Georgia Football: Predicting Where the Bulldogs Rank in the AP Preseason Poll

Brian JonesContributor IAugust 16, 2012

November 6, 2009; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs mascot UGA VIII walks the sidelines against the Idaho State Bengals in the first half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Idaho State 55-7. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

September 1 is only weeks away, and all the preseason predictions from different experts and publications from all across the country have been released and discussed for the last couple of months.

But there is one more preseason prediction to be released, and that is the AP preseason poll, which will be released on Saturday.

Many are wondering who will be the No. 1 team. For Georgia Bulldogs fans, they know they will be in the top 10. But they are wondering: Could the Bulldogs crack the top five, or will they be just outside of it like in the USA Today coaches' poll?

The Bulldogs are No. 6 in the coaches' poll as well as the Power Rankings. The teams in front of them are also very similar.

The coaches and the ESPN powers-that-be think that Oregon, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU and USC will be better than the Bulldogs. This is not a surprise to Bulldogs fans because Alabama and LSU are clearly the two best teams in the SEC, Oregon looks to have a strong season, Oklahoma should win the Big 12 with ease and if there is any team that can win the National Championship that is not from the SEC, it would probably be the Trojans.

The four teams that are behind the Bulldogs are nearly similar as well for the two polls.

The USA Today poll has Florida State at No. 7, Michigan at No. 8, South Carolina at No. 9 and Arkansas at No. 10. ESPN differs by having West Virginia at No. 9 and South Carolina at No. 10.

This should also not surprise Georgia fans. Talent-wise, the Bulldogs are better than Arkansas and South Carolina because the Bulldogs have virtually everyone coming back from last year—a group that won 10 games.

Florida State looks to be much improved from last year, and the same can be said for Michigan. However, the Wolverines could be out of the top 10 after Week 1 because they play Alabama to open the season. And the Seminoles have a lot to prove after a disappointing 2011 season.

If one were to predict where the Bulldogs will rank in the AP Poll, No. 6 would be the most likely choice.

It also would not be a surprise if they were to fall at No. 7 or No. 8 due to the suspensions of the defensive players and the loss of Isaiah Crowell. But the Bulldogs should come in at No. 6—the loss of Crowell and the suspensions won’t hurt the team that much early in the season. The first quarter of the schedule for the Bulldogs is not as tough as the second half of the year, and by that time, everyone who is suspended should be back on the field.

When it comes to the preseason polls, it's not how a team starts—it’s all about where a team is at when the season comes to an end. The Bulldogs may like the fact they are a top-10 team, but they want to be looking down on everyone else when December 2 arrives.