The Bulldogs need to ignore the AP Poll if they want to win more games

Published 11:49 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

What an opening week it was for college football.

We saw some stellar wins, complete blowouts and a couple games where the top ranked teams in the country didn’t play much like the topped ranked teams should. But like I always say, by week four, things should begin to iron themselves out in terms of rankings.

Speaking of rankings—I nearly had a heart attack Tuesday.

Like many sports fans with a smartphone, I subscribe to the ESPN SportsCenter app. It’s a great little feature where you pick your favorite teams and get relevant updates sent to your phone almost as soon as they’re released.

So Tuesday afternoon rolls around and I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. I check it and see the Georgia Bulldogs bumped up four spots in the Coach’s Poll from No. 12 to No. 8.

“Hm,” I say, “seems like a little much, but OK. I doubt the AP Poll would be much different.”

About 10 minutes later I feel my phone buzz again. I check it. The AP Poll has Georgia pushed all the way to No. 6.

“Oh no,” I say.

Georgia hasn’t had a very strong track record of holding onto those higher rankings for long. Last season, the Dawgs flew all the way to No. 6 after a 44-41 win over LSU at home. The next two games, we lost to Missouri and Vanderbilt. Those hurt.

It’s easy to drink the Kool-Aid when you see your team making huge jumps after the first game of the season. Look at Texas A&M. Those fans think they dominate the world right now. Maybe they’ll take it all the way and compete in the first ever College Football Playoff. But maybe they won’t.

The point is: we don’t know yet. As the saying goes, any given Saturday.

So with that in mind, I hope the Dawgs can remember to keep themselves grounded going into Columbia next week. So we’re No. 6 in the AP Poll after week one. Who cares? It won’t matter if Georgia strolls into Columbia next week and doesn’t take the game seriously enough. They might be heading back to Athens with a 1-1 record if that’s the case.

The time to enjoy their win against Clemson ended Monday at 8 a.m. They need to treat every game like it’s the first, and keep their heads clear enough to earn the wins they need.