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Kirby Smart and Georgia will look to make it back to the College Football Playoff for another season.

AP Poll: Georgia to begin the season ranked No. 3

The first AP Poll of the season is out, and the voters seem to think very highly of the Georgia Bulldogs.

In the first edition of the 2018 season, Georgia came in ranked No. 3, behind only Alabama and Clemson and. Georgia, Alabama and Clemson all made the playoff last season. In the 2017 AP preseason poll, Georgia was ranked No. 15 to start the season.

Georgia was ranked No. 4 in the initial Coaches Poll. Alabama came in at No. 1 in that poll as well. This is the highest Georgia has ranked since it began the season ranked No. 1 to start the 2008 season.

Of the opponents on Georgia’s schedule, Auburn came in at No. 9, while LSU came in at No. 25. A total of 5 SEC teams were ranked, as Mississippi State came in at No. 18.

Below you can see the full AP poll.

AP Poll: Preseason Poll rankings

The Bulldogs have a number of key players to replace from last year’s team, most importantly Roquan Smith, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. All three of those players were taken in the first 35 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft, as was offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn. But Kirby Smart brought in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, and with Jake Fromm returning Georgia is stacked with as much talent as it was a season ago.

Georgia did suffer a setback of sorts on this past weekend, as star freshman running back Zamir White tore his ACL while covering a punt. White was the No. 1 running back in the 2018 recruiting cycle. But Georgia has a number of talented running backs, like sophomore D’Andre Swift and junior Elijah Holyfield, so the Bulldogs and Kirby Smart should be able to offset the loss of White.

The Bulldogs open the season on Sept. 1 when they take on Austin Peay. That game is set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.