So how did I do in my projections of the rankings? Not as good as years past unfortunately. Still pretty good though. Suspensions and dismissals and all that certainly played a role. Notre Dame lost their starting quarterback. You better believe that’s going to affect things. So here is the coaches rankings followed by my prediction.
2. Ohio State
6. Texas A&M
7. South Carolina
11. Notre Dame
12. Florida State
14. Oklahoma State
19. Boise State
25. Oregon State
Others receiving votes: Kansas State 113, Miami (FL) 101, Michigan State 89, Baylor 80, Virginia Tech 65, Fresno State 62, Arizona State 51, Ole Miss 32, Vanderbilt 29, Utah State 23, Brigham Young 20, North Carolina 19, Northern Illinois 19, Tulsa 9, San Jose State 8, Ohio 8, Arizona 5, Cincinnati 3, East Carolina 3, Mississippi State 3, Kent State 3, Washington 3, UCF 2, Tennessee 1, Toledo 1, Rutgers 1, Arkansas 1, Arkansas State 1
Here’s my original projections back in January:
1. Alabama (4)
2. Oregon (1)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Texas A&M (1)
7. Notre Dame
11. South Carolina
13. Florida State
17. Oregon State
20. Boise State
23. Oklahoma State
Others receiving votes: Baylor, Kansas State, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Miami, Virginia Tech, San Jose State, BYU, Fresno State, Arizona State
So where was I off? I was pretty good at the top. Alabama was an obvious pick. I had Oregon and Ohio State flipped for 2 and 3 but Oregon losing their coach impacted that no doubt. The next three I had in the wrong order between Stanford, Georgia and Texas A&M so pretty close.
But then the coaches put South Carolina at 7 and I had them at 11. Coincidentally I had Notre Dame at 7 and the coaches put them at 11. The Notre Dame drop is from losing a QB, not sure why the South Carolina bump. Maybe the coaches spent all summer watching that Clowney hit in the bowl game.
Next up I had LSU at 8 and the coaches put them at 13. They had some offseason troubles as well so that’s understandable. Rounding off my top 13 were Clemson, Louisville, Florida and Florida State, same as the coaches but a different order is all. So our top 13 were the same, just slightly rearranged.
The coaches put Oklahoma State at 14 which baffles me. They weren’t on the radar at the end of last season. But when the media picked them to win the Big 12, I’m guessing that caught some attention. I had them at 23. I also had Oregon State at 17 but the coaches threw them back at 25, another huge discrepancy. Aside from them, everyone else in the top 25 is within a spot or two of where I put them. Even my teams getting votes all lined up pretty well with who actually just missed the top 25.
So what do I think of these rankings? I’m glad I asked. I still think Stanford is too high. Shaw is riding the recruits of Harbaugh who built a good program. I don’t think he can keep it at the same level as a guy who went to the Super Bowl in his second season in the NFL and nearly made it his first. Just not going to happen. But the Kelly-less Ducks are no vulnerable and with Sarkishian getting a solid program at Washington and Leach coming in at Washington State, the Pac-12 North will be a very interesting conference. But I don’t expect Oregon or Stanford to finish in the top 5 where they both began.
The SEC has 5 of the top 10 in the coaches poll. Texas A&M will be the hunted this season, not the hunter. Not going to surprise anyone this time around. Don’t expect to see them in the top 10 at season’s end. Johnny Manziel and the Aggies are prime to struggle this season. South Carolina doesn’t look to be a factor either. The SEC is really Alabama and everyone else. It seems pretty likely we’ll get an SEC championship rematch which is exciting. But 5 teams in the top 10 then 1 in the 11-25 spots is absurd. The SEC has two or three top 10 teams. We’ll see that at the end of the season.
I don’t think Notre Dame, USC or Wisconsin has any business being on this list. They both had major changes and need to prove themselves before we can say they are top 25 material. Everything else looks about where it should be based on what each team has accomplished.
My guess for biggest drop in the rankings? Well, you have to start high in order to fall the farthest. I’m picking Stanford. No way they finish in the top 5. I think they will fall at least 10-15 spots by the end of the season.
My guess for biggest jump? I’m going with Miami actually who isn’t in the top 25. They are sitting at 27 right now. But they have Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech and…that’s it. They have a three game schedule. If they pick up where they left off, I can see them pulling 9-10 wins this season and playing for the ACC championship. The Coastal Division is weak sauce and if they go 9-3 and head to the ACC Championship they will be at least top 15.
Two other sleepers on the fringe there are BYU and Arizona. Not sure why neither of them didn’t get more votes. Unfortunately they both got pretty tough schedules this year, but if they do well I can see them vaulting into the top 25 with 8 or 9 wins against those schedules.
I guess time will tell how it all turns out. The final season of the BCS will be here at the end of the month and I for one can’t wait!