Very Exciting, Very Worthless: Your Preseason College Football Coaches Poll Is Out
College football fans, rejoice: the season is officially close enough that major preseason polls are coming out, with today's release of the USA Today coaches poll. And as odd and downright wrongheaded as the idea of having an influential poll - a poll that may cause some underrated teams to be underrated all year, even if they deserve to be higher than they are - conducted before a game is even played may be - hey, we're not complaining, because: college football!
Who else shouldn't be complaining: Oklahoma fans, since their team took home 42 of a possible 59 first-place votes and starts the season ranked No. 1. Right behind them is Alabama, which took the top spot on 13 coaches' ballots. (Oregon and LSU, ranked third and fourth, respectively, split the remaining four No. 1 slots - though, as this report notes, that won't be for long since the teams face each other to begin the season.)
Also of note: Florida State comes in at an awfully high No. 5 - illustrating the power of the Cam Newton effect, that ranking is 14 spots ahead of defending champion Auburn. Additionally, TCU, which closed at No. 2 in last year's coaches poll, now ranks 15th. Have the top two teams ever both fallen that far from one year to the next? And here's another departure from recent form: Florida and Texas, seen as perhaps the two cushiest college football coaching jobs in America, sit all the way down at 23rd and 24th, respectively.
The good news for those unusually-lowly-ranked programs: the final poll will look nothing like this one. No one knows what's about to happen on the field. That's the beauty of the game - and essential pointlessness of polls like this one, which really just function to get us fired up for the rapidly approaching season. And on that front...mission accomplished.
Getty photo (Brian Bahr), via
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