Every little milestone we hit just brings us closer and closer to the start of real football. This morning sees the release of the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Pre-season polls don't have near the impact in college football today that they had during the BCS era. In 2004, Auburn could never sneak into the top two spots because the schools that began the pre-season 1 & 2 never lost. So, the pollsters never saw any reason to move them. That's the type of thing that could happen because of pre-season polls in the past.
Last week I spoke about ESPN's Football Power Index and Auburn's place in it (18th). ESPN has tried to develop a metric that allows for pre-season prognostications that will drastically change once games are played. In the end, none of them will matter.
Auburn is in the Top 10 of the Coaches Poll #7. Just what does that mean? Not a whole lot of anything. With the College Football Playoff, the Coaches Poll and every poll other than the Playoff Committee rankings are meaningless. They are still something to talk about and get worked up over, though. So, we'll continue to do so all season long.
The poll can also be found at their site here. The poll below include Bill Connelly's S&P+ Projections on the right.
|Coaches Poll Rank||Team||S&P+ projected ranking|
|1||Ohio State (62)||2|
We knew a lot of SEC teams were going to make it, and they have. 8 of the conference's 14 teams made it, but only three from the SEC East. The SEC West in particular places almost every single team in the Top 25. Only Texas A&M and Mississippi State (a shocker) are missing. This is why I don't feel too much like Gus Malzahn was whining when asked about playoff expansion last week. The point he was making is more that it is harder for an SEC West team to make the playoff because of their regular season schedule. It will be interesting to see how the Committee weighs teams if a two-loss SEC West team is in the playoff picture over a one loss team from one of the other conferences.
It's a bit shocking to see the coaches so high on Tennessee the Vols sneak in at #25, which is impressive. Georgia is the highest ranked SEC East team at #9. You have to go all the way down to #23 to find the next SEC East team (Mizzou).
In the West, Bama is ranked the highest at #3. Followed by Auburn at #7, LSU at #13, Ole Miss at #15, and Arkansas at #20. That's a pretty good set up.
Well, we knew three of the Tigers' teams weren't going to be ranked. I'm a bit shocked that Louisville isn't in there. I have a feeling we'll count that as a Top 25 win by season's end (which is all that really matters). For the SEC, Auburn will play five ranked opponents. That's still a tough slate. It's very similar to last season. The biggest difference is that the ranked non-conference opponent is at a neutral site and we get the Bulldogs and Tide at home.
So what do you think of the Coaches Poll? Agree with it? See some egregious errors? Sound off below!