Georgia Bulldogs sit atop first AP Top 25 poll

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College football is almost back, and the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs are primed to become the first program to win three consecutive national championships.

The AP Poll released its preseason top 25 rankings ahead of the 2023 season, and as expected, Kirby Smart’s Dawgs sit atop the rankings, followed by Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, and LSU in that order.

Carson Beck seems to be the succession plan following Stetson Bennett, but it doesn’t really matter who is under center for UGA. Smart has built a machine that naturally replenishes itself following departures. The former Georgia defensive back does an excellent job not letting his team eat the rat poison, most recently describing the current crop as unproven, which isn’t entirely true.

The Georgia Bulldogs have a straightforward path to the College Football Playoffs and will likely meet one or two of the next teams in the top five.

The Michigan Wolverines bring back a ton of talent and probably the best roster of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure. JJ McCarthy returns as one of the best running back duos sits behind him in Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum.

Their biggest rival is yet again set to compete for a Big 10 title as Ohio State figures out their own quarterback battle. Regardless of who wins the starting job, Kyle McCord or Devin Brown will have the most talented receiving core to throw to.

However, Georgia fans shouldn’t look too far north. The Southeastern Conference features a couple of other title contenders in Alabama and LSU, who round out the top five.

Nick Saban hired Tommy Rees and Kevin Steele but still doesn’t have an obvious quarterback option. LSU is fresh off an SEC West championship and boasts one of the most talented rosters in the country led by Jayden Daniels and Harold Perkins.

The Georgia Bulldogs are the favorite, but the field is comprised of more than capable programs. Below is the rest of the top 25.

6. USC
7. Penn State
8. Florida State
9. Clemson
10. Washington
11. Texas
12. Tennessee
13. Notre Dame
14. Utah
15. Oregon
16. Kansas State
17. TCU
18. Oregon State
19. Wisconsin
20. Oklahoma
21. North Carolina
22. Ole Miss
23. Texas A&M
24. Tulane
25. Iowa

Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

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