USA Today Coaches Poll: Why This One Matters.

Michael Walker@michaelwalkerwvAnalyst IIAugust 19, 2012

Matter? This preseason college football ranking does. This poll, USA Today's Coaches Poll, is determined by a board of coaches from across the country and is included in the BCS standings.

The preseason poll is not actually figured into the formula used by the BCS, but it does show insight into the preconceived notions of the coaches.

Even though it does not count, it reveals the preset ideas of college coaches. And those ideas are sometimes self serving.

USA Today Coaches Preseason College Football Rankings:

RK               Team                           Points

1               LSU (18)                          1,403
2               Alabama (20)                  1,399
3               USC (19)                          1,388

4               Oklahoma (1)                  1,276

5               Oregon                            1,258
6               Georgia                           1,061
7               Florida State (1)              1,055

8               Michigan                         1,023
9               South Carolina                   981
10             Arkansas                            948
11             West Virginia                      833
12             Wisconsin                          743
13             Michigan State                   717
14             Clemson                             598
15             Texas                                  549
16             Nebraska                            501
17             TCU                                     499

18             Stanford                              497

19             Oklahoma State                 476

20             Virginia Tech                      461

21             Kansas State                      398

22             Boise State                         271

23             Florida                                250

24             Notre Dame                       166

25             Auburn                                66


The only other pertinent poll in the BCS rankings is the Harris Interactive Football Poll—known as the Harris Poll—which does not release its weekly rankings until mid September.

USA Today's Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll make up one third of the BCS rankings; the other two thirds are done by computer.

As of 2014, a new system will be in place to rank each team for postseason play, removing the highly criticized secrecy associated with the Coaches Poll. While the other preseason college football rankings are interesting points of debate, they don't really matter in determining what teams will play for the national championship.

You can see where the coaches stand. At least five of these teams will not be in the final poll for the season, which also means the same number are not here and should be.

What do you think of your team's ranking? Did it get left out? Or your gut may tell you that a teams ranking is nothing more than pie in the sky, nothing more than coaches self serving biases. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.


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