A rather strong consensus is emerging: Georgia will enter the season ranked midway through most Top 25s but not in many Top 10s. (There are exceptions, as we’ll see.)
Sports Illustrated just revealed its Top 25, and SI has Georgia No. 12, with three SEC teams ahead of it, South Carolina included. ESPN The Magazine likewise has the Bulldogs No. 12, also with three SEC teams ranked higher, South Carolina among them. That dovetails with the USA Today coaches’ poll, which had Georgia — do I detect a theme emerging? — No. 12 in the land and fourth in the SEC.
As for the exceptions: Sporting News has Georgia No. 15. (It’s also the only outlet I’ve seen that doesn’t have Florida State No. 1. SN goes with Oklahoma.) The idiosyncratic Phil Steele has the Bulldogs No. 7 and picks them to win the SEC East. (He also considers Georgia the team most apt to surprise — in a good way — as was previously noted in this space.)
And then there are the AJC’s own rankings, as lovingly and laboriously compiled by yours truly. We’ve been counting down the Top 25 in the College Football Extra section of our Today’s Paper app, and as of this morning we’d gotten to No. 10 (South Carolina). Georgia’s name hasn’t yet been called. I’m fairly certain it will be soon.