High rankings have made for hard falls in recent years for the Georgia football program.
It seems as if whenever the Bulldogs climb into the highest reaches of national polls, a bad loss quickly follows.
With the quarterback situation the way it is at Georgia this season, with potentially three players battling for the No. 1 spot, it would seem as if this would be a year where the Bulldogs wouldn’t have to worry about starting with a high ranking.
Wouldn’t the quarterback mystery scare off poll voters? Not necessarily, a national publication points out.
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Phil Steele published a consensus national ranking list Monday on his website, www.philsteele.com. The list is a compilation of rankings from Lindy’s, ESPN, Athlon, Bill Connelly S&P+, the Fremeau Efficiency Index and College Football News. The list ranks all 128 FBS teams.
The top five on the list is pretty much a rerun of last year’s bowl season. The top three are Ohio State, Alabama and Oregon, with Baylor and TCU following.
At first glance, the No. 6 ranking makes for some high expectations. Drill down a bit, however, and the predictions are all over the place.
Lindy’s and Athlon have Georgia in 10th, while College Football News has Georgia in 12th. Connelly’s S&P+ rankings, however, have Georgia in third, and Fremeau has Georgia in fifth.
If that looks like prediction via dart board, then look at the quarterback situations of the teams above Georgia in the composite:
Ohio State: Pick a quarterback, any quarterback. The Buckeyes used three last year in winning the national title, and the contest to see who ends up starting the opener hasn’t been settled.
Alabama: Jacob Coker was the incumbent after serving as the primary backup last season, but David Cornwell is putting up a strong challenge, with others also in the mix. Coker hasn’t nailed down the job yet.
Oregon: Vernon Adams Jr. is transferring in from Eastern Washington, where he averaged 348 passing yards per game last season, and he could have the inside track on Marcus Mariota’s former job. Mariota’s backup, Jeff Lockie, is also competing.
Baylor: Bryce Petty moved on after back-to-back Big 12 titles. His understudy, fourth-year junior Seth Russell, entered spring practice as the Bears’ starter and essentially secured the job with his spring performance.
TCU: After prevailing in a position battle last year, Trevone Boykin returns after throwing for 3,901 yards and 33 touchdowns.
After looking at those quarterback situations, Georgia’s battle doesn’t appear to be all that unusual. Sure, Georgia fans want someone who can set the world on fire, or at least keep things going until Jacob Eason arrives next year. But uncertainty under center shouldn’t automatically translate to a disappointing season.
Sure, a bar set too high might not be attainable. We’ve seen Georgia fall short of high expectations plenty of times in recent years. But with no runaway favorite in the SEC East, anything’s possible.
Contact Ron Seibel at 744-4222 or firstname.lastname@example.org