Georgia Tech will begin the season ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll, released Sunday. As is the case with the coaches poll, it’s the first time that the Yellow Jackets have been ranked in the preseason since 2010. Tech is No. 17 in the coaches poll.
It’s recognition of the high expectations for the Jackets, who finished the 2014 with an 11-3 record and an Orange Bowl victory. Tech returns eight starters on defense and five on offense, including quarterback Justin Thomas.
Tech is ranked third among the three ACC teams in the top 25, following Florida State at No. 10 and Clemson at No. 12. The Jackets play four ranked teams, No. 9 Georgia, No. 11 Notre Dame, Florida State and Clemson. Two of the four games - Notre Dame and Clemson - will be on the road for Tech. Virginia Tech is the only other Jackets opponent to receive votes; the Hokies were fourth among teams outside of the top 25.
It’s the 12th time that Tech has appeared in the A.P. preseason poll, which was instituted in 1950. Tech has been included eight times since coach Bobby Dodd’s retirement after the 1966 season. Three have been since the hire of coach Paul Johnson before the 2008 season.