Expectations are high at Georgia entering the 2023 season. The Bulldogs have their own lofty standard to play up to, as is this case every season.
But Georgia also has plenty of national expectations, with the Bulldogs landing at No. 1 in the 2023 Preseason AP Poll.
The Bulldogs had 60 of the 63 first-place votes. Georgia also came in at No. 1 in the first Coaches Poll of the season, which was released on Aug. 7.
Behind Georgia was Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State at No. 3, Alabama at No. 4 and LSU sliding in at No. 5.
The Bulldogs have ended the last two seasons as the No. 1 team in the country, winning back-to-back national championships in the process.
No team has won three consecutive national championships in the AP Poll era. Kirby Smart knows winning it all again won’t be easy, even with a team that is as talented as Georgia.
“I think so many people make an assumption off of last year’s team and their accomplishments,” Smart said after Georgia’s first scrimmage. “This team, number one, I asked them after the scrimmage and after we ran, what have you done to deserve anything you’ve gotten? And they’ve done nothing. They’ve done nothing. And we’ve got to get the right guys in the right spots, find the guys that can really tough it out and compete.”
Georgia does bring back key contributors in Brock Bowers, Sedrick Van Pran and Javon Bullard. The Bulldogs will be breaking in a new quarterback, with Carson Beck the most likely option to start right now. Georgia also has a new offensive coordinator in Mike Bobo and the Bulldogs have to replace 10 NFL draft picks.
A season ago, Georgia debuted as the No. 3 team in the country before going 15-0. In 2021, Georgia began the season as the No. 5 ranked team. This is the highest preseason ranking for a Smart team. The last time Georgia started the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the AP Poll was in 2008. Georgia went 10-3 that season.
The last time a team won the national championship after starting the season as the No. 1 team in the AP Poll was Alabama in 2017.
Georgia’s schedule only sees the Bulldogs play two ranked teams. The Nov. 18 trip to No. 10 Tennessee certainly seems to be the toughest game on Georgia’s regular season schedule to this point.
The Bulldogs open the 2023 season on Sept. 2 against UT-Martin. You can see the full Preseason AP Poll below.
2023 AP Poll Preseason Top 25
- Georgia (60)
- Michigan (2)
- Ohio State (1)
- Penn State
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Kansas State
- Oregon State
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M