I was off this past weekend, but Tim Tucker filled in and reported on all the goings-on with the Bulldogs, including their inclusion in the top-fifth of The Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll, which was released Saturday.
Anyway, Guilbeau and I go way back. I’ve known him forever it seems and have a great deal of respect his work. Right now he covers LSU and has primarily during his career. But he has also covered Auburn and Alabama during different incarnations. Anyway, he’s a respected peer and a good friend I always enjoy hanging out with whenever our paths cross on the SEC road.
So when I saw Guilbeau had cast the one and only vote for Georgia as No. 1, I had to give my old buddy a call and find out what he was thinking. And he was quite strong in his convictions. In fact, he said he expected that more voters would cast the Bulldogs No. 1.
“I was surprised (more didn’t),” Glenn told me. “Georgia easily could have won it all last year and they return most of their offense and (Aaron) Murray from that team. And I think it’s good that they don’t return that defense. Sometimes it’s better when you don’t return players from a bad unit, you know? So I think that’s a good thing, too. And I just think it might be their turn. I think that’s what happens; sometimes it’s just a team’s turn.”
Interesting point about Georgia’s defense, for sure. Guilbeau thinks it should help the Bulldogs to be working with seven new starters in 2013. And, of course, he expects a lot of big things out of Georgia’s offense as well, which could help mask any defensive issues.
But Guilbeau said the biggest reaction he got was not for picking the Bulldogs first, but picking Alabama second.
“You’d think I didn’t even put them in the poll based on what I’ve been hearing from Bama fans,” he said with a laugh. “They were all over me immediately on Twitter. I’m like, ‘you do realize if you’re No. 2 that means you’re going to make the game.’”
So that you know, nobody at The AJC votes on the AP poll anymore. We stopped back in the early 2000s when schools and sometimes coaches themselves started lobbying us to vote their teams high in an effort to get into the BCS Championship. I’m not making an editorial statement about that decision or the decisions of others, just informing that we were among several newspapers that adopted such a policy at that time and have continued it.
In any case, it’s still always interesting to see the preseason poll and hear voters’ logic for picking the way they did. We all know it’s nothing but conjecture, but it always serves its purpose, which is to generate interest in the upcoming season.
And it is right upon us at this point. With Saturday’s practice and Fans Picture Day, the Bulldogs have completed 16 preseason practices. They’ll hold No. 17 Monday afternoon at Woodruff Practice Fields, at which they will move fully into the installation phase of camp.
As of Monday, Georgia will start installing its game plan for the Aug. 31 opener against Clemson (the Tigers were No. 8 in said poll). On Wednesday the Bulldogs will hold their first of two “dress rehearsal” scrimmages. Come next week they’ll fall into the regular game-week routine, which they’ll repeat at least 12 times going forward.
Fourteen, if Guilbeau knows what he’s talking about.
It was at turns clunky and hard to watch, but it was entirely sweet.Georgia Tech played perhaps its most memorable game in the young history of McCamish Pavilion, rallying from 12 points down with less than seven minutes to go and four down with just over a minute left to claim a 67-64 win over Illinois on Tuesday night.