Consensus: Bulldogs to finish ahead of Jackets

But college football pollsters like Gators to repeat as national champs

If preseason polls are to be believed, Georgia Tech will be the second-best football team in the ACC in 2009 and Georgia will be fifth among SEC teams. Yet the Bulldogs will finish ahead of the Yellow Jackets in the final polls.

That's the consensus of opinion when considering the predictions of five of the most recognized preseason college football forecast publications — Athlon,, Lindy's, Phil Steele and The Sporting News.

All of them like Florida to repeat as national champions as each of them put the Gators No. 1. Texas, Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Virginia Tech round out the top five when averaging the ranking among the five predictions.

Georgia Tech, which returns 17 starters from last year's 9-4 squad, got its highest ranking of 11 from The Sporting News but was not ranked among the Top 25 by Phil Steele. The Jackets' average from the other four media outlets is No. 16.

Virginia Tech, with an average ranking of 7, is expected to win that league.

Georgia, with an average ranking of 15, comes in behind Florida (1.0), Ole Miss (7.4), Alabama (8.4) and LSU (12) in the SEC. Phil Steele has the Bulldogs, who finished 10-3, at No. 13 and Lindy's at 17 with the others all picking in between.

All five preseason football publications are now on newsstands and online.