Friday, August 05, 2011

Oh yeah, there's a poll

So I thought I posted this yesterday but apparently just saved it. Oops.

Anyway, the coaches have spoken:

1.Oklahoma (42)0-014546
2.Alabama (13)0-0141411
3.Oregon (2)0-013093
4.LSU (2)0-012968
5.Florida State0-0111616
7.Boise State0-010657
8.Oklahoma State0-093310
9.Texas A&M0-088521
12.South Carolina0-077922
13.Virginia Tech0-076715
16.Ohio State0-06315
17.Michigan State0-053614
18.Notre Dame0-0440NR
20.Mississippi State0-030117
25.Penn State0-0161NR
Others receiving votes: Arizona State 158, West Virginia 149, Utah 50, Miami (FL) 49, Iowa 41, Northwestern 30, Arizona 28, UCF 22, Michigan 19, Air Force 15, North Carolina 14, Houston 13, South Florida 9, Hawaii 8, Clemson 7, Tennessee 7, Southern Miss 6, Brigham Young 5, North Carolina State 4, Northern Illinois 4, Oregon State 4, Pittsburgh 3, Washington 3, Nevada 1, Georgia Tech 1.

Thoughts and observations:
  • Whoa -- 42 first-place votes for Oklahoma? I figured they'd be No. 1, but I'm not really sure why Oregon didn't get more consideration after just obliterating everybody last year (except Auburn, obviously) and not losing many significant pieces.
  • I'll be a little surprised if the winner of the Oregon-LSU game on September 3 doesn't jump Alabama (at least temporarily). Bama opens with ever-dangerous Kent State.
  • I've gone on record as saying Auburn will be better than people think, but there's really no justification for having them in the top 25 right now, especially not at 19.
  • There are three Big 12 South teams in the top 10, and Texas isn't one of them.
  • Speaking of Texas, giving them a spot at the back end of the poll after they just went 5-7 seems ... ummm ... generous. I don't see any other team in the top 25 that didn't finish with at least eight wins last year.
  • Arizona State just missed the No. 25 spot but is still the odds-on favorite to lose to Oregon play for the division title. Utah and Arizona got a few votes each.
  • Michigan is 34th. Yay? Boo? I dunno. It's a little concerning that there are four teams in the division (and six teams on the schedule) ranked higher, although only Nebraska is in the top 15.
  • I'm still skeptical about Stanford. Andrew Luck might be God's Gift to Quarterback Play, but losing Jim Harbaugh and Vic Fangio isn't just a minor blip. I'm actually working on a separate post about this that should be up Sunday.
  • As expected, the Big East looks pretty terrible.
  • There are a few teams outside the top 10 that I think have legitimate national title shots: Virginia Tech, Arkansas and (cringing) Notre Dame.
  • Ohio State at No. 16 seems about right. The lack of a legitimate/experienced starting quarterback will be costly at some point, but unless Luke Fickell is a worse gameday coach than Ron Zook (which is possible), it's hard to envision anything worse than about 8-4.
  • Boise State plays two well-respected top-25 teams this year: There's a de facto road game against Georgia in Atlanta on September 3 and a home game against TCU on November 22. Even if they win both (duh) and have Georgia and TCU both finish in the neighborhood of 11-1, that probably still won't be enough to jump a zero- or one-loss Oklahoma team and/or the survivor of the SEC West. In other words, buy your Fiesta Bowl tickets now.
  • Where's Duke's one vote?!? It appears that Steve Spurrier has given in to the powers that be.
This seems like the appropriate place for this official Forever Saturday statement: I have no problem with preseason polls. Yeah, they're almost entirely speculation, but so is every poll until about Week 8. And I know there's an obvious argument: Don't release a poll until Week 8. But here's the thing: None of the polls except the last one mean anything. All they do is give us (and by "us" I mean "media, fans and the general public") an idea of the coaches' general opinion of the top 25 teams in the country. The fact that obviously biased coaches are voting at all is an argument for another time.

So yeah ... preseason polls are fine. I like information.


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