The last time I was called upon to cast a preseason BlogPoll ballot, I got a little snarky in response. This time, I just slap forgot to vote, as a result of which whatever top 25 I would have compiled had I taken the time was not included in the mix that produced the latest 2012 preseason BlogPoll, the highlights of which are as follows:
The LSU Tigers edged out the vastly overrated USC Trojans (the Men of Troy are coached by Lane Kiffin, people) for the top spot, with the Alabama Crimson Tide grabbing the No. 3 poll position. The South Carolina Gamecocks are slotted ninth, one spot above the vastly overrated Arkansas Razorbacks (the Hogs are no longer coached by Bobby Petrino, people). Four SEC teams are ranked between 26th and 32nd among the "others receiving votes." The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked sixth, making the Red and Black the second-highest ranked team not to receive at least one first-place vote.
That’s right. Georgia is No. 6. Somewhere, Larry Munson is frowning.
Depressive Kyle would like to offer a rebuttal:
Are you people insane? Sixth? Really? Really? You aren’t concerned in the slightest that the Bulldogs’ offensive line is in such a state of flux that one of our starters may not even have gotten his student ID yet, our entire defensive backfield is AWOL, we just lost seven players to the NFL Draft, we have to travel to both Columbias, we haven’t beaten the Florida Gators in back-to-back series meetings since two days after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Mike Bobo is still our offensive coordinator?
Evidently, though, this does not give any of you pause. Of the 34 BlogPollsters who voted this time, 31 had the ‘Dawgs in the top ten, and no one had the Classic City Canines ranked lower than 13th. Seven voters---just over one-fifth---judged Georgia to be a top five team, and one ranked the Athenians second (though that voter, from Bull Run, is a booster of the Buffalo Bulls, who open their 2012 season between the hedges on September 1, so ulterior motives may have been involved).
The Red and Black lack an established backup at quarterback, lack an entrenched starter at tailback, and field a wide receiver corps that has seen its biggest contributor moved to defense. How might that hamper the conference’s tenth-best offensive coordinator? Likewise, how might Georgia’s suspect special teams be harmed by the need to replace Drew Butler and Blair Walsh with two true freshman specialists? It’s enough to make Mark Richt cuss!
This is nuts. Georgia isn’t the No. 6 team in the country. Heck, I’m not so sure it isn’t a stretch to say the Bulldogs are the No. 16 team in the country. There are question marks all over the place, and, notwithstanding the success seen in some quarters by those with special incentives to trumpet the “soft schedule” meme, there simply is no such thing as an easy junket through an eight-game SEC gauntlet. While I appreciate the deference shown by my fellow BlogPollsters, I would simply state that, if they really think the Red and Black are the No. 6 team in the nation, they should be grateful that SB Nation hasn’t adopted the University of Georgia’s drug testing policy.