Preseason numbers: Is Urban Meyer holding a grudge against Georgia?
ATHENS — Poll, predictions and preseason all-star teams are ultimately meaningless, but they do provide some insight into how a program is viewed and or/respected by voters.
So it is that Georgia football fans might take some interest in learning who their doubters are before what shapes up as a championship season.
The Fox College Football team of experts, headed by former Florida and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, made it abundantly clear they have their doubts about the Bulldogs.
Six of the seven on the panel of experts picked Florida to finish ahead of Georgia this week, including fans that voted in.
Meyer, who coached the Gators from 2005-2010, went so far a to pick the Gators as his No. 1 team ahead of Alabama and Georgia.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 27, 2020
Meyer went 5-1 against the Bulldogs while he was at Florida. But the one game he lost in the series in 2007, 42-30, left a sour taste in his mouth.
Could Meyer be holding a grudge from that UGA end zone celebration dance? Richt later explained it wasn’t intended to include the whole team.
Meyer explained on the show he just feels very strongly about Dan Mullen and the Gators having a returning quarterback.
“Dan Mullen is a winner, he won at Mississippi State, a very hard place to play, he’s got an elite culture,” Meyer said. “And the two other criteria to have, returning quarterback, and returning system. LSU, Alabama,Georgia, all lose their quarterback. And with the limited spring practice and all the other issues we’ve had during this lockdown, that’s why I’m picking Florida.”
None of the other Fox College Football panelists picked the Bulldogs higher than third in the SEC, either.
Reggie Bush, the sole Fox College Football panelist who picked UGA to finish ahead of Florida, had LSU as his No. 1 team in the league followed by Alabama and then Georgia.
A look at the AP Top 25 ballots revealed 49 of the 62 voters had the Bulldogs ranked higher than the Gators on the preseason ballots.
Georgia debuted at No. 4 on the preseason AP Top 25 released earlier this week.
Some nuggets on how the Top 25 panelists voted:
• Georgia was voted no higher than three, and on just three of the 62 ballots
• Only one voter had Georgia outside the Top 10, Brian Howell of the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, who had Alabama (3), Florida (7), A&M (9) and LSU (10).
• Georgia was ranked No. 4 on 18 ballots and ranked No. 5 on 17 ballots
• Georgia beat writer Marc Weiszer had Ohio State as his No. 1 team followed by Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia at No. 5.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 26, 2020