Where did Georgia football land in the preseason USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll?

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Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) tackles Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) during the second quarter in the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) tackles Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) during the second quarter in the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia ended last season on top of the college football world, but will start the 2022 season ranked No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.

That’s two spots higher than the No. 5 position the Bulldogs held in the preseason poll last season when it went unbeaten in the regular season and won its first national title in 41 years after beating Alabama 33-18 in Indianapolis.

The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 1 followed by Ohio State in the poll released on Monday. After Georgia, No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 Notre Dame round out the top 5.

Alabama received 54 of 66 first place votes, but Georgia was second with 6 and Ohio State had 5. Texas, ranked No. 18, also got a first-place vote.

Georgia will open the season with a top 15 matchup against No. 12 Oregon on Sept. 3 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

More: How much are UGA coaches and athletic staff paid? Check our full salary database

This is the fifth straight year Georgia has landed in the top 5 of the preseason coaches poll.

The Bulldogs were also No. 3 in 2019. Their highest preseason ranking was No. 1 in 2008.

Georgia returns quarterback Stetson Bennett and a deep tight end group led by Brock Bowers and seven offensive starters return in all. The defense lost five first-round draft picks and returns only three starters but Jalen Carter is the next defensive line star and Kelee Ringo and Nolan Smith also are back.

“It's remarkable the number of snaps, especially special teams, that we have to replace,” coach Kirby Smart said. “I mean, a lot of your core defensive players make up your special teams. So there's a lot of experience there that's gone. So they've been excited, opportunistic. Some guys have changed their bodies a little bit and are in better shape.”

Besides Oregon, only one other team on Georgia’s scheduled is ranked. That’s No. 21 Kentucky who the Bulldogs play in Lexington on Nov. 19.

More: Why Georgia football QB Stetson Bennett has a new camp look as part of the 'Buzzcut Boys'

Among other Georgia opponents, Tennessee is third in others receiving votes while Auburn is sixth. Mississippi State, Florida and South Carolina also received votes.

Smart is one of 66 coaches voting this season.

The Associated Press preseason media poll will be released on Monday Aug. 15.

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USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll

Rank School (record) Points Last year’s final ranking First-place votes

1 Alabama (13-2) 1,634 2 54

2 Ohio State (11-2) 1,564 5 5

3 Georgia (14-1) 1,542 1 6

4 Clemson (10-3) 1,356 16 0

5 Notre Dame (11-2) 1,284 9 0

6 Michigan (12-2) 1,232 3 0

7 Texas A&M (8-4) 1,219 25 0

8 Utah (10-4) 1,134 12 0

9 Oklahoma (11-2) 1,027 10 0

10 Baylor (12-2) 891 6 0

11 Oklahoma State (12-2) 859 7 0

12 Oregon (10-4) 734 21 0

13 North Carolina State (9-3) 726 19 0

14 Michigan State (11-2) 711 8 0

15 Southern California (4-8) 602 NR 0

16 Pittsburgh (11-3) 450 13 0

17 Miami (Fla.) (7-5) 433 NR 0

18 Texas (5-7) 383 NR 1

19 Wake Forest (11-3) 381 14 0

20 Wisconsin (9-4) 369 NR 0

21 Kentucky (10-3) 353 15 0

22 Cincinnati (13-1) 339 4 0

23 Arkansas (9-4) 334 20 0

24 Mississippi (10-3) 327 11 0

25 Houston (12-2) 257 17 0

Dropped out: No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette (13-1); No. 22 Brigham Young (10-3); No. 23 Iowa (10-4); No. 24 Utah State (11-3).

Others receiving votes: Iowa (10-4) 248; Penn State (7-6) 246; Tennessee (7-6) 163; Brigham Young (10-3) 152; LSU (6-7) 143; Auburn (6-7) 98; Central Florida (9-4) 55; North Carolina (6-7) 34; San Diego State (12-2) 25; Fresno State (10-3) 21; Mississippi State (7-6) 19; Florida (6-7) 17; Air Force (10-3) 12; Utah State (11-3) 12; Appalachian State (10-4) 10; Boise State (7-5) 10; UCLA (8-4) 10; Minnesota (9-4) 6; South Carolina (7-6) 5; Kansas State (8-5) 4; Army (9-4) 3; Iowa State (7-6) 3; Coastal Carolina (11-2) 2; Louisiana-Lafayette (13-1) 2; SMU (8-4) 2; Oregon State (7-6) 2; Purdue (9-4) 2; Florida State (5-7) 1; Louisville (6-7) 1; Texas-San Antonio (12-2) 1.

The USA TODAY Sports AFCA  Board of Coaches is 66 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The board for the 2022 season:

Tom Albin, Ohio; Tom Allen, Indiana; Blake Anderson, Utah State; Marcus Arroyo, UNLV; Dino Babers, Syracuse; Mike Bloomgren, Rice; Brent Brennan, San Jose State; Neal Brown, West Virginia; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin; Dave Clawson, Wake Forest; Sonny Cumbie, Louisiana Tech; Kalen DeBoer, Washington; Jake Dickert, Washington State; Dana Dimel, Texas-El Paso; Dave Doeren, North Carolina State; Stan Drayton, Temple; Sonny Dykes, TCU; Herm Edwards, Arizona State; Mike Elko, Duke; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Jedd Fisch, Arizona; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; James Franklin, Penn State; Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame; Hugh Freeze, Liberty; Willie Fritz, Tulane; Scott Frost, Nebraska; Danny Gonzales, New Mexico; Jeff Hafley, Boston College; Will Hall, Southern Mississippi; Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois; Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky; Brady Hoke, San Diego State; Dana Holgorsen; Houston; Butch Jones, Arkansas State; Chris Klieman, Kansas State; Rhett Lashlee, SMU; Lance Leipold, Kansas; Tim Lester, Western Michigan; Sean Lewis, Kent State; Mike Locksley, Maryland; Mike MacIntyre, Florida International; Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio); Joey McGuire, Texas Tech; Jeff Monken, Army; Joe Moorhead, Akron; Jim Mora, Connecticut; Billy Napier, Florida; Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; Sam Pittman, Arkansas; Brent Pry, Virginia Tech; Nick Saban, Alabama; Scott Satterfield, Louisville; Greg Schiano, Rutgers; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Jake Spavital, Texas State; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Jon Sumrall, Troy; Jeff Tedford, Fresno State; Jeff Traylor, Texas-San Antonio; Mel Tucker, Michigan State; Kyle Whittingham, Utah, Ken Wilson, Nevada.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia football ranked in top 5 again in USA Today coaches' poll