Despite winning two national titles, the Georgia Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25 college football poll.
The AP poll released on Monday revealed that Georgia secured 60 out of 63 first-place votes, with the goal of becoming the first team to win three consecutive national championships. This is the second time in recent memory that Atlanta has been the preseason No. 1, joining the 2008 squad.
No. 2 Michigan and no.3 Ohio State also took home first-place votes, while the top five are held by No 4 Alabama and No 5. LSU.
Michigan is chasing its first national title since 1997 and has the highest preseason ranking in the state’s history since 1991, making it only the second time in 11 seasons that Ohio State has not held the top spot among Big Ten teams in those conditions.
Alabama’s position outside the preseason top three is a first since 2009, when it won the national championship and started in fifth place.
Despite losing its national championship to Georgia and finishing last season at No. 2, TCU is ranked No 17 in the preseason.
The preseason AP Top 25 poll is available in full.
Georgia has a total of 60 schools, with Michigan and Ohio State being the top two.
The Athletic’s immediate analysis:
Will Michigan be able to overtake Georgia in 2023, according to the AP Top 25’s predictions?
The pursuit of history by Georgia.
The Bulldogs have not won three consecutive national championships since the AP poll began in 1936, when Minnesota was voted No. 1 after winning non-poll national title titles in 1934 and 1935. Although some teams have made it unlikely, like Alabama and Nebraska who refused to win a three-peat in 2005, there has been no success at all for those teams over the years.
Although the team that is ranked No. 1 in the preseason is usually a contender, it rarely secures the title. Georgia has won two championships after being rated third and fifth in both pre-seasons. The only teams to have won national titles in all 50 years are the ones who finished in first place or on the top seven in each of the past 10 teams.
What are the steps to three-peat in Georgia?
The most crucial thing is to avoid complacency. After winning the first championship, Kirby Smart and Nolan Smith were able to make up lies about not being selected for CFP again last year. This year, there are no such sources of motivation as these rankings and other top 10 teams demonstrate.
Georgia’s schedule is not favorable as they won’t have to face Clemson or Oregon to start the season. Instead, they will play a series of games at UT Martin, which should not be too daunting for naughty players with Georgia’s talent. There are no apparent weaknesses in the schedule, except for concerns about starting Jeremy Young, but some uncertainties may arise over time. Smart has decided to focus on his team and its future, according to his statement after Saturday’scheduled preseason scrimmage.
Smart stated that their primary focus was on playing against Georgia, not the other teams.
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images: Brock Bowers’s picture