Reacting to the AP’s College Football Preseason Poll

College Football

Every year the initial release, or every release for that matter, of the AP Poll draws controversy, and for good reason. This year’s we all assumed the worst, as we should, but the preseason poll isn’t fully terrible. Yes, it’s pretty bad but they have done worse in the past, and early on we see they aren’t fully favoring the big programs like they always do. 

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The Top Five

1. Alabama

2. Oklahoma

3. Clemson

4. Ohio State

5. Georgia

This is a near-perfect top five. There are really no complaints here and the point differential is even better. Alabama beat out Oklahoma by 1,000 but the Sooners and Tigers are right together while Ohio State and Georgia are a little behind. There is a serious argument for Oklahoma to be No. 1, but at the end of the day, you can’t go against a good Nick Saban squad. 

Teams 6-10

6. Texas A&M

7. Iowa State

8. Cincinnati

9. Notre Dame

10. North Carolina

Here are where our problems arise. For starters, Texas A&M is not better than Cincinnati, Iowa State, or North Carolina. They are a borderline top 10 team and we still don’t know who their quarterback is. Notre Dame is the next issue. They are not a top 10 team, simple as that. The Fighting Irish have lost far too much to be up here and it is clear big program bias. At best Notre Dame should just crack the top 20 but nine is far too much. Iowa State, Cincinnati, and North Carolina are all in very good spots, but the two other teams are far too problematic. 

Teams 11-15

11. Oregon

12. Wisconsin

13. Florida

14. Miami

15. USC

Probably the most interesting group, there’s a lot to get to here. Both Oregon and Wisconsin may be one or two spots too high but it’s not bad there. Florida, however, has no right to be at 13. They were a four-loss team last year that is losing production all over the place. Their solution at quarterback, Emory Jones, has failed to impress as a passer and they’re clearly overrated. Putting Miami at 14 is clearly just trying to hype up their matchup with Alabama. The team has far too many unknowns, both talent-wise and health-wise. There will be a cry from many fans that USC should be higher, but honestly, 15th is where they belong. Maybe they’re a top 10 team, but they could also be a fluke so 15 is a solid spot. 

Teams 16-20

16. LSU

17. Indiana

18. Iowa

19. Penn State

20. Washington

LSU at 16 is pretty much the perfect ranking for this team, so is Iowa at 18. The rest, however, needs some work. This is an area where a team like Ole Miss, who has a top-five offense in the country, needs to be but isn’t. Indiana is a much more talented team than at least the next four in front of them. Washington could use a lift as well, but 20 isn’t too bad. Penn State, on the other hand, is brutal. The Nittany Lions were 2-5 last year and had some momentum going out of the season, but they are not better than Washington, or the next nine teams in the extended AP rankings. 

The Final Five

21. Texas

22. Coastal Carolina

23. Louisiana

24. Utah

25. Arizona State

These five are all very good and there are no major complaints. Louisiana is obviously better than Coastal Carolina on paper but it’s close. Again, the one concern is how does a team like Utah get put over Ole Miss or even Oklahoma State who both showed way more flashes last year. All in all, though, it’s a solid ranking that has been much worse in years past.

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