Now that the AP rankings have hit the shelves, we are officially one step closer to the start of the college football season.
Though looking at the polls can give us a pretty good idea of which squads might actually be good coming into a season, we all know that there are a bunch of “ifs,” “ands,” and “buts” that separate a hopeful September from a glorious January.
Yes, many of the ranked teams (especially those toward the top of the charts) have what looks to be the right mix of returning starters, strength of schedule, depth, coaching stability, and leadership to make a serious run at something big, but anything (and I mean anything) can happen along the path to glory.
Injuries could be the factors that change the course of a season, or perhaps it is over confidence that key personnel turnover is adequately handled, overlooking a really under-ranked opponent(s), or maybe it could be a superstar that comes out of nowhere that changes everything.
But change it can, and change it will.
The following slide show provides one solid reason why each of the top 25 teams in the AP preseason poll could flop, and “flop” is a relative term that simply means the team falls short of whatever their realistic aims for 2011 might be (a division title, a bowl bid, a conference crown, a BCS berth, or a big, fat national-championship ring).