Players reported to camp in Athens yesterday and begin practice today. It is football season, and there's no denying it. Another sure sign of the return of college pigskin is the annual coaches' poll, now sponsored by Amway. I'm very excited about this. It will probably change my life. And later change yours, just ask me about it!
But I digress. There really aren't a lot of surprises at the top of the poll, where the defending National Champs from FSU remain at the top with the Alabama Crimson Tide right behind them. Oklahoma sits at number three and fair warning, I think they're pretty easily the most overrated team in the top ten. Remember 2007 Georgia destroying Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl? Remember that same team returning most of its big name contributors and falling flat after being ranked #1 to start 2008? The coaches who voted in this poll don't, overrating a bowl win over a disinterested Alabama squad.Oklahoma does have a fairly favorable schedule, getting every contender on their Big XII slate at home.
Auburn at #6 looks about right to me. In year two of the Malzahn era Auburn should start a lot faster than they did in 2013 (when they improved more over the course of the season than any team has a right to). South Carolina at #9 likewise isn't much of a stretch. With a veteran offensive line, Mike Davis at tailback, and Dylan Thompson more experienced than most first year starters, the Gamecocks should probably be the SEC East favorite for every prognosticator who doesn't select the Georgia Bulldogs.
The'Dawgs check in at a pedestrian #12, which is just fine with me. It's close enough to the top that if the Red and Black win they'll be in the playoff discussion when the top comes. But it's low enough that the ranking itself is not a distraction. I'll take it, and I think it's relatively accurate. Every team outside the top five has real questions, and the teams at ten through fifteen have fairly big questions. Georgia needs to break in a new defense, with a lot of new faces. The offensive line was inconsistent in 2013 and lost three seniors to boot. And Hutson Mason is still relatively new under center. Twelve sounds pretty decent in light of that. The full poll results are as follows*:
|Rank||Team (click to visit SB Nation team site)||Points||First-place votes|
- Also receiving votes: Missouri 126; Florida 122; Central Florida 102; Mississippi State 74; Oklahoma State 56; TCU 54; Michigan 53; Iowa 49; Miami (Fla.) 45; Duke 41; Louisville 32; Marshall 27; Brigham Young 18; Boise State 13; Louisiana-Lafayette 12; Virginia Tech 12; Texas Tech 8; Minnesota 6; Cincinnati 6; Northwestern 5; Oregon State 4; Fresno State 4; GeorgiaTech 2; Houston 2; Arkansas 1; Arizona 1; Northern Illinois 1.
- What jumps out at you from this initial poll? Let us know in the comments. Until later . . .
- Go 'Dawgs!!!
- *Georgia Tech got significantly fewer votes than Louisiana-Lafayette and Duke. LOL.