From AJC correspondent Andy Johnston in Athens:
Georgia will begin the football season No. 23 in the Associated Press media poll, which was released this morning. It is the Bulldogs’ lowest preseason AP ranking since being unranked entering the 2001 season, coach Mark Richt’s first in Athens.
“I’m thankful we’re ranked,” Richt said after this morning’s practice. “It’s important to be ranked. I hope we play well enough to move up. That’s the plan.”
The preseason rank marks Georgia’s return to the AP poll after falling out on Oct. 4 last season. Georgia started the 2009 season No. 13 but was not ranked after the fourth week of the season.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 21 in the USA Today coaches’ preseason poll, released earlier this month.
Georgia is among six SEC teams, the most of any conference, ranked in the AP poll. Two SEC teams are in the top four: No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Florida. Arkansas, which will play Georgia in Athens on Sept. 18, is ranked No. 17. LSU is No. 21 and Auburn No. 22.
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