Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 15, Georgia

Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 15, Georgia

Coach: Kirby Smart

2016 record: 8-5

Projected 2017 record: 10-2

Circle the date: Nov. 25 vs. Florida State

Bowl trip: Chick-fil-A

Why No. 15: Smart has certainly learned a thing or two about being a head coach. Those lessons will be invaluable as he tries to take the Bulldogs to the top of the division and into the SEC title game. The pieces are there, starting with tailback Nick Chubb. If he stays healthy, Chubb will contend for the Heisman. Quarterback Jacob Eason is the son of Tony, but not the former Illini thrower. Eason figures to bump his 16 TDs from a year ago. The defense will be dynamic. All 11 starters return, led by linebacker Roquan Smith. The challenges on the schedule are at the front and back ends. The Bulldogs visit Notre Dame the second week and travel to Georgia Tech for the finale. Tennessee, Florida and Auburn are on the SEC schedule. Alabama and LSU are not.

Last year's ranking: No. 14

Previous rankings: No. 50 Western Kentucky; No. 49 Vanderbilt; No. 48 Syracuse; No. 47 Duke; No. 46 Memphis; No. 45 Arizona State; No. 44 Colorado; No. 43 Iowa; No. 42 Georgia Tech; No. 41 Mississippi; No. 40 North Carolina; No. 39 Arkansas; No. 38 South Carolina; No. 37 Baylor; No. 36 Northwestern; No. 35 Texas A&M; No. 34 UCLA; No. 33 North Carolina State; No. 32 Mississippi State; No. 31 TCU; No. 30 Nebraska; No. 29 Virginia Tech; No. 28 Notre Dame; No. 27 Washington State; No. 26 Pitt; No. 25 Boise State; No. 24 Oregon; No. 23 Texas; No. 22 Tennessee; No. 21 Miami; No. 20 West Virginia; No. 19 South Florida; No. 18 Louisville; No. 17 Kansas State; No. 16 Florida.

bob asmussen