We’re less than two weeks away from the start of college football, so we’re still in the time period where we can argue about preseason rankings.
The AP released its preseason poll Saturday morning with no shocking results — in fact, its nearly in lockstep with the USA Today coaches poll released a couple of weeks ago. Alabama is No. 1 … and then there’s everyone else.
But we can nitpick some of the rankings, or you can nitpick mine, as I’m one of 60 media voters in the AP poll.
I have three teams on my ballot that didn’t make the Top 25 — Baylor (believe in the Bears’ staying power), Michigan State (close losses turn into close wins this season) and Miami (offense should be potent).
The three Top 25 teams I didn’t include are Northwestern (No. 22), Wisconsin (No. 23) and Oregon State (No. 25). Let’s say I had each under strong consideration.
Arizona was mentioned on one ballot. Ed Johnson of the Albuquerque Journal put the Wildcats at No. 23, earning UA three points. Perhaps he’s been watching reruns of the New Mexico Bowl on the Pac-12 Networks.
Arizona State, meanwhile, was fifth among others receiving votes. The Devils were ranked as high as 10th on one ballot, that coming from Mitch Vingle of the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette. Brilliant or lunacy?
It’s a fun talking point. Not much else. The AP poll isn’t used to help compute the BCS formula — and it’s the last year of that before a four-team playoff, selected by a committee, begins — but the rankings are part of the daily discussion of college football.
As Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said last year when the Cats inched into the Top 25, it’s nice to see your team’s name scroll across the bottom of the screen all day on score updates.
Here is my preseason ballot, compared to the actual AP vote: