Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart shake hands after Georgia Tech won 28-27 over Georgia at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, November 26, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Paul Johnson ranked among top 40 college football coaches of 2017

On Sporting News' list of the top 130 college football coaches for the 2017 season, both Kirby Smart and Paul Johnson landed in the top 40.

Georgia Tech coach landed the No. 35 spot on the list, while Georgia’s second-year coach landed two spots higher at No. 37.

After a 9-4 season, Johnson moved 12 spots from the No. 47 ranking in 2016, but Smart— who finished his first season with the Bulldogs 8-5—remained at the No. 37 spot.

“Smart didn’t move up or down after his first season with Georgia, but the Bulldogs will likely be picked to win the SEC East in 2017,” Sporting News’ Bill Bender wrote. “Can Smart move up the ladder by delivering on those high expectations?”

Alabama coach Nick Saban headlined Bender’s list at No. 1 while former Georgia coach Mark Richt landed the No. 9 spot on the list for his 9-4 season at Miami.

Georgia Southern coach Tyson Summers was ranked No. 111 and Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott took the No. 119 spot.

Bender’s complete coaches rankings can be read on Sporting News’ website.

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