Georgia wide receiver Arian Smith (11) runs for the end zone for a touchdown against Ohio State during the second half of the Peach Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Preseason Coaches Poll Top 25 Released

The first Coaches Poll of the 2023 college football season was released on Monday. The two-time reigning national champion Georgia Bulldogs top the rankings at No. 1. Michigan, Alabama and Ohio State follow Georgia to round out the top four.

SEC Prominent in Rankings

There are four Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the top 10 and six in the top 25.

It is no surprise to see the back-to-back national champion Bulldogs at No. 1. Georgia received 61-of-65 first place votes as the coaches were in agreement that the Bulldogs are the best team in the nation. They have dominated the rest of college football the last two seasons; going 29-1 in the past two years. They have one of the more favorable schedules among top teams this season and are returning tons of high-quality talent.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are ranked third in the Coaches Poll. Alabama had somewhat of a subpar season in 2022 by their lofty standards. They went 11-2, with the only losses coming against Tennessee and LSU.

The Bayou Bengals are slated at fifth in the preseason poll. This comes as somewhat of a surprise to some as LSU went just 10-4 in 2022. The Tigers were the SEC West champions, however, and are returning a highly-skilled core in Brian Kelly’s second season at the helm.

The Tennessee Volunteers come in at No. 10 in the poll. They are coming off a very promising season last year, going 11-2 overall. This includes a 31-14 victory over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

The final two SEC teams in the top 25 are Ole Miss at No. 22 and Texas A&M at No. 25.

Gators’ Tough Road Ahead

The Florida Gators were not voted into the top 25 by the coaches. However, they were third in voting points among unranked teams, behind only Iowa and South Carolina.

Florida has one of their toughest schedules in recent memory this season. The Gators will play four teams ranked in the top 10 and five in the top 15.

They will open the season at No. 14 Utah. These two teams also met in the first week of the 2022 season. Florida won that game 29-26 in the Swamp. This one may present an even bigger challenge as they have to go into Utah and attempt to pull off an upset.

In week 3, the Gators will welcome Tennessee to town. The Volunteers took down Florida 38-33 in Knoxville last season.

Three of Florida’s final five games will come against top 10 opponents. The Gators will face the mighty Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville on Oct. 28. Two weeks later, Florida will travel to Death Valley to take on LSU. The Tigers have won the last four matchups between these schools, including a 45-35 victory over the Gators in 2022.

In the final week of the regular season, Florida will take on No. 8 Florida State in the Sunshine State Showdown. This matchup will be played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Nov. 25. The Seminoles haven’t won in Gainesville since 2017.

With the football season just under three weeks away, it will be interesting to see how different these rankings look at the end of the year.

About Hugh Green

Hugh is a third year student majoring in Journalism: Sports and Media at the University of Florida.

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