As all avid college football fans know, the USA Today Coaches Poll came out on friday. To my surprise, I found that the Georgia Bulldogs were ranked ahead of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at No. 13.
As someone who loves to write about sports, numbers are very important to me. Unfortunately, I could care less about numbers when confined within a classroom.
When I heard that the Dawgs were No. 13, I began to think about the significance of the number pertaining to Georgia football. And then I found it:
Normally, 13 is considered an unlucky number, but in the Mark Richt era, a No. 13 preseason ranking has been a sign of good things to come.
In 2005, the Coaches poll ranked the Bulldogs No. 13. A lot of the reasoning behind that mid-Top 25 ranking was because of unproven quarterback DJ Shockley.
As we all know, the 2005 team exceeded expectations as Shockley and company led Georgia to an SEC Championship, a Sugar Bowl bid, and No. 10 ranking in the final polls.
Yet another Bulldog squad that started the season at No. 13 was the 2007 squad led by first-round draft picks Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno.
That team started the season shaky and lost to South Carolina and Tennessee (a loss that kept them from playing in the SEC and National Titles).
However, the Dawgs went on to win their final eight games, including a 41-10 thrashing of the Hawaii Warriors in the Sugar Bowl.
The 2007 Bulldogs ended the season ranked No. 2 and were arguably the best team in the country that year.
As the Georgia team enters the 2009 season, the expectations are much lower than last season. Joe Cox is an unproven quarterback, and the defense is suspect.
This team has the potential to be great, and if history tells us anything, the No. 13 is Georgia football's lucky number.