The preseason USA Today coaches’ poll has Georgia Tech ranked No. 17 and Georgia No. 21. Those are, I submit, fairly accurate appraisals of the two teams’ relative strengths. Except for one thing:
I’d flip them.
I think Georgia is going to be better than Tech. (I’ve picked the Bulldogs to go 9-3, Tech to finish 8-4.) I think both teams will finish third in their respective divisions. (I see Georgia and South Carolina having the same record but the Gamecocks getting the second-place nod because they’ll beat the Bulldogs on Sept. 11.) I think Georgia will beat Tech in November.
Other observations: Iowa is underrated at No. 10; Miami is overrated at No. 13; North Carolina is underrated at No. 18; Auburn is overrated at No. 23. And I’m a little surprised Florida is No. 3, but that actually comes as music to these ears given that I’ve picked the Gators to win the BCS title. (I’m a Gator fan from way back. Just ask the Urban Crier.)
But the biggest shock to me is South Carolina. It’s nowhere in the poll. (Actually, it’s 10th among teams Also Receiving Votes, which would put it 35th.) I think the Gamecocks are going to be really good. And yes, I’m aware that this marks the 75th consecutive season that somebody has said, “I think the Gamecocks are going to be really good,” only to be wrong 73 times. (Carolina actually was really good in 1984.) But obviously my fellow coaches don’t see it that way.
Oh, wait. I’m not a coach. Sorry. Sometimes I get confused.