SI has Tech No. 12 and UGA No. 15, and I say, “Close”

Two good Jackets: Josh Nesbitt dodges Derrick Morgan. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Two good Jackets: Josh Nesbitt dodges Derrick Morgan. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

A year ago Sports Illustrated, like pretty much everyone else, ranked Georgia No. 1. This year the venerable magazine has the Bulldogs No. 15, three spots behind Georgia Tech. And I saw that yesterday and said to myself, “That’s pretty darn close.”

The USA Today coaches’ poll was released last week, and it surprised me. Georgia was No. 13, two places ahead of the Jackets. And that, you should know, made me go, “Hmmm.”

Flying home from the Capital One Bowl, I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate and guessed, without Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, Georgia would be ranked No. 21 to Tech’s No. 9, but I realize now I might have been suffering from jet lag. (Yeah, I know. Orlando’s in the same time zone. But it’s only excuse I can find.) I probably had Tech a tad too high and definitely had Georgia too low.

Were I doing the same computations today, I’d put Tech No. 10 — I think this is a Top 10 team that will win the ACC and play in the Orange Bowl – and Georgia No. 15. I think the Bulldogs will lose four games, each to a team SI ranks above them, but no more. So that’d be, in my mind, a good 8-4 season. (I know from the tenor of your response many among you don’t feel there’s any such thing.)

I also agree with SI’s choice for No. 2 — Texas. (In fact, I see Texas, which was also No. 2 in the coaches’ poll, beating Florida in the BCS title game.) I think the magazine has Virginia Tech and Ole Miss way too high at Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, and Alabama a bit elevated at No. 8, but other than that I have no real disagreement. But I do have a mathematical quibble:

Which team should be rated higher?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

SI has both Tech and Georgia finishing 9-3 and second in their respective divisions. (Tech to Virginia Tech, Georgia to guess who.) The magazine also has Georgia going 5-3 in SEC play, which would mean finishing unbeaten against non-conference opponents. Which would mean beating Tech. But if Tech and Georgia both go 9-3 and the Bulldogs win at Bobby Dodd Stadium, shouldn’t they be ranked higher?

The magazine also has Oklahoma State, which it ranks No. 7 in the land, going unbeaten in non-conference play. Both things cannot happen. Either Georgia or OSU must lose Sept. 5 in Stillwater. And with that I’ll step aside, mindful always of what Agent Mulder once told his winsome partner:

“Nobody likes a math geek, Scully.”

304 comments Add your comment

Tom

August 13th, 2009
2:44 pm

Yep, pretty close.

Ath34

August 13th, 2009
2:45 pm

9-3, 8-4, 7-5, 12-0…meaningless without a playoff.

Tom

August 13th, 2009
2:46 pm

← ← ← ← math geek, btw

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

August 13th, 2009
2:46 pm

The games will be won or lost on the field and none of the “experts” opinions will matter then and they don’t matter now. Another word for prediction is guess.

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
2:47 pm

Georgia is ranked? Not for long.

Reality Check

August 13th, 2009
2:48 pm

Tech has some great running backs but no offensive line and no serious game. College Football news rated their running backs #1 in the country but the overall offense at #23 because the offensive line was rated #33. The Tech defense was rated # 38. So either Sports Illustrated or CFN doesn’t know what they are talking about. I vote SI has got it all wrong.

Barry

August 13th, 2009
2:49 pm

Tech too high, UGA too low. Paul Johnson’s a great coach and all that, but give Tech a couple of years before they start running with the elite. Plus, UGA will be 9-3 at worst, maybe 10-2. They just might pull one out against the Gators this year. Joe Cox is a winner.

Barry

August 13th, 2009
2:50 pm

Great name, Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho. I loved Hawaii 5-0

UGA 55 OSU 42

August 13th, 2009
2:52 pm

Remind me again who has Oklahoma state ever beaten???? Oh yea that would be no body. THis will be the score with both vaunted defenses.

Class of '98

August 13th, 2009
2:52 pm

We lose Moreno and Stafford and get Owens and Sturdivant back. Ask Alabama what losing your left tackle can do to your offense.

I think Utah just sacked JP Wilson again.

sarfdawg

August 13th, 2009
2:55 pm

I wouldn’t use SI as my barometer for anything. Phil Steele is as good as it gets.

