Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
To no surprise, Georgia tops the coaches poll
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days, Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
It was no surprise Georgia earned the No. 1 spot in the preseason Coaches Poll released Monday.
Expect the same this coming Monday when The Associated Press poll is released. Being back-to-back national champs warrants that respect.
The Coaches Poll top 10 was No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Southern Cal, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Florida State, No. 9 Clemson and No. 10 Tennessee.
The polls will vary, but expect them to be very similar.
The SEC had six teams ranked with the other two being No. 22 Ole Miss and No. 25 Texas A&M. Arkansas will have to earn its way into the polls, but the mild surprises were Alabama and Texas A&M.
The Crimson Tide opened the last two seasons at No. 1, and have done so five of the previous seven seasons.
More from WholeHogSports: Coverage of the Razorbacks' preseason football practices
Alabama has opened in the top 5 since Nick Saban’s third season with the Tide.
In Alabama, No. 5 is a disappointment, but success does spoil fans.
The big question surrounding Alabama seems to be is who will replace quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 pick in the last NFL Draft.
However, Saban always seems to have another All-American in the waiting room.
Just for the record, the last time Alabama started No. 5 it went 14-0 and won Saban’s first of six national championships at Alabama.
Georgia received 61 of the 66 first place votes with Alabama second with four and Ohio State with one.
The Razorbacks will have a chance to earn some ranking points as they play four teams in the preseason top 25.
The shocker in the first poll should have been Texas A&M barely made it and received only 196 total points. That’s 29 less than No. 23 Tulane who has clawed out some national respect recently, but no one is going to confuse the football budget of the Aggies with the Green Wave.
In the last five seasons Jimbo Fisher has recruited classes ranked No. 4, 6, 8, 1 and 15 in the nation. However, the Aggies are 11-12 the last two seasons.
Once labeled a quarterback whisperer, Fisher has struggled to get consistent play from that position since coming to A&M, which was one of the reasons he felt compelled to hire a true offensive coordinator, which he did with Bobby Petrino, who will only struggle this season at not being the boss and how much freedom will he have.
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