The preseason Coaches poll was released today and the Georgia Bulldogs check in at 22. I was not sure that the Dawgs would even be ranked this season after finishing the 2010 season with an ugly loss to Central Florida and suffering through an off season of losing starters from last year's team (through graduation, early draft entry, or just plain stupidity).
But being ranked 22 feels about right for the Dawgs headed into this season. There are 8 teams from the SEC ranked in the top 25 and only Florida (at 23) was ranked lower. Alabama and LSU are both national title contenders and who knows what will happen at South Carolina and Miss State. The beauty thing of being the SEC is that you can rise from a low preseason ranking to the top just by winning games. Look no further than last season for proof.
In 2010, Auburn began the season ranked #22 in the coaches' poll. They struggled early against Mississippi State, nearly lost to Kentucky, and were down three scores to Georgia and Alabama. but their ability to make it through the SEC unbeaten allowed them to ascend to the top of the polls.
While I seriously doubt Georgia will be playing in a BCS bowl this season, a trip to Atlanta is not out of the question. Wins over Boise State and South Carolina in the first two weeks of the season would most likely jump the Dawgs into the top 15 (if not the top 10). And considering Georgia avoids Bama, Arkansas, and LSU on the schedule this fall, they may find themselves ranked highly by the time the Florida game rolls around.
Here's to wishful thinking!