The 2012 college football season begins with the AP Poll ranking that this writer believes will be the most inaccurate prognostication they have come up with since the creation of the BCS.
If this turns out to be the case, it will be a colossal nail in the coffin of the credibility of the Associated Press with respect to college football.
In fairness to the subject, it is only right that the accuser point out some more defined specifics instead of making a broad criticism.
Southern California was ranked atop this doomed poll. Southern California likely has the majority of “top starters” in the poll.
The problem is that they have no depth, nor any hope of dealing with top-tier teams that do. They are an outstanding top-20 type team that will likely end the season outside the top 10 and well outside the top five.
Alabama did not win its conference in 2011 with a much better team than they field this season. The problems at Alabama will be with scheme changes forced by an inexperienced secondary, a less effective group of linebackers and less effective running backs.
Alabama could progress to be a fringe top 10 team by season’s end, if the pieces all fall together. It is unlikely they will end the season in the top five.
LSU is a team that meets the criteria in both experience and talent to sustain a top-five run at the BCS. If they were in any other conference, this would be a no-brainer. It is likely they run into a buzz saw on a couple of occasions this season and finish as a fringe top-10 type team.
Oklahoma is simply nowhere near a top-five team in college football. They likely have a season similar to 2011 and finish in the top 25. This is no a top-10 caliber team.
Oregon will likely finish in the top five or just miss it. They are no longer as young and inexperienced, and have the depth to win the Pac-12 this season. The biggest question is, can they beat USC twice in 2012?
Is the 2012 preseason AP Poll an accurate reflection of college football?
Florida State has a very easy schedule and will likely keep its ranking until they have to play much stronger teams in the bowl season. I think this team wins the ACC this season.
Michigan will not be in the top 10 past the first week of the season. This is a fringe top-25 team, but nowhere near a top-10 caliber squad.
South Carolina will likely win the SEC East this season. They are a fringe top-10 caliber team and could maintain their lofty ranking in 2012.
Arkansas will be nowhere near the top 10 by season’s end. They are a strong team, but lost too many players and have faced too much change and animosity this season. Arkansas is unlikely to end this season ranked in the polls.
If this opinion is correct, this would make the 2012 preseason AP Poll the least accurate national poll during the BCS era of college football. Only the season can reveal the actual end results.