ATHENS — Georgia’s weird and chaotic 2015 football season wraps up with this strange footnote: It finished unranked in the final AP poll despite winning 10 games.
Georgia (10-3) finished one spot out of the final poll, released after Monday’s championship game.
It may be the first time that’s ever happened for a power-conference team. A search through college football standings since 2005, cross-checked against the final AP top 25 polls each year, did not find another team from the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 or Big East ever being unranked after winning 10 games.
Florida came close this year to joining Georgia in the ignominious company: The Gators (10-4) barely squeaked into the AP poll at No. 25, receiving 19 more voting points than Georgia.
All three teams the Bulldogs lost to finished ranked: No. 1 Alabama, No. 22 Tennessee and No. 25 Florida. The losses to Alabama and Florida were blowouts on national television, while the Tennessee game saw Georgia blow a 21-point lead.
But none of the 10 teams the Bulldogs beat finished ranked. In fact only three of them had winning records: Georgia Southern (9-4), Auburn and Penn State (7-6) and FCS team Southern (6-5). The combined winning percentage of the teams Georgia beat was .414.
The only other double-digit win teams that finished unranked were Marshall (10-3), Temple (10-4), San Diego State (11-3), Bowling Green (10-4), Toledo (10-2) and Appalachian State (11-2).
No. 22 Tennessee and No. 19 Oregon were the only ranked teams that did not win double-digit games. Both finished 9-4.
It was only the fourth time in the 15-year Mark Richt era that Georgia finished unranked in the AP poll. But all four times happened in the last seven years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2015). The Bulldogs did finish in the top 10 twice in that span: No. 5 in 2012 and No. 9 in 2014, as well as four times in Richt’s first seven years.