dawgs as a Top 10 team? Does “College Football Live” have it about right or is that too optimistic at this point?
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg