Poll Dancing: Preseason edition

On Twitter @TheCoachBart

I’m not a huge fan of preseason polls … but then I am. It allows folks to get really worked up about stuff that honestly doesn’t matter. You put numbers by something either in ranking or list format, you can guarantee people will freak out. It’s a certainty of human nature. Write things without numbers, people shrug. Put numbers by it … people kvetch.

That said, since this is my first year on this site, a few ground rules on my poll … with numbers by them:

– Preseason polls suck. The reason they suck is because we don’t know anything about any of the teams. So if you see drastic movement from me from week to week, it’s because right now, we’re starting at 0 knowledge and having to learn up. All of these rankings are guesses other than Florida State, who won last year and gets #1 this year even though they deserve it anyway so …

– I don’t watch ESPN GameDay or College Football Final. I sit on my backside and watch tons of college football from all conferences, maybe with a beverage or two, so don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be copy and paste from the other polls that matter.

– I’ll try to explain my picks if need be and give rational reasons, but if you use foul language, say mean things, or name call, no dice. If it’s not fit for church, don’t bother.

– I don’t hate any teams. I like them all. I just might not see it like you.

– Grab a beer and chill out. In the grand scheme of things, it’s meaningless.

This is intended to be done weekly. I say intended because you never know if a Sharknado is going to hit and I don’t have a circular saw for a hand so in that case, I honestly don’t have time to type it out.

These rankings are guesses as to where I think they end up at the end of the season, not where I think they will start out. It doesn’t really benefit anyone to say, “Well, they deserve to be here based on last year but I don’t nearly think they end up here.” That just creates a harder trek for teams out of the poll. Which is how it is in real life. Anyways, away we go.


1. Florida State: Part of FSU’s campus used to be called Gallows Hill, where they held public executions in the 1800s. It’s a lot better looking now.
2. Oregon: In 2006, Oregon had 384 potential uniform combinations. No idea what the number is now, but possibly 384,000.
3. Alabama: The school is the only in the nation that has a doctoral program in “Romance Languages.” Must be how ole Nick gets so many recruits, that smooth talk.
4. Michigan State: The Old Brass Spittoon, which MSU plays for against Indiana, came about because a class president was worried that MSU would suffer a letdown against IU after beating Notre Dame, and wanted something to motivate players. Really.
5. Baylor: 92 percent of undergrads receive some sort of financial assistance. I feel like that’s high.
6. UCLA: The school was originally called the State Normal School of Los Angeles.
7. Oklahoma: Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos, graduated from Oklahoma.
8. Stanford: The school started out as a non-tuition college. It now costs just over $56,000 per year on average to attend.
9. Auburn: Originally, the school was called the East Alabama Male College and is the South’s first land-grant university.
10. Wisconsin: The Badgers play Minnesota for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, but the trophy originally was called “The Slab of Bacon.” Being a large fan of bacon, I’d say they shouldn’t have changed it.
11. Southern Cal
12. Ole Miss
13. Missouri
14. Michigan
15. Kansas State
16. Arizona State
17. Utah State
18. Georgia
19. Clemson
20. Ohio State
21. Louisville
22. LSU
23. South Carolina
24. Penn State
25. Virginia Tech

Working with the knowledge that like 20 people read what I write, which is up from about 9 last year, here are the fan bases who I expect to be irrationally mad at me for this arbitrary, meaningless poll.

South Carolina: I’m more wait and see on the Gamecocks than most people. I always was pretty awesome at overrating Connor Shaw because I thought he was great and the heart and soul of the team. I think when you lose that, it’s tough to replace.

Ohio State: Buckeye fans are normally mad at me anyway. But rationally speaking, I just want to see how Ohio State does sans Braxton to really make a decision on the team. I think that’s reasonable.

LSU: Tiger fans are normally mad at me too, so … when in Rome …

Oklahoma: Look, I know y’all trucked Alabama last year. I know your media guide is so awesome you can do bicep curls with its girth. But that was last year, which isn’t this year, and this is more of a referendum on how I think Alabama will be pretty good.