Texas A&M Football: Predicting the Aggies' AP Poll Preseason Rank
With less than a month till the start of college football's 2012 season, Texas A&M has begun to truly tighten up their game. With only the quarterback controversy a legitimate, newsworthy story, writers here at B/R who centric around the Aggies are beginning to run out of ideas.
Since we've covered anything and everything ranging from in-depth recruiting to Aggie NFL prospects and possible SEC rivals to new head coach Kevin Sumlin's tactics, there really remains only one thing left to discuss: polls.
We're at a point where game previews are just too far away and Johnny Manziel emerging as the official starter over Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel is a bit swollen with coverage. With the USA Today Coaches poll out and the AP poll set to release soon, analyzing A&M's possible position within is the best news we've got (so bear with us).
To be completely straight, the Aggies won't make the Top 25 cut, as should be expected considering A&M's new head coach, new quarterback and new (much more difficult) conference. Based on their schedule and known amount of talent, I would be willing to bet that A&M slides into a position somewhere between 30-35 in the preseason AP poll.
Fortunately for A&M, they do have a lot going for them. Positive brand recognition, a monster recruiting class and some highly projected NFL draft prospects all allow the Aggies some strong material to build on. With some early success against Louisiana Tech, Florida and SMU, expect the maroon and white to break the Top 25 with ease.
However, the real issue at hand, in my opinion, is the lack of weight given to the AP poll which deserves much more credit for its legitimacy than it owns right now.
Where Does A&M Belong in the AP Preseason Poll?
The Associated Press poll has been important amongst college football's followers since 1936, at one point determining who truly was No. 1 and deserving of the national title. Since the 2004 AP poll fiasco, however, the rankings haven't been included in the BCS system, effectively plummeting its importance among fans and analysts.
In my personal opinion, I find the AP poll much more reliable than the USA Today Coaches poll, which is obviously voted on by a select number of Division I coaches from the sport.
Since the AP poll is voted on by multiple sports writers from around the country, all of whom follow college football to the greatest length, I believe it has more accuracy.
Who can really expect college football coaches to actually sit down and watch, much less analyze, the games of any of the teams they vote in the poll every week when they have (a) a job to do and (b) an opponent to prepare for the upcoming week?
The Associated Press has a much better chance at being informed than any coach will ever be due to the time constraints placed around the latter's job.
For a D-I coach, knowing a decent amount of information about a program they're not playing the following Saturday is extra, ultimately worthless, knowledge. For a national sports journalist, it's literally their job to acquire and proactively report that material.
Furthermore, coaches have some blatant bias when voting in a system that ultimately determines who plays for the national title in January. If I were a coach, I would vote my team No. 1 every week to allow them a better shot at a higher ranking and a well-known bowl.
The system is broken and although the solution, a college football playoff, has already been put into production, the virus that is the BCS won't die for another two seasons.
For the time being, it is my suggestion that if you pay attention to any poll as a fan of college football, it be the AP poll. A poll of informed, honest journalists with any integrity whatsoever, will easily outmatch that of any coaches poll.
For the time being, this article will be my last till Bowl Season later this winter.
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