When the preseason Associated Press football poll was revealed on Saturday, there was just one team in the top 25 that was coming off a losing season: Georgia.
In fact Georgia, which was 22nd in the coaches poll that came out several weeks ago, was three spots higher in the writers ranking.
Head coach Mark Richt was asked if it felt like his was a top 20 team.
“We are now,” he said.
Georgia was one of a record eight SEC teams in the top 25. The Bulldogs play only half of them: No. 12 South Carolina, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 22 Florida and No. 23 Auburn.
The others are No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 LSU and No. 15 Arkansas.
But the Bulldogs open with Boise State, which starts the season ranked No. 5, and got two first-place votes.
“We just knew they’d be highly-ranked,” Richt said. “It’s an opportunity to play a top 10 team, now a top five team in the AP, which is a big deal.”
“Off past experience, those teams have earned those rankings,” junior linebacker Christian Robinson said of Boise State and South Carolina, his team’s opening two opponents. “They’re gonna be tough to play. It’s gonna be a hyped up game obviously, but at the same time we have to treat them like any other team.”