The preseason polls came out recently and the Georgia Bulldogs were ranked at No. 6 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today coaches’ poll. Not too shabby, considering the way Georgia ended the season with two losses and seven players being drafted to the NFL. It has been a while since the Bulldogs were that high in the polls -- preseason or otherwise. The players we spoke to said it was a good start and they want to prove that they are worthy of the voters’ confidence. Mark Richt said he wished the polls came out later. He also spoke about how he votes in the coaches’ poll. With that in mind, our DawgNation Roundtable discussion question is:
“Do you agree with Georgia being ranked at No. 6? Also, what is your view on having head coaches vote in a poll?”
David Ching: Ranking Georgia somewhere between six and 10 feels about right to me. I think the Bulldogs have the potential to be better than that, but there are a few programs ranked ahead of them that have been better at sustaining success through the last several seasons. Going into the season, ranking sixth sets the bar high, but not too high for a program that still has a lot to prove.
I think having the coaches' poll factor into who plays for a national title is a complete sham. Same with the Harris Poll and the Associated Press poll when it was part of the equation. My objection is particularly strong with the coaches, though, since they have the greatest motive to politicize their votes. We've seen it happen plenty already. I'm glad all of that is going away in two years, when the BCS as we know it will be no more. I'm sure the new system will have its flaws as well, but the way college football has determined its champion up to this point is simply ridiculous.
Radi Nabulsi: When I heard that Georgia was at No. 6, my initial thought was that the ranking was too high. But when I looked at the other teams listed behind the Bulldogs, I thought it made sense. Georgia is getting the benefit of the doubt based on its defense and skill players. Looking at six through 10 -- Georgia, FSU, Michigan South Carolina and Arkansas-- I think you could rearrange those teams in any order and it would be fair. Were I to vote, I think I would put Georgia behind Michigan and ahead of the others simply because of its schedule.
As for the coaches voting in a poll, I think it is the worst idea I have seen in a long time. It reminds me of a criminal getting a vote in his parole hearing. We have seen coaches admit to letting others fill out their ballets and we know that they have little time to make an honest assessment of the games. Richt said last week, “I can’t watch all those games. I watch highlights, and I’ll read some line scores and I do make my vote.” A casual perusal of a highlight package should not be the basis of a poll that is going to determine who plays in what bowl game.
Kipp Adams: Even though I give preseason polls little merit, I can see some reasons that favor a high ranking for the Bulldogs: returning nine starters from a top-five defense, coming off a 10-win season and an SEC East title, plenty of star power with Aaron Murray and Jarvis Jones. The schedule is favorable, which means pollsters feel comfortable that another 10 wins or more and another shot at playing for the SEC Championship in December is within reach.
I honestly do not know how college head coaches find time to fulfill their daily responsibilities as it is, much less watch any meaningful games involving other colleges. Unless they see something that stands out, it is very likely they are going with the flow in regards to submitting their votes for the Coaches' Poll, and this it should be not be considered anything more than a casual poll. Giving it credence, much less a voice in any postseason games, should not be warranted. A former college coaches' poll would likely make much more since.
Steve in Athens: I don't agree with the polls that Georgia should be No. 6. I think they should be a little higher. No. 4 would be my vote based on Georgia having one of the best, if not the best, defenses in the FBS. And although the schedule is favorable for a great season, SEC competition is no pushover. I see them being 11-1 winding up the season.
RJ in Huntsville, Ala.: Preseason polls are for conversation and no real list should come out until after a couple of games have been played. Ignoring that, I'd say the ranking is a little high. The team lost to its four toughest opponents last season and is breaking in a new offensive line as well as new special teams players from a unit that was less than adequate last year. Georgia is ranked high due to its schedule as much as anything else. But looking at FSU's schedule, you could easily rank them higher. I would have put Georgia in the 10-15 range until they prove on the field they can win some big games.
The coach question is a tough one. I'd rather a playoff over coaches and I'd rather the coaches vote over writers with credentials of which I am unsure. I say this with the caveat that coaches have to put real thought into the last poll. I don't care if they just vote with little thought during the season, as long as with the one that counts they do some research.
Jay Spears: I don't think the coaches should vote. The coaches could probably rate the teams they play, but they are so busy getting ready for their games that they can't have enough time to evaluate all the other teams.
Want to see your opinion in the next DawgNation Roundtable? Visit The Pound every Tuesday for the Question of the Week and write a brief response. Each week we will choose one answer to be included. Responses that appear in the Roundtable will be edited for clarity. We look forward to hearing from you.