Should there really be a preseason poll in college football?

Alan BlanchardContributor IAugust 27, 2008

I know, I know....this is a sacred cow and who really wants to offer it up for sacrifice?  If your team is "ranked" in the top 10 then you're pretty happy (unless of course you're disappionted they're not higher than the "experts" feel they should be) because this gives them an opportunity to be positioned for that infamous National Championship, or at the very least a BSC bowl berth.  This is all subject to change of course should you lose a game like say.....I don't know, maybe being ranked #5 and losing your first game to.....let's just say, someone who isn't ranked.  That will put a twist in somebody's shorts, huh?  How could this happen?  Was this team not that good?  Was the other one better than projected?  Who could known and does anybody really care?  Maybe not, but this question of the preseason poll has bugged me for a few years now.  Here is the real question:  Is it political or is it really accurate?  Here are just a few thoughts to get this ball rolling.

Back before computers and "strength of schedule" I actually thought is was politically designed to keep the big-name schools out front as they drew the headlines and money.  I remember one year, I think Bear Bryant's last year, Alabama lost four games and was still ranked 20th.  I couldn't believe it.  I've seen some teams highly ranked and lose to someone just outside the Top Twenty and fall like a rock never to be seen again as far as the rankings go and yet others who hang around regardless.  And that is why I question the preseason poll.  I think there ought to be a poll taken after two weeks of play....and I'm not talking about the first two against teams no one has ever heard of.  If it has to be non-conference than play someone of decent caliber.  Let's get a true reading of your teams strength, not just what somebody in Connecticut thinks.  If a team plays in the SEC, you're going to be found out pretty quick.  There are no wienies in that group.  You have to strap it on every single week.  And the same could be said for the PAC 10 and Big 12 at certain times, although not as consistently as the SEC.

So what do you think?  Is your team willing to prove it from the get go or do you think they are up to the challenge?  Yeah, yeah, I know.....some of these "other" teams get alot of their money from coming in to your stadium and taking a whipping....schedule them down the road and no more than two or you're out of the top 10.  Why do you think there are so many so called upsets?  Because someone told us a certain team was worthy of a particular ranking and then got found out.  Take this year for example....I do believe Georgia is very good, but #1?  No, and that will play out pretty soon.  Like I said, the SEC is tough.  Texas, USC, Notre Dame and Michigan better stay where they are.....not to mention a few more, if you what to be considered for the big games at the end.

Preseason polls remind me a lot of the political battles that play out in the media.  We are told what to believe and very seldom are we given all the information to make an intelligent decision.  Let's let this really play out....on the field and then we'll see who the big dogs are and who is just a mutt in disguise.  Radical I know, but I'm thinking there won't be any question at the end of the season as to who ought to be in the BCS Championship Game.