2010 USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll: Which Teams Got Disrespected?
It happens every year—the press and fans feel certain teams are better than what the coaches vote, which leads to players using the "disrespected" card before the season even starts.
The 2010 USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll has been released, and admittedly, there are some surprises.
Which teams really did get disrespected? Let's take a look.
No. 14: Penn State
The biggest surprise must fall upon Penn State. Perhaps the coaches are sending a message to Joe Pa?
The vote could center around Penn State's trip to Tuscaloosa to face defending national champion Alabama on September 11. Alabama will be favored to win; by how much is yet to be determined.
Also in question is Penn State's QB situation. Based on who eventually wins the job will determine what type of offensive scheme OC Galen Hall implements.
Finally, the Nittany Lions must replace five of the front seven on defense.
Do the coaches feel Coach Paterno no longer has the ability to address these needs? Say what you want about Joe Pa, but he knows defense. One loss on the road to a non-conference foe is no reason to disrespect the program. The only real reason for concern is the QB situation.
No. 24: Utah
The next team that could be feeling disrespected today and is used to the feeling is the Utah Utes.
If you look at Utah's 2010 schedule, the first game is on the road against Pitt, which is not a walk in the park. Other than that, there are only two other games, both late in the season, against Notre Dame in South Bend, and at home versus BYU that could give the Utes some trouble.
This is a team that should contend for the Mountain West title before bailing out for the soon to be Pac-12 in 2011.
It's true that Utah must break in their inexperienced wide receivers and secondary, but this is a team that has extended it's streak of 10-win season to 12 years in a row. The Utes have earned the due respect they have earned.
No. 17: Georgia Tech
Next on the list is the Rambling Wreck, aka Georgia Tech.
The defending ACC champions return 12 starters, and most have at least two years experience.
Also, Georgia Tech won the lottery when they hired former Virginia head coach Al Groh to be their new defensive coordinator. If the 2009 Yellow Jackets had a glaring weakness it was their defense. Georgia Tech seems to have addressed that situation.
Is this a case of the ACC not having respect since their defending champion is ranked lower than expected, or do the coaches simply feel the Yellow Jackets are not that good?
No. 10: Iowa
Perhaps the coaches feel it's a forgone conclusion that Ohio State will easily win the Big-10 in 2010, and if that is the case, then the Iowa Hawkeyes really got dissed.
QB Ricky Stanzi may throw many interceptions, but he knows how to win games. He returns for his senior season along with three experienced WRs and two excellent RBs.
Eight starters return on defense that many feel is the most sound in the Big-10.
Ohio State may win the Big-10, but Iowa will run with them neck and neck until they meet in Iowa City on November 20, 2010. Don't be surprised when the Hawkeyes lay the lumber on the Buckeyes that day.
No. 4: Texas
When QB Colt McCoy left the 2009 national championship game in the first quarter with an injury, the future was revealed with Garrett Gilbert entering the game.
Now that head coach Mack Brown is moving the offense into a more power running game, maybe that's being perceived as a lack of confidence in the passing game.
On defense, Texas' sack leader from 2009, Sam Acho, returns, but key leaders from the 2009 squad are gone. DC Will Muschamp must find answers quickly, and he is confident that he will.
Being in the top five is never a dis, but for a team that played fairly well in the previous season's national championship game finishing the season No. 2 overall deserves a higher ranking.
No. 7: TCU
Up and coming TCU is in the top 10 of both AP and USA Today polls, so one may ask why are they being disrespected?
Because they should be ranked higher, period.
The Horned Frogs return nine starters on offense and seven on defense. QB Andy Dalton returns for this senior, and fourth, season as starter and is the winningest QB in the nation with 29 victories, which, by the way, is tied with Sammy Baugh, the man credited with creating the modern day passing game.
There are concerns in the secondary, but head coach Gary Patterson always focuses on defense first and fills holes successfully. They are very confident with Jason Teague and Greg McCoy in the backfield.
Do not be surprised if the BCS finally gets it right and puts TCU in the national championship game if they are undefeated at the end of the season.
No. 5: Boise State
Last, but certainly not least, is arguably the most disrespected team year in and year out—Boise State.
After another undefeated season, the 2009 Boise State team was denied the opportunity to play for the national championship—again. Will it be the same song and dance in 2010?
If the Broncos run the table again this season, then the BCS will be compelled to put them in the national championship game. It would become a PR and political disaster for the BCS if they didn't.
Boise State returns 20 of 22 Fiesta Bowl starters from 2009; the game where they defeated TCU convincingly to end the season. They did have one loss in the last two seasons—back in 2008 against the aforementioned TCU Horned Frogs.
Boise State should be ranked No. 2 just behind Alabama.