Georgia Bulldogs move up to No. 2 in both polls

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

ATHENS — On the heels of Saturday’s 10-3 win over then-No. 3-ranked Clemson, the Georgia Bulldogs moved to No. 2 in the coaches’ and media polls Tuesday.

The coaches moved up the Bulldogs (1-0) from No. 5 in the Week 1 poll. Clemson (0-1) fell to No. 6.

Georgia also moved to No. 2 from No. 5 in The Associated Press poll, which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recognizes until College Football Playoff rankings come out in November. Writers and broadcasters vote in the AP poll.

No. 2 is Georgia’s highest ranking since Week 4 of last season, when it was ranked No. 2 by the AP following a 44-21 win over Tennessee. The Bulldogs lost to Alabama 41-24 the following week, then fell to No. 5 in the rankings. They finished at No. 7 last season.

Georgia’s highest final ranking in recent years was No. 2 at the end of the 2017 season when it lost to Alabama in overtime in the CFP Championship game. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the CFP rankings for two weeks toward the end of the regular season that year.

The Bulldogs will put their new ranking on the line Saturday when they play host to Alabama-Birmingham in the home opener at Sanford Stadium (3:30 p.m., ESPN2). The Blazers, coached by Bill Clark, are 1-0 following their 31-0 win over Jacksonville State. They played that game a week ago Wednesday, so they will have had an extra three days to prepare for Saturday’s game.

“We’re playing a good football team; I know none of y’all believe me when I say that,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Monday. “I know a good football team, I know a good conference and I know a well-coached football team when I see one. Watching them on tape, they are very well-coached. ... We are worried about UAB.”

UAB will be the last of Georgia’s non-conference opponents for a while. After UAB, the Bulldogs embark on a stretch of eight consecutive SEC games. That starts with South Carolina at Sanford Stadium on Sept. 18 and ends with Tennessee in Knoxville on Nov. 13.

Georgia played the highest-ranked opponent of last week’s top 10 teams. While the Bulldogs were not able to record an offensive touchdown, pollsters apparently appreciated a defensive effort that limited Clemson to 180 total yards, two yards rushing and recorded seven quarterback sacks by six different players.

The Bulldogs and quarterback JT Daniels hope to get their offense on track against a UAB defense that allowed only 155 total yards and 64 rushing against Jacksonville State.

The AP poll normally comes out on Sunday afternoons during the season. But this week it was released Tuesday as major college games were being played Sunday night between Florida State and Notre Dame and Monday between Ole Miss and Louisville in Atlanta. It will return to a Sunday distribution next week.

Both the AP and coaches rankings don’t figure into postseason determinations anymore. The first CFP rankings this year won’t come out until Nov. 2.

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