Since 2005 when the AP demanded their formula be removed from the BCS equation following the 2004 season, the AP Poll hasn't mattered in deciding who plays in the big game at all. The only AP Poll that really mattered during that time frame was the final poll where they selected their national champion, and during that time frame they never split with the BCS winner. This year the AP Poll will probably have a lot more relevance in deciding exactly who plays in the College Football Playoff, since the Selection Committee is free to use whatever methods and polls they desire.
So let's get to the actual poll results. Here's what I wrote in my initial paragraph on the Coaches' Poll about early prognostications on where Auburn would fall in the various polls:
Preseason predictions were mixed between the Top Ten and Top Five for Auburn with a low of #9 in three predictions and a high of #1 in one prediction. The average placed Auburn at #6. So let's look at how things actually fell.
Auburn ended up at #5 for that poll. So now let's see how things panned out for the Tigers in the AP Top 25...
|1||Florida State (57)||0-0||1,496||-|
As with the Coaches' Poll, it's no surprise to see Florida State #1. I read somewhere on Twitter this morning that the AP poll has never had a unanimous pre-season #1 team, and it appears like a few voters decided to vote for someone else to continue the ridiculous trends against unanimity in sports. The Coaches' Poll had similar results.
Alabama is again ranked ahead of Auburn at #2, in spite of their QB situation still not being settled. Going into the pre-season the assumption was that Jacob Coker was going to step right in and be a fantastic QB, but either he's been struggling more than they thought or Blake Sims is really giving him a run for his money. Alabama still has a ton of weapons, and I'm sure they'll be in the conversation late in the year, but this really just shows the flaws in "pre-season" polls. Will Alabama be a Top 10 (or even Top 5) school by the end of the season? Probably. But what about their team says "Top 5" right this second, let alone #2? They are again ranked ahead of the Oklahoma team that demolished them in the Sugar Bowl.
Auburn is in a similar spot to their position in the Coaches' Poll at #6. Since the release of that poll, Auburn has seen some nagging injuries to players we will need to be healthy and some big questions regarding some of our big name players like Robenson Therezie, who is "working through some eligibility issues." Rumors had been around a drug test, but the fact that it's being worded as an "eligibility issue" makes it sound more like PED than recreational drugs, if that is, in fact, the issue. The reality is that we still don't know the full details. Marshall and Mincy's punishments were announced the day after the Coaches' Poll was released, but this should not play into the decision on where to rank Auburn since Malzahn has stated emphatically that Nick Marshall is the QB and he will be back in that position once his suspension is met.
Rounding out the rest of the SEC, it all looks very similar to the Coaches' Poll, though there are always the wild fluctuations with one or two teams. Five of the seven schools in the SEC West are in the Top 25, just as in the Coaches' poll. LSU at #13, Ole Miss at #18 and Texas A&M at #21. That's still a pretty scary division, I'd say. As for the SEC East, South Carolina at #9, Georgia checks in at #12 and Missouri checks in at... #24! Welcome, Missouri! I thought y'all got shafted by the Coaches' Poll leaving you out completely, so it's good to see you here in the Top 25. For those keeping count at home, that's eight of fourteen SEC schools in the Top 25.
And that's the Pre-Season AP Top 25. What are y'all's thoughts on it? Similar to the Coaches' Poll, Auburn plays seven of these Pre-Season Top 25 teams this year. That's a brutal schedule.
Preseason Camp is over, y'all. Tomorrow starts the first day of classes and you can bet the Tigers will get into prepping for the Razorbacks. Can you smell the tailgating grills, yet? Football season is almost here.