Preseason College Football Rankings 2013: Breaking Down AP Poll

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IAugust 29, 2013

COLLEGE STATION, TX - APRIL 13:  Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel #2 waits on the field before the Maroon & White spring football game at Kyle Field on April 13, 2013 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The AP Top 25 preseason poll was recently released ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, and there is more than enough to go over.

Several high-profile programs didn't receive a great deal of credit, particularly when comparing the AP poll to the USA Today coaches' poll. 

Whether it was a former Heisman winner's team getting snubbed in favor of a dominant defensive lineman's squad or a team that made it to the national championship game plummeting down the rankings, the preseason AP poll took no prisoners.

Here's a breakdown of the most interesting rankings in the AP preseason poll.


South Carolina Ranked Ahead of Texas A&M

It was a bit surprising to see Johnny Manziel's Aggies listed below South Carolina in the AP Top 25 preseason poll. 

Yes, the Aggies lost linebackers Damontre Moore, Jonathan Stewart and Sean Porter in the offseason. And, yes, they also lost top offensive tackle Luke Joeckel and leading receiver Ryan Swope.

However, they still have Manziel. They have a strong stable of running backs in senior Ben Malena and transfers Brandon Williams and Tra Carson. They have top offensive tackle Jake Matthews returning and they have a solid cornerback in Deshazor Everett.

As long as Manziel doesn't lose his head on the football field, there's still reason to believe the Aggies will do big things in 2013.


Notre Dame Ranked No. 14

Notre Dame was ranked 11th in the USA Today coaches' poll, which is close to where I thought the program would be ranked in the AP poll.

Maybe not.

Notre Dame is ranked 14th in the preseason AP poll. Yes, Everett Golson has been replaced by Tommy Rees. Yes, Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick and Tyler Eifert are no longer with the team. However, let us not forget that George Atkinson III is a talented running back and freshman Greg Bryant is no slouch.

Also, this team was predicated on defense even with Golson under center. The Fighting Irish lose inside linebacker Manti Te'o, but they still return eight starters on defense, including defensive end Stephon Tuitt, nose guard Louis Nix and linebacker Prince Shembo. With the amount of talent Notre Dame has on the defensive side of the ball, this team is still plenty capable of making some noise in 2013.


Kansas State Not Even on Bubble

Many polls and pundits had Kansas State either on the bubble of the top 25 teams or among them this preseason.

Not only were the Wildcats excluded from the top 25 in the AP preseason poll, they weren't even close to the bubble. 

Kansas State received just 43 votes in the AP poll. By comparison, the top three bubble teams—Michigan State, Baylor and Virginia Tech—collected 95, 92 and 86 votes respectively.

Granted, Kansas State lost eight starters on defense, including inside linebacker Arthur Brown. They also lost dual-threat quarterback Collin Klein.

Even so, the rushing attack should still be formidable behind John Hubert and an experienced offensive line. National junior college player of the year Jake Waters may do some damage this season as well. 

And while Kansas State lost eight starters on defense, Brown was the only top-tier player. Those holes can be plugged a bit easier than it would appear.

Not putting Kansas State even close to the bubble is shocking.


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