Preseason College Football Rankings: 10 Myths from the Top 25
Preseason college football rankings are notoriously inaccurate.
Teams can jump up in the rankings for one strong early win and be terrible for the rest of the season (USF jumped in everyone’s college football ranking when they beat Notre Dame in 2011, only to be a major disappointment for the rest of the season).
Lose one game and a team may be out of the Top Five.
The rankings are a mess, yet college football fans love to analyze every team in the preseason rankings and see where their favorite team falls.
Please let me do you a favor and help you out with some of your arguments.
Here are 10 myths surrounding the preseason college football rankings.
Myth 1: Boise State Should Be Ranked in the Preseason Top 25
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Boise State has had a tremendous rise in the past decade. They climbed from mid-major to powerhouse program in only a few years.
Unfortunately, the tides have turned at Boise State and now head coach Chris Petersen has the pressure of trying to win with mediocre talent.
Quarterback Kellen Moore, who broke nearly all of the school’s passing records, is gone along with running back Doug Martin and receiver Tyler Shoemaker.
Cinderella left the ball, Broncos fans. Welcome to the big leagues where only the best programs can reload year after year.
Boise State will not be ranked in the Top 25 this season.
Myth 2: Baylor Will Be Lost Without Robert Griffin III
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The Bears are coming off a banner year with 10 wins, the program’s first bowl game in 20 years and its first Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III.
Even after losing RGIII and other key offensive threats, Baylor is in a terrific spot to win again.
Senior quarterback Nick Florence will not fill all the voids at quarterback, but he has 266 career attempts under his belt and a rocket for an arm.
Florence will be throwing the deep routes to Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese in a wide open offense that could be devastating.
The problem with Baylor is their schedule and the addition of West Virginia. They have an early test playing West Virginia, TCU and Texas in consecutive games. They finish out the season with Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
I don’t see the Bears winning 10 games again this season. Look for them to be ranked around No. 20 in the beginning of the season and bounce in and out of the Top 25.
Myth 3: Florida Will Remain Ranked in the Bottom of the Top 25
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ESPN has the Florida Gators ranked No. 20 in their preseason college football rankings, but the program should be a major surprise team in 2012.
Last season, the Gators finished 7-5 and did not beat a Top 25 team.
This season, their schedule is a huge reason they could be successful. Florida only plays four road games and has one game at a neutral site.
Yes, they play some difficult opponents in the SEC including Louisiana State, South Carolina and Georgia, but they also play two extremely weak opponents before facing Florida State in the final game of the season.
If Florida can win all of its home games, except for LSU, and find a way to beat Georgia at a neutral site, then Florida deserves a Top 10 ranking.
Myth 4: Ohio State Deserves a No. 15-20 Preseason Ranking
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Ohio State is a team that should have a No. 15-20 preseason ranking if Luke Fickell was still the head coach. With Urban Meyer at the helm, this is a different program and one that should be ranked in the Top 10.
Ohio State’s schedule is not that difficult this year. California is its strongest non-conference opponent and Michigan State and Wisconsin are its only truly difficult road games.
They do play Michigan State and Nebraska, as well as Wisconsin and Michigan, in consecutive weeks.
The Buckeyes will be a dangerous team in the Big Ten conference because they are not eligible for a bowl game due to infractions related to Terrell Pryor. Meyer will have them playing with an “us against the world” attitude for much of the season.
Myth 5: Stanford Should Be Ranked in the Top 15
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It is ridiculous that ESPN and other preseason college football rankings have Stanford ranked No. 12 in the nation.
All-American quarterback Andrew Luck was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
Offensive lineman David DeCastro, tight end Coby Fleener and tackle Jonathan Martin were drafted in the second round.
This is a team that lost two games last year and even with its terribly easy schedule this season, Stanford will lose at least three or four games.
That should be enough to drop them very low in the rankings.
Myth 6: Michigan and Michigan State Will Remain in the Top 10 Throughout the Season
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It will be difficult for both the Wolverines and Spartans to stay atop the rankings throughout the season.
The Big Ten will be interesting to follow. Michigan, Michigan State or Wisconsin is going to have a magical year and make a run towards the national championship, or they are all going to beat the hell out of each other.
If you throw Ohio State and Nebraska in the mix, every team in the conference could have two losses by the end of the season.
One of those teams could have chance, but not both.
Myth 7: West Virginia Deserves to Be Ranked No. 8
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Whenever something negative is posted about West Virginia football, its fans always come out to fight back. I hope to see your comments soon.
West Virginia will have an amazing offense this season. Quarterback Geno Smith and receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin could produce record-setting types of numbers.
The defense is so terrible though; they are going to have a hard season. West Virginia is switching from the 3-3-5 scheme to a 3-4 defense. It will take a little bit of time for players to learn a new system.
The bottom line here is that the Mountaineers lost three games last year; two of those losses came against teams from the terrible Big East.
With their move to the Big 12, West Virginia will replace Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse with Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Every team in the conference puts up huge numbers offensively.
West Virginia will remain in the Top 25 only because of a favorable home schedule.
Myth 8: Preseason Polls Show Respect to Oklahoma at No. 6
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Oklahoma may be the best team in college football this season.
Quarterback Landry Jones is back and tailback Dominique Whaley should be healthy enough to play.
The defense may have lost some games for the Sooners last season, but that should be corrected since head coach Bob Stoops hired his brother Mike Stoops to be defensive coordinator.
Texas, Notre Dame and West Virginia will be this team’s major threats.
Myth 9: USC Will Return to Dominance in 2012
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Some preseason college football rankings have Southern California ranked No. 1, while others rank them No. 2.
USC will be the same team it was last season and probably lose two games. Quarterback Matt Barkley is back and he is extremely good.
This is just an experienced team on the big stage. USC will battle Oregon and Notre Dame at home, and may have some problems with Washington on the road.
Myth 10: A Team Not from the SEC Conference Will Win the National Championship
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This will be the year we are all relieved to have a playoff system planned for the future, but unfortunately, college football fans will see an Alabama vs. LSU rematch for the millionth time.
Outside of LSU, Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia, the SEC is not strong this year. Their four best teams are just really good.
Alabama could sleepwalk through all of its games and wake up just in time to beat Arkansas and maybe LSU.
In order to not see a rematch, USC or Oklahoma would have to escape without a loss during the regular season.
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