Georgia has to replace what the NFL thought was the #1 QB and the #1 RB in the draft. To think they are a top-10 team, with THAT schedule, is crazy. Georgia will lose to Florida and could lose at Oklahoma State, Tennessee, at Arkansas (watch that one), and maybe Georgia Tech (although Tech is wildly overrated). LSU at home will be a bear too. I don’t think Georgia is that bad either, but the schedule looks like a minimum of four losses.

8-4 is an OK year when considering the losses of Stafford and Moreno.

the real Old Gold

August 13th, 2009
2:55 pm

I always like to wait ’til toe meets leather, and see how it all plays out. We all know how last year’s predictions went.

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
2:56 pm

I’m a Sooner’s fan living in Atlanta, sick and tired of the UGA fans thinking football was invented in Athens. How many national titles has UGA won? How many has Oklahoma?

Mark Bradley

August 13th, 2009
2:57 pm

That’s my thinking, too, SarfDawg. Lose Stafford and Moreno and drop from 9-3 only to 8-4. Not bad at all.

sarfdawg

August 13th, 2009
2:58 pm

Who gives a crap about Choke-lahoma?

Barry

August 13th, 2009
3:02 pm

How does being an Oklahoma fan make Ok St. 45-3?

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
3:03 pm

When did Stafford win the really big game? The way some of you hillbillies talked, Stafford was the second coming of Christ, but he wasn’t…..Not even the 5th coming.

Chamblee Dawg

August 13th, 2009
3:07 pm

where did Saint Simons go?

sarfdawg

August 13th, 2009
3:08 pm

Stafford beat Oklahoma State. Evidently that wasn’t a big game since OSU isn’t really that good – never was and still won’t be.

Hillbillies? Really? This coming from someone from Oklahoma. Wow. That hurts.

By the way, when was the last time Choke-lahoma last one a BCS bowl game? No, I can’t remember either.

Island Dawg

August 13th, 2009
3:08 pm

OSU 45-3, from what I’ve seen football may have been invented in Boise. Congrats on the greatest upset of all time!

anderson jones

August 13th, 2009
3:09 pm

Typical SI. Their ratings are all adhoc and rushed. Of course there are inconsistencies. Not credible in my mind. Still don’t understand though why they’re drinking the Ole Miss koolaid.

Class of '98

August 13th, 2009
3:11 pm

DJ Shockley beat Oklahoma State.

Gravy Train

August 13th, 2009
3:12 pm

Mark,

Do you factor into your estimation that CMR averages 10 wins a season? Staff and Moreno were really good, if not great, but their spots will be filled by guys that were highly recruited. Great programs reload, which to me, is how CMR averages 10 wins. I think these boys will prove you wrong again.
There is a reason CMR has been smirking in his pressers this year…I think you and Okie Lite and the Glorified Termites will find out why.

Class of '98

August 13th, 2009
3:12 pm

Oklahoma is good, but if I lived in Oklahoma City I wouldn’t go on their newspaper sports blogs and trash the Cowboys or Sooners just because I like UGA.

Kinda pathetic.

brewdawg

August 13th, 2009
3:13 pm

The bottom line is that preseason predictions are for fun only. They could not mean any less (although it’s nice to start with a high ranking for BCS purposes later in the year). But MB has a job to do, and his preseason predictions provide good comedic relief at the end of the year.

UM...

August 13th, 2009
3:13 pm

Hey Oklahoma douche, what happened to your all mighty Spooners last year? seem a bit over rated to you?

Tech getting better!

August 13th, 2009
3:13 pm

i am a little confused that Georgia fans think that they awill beat tech easily when they couldn’t even beat them with Stafford and Moreno. Tech is obviously better on the Offense and Georgia is apparently a worse team this year and you guys automatically think you are going to wipe the floor with them. As always georgia fans are delusional.

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
3:14 pm

The last time Oklahoma won a BCS bowl game?…..A lot more recent than UGA won a national title…..Even Tech one a national title since UGA’s last title. I bet they win another before UGA wins one again.

sarfdawg

August 13th, 2009
3:15 pm

Shockley beat Boise State. Stafford did beat OSU…

http://tinyurl.com/nffs93

Saint Simons

August 13th, 2009
3:15 pm

I’m here – and Forbes magazine ranks UGA # 171; GT is # 501 – hahaha, oops – I mean wah, wah, wah…

Gravy Train

August 13th, 2009
3:16 pm

Oh yeah. Good luck getting rid of Petino. UL knew what they were getting into with him. Winning and money is all they were concerned with and nothing short of a capital offense will change that.
They same can be said about Calipari and your beloved Cats. Sorry to say but it’s the truth.

sarfdawg

August 13th, 2009
3:16 pm

Tech “one” a national title? Wow – that Oklahoma education is something else.

