We are less than a month away from actual college football and the signs are evident. The USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll is a poll that carries a lot of weight but probably isn’t voted on by real coaches. The Coaches Poll, the Harris Poll, and a combination of computer algorithms and polls are collated to create the eventual BCS poll, which is typically released after the seventh week of the season and is the basis on which the national title combatants are selected. Everyone knows how busy the typical college football coach is: Do they really have the time to watch every game and know to rank TCU at No. 20? They should call it the Athletic Department Intern’s Poll because that’s who is watching these games and voting. Regardless, the poll that whoever votes on was released today and it is mostly predictable but will still be hotly debated.
Alabama is, of course, No. 1, receiving 58 of 62 first-place votes and are expected to three-peat as national champions. Ohio State was ranked second and received three first-place votes, with a random first-place vote going to No. 6 ranked Texas A&M – somebody likes Johnny Football. No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 Georgia round out the top five. A very sad USC finds itself at No. 24, ranked outside of the top-five for the first time since 2004 – USC was ineligible for the Coaches Poll in 2010 and 2011. Notre Dame, who lost last year’s title game to Alabama and whose starting QB Everett Golson left school and won’t play this season, is ranked at No. 11.
As far as conference breakdowns go, the SEC has the most with six, followed by the Big Ten and Pac-12 with five. The Big 12 has four teams ranked, and the ACC has Clemson and Florida State. The SEC has won the previous seven consecutive BCS national titles, but if this Coaches Poll was the lineup for the four team playoff that starts next season, only one SEC team would be in. Just saying.
Here is the complete poll. (Chart via SB Nation):
|RANK||TEAM||2012 RECORD||POINTS||PREVIOUS RANK|
|2||Ohio St. (3)||12-0||1427||NR|
|6||Texas A&M (1)||11-2||1215||5|
|Schools Dropped Out|
|No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).|
|Others Receiving Votes|
|Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.|