Georgia opens at No. 4 in peculiar preseason rankings

Georgia was picked No. 4 in the Associated Press college football preseason Top 25 poll – or No. 3 sans the asterisks.

The annual media poll chose to include teams whose conferences voted not to play football this year. The thought was that the poll would show the players who had no say-so in whether they’d play ball this year the expectations media had for their teams this season.

Those teams won’t be included in the poll once the actual season gets under way. That is scheduled to start with a Sun Belt conference game Sept. 3. SEC teams will begin play Sept. 26, unless the coronavirus pandemic causes a cancellation.

Georgia also was picked No. 4 in the USA Today coaches’ poll, which was released before the Big Ten and Pac-12 voted not to play this season. Ohio State, a Big Ten Conference member, was picked ahead of the Bulldogs at No. 2 in both polls.

Clemson was picked No. 1 in the new AP poll, and Alabama is No. 3. Penn State at No. 7 and Oregon at No. 9 were also included in the AP top 10, but won’t play this year.

Georgia has begun the past three seasons under coach Kirby Smart ranked among the nation’s top four teams. The Bulldogs have finished second, eighth and fourth, respectively, while posting a 36-7 record over that span.

The Bulldogs were picked third in both polls last year. They finished 12-2 after losing to South Carolina in the regular season and eventual national champion LSU in the SEC Championship game and defeating Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia is scheduled to open the SEC’s conference-only season Sept. 26 with a road game against Arkansas.


1. Clemson

2. Ohio State*

3. Alabama

4. Georgia

5. Oklahoma

6. LSU

7. Penn State*

8. Florida

9. Oregon*

10. Notre Dame

11. Auburn

12. Wisconsin*

13. Texas A&M

14. Texas

15. Oklahoma State

16. Michigan*

17. USC*

18. North Carolina

19. Minnesota*

20. Cincinnati

21. Central Florida

22. Utah*

23. Iowa State

24. Iowa*

25. Tennessee