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Mark BradleyMark Bradley

Phil Steele picks UGA in the East; SI does not

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Uga IX suffers from no lack of affection. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Uga IX suffers from no lack of affection. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

In the never-ending attempt to keep you apprised of all preseason predictions I deem pertinent, I note the following: In a post for ESPN Insider, that man Phil Steele picks Georgia to go 11-1 and win the SEC East; Andy Staples of SI.com picks Georgia to go 10-2 and finish second to South Carolina.

Ol’ Phil, whose idiosyncratic yearbook apparently sold out quickly at the Publix on South Cobb Drive and the East-West Connector (though not before I bought mine), has already tabbed the Bulldogs as his No. 1 surprise team in the nation. The assembled SEC media, however, picked South Carolina to win the East by a goodly margin last month in Hoover, Ala., which was something of a surprise to me if no one else. (Although Mark Richt did say, “I’d have us first.”)

The AJC countdown of the Top 25, which remains ongoing on our “today’s paper” app and myajc.com, will be presented in its full grandeur — sorry, got carried away — and those of you who might have seen that Georgia was ranked No. 9 as of last Friday … well, it’s higher than that now. Credit/blame the arm injury suffered by Ohio State’s Braxton Miller for messing up my whole top 10.

As noted last week, multiple outlets — SI, ESPN the Magazine, the USA Today coaches’ poll and now the Associated Press poll — all have Georgia ranked No. 12. As also noted several times, I believe Georgia will go 10-2 and win the East.

All this speculation is about to end; they’re actually going to play some games. And me, I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. I do love reading preseason picks.

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