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
3:17 pm

Class of 98 – Kinda is not a word. Way to perpetuate the hillbilly stereotype.

UM… – Why the insults? Is is possible to discuss this without derogatory remarks? I might remind you that it was UGA ranked #1 a year ago. To say Oklahoma was over rated is funny in comparison.

MoDawg

August 13th, 2009
3:17 pm

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3 – Noel Divine just scored again….

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
3:18 pm

Sarfdawg…Yeah…You got me…Good catch.

Class of '98

August 13th, 2009
3:19 pm

my mistake sarfdawg. thanks for correcting me.

Sting 'em Buzz

August 13th, 2009
3:20 pm

Point of reference: Averages consist of some lower numbers and some higher numbers unless you are nailing the average every time out.

Burdell

August 13th, 2009
3:20 pm

Sounds about right to me. Both may be ranked a bit high though. As much as I’d like to see the Jackets go 11-1 or 10-2, I think another 9-3 year is ahead including a W over Georgia (8-4).

Can’t wait until September 5th!! Go Jackets!

sarfdawg

August 13th, 2009
3:20 pm

Oklahoma guy, I get one every once in a while.

Class of ‘98, no biggie.

Peace out, all. Time for me to continue working harder for less money.

Mac

August 13th, 2009
3:21 pm

I read those previews by Lars Andersen. In the UGA one, he said Cox could make plays with his legs, something Stafford rarely did. Why do people continue to write that? Stafford wasn’t fast, but he had quite a few decent runs for Georgia, including at least one of more than 30 yards. Honestly, people, be honest. Just cause he doesn’t look like a runner doesn’t mean he didn’t and do it right well.

Class of '98

August 13th, 2009
3:21 pm

Hillbilly stereotype? Uhh… okay.

You’re talking like a tough guy anonymously on the internet. Way to perpetuate the coward stereotype.

Class of '98

August 13th, 2009
3:22 pm

By the way, Oklahomans aren’t exactly known for their sophistication.

Are all of those words in the dictionary?

Oklahoma St 45 UGA 3

August 13th, 2009
3:22 pm

Class of 98…..Name a place and time…..Except anytime in the next few weeks because I am busy…..

third quarter fan

August 13th, 2009
3:25 pm

Past: UGa starts with a few arrest/suspensions and cupcake(s).
This year: Starts with a ranked team. WOW. We’ll see how that works out for a couple of people.
Will UGa have co-D coords by the last game???

InferiorityComplex

August 13th, 2009
3:26 pm

It seems like only yesterday that the dogs were booking their tickets to Miami.

Island Dawg

August 13th, 2009
3:28 pm

“Kinda” is a colloquialism and perfectly acceptable just like “y’all”, Okie. Using “one” instead of “won” is an at best weak grasp of the English language

Mac

August 13th, 2009
3:28 pm

FYI Stafford had a least one run of 30 or more yards each season he was at Georgia, and he was pretty effective at the QB draw.

Tech Fan

August 13th, 2009
3:28 pm

Why does everyone think there will be a let down from the offensive line this year? Tech only lost Andrew Gardner from the O line, and he was out with the shoulder problem for most of last year. It’ll be the same O line that went up and down the field with Dwyer & Company last year.

IdiotsREverywhere

August 13th, 2009
3:30 pm

Chokelahoma Fans are the worst. It’s because of your sad excuse of a “program” that we have to listen to the MWC about being in the BCS. Stoops is horrible, can’t win the big one, can’t win a BCS Bowl game, and can’t even beat a team that plays on BLUE CARPET. That is pathetic. Chokelahoma will put up numbers because there is no Defense played in the Big12. When you play against a team with a Defense, you lose. See last year’s MNC for further proof. And lastly, no true Chokelahoma fan would ever root for the Pokes. Now go out and have recess before Mom calls you in to clean your room.

jeff

August 13th, 2009
3:30 pm

Just curious Mark–Have you ever picked Florida to win a championship?