Ok, I have to be completely honest...I don't believe in preseason rankings. I find it amusing how every year around this time the college football "experts" will tell you how and why a team will finish where they project they will.
What is even more comical is how most of them will feed you their opinion with conviction in their voice like they're Radio Shack and know all the answers.
Every year they do this, and every year most all of them are wrong, including myself.
Case in point: Long-admired college football "guru" Phill Steele is much respected among most college football circles as having a good feel for evaluating teams before September.
How'd he do in 2008? Well, let's take a look.
His top 10 teams were Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Clemson, West Virginia, Missouri, South Florida, Georgia, and Penn State.
His top five were fairly accurate. Florida, Oklahoma, and USC all finished in the top five. However, Clemson, West Virginia, South Florida, and Missouri didn't even finish in the top 25!
Furthermore, he had teams like Notre Dame (19), Texas (15), Tennessee (23), FSU (24), Pitt (25), Auburn (12), and LSU (13) in his top 25. The list goes on and on and way off basis. Now, this isn't meant to disrespect Mr. Steele in any way—he's a fine football analyst, very insightful, has an excellent football IQ, and is one of the best.
However, if he's one of the brightest and he is so far off in his preseason rankings (without, I remind you, any georgraphical bias toward one team or another), what does that say about the rest of the college football world?
If I had a say in the matter, I would banish preseason rankings from all the major polls, especially the ones that are included in the makeup of the BCS. All it does, in my opinion, is make it more difficult for those teams that nobody expected to be good to end the season where they rightfully should.
Sure, it's fun for the fans to try and project where they think teams might finish, only to look back and see how wrong they were in the end. There is no harm in this because the fans have zero input on the polls that are legit, and therefore can not unlevel the playing field.
Something needs to be done about this. It is not fair to the teams who work so hard in the offseason to maybe not end up where they belong because of some "expert's" preseason opinion. It's not fair to the players, not fair to the coaches, and not fair to their respective communities.
The major polls should not be released until midseason, that way the team who was projected to finish 37th in the nation will not be handicapped by virtue of being passed over by the "experts" before a game was even played.
Furthermore, in the spirit of this article, I will not unveil any type of national "rankings" until the week before conference play. However, since I am just a casual observer, I will unveil my projected champion of each conference:
Big 12: Texas
Pac 10: Cal
ACC: Virginia Tech
Big 10: Ohio State
Big East: West Virginia
WAC: Boise State
Power 10 (note these are not rankings, just my assessment of the most equipped teams coming into the season based on returning starters, QB competency (which I think is key), and overall talent):
4. Ole Miss
6. Virginia Tech
8. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State
10. Notre Dame
So forgive me if you feel that I'm being ingenuous, it's just...I'm not going to put on some false pretense national "ranking" like I have any idea how the season will unfold. I've been watching college football long enough to know that nobody—I mean nobody—has the slightest clue, even you.