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Top Dawgs: Georgia No. 1 in coaches' poll
SEC rivals Florida, LSU also in preseason Top 10
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Georgia will kick off the 2008 football season as top dawgs in at least one major poll.

The preseason USA Today coaches poll, released this morning, has Georgia at No. 1. SEC rivals Florida and LSU are fifth and sixth. Georgia plays these two teams on back-to-back weekends in October.

Georgia coach Mark Richt says the high expectations facing his team can be a blessing or a curse.

Speaking at Southeastern Conference media days Thursday morning, Richt said it depends on how his team handles it. The Bulldogs are among the preseason favorites to win the SEC championship and compete for a national title.

Georgia finished second in the Associated Press rankings after an impressive Sugar Bowl win last season and returns 16 starters. That group includes quarterback Matthew Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno.
Richt said the key to handling the hype will be focus and work ethic. He said if you look too far down the road "you won't be ready at the moment of truth."

Richt said he has been impressed with how his team has worked.

Here's the full Top 10: Georgia, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, LSU, Missouri, West Virginia, Clemson and Texas.

Georgia opens its season Aug. 30 against Georgia Southern in Sanford Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

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