ATHENS — Georgia was ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press preseason poll released Monday. The defending national champion Bulldogs received the same ranking in the USA Today coaches’ poll released earlier this month.
That matches the highest preseason ranking in the Kirby Smart era. The Bulldogs were also ranked No. 3 in 2018 and 2019. Georgia was ranked No. 5 in both polls last season.
It’s the fifth consecutive season the Bulldogs will open the season ranked in the Top 5. Smart’s first two UGA teams were ranked No. 18 and 15, respectively, in the AP poll.
The Bulldogs received three first-place votes in Monday’s poll. They have been ranked No. 1 in the preseason just once in school history. That was in 2008, when they opened No. 1 in both polls. They finished 13th and 10th, respectively.
Georgia was one of six SEC teams ranked in the AP’s first Top 25. Alabama is No. 1, followed by No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 20 Kentucky and No. 21 Ole Miss. Of those teams, the Bulldogs are scheduled to play only Kentucky (Nov. 19 in Lexington).
Of course, the only rankings that matter anymore are the College Football Playoff rankings. Those don’t come out until late October.
Georgia was ranked No. 1 for eight consecutive weeks last season. After moving to No. 1 in both polls on Oct. 11, the Bulldogs stayed there until losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship game. They retook the top spot after defeating the Crimson Tide 33-18 in the CFP championship game on Jan. 10.
Georgia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Oregon in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff (3:30 p.m., ABC). The Ducks were ranked No. 11 by the AP.
AP TOP 25
2. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma State
13. N.C. State
15. Michigan State
21. Ole Miss
22. Wake Forest
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