The preseason "Coaches Poll" is out for the upcoming 2012 college football season. There are a few things that kind of leave me scratching my head........I have not had the opportunity to "study" up much on college ball this year so I may be unqualified to comment. I don't see why that should stop me though. Most college ball "analysts" don't usually know what they are talking about either.
To start with LSU and Alabama are picked number one and two respectively. Sounds about right. The order of finish might go either way but I am rather certain one of these teams will be in the big game at the end. Perhaps a repeat of last year's match up will be seen.
There are three other SEC teams picked in the top 10. The Bulldogs of Georgia will have a good team. Not LSU or Bama good, but they will certainly be in a major bowl. The Gamecocks? Spurrier does a good job with a second tier SEC school, but South Carolina a top 10 team? Probably not.
The Hogs have just too many question marks after the off season fiasco involving the head coach and a hooker (of sorts). I might put the Hogs in the lower half of the top 25, but that is about it.
Unfortunately USC, ranked three in the poll, will make a play for the "national championship" this year. An exceptional QB along with a top PSU refugee in the backfield (and a rather weak PAC 12 schedule), will make the Spartans the team to beat in the west. If there is a way to mess things up for the school though this Kiffin is the man to do it.
Oregon is back again. A good team that is well coached but just not ready to win the big game. Perhaps this is the year? Could be.
Oklahoma finds themselves in the top ten and probably for good reason. Florida State? Conventional wisdom says this will "be the year." They have been saying that for quite a while though. FSU a top ten squad may be a bit of a stretch.
I certainly do not see why Michigan is in the top 10. I suppose that the Big 10 needs a representative. Would not Wisconsin be a better choice?
Rounding out the bottom 15 I see a few that probably should not be there. Having a little trouble understanding Notre Dame being included at all. Perhaps they are turning things around in South Bend? Probably not. We may not see the Irish in the polls at all when all is said and done.
Boise State way down at 22? They lost some good players but I would wager they will be a top ten squad before the end of the season. Or not.
West Virginia and Texas? WVU will face much stiffer competition this year and it is doubtful they will end in the top 20. They did not dominate the Big East and the Big Twelve is certainly a different animal. The Big East has a lot more in common with Conference USA on the field than arguably the second best conference in college football. It may take time to adjust. Texas? Mack Brown better hope things turn around. The Longhorn fans understand and tolerate nothing less than a conference championship.
I noted that Stanford is considered a top 25 team. Well coached team playing in a rather weak conference may have been factor in their placement. They have lost some top talent though and it remains to be seen how well they do. I wish them luck frankly.
I don't see Ohio State anywhere and yet I see Clemson. Hmmmm.
Other than Boise State I see no "non BCS" schools included. Probably a mistake here. Someone will sneak in. Last year Houston was a team to contend with and deservedly had ranking. Who will it be this time around. I wouldn't rule out one of the teams from CUSA or (believe it or not), the WAC (Louisiana Tech perhaps). Maybe a Mountain West team other than the Broncos will sneak in. Nevada may be pretty good.
I don't think the Sun Belt (or MAC) have a shot at a team sneaking into the top 25 although Arkansas State was a good team last year (and of course the staff bolted for "greener pastures"). Solich at Ohio (MAC) does a good job and Troy (along with ULL and FIU) may make noise in the SBC, It is doubtful we will see any of them ranked at the end of the season though.
There is no Big East team in the top 25 pre season (coaches) poll. Probably for good reason.