AP Poll College Football 2011: 10 Teams the Pollsters Got Wrong
It happens every year.
The preseason AP Poll comes out, and inevitably you find yourself scratching your head at some of the decisions these writers make.
Well, this year proves to be no different.
Granted, most of the selections are based on the previous year's results along with media hype and scrutiny. But these voters could still take the time and do a much better job than they do.
Here are 10 teams that the pollsters got flat-out wrong.
Too High: No. 6 Florida State
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No. 6? Really?
The 'Noles return 16 starters off last year's 10-4 squad, but it's tough to envision this team improving too much on that record.
Veteran Christian Ponder leaves some big shoes to fill, and despite seeing some solid action last year, E.J. Manuel is entering his first full season with keys to the car.
Outside of Oklahoma, the schedule leaves a lot to be desired, but that's expected in the weak ACC nowadays.
Florida State will be a very solid team and a perennial BCS contender without question, but this just simply is not the sixth-ranked team in the country right now.
Prove me wrong, Jimbo.
Too High: No. 7 Stanford
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They boast the top signal-caller in the country with Andrew Luck at the helm, but the Stanford Cardinals return just 11 starters from last year's 12-1 team.
The Orange Bowl Champions will be hard-pressed to replace Jim Harbaugh, who decided to test the waters in the NFL.
A revamped offensive line and receiving corps could prove to be the downfall for this preseason Top 10 team.
Too High: No. 14 TCU
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Gary Patterson has created one of the most consistent winners in the nation down in Fort Worth, Texas.
But when you return just eight starters, it would be tough for Harry Potter to muster up enough magic to return to the elite.
Maybe pollsters felt obligated to rate TCU higher than reality? A 13-0 record can do that to you.
TCU has some talent, but on paper this is a fringe Top 25 team right now.
Too High: No. 9 Oklahoma State
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The offense should be electrifying with the return of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
But, as is the typical case with Oklahoma State, the defense will be absolutely atrocious.
They return just five starters from an already-embarrassing squad that allowed more than 400 yards a game last year.
Don't expect better numbers this year.
Despite bringing back nine starters on the offensive side of the ball, the loss of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen could prove to mean more than first thought.
Too High: No. 23 Auburn
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It's tough to logically claim that a team ranked No. 23 in the country is too high, but considering the shockingly low amount Auburn has returning, it's easy to see why I have them here.
Six starters return from last year's National Champions, including all-everything running back Michael Dyer.
Unfortunately for Dyer, he won't have much if any help.
It's safe to say Gene Chizik won't be scrutinized too tough following the season the Tigers just put together, regardless of their 2012 outcome.
Too Low: No. 8 Texas A&M
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It's easy to see why the pollsters pegged Texas A&M as the No. 8 team in the country.
This is A&M's highest preseason ranking in more than a decade, and Mike Sherman clearly has the Aggies on the right track.
For as much respect they are already receiving, I don't think it's crazy for them to deserve more.
The Aggies return 18 starters from last year's team that went 9-4 and was absolutely on fire during the second half of the season.
Quarterback Ryan Tennehill will look to build upon his successes, and I think he will.
Don't be shocked if the Aggies find themselves in the discussion for the national championship.
Too Low: No. 17 Michigan State
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It shouldn't come as too much of a shock that the voters are devaluing Mark Dantonio's team once again.
The Spartans return 12 starters from last year's 11-2 team, including one of the best backfield tandems in the country.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins and running back Edwin Baker create an impressive balance that will make it difficult for opposing defenses to key on one aspect of the game.
This team probably won't duplicate their success from a year ago, but they will surely outperform their No. 17 preseason ranking.
Too Low: No. 21 Missouri
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This may sound crazy, given the loss of Blaine Gabbert to the NFL.
However, the offense still returns nine from a unit that raked up 410 yards a game last year.
The defense also bring back six, and you can be sure Gary Pinkel will have this team clicking early on in the season.
Expect the Tigers to make a run at a Big 12 championship, coming up just short.
Too Low: NR Texas
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In one of the more curious omissions this preseason, Texas finds themselves outside the Top 25.
Mack Brown has produced as consistent a product as possible in Austin, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Texas win 10 or 11 games again this season.
This team is without question Top-25 worthy.
Too Low: NR Penn State
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Another surprising omission came via Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions.
Penn State should bolster one of the country's best defenses this season.
If the Nittany Lions can figure out the quarterback situation, it wouldn't be crazy to pin them as Big Ten-championship caliber.
Outside the showdown with No. 2 Alabama in Week 2, the schedule sets up nicely, with some tune-ups prior to showdowns against Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin.