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Top 25 Poll History: Georgia Tech And Georgia Both Historically Underrated

If you're into football data porn, and there's no reason why you shouldn't be, the good people at sports-reference.com have just backed a truck up and unloaded all over your front lawn by launching a new college football site. Yes, there's a ton of amateur sports math smut on your lawn now, we've begun combing through it for you, and we're happy to present our first gem.

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This paragraph is skippable: Since 1936, the Associated Press top 25 poll (or top 20, during its first 25 years) has been the standard for gauging what we think of the college football landscape from year to year. Not which teams are the best, but which teams the zeitgeist emanates towards most favorably. Its annual preseason poll is the best example of this, as it's based on pretty much nothing. Comparing preseason polls and final polls gives us a good idea of which teams are typically underrated or overrated.

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Call it the national media's New England bias if you want, but both our local teams have done much better on final AP polls, which matter, than they have on preseason AP polls, which don't. Georgia shows up on 32 end-of-season lists, having been ranked in the preseason only 28 times. Tech made 24 final lists, doubling its 12 preseason appearances.

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Both teams made this year's preseason poll. Tech sits at #17, with Georgia at #21.

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The last time Georgia failed to deliver on a preseason ranking was 1986, when their #16 ranking turned into an 8-4 disappointment. Tech's 1991 season, following up a national title, saw them slip from top ten to not mentioned at all.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.