College Football

Preseason Rankings are for Dummies

While watching Oklahoma lose to the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University I was thinking to myself, “There is always one of these upsets in the first weekend of the season.” But two of these upsets? This weekend was a prime example of why there should be no preseason polls.

First, lets talk about the biggest upset: TCU over Oklahoma. Why are they ranked 7th in the nation before playing a game? That’s like a kid who gets a 1590 on his SAT’s and is expected to do great things at Harvard so he automatically draws the respect of all his professors. Except he starts to dabble in binge drinking and soon enough he is doing keg stands and playing in beer pong tournaments instead of going to class. God I miss college.
So back to my original point, what qualifies Oklahoma for a #7 ranking? Do they have a great program? Absolutely. They had one of the best recruiting classes, one of the best coaches in the nation, and arguably the best running back in the nation in Adrianne Peterson. By the way, Peterson said he got better this year. Hmm, this doesn’t bode well for Oklahoma if we are judging him on the first game of the season.

Peterson having a bad first game was not entirely his fault. Rhett Brohm and Thompson are both “rookie” quarterbacks filling in for Jason White. I know White wasn’t the greatest quarterback, but he was a great college quarterback. I know that sentence makes no sense. Here is what I mean. On raw ability meaning arm strength he was no Peyton Manning. But the guy was deadly accurate, won a ton football games, was a great leader, and was a master at Bob Stoops system. (Except in National Championship games)

Not only did the loss of Jason White hurt but they also lost their key wide-out Clayton. I am sure they got one of the best recruits at wide out but as Terry Bowden said during the game, “That’s a rookie QB throwing to a rookie wide-out. This isn’t reloading, this is rebuilding.” Nobody could have said it better. When you lose so many key players on offense, all opposing defenses have to do to stop the Sooners is stack 8-men in the box against Peterson.

Moving on to upset number 2: Georgia Tech over Auburn.

I will ask the question again, what has Auburn done to deserve a ranking of 15? Now I know its not that high, but has Auburn been that great a program over the last few years? They were great last year and were overrated the year before, but in the last 5 years they haven’t been that good.

How could any team recover from losing their starting quarterback, both running backs (argueably the 2 best RB’s in the nation last year), and your best cornerback? Without Ronnie Brown, Carnell Williams, and Jason Campbell, I really don’t see this team being ranked at the end of the year. They will be okay, meaning they will finish middle of the pack in the SEC.

Georgia Tech will be a much improved team this year and has a great wide-out, but the preseason rankings would have you believe that there is no way they could go into Auburn and beat the Tigers. But on Saturday night, in front of a national TV audience they did just that. They beat the #15 team in the land, but what does that really say? Did they beat a team that was overrated or is Georgia Tech better than the #15 team in the land? I couldn’t tell you for sure, but I would go with the former instead of the latter.

These really are 2 great examples of why preseason polls should be eliminated. Both teams lost key players at key positions, yet they come into the season as if they were almost as good as the team they were last year. I know both these programs are great football teams and that they have had great years of recruiting, but you can’t simply rank a team based on last years performance. There has to be somet way to gauge a team’s true ability.

A good idea is not having any rankings until October. This way you could see how each team is performing and that would give you a better reason for ranking a team 7th or 15th. Take Notre Dame for example, I would imagine after the drubbing of Pitt that they are going to be ranked 20-23, maybe as high as 18. They are unranked and nobody expects much of them, so in order to leap frog many of the teams ranked ahead of them it is going to be like trying to leap frog a unicorn. If they don’t make it over all I can say is, Ouch!

The bottom line is that is makes for good betting lines and ratings. Am I going to watch Texas Vs. Ohio State? Or am I going to watch #2 Texas Vs. #6 Ohio State? Its ridiculous that teams like Iowa, Georgia, and Florida State have to make up so much difficult ground during the year to get to that national title game because the preseason rankings had them ranked too low at the start of the season.

So what’s the solution? Just get rid of the preseason rankings. Throw’em out like a bad one-night stand. No cab fare, no good bye, just a shove out the door and never look back.

5 replies on “Preseason Rankings are for Dummies”

They are The only reason we have preseason rankings is to sell magazines.  I think we’ll find out that some of the upsets, the teams were better than what we thought with the ranked teams not being as good as we thought.  Others just had an off night and will still have a very good season.  But definitely wait after at least two or three games to start ranking teams.

Preseason rankings There really are no official preseason rankings. The AP has a poll but it really has nothing to do with college football (see my article on the BCS). I also think that you should use a better title than Preseason rankings are for dummies. It think you could find something a little better.

True Its absolutely true that there are no “official” preseason rankings, but they do have an effect on where a team will finish in the BCS.

Thanks for your comments~

BCS System? I could be wrong but I have a question and I’m not trying to be a jerk. Doesn’t the BCS factor in your average rank for the year? If so then the preseason rankings give them that high rank in the early stages of the season that catapult them to a better average. Also, it will hurt a team eventually like Notre Dame that started out unranked. Don’t get me wrong that was just an example, I’m not saying ND will or won’t be in a BCS Bowl.

Answer… BCS Does not do official rankings until the 8th week of the season I think.

Thanks for reading…

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