The best thing about football preseasons is nobody has lost a game yet and therefore anybody can say pretty much anything about any team or conference and not be wrong … at least until kickoff.
So with that as a disclaimer, here’s this: If the preseason Top 25 college football coaches’ poll that was released Thursday turns out to be somewhat accurate, Georgia Tech will play a much tougher schedule this season than Georgia.
The poll not surprisingly listed Alabama (49 first-place votes), Ohio State (5) Florida State (4) as the top three teams, with Clemson (7) being picked fifth behind (I say overrated) USC. Georgia is ranked 15th, and Tech ranked among those in the “also receiving votes” category (18th among those teams).
Looking at the poll and the schedules of the local teams, here’s how it breaks down:
• Georgia Tech plays five teams ranked in the poll and two others who received votes: Clemson (5), Georgia (15), Miami (18), Virginia Tech (22) and Tennessee (24) in the Top 25, as well as Pittsburgh and North Carolina.
The Jackets’ other five opponents are Jacksonville State, Central Florida, Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke.
• Georgia plays only three teams in the poll and three that received votes: Auburn (13), Florida (16) and Tennessee (24) in the Top 25, and Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech.
The Bulldogs’ other six opponents are Appalachian State, Samford, Vanderbilt, Missouri, South Carolina and Kentucky.
Of course, most of this goes to perceived strength of conference, and ACC coaches are all about gloating these days, since Clemson (ACC) beat Alabama (SEC) in the last college football championship game, and there wasn’t another SEC team after Alabama in the final top 12 of either poll in 2016-17.
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State: “We’ve been a tremendous basketball conference, now we’ve become a great football conference. … In my opinion, the best one in both.”
The Dogs would appear to have an easier road to success this season. But that won’t factor in the weeks of the Auburn, Tennessee and Florida games.
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